Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

A short week that feels like a long one.....I cannot wait for tomorrow at 5, when the weekend starts and we can focus once more on what is important, rather than what needs to be done to make ends meet!

I am thankful for my job- I find myself in an uncomfortable space right now....a place where part of me knows exactly what to do and part of me is living in a fog. The days seem so difficult and I found myself in a situation where I literally couldn't answer a question that was asked of me. I thought about it- and I'm sure I used to know the answer- I had to have known. But for the life of me, I couldn't recall and people were counting on me to have the solution. It was painful. In the end- I said that I didn't know- and someone else needed to help them. And you know what- the world didn't end, I didn't get fired, and someone else figured it out. And now I know. Sometimes the fear grips me and I can't move- but I need to have faith, and ask for help when I need it and feel good about this uncomfortable space that I think will lead me to a better place on the other side.

I am thankful for time spent with Cooper this week doing things that will hopefully be etched in his mind always.

Our trip to choose the puppy...

a stop along the highway to enjoy an incredible view...
the final Tiger Scout Meeting at his scout leaders house, complete with a water slide....

I am thankful that Jon had a safe trip over the Memorial Day weekend, when traffic is nuts and accidents are plentiful.

I am thankful for good friends- friends who laugh with me, listen to my rants and raves, who love me for who I am and who tell me when my underwear is showing during a meeting (uh, yes- true story).

I am thankful for kind bloggers who leave comments that never fail to bring me a smile, and who take risks themselves and inspire me to take some too.

I am thankful!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

She Picked Him!

this one is mine

This picture makes me smile....he's so happy and so thrilled. I am not so sure the same is true of the puppy....but if she had any idea how lucky she is to have him as her boy- well...she's one lucky dog!!

She's still too little to come home....we have 3 1/2 more weeks until the big day....but we went to choose her and instead- she picked him.

The entire experience was magical- there is something about puppies, green grass, blue skies and sunshine (oh, and a 6 year old) that makes all seem right with the world.

The countdown continues....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day


A day of celebrations....and remembering.

Happy Memorial Day-

Need a Tractor?

Have I got a deal for you....

Click here for the chance to own a great little tractor, previously owned by my nutty husband.


I do adore the man, but seriously- I've been through a lot. Last year he HAD to have this tractor. He sold our boat and used the funds to buy it......and I admit- it's come in handy. He ripped out our old front walk and all of our bushes.


We added a new walk in a much more up to date shape and material. We re-landscaped and now have actual grass in our yard. I am THRILLED.


When it snowed this winter, he drove all over the neighborhood and plowed driveways- free for the asking, but he did make some cash too. And the whole time, he could talk of nothing more than his love for this piece of machinery.

The tractor again came in handy for our garden. It's amazing this year! The soil the softest potting mix you can imagine- all because of the tractor. What used to take hours to do took him a fraction of the time this year- and the results (so far) have been fantastic.

But, he's had a go at having a tractor and is again focused on a boat (which I cannot say that I'm all that unhappy about). And so, the tractor must go.

So if you know anyone.....or if you yourself could use a tractor.......don't be shy.

PS- I MUST point out that this is the 2nd time he's posted it. The 1st time didn't amount to a purchase (or even a single bid). I couldn't even look at the posting because I knew it would give me heart failure (from the spelling errors alone). I did ask him though- "how are you planning to get the tractor to the new owner?". His answer- "oh, I said that I'd deliver it anywhere for a price" WHAT?? Are you kidding me???? Do you have any idea how large this COUNTRY is?? And then I calmly removed myself from his presence.

His new posting says that he will deliver within 250 miles. At least I was able to influence him on that piece. (It truly is the little things)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What We Did Right-

As a parent, it's so hard to know exactly how to do it all. There are so many dreams and expectations that we have for our children and it's dizzying to know when to go with gut, when to consult the experts, when to mimic a friend and when to rely on the memories of how we were raised ourselves. In the end, we never really know- and it's usually some combo. We hope the the result is joy and pride but it can also result in sadness and defeat.

I have been reading to Cooper since he was born. Truthfully, it seemed odd when he was so small, but it's what my mom did for me and it's always touted as being important in books and magazines. It gives kids experiences in their minds/imaginations before they can have them for real. It teaches and guides and bridges the roads to speaking and learning to read themselves.

I adore reading- always have. Jon loves it now, but didn't as a kid. Our bedtime routine used to include both of us snuggled in bed with Cooper reading 2 stories before kisses and lights out. Only 2 at bedtime- although sometimes he could convince us to read more. During the day, he'd sometimes crawl up onto my lap dragging books with him and begging me to read. Sometimes I wondered whether he'd ever tire of listening to me read. Now I'm the only one snuggled up with him and more often than not- he's reading to me.

Lately though, his reading has taken off- he's a voracious reader- he reads anything he can get his hands on. We went shopping for plants a bit ago and he took a book. He read for an hour while we shopped for the perfect shrubbery. Jon went to look at a boat on the way to the river. He talked to the man for over 90 minutes- Cooper read the entire time. Both times, people look at us like we're nuts- how did you get him to be like that???

I don't know- because the child will only eat 6 things: pizza (only specific kinds, and NEVER frozen), chicken, yogurt, pancakes, hot dogs and bagels. He's painfully shy and it borders on rude when were meeting new people (or sometimes people that we've known for ages) and he won't try ANYTHING new without either an act of Congress or a candy bribe. Clearly, we missed the boat on these things....

But reading....with reading, we did something right!! We used the right formula- our modeling + his brain + a great 1st grade teacher = 1 kid who LOVES to read. It amazes me and makes me so happy, and fills me with pride because you know....reading is fundamental!

Tonight, I tucked him into bed after reading the first chapter in a book about pirates. He looked up at me and asked if he could read a little more on his own. Sure- that's fine.

Almost 2 hours later, I happened to walk by the living room and this is what I saw....


He finished the book. 105 pages about pirates.
He may be dragging tomorrow morning- but he knows a thing or two about a pirate!

Ayy Matey!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Congratulations Katie!!

Jon's sweet niece graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Marketing.

Katie is darling and we adore her. She's leaving on a jet plane today to tour Europe for a month with her beau and a few of his frat brothers. Hmmmmm- that should make for some interesting stories.

Wade was there to see his little sister walk across the stage, and we were with her in spirit.

Such a huge accomplishment and so much possibility.
We love you KT!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day

My Mother's Day weekend was a dream!

Friday- worked late and drove to the river to meet Jon and Cooper. We had pizza and giggles while the rain pounded our little cottage and the lightning illuminated the sky. The big kind of strikes that crackle and leave lines and are spooky but beautiful.

Saturday- I slept late and the boys brought be breakfast. I had a day of shopping planned with the girls and could hardly wait. Before I left, Cooper was insistent upon giving me a Mother's Day gift. Jon tried to talk him out of it- but couldn't. He kept saying that I needed to have it before I went shopping. Apparently something clicked for Jon and he finally agreed.
Who doesn't need a green shopping bag with one of a kind artwork? I was armed and dangerous for my excursion. The shopping fairies were kind to me and I found all sorts of goodies for summer. My bag returned from it's maiden voyage stuffed to the top!

We went to our favorite pub by the water for dinner and by chance started talking to the owner. He then proceeded to invite us to sit at "his" table. We shared some great conversation and he ate his dinner while we waited for ours. Cooper was quite confused about "the man who ate dinner with us" but we loved it. Typically, we have crabcakes- but "Deano" said that they had 2 amazing specials. A crab sampler (stone crab claws, rock crab claws and king crab legs)- YES! Jon had the flounder, Cooper had chicken fingers. Deano told him that they had trouble finding chicken with fingers which brought a chuckle and all of us ranked it among our all time best meals. I was in heaven. We ended the night with a walk along the waterfront.

Sunday morning began early with a weird feeling that someone was watching me. Cooper was less than 3 inches from my face with a huge grin, just waiting for me to open an eye. Behind his back was my second Mother's Day gift.
The other side says "corn". Apparently he was hungry while getting creative. He was so proud of himself. I adore a homemade gift and his this year have special places in my heart and home.

We had a picnic with our river friends- great food, fun conversation, softball for the dads and kids and moms doing what we love most......chatting, enjoying the sun and smiling on our families.

As a grand finale, Jon was able to take a picture of Cooper and me that I love-

It was a wonderful weekend and perfect day!
Hope your Mother's Day was just as special.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I discovered 2 new things about my hubby this week.

1) He's always wanted to raise bees (and will be meeting with a bee keeper on Saturday to discuss the possibility)
2) He's started to drink a concoction of black strap molasses & vinegar to boost his health

And can see that it's been a great week to focus on things that I am thankful for.

Rain that turns everything so green....and the sun that's hopefully just around the corner
Celebrating C!nco de Mayo with good friends and yummy food
Diet Coke
Fleece sheets - I adore these
An unexpected gift from an amazing co-worker
Cooper reading Frecklejuice from start to finish- all by himself! I loved it when I was little, and to see him be so engrossed made me smile all over.
Looking forward to the weekend
Making plans for summer vacation
Forever stamps....before they cost .44
Puppies getting 1 week closer to being able to come home
Crazy husbands with big dreams and wacky ideas!

Have a super weekend!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I am SOO Vanilla

Years ago I worked in IT. If you know me, it's truly laughable. Even if you don't know me- it's laughable. The job sort of evolved over time and one day I just ended up in a group that built systems for HR. The role didn't last long....thankfully my boss at the time (who coincidentally is my boss again right now) was super supportive and got me back into HR where I belonged. Truth be told, I didn't mess anything up too terribly and I do have some good stories and a basic, if not outdated, understanding of how systems work.

Anyhoo- back to the point. When a vendor tries to sell you a system they have a basic version. It's the vanilla version. You can buy this version at a reasonable cost and use it as it is with good results. OR, you can customize the heck out of it which costs tons of money and gives you all sorts of crazy, whiz-bangy add ons that you think are going to make your process amazing. Depending on how much money you have, and how good your team is- the results can be great and you get just what you want. OR, it can be a disaster.

Sort of like ice cream. You can order vanilla and you know it's going to be good. It's plain, tastes good and meets your basic need for ice cream. You can also add all sorts of stuff to it- sauces and toppings, whip cream and sprinkles....and depending on what you chose and how much you put on- it could be fantastic....or not.

Today I was reminded of how very vanilla I am. Sometimes this makes me sad, or feeling left out or less than. Today it actually made me feel strong and proud and worthwhile (it also made me feel fashion challenged, but I'll take that one).

I went to brunch with 2 old friends. We have known each other for over 20 years and have shared so many things-the stories that we could tell, and did!! I was half looking forward to the visit and half dreading it. One is probably the strongest woman I know (and not just because she's probably going to read this!) and the other was once my closest friend, but time and circumstances change even the best of friendships.

We made a funny trio (well, actually quartet since we were joined by a tag along 14 year old son who was hungry- um, seriously??)....I wore levi's, a white t-shirt and raspberry cardigan with dansk*'s, they looked adorable in a skirt and funky sweater with leopard ballet flats and a dress, cardigan and cute flip flops. I had on minimal makeup....they were completely put together (ok, so a late night viewing of this movie did take it's toll on a certain set of eyelids).

The conversation centered around the almost unbelievable life of one friend- jet setting, dating, stories of parties, weddings, bachelorette parties, who's who in our city events and it all made me dizzy. I was literally processing sentences from 15 minutes earlier in the conversation and when the question was asked of me- "what's happening in your life?"...... I completely blanked.

Um, well....we're getting a puppy in June. FABULOUS!!

I live such a simple life- and although there are things that I wish I could change- the bulk of it just suits me perfectly. I'm not worried about my boyfriend going back to his wife- because my sweet, sometimes annoying hubby is the only person that I can imagine being with. I'm not worried about whether I've got the perfect thing to wear to a party in South Beach- because the closest I'll be to South Beach is on the diet (which wouldn't be a bad idea). I'm not worried about feeding my hungry 14 year old and dragging him to a girls brunch because my 6 year old is happily entertained with my hubby planting onions and playing in a mud puddle.

As soon as I left brunch, I headed straight for T@rget to get myself balanced again. Getting a glimpse into the world of chocolate sauce, sprinkles and a poof of whip cream may be fun....but it is abundantly clear that I am a total vanilla dork.

And that's ok with me.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's Been 1 Year!!

I did it!

I've been blogging for 1 year!!

I can't make my bed for 1 week or stop eating sugar for 1 month. I've made so many grand plans in my head and I really have the best of intentions- but most of them fall by the wayside....but this- stuck. Huh!

I was inspired by this friend and her journey to their daughter. No baby for me- just a way to reflect, remember and focus on the (mostly) positive. I've captured the mundane, the hilarious (IMHO), the fun, the sad and hopefully, the things that will remind me of a time that otherwise might be forgotten in the deep dark crevices of my brain.

If you're here for the 1st time, welcome!
If you've been here before and you're coming back- thank you!!