Quote of the Week

"We Must be Willing to Give Up the Life We Have Planned, So As to Have the Life that is Waiting for Us."
-Joseph Campbell
Week of Aug 12, 2013

Sunday, November 22, 2009

18 Years.

18 years ago today, Ryan and I went on our very first date. He had called me several days before to ask me out. I remember laughing to myself because he felt compelled to say he was "Ryan GERDING" - as if he feared I might not recall who this person was who was calling me.

I recalled. I recalled because I had that "moment." Someone once described it as "Your souls know, and pop out and wave to each other." So, maybe it's not quite love at first sight (or maybe it is) but I remember it as a quick fleeting moment of "huh - something significant here." I had only had it once before. I still remember that exact moment. A group of us were all walking together to a class - I was hanging back with some girls, he was a bit ahead with some guys. He was talking. Very animated. And at the moment when he was gesturing - I think re-doing a football pass - his hands were up, and I was looking at him talking, not hearing, that was the moment. A brief "slo-mo" of that "Hey, you paying attention here? This person is significant."

And then life passed. With several opportunities for our paths to cross again. And it was like fate was trying ... but we kept messing it up. But fate was set, and eventually it just came down to a phone call. A phone call that set fate's "big picture" in motion.

Now here we are, 18 years later. 13 years of marriage. Nearly 10 years of parenthood.
I do believe some things are just meant to be.

Three Weekends of Fun

When I was going on and on about the great weekends I was having - I should have started one weekend back. We went to Indiana to spend time with my family. We managed to squeeze in a Purdue game and a trip to Chucky Cheese, too.

Here are some pictures from that weekend:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the Fun Continues...

Friday's fun spilled into Saturday.

1st - we got to sleep in. (See a pattern here of what's "great" to me?) We had no soccer games or sports of any kind ... and puttered around. We really spent the morning doing NOTHING. And sometimes, "nothing" is just right. ("Nothing" with the MIZZOU game on. Wooo - a win!)

Then we started getting kids geared up for Halloween fun. We like to drive to Blue Springs to Trick or Treat at Grandma's house - and we start early w/the family Trick-or-Treating so we can be back in time to hit the neighborhood.

At Grandma Pat's house in Blue Springs ... we had my two skeletons & a zombie, a chick magnet, and Auriel (?) and the lobster from Little Mermaid. Some cute kids looking SUPER cute. All the kids got big treat bags full of fun "ghoulish" stuff. And of course, everyone got a load of adorable pictures. (Oh, and Grandma was dressed like a black cat! And rocked it!) Oh - a funny moment..it was time to go, and we were trying to stick to tight schedule ... and Nick was still enjoying the snacks Gma had put out. I actually started saying to him - "Come on Nick, if you want more candy we gotta go." Him: "But I want to eat this" Me "But don't you want to go get more candy?" I then realize, my sweet child is sitting there, trying to eat VEGGIES, and I'm nagging him to hurry up to we can go get ... Candy. Mother of the Year.

We then moved our fun back to Lee's Summit...with a stop and Grandpa & Grandma's. When the boys rang the bell...Grandpa made a ghoulish laugh through his door speaker. Nick's reaction was funny. When they came to the door, Grandma was dressed like a Witch and welcomed the boys into her cauldron, er, I mean home. Nick read "5 Little Pumpkins" (a tradition) and did a great job!

After gathering up some treats - we returned home, and I quickly got into my costume while Ryan loaded the cooler, his "Puking Pumpkin" and other stuff and took them across the street to the neighbors house. We get everyone together to trick or treat, then go back to their house to have a party.

I dressed up as a Desperate Housewife. It was a last minute costume idea ... I wore jeans and a low cut shirt and a sequined shawl ... I wore red hose and red stilleto heels...lots of "diamonds" and heavy makeup. I then put a few curlers in my hair...tossed on my robe...put a bottle in my pocket (to drown my sorrows) and made my makeup look like I had been crying: viola: Desperate Housewife. While we were trick or treating - one dad in the street with us that we didn't know looks at me and goes "Please tell me that's your costume." HA! He took a risk saying that, didn't he?

I've left out one very important point with all of this: Normally, I don't get to go trick-or-treating. Normally, I have to work. (I work nights) And normally, it's SWEEPS - so, I'm not even allowed to ask for the day off. This year, with Halloween falling on Saturday, I actually got to go along for the fun .. and I was so happy! I HATE missing ANY kind of holiday fun -- I'm all about traditions and doing all the things you're supposed to do to soak up the holiday. So, I really really enjoyed walking the neighborhood..house to house and seeing the kids trick or treat...and seeing the people react to their costumes...and interacting with all the other families doing the same thing. It felt good.

After trick or treating, we dropped off all our loot at our house and headed across the street, where all our neighbors had gathered - in costume - (many adults too) to enjoy the rest of the night. Tons of good food ... and fun ... At one point all the kids gathered into one room to dance - and with the funky holiday lights and tile floor, it really looked like a dance club! Soon all the kids were doing the Thriller dance ... and yes, some adults too.

Eventually the party moved outside, around the fire pit. And soon kids were falling asleep in various places inside the house, as adults continued having fun into the night. I think Ryan started carrying kids home and putting them in bed around 12:30am ... and we didn't call it a night 'til about 1:30. And I know there were still a few at that fire pit long after that!

I couldn't have asked for a better Halloween. The weather was perfect. The kids had a great time. We had fun with family and friends and have tons of great pictures to show for it.

And here it is Sunday .. and not only did I sleep in, the time changed! In my favor! And I'm doing nothing. Well, I writing this - and it's taking forever because I'm "documenting" and being interrupted by kids playing with playd0ugh and showing me EVERY creation.

Soon we'll go to a soccer game - and it'll be fun because the weather's nice. And I'm going to do some cleaning (no, really, I'm looking forward to it!) And Ryan's planning a nice dinner ... and well, I think this whole weekend's gonna be a winner!

Oh, and did I mention it's my birthday tomorrow?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Best Day Ev-ah!

I had a GREAT day Friday. And I mean GREAT!

Got to sleep in, always a bonus. Checked the numbers and saw not only a great day..but that we won the first night of the book! Nice way to start.

Then I was off to "pick up a few things." I started at Target...LOVE Target . Treated myself to a Starbucks while I shopped. That really got me moving. Got everything I needed for kids' fall parties.

Then I went SHOE shopping. One of Ryan's co-workers gave him this Payless coupon...50% off everything .. and I went to town. I came home with 6 pairs of shoes, one purse and a bracelet. HAPPY !!

I then set to organizing party treats. Ran into one bump in the road there - wanted to bounce around to some Pink, but the iPod was dead..and Ryan had the charging cord w/him. FAIL! Made due and still enjoyed my quiet time puttering. I love party prep.

It was actually nice to just drop off all my donations and not stay to go through party stress.
Had a pleasant day at work ... got a couple of newbies who are coming along WONDERFULLY.

Then - I had asked Ryan to keep the kids up so we could have our own little family party. We still needed to carve pumpkins since we were out of town last weekend ... and after missing parties, I really wanted some "fun" time with the kids. I figured Ryan would think I was crazy...

BUT: When I came home, the kids were dancing to Thriller in the basement and watching DVDs from past family Halloweens. Ryan had picked up Halloween cupcakes, popcorn and made a huge batch of hot apple cider in the crock pot! He'd even put a fire in the fireplace. To my surprie, he was on board and embracing my idea! Jump up and down!

We had a great time choosing our pumpkin designs, carving pumpkins and enjoying snacks. Then after we'd taken a bunch of pictures of our Jack-o-Lanterns, we turned off the lights and read stories with flash lights! Yes, we were up REALLY late ... but it was totally worth it...and we all had a good time. No fits or whining or grumbling. Just fun.

Yeah .. that's all I need. Good family time ... and new shoes. ( :

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hello 3 Day Wknd

We purposefully are keeping it "light" this weekend ... we normally have to run all over the place for soccer games on the weekends...but thanks to the holiday - no kids sports to juggle.

So, we're making the most of our time "off." We all dressed in our MIZZOU best and got some great snacks and watched the game together. It was fun to see the boys excited for the game...and nice to see a BIG win.

Now we're puttering. Puttering is nice. No places to be, or clocks to be wary of. Seriously good.

I'm wasting time updating all the boys' blogs. Even updated our main blog, www.thegerdings.com And I'm not even LOOKING at the clock. Considering my whole life seems to revolve around what time it is - -a true break is when you don't need to know what time it is for anything. Sounds weird, but it's a big relief. A true vacation.

I may even try to do some scrapbooking! What? I know! Haven't done any in so long, I can't even begin to remember what the last thing I did was.

Actually, first I think I'll go outside and water flowers. Yeah, that sounds nice. Aaahh...."nothing" feels so good!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Respect the Motherhood


I believe that all mothers are "working mothers." And I would never make assumptions about the choices a mother makes for her life. I come from a unique perspective -- in that, my husband and I together make "one" stay at home parent....me in the mornings, him in the afternoons.

But that's not good enough. Somehow I'm still pitted in the "sniff sniff ... you WORK?!? .." corner. Said in the same tone as one might say, "You clean up poop? And LIKE it?"

I don't want to get into the whole Mommy Wars thing here. But can we all agree to stop judging? We all share the same thing: GUILT. Are we doing enough? Are we backing off and giving our children space? Is the laundry done?

We make our own choices -and should not be judged by them. Only WE know why we do the things we do. Don't make assumptions that I can or can NOT participate in something based on what you THINK you know about my life/job/intentions/abilities.

MOMS: we are equal. We love our children. We want what's best for them. We worry. We hover. We make the best decisions we can for the benefit of our entire family.

Respect that.
We should be a united front ... not factions of us vs them. Better vs. adequate.
Open up your tight knit circles of "one type of mom" and allow other moms in. If you tear a mom down, instead of building her up ... you're violating the whole essence of "mom" : Comforter in Chief.

So .... who are YOU judging?
Let it go. Reach out. Show grace. You may find a strong, loyal ally who approaches the caretaking & commitments differently -- but whose ultimate goal is the same. You may see a different perspective on love and balance. And it's ok.

And you might find me. Just a mom trying to make it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

So, no, I don't blog much these days. I'm just really busy - and in the summer, if I'm home, I'm NOT in front of the computer. You can still get quickie updates by watching the Twitter feed at the top of my blog ... I can do that from my phone and any computer .. and the quickie nature of it is perfect. You still get an idea what I'm up to. By the way - if you really "get" Twitter - many of my posts are also at @EPKCTV ... that's my "work" account.

Anyway, as usual, I digress. The other thing that is updated weekly on the top of my blog is my weight loss progress. Yep, that little jogger dude is moving. Today's weigh-in made me so happy -- my goal is SO in sight. It's taken since JANUARY but that crud is coming off. And I really think the way I'm doing it is going to KEEP it off. Today, I'm down 33.4 pounds. The number I saw on the scale was one I had not seen since baby number 2. And goal number one is SO attainable now - only about 12 pounds to go. EASY.

I've decided I'm going to "reward" myself with a personal trainer. Yeah, that doesn't sound like a great reward. But once I meet my first goal ... It will be more about getting in shape and peeling off weight to get me to my "ideal" weight .. rather than "Holy crap you are disgusting and should not be seen in public - fix this now!" And I'd rather go to a personal trainer with a nice starting point ... and I think by the time I hit this first goal, kids will be back to school - and I'll be able to go work out -- which I really have NOT been doing now. Imagine how great this could be if I had some more physical activity??? Even just walking!?!

So yes, this is my quote for this stage in my life. "Slow and Steady Wins the Race" ..don't like someone at work, wait 'em out ... they'll do themselves in ... want something for your home? Slowly save and make it happen ... rushing into things just gets you in trouble. (Sudden weight loss = gaining it back and then some, Arguing with difficult people=gets you no where but in a bad light, and impulse buying puts you in a tight spot when you NEED something important.)

So .. there's a quick update. I'll try to do one on the kids and family life etc soon (ha!).
But now, I'm gonna go out and water my flowers ... slow & steady.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrate your Independence

Much respect to all who have, are, and will serve this great country. God Bless America.
Enjoy your Independence - and light one for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for all you enjoy.
-Team Gerding

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Well Hello Blogosphere! Here I am!

I have been super MIA from this blog. It's truly ironic - I get super involved in social media (organizing for my television station, and helping other media/peeps work it) ... and I am completely less social.

Basically, unless you're on Twitter - or occasionally - Facebook, you're probably wondering if I even still exist. Yep! I do. So darn busy. And you know what, with as much time as I spend on the computer, once I am home - it's really the last thing I want to mess with. (Because, you know, I still have access with my phone, which I do obsessively check.)

So...let me catch you up. Where to begin? I've been pulling folks at the TV station (some kicking and screaming) into the social-media-sphere. Seriously folks - get on board the train, or prepare to have it run you over. Some are doing really well .. others still roll their eyes when I mention anything about Twitter...Facebook. It was on the cover of FREAKING Time magazine - it's legit! Twitter reported Michael Jackson waaaay before mainstream media. Anyway, I digress into a journalism discussion - and that should really go on my other blog. Which, too, has been sitting stagnant.

Let's see... let's talk kids. Jack - 9 - is doing really well in baseball this season. He got hit by a pitch once and it took him awhile to stand close to the plate after that - but he seems to be getting that confidence back. He loves watching ESPN and something called something like "MLB TV" or something. He told me a lie yesterday...and we had to go through the whole "you're mostly in trouble because you lied - if you have told the TRUTH it wouldn't have been a big deal." Now, to beat a dead horse, I'm pointing out things like "not sure if I can believe Jack, because he has not been truthful..." What a nag. I'll only do it for a little while longer - while the initial infraction is still fresh.

Kyle. He too is doing really well in baseball. He insists on sliding into every base. I missed a couple slides today - but knew they happened because of the big dust cloud rising from the field. They call him "Kamikaze Kyle" for his wild head-first slides. Makes him happy to get dirty. I'm ok with it ... you're SUPPOSED to get dirty playing sports. He's also recovering from the horrible sunburn from last Sunday. He had second degree burns on both shoulders...and it created two blisters that were the size of ... what? trying to think ... they were FREAKING HUGE. I had never seen blisters like that before. These were "burn victim" blisters. I had used aerosal sunblock .. which was REALLY cool ... so fast and convenient and seemingly like the answer to a parent trying to get three kid lotioned up quick. Not so much. I think it was relatively ok for my dark skinned kids .. but not this fair blondie. Anyway, when the blisters first showed up - we followed tips and tricks from online research and knew not to pop them. But then he was so miserable - and they seemed to be growing, so we decided to check with the doctor. When they told us we'd have to bring him in - I cried the whole way there, because I knew I'd be doing the "walk of shame" and no matter what I said I was the stupid parent who didn't properly protect her child from the sun. And of course, the stupid internet informed me that I had increased his chances for skin cancer like 6-fold. So, now, he'll be wearing his snow suit to the beach.

And then there's Nick. The poor guy who gets dragged to everyone's multiple baseball games. He does play Tball - but only on Saturdays. We didn't go today because I just couldn't pull it off by myself w/conflicting games/etc. Nick asks every night if it is a "work night" - because if it is not, then he gets to sleep in Jack/Kyle's room. The rule used to be it was ok if it was not a school night...then school let out and he thought he'd get to sleep in there EVERY night ... so we needed a new rule. Feel bad for the kid - mom & dad share a room and so do Jack & Kyle ... so can't fault him for wanting to be in on that.

Caught up? Let's pick up from today. We had 10am swim lessons, 11:00am baseball game, 12:15 TBall (skipped) then 1:00pm baseball practice. It's super hot. I was trying to juggle all of them, their various equiptment, plus, of course the over-application of sunblock. (You can imagine how obsessive I am about it NOW) ... and a cooler. Kids were making it difficult - and the heat made it hard to be patient. At baseball practice, I had told Jack there was only ONE way to get into the field and to go in that way ... well of coure, he DIDN'T and I could see him walking ALL the way around the field trying to get in. I could hear his coach telling him to go around .. but then he thought he'd try to climb the fence, a TALL fence. So, I'm watching this from the minivan -- from pretty far away. Getting madder and madder that he just didn't listen to me in the first place. And he's not coming back around to go into the field at the right place. So finally I decide to quickly hop out of the minivan - which I have running to keep us cool -- to yell at him. Halfway there I turn around to see Kyle in the driver's seat. Remember - the car is running. So, I hiss at him and then go after Jack. You know, the "arm yank" and "do you remember what I said to do?? " (But like the hissing - very subtle - so parents don't notice and think I'm one of THOSE parents.) I make him RUN to the right place and tell him he can't stop running 'til he gets to the right place and to then apologize for being late. (I was in mean mode.)
Then I go back to the minivan and give Kyle the "Don't ever ever ever ever sit in the driver's seat. Ever" speech.

I was so angry, I could have picked up the minivan and squashed it in my hands like aluminum foil. And I think if Ryan had been there, it would've diffused some of the crazy. I don't know how single parents do it - especially if there's several kids. It's like herding cats.

But I'm better now. We're better now. Back at home in the A/C. Of course, I can't relax because I am on call and there's a threat of severe weather. AGAIN. We have had a crazy amount of severe weather. And if it gets tornadic or dangerous, I have to go in. But I don't want to talk about that.

Tomorrow is my 12 year wedding anniversary. 12 years. But Ryan is gone on his man weekend. The big, annual summer "Gerding Guys Getaway." It involves his dad and brother, his grandpa, and his dad's brother and two sons. (uncle/cousins, follow me here?) They always go somewhere where they can golf and goof for four days. Often out of state. This time, though, they're down at the Lake of the Ozarks. No kids. No nagging wives. The occasional angry text or call (ME: "WHERE THE F IS THE SUNBLOCK????") Sound nice? Yeah. It is. While I want to be angry he's gone on our anniversary, I'm mostly crazy jealous. And honestly, we BOTH agreed the dates would be ok ... only later did I look and go "HEY - Did you realize that's our anniversary weekend???" So, if you ever wondered, it's at about 12 years when you start forgetting.

So, there's an update on the boys, Ryan, and my day. Me personally? Constantly worrying about whether my job will soon be one of the ones that can be eliminated. We've had cutbacks and layoffs. I'm trying my best to remain relevent. And that means working very hard and stressing. The economy hits TV Stations very hard - because people aren't buying ads. (Especially car companies, as you can imagine.) But enough about that. My "good thing" is that I have managed to lose 29.1 pounds since January. I'm still on track and doing very well. I'm very committed to this. I am getting much closer to my first goal.

And I've actually read a couple books this summer! See -- less computer time lets you do that! (I do it mostly at night. LATE at night.) Looking for my next good read now ... let me know if you have any suggestions. And no, I'm not interested in : "Be a Better Mom: How Not to Burn your Child or Scream at them at Baseball practice." But thanks. I think I've got things under control. Let's see if I can make it through the rest of the weekend without turning into the word-spitting, head-spinning, fist-clinching angry mom-lady. Now, where's that bottle of wine???.....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happiness is the Great Outdoors ...

I like living in the 'burbs. Especially on sunny weekends. After hibernating all winter - everyone is outside. Everyone is toiling away on various projects. Maybe it's something simple like mowing -- (I love that sound! And the SMELL of freshly cut grass ... aaaah.) Or maybe folks are refilling flower beds and cleaning out the "dead" of winter.

It's a great feeling. I got to "toil" around the house today while all the boys were at the Royals game. I worked really hard - and got covered in dirt. And it was great. I could see people trading stories between bag changes while mowing ... and giving each other advice on planting this or that...or making fun of the family trying to make major deck improvements in one day. And of course, you could hear the muffled laughter of kids in various yards running off all the cabin fever.

There's something very 'home' about all that. When summer comes, I'm outside every chance I get. I just like to soak it all in. If I'm not "toiling" I'm playing backyard baseball or pushing someone on a swing ... or just reading a magazine with my favorite drink. But I'm also just as happy to sit in my chair swing, and stare at the sky and dream.

THIS is what it's all about. *happy sigh*

Saturday, May 16, 2009

As the Dryer Spins: A Clean Tale of Detergent & Determination

I sit here [ this ] close to falling asleep.  
My face is burned from another day of sports.  No sunscreen - didn't think of it cuz it was COLD, duh.

I'm listening to my husband install the new dryer we just bought.  I'm steering clear of the scene.  Too much moving stuff around that could make me antsy.  

And now he's come up here and is all happy he's got it installed.  Proud of himself. And now asking me why I'm not excited.  Why should I be? It's a dryer.  I didn't WANT a new dryer, it was sort of forced on me because the other one bit the dust.  There's nothing special about it.  It's a dryer. It's a big hunk of my disposable income disposed of .. and I would've rather purchased supplies to extend our deck.  THAT would make me excited.  But noooo .... a dryer made itself a priority.   Oh, and we bought it today.  The SAME day we took the mini-van in to get the flinging-flanging driver side window fixed.  (Cha-Ching!) Sadly, this became quite a priority.  It's embarrassing to have to open the door at every drive-thru.  I guess we should be more embarrassed about the number of times we hit a drive-thru and NEED that darn window to go down.  But, I digress. 

Husband is now pouting because of my lack of excitement over the dryer.  Seriously? Not sure what I'm missing here.   I suppose I could've fake excitement.  (I know you're now all expecting me to take the easy joke about faking excitement in other "venues."  But, I'm not going for the expected - and remember, I'm [ this ] close to falling asleep.) Anyway, I didn't have the energy to fake it.  (Yeah yeah, "That's what she said.")

He has sulked off into another room.  So I'm sitting here.  Listening to the washer go, because I'm assuming HE was so excited about the new dryer that HE decided to toss a load in the wash.  AT 10:00 AT NIGHT .  So then HE could go put those things in the dryer and get excited that it was working.  Whereas, I'm thinking:  He's either A/gonna forget about the clothes in the washer and leave them all night and I'll get to wash them again because I think they get a stale smell if left.   or B/he'll move them to the dryer and leave them there all night to wrinkle  or  C/I will somehow be stuck doing some form of laundry very late on a Saturday night...because I will be annoyed about the potential of options A or B.

So now he's taking a shower.  Dummy.  It'll soon be cold because he JUST TURNED ON THE WASHING MACHINE.  Maybe I should go start the dishwasher and go for the trifecta.  That's just mean, huh?  Guy takes care of replacing the dead dryer - from purchasing, to installing to -- WHOA.  WAIT.  NEWS FLASH: HE'S HEADED DOWNSTAIRS.  He's SO excited about the dryer he's gone from shower straight to laundry room to move the load over!  Looks like option B is our winner.  Oh, and now he's back up here loading up MORE dirty clothes to take downstairs.  Silly man.  Why all the love for this new machine?   We DID just buy new hedge clippers today, why aren't they getting any love?  

Maybe dryers CAN be exciting.  I just did an entire blog play-by-play on one.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


So I gave this blog a whole new look and got all geared up to be a faithful blogger .. and haven't posted in a bajillion years.

Things are SOOOO busy right now -- too many to-do lists to keep up with.
Funny - I started the above last week, and got interupted and am just now getting back to it. Just reinforces how many different directions I've been pulled.
However, my to-do lists have finally gotten smaller.

I hope to get back to blogging regularly. This doesn't count. It's boring.

The Five:
1. Tired - sugar crash. (Had a TINY piece of cake at work.)
2. Generally upbeat ... for a Monday.
3. Anxious to get home and watch DWTS.
4. Wish I had a pony tail holder. Hair is bugging me.
5. Full.

1. This weight would fall off faster.
2. I was a better mom in the mornings.
3. It wouldn't rain this week.
4. I was wearing jammies. will be in 30 minutes!
5. All my "to-do's" were 'to done'

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Millions

Have you seen those word clouds that are popular right now? Basically a jumble of words--with the most "popular" being the biggest in the middle?

Anyway -- I'm in a jumble/whirlwind of stuff to do ... like I'm caught up in a tornado ... here's my word cloud:

school kids laundry TWITTER facebook SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT baby shower cleaning CALORIES the daily plate scale haircut dvr'd shows stress family flights vegas RTNDA sleep backpacks bills springclean paint newbathroom blogging copyediting discipline NEWS weather travel LISTS dietdrpepper nocoke WORK love relationships reviews schedules organization specials TIGERS lateshows messes baseball soccer friends

and that's not even everything.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Taking a Break from the Happy for a Moment

So, I'm here in Lafayette for a funeral.
Let me back up. For the longest time, Ryan and I have had all our grandparents...and for me, that included an "extra" set. My mom's parents divorced and remarried -- but, for all my life, I just had 3 sets of grandparents - didn't know it any other way. Just telling you this for background.

I lost my very special Popaw on September 11, 2007.
And last Saturday, the man I always just called "Red" died. He's my mom's step-dad. He lived in California most of my life. So, I wasn't terribly close to him. My best memories are of talking to him and Grandma on the phone as a kid -- and having him always ask me "You been kissin' dem boys! I know you been kissin' boys!" (Didn't matter if I was 8 or 18.)

So anyway, I've come home for his funeral...and was doing pretty good. Then we get to the cemetery, and outside the mausoleum is a group of men -- old men -- in their American legion uniforms, waiting to salute Red as he's brought in. I am so touched by these older men ... standing in the cold ... waiting to salute this fellow soldier.

Then, we go into the mausoleum, and then back of it is just glass - a big window where you can see out into a pretty grassy area ... and there's men standing there. Again. old American Legion men, in uniform and in formation - - all holding rifles or flags.

And then, one of those men who is on the inside with us, begins a formal flag presentation to Grandma Jane. And it wasn't whispered, like you see in the movies. He talks about a grateful nation, and other patriotic things that have my throat constricting and head pounding, and then hands over the flag on "behalf of the US Government." Wow. You can NOT not cry after seeing that. Then, those men, outside -- still standing proud, but for pete's sake, none younger than 60 standing in the COLD ... gave Red a 5 gun salute.

While I was so proud of those men, and the nation and brotherhood they all stood for -- I couldn't help but wonder ... these men are the last of their generation. Who's going to do this when they're gone?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh Happy Discovery!

Look what I found in the backyard today:

Evidence of Spring!
We found all sorts of buds popping out today too .. but to see actual real flowers made me very happy!! Funny to see these new pics of the boys playing ... compared to the pics in my "fun day" blog from just a couple days ago! From 6 inches of snow ... to taking pics of flowers and swinging!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thoughts when School Calls

It's amazing how many thoughts one can have in a matter of seconds. Like today, the phone rang and I looked up to see it was the school. So, in a matter of like 2 seconds - from seeing the Caller ID to lifting up the phone and saying 'hello' I managed to think:
-Who's calling?
-Oh, it's school. I better answer.
-Oh no, it's about Jack. Because of his coughing.
-I feel bad, I knew he was coughing bad. Should he have gone to school?
-Do they think "what kind of parent sends a kid to school with a cough like that"?
-I'll have to go get him.
-Hm. I could use this to my advantage and take a sick dependent day.

I answer. It is Jack. I manage to think a few quick thoughts after he says "Hi Momma" and before he continues:
--It's Jack
--The nurse probably told him to call me so I can assess his "illness" and whether he should come home
--Ok, I'm ready: got my gauge on, let's go.

Then Jack continues, "I have student council tonight so Daddy will need to pick me up."
Now, only ONE thought: YOU CALLED ME TO SAY THAT??
"Yes Jack, Daddy knows. "

It's amazing I can have all those rational thoughts, in rapid succession, and prep myself to handle whatever's coming ... yet, I'll get up from my desk to head to the break room for my dinner and forget what I'm doing and where I'm going half way there.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fun Day

Today has been great. Really. Hard to believe I'm saying that with 6.5 inches of snow on the ground. But is has been.

Got up at 8am to watch our snow coverage. I'm on call, so I needed to be on top of it - make sure we were "owning" weather. Show was good. I laid around a little longer, and it wasn't too bad to get up at 8.

Ryan made pancakes - they really hit the spot, then we kind of just laid around a little longer. We had NOTHING in our cabinets -- and really needed to replenish, so Ryan ventured out for a big grocery hit ... and the boys and I lugged out ALL the Play-doh. And they've got quite a collection. We played Play-doh for about 2 hours ... and everyone enjoyed it! I took several pics of them creating and just enjoying us all together in an activity.
After lunch we all put on our winter clothes and snow suits and headed outside. We got the sleds out and the boys all did some sledding down the perfectly sized hill in our front yard. Jack, who never wants to come out to play in the snow, had some new snow pants and actually had some fun. Yes, he was the first to go in, but he stayed out much longer than he usually does.

We then came in -- the house smelled GREAT from the roast Ryan had going in the stove. We made hot chocolate for everyone -- with colored marshmellows and enjoyed that and a big fire to warm up.

Later, we all sat down for a FABULOUS dinner. And now I'm downstairs tinkering with my scrap stuff .. hoping to scrap .. but mostly just organizing. Well, honestly I keep playing around on the computer (obviously) ... but still. I got my website up playing my FAVE songs and am just really enjoying this great snow day. And the evening still awaits!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recalculating ... Life Lessons from a GPS

I got my husband a fancy GPS thingy for his birthday. It's portable - but we mostly stick it on the windshield in the car and let it tell us which way to go. The is a very appropriate gift for my directionally challenged husband. (He got lost on our first date.)

What's cool is that this very pleasant voice reminds you of turns ahead and helps navigate the drive. And, she is very patient.

For example, if I had been looking at a map -- or just giving suggestions on our route, and Ryan took a wrong turn (inevitable), I'd probably launch into eye-rolling ... proceeded by huffing ... and the more turned around we get, remind him "I TOLD you to go that way, but nooooo ..."

Not the lady in the GPS. Her tone never changes. And if you make a wrong turn, there's a brief pause, and then she simply says "RECALCULATING." Throw her any curve ball, and the answer is a steady, calm, non-condescending "RECALCULATING."

Imagine if you could work that into how you handle difficult people or situations.
Kid can't find his shoes and you need to be walking out the door NOW? You could yell and scream, or pause: RECALCULATING. Get your wits about you and find the shoes.

Time to head out the door and you go to the kitchen to find same kid covered in Sketti-O's? First instinct: FLIP OUT. But instead: RECALCULATING. New shirt. Move on.

Or at work. Work all day on a special project or idea, present it with high hopes, then get told -- "that's not what we had in mind." Heartbreak? Pout? Discouraged? RECALCULATING. Ok, what do I need to do to meet their expectations? Adjust. Adapt. Recalculate.

If we could all have the patience and ability to adjust -- like the calm lady in the GPS, the road we're traveling would probably still be bumpy ... but the ride would be easier.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

flingin' flangin'....#@#!%%

still working on the redo. can't get the header "just right" - it's all squished in the middle instead of spread out across the top. my eyes are starting to cross. i need to do something else for awhile. you know i'm fried when i'm not capitalizing my sentences or my "i'"'s. that's fried.

Friday, February 20, 2009


So, I had lost my first 10 pounds and rewarded myself with this new raincoat. I LOVE it. My husband saw it and backed away -- not a fan I guess. (Rolling eyes.) But I not only bought the jacket -- I bought a matching umbrella and ..... this hat. (I considered the knee high rubber boots that are all the rage too, but resisted.) Ok, so that hat. The model was wearing it in the picture - and it looked so cute. But, she must have had like a cantalope on top of her head or something. Because, no matter HOW I put it on -- this is what I get. So, it's either made for Marge Simpson ... or that dude from Fat Albert, and I need eye holes.

Ryan flipped up the bottom flaps ... and it looks more like a sailor hat. He liked that, but I'm not sure. That's NOT how the model had it on. And if I try to shift it back a bit, like a jaunty hat, or up and back, it just falls back down again and I'm blind.

Oh well. I'll figure something out. And by the way - today I'm celebrating hitting a 15 pound weightloss. Maybe I'll reward myself with a cantalope.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I AM Awesome.

I am awesome.
I am super mom. 
Today I did my weigh-in and have now achieved an 11 pound weight loss.  Good milestone.  I was feeling good.  Because I am awesome.  Focus on the word "was."

I purchased all the "parts" for the craft for Kyle's V'tines party.  That's enough for all three kindergarten classes.  I did not seek reimbursement.  I wanted to donate.  

I cut out all the pieces for the craft, and put them in sandwich bags so everyone could just have a pre-cut ready to assemble craft - grab your bag and go.  Enough for all three kindergarten classes.  I am awesome.

I made 6 posters with the teachers' black and white pictures blown up and decorated like "valentine princesses" ... 2 for all three classes so the classes could divide up and have two games of pin-the-lips on the V'Tine princess going at once.  I hand drew and cut 60 lips for the game.  I am awesome.

I created bingo cards for all three classes ... in color and on cardstock.  I made the calling cards and provided bingo prizes for all three classes.  I am awesome.

I put together the party like a newscast rundown - timing each activity and planning for transitions from one fun thing to the next.  I was prepared for extra students, accidents, diversions, and had Plans B, C and D.

I took the day off.  I went to the school.  I pulled off the party like no one's business.  I had instructions for the parents to follow so they could see what was happening next and how they could help.  The parents were happy.  The teacher was happy.  The kids were happy.  

And from all of that, I should FEEL awesome.  But one moment, one fleeting second, one sidebar, offline, out of sync moment is what rings with me now.   
As I started the party, I hear one of Kyle's friends say to him:  "Your mom is too fat."  

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday Woe is Me

It's one of those days. Nothing in particular is bothering me. I'm not sad or mad or anything like that. Just feeling ..... like mush. I'd like to grab a blanket and curl up in silence. Maybe read a book ... or snooze. In quiet. Maybe I'm over stimulated and need a break.

It'd be great to have a full day to do nothin'. No compulsion to clean or get caught up on whatever -- just do NOTHING.

Maybe that's a good descriptor of my mood: nothing.
Inspirational, huh?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy February

No -- this isn't the blog re-do I was talking about. It's just some temporary happiness.

I love when February rolls around and I can enjoy colors I'm not normally around. So, Happy Love Month. I'm gettin' my pink on!


Hello Friday.

I'm doing some quick picking up around the house ... then I gotta skeedaddle the second Kyle gets on the bus. I have to go to work early for four hours of management/leadership training. Four. Hours.

This is part two. We did part one a month or two ago. Also four hours. The guy who does the training is pretty good. But does it stick?

Anyhooooo....it's Friday and I told have to get up super early for a Jack basketball game, because he's going to a day long baseball camp. Yeah! It totally messes with me to have to get up early on a Saturday. We still have afternoon basketball ... but that's much easier to endure.

And Ryan and I have a date night planned! Yeeeeeee! I think he wants to see Slumdog Millionaire ... I'd be happy to see ANYTHING.

We're planning to go all out for the Super Bowl. I love watching football. I can watch ANY teams. And it will be fun to put together a big counter full of food and just graze all afternoon while watching the game.

Good weekend ahead!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Birthdays & Beyond

Crazy birthday season is now wrapping up. Nick kicks it off with a pre-Christmas birthday on the 22nd of December ... then there's Christmas ... then Kyle on Jan 10 and Jack on Jan 17 and my dad in the middle there on Jan 12 .... and Ryan's birthday was yesterday. Whoo!

I got Ryan a Garmin GPS thingy for the car. He got lost on our first date. He's a bit directionally challenged ... so it's a perfect gift, and fun. Now he has "another woman" telling him what to do all the time. (The voice in the GPS - come on, follow me here.)

Ryan and I are still going to go on a birthday date this weekend, and it's been a LONG time since we've had a date night. It will be a nice relaxing getaway.

So ... I'm going back and forth on whether to start a big house project ... or agree to MOVE. Which is less costly? Or makes more sense. Yes, the house we're in now seems to be shrinking around us .. but I think I can make it work for a little while longer. But I need some change.
I really want to paint our living room ... but can't do it myself because of the gigantic vaulted ceilings. I also want to put new cabinets and appliances in the kitchen .. and I want to paint our bathroom and put in a new sink/vanity. How's that for big projects?

I think it's the 2 year itch. Back when I was chasing dreams and bopping from TV station to TV station climbing ladders .. we'd move just about every two years. And once we stopped moving, I'd still get the "2 year itch." I can usually satisfy it with some "change"....new furniture ... some paint .. something fresh and new. But the change I need now is bigger. And much more expensive!

I'd love to launch into these projects and have them done before summer - because nothin' keeps me inside in the summer! I move my projects outside. (Oh yes, we WILL be extending our deck this spring!!!)

--Paint living room w/high walls
--Redo kitchen cabinets appliances
--Redo Master Bath
--Extend deck

Or move?

Ok - another variable. Attachment to the house. I totally understand the concept of "sweat equity" now. Plus - this is our first home .. and it was a long time coming and a really big deal when we finally got it. So, yeah, it's got some great sentimental value. And Ryan and Co. built the fence in the back .. and the jungle gym stuff ... (I INSIST it comes with us when it moves because "daddy" built it, Ryan rolls his eyes.) Anyway, you get the idea. It's not something I can "save" and stick in a scrapbook. So, there's more to moving than just the fear the darn house won't sell.

How's that for a random blog? Well, I'm back and will try to blog more often. Oh - -and as part of all that change I'm "itchin' " for ... I'm totally gonna overhaul this blog .. it needs a new look.

Aaaahh....creative projects!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

All RIGHT Already

Maricar's been pestering me to blog.  It's not enough that I wrote a big ol' long thing in my Facebook .... nooooo .... I have to blog too.  

Let's see .. things I love right now:  
1.  Guitar Hero.  I seriously can NOT stop playing it.  When I first tried it, I tried it on Jack's DS and thought it was stupid.  (read; too hard)  Then we got it on Wii - and it was still hard, but I finally figured it out ... and it really does feel like you are jamming.  The only thing - I feel a LITTLE bad that I'm rockin' out to Beastie Boys and they're yelling something about "in the back skeezin' a whore" and "autograph pictures of classy hoes."  I try hard not to sing along when the boys are around.  

2.  Fires in the fireplace.  The smell, the warmth, the crackle....

3.  Sweat pants. No bra.

4.  Sunday and we AINT. GOIN'. NO WHERE.  My apologies to God, we're missing church A-GAIN...but He knows me ... and knows not being in church doesn't mean we're not connected.  But yes, we'll get in the habit again.  Probably when those 9am Saturday basketball games go away.  

5.  I am seriously loving that Nick is no longer in a car seat with the buckling and annoying stuff.  He's been approved to move up into booster.  Which means, soon, all three will be buckling themselves in.  LOVE THAT.  I hate all the rigamarole with car seats.   I think it's another one of the many signs you are done having children - excited about milestones like this.  I also love that he's now in a clean seat.  Give that a week.

6.  I love that February is almost here ... and spring will be just around the corner.  Whoot Whoot!

7.  I love that all my scrapbook stuff is now organized and in one place .. now I just need to GET. TO. IT.  Maybe today.   Hell, I might already be on track to do it, if I had not stopped to BLOG.


8.  I'm thankful for friends to nag me to blog.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Yeah, yeah, I'm not responding to emails ... updating my blog ... I'm boring/rude. Blah blah.

I'll get back on the wagon soon. But not this week.

I plan to revamp this blog once I DO get back in the swing of things. Hang in there.