Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Highs and Lows

Hello Internet, it's been a while, life has been hectic, to say the least. I've had moments of blissfull happiness, so full of love that I couldn't stand it but I've also been devastated, had my heart broken into tiny pieces. First the stuff, my grandma (my mom's mom) passed away at the beginning of October. She was such a beautiful soul. She was kind and generous. She had the ability to listen to you and to somehow always know what you were trying to say and to say back to you what you needed the most. She was 90 and despite a brief illness in the early 70s, she was healthy up until the last 6 months of her life. I was sad when she passed but I couldn't help but feel blessed that we'd had her here as long as we did. She raised 2 kids, she saw all of her grandchildren graduate from school and get married, and she was able to see (on multiple occassions) her 2 great-grandchildren. She had such a good, full life.

Then we lost Max. Our 10 year old german shephard/beagle on a night that was supposed to be just a normal Tuesday night. Ric was going to go to Lowes. I was making dinner. Max seemed ok when we got home but went downhill in a matter of 2 short hours. It was the saddest day of my life, and that is saying a lot considering I'm the same gal who lost her home when she was 7 months pregnant. I can't write out everything that happened..because I'm doing my very best to let it go. I can't carry that kind of depression around with me and still be a good wife and mother and employee. It just doesn't work. I will say that I cry every day and I will probably continue to do so for quite a long time. I miss him SO much.

On to the good things...we took trips, one to Iowa to see my grandma on an AIRPLANE with my 23 month old!! and my 18 month old nephew!! Talk about stressfull flying!! But of course, the boys were amazing. So, so good on the plane. I was in awe. I didn't take my first plane ride until I was 22 years old, so Will already has more traveling under his belt that his mom did at his age. Then we went to the beach to celebrate Grammie's bday. The ride there was the pits. It seemed like we had to stop for something or another every 10 minutes. Our 4 hour drive to the beach ended up taking a whooping 7 hours. Ugh. But, once we arrived. It was bliss. We played in the sand, we played in the water, we flew kits, we napped, we ate, we took our first family bike ride, we had a night to ourselves when Will stayed with Grammie and Granddad. It was one of the most enjoyable trips we've taken in a long time.

On top of that, we managed to squeeze in some MORE fun..a trip to Salisbury to take a ride on some train named THOMAS, the Cabarrus County Fair with the aunts and uncles and nephew, an attempt at going to the hot air balloon festival in Statesville only to get there and be told they were full (GRRR) but we did see about 15 balloons in the sky on the way there which I was pretty excited about! We've been visiting friends and spending lots of time together. Oh, and did I mention we now have a TWO year old! How? How is that even possible? I'll never figure out where the last 2 years have gone. But my baby is 2 and he is growing up so fast and is just the sweetest thing. I am so lucky to be his mom.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Reading List

Because the heat outside is EXCRUTIATING right now, I've found myself staying indoors and doing some pretty serious reading, especially considering I have a toddler underfoot most times...tricky to read while playing trucks. So, the majority of my reading is spent either at night after we wrestle that boy into bed or while I'm in the bathroom (TMI, right?) But it's the only quiet room in the house!!

So, here is my list of reads so far..I will add to it as I finish them...

1. The Help..good story, several main characters but their stories were all well developed

2. Sarah's Key..good but such a haunting story. I couldn't start another book right away. I needed time to digest this one.

3. The Red favorite so far. A story of mothers, sisters, daughters, love and pain. All beautifully told.

4. Olive guess it is supposed to be lots of short stories with Olive Kittredge as the tie. Not my cup of tea.

5. Walk by Faith..ok, good story but needed a more mature voice, maybe? I'm not sure what it was that didn't quite work for me.

6. The Time Traveler's Wife...currently reading..ok, actually, I never finished it. I just couldn't get into the characters and the story (I'm hanging my head in shame as I type)

7. The Opposite of Love-really good, easy read

8. After you-ok, wasn't as good as #7-written by the same author

9. The Book Thief-one of my top books from this summer. Amazing story of strength and faith.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things on my mind today it's Wednesday..almost Thursday, which is technically my Friday, so let's get this day out of the way. It seems like there's a lot jumbling around in my brain today so it may be a good day to put it out into the universe and maybe get it off of my shoulders.

1. The hubby's work is not going so good right now..ugh..I hate worrying about money and even worse I hate fighting about money, so we're trying really hard not to go that route. Hopefully things will turn around soon because we are a family of eaters and I would hate to have to give that up. However, it has helped us reexamine our spending (his at Lowes and mine at certain online sites..dang you Kohls and your incredible savings!!!) and also at our weekend spending, which is all FOOD. My mantra before the economic downturn was I cook during the week, I'm not doing it on the weekends. Well, we can't go blowing $100 we don't have on eating out all weekend, so we've been eating at home. Sigh. This has it's pluses too. Our sensitive stomachs seem to feel better, I don't have that bloated sick feeling after I eat, and I sense my butt is actually getting a little bit smaller since I'm wearing a size 6, yes, SIX pant today. Just to let it be known, I've also cut back on my $15 hot yoga class I was taking and instead I went to the $5 class on Sat! At 8AM! Look at me SAVE.

2. I've been reading a TON this summer. I always forget how much I love to read until I start doing it and then I'm carrying books around with me and smuggling them into the bathroom for that few minutes of peace and quiet! Ah, I never thought I'd enjoy the time I spent in the bathroom until I had baby W. The best so far, The Red Tent. I've also joined Goodreads so that should help me keep track of my reading list instead of the rumpled list I've been carrying around with me.

3. My brother-in-law is still out of work. Without saying anything terribly ugly or negative, that's all I'm going to say. Well, I will say that I worry about my sister, a lot.

4. My mother in law has been asking about potty training. Wow. How can I have a kid old enough to be thinking about teaching how to use a toliet? One that maybe one day might not wear diapers? But he's just a heart actually aches thinking about him getting that big. We decided we would just introduce it into the bathroom and let him check it out for now. I might actually cry at my desk today thinking about this.

5. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be thankful lately. I found a couple of quotes today that sum it up for me:

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser

and I like this one too:

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

I've been trying to live with a little bit more grace and peace and to let people know how much they mean to me. I want the people in my life to know what they mean to me. And I want God to know how truly grateful I am for every moment I have with them. Some days I do better than others, but all I can do is try.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Early BDay Gift

Sometimes it feels like the days all cram together..the work days drag by and the weekends are over before I've even had a chance to put my feet up on the reclining sofa, which I love and feel some guilt about not spending enough time on. But I love those moments where things slow down and come into focus. Where the blur of the work week disappears and it feels like is actually time to breathe. There have been a lot of moments like that for me lately. Maybe it's the upcoming birthday (ugh to 33) but I know each day is a gift. Mushy, yes, but absolutely true. These are a couple other things I've picked up along the way:

1. I know that my husband does all that he can for me and Will. Does he go off on a 4hr trip to Lowes sometimes, yes. Does the never ending list of projects make my OCD go a little nuts, sure. I'd be lying if I said he was perfect..that we are perfect all the time, but I didn't marry him because he was perfect. I married him for a million other reasons. And in the 9 years we've been together those reasons have only multiplied. I know how lucky I am to be his wife.

2. I have a pretty awesome kid. He is the sweetest soul I've ever met. He is kind and tender-hearted, surprisingly patient and already has this sense of humor that cracks me up. He has learned how to tickle other people and makes the cutest damn noise while he does it..lalalala. Most nights we all gather in our bed and read stories and tickle and laugh. It is the best 20 minutes of my day. I am blessed.

3. My mom and dad are my constants. Sure they can make me a little crazy from time to time but they have spent the majority of their lives taking care of us and they continue to take care of us even as we all become "adults".

4. My mom was right when she said my sisters would be invaluable to me when we grew up. I love them so much. They are my best friends. Laura is sensible and so considerate. She is the first one there when I need her. And Jenny is so much like me. She makes me laugh all the time.

5. My MIL and FIL are the most amazing grandparents. They care for Will in ways that I can't even convey in writing. He is so lucky to have them.

6. Oh, and my friends. I am blessed to have friends that I can pick up with right where we left off. It is a gift to have them all.

7. I love yoga. I started it back in February and it has become my most favorite way to spend any free time I stumble across. I am lucky enough to get to go during my lunch hour 2 days a week and then my MIL keeps him some Friday mornings and on really special occasions I get to go on a weekend. it is awesome. It makes me feel like I am awesome. I mean come on, we all need something that makes us feel like a rock star! Even if it is an almost 33 yr old rock star.

So, how about you? What do you know to be true?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

At Sixteen Months

You are 16 months old! How can that be? It was just yesterday when you were looking up at me with a look of total wonder like 'where am I' and 'are you the lady who feeds me?'. You are not a little baby any more and at least once a day, this breaks my heart. But for the most part, you amaze me and your dad every day. You understand far more than you can speak right now. You went over and picked out every book I asked for the other night while we were reading!! I had no idea you were really listening when we read books every night before bed! You say dada all the time and momma only when it's a really urgent matter. You point at everything and say 'da'. We figure that means 'that'. You've gotten the hang of saying 'thank you' when someone hands you something, at least, that's what we like to think you are saying. Sometimes you just talk and talk and talk with such emphasis that I know you are talking about something serious. I can't wait until you start talking in words I can understand. I know you have a lot to say. You've learned how to cheese really big when a camera is out (see above) and you've even taken a couple pretty decent shots. Maybe you have a future in photography.

You are in the process of getting FIVE molars and it is tough work. You seem to enjoy chewing on mustard bottles for pain relief. And having extra cuddle time which is ok with me. You love to watch the Wonder Pets and any time Moose and Zee are on, you get very still. In fact, that is the only time you are very still. I tried to make you a Moose and Zee pillow but you seem very uninterested. If they are not on that big tv, they are just not as good.

You STILL do not sleep through the night. I'm not sure what else to say about that other than..please, please sleep through the night soon. You have taken an interest in sleeping in our bed around midnight each night and because I am exhausted, I bring you in there. I guess that makes me an enabler. You are also very attached to my pillow. You do not like to share the bed. You sleep sideways most nights. Although I am more tired than I can even say, the perk is that you always snuggle in close to me while you sleep and sometimes you make the sweetest little noises..little sighs, small is the most precious thing and makes it totally worth missing sleep.

Monkey is still your #1 friend. Monkey comes everywhere with us. One day when you're older I will tell you how we really had two monkeys that we switch out so that you always had a somewhat clean monkey to chew on and that I was terrified that you would somehow find both monkeys and your universe would suddenly no longer make sense!

I can't believe how fast it's all going by! I love you more each and every day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Kid Thinks I'm Pretty Neat

So, I got my W2 in the mail last week and it set my mind into motion..How can this be? I'm making LESS now than I did in 2004? This is ridiculous! No wonder it feels like we never have any money! This went on for quite some time and then I set out on the computer, career builder to be exact. I glanced around until something caught my eye. A paralegal job in Charlotte in litigation and appeals (which is the area that I work in now). Hmmmm. I thought about it for a day or two before I mentioned it to Ric. When I finally did, he said what any extremely supportive husband would say, 'I'll support you in whatever you do'. As much as I like to hear that, it didn't really help my decision any. See, to work in Charlotte, I could expect a hefty raise in my sad little salary, but I'd be trading in a whole lot. Right now, I work in Concord, 15 minutes from my house. I only work Mondays-Thursdays because my boss knows how hard it was for me to come back to work after having Will and well, because he is an ok guy, he lets me take off on Fridays to be with Will. I can leave work at the drop of a hat if I need to get home for whatever reason. No questions ask, because again, my boss rocks. And I've been here for 6 years. They took me in with NO experience, and he has taught me everything I know about litigation.

But it was something Ric said that really helped me make up my mind. He said late one night this weekend that Will wouldn't be a little one forever and it would be wise for us to spend as much time as possible with him now, while we can. I realized last night that right now Will thinks I'm pretty neat. I feed him when he's hungry, I know where all his tickle spots are, I read him the books he picks out and I play the games he makes up, like when he stuffs shapes in my mouth and I blow them out as far as I can and he laughs and goes and brings it back (kind of like a game of fetch). He thinks I rock. And I know that the older he gets he might not always feel that way. His dad is a pretty cool guy too, and he's gonna teach him how to work on cars and play with power tools (I can't compete with that), so for now, I want to soak up each and every minute I can with him. So, I'm staying put. I may have to work, but at least where I'm at now, I can take my Fridays and spend it with my baby. And that is worth way more than any big, fat paycheck.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our First Adult Getaway in 3 YEARS!

Yep, so it finally happened. We said goodbye to Taco (our nickname for baby W) and headed to the mountains for 2 days of skiing, snowboarding, sleep and other adult type things. Our first vacation together just me and Ric in 3 years..and those three years have included a couple of the most significant events in our lives...a flood that destroyed our home, a rebuild of said home thanks to flood insurance, moving in with my inlaws while I was seven months pregnant, moving into my parents retirement home, moving back into the "flood" house, and the MOST important of all, getting pregnant after trying for a YEAR and giving BIRTH..yep, so we've been a little busy but I figured since W. is almost 15 months old, he would probably have enough memories to remember me when I came home but not old enough to miss us so bad that he refused to play, eat or poop (the main parts of his day).

We are so lucky to have grandparents that live 2 streets away and that are willing to tackle the ever changing, never the same 2 nights in a row, dreaded nights. Yes, they were tired when we returned home but they said they loved every minute of it, even the 2:00 AM wrestling match with Will rolling around on Granddad and sleeping across Grammie's neck. They even said we could make plans to do it again. WOOHOO!! (How is next Friday? haha) Those are some good grandparents.

But back to the story at hand..we went to Appalachian Ski Mountain..stayed in a room that wasn't pretty but it was perfect for what we needed and hit the slopes. Now, I have never stepped foot in skis or on a snowboard. I've never even been on a skateboard and the last experience I had with rollar blades left me with a pretty nasty road rash (OUCH! I will never again try to walk a german shepherd/beagle mix on rollar blades) I'm not the most graceful or balanced gal..we tried to just wing it at first, along with the 3,000 App. students that were also there that night for orientation. I mean seriously? On a Tuesday night? COME ON! But when I couldn't even walk up a tiny little hill, I knew I was going to need some instruction. Some serious professional instruction. We signed up for a group lesson but it only ended up being the 2 of us and our instructor..a 16 year old little ski-dude who when talking referred to "older people" and I think he meant US. Anywho..I made it up on the skis and down on the bunny slopes a couple time and felt pretty good about myself. Now my husband who "claimed" he had been skiing once like 15 years ago is a big fat LIAR. He was awesome on skis..he made it look so easy and fun, just like one of those fellas in the olympics. Totally cool to see your husband just rock at something you've never seen him do before!

The next day we decided since we had mastered the art of skiing..haha..we'd tackle snowboarding. Again..we went with a lesson and again we were the only ones who signed up for that one..very nice! I knew as soon as I locked into that board that I was wrong..skiing is not scary..skiing is fun and free and your legs can move independent of the other one. Snowboarding is one tricky, terrifying sport. I fell down the hill repeatedly, face first, butt first, flying down the hill throwing out "shit!" while the 6 years old skiied down with expert percision. Ric fell down like twice. I had to talk myself into picking up my foot to go again and again..Ric was doing turns and jumps after 20 minutes. You get the picture..He took to it in no time and loved it and I couldn't wait to trade in my board and go back to the skis. But we laughed. A LOT. We smiled and talked and just took our time. No schedules, no one to feed but ourselves and we just ate JUNK, just the two of us. It was by far one of my favorite vacations with him.

And even though we missed taco and he missed us (we were told), we all did just fine, no better than fine. It was really, really great.