Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

As the week of our Independence Day, I thought I'd ask my 3 kids what they think of when they think of the 4th of July. Here's our top 10 list:

1. Going out in the boat on the lake. We are fortunate to have a family cottage that we spend the 4th of July on every year. These are where the memories happen.

2. Celebrating the hub's and his bro's birthday! Yep, my hub and his twin bro were really born on the 4th of July! How cool is that?

3. It is the celebration of our Independence Day. Even if we don't always know why that is important (which led to a good discussion of why it is).


5. Cousins, cousins...and more cousins! We have had 1st, 2nd, 3rd and lots removed cousins visit us for the 4th!

6. Getting together and celebrating for all kinds of different reasons! The above mentioned Independence Day and the hub's birthday are just a couple of things we have celebrated over the years on the 4th of July! We've also had graduation parties, marriages, and babies celebrated as well, among others!

7. Spectacular familial intimacy. Seeing people we don't see any other time of year just come together, have some laughs and share stories.

8. Playing in the lake all day and night. It's a true pleasure and privilege to be able to do this!

9. Awesome food! Of course, with all these people, comes incredible food and drink! We have some dishes that we like to have year after year, and others that can be brand new! What are some of your faves?

10. The more the merrier! We have had hundreds of people over the many years of celebrating the 4th of July out at the cottage! We have met some very interesting, fascinating and totally cool people! We're even related to many of them!

Happy Fourth of July week!

Monday, June 23, 2014

When I Found Out

It was a hectic October. We were planning our annual Halloween party, and it was always lots of fun, but very busy. Our little girl was at that tender age where all decorations for this holiday frightened her. We had to be careful with our planning for this reason.

The hub would come home from working hard during the last of his busy season, and still give his all to help get the party in order.

13 years ago. It’s hard to remember every detail.

There was a day when I calculated. You know, the usual calculation a woman does from time to time. Being so busy, I didn’t know if I added right. I was pretty sure I was late.

You know. Late.

Could it be? My heart fluttered at the thought. There had been loss earlier in the year, and I wasn’t sure I was ready yet. Was my body ready?

Next day I went out and bought a test. Wouldn’t you know it!
I felt so excited and blessed!
A bit nervous as well.

Now, how do I go about telling everyone? Obviously I told the hub first. We both felt the same way about it: happy and a little nervous.

I am cryptic here, but we lost a pregnancy about 6 months prior to this event. (That is for a whole other blog...perhaps.) So, we were a little intimidated at this surprise.

We went through the usual waiting until we were comfortable that everything was ok before sharing it with others. We went through genetic counseling. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically giving someone your biological background, so they can tell you your chances of genetic things that might go wrong.

I had an ultrasound and a CVS (Chorionic villus sampling) test. All I can remember about that was it was very early, 10 weeks, and it would tell us 100% if everything was genetically alright.

I was nervous, but hopeful. What happened before was a 1 in a million thing, and the chances of it happening again were astronomical.

It wasn’t a long wait. It was good! Everything looked wonderful!
As a genetic test, we were asked if we wanted to know the sex. I know a lot of people choose to wait, when they have their ultrasounds at 20 weeks or so. We didn’t wait for our daughter, so we thought, why wait this time?

At around 11 weeks, pregnant for the third time, we found out we were having a healthy boy.




Life goes on, with or without you. It’s all how you chose to be a part of it.

Our first son came into this world a surprise, and my easiest, quickest birth. He has brought joy and stress both (as children do), always winning us over with his amazing heart and mind.

13 years ago today.

I may not remember all the details, but I remember the feelings, and for that, I thank him. Thank you for making me a mom to a son for the first time.


Monday, June 16, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

I’m just an old fashioned girl, living in a new fangled world.
I love technology, always have. Anything that comes out advancing us as a people is magical genius to me.
I love the creature comforts. I love hot and cold running water, and I don’t really want to know where it’s coming from (although, having well water, I know all too much where it comes from). I love heat in winter and air conditioning in summer. I love flushing toilets and bubbling bathtubs. Glass top stoves and convection ovens. Industrial mixers and refrigerators. Even though it’s not PC, I love fur. I wouldn't kill for it, but I happen to have one from my grandmother’s closet, and I love it. That shiz is warm people! Don’t judge.
I love photography. I took my first photography class in high school, and I was in love. Technology and creativity in one beautiful media. I was hooked. I joined the yearbook photographer staff, and had a ball! In college, I became an art education major with a concentration in photography. This was the old school photography with chemicals, developing and darkrooms. I spent many hours in a dark room, and I loved every minute of it. There is nothing quite like bringing a vision in your mind to life on a page. Well, almost nothing.
Which brings me to my next love: baking. I would bake every day if I could. I considered opening my own bakery, at one point, a few years ago. The town I live in is a little small for that though, as was my pocket book. But I still love to bake. I bake cakes for my family’s birthdays, and cookies when the kids or hub requests them, or some banana bread when there are some lying around that are too ripe, or for a school function, or just because. I've been doing it since I was a kid, and I hope to do it ‘til I’m too old to care.
I love video games. Yep. I said it. I am a gamer! Space Invaders, Pole Position, Pac Man and Missile Command on the Atari, back in the day. Centipede in any arcade I ever went in. I stopped playing through high school and college for some weird reason. Later, my hub got me playing Sonic on the Sega. (If it sounds like I’m speaking a different language right about now, just bear with me.) I stuck with the simple games, while the hub went on to first person shooters on the Playstation. Using two joysticky things just to move around? That was ludicrous!
Pregnant with our third babe, I was getting a bit stir crazy during the day. I am at home all day, but the other kiddies were basically in school all day. Any woman can tell you, those last days, hours, minutes…are a life time! So, to stop myself from going nuts, my hub suggested I try his latest shooter with him: Resistance. It freaked me out! There were alien monster thingies jumping out everywhere, and shooting, and violence! Yet, I couldn't stop watching! Finally, I tried playing. I was horrible at first, but got the hang of it to at least be able to move around. That game is still one of my favorites. It opened up multiplayer gaming for me, and I haven’t looked back since! Again, for those of you unfamiliar with gaming, multiplayer is being able to play, online, with other peeps! Strangers, or friends, I have met many interesting people in gaming! But that is for another blog.
I love to sew. When I was in high school, I thought I would go into fashion. I love fashion design, the clothing, the fabrics. There was only one problem: I didn't know how to sew. Flash forward about eight years, and I am a new mom. When my first born was just a babe, my mother in law gave me my first sewing machine. I learned how to sew children’s clothing, and my love for fashion was reignited. I made cute girly clothes for my daughter, and then made them for other people’s babies. I loved it. The combination of creativity and calculation was, in my mind, the best.
That’s what I love the most. Using both sides of my brain to create something wonderful. It not only stimulates more of my mind at once, but to create something in the real world that started as just an idea, to me is the ultimate. (Aside from creating life itself, but that goes without saying.)
Let me know what things your brain likes!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Me? A Writer?

I don’t really consider myself a writer, but I write. Back in school I wrote notes to almost every friend I ever had at some point. I was the queen of notes. I had stories with some friends, and we’d go back and forth with notes, adding to the story. Some notes got carried away. Far, far away. Eventually I learned that not everything needs to be written down. Some things really are better left unpenned.

I never thought of myself as a writer, but I write. Often in college, I thought it would be nice to write a book about my childhood. I had a really wonderful, blissful childhood. There were no major traumas or hardships. I was really spoiled in being a child. I had no complaints about it, and I thought it might make a great modern day Laura Ingalls story. I never did get around to doing it. To me, writing a book, a whole book myself, sounded out of reach. Sounded like something smart, older people do. Not me.

When people ask me, “What do you do?” I never say, “I’m a writer,” but I write. The first time I got pregnant, I kept a detailed journal of thoughts and feelings throughout. I was so excited to start this journey of parenthood. I was thrilled to write in my baby’s book, and record every first she had in her first year. As more babies came, the writing was less, simply from being busy. It was still meaningful to me to do it, to let the other two know about themselves in their babydom.

When my first child learned to read and write, she knew she wanted to be a writer, not me, but I write. I watched her love for books and the written word grow further than I ever could imagine. I knew, in my heart, she would be a great author one day. When she was small, and bed times were a bit rough, I used to think of ways to ease her little, creative, over worried mind. I used to tell her I loved her no matter where I was. Even if I went to the moon, I would still love her. I thought I’d make a children’s book about it. I even wrote it out and sketched some very rough drawings for it. But I didn't know how to go about publishing it, or getting someone to publish it (pre self publishing days). So it didn't happen.

As a parent, I became a good storyteller. Children love to hear stories, whether from books, or made up from their heads or yours, or stories about when you were little yourself. I never thought to write any of them down, to be a writer, but I write. I have vivid dreams from time to time. Sometimes I like to tell them to someone when I wake up. One time I told my husband and daughter about a strange, science fictiony dream I had, that stuck in my mind. My daughter told me I should write it down. I said I would, and found an old school composition book, and wrote down the dream. As I wrote, I didn't think of myself as a writer, but only a recorder of the dream. I wanted to share it, so I wanted to make sure I recorded it in as much detail as I could remember. I enjoyed it. Of course, when my daughter read it, she thought I was a goddess. She told me to make it into a story. She asked if she could make it into one, but she was already working on about four of her own. I already had an idea for it anyway.

I started to write my story. I wrote fiendishly sometimes, where other times I would go months without touching it. It kept calling to me, bringing me back. My daughter read new material every time I finished some. She loved it, and encouraged me to keep going. About three and a half years later, I had a story, a book, a novel. I am still learning about how to prepare it for publishing, but I am excited to share it soon. I feel more like a recorder, than a writer, but I write. I hope that you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fleeting Thoughts

Sometimes I have really great thoughts. They come into my head when my brain is wandering, unoccupied. The problem is, they are often fleeting thoughts. Usually I am by myself, so I don’t get a chance to share these thoughts with anyone. Occasionally I will be with someone, usually one of my kids, and depending on which one (as there is a 9 year age range between them), I may tell them my thought or not.
When I share thoughts with my daughter (the oldest), she tells me often that I am great, terrific, a goddess. (No joke, she calls me a goddess about once a week. Of course, I love her!) “You should share your thoughts on You Tube, or blog or something!” She tells me in her excitement.
So here I am, blogging. About what, I have no idea. The thoughts come and go quickly. All I can remember is that they were good. They put together parts of life for me. Help me reason things out: problems, fears, solutions. They give me a grand scheme theory, to help me go through my every day life with some meaning, some purpose.
Perhaps that’s why they are so brief. Because once I make sense of them, they go to the back of the line, so to speak. Being in my 40’s, that line is pretty long. It’s hard to see to the end of it sometimes. I forget who’s back there. Things get lost.

Where was I? Oh yes, fleeting thoughts. Sometimes, if I am able, I will make a note of them. That is rare. Usually I am driving in my car, or taking a shower, or doing the dishes, or laundry. It’s when my mind is bored, because my body is busy. I wish I could jot them all down and see later on if they were really as good as I thought. I’ve taken to keeping a notebook and pencil by my bed, just in case. Some weird dreams have happened, but I’m not sure those are for blogging about. I haven’t decided what to do about those.
Fleeting thoughts…I am glad for them, even if they do leave a bit too soon.