- People are still complimenting my hair. I receive the most compliments after a sweaty workout or when I have unbrushed hat hair. What!!?!
- My son had a dentist appointment this week. As an adult, I passed along the reminder I received on my phone. I DID NOT tell him when to get up or where he needed to go (thinking he would know and I would be the annoying mother hen if I did so). He ended up getting lost and was going to be late. I called the dentist office as a courtesy…my son got lost and will be a few minutes late. The lady who answered was really snippy with me and said he needed to reschedule. This freaked me out because I worry a lot about my kids being late. Thankfully, when he got there about 10 minutes late they still took him for his appointment. Despite all of my worry, everything ended up turning out fine.
- My daughter Angel came home from college for a visit and spent the night on Friday. I haven’t seen her since Christmas Day.
- The big fight between Arabella and Estelle is over. There is relative harmony in my house right now. There was even a brief moment this weekend where all five of my kids were talking and laughing together.
- I am grateful to have a husband who is following his dreams. He is taking classes this weekend and starting a new career. I am really excited for him and proud of all his accomplishments. He really motivates those around him. It’s never too late to try something new.
- I was grateful to watch Arabella and Clara perform at solo and ensemble this past weekend. I love to watch my kids perform.
- I felt grateful to go on a date with my husband before he left. I was able to order a pizza with goat’s cheese and afterwards ordered dairy-free ice cream. The food was unbelievably good for being vegan/dairy-free. The ice cream was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Plus it was nice to go on a date alone with my husband. It’s been awhile.
- I found a dress for my daughter’s college graduation. In a few months, my oldest will be a college graduate. I am excited for her future. She already has a job lined up and might be moving back to the area within the next year.
- I am thankful to live close to the store. As I was making supper Friday night, I noticed one of the ingredients was rotten. I opened an unexpired canned good that was moldy inside. Thankfully I was able to zip to the store and back without having to eat too late.
- I am thankful for my organization skills. I like to plan ahead and leave early. Although my mom and kids gave me some crap about it this weekend, things don’t always go as planned. I like to plan for that. You never know if you are going to get into an accident, hit a deer, or a random meteorite might hit the Earth (JK). The solo and ensemble event was at a school I was not familiar with. It took awhile to find a parking spot. There weren’t many signs directing us to the right sites. Then last minute, both of my daughter’s events were moved up to an earlier time. I got us there with less than 10 minutes to spare. You’re welcome! It takes a lot of organization to effectively manage a large family.
Many years ago, I read a book about love languages. The basic premise was that people give and receive love in 5 major ways:
- Quality time.
- Acts of service.
- Words of affirmation.
- Physical touch.
I wrote my love language in the order I like to receive love. It’s complicated though and sometimes I wonder if I unconsciously avoid receiving love.
For example, quality time is the number one way to show me love. However, even though I am currently not employed, I have a long list of things I need to get done every day. I am not the type of person who will drop everything to sit and talk to you. In fact, that rather annoys me to be interrupted while I am in the middle of something.
I leave the ringer off on my phone. I avoid answering calls. I will only answer texts between tasks. One might ask if I really enjoy quality time. If you catch me early in the morning while I am having my coffee or late at night when my chores are done I will gladly spend time with you.
Let’s talk about my second love language, acts of service. This is also complicated. I never ask people for help. If people jump in and help me, it bothers me if they do it wrong (i.e. not my way). I also hate to sit and watch someone else do my job. If you do your job then I feel like it is really not an act of service for me. Again, I am refusing to be loved.
I prefer to show people I care about them by doing acts of service. I would gladly work my fingers to the bone to show people I love them in this way. But no one in my house really feels loved in that way. It’s frustrating.
My husband is a words of affirmation guy. I am horrible at this. It’s pathetic really. I have been blogging for 4 years now. Unless I am on vacation, I have consistently wrote at least once a week since then. I don’t seem to run out of things to write about, but somehow can’t think of any encouraging things to say to him.
My husband’s mother was great at encouraging words. His mother really didn’t have much to offer. She was an uneducated single teenage mother who struggled to make ends meet. Yet she told him he could do anything he put his mind to.
I, on the other hand, struggle with affirming words to say. I am the ‘good job’ type of person, not the “I’m so proud of you for building a successful business out of nothing” type of encouraging.
It doesn’t come naturally. Encouraging words seem in-genuine. You see, I’m not really sure that you can do anything you put your mind to. I feel like I am lying when I say what his mother said. If I say something nice, you can bet I really mean it though. It’s easier for me to say something encouraging after the fact. A ‘wow you did it’ is a lot easier than an “I know you can do it” because like you, I worry you can’t.
Maybe it really doesn’t matter how we give or receive love as long as we make the effort to speak each other’s language.
Good-bye winter! Spring comes today.
It’s been a long winter in Wisconsin. My kids had 8 days off of school for inclement weather. The average is 2-3. We’ve had heavy snowfall followed by subzero temperatures multiple times this winter. The salt doesn’t melt the snow on the very cold days. Some towns ran out of salt. The roads were horrible for an extended period of time.
A lot of people died on our roads this winter. A couple of weeks ago there was fatal pile up on the highway that involved 131 cars. It wasn’t even snowing that day. There weren’t any warnings or advisories in that area. It just happened to be very windy and blew snow across the highway causing white out conditions.
There were some days that school wasn’t called off when it should’ve been because we used up so many snow days. What are we to do when we live in a climate that has the potential for nasty weather half the year? We drink! Which pretty much makes our roads hazardous year round. We lock ourselves indoors chronically depressed from the lack of sunshine and stormy weather that cancels our plans.
Okay, I will try to be more positive. Winter is beautiful. I had to share some pictures of the big snow this year. I was able to go out cross country skiing a couple of times. It was a great year for winter sports such as snowmobiling. Most years we don’t get this much snow.
Do I think that winter is over because the calendar says that it is spring? Probably not. Last year we got a huge blizzard in April. That is what I hate about spring (besides seasonal allergies). It fails to deliver. Spring is my least favorite season. I like summer best followed by fall then winter. At least with winter, we know what we are getting.
The trick is to try to enjoy every season while it is happening. That is sometimes easier said than done. The first few warm days gives me a feeling of false hope. But it won’t be too much longer. Last week we had a day in the 50’s. People started putting on shorts and were driving around with their windows open. But I know we will probably get more snow in April or May.
I can’t wait for the first run outside in this new year. It won’t be too much longer. I have to keep telling myself that at the end of a long grueling winter. The days are getting longer. The birds are coming back. The bugs will soon follow. But I won’t complain, winter makes me enjoy summer more. You need a few dark days to enjoy the light.
You will be unusually successful in business.
My husband Paul seems to get this fortune cookie every other time he gets Chinese food. My typical response is to laugh then throw the fortune away. It is true though. If Paul is a natural at anything, it’s business.
The strange thing is that I started to get this fortune. I don’t know if they made extra of these fortunes at the fortune cookie shop or what. Then I thought…why not write about it?? Maybe if I stop throwing the fortune away, I won’t get it over and over again and can get new ones. Hence more writing inspiration..
I don’t consider myself to be successful at business. I don’t come up with the ideas. I certainly don’t sell anything. I am more of the diligent working sidekick behind the scenes. I have been working with my husband somewhere around 10 years now.
This year we sold our successful start up business, but continue working as employees. We are planning on retiring in another 5 years and starting another business in an unrelated field. We both decided that we would go totally crazy if we didn’t have something to do with our time.
Paul just signed up to work on his captain’s license. We are planning on starting a sailing charter business. We’ve already had people approach us for sailing trips. This is not going to be a big lucrative money making business. It would be a hobby business.
Right now, it seems like I don’t have any time. When I am not working, I am cleaning my house, doing laundry, spending time with family, worrying, running, or blogging. If I am lucky, I can read a couple of books a year for fun or travel. Unfortunately, I have to be really selective with my free time. I have more things that I want to do than time to do them.
But in less than 3 years time, the kids will all be out of the house. In five years, I’ll retire. Maybe then I’ll have the time to do everything I want to do.
Maybe I will write a book, take a dance class, start working on genealogy again, do more traveling, write music, paint… The possibilities are endless..
Good beginning is half done.
This one seems rather obvious.
It serves as a reminder that my life is half over.
Soon I will be 44. Will I make it to 88? I think so..
It is scary to think about. Death, decline..
I fear death. Maybe by the time it happens I’ll be ready for it.
I fear decline even more. I want to always have the energy that I have today.
Or maybe it means that my marriage is half over. We’ve been married almost 21 years. Will we make it to 42?
I fear the death of my spouse. He is 6 years older. Plus women outlive men by 6 to 8 years. So just doing the math, I should outlive my husband by 13 years. So if I live until 88, he would live until I’m 75 which would be 46 years of marriage. My estimates based on nothing makes it pretty close to being half over.
I worry about that, I honestly do. I have longevity on my side, Paul not so much. My parents already outlived Paul’s only parent.
Maybe if I find his real father, I will find longevity on his other side. But then again, maybe not.
The first half of my life went by so terribly fast.
I think this serves as a reminder to enjoy every day of breath we are given. Don’t take life for granted. Take time to listen and love. Remember what is really important.
You will not be here forever and neither will the ones that you love.
I have been lying to myself.
I’ve been telling myself that everyone my age is old, except me.
Here are 3 things that happened this week that shattered my illusion that I have been drinking out of the fountain of youth:
1). I went with my best friend to the wedding store to pick out a mother’s dress for her son’s wedding. All of my friends stopped getting married and having babies a long time ago. Now their children are starting to leave home, get married, and graduate from college. Before we know it we’ll be grandparents.
2). I bought a pair of reading glasses after visiting the eye doctor. I can’t see anymore like I used to. All of the little images on my phone are blurry. I can’t make out the scribbles on receipts or read the fine print. Why is everything so tiny?
3). My husband started walking. This one really hit me hard. My husband was a runner before I was. Now he decided that he would rather walk because it is easier on his joints.
But on the flip side, I finally figured out what I want to be now that I am older. I want to be younger.
This year my husband is going to be 50.
We recently went to Thailand to celebrate our 20th anniversary.
I don’t want to do that anymore…have a reason to travel.
Our first trip out of the country together was an extended weekend in Jamaica for our 10th wedding anniversary. It wasn’t worth all the time traveling to get there late on Thursday night and head home Monday morning. We didn’t know much back then. My husband was 40 the first time he was on an airplane.
For our 15th anniversary, we took our second trip out of the country together to St. Lucia.
Our third trip out of the country was to Thailand for our 20th anniversary.
I don’t want to have a reason to travel anymore if that is something we both want to do. It shouldn’t just be for big anniversaries. Things change. We couldn’t go before. We didn’t have the money. The kids were little. We just started a business.
Now we have financial security. We will have an empty nest in 3 years. We will be thinking about retirement within the next 10 years.
My husband will be 50. We love to travel. We have the next 10 years to do all the traveling we can before we start thinking about slowing down. Paul’s only parent died in her 60’s.
We want to get away every winter. Next year we are planning on renting a catamaran to sail around the Caribbean British Virgin Islands with friends.
I want to visit all of the continents. I’m not sure about Antarctica yet. Wisconsin winters are bad enough. I’m serious about doing this. It was scary at first. I worried about flying, being uncomfortable, not liking the food, etc… Everything new is scary at first. But if you take the first step, you’ll want to start running.
I don’t want to just visit the continents. I want to immerse myself in it. I really have a passion to learn foreign languages. I would like to be fluent in Spanish and German. I love photography and writing. I might look into what it would take to be a travel writer. I could easily write something like I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.
The time to do this is now. I can’t continue to watch the years slip away. I don’t want to look back in regret. It’s time for a second wind. I want to finish this race strong.
Its been a few days since I was able to write. It’s not as if I have writer’s block or ran out of things to write about. I have a long, long list…probably longer than Santa’s…of things to write about. So many things are on my list that I am starting to cross them off not because I completed them either. Who wants to talk about Thanksgiving at Christmas?? The week of parties hasn’t even started yet…Yikes!
I have been very busy…I am standing at the kitchen counter making supper as I write. If I am lucky, I will finish this before I do the dishes and have to pick my daughter up from school. I have to start the spaghetti now.
I try to start a rough draft over my lunch hour at work. Monday at lunch, Paul and I went house hunting. We viewed the house of our dreams. But I will save that for another day. Tuesday at lunch I went to they gym. I am still running pain free!! Yeah!
Yesterday we got our first real snowfall of the season of around 7 inches. We had an employee call in. She totally freaks if there are rumors of snow. So I went home for a quick lunch so I could get back to work right away. I ended up getting stuck in my driveway. The car slid off the pavement and was tearing up the grass.
I just put the spaghetti into boiling water. I hope I don’t forget about it as I type.
So, an hour later, after my husband got my car out of the snow bank he drove me to work. Even though I stayed late, I didn’t get caught up.
Just got a text from my daughter saying that she needed to be picked up earlier. I wonder if she can catch the late bus?
Okay, where was I?
Time to layer my spaghetti lasagna. Great, I found a ride home from the late bus for my daughter so I can finish
blogging supper. Supper is in the oven.
Maybe I will be able to go to choir practice tonight.
What was I talking to you about again??
Maybe I should just start folding laundry and forget about blogging for another day.
**Maybe I should let my followers know that I am alright. It has been a whole 5 days since my last post.**
Maybe tomorrow I will have the time to think about my thoughts. Now I have even more ideas to add to my list…
Who am I?
Sometimes I wonder who you think I am.
Have the things I told you painted a picture in your mind?
Do you know the kind of person I am by the words I write?
I sometimes think about this in the dead of night…or the early morning light..
Who am I?
Sometimes I don’t even know.
This past week I finished reading journal 4. Last year I started the project of slowly going through all of my old childhood and early adulthood journals. It has been a healing process for me…to finally come to grips with my life…my demons..
My oldest daughter has been begging to read my journals for the past year now. I now am also tasked with the duty of reading my journals with the thought that someday they will belong to my children. I want them to have a certain image of me in their minds, even after I am dead.
Journal 4 was difficult. I was angry. I could feel the rage coursing through my words. I tore out half the pages of my journal, ripped them up, and threw them out (recycling). I crossed out some of the writings with a black pen. I never destroyed a part of my life’s writings before.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t recognize myself. It was like I was reading about another girl.
Maybe I don’t really want to know myself??
I just don’t want my kids to see my darkest days. I am describing a girl that is gone now..
I just started reading journal 5 which was written before journal 4. I will probably be sharing some stories with you…
But how will you know me if I don’t recognize the old me in me anymore??
Do you really want to know the real me anyway??
Or do you think of me as a character in a book with a twisted plot?
What I truly want for Mother’s Day…
Baby, I want to hold your tiny hand in mine one more time.
I want to gather you back into the safety of my nest.
I want to be able to kiss your owwies and take away your pain.
I want you to still think that I have all of the answers and that the world is a good and magical place.
I want to sit you on my lap and read your favorite stories…I can’t seem to remember the day it all ended.
I want to laugh off the people that say it goes by so fast as I hold a crying baby in my arms.
What I truly want for Mother’s Day…
Mother, I want to see the excitement in your eyes as I give you my scribbles on a piece of pink construction paper.
I want to see the beauty of your young face and the natural color of your hair. I don’t want to see signs of you slipping away from me.
I don’t want to think that this could be our last year together like last year was for my husband’s mother.
I want to think that the little things I do or say give you lasting happiness more than flowers or a card someone else wrote on this one day of the year.
What I truly want for Mother’s Day…
Grandma, how I long to hear your voice again…to hear you sing like a bird…to tell you that you gave my daughter your gift. I want you to fully understand the influence you have had on my life and how that impacted my children.
I want to smell fresh cookies as I walk into your house and know that you made a special batch just for me.
I want you to answer the phone when I call.
I long to see your house again, the way it was before the new people moved in.
I want to smell your sweet perfume, even the scent that remains in the half empty bottle is beginning to fade.
I wish you could walk alongside of me on this journey again..
This is what I truly want for Mother’s Day.