I found this while I was doing some ancestry research on Papa’s grandfather that raised him. I thought it would be nice to keep somewhere, this seems like as good a place as any.



HAVEN, DELMAR MADISON “PAPA” Delmar Haven, 82, of Chuluota, died Friday, September 17, 2010. Del was born February 29, 1928 (leap day), but celebrated his birthday on March 1st. He was born in Stoddard County, Missouri to the late Truman and Orria (Dunlap) Havens. He served in the Merchant Marine before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. During his 22 years in the Navy, Del served in China amidst the Communist takeover, taught Midshipmen at the Naval Academy in Annapolis and sailed to many ports all over the world. Papa was stationed in Little Creek, Virginia at the time of his retirement as a Chief Petty Officer in 1970. After retiring from the Navy, Papa moved to Florida, where he worked as a Pinkerton Security Guard at Sun Bank. Later he became a State Police Officer at the University of Central Florida, retiring as a Sergeant in 1983. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a friendly, loving, and gentle man who handed out peppermints to everyone he met, especially ladies and told them it was to make them “kissable”. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Verna; daughters Marla Pieper (Stephen), Lorna Reim (Robert); step-daughters Cheryl Branson (David), Suzanne Gordon (Mark) and step-son John David Anderson; grandchildren Ann Marie (John), Joel (Krissy), Jennifer, Jill, Christopher, Brian, Melissa, Kevin and Rebecca; great grandchildren Martin, Isaac, Ariana, Charlotte and Madison. He is also survived by his brother, John Dunlap (Donna) of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and half brother, Harvey Havens of Colorado. He is predeceased by his sister Margaret Gaulden, his twin grandsons Randy and Donald Reim and his great granddaughter Samiyah. Graveside services will be held at the Chuluota Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hospice of the Comforter Altamonte Springs, Florida.

No one can get the better of you unless you allow it

I have used this idea as a mantra during various different times in my life. Particularly in cases where I was worried about confrontation or awkward encounters, situations where I knew going in I might feel uncomfortable. The thing is, this wasn’t just something I said to myself, I believed it. I would think to myself, “I’ll be damned if I am going to let this person make me feel uncomfortable in this situation”, and they didn’t. I would not allow it. So the question now is given the success of this mantra for me why has it taken so long for me to apply it to my actual life? Sure, it works in social situations but why shouldn’t it work when overcoming anything else as well? I see no reason.

I have been making changes and working on myself for a while, over two years roughly. There have been times of radical change due to epiphanies or breakthroughs but more often than not the process has been gradual. The goal: a healthy happy me. Brick by brick I am building a life I want to live.
Looking back at the last two years I feel good about my progression. I changed jobs, broke up a with a live in boyfriend, got a new job, my own apartment, met someone new, moved in with my someone new after a while of dating, left the new job after a year to return to school full-time and get a degree that will allow me to do the work I know I meant for… For someone who can, at times, struggle with change I have made some big ones in the last two years and I am happy with all of the choices I have made. This list does not touch on the smaller things I have done to improve my life, they are every bit as important though.

I have weened myself off of my anxiety medicine, as was planned by my doctor and myself, so now it is up to me to manage it on my own. The very thought of not being on the medicine gives me a degree of anxiety, it is such a viscous cycle. I have been giving it a lot of thought though and I have been given the tools and know how to be able to do this though so what it comes down to is, the only way my anxiety can get the best of me is if I allow it. I will not.

I have been working on my emotional eating issues for about the last 6 months, it is still tricky at times but I am taking more steps forward than back so I am happy. The next area to focus on is more exercise and better sleep. The exercise will help me get to my goals with my physical health but it also key to good mental health. I have started jumping rope again, Todd and I have been walking and riding our bikes and on occasion I run. I would like to start running more.
My sleep, or lack of, is the bigger issue but I know what I can do and it is just time to make a routine that I stick to. Todd and I had a long talk about it this morning and read some information and I have a plan. When I lived alone I was good about no eating after 7ish and no media of any sort an hour and a half before bed. I would use that last hour or so as quiet time, reading usually. I had a set bed time and wake time and stuck to it. It is time to return to this routine. Todd is taking me to the book store in just a few moments so I can get a new novel and I will be all set.

Today we are going to do chores around the house, I am going to do school work, I will exercise, we will have a nice dinner and then I will have quiet time before bed. By the end of the day I should be feeling relaxed and have no trouble falling asleep.

Unusual ay?

Yes, I am posting multiple times in one sitting and yes, this is unusual for me. I have not been able to sit and write for a while and I have a lot I have wanted to get out. I prefer to keep the posts separate for when I revisit them in the future. It’s easier reading.

As lovely as the winter weather was in Illinois I am happy to be home and have a new-found love for Florida. The flowers bloom here year round. It is not something you think about when you are a native but my eyes were opened to this fact when I was away. I met a friend of Kristina’s while we were in Des Plaines, Ben. Ben said something while we were having lunch that has stuck with me. The day before it had snowed and when Todd and I woke up the next morning, after the snow day, we went outside to play in it. We threw snow balls, at trees mainly, but I did get him one good time in the butt! 🙂 Then we made big piles and just threw it in the air to let it fall back down on us. Over lunch later in the day Kristina asked if we had played in the snow and I told her about the morning. Ben then started talking about how it had been so long since he played in the snow and listening to my stories reminded him of how beautiful and fun it can be. It can be also be inconvenient and cold and wet and quite miserable I am sure. As someone who had never experienced it before of course that is not at all how I saw it. He said it gave him appreciation for it again.

I felt that way when we came home. Florida is indescribably beautiful but it is so easy to get caught up in the heat and humidity and inconvenience of tourists etc. I pride myself on living in the moment and taking the time to see the little things going on in the world around me ( at a stop light the other day I wasn’t texting or listening to music, I was counting the number of insects in the grass next to me. There were 6, one of which was a yellow butterfly.) I stopped seeing the Florida for all it’s beauty though. Coming home it was like I was seeing it again for the first time.

This happened to me once before when I visited my brother while he was living in Arizona. I did not like Arizona. I am sure it has nice qualities, all places do, but I missed Florida more than I knew I could and was ecstatic to come home.

When I was driving to meet my mother for lunch after school Tuesday I noticed that the Flame Vine has started blooming. It is one of my favorite vines. The trees look like they are ablaze when it is in bloom. I was thankful I live in a place where I get to see things like this everyday.


Todd and I went for a walk Saturday to get lunch, we walked by way of the park. It was a great day. It was 78 outside with a breeze, I wore a dress, everything was green.. We sat on the see-saw together and I was just so happy to be outside with him. What I learned from visiting Arizona and then again when we visited Illinois is that the grass is not greener on the other side. In fact, quite the opposite. It is dead, and it is brown.

a Bucket List of sorts

Truth be told I am not completely sold on the idea. I mean I guess making a bucket list is one small way to try to keep yourself accountable for how your life turns out, so there’s that. At the end of the day though all of the walks to the lake, swinging on the swings with Todd, family dinners, late night conversations with friends and all the other simple wonderful everyday moments mean no less to me than any of the things I could put on a “life wish list”.. I woke up today with this rolling around in my head. Can you believe it? I mean, I swear, the things I think first thing in the morning. haha.
So I started thinking about through out the day.. What’s on my wish list? Well there are things I would like to do and then there are things that are kind of.. different.. You’ll see.

1. Create a “Family Quilt” made from the fabric scraps from our lives. So this would include a piece of the flannel shirt Grandpa always to wore, a peice of one of Madison’s dresses, a peice from one of my flowered shirts since I always seem to wear flowers, one of Joel’s old comfy t-shirts or maybe his Lilleth Fair shirt, Papa’s polo, One of Todd’s Illini shirts, something feminine of my Mother’s.. You get the idea I am sure. I put this one at the top of my list because it is something I have wanted to do for years and because when I had this thought this morning and began thinking of a list this was the very first thing I thought of.

Okay so, 2. See the Redwoods. I have always wanted to. I want to stand next to them and feel small. That kind of beauty helps remind one how insignificant we are in th world, the universe. It’s a good thing.

If I were to die I feel like there are only two things that are important I did in this life, good is one of the things. I want to know that each day I tried and I had good intentions and I didn’t just let them stay intentions, I acted on them as often as possible. The other thing is express love everyday. I don’t want anyone to ever wonder what they meant to me, I want to be crystal on that part of my life.


3. Do Good

4. Give Love, be emotionally transparent as often as I can.

5. Marry Todd and have our children. I don’t have much to add to that one. I am not asking for anything elaborate, that’s not what I want. I just want him and our life, that will be enough. More than enough really.

6. Finish school and get hired to do my dream job.. This one, the second half at least, is more of a “wish list” item I suppose but everyone has at least one thing right?!

This is it I think. I mean, I look back over this list and I see my version of perfection. This is all I want I guess, anything more would just be a bonus. I realize it is a pretty humble list compared to some but this is it in all its lack of glory. *smirk*

I have read that if your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough. I do agree. I think that is where 3, 4 and 6 come in for me though. I know I will never feel satisfied that things are good enough. I will always want to do more, give more, be more and that does scare me everyday. I accept that though, that is my drive.

vacation in a nut shell

I have been wanting to write for days! It feels so good to be back in front of my keyboard with my coffee cup in hand. After being on vacation for 2 weeks and not writing at all it is difficult to determine a good starting place for this entry.

I will give you the long-short of vacation for now. Most of the time was spent at Todd’s family’s house in Ottawa. I usually love that part of vacationing in IL because it is very relaxing, I will admit I did get a little stir crazy towards the end though. Christmas Eve and New Years Eve was spent with Todd’s extended family which was nice. There are a lot of them but I did a pretty good job of remembering all the names! Go me! We went into Chicago for a day and it was beautiful but painfully cold. That same day I saw my first real snow.

It was the prettiest winter day I have ever seen. I woke up that morning on our friend’s couch and saw the snow falling outside in the reflection of her TV. When I turned around and looked out the window I was amazed. It was so soft and quiet and beautiful. I immediately jumped up, threw on my scarf, jacket and boots and ran outside in my pajamas. Todd came after me with the camera and got a shot of my very first time in the snow.


A few minutes later I started throwing snow balls at everything in sight.

One thing I can say that I didn’t like about the northern winter is the cold-hot-cold thing. You are freezing outside so you put on every piece of clothing you own, then you enter a building and it is SCORCHING so you have to almost completely undress and you are still sweating! The second you go back outside you are freezing again. Honestly I enjoyed being outside more than inside, even with the cold. I don’t like being hot.

It was a nice break but I am quite ready to get back to things.