Friday, December 21, 2007

It's alright to wish me a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I know we don't all celebrate or even acknowledge the birth of Jesus at this time of year, but I come from a family and culture of Catholics and we not only celebrate, but we prepare for the coming of Jesus at this time of year we call Advent. It is a beautiful time in our faith and I am filled with feelings of blessings and thankfulness.

Because my family and I have had some challenges lately, I have been feeling a bit down on and off. But today, the fog is lifting, and I feel called to take stock in the amazing things in my life. I see how I need to keep my focus on all that has been gifted my family and I so I can keep from taking them for granted. I need to keep life in perspective in order to truly care for the great gifts of life as I should.

So, in the spirit of this Holy Season, here are some of the many parts of my life I'm thankful for:

A God who loves and forgives me beyond all measure.

An amazing husband who is an amazing partner in parenting and my best friend in life.

Children who teach me to love even in stressful moments, and who have graced my life with joy and laughter and more love then I ever imagined was possible.

A family of people who love me through thick and thin unconditionally just because we were born or married together in this crazy journey called life.

Local friends who are here for me even when I'm not necessarily emotionally available to them on a regular basis. It is awesome to know that there are people who care about my family and I and whose company I enjoy year round!

A business that is incredibly rewarding to own. With a daily chance to make a difference on this planet, I have found the fulfillment of teaching without the papers to grade!

And last but not least, a family of online friends who both surprise and amaze me almost every day. Your resources, your ideas, your spirits, your love, your humor . . . you all brighten my day and open my mind to things it would otherwise take me a lifetime to come across.

Thank you, and thank the Lord. And, if you celebrate, Merry, Merry Christmas!

Love, peace, and blessings to you all,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to school & my birthday girls

When did it become August?!

Wasn't it just the beginning of Summer? Now, it is mid-August, and life is about to shift once again in this household. My DH is a teacher, so he is home all summer with us, and I LOVE IT. Even though he makes me crazy at times (just being a guy and thinking like one all the time). Now, he'll go back and I'll be having withdrawal for a time again. And so will the kiddos.
Also, my oldest son will begin 1st grade. Someone could have reminded me that once children get to this year, they begin to spend more awake time at school than at home! I'm having a bit of trouble grasping this. My thoughts are turning to home-schooling. And he LOVES school SO much. That would really be sad to him at this stage. But, I am really working to adjust to the whole idea.

AND, if that isn't enough of an adjustment for this mommy of 4, my next oldest child will begin Pre-K this September. So, 3 days a week he'll be gone all morning too. He is my snuggly guy, and he prides himself on following the rules and being the first one to do what we ask, so I'm REALLY gonna miss that sweet guy!

Then, I have to also come to grips with the idea that my DD who I seriously blinked and she grew from baby to little girl overnight . . . well, she just turned 3 yesterday. Miss Independent. Miss put on clip-clop shoes and a fancy dress and then go out back and play in the mud. She is 3 now. Holy COW! Wasn't it just yesterday when her greatest ambition of the day was to nurse as often as the new baby did?

And now, the baby. SHE WILL BE A YEAR OLD NEXT MONTH! I'm not sure if I can take it. It is crazy to me. By December, all the kids wil be on odd years. And odd years always sound SO much older to me than even years. 7, 5, 3 and 1. When did that happen? How is 6 1/2 years ago since I became a mommy?

Well, this 6 1/2 year old mommy needs her rest. Tomorrow is my first day back on solo-stay-at-home-parent duty!

Back to school for us!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My New Green Group - Help to GO GREEN!

Go Green Biz!

I just wanted to share . . . I'm having SO much fun finding new ways to go green that I started a group at to give more moms a chance to share simple ways we can go green together. I am passionate about making a difference in the world, one family at a time. I hope you'll join us!

Going Green 101!

Check out my group at CafeMom


: )

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Reunion

I am SO glad I went to the weekend reunion events. It really was a great time with some old and dear friends. The theater friends I had the best time visiting with are some of my oldest and dearest.

This picture is from the happy hour night. It is Sandy, Paige, Michael, and I.

Paige and I have been friends since we were 14 years old. At 24 years and counding, that is my longest friend EVER. I'm related to all the people I've known for longer than that. We are the god parents of each other's children. She is a great and dear friend. I love that she always shoots straight from the hip and isn't afraid to admit she is human in parenting, teaching, being a wife and friend. I love Paige. Over the years, she is the one high school friend I have stayed in close contact with. It wasn't a NEW connection, but it was GREAT to hang out with her so much in one weekend!

Sandy is one I have seen over the years several times. We attended each other's weddings, but she lives just far enough away that I haven't seen her as much as we'd like. Her husband and mine like to talk about cars and motorcycle racing and they enternained each other much on Friday night.

Michael is one of four of us who spent most of our senior year hanging out together (especially at lunch time). Mike, Paige, Rick (not at the reunion on Friday or Saturday nights) and I would go grab lunch and then we would take Paige's old beat up Vega to 7-Eleven for all the 3 and 5 cent candy we could cram in our pockets. Then we'd go sit in Anatomy class and try to pay attention through our sugar high.

I hadn't seen Mike since our 10 year gathering at Paige's, so it was awesome to see him. We were all such close friends and did MANY shows together, it was GREAT to be back in touch with Michael.

The last peice of the puzzle was complete on Sunday at the family picnic. Rick was there (seen here with his wife) with his family. We haven't seen each other since his wedding. Turns out he and his wife have children the same age as two of ours. So they all played together the whole time we were there. And we all decided we'd be sure to get together again soon!

It was also great to see my friends Todd, Kevin, and Jim. We had some great times the end of our senior year and into college. Todd recently got married, so it was fun to hear about his wedding and his new wife whom I've only had a chance to meet once.

I also saw several friends from choir, and many people I "partied" with the year before I went off to college. All great to talk to again.

Other than that, it was many people we shared the halls and classrooms of the high school with for 4 years. It was fun to talk to everyone and find out what they had been up to. So many life stories. So much has gone on over 20 years. Many of the folks are living close to the school still. A few are even teaching there. My favorite was meeting everyone's children on Sunday. I was pleasently surprised that we weren't the only ones with younger kiddos still. One friend has a 19 year old son going to college next month. So cool.

Seeing all of those faces with 20 years added to them was a trip. A crazy amuzement park ride. I had a GREAT time. What a great ride.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

20th High School Reunion

What??? It has already been 20 years since I graduated high school? Really? That is crazy. 10 years, that seemed right. It only seemed strange that I wasn't farther along in life at 10 years. I had JUST finished my degree and had JUST gotten married. I had been surprised to find it took me that long for life to get to these stages. But, now, looking back . . . it was perfect. My husband and I couldn't have met if we hadn't each taken our own sweet time getting our Bachelor's degrees. And I HAD announced over and over again as a girl that 28 seemed the PERFECT time to get married. I always imagined that would leave plenty of time for friendship fun first. Plenty of life AFTER high school before taking the lifetime plunge. And it did seem to work that way.

And now, here I am, 20 years after high school, trying to make sense of that. When I think about how NOT ready to visit with high school people again I was at the 10 year mark, it is funny that I am feeling more excited and ready now. Perhaps the happiness and humility that parenthood brings has reshapen my perspective about high school and the friends we leave there.

As I look though my year books and read through the signatures and the great and goofy things that were written, I remember how great high school was in so many ways. I found theater and choir, and they saved my shy self from the path my natural repelling of small talk were taking me down.

When I entered high school, I was moving from a place I had lived for 7 years. I had lived there longer than anywhere else ever. I was leaving the longest friendships I had up to then. And I was going from a district with junior high school to one with middle schools. That meant that instead of being a "big shot" 9th grader and first chair flute with people I had known for most of a decade, I would suddenly be a FRESHMAN in a building full of strangers.

I wasn't brave enough to join the gymnastics team. I stood outside of the double doors to the gymnasium, frozen and unable to make a move. No way I was going to open the door and walk across the mats feeling all the eyes of the established and known gymnasts of the school (there were SENIORS in there!) just to ask the coach what it would take to join the team.

And I couldn't convince my counselor, much to my horror, that although I had algebra, biology, and drama on my schedule for my old school . . . I was in NO way ready to take on those 10th grade classes as a 9th grader. So I sat in those classes filled with 15 and 16 year olds looking like a 12 year old, and I just shuddered, cowered, blushed, and tried to keep breathing.

But, by the time second semester rolled around, that drama class turned into a couple of decent roles and some lifetime friendships in the making. So, I guess that counselor got lucky in that way. And so did I.

So now I'll see some people and faces I haven't seen in 20 years this weekend. Some I may recognize. Some who may not know me from Eve. And I'm looking forward to it. It will be an adventure. A test of memory that I'm sure in many ways I'll fail. But full circle back to a need for small talk and yet this time there will be some reminising involved too. I'm looking forward to seeing any of my theater and/or choir friends. I'm looking forward to seeing SOME of my old "drinking friends" - some not so much. I'm looking forward to meeting the children of some great people I once knew. Perhaps meeting the children of old friends is the biggest way I know to feel a touch closer to feeling like a grown up. After all these years.

And, after all these years . . . I'm ready. Now, I'm ready.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Been a Long Time

It's been a long time since I Rock-n-Rolled . . . or posted to my Blog. A bit longer for one than the other. But I really can't say which. : ) So, let's talk about time. Because I don't really have much to say about Rock. I mean, I DO like it. Non-bluesy Rock. Like, Areosmith and Guns-n-Roses . . . but I don't know anything worthy of babbling about. At least not more than that. No, let's talk about time. How quickly it can pass. How easily it can fool me. How unrealistic my perception of it can be. I am a person who can often be late to things. I've heard it is very self-centered and selfish to be often late to things. Holding up everyone else. Thinking I'm so important that people should have to wait for me. I hypothesize that it is related to a chronic fear of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. For example, like the time I loaded up all three kiddos into the car (pregnant with number four at the time) to go to a doctor appointment I had conveniently arranged for two of the three children. We arrived and found out I had the time written down on the calendar mistakenly for later than we were actually scheduled. The office's policy is to cancel you if you are more than 10 minutes late for your appt. So they were trying to tell us we would have to reschedule (for weeks later) and I would have to drag them all to the pediatrician all over again. Which I'm very irritated by since standing in the building brings to mind all of the sicknesses I may already be needlessly exposing the three currently healthy kids to as it is. Now they were suggesting I expose them again. So, I'm perpetually nervous about getting somewhere only to find out that I'm the only one there, or that I'm mistaken about the place or something. Well, I'm working on this. I don't like missing the beginning of things. I don't like that friends I've known for years (PAIGE) joke around about lying to me about the start time of things so that I might be on time instead of "on Kaycee time" arriving 20 minutes plus late. Well, one added benefit to my oldest being in Kindergarten is that I have another human being relying on my ability to be on time 10 times a week for 9 months in a row. It is giving me A TON of practice. And I'm doing really well, so far. I'm happy to report. Thanks, CJ. You make me a better woman! -143