Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We are on vacation. We are on a ship. Me, hubby, kids, my Mom and my in-laws. It is the last day of our last vacation together. It is our last vacation 'together' because I know my Mom will be leaving us soon. She already looks like death: her shrinking stature, colorless skin and sunken in eyes.

Suddenly there is distress and we have to evacuate the boat. I secure my children's life jackets in a hurry so that I still have time to help my weak Mom with hers. This happens every time. My subconscious is still trying to save her. I want every hour, minute and even second possible with her even if it's not like it used to be.

We pile on a raft and navigate the flotsam and jetsam in our path to the only relief in sight...an iceberg. Sinking ship to frozen, barren iceberg - we have just gone seemingly from bad to worse and this is causing me to panic. How will I protect my children? How will I shelter my Mom?

The suddenly sharp ringing wind chime outside one of my bedroom windows startles me awake and my rising panic turns to peace as their melodic clanging echoes in my ear. These chimes hung on my Mom's front porch until, well...not long ago. Just this weekend my husband hung them where I am able to hear them and to feel my Mom's presence when I need to most.

I know I have to stop worrying about whether or not I did enough, but I need permission from her. She is my Mom...after all, and I will always listen to whatever she tells me whenever I can hear her. This morning, I heard her loud and clear.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Me! Monday

  • I did not take more pictures of my cats than of my kids this past week and I am not one of "those" people who think every thing they do is cute. But it is...just look at them!

  • I did not have more fun making spiders out of Styrofoam balls, pink and purple pipe cleaners and bright colored feathers than my daughter the other night. I did not covet the box of art supplies my aunt stows away in her closet because all of those pretty,shiny, sparkly things do not make me feel like I am 5 again myself.

  • There is no way that I hung around the ball park Sunday after my son's last regular season game watching the next game because it is impossible that I am already missing little league baseball.
  • I would never wear matching outfits with my 4 year old daughter. I certainly did not wear a skirt that matched the dress she was wearing to my brother's for dinner last night.
  • Tonight is not the first night since summer vacation started that I have asked my kids to read before bed. I am not already breaking my rules about reading every day.
  • I did not buy myself not 1, but 2 pairs of new running shoes last week because they were on sale and they were pink.
  • I am not excited that Real World Cancun is on now because there is no way that I find any value in watching horny, immature housemates party and fight night after night. And I am absolutely not Tivoing The Bachelorette right now either!

  • I did not sign my kids up for camp Wednesday even though I will be home. I do not think I deserve a whole day to myself to just do whatever whenever. No! Not Me!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

  • Last night was breakfast for dinner. My daughter took a couple bites and said, "This dinner is glorious." Of course, she didn't eat much for lunch. I packed a peanut butter sandwich in her lunch yesterday and my girl doesn't do sandwiches. She doesn't like bread unless it's smothered in butter and garlic. I convinced her she had to try it, but she told me she didn't end up eating it because she thought it was rotten. Nice try! Today she is happy with Wheat Thins and pepperoni.
  • I'm leaving work early today so I can go listen to my brother speak at a conference and then get a birthday present for my friend's big day, which just happens to be today. She's coming over for a little cheer tonight.
  • My kids are having fun at camp. My daughter had the quivering lip when I left her Monday morning, but when my hubby picked her up that afternoon, she cried because she didn't want to leave. My son has no problem at all walking up to a complete stranger who has a ball and making fast friends.
  • Summer means relaxed schedules for every one. Next week I only have to go into the office one day.
  • Air conditioning.
  • I talked to one of my Mom's friends the other day. Well, she's my friend too, but I know her through my Mom. She called just to ask how I was doing and to tell me that she talks to my Mom every day. It means so much to know that my Mom's memory lives on with others too.
  • Big, fat peonies. The color is breathtaking...not pink, but not quite purple either. A perfect combination.
  • The way that I sometimes surprise myself. I came home from work yesterday and I felt like dog meat. I had a 10 minute cat nap (with my cats) and then I woke up and went for a run. A 4 mile run made me feel human again. This morning, I got up and went for an early morning walk. I have greatly missed this weekly tradition.
  • That I have my priorities straight enough to know that I should be more concerned with the state of our country and the slippery slope towards socialism we are on than Wacko Jacko. This morning I had to turn the news off because the droves of people flocking to LA to pay him homage was making me angry. Why don't people care that much about other more important things? I know he was the King of Pop and I even like his music, but I can't say I have much respect for the man.
  • Fresh and cheap berries.
  • I'm not afraid to get dirty and I was able to get the grass stain out of my skirt. Yes...on Father's Day we were playing a serious game of wiffle and I slid into first base (or halfway across my yard) in my skirt and I wasn't even safe.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. It has been a busy first week of summer vacation. Good and busy and hotter than Hades. Seriously, it's in the 80's now and it feels cool. We spent the day swimming at my in- laws Tuesday trying to beat the heat. The water was so warm, that it was not really even refreshing. Think bath water. I had both kids bring a friend so I could lounge poolside and read the afternoon away. I brought a bag filled with books to keep me entertained and the four munchkins were supposed to well... entertain each other. I got through almost a chapter of New Moon which is to say, I was interrupted a lot! "Mrs. W. you be the shark and we'll be the minnows." "Mom, catch me. Catch me again." "Mom, can you get the ball that I just threw out of the pool for the umpteenth time?" And the one that would have had me breaking into a sweat if I weren't already drenched in it, "Can you fix my goggles?"

I probably could have baked the pizza they wanted for lunch on the sidewalk or on my sun burned chest. (After lathering up four squirmy, eager to get into the water bodies, I kind of forgot about myself.) Waves of nausea came over me as I watched them devour the greasy, cheesy pies. They, no doubt, earned and enjoyed them. My son's friend D. said, "Mrs. W. you're a good cook." That's how hungry they were. I let them have as many freezies as their hearts desired just to keep them cool and hydrated.

When we got home, they all played a game of baseball in the yard. Together...the boys and the girls. Really! I watched from the air conditioned house with a tall glass of iced tea and a fan blowing on me. When my friend came to pick up her daughter, she stayed for a glass of wine. The boys left for a hot, crowded Little League Night at Miller Park. It was the first of three games T Bone will attend this week. When I'm reincarneted, I so want to come back as an 8 year old boy!

Yesterday was just as hot. Instead of swimming, we chose to go for a hike. I know...what were we thinking? We traipsed along the trails around the gorge near my Aunt's house for a couple hours. We went through several bottles of water, a tube of sunscreen and a bottle of bug spray. Just so you know...I don't recommend applying repellent on top of sun block. It is a greasy, oily mess made even worse by lots of salt and sweat. We all smelled as bad as we looked when we got back to my Aunt's...one motley crew... but we had fun. My kids...they are two incredible troopers. After lunch at Cotsco (my Aunt's favorite place ever), we were going to stop by my in-laws to cool off and to try out the new goggles I bought after our $1.50 hot dogs, but I feared we would contaminate the pool and copious amounts of chlorine would have to be used to delouse it.

Besides, I had to get home because I was expecting company for the gloaming. The age-old friend who called me out of the blue a couple weeks ago...the one I recently dropped the bomb on about my Mom...was supposed to come for a visit. She never showed. I wasn't the least bit surprised and more relieved than annoyed, but I don't think I'll be making any dates with her in the future. It is just too oddly reminiscent of why we became estranged in the first place.

The unexpected free night (and the Nester
http://nestingplacenc.blogspot.com/) inspired me to switch things up a bit in my house. I moved pictures, lamps and even some furniture. I now have a sofa table in my 1/2 bath and it really cozies up the big square room. I love the concept of shopping in your own home.

When that was done, I got to thinking about my Mom and how she would rush over to see any thing I ever bought for, or did to the house. No purchase or project was ever too small to warrant her scrutiny. Missing her prompted me to watch her funeral. I watched it once before, but I think I was still in shock. Last night I found myself smiling and crying and thanking my friend Rose. She is the one who encouraged me to record the service and hired the videographer. I really felt my Mom's presence with me last night.

This morning I was dragging and my eyes were swollen not only from last night's cryfest, but also from the raging cold I woke up with. I managed to make it through the day, but I am so ready to climb into bed with one of my books and wake up to a new day tomorrow. Friday. And it's not supposed to be as HOT!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Dad's Day Boys!

And happy First Day of Summer! It felt like it would forever elude us, but not to worry - it's here right on cue. Today is going to be a hot and humid scorcher!

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for us as so we are more than ready to transition into the lazier days of a much needed and well deserved summer break. My kids...they are all about summer. They love it all. And really what's not to love except maybe mosquitoes.

Freezies. Yes I did buy a box of 100 last weekend that I am quite sure is half gone less than 7 days later! Flip flops, Crocs and best of all bare naked feet! Sun dresses and flowy skirts for her. She'd change 2 or 3 times each day if I was a real glutton for more laundry punishment. Plaid shorts and Nike shirts that say things like, "Keep swinging my catcher likes the breeze, for him." And he needs to change 2 and 3 times daily because he is 8 and already wearing deodorant! Bike rides and scooter scoots. Asking my daughter if she wants to take a bike ride has the same affect on her as suggesting you take a trip to Disney World. Maybe I'd feel the same if I had a pink bike decorated with pretty flowers and a basket adorned with dragon flies. Yards filled with kids. Girls driving Dora Jeeps to the princess bounce house through the boys’ baseball game. Squirt guns filled with freezing water and then just the good old hose when they squirt dry! Kick ball and sidewalk chalk. Hide and seek and hoops. Swimming. Sunshine. Late to bed and later to rise.

It's good to remind myself to slow down and see summer through their eyes.

Today is going to be a day of baseball, bbqs and the best of all...being together.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

100 More Things

1) I majored in English in college thinking that I would go on to law school. I don't know what I was really thinking. I am so not lawerly!

2) The reason I was drawn to literature and creative writing had every thing to do with a mentor and teacher I had in high school. Mr. Huth was passionate about every thing from Chaucer to Conrad, from Faulkner to Fitzgerald.

3) When I was younger, I wanted to have all boys. 4 boys to be exact. I am so grateful for my 2 kids and for one of each.

4) Mosquitoes love me. Unfortunately, I don't love them, but I do attract them and I am very allergic.

5) My aunt (my Dad's youngest sister) is more like a sister to me. She's only 10 years (almost to the day) older than I am and I cannot imagine my life without her.

6) My favorite jewelry is Brighton. Of all the pieces I own, I have only purchased one ring and one necklace for myself. My friends and family know how to make me happy.

7) I'll take dark chocolate over milk chocolate any day.

8) I believe in signs. They are everywhere...we just have to be open to them. Like the lone tiger lily that appeared in my garden right before my daughter was born confirming my pink suspicions or the song on the radio when my Mom passed that simply doesn't exist. Seriously, the DJ said the artistist's name, but I cannot find her any where. The lyrics were so comforting. I am resigned to believe that the song was sung by the voices of angels and sent from heaven above.

9) The boy who gave me my first kiss has recently friended me on Facebook. I am really not so sure what I think about Facebook. I find the play by play some people feel the need to give annoying.

10) I am all thumbs when it comes to doing my daughter's hair. My neighbor, who has a boy, came over the other day and was trying to teach me to french braid and make buns.

11) My Mom used to say that if you could count your good friends on one hand, you were lucky. She was right. Less is more as far as I am concerned when trusting people with your innermost thoughts and feelings.

12) I truly fell in love with my husband after I graduated and we (Gidget and Moondoggie) took a 3 week trip to Hawaii. It was the most time we had spent together after only dating for a few months and I could have stayed forever in paradise with him.

12) Last summer I sang every single word to every single song Jack Johnson played during his concert. Seriously, the people around me were glaring at me, but I didn't care. I was especially obnoxious during this song.


13) I saw Stevie Wonder last summer too with my girls...my Mom and my almost sister, K. My Mom was weak in body, but not in spirit. It was a magical night. My other almost sister, J., asked me to go again this summer, but I declined. That perfect evening is a sacred memory. I want that to be the first and the last time I saw Stevie. He played this song and it was THE bomb!


14) I am always optimistic on Thursdays. I wake up thinking that I can conquer anything...that anything is possible. Monday I'm at my lowest. It takes until Thursday to get that Little Engine attitude. I am starting to understand my stagnation.

15) I found out there was no Santa when I was 8. My Mom pulled an early Christmas gift out of her closet. I wasn't enthralled with the new pillow I opened so I went to further investigate. It was days before Christmas and there were already gifts from Santa in her closet. She simply conceded.

16) Some people may say that life is too short to waste time carrying grudges. I think life is too short to waste time on undeserving people who give one reason to have a grudge in the first place.

17) I have learned that I despise the saying, 'God only gives you what you can handle.' Believe me it isn't true and it isn't comforting in any way. It is ok to say, 'What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.' That is true.

18) I didn't go to my 20 year high school reunion. My philosophy was if I haven't missed you enough in 20 years to look you up and contact you, then what difference would 20 years and 1 day make?

19) Rude people make my blood boil. I have a long and lengthy list of what exactly constitutes rude behavior. I'll leave that for a whole separate post.

20) I cry easily and I am ok with that. Other people not always so much.

21) I have worked for my Dad at various times in my life and I have found that that just doesn't work for me. He is a tough boss. My friend K., on the other hand, worked very well for him.

22) One of the most romantic dates I ever went on was to see Maynard Ferguson on the Green at Yale my summer before college. For a few days after, I actually considered converting to Judaism for this boy. He didn't actually propose btw.

23) Once my brother and my boyfriend at the time lost all of our money playing 3 card Monty on the streets of New York. Some nice old lady gave us train fare so we could make it back to Connecticut. Later my Dad informed us that she was probably in on the scam too.

24) My first job was babysitting. I was 12 and babysitting for a newborn. Her parents thought they were smart to put her to bed before they left for the evening. Little did they know that I would wake her up because I so desperately wanted to hold her. I ended up babysitting for that family throughout college.

25) In the summer, I mostly wear skirts. I mostly wear skirts with flowers on them.

26) I think pico de gallo is a brilliant culinary creation. You don't actually need a recipe...that's the beauty of it beside the fact that it tastes good on everything.


27) I am enamored with the bluebirds in my yard right now. So are my cats. Their rust colored bellies surprise me every time.

28) I have a terrible aversion to dirty feet and body odor. I have to go to bed clean.

29) I always smile when I pass people on the street, and I take it personally when they look away or stare at me blankly. People don't you know that smiles are free and healthy!


30) I am excited for the road trips in our future now that my kids are old enough to not ask 100 million times, "Are we there yet?"

31) Zoos depress me. I often wonder why some of the largest animals have the smallest exhibits.

32) I have learned how powerful it is to not ask what it is you can do, but to just do it. I know it sounds like I am pitching for Nike here. It's actually a brilliant slogan.

33) As far as I'm concerned...cheese is the perfect food. Any cheese...blue, feta, goat, cheddar and even chocolate! My daughter got the cheese gene. She has been known to go through 1/2 a container of Parmesan when we have pasta.

34) I love the way that the men in my life are really just boys at heart.

35) My super hero power would be to be invisible.

36) I am drawn to people with charisma and humility.

37) I find myself leery of people who are Polly Annas. I cannot trust someone who always, always sees their glass as half full.

38) I was the only adult to dress up this past Halloween at a costume party our friends had except for the host and hostess. My husband even vetoed putting on a costume. The good thing was that I was in full make up as a witch and no one knew who I was. Do you have any idea how fun it is to be anonymous?

39) I am a salt fiend.

40) I will never forget a single soul who came to my Mom's funeral and I won't ever forget who didn't come either. I can still remember my eulogy and I can hear Father T. singing Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra. It was my Mom's favorite lullaby. He has since admitted he felt compelled by the holy spirit to sing it. I find moments of divine intervention so comforting.


41) My husband can sell anything on Craig's List!

42) I have never been on a blind date.

43) My boyfriend (at the time) and I used to go on double dates with my husband and his girlfriend (at the time) when we were in college.

44) Two friends who stood up in my wedding ended up marrying two of my husband's groomsmen and another met her husband at a gathering for my wedding. They are all still married. I think I may be a match for the Millionaire Matchmaker!

45) I never want to climb Mt. Everest or go to the moon.

46) Although sometimes I still dream about going to China to adopt a little girl and going to Africa on a safari.

47) I call all my kids' friends, "Honey."

48) I want to go to a psychic with my friend K. who lost her Mom almost exactly a year before lost my Mom. She has been such a comfort and inspiration to me. Our Moms grew up together too. I'll be forever indebted to her for the way she came to my rescue last fall. She took off from work even before I asked her to and she handled nurse Susan like a pro. I was very impressed and ever so thankful. In fact the whole houseful off hens was impressed that day. I would be a puddle without her...a mess.

49) Thunder makes me calm.

50) I still wear Birkenstocks. In fact, I just got a new pair this season. Old Navy flip flops are still my staple though.

51) I am also a sucker for Vera Bradley. Obviously I have an eclectic style.

52) I enjoy giving much more than I enjoy receiving, but I so heart the things my sil-to-be brings me from her store on a whim.

53) I love words. There are words in every room of my house. Quotes on walls, framed inspirational sayings, stencils, monograms.

54) I am not a boater. I get sea sick the moment I board. The only time I have looked death in the face was on a boat in Green Bay. We were going 100 mph on the turbulent bay and I was sure we were all going in. The problem was that there were 50 fast boats behind us so we wouldn't have had a chance.

55) The best thing about my kitchen are the double ovens. The rest of it needs to be gutted.

56) My Mom is the most generous person I have ever known. She wouldn't give you the shirt off her back, but she would go out and buy you one in every color if you liked it.

57) I am named after a little girl my Mom used to babysit for. My blond hair and blue eyes reminded my Mom of this little sweetie. I actually like my name.

58) That being said...if I could change my name I would be Tess. Although, I never considered naming my daughter that.

59) I would like to learn to speak Italian. After all, it is the language of love. My husband once started to teach himself Chinese because it is the language of business.

60) I believe that we should have year round school now. Unfortunately, the teacher's union is so strong that I don't see that happening in my lifetime.

61) I like cloudy days especially in the fall and always in the winter.

62) When I was younger my favorite shows were Dance Fever, In Search of, The Love Boat and if I was lucky and could stay awake for it...Fantasy Island. It was on at 9:00 you know.


63) I have always liked jazz. Ever since my very first boyfriend made me a mix tape. It speaks to my soul.  I still have the tape, but no way to listen to it.


64) The first music video I ever saw was Madonna's Lucky Star. I still heart that song...Madonna...not so much!


65) We only eat whole wheat bread in our house.

66) I only eat popcorn without butter and with lots and lots of salt.

67) I am very envious of women who still have their mothers.

68) On the weekends, my Dad would drop my brother and I off at Skateland and we would roller the afternoon away. When the slow songs came on, he would pretend to be my date and we would skate (dance) together.

69) I don't function without a cup of coffee in the morning. I only need one...but I need one.

70) I am very much against Ethanol, amongst other government mandated programs that I won't get into.

71) I hope that John and Kate get a divorce. I don't see how they can be happy together any more. The only thing Dr. Phil says that I agree with is, 'It's better to come from a broken home than to live in one.' He is spot on about that! She's a nag and he's a whiner. Move on.

72) Story People speak to my soul. I love me my Brian Andreas. It's my favorite gift to give ever to every one. I personally have 5.

73) A little girl put a curse on me in Zijuatanejo, Mexico. I believe she was trying to inflict the evil intentions on my husband who was unknowingly teasing her, but as a child of only 5 or 6 she may not have mastered the art of hexing yet. We're talking green gas emanating from my mouth, a floor to ceiling crack in our 5th floor balcony door, a room full of flies. Creepy. When my hubby tells the story, I get the willies.

74) Despite the fact that I am an English major, I am always referring to Strunk & White especially where apostrophes are concerned. Successful people always know where to go for the answer. We're talking phone a friend...friends. It's all about using your resources.


75) I cried for days after I saw The Elephant Man and for weeks after I saw The Champ. Of course, that was about 30 years ago and I still get teary eyed thinking about either feature film.


76) I love the Cirque du Soliel!


77) My favorite smell in the whole world is eucalyptus. It soothes me...it energizes me...it.inspires me..you get the picture.

78) I think kalamata olives should me in every kitchen and most recipes.

79) My husband is one of the coaches of my son's baseball team this year and I fall in love with him all over again every time I see him mentor and support the kids. All the Moms adore him and the Dads...they know they should be more like him. The kids think he is the bomb. They're right and they are the best judges of character, and really the only ones who count.

80) I am the only person in my house who loves black licorice. I am also the person in my house with the most cavities.

81) I believe that homemade is always better! Always!

82) I would love to learn how to dance some day. As in ballroom dance. It's such a beautiful, passionate way to express yourself with your partner. Unfortunately, we have two left feet apiece!

83) I have the best friends in the world. My Mom's best friend has become one of my dearest friends too. I mean...I've known her just as long, but we share a very special bond now. When the two of us are together, I know my Mom is always with us. I am fortunate to see her several times a week and I am so thankful. She is living proof of the discriminating judge of character my Mom was. She's one of a kind and I absolutely cherish her! She calls a spade a spade and wears her feelings on her sleeve just the way my Mom did, and she would give you the very shirt off her back. Or more like the shoes of her feet...look in my closet, she's done it!

84) I am scared to swim in the lake at night, but I still do it because I don't want to pass this fear on to my kids.

85) A friend commented on how my brother always hugs me when we greet. It's true we begin every meeting with an embrace and we end most conversations with an 'I love you.'

86) I don't like to wrap gifts and think that gift bags are a necessity. If something is a perfect square, I pass it off on my hubby to wrap. He is far more patient and meticulous than I am.

87) When a recipe calls for ground meat, I usually use turkey.

88) I have to make my bed every day.

89) I am not comfortable with putting pictures of my family on my blog..yet. That's why there are so many pictures of my cats.

90) We love to play the You Tube Game.

91) I no longer blame people who hide $$$$$ in their matresses. Not a bad idea. Don't get any ideas because I still go to the bank.

92) I cannot eat breakfast until 10:00 or so. I'm just not hungry before then.

93) I always wear jewelry.

94) If there were room in my bathroom...I'd add a steam room.

95) I'm smitten with the Smitten Kitchen. The cakes I'm baking tonight for Father's Day are a little daunting, but every bit worth it. Come to think of it, I don't even know if my Dad likes hostess cupcakes.


90) Nostalgia. It's all about nostalgia. It sweeps over me at least a dozen times a day.

91) Cheese and crackers are my favorite snack.

92) I usually fall asleep during movies.

93) I like to walk at night because then I can see in my neighbor's homes. I like to see how they have decorated.

94) I once met Charlie Sheen in an airport. I was a big fan after seeing St. Elmo's Fire when I became familiar with his brother Emilio Estevez. My Mom chased him down to get his autograph for me. I was beyond embarrassed, he was not very nice and she was so proud of herself.


95) I have been a huge fan of Rickie Lee Jones since middle school. She is one performer I have never seen, but would like to see.


96) I used to go to a lot of concerts with my Mom. She was such a fun person to do that with. We saw everyone from Celine Dion to The Stones. We got free tickets to see Celine and I was not looking forward to it, but she puts on an incredible show. It is still in my top 10.  So were the Stones.


97) My son has started to like U2. So what if he calls them...You Tube.


98) When I workout, I usually look like I just got out of the shower. I sweat that much.

99) It only takes me about a 1/2 hour to get ready in the morning. I'm pretty low maintenance.

100) The only time I like it to be 90 and above is when I am poolside. 70s an0 80s rock any other day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Grateful Friday

Cats who are more like dogs.
Catching Earth Wind and Fire today on a morning show. They always remind me of my Mom because she was born on the 21st day of September and she loved them. That is just the song they were singing...do you remember - the 21st day of September? Yes, I remember.
It is finally, officially summer vacation! I now have a third grader and a kindergartner, but not until fall. I think my daughter has the K5 teacher I was hoping for. They are all just fine, but I wanted one in particular because she was my teacher in graduate school a few years ago and I happen to think she is great.
T Bone is at Camp Grandpa. This is tradition for the first few days of summer and I truly am not sure who it excites more...my Dad or my son.
Build it and they will come...the boys of summer are back playing on our back yard baseball diamond. T Bone had 2 friends come home on the bus with him the other day to play baseball and they were joined by 3 friends from the neighborhood.
Rainbow glitter flip flops from the Gap. My girl had to have them. When I told her she could have two pairs (because they were 2 for $12), I think I secured my position as her favorite person in THE whole world at least for this week.
She hasn't broken an ankle yet!
Fresh berry muffins and spinach quiche.
Defying Gravity on my way to work this morning. Wicked is coming to town next summer.
After baseball tomorrow we will head to my in-laws for a bbq/pool party. It is supposed to be hot and humid.
After baseball Sunday, my family will come over for a Father's Day celebration. I'm really excited about the gifts we have for my hubby, my Dad and my brother. He gets one too cuz' he's a godfather.
My hubby's improv bedtime stories about Riley and Emma's secret fort in the mysterious, magical forest. They captivate our 4 year old and rather impress me as well.
Summer camp starts Monday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Give Thanks Today For...

Blooming irises that remind me of the rows and rows of rainbow colored irises that flocked the front walk of the yard I grew up in.

The word clarity and the concept of transparency.

A good night's sleep last night and a dream that shed so much light on a realtionship that ended almost two decades ago. The dream brought me closure and clarity. After writing about it in my personal journal, I felt peace.

Attending a minor league game with T-Bone last night. It was great (albeit chilly) fun to sit in the stands beside my son and listen to him cheer on his friends all while offerring commentary on the game. I know he really enjoyed the time together and the event too.

Today is their last Friday of school!

T-Bone had the game winning catch of last Saturday's game against our arch rivals. He had two home runs on Sunday too!

Our cousins were here visiting from Colorado last weekend. We had so much fun that my cousin's 8 year old wants to move here. Of course he does because he thinks that all we do is hike and golf and go to baseball games and then come home to play more baseball and play Wii and play cards and go out to eat and have parties!

My girl went to a fabulous birthday tea. The girlies got dressed up, had their hair done and nails painted and then had lunch. The birthday girl was given a crown and a bell. Too cute!

Paula Fuga and her ukelele.

Buttermilk cake with fresh raspberries and real whipped cream...for breakfast.

Unexpected phone calls. I heard from two old friends this week.

The idea that one should over prepare for a party and then just go with the flow. It's also a good life motto.

A stack of new reading material thanks to the convenience of using the online county card catalog. I have every thing from Mary Oliver to Cupcakes to Tory Spelling (it's a guilty pleasure), and I'm only half way through New Moon.

No plans this weekend except baseball and church.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Human Nature and the Weather

Last night violent storms blew through our area. No sooner did the kids get home from school before we heard the sirens and headed to the basement. I went back up twice. The first time to get my boys (cats) and the second time to get my Mom (urn). It's funny how drastically the last year...the past eighteen months...have changed what is most important to me. I mean my family has always been number one, but other worldly things were close runner ups...now, not so much. They are all replaceable.

We sat in the comfort of our basement while the storm headed over the lake. It was lucky. I realized how ill prepared we are for the real deal. Heck, we're hardly prepared to lose our power. Sure we have flashlights, but who knows where they are or if they have batteries. We have a wind-up radio, but it's tucked in a random drawer or closet. I stopped buying candles because of my curious cats and got rid of matches once I had fearless kids. It made me think how denial can render us desperate when disaster strikes. Stunned as if to say "No not me. I didn't see or hear this train wreck coming. I wasn't prepared for this." Truthfully - there is so much in life...so much pain and sufferring...that we can never adequately prepare for. We cannot live in fear, for then we do little living. I think it is how we survive really. To hope for the best while insulating ourselves from the worst. Just never allowing ourselves to go there, but then sometimes we have no choice.

I had a very low moment on Sunday when I chose to answer the phone.

An old friend who once was like a sister to me...a friend I have lost contact with... called out of the clear blue. She was going to a local church fair and was remembering a time when we had gone years ago together with my Mom. A time I didn't remember until she started sharing it with me. A smile came across my face and a tear filled my eye at the memory. She was thinking it would be fun if we could all go. I tried to dodge the bullet by telling her I had a houseful of company, which was true. I was numb though because of the realization of the reality that she didn't know was mine. We chatted a little, but I was trying to hurry the conversation. Sensing that she said, "Can you just tell your Mom I say 'hi?' I miss her so much." Without thinking or feeling I said, "So do I. My Mom died in September." Then I started to cry uncontrollably. I don't think I'll ever get used to that admission. I don't think I'll ever be able to say it without feeling like I've been stabbed and I can't breathe. I don't think I'll ever fully believe it.

I also don't think I'll ever understand why people who know us both and who knew what happened never told her when my name came up. Human nature and the weather...two things we are always at the mercy of. Two things I'll never fully understand.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Today's Truths

By Maya Angelou

A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living,'
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success...
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!
I heart Maya Angelou.