Category Archives: Randomness

200!

You are a part of history…right now as you read! My history anyway. This is my 200th post on this blog! That is a whole lot of thoughts, words, randomness and emotions. Four years worth, almost. Next month is actually the fourth anniversary of my first post. I’ve shared a lot with friends and random strangers. I always have been a pretty open book so that part isn’t really shocking. The fact that I’ve stuck with it for four years is a bit surprising. I usually move on more quickly than that. Some of you may think I did move on as sparse as my posts have been in the last year. Sorry if you were eagerly anticipating more words of wisdom from me. I think I’ve been reserving all my wisdom for my new job and family.

None the less, I thought it time to write this 200th post. I’ve actually had others swirling in my head, but just didn’t want to write them before I commemorated this momentous event. But how to celebrate? I thought about linking back to some of my favorites posts, sort of a walk down memory lane. But I know once I start reading old posts, I’ll be lost for the rest of the evening. That’s one of the reasons I’m thankful I have blogged this long – my memory stinks and this is a great way to remember what was happening and what I was feeling.

I’ve mulled this over for a month and no post:(. Phooey with that!

I thought about sharing 200 random thoughts. That’s a lot of random thoughts! Maybe more than you want to read? I don’t know if I have that many…Hubby would probably disagree. So here goes…I may get to 2, 20 or who knows.

  1. Blog posts that tell people what they should/should not say to (fill in the blank) annoy me. You know, the 9 things you should never say to a new mom. Please, you don’t speak for all new moms and telling others how to be nice to you is just rude.
  2. My ears have been plugged for two weeks! I flew to LA 2 weeks ago and they plugged on the way there. One or both have been plugged since. According to the doctor I am suffering from Eustachian tube dysfunction. Huh?
  3. The inhaled steroids they gave me to make my ears functional again smells like lilacs. I love lilacs! I’m having my own little springtime in my head.
  4. I don’t have a musical cell in my body. I know this and if you heard me try to sing, apparently you would know too. I’m not shy about this, I tell people I don’t know music. But then I feel bad when I tell someone they played great. Doesn’t really mean much coming from me:/.
  5. I need a bigger closet. I’ve been considering knocking out the back wall of my closet when Middle Son goes to college in the fall, just so I can make his whole room my closet. Is that wrong?
  6. Speaking of Middle Son, he’s leaving for a summer internship in less than 2 months! And then college 3 weeks after he gets done with his internship. AHH! Mama not ready for that!
  7. When I started this blog the boys were 12, 14 and 16! That seems like forever ago!
  8. We now have 5 drivers in the house. Well technically one of them is not in the house, he’s in his dorm. And one can’t drive solo til this summer. But, still. We have 3 cars. Hmm…
  9. So we bought a motorcycle. Ya, weird. And questionable decision. But it’s kind of fun to do something questionable now and then. As long as its legal and questionable.
  10. I don’t want my sons to do questionable things. Maybe I should put more qualifiers on my number 9.
  11. I heard Youngest Son play a snare solo tonight and I was pretty much blown away. He’s really good! See #4. See what I mean, now you wonder if he is really any good. Other people thought he was. People who can play music themselves. So he must be good:).
  12. As my kids get older, I think more and more about when Hubby and I met. We were so young. We didn’t know we were, but we were. It makes me think about what my 40-something self would tell my 20-something self. But then I remember, my 20 something self wouldn’t have listened to me anyway. And that’s ok. I think the best lessons in life are the ones we learn our selves.
  13. Lessons like falling for a phishing scam. After saying, “How could anyone be so dumb?” It was supposed to be a rhetorical question. But I guess I answered it for myself. Lesson…trust your gut Judy. All 10 times you questioned yourself! Won’t repeat that mistake. See, the best lessons are the ones you learn yourself.
  14. I heard a news report today that they arrested the person who shot into a crowd at the zoo. He is 16. And on parole. People were saying he should be put away for life. That there is no hope for someone like that, he’s beyond help. And I couldn’t quit thinking about my sweet 16-year-old boy. Thinking about how much that kid must have been through to be where he is today. And wondering if his mama is hurting as much as I think she is right now. Wondering where she went wrong, what else she could have done. Or does he have no one to worry over him? A 16-year-old boy doesn’t get to that point without going through a lot of pain. Makes me feel sad and helpless. I just want to give him a hug. My reaction surprised me.
  15. I’m in denial about graduation. Two months from now it will all be over. I’m screaming in my head. Hold on, I’m so not ready for that. And it is going to happen whether I’m ready or not.
  16. I love sunny days, but I really hate how people drive on sunny mornings. You drive this way every morning and you know when you come around that curve the sun will be bright. Put down your visor, put on your sunglasses and keep driving. You do not have to slam on the brakes because there is a sun! Please, remember you survived it yesterday.
  17. Our sweet Gracie has been gone 3 months and I can still see her laying on the table looking at me when we said good-bye. Don’t think I will ever forget looking into her eyes as she took her last breath.
  18. I have 59 posts in my drafts folder. That is a lot of unfinished thoughts. Some of them have potential. But I know me, and if I don’t write when the thoughts come, I will never write it. I used to jot ideas to come back to later. That doesn’t work for me. Without fail, when I come back later, I got nuthin’. The words just aren’t there.
  19. It’s hard being a mom. Revelation there! My boys are close in age and often wanting the same things, like internships, jobs and cars. It’s hard when one gets what they want. I want to be excited for them, but my heart goes out to the others. I know, it’s life and it builds character and all that crap, but I still empathize.
  20. Only 2 1/2 years until Youngest Son goes to college. Then what? Sometimes I think I have put so much of my energy and focus into being a mom I don’t know what comes after. But then I think of Oldest Son away at college. I still get to be his mom. It’s just different. It’s Mom-lite you might say. Instead of needing my help/input/money daily it’s more like weekly or monthly. I think that’s good.
  21. The search term that brings people to my blog most….drum roll please…..loin cloth. Ya, weird huh? Of all the things I’ve written. Guess maybe there aren’t too many people writing about loin cloths.
  22. My most used tag….Family. Shocking huh? Not really.
  23. I have a problem buying shoes. I used to love shoes and had so many! Now, I think if others saw my shoe shelves, I would lose my girl card. It’s sad really. And I don’t know where I went wrong. I just can’t find shoes that are cute and comfortable and inexpensive. That’s my criteria for a good pair of shoes.
  24. I love those surprise moments when you reconnect with old friends and laugh until your stomach hurts and the tears run down your cheeks. I did that a couple of weeks ago while I was in LA. It was a Facebook conversation with three friends from college; one in Washington, one in Colorado and one in Iowa. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. I miss them…
  25. 95% of my blog posts are written in the shower. There are two problems with this. 1) I can’t write in the shower (I think it’s bad for the laptop) so I am stuck remembering them until I get out and have time to write them down. Remember I have a horrible memory. 2) It takes a long shower to compose a blog post. Other people in my house shower in the morning too. They dislike being late and they really dislike cold showers. 😦
  26. Sometimes I think I can’t be a good Mom and professional at the same time. I tend to be someone who throws myself into a project. Maybe that’s why? It’s a lot of throwing when you go from home to work to home again. I get a bit motion sick.
  27. We are redecorating our bedroom. (See it’s the perfect time for #5.) I’m trying to pick a shade of grey that goes with the beautiful quilt my mom made us. I’ve bought 5 of those sample size jars they can mix for you. So now our bedroom has 5 shades of grey…hehe. I don’t like any of them:).
  28. I don’t read like I used to. I always had a book I was reading and there were so many I couldn’t put down. Now I pick up books by the same author and get part way through and lose interest. I think I am reading 3 books right now. Hope I finish one of them.
  29. We have bread in our trees. Yes, you read that correctly, bread in our trees. As in loaves of bread in the trees. Don’t judge. We came into lots of bread recently and some molded before we could eat it. It was a LOT of bread. I put it in the trash. Hubby said we should feed it to the ducks. Huh? We haven’t fed the ducks in years! I’m sitting in the living room when I see something flying in front of the window. What was that. There it goes again. Huh? Oh that’s just a son who shall remain nameless throwing the bread up to get it stuck in the tree so the birds and squirrels can eat it. Oh, make sense.
  30. I took pictures tonight and realized I hadn’t used my camera since January 23rd. That is a really long time for me. Like record-setting. See, blogging isn’t the only love I’ve been ignoring lately.
  31. My boys did not know who my favorite musical artist is! Isn’t that appalling?! I’ve seen him in concert 3 times and own all his CDs. And they didn’t know. They had a lot of good guesses, but they didn’t get it right. Where did I go wrong…
  32. Bacon might be the best food in the world. Just sayin’.
  33. I am constantly amazed by the kindness of my friends. From friends who give me cards and remember something I was stressed about a week or two ago, to friends who support my kids in their endeavors. I’m a lucky girl. I need to work on being a better friend. Doing the things I appreciate in others.
  34. I knew it! I went back through old posts to look something up and just spent the last 30 minutes reading about 2010!
  35. Whew! That was a lot of randomness stuck in my head. I’m stopping here. Here’s to more focused posts to come:)!

So there you have it. And kudos to you if you stuck with me this long- both on this post and with my sporadic writing in the last several months. I appreciate you reading and hope you are able to somehow connect with what I have to say. Life is challenging and it’s easy to feel like you are all alone in a sea of people. I hope you’ve found a little connection in some of my words…or at least a laugh.

Here’s to the next 200!

Thanks for following along.

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Talking with My Teens about the Birds and the Bees

It’s time to have the talk. The birds and bees talk, with my teenage sons. I’ve actually put it off too long. It’s just hard to do, awkward you know?

But the time has come, things could get even more awkward. I’m going to have to sit them down.

And tell them.

Hubby and I need more time for sex.

When they were little and went to bed by 8:30, life was grand! Plenty of time for adult fun. But now, they stay up really late! Way later than we can stay awake. And they come home in the middle of the night. Being the good boys that they are, they always come in our room to tell us they are home.

So, it’s only a matter of time until we have an incredibly awkward moment. I mean, we all know our parents did it, at least once. Or, in my case, FOUR times! But really, no one wants to know they ever did it for anything but procreation. Definitely not recreation. They don’t want to know and frankly, I don’t want them to interrupt! This leads to a real challenge.

How do we set aside time for a healthy sex life without telling them, “Hey, don’t bother us for the next hour (ok, 10 minutes). And maybe you want to turn the TV up for a bit.”

I think just saying that, would put a damper on everyone’s evening.

We have a lock on the door. But really, “Hey, what’s the door locked for? Oh wait…eewww NO!”

And again, a damper on everyone’s evening.

Maybe we could do the old sock on the doorknob thing. But then they would know, and they don’t want to know!

So, its time to have a talk that no one wants to have. After 22 years of marriage, we still like each other. Sex is part of a healthy relationship, and frankly we enjoy it. Maybe when they have been married 20 years, they will understand why Mom and Dad forced them into that awkward conversation.

Or maybe, I’ll just send them a link to my blog and see if they suddenly make themselves scarce from oh, maybe 9-10 pm a few nights a week and get in the habit of texting me when they are headed home:).

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Filed under Family, Lifestyle, Parenting, Randomness

Please Stop!

The posts about the arrogant, narcissistic, plastic, CEO and his clothing company need to end.

I agree, the brand is crap and he appears to be an amoral person. However, in the last week he has gained more media exposure than anyone could buy. I can’t imagine the number of mentions that company has had on social media – priceless. (And I have to wonder if this whole thing isn’t the brainchild of a media firm.) Yes, most of us consider the press to be negative, but buzz is buzz. And there are people who aren’t turned off by an elitist brand. You remember them from high school. Those who lived to be seen with the right people in the right clothes. They don’t change when they grow up. And often they raise their kids to be just like them. Not judging or knocking them, just telling it like it is. This media storm has just solidified the brand.

I know there is a movement to “change the brand.” But, stop for a minute and think about the message behind that approach. So to change the image from the “beautiful people” lets find the opposite to wear his clothing. Yeah, lets find some really unattractive people! I know, let’s go to Skid Row and give them the clothes! That’ll show ‘em!

Really? So just because someone is down on their luck, desperate, we can use them to make our point? Like our dog we put a costume on at Halloween; despite the humiliation? Are we really OK with that? Do we want to say to an entire group of people, “Hey you’re the opposite of beautiful. Here’s a free shirt, wear it so we can make a point.”?

I’m not OK with that.

How about, we just stop talking about him?

Stop mentioning this company?

Stop buying the clothes.

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Filed under Intention, Randomness, The State of Affairs

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time this girl had a blog….and she wrote pretty regularly. Sometimes she was really poignant and serious and sometimes she was kinda funny. She wrote a lot about her family and a little about creativity. She loved to write and blog posts seemed to come to her everywhere. She had a hard time capturing all the ideas as quickly as they came. There was always another post swirling in her head.

And then one day she realized it’s been weeks since she posted. {She thought it had been longer actually!} What could have happened to distract her from her writing she wondered. Hmmm….let’s see.

January sucked!

That pretty much sums it up.

It seems like January is always a tough month. We have lots of family birthdays and when the kids were little that meant parties. And of course it’s Pinewood Derby month. It was just always crazy. This year, it was a different kind of crazy. Like sad crazy. Two of my uncles passed away in January. And it kind of threw me for a loop. Their deaths brought up all kinds of things I would rather not think about. I traveled back home to my parents for both funerals just two weeks apart. That’s not right. And we sandwiched a soccer tournament 7 hours away the weekend in between. Throw in a kid with the flu and three weeks later another one home sick for a week. Some parent teacher conferences that went less than smashingly. It was just rough.

Now it’s the middle of February. Wow! Time to pull this year together, get intentional.

Time to put the craziness to bed and get back on track. Here’s to good news and positive attitudes!

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Sometimes it’s Hard

Life.

Being a good mom. wife. daughter. friend.

Helping with kids’ activities.

Keeping my house clean and organized.

Helping kids pick careers and colleges.

Managing daily schedules.

Helping kids navigate living away from home.

Trying to support them when they feel lost.

Motivating them when they can’t seem to find it on their own.

Challenging them to write a better English paper.

Making sure there is something for dinner. or breakfast.

Trying to eat healthier.

Scheduling doctor appointments.

Deciding whether to refinance the house.

Finding time to be creative.

Feeling guilty when I can’t do it all.

Making time for things that feed my soul.

Working full-time.

Doing my job well.

Giving 100%.

Alway feeling like I’ve forgotten something.

Hiring new staff.

Being present in the moment.

Covering for open positions.

Trying to make the biggest impact.

Remembering why I do what I do.

It’s so much.

Acknowledging the troubles I have are small.

Loving myself enough.

Knowing I am not alone.

Realizing I am so blessed.

And still feeling overwhelmed.

Sometimes life is hard.

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Losing My Voice

It’s not from being sick. Or maybe it is. But I definitely lost my voice.

I haven’t written in weeks. Several. And it doesn’t feel right.

So bear with me while I try to find it again.

This fall brought such change to our lives. I know you empty nesters are thinking – you have no idea! But it was a big change for us. For me really. Not that I’m not coping with things. Just that life has seemed to take an incredible amount of energy. It has taken my all to manage all of the things going on for our family. I’m not complaining, anything but! We are very blessed and this transition is as it should be. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the school year for all three boys. Life is really good. But it is definitely a full-time commitment!

In all the hustle and bustle of the fall, I haven’t really had time to write. Or I haven’t taken time to write. Actually, I think it’s that I haven’t had any complete thoughts since sometime in August. Ya, its sad. But true.

I have two ways of writing on my blog. Either I formulate the post in my head, usually while I’m driving or showering. {I sure wish someone would develop a way for me to capture the brilliant ideas that come to me in the shower!} Sometimes,  can remember enough of my thoughts to actually get them on paper {or screen} before they are gone forever. Or, I sit down at the computer and spew out whatever is on my mind. Both of these methods require some amount of thought. {I know, that’s shocking considering some of my posts:)} So I think that’s the key. I haven’t completed any thoughts.

But the last thing I want is to stop writing! I get so much out of putting words to my feelings and experiences. I love to tell the stories of our family’s ridiculous life! So I’m taking some of the advice I give my kids quite often.

  1. If something matters to you, you will make time for it. This blog and my writing matter, so I’m re-committing to spending time on both.
  2. Sometimes you have to go through the motions until your heart follows. When I sat down to write today there was nothing in my head – Be Nice! So its time to free flow the words and see what comes.
  3. Just start. Things can seem big, way big and they can overwhelm you if you think too much about them. You can plan and analyze things to death. But at some point, unless you start, you will never accomplish anything. So, you have to just start.

There you have it. My attempt at getting back in the game. Picking up the proverbial pen and putting it to paper. It ain’t pretty, but it’s a start.

And I think I’ll file it under Randomness!

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Filed under Advice, Randomness

My Heart is Full

I just spent the weekend working and my heart is full. I think I’ve mentioned before, I work for the National MS Society. I love my job and this weekend is one of the reasons why!

Our Chapter hosted a couples retreat for people living with MS. I spent the weekend with 40 people living with an unpredicatable disease, who care enough about their relationship to do some hard work. They spent time talking about the tough stuff; how frustrating it is to have to carry more than your share of the housework, how sad it is to not be able to walk hand in hand, how scary it is to not know what lies ahead for the one they love. They talked about feelings of guilt, anxiety, resentment. All the emotions that come with living with a chronic, unpredictable disease.

They also celebrated the gifts they have been given. They shared the blessings that have come from living with this disease. They supported and encouraged each other. They confirmed their commitment to face their future together, whatever it may look like.

MS affects every person differently. Many people don’t show any outward signs or symptoms, but deal with extreme fatigue, painful “pins and needles” or numbness that no one can see. Others deal with a continuous progression of symptoms leading them to become dependent on mobility devices, and eventually dependent on others for their daily needs. No one knows which course of this disease is in their future. They must plan for the worst and pray for the best, taking each day in stride. I really don’t know how I would handle that situation. I fear it would not be with grace.

 It is so very easy to take my life for granted. It is easy to get wrapped up in my own universe; to be so caught up in my life that I forget to give thanks. It is easy to get my shorts in a knot over the small stuff; to think my problems are big. It’s not that my problems are insignificant, it is about seeing them for what they are- challenges that can be managed. I think perspective is a gift and I appreciate the opportunity to gain some every now and then.

 I feel blessed to have been a part of this weekend and met so many wonderful people. I am grateful for the work I am able to do and proud of the people I work with who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. committed colleagues who work long hours and many who have dedicated their careers to improving the quality of life for people living with MS. They inspire me and motivate me. And programs like this weekend remind me how fortunate I am to do the work I do. It’s humbling.

If you want to be a part of making a difference you can join the movement with me! www.MSmidamerica.org Ride your bike, volunteer, donate, get involved!

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Filed under Randomness, Thankful