Monday, August 31, 2009

Whirlwind of a Week

And he we are - at the much anticipated, ever dreaded...last day of summer vacation. Truthfully, it already smells and feels like fall in our neck of the woods. And truthfully, I think that this seasonal rite of passage is taking more of a toll on me than on my kids. T Bone appears to be completely in denial, and Miss Bit is actually excited because you know Mrs. D. is her teacher, and her friend G. is in her class, she has a cute new outfit already picked out and it just may be cool enough to wear it, and they are having chicken nuggets for hot lunch tomorrow!

One would think that I'd be chomping at the bit to get them on the bus and then do the happy dance all the way up the drive way over 7+ hours all to myself, but I'm going to miss them...I'm going to miss all the fun. I know I'll have no shortage of things that both I need to get done and I want to get done to keep me plenty busy. My house and my body are going to love me because of all the time I will have to devote to the both of them.

So today we are just hanging around the homestead. Their only request to play with friends in the neighborhood. That's an easy one to oblige and understand since we haven't been home much these past couple weeks. It is a luxury to be sitting at my computer catching up over a cup of coffee (courtesy of my new Keurig that I L-O-V-E as much as the people who gave it to me) while listening to The Phantom of the Opera.

I have always found the music hauntingly beautiful (my Mom used to clean the house to the soundtrack), but had never seen the show (or have I? It was hauntingly familiar.)
My step-mother took me for my birthday this weekend and I was awed and inspired by the performance. We sat second row center which made it feel like we were not watching the show, but rather in it. The famous chandelier perched precariously directly above our heads was mildly unnerving. Both of us were teary eyed at the end. Doesn't every one want Christine to choose the Phantom? I believe the performance is in my top 5 behind only Wicked and Cats. Cats was the very first musical I had the pleasure of seeing and I just happened to see it on Broadway so I doubt it will ever be dethroned. If I had my way, Tigger would be Rumpelteazer and Peanut would be Mungojerrie.

I thought I was Phantom-bound last Saturday. I was sure that was the entertainment planned for my birthday evening, but I sure was wrong, and I have to hand it to my hubby and my family and friends for getting me once again. I walked into my brother's house and was very surprised to see most of the most important and loved people in my life joined in celebration of my birthday. It was THE perfect night in every way...the company, the catering, the cake, even the Krismos! I'm beyond thankful to every one for one unforgettable, special night. So of course, the icing on the cake was still getting to see the show!

And speaking of shows...we saw the 2009 Idols perform Friday night. The plan was that T Bone, myself, my mil and my friend, Aunt Jess were going to go, but the truth of the matter is that T. Bone had a better offer and chose to forfeit his ticket to his thrilled sister. He assessed the situation and said, "Mom, I'm just not so sure it's going to be so much fun." Ok, then. Can it be my baby is growing up and doesn't want to go to a rock concert with ladies in their prime?!?! Miss Bit got all dolled up and was ready to go. She sat rather still until Allison came on stage at which point she thrust her Dippin Dots in my lap, and I was all like, "I don't want these." And she was all like, "Mom, I have to get up and dance!" Dance she did, and scream and shout. That continued through Danny Gokey. Adam Lambert put her to sleep for a couple minutes thankfully it wasn't during Whole Lotta Love, but rather Mad World.
By the time Chris Allen got on stage, she was ready to call it a night. All in all, I think she did hold her own at her very first rock concert. It was not as awesome a show as 2 years ago, but it still was worth it. It really was the Adam, Danny, Chris show.

Last week we took the kids and 2 of their friends to an amazing waterpark in the Dells. I have to admit that I was not really super excited about it, but I knew the kids would have an absolute blast. And now I must confess on the Internet that I too had very much fun. So let me let you in on a little secret - age is relative people! It's totally true that you are only as old as you feel or act. It reminded me of my Dad and aunts having such a blast right alongside my brother and I when we were kids spending time at our favorite waterpark. After 7 hours in the water Monday, the kids were literally too tired to eat the pizza when it came. They were, however, ready to get back in the water come Tuesday morning. Wednesday, was a slow day around here nonetheless.

It's been a good week, and if I had to say...40 thus far is nothing but fabulous!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good Riddance Thirties

Yesterday was the best birthday I could have asked for, and if it is even an inkling of an indication of what is in store for me this decade, I am beyond blessed. Bring it on!

I woke up crabby because I had just finally fallen asleep. I hopped in the shower and resigned myself to simply making it through the day. Then my girl comes bounding in my bathroom bellowing Happy Birthday Mama with such sweetness and sincerity, and that folks was enough to stir some sense into me. It was all I needed to adjust my attitude, and resign myself to having a good day. When I came downstairs, Miss Bit exclaimed, You look beautiful! Must have been that change of attitude. I dropped her off at camp and her parting words were,'s your birthday Mama. I had renewed spring in my step as I made my way to my van and a smile on my face as I rocked on all the way downtown to the Black Eyed Peas!

I was busy at work, but I managed to take a few breaks to receive well wishes by phone, e mail (some even brought me to tears), Facebook, and courier (getting flowers at work is such fun), and then I even stole away for a ladies lunch with friends. After the conversation, Caesar salads and chardonnay my day could have ended and I would have been a happy girl.

But lucky for me that was only the beginning.

I went up to change once I was home and heard my Mom's chimes singing in the late summer breeze. I felt her reminding me that she is close and yet so far away. I talked to my Dad and his nostalgia surprised me. He asked me if I knew that my Mom was in labor with me for 26 hours. How did I not know that? Then he told me that they were told I was a boy and had even painted my room blue. When I was finally born, they were very surprised. Apparently my Mom's OB told all his patients they were expecting boys and his partner told his patients to paint their nurseries pink. Science was not what it is today in 1969. Just those couple tidbits were great gifts on this day.

An impromptu gathering of my favorite people went well into the night. It was just what I wanted and needed. We ate pizza and opened presents. Don't hate me, but I was very spoiled. My kids could hardly wait to present me with their gifts. Miss Bit picked out the prettiest claddagh necklace for me on the sly last week at Irishfest, and it is just so special that I may never take it off. T Bone decided it would be a nice idea to renew my membership at my favorite nature preserve. The thoughtfulness of that gift leaves me speechless. He knows that spending time there is manna for my soul. I was surprised to see a beautifully wrapped box from my hubby as he already bought me a new pair of Oakleys for my birthday. A pair of absolutely beautiful sterling silver hoops for my recently pierced ears were inside. My frister Jess gave me a very cool new clock for my clock wall, a wall she herself inspired with last year's gift. (That is another post.) And last, but not least, my brother and future sister-to-be gave me an awesome new camera. Not 5 minutes before I opened the gift, Jess mentioned that we really need a new camera. I was very stoked! I am not going to say that I don't L-O-V-E getting gifts, because that would be a colossal untruth, but I will tell you that spending time with the people I love truly is better than anything that comes in a pretty blue Tiffany box. I was celebrated. I was loved on. I was even handed the microphone despite the fact that I cannot sing.

Yes, we played Wii Rock Band into the wee hours unlocking songs left and right. We went through 2 9 volts for the microphone. Both my kids tired out and asked to go to bed. That never happens! I was eating a piece of the decadent french silk pie, my favorite, my family picked just for me at 1:00 a.m. Let me just tell you that my love cup was filled to the brim.

I slept like a baby and that's a good thing because I have to be dressed and ready to go out by 5:00 tonight. Don't ask me where. It's a surprise, but I've heard it involves a limo and some tickets to something. Bring it on!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grateful Friday

Today it's not about what I am thankful for, but who...

My Mom...she gave me life and taught me how best to live it. Two remarkable gifts I rejoice in every day, but especially on my birthday, which happens to be today. She is my mentor, my best friend, my rock and now my guardian angel. I wish I would have listened all the times she whispered my birth story because it went to the grave with her, but at least our life story is mine to tell.

My Dad...he too gave me life and then showed me how to enjoy every moment fully embracing his title as Disneyland Daddy. Today he is Disneyland Grandpa, but he's not all fun and games. My Dad is the salt of my earth...wise and deep and strong.

My husband...he is a remarkable man - a devoted husband and a hands and hearts on father. We are polar opposites in so many ways, and yet we attract, adhere, advance and adore. We'll be married 14 years in October, and I feel it in my heart that we'll be together forever.

My first born...who taught me what it feels like to have my heart beat outside my body. The beautiful, bright boy I loved wholey the moment I held him and who I love more each day I know him.

My mini me...she is equal parts percocious, and precious and I wouldn't have it any other way. She makes me want to be the very best mom and woman I can be .

My of my best friends and the closest link I have to my Mom. We share more history together than with any other and thus have an incredible, unspoken, unbreakable bond.

His fiance, my soon-to-be sister (in-law). They found one another for a reason: how uncanny is such shared experience. I am thankful not only that she makes him happy, but that she also embraces the rest of his sometimes loveable and always crazy family.

My friend Jess who knows all my secrets and has finally learned to keep them. We talk multiple times a day, and yet, we never run out of things to talk about. She's my walking partner, my wine drinking sidekick, my conscience and my confidant. She's an important part of my family and a welcome and constant presence in our lives.

My frister Kristen...she has been my friend since we were kids...silly girls practicing our kissing techniques on the pillows we made in home economics, and I know that we'll be fristers forever. She's risked her life for me (Judge's barroom brawl) and has always been there beside me whether in good times, bad, mad or sad. She knows me so well, and really understands and accepts me.

My Dad's youngest sister. She was 10 when I was born, and couldn't get enough of me. There were times when I was growing up that I was positively convinced that she was really my mother and it was all a big cover-up. She's one of the best people I know...a constant in my life.... someone I look up to and strive to emulate, and the one family member I can call any time of day or night and she will pick up the phone and we'll talk until one of our phones run out of batteries.

My friend Candace who I can laugh until I cry with or cry until I laugh with. She is like my slightly older sister...always available to lend an ear and offer thoughtful advice. She has an enormous heart and a giving spirit.

My friend Rose who is the prankster among us always keeping us on our toes and making us laugh, but she's surprised me in other ways this past year. During the struggles endured as my Mom fought in her last year, I saw that Rose is not only a breath of fresh air, but also real and wise and generous beyond belief. So many nights have we sat up talking until everything made sense (at least until morning). I cannot fathom a Roseless life. We don't talk every day, but when we do connect, it's as if no time has passed.

My step-mom who loves my Dad despite the fact that he is sometimes difficult to live with. She loves my brother and I, but never tried to replace my Mom. She relishes her role as Grandma and is darn good at it. She reminds me to be kind and nonjudgemental.

My cousin Carol who I am close with despite the distance in miles and years between us. She calls often just to say "hi" and to offer me words of encouragement and praise. She reminds me not to put off until tomorrow what I can do today.

My mother-in-law who most importantly is the reason my hubby is here, and also hugely responsible for the man he is today. She is kind and generous and fair and fun. She sees the good in all every one.

My father-in-law who is witty and has such a sharp sense of humor. We like to share sarcastic jabs. He too focuses on the positive in life.

My friend Kathy who grew up with my Mom. She checks in often just to remind me that she's there if I need her. I love the way she calls me "dear." I love the way that she always knows what to say.

My friend Mary who is my Mom's oldest friend. She is sweet and so kind. She always makes me laugh because she can be goofy and snarky and all while being one of the nicest people I have ever known.

Almost all my co-workers who supported me during the past almost 2 years and still don't expect me to be "all right." They have been compassionate and supportive in ways both big and small.

Father T. who came to visit my Mom at home when she could no longer make it to church. Almost every time I see him he still mentions my Mom and asks me how I'm doing. When I'm in his presence I do feel my spirit lifted.

My Mom's neighbors who were there for my her...for our family...until the very end, and beyond. Whether she needed help getting somewhere, shopping, taking care of her yard, they were there. They were there to lend a hand, an ear, or a shoulder. Scarcely a day passed that we didn't find a casserole, a dessert, a plant, a bottle of wine or a card on the porch.

So 39 was a difficult year, but thanks to these loved ones and others I have not mentioned, there was one thing that I never felt...alone. And now you know why.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Laid Plans

Even the best laid plans have not been going my way this week.

Looking back, I have to say that this trend pretty much started Friday. There was a little happy hour planned with my friends that evening at my favorite local festival in honor of my upcoming birthday. I was very much looking forward to the gathering until we were all gathered and then I just wasn't feeling the chi. I couldn't put on a happy face, drown my sorrows or turn the other cheek so I left. I left my "party" prematurely and abruptly, but it was a good thing to listen to my instincts and take care of myself.

Saturday we were going to pick up T. Bone and Lil Bit at Grandma and Grandpa's, and then take care of tasks that we have ignored these past couple of busy weeks. Seriously, I had not been to the grocery store in 2 weeks! When we got to my in-laws, the family was in the pool. It was hot and we were hotter yet after a 5 miler, so we joined them. That was at 1:00. At 5:00 we were still in the pool, and accepted the invitation to stay for dinner seeing as how never made it to the store, but it was a good thing to spend the afternoon having summer fun with the family.

We were up and out the door early Sunday morning for church. We attended mass with thousands of people at our local Irish festival. As we approached the amphitheater, I heard the bagpipes bellowing a haunting, soulful rendition of Amazing Grace, and that gave me an amazing cry. I wasn't sure I would be able to hold it together for the mass, but then I looked around and saw men and women, young and old wiping trails of tears from their faces and it was clear that I wasn't alone. We are all of us missing someone special, fighting our own demons, waging personal wars. Bishop Tony and the choir made me very thankful that we committed to this experience. I will make it an annual tradition. We spent the day at the festival enjoying all of the things that I felt I missed when I had to leave quickly Friday...Irish dancers, Irish egg rolls, Irish music. It made me realize that what happened Friday was a good thing because I probably would not have returned to the festival this year. See, I've never been to this festival without my Mom, but Sunday I really felt she was with me, with us, as we worshipped and then played.

My brother called while we were enjoying the festival to invite us to dinner. We accepted because it was 3:00 and we still hadn't been to the grocery (not to mention that my brother and his fiance are great hosts and better company). It was the perfect end to what ended up to be an all around stellar weekend. Sure we didn't get a thing done that we intended, but we accomplished way more important things and that, that is a good thing.

All week I wanted to write. So many times I sat down to write, but something would come up...a game of trivial pursuit with T. Bone, a game of Guess Who with Lil Bit, a game of laser tag with Peanut and Tigger, a few minutes alone with my hubby. In the silence of my absence, I started to hear other things that I haven't been listening to. It was a week of breakthroughs I've been dreaming of and praying for. What's not good about that? So I'm not promising to pen my annual personal inventory before my birthday in 2 days, but I am seeing many things with more clarity and I'm recommitted to authenticity.

Tonight I had the kids in bed by 8:30. They have to get up early tomorrow for a big camp field trip and our week has been just as busy as last weekend so they are experiencing sleep deficits. But that was just another plan that had a plan of its own. I just tucked them in for the second time at 10:15. Our friend came over to hunt wasps and eradicate hives at 8:31. I must admit that it was more entertaining than TV (and certainly the Octomom special which was just disturbing and sad) to watch two grown men on ladders in their Polo shirts armed with aerosol poison attacking wasps with a mission. T. Bone, Lil Bit and our friend's daughter Miss O. watched from a window with rapt attention. Once the wasps were taken out, the kids reclaimed their yard by scootering and skateboarding in the dark, in their jammies long after they should have been sleeping. But it's a good thing because summer is all about staying up what if they have to get up early. They can sleep on the bus.

I'm refraining from making lots of plans for the upcoming weekend because really...what's the point? I'm going to let life unfold and trust in the bigger plan.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quintessential Summer Day

Today was the perfect summer day delivered in a sky blue box with a sunshine yellow bow. It was everything yesterday was not and then some.

I woke up because I had enough sleep - not because my alarm clock rang, or a cat called attention to my full bladder, or a child was requesting breakfast. And I awoke to a beautiful sunny day without a hint of humidity.

Before breakfast (Wednesday is pancake day so usually breakfast is served a little later), my son and his friend were playing baseball in the back yard. When the bat connected with the ball, the sound rung in my ears and made me feel more awake than the strong cup of coffee I was enjoying. I quickly realized that was no tennis ball. Hard balls (even soft balls) are forbidden now on our baseball diamond because these little sluggers have grown into heavy hitters, but I guess no one ever banned golf balls. Boys will be boys!

After the lumberjack breakfast we headed out for a game of tennis. Miss Bit got not 1, but 2 rackets for her birthday and she has been itching to get on the court. We are anxious to find her a sport aside from cheering on T Bone's little league team and keeping the concession stand in the black. I happen to think tennis is a great family sport so I was ready to dust off my racket. Miss Bit and I worked on a few essential techniques and some skills, but soon she was more interested in the creepy crawlers on the court. That gave me the chance to play with the boys. I thought we could (and should) just volley, but they were hell bent on having a match. The two of them were raring to take me on. They probably could have taken me had they both not tried to get each and every ball and then get very few, and if they didn't try to hit grand slam serves. These two have baseball in their blood. Try as I might...I couldn't lose. After 3 games and 3 defeats (these two are so used to winning), they decided to have a home run derby using tennis balls and rackets in the field beside the court. While Miss Bit studied the slimy species and the boys whacked the balls, I had a grand time hitting all by myself against the backboard.

We ventured to Stonefire Pizza for bad food and expensive entertainment for lunch. Seriously, the pizza is so bad here that I don't mind taking 12 slices trying to find one that tastes like more than soggy cardboard and then throwing away 11. Today the pizza actually had a little flavor. The boys took their loaded up cards and went on their merry way. Lil Bit and I had fun trying a few games too. Our favorite was Let's Make a Deal. Then when they all ran out of money and headed to the ball pit, I sat in a broken massage chair reading my book. I pretended I was poolside on a comfy chaise lounge and that the blinding florescent lights were the mid day summer sun high overhead. It worked for me.

When we got home, they set up another lemonade stand and were once again quite the little entrepreneurs. They even tried to sell me back the soda they raided from my very own fridge and ate all the leftover homeade cookies T Bone's friend's Grandma contributed to the cause. The boys are saving for skateboards. Heaven help us.

Grilled chicken and green beans fresh today from my aunt's garden for supper were a tasty end to the textbook day.

Every day should be like today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I spent a few minutes first thing this morning exploring this new (in)spiring, (in)credible collective site hosted by a tribe of honest and humble women.

Immediately, I added it to my list of favorites knowing that it was a presence destined to be a pillar in my life day in and day out as I seek to find meaning, direction and connections over my coffee every morning. I decided that I would participate in sharing what exactly encourages me, but I never anticipated that my day would unravel like a perfect parable, an exhaustive example of what indeed encourages me. What it is that gives me courage to get up every day.

In fact, I was only sips into my mug this morning, when I realized that I was dealing with a very, very sick kitty. Immediately my kids abandoned their warm and gooey waffles to help contain the crisis. They showed concern and compassion far beyond their short life spans. I took several deep breaths and prayed. When I didn't get an immediate answer, I called my husband. He is always the calm in my storm, and today he knew that he had to come home and fight the fire beside me.

The kids seemed not only to accept, but also to truly understand that our plans to spend the beautiful day at the state fair had to be dashed. In the meantime, the family friend we were to share cream puffs with and together cheer on the pigs in the races, sensed the panic in my voice when she called to confirm our ETA. Unsummoned, she came to us quickly no questions asked.

The cat was able to be seen and treated at the vet immediately and he will be ok, my neighbor helped the boys set up a successful lemonade stand, and my friend kept the girls entertained with science experiments using ingredients from my own kitchen. The kids even got to go to the fair later in the day with our neighbor friends. Me and my hubby were able to disinfect and decompress.

What about this encourages me you ask? Everything, is the simple, true answer. The way that people come together to offer support and lessen the load. The way that together we can endure and prevail over adversity of any degree. The way that sharing the burden makes it bearable. The way that we are strong, so much stronger, together than alone. The way that we can reframe our expectations in light of circumstances so as to persevere and prevail. The way that we can start every day with a ray or two of hope and then look back at the end of even a trying day filled with too many tests and still find the good and feel blessed. The way that we take care of each other and the way He holds us in the palm of His hand.

We are all (in)this together and that is all the courage that I need.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Not Me! Monday

There is no way that these very windows are now boarded up with cardboard to keep my boys from seeing and being annoyed by the Tom cat next door. I would never use garbage for window treatments...not me!

I did not come home tonight with the sole intent of crossing things off my 'to do' list only to get right on the computer and cross not a thing off said list, and I do not feel the least bit guilty about my way, not me!

I did not celebrate my daughter's 5th birthday numerous times this weekend. I did not indulge her with 3 cakes on 3 occasions because I so do not spoil my children and they do not like cake.

For sure I did not see my resident fox walk up to my patio tomatoes the other day and take a bite out of a big, juicy, ripe, red one. Upon further investigation, I did not surmise that she has been helping herself one bite at a time and I did not think that was ok cuz a fox has got to eat too!

I did not forgo sleep last night to refrain from disturbing my cat who was sprawled out across my side of the bed to maximize his exposure to the fan. I would never sacrifice my own night time slumber for a cat who can sleep all day long.

I did not read and reread the same chapter Friday, Saturday, and Sunday too. I did not go to bed so tired and needing sleep that I barely comprehended a word, let alone a page I read.

I did not whoop it up when my daughter's K5 teacher was revealed and then turn crimson red when the school secretary, the mother of my son's teacher last year, revealed his 3rd grade teacher. He did not honestly say, "Aww heck! This is the second year in a row that I got the only teacher I didn't want!"

I didn't get a phone call from a long lost friend this week and I sure didn't wish that I had let the answering machine pick up. I don't believe that sometimes there is too much water under the bridge.

I am not once again addicted to the Real Housewives. And this time they are not classless women from Atlanta.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

These Boots Were Made for Walking

My girl just waltzed through the kitchen wearing her brand new hot pink suede boots. They were the hit. We have turned the corner and now diva fashion is more popular than little ponies, board games and books. I should get online and order another pair because I can already predict with certain accuracy that these will be worn out before fall.

We had a beach day planned for yesterday only the weather didn't cooperate. It was rainy and cool. The perfect movie day you say? Miss Bit agreed and so we went to see Aliens in the Attic. $80 later for 6 matinee tickets and treats (the kids each invited a friend and actually they are still here), and I was crabby. That was going to be an expensive nap. Can you tell I didn't have very high expectations? Well, I was surprised to find myself laughing fact laughing harder than anyone else in the theater. In fact, I'm still laughing.

And it's still raining today. In fact, this morning I came out of the Y. to find the sky dark as night. I drove home in the pouring rain straining to see the road through the torrential downpour. It didn't help matters that I was crying. I was having a little conversation with my Mom. Yesterday was just another one of those days that I missed her more than usual. It all started when me and my girl spent some time looking at the photos of the day she was born. Her Nanny so present in so many of the pictures from that day. My Mom was so excited for the birth of her second grandchild and could never take her eyes off her sweet baby girl once she was here.

I almost forgot that my Mom purchased a special necklace for her before she died. She never really told me when I should give it to Miss Bit. I thought I would wait until her 16th birthday, but now don't feel like waiting. Life is short...sometimes too short so I cannot justify waiting to share a special treasure or tell someone how you feel, or show someone you love them because you never know when it will be too late. So I am going to give her the necklace today and I am going to let her wear it today and tomorrow and the next day if she wants.

The necklace was made for wearing and the boots were made for walking and this is made for living!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Presents Before Breakfast

Moments ago my princess came bounding down the stairs and the first words out of her mouth were, "Where are my presents!" This is the same patient child who discovered a wrapped treasure bearing her name on our porch earlier this week left by some friends. She decided she would wait and open it on her birthday, and I guess it IS her birthday.

Her new Miley and Hannah dolls are now getting to know Ariel, Mulan, Aurora, Jasmine and of course, numerous Barbies. Time to go play. Today I even get to be Snow White!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sugar and Spice

Tomorrow my little girl turns 5, and that just sounds so big. I am far more nostalgic for her momentous milestone than the birthday I am soon to celebrate myself. My baby growing is just so bittersweet.

Pinch really was just yesterday that she was born, at 6:29 during a fiery sunrise over the lake. I can still hear her hello cries over the sound of Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra as she entered this world...cries that stopped the moment she was placed on my chest where she lay for a precious few minutes while we became reacquainted gazing into one another's eyes, eyes stained with joyous tears. Breath taking, and yet life sustaining, were her dainty features, her beautiful aura, the life changing moment.

I wanted to stop time right then, and at least a thousand times since in the last 5 years. Her first smile (5 weeks), first laugh (9 weeks), first sounds ("kkkk" and "gggg" at 10 weeks), first word ("Mama" at 6 months), first applause (7 months), first steps (8 1/2 months), first haircut (364 days old), first time on the naughty spot, first and last "I love yous," first time as my sous chef, first shopping spree, first official day of school (September, 08), last day of K4 (June 19, 2009), first pig tails (3 weeks ago). I savor them all - moments both big and moments so small.

As if it is even possible, she grows more beautiful with each passing year. Beauty not discriminating on both the inside and outside. To know my Lil Bit is to love her...what's not to love? She is sweet and sassy, confident and considerate, soulful and filled with the love of all things living. She loves bugs and tutus, unicorns and toads, chocolate and vanilla, every color under the rainbow with a strong affinity for pink and purple, playing 'rich girl' and 'hot lava' with the girls and screaming loudly as she runs away from the boys, Peanut and Tigger, showers and baths, manicures and pedicures, lullabies and rock n' roll, Harry Potter and Hannah Montana, catching fireflies and setting them free, giving back rubs and getting them, giving gifts and receiving them...she loves everything about life and lives it like it is a true gift!

She fills my life with so much magic and wonder as she discovers even more about the world we live in every day, and her exhuberance and excitement literally makes me come alive. See...I may have given her life, but she has reminded me how to live it.

Happy Birthday Lil Bit. I love you to the moon and back night after night!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Isn't It Ironic

Isn't it ironic that the very best part about going away is coming home? As cliche as that sounds, I believe it to be unequivocably true. The ten pound brick was lifted off my chest as soon as we started the engine and I got absolutely giddy once we could see our own city's skyline.

My redemption this relative filled weekend was escaping into my book. Isn't it ironic that an unused bandage became my bookmark. Reading was definitely the salve on my blisters and bruises this weekend.

Isn't it ironic that the more I learn about people, the less I understand them. It's also ironic that spending more time with others can make me realize how much I really don't know them or myself for that matter.

Isn't it ironic that the whole time I was watching the fireworks last night, I was wondering, "Is this the finale?" Instead of enjoying each colorful explosion for what it was worth, I was too busy worrying about when the show would be over. That is such a metaphor for life.

I find it ironic that my hubby drives our minvan like a racecar. He speeds up to slow down. Gas, brakes, gas, brakes, gas, brakes. It is also ironic that the feature I most resisted (dvd player) was the one that made the ride most enjoyable.

Isn't it ironic that there were so many things I thought were ironic until I got on my computer.