Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dear Barack Obama,

CC:  Harry Reid, John Boehner, members of Congress

I suppose this doesn't make sense to you as you get paid no matter what.  Congress automatically gets pay raises & really, there's never been a President of the United States who has refused his pay during his time in office.  Members of the military (and other federal employees) don't have that luxury.  They do a lot of work for very little pay.  The military especially.  When was the last time any of you spent 12 months in a combat zone for less than 60k?  Yes, I understand many of you are retired military & I thank you for your service.  But you're not living on that retirement salary now, are you?

Some military families (like mine) are.
And we rely on that salary for our mortgage, car payment, groceries, general cost of living.  I'm not including fun stuff like vacations---we save for those & avoid using credit cards at all costs.  But my husband's retirement & SSDI pay?  Everything to us.

As the wife of a combat veteran, I've known my fair share of anguish & angst.  I know what it's like to wake up fearing what the day might bring based on where he was.  But, I have NEVER woken up consistently with the fear of where our money is going to come from like I have in the past 12 months.  What gives?  I believe that my husband served with honor & fulfilled HIS obligations to serve.  Swore to support & defend the Constitution, obey the orders of the President, etc.  And while you didn't return him in the exact same condition as when he left us, I'm okay with that.  Sort of.  I don't really blame you.


I do blame you for the worrying & fretting that's going on in my house.  I blame you for  not getting your heads out of your you-know-whats & working together.  I blame you for making our country look like a bunch of willy nilly spendthrifts.  And I'm going to blame you come election day.   Forgive & forget isn't an option when it comes to my (and my family's) standard of living.  And when it comes to me worrying.  Because I can do that all on my own, thankyouverymuch.

So get your acts together, get money to the people who so deserve it & don't forget, Nov. 2012 is just around the corner.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Universe

Have you heard of Notes from The Universe ?   They send me a lovely email every day.  Some of them aren't relevant, but some days (most) they really hit home.  Today's message was:

It's not that you worry, laurie, but that you care. A lot.

And knowing this difference can make such a difference, because then you can also remember that caring is my specialty, that every life unfolds in the palm of my hand, and that not one second of eternity is ever revealed that I haven't carefully prepared.

    The Universe

I do worry about things.  A lot.  I'm convinced there was something in my epidural but really, the worrying goes back further than that.  Maybe there was something in that first Communion host from when I made my First Communion.  Maybe it's being raised Catholic.  Who knows.  And it's not that I don't pray.  I do.  I know people who are all "it's in God's hands" and I agree, it is.  But that still doesn't take away from the worrying.  Or caring.  A lot.

Today's worry was e to school on time to help with the packets that will be handed out on Verification Day.  Would we have enough volunteers?  How long will it take?  Needless worry.

My alarm went off & I turned it off rather than hit snooze.  Needless to say, I overslept & woke up when I heard Hunter running the water in our bathroom while he was brushing his teeth.  I looked at the clock & went into full crazy mommy mode.  "Sunshine, you need to get up & eat so we can get to school"  I ate standing up, poured some Diet Coke (with a DC I can accomplish ANYTHING) into my Red Sox cup, threw on some clothes & a ball cap & we were out the door.

Turns out there were 5 of us putting packets together & we were done in just over an hour.  Not too bad.  Why did I worry again?

My new worry is Saturday's Beautification Day.  Will enough people show up?  Is it going to rain?  How long is it going to take?  Do these people know how much I loathe yard work??

Totally irrational, right?  It's not that I worry, it's just that I care.  A lot.

I'm printing out today's message from The Universe & keeping it in my wallet & PTA note book.   Maybe on the visor in my car, too.

And bathroom mirror.

And. . .

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The big wind down

of summer vacation, that is.  
School lets out early in Georgia (3rd week of May) & starts early as well (first full week of August).  As parents, we've discussed why don't they go back in September but that would mean getting out in June.  Which is incredibly hot.  And really, September is still hot. It's hot in August.  And hot in April.  Truth be told, it's hot here more than 6 months of the year.  Have I mentioned how much I love Fall & Winter?  And how I feel cheated every year when our "fall" lasts a week?  We're the family who pray for snow in the winter.  

So, we're gearing up for the new school year.  Just a few more things & Sunshine's school supply list will be complete.  I bought her new backpack & lunch box back in June when PB Kids was running a sale on them.  They are way too cute. We've gone through her closet to see what still fits & what we need to buy for the beginning of school.  When we were driving to VT, we stopped at the Bass outlet & picked up a cute pair of school shoes as well as gold (GOLD!!!!) boat shoes for when it turns a little cooler & she's able to wear jeans & a sweater without having heat stroke.  Did I mention they're GOLD?  And did I mention that I got a pair in my size?  GOLD BOAT SHOES, PEOPLE!  For when it turns a little cooler & I can wear jeans & a sweater without having heat stroke.  Oh, won't those shoes be too cute at PTA meetings??!! 

Speaking of PTA, we've had our first meeting & have some new parents who are very excited to get involved, which is great.  I won't have a Co-Chair this year, which is fine.  My old Co's husband was offered a job in the Orlando area (jealous!!! But only for the proximity to Disney & the Gulf Coast/Anna Maria Island) so off they went.  I'm also jealous of their gorgeous new home!  

Our PTA's FB group is totally up & running as well.  Lots of interest & hopefully it continues throughout the year.  I know people who think FB is the devil & nothing good can come from it, but I think it'a medium that can be used for good.  And not just Farmville type good.  We're able to get information to parents quickly & hopefully get even more people involved with our school.  Our PTA is great--very active & lots of volunteers, but no matter how many people you have who are willing to help, it never seems like it's enough.  

Speaking of volunteers, I've got to email our Partners in Education to see if I can get some of them to volunteer at our first Book Fair in September.  Again, it's never enough no matter how many people you have.  Especially on the day we set up!  And I need to contact the Coca Cola Space Science Center downtown to see what we can do with them as the Book Fair this fall has a space theme.  Yes, I'll take pictures if things go well!

So, as summer winds down, we're enjoying the pool, sleeping in & are planning an Atlanta trip for some back to school shopping & a trip to the zoo.  As long as it isn't too hot.   Maybe we'll go in November.

Have a wonderful week & hopefully things aren't melting in your part of the country!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Home, Sweet Home

Just some of the highlights of our vacation. . .

The idea of crossing the Mason Dixon Line fills me with joy knowing I'm "home" up North.  I have this bizarre love/hate thing for the state of Pennsylvania.  Once we're across the MDLine I'm excited because we're up North, officially.  The farms that dot the landscape & the mountains make me giddy & remind me of home, but as we continue on I-81 I find myself cursing the state for being so.incredibly.long.  Or so it seems.  Especially in the winter.

*sigh*  Main Street in Burlington.  You can see the lake & Adirondack Mountains from here.  And the sunsets?  Amazing.   And yes, that is Nectar's on the right hand side.  Best fries with gravy, ever!

Sunshine is a huge fan of street performers, so Church Street is a never ending source of entertainment for her.  This guy was incredible, weird mask thing aside.  

The Church Street Marketplace.   Love. it.  

Sunshine all decked out for the 4th of July, waiting for the clouds to pass & the sun to go down so the fireworks would start.  This was the 2nd time we were able to watch them from the Melosira.   It's a great location but the walk up the hill to our car was UGH!

Sunshine on her first ski lift ride---she loved it!  She also loved the Alpine Slide.  I was nervous as the first trip down (we had 3) as she went down in the run ahead of mine.  The whole way down I was panicking.  I was convinced I'd see that my poor sweet girl had fallen off the slide & got hurt on the track.  Nope,  she flew down that thing & had a blast on subsequent runs.  

Stowe, VT.  'Nuf said.  

When I was a little girl & would see these little waterfalls coming down the rock formations on the side of the road, I was convinced that fairies lived behind them.   They do, right?

Sunshine with her "big boy" cousins, T & C.  She had so much fun with them, especially C.  And we are so very proud of T, who as a junior in high school has been offered a scholarship to Clarkson University.  Yes, as a junior!  After talking to my older brother (his uncle), he's decided to wait & see what offers come to him as a senior, because as Uncle Michael said "if this is what they're offering you as a junior, imagine what they'll offer as a senior."   Both boys are pretty incredible  guys all around.  

My cousin & her daughter planned a trip from central NY state just to see Sunshine & I.  Don't you hate when everyone in the picture leans & you're the only one sitting upright & look 18 feet tall??

Today's been a wonderful first day home.  We all slept in until 9 which was great.  Hunter took Sunshine out to lunch & to Monkey Joes to play so I could have some quiet time & get some things done around the house.   All I've really done is laundry, clean out the drawers in the bathroom & watch reruns of 90210.  I guess that counts as quiet time, right?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vacation's all I ever wanted

Remember the Go-Go's song?  The video?  Back when summer vacation was lazy?  We're having a wonderful vacation thus far.

Sunshine & I left for VT two weeks ago & while we've had a wonderful time visiting everyone, we're ready to be home with Hunter & sleeping in our own beds.   

Happy Wednesday & I'll update soon!  xox

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Greetings from Vermont!  Sunshine & I arrived late Thursday night.  We were in Hagerstown, MD doing a little shopping & were headed to Gettysburg when she decided she didn't want to go to Gettysburg & could we just drive to Memere's now?  We made excellent time despite construction on I-81, ridiculous traffic further up I-81 (seriously, I have no  idea why we were doing 40 mph other than some people are insane) and  slow moving traffic on route 149 in NY state.    We're having a great time visiting with Memere &enjoyed the Burlington fireworks display last night on board the   Melosira


Hope you & yours have a safe & happy 4th of July!