Friday, August 31, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Miss Bit's banner week of play dates.  She spent time with many different friends and had much fun.

Miss Bit's very own kind idea to go over and introduce herself to the new neighbor girl.  She's a little older (5th grade), but my Bit couldn't stop talking about how nice she was.  And she was.  She even put out her hand for me to shake when I introduced myself.

A teacher meet and greet.  She's no Miss Z., but she'll do.  Miss Bit is easy.  She's any teachers dream.

Fresh veggies from my Aunt and Uncle's garden. and the garden to fridge delivery.

A phone call from my cousin today.  It was so good to hear her voice.  She had the time of a lifetime in Denali National Park, and can now cross another item off her bucket list.  I added it to mine.

Ask and you shall receive:  tickets to this weekend's Badger game tomorrow.  The boys will go cheer on Bucky.  Go Red!

Watching the RNC last night.  It was riveting TV.  So good that we couldn't pull T. Bone away to shower.  About Marco Rubio he said, "Wow!  He's going higher...he's going places." 

Taste testers. Little girlies who lick up every last bit of batter, and then beg for a cookie hot out of the oven.

It was a busy last week of summer vacay, but there was still time to chill.  Shhh...but I have off for the next 5 days.  It's my consolation for surviving the summer!

Personal pan pizzas big enough to share a half slice with Mom.

Tonight we will be graced by a blue moon.  It's once in a blue moon that we have 2 full moons in 1 month, hence the saying.  These pictures are of the almost full moon earlier this week.

Lake Michigan.  We enjoyed our great lake 2 nights this week and Miss Bit was a beach bum again today.

She got a brand new bicycle...

And I got a brand new pair of rollerskates....

Guess who this boo boo belongs too?  I'm (no knee pads) instead of my girl.  She, of course, kept wishing it were her.

T. Bone's locker is now filled with his school supplies ($150 worth) instead of his sister ($priceless).  And yes she did scream, cry and bang on the door when he shut it and locked her in.  And yes there was a meeting of teachers going on in the room right across the hall.  I'm grateful he remembered the combo!!

Really nice chats with 2 of my Aunts this week and my Dad today.

Jess is on her way over.  It's cocktail hour somewhere my Gramps used to say.  Somewhere happens to be Casa Wags tonight.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

13 Reasons I'm Glad Summer's Almost Over

1) They're running out of things to do.  Miss Bit recently stood yelling at the top of her lungs to me at one end of the house from her spot in the yard, "Moooommmm!  MoooMMMMM!  Can I give the cats a bath?"

2) The yard looks like we run a day camp.

3) I won't have to wash an endless stream of cups and glasses every day.

4) I won't have to pay someone to nap and text instead of engage my kids.
5) It is time for ice cream to cease and desist as a food group.

6) I will have more time for walks, reading and cooking.

7) The maid, short order cook and chauffeur uniforms will be hung up and I can just be Mom again albeit a Mom who cleans, cooks and drives kids around.

8) Play dates will last a couple rather than 24+ hours.

9) I will have time and the t.v. to myself at the end of the day.

10) The regular line-up returns and we can stop wasting our time on junk t.v. like Big Brother and Honey Boo Boo, which is banned at Casa Wags after 2 viewings.

11)  I got my first couple (and hopefully last couple) mosquito bites last night.

12)  We have a beach vacation to look forward to.

13)  Fall, and specifically October, is my favorite time of the year!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Decline of Day

Apparently, my enthusiasm for ending the day on the beach from the night before was infectious. Some little sponge fish is listening to me when I wax poetic on how lucky we are to live so near the lake.  Landlocked I could never be, and stepping on her shores, wading in the waves is even more satisfying than reveling from afar.  After the boys shirted (and padded) up for practice early evening, Miss Bit suggested that we girls gear up for the beach.  How could I possibly resist?  Never mind that my girl all but read my mind.  We didn't need much:  towels, a camera and my book.  I  read a single page because what was evolving on the  surface straight before me was more entertaining than any other story.  At the half-light of the late summer day, we were two of just a few enjoying the surf and the shore.  It was a meeting of moments best expressed by the images captured and preserved.  Below I present decline of day....     

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I just got out of bed and only because the phone rang.  Back to school next week Tuesday is going to be just as painful for me as the kids.  Later nights and lazy mornings have become the cadence of our days.  It's going to take mettle and resolve to rev things up again.

The summer has been better than I expected in many respects, but also beneath my premises on a few. We tried something new with regard to our minimal childcare needs, and it looks like next summer will bring yet more changes.  The only real regret I have is that we didn't take a vacation.  I'm attributing feeling off last week to the fact that I should have been lakeside for the duration.  We seem to always go north the same week of the year, and I truly missed our annual migration.  Never underestimate seasonal pulls.  We will be going south soon so long as Isaac doesn't stay his course or leave too much destruction in his expected wake.

Last night's impromptu evening at the beach club left me feeling ready to relax shoreside so soon.  Our great lake is so much a part of why I love living here even though I admit I don't enjoy her as much as I can and should.  The water is unusually warm and crystal clean this summer, which is like a 100 year occurrence.  I lamented not bringing my bathing suit as soon as I dipped my feet in.  We arrived just at the gloaming so I hurried to capture a few images of the kids in the pale purple light of the last of day.  It's my favorite few minutes between end of day and beginning of night when I feel something deep stir somewhere deep within me.  The stars started to shine signaling they day's subtle expiration.  I didn't mind it at all that I had to stay behind beneath their twinkling and watch my little fish and her friend who wisely chose more swimming over pizza while the rest of the group retreated to the beach house.  The beach by night is alive in so many different respects.  It's enchanting in a way you can only experience.  I sat with my feet dug into the cool sand suspended between the giggles of little girls before me and the rise and fall of  many adult conversations behind me.  Over the chatter, I heard a familiar voice clear as a bell: Aye, and I should complain it said.  He said.  I smiled.  I smiled with my heart.

I came with a tray of gooey good s'mores cookies.  I left with an empty platter and a full heart.  I brought with me a feeling of peace and a sliver of understanding....a pulse on what is right in this world.  The night reminded me to continue showing up.  Showing up for the party, each day, this life.  To plug in and be present.  After all, it was my promise for 2012.  To live one's intentions is a glorious gift.

Monday, August 27, 2012

2 day pass

i've been marinating on the weekend.
trying to make peace with it all.
make sense and sensibilities.
what i've decided is that sometimes being switzerland is hard and not very peaceful for me personally.
because the thing is... i hurt when other people hurt.
if i love you, or even like you a little, i can see beyond your flaws, recognize my own and forgive us both.
i just wish that were true for us one and all.
it is not, and i'm grappling with what to do with that.
character is important to me.
very important.
kindness is also right up there.
forgiveness too.
there are many things that many deem more valuable in life that i say are nice...very nice even, but not worth their weight if given penultimate importance.
they pale miserably when measured against the real few true.
so the weekend was full of emotion.
most celebratory and cause for cheer.
i'm trying hard to keep track of those.
to keep them in my sight.
to help make them shine brighter.
it was a weekend of hosting.
many family and friends came through our house, sat at our tables, shared in our days and nights.
we broke bread, or tortillas, toasted with wine, beer or lemonade, played games (some planned and others better never taken out of the box).
that's the way i like it.
that's the marrow of my bones...
the line in my life.
that's the spirit in my soul.
i reconnected with one of my first friends.
she happens to be married to coach's first too.
i laughed with  newer friends, and just simply hung out with my dad and stepmom.
it was goooood and yet i was a wee bit sad.
that's the tenor of these days.
there are things i cannot change even as they change me.
and to thy own self  i must be true.
i'm thinking a thickening of skin is in order.
it'll happen.
it always does.
at a cost,
a distance.
a cheapening of potential.
but the very best of me...of life...seeps through no matter the callous and in spite of the hardening.
it's really what keeps me going.
it tells me that i do embrace what matters in life...usually.
strive to always.
always will.

On My Mind Monday

"It's different now, of course," he said.  "But when we were growing up back there..."  There it was again: the past isn't a time.  It's a place.  A permanent destination: back there. 


Patricia Hampl
Virgin Time

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

This trampoline cat corral.

The excitement Miss Bit had with regard to coming to work with me the other day.  She loved the adding machine, all her artwork displayed on my walls, my adoring co-workers and the soda stocked fridge.

O.J. Jr.  T. Bone captured this little guy in our yard the other afternoon.

New tires and Coach for taking care of it.

Miss Bit picked me a handful of wildflowers the other day.

A day at the Dells.  Miss Bit and Aunt Jess came home water logged yesterday after their date at the waterpark.

Watching The Little League World Series with T. Bone.

A mid-week picnic with Miss Bit in the shade by the river.

Being told I didn't look a day over 32.  No matter that the 21 year old coeds were inebriated.

Office Max.  It's where I go to stock up on school supplies.  It is not always the best deal, but they have every obscure item on our lists. I am a fan of one stop shopping.

The ever patient, ever present blue heron who is almost always fishing in the lagoon.

A really great birthday.  A little me time (pedicure), a little us time (walk with Coach) and a little we time (bowling and dinner with the family). 

Miss Bit with wavy, kinky hair. I put her her in many small braids for 24 hours and she looked like a rockstar when we took them out.  We both love the new look.  Eight going on 16!

This jock.  T. Bone comes home from football and heads out to practice his golf.

Chicken parmesan.  Last night it won out over grilled chicken.  I can feel the pull towards fall.  What I create in my kitchen is always evidence of where my mind is.  T. Bone told me he loved my dinner.  I love that cuz' I love my son.

Green beans fresh from my Uncle's garden.  They were perfectly crisp and so flavorful.

Taking time out to chat with a friend yesterday.  She always lifts my spirit.  We have a date to meet real time soon and that's when the real good stuff happens.

We're hosting a little bbq this weekend for friends.  I'm looking forward to a casual, chill night with people I really like being with.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Day Of One's Own

As far as birthdays go...yesterday was quite fine.  I needed and very much enjoyed my pedicure.  I took Miss Bit's blue polish and left her sleeping soundly in a sea of pink.  My girly girl has had more nail treatments than I have in the last 12 weeks otherwise I may have felt compelled to wake her and take her.

Coach and I went for a walk in the middle of the afternoon sun.  I came home to open presents and was so happy to find a new pair of Birkenstocks (Miss Bit wore an old pair last night and they fit her), a bottle of lovely aged balsamic, a silpat mat and a few other thoughtful odds and ends.  The four of us made a pit stop at the lanes for a  little bowling before dinner.  It was F-U-N!  We headed to a local brew pub for a tasty meal all the tastier because I didn't have to cook it or clean up after it.  The ahi tuna sandwich was good, but T. Bone's burger was better.  Still I had no room for dessert.  The kids did, of course.

We ended the day snuggled up in bed together listening to the crickets and basking in the cool night's breeze.   In the moments before I drifted off to la la land I did have the satisfied feeling of total contentment and unadulterated happiness.

I always feel that if the birthday is good and full then the year will be too.  Here's hoping.  Here's wishing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life In My Years

Today I am another year older.  Usually I wax poetic on milestone occasions like the the passing of a year, but the last week and a half has truly taken its toll on me.  Sleep deprived and scratchy I've felt very little like myself.  I've been entirely focused on externals and getting through the day, not internals and making the most of them.  I'll spare you, but of course, there's a fine, worthy lesson in that as well.

That being said, I've already received the only gifts I really wanted this day: 8 hours of drug-free, uninterrupted sleep and almost clear skin.  I mean it when I say that I feel like a new person.  I look like one too.

My whole family is asleep upstairs.  After my morning pedicure, we'll do something together.  What doesn't much matter.  It never does.

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count.  It's the life in your years.

- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, August 20, 2012

2 day pass

the past couple days have been spent wishing the days away.
and these aren't the kind of perfect late summer days that are easy to dismiss.
that almost makes me feel more aggravated than my persistent skin condition.
luckily, t. bone and miss bit were happily busy with friends, cousins, football and swimming.
maybe a little golf too.
a little golf too after a 5 hour scrimmage.
now that's dedication.
i motivated to meet jess at the lake for a brisk walk around the shore on saturday afternoon.
the sunshine and the slurry of activity was energizing.
my brother joined us later that evening for our favorite pizza and a perfect night on the patio.
sunday i slept through the one event i've been really looking forward to all month: mass at irishfest.
sunday was not a good day.
well, until it was.
that was when coach and i headed down to the fest despite the stormy skies.
seriously i was physically unable to watch another episode of chopped or househunters.
we stayed dry under a tent listening to 3 lovely crooners.
it was really amazing how everyone wore happy smiles despite the rain and it was contagious.
we toasted mcgurk, spotted a double rainbow, drank a few beers and made some new friends.
a few hours there kinda reminded me to say salainte to life.