Monday, October 31, 2011

On My Mind Monday

Last night after I tucked a very tired Miss Bit in bed, she came downstairs to find me with big tears streaming from her eyes. As she wrapped her arms around me, she shared a big fear in a small and shaky voice. She didn't confess to me that she was scared of ghosts, haunted houses or the pitch black dark on the night before Halloween. There were no noises, shadows or spooky dreams to explain. No, what was scaring and saddening my girl was the thought of when I die someday. That's just heavy for a 7 year old. It's been weighing on my already leaden mind ever since.

Heavy because I know what it feels like to be without your Mom. Let me tell you...I don't wish it on a single soul, lest of all my daughter. Halloween is hard for me these days as much as I love it. I miss my Mom who would travel door to door with us in her feather boa, festive jack o' hat and bright smiling eyes. I think she may have liked it more than the kids. She always popped for the over-priced costumes complete with all the accessories, she cleaned up after us while we carved, and then often fed us a warm dinner.

It's just lonely without her even when I find myself in the best of company...even when I'm not alone. And the pictures of my kids together on the beach taken this weekend remind me that they are not alone. That someday when their elders have gone on, they will still be blessed to have one another, and as their mother, I pray they always know it.

2 Day Pass

the weekend was a fine flurry of fun and activity.
it was tiring being off for 4 days, but also so so good.
we played and hiked and cooked and cheered in no particular order.
the kids had sleepovers here and there.
friday we strapped on our skates and had fun gliding around the rink.
t. bone was fast, miss bit fearless and aunt jess fancy.
i was having fun.
after a couple hours, we all worked up an appetite so we stopped for the city's best burgers.
just ask t.'s his new favorite.
then we headed to the audubon to soak in the sun of the beautiful late autumn afternoon.
it was either that or naps.
we hid and sought our way around the grassland loop, which we were lucky to have all to ourselves.
later the boys headed to basketball practice followed by a pumpkin carving party.
the girls stayed home to keep cozy and catch up on our chat.
saturday both kids had friends over for the whole day and they played so well i didn't even know i had 2 let alone 4.
hubby made a mean tenderloin chili and i baked some pumpkin bars to share with more friends who joined us in the night for food and football.
halloween was the word of the day sunday.
after his last (early, cold, losing) football game of the season during which he was the talk of the team, t. bone made plans to trick or treat with much of his mates.
they went as football players.
original...and free.
miss bit rocked the rock star.
we made our way around the neighborhood in the rain with our neighbors and aunt jess whose presence miss bit specifically requested.
it was disappointing how many houses don't participate.
i hope i'm never that crabby and ill-spirited.
i didn't feel any remorse when i urged my girl to empty an unattended bowl of all the take 5's...just sayin' (and there were only 4 remaining) .
the kids traded candy, the girls carved more pumpkins, and we all warmed up with fajitas that simmered all day in the crock pot.
i'm tired just recapping all the hoopla here.
happy mischief night.
we're too pooped to play pranks around here (lucky for all my anti-halloween neighbors).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Waking up snuggled in with Miss Bit this morning even though between my cat and my kid, it didn't feel like I got much sleep last night during our "sleep over." She thrashed and kicked, he kneaded and nestled. It was OK though because we all have the day off so we just slept a little longer this morning.

And then we woke to a bright, sunny day never mind that the yard was frost-covered.

A family fun day today. We have plans to meet Aunt Jess for ice skating mid-day. I'll also be ever grateful if the kids' skates still fit and if I manage to stay upright.

Although I didn't cook much worth mentioning this week, I did tweak a recipe for chicken enchilada pasta I saw somewhere and it was so good. I think hubby and I were both a bit glad the littles didn't want to give it a try because we made several meals of it. They were quite content with their boring buttered noodles.

An impromptu invitation to join friends for dinner at their beach club last week. The waves were rip roaring outside while the kids played on the shore and the fire a blazing inside while the adults caught up, chatted, and stayed warm and dry.

T. Bone's conferences. He has earned high regard thus far from all his teachers and is getting all A's and a B.

That I caved and booed my own children because Miss Bit could not have been any happier about the exciting surprise. T. Bone was glad to get a BW3 gift card, but more contained because he's 10 and cool and that gift card probably came from a girl you know.

Knowing it's all about the little things.

Holiday spirit.

A date at the coffee shop with my girl after her doctor appointment. An icy tea for her and a hot coffee for me. She's smiling that wide because she didn't need any shots and won't until the 6th grade, which is like another whole lifetime to her is all.

This crazy climber.

This Lil Gaga.

An impromptu hike down a path I once traveled upon often. The sky that day was mesmerizing and majestic.

My kids love water...our lake...just like I do.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On My Mind Monday...JOY

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.


Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

- Mother Theresa

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

- Emily Dickinson

Joy, has no cost.

- Marianne Williamson

I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own.

- Margaret Atwood

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.

- Karl Barth

Beauty is whatever gives joy.

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2 day pass

when winter comes to stay, it will be a bitter, cold, harsh reality in this neck of the woods,
for these fall weekends have felt more like the best of summer:
sunny skies, soft breezes and slighty sweaty temperatures.
we took full advantage of the sultry, summery tease by being outside whenever much as possible.
there was a hike around the audubon where a scarce few holdouts boasted ochre and crimson cover, but more trees stood barren and naked.
frogs and turtles have dug in deep for the season much to miss bit's dismay,
but the birds of prey still came out to play.
there was also a walk around the neighborhood that had us peeling off layers as we pounded the pavement.
friday we had an impromptu gathering with my brother and his wife that involved our favorite takeout tacos.
saturday night grandpa grilled ribs so good there were no leftovers and he had to dig into his freezer to serve us corn cut from the cob because sadly the farmers are all out until next year.
sunday i charred peppers from another garden for a mexican meatball stoup that tasted as good as it smelled.
jess dropped in just in time to enjoy my new creation and then be entertained by miss bit's rocking new dance moves...
we girls love us our captive audiences.
and we all love our two day pass.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

16 years. 16 years ago today I married the most amazing man. I am grateful for him and for my marriage.

Miss Bit and I looked through our wedding album this morning. She didn't recognize a few family members because they have changed so much. I can't believe how many loved ones we've lost in that time.

Taking time to sit around the table for breakfast with my family on a school/work morning today.

Joni Mitchell on the way to work this morning, and especially this line from Clouds: Well, something's lost but something's gained in living every day. I think I have a Mitchell song or two for every decade of my life.

A message from a friend I haven't talked for too long waiting for me at work, and plans to get together with her soon.

The commitment to remove the words can't and should from my lexicon, and to keep using the word no when I need to without guilt or fear.

Friends who call to tell you they want to come hang out with your kids so you can have a nice dinner out and they really mean it.

Miss Bit believed that the scene of mass carnage in Ohio as reported on the news was simply sleeping animals.

The leak that saturated part of the rec room last weekend was a. only water b. detected quickly and c. fixed relatively easily.


Spending the day with my aunt Wednesday. We went for a walk in the rain and then out for some shopping.

Grilled chicken fajitas, cheesy patitsio and carry in noodles on this week's menu.

Haircuts: one for her and one for me. We are both loving our new lengths.

Homework Club and T. Bone for voluntarily attending it of his own free will.

Scenes from the week.

It's Friday again!