Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I'm no Cinderella or Suzie Homemaker for that matter, but my house is not a pigsty. On the other hand it's not immaculate either. Nobody will ever mistake me for the Queen of Clean. So I ask you... IF
they get to school on time, with everything they need
then I get to work on time, most days with everything I need
they get to every practice & game on time, with everything
they go on vacation, Bruins games, the movies, date night, etc.
Before or After
I've worked a 5-7 hours shift, standing for nearly 80% of it
I've sat in the rain or freezing cold to watch every game/practice
the laundry is done
the meals are prepared
the fridge & pantry are stocked
the floor is swept
the rugs are vacuumed
the bathrooms are scrubbed
the homework is done
the daily grind is over
and everyone go to bed in a comfortable, happy home
then why the eff are they griping?
I think of myself as someone who loves to connect with others who share my life, someone who would give the shirt off her back to those in need, someone who enjoys being creative, someone who is making a difference, and someone who deserves "me time".
That's why I spend so much time here. Writing, for me, is intensely therapeutic, extremely liberating, and very enjoyable. I hope my sons will find this same joy and passion for writing as I do.
One of the reasons I created this blog, as well as my gratitude journal, is because it helps me appreciate the reason I've been given this life. It keeps me grounded by reminding me just how good I've got it.
I cannot wait until the boys are able to savor the words I have written here for them. I hope that they, too, will leave a similar legacy to their children someday.
So, boys, until I'm ready to share this sacred place with you & Daddy, I'll keep it a secret. This is my retreat and I'll spend as much time here as I need.
Consider it a Mother's Day present... to myself.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.
I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free. I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.
I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.
I will wax the hairs off my toes and the tops of my feet.
I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, or sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.
If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back into place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.
I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl if my feet need him.
I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my ankle.
I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages.
I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good.
I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.
Now, quick... pass it on!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
If you can hear me, I need your help again. I can feel the pot starting to simmer and I don't want any of us to get burned. So I hope you'll help guide us away from the ugly vibe I can sense. In other words, make sure that we don't let ourselves boil over the edge.
Sometimes we can all take it too seriously and get caught up in the excitement, forgetting the what matters most. I know we're not the only ones, but it can be so frustrating and all of us end up feeling miserable.
We remember our own parents telling us that life isn't always fun or fair. Now, today, we find ourselves delivering this same "reality check" speech. Yet somehow our message fails to ease the disappointment and can actually fan the flames of self-pity.
Dreams, especially those of children, can often outweigh the scale of reality. But without the dream, many of us would never venture outside our comfort zone. Failure, even by the smallest of margins, must not diminish the glory of the effort.
The lesson we want the boys to learn is that most of us fail before we succeed, and all of us have felt disappointment along the way. Yet it is how one faces defeat that is the true measure of character.
So please, God, whisper in our ear (or shout if we don't hear you the first couple times) how to effectively teach our sons the value of grace & dignity, and how we can soothe the inevitable wounds of despair.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
1. spending time with my "twin" sister *
Friday, April 24, 2009
1. today's weather: high 70's & sunny... unbelievable
2. wearing sandals in April... without socks
3. reading outside in the adirondack chair
Life is good when it's near 80 here in April, instead of 30.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
1. my favorite motherhood moment of the week: watching the boys make strides to achieve success at the goals they set for themselves
2. my favorite day in April: Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's (Although we didn't go this year, we had 2 last year! Come on, you would have, too...)
3. my new favorite words: "BRUINS WIN!"
Do I sound like a broken record? Well, bear with me because I think I'm going to say it alot in the upcoming weeks!
Life is good when you make favorites.
A while back, I was honored by two of my fellow bloggers with the distinguished "Lemonade Award". This award is presented to people who are thought to demonstrate great Attitude &/or Gratitude.
Thank you Shabby Girl & Tricia for sharing this honor with me. I have always savored the tangy mix of lemons & sugar in a refreshing glass of lemonade, but have never really thought of myself as having an uplifting spirit.
As I wrote in yesterday's post, I used to have a much more pessimistic view of life. But since becoming a mother, I have tried to wear my rose colored glasses along the way. Writing a daily "gratitude journal" to remind me about all of the little things I am thankful for has totally changed my perspective about the life I've been given.
So remember to share your gratitude throughout your journey. And when life hands you lemons, add water, then blend the bitterness of the world with a spoonful of sugar from your happy heart. Sip, smile & share!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We also talked about how much I value the programs our town offers the children in our area, which in turns gives kids something to do other than stir up trouble or experiment with the rampant drug activity here. That's when one man began to blame the trouble & drugs on the recent rise of "the black" population, saying that our area never had problems this bad until "those blacks got here".
I tried to sway the conversation away from this negativity by turning the conversation back to how my boys love sports. No matter what he said, I tried to put a positive spin on things. Eventually he back down and said "You must be an eternal optimist."
This is when it hit me that since I became a mother, my life is different and so is my outlook. I told him "Actually, until recently, I always saw my glass as half empty. And it wasn't until I had children that I learned that my attitude would affect they way they saw the world. So I decided that I needed to adjust my way of thinking, and put more emphasis on the positive aspect of a situation. I don't always succeed, but most times I stress the importance of making a constructive difference in the world."
Although I'm not a perpetual Pollyanna who wears rose-colored glasses, I do try hard to make the boys understand that they have a choice to be happy, to find ways to make a bad situation better, and to turn their misfortune into a learning experience.
I love sharing stories with Birdie, ones that pull at my heart strings because these stories somehow seem to strengthen our bond. Just recently I told him about the days I watched the Columbine & 9/11 horrors unfold, and how each tragedy affected my life.
As he listened, I could see the change in his eyes as he tried to comprehend the details. Later that evening, the news ran some footage from Columbine so we watched it together. He was stunned to see what happened inside that school and the terror that ensued.
Maybe this story was too intense for a ten year old, but it is my hope that it raised his level of compassion. I also hope that he learned that he must find a reason to move forward even when the road appears to end.
1. I never get tired of saying "Bruins win!"...
2. I never get tired of helping my children succeed
3. I never get tired of being the mother bear
Life is good with the endurance to keep going strong.
Monday, April 20, 2009
1. the sound of Moxie's silly cooing & itty bitty cry
2. the sound of the boys playing well together
3. the sound of my husband's car coming up the road
Life is good when you like what you hear.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
1. the weather is getting warmer & the sun feels hotter
2. the cremee stand is finally open... woo hoo
3. found the book for my new book club
Life is good with warm sunshine, cold ice cream, & a good book.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This list is merely my reminder of what I want to accomplish over the next 50 years, if I am blessed to live that long.
I'd be ecstatic to fulfill even just 20% of this entire list, because one just never knows what the future holds. But I'm gonna die trying. Wish me luck!
21. visit Sequoia National Park to see the magnificent Redwoods
22. fly in a glider over the Autumn foliage in Vermont
23. go windsurfing in Aruba
24. ski at some of the best resorts in Colorado
25. see a live performance by Cirque de Soliel
26. adopt a baby girl (once the boys are in high school)
27. write a children's book
28. take an art class & expand my creative horizons
29. have lunch with my mom, sisters & John Edwards (the medium)
30. learn how to golf with Hubby
1. meeting old friends & making new ones on FaceBook
2. fun in the dugout at Nut's scrimmage against all the dads
3. my friendship with Carrie, who I miss desperately because I haven't been to a fun party since she left... Bunco anyone?
Life is good when you enjoy a few laughs with friends & neighbors.
Friday, April 17, 2009
1. The boys completed their "Honey Do" lists without grumbling
2. The boys cooperated with my plans to green-up the T-Ball field
3. The boys didn't whine when I got them a smaller size treat
Life is good when the boys are easy to please.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
1. Kessel scores! woooo
2. Kessel's 2nd goal, a pretty empty-netter! woooo
3. Bruins win 4-2!
Life is good when you find the Achilles heal of your long-time nemesis.
My dear sweet boys,
Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for giving me the privilege of being your mom. If I could stop the hands of time so I could keep you young, I would. In fact, I'd turn the clock back to the days that you were both babies, so I could relive every single day from Thursday October 28, 1998 until Monday September 10, 2001. Then keep rewinding over & over.
But I know that's impossible so I will try my best to guide you through this sometimes charming, sometimes catastrophic ride called Life.
I pray with every beat of heart that I will live long enough to hold my great-grandchildren in my arms as I sing them lullabies. However if for some reason I cannot be there, I want you to honor these keys to life:
always respect your fellow man, regardless of your differences
always be polite & courteous
reach out to those less fortunate than you
pay it forward
treat people the way you would want them to treat you
extend tokens of appreciation & affection
don't be afraid to express your true feelings
be honest, loyal & dependable
question authority without confrontation
your actions speak louder than words
Also please always remember that...
work is always secondary to family
having a passion for something is one of life's treasures
a higher education will enhance your future
you can only make a first impression once
punctuality shows respect
when you commit to something, follow it through to the very end
a tattoo is permanent
no President has ever had their ears or tongue pierced
drugs destroy brain cells
smoking is a filthy, cancerous habit
someone is always watching you
you must be willing to pay the consequences for your actions
it's okay to admit when you are wrong
an apology is more effective with sincerity
humility is more honorable than pride
words are very powerful weapons
the words "I love you" are not just a phrase; it's a feeling
a pet is a lifetime commitment
it's vital to give back to your community
laughter is the best medicine
it's okay to cry
a gentleman always holds or opens a door for others
women enjoy sincere compliments, not catcalls
sex and making love are two different things
you must ask your future in-laws for their blessing
it is noble to get down on one knee when proposing
romance is one of the keys to undying love
endearment is a valuable part of any relationship
communication will simplify your life
fidelity, trust & devotion strengthen your bond
it's never too late to start over
no matter where you go, I will be with you in spirit
you have made me very proud
the world needs positive role models, so be one
your home should always foster love & support
Although the path to your future may have been unclear, my goals for you were always decisive. I believe that I was put here to leave you with a legacy of love, hope and honor.
I have always loved you more than mere words could express. And if I should ever be asked what good I have done for mankind, I would confidently say that I was a good mother.
Hugs and Kisses,
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I had the day off
so I did a little shopping
got myself a new bra and a pair of black jeans
went to the library
had a nice chat with an old friend
made new friends on FaceBook
baked cupcakes with Birdie for Mr. Flanagan's b'day
I've been thinking about what I wanted to post today
so I wandered around Blogger for inspiration.
I found it!
And it reminded me to always remember, so
I will always remember...
the black and white photos of my childhood,
especially the ones of my siblings lined up on the couch,
my brother holding the newborn baby (me),
all of them smiling so happily!
how freaking cute all of them were back then
the picture of them lined up in front of the tree
how few pictures there are of me growing up
the ones I remember most were taken at Nonie's house
Nonie's parlor with the blue-green furniture
the crusty bread baked in a wood-fired oven
the rare occasions we ate dinner at Nonie's *yum*
the lillie's of the valley & peonies on Meadow Street
the huge wedding picture of my parents
camping at Lake Dunmore with Dad's parents
my brother yelling "Irma!", which got him in trouble
the sweet smell of Grandpa's cigars
Uncle Johnny teaching how to bounce quarters on our beds
exploring upstairs at Aunt Tracy's house
peeing my pants in Sister Justin's 1st grade class
never wearing a seat belt as a kid
bouncing from seat to seat in the station wagon
the attic adventures in the old house on Spellman Terrace
stowing away in the bed of the pick-up while Dad drove to work
going to the 50 cent matinees every Saturday
sharing banana splits with my friend Lisa at Woolworth's
my first french kiss ~ too much tongue *yuck*
my first real boyfriend, Lenny
dumping him for the gorgeous guy who took my virginity
having my heart broken for the 1st time by that gg
senior year religion class with Father LaValley
the huge picture of me that hung in the window of Bartlett's Studio
the first time I got drunk
the first time I smoked weed
the first & only time I tried "coke"
my 1st apartment
moving away from the town I grew up in to escape a bad relationship
being in the best shape of my life
dating several guys at once to regain my confidence
the trip to Long Island with Janice & Dottie
getting set-up on a blind date with Hubby
my first concert with Hubby ~ Stevie Ray Vaughn & Joe Cocker
Hubby's wedding proposal 7 years later
our first home in Hinesburg
our wedding on the beach of St. Lucia
our honeymoon cruise through the Grenadine Islands
the birth of our 1st baby ~ a beautiful son
Birdie being rushed to the NICU 2 days after birth
the day Hubby told me I lost my nephew
telling Hubby that Birdie was going to be a big brother
the car accident on the morning I went into labor with Nut
Birdie's rendition of Santa Claus, sung to the BratPea
Nut's uncanny ability to always make me laugh
Hubby's unwavering devotion to his sons
how lucky I am for being the Queen among these Princes!
1. getting the boys to two separate practices on time
2. seeing their passion for baseball shine through
3. watching the coaches and kids build a team
Life is good when you witness your kids' athletic feats.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
1. The Bruins have the best goaltender in the NHL, who played for the UVM Catamounts when they went to the Frozen Four tourney in '96: Tim Thomas #30
2. Phil Kessel, Bruins #81, was so sweet to my boys when we met face to face last September (a very humble, modest young man, who is also a cancer survivor)
3. The Bruins tallied 116 points this season and will face Hubby's beloved Canadiens in the playoffs. The tension is mounting in this little house...
Life is good when your team has a tremendous season. GO BRUINS!
Monday, April 13, 2009
1. getting a colossal kick in the pants from the bathroom scale this morning (and if my butt wasn't so big, it'd still hurt now...)
2. the fresh pico de gallo I get at market is good for you and tastes fabulous, too
3. I've consumed less than 1 ounce of chocolate in the last 4 days despite the 6.75 pounds of it visible and hidden throughout the house (However, that doesn't count the brownie Birdie forced me to inhale last night.)
Life is good when you get a wake-up call before it's too late.
Can you say "oink"?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
1. finding my old friend Lisa on Facebook
2. motivating Birdie to beef up his project without a battle
3. learning that Mom is coming for a visit in May
Life is good when you you have Sunday off... my first this year!
Oh, it's Easter? Well, it was just another day around here... Hope yours was fabulous!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
1. lunch dates with friends
2. date night with Nut (pizza, a movie & slap jack)
3. Easter Sunday off... two years in a row!
Life is good with some relaxing down time.
There is no set priority so this list is merely my reminder of what I want to accomplish over the next 50 years. And yes, that means I'll still be at it when I'm a nonagenarian!
I think of myself as a pretty simple, down-to-earth person but I have an appetite for some high-priced adventure.
Who knows if I will ever be able to afford to do all 101 things, but I'm gonna die trying. So wish me luck.
11. para-sail over some exotic ocean resort
12. hydrazorb* down a mountain in New Zealand
13. see Old Faithful blow in Yellowstone Ntl Park
14. go on safari in Africa
15. becoming a therapy dog handler
16. bottle fed a litter of baby tiger cubs
17. snorkel throughout the Caribbean
18. build a house with Habitat for Humanity
19. get an eyebrow transplant
20. go to a Stanley Cup game, hopefully watching the Bruins
* for those of you who are not familiar with zorbing, I first saw it done on the reality show The Amazing Race Season 5. And after searching the web, I discovered that they now have zorbing in the United States (Tennesee of all places...)
Thursday, April 9, 2009
1. building great relationships every year with each of my sons' teachers
2. spending lots of quality time with the boys when they're at school
3. meeting the most clever, the most dynamic, the most imaginative teacher in the world: Shira Seigel, who was Nut's pre-school teacher
Life is good once you're old enough to enjoy going to school.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
1. a quiet dinner with just the kids
2. a little fun with Birdie as we rehearsed his lines
3. the spontaneous bear hug from Nut
Life is good when the kids are happy.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
1. relaxing in the hammock on a sunny afternoon, book in hand, a gentle breeze aiding the swing, hearing the sound of the wind rustle the leaves above as the orioles call to each lovingly
2. watching the kittens playfully tease each other, pouncing, ambushing, and chasing, weaving in & out of every nook and hiding spot until exhaustion beckons them to a quiet retreat and a much needed cat nap
3. sitting on the cold bleachers, muscles tense, pulse racing as one boy steps on the mound and the other readies himself behind the mask to catch a sly curve ball, robbing the batter of his chance to shine
Monday, April 6, 2009
1. great conversation ... sometimes about nothing much
2. great neighbors ... not just mine*
3. great doctors ... I'm doin' my damnedest to raise two
Life is good when you can lean on someone.
* my BFF Dee has moved at least eight times in the last 25 years and everywhere she goes she has the uncanny ability to move right next door to some of the greatest people on earth.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
1. having Chinese take-out for dinner instead of cooking
2. that our sweet little stray trusts me enough to lay in my lap
3. medicine that will clear up Nut's lungs
Life is good when you don't have to cook on the weekends.
My list may be as long as 3 things or short as 1, depending on my mood...
Why? Grace in Small Things exists because I am choosing to wage the battle against embitterment and to recognize the grace that exists in small things.©
When? Grace in Small Things is a challenge for every day, because there's no time like the present, tomorrow never comes, and some other cliche about seizing the day. Oh, right: carpe diem.©
Who? Grace in Small Things was created by Schmutzie; Grace In Small Things: A Challenge For All Of Us. © Copyright Schmutzie 2008
Every day there is something that makes waking up in the morning so awesome, like
... the sound of a cat's purr
... the sound of the rain that lulls me back to sleep
... the sound of laughter, especially that of a child
Saturday, April 4, 2009
1. sleeping in until 8:20
2. The Boston Bruins clinching the top spot in the NHL Eastern Conference
3. the new doctor who treated Nut for another nasty lung ailment
Life is good on the weekend, especially when there's no schedule to follow...
The Girl Who Wears My Shoes has tagged me! If you want to read something written with passion, you cannot miss her blog. You would be cheating yourself if you didn't spend at least an hour reading the history of Tricia's story.
According to the meme I'm supposed to tell you six random things about myself. If there was ever someone who lead(s) a boring life, it must be me because I've racked my brain for hours trying to jot down interesting "facts" and this is all I came up with:
- I am the youngest of 6 children born to parents who divorced when I was an adult, a mere 15 years too late.
- I was the only blond child in the family, thus I was teased constantly. The tease I remember most was that my siblings convinced my parents to bring me home after visiting my cage at the zoo.
- My eyebrows are nearly invisible... not because they are blond, but because I have a tweezer addiction.
- I never floss, despite threats from my hygienist that I will suffer periodontal disease or even contract cancer if I don't.
- The corners of my mouth turn down thus when I am not smiling, people think that I'm in a crabby mood.
- I have never owned a dog, but someday I will get one and train it to be a therapy dog.
* Link the person who tagged you. *Post the rules on your blog. *List six random things about yourself. * Tag six people at the end of your blog and link to them. *Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. *Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
So from someone who always strives to challenge rules rather than follow them to the letter here are my 6 blog tags in no particular order:
Friday, April 3, 2009
1. no more trips to the mountain for awhile
2. having 4 days off instead of 2... (at least for the next 7 months)
3. coffee dates with my MOPS friends
Life is good when you spend less time at work and have more time to PLAY! I mean... to yourself. I mean... for housework. I mean... to gamble. No, no... to ramble. OMG, I need a nap!
(Please don't tell Hubby I said "play"! He doesn't know I've hired a cleaning lady, or that I drop off all the laundry at the 1-hour laundromat, or that I've asked the neighbors to do all my errands & shopping so I can spend more time on Blogger, I mean my journal, I mean my domestic godesstry. Promise you won't tell? He'll know soon enough when I've drained the savings to keep up the payments now that I'm not bringing in the 2nd paycheck... What time is it? I really need a margarita, then a nap! )
Thursday, April 2, 2009
1. a juicy steak perfectly grilled ~ make mine medium
2. not one but two great pizza joints in town
3. M&M's ~ plain (but peanut works if that's all there is)
Life is better after munching on something tasty...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
1. making people laugh at my one-liners for April Fools' Day
2. getting a little more sleep than usual
3. clean drinking water
Life is good with simple delights...