Sunday, September 17, 2006


My mom is leaving in the morning.

My dad has called for her to GET BACK HOME and sadly- he always wins!

We haven't done much this week but it's been great to have her here and she has been excellent back-up during some rough days that everyone needed support. Moms are good for that, right?

So, I'm already seeing signs of sadness in her face and she's dropped "You could just come home with me" hints but I'm reassuring her that it won't be long and that my annual October Fest trip is just around the corner.

Except, no one is feeling festive and October seems a LONG WAY AWAY...

Oh well. I'm not crying because it's over...I'm smiling because it happened.


(I know you may read this tonight...and-I love you, San. I have thought of no one else today but you. Just thought you'd like to know.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"A mom a day..."

...Keeps the blues away!

Last night my mom showed up at my doorstep and it was just what I needed!

It doesn't matter how old you get-sometimes, you just need your mom.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Happy birthday, Di

Happy Birthday, Diane....Yesterday! I didn't forget...I was just pouting about your trip!

This is the second year that I couldn't celebrate with you and I'm not going to tolerate it ANY LONGER!

Are you free September 11, 2007?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

You think YOU have it bad!

(This one is for Sam..)

I was very aggravated the other day with my sons as they were telling me something that I "have" to do for them.

I stated to them in my clear, direct "mother tone" (that I have currently perfected and sound strangely familiar to my own mother...)

"I only have to teach you FOUR things and then I've done the minimal requirements for a parent of little boys (It clearly gets more complicated with teenagers!). I have to teach you about God, how to read, how to swim, and how to ride a bike. Besides the first, I never care if you ever do those things again once you've learned but YOU HAVE TO LEARN...otherwise, I'm a failure and I can't live with that!"

Much dramatic sighing followed.

By all of us.

Sam has recently learned to ride his bike and he hates it. I have to force him out the door and threaten him to ride around the yard several times until I have appeased my own guilt that I am not doing my job as a parent and the nagging concern that my boys aren't normal!

Sam pretty much refuses to ride on the cement road. Although I know that it would be tons easier and that that may be the only chance we have of him learning to like riding, He is terrified of falling and only agrees to ride on grass.


So...I'm posting this picture that shows the hill that my dad made me ride down the day he took my training wheels off. I remember it vividly because just at the bottom of it...I tumbled over.

As usual, what I anticipated being a mountainous-like incline that was unreasonable for any parent to require of their child on a first bike ride...I found a few weeks ago to be quite subtle and acceptable. Isn't crazy how much smaller things are the older you get?

Suck it up, Sambo! You think YOU have it bad!

"Let it Go"

I'm freakishly sentimental.


I've struggled to find another person that gets as attached to certain things MORE than I do.

I'm a year away from practically starting life over again (both kids in school all day) and I'm trying to think of a degree or occupation that I could intertwine my sentimentality into for success.

There has to be one, right?

In our last move, I attempted to not just store my "sentimental stuff" boxes but to break them open and get things sorted out. I was shocked at what I had decided to keep through the years.

Ticket stubs and particular candy wrappers....the "Florence Nightingale" candle that San made (or let) me carry for her wedding...letters and pictures and map directions...old, dried up crusty flowers. I even kept tissues that I've cried into in various situations?


I'm a freak. It's official.

I got it all down into one small under the bed box and while that makes me feel better, I wonder to myself, "Is this way of life okay or do I need an adjustment?"
I'd like to think it's a part of my personality that's endearing but I'm afraid...


Recently a photographer I met offered to let me come work at his studio. He said after talking to me that it sounded like I saw life in snapshots.

That's fairly true and actually pretty cool...good for me!

I do love to take pictures. I hardly go anywhere without my camera. Even just being out for a basic dinner, I've been known to grab my digital. My friends hate it but they'll appreciate it one day when I'm gone!

This last trip up North, I drove by my childhood home and decided this was the trip that I was going to take some photographs. I got out of the car and walked the familiar sights of my childhood and almost immediately I was flooded with memories from when I was a kid. One "snapshot" after another came popping into my mind as I remembered with every turn, the great life I had as a little girl.

I'm not sure why I'm so captivated with my old house. Other people I know seem to move from their childhood home and never look back. I, on the other hand, get teary when I go down the lane. I miss it. I have a secret plan to move back in a few years and make the owner an offer. The house would probably have to come down for the most part, but to be able to live on the same property would be awesome!

One of my favorite memories happened a few years ago. My sisters and I showed up at our old house on Christmas Day and asked the owners if we could bother them to let us walk through the house! You see, that's just my sisters enabling my sentimental sickness! We actually intruded on Christmas Day!!

This past month, I was shameful all over again. I completely trespassed onto the property without permission and made my way all around the house, taking pictures and peaking in windows.

I need help...really.

So, the following blogs are for my sisters and parents along with my boys. I want to tell you a few of the memories that came to me as I snuck around the property.

I realize that my obsessional personality can be disturbing and concerning but it can also mean that once I love something, I'm hard pressed to let it go.

And I'm okay with that!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Settle an Argument

Steph and I are taking a poll...

Which hairless animal do you think is cuter?

My best friend (who is apparently secretly on crack) thinks her hairless guinea pig is actually more attractive than my hairless cat!

WARNING!!! The following pictures contains graphic nudity and some horrific scenes.


This really is a no-brainer...even a Democrat should vote correctly!

Monday, September 04, 2006

What I discovered when I went home #1

I haven't posted much about the craziness that has been my life for the last month and for good reason, I guess. Most of it has been just stinky! Those of you that are close, know VERY well what I mean and I'm sure are yelling a loud "Amen" at your computer screen!

I was back South for one whole day from my trip North before I had to board a plane and go back to be with family that were in a difficult time.

As I was shuttling toward the airport this last week from the rental car place, getting ready to board to come back South, the shuttle attendant ask me the question, "Are you leaving home or going home?"

I actually sat puzzled for a minute. "Um...Well..both."

The definition of home these last few years has been tricky for me. Is it here?..Is it there? Where do I want it to be? Am I being disloyal by claiming one MORE home than the other?

My flight from Washington-Dulles got delayed and what should have been a southern arrival of 11:10pm transformed into a 2:30 am flight arriving at 4:00 am. I've never flown at night and at that hour nearly everyone on the plane was asleep. It was eerie at first, being in an enclosed place so high up in the air in darkness, but I realized as I began to relax that it was the first moment in days that I was experiencing utter silence.

I didn't like it.

It was in that hour and a half that I began to feel the burden of what everyone back home was going through and my own sadness to say good-bye ONCE AGAIN and I began to cry.


I really worried the flight attendant who stopped four times by my seat offering to do anything to make me feel better.

I was remembering a talk I had had earlier with a good friend that week..a friend that was sad and confused and frankly, lost. I said to him, "All that really matters in this life are the people God gives us. The people we love and the people that need love...making good, solid choices and putting aside our own wants and needs for the needs of others."

I know that is not the speech that Oprah would give out. She would tell you to invest into yourself and love yourself first. She would tell you to do what makes you happy. What she doesn't know is that it is in that sacrificial love that we find ourselves living out our intended purpose and that brings about a fulfillment that far exceeds basic happiness. It may not play out the way we thought it would but we have to choose to believe it will end far and away better than we could ever imagine.

I guess I discovered on both of my trips that "home" is not a place. It's not a house or an address. It's not confined to a state. It's not even limited to relatives.

Home is the unconditional investment that you make into people that you love. It's the sense of belonging. It's 8 friends gathered around a table eating dinner or a grammy looking at bugs with a little boy. It's celebrating a new member of a family or sipping Mountain Dews on a couch together. It's knowing when to jump in and when to stay away. It's being around for each other when life is a holiday or a heartbreak.

It's the people you love.

That's what home is.

What I discovered when I went home #2

...Every (and I mean EVERY) party is clearly better with someone wearing a sombreros!

This trip home, I got be around for Sandy's birthday. This is actually a pretty big deal because I haven't been able to celebrate with her for more than ten years! Of course, my friends have adapted to my absence and developed their own tradition of recognizing birthdays (that I, regrettably, am not a part of nor do I get to reciprocate with others for MY birthday but oh well...*sigh*) but this year, I crashed their party!

Of course, I recommended the place and they ALL hated it but me. (Chevy's in Champaign, Il. It's fabulous!...I mean it!)

Regardless, we ate an illegal amount of food and found good reason to laugh and spend some money.

Thanks girls, for a great night out!

What I discovered when I went home #3

Neither my mother or I like to cook but are willing to do so together for a good cause!

(We also like the perk of free hot fudge sundaes!)

I love you, Mom...and miss you very, very much!

What I discovered when I went home #4

...Actually, I discovered this on my second round home I made recently but I figure it still counts.

Instant Messenger.

My...My...My. It is clearly not what I remember it being. I haven't instant messengered in a LONG time but recently my best friend re-introduced it to me at her house and I am totally freaked out by what you can do on instant messenger now! I'm using the AOL new version (?) and I actually have a girl that looks a bit like me and says some of the things that I type after I type it! It's hilarious and really so much fun. Steph has a green M&M girl in Go-Go boots that walks around all sassy-like on the screen. What?

The smileys are merely a second thought now to the advancements that have gone into updating instant messenger.

Steph and I are having a great time typing and sometimes also phone talking as we type! It's like DOUBLE communication! YEAH!

(We are so immature!)