Thursday, November 15, 2012

Take your "child" to work day

As I was leaving for work yesterday morning, I went around giving hugs and kisses to my boys.  Alex decided he wanted me to bring him with me to work but knew instantly that that wasn't happening because he had school (among other reasons).  He ran into his room, and handed me "blue bear".  He said, "Mama, this is Alex...he'll be me so you can have me with you today".

So I brought him to work with me.  He rode into work on the front seat (what a PRIVILEGE that was!)

"Alex" was keeping my schedule
Then I decided to put him to work.  As I went about my day, I took photos of "Alex" doing office duty stuff and sent a couple of them to Dave to show Alex.

He answered a few phone calls
Then took a short coffee break
Then I assigned him my newest grant and he got down to writing.
We broke for lunch...
Then I had him make a few copies.

I walked away for a MINUTE and what do I come back to?  He's on FACEBOOK!  Shame on you, "Alex".
It was fun to have a reminder of Alex with me all day at work.  When I got out of work and met Dave in the parking lot to exchange the real Alex, I gave him Blue Bear and he got to snuggle with him while he napped all the way home.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another First...Cub Scouts!

The big milestone when Nate turned 6 was that he could finally join Cub Scouts.

He had been asking to join since he was in Pre-k (4 years-old), but was told he'd have to wait until 1st grade.

So first chance we could (first week of school in his 1st Grade year), we attended a recruitment meeting and got him signed up.  Within a week he was at his first meeting.  Within two weeks he had his handbook, his official uniform, and was learning the boy scout handshake and code.

Now we are in full force with meetings and events and outings -  Pack meetings, Den meetings (I still am not entirely sure which is which), community service projects, badge merits.  It's crazy.  I'm learning a LOT.

Boy Scout trip to Albion PD for a tour...
Here the Sgt. is teaching the boys how they get fingerprints from crime scenes.
At this age (Tiger Cub), the family is very much involved.  Most things we do have a strong focus on parents and siblings participating, too.  Which is good, honestly.  If not for that, Nate would be out of luck because I am usually the one taking him to these things and I always have Alex with me so we all get to benefit.

Making friends
As he gets older and boy scouts becomes more independent, I will worry.  But in the meantime we are meeting some great people, seeing and doing some fun things, and hopefully Nate will learn some incredibly important life lessons.

Monday, November 12, 2012

When skies are grey...

Yesterday was a horrible day.  From the very beginning I was stressed, feeling ignored and struggling with the overwhelming tasks that lay before me, knowing I had but one day to accomplish them all.

Stress boiled over into a blow out with my husband and eventually I wound up on the back step reduced to a pile of tears with my head in my hands and a pit in my stomach.  It was a typical "how did I get here" type of moment.

It was then, at my lowest point, when I heard the sliding glass door slide open and my 4-year-old tentatively asked, "Mom?".

I turned around, trying to hide the tears and my puffy eyes.  I forced a crooked (fake) smile and realized he was walking down the stairs clutching an Elmo doll.  He handed me the fuzzy red monster and said, "here, this is for you...I thought Elmo could feel you better."  Then he quickly disappeared up the stairs and back inside.  *sigh.

Moments later, the door reopened and Alex reappeared.  He clamored down the stairs in his bare feet and said, "I forgot this."  He then hugged and kissed me and just as quickly disappeared inside again.

These "visits" continued for the next 15 minutes or so.  Each time he tip toed quietly down the stairs, he'd offer me a feel good token of some sort, study my face for the smile he was desperately trying to earn, then disappear.

On one visit, he brought me the music box from his bedroom to play music "to feel me better".  Then, he brought me two books (from which I could choose) - What Firefighters Do and Clifford's Apple Picking Day - only to leave them both for me anyway.  He brought me his favorite fuzzy blue snuggie, then thought I could use a pillow for my head.  Finally he handed me a notepad/giant pencil so I could "write a letter or sumfin".
Each visit was sweeter than the last.  My heart swelled.  My tears eventually dried.  My heartache all but faded.  My smile turned from forced and fake, to genuine.  

While I couldn't help but worry that a child his age shouldn't have to feel that way, see me cry, or be responsible for making me feel better...I couldn't help but marvel at his empathy.  His loving care.  Just when Alex drives me to the brink with his bad behavior and current tenuous stages, he reminds me that deep down, he really is a sweet kid.  A caring, loving boy with a heart of gold and a kindness unmatched by many ten times his age.  Thank you, Boo, for showing me the unconditional love of a darling child.  Thank you for being MY precious boy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Doing the best I can.

As I mentioned the other day, I am not perfect.

There are (lots of) other ways to do the job(s) I do.

Lots of better ways to get the job(s) done.

But rest assured, I am doing the best I can.

This life I'm living - my roles as Mom, Wife, Friend, Worker, etc. - I am living it/them the only way I know how.

Sure, it's probably not the most efficient method.

Any one of my friends or family could tell you (though I'm sure they wouldn't) that I'm horrible with time management, I'm forgetful, lack follow-through, and falter in the consistency department.

But I do have the best intentions.  My heart is always in the right place.  My goals are simple.  To be a good person and raise good people in my boys.

So please remember, not just with me but with everyone around you...I may not be doing things perfectly.  I may not even make sense in my tactics or take the most direct path to get from A to B.  But there is a method to my madness and I am sincerely doing the best I can.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Branching out

I downloaded this app months ago that supposedly lets me write and post to my blog right from my phone.  So tonight I thought I'd try it out...

I want to share a couple photos (from my phone) to test that out, too.  So bear with me...if this works you may just hear from me with increased regularity!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Thanks to wonderful friends of mine (Thanks, Joey and Heidi, of course, for lending his time to me!), I think I am on my way (one step closer anyway) to having access to my PHOTOS again!  

A month or so ago, my external hard drive crapped out on me, taking my photo access with it.  But thanks to the genius of my friend, Joey, who worked so diligently a year or two (?) ago to make sure my photo back up system was rock solid, I didn't LOSE anything.  I just went a few weeks without access.  Which is definitely a better alternative!  Let me tell you, the peace and comfort of knowing they were safe was such a relief!

Anyway, I spoke with him tonight and he walked me through the process of getting my computer to recognize the new hard drive I bought and he reloaded the back up on for me.  So by this time tomorrow I should be in business.  By that, I mean I'll have dumped the last month+ of photos that are sitting on my camera disks and will have LOTS of stories to share to go along with them!

So, prepare for an influx of photos (both recent and a little ocurred to me a couple days ago that I haven't even LOOKED at the photos I took in the 1000 Islands on vacation this year.  I took them off my camera and never even flipped through them to delete bad ones!)  

I'll be back with some PHOTOS soon!  Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Just Write.

I am not perfect.

(In fact, I am FAR from perfect.)

I am my own worst enemy.

I am my harshest critic.

For as easy going, flexible and forgiving as I can be…I very seldom award myself those same liberties.

I tend to be a perfectionist…at least when it comes to me, and my expectations of me.

I have big ideas...deep thoughts. And when those ideas or thoughts or feelings don’t seem perfect (or complete or logical or coherent), I keep them to myself.

That’s partially why I’ve missed (THREE +!) days on my NaBloPoMo goal for this month. It goes like this...I sit down to write, the weight of my obligation heavy on my mind. Clouding my thoughts. Suddenly it feels too hard, too much like a duty or a chore that I don’t want to “mess up” or “do wrong”. I worry instead that my thoughts are not complete or profound or even worth sharing. And so I don’t share them. And in not doing so, I've failed. At least in my eyes.

This is the vicious cycle of my life.

Sure...I would love to let loose. Lighten up. Give myself some freedom to just be me. Not the me I wish I was, or the me other people want or believe me to be. Just me. Just the way I am. Imperfect. Distractible. Unorganized. Conflicted. But also loyal, loving. Friendly and fun.

So I will try…to just be. Just write. Just share. Without too much over thinking or perfectionism. Don’t expect anything too deep or weighty, philosophical, insightful, or life-changing. I’ll leave that to people you find here, or here, or here. In trying to be perfect, I’m missing out on the chance to just live. And to capture that living here. Not in a picture perfect way I wish it could be/would be…but simply how it is. Real. Messy. And truly beautiful.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


All day long words circle in my head.

I swim among the many ideas that bounce around and fall into seemingly perfect sentences.

Each carefully constructed thought makes me smile.  I repeat it over and over again in my mind.  Vowing to remember it just as I've planned it in my head.

Hours later I finally get a minute to sit down in front of my computer.  A quiet moment, uninterrupted by demands, responsibilities, constant requests, and duties.  Finally a chance for those words to find their way to the white screen to become permanent and real.


Suddenly, without warning, I reach into my brain for those words.  I search for the magic I created so deliberately just hours earlier...only to find nothing.  No words.  No ideas.  Not even a flicker of remembrance for what topic it was I had spoken so eloquently of.

So I am forced to share that instead.  The nothing that robs me of my creativity.  That void in my thoughts that replaces my original intentions.

Until tomorrow, when the words swarm, the thoughts mingle, and the sentences form once again.  (Hopefully with better luck to last long enough to make it here.)  Until then, I leave you with this.


Saturday, November 3, 2012


Well, day three and I'm already sucking at this NaBloPoMo goal of mine.  (I missed yesterday, in case you weren't keeping track).  Oh well, at least I'm still trying, right?

Today was a busy day.  (as was yesterday, thus the reason I didn't get on here...) I had our very first craft sale to represent PokeBerry Creations, the Etsy shop my sister and I have teamed up on.  It went ok.  I definitely learned a thing or two, which is good.  We made a little money and I left there with some positive feedback (which is always nice to hear!).

Afterwards the boys and I went to Leroy (with Aunt Tiff & Brie) to trick or treat in their neighborhood (yes, a little late, but they postponed it for Hurricane Sandy cleanup).  Alex whined and complained the entire time, but it was a nice treat to be able to trick or treat with Tiff/Brie.  We each usually have our own things going on Halloween night.

Tomorrow is the turkey raffle at our Fire Department.  Another busy day, another busy weekend.  But this is my life and I wouldn't trade it.

I will leave you tonight with something pretty.  Here is a (SOOC, unedited) photo I took tonight of the Leroy Falls.  So peaceful.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo 2012

NaBloPoMo November 2012

So, it's that time of year again.  As you may remember, I participated in NaBloPoMo a couple years ago...posting on my blog everyday in the month of November. 

In an attempt to getting back to WRITING and actually DOCUMENTING my life for posterity, I decided (just now, actually) to participate again this year.  So, expect to hear (or at least see, through photos) a little more about our crazy life!!  Wish me luck!