Friday, December 31, 2010

Ups and Downs 2010 Edition

This year has been a rollercoaster ride that I am so ready to get off of.  The highs were amazing but tempered with the lows that were soul shattering.

January began with a very unexpected trip up north to Ohio for my dad's open heart surgery-LOW
It went well and he recovered quickly-HIGH

The next month we again went to Ohio for the funeral of a beautiful young family member who unexpectedly passed in her sleep. The bravery that her mother held on to is beyond my comprehension.-EXTREME LOW

The end of March brought our new grandson. 6 weeks early but healthy.-EXTREME HIGH (with a side of fear that he would have a rocky start being so early. He hasn't, he's perfect!)

April brought a new job for my sweetie. It wasn't one that we had planned for but we weren't in any position to pass it up.-HIGH

In June I watched my oldest son walk across the stage and accept his high school diploma-HIGH

We were on a roll with the ups.

Also in June we met our first granddaughter and I was elated. I spent several weeks becoming a hands on Gramma-HIGH

But just as quickly, I recognized that the dream relationship that I had so perfectly formulated in my head was not to be.-A LOW I HAVEN'T RECOVERED FROM AND DON'T EXPECT TO.

Early July brought family here for my son and nieces graduation party-HIGH

Same month with a house full of people our hot water tank decided this was a good time to spring a leak and stop working. Did I mention we had a house full of people?! Yeah.-NOT A HIGH

August I turned 43 (I totally typed 42 and had to think about how old I was, DUH).-NOT HIGH OR LOW, JUST ANOTHER DAY.

September brought our oldest daughter, her two sons and her husband to visit for a week. Again, I got to be a real Gramma-HIGH

In October we had a kid move back home. More estrogen that our house can handle-DEPENDS OF THE DAY WHETHER ITS A HIGH OR LOW.

November was fairly uneventful.

December was full of change. The biggest was learning that one of our children made a life altering decision that will have many rippling effects-LOW

New tires,car repairs and  a couple of health scares thrown in to keep us appreciating what we have and 2010 comes to a close.

I've learned never to say it can't get worse. So I'll just say BRING IT ON 2011, we're ready! I think.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I giggled at work today. I don't remember what we were laughing at but I distinctly remember thinking this feels good.

I don't do enough laughing. I spend WAY too much time worrying and (for lack of a better word) obsessing over things that don't really matter at all. Who cares who said what in the heat of an argument or who didn't do what I thought they should? I will not worry about the small stuff anymore! I'm wasting time that should be spent on moments that take my breath away.

In my effort to catch photographic evidence of all the everyday, run of the mill, yet significant memories I take lots of pictures. I sometimes find pictures with awkward facial expressions from laughing or silly faces from fits of giggles and I'm tempted to delete them because they aren't perfect. You know what? They are perfect and I'm keeping them all. Those are the pictures I want to remind me of how good life is.


Mom and her girls

Laughter really is the best medicine!

I need to remind myself of that more often.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Letter P

Today's meltdown was brought to you by the letter P. As in procrastinating pack rat.

In a moment of self discovery or maybe it was just plain 'ol acceptance I determined that I am indeed both of those things! Of the highest degree!

My level of procrastinating can only be compared to an Olympic sport. I've been honing this skill for more years that I care to count. 14 years ago when my maternity leave was only 5 days shy of being over, I arrived at the conclusion that I *may* need a babysitter for my 6 week old squirming bundle. 5 days! I trusted my ability to find a suitable sitter to 5 measly days. I WAY over estimated my abilities. Turns out my sister located a God-sent woman who was more than qualified to oversee the day to day care of my tiny little guy. I couldn't tell you what I was thinking. Maybe that if I didn't have suitable daycare I wouldn't have to go back to work? Apparently all my brain cells slipped out of my nether regions with the baby.

All these years later and my razor-sharp skill of putting things off has only been brought to new levels. Months ago when I found out my job was moving I collected boxes to contain my 5+ years of belongings. Not one paperclip or thumbtack made it into the boxes until today. Through an ocean of tears I haphazardly filled several boxes with my collections of much needed office supplies and note filled post-its to deposit on my new desk tomorrow.

Among the very important paraphernalia I transferred to my box there may be 65 calender pages with the dates of EVERYTIME I colored my hair. I tend to jot things on my calender pages that some (less crazy) people might think unimportant. A diary of sorts. I can now recall things that Rainman couldn't rival. Who does that? Who needs to keep EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. OF. EVERY. SINGLE. CALENDER from the last 5 years? Only people who are bat sh!t crazy save crap like that! I can't let them go. Why, I'm not sure what my brain thinks will happen if I toss them in the trash. Maybe someone will steal them from my car and use them for world peace. What? It could happen.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Good Decision

Sometimes it amazes me how different my sweetie and I are yet how in love we've stayed over the last 14 years.

Nick was so tiny when we met. He was as much his baby as he was mine. Had he been just a tiny bit older, I may have teetered a little harder towards having a baby with my sweetie. Even now I can imagine what our sweet baby girl (yes, I'm sure it would have been a girl) would have looked like. We wouldn't have loved her any differently than his girls or my boys. She would have absolutely been the best of both of us.

In hindsight, it was genius that we decided 5 kids was more than enough. And that we took the appropriate measures to insure that I wouldn't change my baby lovin' mind. Seriously, we conceivably (total pun intended) could have had a half a dozen more kids. We also probably would have killed each other by now.

I'm not sure we could have ever have agreed on how to raise her. Maybe she would have felt removed from my boys or his girls. Or maybe she would have just been one of our six children. There are times when I wish I had waited to make the life changing decision to not have any children together. My choice may have  been different had I waited.

There are times when I miss her, the little girl that may have been. Our decision was the right one, made at the time for the right reasons. But oh, what could have been.....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Experiencing It All

When we first moved to Florida, it was hard to find the Christmas spirit anywhere near December. Sure we had some cool days but 70 degree weather does not lovingly coax you into holiday excitement like the 20 or 30 degree weather of Ohio does.

After being here for almost 10 years I've accepted that Christmas has very little to do with cold temperatures and much more to do with being with people that you love.

Over the last couple of days, I've done just that.

My sweetie, Nick and I went with Tracey, Tim and Katie to watch a Symphony in Lights display where IT SNOWED. Okay, so it was really a flurry of soap bubbles but it looked like snow and it was 50 or so degrees so we could kinda pretend it was snow. Nick was in awe. I forget that he doesn't remember snow well.

We also went to a re-creation of Bethlehem. Again it was chilly, enough that we shivered. It was extremely well done and reminded me that Christmas is less about shopping and gifts and more about remembering why we celebrate the holiday at all. Nick asked a lot of questions about what was happening. I kinda made up some of the answers but I don't think he knew I was bluffing (not on purpose). I got the important details right but for the life of me I couldn't remember what gifts the 3 wise men gave the baby Jesus. Frankincense, myrrh and gold I was reminded by the actors that were very convincing wise men. Of all of them I forgot the gold! I think I made up some other spice name. I might have said ginger root or something like that. My answer must have been at least a little authentic sounding, he didn't question it.

The Christmas tree is up and sparkling. It was lovingly decorated with the same carefully chosen decorations that we use every. single. year. I wouldn't trade any of my ornament for the most expensive decorations available. I love each one! We have 1 for each babies first Christmas of our grandchildren and some that we each acquired before his and her became ours. The rest we've purchased together. Our tree looks the same every year but I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't understand those people that buy new ornaments every year to change the "theme", no offense to those who do, I just don't get it.

The weekend will be rounded out by a visit to Busch Gardens. They have lovely Christmas shows and beautiful poinsettias. Sharing it with family only makes it more spectacular. The warmer weather does make this part more enjoyable.

Maybe some online shopping in the next couple of days. The shopping part may not be the focus of the holiday season but it is pretty awesome to to buy things for the people that I love.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open....Oh, Hell. How Did It Get To Be December?

We just got done cooking Thanksgiving dinner and by "we" I mean NOT me. It makes sense that December is here, only 6 days after turkey overload. Time doesn't stop moving at the speed of light just because I specifically demanded that it should. Usually, I would be super excited about Christmas shopping (or any shopping really) but this year I'm finding it hard to find any shopping inspiration.

When I was a kid I don't recall ever writing a letter to Santa. It wasn't necessary he just knew what I wanted. Every. single. year. Christmas morning was always amazing. There were MOUNTAINS of gifts. We received things we didn't even know we wanted but were delighted to have. The magic that was Santa was always alive and well in our house. No matter what the circumstances of our reality, Santa never disappointed. I remember showing my mom what Santa had brought after opening each carefully wrapped present. She was always as excited as we were. Her excitement was surely just a reflection of our wonder but she never let on that she knew exactly what was in each of those perfectly gift wrapped presents. We always had stocking that were perfectly filled to the brim. The facination of  Christmas morning probably would have been the same with a smaller number of gifts but the sheer, overwhelming number of unopened treasures made for some sparkly memories.

Of course I now know that Santa's BFF was layaway and year long shopping.  I don't think I've done a very good job of duplicating the wonder of those December 25th mornings for my kids but not for a lack of trying. Childhood should be filled with amazements that only a parent can create. Mine was!