Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fields

Though I have no idea if I will be able to make it down to San Diego for this trip yet, if I can, there is one place I must stop. There are many things that I miss about California, and one of them is truly something that has to be seen in person to be appreciated. The Flower Fields.

If you've never been there, you simply must go. Here is a link to their website, though the pictures on it do not come anywhere close to doing it justice.

http://www.theflowerfields.com/

The Flower Fields are magnificent, and they are a few weeks from their annual peak. 50 acres of ranunculus flowers, in all different colors. Off the 5 in Carlsbad, you can see it from the freeway. (Sidebar: I just totally almost referred to the 5 as I-5, or the Interstate....have I really become that accustomed to living in Colorado???)

When we lived there, we made sure to go every year. As Aidan got older, we started doing the things he was interested in, like riding the tractor around the fields and running up and down the rows. The last time we went, I was very, very pregnant with Ally. Little did I know that only a few months later, we would leave California for good. It's probably better I didn't though, it would have diminished the joy I felt standing among the flowers.

There really aren't words that can describe the feeling of being surrounded by such beauty. It's best in the afternoon, when the breeze sweeps up from the ocean. If you hike up to the top of the fields, you can gaze upon all the flowers, with the Pacific as a sparkling sapphire backdrop.

I miss those fields. I miss those flowers. I miss California.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mix

Right now, I'm not really here. I'm trying to write a few posts before leaving, so that the blog doesn't just sit idle for the entire time I am gone. This particular entry was inspired by my preparations for the trip, the things I was checking off on my to-do list.

To go anywhere that involves any length of time in a confined space with children, there are certain things a mother needs to retain her sanity. Snacks, diapers and wipes, water bottles and juice boxes are required of course, but there are other things. Like the Frappucinos hidden deep at the bottom of my ice chest. Don't even think about touching those bad boys, they belong to me.

One of the required items is of course the DVD player and a nice big stack of movies to keep their interest. I need enough movies that I don't start to tire of the same songs and cheesy lines, though I never get tired of listening to my kids laugh at all the same parts of the movies. Aidan in particular has a laugh that warms your soul from within, it's as if he literally giggles from the bottoms of his toes. Never gets old.

As I was going through the list for the final time, I remembered something that had not made it on to the list at all. My CDs. I don't have an ipod. Not because I don't want one, but because my husband doesn't believe that I would use it enough to justify it. Okay, so he is probably right. I'm just not that technologically savvy. The downside though to the fact that he has an ipod, and is the chief entertainment officer in our family, and thus responsible for almost all music purchases, is that he doesn't buy CDs anymore and hasn't in a very long time. I would be hard pressed to think of the last one he bought. Without him and his ipod, I'm all pre-2005.

It's okay though, I don't need new and shiny. I have a batch of old CDs that will work just fine. In fact, I put a specific set of CDs back into the player in the car. The CD equivalents of mix tapes. Remember those??? I got them from my husband many years ago. Before we moved to Colorado, he made them for me to listen to on the drive here in the car. He, of course, had his ipod.

The CDs have never left the car in all those years. But they were gradually replaced with kid music, one by one. I dug them all out of the compartment and put them back in while waiting for the kids to get out of school one day. Listening to them on the ride home, I was suddenly overcome with nostalgia and emotion. These songs, the ones that I listened to over and over again on that long drive here have a special place in my heart. They became the soundtrack for a portion of my life. Even though I didn't choose any of them, and I had no say about the order they were put in, it all fits just right. And the fact that he spent all that time finding songs that he thought I would like all those years ago, and that I can still listen to them today, means a lot. It's like he'll be with me on this trip in a little way. Even though I'm far away, he will be in my thoughts almost constantly.

And really, isn't that the point of a mix tape? To make someone fall in love with you? I can tell you it works, even almost five years later.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crazy

I'm officially crazy. Only someone crazy would attempt what I am doing. Driving cross country with four kids. My wonderful mother in law will be accompanying us. I hope we don't scare her away from offering help in the future. Two days in the car with 4 kids is enough to drive anyone insane.

I vacuumed the car to get ready to pack it up, then wondered aloud why I bothered. By the time we reach our destination, it will be covered with crumbs and dirt and socks and more. Like I already said, I am crazy I guess.

Wish us luck. I will try to pop in during the trip for a brief post here or there. If the kids let me, that is. Man, is it going to be a long week.

It's a good thing I'm crazy enough to think this is a good idea.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Night

Nights are long around here lately. There have been too many children, too bright eyed and bushy tailed for the middle of the night for too many nights. There has been much whining and tossing and turning and needing.

I'm tired.

All the kids are sleeping right now, as is my husband. He's snoring, both girls are coughing. Snore, cough, cough. Snore, cough, cough. It's not their fault though, as he is sick right now and both the girls have my kind of asthma - the kind that tends to rear it's ugly head only at night.

Night is not as quiet and peaceful as it could be around here.

I should be taking advantage of this time to rest myself. Especially since I haven't had much of it as of late. But I'm just not the kind of person that can go to bed early. Character flaw? Perhaps.

Mostly it's that there are so many things, so many very different things, running through my head that it's hard to get control of all of them simultaneously. To make them settle and be still at the same time. Little things. Big things. Things I can control. More that I cannot. Many more.

These moments of the night are for me. It's just about the only time I get to myself. It is the time that I can sit and think about the things running through my head without constant interruption. Without someone needing me, tugging at a pant leg, hollering from down the hall.

Sometimes I find comfort in these moments. When I can work through my feelings, figure out ways to get things done, to make things right. Other times I find sorrow in these moments. Being alone with my feelings, really having time to explore the thoughts I push aside when I am too busy to think them, to feel them. When I am wrapped up in whatever else I need to do. At night, these thoughts come back. And they force me to realize that I am powerless far more often than I would like.

Tonight, I write. I am tired, yes. But I am not sleepy. It was not until sometime after I became a mother that I really realized that being tired and being sleepy are often not in any way related. That you can be one or the other or both or neither at any given time, sometimes with no rhyme or reason.

Sleep may come, but rest eludes me these days.

Goodnight my friends. May your night be restful. May your dreams be sweet. And may morning greet you with newness and peace.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Offer

I know this is early. I wanted to wait until morning to post this, but I just couldn't. I've been feeling these feelings for a while now, bottling them up inside. Until now, and they just escaped all of a sudden.

You ever just feel like there is something that you are meant to do? Like there is something, some way that you are supposed to help someone else, but have no possible idea of how to offer that help? How do you offer what I am willing to offer? How do you do it without hurting someone when that is the furthest thing from your mind? How?

I guess you just do. And I should. It's not a small thing I am offering to do. It's actually huge. But my dear husband is on board. He knows how important it is. It's not really something I am in the best position to do, to be totally honest. There are risks with me, yes, but I've proven that I can deliver, so to say. It's something that I can do, and I will do. If they want me to. And I don't know how to ask that. How to offer that.

Now isn't the best time, but it's not like I am getting younger. And they've waited for a very long time. It would be a big endeavor for all involved, this is true. There would be a lot of ifs and onlys. There would be tears and joy and hearts mended and holes filled. There would be a lot of explanations needed, journeys made. But it could be amazing.

I think I can do this. I want to do this, if they'll have me. If they need me.

And if they, those to whom I am offering, read this, I am certain that they will know exactly what I am talking about.

Lists

I love lists. I love list pads. I adore organization. I thrive on checking off the things that are done. Some might say that I take it too far. And maybe I do. I'm not obsessive about it or anything like that. But I learned a long time ago that the only way I am every going to get all the things I need to get done completed is to write it down.

I blame part of my inability to remember things on mommy brain. The fog that takes over your mind when you are pregnant the first time around, then clears briefly at some point after the baby is a toddler. The fog that reappears and moves in for good once the second child arrives. That mommy brain.

I used to be able to remember everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I had damn near close to a photographic memory for most of my life. Well, at least for the portion of it prior to having kids, anyway. Then suddenly, I forgot things. I had trouble remembering what I needed to do, where I needed to go. I stopped being able to go to the grocery store and come home with all the things I need. Even with a list now, that almost never happens.

Interestingly, it's not that my brain stopped functioning. It just started serving a different purpose. A more important one. While I couldn't tell you what I had for lunch yesterday without sitting and thinking a good long time about it, I could recite exactly what each of my children wore to school today. I can tell you precisely what was packed in their lunchboxes. I can tell you which after school activities they have today, tomorrow and the next day. The times they need picked up and dropped off.

When you become a mother, you start having more important things to occupy your thoughts. Anything deemed not that important gets shoved down on the list of priority, some falling through the cracks completely. Some things get forgotten. And, eventually, like me, you learn that you've got to start writing stuff down. If there is any hope of ever doing everything you need to, you need physical reminders.

I have several lists going right now. One for the things I need to do before I can leave for the trip. One for the things I need to take on the trip. One for Ally's upcoming birthday party - trying to get that all figured out way ahead of time. As I learned before, I might not have the time I think I will to get it done later. There is another list, the weekly one, of the meals and activities and appointments. And yet another of the things I'd like to get ready to take to a consignment sale in May. I need to start another one, of the things I need to do around the house. The kitchen and bathrooms need re-caulked, the shades in the kids rooms need replaced. Honestly, if I don't write these things down, I'll never get around to them.

I need some more list pads.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reminder

There are a few families at school as large as mine, only a couple larger. The vast majority of families at school have one or two children, though there are a decent amount of three child families.

People ask me all the time how much harder it is to have 4 than 3. Truthfully, it's not much harder. Once you have two, you have to learn to spread yourself out, you have to learn how to be wholly wrapped up in worrying, teaching and mothering more than one child. The third, at least for me, wasn't much harder. And by the fourth, it was literally an issue of just throwing another car seat in the car. Really.

But I'd suppose that my ease with parenting is not something that happened by accident. I have four kids, and I can handle having four kids. Most of the time, anyway. I know many, many people who don't think they could. And who are probably right.

There is one in particular who often tells me that my family serves as a reminder for her to take her birth control. Gee, so glad I provide that service for you. I'm so glad that there mere thought of having more kids terrifies you. That my kids terrify you. (I'm being a little sarcastic this morning, aren't I?)

I do have to say though, she has a point.

Maybe it is because, unlike what most people think, it is possible to care about, worry about, parent and love the fourth child just as much as the first. It just requires that I put myself last a lot of the time. I don't usually have the time or energy to worry about how I feel, or think about what I want. Having a lot of kids requires more sacrifice on my part. On my husband's part. And a lot of people just aren't cut out for that.

Without going into too many details, I haven't slept much this week. Between asthma, teething, injuries and worry, I've been up. A lot. Something is going on with every single one of my four right now, and it can get to the point of being overwhelming at times. But it is what it is. They are mine to worry about. To parent. To love.

It's the hardest job in the universe and it's the best job in the universe. Even if it also serves as a reminder to others to avoid it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Seriously

I find myself either saying or thinking this particular word a lot these days. Except it's more in the form of a question.

There are so many different things going on that make me say or think it. And it seems like practically every day brings a new reason to light.

As if I didn't have enough other health issues going on with my kids, in the last few months, all the following have been added: a possible case of scoliosis, an eye condition which may need therapy, two kids in need of glasses at some point in the near future, two kids who are probably going to need surgery and a partridge in a pear tree. So I'm being a bit facetious.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it, honestly. And I'm tired of the routine not being routine around here. Well child check ups are supposed to confirm that your children are just that. That they are "well", right? What ever that is, anyway. They aren't supposed to find other things that are wrong. Or at least I wished they worked that way.

I'm in hurry up and wait mode. I know that I am being referred to the right people to handle the surgery situations, it's just biding my time until the appointments. And hoping that nothing else happens in the meantime to make the scenario worse. Until then, I will sit and worry, cringing every time the phone rings from the school, hoping it isn't what I think it is.

I'm ready for a break. A time where nothing goes wrong for a little while. Seriously.

I have to say that not all of the things happening that make me wonder, seriously?, are bad. Some are just plain amusing. Disturbing, but amusing none the less. The one at school is laughable. Basically, there is a parent outraged about something that happened three months ago, and is determined to make a stink about it. But rather than facing the music, and doing the job they are paid to do, those in charge have taken another approach. Run and hide.

Seriously? I'm pretty sure that the people who put you in that position of authority wouldn't agree with your general approach. And really, if you can't handle being under the gun like that, then maybe you should rethink your career path.

Seriously.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish

Being Irish, today is a good day for me. I love St. Patrick's Day. I love the food, the parades, the blarney, the beer and everything that is green. Love it all.

I'm not as Irish as most people think I am, probably because it's the only part of my ancestry that I have really made any attempt to embrace. I'm more Irish than anything else, though. My kids are more Dutch than Irish, considering their paternal grandfather is 100% Dutch. But for today at least, they are Irish.

Most people would think my name was chosen because of the heritage. Not so much. 70's tv had more to do with it's selection than my family ties.

When I was in high school, I went through a phase where, for whatever reason, learning about my ancestry became very important. I think part of it was that I had many friends of different backgrounds, some of which were very connected still to their past. To the cultures, the languages, the traditions. We ate corned beef and cabbage once a year. I wanted more than that. I started reading up on Ireland, falling in love with the place from afar.

I've yet to visit the Emerald Isle. Someday, I hope to. The closest I ever got to going was a few years ago. Tom worked for a firm that had a lot of nonprofit clients back then, and we went to a lot of charity dinners. Shortly after the 9/11 tragedy, we were at a dinner, and the live auction items were trips. One of them was to Ireland, including airfare and a stay in the Four Seasons. It went for under $2000, and I would have snatched it up in a heartbeat if my husband had not been holding the paddle hostage on the other side of the table. One day, I will get there.

In college, my best friend and roommate wanted to get a tattoo. And she wanted me to get one with her. I managed to talk her out of the one she wanted to get initially, and she managed to talk me into it. But first I had to figure out what I wanted. She never did get one, but I did. A four leaf clover. I reasoned that I would never outgrow it, and thus far I haven't. (By the way, you still owe me for that one girl!)

Up until this year, I have cooked a traditional Irish dinner and made soda bread for the preschool. It didn't happen this year. Too much else going on at the moment. I'm just not as organized right now as I usually am. I am, however, gearing up for a dinner here. The meat is already cooking. Bread will be made soon.

I spent this morning talking with some friends, friends who are experiencing some of the same things I am right now. And I find that my most favorite Irish proverb is ever more relevant today. I wish it for you all.

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. Even if it's just for a day, we are all Irish. Go get your green on.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jealous

There are a great many emotions I don't do well with. Anger. Sadness. Envy. I'm feeling that last one today, and I know that I have to get over it. It serves no real productive purpose. And it is one of the seven deadly sins....the worst of the worst.

I see people around me all the time that make me feel this emotion. The old couples at the store together. The home full of aged, frail grandmothers and grandfathers that the Cub Scouts sang carols to this past Christmas.

Some friends of mine are blessed to still have their grandparents with them. Who can regale in the tales told by their family elders. Who look forward to family reunions, 50th anniversary parties and 80th birthdays. Who can watch the parents of their parents live long, fulfilled lives.

What bothers me more are those who complain about the things they need to do because they still have their grandparents. The things to help their grandparents. The smells of their homes. The trips to the doctors. The holiday dinner traditions and the arguments about who goes where. What I wouldn't give to have those problems.

My grandparents have all been gone for a while now. The last left our world when Aidan was a baby. None of my kids ever knew any of my grandparents. I have a few pictures of Aidan with my Grandma Doll, but he was less than a year old. He has no real memories of her.

So here I am, with no grandparents left. And dealing with a very serious illness in the only layer above me left on my family tree. I have many friends in the same position I am. And I can't help but think that we are all too young to be dealing with these things. That there is inherent unfairness in the way of the world.

Why do some people still get to have grandparents, when mine are gone? Why do some people's parents look forward eagerly to retirement and fabulous trips, while mine spend their time going back and forth to doctor's offices?

Jealousy and envy are not flattering traits. I know that I need to remove them from my life. But it's hard.

I see old couples walking hand in hand and a little part of my heart breaks. I wonder what my grandparents would be like today if they were still here. Someday I hope to be lucky enough to know what my Mom and Dad will be like at that age. And I pray that they will be able to walk hand in hand for many, many years to come.

To all those out there reading this blessed with grandparents and parents, whether they be healthy or ill, take some time to be grateful for them today. Sit down and listen to them tell the same story for the hundreth time. Take them to their favorite place for lunch, even if you've been there again and again. Help them, but be grateful for the fact that you have them to help still. There are many out there who would trade places with you in a heartbeat.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bit

I'm thinking that I might be just a little bit crazy this morning.

I'm resurrecting an annual tradition. One that I used to stick to, engaging in every year that we lived in sunny Southern California. Weather wasn't an issue so much there as it is here. And back then, I only had one or two littles to contend with.

Back when I only had to lug around a chair for me and a stroller. Back when my husband would toil away at work inside a building across the street from where we staked out a spot. Back when he'd escape for a while to join us. Back when even when he wasn't there, he was close just in case I needed rescuing. Back then.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Being an Irish lass, it's important to me that the kids get to see it. Hear the music, watch the dancers.

We went once here, the first year we lived here. I wanted so badly to go, and the weather was nice. I practically begged Tom to come with us, since I wasn't familiar with the route and the seating and how it all would go with three littles. He no longer worked across the street, he wouldn't be there to come rescue me if I needed him at a moment's notice. That year, he switched his weekend work day and came along.

We had a blast and all the kids fell deeply in love with the Irish dancers. Both the girls and Aidan have asked to take classes several times since.

We haven't gone since that first year we lived here. The weather has been the main reason, I suppose. There isn't much appeal in driving over an hour, hiking about a mile and sitting on the side of the road to freeze for three hours listening to whiny kids.

But this year is different. The weather is beautiful. Aidan is more than old enough to help carry the stuff. Tom's at work, yes, and far away from any parades we'd be watching. But it's okay. I learned a long time ago that I don't need to be rescued very often. Must be that Irish blood in me.

We'll be heading out soon. To enjoy some culture and sunshine. To drive and hike and sit and watch. With four kids this time.

I'm just a wee bit crazy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happening

Whatever I had planned to write about today doesn't matter anymore. There is something bigger, more magnificent happening today. Something far more important than my random musings about life.

Something years in the wishing, months in the making and hours in the working.

It is happening today. Right now.

Life is about to get strangely surreal.

Life is about to get more interesting.

Life is about to get a whole lot more important.

Life is about to change.

I love you more than words can say. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Break

Every so often I feel weak and vulnerable. I am almost always so good about keeping my emotions in check. Almost always. Note the qualifier there.

Looking ahead to the summer already, I am trying to figure out how exactly I am going to fit in all of the things I would like to do. The places I want to go, need to go. The camping trips the kids look forward to. The baseball games and swim meets. The county fair that I keep promising myself I will submit my photography to. The baptism of my soon to be niece or nephew. And the relay. I'd like to squeeze the relay in there. That relay that just made me suddenly so overcome with emotions that I had no ability to control the sobs coming from within.

Every so often I break.

I want to do this relay. I just don't know how feasible it is. With all of the other things happening in my life right now, all of which can be changed or dropped at a moment's notice depending on one of those things, I'm not sure it will fit in. But I want it to.

It's important to me.

In June, there is a local Relay for Life, through the American Cancer Society. It's a 24 hour team event, a relay walked continuously by friends and families, survivors and fighters. They do a couple special laps. One is for those who are fighting. Strangely, that isn't that lap that set off my tears. The other lap did. The survivor lap.

I find it odd that up until today, I had never really thought of Tom as a survivor. Yes, he was diagnosed with cancer. Yes, he had surgery. Yes, he had radiation. Yes, there was a lot of pain and worry. Yes, it was a long time ago. And yes, he is healthy today. But for whatever reason, I had never really put him in that category. Never given him that label.

I think part of the reason is that once cancer invades your life, it never really ever goes away. It's hard to feel like a survivor when you are always worried. Always looking over your shoulder a bit. Will it come back? Chances are good with him that it won't. But still, there really is no such thing as ever feeling truly cancer-free again. Even if, for all intents and purposes, you are.

Cancer takes a lot away from you. That feeling of invincibility. The notion that life will go forward without interruption. The idea that you can makes plans and life will go down the path you anticipate. Those aren't things you ever get back, even if you do regain your health eventually.

From today forward, I will think of my husband as a survivor. The label imparts some degree of finality. That his struggles are over. That he has won the battle, his opponent been destroyed. I hope and I pray every day of my life that it is the case. That it doesn't come back. That he stays healthy.

I need to do this relay, somehow. Not just for those who are fighting, but for those who are surviving too. And for those, like me, who are fighting and surviving with them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stache

I don't fully understand the reasoning, and I suppose that I never will. I can't, really. I'm not a guy. And I've never had cancer.

But something funny happened when I was back home this last time. After surviving the scariest experience of our family's collective life, Dad decided to do something. He started to grow his moustache back out, even though it's been well over a decade since he last had one. And this time, he's growing a beard too.

Dad rocked a moustache for a very long time. Pretty much as soon as he could grow one, he did. Before he married my Mom, and through all of my childhood, he had it. He was burned in a bad truck versus man accident, and had to let it go for a while as a result. Once his skin had healed, and he could regrow it, the stache was back. Until all of a sudden one day when it wasn't. Not sure why, just one day it was gone. He shaved it off for good.

He's never, ever had a beard though. Until now.

I can't pretend to understand, though in some ways it makes sense to me. Bucking the system. Rebelling. Not giving in to society's rule about these things. Fighting the man. Being angry and just not giving a damn. Proving that you can do it. Making a point. I'd suppose that all of these are a part of it.

I've lived with a guy who went through a similar experience a while back. Tom did the same thing after he was diagnosed. He grew out his beard and his moustache. For a while he started to resemble a mountain man. I never questioned why he did it. I just always figured that there was a reason.

And there was then, as there is now. Even if no one else ever understands.

Rock the stache, Dad. Rock it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cherry

Talk to me. Oh,beautiful cup of bounty, tell me your story. You are full of perfectly roasted espresso beans. Warmed with milk, heated to precisely the right temperature. Infused with the flavor of dark chocolate. And topped off with the teeniest, tiniest pieces of chopped ripe cherries. If there was such a thing as heaven in a cup, this has to be it. Yum.

Dark Cherry Mocha, Venti of course. Do they make coffee in any other size?

Now, don't get me wrong. I love coffee. I'll be the first to admit that I am not really all that picky about it. I even like the cheapest of the cheap - convenience store coffee. Waiting room coffee. Vending machine coffee. But this is not like those. This, oh this, is divine. Run, don't walk to your nearest Starbucks and get you some of this. Mmmmmm.

This was SO worth scrounging for change in the bottom of my purse this morning.

They should pay me for the praise I bestow upon them, don't you think? Or at least give me some free coffee. It's not too much to ask.

You know you want some.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fate

Thirty four years ago today, my parents were married. But their story began long before that day, and I happen to think it's one worth telling.

They met in high school, at a football game I believe. It had to have been something like that, some kind of place where good Catholic boys and girls who went to all-boy and all-girl schools were allowed to commingle. They dated for a while, went to each other's proms and were as happily in love as two teenagers could be.

After graduation, for whatever reason, they went their separate ways. Mom went to college. Dad went to school to learn his trade. They went on with their lives. Time passed, they grew up. Mom met another young man and he asked her to marry him. She said yes, and the planning began. All was well until about two weeks before the wedding date. I can't be sure which of the following two events took place first, but they were both eerie coincidences, signs if you will. I think I have the timeline right, but if not, I know she will correct me. ;)

One night Mom had a dream, a vivid one, about him. Not her fiance, but my father. This guy she had not seen in over 4 years. And she knew the moment she woke up that she had to call off the wedding. She couldn't marry another guy when she was dreaming about him. Invitations had already gone out, deposits paid. But there was to be no wedding.

Not long after that, Mom and Grandma Doll were out shopping and ran into Grandma Helen. They exchanged pleasantries, asking how life had turned out for the other. Dad was single. She was no longer engaged. Well, then, isn't that interesting, they all thought. Grandma Helen went home to tell Dad who she had seen. As the story goes, he spent hours looking for her phone number. He found it eventually.

I think they saw each other once before she left on what was supposed to be her honeymoon. Instead of taking her new husband along, she took a girlfriend on the trip to Hawaii. When she got back and stepped off the plane, he was there. Waiting.

What happened next is like a scene out of a movie. I can only imagine how it all played out, but it went something like this...

Him: I love you, and you are never leaving me again. We are going straight to your parent's house to tell them that we are getting married.

Her: Well, okay.

Needless to say, they did get married. Thirty four years, two children, an apartment and three houses ago. And though life has been filled with some ups and downs, they are here. Together. They have managed to make it through things that would break up most married couples, and they are united now to fight the biggest fight of their lives. And together they will fight.

Take some time today to enjoy one another. To be thankful for the love you have. To be grateful for the gift of each day. To believe in coincidences and fate.

"The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts" ~ Aristotle

Happy Anniversary. I love you both.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Or Not

I was going to clean my floors today when little boy took a nap. He's sleeping, as is his big sister, at the moment. The house is quiet and still and peaceful. I could clean, yes. But I changed my mind.

Today just got a million times better than it was this morning, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can breathe again.

Remember that bottle of green nail polish I bought a few weeks back? Well, it's time for a pedicure. Not a fancy one with bubbles and oils and massages, though that would be dreamy. One here. Just me, a nail file and a few bottles of polish. And quiet.

The floors will still be there, waiting, tomorrow.

Today, however, will not be wasted on chores. It's just too good for that.

Welcome to my rollercoaster.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Place

I'm angry today.

And I'm sad.

I don't do well with either emotion. Especially when there is virtually nothing within my control to change the circumstances causing those emotions. I'm a control freak. I like to believe that I can fix things. But I can't. Not these things.

That reality makes me angry and sad even more.

It's one of those downward spiral kind of things.

But I have to find a way not to be angry and sad all the time. I have four little people who need for me to find a way.

Part of it, I know, is just exacerbated by the fact that I am tired. I can't sleep, at least not in any restorative way. My subconscious thoughts and feelings come at night when I am trying to push off the conscious ones. And they are no less real to me. No less disturbing.

I talked to a friend yesterday about how we should just both go to our happy place, where ever that may be. But then I realized that my happy place and my sad, angry place are the same place. Here. For what keeps me going right now are my children, and they are no less a part of my reality than everything else happening around me.

I will get through this, somehow. We all will. It's not like we were given any say in the matter.

Life doesn't work that way, now does it?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Numb

I can say with absolute certainty that I have only ever been this exhausted once before in my life. Feeling like every ounce of emotion had been squeezed from me, with just a shell remaining. Numb. Almost like I'd never again know what restful sleep was. Having given up on trying to maintain any semblance of normal. Realizing in an instant that what I thought was important belongs in a different order of priority than I placed it.

Last time, though, I brought home a tiny baby boy from the hospital. He was early and sick and fragile, but there was a happy ending. He got stronger. Things got better. This time was different. I helped another home from the hospital. He too was sick and fragile, needing me in a different way than that baby boy all those years ago. But needing me still.

How this story will end, I don't yet know. None of us do. I pray and I hope that there is a happy ending here too. And I will do anything and everything in my power to make it so.

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