Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday's Fab Five

It's Friday. What isn't fabulous about it?!
1. Adi slept until 4:30. Can I get a woot woot?!

2. This week I read a letter containg my Grandfather's last words to his children. I didn't even know it existed until now. It is so tender, especially since I did not know him very well

3. My new job is teaching me all kinds of great things. It's a whole new world!

4. I've reconnected with my cousins on my Dad's side of the family and it's awesome! Thank you Facebook!

5. It is supposed to storm today and I love the fresh snow and the fact that it will push the smog from the valley!

On the B Side: It's going to be a good day and I have the kids this weekend!!! xoxo

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - Things That Made Me Laugh Today

1. When Dayton said he needed 'Tylegnol' (his head hurt)
2. The mouth breather during staff meeting...I swear he was eating the phone.
3. All of the things I find in our bed. It's like a Cracker Jacks box. You just never know what you're going to get. Baby lotion, a pee ball diaper, part of Mark's drill set...the fun never ends.
4. Old emails from Shell. Memories, all alone in the moonlight!
5. When Ellie told me she is going to dance to 'Spoonful of Sugar' in her 'baby doll dress'
6. Hearing that another storm is setting in tomorrow.
7. Learning that there are 2 leagues in football; NFL and AFL. Who knew?
8. Watching Adi crinkle her nose a squeal with delight when I got home.
9. Listening to Adi fake cry when I walked away after getting home. Yes, I really did laugh.
10. Franjesh and his silly antics at work.
11. Reading about Crystal's notion of boyfriend bonfires and her desire to swim with sharks.
12. Reading Jennifer's idea, 'Edward Cullen: better than you since 1918'
13. Thinking about my cousin telling us that there were bombs in a fence in area at our Grandparents...I totally believed him!

On the B Side: Mark took a personal day to care for Adi. Dayton stayed home as he's been sick. Mark asked me today, 'how do you get anything done?' and that definitely made me laugh! He is sweet for helping so much with the kids. The office really is my retreat and ten times easier than any day at home (but I'd stay home in a heart beat!) Mark also informed me tonight that Adi likes french fries...grrrrrrreat. xoxo

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Random Things About My Dad

Since I will be making this into a book at some point, I have to post this to immortalize his wise words as he truely is THE BEST! In his own words;

"1. I graduated from Bloomsburg University when I was 51 years old and earned my Master's degree in Social Work from Marywood University at the age of 54.
2. I believe that education is something that we do for ourselves, to prepare ourselves to serve the Lord and to help others.
3. This is my third career (Carpenter/builder, Nuclear Plant Operator, and currently a Gender Responsive Therapist) and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. Each provided very distinct opportunities and benefits.
4. I am now working with adolescent females in a residential treatment facility. Some of the teens are placed there by juvenile justice, but most are there through Children Protective Services. These teens have endured more horrific experiences in their short lives than you can possibly imagine. I believe this is the most emotionally challenging, but most satisfying of my careers. I absolutely love going to work!
5. My middle name really is Boy, named after my paternal grandfather who passed on before I was born. I have only ever seen one picture of him, but my father told me many stories about him.
6. I was raised to have a strong work ethic and the motivation to push through difficult situations. The only time we lose is when we give up on ourselves and quit trying.
7. I have 3 older sisters, 6 nieces/nephews, and 18 great-nieces/nephews. My sisters and I were born and raised in the New York City metro area. Wouldn’t want to go back there anymore, except to visit.
8. My father made the "rule" that we could each only have two children, one male and one female. And that is exactly what each of us had! That was back in the day when children listened to their parents!
9. Been to Europe three times, the final trip was to rescue my beautiful daughter from the clutches of the delightful missionaries! Britta and I spent almost three weeks touring around the continent, gathering many wonderful memories.
10. I have two unbelievable kid's, 4 grandbabies, and a very special daughter-in-law whom I so look forward to bonding with soon and a great son-in-law.
11. The Lord blessed me with the opportunity to have my beloved mother live with me the last 2 years of her life. It was a very small way for me to begin to repay her for the love and kindness that she and my father brought us all. I feel so blessed that I was born at a time when most moms were able to be at home all the time with their families.
12. I believe that we can indulge in just about anything (that is legal!) in life as long as we do it in moderation. You must be able to control yourself, not have the indulgence control you.
13. I have very few regrets about things I have done in life.
14. I believe there are purposes for each of us and that we must always keep looking for the next door to open and have the courage and faith to walk through it. The Lord provide these opportunities, as well as free-will, and we should follow our hearts when we decide.
15. I was married for almost 25 years and the most beautiful part of that time was raising my children. I like to think that I was a good dad most of the time, but, alas, human, and therefore not perfect. I believe I passed on to them (hopefully!) my better qualities and few of my faults.
16. I love to work with wood. It is so malleable and forgiving, but strong and enduring. It is one of my great pleasures. I built the home that I still live in today some 31 years ago.
17. I had two wonderful dogs that were with us for 25 years and almost countless cats. I now have seven cats, all of which were rescued, and two strays that spend time here, mainly to eat and for warmth in the cold winter months.
18. I believe that we should love and respect all that the Lord has created, from the grains of sand to the world itself, and all living things. We should be taking care of people that have greater needs than our own, and we must understand the differences between our “needs” and “wants”. I know the Lord wants us to lend our strengths to any who are weaker.
19. I have had two life threatening experiences in the past two years and I believe the Lord is reminding me of my mortality as well as the preciousness of life. My greatest hope is to be able to help as many people as possible in whatever time I have left in this place.
20. I believe in cycles. We spend our younger years teaching our children and spend our later years learning from them. My daughter is truly an inspiration to me, how she has never wavered in her beliefs, never faltered in her faith, and constantly tries to do the “right thing”. My son has taught me patience and that waiting has its own rewards.
21. I believe there is a place for everything and everything should be in its place! Right, Jazz?!?!
22. I love to bring a smile to people’s faces, laughter to their hearts. Humor is a big part of my therapeutic approach and my life.
23. The small things in life can do that, too. To this day, I always leave some change in the return slot of vending machine for someone else to find. This small act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone else’s day!
24. I believe in confronting the most unpleasant tasks as quickly as possible, leaving more time to enjoy all the rest.
25. I was very sick when I was ten years old and spent time in a children’s cancer ward. Miraculously, I didn’t die.
26. Each day is precious and we owe it to ourselves to make the most of whatever hand we are dealt. I believe we can find something positive in almost all situations if we look hard enough and long enough.
27. My sister and her husband have been life-long mentors and best friends.
28. I have to have 28 items in order to stay ahead of my daughter!"

On the B Side: Facebook has this tag running around online. This was a great opportunity for me share just how wonderful (as in Mr. Wonderful) my Popsicle is using his own words! He really, really is the best and I do so love him! xoxo

25 Random Things About Me

I'm pretty much not all that interesting but what the heck!

1. I put off writing this (I'm no band wagon jumper and I will always loathe Harry Potter) but I have learned tons of crazy fun stuff about my friends so here it is.
2. I love organization but am mostly disorganized...I just keep trying!
3. I grew up in PA and I miss it like crazy.4. I am and always have been a nail biter. So nasty. I know.
5. My Grandmother was an alcoholic and my best friend.
6. My most painful and precious moments were with her at the hospital when she passed away.
7. I cried a lot my senior year because I hated it so much. I worked 2 jobs to pass the time.
8. I love people! Watching them, listening to them, getting to know them, understanding them, believing in them, even rolling my eyes at them!
9. I joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1995 and it changed my life forever.
10. I love to giggle...especially with my family!
11. I trained to play the piano at a Catholic Conservatory for 11 years.
12. I served as a full time missionary for my church for 18 months in Belgium and France and loved the opportunity to serve others.
13. I have a brain tumor that just won't quit. I have had 2 surgeries to remove the sucka' but no dice.
14. I love, love, LOVE my children and had no idea how much I was going to love being a Mom!15. I enjoy my job but derivie my satisfaction/joy from home and would stay home in a heartbeat with my 4 moonbeams if it was possible!
16. I am divorced. My marriage lasted 5 years and it left me feeling pretty broken.
17. News Flash: There is life after divorce! I am remarried, still can't believe Marky Mark puts up with me and I'm sure he had no idea what he was getting into! I sure do love and adore his tender heart.
18. Learning is my passion! I'm currently learning how to knit and I pretty much suck but I will prevail. Afterall, knitting is so sexy!
19. I use to hate French in HS, learned it on my mish, absolutely loved it but suck hard core at speaking it now. Oui, c'est vrai.
20. I do not think in absolutes. My thoughts are beautiful shades of gray. Translated: I am painfully indecisive but believe anything is possible!
21. My little brother is my hero (no really) and his wife is perfect for him and loved by all.
22. My Dad is my mentor. It's like having a life coach that you pay in full with love. He's amazing. 23. My Mom is my confidante. We are great friends and I see her everyday. <3
24. I cherish my friends, the real ones. You know who you are!
25. I was diagnosed with lupus after the birth of my 2nd child and was told that it was like winning the lottery...twice (please see #13) but I refuse to be defined by my illness.
26. My biggest fear is losing my memories (not my mind, just my memories!).
27. I'm way quirky! ;)

On the B Side: The take aways here are that I talk waaay to much and I'm a bit of an overacheiver :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Me Meme

How dare I almost forget the 2nd installation?! Jackie, my apologies and to the rest of you, come and play already!!!

I Do
How long have you been married? 3 years in April
What makes a happy marriage?
Love...the pure kind, honesty (no ifs ands or buts!) a whole bunch of communication, tons of forgiveness and more than enough giggles to go around!
Spousal quirks? Oh the silly boy...he refuses to drink the last sip of anything!
How long were you married before you had children?
We were together for 2+ years but we each came with our own and now have yours, mine and ours!
How did you meet your spouse? Ah, the internet. It's totally lame but the only way to go!
On the B Side: Again, props to Mark. He really is an all star and has the most tender heart. Poor guy. He had no idea what he was getting into when he popped the question and dropped the ring! xoxo

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Manic Monday: Cloud

Please click here to see what all of the hub bub is about and join Mo's fun!

Many times growing up in the summer we could play in the front yard of my Grandparents home. Given that our home was next to theirs, this was something that Jazz and I (along with cousins and neighbors) did often. Oh how I miss that time and place. I look back fondly and with a heart full of love. It literally brings tears to my eyes as I do so miss PA and it will always be 'home'

I can still see it all so clearly in my mind. The grass was always lush and green. The mountains were always full of greenery and softly rolled across the horizon. We would lay down and roll down the slight decline of a hill laughing all the way. The hill seemed fairly big back then and almost even steep. Having seen it many years later I perceived it so much differently. Growing up tends to do that...some times, it's a good thing. Some times it is a bad thing.

When you got to the bottom of this hilly yard, it was normal to stop and lie on your back waiting for the dizziness to pass as you gained your barrings. Those quiet moments afforded time to study the sky and literally watch the clouds roll by. I loved to indulge cloud gazing and you really could see them moving. I loved to determine what type of clouds were in the sky (and based my analysis Mr. Costello's 4th grade science class!) and find images and shapes in them.

The world really was a simpler place back then. As I think back to this time in my life it almost just feels like a really good dream that leaves you feeling warm and peaceful when you wake. So much has happened since those care free days full of giggles. The word cloud quickly brought me back and if it is one thing that I love, it's a good memory.

On the B Side: I will be traveling to PA in March for work. The only piece of 'home' that really remains constant for me is my Father and he will likely be out west helping to tend the children in my absence. This is a great thing simply because he will get to meet our little Adalie, spend some time with Dayton, Ellie and McKayla and see Jazz and Micci (oh and this time he won't have be ill). I'm happy that things are working out this way (even if I don't get to see him) but that doesn't keep me from missing home and reflecting fondly back upon what made it all so great. Yes, I am wiping away the tears now but these are the good kind of tears. xoxo