Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Never Say Never.....Again

Quite a few times in the last several months I've said something like...."I'll never do...fill in the blank". I was never going to get one of those fancy cell phones. Who needs it? I really don't use my phone all that much, but I do text my daughters a lot. Mostly because it's their preferred method of communication. Well, my little cheap freebie phone was not cutting it for the texting so, it comes time to upgrade and I decide I need a new phone that has a keyboard for texting. What I ended up with is a Droid and now I can't figure out how I ever lived without it. I suppose it's the same feeling my mother had when she said she'd never use a microwave and then we got one. She never cooked vegetables on the stove again(well almost never).

One thing I was always very adamant about was the fact that I would NEVER get a Facebook page. First of all, I felt like it was a "young persons" thing. And then I worried that my daughters would feel like I was checking up on them. But most importantly, I was worried about the time factor. Do you find you lose track of time when you are online? Hours go by and it seems like minutes. So, time was an issue also. As most of you know, I can barely keep up with my blog, let alone manage Facebook. Well, this week I caved (my daughters words). I kind of hate myself for it. But, once again I'm finding myself hooked. I don't think it's as great as my Droid and it's certainly not as useful as a microwave, but it's fun. There's a whole world out there I never knew existed. Who knew you could run a farm, bake bread and serve up food all without leaving your couch? I'm still getting used to Facebook land, but it's interesting and intriguing and I'm willing to give it some time....but not too much.

So feel free to "friend" me and come write on my wall. Now there's something I NEVER thought I'd say!
Quote of the Day:

"Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions. Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it."
Gloria Swanson (1899 - 1983)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Story of Beth

A few days ago I told you The Story of Sarah, my oldest child. Now has come the time to introduce you to my youngest, Beth. She turned 21 in January and I swear it was just yesterday that I watched her walk into the pre-school classroom for the first time. Who knew then that she would grow up to love tattoos, try my patience everyday and fill my life with joy?

The Story of Beth

The thing I remember most about my baby child's birth is that her father missed it. Oh, he was there; he just didn't find it necessary to change into the required scrubs when I told him he should. Consequence of not listening to me: fast delivery and Dad misses everything. I guess I shouldn't be too critical, the doctor missed it too. Beth came into this world in a hurry and she hasn't slowed down since. I had to heehee/whowho while the nurses pushed my gurney down the hallway to the delivery room, all the while the resident was telling me not to push till the doctor got there. I told him he could say it all he wanted but the child was not listening(that was a sign of things to come!). And with that and one small push she was born. I've always thought she might become a pilot because she came out flying. The one good thing the resident did was make a spectacular catch.

And so the fun began. She learned to crawl early and then to climb. At 6 months she could climb onto or up anything she put her mind to. She wasn't really interested in walking, she'd rather climb and make Mommy a basket case. By the time she was two nothing was out of limits. From the time she could mobilize Beth has gotten everything she could out of every single day. She goes head first(like the bull in the proverbial china shop)as fast as she can at every task big or small. She makes me exhausted just watching her. She has always had this zest for life. But along with that zest comes a small little problem. No time to be neat. We must move from one thing to another as fast as we can so as to get as much as possible into one day. No time for clean up. She can leave a mess in her wake only the Red Cross could appretiate.

She's the child that tries my patience the most. She's the one that feels it necessary to push any issue just to see how far she can get. She also loves to argue and will argue about almost anything whether it needs to be argued about or not. She also needs to get the last word, or should I say sound, in. Even if it's a sigh or a grunt, she must leave the argument having had the last sound. That same determination also makes her a fiercly loyal person. If she loves you, she loves you unconditionally and with everything she's got. She's the best kind of friend there is. She's kind and compassionate, loves kids and animals and makes me laugh everyday. She is just a naturally funny person. I can't even explain it. You just have to know her. But if you're around her……you will laugh.

To Beth, life's a party and the more fun you have at the party the better. Who wouldn't love having someone like that in their life? It's exhausting, but oh so wonderful.

Thanks for reading about my little girl who's not so little anymore. I used to think it was hard when the oldest did all those "first" things but I've come to realize that it's much harder when the youngest does everything for the "last" time. I'm slowly getting used to the fact that I'm the mom of adults, but it's taking time.

Hope you all have a wonderful evening.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Circle Never Ends

It's softball season once again. Dan is on the board of our local girls fast-pitch league. It's a fun league and much more laid back than club ball. Beth played her last season of Spring Ball last year. It was a sad time for her. It's the only thing about turning 21 that she regrets. She loves softball more than anything. I have been going to baseball and softball games for almost as many years as I've been a mother. I was sad that it was coming to an end but quite frankly, I was also ready for it to be over. Then Dan comes home and announces that he will be coaching our 9 year old great-niece this season. I don't know what I expected, he loves coaching and he loves being at the field. It's been a long time since he coached "little" girls. He's learning all over again and Beth is helping so she still gets her softball fix. Today was their first game. I went to the game because I knew it would mean a lot to my niece if I came to watch her daughter. And, because I don't have any grandchildren, I occasionally claim her as my surrogate grandchild ;-)

I forgot just how cute they are at this age. And just how boring the games can be. Many of the girls are just learning how to play. Lots and lots of walks make for a boring game. I still enjoyed it, but it was boring. Oh, and I forgot about the chanting. If you've ever been to a girls softball game you know what I'm talking about. The bigger girls didn't chant so much but the little ones love it. When Beth was little I used to hear those chants in my dreams....oy! It also made me remember one of the many reasons that I love my husband. He is so patient and wonderful with these little ones. He makes them all feel special. He loves them and they love him right back.

So, while I was sitting there, I thought about how things always come full circle. How I thought I was done with this part of my life only to find out that it's come back to me in a whole new way. How my daughter will coach her kids and those kids will coach their kids and the circle never ends.

It's a beautiful thing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Story of Sarah

Back in September, I shared with you The Story of Dan and Gerri which was the start of this wild ride I call my life. All along it was my intention to share the stories of each of my children on their birthdays. Then life intervened, I became a slacker blogger, and two of their birthdays passed without so much as a fare-thee-well. Since the third birthday is fast approaching, I guess I better get caught up. This is the story of my oldst child, Sarah. It's not so much a story about her, as it is a story about how she came to be. While no mother has a favorite and you love different things about each child, your first child is special in a special way only mothers can know. And so it is true with mine. She is the heart of my heart, a miracle of God, and when I look in her eyes I see the promise of tomorrow. She is everything good and true and wonderful about the world and she has grown into such a special young woman. She is amazing. I marvel every day that God entrusted her to me. I'm not only proud to call her my daughter, I'm so very proud that she's my friend. (It's one of the perks of having adult children, that you can finally be their friend.)

The Story of Sarah

When Dan and I decided to get married we talked a lot about having a family. We knew we wanted one but we were unsure about when we wanted to start one. After much discussion we decided that since we had dated for 4 years we had already had a lot of time to ourselves and we were ready to start building a family. We got married on a sunny and rather hot September afternoon. I was almost giddy with happiness. I was marrying the man of my dreams and soon I would attain the ultimate goal of my life, motherhood. I was so sure that I would get pregnant within the first month. It didn't happen that way and it upset me but I knew that it would happen soon enough. As the months passed I started to wonder why God was making me wait so long. I prayed, pleaded and even bargained with God to send us a baby. Nothing. I couldn't understand why He wasn't setting the plan in motion. Hadn't He revealed to me that motherhood was my calling? Or had I only heard what I wanted to hear?

I watched women who had gotten married after I had, get pregnant, have their babies and get pregnant again. I began to dread baby showers. I hated the sight of strollers, playpens and baby toys. It was painful to watch all the young mothers with their babies while my arms where empty. I wanted to cry out "What about me?". I was bitter and angry. I wondered if we would ever conceive. Dan was patient and kind, always reminding me that good things come to those who wait. Well, I was tired of waiting. I was tired of doctor appointments, taking my temperature and fending off well meaning, but nonetheless hurtful, questions about when we were going to start a family.

About three years into this process I just decided to forget it all. I was so fed up with everything. I wish I could say it was a voice from God telling me to slow down or that I had a great epiphany of some sort, but no. I think I was just so emotionally worn out. I didn't have another ounce of fight left in me. (As an aside here, I must give it up to all those women who hang in there for years and years and fight the good fight to become mothers. I know so many of them who have waited much longer than I did. I don't know how they do it, but I admire them.) So, I stopped everything. No more doctors, no more thermometers and no more worrying. I prayed about it and asked God for his forgiveness and that His will be done.

I started thinking about adoption or just living out my life without children. I felt peacefully calm for the first time in so long. About 5 months later I missed a period. I didn't really think much of it. This had happened many times before. But the days moved into weeks and I missed another one. I finally bought a home pregnancy test. Now, this was back in the day when you had to wait a couple of hours for the results. Let me tell you, that was the longest two hours I ever spent. Much to my surprise, it was positive. I was excited, but cautious. This had also happend before, false postitives. I made an appointment with my doctor and waited some more. All tests were positive and we were given a due date of December 26th. Ironic since both our birthdays' are in December and Dan's is the 27th. We figured, first baby, we probably won't deliver until January anyway. We were just so happy to finally be pregnant.

I had a wonderful pregnancy and tried to enjoy it without wishing it away. I really just wanted to deliver and hold that baby in my arms. As the last weeks of December approached we readied everything and began to wait. There were the obligatory jokes about delivering before the 31st to get the tax deduction. I was ok with that…the sooner the better. Christmas Eve was a beautiful sunny Arizona day. We did some last minute shopping, looked at Christmas light displays and went to 9 o'clock Mass. By the time we got home I was tired and ready for bed. I went to bed but for some reason I just couldn't sleep. I was restless and uncomfortable so I got up and vacuumed the living room and did some dishes. Hmmm…guess I should have figured it out. When the contractions started at about 1:30am I was so surprised. Christmas Day, I was going into labor on Christmas Day?!? At first I thought, it's just a false alarm, they'll calm down in a while. At 6:30 when they were 15 minutes apart, I decided maybe it was for real and maybe I should wake Dan. At 5 minutes apart we headed to the hospital.

I was still in denial about delivering on Christmas. All the horror stories I'd heard from people who hated their birthdays being on Christmas began running through my head. The doctor made his appearance at 10am, told me he thought I'd deliver around 1pm, and left. I decided he was wrong, asked for an epidural, and spent the next couple of hours trying to convince myself I could hang on until midnight. I was wrong, of course, and amazing things happen when you give your destiny to God....

At 1:09 PM on Christmas Day 1984 our wonderful, beautiful daughter was born. The miracle of birth makes you forget all your negative thoughts. All I could think was what a beautiful little life had been entrusted to my care. And how apropos, after waiting such a long time, that we should deliver her on Christmas Day. She was and continues to be the best Christmas present we've ever received. We have always told her how special it is that she shares her birthday with the Savior. She has always felt special because of that and has certainly never felt cheated. So, Christmas at our house is much more than gifts and holiday meals. It's a celebration of two special births, and a reminder of how lucky we are to have them both in our lives.

So, there you have it. The story of my own little miracle baby. If you stayed to read the whole, long story, I appreciate it. In a couple of days I'll be writing about my youngest child who turned 21 in January. To know her is to be totally exhausted 24/7/365. She still keeps me on my toes!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's not the one thing......

I have always loved figure skating. My earliest memory is sitting with my mother, watching Peggy Fleming skate across the screen of our old black and white TV. I used to put socks on and slide around our linoleum floor pretending I was the next Olympic figure skating champion. I think living in the desert made the sport seem so mysterious and glamerous. I had never seen a pair of ice skates or an ice rink, for that matter. And while none of this has anything to do with the theme for this post, what started my thinking process did and I thought I would share a long forgotten childhood memory. So there you have it....the randomness that is me. Onward.....

I was watching a program about Scott Hamilton (see, there was a link, however small). All about his comeback after brain surgery and a five year hiatus from skating. It was inspiring. During the show he talked about facing something he had never faced before. While practicing, if he made a mistake in the program, he would quit skating. He had never done this before in his career. He knew it was fear and he was having a difficult time figuring out how to work through the fear.

I experience this a lot in my own life. I have a problem with anxiety. It keeps me from living life to it's fullest measure. It's the one thing I really dislike about myself and would like to change.

During the program Scott mentioned a saying that he used to get himself over the fear and to stop quitting. "It's not the one thing...it's the whole thing." Meaning that if he made a mistake it didn't ruin the whole program because there were many more elements in the program than just that one jump or just that one spin.

It got me thinking. I could apply this in my own life. Many times the "one thing" will keep me from enjoying the "whole thing". So many times I get caught up in some thing that is making me anxious and I forget the big picture. How will this affect me in a week, a month, a year, five years? When you stop to put things into the context of your "whole" life, the "one" thing doesn't seem so big.

So I've decided to live my life like I'm figure skating. And if I fall on that triple Lutz, I'll just get back up and do a triple toe loop. All the while reciting my new mantra...."It's not the one thing...it's the whole thing."

Here's to new beginnings......

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Unhip mom....yeah, that's me

I've been thinking a lot lately about growing older. I'm not bothered by the fact that I'm getting older. I think I have a pretty realistic outlook on the situation. It's inevitable, I can't stop it, so I might as well do it gracefully. Some things about growing older are really appealing to me. I'm actually looking forward to those senior discounts because, let's face it, who doesn't like to save money? I like the fact that my husband and I can go virtually anywhere we want to go without being accountable to anyone. We don't really do this, but we could if we wanted to (or had excess piles of cash laying around). I enjoy coming home from work and having no place to go. No little league, no softball, no orchestra concerts, no band competitions. The days of hectic running are all but over and I have to say, I'm ok with it. My time is my own unless I choose for it not to be. Now, don't get me wrong. I loved every minute ( well, almost every minute, I'd give back the teen years if I could) of being with my kids. I loved being involved with their lives and I never thought of it as a chore. But, I'm ready to move on to the next phase of my life which I think is all about me. And I'm ready for it.

There are some things that do bother me though. I touched on this a bit in my last post. I remember when I was young thinking that I would die before I would let myself turn into, horror of all horrors, my parents. Not that they weren't good parents. They were great. But they were fuddy duddies. Not with the times. Out of the loop. Well, the unthinkable has happened. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but suddenly, I am my parents. My fuddy duddy factor is at an all time high. Here are a few things that up my factor:

  • I think I'm the only one in the world who doesn't have a Facebook page. I have no desire to find anyone I went to school with and frankly I just don't want the time commitment.
  • Until recently I thought tweeting was something only birds did.
  • I thought Skype was a new kind of flu.
  • Sometimes when I listen to young people talk I think they are speaking a foreign language. I'm not down with all the lingo (my daughters will kill me for that last sentence).
  • I think music should actually have a melody.
  • Tattoos: see previous post
  • I can't get used to the fact that thongs are now flip flops and what are now called thongs just seems like a torture mechanism to me. And by the way, I don't think it's appropriate to wear flip flops to a job interview, I don't care what color they are or how they are decorated. Put a regular pair of shoes on for goodness sake. And your thong should not be showing out of the backside of your pants...bending over or standing up...if you think it's sexy...you're wrong.
  • While we're on the subject of pants....boys, buy the appropriate size and wear a belt, PLEASE! If you have to hold on to your pants while you are walking....well, enough said.
  • Last but not least (I'm sure there are more but I'm getting long here), just the fact that I used the words "fuddy duddy", brings my score way up.

Well, there you have it. The sad story of my realization that I am not a hip mom. Oh well, guess my kids will just have to do without like I did.

Monday, March 8, 2010


So, this issue has been weighing on my mind for sometime. I think, because it's one of those things that I have no control over, I let it bother me even more. I think it also makes me feel like my mother and older than I want to be, which also bothers me a bit. I really try to be open minded when the issue doesn't involve life or death, but for some reason I just can't get past this one. So I will lay it all out there and you can tell me what you think. Here goes:

My youngest daughter loves tatoos. She has 4 of them. She's 21. This bothers me. When I was growing up the only people who had tatoos where gang members, prison inmates and Hells Angels. When I was her age, girls with tatoos where considered cheap, fast or both. I realize that tatoos have become much more mainstream but for the life of me I just can't get used to it. The fact that I have a hard time accepting it also makes me feel old. The whole thing is a conundrum.

I try to take solace in the fact that her tatoos all have some meaning to them. At least they were not spur of the moment and seem to be well tought out. The Holy Spirit with a bible verse, Faith, Family and the most recent a pink breast cancer ribbon in honor of my mother. She is already planning her next one which is a fairly big one. The Faith and Family tatoos bother me the most only because they are on the insides of her wrists which i think is really hard to cover up. I also wonder how she is going to feel about them when she's my age, which is really none of my business, so why do I care? She has promised me she will not tatoo her face....I'm glad for that. Another reason it bothers me is because I think she is such a beautiful girl and to me the tatoos take away from that. I really feel like the most judgemental and prejudice person writing that. But it's how I feel so I might as well own it.

So there you have it. I'm officially the fuddy duddy mother of a young adult. Something I never intended on being and never wanted to be. I always promised myself I would not become my mother. (Mind you, I love my mother very much and she was a special person, but just not always the most open minded.) How does this happen? Is it just inevitable? Are we destine to become our mothers? I wonder......

Monday, March 1, 2010

She's Baaack......

So yeah, not sure who out there will still be looking out for me, but I figured I'd try this one more time. Christmas was hectic, and the New Year has been filled with me being sick 3 times in 6 weeks. Work has been very hectic and the last thing I feel like doing when I go home is getting on the computer to do anything. I have, however, been able to keep track of you all....so I still feel connected in some ways. Anyway, I thought I'd steal a little time on my lunch hour to do an update.

Some random happenings from the past 2 1/2 months:

Christmas was wonderful with all the family around. We had almost 30 people for Christmas dinner. It was great! Of course, Sarah's stay was much too short, but I really enjoyed the time I had with her.

I promptly got sick in January and stayed sick off and on so much that my Christmas stuff did not get packed away until the week before last. I rarely get sick, so I'm not sure what is going on, I just know I don't like it one bit. I also started Weight Watchers in January and then got derailed by the illnesses. I really need to get back on board with that. I have several crochet projects in the works and it irritates me that I just can't stay home and crochet all day long. I really need to win that big lottery so I can retire ;-)

My oldest daughter, who lives in DC, survived Snowmageddon 2010...just barely. She also survived carbon monoxide poisoning in her house (old broken boiler). The fact that she's still alive makes me believe that God has bigger plans for her. It's so scary to think about, I just don't.

My youngest daughter, who lives with me, turned 21 and now I feel really old. She planned a big trip to Vegas nearly 6 months in advance and almost missed the whole thing due to weather the likes of which we never see in the Valley of the Sun. Sky Harbor was actually on a ground stop for hours which NEVER happens. Waiting in an airport for delayed and cancelled flights makes for one cranky 21 year old. She also got another tatoo(not in Vegas).....future post to follow on this subject. Oy.....

I have enjoyed watching the Olympics the last couple of weeks. I love the winter games. I was disappointed the USA lost the hockey game but it was an awesome game none the less. I'm a sap for all the pomp and ceremony and those "up close and personal" pieces they do. I love it all. As you can see by my backround....baseball fever has hit. Spring training is in full swing and I can't wait for Opening Day. I'm waiting for the day I can climb into my car and listen to the game on the way home. I'm crossing my fingers that my beloved D-Backs will fare better than last year.

Well, that's all I have time for now. Better get back to work. Hope you all will come back and visit me. I'll try not to be gone so long next time. Have a great day!