More and more I feel as though I am exactly where I am meant to be in my life, and it is such a powerful feeling.

In catching up with one of my bestest (formerly known as BDF or best divorced friend but as she’s now re-married, we’ll stick with Ames, to avoid confusion!), I realized (thank you!) that I really am very lucky to be where I am in my life. And maybe “luck” isn’t the right word here, but to feel what I feel for Doctor Boy, and to feel as though I am smack dab where I should be in my life, in my friendships (strong, devoted, close) and in my family (loyal, loving, strong), well, I can’t help but just keep saying it…this is where I am meant to be.

And I feel like I need to keep reminding myself of that – that I am finding my place, and that I have the man, the friends, and the family to prove it – because in a way, I don’t think I’ve really “let” myself  let it sink in.

Until last night.

Laying in bed next to Doctor Boy, about to drift off to sleep, as he had just finished telling me how much he loves me, and how much he is looking forward to experiencing life with me, it hit me fully in the face. Looking into his eyes, not feeling an ounce of hesitation, I was in my place. Right there.

And I uttered “I love you” and drifted off to sleep. With a smile on my face, and my heart full of happiness and love.

~~

I caught up with Pete today, after a few weeks of not really connecting with him. I kept meaning to, but we just haven’t had a chance to. (lately, I’m the first to contact him these days, so figured that might be the case now, too.).

He had been seeing someone but turns out they’re no longer dating, and he’s again back in the cycle of singledom, wondering what his next step is. He seemed a little down, but I wondered if maybe it was because he’s still struggling with what he wants in his life right now.

I wonder if hindsight hinders him. Or helps him.

I wonder if he things he made a mistake (I don’t think he did).

And while it makes me glad that he’s happy for me, but in a way, it also makes me sad.

Is that weird?

(more on this topic later…)

~~

It was the kitties’ annual checkup tonight. And while I know Nala has vastly improved since she was near-death a few months ago, a sudden fear crept in me that maybe she wasn’t as heavy as she felt, or as chipper and playful as she is. But when he weighed her, I was floored.

10.3 pounds!!!

She was 5.5 pounds in July 5.5. And she’s basically double that now, and on top of that? She’s .1 bigger than Kayla (and she hasn’t been as big as Kayla since they were kittens!). I was thrilled. I wanted to jump up and down.  The vet even said “I didn’t think she was gonna make it, wow.”

Blessed.

I saw Jen and Isabel yesterday at my dad’s (where Doctor Boy met my dad for the first time…brought him a Cuban cigar, which my dad loves. I think they are BFFs now. Just kidding, but a good seal of approval!). yesterday.

I guess I didn’t realize how much I missed them in the week since she moved home. I was so excited to see them, and holding Isabel, kissing her head and laughing as she cooed, was just about the best thing in the world.

Both are healthy, both are doing better.

Blessed.

Phew. I totally missed quote Friday this week, so I’m going for a ‘quote Saturday’ today…why, you ask?

Baby! It was my first 24 hour ‘baby duty’ helping Jen get through the night with Isabel’s feedings and all day on Friday, to her appointments and such. Thus, today’s quote:

“A baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.”

I have to admit, I was really nervous on Thursday to have my first solo ‘baby duty’ with Jen, feeling a bit high-strung, stressed and hoping it would go smoothly and I’d be able to help calm Isabel when she cried, feed her, change her, and burp her, and it felt a lot more daunting than I thought. And I wanted to show Jen I could do it and give her the help she needs as she continues her recovery (5 weeks and counting…).

But when I look into Isabel’s eyes, and see the wonderment, flashes of a smile and contentment in the midst of tears and needs and wants, I can see how much she signifies new beginnings and possibilities for Jen, and for our family, as we continue to band together and give her all of the support she needs right now (in more ways than one).

She’s worth it. The tiredness. The stress. It’s all worth it.

And seeing Jen continue her recovery is almost more worth it. Going to her wound care appointment yesterday, she was hoping for continued improvement (and meanwhile I was worrying about keeping Isabel calm during the hour long appointment) and wow, did God come through in spades.

She’s now rid of her wound care vac WEEKS early! She just has to continue packing it a bit (with our help, er, Doctor Boy’s?! Hehe) for a few weeks, but she no longer is tethered to the vac, and tubes and in constant pain. She’s healing, and healing much faster than we all expected. And she’s elated at the progress. I don’t think I’ve seen her smile bigger than that in a long time.

And Isabel slept in my arms for almost two hours, and then slept another hour in the car. She was an angel for me. I was floored, but relieved, and really enjoyed watching her sleep, cooing, holding on to my fingers and nuzzling up to me. I felt like I gained her trust and Jen’s in helping care for Isabel, and am feeling much better about my ‘baby duty’ rounds this week.

I just can’t help but think how much Isabel signifies the possibilities that lie ahead…for Jen, for me, for our family, in many ways. I think as 2010 starts coming to a close, 2011 has big things in store for all of us.

I’m feeling blessed.

To Isabel Ann, my niece:

Today, I met you, for the very first time (barely a day old, born yesterday, around 2:30 in the afternoon, all 8 lbs 4 oz of you!) and I wasn’t quite ready or expecting to fall in love with you instantaneously, but I did, and my heart swelled, and the tears almost came. You are more beautiful than I could ever have imagined, pictures don’t do you justice. You look so much like your namesake – my Nonna – as well as my beautiful sister Jen – with the softest baby skin, long fingers and toes, and beautiful brown hair.

I love you, and from this day forward, I’m going to do my damnest to be the best auntie there ever was, to love you unconditionally, to play with you, watch you grow, and spoil the hell out of you. I can’t wait to hold you again (you were, after all, the very first baby I’ve ever held in my life!) and kiss your cheeks, and watch you grow.

I’ll take you for your first manicure – because isn’t that what “cool” aunties do?

I’ll invite you for sleepovers at my house, complete with a game of “Cooties” (a la my own aunt when I was growing up) and watch movies and let you stay up late.

I’ll revel in buying you clothes and toys and whatever your heart desires – because isn’t that what aunties do?

I’ll look forward to every holiday spent together, watching as you – without even knowing it – bring this family together closer than ever before. You unite us, already, and for that, you are one amazing blessing.

And beyond that, I will spend as much time as I can with you, especially now, as you experience the world for the very first time.

I love you, Isabel Ann, more than I ever thought possible.

~~~

As yesterday began a new life, so another ends…I was so sad to hear of the passing of DepotDad, and can only hope that the birth of my niece is a little slice of happiness amid grief and sadness. To you and your family – you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Every Sunday or Monday night, I watch the week’s Joel Osteen sermon on TBN, and it helps set the tone for the week, keep me positive and help me think clearer and more focused. Sometimes you just need a little extra positivity boost, and sometimes it just feel refreshing to hear the things you try to live on a daily basis.

This week’s sermon falls into both categories for me, as it was all about letting go of the past and expecting MORE than the status quo for our lives. A few snippets I jotted down will follow, with my thoughts, and here is an excerpt of the sermon itself as well:

Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all we can imagine.” When you live a life that honors God by obeying His Word and you are a person of excellence and integrity, then the Scripture says that God’s blessings will chase you down and overtake you. You won’t be able to outrun the good things of God. God doesn’t want you to have an average life with average relationships, just barely getting by. No, God desires that in all things you prosper in Him. He wants to amaze you with His goodness. He wants to mend broken relationships, bring healing, and do the impossible in your life. But too often, we let our past set the tone for our future and we’re not really expecting anything different. God wants us to shake off the old and embrace the new thing He wants to do in our lives now, expect His far and beyond favor now.

It feel so encouraging to read this passage because it makes me feel so much better about my life, about where this decade will take me, knowing I have God in my corner, and knowing He will bless me with the good, that it will happen for me, I just need to keep that faith alive and know it will happen. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month, but when it is MEANT to happen.

He also goes on to say that we shouldn’t drag around the baggage from the past and expect God’s goodness in the future, which is absolutely true. While the last decade has bearing on the next, it shouldn’t dictate it…no matter how tough 2009 was, this is a new decade and things have shifted for the better. Going into each day thinking: This difficulty isn’t going to stop me, it’s meant to bring me down, but God’s going to use it to lift me up. – that is such a powerful message for me!

He also goes on to say:

Too often we allow our circumstances to set the tone. All that does is set us up for more of the same. Don’t ever name your future by your present concerns and circumstances. Don’t go into 2010 thinking already that it will be a hard year, that you won’t get any breaks. Name your future blessed, prosperous, successful, talented, wise. You may feel like you are stuck in a rut and you won’t rise any higher…don’t speak of that. Name your future, see that God’s face is shining down on your. Your greatest victories aren’t behind you, they are still ahead of you. When you think of your future, think of that enthusiasm. Think that something good is going to happen to you. Be confident.

Don’t let the past set the tone for our future…shake that off, it’s time to arise, it’s a new day, put on a new attitude. Don’t come into the new decade down in the dumps, discouraged, no dreams, no goals, no enthusiasm, make up your mind to shine this year and be your very best. The glory of the Lord is on you.

I’ve been so up and down during the last week or so, feeling a little ho-hum about my life right now, only because it feels a bit at a standstill, but hearing Joel’s words gave me the hope and optimism back that I was starting to lose. I’ve worked hard to stay positive, while still being realistic over the last year, and in feeling like I was backsliding away from that was frustrating me, because I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want to be down or pessimistic, I want to be happy. That’s me and I’m going to strive to bring that back, and try to remember these words when I start getting down.

And I think these words are again universal, to anyone who gets stuck in a negativity rut. And ya know what? It’s just not worth it to be negative and down. It doesn’t accomplish anything, so why not just try and make the best of what you’ve been handed?

My grandparents called me last night and urged me to watch this week’s Joel Osteen sermon (I was planning to, but I always know it’s gonna be a goodie when they call me to remind me to watch!) and I’m so glad I did. It was all about this being my year of “jubilee” where I will be released of debt, worry, stress, sadness etc., and will be rewarded with all of the goodness and blessings of God – it was a very reassuring message, and the part I most liked (and the section I suspected my grandparents thought I might find most reassuring) was that there IS someone out there for me, hand-picked by God, that will be who I’m looking for and that will treat me with all of the respect and love I deserve.

Though I know this is true and trust in God, it was reassuring to hear it, and know it will happen – now when that will be? I just need to put my trust and faith in God that it will happen. And you know what? I’m not in a huge rush…I thought I was sort of wanting it to happen ASAP, but I am feeling more peaceful that it will happen – and likely when I least expect it.

…and for the time being? CSB is a great guy, fun to flirt with, and who knows, maybe something will happen with that. And if it doesn’t? I think I’ll be okay with that (though I’m hoping for the former!).