Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Archive for the category “Husband”

Generous Souls

Mom's 83 Birthday

Mom’s 83 Birthday

On this page I have pictured the most generous souls I have ever known. The first being my mom. She and my father both were generous. My mom was giving of her time and energy. My father as I got older became busier and less able to give of his time, but he gave unselfishly as much of it as he could. He did however, become a very successful business person and gave tirelessly to his children of his earthly goods, as much and more as he could spare. He met our needs and then some. As he got older and retired, he was able to be very generous of his time again!

Then there is my brother Scott pictured with mom and I. He was always a very generous soul. I don’t mean to focus on the material. But since Scott was very young he was a giver. He would give you the shoes off of his feet and did so to a homeless man when he was living in California. More remarkably, when he was a young teen, he gave his younger cousin his 10 speed bike long before he could drive…when he still needed it. He felt somehow that his cousin needed it more than he did!

Generosity goes against the natural man, our selfishness so deeply ingrained within us.  Jesus was the first and most generous soul ever. All these souls I mention with their selfless generosity are showing the love of God, the love of Christ to others. I pray I will be more like them. More like my savior Jesus to others too. For that is the commandment He left us all with. To love the Lord Our God with all our Heart and Mind and Soul and our neighbor as ourselves.

Scott lives that way. I wish for all of you such wonderful people in your life. Thank you Lord for these blessings in my life and for my whole family of faith and my other brother and sisters. May they be blessed at this reading. My sister-in-laws too. My stepmother who is more like a best friend. Not one unselfish act goes unnoticed by the Lord, even if I fail to mention it in this little blog. Bless them all Lord and thank you dear God for the wonderful network of family and friends you have given me. Bless these Big Hearts, these Generous Souls too Lord and give back to them in joy and love and extra measure! Love them so much! Thank you Lord! AMEN.

And There Were Still Six

Before:

Dad holding Scott, Bill, Mom holding Suzy, Me :)

Dad holding Scott, Bill, Mom holding Suzy, Me 🙂

I ran into a good friend of mine online this morning Veronica De La Cruz of MSNBC news. Her non-profit “And Then There Were Two” is sponsoring a campaign to keep families together called Stand Up Man Up to keep men in the home and families together.

Here is my Facebook picture supporting that campaign:
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Their website is: http://www.andthenthereweretwo.com/wordpress1/ Please check it out!

It affirms single motherhood and talks about the absentee father as the problem in today’s society…which for the most part seems to be true. But not in my family. Oh we have divorce. I divorced when I was very young. I remarried now for 34 years this month to a wonderful man. My two brothers are divorced and they both have shared custody of their youngest children. But they are their father’s sons. My sisters Suzy and Sarah both have long-term marriages to their high school sweethearts!

My parents divorced in 1963. I was 10 years old and the oldest of 4 children. Two girls and two boys. It was hard, but my parents made it easier. My father made some promises to us that he kept. He never moved farther than one suburb away. We saw him on weekends and holidays and took vacations with him and our stepmom, Betty and later on our new sister Sara. He had a big house and had us for sleepovers. He promised my mom alimony and child support for each one of the four of us which he paid until we went to work or graduated college, or got married. Sometimes longer. Never past marriage :). My mom’s alimony was until she remarried. She never did. She has Alzheimer’s now. I don’t know if she realizes it, but 50 years later he is still paying it to her custodial guardian my sister Suzy, who uses it for her care. My father is a man of his word. A man of love. A man of character.

My mom is one classy lady. She refrained from saying bad things about my dad when they split. She turned to her faith. They took care of us as always. They tried their best to keep a united front like parents should.

My parents weren’t good together as a married couple, but they were excellent parents to us. It shows. They have kids with pretty solid self esteem. Well adjusted enough to love each other like crazy and pose together in cowboy gear at my brother Billy’s 50th birthday. We hangout together at parties with both parents. No hard feelings folks. It’s okay. We understand about you being human and not being married. We can deal. Thanks for thinking of us first so very much of the time. And there were still six of us! Actually 7, but Sara wasn’t there that day! Come one move back to Minneapolis, Sara! 🙂 Well eight counting our newer vintage stepmom Patricia! 🙂 Poor Sara’s mom died when she was in her 20’s. We are one BIG happy together blended supportive family. American family.

If you want to encourage families to stay together please sign this petition for the SUMU campaign

http://www.standupmanup.com

Thank you!

After:

Center: Me, L to R Suzy, Mom, Scott, Dad, Bill

Center: Me, L to R Suzy, Mom, Scott, Dad, Bill

The Riches of Friendship

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Elbert Hubbard

Heather's Pics 643-10  There is no one that fits this Elbert Hubbard quote better than my husband Mike. He is my love and he is my very best friend. I treasure him more than I can say. He is always there for me and that it saying something! I am an emotional person. I don’t glide easily through life. I feel things very deeply. The Lord knows this. Mike knows it all too well. And he is there for me through my troubles as he calls them.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful friend for life. He is almost as blessed to have me! lol! Today I am thankful for the many wonderful friends I have. I have reflected about them this afternoon. They bring great riches to life, great character, great depth and meaning. They also help a lot when the chips are down!

My dad is one of my best friends. He introduced me to this guy here. This is one of my very favorite pictures of he and I ~ took it myself. I’m not too experienced with cell phone self-photography!

dadandI

My dad knows me pretty well and I don’t want to leave him out. He loves me fiercely and with great  humor too! We are a bit alike and he also says I remind him of Grandma Dorothy, his mom. That’s a big compliment. She was a very strong woman and I thought very funny! My family is close-knit so let me just say they are all my dear friends. My sister was out-of-town when I messed up some medication I was taking and I almost didn’t make it without her to talk to. She is fantastic! I love her and we’ve been best buds since she was born. We are 17 months apart.

You are rich if you have friends, no matter what you have in the bank. When we had to move a while back, due to my health. My girlfriend Mary rallied behind me and got her husband involved. I didn’t realize he was a gifted mover! It’s not his trade, it’s his gift! One of many. He can look at a piece of furniture and know if it will fit in an elevator for instance. My poor husband had lugged our huge couch up three flights of stairs with my daughter and her friend ~ when we moved in ~ because of the tract lighting in the elevator. It simply wouldn’t fit. Mary’s husband and my brother got it out in the elevator. Easiest move we ever had and we thought it would be the most difficult. She had it on her heart to help us, so she did. That is a friend.

My dear friend Heather and I have been together through thick and thin and surgeries and many prayers together. We will always be best friends. Yesterday her daughter turned 12. She lives in Arizona and I couldn’t be there. She made me feel so much a part of things by rapidly posting pictures of the evening before I went to sleep that evening, with two hours difference in time it was a feat! That’s one small thing her big generous heart of love has done for me over the years.

I love my friends. Social media is a goldmine for making new friends and reacquainting us with old friends. I so like my friend Joe. We met on Twitter and have continued our friendship on Skype and Facebook so that now we are old friends! He likes to talk on the phone like me! I guess we are of the same era. We hope to work together someday. We love to talk “shop” ~ social media, marketing, product promotion, development, websites, blogging, you name it, we are discussing it! Now all we need is a company!

Kathleen and Debi and I went to the same High School. Now we are terrific friends thanks to getting reacquainted online and going to lunch together. We are drawing some more Edina High girlfriends into our friendship bunch to rekindle and develop new relationships where old memories exist and new ones are being built. This makes life so rich and exciting!

There’s an old Girl Scout refrain that keeps going through my mind, many of you know. I believe it was true for that time: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.”

I don’t think it is the case anymore. I think all friends are gold. A gift from God, as dear friend Heather says. She is so right. Friends are a treasure. Every moment spent with one is a gift. I am so blessed to have many good friends. I am so loved and I am also very grateful.

There is a whole group of people that haven’t been mentioned, the fabulous social media family I have in the #UsGuys group on Twitter and Facebook, many of whom I have met in person and many more I hope to meet. God bless all of you and thank you for making my life all the more deep and beautiful for knowing you all.

Thank you my dear friends. For your support. For your listening ears. For your wise words. And for your love and acceptance. We may not always agree, life would be a dull place if we did, but we will learn from each other and go on.

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.”
Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You

Thank you all for being a comfort to me when life gets difficult. For keeping things from being hard to bear. For your love and prayers when I need them. Be assured you are always in mine. And in my heart.

Life Is What You Make It

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“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soul mate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” ― Marilyn Monroe

I have said it before in other posts that I know Marilyn Monroe was a very wise woman. These words prove it. And they are very much similar to the way I feel about life. It is tragic that her life ended so tragically and a terrific blessing that mine is still going strong at almost 60 years old.

I have been blessed with wonderful sisters and girlfriends I call my sisters because they are so dear, Heather Siebens and Mary Triviski to name two. My sisters Suzy Miller and Sara Zeiss both Baker girls like me are dear and have been since the day they were born. Days I remember well, seeing as they are my younger sisters.

I have not had certainly the string of men in my life that Marilyn had, but I have an ex. He was not the best for me and I have a wonderful soul mate now whose life I cherish and celebrate and thank God for with each passing day.

She had a great attitude about failing. She expected it to happen, as do all great minds, Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” when inventing the light bulb. You just have to pick yourself up to start once more and try again.

She had a zest for life that I feel. I wake up every morning anticipating the surprises the day has in store. For each day is a surprise waiting to happen, a blessing from the Creator waiting to unfold. It is up to us to discover it and live it.

Believe in yourself. I do. I also believe in the One who made me and gave me a purpose on this earth. I believe I am here for a reason. For a plan. To give to others. To share love and life and joy. I live that plan every day. His plan for me. Because He believes in me, I have confidence. Lots of it. For if He who built the Universe has a plan for my life I can flow with it, love, live and fulfill it.

Now there you see a departure from the wisdom of Marilyn and the wisdom of Libby. And maybe the key to why I am here, about to be 60, and the world did seem to swallow her at a much younger age.

Perhaps a strong Faith is the difference. His presence, His Love, His Strength, His Peace and His Power. Ask me about that sometime. I will be glad to elaborate! Love to all….Libby

The Things That Matter

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Top-002UsGuys TweetupMike and I -- Happy Together!My Wonderful Daughter Abby!

When things go wrong, or heaven forbid we have a brush with death…it is said our lives flash before our eyes. When they do what will yours look like? It’s something to think about! Mine will be images like these: My first baby…my friends, my loving, dear husband, my best and beloved daughter! and so on. Images like these will keep flashing by.

I know I won’t remember shopping! LOL Or work, or school. I may think of writing. I will think about my parents and my sisters and my brothers and all the great times we share.

Now don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not going anywhere. It’s just my bump on the head in February and recurring symptoms have made me think of my mortality. I have faith in a life after this one with my Loving Lord, but what I will miss here! That is important for all of us to contemplate, don’t you think?

And then ask ourselves if we’re spending our waking hours spending time on and with the things and people that matter to us. Are we communing with our Lord, our faith…or ignoring our spiritual selves? Are we taking time for family, friends and faith I guess is the question.

The things that matter. I know in my own life that I am more sure today of what they are than before I took my spill and suffered the subdural hematoma that could have taken my life.

The things that matter to me are simply these:

  • A sunny, cloudy, slushy or wonderful ANY DAY I can share with my friends!
  • All the Time I can steal away to spend alone with my dear husband
  • Trips to and fro to see my FAV and very BEST only kiddo, Abby
  • Time spent talking to my loving and faithful friend, God
  • Phone calls and moments spent with my sibs
  • Any time I can see or talk with and hug my mom
  • Laughing and talking with my dad
  • Telling all of the people listed above: “I Love You”!

If you are my friend, I want you to know that I love you. In this way: I care about what happens to you and I want the best for you.
If you aren’t my friend yet, let’s get to know each other. There is plenty of time and love to go around.

Love you all, and I won’t say “very much” because it’s redundant, my love stands…but I will say this, I love you ALWAYS! Libby

We’ve Moved To The Woods!

mywoods

This is now the view out of our living room window…and it’s very much like the view from the office/guest room and our bedroom. We have moved to an apartment with a “secluded wooded view” ~ and we love it!

We were living high on a hill before. It was windy and somewhat isolating. This is cozy and homey, and we feel a bit like Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. No Eyores in this home though. We’re in too good of a mood ~ both of us.

We had vaulted ceilings in our other place, but only one bedroom. Most of the space was vertical! On the ground we were tripping over each other, LOL! Now, we have both air and space. We have room to put our things and put them away as well. There is very little clutter and plenty of room for pictures and art, my two passions. And music and collectibles, my husband’s!

We are happy little creatures now in our woods. I do not imagine we will leave. Oh, to go to work and visit friends. To call on family, so they will call on us. And go to church to feed our souls and spirits and keep us happy in our woods and serving God and others in the world around us.

Your home is not ever about things, but there is a definite mood or spirit about the place. And this one is very peaceful and happy. Please come and see us, if you are ever in this neck of the woods. We would be happy to show you the view from inside our cozy and happy home.

Blessings and Love, Libby and Mike.

Happy New Year!

New Years Eve Lunch

New Years Eve Lunch

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend, Have lived and loved and labored here, And made of it a happy year. ~ Edgar Guest

I have been busy online being a friend, wishing my online friends a Happy New Year and offline reflecting on the past year and planning for the year ahead.

I have not made any New Year’s resolutions, because this year they rather made themselves. I am turning  60 in 2013, and I had a bit of a crisis of the body and mind about my weight when I saw my blood pressure rising and the doctors having trouble keeping it under control. My internal medicine doctor suggested I join Weight Watchers for that reason as well as rising cholesterol readings, and aggravated arthritis.

I finally did, the week before Thanksgiving. I do not own a scale, not being fond of dealing with that particular reality. But I had been to the doctor’s office enough to know the general neighborhood I was creeping into! Let us just say that when I finally joined I was entering a neighborhood I would rather not live in at all!

I was glad I had made the decision at last. I am mentioning this in my New Year’s post because today was also the day of my Weight Watcher’s meeting and at noon today, I discovered that even though it was the holidays, I had lost a few ounces shy of 18 pounds!

Today is cause for celebration for me. Not just that I have lost weight, but that I know I can make changes in my life and habits that are significant and that I can be happy doing so. That alone, makes me positive and happy about greeting the New Year with anticipation and assurance that this year will be a better year. Filled with more accountability, discipline, good health and possibility than the last.

As for all the wonderful friends on and offline I Christmas’d with, sent and received cards from and greetings on Facebook and Twitter, exchanged many heartfelt love you’s and Happy New Year Eve and New Years over the past two days…I can only say I am thankful to a very loving God for bringing them all into my life.

Best of all, my wonderful Lord…who has given me the fabulous gift of a loving family, I thank Him for my dear husband Mike who is my very best friend and lifelong love, and my fun and giving daughter Abby who is a delight and bringer of joy into our lives and always has been!

I wish you all the happiest and brightest of all years in 2013. I pray they are filled with all the love and promise your heart and mind can hold and that this year brings you closer to God, friends, family and your dreams!

Love you all! Libby

The Greatest of These is Love!

I  Corinthians 13:13

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NKJV)

My husband Mike and I were  married on July 27, 1979 at Colonial Church of Edina. It was a ceremony that we planned ourselves, involved our dearest friends in and gave our hearts to in every way. One thing we did that was especially meaningful for is was to recite the entire love chapter from the New Testament, I Corinthians 13 back and forth to each other one verse at a time. It is a powerful, beautiful chapter and so much of it has remained in my heart and is there for meditation. I read it, and I treasure the memory of it. I like to try to recite it in my head to this day. “If I speak with the tongues  of men and of angels but have not love I am as a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” That part gave me pause today when I lost my temper at a circumstance in my life. Not at Mike. I was frustrated. But he heard the brunt of it. Boy was I a NOISY GONG. Not my best moment!

Later as we were reflecting on the evening before sleep, we remembered the doctor had given me a medication to take for a few days, effective in stopping rebound headaches —  a cortisone type medicine. The side effects are sleeplessness and irritability. AH HA we said. That’s where that came from. It’s not like me to blow my stack like that. I felt so badly for the calm dear man I married who heard me.

For better or worse, in sickness and in health. God has prepared us for the health problems that have taken their toll on both of us. Nothing so serious as to give is cause to fear for life or limb, except maybe once. But, they have been enough to be wearing and came mostly from me. Now we believe we are seeing the end of them for a while and rejoice in the goodness of our Lord and His faithfulness through it all.

I am especially thankful for Mike. Dear one, patient, strong and always kind. Best friend of my heart and mind. Caring and loving man that I married. I will always think the best of him, do the best for him and trust him with my life. He won my heart, earned my trust my faith in him and he is filled himself with the faith of the Lord. I honor, respect him and find him wonderful, funny and huggable. The rest is ours.

Thanks Lord tonight and every night for this good man you gave me. Bless him. Bless his days and his health and work. Lead he and I in your way everlasting. Thank you for the gift of unselfish, giving Godly love and all the wonderful kinds of love!

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

– (Harry Burns) WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

Anything Can Be!

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

All my life I have had a stirring deep inside of me of possibility. A feeling that something great was about to happen. An excitement that embraced each new day.

My dad, I’ve told you, thinks I’m his strongest child because of all that I have been through. I don’t know if I’m the strongest, but I am the biggest believer in the infinite possibilities in this wonderful world God created. I get very upset with those who pine for the day when they will go to heaven. I don’t mean to judge them, perhaps they are very, very ill. But not me. I never pine for that day. I have not wrung all the living I have to do out of this life yet. I haven’t accomplished all I need to carry out.

After my stomach surgery in January of 2010, I was delusional from the anesthesia. Mike was a wonderful comfort to me because his mom had the same experience a couple of times and he was sure that was all it was. So were the doctors, but Mike’s my husband and best friend he got through to me — for a little while anyway. The worst part about the delusion was I thought I was going to die. I wasn’t. But, I was convinced I was at death’s door. I couldn’t find any comfort, because my mind was delusional. It was like being lost in very dark woods. I kept praying and telling God that if he would spare me there was much more I had to do. I felt that urgency deep inside. That part of me way inside was the real me fighting to get through the dark forest. And then one day it lifted and I was fine.

Perhaps one of the reasons I do so well is not because I am strong, but because I feel God’s call on me to do so much more. I don’t know how many years I will be given, but I could use 40 or 50 or so!

So I guess I had better take care of myself. My grandfather had a funny line he used to say: “If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” What a hoot. He was hilarious. I don’t want to be an out of shape old person though, truly that isn’t funny!

I have some big challenges ahead of me in the coming days and months, career-wise, opportunities. I hope you will keep me in your prayers. I want to take good care of myself and I want to soar like an eagle with the wind at my back to make all that can be happen.

I guess the quote says it all: “…listen close to me. Anything can happen child. Anything can be.”

My 96 Yr Old Uncle Rog, the Inventor, Just Made His First Patented Prototype

Pause for Prayer

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40

Mike and I

Mike is having surgery today and I am calling upon the Lord. Not because the surgery is dangerous, it’s routine hernia surgery, but because Mike is my true north. He is what guides my day after I get my marching orders from my Lord. He is whom I live to please and the love of my life. He is also not usually the patient. For many years, I have been the patient and he has been the caregiver. Now the roles will be reversed for a little while. I hope I can be half or more as kind and loving as he has been to me. As patient and as much of a servant. As truly giving and caring and with me in sickness and health. It’s so easy to be with someone in health.

Tomorrow, I will be the one waiting and praying. I am praying for strength now to be as good as waiting on the Lord as my dear Mike has been for me. I love this verse, “…those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

I hope in the Lord for fast healing and great results for Mike tomorrow. For total restoration of his body and reinforcement of the hernia, his old Junior High one that “blew out” the doctor said. Lovely description! Reinforcement of stitches and the new mesh they use to make him stronger than before!

I entrust my life, my soul mate into the hands of the surgeon, into the hands of the Lord for safekeeping tomorrow that he will be restored to me better than new and that I will be a good nurse and helper I pray!

Thank you Lord, for the wonderful husband and help you have given me. Help me to be a great wife and the same good help to him tomorrow and in the coming days. Thank you!

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