Time Goes By

Each year comes and goes unbidden yet we feel relatively the same inside. Each birthday rolls around and the years add on, but we are basically the same person we were when we were 19 or 20, just more mature and hopefully we’ve learned a few things we didn’t know in our younger years. Yet the fact remains, we are still the same kid just trapped in an older body. Well, I am.

 My body may not cooperate with me like it once did, it may not look as good as it did, but inside I am the same person I’ve always been. My heart is the same loving, caring, easily hurt heart it has always been. My mind, however, is older and hopefully a lot wiser than that one of my youth. 

My mom used to say we really only aged every 7 years. Look in the mirror every 7 years then you see a difference. You don’t see the daily changes because they are subtly happening. Why be ashamed of those changes? You earned the right by living your life and being alive.

As an adult, don’t look for the fine lines and wrinkles. They’ll be there soon enough. Think of them as battle scars. We earn them if we are lucky. Don’t think of them as anything less than something to be proud of. In this culture which prides itself on youth and beauty, only men can grow older and own those fine lines and wrinkles without being judged. It’s about time we women stood up to all the hype and  social pressures and said enough is enough. There is no magic cream that will prevent it all. No makeup can hide it forever either. 

Growing older is a privilege not all are afforded. So as you struggle with getting another year older, think of it as a privilege and realize that you have 2 choices. One is to grow older and enjoy every moment and the other is to grow older with resentment at the things you should have done. Enjoy life. Smell the roses. Don’t sweat the little things because no one remembers them in the long term anyway. Remember, each day is a privilege.

And to my dear, dear friend, who is an inspiration to me, happy birthday! You are spectacular at every age!

When Your Babies Grow Up

I’ve been thinking a great deal about when my kids were little these last few days. I remember bringing them home from the hospital and wondering who each would become as they got older. As parents, we all have hopes and dreams for our precious children. Some of those dreams may be realized but often times those are our own dreams unrealized. Some parents seem to live vicariously through their children trying to release their own dreams often to be disappointed later when their children become who they are truly meant to become.

When my children were brand new, I held them each in my arms and wondered at the amazing miracle that had been bestowed upon me. I had become a mom not just once once, but four times! God must trust me a lot, I thought. I had a job to do to raise them and to do a decent job is a daunting thought for anyone. When I brought my first daughter home, I couldn’t believe they let me leave with her. What did I know about being a mom? I was 26 and married, and a nurse, but what if she was truly sick? What if she had cancer? How would I know? Yes, that was my thought when she was 4 days old. She and I cried in the rocking chair in her room as I thought this. I was so scared that something would or could happen to my precious baby girl and I couldn’t protect her. 

That baby girl is 20 now and no, she never had anything we couldn’t handle. She has had plenty of battles to face, but she has come out of them stronger and better. She’s one strong and amazing young woman. She is my fighter. I’m proud of her and the woman she is becoming.

My second daughter was always the worker. Even as an infant she knew her own mind and didn’t hesitate to make it known. She was not an easy infant but as she learned to speak very early, she used her large vocabulary to assert herself and she quietly worked for what she wanted. She is my worker bee and peace maker.

My third child was born a girl and grew up as a girl, but never felt comfortable as one. If you aren’t familiar with the term transgender, in today’s society it refers to one born as one gender but feels like the other gender. In other words, they feel like they were given the wrong one at birth. This is my third child, born a daughter, now my son. He is sweet, hilarious and so talented! His artwork is incredible and his ability to figure out music on the piano is amazing! 

And before anyone judges my child or me, step into his shoes for a moment. Would you choose a life where you were different from your peers? No you certainly wouldn’t. You wouldn’t choose to live in a body that didn’t fit who you felt like you were on the inside either. Before you judge others, think of the life they are living. My sweet, funny, shy teenager would never choose to be judged or ridiculed because this isn’t really a choice. It is who he is, not who he chose to be. He is shy and doesn’t enjoy drawing attention to himself. I am proud of my son who used to be my daughter. I am proud of who he is and who he will become down the road. 

My last son is all boy. He was born that way. He is just 9.5 years old and is rambunctious and sweet, wild and snuggly, crazy and huggable all at the same time. You can let him outside with clean clothes on and he will come in filthy 5 minutes later. He has my heart. He drives me crazy. He is a conundrum. What will life bring him down the road? Who knows, but I will do my best to raise him to be the best man he can be. 

Children are a wonder. God’s gift for us to raise and cherish. We are blessed to share life with them and have them. I am truly blessed to have my four amazing kids. How incredible and special each one is and how unique yet similar they are too! It still amazes me when I look at them that they are mine. I will always see them as those little sweet baby faces. I will always remember the sleepless nights and 2 hour feeds, but they’ve grown up so fast. Where did that time go?

Fathers and Sons

When the kids drove your spouse crazy and you don’t know what’s going on, it’s like a bomb has gone off in your otherwise peaceful home. At least that’s what it feels like I’m mine. Life happens when things get crazy sometimes. My house is no different than anyone else’s. 

Tonight was one of those nights and my husband’s temper flared. All I know is that while I was in the bathtub, my 9 year old came and poked his nose in to tell me dad was mean and a big dummy. Meanwhile I heard more interesting comments coming from my husband’s direction aimed towards the boy. What is a mom to do? Well, calm the boy and yell that the hubs is not saying very nice things.

Lord give me strength to get through this. That’s my prayer for these little occasions and somehow I always find the strength to muddle through and figure out what happened. Tonight was different though. I enjoyed my bath and let them get through it without meddling too much. I have no idea what the madness was about and furthernore, I don’t care. I’m chalking it up to hubs being tired and therefore cranky and the boy, well, he’s just a typical 9 year old boy.

I suppose for many, myself included, it’s so difficult to be that strong parent with the golden touch when you’re tired. Some people are just naturally prone to being tired. Luckily, I’m usually not one of them, but I have my moments. Sometimes we’ve just had a bad day and unfortunately sometimes our kids just know which buttons to push. I know my 9 year old certainly does. Luckily though. He is resilient like most kids. The two resolved their issue without me which makes me so happy. Then move my hubs has for his son is immense. If only kids realized that love earlier. I think they get it sometimes, but it’s hard in this extraordinarily busy and crazy world we live in. 

The moral to my story? Well, I suppose as mom’s we try to fix everything. Its just what we do. Sometimes it’s okay to let them fix their problems all by themselves without getting involved. They can do it and it will strengthen their relationship in the long run.

Ugh! Calgon Take Me Away!

Ever have a day, a week, a year where you just want a do-over? Or maybe just hit the delete button for so many things that have happened? This year has been it for sure and although I’m not feeling like hitting the delete button today, I could sure use a bubble bath, candles, some expensive chocolates, wine, a vacation lodge in the bahamas. 

Oops, sorry, I meandered off for a moment. The point being that we all have those times where we need to destress! 

I’m not sure about you, but my life is hectic enough with just my 2 remaining kids at home, working and the house. But so much more is added on to us nowadays it seems. There’s carting everyone around and work and… homework.

Homework takes up my evenings with the boy. It just never seems to be finished. It isn’t for lack of trying either. I seem to lose him just when it’s time to pick up the other kid! Grrr. Getting him back to task is nearly impossible!

On days there’s lots of homework it makes getting dinner nearly impossible! Did I mention the ADHD issue? Today is one of those days and somehow homework is relegated to me because I have better luck with him, but not when there is this much.

I’m not sure how my mom did this, but I do know that my brother and I were independent. We did our own homework. When did this change for kids? When did it change that husband and wife couldn’t spend any time together because of homework? Calgon please take me away! I need a vacation and it’s only the second week of school!

Blessings of Friendship

I haven’t been writing lately. Life has done that thing where it simply gets in the way. Life does that sometimes and thank God it does. What a joy to behold when we become so enthralled with family and friends, that we suddenly realize it has been a long time since we wrote anything. It’s been a while since I checked my overflowing email. What a shame I have no guilt about not checking my email. 

After such a summer as I have had. I suppose I’m making up for lost time. I’m spending time with my husband, when he isn’t tired from working, my kids, when they aren’t with their friends out somewhere or with my wonderful friends. 

I have to say that these friendships are the ones I treasure more than anything. My friendships are golden, as these friendships have lasted the rest of time. I suppose I’m particular in letting people get too close to me. Some of my friendships have lasted nearly 40 years and others 30 years. 

My dearest friends, and they know who they are, I don’t think I could live without. Even though we may go without talking for sometime, we simply pick up where we left off. We finish each other’s sentences and thoughts. We really can look at something and know what the other person is thinking. There may be a look between us or we may burst into hysterical laughter, but it is an unspoken and heartfelt understanding. 

Just over the weekend I was so blessed to see a dear friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. Our time was too fleeting together, but the bonds that tied our hearts of friendship together remain all these years later. What an amazing and special coffeetime we had this weekend. We talked about so many things and the time just passed to quickly. If only he lived closer with his family. Another treasure for my heart to hold onto until we meet again.

My sweet overgrown”little brother”, a dear friend since childhood and his lovely wife and son were visiting this weekend, too. As kids, we played together outside every day. We would ride our rocket from his front porch to Jupiter. We had our own air guitar band as a tribute to the Beatles. I always win at basketball but He kicked my butt at baseball. He is a writer and a darned good one. He is working on another book. His dad was a journalist and second dad to me growing up. How blessed I am. 

So, between baking, caring for family and animals, creating BBQ sauces, and preparing myself for my second child leaving the nest, I’ve spent quality time catching up with wonderful friends.who could ask for any greater blessing!

A Ripple in Time

Life is funny. I was 16 thirty summers ago. Such a carefree time of my life. I had my first job working as a waitress that summer.

I had always loved everyone I met. I was also the most trusting and naive 16 year old thinking that people were naturally good. The people that. I worked with sprayed me with a hose and dumped me in a fountain just for the hell of it because they were bigger and stronger than me. I also had one of these co-workers keep bugging me for a date regardless of me telling him no repeatedly. That got ugly and I complained to my manager who just sort of laughed it off. Needless to say, I didn’t stay there long.

I learned a lot though, all things being said. I learned to be stronger and how to deal with people very, very different from myself. I learned to be independent and to sort of manage money, well a little bit. I was really good at the spending part. 

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Twenty years ago I was a brand new mom. I was married and was so excited to show off my beautiful baby girl to the world, all nearly 9 pounds. I felt like I had everything I could ever dream of having. A great husband, adorable baby, a home, and I would be starting a new job as an RN. How lucky could a girl be? 

 The summer of 1996 was magical indeed! Nothing could take away that kind of magic. I just wanted to keep that magic going. All the firsts out baby would and was performing. The hours of motherhood were tough, but I was tougher. My world was completely turned upside down by my little sweet bundle! 

All the hopes and dreams that come along with becoming a mother for the first time fueled me. We try not to live our own unseen dreams through our children, but it’s hard not to sometimes. You see so many possibilities in this new life but they become their own individual over time.

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Ten years ago this summer, I married my best friend. Together, we can conquer so much. I told Hubs once that I needed him to be my knight in shining armour. He, very casually, agreed. He is my fearless knight. He took on marriage full steam ahead and never looked back. Not only did he take on marriage to me, but he took on being a stepdad to 3 kids. Brave soul!

We added to our newly formed family the following year with our little bundle of joy, our little 8 pound boy.  I talk about Hubs all the time, but truly we have learned through our own trials and tribulations that marriage is work, very hard work. It’s the work that brings us closer though. I know without a doubt that I could never be who I am now without the unending support of my number one fan, my husband. 

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This summer has had it’s own trials and tribulations. My health over the last few months has been nothing short of mind boggling for me. I’m now finally on the upswing! If I didn’t have my husband and my family, I would have been more depressed than ever. My good friends checked in on me and visited. My support has been outstanding. This is all because of the ripples left behind of things I’ve done, people I’ve met, places I’ve seen.

We all leave ripples in our lives. Wee touch the lives of everyone we meet. It can be good or bad, even indifferent. You never know how the ripple will evolve. 

I married that boyfriend from 30 years ago, but not until 10 years ago. The little baby that changed my life 20 years ago is all grown up and living her own life away from home. She has flown from my coop. Little ripples of life that change your destiny? Sometimes, perhaps. I just like to think of it as God’s plan for us. 

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Our host, Kristi, from findingninee.com came up with this week’s sentence about “ripples”.  Go check out the other great posts!

Summer Is…

Summer is my favorite season. It always has been. With the exception of this summer, it means swimming, playing outside, spending warm summer evenings with friends and kids outside. In essence, it’s a time for renewal and reconnection that we aren’t afforded while we are stuck indoors on cold winter days.

Summer is a time to play in my garden and watch things grow. I love watching things grow.This year, due to my health, I didn’t even get my tomatoes in the garden and my entire garden looks like a den of weeds, as I’ve been unable to tend my beautiful pride and joy. I do miss sitting there in the mornings to have my coffee, but I hope to be able to tend it soon.
Summer is a time to spend with family. When I was growing up, I was very fortunate to be able to go on holidays with my family. We went to my family’s home in Ireland. I learned to work on the farm and I loved every moment. I not only got to meet my cousins far away, I got to have wonderful relationships with them. I have to tell you that family truly is everything to me. Growing up in a town where I had no cousins, I loved and appreciated those holidays to make the special bonds with my cousins more than you could imagine. Probably even more so since I had no sister growing up. I have only the one older brother who means the world to me, but I always longed for a sister. I saw the bonds with my cousins as if I had sisters for those weeks we were together. I know they couldn’t understand that since they all had sisters of their own, but I treasured their “sisterhood” in those summers more than anything you could put a price tag on.

One of my favorite Summertime activities is to play with my son in the back by my garden while having my coffee in the mornings. You see, he’s a secret agent and I’m headquarters. I’m base command with the computer. He’s going to save the world and sniper the bad guys with his stick rifles. Ah, his imagination. Sometimes it’s an alien invasion. It’s how boys think. You can not change that. He wants to protect and serve. I miss that this summer very, very much. I don’t miss the silly game, I miss spending the quality time with the boy I love most, my boy. He, like all boys, grows too fast. He’s my baby boy and he’s the only boy I have. He’s my youngest child. Now, he’s been reduced to getting things for me This summer. He’s been caring for me instead of the other way around. He’s wonderful too, just like his father. 

Summertime is generally healthy time. This year? Well, it’s more of a let’s not succumb to these wretched pancreatic surgery post-op complications summer. It technically is a get healthy summer, although I’m unable to swim and unable to even walk very far. I’m finally on the mend, I think, provided there are no more complications. I was even able to stay up past 9:30 PM last night. Not much longer, but I’m beginning to heal I think. 

Summer will remain my favorite season. I long to take a nice dip in the pool. I’d love to get on the tennis court. After all that I’ve been through this summer, I appreciate summer and life even more. 

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence was “Summer is…” and as usual, our host is the extraordinary, Kristi. Check out everyone else’s posts! It’s always a fun read!


As I Was Growing and Changing

Summers filled with swimming at the swimming pool, playing tennis with my friends, playing outside until the last lightning bug was caught.  Ahhh, those were the days.  I remember them so well.  The carefree days of long, long ago.  No bills to pay, no getting up for work, no one to have to take care of.  It’s not that I would have things any other way than the way they are now, it’s just, well, some days, just some, I’d like to go back in time to visit the old days that I couldn’t wait to get out of.

When we are eight, we long to be nine.  I thought that being nine must be the coolest age ever.  I could never explain my fascination with the age of nine, but for me, I thought that nine year olds could do anything.  In my head, I had it imagined that they stayed up later, they had more independence.  It was just way cooler to be nine. Until, of course, I became nine and nothing at all changed in my life, except that I could say that I was nine.


When I was 14, I thought the world started when you became 16.  You could drive and work!  Wow, I could get a job and by golly, I would get a job as a waitress because that’s what Mary H, my mom’s friend’s daughter did.  She got one at Wag’s Restaurant and she made tips.  Everyone knew that if you made tips, you made good money.  What a life it must be if you were 16, driving and had a job that made tips.

That is exactly what I did.  Well, in the summer.  I wasn’t allowed to work during the school year.  And I got that job at Wag’s.  I wasn’t that great, but I always tried my hardest. I also was introduced to harassment, weird people hitting on me, spilling 5 cups of water on my manager and not making so much in tips that I was rolling in dough.  I worked all the time and boy, were my legs tired, but I had a job and I was so very proud of that.


Eighteen must be where it’s at.    Then you’re an adult.  Then you don’t have to listen to your parents anymore.  They are always ragging about what they want you to do.  It sucks enough that all your friends got to go away for college and your 2 choices were both in town for nursing school, so they could keep an eye on you.  You know that they said “We don’t think you’re quite ready to go away just yet” means, you can’t handle it and we are going to micromanage your life just that much more.  God help me.  I just want to be an adult already.  When will they loosen those apron strings?


I’m twenty-one, on my own and loving it, but this is so hard.  It’s hard to keep track of the bills.  I thought I’d have more money to have fun with.  God, they always treated me like such a child.  I’ll prove them wrong though.  I really will.  When I get married E and I will do just fine.  We’ll be so happy together.  They’ll see.  If he ever asks me.


Well, I’m married and it’s been a rough start.  I sure hope he does really love me as much as he said he does.  He spends a lot of his time with his friends.  My friends come to visit me, but not as much anymore now that we are having a baby.  At least I have his sister.  I’m almost done with school.  At least I finally have made my own friends here.  It’s taken me forever since all his friends are just his gamer friends and are not like me.  I’m 26 now.


Five years have past and we have 3 little girls now.  They are my life.  He’s a good father, but our relationship is awkward sometimes.  It seems to work though.  I think.  My girls are precious though.  My oldest just started kindergarten, my second one is in preschool and my 3rd is a newborn.  September 11, 2001 just happened and it’s a tragedy of epic proportions.  The world as we know it will never be the same.  I am a great mom and a nurse, but I fear I’m not a great wife anymore.  We just seem to go through the motions a lot.  It must be because the kids are small and take up so much time.


Another 6 years have elapsed.  My marriage is in ruins.  My husband left.  I don’t understand.  This is all I’ve ever wanted.  What did I do?  How did this happen?


July 28, 2006 I am marrying the man of my dreams.  Actually, he is the one I dated for 6 years through junior high, high school and part of college.  Then I dumped him.  I was bored and thought he didn’t love me.  The truth is, he never stopped loving me.  He was the one I went swimming with and played tennis with all those years ago.  He understands me like my ex-husband never did.  He is the love of my life and we will weather any storm.  We know that marriage is hard work, but he waited from 1989 until now for me.  Not that he didn’t date, but he’s only loved me.  Me! Sometimes things are better the second time around.  We hope to get pregnant as soon as possible because I’m not getting any younger.  I’m 36.  I’m a beautiful bride, even if I say so myself.


April 27,2007 Baby boy is born.  Well it certainly didn’t take us long to get pregnant.  The boy was a honey moon boy.  What a perfect, 8#, 20 inch long baby boy.  His lips are like rose buds.  He’s perfect and looks like his daddy.  I’ve never been happier and I am so happy to say that my family is finally complete.


This summer will be our 10th anniversary and I grow more in love with my husband everyday.  I can’t tell you that I wish the divorce didn’t happen, but my first marriage was not the fit that this one is.  We fit each other like a pair of old well worn kid gloves.  My husband makes me very happy and we understand each other.  It’s also so nice to have him to reminisce with about the good old days.  The day he got so mad at this brat of a kid that he dumped water on him at the tennis courts and chased him all the way to the pool where he promptly got kicked out.  He was defending his brother and myself.  Always my knight in shining armor.  My hero.  Sometimes he remembers my stories, other times he doesn’t, but he always listens to them anyway.  I thank God for this man every day and for the family I’ve been given.

Growing up is great when you’re young, but you’re always in such a rush to grow up.  Such a shame knowing what I know now.  I wish I hadn’t always wanted to be the most independent woman that I have become.  Just another reason to love Hubs I guess.  He lets me rely on him, a lot!


 


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post with your host, Kristi from www.findingninee.com

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Rebuild Society? Yes, Please!

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Rebuilding society would be so wonderful in this day and age. Of course, I say this with a mother’s heart. Mine is a heart of tolerance and love. I envision a world without these awful atrocities occurring all over the world.

When I look at my children playing with their friends, I see love and fairness. Each is different from the other, very different, but still, ultimately the same. We all are human. We eat, sleep, breathe in the same space and have learned to get along. There is love.

If the world could take a lesson from children, the innocent ones, we could rebuild society. We could have peace and understanding, but ultimately that would take all of us parents to take a stand and make the decision to make it work.
Instead of teaching children how different we are, how about showing and promoting how we really are alike?

We are each unique and beautiful creatures that God has made. He makes no mistakes. We are like snowflakes, all similar to look at but no two being exactly the same. Teach and grow the seeds of love in each other. We can rebuild this world, one step at a time, but it takes a great deal of effort on all of us.

Being Connected

Image result for when your mobile phone not workingWhile I love technology for the most part, there is part of me that also loathes it when it decides to take a flying leap into the dark abyss and ceases to function.  This happened this weekend.  My cell phone decided to act strangely while I was using it on Saturday.  I was looking at the screen and trying to do something when, Voila! the darn screen sort of flashed black and went dim.  I could hear the sounds and all, but the screen remained black.  Not good for someone who was getting phone calls and text messages.  Ugh!  What now!

I tried to turn it off, but my phone has a touch screen which requires me to be able to see it to turn it off.  No luck.  I took out the battery.  I let it rest for a bit and tried again.  It came on for a moment before going black again.  I tried again several times, but no success.  I called my provider after starting an insurance form to get a replacement phone.  I’m so glad I did.  I was able to take the phone in to the store!  Unfortunately, I have lost a bunch of pictures stored on that phone, but otherwise, my world is still somewhat intact and my connection to the outside world via mobile phone remains secured. It only took about an hour.  Thank God for the technician who was able to fix my other phone which needed to be wiped clean, as it had issues too. My black screen phone is most definitely a deceased phone.

How did we become such a society that relies on our electronic devices so much?  My greatest concern was being connected.  It was being able to text and talk on the phone, as this phone is my primary phone.  It was also about reaching my calendar.  All my appointments are on there.  My work schedule is on there.  My manager at work texts me on there.  Never before have I been that attached to a phone, but here I am, completely tethered to my phone.  You’d swear I was 17 years old!

I’m not one who can’t put my phone down, but I’ll admit, I have it in my hands most of the time.  I have that very bad habit.  I play my word games on it.  I love Words With Friends, WordOx, Word Search, AlphaBetty, as well as several puzzle games, but I also like to feel connected to everyone.  I love feeling connected to WordPress.  I want to check my stats and write posts as they enter into my head instead of later, or at least jot my ideas down if I’m not in a situation where I can write about them.

Have mobile phones and technology helped or hindered our memories?  That’s what I’m thinking about as I write this.  Is it great to be able to connect so easily, but I was raised in a generation that didn’t have anything like this.  Now, I see my children drawn to their phones as if their very lives depended on them.  What the heck is wrong with these kids?  They can’t even talk to  you and keep their eyes on you instead of their phone.

Life was so much simpler without technology. We talked to each other more.  I’m making the effort to get back to that in my life and it has been so wonderful.  I love my family so much more than ever.  Without having a screen to look into, I see the lives of my loved ones.  I see faces with expressions looking back at me.  Real conversations do happen.  Don’t lose yourself in technology.  It just will do what my phone did.  It will break down and give you the dreaded black screen of death one day without any remorse.  It has no feelings.  It is just an electronic.  The faces of your family though, will love you and appreciate the time spent with them.  They will chat with you, cry with you and most of all, they will laugh with you.  They have life in them and won’t give up on you when you most need them.

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