Archive for August, 2008

Vacation

August 27, 2008

We rarely go on vacation, since the nature of my job (writing) is one of those that follows me where ever I go.

However, today we’re going to my favorite beach spot in the whole wide world for five – FIVE!!! – wonderful days.

We’ve never done this before!

I’m so excited. I plan on sitting and watching my kids play in the sand for hours while reading trashy novels and getting a few more freckles, making smores at night on the beach, connecting with a few old friends, snuggling with my husband, etc.

It’s going to be great.

Can't help but wonder

August 26, 2008

We found a great old home video of me from highschool last night, that I and some of my best friends from youth group put together. It got me thinking: other than a new hairdo (and about 50 pounds, oy vey), my outlook on life hasn’t changed that much.

Here’s an example. I remember looking at my mom and stepdad, and promising myself that I would never, NEVER, let my marriage or any relationship be as sick and dysfunctional as theirs was. Instead, I would take as my model my Nana and Papa, who were married for 53 joyous years when he died in the arms of his bride from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

After being married for almost 17 years to my highschool sweetheart, we’re still going strong. Still find stuff to talk about, still laugh all the time (that’s one thing that I tell my daughter about finding a husband, you’ve gotta find someone that makes you laugh!), and we’re looking forward to the next 50 years. It’s not perfect, we’re not perfect, but we’re committed.

However, this last couple of years we’ve seen one couple after the other in our circle of friends topple.

One man who was away on business all the time cheated on his wife with the woman he’s now married to. Their kids think that Daddy abandoned them, and nothing he says otherwise can convince them.

Another couple let something fester for so long that it ended up imploding. Now their lives are shattered, and it’s got quite the ripple effect.

How do we react to this? I find myself wanting to reassure myself of my husband’s presence constantly. I need to be close to him, physically and emotionally. And he does the same. We know that “there but for the grace of God go I“.

Marriage is hard. HARD. And we’ve gone through a lot: financial problems, major medical issues, family rifts, etc. We expect to go through more. But I can’t give up. I won’t give up. It’s just not an option.

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Can’t help but wonder

August 26, 2008

We found a great old home video of me from highschool last night, that I and some of my best friends from youth group put together. It got me thinking: other than a new hairdo (and about 50 pounds, oy vey), my outlook on life hasn’t changed that much.

Here’s an example. I remember looking at my mom and stepdad, and promising myself that I would never, NEVER, let my marriage or any relationship be as sick and dysfunctional as theirs was. Instead, I would take as my model my Nana and Papa, who were married for 53 joyous years when he died in the arms of his bride from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

After being married for almost 17 years to my highschool sweetheart, we’re still going strong. Still find stuff to talk about, still laugh all the time (that’s one thing that I tell my daughter about finding a husband, you’ve gotta find someone that makes you laugh!), and we’re looking forward to the next 50 years. It’s not perfect, we’re not perfect, but we’re committed.

However, this last couple of years we’ve seen one couple after the other in our circle of friends topple.

One man who was away on business all the time cheated on his wife with the woman he’s now married to. Their kids think that Daddy abandoned them, and nothing he says otherwise can convince them.

Another couple let something fester for so long that it ended up imploding. Now their lives are shattered, and it’s got quite the ripple effect.

How do we react to this? I find myself wanting to reassure myself of my husband’s presence constantly. I need to be close to him, physically and emotionally. And he does the same. We know that “there but for the grace of God go I“.

Marriage is hard. HARD. And we’ve gone through a lot: financial problems, major medical issues, family rifts, etc. We expect to go through more. But I can’t give up. I won’t give up. It’s just not an option.

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An exercise in futility

August 25, 2008

Here is my vow as a future mother-in-law.

I vow to remember my grandchildrens’ birthdays.

I vow to follow through on promises I’ve made to my grandchildren, instead of making excuses WHY I’m not following through.

I vow to spend time with my grandchildren, who have invited me to spend time with them in Cannon Beach for a week, instead of taking my ugly-ass dog to some training thing.

That is all (for now).

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Tom and Jerry

August 21, 2008

Tom and JerryImage via Wikipedia Henry: How come the cat never wins? I want the cat to win sometimes.

Daddy: You mean on Tom and Jerry? The cat and the mouse?

Henry: Yeah. Why does the mouse always win?

(I’m sure I could spin this into something vaguely philosophic and life-altering, but I don’t feel like it. I just thought it was cute.)

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Throwing fits in the library

August 20, 2008

So this morning, in a vain attempt to make my kids STOP FIGHTING ALREADY, I decided to take them to our local library where there be free books, free Internet, and free librarians who will give my kids the fish eye if they so much as whisper.

Things were going well – kids were reading Far Side books (Gary Larsen FTW!), I was working, library was quiet.

Until the Psycho Three Year Old arrived.

We’re all familiar with the PTYO. In public places, this tiny but powerful being loves to assert his authority by screaming. Loudly. With gusto. For prolonged periods of time until people (me) start ovulating; misguidedly, but well-meaningly.

What I mean by that previous confusing sentence is this: I walked out of the library to the lobby where the PTYO was pitching a fit the likes of which I haven’t seen since my kids were that age. So, a while. I nicely asked the grandma type if there was “anything I could do to help”, which is polite speak for COULD YOU PLEASE SHUT THAT FREAKING KID UP.

After about five minutes of me reassuring her that she was doing the right thing by not giving in to his demands, I offered her my portable syringe of Valium and went my merry way. Yeah, if only – I save that for my OWN kids, not some crazy ankle biter that I just met!

Anyway, he’s quiet now. My work is done.

I think the librarian has some grudging respect for me. She keeps looking over at me with something that looks like respect. But maybe her fish eye is just not all the way up to speed.

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Where did the time go?

August 20, 2008

See this guy?

Today is his 14th birthday.

I remember so much about the day he was born. My water broke – quite explosively, I might add – at 5:30 AM, and for the next two hours, I puttered around the house, very serene, while my husband followed me and timed the contractions. I remember going into the bathroom and having a “holy crap!” moment, realizing that there was absolutely no way I was going to get out of this experience now, that I was in it for the long haul.

17 and a half hours later (!) James arrived. We didn’t know what to name him, and talked about it on the phone (DH had gone home for some clothes). It became crystal clear to both of us that the only name that would fit would be of my Papa, my grandfather, who had passed away just four months earlier after a long fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Even now, 14 years later, I still cry when I think about my Papa. He was the best man I’ve ever had the privilege to know, and I’m so glad that James carries on his name. So, so glad.

Anyway! Enough sap, huh? James has had a good birthday today. He requested Mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls (done) and a visit to the mall (done). For the first time, we gave him money instead of gifts, and he was THRILLED, yet, I think he would’ve loved some gifts, too. No matter how much teenagers protest, they love that kind of thing.

Love you, James. You’ll always be my sweetheart. Happy Birthday!

Kids say the darndest things

August 19, 2008

Henry on watching Spiderman (for the first time!) and seeing the kissing scene: “Oh, GOOD GRIEF.”

Emma: “Mommy, did you know that when Daddy kisses you his tongue goes in your mouth?”

James: “Did you know that the XBox is only $189 at GameStop?”

(That last one isn’t so funny.)

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Rainy days and Mondays always on my mind

August 18, 2008

Today, for the first time in like a bajillion years, it is raining.

I love rain. That’s probably why I love the Northwest, because if you don’t like rain here, you’re going to be pretty dang unhappy. I love everything about rain: the drip-drip, the trickles, gosh, I even don’t mind getting soaked. I’m that crazy about rain.

I especially love how it makes my kids want to play with toys they haven’t played with in a while. Right now, they are playing with this big racetrack thing we got at one of those mall kiosks (my favorite one is always, ALWAYS the weird wig/hair extension one). They’ve been playing with it for hours, and except for a brief crazy screaming interlude where both of them were crying and waving cars around, they’ve been very happy.

Happy kids = happy momma! I love listening to them play. It’s one of my favorite things in the world. And rain is one of the things that makes this all possible. Unlike camping, which is actually what we were going to be doing today, out on the coast. Suffice it to say that since it is pouring down rain with thundershowers, we…um….well, we wimped out. I don’t want to admit this, but the very thought of staying in a tent while it’s raining cats and dogs makes me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my big wimpy head.

Sunday poems

August 17, 2008

I just love poetry. However, it really has to pull me in pretty dang quick (short attention span, don’t you know). Here’s a few that I found today.

An open letter to my husband: A woman who feels desired is many things……

When I Born, I Black: When I born, I black
When I grow up, I black
When I go in Sun, I black…..

Coffee in the Afternoon: It was afternoon tea, with tea foods spread out
Like in the books, except that it was coffee……