Blessed

Hi family!

Yes, you all are family, not just friends and followers. It really does take a tribe, and I couldn’t travel this road without each and every one of you. You lift me up, make my days brighter, and are there for me to “talk” to, even on my hard days. Thank you!

So, Christmas is over. I hope it was a good one for you! For us, it was the first one without my “Nanni” (grandma). It was bitter sweet. It’s so hard to fathom her strong presence not being physically present amongst her earthly family. She was, however, so ready to be done with her broken shell-of-a-body, which was miserably tethering her to her frail life here. To know that she is no longer bound to her sickly, broken body is a blessing! I know she is hanging out at some heavenly beach, soaking up the rays and being happy. That makes my heart smile, even through my tears.

This is also the first year we have, quite literally, been unable to afford even one gift for our children. Somehow, they still had a wonderful day, full of smiles and giggles of glee. We had “Secret Santas” come out of the woodwork, come to our aide, and make this year a special one for the kids. It was even more special for us as parents, because we are well aware it’s only by the grace of God (and friends/family) that we were allowed a “Christmas” at all. Hopefully this next year will find us in a much better place, and we can Pay It Forward in a big way.

What comes next? Gatlinburg. We were blessed with a trip to go visit my brother’s family in Gatlinburg, TN. No, they aren’t FROM TN, they are going there for New Year’s Day. We are soooo looking forward to seeing them again! It is always a good time, and good for the soul, hanging out with them!

After that? I am trying to find an RN job I can do from the house. It is VERY apparent, especially after this last week, that trying to be normal and, you know, walk around, is too taxing on my body. I think, God willing, I can do something from home, though. I need to feel like I am providing for my family and contributing somehow. I’ll get there. I will.

Yes, I am doing the pearl thing, which is fun. I have had the opportunity to meet so many great people! It has afforded me the ability to help pay some of the bills, which is nice. It would be über cool if I could make that a career. Then, I could fizz and shuck part time, yet also work on writing. That would be a dream. #goals – I don’t understand how some people touch a company, and it immediately turns to gold. I touch it, and it barely turns yellow after months of hard work. LOL!

Anyway … I’m off to play with the kids. Andrew has some Legos calling to us. Natalie can’t get her nose out of her DS. LOL! Bye until next time!

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It came without boxes …

To quote my favorite Christmas movie: 

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” — Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

We have been blessed beyond measure. We have been blessed far beyond what we deserve. This Christmas season …. this ENTIRE season of our life …. we have just seen miracle after miracle.

I voice a major concern to my husband (or even to myself!!), and it’s like God says, “I got this. I’ll show you.” Then out of NOWHERE … BAM … our need is met. It’s like God is listening directly to mine and my husband’s distraught conversations, and then whispering to those that have the precise means to help where we are falling short.

MIRACLES do happen.

I don’t want to call anyone out for helping, because I know they may want to remain anonymous. Just know, you are angels doing God’s work. I have never felt so much love and support … and to be honest, I tend to think the worst, and believe that I am a bother; that nobody really likes me. I have never felt such love, compasssion, and genuine human kindness. 

Thank you does not seem adequate. It is because of some of you, that my kids are having a Christmas at all. It is because of some of you that we have food to eat. It is because of some of you we get to have special moments and traditions. It is because of ALL of you that we feel so loved. 

This has also been the perfect opportunity to speak with my children about why we help people that have needs, Jesus’ love for us, and God’s protection over our lives. It has, hopefully, made them more aware and grateful for all that has been done for us.

My wish and hope is to pay everything forward one day. I would LOVE to be the one helping, providing, and loving on those in need. I want to radiate God’s love to those in need, like it has touched us.

It is very hard (VERY HARD) to admit that we need help right now. I haven’t even needed to ask … the needs have just been met.

Thank You, and Merry Christmas! I have so much happiness right now, I just want to hug you all (and I’m NOT a hugger!).

I hope you feel loved, appreciated, valued, and worthy this holiday season, and always.

Remember why we celebrate. It’s not about the gifts bought at the stores. It’s Jesus, who has made such love and compasssion possible. He has made Christmas more for all of us! 💜💜Even if you don’t believe, He is here for you too. 😊

Borrowed. So accurate.


Nat and Drew, just being kids.

Random Ramblings 

It is 1:13am. I probably shouldn’t have had that cup of coffee at 12:30am. I’m a night owl anyway, so it really isn’t bizarre that I’m awake at this time. I have to get these thoughts out of my head, though, or I’m never going to get to sleep.

This was last night’s coffee. I have this thing about coffee at night. Well, I have this thing about coffee anytime, really.


Where to start … LOL …

  • I keep pinning recipes to Facebook, full-well knowing I’ll never look at them again! I think I’m going to do a month of suppers made from Facebook recipes I’ve pinned. My kids won’t be down with it, but I think it would be fun!
  • I can’t believe the devastation in Gatlinburg. I am so thankful that downtown survived relatively unscathed, but I am heartbroken about the rest of it. To think, we were JUST there. The balcony where Nat sat looking at the view of the downtown below is now gone. The fall leaves I took pictures of have burned. The Highlands have been gutted. Hundreds of people lost everything. At last count, 13 people had lost their lives. Devastating. It happened so fast! I am, however, so happy to see the area coming together as a community to help. I wish there were more I could do!
  • I believe there are angels that walk among us. I also believe God whispers to people, even though they may be oblivious. I can not tell you how many times we’ve been helped, in the last six months, when I was ready to throw in the towel. I don’t want to call anyone out, in case they want to remain anonymous, but I have GREAT friends! I’ve made great friends through this ordeal! Friends of friends have come through for us, not even knowing they were helping. It may have been something physical, like food, or it may have been through a post on Facebook that seemed random, but was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.
  • Also, all I can wear, basically, is leggings, and I’ve even had people come through with that!!
  • Which leads me to my next point … I tried to wear jeans for the first time in six months. It did NOT go well. Not only did I not have full range of motion (😊), but the texture on my left leg was unbearable. It is really hard to describe my post-stroke sensory issues. The strokes affected my right side, but I have numb feeling on my left side and right face. It has turned into a shingles-type pain if touched wrong, and jeans sent the pain into overdrive. I won’t be trying that again for awhile. Leggings it is!!
  • Why do some people make BANK with direct sales companies, but I haven’t had one sale in four months selling Younique? It’s a great brand. The makeup is good quality. I feel j am utilizing social media. I watch all kinds of videos from all levels of the company to get ideas. I’m not giving up, but it’s a bit soul crushing. I just want to succeed. I want to provide a bit of income for my family. I want to give my kids a Christmas. And, heck, I just want to succeed! What am I doing wrong? What else can I try? What else should I do? This isn’t a rhetorical question. I’m genuinely asking! 
  • Along those same lines, I’ve been working my butt off on my mom’s bracelets. I’ve gone Live with them on Facebook, I started an Instagram site, I started a Facebook VIP site, I advertise on Facebook (Literally. I’ve paid to advertise.) … nothing. This is why I say everything I touch crumbles. I try so so hard, have the best intentions, and I think I have good ideas, but the businesses just fail. This isn’t the first time.
  • I need to work on my disability. It is such a tedious process, and I need help. I hate to bother J or my dad. They have SO much else on their plates. We are about to drown though! It is just time and red tape … it’s the government.
  • It’s 2:06am now, and my eyes are shutting against my will. I guess the Benadryl and Melatonin have kicked in. I best scoot before I say something really stupid!

I love you all! Hoping you have a good day. Remember to be nice, even if you don’t feel like it. Especially this time of year, people can be nasty, hateful, and mean. Please don’t be one of those people. Spread love and kindness. Let’s make the world happier one smile at a time!!

Post Thanksgiving Gobbldy-Gook

Thanksgiving has come and gone. I have to admit, it was better than I ever expected. I was very nervous about 14 people being under one roof, and I wasn’t having the best day coordiantaion wise, but it turned out great! 

Maybe I’m just seeing through rose-colored glasses, but everyone interacted and got along! There was genuine laughing. I had the best visit I’ve ever had with my beautiful cousin (I am so so proud of how far she’s come!! She is planning on going to nursing school, everyone pray for her. She would be SO good at it, a natural nurturer!). 

I was actually sad to see this Thanksgiving come to an end! 

Blessed Beyond Belief


But all good things must come to an end.

Black Friday, while all you crazy people went out to try to find your Hatchimals, I stayed home and rested!! And rested. And rested.

Then I went LIVE on Facebook, sort of a trial run, to help my mom (Claudia’s Carolina Creations) with her bracelets. I was very nervous about it, because people tend to not understand me when I talk. Also, sometimes my right hand doesn’t work properly. Miraculously, it turned out well. You can watch the replay for yourself (via her VIP Group)! I did get really tired about 1/2 way through, so it did get cut a bit short, but I think the flow was still great!! Join her Facebook page here to join in the fun!

I’m also in the middle of 7 days of deals with Younique. I’m not a pushy sales person. I got the presenters kit for the makeup. I knew there was no further obligation, so I thought, “What the heck?” But, then I liked the makeup, so I decided if I stayed active and sold a little, I would at least be contributing a little to my family income while I’m stuck at home dealing with the stroke junk. If YOU like makeup (and I do not get a cut on this), kits right now are $99. There is NO further obligation, unless you WANT to sell, and through November 30th, there is FREE SHIPPING on the kits ($211 worth of product!!). It’s at least looking into! Even more comes with the kit now than when I purchased it!! 

(Also, please join my VIP Facebook group. 😊 I would love to have you!)

So now it’s today. My parents made me get out of the house, and go to The Craftsmen’s Classic in Greensboro. Truth be told, I’m glad I went. I’m pooped. Just getting out in all that stimulation wears me plumb out, but I feel refreshed in my soul. I got to enjoy it with my kids, and even though I was stuck in a wheelchair, they got to spend time with Mommy. I think it is good to have that semi-normalcy with them as often as possible (Unfortunately, J had to work. 😕)

My Two Crazies at the Craftsmens Classic


Now, I’m in my bed, drinking coffee/chocolate, burning a delicious Vanilla Snowflake candle from Bath and Body Works (thanks to a very special Christmas Angel), spending time with my sleeping dog, and watching a sappy Christmas movie on Hallmark. The kids are spending the night with Grammy and Grampy, and I’m waiting on J to get off work. Life is good.

Starbucks coffee, with hot chocolate mixed in, and fruity marshmallows


I just realized I have a follow-up with my wonderful Neurologist at Duke on Monday. I have no idea how I’m going to get there, but I still have one more day to worry about it. I’m going to enjoy my day of worry-free living.

I’ll enjoy today, and worry about tomorrow when it comes!


Oh my goodness!! I’m so excited! I also just realized the Be the Light Advent starts tomorrow too!! The first task is to share socks with a rescue mission! If you can’t do that, what other way can you brighten someone’s day? There are a million things you can do!! Check out the advent calendar for ideas, or make up your own!! You can post pictures if you want (either in the comments here, or on the Momma Possum Facebook page). I know it would encourage others!!

So, what idea do you have for Christmas gifts? I need inexpensive this year. I have some ideas, but my ideas usually end up looking like Pinterest Fails, instead of wonderful, collectible gifts. I want this to be a memorable and happy Christmas for everybody. 

Okay. Throw your ideas for gifts in the comments. Throw your pictures of random acts of happiness in the comments. Check out all the stuff I linked (I’m not sponsored by anyone). And, above all else, be kind to everyone this holiday season and EVERY day! It will make your life happier, and the world a better place!! 

Truth

The Plague

Today, I am overwhelmingly grateful for my parents. They insisted on taking to two kidos tonight, so they could avoid the plague that is happening over here. 

At first, I was so against it. I mean, I’m their mom, I should be able to do everything for them. 

After dinner, and trying to get them ready for bed on my own, I gave in. They don’t need this sickness, and I was having hot-flash after hot-flash, after almost falling, after massive pain in my back and left leg. 

I got them (one of the hardest things I’ve ever done) all ready so they can get ready for school with no problems (hopefully) tomorrow.

I’ve never seen J this sick before. It is actually really scaring me. The doctor said “sinus infection” when he went in today, but that doesn’t explain the puking … And blood.  

It’s the plague, I tell ya!

I have no pictures to share. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see pictures of this!! 😊

In other news, I placed a Younique order today. *shhhhhh* don’t tell anyone. The money came out of an account that shouldn’t be, and is hardly ever used (for very good reason … Like there’s less than $200 in it). Hopefully it will be an investment, though.

I don’t plan on leaving this. I have not had ONE sale since I started in September, but I believe in a lot of the product. I HATE pushy sales, though. I just keep posting on FB about buying, but that even feels pushy a bit to me. I want to get enough followers where I just have people order because they want and need product.

How does one make that work? I don’t want to be pushy. I want to help people. I want to work from my phone on mostly social media. I want people to interact with me. 

There is nothing worse than making a post (or doing a blog *a-hem*), and not getting ONE comment. It feels like I’m just spinning my wheels over here. LOL!

Changed of subject …

This is going to be a lean, mean, completely different Christmas than we are used to. What do I do to not disappoint the kids. 

What can I do with very very limited income? I need to get creative, and fast. At this point, Santa may not come. 😕  No … That has to happen. Ideas would be superb, though.

In other questions … Hoping people answer … What should I write about next on this blog? I’m kind of all over the place. Christmas movies? Binging Netflix? Ipsy bags? Birchbox subscriptions? Scentbird? My LLR obsession? Old movies? Making movies? Fashion? Kids crafts? Recipes? Disney? Social issues? Biblical things? Theme parks? Travel? All of the above?

Help!! 😊

Anyhoosy … Please pray for J. He is ROUGH, and I’m worried. And, pray Miss “No Immune System” over here doesn’t get it!!

Don’t forget the random acts of kindnesses that start the 27th. Instead of a stressful, hateful Christmas (which, we’ve all witnessed the Black Friday Crazies), let’s make it happy and a Blessing for others!

**These are two of the only pics I have on my phone, and they say to always post a pic with your blog. So, here ya go!! 😊 

Ad placement for the church. 🙂

Rehydrate with moisturizer, that 41 year old skin!

Be The Light

So, they posted the calendar of which I spoke about in yesterday’s post!! I encourage you to join in and post pictures!

The ones I can’t do … Due to funds, or being stuck at home … I’m going to try to do something alternate. It will be a lot of work, but we will see!! I love the idea of flooding the Internet with these Random Acts of Kindness!!

******************

Also, as previously mentioned, shop local Saturday is coming up November 26th. Check these out:

Kember’s $5 Boutique

Dannel’s LuLaRoe 

Younique Amanda

LuLaRoe Sugar Dollies Boutique 

Ashley Davis (find on Facebook)- My It Works

Tammy Smith (find on Facebook)- Travel Agent specializing in Disney

Jennifer Fales (find on Facebook) – Crochet Wreaths

Tarha Atkins (find on Facebook)- It Works

LuLaRoe Megan Callicutt

Amber King Camp – Scentsy

Lauren Coyne Ingold – Stella and Dot

Ellan Walden Campbell – Kindermusik

Claudia’s Carolina Creations

Susan Kinsey Jamberry Nails

Jennifer’s Trendy Embroidered Gifts

Nessa Makes Amazing Lip

LuLaRoe Amber-Drew 

Did I miss any? If you want to be added, let me know!!

Shop small!! Don’t forget to be the change you want to see! Be kind to others!

Advent??

I’m embarrassed to say that I’m 41, and have no idea what “Advent” is. I hear about it every year at Christmas. We always have an “Advent Calendar,” which, to me, has always just been a fun way to count down the days until Christmas. 

Advent Calendar available through Amazon at link above.

This year, I decided to join an Instagram Advent group (I think it will be #bethelight … But I’ll update on that). Really, it’s a Random Act of Kindness group (organized by @bushelandbobbin), but it coincides with the Advent story. I was all excited about the Random Acts of Kimdness, but then I thought … “Shoot! I should probably find out what this Advent thing is that I’m agreeing to.”

According to crivoice.org, Advent “begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.”

Yay Christmas!

That’s fine and dandy, but what the heck is Advent? I could start reading about Epiphony and everything it coincides with, but my head starts to hurt a little, and I don’t want it to explode.

From what I can gather, and I suppose you could nicely correct me if I’m wrong, but Advent is the time that leads up to the coming of Christ. Back in biblical times, it coincided with the coming of the baby Jesus. In modern times it seems to represent the Church waiting for the “Second Coming.”

I don’t want to get into some religious philosophical debate. I want to keep it simple … For people like me.

For my purposes, and the purposes of this fun Instagram group (anyone can actually follow it), it is going to focus on the Christmas Story. The Real one, not the Santa Clause one. 

The Nativity via storify.com

It will start on Sunday, Novemeber 27 and go through Christmas Eve. Each day, someone will post a verse (I’m not 100% certain, buthoping it is the story of The Birth), and do a Random Act of Kindess that is assigned for that day. So there will be 28 days of verses flooding Instagram, and 28 days of somebody doing nice for somebody! Isn’t that cool?!

But ….

I want to take it further! I want to do something each day. And I want YOU to play along if you so desire! How great would it be if these Random Acts were happening everyday, all over! The world would be so full of love.

Now, I’m very limited right now on what I can do. I’m stuck at home mostly, and have physical limitations. This won’t stop me, though! If you want to participate, just do it!! You can tell us, or you can keep it to yourself. Telling will help motivate people, however. Let’s FLOOD the Internet with random acts of kindness this season!

Be looking for future posts with ideas for each day. You can post on my Facebook: MommaPossum, or my Instagram: amandamoring with what you did. Heck, post on both! Hashtag it #bethelight

I am so excited about this. It makes my heart happy. 

Don’t know where I got this, but it’s so true!!

Be a blessing today. Spread the love. It only takes a second to make someone’s day!

*** UPDATE: there’s a website on Facebook to follow along!!! https://www.facebook.com/bethelightadvent/ ***

Monday

Hello, my Lovlies! 

It’s Monday! I don’t know if that’s good or bad for you. It’s just more of the same for me.

I’m not going to lie, I had 5 (okay, maybe 35) minutes of crying and feeling sorry for myself today. I then got myself together, and did what I could to be human with what was left of this Monday.  

I did a little bit of makeup to make me feel better.

It took me 2 hours, but I folded some clothes while sitting in bed.

Watched a Christmas movie while I folded.

Hard boiled some eggs. This one was harder … But I did it!!

Even painted my nails with this AWESOME sample I got from Ipsy.

I worked on my mom’s Facebook and Instagram sites. Trying to help her when I can.

Now I’m tired.

 

I’m sitting here. I’m blogging. I’m trying to think of ways to market my mom’s bracelets.

I’m thinking about Thanksgiving; I’m thinking about Christmas. 

It will be much different this year. I’ll let you know if that’s a good or bad thing. 😊

Anyhow …

Did anyone see the super moon tonight?

Photo credit: my dad, Patrick Rutherford

Gorgeous, eh! It’s hard to dwell on all the problems when God provides such beautiful distractions. 

I hope you have a good week. Please be kind to each other. 

Remember random kindness and unsolicited smiles are what living is about!