Thursday, September 27, 2012

32 Years and Counting

Two posts in two days...amazing huh?  Well, this one is going to be short and sweet...and while you're picking yourself up off the foor, I'll continue...

Today is my 32nd wedding anniversary.  I'm married to one of the best people God ever created.  Everyone loves him!  I'm pretty sure my parents loved him more than me.  Anyway, I've written two previous posts about Dan and I and how we stayed married, so I'm not gonna write any of that gooey stuff in this post.  If you'd like to read them you can go here for the story of Dan & Gerri (it's a good one!) and you can go here for the reason why we've been able to stay together so long...contrary to what the Beatles may have told is not all you need.

Today at work someone commented on how being married over 30 years is such a rare thing these days.  Maybe.  But I don't think so.  I personally know eight couples off the top of my head that have been married more than 30 years.  So I don't think it's THAT rare....or maybe we just all run in rabid dogs...who knows.  The one thing I do know is that four out of the eight couples we know, we met through Little League.  So, maybe my husband is right after all (you have no idea how much it KILLS me to admit this!)...maybe baseball does make everything better...including marriage. 

Today's Quote: 

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

~Mignon McLaughlin~

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Wednesday Hodgepodge

Here we are, another Wednesday, and time for another Hodgepodge.  Time just goes so fast these days, but not fast enough to get rid of this dang hot weather. 

Joyce always gives us great questions and this week is no exception.  She actually made me think this week...not sure if I really like that or not ;)  Please hop on over to Joyce's blog, From This Side of the Pond, and read all about Wednesday Hodgepodge, visit some new blogs and play along if you like!  It really is fun...honest!  Ok, here goes....

1. The Wednesday Hodgepodge this week falls on John Chapman's birth date. He's more famously known as Johnny Appleseed...what's your favorite variety of apple?

I'm not a big apple person.  I have animosity towards the apple that dates back to Eve.  The apple is directly responsible for my menstrual cramps, the horrendous labor pains I had with all three of my children AND menopause...totally the apples fault.  Ok, not really...I just don't really care for them.  Cooked maybe with a little sugar and cinnamon...but raw, not so much.

2. When did you last say 'ick'?

When I read the words "printed pants" in question #6....

3. Do you think there's a generation gap? Explain.

I think there is always a generation gap.  Times change.  Every generation grows up with a different environment and usually they think the way they grew up was best and that today's generation is ruining the world.  I remember very clearly my father being incensed by the Vietnam war protests and the riots at the colleges.  He HATED rock and roll.  He thought the world was going to hell in a hand basket.  But we all survived and we are here today...repeating the same things our parents did.  I HATE rap...and I will reserve my thoughts on whether or not were going to hell in a hand basket until after November 7th.  Having said all that...I think you should drop on over to my daughter's blog and read her response to this question.  She hit the nail on the head for her generation.

4. What's on your computer screen saver? Do you leave it alone or change it often?

I can't even tell you what my screen saver is so I'll tell you about my desktop background.  At home I have some random nature shots that came with the computer.  It's new (hence why I have no idea what the screen saver is) and I haven't downloaded a lot of my pictures to it yet.  But usually I change for the seasons with random pictures of my kids or my Christmas trees.  Once, I left my Christmas trees on a whole year because it made me happy to look at Christmas in the middle of July.  On my work computer I have this beautiful pic I took of the Indian ruins north of Flagstaff.  I wrote about it here.  I always feel calm when I'm there so I was hoping it would give me a sense of calm at work.

Wupatki Pueblo Indian Ruins: photo credit: me :)

5. If you had the attention of the entire world for two minutes, what would you say?

Get over yourself.  Everyone has problems and all problems are relative.  We need to learn to get along and live on this big blue marble together.  Be nicer to each other...try to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge.  Lastly, costs you nothing and you never know when your smile will make someones day.  There is an acute shortage of smiling in this world.

That's it.  Simplistic I know, but I feel like if we took a simplistic approach the world would be a much nicer place.

6. Four fashion trends to try this fall are-brocade/jacquard (fancy printed fabrics), peplum, lace, and printed pants...which of these four would you be most likely to wear?

HaHa...this makes me laugh.  Only because, I wouldn't know fashion if it hit me in the face.  I'm sure I am Stacy and Clinton's #1 nightmare.  Honestly, I would wear none of those...especially printed pants...ick ;)

7. What can make your bad day better?

Being with my family, talking to my kids, listening to my youngest daughters's infectious.  Oh, and chocolate...always chocolate!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Three months from today Christmas will be over.  That is all.

Ok, kids, that's it!  Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing.  Enjoy the rest of your week and meet me back here on Friday for Arizona Almanac...we'll both be surprised, because I have no idea what I'm going to write about!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Fall Edition

Happy Wednesday Everyone!  I'm back to doing Hodgepodge.  Joyce has provided us with some great questions this week.  If you want to play along or just read some really fun blogs, hop on over to Joyce's blog and visit all the Hodgepodge posters! 

1. What's the best and worst thing thing about growing older?

The best part of growing older is knowing that there are some things you will never, ever have to deal with again.  Like going to high school...blech.  Puberty...eewww.  Toilet training toddlers...exhausting.  Raising teenagers...blech and ewww and exhausting plus frustrating!  I think the worst part of growing older is all the changes in your body.  In my head I'm still 30 and I can't figure out how my children got older while I stayed the same age.  But the body is the rude awakening.  It just doesn't move the way it used to and no amount of cajoling works.  Old age is stubborn...that's for sure.

2. Autumn arrives this week in the Northern Hemisphere...what one thing do you love most about the fall season?

Well, I could say cooler weather but in Arizona it doesn't get cool until December so that won't work.  I love Thanksgiving and I feel like it often gets lost in the hubbub of Christmas...since Christmas starts popping up in July now.  I also love fall colors.  Oranges, reds, yellows....they all make me happy.

3. Speaking of fall...pumpkin seems to be flavoring everything these days-are you a fan? What's your favorite pumpkin flavored food or beverage?

At the cost of being banned from Thanksgiving forever, I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the flavor.  I don't hate it but one piece of pie at Thanksgiving and I'm good for the year.  I do however love the smell of pumpkin.  Candles, cooking...I love the scent.

4. Since we're on the subject of fall...what's the worst fall you've ever taken?

In October of 2006 I was at the softball field watching my youngest play.  They had a double header in which the two games were played on different fields.  I was walking from one field to the other, stepped in a hole, fell and broke BOTH my ankles.  So, I fell in the fall...nice huh?  I was out of work for 11 was not fun, or pretty.  Let's just say you really find out how much someone loves you when you cannot get yourself on and off the toilet.  My husband is a saint!

5. If you could own a prop from any film what would you choose?

I have to pick two because I can't choose between them.  First, I would want William Wallace's (Mel Gibson) kilt from Braveheart.  Second, I really want Benjamin Franklin's colored spectacles from the first National Treasure.  Yes, I AM a history nerd...and proud of it :)

6. What's the most interesting word you've read or learned in the past week?

I love words!  My favorite this week is: conundrum. There are a few definitions in Websters but the one I like the best is: An intricate and difficult problem.  Sometimes, writing my blog is such a conundrum! :)  I just love the way it sounds and the way it rolls off your tongue.  Ok, I'm just a nerd...period.

7. When was the last time you locked yourself out of your house, car, or office? Was it a big deal?
I honestly can't remember the last time.  But I remember the most awful time.  I locked my two toddlers in the car in the middle of the Arizona summer.  I could not convince my daughter to unlock the car after having taught her that touching the locks on the car door was a very bad thing.  This was way before everyone had cell phones and I was stuck in the middle of the grocery store parking lot with no help.  Thankfully, a very nice man happened by with a hanger and got the door unlocked.  It was very scary.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The fact that there are only 96 days until Christmas completely freaks me out.  Not because I'm behind for Christmas, but because I cannot for the life of me figure out where this year has gone.  I still have vivid memories of taking down the Christmas tree last year so it cannot possibly be almost time to put it up again.

Ok, that's it for another edition of the Hodgepodge.  Thanks for the questions Joyce, they were fun!  Meet me back here Friday for Arizona Almanac.  I've got a bridge I want to tell you about.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quotation Tuesday: Motherhood Melancholy

Motherhood is the only thing in my life that I've really known for sure is something I wanted to do.
~Cynthia Nixon~

A few of the people that write blogs I am fond of have recently either adopted a child or birthed a child. It's made me kind of melancholy. The quote really says it all for me. Nothing I ever wanted to do or ever have done was better than being a mom. I love being a mom. But once your kids are adults and you haven't stepped into the grandparent role yet...the role is undefined and kind of blurry. You are still their mom, but with conditions. More about that later. So, I am melancholy. It might be the blogs or it could be the hormones. Another lovely gift from Eve that I could have done without. I've never been able to figure out why she ate that dang apple. As far as I'm concerned apples aren't even that good. Now, if it had been chocolate...I would totally have her back. Anyway, here I sit, before my blog and I am melancholy for motherhood. So I'm going to write about it. Because it's such a conundrum, motherhood.

Motherhood is the most heartbreaking, frustrating, taxing, tiring, wonderfully exquisite thing I've ever done. Here is the first conundrum of motherhood (or parenthood...I'm under no delusions that I did this by myself...I had lots of help from the best father in the world...but for the purposes of this post...we'll use motherhood): You love and care for your children and protect them at all costs. You would lay down your life for your child. You do everything in your power to raise kind, compassionate, independent, productive citizens of the world. You're whole focus is making sure that they can exist in the world without you. So the very thing that you raise them to be, ultimately breaks your heart into a million pieces. It is also the source of the most joy you could ever feel. Being a mother is all at once heartbreaking and joyous. I've never figured out how to balance those emotions, and maybe I'm not supposed to.

Conundrum two: After you release your children to the are basically left standing on the sidelines to watch. You are not allowed to, nor should you, tell your children how to live their lives. Even if you don't approve, even if you know they will be hurt, even if you know it's THE most wrong thing they've ever done. They are adults in charge of their own lives. Your opinion no longer matters, unless they want it to matter. I always vowed I would NEVER be a busy body mom to my adult children. Hopefully, I do an ok job in that department.

Conundrum three: Will I ever be able to let go of the guilt? I think most mothers would say that motherhood comes with a fair amount of guilt. I take feeling guilty to a whole new level...I'm the master of motherhood guilt. Even now that they are raised and no amount of parenting voodoo can undo anything I might have screwed up...I still feel guilt. I'm lucky that I have three wonderful kids who fit the above bill pretty well. Do I think I got them there...I'm not sure. Sometimes I think it was all a big crap shoot and I'm just lucky they turned out ok. Sometimes I'm sure that I must have done something right...sometimes I just don't know. People have complimented me on my kids and on my parenting style. I smile and say thank you all the while wondering in the back of my mind if they would still feel that way if they knew that I once locked my children, all under the age of 6, outside on a hot Arizona summer day because they were driving. me. crazy! I wonder what they'd think of my parenting skills if they knew that when my daughter threatened to run away from home for the millionth time, I helped her pack her suitcase, walked her out the front door and locked the door behind her. She was four. Funny thing about that one though...she never threatened to run away again. I guess it worked...but I still feel guilty. I feel guilty about the numerous times I lost my temper and my patience. But, I did the best I could in each circumstance, so why I still carry the guilt, who knows? I guess it's in my DNA.

Last conundrum: Around the time my youngest daughter turned 7 or so, I decided I was done having children. It took me several years to really be ok with the decision. So why is it that the feelings of wanting a baby never go away? My logical brain knows it's not possible and I really have no desire to go through the teenage years ever again. So why am I envious when I see or read about people having babies? I am envious of 3am feedings, diaper changes and baby baths (oh how I love to give a baby a bath...nothing better in this world). I'm envious of bedtime stories, lullabies and rocking chairs. My logical mind knows it's over for me, but my heart doesn't know that. It still hurts know that I will never again feel a child in my womb, never again feel labor and the wonderful, beautiful feeling of the first time you lay eyes on your child (that feeling alone makes up for every transgression, traffic ticket, broken curfew or little white lie along the way).

So, here I sit, feeling melancholy. I'm not sure this post accomplished what I was hoping for, but it sure felt good to write it down and get it out. One thing is for certain...I love my kids more than life itself, and that will never matter how old they get.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Randomness

A little post filled with randomness (and a few rants) to kick start me back into blogging. Let’s get started:

1. I have been spending most of my time crocheting, which is why I haven’t really been blogging. That and I’ve been lazy. There. It’s out in the open. I’m a lazy blogger. Oh well. The next generation continues to procreate so I’m doing my best to keep up with the baby afghans. Unfortunately, one of the little ones is now too big for a baby afghan so he is getting a bigger one…ooops. I am currently working on this for a special little someone:

2. Tiger has adjusted pretty well considering what a huge change it was to go from a one person apartment to a 4 person, 4 bedroom house. She is very chatty and lets you know when she wants something. For some reason that is unfathomable to most mankind, she has chosen me as her “person”. I don’t really even like cats that much. My husband thinks she can sense that I had the final word on whether or not she would come to live with us and that because I said yes, I saved her from certain doom. I’m not so sure about that…I think it has more to do with the fact that I’m the one who feeds her. I’m going with that.

3. I am beyond upset about this stupid hockey lockout. I think both sides are babies who make too much money. I want my hockey. I also want to be able to co-exist in relative peace with my hockey crazy daughter. I don’t think that’s going to happen until they sign an agreement. And to make matters worse our ownership saga continues…just let me publicly say that I think the City of Glendale sucks. Ok, got that out of my system.

4. I am way over the heat at this point. Every year, sometime in August, I start to just mentally give up on trying to cope with it. At least it’s not as hot in the mornings anymore, which gives one hope that it will cool down eventually. Every year though, I fear that it will never fall below 100 degrees again. Summer is the bane of my existence.

5. I wonder when in this country we stopped teaching basic grammar. I read a lot of blogs and some of the things I read just make me cringe. But my biggest pet peeve is the misuse of the words “then” and “than”. It. Absolutely. Drives. Me. Crazy. Sentences like this: “I had to go to the store and than to the gas station.” "Than" is ONLY used as a comparison word. As in: I like this dress better than that one. But I have seen people use "then" in that circumstance also. Why does this drive me crazy and why do I care? Because the nuns said so…that’s why. And what the nuns say goes…every good Catholic school child know this. Some things are just hard to let go of…even after 40 years.

6. I’m going to end this little post on a bit of sad note. Nothing sad in my life, but just something that I have been thinking about since reading this blog post. If you don’t want to read the blog, basically it’s a post about an awesome family that adopted a little girl from China. They shared their adoption journey through this blog and even took us along to the orphanage where their daughter was living. I have to tell you that nothing in a very long time has broken my heart like this did. Seeing the crib that this little girl and all those other babies have to live their lives in. Just a metal crib with a board at the bottom. No mattress. No sheets. Nothing. What’s worse than that though…no one to love them. They are starving for human attention. No one picks them up to comfort them. They get no lullabies, no stories before bedtime, no one tucks them in and kisses them goodnight. They have no mother to say to them, “No matter what happens, your mother always loves you.” I said this to my children, a lot. I wanted them to know that there will always be someone in this world that has their back. Someone who loves them unconditionally and without reserve. These little ones have no one like that. I am heart broken over it. I wanted to get on the next plane to China and bring them all home with me. (and yes, I know there are lots of children in this country that are neglected and need love too...but I didn't see a blog post about them, I saw this one and it made me sad) Obviously I knew this existed and I’ve even seen pictures of orphanages like this in the past. But for some reason it really hit me just now. It might be that I am essentially an empty nester which is really hard for someone like me who thrives on being needed by children. Or it could just be the pre-menopausal hormones…which is probably the better answer. If I had the means I would probably adopt one…or two. But sadly I do not and so I have just been praying for them. Praying that they find an awesome family who will love them forever. If you are the praying type, please pray for these little ones, and all the little ones everywhere who deserve to be loved but aren't.

Ok, that’s it for now. Hopefully next week will see me back on track with this blog. I hope everyone has a great weekend!