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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Family Time

I admit it.  I'm selfish and greedy when it comes to time with my family.  I love, adore actually, spending time with all of us together as a family.  And there are instances when I jealously guard that time.  I love having all of my kiddos together under one roof.  Last night was no different, except that it was just two of them.

Lucas and Claire.

I love watching the two of them interact together.  They are 26 months apart and ever since Claire was one and Lucas was three the two of them got along like gangbusters.  They had their own special way of communicating with each other when they were little and were often mistaken for twins because of their close bond.  Zach was the odd one out, sitting back and watching the interaction between the two with something I can only think of as a little bit of jealously.  That bond is being tested now, as Lucas identifies more with Zach and less with Claire.  So when Zach is gone the close bond reverts between Lucas and Claire.  It was evident last night.  I watched the two of them, with delight, as they prodded each other ~ good-naturedly ~ to little challenges.  Laughter was the name of the game as they tried to see who could lift their heads highest off the ground while they were on their stomachs, arching their backs as much as they could.


They went on to measure themselves against the back drop of the living room carpet to determine who was taller.  But the best piece of the challenges was when Claire and Lucas went head to head in a stretching contest.  Lucas has the flexibility of a two by four.  He strains hard to bend over and touch his knees with his hands all while chanting "Feel the burn, baby! Feel the burn!"  Claire giggled.  Lucas laughed. And me?  I just sat back and enjoyed the show.    

After their challenges were put to rest, Lucas fixed us his own special fried rice.  I think he fixed dinner so he wouldn't have to clean the kitchen but I'm not about to complain about it ~ dinner was delicious!

The Olympics called us to the television and our family time continued in my bed.  The three of us sat comfortably and companionably in bed with Baby Bella sprawled out with us ~ jumping from person to person and keeping us well entertained (as if the excitement of the Olympics wasn't enough.)  Bella added an extra layer of value to our little bit of family time.  

Family time is a precious commodity.  One I get far too infrequently, especially now that Zach is driving and off on his own adventures.  I will protect what little time I am allotted with my kiddos fiercely.  So, if you don't see me, I don't open the door or answer the phone just know I am relishing my family time.

For the love of my children....  





Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jan Says I'm Scary...

So today, against my better judgement, we let the three boys (young men) drive to the outlets in Williamsburg to go shopping ~ I know, boys shopping!  CRAZY!!  Anyway...it's about an hour drive on the Interstate...which makes me quiver in my shoes, the thought of the boys driving on the Interstate alone.  I wasn't too keen on any of it but Stan said with Jan it charge they would be fine so we let them go. The boys agreed to run Claire here and there before they left and they agreed to be safe.  And off they went.


It was about 3 o'clock when I got the text...the boys lost the car keys.  Holy SHIT...you've got to be kidding me!!  I sent a return text..."OMG!"  Stan was much more forceful when I sent him the news via text...I got a "WTF?" back.  The texts kept pinging back and forth between Zach and me.  With me forcing them on and on and on, looking for the keys.  It's my only set with the remote on it and all of my shopper rewards cards...it would be not only expensive to replace but also a pain in the ass.  So onward they went...going from store to store and retracing every step.  Finally, after about an hour of texting and Stan offering to drive the spare key to Williamsburg, I got the news ~ KEYS FOUND!  Jan had put them in a shoe box in one of the stores.  The boys were so desperate, they searched through all the shoe boxes in the stores they visited and their persistence paid off...crisis averted!


Jan came in the door all shakey and nervous.  He said he was "completely and totally freaking out"."  He said he was even practicing the speech he was going to give me in his head.  Jan went on to say all he could picture in his mind was me driving to Williamsburg fuming mad.  I told him, no worries I would have sent Stan so I wouldn't come into Williamsburg and the outlets as a furious mom.  And then I asked him "Am I that scary???"  His answer "Yes, when you get mad you are pretty scary."  Oh, DEAR!!  I went on to ask if I got mad very often and he said "No."  Hopefully he meant it and I'm not terribly scary that often!


Today, would have qualified me, I think, to get just a little angry.  But, like I said, I would have sent Stan so the boys wouldn't have felt my full wrath.  Lesson of the day...don't take the car keys out of your pocket!!!


Oh, for the love of my children....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wise Beyond Her Years

I don't know how it happened.  I don't know how it is Claire is growing into such and intelligent young lady but is still so delightfully childlike at times.  Yesterday showed me both sides of my darling girl.

Yesterday was her 11 year old check up.  She sat tall and proud on the exam table, answering the doctor's questions ~ interacting with ease.  She answered all kinds of questions about her growing body, changes that were happening and she sat quietly listening, without a hint of embarrassment, as I asked pretty pointed questions of the doctor about her growing and ever changing body.  But then there were the moments of pure 11 year old girl as she slid down off the exam table like a filly with overly long legs and lots of gangly limbs.  And then there was the moment of truth...the moment she told the doctor she really doesn't want to grow up. She wants to stop all of these changes.  She says life is much easier as a five or six year old.  Claire, at 11, knows life is only going to get harder.  And my heart hurt for her, as it always does when she talks about not wanting to grow up.

Yesterday, was also Claire's year end swim banquet and she needed to look just a little nicer than her usual pony tail, shorts and a t-shirt.  I asked her if she minded if I did her hair for the night.  It's not something I usually offer or if I do I get a "no thank you."  But yesterday, I got a "yes."  She went up and put on her dress and came downstairs with a brush and ponytail holder.  I put two little French braids on either side of her face and connected them in the back.  She stood up when I was done and walked away with her long, blond hair swinging behind her.  I watched as she walked confidently into the next room, taking her hair and flinging it over one shoulder.  I caught a glimpse of my Claire of the future and my breath caught in my throat as I realized how quickly she really is growing up.  The long hair falling gracefully over one shoulder is for grown up girls.  I want her to hang on tight to her pony tails and t-shirts for as long as she can.    


The banquet saw the young side of Claire again as she lamented about going on to middle school and missing being with the kindergartners on a daily basis at school.  In fifth grade, she was a safety patrol and she took her job as a leader of the school seriously.  She fell in love with some of the youngest in the school and truly enjoyed her role as one of the "big kids."  Her chin quivered and her eyes filled with tears as she looked over another table where one of her small charges from last year sat and she said, ever so quietly, "I am going to miss those kindergartners."   She knows all too well that growing up sometimes means saying goodbye.

As we were driving home, she stunned me with her deepest piece of wisdom.  Since swim is ending and dance is done, both being over until September, I asked her if she would like to go into tennis camp next week.  She said, "You know, Mom, tennis is your thing.  My thing is swimming."  She went on, "I have a friend at swim who only swims because her father regrets not swimming as a kid.  She is swimming for him but she doesn't really like it.  I don't want that to be me.  I want to enjoy swimming and I want you to enjoy tennis."

'Nuff said.  I get it, Claire.  Sometimes you are still such a little girl, striving to hold onto the past but other times you amaze me when you show me how you are wise beyond your years.

Oh, for the love of Claire...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

HOLY COW!!

We have lived in Richmond for exactly six years and two weeks.  In all of this time I have never gotten to experience Innsbrook After Hours, an outside concert venue which brings in bands or singers we all recognize but are no longer chart toppers.  Hootie and the Blowfish were there a couple of years ago.  The Legwarmers have performed at Innsbrook.  And last night's performer was the Charlie Daniels Band with a little "Devil Went Down to Georgia."

We live less than a mile from this venue and have never taken the time to go to any of the concerts and all I have to say is "HOLY COW!"  What an experience!

Charlie Daniels was damn good.  He's 75 and he's up there on stage playing that fiddle like nobody's business!!  He was crazy good and more fun than you can shake a stick at!

For me, though, the best part of the whole night were the other people, the concertgoers, the tried and true Charlie Daniels fans.  I'm a fan but truthfully, the only song of his I know is the one I said above..."Devil went down to Georgia."  So most of my night was focused on the people.

I didn't have my phone or a camera so I'll paint the picture as best as I can with words...

I'll start with the opening band and it's loyal fans.  "Rosie" was the name and classic rock was their game.  The "Rosie" fans were still rooted to their spots as Charlie Daniels and his band took the stage.  I walked a little to the side and front of where Stan and our friends, Terri and Tim, were standing so I could get a better view of the spunky leader of the band.  As I left Stan, Terri and Tim, I walked right into the middle of some "Rosie" groupies.


An interesting bunch...


There was the taller, big lady with glasses, tight jeans, a black, Rosie t-shirt and straggly, bleach-blond hair.  There was the nondescript woman in the middle.  And then there was "Pat."...  You remember Pat from Saturday Night Live..this was "Pat" live and in the flesh.  Completely androgynous...no way to tell gender ~ not one single way.  Short cropped blondish hair, big baggy t-shirt, baggy jeans, round glasses, no make-up.  "Pat" was heavy-set so there was little chance to tell one way or another about boobs...couldn't tell if they were man-boobs or real boobs.  But "Pat" was having fun, dancing, hooting and hollering to the music.  "Pat" was fun to watch...and then "Pat" asked me to dance.  


Hmmmmmmmm.....I'm wondering if I should be scared at this point. I didn't have an escape plan.  "Pat" held out it's arms to me and beckoned me in.  Stan was 25 feet away with our friends.  I danced with "Pat."  Interesting.  I strained to get a lock on Stan, asking him with my eyes for a little help.  "Pat" was having a blast so I joined in the fun a little...but I was still trying to get a little help from Stan and form an escape plan if things got to be a little too much.  Luckily, the song ended and "Pat" and the "Rosie" groupies dispersed.  Scariness averted!

After "Pat" left a number of people started coming up to me and asking me if I was there alone.  Poor, little, ol' me, looking like I was sad and pathetic at a concert alone.  I was rescued, finally.  

Everybody came and joined me where I stood with a great view of the stage.  But the fun didn't end with Stan, Terri and Tim joining me.  Nope...it just kept going...

With the "Rosie" groupies gone, the die hard Charlie Daniels fans took their places.  These are the ones who know all the words to all of the songs, dancing around and carrying on like nobody's business.  They were fun to watch as they danced, interacted with one another, took picture after picture of each other and enjoyed the music.

I watched as one of the guys in the group tried to take a picture of the ladies.  He had his friend's iPhone and evidently, he had never used one before.  He had the screen pointing at the ladies and he struggled hard to figure out how to take the damn picture.  I couldn't stand to see him struggle so I went and hit the picture icon for him ~ freezing the moment on camera for the party-goers to enjoy for all eternity.  From that moment on I became their "Nots-arazzo"...that's the paparazzo for us regular folks.  I took countless pictures of them in a wide variety of poses and smiles and configurations of friends.  I made new friends.  I couldn't tell you one of their real names but we did have quite a fun time making up names for this group.  And boy, oh boy were they an interesting group... 


There was "Orangie."  The six foot tall woman with long fried, "blond" hair, make-up-o-plenty, skin-tight jeans, a black leather vest, a tight orange t-shirt and a matching orange bandana tied "Karate Kid" style around her head.  She was sweet and friendly and presented quite the image.  


There was the woman who didn't get a true name from but whose "posterior equity" is seared into my brain.  She had on beyond skin-tight, aqua jeans circa 1984, with the waist coming all the way up to her actual waist and the pockets resting on top of her ample ass.  She had quite the badonkadonk.  At one point, the question was asked why Terri and I didn't have jeans like that.  Hmmmmm???  I can't even guess why we don't!  


"Cheesy 70's porn star", you know the guy who sports the lame 70's 'stasche and looks a little greasy and sleazy, came looking for me to take pictures many times.  Cheesy 70's porn star liked his ladies and loved his photo ops with them.  At one point he came running over to me to show a picture he had taken of the butts of other concert goers...he thought that was hysterical.  


There were many others but the one who takes the cake is "Dog."  His hips were positioned right behind his date's back side and he slammed them into her repeatedly to the beat of the "The Devil Went Down to Georgia, " just like you would imagine a stud dog doing to his mate.  Hence the name "Dog."  His hands were on her boobs, massaging and massaging, the entire time he was emulating said dog.  It was quite a spectacle, let me tell ya!  Luckily, I didn't befriend that one.  

As far as I'm concerned the evening was a wild success.  I had a complete ball watching and watching and watching the craziness of the night.  Oh, and Charlie Daniels was good too!

We came home, laughing about the events of the evening and my new found friends.  I'm not sure what it is about me that drew all of these characters to me, maybe it was my willingness to be their own personal "Nots-arazzo" or the fact that I (mainly) laughed with them and not at them.  But it was quite the experience ~ one I won't soon forget and wouldn't change for the world!

The fun continued as we told the kids the crazy stories of those we met at our evening at Innsbrook.  I'm pretty sure they thought we were just a little crazy in our story telling but I told my part like I remembered it.  I know they all wish they could have gone.  Maybe  next time we'll take the kids.  I just hope we don't run into "Dog" again.  I'd like to keep any concert experience PG for the kids so they don't come away from there saying "HOLY COW!"

Oh, for the love of my children....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Probably Shouldn't Do That...

Zach is flexing his ever growing desire for a little independence and a whole lot of freedom.  Luckily, he's doing it in a way that keeps me smiling....otherwise Stan may clamp down hard!!


Thursday dawned like any other normal, summer day.  The kids slept 'til noon after being awake half of the night with Bella.  They came downstairs, made a wreck of the kitchen and went on their merry ways.  Zach took off to go hang out with his peeps.  Lucas and Jan went to the gym or back upstairs to waste away the day watching Netfliks...if memory serves me, they did both.  It was just a regular, normal day.

Excitement was added to the day as we reconvened for a homemade Sushi dinner, Zach announced that he and a friend were leaving for the midnight showing of "Batman."  The words were no sooner out of his mouth when my emphatic "NO!" shot out of my mouth in return.  Stan came in on the tail end of the my "NO!" and asked what the hub-bub was about.  Zach stood toe to toe with Stan and told him he was going to the midnight movie, Stan's reaction was quicker than mine with a "BULLLLLL----Shit!", his Jersey accent coming out in full force.  They went round and round a little bit with Stan finally calling an end to the whole business by saying "Well, looks like you aren't going anywhere after dinner since you decided it was a good idea to argue with me," and he walked out the back door onto the deck.  Zach turned to me and said "I wasn't planning to go anywhere after dinner anyway."  And I lost it...I just cracked up.  Stan turns around, sees me laughing with Zach and re-enters the conversation.  I guess he didn't find it amusing that I would be laughing with Zach after he gave the final word on the situation...we probably shouldn't do that.   But it was funny, Batman be damned.


In hindsight, I'm more than glad we didn't let him go...not that it ever was a possibility.  There's too much trouble that can happen after midnight with kids these age, not to mention the heart-breakingly sad story from Aurora, Colorado.  It's just too scary to let kids this age have that much freedom.  


I know Zach is pushing more and more for some freedom.  He keeps telling me he's almost 17.  
I counter with "Nope, not even close.  16 & a 1/2, at best."  
He comes right back at me with "Boys are never 16.  16 is for girls.  Boys are just 17 for two years."
HA!  I'm glad he has a sense of humor about keeping me on my toes and pushing for freedom ~ or maybe I should be glad I have a sense of humor dealing with the push-back.  There's gonna come a time when the push for freedom is more intense.  I just hope I keep my sense of humor intact and that Zach keeps realizing that sometimes he probably shouldn't do that.  He should back down and acquiesce...his time for freedom will come all too soon.  


And I will be sad when that time comes...for the love of my children.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baby Bella

The story behind Bella...

It's been four years since we last had a dog.

Stan and I started our marriage as dog owners.  Not quite two months after our wedding we were gifted with an eight week old golden retriever puppy.  Yep, that's right I said "gifted."  She was a planned wedding present from a good friend of ours.  We named her "Lady Charles of Manhattan" and called her, simply, Charlie.  She was our first baby and we were madly in love, not only with each other, but our new addition as well.  We raised her fairly well and she turned out to be a fantastic dog.  She had her quirks and her idiosyncrasies but she was ours.  


She lived a good life, with a few bumps along the road.  We had a massive skin cancer scare with her when she was four.  Zach was a baby.  Stan was in Bosnia and I was home, in Manhattan, Kansas, with my parents.  I was broken hearted when I got the news that Charlie might not live six months, thinking that Stan would never see her again and Zach wouldn't grow up knowing Charlie.  But luckily I was home and K-State vet school came to her rescue.  Being one of the best vet schools in the nation, they worked tirelessly to make sure that Charlie not only survived her skin cancer but thrived for years to come.  


We loved her and loved her and loved her.  The love was reciprocated to not only us but the kids as well, when they each came along.  As we settled in to our new home in Louisville we decided it was time to add another golden girl to our house so we adopted Rudy from a golden retriever rescue and added one more sweet, golden face to the mix before Claire was born.  And Rudy gave back the same love Charlie did.  Our house was crazy, chaotic and hairy but it was happy and full of love.  


And then it happened...we lost our first golden girl.  Charlie died suddenly one morning when Zach was getting ready to feed the girls.  She just collapsed and died.  It was heartbreaking.  Stan was hit the hardest.  He cried for a week straight.  Rudy's death was harder in a different way.  We had to make that agonizing decision about when to let her go.  Her hips were gone.  Stan's arms were her back legs.  She was incontinent and couldn't walk a step on her own but she still held us spellbound with those delicious golden retriever eyes.  It was a brutal decision and in the end I became a coward and let Stan take her to the vet on his own.  


It was hard to get over losing those two beauties and it took us this many years to get here.  


Last year about this time, I had a chat with Stan about how Zach is going to be leaving for college soon, so if we're going to get another dog now is the time to do it so Zach can bond with her before he leaves.  Stan agreed, in principle but not in practicality.  It just wasn't practical to think about adding a new puppy to the house.  


But over the past months I noticed golden retriever pictures pulled up on my computer.  Websites of one breeder or another popped up.  The kids were going all out in the assault on us to add a dog to this crazy, zany family.  


And it worked...on me at least.  Stan somehow was impervious to the repeated requests.  Part of me had to wonder if he felt like no puppy would ever measure up to our first girl.  Another part of me knows he's practical...too practical at times but he balances my impulsive side.  


For me, though, this decision was anything but impulsive, though it may seem like it since I rarely talked about puppies or dogs and I certainly never talked about it here.  But in my infinite wisdom I knew that right now is a good time to get a puppy.  There will never be a "perfect" time or even "great" time so I had to go with "good."  The kids are older and able to help with training her.  Zach is leaving soon.  And Zach doesn't play travel hockey anymore (I guess there are benefits to him not playing hockey after all).  The time is as good as it gets as far as I was concerned.


The deal was clinched, for me, the moment I laid eyes on her...our new girl.  Claire had the website to the breeder open on my computer.  I decided to see, just see, if they had any girls available from the latest litter.  I got the email response and there she was....Bella.  Zach had already named her in his head.  And when I met her, I knew that was the right name for her.  She's a beauty.  When I met her my heart melted.  I knew she was coming home with us.  


Now to convince Stan or just bring her home and surprise him?  I truly thought about just bringing her home. I was pretty sure his reaction would be what I wanted and if it wasn't I could always use the "sometimes it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" theory.  But in the end, I knew that wouldn't be the fair way to do it.  


Jan and Zach knew I went to see her.  Stan thought I went to run errands the day I went to meet Bella and check her out.  When I came back two hours later with only a container of cole slaw the gig was up and I had to fess up.  I told Stan I went and found the world's cutest puppy.  Jan was with me when I told Stan where I had been and showed him the picture.  Jan said he knew we won when Stan's first question was "What are we going to name her?"  I told him her name would be "Bella."  Stan countered with "No, her name will be Shit-head."  It was then Jan said he knew for sure ~ Baby Bella was coming home to us.  I leaped into Stan's lap, wrapped my arms around him and kissed him.  My way of thanks!


She is home now and much loved, especially by Stan.  He comes down stairs in the morning and says "Where's my puppy?"  Bella "helps" Stan with emails.  He sits at his desk with her on his lap and works on his computer.  He laughs when she climbs off his lap and onto his desk and walks across his keyboard.  He is in love...puppy love.  What a sweet little baby Bella is.


Puppies are for the love of my children (all of them, including Stan)....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Want to be a Superhero

Yep, I do.  I totally want some kind of awesome super power.  I want to be a Superhero!!  


As most of you know, a sweet friend of mine, Laura, recently lost her 19 year old son in an accident.   Shortly after I got the news about Laura's son, Matt, I wrote a blog titled "Important Things." (http://www.jennicombs.com/2012/07/important-things.html) In this blog I listed what I (and some of my friends and family) think is important.  One of the things Zach said was not important was a belt.  Laura read that blog and responded saying the lists were so spot on what Matt believed.  She went on to say that one of Matt's most favorite possessions was his Superman belt buckle.  From what I learned about Matt over the last two weeks,  I have to say, that belt buckle suits him to a T.  He was superhero-esque.  I never met him but from the eulogy and the postings on his Facebook page, he lived life like he was a superhero ~ never backing away from a challenge, never shying away from being the first to lend a hand, never being without a smile on his face and always giving of himself.  His life was lived full and large, just like a superhero. This world is a little dimmer because Matt left it.  But I believe that he left a bright, shining light for all of us to follow.  Superhero Matt.

So, in honoring not only Matt but Laura as well, I decided I want to live a Superhero life.  I really would like some actual super powers but sometimes a smile, giving and receiving love, living life to the fullest and a whole lot of courage add up to one big superhero.  I'm gonna take my cue from Matt and hopefully pass it on to my kiddos.  Look out world...Superhero Jenni is on the look out for her very own Superman belt buckle.

Oh, for the love of Matt....

This blog has been boiling around in the back of my brain for a while now and I wasn't entirely sure how to write it.  I hope it comes off the way I want it to and not trite or over used.  I want it to be a tribute but not sappy or tragic.  Those two words don't fit either Matt or Laura..Superhero does!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I am a Coward?

I had no idea I was a coward until this morning when my mom told me I was.  She asked me to come over and scrub her incision to get the rest of the gummy glue off.  My stomach roiled, my eyes rolled back in my head and I had to take quite a few steadying breaths to respond.  "That's not my area.  I don't do injuries...just illness."  And even illness I don't do well but it's our agreement, Stan's and mine.  He does injuries.  I do illnesses.  But I didn't think I was a coward because I don't do blood or broken bones.

I'll tell you how it came to be that I don't do injuries.  I can't do injuries.  I won't do injuries.  I become completely useless.  Stan says I look like a cartoon character when the kids come in injured.  Lucas was 27 months old the first time Stan saw this reaction with his own eyes.  Claire was a newborn and my parents were visiting.  My dad, Stan, Lucas and Zach were in the basement watching TV when Lucas tried to jump from the couch to the big trunk where the TV was sitting.  He was a coordinated as any two year old and he missed his mark, smacking his forehead on the latch of the trunk. I was sitting in the kitchen holding Claire when I heard all hell break loose.  Stan came upstairs holding the wounded Lucas whose lungs were being put to good use...the screams emanating from them were heartbreaking.  I went rushing forward to grab him and then it hit me.  This is point when Stan said I turned cartoon character-ish.  He said he watched as the color drained from my face...he said I turned ghost white.  Luckily, I was standing by a chair.  My knees buckled and I sank, probably extremely ungracefully, onto said chair ~ if it hadn't been there I would have ended up on the floor.  The world turned black. Stan knew then that I was useless in helping to get Lucas patched up so he took off for the doctor's office while I waited behind for him to be returned to me with stitches in his forehead.  

A similar scenario repeated itself when Claire was four years old and a friend challenged her to jump in the pool backwards.  I saw the whole thing play out in slow motion but I was powerless to stop it.  Claire stood on the side of the pool, with her back to the water.  She jumped in, drew her knees up to her chest and smashed her chin on the side of the pool.  I was up, out of my chair, with a towel in my hand before she came up for air.  I scooped her out of the water, pressed the towel on her chin and wrapped her in my arms.  I was fine until I made the mistake of looking at her wound.  Then it happened.  My face drained, I felt it this time.  My cheeks started blazing and the world went black, except for two, tiny pinholes of vision in front of me.  I was useless but I couldn't be.  I was the only adult at the pool with five kids.  Oh, God help me.  Somehow I got her to the ER, but Stan had to take it from there.  I was weak and gray.  There was no way I could hold her hand while they stitched her face.  I don't do injuries.  

I don't think it's cowardice.  I think it's smart.  I'm useless in those situations and I know it.  Why would I want to risk fainting or barfing when I know perfectly well someone else can handle it?  There is a reason I'm not a nurse, though I'm surrounded by nurses in my family.  My mom is a nurse, my mother in law is a nurse and my biological mother is a nurse.  The nursing gene skipped...and for good reason.  But I still don't think the reason is because I am a coward.  It's an aversion, maybe even an affliction but I have to say I'm OK with it.  If you wanna call me a coward, I'm OK with that too.  It's better that you know where I stand on this so when I faint at your feet or barf on your shoes trying to help with injuries you'll know why...I don't do injuries.   

I'm hoping this little aversion of mine skips my kiddos.  I want them to be able to handle blood.  But if they can't handle injuries then they need to take a page out of my play book and just need to handle illnesses.  It makes for an easier for all involved if you know what you can and can't handle.  

Oh, for the love of my children....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Important Things

In light of the tragedy that my darling friend has suffered I have been re-examining what is important in life and what is really not.

 To me, and to my family and friends (I've asked them to contribute on this one and I have to say, this is one of the most contentious blogs I've written because I've asked their opinion), this is what is important in life... 
1. Family.
2. Friends.
3. Vacations.
4. Making time for loved ones.
5. The beach ~ or any place that is your favorite.
6. Loving your spouse.
7. God ( or a higher being) ~ if you believe.
8. Feeling like you are making a contribution in life.
9. Making others feel good.
10.Money (unfortunately it is)
11.Laughter.
12. Saying "I love you."
13. Saying "I'm sorry" when you screw up (which I do a LOT).

 And to me this is what is NOT important...
 1. Over-inflated egos or what can be translated into what can be considered a puffed up sense of self importance.
2. Making people feel like shit.
3. Putting people down...that may be the same as the one above but I think it's a little different.
4. Frowning (unless you're a baby and need to let someone know what you need).
5. Belts...according to Zach.
6. Getting the last word in.
7. Stereotypes ~ Lucas told me this one and I love him for saying this.
 8. Bullshit.
9. Sunburn.
10.Racism.
11.Your appendix.
12. Holding grudges

Obviously these are some of the things I (and again, some of my family and dear friends) think are important. And I think I will pass this down...for the love of my children.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Circle is Round. It Has No End...

A sweet, dear, old but newly recovered friend of mine from high school is in the midst of a tragedy that I can't seem to wrap my head around. In the midst of this tragedy these words from a long ago song popped into my head and there they've been swirling...waiting to come out.

Make New Friends
Submitted by Sue Lynch   

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, the other is gold.

 A circle is round, it has no end.
That's how long, I will be your friend.

 A fire burns bright, it warms the heart.
We've been friends, from the very start.

 You have one hand, I have the other.
Put them together, We have each other.

 You help me, and I'll help you
 and together we will see it through.

 Across the land Across the sea
Friends forever We will always be.

I don't have much to give my friend right now, except love and friendship. I hope she knows how much her friends, both old and new, love her.

 A circle is round. It has no end. That's how long you will be my friend. With love.