Saturday, May 30, 2009

1 Kid, 2 Cats, and a Hubby!

Make that 1 scared and clingy 75 pound kid, 2 bed hogging, leg cramping cats and a snoring, cover stealing hubby all crowded very closely in my queen-sized bed for most of last night!

I came to bed alone and exhausted to find my cats already staking their claims. I could seriously join the Cirque with the mastery of contortion I exhibited while weaving in between them as I got into bed praying that I wouldn't have to get up and use the bathroom lest I disturb them. They used to disappear when I turned the fan on, but now they actually seem to like it.

The next thing I know, it's 2:15 and I am woken by T. Bone climbing (like he's on a Mount Everest expedition mind you) in between hubby and I after a bad dream. I thought it was rather a coincidence that I was also having a very disturbing dream and momentarily thankful for being woken until I came to my senses and realized that all my dreams are twisted these days, and I'd probably pick up just where I left off.

I was right...that is until my hubby started to snore. Usually I can just reach over and very gently (right love?) ask him to turn onto his side and he is quiet as a mouse again, but I couldn't reach him because T. Bone was in between us. I didn't want to disturb him, of course.

So I chilled out (literally) as the fan froze my feet because I couldn't move them under the tiny corner of covers I had without jostling my cats.

Is it any wonder why I am up, and the rest of the house is still sleeping soundly?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Grateful Friday

A special family friend had the 60 roses (in 6 vibrant shades, 1 for each decade of her colorful life) we gave my Mom for her sixtieth birthday perfectly preserved in a clear box...a "box of love." They are every bit as breathtaking now as when they were alive...just like my Mom. Night in the middle of the week just because. An impromptu date for pizza and Night at the Museum II is quality time together.

T. Bone's eyes...soulful blue eyes with a hint of mischief...that I can see once again. He asked for, and got a haircut last week just like I knew he would once the temps started rising.

My girly girl... so excited to wear her very first "big" pony tail (all pulled into one in the back). So what if we needed numerous barrettes to tame the wispies.

My home run hitter...1st home run of the season for the team and without errors. We celebrated the milestone in style at Halfaer field.

My version of 7 layer salad topped with a homemade, made-up, light version of a sour cream buttermilk dressing instead of heavy, gloppy mayo.

The Unofficial Guide to Disney. It's official that we are going this fall and we have plenty of time before our trip to learn the dos and don'ts once again. This time the kids will be at a perfect age to really make the most of the experience.

Family vacations...past and future.

Kickball in the back yard...a game we can all play.

Calling in sick for my volunteer work this week. It was difficult for me to do...I don't like to cancel on commitments, but I didn't want to get the kids sick either.


Flexibility as in going with the flow in life.

My Dad has successfully quit smoking. after more than 40 years!

Looks like we're Bermuda bound for my brother's wedding. I just don't know when. details...details.

Shredded wheat topped with a handful of granola and a fist full of blueberries for breakfast.

Looking at pics. with my girl the other day. She was admiring all of the cute clothes she has since out grown, and so was I. We went through her closet and pulled out the dresses that had become micro minnies over the long winter. We put them in a pile to share with others. She balled at the thought of never wearing one in particular again. She begged, "Can't we just keep it someplace safe so I can still see it?" That is exactly how I feel when something no longer fits.

My hubby's bbq ribs served with a side of my buttermilk mashed potatoes...a meal we look forward to having lots of leftovers of.

Dinner at my Dad's sans kids this past weekend. They were missed, but it was nice to have some adult time sans interruptions.

OJ, our resident red fox, is back and the squirrels are going, going...gone.

It may not have been summery this last weekend, but the kids got plenty of swim time at my in- laws thanks to the pool heater.

Time with cousins.

7 degrees of separation.

My brother bought all the ladies flowers and lottery tickets. He is a true gentleman.

I finished Twilight last night. It know it was entertaining because I got through the 400+ pages in a week, but I didn't find the writing very compelling. I won't be joining the coven of Stephanie Meyer aficionados. I will, however, read New Moon because escape is just what I am seeking right now. Adam Lambert is Edward in my mind pictures.

A family bike ride through the neighborhood last night after dinner, and then a game of Rummy with T. Bone before bed.

My girl was pouty when she found out her friend couldn't play yesterday. She said she had the "swan" flu to which my boy said, "You mean H1N1!?" That exchange sums up their personalities to a tee.

It's the weekend. I was back on track the last two days, but now I am ready to derail again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It's rainy and cold here today. Really it's the perfect day for journaling, but there are at least a million other things I should be doing. Note that doesn't stop me. I have yet to turn off weekend mode, you see, and it is weighing upon me. That heavy weight has nothing to do with too much bbq (and more beef than I usually consume in an entire month), copious amounts of cocktails served up with conversation, staying up late playing Wii Rock Band and Name That Tune, and then sleeping in and straight through church and exercise class (I did still manage to pray and to play some kickball).

Sounds great...right? And it was, but I need me some structure in my life after 5 days and 5 nights of bacchanal. It's Wednesday people...and we are on the heels of yet another weekend! Not to mention...summer vacation is only 3 weeks away, which means that I must turn into Julie McCoy in a mere 21 days! Calgon take me away! Now I am really dating myself ! Oh...and all this fun has literally made me sick, but rest assured...I don't think it's Swine Flu!

My "to do" lists are growing, not shrinking. Every day I'm adding tasks when I should be crossing them off. Logically, I know that these things will wait...the flowers will be planted when I buy them, engagement gifts sent when I get to the post office, birthday books done before their next birthdays. The rational me rationalizes this, but the emotional me gets worked up and stressed out.

Yesterday I put the growing pile of our photos into albums. I had 3 albums worth in waiting. That works out to 900 pictures, or 18 months of milestones and memories. It was an emotionally charged few hours during which I spent plenty of time laughing and much time crying too. My whole world changed in that year and a half and seeing it unfold visually was raw and unforgiving. I literally bore witness to our hope turning to fear and our joy turning to heartbreak. Always present, never wavering, was our love for one another, and our incredible strength.

This is important because it made me realize why this fun, family filled weekend has me feeling slightly out of sorts. It is because I am used to being the Energizer Bunny, and for once in a very long time my batteries wore out. The good news is that they are rechargeable, but it's not as easy as plugging the charger into the wall. No, I have to plug into my life. I have to give myself permission to have fun, to feel joy, to have hope and to lean on my loved ones because this is anything, but linear. The good things that we put out into the universe, come back to us 100 fold!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Moments

Yesterday was filled with many moments...yes, aren't they all? But yesterday...I slowed down long enough to savor them, and it was well worth it.

I headed to the gym in the morning in lieu of another run. I was listening to my body. I craved a cardio class: the loud music, the energy of the group, the mindless motions. It felt good, and it was just what I needed.

It was another beautiful almost summer day. I opened all the windows to let the warm breeze breathe life into my house. The scent of my blooming lilacs filled the air. I went out and cut enough to fill several vases to place throughout the house so I could enjoy them long after the windows had to be closed.

I had a scoop of capaccino almond fudge for lunch and a play date at the park with my girl for dessert. We had the park to all to ourselves for most of the time. Her cheeks got red as apples as she climbed until her heart was content.

When the older kids and a few friends came home from school, we picked teams for a kickball game. It was the boys against the girls until my hubby came home early. He sent me to play with the boys who were, surprisingly, happy to have me. Apparently, I am much better at kickball as an adult than I was as a child! My hubby joined the girls. We won, but fun was had by all.

We all, the young and the old, polished off a pitcher of iced tea, my summer favorite (and their's too, apparently).

While playing catch with T Bone (my 8 year old coach), some of my throws actually impressed him. My hubby even says that I am throwing less and less like the girl that I am. That is totally a compliment!

With arms now as sore as my legs, it was time to sit down on the patio to enjoy the favorite time of day with my hubby and a glass of wine, my best drink for that time of day.

Roasted peppers and fresh shucked corn for quesadillas...a simple, yet delicious meal.

I was on the fence over the two finalists once Danny was voted off on AI. So much so that I was surprised by how happy I was that Chris won. I love me his humble heart! His voice ain't too bad either.

A much needed shower before bed. Rosemary mint shampoo. Peppermint sugar scrub for my lips.

A chapter of twilight before bed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Gift of a Day

I cleared my calendar (well almost) and vowed to ignore my ever growing "to-do" list for the day. Today, I decided, was going to be about me. After I got my kids on the bus, I headed over to the local nature center to enjoy a run on the trails. It felt energizing to sweat in the sun and the solitude although I did startle a herd (if 5 can be considered a herd) of deer, cross paths with a couple turkey, flush out this prehistoric looking crane (I guess all cranes look otherworldly) and pause long enough to count the basking turtles knowing that my girl would want to know how many I had seen.

I quickly discovered that the Grassland Loop was still a soggy spring mess. I felt like a long jumper leaping over mud pits, or trying to. I have short legs and well, I wasn't always successful at clearing them. I was like a defiant child turning my shoes from pink to brown as the drying dirt caked up and down my legs. I don't like being all! I thought, "If my Mom could see me now!" And then I realized that she could see me all right and that encouraged me to run jump more get dirtier and all with a smile on my face.

I finished that loop and then headed for the tree tops. I climbed the observation tower and welcomed the burn in my quads more present with each flight of stairs I conquered. At the top, I paused only long enough to catch my breath and to thank God for this beautiful world...the brilliant blue sky, the new baby buds on all the trees, the peace in my heart.

Do you know that it hurts more to go down than to come up? The sting in my legs was painfully apparent as I made my way down the bluff to the lake. A lone piece of driftwood off erred a welcome reprieve as well as the perfect vantage point from which to watch the waves ebb and flow. I sat mesmerized for what felt like forever. I focused on a group of children playing in the sand. I thought of my kids. How quickly they are growing time moves at a supersonic pace sometimes that it is near impossible to capture or cherish the moments, and yet that's what this life is made up of...moments.

Energized, I sprinted as fast as I could for as long as my legs (and lungs) held out. The adrenaline subsided and the lactic acid set in. I was sweaty, stinky, covered in mud, yet I felt energized and even beautiful. Taking care of myself the good old fashioned way has that affect on me. It grounds me, clears my head, opens my heart and breaths life into my limbs. It's the only way I can keep putting one foot in front of the other moment after moment, day after day after day.

And speaking of feet...after scrubbing in the shower, me and my girly girl headed to the spa to get my toes and her fingers done hence the "almost clearing of the calendar." It was a fun mother/daughter date, and actually something my Mom and I once enjoyed together. Even though my daughter is only 4, she really revelled in the pampering and I believe she was a tougher client than I was...hemming and hawing over just the right color, needing more lotion and extra sparkles! I love the way she knows what she wants and is not the least bit afraid to ask for it!

Her Daddy just walked in the door and she shouted from across the room, "Look at my nails!" Now she is dressed in protective gear (a Darth Vadar helmet and a bullet proof vest) ready for Nerf gun battle with her brother and his friend. It is all about moments. Each one is a gift!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Motherless Daughters...

It's the title of a book I had in my hands yesterday at the book store. I put it back and ended up with The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World instead. You see, I refuse to think of myself as motherless. After all, I know my Mom was behind the strepta carpella I found last week at the out of the way nursery I visited. Last year I searched high and low, near and far for the "bluebells" she always bought for the both of us for Mother's Day to no avail. She wasn't in any shape to traipse around crowded nurseries, but I knew they would make her so happy. These plants were so beautiful and vibrant and much healthier and heartier than the plants she found in the past. I two for myself and one for my brother not only because I love them, but because every time I see them I think of her. I know he will too.

And I am certain my mother was behind the perfect red, heart-shaped rock my daughter picked up on the beach today. She held it and said the rock came from Nanny. Her sweet to my ears, "Nanny put it here because she wants to let me know she loves me." We brought it home along with the heart-shaped rock my son scouted out for me. My Mom always brought rocks home from trips we took. Now many of them are safe in my rock garden.

Without a doubt, her divine intervention allowed my son to turn an effortless triple play on the little league field today. He told me that he was going to try and win the game today as a mother's day gift to me. They won, and he took home the game ball. I know who was smiling on us from above.

The thing is that my Mom is forever with me. Today she gave me the strength I needed to find the joy and happiness is this day despite the fact that I didn't have to buy her bluebells for her porches, despite the fact that she's not sharing a walk on the beach with her granddaughter and despite the fact that she's not sitting in the stands cheering on her all star.

It wasn't an easy day, but it was a good day and I am very thankful that it is over. I am grateful for the thoughtfulness, support and love of so many people in my life. It helps to have people to laugh and to cry with. People to remember with. And there is most certainly nothing that can beat waking up to my favorite breakfast in bed served by my favorite people. It mattered not that I planned to eat the decadent chocolate chip banana cake with my coffee this morning my true friend insisted I take to go last night because we had no room for dessert after our delicious dinner. For the record, I highly doubt that it was a coincidence we got the last two pieces...E-V-E-R! They will no longer be making this cake, but Pat and Kath. took care of their girls, as usual.

And that Guide to Disney...we are taking the magical trip to Walt's World my Mom was planning for this year. And it just so happens...we will leave on my Mom's birthday and return on her heaven day. We're doing it for her because I know that is exactly where she would want us to be..."the happiest place on earth!"