Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is it Really Thursday?

Day #4 today in Pearlington. I have successfully learned how to use a hammer-drill or drill-hammer, but not completely sure which is the right way to say it. Drilled into concrete for 2 hours and I caulked base boards, door jams, window sills, and the list goes on. I've been to Lowe's twice now and have several ideas about home projects for my own home. Not likely any of that will happen in the near future though. Took some pictures of the work crews today too. Look for those on the Mississippi blog.

I worked at a new (to me) site today and have the utmost respect for these young adults that are working right along side us this week. The are profoundly loving, caring, hard working, funny, easy to laugh with, easy to get along with, easy to work on hard projects with. I told them tonight how great I thought they were. I've been so blessed to be in their presence. The light in their eyes shines differently then it does in most adults. I hope they never lose that spark. I hope these kids are encouraged and continually loved and nurtured. They are our future. And they are amazing.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Half Way Through

Wow. I'm not sure how to express in words what I have felt today. Possibly every emotion. A few of the lighter things I discovered today are:

1. I'm completely convinced that painting a primer coat on a building has NOTHING to do with priming...and everything to do with getting a practice round in first before the real deal

2. Don't sit on flimsy upside down plastic buckets--not only will they break but you'll feel like an idiot

3. The local church fed us lunch today and it was DE.LI.CIOUS

4. If the Boss Man tells you he's "Proud as punch" with the work you just did, that totally one-ups the "Atta- boy"s. Feels good.

There are some things on the home front that have me a little distracted. I feel torn. Ok but torn. Story of my life really. I don't know why I'd expect that it would ever be any different. Kinda glad I'm here and don't really have to face those demons right now.

And, oh by the way, today is my birthday. B and I and 2 other ladies took a quick detour for a birthday coffee at Starbucks today. What a treat! Dad called on my cell and was so impressed that if he called my cell from California to Mississippi that he could actually reach me. Will wonders never cease? The work I did today was very much surface work. Painting mostly. And that's how I intended the rest of my day to be too. Today may just be any other day to everyone else, but today is a day that Mama used to really make special. And I miss it. A lot. So I did surface work both physically and emotionally, keeping anything of anxiety or sadness or stress at bay. No such luck.

Let me back up just a tad bit. Summer of 95 Mama and I are in the south of France. We were there for one day only and then were to start a journey north towards Paris. We went to the beach: the Mediterranean Sea. I like the to look at cause it's pretty, but the sand kinda ruins it for me. Mom's looking at me with this excitement in her face and says, "Aw come on Meg, you've gotta stick your toes in the water!" And so I did. And it was great. And now I can say that I've had my toes in Mediterranean Sea. Cool. After working today, our whole team took an hour or so to drive to the beach. Mind you it's my birthday, I don't like sand, I'm missing Mama, trying not to be a pill, and I have no intention of taking my dirty work boots off and tromping thru the sand. But it was beautiful at the beach and I was content standing on the side of the road surface, safe from the sand. Then B looks up at me from the water's edge and says, "Aw come on Meg, you've gotta stick your toes in the water!" It hit me like a ton of bricks...

Hi Mama. Are you here too right now? Are you part of this feeling? This beauty? This moment?

I'm now completely lost in my own emotional drama, trying to take off stupid boots and sweaty socks and not sob as I'm walking out to the water. It was so beautiful. Here's one of the pictures I took right then. I sent it to hubby and a few friends. Kelly sends me a text back right away that says: "Aw, I see God there too." Spot on Kelly, spot on.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And Here Comes Day #3

The past days have each had a story, a task, learning, etc. Today there were each of these things but today was the first day I was able to see that each of these things intersects with another. We start out to do one thing, but end up led another place, exactly where God wants us. And I get to ride along. It's beautiful.

Some of the stories coming our of this Mississippi trip are amazing. Sad. Thoughtful. Hard. Compassionate.

There is a story of 2 spoons that I'll post about later. Then there's a wheelchair bound man who had a wheel chair lift installed on the new house, but it doesn't work. Craig from our team went over to look at it. Couldn't fix it. Didn't give up. Went home that night and pulled up the wiring diagram for that make and model on the computer. Later was able to determine one small part missing that could be purchased at an electronics store. He fixed it. This man will get to see the inside of his house for the VERY FIRST TIME!

Part of our team is working on the oldest home in Pearlington. It dates back to the 1800's but the real date is not known as all those documents burned in a fire at the courthouse in the 1930's.

From what I hear Pearlington was not on the "radar" after Katrina. People were stranded in their attics and rooftops for 3 or 4 days before a helicopter saw them. They didn't know there was this tiny little town of people to look for. Can you imagine?

Every block has houses and lots of land that are still ruined. Seems there was an initial call of help that was answered with work crews and money, but for the most part that faded out. There are people left with partially built new homes and no money left to finish them. But the deadline to get out of the Katrina cottages is fast approaching. If they don't have a certificate of occupancy-- they CAN'T move in. These projects were started in good faith, but have not been brought to fruition.

It's frustrating. There is so much to do. So little time. And such wonderful people. We were sent here to do more than just build. We have come to bring hope.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 2

I have a new respect for i-pods. I left mine at home: making an attempt to not shy away from things/people. Well lemme tell you, I needed an i-pod so badly. Guy and B to the rescue. No REALLY.

Today me and my little team finished putting up shelves and closet rods. It felt good to be able to stand back and see we had accomplished something. Nothing huge or newsbreaking. Just something to help this family move another load of stuff from their Katrina cottage to the new house. Every little bit helps.

I also painted today. I had on hubby's USMC sweatshirt and didn't want to get it painty, nor did I want to take it off cause it was chilly. Seems there was a seamstress/garbage-bag-transformer in our group who offered to make me a handy LARGE garbage bag poncho. I'm low on sleep, high on life, and really almost peed my pants when we were trying to get it on me cause I was laughing so darn hard.
PS: sweatshirt got painty anyhow. =( I tried to explain to hubby that I was taking his clothes to Pearlington to wear because his clothes are made to be durable--and mine are made to be cute.
PPS: There may have been a picture taken of me while I was wrangling that dang bag while standing on a paint bucket, trying not to pee, and trying to see thru tears of laughter and hysteria.

I am a bad painter. Will do it. But can't do it pretty. Aint gonna happen. Isn't in my blood. No can do.

I wore my hair in braids yesterday to keep my hair out of my face. It worked. But truth be told, when I took a shower last night all sorts of little bugs seemed to be washing out. Ew! So today I took it up a notch: braids + bandanna over the hair keeps hair and paint out of my eyes, and bugs out of my hair. Ah HAH!

It did rain today just a little bit. And oddly enough "It's raining men" (the song) managed to make its way into today's happenings. Who'd have thunk it.... on a church mission trip and all.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh Katrina

We are here. Arrived safely from a flight through Denver to Louisiana. Here's the scoop:

~The flight attendants had us laughing. When we took off they put one bag of pretzels and one bag of peanuts in the middle aisle to se which bag would make it to the back of the plane first. And they were talking over the loud speaker like we were at the Kentucky Derby.

~Car rental is a nightmare. Like really a joke.

~There's still tons to do here in Pearlington. Every turn, every corner. Houses untouches. Katrina cottages more common than standing houses.

~I need ear plugs

~A stud finder may find you more than you bargained for. HA!

~I learned the diffrerence among rown molding, kick plates, shoe moldings and something else but can't remember right now.

~I successfully used an electric saw and a nail gun and didn't injure myself or others.

~Putting crown molding up is tricky! Especially at the corners. All the angles. Oh the lack of sleep. Oh the insanity and laughing that enuses then. AND THEN finding the very equation ON THE SAW that were were trying to figure out. Special.

~my new boots are totally worth having to deal with Dad's comment.

Love to you, I'll post more later. No time for spell check.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Change of Pace

The babes are in bed, sleeping. Hubby is in his recliner. The fishies are swimming. The presents are wrapped, the stockings are stuffed. The dining room and kitchen are clean. The living room and bedroom are not. It's pouring down rain, and it is beautiful. I'm peacefully aware that this year I am making a change. I am making my mark on this little corner of the world this year.

Christmas is great and all that holly-jolly stuff. But it's so commercial. That's the part I can't stand. This year I thoughtfully picked out each gift I was to give. I was inspired as I went. I refused to feel guilted into anything. If it wasn't right, I didn't get it just so I had something to give. It's about the process to me. AND... Christmas and my birthday just feel really really lame since Mama isn't here. Who else can make you feel SOOO special than your mommy? Last year amidst unruly postpartum depression and other unfortunate chaos, I could barely make it through the holidays. Barely.

This year as I celebrate Christmas, I will not sit home and let these awful thoughts go round and round in a head they can't escape from. I can not make Mama come back. I can not change the past. But I can make a difference in the future, in the name of Jesus Christ and what better way than to leave the day after Christmas to help the folks of Pearlington, MS rebuild? I can talk till I am blue in the face. Anyone can. But instead I will hush my mouth and hush my poor-me head, and I will walk the walk. I will use my hands to rebuild and restore. I will go in the strength of my Savior alone, and I will let Him speak to me and move me and take me where He needs me. I hope for clarity but I will not seek it or wait around for it. For if I am doing the Lord's work, perhaps clarity will find me instead. I am choosing hope over fear. Reign in me, dear Lord... I am yours for the taking.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Can't Sleep - Boo Hiss For ME!

What in tarnation is going on now? Goodness gracious. Like I've got nothing better to do. Hmph. Think I've got a fever so I'm sweating incessantly, fighting off a migraine, having really SCARY nightmares and wake up screaming. Now I've got the hiccups. I thought THAT'S IT!!!! And I stormed outta bed. I'm not sure who/what I'm yelling at, but WHATEVER!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's The Deal??

What's the deal with men? Are they NOT as insecure? Do they have any idea that talking WEIGHT with women (of any age) is inappropriate? Dad likes to get me a pair of shoes every so often for Christmas. So we met at a shoe store to find a nice pair of GOOD shoes. Dad says "These should be okay if you're not planning on gaining any more weight. You're done, right?" UGH. I never intentionally plan on gaining weight. It just happens. Geesh. Like he's one to talk. So I'm sitting here not really moping about it, just stewing. Then head to the fridge where I am faced with vanilla Slim Fast sitting right next to cookie dough from Papa Murphy's. Hahahaha.... Who am I joking? Cookie dough ALL the WAY! Can I get a hell YA!?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Things I Learned Today

* My dad has 14 (FOURTEEN!!!!) little magnetic notepads on the side of his fridge each specifically designated (like one for Costco, one for Safeway, one for the Hardware store, etc, etc.) Scary thing is that it actually is a very coordinated way of handling shopping. Excessive yet practical.

*The time we waited at PetSmart to get one fish took entirely too long.

*Middle bebe has no concept of skipping incessantly in a parking lot NOT looking at moving vehicles.

*I need to come up with a name for my new "leash," ie: blackberry for work.

*Most people always have ulterior motives. I hate it. Truth is better.

*I have much to do, but totally prefer to be wrapped up in NCIS and HGTV.

* Love hurts

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gettin Outta Dodge

I'm getting the heck outta dodge. 9 days and counting. My life has become something of an unmanageable nature. I'm hoping to take a step back and rest, and take life in with a whole new set of eyes. Rest in a different way, not the typical. I think there is something to hard, physical, manual labor that allows one to process things mentally and spiritually. It's a way of busying the body, but freeing the soul.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tips On How To Go Crazy in The World of Meg

Wake up early to get a start on a long day.

Change the cute baby who has pee peed all over her bed again, but did sleep through the night. So don't make a fuss.

Drive carefully fast on the slippery roads and make it late to a morning appt. At this appt make sure your doctor laughs right at you when you tell him you are trying to cut down on the stress. Laughing in my face is always a swell start.

Once at work realize it's cold and will definitely be a 2-coffee day. Now armed, proceed to "supervise" staff not able to log into new computer systems, complaints, and oh yes and my email is full so I can neither receive email in nor send any out. That's a super productive way to conduct business. Escape before the place self destructs.

Arrive to parent, teacher, school nurse, school psychologist, principal meeting to talk about plan of action for Big Bebe and staying on track. Put on a normal "every thing's under control" grin and nod. Careful not to speak. Who knows what will come out.

Gather Big Bebe and proceed thru almost freezing rain to car. Little feet are quickly losing feeling. Take off little wet shoes and socks. Put feet on the car heater on the right. Hang wet little socks from the heater in the middle. Think for a second you are smart. Then think again that now that car smells like smelly wet little feet. Yum.

Get to Big Bebe's Stanford appt a few minutes early. How did this happen? Almost sit back and relax, then think better of it and go thru crap in the car. Found MANY items that contribute to the smelliness of the car.

After appt get back to car to make way back to home, stopping by for a quick bite to eat. Then take windy road home so Big Bebe turns green and almost returns food.

Get home, return to car, realize almost out of gas. Stop for gas, get to practice. After, give a ride home, then pick up Middle Bebe and get on the road to pick up Bitty Bebe.

On way to Bitty Bebe, get something large and unwelcome in left eye. Try to maintain poor but working right eye vision and safe driving skills. Try not to be snappy as Middle Bebe retells every second of her entire day and will not stop talking.

Pick up Bitty Bebe. Make sure Grandma tells you exactly how Bitty was extra constipated today and describes in detail just how it all "went down."

Return home to find Big Bebe feeling better, and making a lovely science project on the once pretty dining room table. Picture here all the new glassware each filled with water and each with its own special addition, like glue, or sand, and salt, and popsicle sticks. Oh yes and there is a "control" one too.

Find Hubby very comfortably snoozing in the recliner just a few feet away.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

But I'm Back Again

That's the closing line of my favorite little kids book Noisy Nora: "But I'm back again!" said Nora with a monumental crash!
Daddy fixed my phone line (bless him) and in the process internet was lost. It's amazing what things I can get done around the house when I'm not attached at the eyeballs to the computer. Hmmm...

Just so you know: diamonds aren't a girls best friend. I know 'cause the diamond in my engagement ring (which I still wear) took a leap into never never land. I was sad. So sad. Not because of what I lost, but the feeling I thought I'd lost with it. Not true though. I'd come to terms with it. The rings had served its purpose. I had to wrangle the ring, sans diamond of my hand. Hubby took it in to get see about getting a new diamond. But he's sneaky and I should have known better. Wednesday before we met with friends for a birthday he surprised me with a brand new ring. I told him I'd love ANYTHING from him, but to boot it's really pretty and that's just fun. He wanted to show the ring to our friends but I thought no, it was another girl's bday, it was her day. So we watched a 3 hour long movie and by the end I had to pee and yes, actually ran from my seat to the bathroom. Hubby apparently told the other ladies about his good deed, so the next thing I hear is: "Meg! You might be peeing, but you can damn well stick your hand under the bathroom door and show us your ring!" Hahahaha...

We put the Christmas tree up and put little white lights in the dining room. I'm feeling so domestic. And I like it. =)

Christmas is so soon. I'm ready with the presents and stuff. I'm ready with all the exterior stuff. And in no way ready emotionally to really deal with Christmas for what it is. For what it is is the gift of salvation, but I cannot move past the loss of my mom. So I dread Christmas when it should be joyful. I know and believe she is watching down, but it pains me when I'd just like to snuggle up and lean my head on her shoulder, and have her tell me everything will be ok.

Starting tomorrow Big Bebe will have another 3 days of testing and appointments at Lucile Packard. I think I am so anxious about it all that my coping mechanism is to just not think about it. Stay busy with other things, appear happy, remember not to grind my teeth, be thankful, and most important, don't think. Don't think. Don't think. Don't think. And don't take things personally.
One final thing: Bitty Bebe said "Hi Honey," to me as I was putting her to bed tonight. Melt my heart.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving: The Next Chapter

Here's a re-cap of a previous blog in another forum from December 24th 2007, in green. Today's a new chapter to this story at the bottom in blue.

Monday, December 24, 2007
Christmas--it’s the thought that counts--really! This time of year is difficult. There's Christmas and my birthday within a week. I'm trying to adjust. Life without my mom isn't any fun anyhow, not to mention around the holidays. I try not to dread it too much. I try to make it exciting for my kids, just like my parents did.
So the other day I'm over at my dad's trying to find this piano keyboard that I know is somewhere in their storage. I searched high and low: in the house, in the garage, in the storage area, and then finally in the "barn" (a barn looking shed.) I came across all sorts of things that I had forgotten about. Like notes from high school Creative Writing class, and Big Chem notes too. I found an old dollhouse, my Lincoln logs, and other great treasures. Then on the very top shelf wrapped in a black plastic bag was my keyboard! Yeah for me! Now all I had to do was maneuver past all this crap blocking my way to it......
That's when I saw it.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I took a double take. I shut my eyes tight and then opened them again. Nope it was still there. Was this a joke? No, nobody would pull a joke like this.
Sitting perfectly wrapped in Christmas paper with handwriting I had longed to see for so long now.... Christmas presents from my sweet mama, wrapped up and tucked away for a special day. And apparently today was that day. Imagine that. Amazing..... When had she done this? Must have been sometime before she took a turn for the worse in September 2006. But here I was finding them, less than a week before Christmas 2007. What a gift.
Sometimes I feel so lost in the big world, and yet something this small, with such magnitude was meant for me. I am in awe.
I haven't opened my present yet. It's not even under my tree. It's up high and out of the way so it doesn't get damaged. I kind of like having one last present from my mommy, and I haven't a clue what it is. Honestly --to me it doesn't matter what is in that present. It's the concept that my mom thought far enough ahead to do this. It's the thought that counts-- and it's the most perfect gift ever.

Thursday, November 27th 2008
I slept like a baby last night. I was wiped out. Then up early to try and pull it all together today for Thanksgiving, gracefully, with a smile, thankfully, with peace. I needed another baking dish and couldn't find it. So out to the garage I go to look for the box with the last of the stuff for the kitchen. I find the box, and in the box is the baking dish, and in the baking dish, the un-opened Christmas present from Mama, stashed away where it was safe for the move. Even though it's been kept away from little hands, the wrapping paper has started to wear a little bit. I could barely peek inside and see what looked like potpourri or dried flowers or something, maybe just rosemary. I needed that baking dish, but didn't have another safe place to put the present. No one was around...and so I opened it. My very last gift from Mama. Oh and it was so much more beautiful than I ever could have imaged. Yes it was potpourri-like, and dried flowers, including rosemary, but pulled together so perfectly with delicate purple paper and twine, 4 little wrappings total. Mmmmm...this is so something my Mama had created. I have 4 huge windows in the dining room, and set each one in its own window. Perfect. I cannot ask for anything more. Mama's love, both visible and not, surrounded us this evening as we sat and ate and were thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Today is the day before thanksgiving. I LOVE thanksgiving. Love LOVE LOVE! I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving past. For years and years the entire clan (100+) of us would gather at my Dad's cousins' convent. Yes she is a nun, and would have a gigantic kitchen, living room and hall for us to gather in and spend the time together. All my aunts and uncles, all my cousins and extended family. And we were a pretty tame group. It was wonderful.

Times have changed. We haven't done that for many years. But this year Hubby and I get to host our OWN Thanksgiving dinner in our OWN new house for our little family, my dad, and Hubby's dad and family. We are super excited about this. Though I learned the hard way that I need to communicate my dinner intentions with Hubby before... oh well. I'm work in progress.

So today will be spent getting the house ready, cleaning, vacuuming, scrubbing, cooking, planning, decorating, preparing, baking...oh yes, and in 20 minutes Big Bebe and I are out the door to Stanford for an entire day of testing and doctor visits. Somehow by the grace of God alone I will make it through the next 2 days and be alive at the end.

I hope to instill in my kids (and anyone else willing to listen) that life IS hard. And despite that, it is still good and wonderful and there is SO MUCH to be thankful for. Our happiness comes from the Light within.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Listen Up

Part of His gift to us, is providing us with the most amazing people in our lives. AMAZING. I have acquaintances and family and friends. And then there is small precious group that I can have complete conversations with, with just a look in the eyes. Sometimes less is more. My words and explanation can get in the way and muddle the meaning, but my eyes are a window to my soul and can tell the whole story. There are some people I can't look in the eyes, because then they'll know, whatever I'm trying to hide. Those are the same people that search me out when the time is right, and can tell in an instant by looking in my eyes, and the same for me for them. For when there are no more words to be said, the silence is beautiful. The eyes can tell the story, and the Spirit can hear.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Come to Jesus Talk

Sunday I didn't see Dad but I saw his car parked at his daily diner when I was coming home from church. I try to visit him frequently, cause I know he's lonely. And cause he's my dad. He's what I've got. Usually he'll meet me either before or after singing for dinner on Mondays. But it's a standing arrangement that he and I will not feel obligated to go. No guilt no hard feelings. He didn't make it last week because he was sick. And this Monday he didn't show either. No worries...yet. Called him on Tuesday, but didn't leave a message. Didn't get a hold of him.

Called him Wednesday morning and left a message. By noon I hadn't heard back and now I was worried. If you know my dad, he has a way of not wanting to bother anyone. So, let's say he's having a heart attack or just totaled his car--he isn't likely to want to bother anyone. At one I hadn't heard anything from him. I called his daily diner and they hadn't seen him since Sunday either. Ugh. I finished things up at work to head to his house. I get in my car and Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" is playing. Oh crap. Now I'm having a real serious conversation with God. Now listen here Buddy, thanks for the signs and everything, let's just hope I'm a little paranoid right now. I drove away from work thinking rationally about where he could be. I was ok. Calm.

By the time I'm turning down his road 20 minutes later, I'm a mess crying, trying to prepare myself to find him dead in his house. He's getting older and he's not in the best of health. I'm so far gone emotionally I'm already debating with myself if I call 911 first or call Hubby? The evolution of these thoughts are capsizing my mind. It's not that far-fetched of an idea, but these are the things that I deal with. Anti-depressants are now my friends. So I pull into the driveway. No car. This is good...and bad. I check his house, he's not there, and all looks fine. But that means he could be ANYWHERE. Ok. Breathe deep. At least I didn't find him dead. I go to my house and furiously clean it to keep busy and do to something constructive with my time. At 4 I call again. No answer. My dad does carry a cell phone, but always has it off. (He's the type doesn't have a computer, barely has a microwave, barely has VCR...) He only uses the cell on rare occasions for out going calls. Breathe Meg, breathe. Breathing is good.

I pick up the girls from their afternoon program and we head back to Dad's. Oh thank the Lord. His car is there, I get out and RUN into the house. He's there, a little disheveled looking, tired, and breathing. I unload all my worries on him, gently. He looks at me and says, "Aww Honey, you don't have to worry. You don't need to keep tabs on me. I know how busy you are." This is where my little Come to Jesus talk comes in..."Let me break it down for you...Let me remind you: you are my only parent left, you are not a bother, you are my father. If nothing else, EXPECT me to keep tabs on you and care how you are. You are loved and I would be lost without you. "

This morning he calls me to tell me he is fine and that he just got back from his daily diner and he said as soon as he walked through the door there, they were ALL OVER him shaking their fingers at him and telling him he was in TROUBLE (based on my call to them yesterday looking for him.) They really read him the riot act! Love it. Love the small town . These are the same great ladies who refuse to give Dad potatoes with his breakfast after his heart attack a few years ago. Even if he orders it, they nod and write down cantaloupe. HA!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Found the Key!!!

Guess what was in my desk!?!?! Lemme tell you. Not a darn stinkin' thing. One down, two to go. Ya know, someone is laughing at me up there. They're getting a real kick outta this. Cute. Real Cute.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Learning is Human

It's fun and exciting at its best, and awkward and embarrassing most of the rest of the time. Ugh. Wish I could just be a little less human. The last couple days has lent itself to teaching me I'm not the only one this happens to. Ha! I feel better already...

Bitty Baby is learning how to walk. She's learning how to fall too, by tripping over the rug and then falling face first into the table leg she was trying to get to. Oh Bitty. She's learned that she likes mommy's lap to snuggle in when she's not feeling well. She feels better when she wipes her sticky snotty runny nose right across my blouse before work. Maybe she's marking her territory?

Middle Bebe has been quite perfect lately. This is excellent, especially considering the chaos that encompasses our world has offered her. Nonetheless, she borrowed a pair of Ugg boots from a friend for her Halloween costume. The mom left a message a few days ago that they need the Ugg boots back before a trip down south. Of course I did not get this message until after they left. That was the first mistake. The second was thinking that a 2nd grader could dutifully take care of a pair of Ugg boots. Not only did she wear them in the rain, and into the puddles, but they were a little snug on her feet, and so apparently her toes are just peeking through the toe of the boot in a nice BIG HOLE! I asked her what she thought we should do. "Give them back," was her answer. Smart but wrong. Here is a prime time to teach this dear little one about borrowing. If you borrow something, you'd better return in the same shape IF NOT IN BETTER shape than how it was first received. It's just what you do. She wrote the friend a note saying thank you for loaning them, sorry I ruined them. She will return the damaged boots in a bag to the friend with this note. And at the bottom of the bag will be a new pair that she has put allowance towards and will work off the rest. She said on the way home tonight that she was sad about the whole thing. I said yes, that is okay to feel sad. But it's also okay to feel good about doing the right thing now. That's how we learn to make and keep good friends.

Big bebe said today in the store that she'd like some body wash for the shower. Ok. She is getting into a more girlie stage, so what the hey, she wants body wash and not black eyeliner and a tattoo? We've got a deal. So we are looking through the shelves and she says she really needs body wash...she's already got something for her head and shoulders and now she needs body wash. (apparently good ol bar soap is not in the equation.) Hahahaha I'm laughing because I know I just stocked the little girls' shower with "Head and Shoulders" shampoo. Oh to live and learn. I explained to her that the NAME of the shampoo was head and shoulders....hahahaha

Hubby learned that if you get mad at a raccoon who keeps getting into the trash NO MATTER WHAT, that if you shoot at the raccoon to scare him away, and that if you accidentally actually hit him and kill him on the front lawn, you'd better have a plan what to do with it. Don't tell me you're a marine who is trained for war, but now you're squeemish at a dead raccoon. Sorry buddy, you're on your own.

I've learned this week that when I wear high heels and then my back hurts, I feel oddly guilty when I go to the chiropractor. Hmph. I've learned that in the move I've misplaced:
1/my camera
2/my new checks (great way to save money!)
3/the key to my home desk.
**note here that items 1+2 could very well be IN the desk that I cannot open. **

I just can't win. But I can laugh!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sounds of Mama

Don't know if you know this or not. But you remind me so much of my mama. I try not to stare. I try not to gaze; it's just you're so much like her. The way you speak, the way you laugh, the way your lips form words and sentences. Sometimes when you talk there seems to be a hint of hidden southern drawl. It's soothing to my ears...just like mama. I'd give anything to be right next to you all day long, silently relishing the sounds so familiar to me. Such a beautiful sound. I just want to sit and listen for a while...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't Know Much About Nuttin'...

But these little ones keep me right where I need to be:

Love Love Love these sweet girls of mine. I am blessed. And thankful. And humbled.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Little Vent

What a wonderful, glorious, beautiful day. Go to church. Take a nap. Get up and visit with a friend. Take a longer nap. Go to a RAW (church-ish thingie.) Stop to get groceries on the way home. This is where it takes an ugly turn. =(

I have a medium filled shopping cart of groceries. (Very healthy-- I might add. Tons of veggies, milk, rice milk, bananas, long grain brown rice, whole wheat bread...) There are only two check out lines open, both of which are 15 items or less. I actually walk the ENTIRE length of ALL the stands to make sure there isn't a regular one open. Nope. I then let the little lady behind me go in front as she has so few items.

I'm making a conscious effort here. Then out of NO WHERE, maybe 15 (FIFTEEN!!!!) people are now over flowing into the aisles WAITING for ME and my MORE than 15 stupid grocery items. They are glaring at me. Then the checker has the nerve to GLARE at me. Maybe I'm too sensitive. They call 2 extra checkers who have just left for the day, or are outside getting carts. The glares continue.

I open my purse. No checks. Oh hell. No credit card. Oh you have got to be kidding me. But never fear: I am a super-multi-planner-ahead-er, so I pull out the "back -up" check book. (This would be the savings account and not the regular checking account.) Write the check. Hand it over. It's over $100 so they need the manager's approval. More glares. Wait for the manager. Then process the check. "Is this a new account Ma'am. Cause now I'm gonna need to call the manager back down here to approve this too." Glares continue.

No it's not a new flipping account. It's old as all hell cause I try and do the right thing and actually save a little cash when I get a chance. I just choose NOT to always write checks to the grocery store with it. DUH! Please make me feel MORE insecure here standing in YOUR stupid line when YOU didn't provide ANY OTHER check out stands. Is there a law I missed that said no one can purchase more than 15 items after 8pm? I am paying for GROCERIES. I don't expect my money to pay for your fabulous attitude, but it sure as hell better not buy my your mean, glaring eye balls while I'm buying veggies, rice milk and long grain brown rice.

But you know what. Even though I know your job description says you should ask me if I need help out to my car, and you didn't ask, I won't hold it against you. I said thank you when you handed me my receipt. If our paths ever cross again I hope you recognize me. Maybe your family member will be sick and need help with their bill, And I'll be the one to help. Maybe you'll come to my church and I can pray with you there. Maybe your child will ride in my car on the next 2nd grade field trip. I'll make sure to give your kid an extra hug and smile. Cause the good Lord knows it sure as hell isn't coming from you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Finished my book last night: Secret Life of Bees. I am in love with that book. I am in love with reading and being transported to a world that transcends my common every day life. Anything to take me away.

And so I am nesting in my new house. My new-to-me house that I'm trying to "nest" into my home. Now that most things are unpacked, though not neat by any means, I can get to the stuff that really matters. When the baby is asleep, and the big girls tucked in, Hubby watching TV or already nodding off, I can start to unpack my favorites...safely, methodically, thoughtfully in the peace of the night.
I have a small little nightstand next to my side of the bed. It is my shrine of sorts. A couple pictures, a handful of delicate cards from precious friends, an angel of peace, a bouquet of dried flowers from mama, three candles, a bible...

Somehow my book collection has multiplied. The books I HAVE TO HAVE close by and now I have too many. So I couldn't just shove them in there. These are the books that speak to me. So I stayed up late sorting through them, feeling guilty about which ones I could keep there and which ones would have to be put on the bookshelf. Like they had feelings or something. And why do I think I'm going crazy? Maybe cause I think my books have feelings. But these are the ones whose feelings I ended up caring most about:

White Oleander - Janet Fitch
Taking Care of Your Child
Intercessory Prayer - Dutch Sheets
My mom's 2006 appointment book
The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
Jarhead - Anthony Swafford
Peace Life a River - Leif Engler
A Book of Love Poetry - edited by Jon Stallworthy
Sunrise - Karen Kingsbury
Mind as Healer Mind as Slayer - Kenneth R. Polletier
Mystic River - Dennis Lehane
When I Was a Girl - edited by Allison Pollet
Remembering Blue - Connie May Fowler
Becoming a Woman of Excellence - Cynthia Heald
Chesty - Colonel Jon T Hoffman USMC
Small Miracles for Women - Yitta Halberstam abd Judith Loventhal
Tara Road - Maeve Binchy
Strength For Service to God and Country
The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
I am Not but I know I AM - Louie Giglio
If You Want to Walk on Water You Have to Get Out of The Boat - John Ortberg
Christian Truth and His Defense - For US Marines
and 3 Bibles

Books are a safe place for me and always have been. I've always loved to be lost in writing and reading, scripture and poetry, music and lyrics. Can't wait to have the piano in the house soon too. It will add another much needed dimension to help transform my heart and house into a home. And so I nest.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Voting Day

I've been really watching and listening and taking in all this information leading up to election day. I'm not particularly politically outspoken. I've got plenty of stances and opinions, but choose to keep these mostly to myself. Except for Dad. Because he and I can disagree and still have the most respectfully intelligent conversations. I get more out of those talks than I do with anything else. I actually THRIVE on hearing a view different from mine. I am appreciative of all of it and think that God made us all different and special for a reason. The least I can do is try to see the beauty in the variances.

What I don't understand is why some people think that taking down someone else's signs or defacing them is a way of getting a leg up at the polls. Is their self worth and ethical beliefs so poor that they would actually PREFER winning this way? What is heroic about win this way? Wouldn't it feel better to them to know that they won the people's vote because they BELIEVED in their cause, and NOT because they had to prove the other party wrong?

I've been trying to explain to my kids the differences in McCain and Obama and this and that and on and on, and what each brings to the table. Just because we choose to vote for one, does NOT mean it makes all other opponents wrong. All can be an okay choice, and we get to vote for our preference. It doesn't need to be a taking sides thing. In a time in this world when we're trying to desperately teach our children acceptance and caring and community, there is this election that pits us against each other. It doesn't have to be that way. We are all "fighting" for the same team. Remember?

Just because my husband is a Marine does not mean I support the war. It doesn't mean I DON'T support the war either. He didn't join because he wanted to kill or be killed. He joined to make a difference.

This is how I define it:
A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is honor and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

So many people are talking. I think we've got to shut up and listen in order to get anything accomplished and moving in the right direction. You have to know when to prod and when to be quiet and when to let things take their course.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Back

Loving the whole IDEA of an extra hour's sleep, not particularly diggin' the second guessing of time that I'm doing now. Paranoia for sure. I'm a geek anyhow who checks and double checks the time on my phone, the alarm clock, triple check the oven clock and then the car clock. This is already a normal daily routine. Ugh. Toss in there to the mix a time change, even if it means extra sleep, and I'm SUPER paranoid. I'm just short of leaving sticky notes on every clock I see to remind myself if I've already re-set it. OCD much? Gotta be good at something I suppose. This week I'm a really special over-zealous clock setter-checker.
Check. Check.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And I'm Back

This blog isn't nearly long enough to sum up the last several days. There are many places I can't go mentally right now. What I've decided in the meantime is this: I need something mid-week to re-center, to spiritually ground me. So I'm on the look out.

Here are my favorite things about being in the new house:
* The sound of the cleansing rain lulling me to sleep

* The way the dish washer WASHES dishes...meaning NOT ME washing the dishes (1st dish washer EVER!!)

* The dining room that has gigantic windows on 3 walls

* The garage to temporarily house my junk until I find another clever place to stash it in the house

* The sound of neighborhood kids running up the back steps

* Passing out Halloween candy for the first time ever as a family in a neighborhood

* The wood burning stove that makes the house feel and smell SO COZY

* Loving that Bitty is sleeping in another bedroom

Also in the week we've been here without telephone or computer access, I've fully thrown myself into this book:
I know the movie is about to come out (has already come out?) and I am determined to finish the book first before seeing the movie myself. Anybody care to join me? I forgot how much I like reading. And this book is beautiful beautiful BEAUTIFUL. Loving it and the places it takes my scattered brain.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On The Move, Part Deux

We've had 3 nights in the new place, and I've slept like a log each night, I think due to exhaustion. Each day we make trips from the old house to the new house. Work and pack. Eat and move. Sleep and dream about packing and moving.

Hubby and his buddys moved all the big stuff; God bless 'em. I'm in charge of the rest of the stuff. So today mid afternoon I leave Hubby and the bebes at the new house and venture to the old house to continue packing and cleaning, sorting and trashing. I'm driving Hubby's truck and need to back it up the gravel driveway, which means switching from 2wheel drive to 4wheel drive. No biggie, and I back up as close as I can to the steps and trees, without running into them. Well, you see, I might have just over-accelerated a tad bit, it was a love tap really.

I then spend 4+ hours cleaning out 2 bedrooms, a laundry room, living room and half the kitchen. I am so proud of myself. I have a pile to throw away, a pile for Good Will, and I fit a lot of stuff in the truck. Yay me! I go to close the tail gate of the truck. No go. I try again, harder, CLANG! This is its way of telling me, "DENIED!" Awww shoot. The tail gate clearly isn't about to close because it's off about a 1/2 inch and won't latch. I can't drive to the new house with the bed of the truck full and the tail gate not closed.

So I call Hubby and I say, "Hey, want to call Justin for me" (he lives right around the corner) "and see if he can come up and help me close the tailgate?" I would have done this myself but I don't have his number because I lost my cell phone, and it's a little ways down the road. I tell Hubby (while crossing my fingers) that maybe there's too much stuff so it won't close, but I don't want to undo the packing if it just needs a little muscle. I'm thinking here I can tell Justin what really happened and he can help me. Again, no go. Hubby says, "I'll be right down."

Hubby tells me I must have hit something. Hmmm, interesting. I nod, and try to look a little shocked. Then he turns around and points to the tree and the very large dent in the tree at EXACTLY the same height and width of the tail gate. Crap. I'm caught.

"See. You hit the tree, did you even feel that?"

And I say, "Is that what that was?"

Oh he loves me. I know he loves me because he just shook his head and rolled his eyes and walked into the house to get his tools. Nothing more. Nothing less. Can't wait to have all this moving stuff be over with though.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On The Move

I haven't completely figured out if I've just been off a day all week, or if plans changed and I wasn't told, or both. In any case, we are moving today. Or should I say--have moved. The majority of our crap, er um...STUFF is at the new house. All the furniture, beds, etc. There's still a ton of stuff to still cart out of here though.

It may be a few days until we get the computer all hooked up and working. So- until then, I probably won't be able to blog. Now I'm off to find a clean set of clothes for each of us tomorrow, my tooth brush, purse, shoes, milk, cereal, diapers for the baby, paper plates and my cell phone charger...that should tide me over til I can come back tomorrow...

Monday, October 20, 2008

If Jesus Came to Visit Me

A friend gave Bitty a late birthday gift yesterday. Today Bitty and I opened that gift. It was a sweet little book and so we opened it and read it. Title of the book is If Jesus Came to Visit Me. Just in case I thought I could keep it all together today...I was wrong...again... See here the words I read aloud to my little baby girl:

If Jesus Came to Visit Me...

I'd fill my little teapot and
Then pour two cups of tea.
I'd thank God for the food we have
and He'd say "Thanks" to me!
I'd ask him how things in heaven were
and see if he would tell
If Grandma's found some friends up there,
and if she's doing well.

On a day when I fought very hard to remain composed, I lost it all.

2 (TWO!) Starbucks today to try and give me enough pep so I wouldn't have the option to just sit and think. And there you go. Read your kid a story and it's a complete waste of make up and caffeine all in one shot.

I know I've posted this picture before, and I have it plastered any where I can put it, but here it is again. Because 2 years ago today my mommy died, and this little picture envelopes my soul:

Oh the love I feel for my own kids that I never knew was possible, is perfectly reflected in my own Mama's face here as she's holding me. She felt it too.

Here's the last family pic (sans hubby, away in the Marines at the time.) This is where the countdown really started. You can see it in her face.

And here is the last picture of Mama. Me, Chris, Mama at her retirement celebration. Exactly one month before she died. That was one of the hardest days I've even endured. Then we knew it was only a matter of days. And here was this celebration for Mama, where the teachers and school administrators and friends got up to speak and tell how Mama had changed their lives. It was like a living funeral. Very uncomfortable and awkward, but so so necessary.

It seems like life goes on for everybody. There's something humbling about that, but only when I'm in a good space to reflect on it like that. The rest of the time I feel like everyone else has a life that is continuing, and here I am still trying to put back all the pieces of the past.

Sad but true. This is my lament.

Good night sweet Mama. Don't give up on me yet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 18th 1969

Mama graduated high school on the East Coast in 1962. She'd been an "army brat" and moved around a lot growing up. She then enrolled in Dominican College -San Rafael, CA.

Dad graduated from St. Joseph's in 1960. After a year or so at Cal-Berkley he realized he needed to be doing something else. He enlisted in the Navy. There he graduated top of his class and got first pick of specialties. He became a radioman on the USS Nathaniel Greene, one of the first nuclear submarines.

Back in San Rafael Mama became friends with a fellow student named Judith. They were fast friends. Soon Jude was telling Mama about Jude's brother who was away on a submarine in the Navy and could really use a new pen pal. Mama obliged, and there starts the fairy tale...

They were married on October 18th, 1969 in Washington D.C. That was 39 years ago today.

Dad went back to school and followed his new found interest of physics and chemistry. Mama became a teacher. (At one point Mama took a chem class from Dad at UCSC. He told her she had to follow the same rules as the rest of the students: help can only be given during class time and office hours. Though cuddling at night would still be appreciated.)

They bought their first and only home in 1978. They paid $42K for it and didn't know how they were going to make ends meet. But they did. They always pulled it together. Dad worked for AT+T teaching physics, and mom taught at the local high school. They were good together.

When I was in 6th grade Dad was laid off from his job though. He was devastated. Mama took up the slack while dad took a year or so deal with new depression. Just as Dad started getting a handle on things again, Mama was getting tired. More than the usual. And her ankles were swollen. She wasn't worried about it, just bothered that her ankles looked chubby. She eventually saw a doctor and mentioned it. A simple urine test confirmed that her urine protein was through the roof, indicating her kidneys were damaged, thus causing her ankles to swell with the fluid the kidneys weren't able to clean out. They eventually learned that the Amyloidosis had attacked her kidneys, and would slowly move to the rest of her organs.

Dad always felt bad about not getting another job right away. I thank God that Dad took the time he needed, because his biggest and most important job was just about to surface: taking care of Mama. And he did. There was such little known information about Mama's disease. He didn't want to waste any of Mama's precious time. So they went to the Mayo clinic--to the very best for a confirmed diagnosis. From there, a referral back to Stanford would start them on their path. Dad did research day and night. Reading the most recent medical journals, the very latest, cutting edge treatments and findings. He'd report back to the doctors and THEY'D ask HIM what the next step should be. And Dad would tell them.

Mama trusted Dad completely. There were many times when Mama didn't want to know what was going on. She couldn't handle any more. So she'd go in for the lab work and tests, and then sit in the waiting room while Dad and the doctors talked in the exam room, carefully crafting the next step.

I am so moved by the love they had for each other. Dad without a clue how to cure his wife, but a love and dedication that rose to the top. And Mama, scared to death, but trusting her husband to take care of her and her life's fate completely. When she couldn't hear any more of the results, she would turn it over to him. She knew he would make the very best decisions. I love love love that I was blessed into this family, and am a product of this love.

By October 2006 Mama was at home and fading fast. I absolutely believe she held on long enough to NOT DIE on her wedding anniversary. Although she wasn't eating any more by then, I still made them a nice anniversary dinner. She was roused long enough to acknowledge what day it was, and smiled. She made it through the 18th, and 25 hours later she was gone.

This is the kind of love that fairy tales should be made of. Not heroic or flashy. Just humble and modest and honest.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blog Take 2

I started a blog at least an hour ago. I just re-read it and it was so negative. What a shame. Is that what I have become? I hope not. I can't keep going there. So I erased the whole thing and instead found a picture to inspire me...and this is what I found...I think I'd like to go here instead:

And soon we will be in OUR OWN home, and I will do my best to infuse peace, love and gentleness into our new household and music too.. Music is a constant ever changing, every beautiful, ever soothing element in my life. Be it Worship Team practice, singing, playing the piano, radio, live music, anything with a tune...and I'm happy. Our home will now have room for the family piano, originally brought to California in the late 1800's by horse and wagon when my Great Grandmother Vonnie was a child. Music fills a void in my life. Music takes me to a better place.

This coming week poses an entirely new set of challenges. And at the same time I will be re-living many things this week as well...and so I will pray, pray, pray and surround myself with an abundance of music...cause I haven't got a clue what else to do to keep me on this side of sanity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Letter

Dear Friend-

I know that you are hurting. I know that you are questioning, and confused and lost. I know that we may have had our differences in the past, but you must know I'd do anything in the world for you. I know that you are scared and must tread lightly and still be a mighty mom. I know that life is at the very edge and that it's all or nothing. My heart aches with you dear friend. This very second I want nothing more than to just see you smile and know that there is hope beyond this. I don't know what I should be doing for you. Anything I have is yours. I can listen. I can pray. I can cry with you. I can walk with you and hold your hand. I will hug you and hold you and just sit by your side. I am so blessed by your friendship, dear friend. I am here for the long haul and your sleepless nights too. If nothing else, I can remind you gently and lovingly that you can hold tightly to God. Lean to Him dear friend; For He is strong enough to handle everything on your plate...with grace and mercy and unending love. You and He are an unbeatable pair. And you and I are friends for life.
You can't lose me.
Love you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Packing Up

There is something very soothing about going through my old things. They conjure up old memories and stories. They bring me back to times of peacefulness and tranquility and thoughtfulness to see how I've grown as a result or what has changed since. There is something incredibly freeing about throwing out junk that I've held on to for far too long. Spring cleaning of sorts, except it's getting to winter and it's for my entire house this time, as I attempt to pack us up and out and into a new home. The definition of my being does not equate into my belongings. What I possess in my heart should suffice as my testament.

I just saw a friend of mine whom we'll call Y. Y and I have been friends for long enough that they could tell I was a little shaken. And so they asked. And so I vaguely shed light on recent stresses. Y pushed a little more, and so I shed a larger amount of light on specifically where my heart is heavy...Now I'm not one to open up in general, if at all. But this is a friend. But this "friend" was disinterested and didn't want to hear it. I got about 3 sentences into it and it was clear that's not what Y expected to hear, and so Y was done listening. Remember that wall? I'd gotten several rows lower than I ever have before. Hand me those bricks now please, cause it's going right back up.

When we brought Mama home from the hospital on hospice, I was a wreck. I was doing everything to keep it together on the outside, but I was absolutely chaotic and lost on the inside. Y happened to call on day #2 of Mama being home and said they'd be in town soon and would like to swing by. Oh and I'm thinking Glory Hallelujah! Y will come and I can have a few moments of extra support; this is just what I need. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And so I waited, expectantly, excitedly. But Y never came. I should have known better. I don't know why I get my hopes up. Y never even called until long after Mama had died. I didn't know this would become Y's pattern.

So as I'm cleaning out my house, I'm also cleaning out my heart. Sometimes it's beautiful and mostly it's not. Mostly it's hard to face fears head on. I need not place my expectations and faith on any being on this Earth. And I need not place my personal worth on any tangible object, just the love of my Savior in my soul. I will still love Y too, but no longer will Y have permission to hurt me any more. Because I'm throwing that out too, right into the trash, right where it belongs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Party For One

Little Bitty Bebe turned a big n' mighty ONE year's old today. Oh my goodness. It honestly seems like yesterday that I was in labor with her. Wow wow wow. Not to be so cliche. But time REALLY does fly. Why in the world do I try to rush through ANYTHING when things go by so quickly already as it is...

Bitty did not sleep last night. I thought that maybe she instinctively KNEW it was her birthday the next day and could hardly contain her excitement. Not the case. Bitty is a sick Bitty Babe. High fever and saddest little look on her face. She knows some thing's not right and she feels icky and she just doesn't know what to do with herself.
Well *lucky* for her, mom was a good mom and scheduled her 1 year well-child-check-up appointment today....for which she received 4 unhappy birthday shots. Ooooh UGH. She looked so BETRAYED when she was screaming at me after the first one. I'm so sorry sweet baby.

She got a special jumbo birthday cupcake all for herself. She didn't have a clue what to do with it. And didn't like it on her hands. And then her eyes were itchy and her little caked up hands smudged cake and frosting all over her feverish little face.
She got a quick birthday bath to wash off all the stickiness. But her royal duties were not done yet. Nooo... the princess has presents you see...
She was a good sport. She sat while her sissies opened her presents. She did not have a tantrum. She stuck it out. And then as soon as Grandma picked her up she just melted right into her arms. Oh Grandmas are so good and cuddly and comforting.

Thank God for Grandmas. =)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Reunion Day

Today was my 10 year high school reunion at a local park. I'm still processing it all. It was GREAT to see so many many faces of people I haven't seen since graduating. High school can be weird and awkward and catty. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all these folks all grown up. I never would have thought growing up that our class would produce such an exciting variety of professions! Really! I think I always just hoped I wouldn't trip walking across the senior lawn, didn't have a booger hanging on the end of my nose during class, hoped my friends would still like me even if I didn't get my driver's license right away. Funny how high school should have been preparing me (or I should have cared enough) for the life adventure ahead. But all I could see was what was right in front of me. Huh.

Our graduating class has:
3 PhD's
9 teachers
2 lawyers
1 medical social worker
1 civil engineer
1 professional dancer
2 RN's
1 Para jumper with special forces in the Air Force
2 Marines
1 paramedic
1 career fire fighter
1 Financial Services Supervisor
1 producer
1 electrician
1 Legislative advocate
1 Army soldier
1 chef
1 photographer
2 stay at home moms
1 musician
1 PR for Big Brothers Big Sisters
1 Moody Bible Institute student
2 Physical therapists
2 hair stylists
1 professional car mechanic on TV
1 Horse Shoe-er <-- I know there's a real name for that but don't remember what it is

.....and the list goes on.....

I don't think it ever crossed my mind that we would all end up growing up and making something of our lives that was more than the pettiness of high school. I'm so pleased to say that we have. WE HAVE collectively as a group forged a bond that only we know. That is a beautiful beautiful thing to have, and to have experienced today.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Sickie

My sweet Big Bebe is very sick today. =( She's not responding well to the medicine and it makes her sick too. Poor thing. As if school isn't hard enough, then she starts throwing up. At least she was close to a door and made it outside. Can you imagine the humiliation of a tender 9 year old who just heaved in a classroom? Ugh. When I got to the school she had barricaded herself in the office bathroom, where she was still throwing up even 25 minutes later. This does mean we *might* get an early jump on today's trip to Lucile Packard. They need more tests. Looks like next week will be Tues/Thurs/Fri/Sat. Prayers please. This little girl is a lot like someone else I know. Rock solid exterior, and fragile as can be inside.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quick History of a Meg

Here's a totally random list of fun/odd/interesting factoids about moi..and those I've blackmailed into saying they are related to me.....
  • My parents were each carried for 10 months in their mama's wombs. I told them that's why they got along so well...cause they were both freaks of nature...Hahahahaha I always found this super funny and dad did too--but mom-not so much.

  • I was named after a dead nun.

  • Got scarlet fever as a child and almost kicked the bucket. Mama Hen was my saving grace even back then
  • Spent several months in a condo in Hawaii before I went to kindergarten, here:

  • I am ambidextrous and dyslexic

  • Most of my second grade year mom and I got to stay with dad here:
  • My mom taught College Writing, English Lit, Journalism, and French at my High School. I thought I'd hate it (having her so close by). But I loved every second of it.
  • In High School I was an avid soccer player

  • In High School I also was very involved with this: Less than 2 months later, my partner from this, along with 3 other people died in a devastating fiery car crash July 4th 2007

  • Hubby and I met as cadets at the local fire department
  • Our wedding was just a few elements short of getting I always thought it would be more like this:

  • Both of Hubby's parents are adopted

  • Each of my big girl's best friends are adopted

  • I don't want to bear any more children, but love the idea of adopting

  • My grandpa and great uncle were heavily involved in the Manhattan project. Mom was born in Oakridge, TN

  • My great aunt was kinda famous too: She had a poodle named Dulcie. When that one would die, she'd get another one that looked exactly the same and name it Dulcie. Again and again....

  • And our family likes our food:

  • My big kids went to the same pre-school I did, and are currently going to the same elementary school I did
  • I thoroughly enjoy retail therapy....and my checkbook does not

  • I grew up in the same house my entire childhood. We've moved on average once a year since Big bebe was born. I hope that comes to halt real quick like

  • Certain smells can bring me right back to an old memory, same with certain songs

  • My parents would have celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary this October 18th.
  • I'm going to my 10th High School reunion this Saturday and I'm scared to death
  • This is the most handsome fellow I know
  • My mom died of this and was diagnosed here :

  • Big bebe has this:

  • I don't have any siblings. So I celebrated my cabbage patch doll's birthdays instead growing up. Her name is Sarah Marie and her birthday is today!

  • My mom secretly got me a cat against my dad's wishes when I turned 12. Dad hated that cat. After mom died, that cat was the only one in the house to keep dad company.

  • I am officially going here for my Christmas vacation, to help continue to clean up from this:

  • There is much to do