Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Absolutely my kid...

There is not doubt that this kid, while not flesh of my flesh, shares a giant piece of my heart and soul.  In so many ways he is identical to me, with many of the same quirks. He shares a love for clothes and shoes that potentially surpasses mine. 
Underneath the skinny jeans and the "skater tees" there is a huge heart.  When he learned that TOMS shoes gives one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you buy, he says, "Mom, what if we buy 10 pairs, and I just keep one... that's 19 pairs that goes to the kids who need them more than we do."
Mr. Boy shows off his favorite shoes.
And when we have looked online at the petfinder website for the missing dog in our lives, he becomes so concerned for the animals he sees... "Mom, if we don't get that dog, who will take care of it?"  As he lies in bed that night, he frets and worries about the homeless pets.

Relax little one, enjoy your childhood, the time is fleeting and their is ample time to solve the worlds problems.  I have no doubt that this child of mine will grow up to do great things and try to make the world a better place. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where does "YES" take you?

My motto for the new year is to to say YES more often when it comes to fun.  Interestingly, after declaring my new motto of "Yes Please!" aka The Yes Project.  I got a phone call from my super fun friend who said, "Would you and Mr. Man like to join us at the Monster Truck Rally?"  I wouldn't exactly say I'm the Monster Truck type, nor would I say that it is something I've ever really desired to do.   
But I said, "Yes, we'd love too!"  And I got my first taste of things I have been missing out on.  First off, it wasn't just any old Monster Truck Rally in nosebleed seats, it was a Monster Truck Rally with seats in a private luxury suite at the stadium! Oh the irony of it all. Thank you Microsemi!  I promise to use you for all my micro semi conductor needs. 
It was unbelievably fun, and I can't even describe how much I laughed, screamed, and cheered.  My voice was hoarse for three days. 
I found myself leaping out of my seat involuntarily to cheer.   I had the time of my life!  
 Now, I can't help but wonder what else I've missed out on...and I'm wondering if I'm too old to become a Monster Truck Driver. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 -Life is Short, Grab it by the horns

I'm sick of the "someday's" and the "maybe one day's".   I don't want to hear them anymore, nor do I want to utter them again.   I still want to dream and hope, believe me I'm a big dreamer, but I'm tired of waiting for the future.  If there is one thing I've learned in 2011 is that "Life is Short", no more waiting around for fun. 

Whenever I told my mom about my hopes and dreams she would always without fail say, "Go for it.  Do it now!"  I would always balk and say, "Uh Mom, I don't have the money or someone to watch the kids or the time."   She would say, "Well there is that, but find a way."   At the same time she always wanted to travel around the world, but my Dad liked to reside stateside.   She always joked that after my dad passed away (he was 10 years her elder, so it was expected he would pass first) that she was going to buy a Mercedes and book a trip around the world the day after the funeral.  "Don't judge me kids.. I'll be grieving... but my grieving will take place in Egypt." 
When my mom was diagnosed in November of 2010 my brother and I said, "Alright mom, let's go to Paris, Egypt, Hong Kong, wherever."  Her body was too broken and too tired to travel at that point and she was at peace.  Traveling isn't everything and and in the end those trips didn't really matter.  Being around those you love is what matters most and enjoying your life now at the present is what matters. 

Unfortunately a fabulous trip to Europe isn't on the agenda for 2012, and that's okay. I've made my peace with it, and it doesn't look like Publisher's Clearing House will be dropping off a giant check at my door this year. And that's okay. 

This year I resolve to say YES more often than No.  I'm going to live a little louder, risk a little more, and take advantage of things that come my way.  
Five years ago if I was called up to do something embarrassingly like riding a stick horse around a crowded restaurant, I would have smiled and done it with my shoulders hunched down and my face red.  In 2009, I had a breakthrough and learned to step out of my tidy little box and have more fun.   But last year in 2011, in the dark rooms of grief I felt like I had been life had beaten me to the ground.  I can see myself lying on the floor of a boxing ring, just beaten down.  My friends, my family, have picked me up, brushed me off, rehydrated me, and said, "Get back in there.. you can do this."  I  feel like when 2011 was coming to a close,  I stood up, brushed myself off and grabbed my life by the horns and said, "This is MY life and I'm the Boss of Good Times around here." 
So now when I'm handing a stick horse and a cowboy hat and told to prance around the restaurant, I grabbed that cowboy hat and galloped and Yee-Haw'd my little heart out. Look out world, I'm all in and ready to make this year memorable.

Monday, January 16, 2012

1st Annual Polar Bear Swim

Zoey decided it was time to open the pool again.  Never mind that the water was a frosty 58 degrees.  
The kids decided to jump together, but AK tricked her brother at the last minute.  
Then she gather her courage and jumped in too.  She instantly burst into tears when she hit the water.  "It's COLD!" 

The kids jumped multiple times and were rewarded with hot showers and hot chocolate.  I'm thinking this needs to be an annual event with friends and the hot tub fired up. 

Monday, January 02, 2012

Saying Goodby to 2011

There is no nostalgia for the ending of 2011, other than it is a year I do not want to relive.  Truly, I am blessed with so many things, but this year was challenging in so many ways.  Our family lost my mom and our beloved pets this year, and I underestimated the fallout from those events. There were a host of other annoying challenges, but the year is done and we can start a new in 2012.  We sent 2011 off with a bang and spent the last week of the year with family.   

Such as my awesome rock star brother, who is also an amazing cook.   He is my rock and is so good to me.  When I was sixteen I would lock myself in my bedroom to call him and rant about how crazy things were.  He would always listen and calmly give advice.  Here I am at the age of 34 and I  last week I locked myself in the bathroom at my dad's house and called him to say, "This is crazy... how did we get here?"  I love him, and his loyalty and love are one of the best things in my life.  He has always been my "Big Brother" and to this day he introduces me as "My Baby Sister."
My brother is a lucky man, with an amazingly kind wife, and two adorable boys.  I love my nephews so very much and I look forward to hanging out with them.   My kids love them too, and we hit one of our favorite museums while they were in town.
After my brother and nephews left, Mr. Man's family arrived in town.   His sister treated us all to Medieval Times.  AK loved every minute of it, from watching the horses getting prepped, to the jousting.  When she grows up she wants to be a jouster.  
I have 400 pictures of Mr. Boy like this over the course of his lifetime. He watches things so intensely with his mouth open.  He blocks everything out, especially my voice and gets into the story.   
Sometimes I often wish for a big family, but then I'm reminded... I married into a big family.  Mr. Man has oodles of cousins who we love and are close to.  They are dear friends and my kids love their kids.   We got together for an adult night with the cousins.  We played Chat Roulette because we thought it would be so funny to have people come onto chat and see 10 people staring back at them. We thought it was funny...
Later, confessions were made that we shall never speak of again.
New Year's Eve was at our house, and I could not have been in a better mood.  I was happy to close out 2011, and welcome the New Year with a kiss at midnight. 
And the house was full of family and few friends until the wee hours of the morning. I love this house, it is so satisfying to have it full of people who are enjoying themselves by the firepit, playing video games, watching movies, playing Ping Dong, and chowing on good food.   
New Years Day was over at Uncle Mike's House for the annual "Mini Rose Parade" where we watch the Rose Parade Floats line up.  There were oodles of cousins and mini cousins to love on. 
I still don't know how to convey to my children how special it is to see the Rose Parade floats in person, before the actual parade. 
Dear 2012, Please be kind and gentle to us this year.   Thank you, Madamoiselle