Category Archives: Uncategorized

D2E5951C-1498-4DD1-9D95-095065899BECAnother Monday has arrived and I was just sitting here thinking about how my kids did on their math NWEA tests today. After saying a quick prayer to the Lord Almighty, I pondered many things. Did they get enough sleep? Will they take their time or rush through the test and not show their genius ability? If they don’t score high enough will Harvard reject them? What if they don’t get that job at Apple now because they bombed the damn NWEA! They are already 6, 9, and 12! Shoot!! I knew I shouldn’t have let them stay up late and watch the Super Bowl! OMG! As I pondered these things, my mind went back to a long, long, long time ago. Buried deep in my brain I still remember my first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday. I didn’t have any preschool experience. My only experience was hanging out with mom. Living real life experiences. Coloring, making snowmen, playing hide and seek. The occasional episode of Sesame Street would show me a little bit about the letters of the alphabet. I remember “C is for Cookie..thats good enough for me”, and it WAS good enough for me. I would be starting kindergarten soon. There they would teach me all about ABC’s and 123’s. I was just a small thing with only a few years of life on this earth under my belt. My first day came and I was scared. I ran around the house crying and screaming and vividly remembering hiding behind the couch. There was NO WAY I was leaving my mom and going to some awful school. But my parents caught me and dragged me kicking and screaming into my classroom on my first day. I remember my teacher had very kind eyes and a soft voice. She looked at me and asked me my name, in tears I told her that I didn’t want to be there. Sympathetically she looked at my parents and told them it would be best if they left and that I would be ok. They did and I was. My teacher scooped me up on her lap and made me laugh, told me how fun school was going to be and how I had so much to look forward to. And she was right. Those days, Kindergarten was a mere 3 hours that included nap time, snack time, circle time and some ABC’s and 123’s. Then we were shuffled home to our waiting parents who wanted to hear all about our day. Ahhh. Those were the days (cue the Bunker’s). Now as I raise my own 3 very different children, I wonder why school has changed so much since then? Half days don’t exist anymore, its full on 8 hours a day 5 days a week. Before Kindergarten kids are expected to know ABC’s, 123’s and sit still for hours on end, not to mention taking a standardized test that defines if they are successful or not.  If standardized testing measures how good we are, or how smart we are then I could’ve kissed my nursing career goodbye. Although I went through a very fast paced, rigorous nursing program that required a 3.0 or better in each class or it was bye-bye for you, I still struggled with my licensing test. Not because I didn’t know the answers. It was the pressure, anxiety, anticipation and the need to get out of there as quick as possible that made  standardized tests so difficult for me. Thankfully, the Board of Nursing recognizes that and believes in second chances. Why don’t elementary schools? Why are kids put to such a higher standard now. Why is Kindergarten the new first grade and on and on. If they can’t sit still at 6 years old then it must have ADHD, if they aren’t social and don’t make eye contact well then they must be Autistic. But if they are very smart, well they are also on the spectrum, just the other end. They are “high functioning”. If they don’t behave they have oppositional defiant disorder, if they can’t read at grade level then they are developmentally delayed. Why all of the labels? I am glad that medicine has advanced in such a way that kids who TRULY need help will get it, but we need not label every child unless its truly warranted. If it is warranted then we are blessed with resources that can help those children and that is something to be very thankful for. But tread lightly because every child most likely will not need a diagnosis. And I don’t say this lightly because I have personal experience with my own children and getting a correct diagnosis on issues that I take very seriously and the school has been a tremendous resource. However, some kids are just acting like dare I say kids??  When my boys get home they have 3 hours. 3 HOURS, to get their homework done, eat their dinner, take a bath and try to have some time to be a kid. Heaven forbid they have any extracurricular activities that they enjoy. I don’t blame teachers, in fact just the opposite. There are so many teachers and educators near and dear to my heart and they are amazing at what they do. They are just doing their job and they also have the pressure packed on from those above them. It’s a job for saints, saints that don’t get the appreciation or the thanks that they deserve. I guarantee they would rather spend their evenings enjoying their family instead of grading papers for a classroom of 2nd graders. Now as I sit here, I notice the time and realize in just a few short minutes the rest of my brood will be home and its go time. A mad dash until bedtime and I want to cry for them, tell them they are good enough, apologize that I can’t let them have one more hour to stay up and play, and brace them for another day of the same. I don’t know what their generation will be like as adults. Will this pressure to learn more, faster, better, quicker with medications and labels to help them be the perfect kid make them better adults? I doubt it. They will be who they will be. And I will tell them every day they are perfect the way they are and no test will tell them otherwise. So for now, all I can do is put down all of my expectations during the free time that they have and be present and childish and loving because this is all they have left. Let the count down to summer break begin! And to educators everyone, THANK YOU! I know you wish there was still nap time!

 

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You Made Me a Mom

IMG_0094.JPGI’ve decided to blog again. I miss it. I love typing out my feelings, it’s so therapeutic. Every night a thought or memory will pop into my head and I think to myself that I have to remember that moment. I have to capture it so I can read it one day when my memory begins to fail me, and my kids can read it one day too.My writing is Much to be desired, but I hope you can still enjoy it.  Last night was the moment when I decided to start again. I was at work and Jack, my oldest, was sending me texts from his new phone he got for Christmas. We joked back and forth all night and I realized in that moment what a great young man he is becoming. When I say young man, it startles me. It seems like yesterday that he was my baby. He will always be my baby, just bigger! I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with him. It was a pretty big surprise to his dad and I. We were very fortunate to get pregnant right away and I know how blessed that makes us. But it also surprised us greatly. There was no big celebration of us jumping up and down crying, we just looked at each other and thought Oh My God, this is happening? This is really happening? It’s obviously what we wanted but we weren’t prepared for how quickly it was going to happen. I remember going to Outback for dinner that night. We sat quietly in the car and at dinner. Digesting our thoughts, thinking of our future. Things were about to change and I had no idea how much. That night I laid in bed in the fetal position clutching my stomach. I will never forget that moment. There is a baby in there, there is a baby in there! how can I protect this baby? Thoughts ran through my head at a frightening speed – How am I going to take care of a baby, raise a person? I can barely take care of myself! I think I laid awake that entire night. As the days went on, the excitement gained momentum with nursery decorating, showers, maternity clothes. We had always known that if we had a boy, his name would be Jack. And once we found out his gender, Jack was all we could talk about. I went into labor on a warm summer morning. I was scared but excited. 14 hours later a beautiful 8 pound baby was born. He was perfect. He didn’t cry. He had tons of spiky dark hair and wide eyes! The doctors came into the room to check on him because they were concerned he didn’t cry and he just looked around with these crazy eyes! He was Just being Jack since the moment he was born. Nothing was wrong, he was perfect. Raising him was not always easy. He had the energy of the energizer bunny and I had the energy of a sloth. But we worked it out. I always felt guilty as I let him watch Cars 10x while I napped or because I would let him play my iPad so I could get some peace. I felt like a terrible mother. I was never a playdate, park taking, adventure seeking mom. I was content just staying home and cuddling with my baby. And I look at him know, almost 12 years old and I realize I did alright. WE did alright. He amazes more and more every day. He is caring, polite, makes me laugh every single day with his great sense of humor, handsome and talented. When I thought we failed, I realize we didn’t. Far from it. He has a heart of gold and can put me in my place if I’m being judgmental with kind words that make me realize that I’m being petty. He has a confidence that cannot be broken. He doesn’t care what people think of him, he does what he likes no matter what others say to him. We can banter all day. He is my sunshine. He still asks me to lay down with him before he goes to bed every night. We talk about his day. If he ever starts to feel down like I haven’t been able to spend as much time with him as he would have liked, I always remind him… You have a special place in my heart that no one else can claim, You are the only person that can say you made me a mom. I look forward to watching him grow, fulfill his dreams and start a family of his own one day. What I do know is that whomever he marries will be very lucky because he is going to be an amazing spouse and father. So if you are at all like me and doubt how you are doing as a parent…don’t. Look at your child, look at those beautiful qualities that YOU instilled in him or her and know that you took on the hardest job of all, raising a child and you rocked it! Good job moms and dads and Happy New Year!!

Have Faith

Its been awhile since I’ve actually sat down and blogged. Its not that I haven’t had the inspiration, I just haven’t had the time. But today seemed like a good day to get back into things. It started with a story my husband told me this afternoon. It was related to our wedding and how the power went out at our reception. You always imagine something going wrong on your wedding day, that just wasn’t one of them. Let me begin by going back to a sunny day on October 5, 2002. It was the perfect fall day. I love the fall weather. For me its the best time of the year. Apple orchard, sweatshirt, football game, back to school kind of weather. But let me get back to the point, the wedding day. It was mid to low 60’s, sunny with just a hint of a breeze. We were set to get married at a beautiful, unique church in town. The reception was in the same building as the church so we would be wed and go take pictures as our guests had appetizers. After appetizers, everyone would head to the reception. Everything was planned to a tee.The wedding went off without a hitch. The ceremony was perfect in every way. A little long some may argue, but being that is was our wedding, time seemed to stand still. A little over an hour, yes an HOUR later, we were Mr. and Mrs.  We headed outside to take pictures immediately following the ceremony with our bridal party and families. My new hubby and I were completely oblivious to the fact the anything was amiss . That was until our coordinator came outside and said the words that I will always remember…”the power is out, but don’t worry, I’m sure it will be back on soon”. Ok, I can deal with that. There’s not a cloud in sight , no storms, snow or gusty winds to cause an outage. It must have been some crazy fluke, it will be fixed soon. Meanwhile inside, much like after an intermission at the theatre, the lights flickered in the room where our guests were enjoying apps and drinks. And just like at the theatre, many assumed that meant it was time to head to the next room.  Although in actuality, it was signaling the beginning of our crazy night. From what I understand, the guests headed to the elevators to make their way down to the Atrium.The elevators weren’t working, so many unaware guests just took the stairs and continued to enjoy their cocktails. A while later, our wedding coordinator approached us again outside. “The power is still out, not sure whats going on.”  Wait what? Its been over an hour since I last saw you. This isn’t happening? Who will play the music that we have our first dance too, how will our maid of honour and Best man give a speech without a microphone. What song will they play when we enter? (BTW, that had been a source of tension between my future husband and I in the preceding months, but now we’d be lucky if we had music at all). We finished our pictures, and you can still see the look of worry on my face in those last final pictures. I ran inside to a building that was stillwell lit, thanks to wall of windows that were filtering in the daylight which I knew would soon be gone. I began to cry to my mom. At that point two young girls who must have worked there walked by and in a hushed tone said, “I feel sobaaaaad for her! Can you imagine?!” That just cemented how I was feeling. After freshening up we walked downstairs to await our entrance. Our DJ lined up everyone to enter and everything was going to go as planned. Person by person left as I heard our DJ announce each member of the bridal party in his best teacher voice. I threw on a smile and it was go time. I walked into the room as we were being announced and was taken aback by how beautiful it looked. The candles were flickering across the main head table and all of the guest tables. The daylight was fading but there was just enough left to light the room up with that ‘beginning of evening glow’. Our guests cheered for us and for a moment I forgot anything was wrong. Everything at that point was just right. There was a beer sitting at the head table waiting for me, considerately placed by one of my co-workers who knew me all too well. Life was good. As I sat down I looked around at all of the smiling faces. Then it suddenly hit me again. There’s.no.power. The food was already cooked so everyone would eat their dinner and leave. My mind wandered a million different directions as my dad began his speech. The first toast. A toast I wouldn’t appreciate until I watched the video later, after all the distractions were gone. Then came the rest of the speeches. No microphone, just my loved ones doing the best they could with the current situation. And they did it beautifully. The night progressed. The were drinks were flowing and people were having a surprisingly good time. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but some of the highlights included a boom box at dinner that my uncle brought from home, bright orange extension cords hanging from the balcony and some serious negotiating with the reception hall by our groomsmen and friends to bring in a generator. (This had never happened to them before and they had no back up plan). Finally. We had a generator that powered the DJ’s equipment and his flashing lights. That was it, except for the glow of all of the candles, which someone said reflected off  of the glass ceilings like stars. The dances were a little late, the food was a little cold but the night was perfect. The lights came on close to midnight and the guests Booed. The atmosphere was gone. The party was over. We found out then that the reason the power went out was because a transformer blew in a very large factory nearby. Completely random. And a complete blessing in disguise. What I thought was going to make things terrible, ended up being the thing that made things so great. What I thought was going to be a disasterous night ended up being the best night because all of our loved ones came together and did everything they could to make sure our day was special. And it made us realize how much people care. The ones who love you will always be there. That is something I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Which brings me back to today. My husband was working at that same place today for his company because they host a booth for big car event that happens yearly. He was telling the manager about that night. The manager laughed and said he remembered it very well. Apparently our photographer put a picture of our candlelight reception on a wedding website. Still to this day, he said, couples still come in with that picture and say they want their wedding just like this candlelight reception. He tells them that the evening that picture was taken can’t be duplicated. I wish I could see that picture. I don’t know which one was put there, and I can’t seem to find one that captures how magical that night was. And that is the point of this lengthy blog. I didn’t intend for it to go on so long, but its been quite some time since I’ve reflected on that day. Maybe the first time I have in writing since it happened. We grow up believing our life is going to go one way, and when it doesn’t we assume something’s gone all wrong.  It hasn’t gone wrong, its gone exactly how it should I’m trying to let go of all of the things that can’t be controlled and enjoy the things I can control. The time each day I get to spend with my kids.  The fact that they are having a sleepover right now because they are “best friends” and aren’t fighting for a minute! The tiny little hugs and I love you’s. The 5 minutes I get to lay with them before they drift off to sleep. Watching my favorite shows with my husband of 13 years and talking about our future plans, which may or may not work out like we think. I know now that need to have faith that things will work out. Maybe not how we planned but how its meant to be.

Let It Be

“Let it be”…That’s my new motto. For some reason my entire life I’ve always been so concerned about making people happy and making sure that no one is upset. I don’t know why I feel that strong urge. When I feel something’s just not right, I feel like I’m being punched in the stomach, even when there is usually nothing wrong. I will ask again and again for reassurance. I can hear my friends and family annoyingly shaking their head in unison right now 😐 lol! I don’t think there is anything wrong with caring too much, it’s all about how you handle it. Ever since I was young I can remember feeling that way. When you write a blog you choose to share your personal feelings and flaws. This is one of mine. I think it’s insecurity and anxiety. Especially now, when I’m drinking a cocktail or two (maybe 3?) I feel it’s especially important to clear the air. I have that courage. The courage I don’t always carry. And as we all know that’s Definitely not the right time. lol! My best friend from NY can attest to the MANY conversations we’ve had over the years. But if you don’t argue I think that’s worse. I think it means there’s nothing left to fight for. I just want all of my family and friends to know how much I love them and from this point on I’m going to just “let things be”. There’s always people who push things under the rug or put a Band-Aid over issues. I’m exactly the opposite. My dear poor husband is never allowed loud to push anything under the rug. He has learned to communicate and he has learned to communicate fast. Lol. But we can overcommunicate too. I had my 40th birthday party this weekend and I was so overwhelmed all by all of the amazing people in my life. I always want it to be that way. I’m blessed beyond words, I need to remember that! Silly me. It brings tears to my eyes to think about all of the special people I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by. This year it’s going to be important to me to make more attempts to be with the people that mean the most to me, let more things go, quit reading into things WAY TOO MUCH, realize that people aren’t always going to get along and that’s a natural part of life, but in the end I know that every single person that matters to me would be there for me in any situation and I would drop absolutely anything to do that for them. I’m not perfect but I want to try harder to let those people know how much I care and there is so many subtle ways to do it. So here is too letting go, quit overthinking, letting life take its course, loving and most importantly enjoying it all. Life is fragile and we never know what tomorrow may bring. So here’s to breaking a 30 year old bad habits and living the life you deserve!

Just Me and My Guys

I woke up this morning with a pit in my stomach. ” Tomorrow when I wake up I’ll be officially 40, over the hill, middle aged.”  I was born at 6:30 am and I hope to be sleeping still at that time. I’m not sure why, but this birthday is hitting me hard? So what are you supposed to do on the last day of your 30’s? Part of me wanted to sit in bed and watch re-runs of ‘The Real World’ and ‘90210’ and re-live my youth. I don’t FEEL 40. So I got myself out and bed and opted to go buy an outfit to wear when I celebrate my 40th birthday. Thats a good way to spend it right? Shopping is always good therapy for me. I’ve never had as hard of a time with a milestone birthday as I am with this one and I think its for many reasons…

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I woke up this morning with a pit in my stomach. ” Tomorrow when I wake up I’ll be officially 40, over the hill, middle aged.”  I was born at 6:30 am and I hope to be sleeping still at that time. I’m not sure why, but this birthday is hitting me hard? So what are you supposed to do on the last day of your 30’s? Part of me wanted to sit in bed and watch re-runs of ‘The Real World’ and ‘90210’ and re-live my youth. I don’t FEEL 40. So I got myself out and bed and opted to go buy an outfit to wear when I celebrate my 40th birthday. Thats a good way to spend it right? Shopping is always good therapy for me. I’ve never had as hard of a time with a milestone birthday as I am with this one and I think its for many reasons. I remember growing up our parents and their friends would throw “over the hill” parties when they turned 40.These would be complete with gag gifts like walkers, diapers, dentures, toupees and black balloons everywhere signaling the end was near. And when your a kid, you believed it. 40 was ancient. I feel like I’ll have control over my bowels for at LEAST another 30 years or so, I think I’ll be able to walk for awhile still unless of course I have another crappy ski accident and I don’t plan on losing my teeth soon so why all the fuss back then? I guess it feels like its the end of my youth. No more fun, no more acting like a stupid kid, no more babies, no more drinking too many cocktails, no more concerts, no more blasting Eminem in my car. Automatic Minivan, mom jeans and a manageable haircut. But I know deep down thats not the way it is anymore. I know that 40 is the new 30. ‘Sex in The City’ taught us that. I know that people don’t throw “over the hill” parties now at 40, I know that I can still go out and have a few too many cocktails, I know that I can blast Eminem in my Flex until I’m 80 if I want, I know women have babies way into their 40’s (God bless them), and I know I’ve got quite a few concerts ahead of me this year planned already. You’re only as old as you feel. Some days I feel 40 and some days I feel 21. But I know I’ve got a whole ‘lotta living to do still. So if you see me cruising down the freeway with the windows down blaring my rap music and bopping my head, don’t judge. Appreciate the fact that you are only as young as you feel and no one can take that feeling away from you.

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If I could…

As I approach my 40th birthday, this made me start to think. If I could go back in time and start my life over again would I? And at what age would I go back to? What would I do differently? As we get older we learn about things through life lessons. I’d like to think now that I could go back to high school and be a different person, but the person I was in high school is not the same person that I am now. I’ve changed through life lessons and journeys. I’d love to go back to high school with the confidence I have now an blow off everything that bothered me back then. I wish I could tell my younger self that the high school years don’t matter, and your real friends will always be there for you (and they still are). And it doesn’t matter what party you go to. And it doesn’t matter what Susie Smith said about you. But those are things that we learn with time. I wish that I could express that to my children, and they could go through their school years knowing this, but I know it’s something they will have to also learn on their own. I look at the opportunities that I had that I blew off and I want to Yell at my younger self. But I strongly believe that everything that you go through brings you to where you’re supposed to be. Every mistake, every wrong turn, every breath you take is part of your destiny. If you turn left instead of right your entire course of life might change. Life is so precious and if I could do one thing, it would be to realize that and remember that on a daily basis. If I could go back, I would go back to 23 years old. This is the year that I met my husband and my life began. We married and had children. I would cherish each and every moment with my children, enjoy every moment of every pregnancy, spend more quality time with my kids, be more patient with them, and try to remember that each day is a gift. You never know what tomorrow will bring. But what I can do is try to remember that from now on. Remember that my children are only going to be a little for so long. I’ve watched them grow at lightning speed. So for the year 2015, I’m going to try and appreciate each day. Be more patient, be more understanding. And take in every little moment that I have with my children and husband. Because before I know it they will be off to college and have families of their own. And these times of their youth will be just a fleeting memory.

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