Archive for September 2008

Dr. Seuss

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Who doesn't know Dr. Seuss? I've always thought of him as the beloved children's author of Cat in The Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and the many other classics. Recently I was in a gift store and passed a display of small signs with many different quotes. This particular one caught my eye and then I noticed at the end it was attributed to Dr. Seuss. Who knew Dr. Seuss actually said something that made sense and used normal everyday words from the dictionary??I didn't buy the sign but his words would just not leave me. (I've posted the quote on my "inspiring words" widget to the right here.)

For the past forty years I have spent (wasted) enormous amounts of time and energy living in exact opposition of his advice. We always hear people say: "it doesn't matter what others think of you" "if they were really a true friend, etc.............." Blah. Blah. Blah. Living it is an entirely different subject. For most of my adult life I worked overtime to make certain that everyone was always okay with me. I apologized for everything under the sun, worried about how I was perceived by everybody and feared that I was always letting someone down.

Turning forty has been a gift. An epiphany of sorts. You come to the realization that time is so fleeting and start prioritizing life in a way that reflects this quote. For me I've relinquished the reality that I don't have the power to make everyone happy. I can't be all things to all people. And it's not God's call on my life. He has a unique purpose for me and the only one whose approval I need is His. And what's even better: I already have it!

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Isaiah 43:18-19


Ian is 10

Monday, September 15, 2008

Today marks a decade since the culmination of my best pregnancy and fastest delivery. Ian Joseph came into this world at 3:43 p.m. in Charlotte, North Carolina on a beautiful sunny summer day and life has never been the same--nor would I want it to be.

My middle child has officially entered the double digits so this post is about honoring his wonderful personality and most welcomed addition to our lives.

In honor of Ian's tenth birthday, I am borrowing Vicki Courtney's fabulous tradition that she uses on her blog when one of her children is celebrating his or her special day.

Ten Qualities I Love About Ian:

  1. Loyal. Once this kid is your friend, he isn't going anywhere.

  2. An animal lover. He has a bleeding heart for all of God's creatures great and small.

  3. Decisive. The boy knows what he wants and there is no swaying him when his mind is made up.

  4. Adventurous. He is always up for an adventure. Once you make mention of a plan to explore some new territory, he will start packing and planning before the conversation is finished.

  5. Tenderhearted. Although he can come across reserved and distant, this child has so much compassion for others-especially babies and toddlers. He takes great care in handling those younger than him.

  6. A quick study. Once you teach him a skill, he has it mastered almost immediately. Even when he doesn't seem like he's paying attention, he won't miss a thing.

  7. Curious. He's always willing to learn new things and asks great questions about how something works. He loves to connect the cause and effect of relationships.

  8. Modest. Although he's competitive like most boys, he never wants anyone to feel bad about losing. Other than with his brothers, he rarely makes a big deal out of his athletic ability.

  9. Wilderness guy. He is passionate about God's creation. He absolutely loves exploring the great outdoors. Give the boy a BB gun and a knife and he'll be occupied from sunrise to sunset.

  10. Handsome. Of course I'm biased but he is pretty darn cute. That smile will melt your heart and he can be quite charming when he wants to be.



Remembering Michael

Friday, September 12, 2008

Today marks three years since the passing of our friend Michael, the young man pictured above. Our families grew up together and he was the baby of all of us. A spirited young boy, he was always quick to smile and full of life. As an adult, Michael struggled with issues that eventually overwhelmed him to the point of taking his own life. He was a young, vibrant 28 years old.

Thankfully Michael had the presence of mind to leave a long letter for his family. Many surviving families aren't as fortunate to receive this gift. The grieving process can be much longer and more difficult when they don't have the reasons why.

Michael's family has been a part of a great organization called the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In June of this year, his mom, sister and my mom volunteered at a local AFSP vernight walk called Out of the Darkness which raised funds to call attention to a subject which isn't discussed enough. Next month, I wil be part of a team for the Puget Sound Walk at Greenlake Park in Seattle. We are calling ourselves "Team Michael".

If you or someone you love has had the devastating experience of losing someone to suicide, would you please consider making a donation? In loving memory of Michael. May he rest in peace.

I love this song and video. Please watch and say a prayer for Michael's family as they honor his memory today and every day.


Officially Published

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back in April I posted that I had won a writing contest by Vicki Courtney--a foremost expert on all things teen culture. She requested articles (750 words or less) on subjects which would be of interest to teenage girls. I had been working on an essay for a friend's yet to be published book: "You Didn't Wait Mom, Why Should I?" I pulled up the file on my computer, did a little editing and sent it off to Vicki.

Ten days later Vicki posted on MY blog--what a treat--and informed me that I was a winner. The prize was a Starbucks card and my article published at a later date on her Virtuous Reality website. I just received an email from her office asking if they could post a picture of my family with my article. So here it is. Let me know if you can't read it and I'll send a copy to you.


Millie: Post-Op

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ok, I know this one is gross. Sorry, but doesn't everyone want to see the battle scars?? Maybe it's just my boys. Probably.
As of three days ago, we have joined the ranks of responsible pet owners and had Miss Millie spayed. The official term on my vet bill was "ovariohysterectomy". I guess that means in addition to her uterus they took the ovaries too. A double whammy. Poor pooch.
I must admit it was nice to have her lay helpless on the floor for all of Friday evening. But come Saturday morning she was back to her regular old playful self. The vet's instructions indicated she would be down and mellow for a few days and should only be taken outside on the leash to go potty. Far be it for a member of our family to follow protocol. Did I say "member of our family"? Oh my, Millie in the Christmas card pictures is next! I'm ruined.


New Beginnings

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The first day of school is one of my favorite days ever but this year was different. Melancholy. A lingering feeling of just being unsettled. In spite of my mood there was an excitement in the air around here beginning at 6:40 a.m. when ALL of the boys arose. (this is definitely a first). I have loved every new stage and elementary school has been a precious, golden time. I never shed a tear when any of them boarded the bus for Kindergarten. I looked forward to the day after Labor Day every year. Why the pensive mood?

I finally figured it out. This is the first year when all three boys will not be attending the same school. Quinn is entering sixth grade which means middle school. He leaves an hour earlier and catches his bus 3 blocks away to a building five miles across town. I quickly snapped the photo below and off he went. Ian & Ben hopped on their bikes and raced down the trail. I drove over to the elementary school so I could capture one last picture and make sure they knew where their classrooms were. "We're fine, Mom!" I found myself looking around the playground for Quinn. His class has been replaced by the new "big kids on campus" It just felt quieter. I couldn't believe that after 7 years of "first days of school" that I began to cry. The reality of "this is how it's going to be from now on." It's an unavoidable part of them growing up. It's all good but hard nonetheless. Ok, I'll stop now.

It was probably a good thing I couldn't stay until the bell rang because I had to report for day one at my new job!!! Another transition but a welcomed one. I haven't officially worked outside the home for almost 12 years. Sure I've done some freelance work and some temporary or seasonal jobs here and there but this is a real-life gainfully employed type of job. I even have an iPhone!! (My family is most impressed by this fact).

So what am I doing?? A friend of ours recently purchased a local baking company that has been in the area for 14 years. They were in need of someone to re-introduce the company and the products to local restaurants, caterers and hotels. He called a few weeks ago to see if I was interested. Interested in making new friends, pushing sweets, sharing my baking knowledge, only working 20 hrs a week from home and guaranteed to be off the clock by 2:30??? DUH! Plus he's a great guy who is very fair and supports my desire for our family to be a priority.

I had been praying this summer about what God had for me this fall as all of my children would be in school full days. I wasn't actively pursuing anything specific just waiting. It's been my experience that when I've tried to make something happen it usually backfires. I wasn't looking for a relationship much less marriage when Trey crossed my path. I wasn't intending to add to our family so quickly when Ian was conceived. I wasn't expecting to move back to the Northwest when Trey got a job offer out of the blue. Because I wasn't looking I know this is from Him and the biggest blessings in life end up occurring when we get out of the way.

It seems like endings and beginnings cover both ends of the spectrum emotionally. Like my kids always say in those moments, "I'm happy/sad" That's a perfect description of today.

Last time together before leaving for separate schools. (sniff)

This better be the last picture Mom, we want to play!

Mom's first day at her new job

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