Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just another day in the life...

Most mornings, I try to start out with a cuppa, and hit the computer while the kids are doing whatever it is that they do. Usually, that involves destruction, random acts of violence, and of course, the cartoons that encourage it all. Rolling Eyes
Today, while my coffee was brewing, I heard this coming from the living room:

Did you catch the line?
"He's got a super talking dog he takes every place who likes a cuppa joe and has a monkey face."
Yeah. All the while I'm hearing this, I've been head-banging in my kitchen. Until I got to that part.
"Hmmmm, do I have a monkeyface?", I thought. Because with my kids, inevitably, one of them will eventually make the connection between Dukey, constant cups of coffee , and me. Oh, let the parade of kid-comments begin!

Til next squeak,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Meme

Well, this week's meme should prove to be interesting. Thanks be to Cat, queen of all things, ermmm, question-able.

1) If the Pope promised he'd do one thing you asked, what would you ask him to do? He has a choice. Either stop being Catholic for a bit (because I think it'd be hilarious to watch the Church go into a tailspin over it) or give me the Pope-mobile. Road Rage
2) What one experience has strengthened your character the most so far? I'm not sure. I'd have to say coming to know Christ. My character is strengthened by His. I really do believe that when I am weak, He is strong for me. Part of this whole journey I started 2 years ago when I spoke the sinners prayer is learning how His character needs to mesh with mine. It's HARD! But I know that in the end, it's the me I'm meant to be.
3) Of all the people you've ever known, who have you most feared? My father. Hands down. Until he died, I lived each day in fear for myself and my children.
4) Have you ever stolen anything, and if so what? LMBO! Up until December 2006, I was a total kleptomaniac! So, yes, I've stolen stuff. Basically, if it wasn't bolted down and I thought I could get away with it, I ganked it.
5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
First, HOLY CLEAVAGE! Someone photoshop that girl a cami! Second, since I just added some color to my hair, it reminds me of the days that week that we all went a little nuts with the Beyond The Zone over here.

Til next squeak,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What? I've been tagged?!

Melanie tagged me with the "six quirky things" meme!
Here are the rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
4) Tag 6 other blogger´s by linking to them.
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

Oy vay. I don't think I even know 6 other bloggers! guess I'm a loser huh? Loser
Heheheh. Oh well, here goes nothing!

1) I have conjoined toes on both feet, although one foot has it worse than the other. It's always kinda bugged me that people thought it was cool. It was also the first thing I checked on when the kids where born. And no, they don't have them. ~whew~

2) Melanie may be a sheet snob, but I'm a coffee snob. Mr. P. bought me a Keurig B60 Special Edition for my birthday, and frankly, I'm ready to marry the darn thing. If you've never had coffee brewed from a K-cup, you haven't lived. I think it all started with frequenting coffee houses as a teenager.

3) I secretly want another baby only so I can buy really cute cloth diapers. Now, keep in mind that the idea of washing those dipes skeeves me out, but still. ~shhhh...don't tell anyone, especially not my family~

4) I have discovered many uses for coconut oil (ahem, Melanie, you *know* where I learned the original use!) however my favorite use by far is to soothe skin that's itchy from sunburn. You may not think you could use a cooking oil for all kinds of MacGyver-type things, but you'd be dead wrong, baby. It's almost a hobby at this point.

5) Making phone calls makes me so nervous I almost vomit. Praise God for Caller ID! Even if it's someone I know well, it still makes me ill. Stage fright or something, I dunno.

6) I have 7 nipples. No, really. It's like this :::.
OK so not really. But I had you going, right?

So, I'll tag

Mr. P.- Mr. P.'s Wild Ride (warning- contains foul language by teh bucket)
Cat- This Much Is True (again, some foul language, but fun-nay stuff abounds)
Rhiana- My So-Called Life
Becca- Montana Meeks
Lori- Reflections and Ramblings of a Not-So-Super Woman
Laura- Sweet Awakenings

Til next squeak,

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Meme

It's another Monday, and it's time to meme! As always, thanks goes to Cat for keeping the masses entertained.

1) What is the most disgusting thing you've ever had in your mouth? When MonkeyMan was a baby, he was on ProSoBee formula. Once, he spit up right into my mouth. Yeah. That.
2) What is the boldest thing you've ever done? Well, I just put a bright violet stripe in my hair. Does that count?
3) If you could pick one person you know well to be more religious (or spiritual), who would it be? Mr. P. He really needs it right now because I'm *thisclose* to sending him to see Jesus early. If ya know what I mean. Screamer
4) What is [your] partner's best feature? {edited} ~pffftt~ Um, his backside running away from me? Ignoring You
5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
I dunno, this just makes me think of Mall of America for some reason. Indoor amusement park I guess.
Til next squeak,

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A post about nothing

I took a week off from teh intertubes this past week. OK so it wasn't exactly planned or intentional or any of that. It's more like I got caught up in, well, life and kinda forgot to turn on the 'puter at all this week.
Actually, it was kinda nice. I spent some good time with the kidlets. I've been dorking out hardcore to the Avatar marathon all week long. And when I say hardcore, you have no idea. I got to play hairdresser for all 3 of my guys, cutting and coloring everyone. I'm doing my own tomorrow. I've enjoyed 2 books by 2 of my favorite authors. All in all, a peaceful sounding week, eh?
Except for the fact that it's the full moon, which is never a pleasant time around here. Mr. P. and I spent the first part of the week at each others' throats, more or less. I admit that I'm mostly to blame for that. I've been feeling quite distant, not only from him, but from my Lord as well lately, and that always has such a nasty affect on my personality.
Other than all that, not too much has been going on here on the home front. Now that I've had time to veg, it's back to my regularly scheduled rambling.

Til next squeak,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The blessing of broke

We're dirt poor these next 2 weeks. Just a few years ago, this was pretty normal for us. Now? Oy. It's been difficult to come to terms with the state of our bank account, and the moths flying out of my wallet. OK so there's not really moths flying out of my wallet, actually I don't carry a wallet, but the imagery is there, yes?
On average, I spend $100 a week on groceries for this family, and that's not including our once-a-month trip to the butcher. So when we realized that not only would we have to bum some money off our relatives (thanks again, Mom and Di!), but that we were looking at a significantly smaller grocery budget, well, there was only one thing to do...
My first stop yesterday was Discount Food Outlet. I haven't shopped there in at least 4 years. And you know what? God gave me one shocker of a blessing in the midst of my discontent. While I was wandering the soda aisle, waiting for Mom to catch up, a memory of shopping there in my early years with Mr. P. just hit me like a ton of bricks. All the emotions of what it was like for us back then, with our boys being so small and still in diapers, our marriage still young and untainted by some of our later struggles, and just the raw love I had for the 3 of them flooded over me. Feeling quite foolish, I wiped my eyes as best I could, and continued on to the next aisle. I prayed silently, "Lord, what else do You have in store for me today, if You would have be brought to tears by a simple trip to DFO?"
After we left there, it was on to Aldi's. Again, another place I haven't set foot in or haven't even thought of in years. As I was picking out some of the boys' snack items and some canned gods, God decided it was time for another emotional bomb. Although I certainly didn't *feel* like I was better than anyone else, He showed me quite clearly that I carried that pride in my heart. That since Mr. P.'s promotion and all the stability it brought, I've slowly nurtured a spirit of pride, not in my husband, but in the material things we had begun to accumulate.
Bag Head
Yesterday I learned that there can be blessing in being knocked down a peg or two. Sometimes we need it. I know I can always count on the Lord to do so in a way that will leave me knowing what must be done and why, but also knowing that His love for me never changes. No matter how much I screw it up, or how hard I fall off that pedestal I've climbed, He's there to guide me back to where I need to be. And praise God for that!

Til next squeak,

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday Meme

Another week where I'm chiming in late with my meme. It's been a not-so-cool beans kinda week around here, but I'm sure things will improve. Cat's questions always brighten my day, be it Monday, or even late on a Tuesday night.

1) What is the craziest thing you ever did as a child or teen? Oh this is easy. We were 19 back then. Mr. P., bless his willing heart, got dragged (drugged? dragt? drugt? however the heck you say that!) all the way to Virginia one random night for 2 reasons. One being that I missed the GWB exit in NYC. As usual. And two, I wanted IHOP. Yes, we drove all the way down from Connecticut to VIRGINIA simply because I wanted pancakes. What a night!
2) If you could teach someone you know one life lesson, who and what would you choose? This one is actually really hard for me. I have a difficult time with seeing myself in a position of wisdom. (see previous blog post. LMBO) I'd say I'd tell my friend "S" (again, see previous post) to let her daughter see her make mistakes, and make sure she apologizes for them in front of her. It's been really humbling for me to have my kids see that I'm not perfect (stifle those snorts of laughter Mr. P.!) and to also see that I recognize it, and am willing to make amends when I'm wrong, even if it's to them.
3) In what situations do you find yourself relying on your parents (or your parents' advice) the most? Bwahahaha! Financial! Seriously, Mom has gotten us out of a tight spot more than either of us care to admit.
4) What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? Ugh. Stupid, stupid alarm. Gonna ask Mr. P. if we can go to the gym tomorrow and Friday instead. (heheheheh, got another hour and 15 minutes of sleep)
5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
It makes me think of my thought process after getting Stadol when I was having MonkeyMan. Yeah. I don't remember much after about 26 hours of labor had passed up until the c-section at 32 hours of labor. Fun times, fun times.

Til next squeak,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

That ol' memory lane

Recently, I was blessed to be able to visit a dear friend and her new daughter. Now, granted, as a mom of boys, I know next to nothing about raising a small thing covered in pink, but I'm betting the logistics are the same in those early days.
What a blessing that visit was! Between Tank recently turning 5 (and how did that happen without my permission?!?!) and my bouts of baby fever, it was alternately strange and sweet to hold her little one. Mr. P. came with me so that we could give her a hand in whatever she may have needed around the house, including a healthy dose of adult conversation. Seeing him cuddling with the baby started my heart down that famed road of remembrance I've heard so much about.
Nostalgia has never been my strong suit. There's been far too much in my life I've cared to forget, and not much I've wanted to preserve in my heart of hearts. The rare moment when I find myself swept away by a sweet memory, well, let's say that I find myself in one of 2 states. That would be either unable to cope or simply thanking God for giving me that moment, both past and present. (I say unable to cope because, alas, I am unequipped to handle the good things in life it often seems. A flashback of childhood abuse? Yeah I can cope effectively with that. A memory of holding my own children when they were smaller? Good Lord in Heaven above help me.)
It turned out that the Lord decided to save the strangest of personal revelations for last that day. In talking with my friend, answering questions about what was normal for babies at that stage, and giving her encouragement that the exhaustion and helpless feelings don't last forever (her baby is going through colic and that can be a very challenging thing, as many of us with older children know), a funny thing occurred to me. For the first time in my life, I felt like an adult. That may sound quite odd, but bear with me. For as long as I can remember, my parents drilled into my head that I would never "grow up". I would forever be immature, and a brat. Ok so they did not put it so nicely, but you see where this is going? I know that's why I look forward to my 30th birthday with such glee. Perhaps then, I'll finally have arrived to adulthood.
How weird and wonderful, that gift from both God and my friend, to feel "adult" and experienced but in a wholesome way in that moment. A taste of normalcy I rarely experience. And it just goes to show another of His blessings in the gift of children. Much healing has taken place in my life since I've become a mother. Being able to give my children a home that's pure of heart is maybe the greatest gift that those little boys have given me.
This little trip down memory lane has allowed me glimpse of the girl I once was. Broken, battered in spirit, and full of rage at the world. I've come a long way, only by the grace of God. The scars upon me are still quite red and vivid, but so much of that brokenness has been repaired by the simple gifts of this family of mine. I'm definitely a different woman than I was just a few months ago. I look forward to the woman God is molding me to be in coming years. I wonder just what I'll think of myself when I look back down that ol' memory lane a few years from now. Let's hope it's something good.

Til next squeak,

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