Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Hand knitted socks (from my Memere) & LLbean boots---a sign of a real New England winter! 

Sledding at Landry Park in my hometown.
The last days of 2012 are upon us. . .I have to say, this year has had its challenges but by & large, it's been pretty good.   We've enjoyed our week in Vermont & it's as though the fates don't want us to leave----an additional 8" of snow has fallen over the past 24 hours & the roads aren't that great.  Our normal 13 hour drive (fully packed car with 2 dogs & one child) was looking like it could be 15+ hours.  Not our idea of fun, so since we're not on any sort of real schedule, why not stay an extra day.    Sunshine is thrilled to have one more day with Memere.  My Mom is awesome & goes outside to play in the snow with Sunshine.  It's time that I know Sunshine will look back on & smile one day.  More sledding is on the agenda for this afternoon, as well as the Patriots game.  

As I look toward the New Year, I can't help but think about my resolutions.  Both for 2012 & 2013. Looking back on my 2012 resolutions, I found the following from my 1st post of 2012:

.  My official New Year's Resolution is to give up guilt---feeling guilty about saying no to things.  While I was with Kristine today, I decided that my knitting goals would be to have no UFO's (hear that Cascade Fixation footies???  And that box stitch baby blanket??? Circa 2008.  I'm looking at you!) this year.  I'm going to finish the socks & have accepted that one of two things will happen to the blanket.  Obviously.  Well, 3 things could happen--1) leave it be.  2)  Finish it or. . .3) frog it.  I've decided that if I finish it, great.  If I frog it (it's maybe 4".  Maybe), that's fine too.  The baby in question is now 3 years old.  I don't know anyone else having a baby & unless I donate it (see how I play upon my own guilt?  Donate it---that's the right thing to do!) there's really no need to finish it.  We'll see what it's final fate will be.

Looking back, eh.  I didn't finish my UFOs.  I'm thisclose to finishing my baby blanket, which I've decided will be donated to the hospital on post.  My socks?  I'll get them done.  I don't feel guilty about not finishing my UFOs so I guess one resolution stuck!   

I also gave up fast food for New Year's this year.  Aside from the monthly fundraiser for Sunshine's school & the occasional road trip food, I've stuck to it.  And I really don't miss it.   I also gave up Diet Coke which was major.  

I've been trying to come up with resolutions/goals for this year & after much thought came up with the following:  

1) Finish all FOs. I'm so close, it would be ridiculous to let them sit yet another year!
2) Continue with healthy choices.   I'm never going to be one of those super strict, uber clean eating people.  And that's okay.  As my nutritionist says, "you have to live"  I will eat birthday cake at Sunshine's friends birthday parties.  I will have the occasional lime tootsie roll dipped in salt.  And wine & cocktails.  But I need to continue to balance them with healthy foods.  I don't need seconds of things.  I don't need to overload my plate like it's my last meal.
3) This one's long:    a year & a half ago, I severed a relationship with someone whom I considered to be a close friend.  Her girls were friends with Sunshine.  It was a difficult thing to do, but I look back & know that in my heart, it was the right thing to do.  This was a person who used people.  If you could watch her children, you were her friend.  If you told her things she waned to hear, you were her friend.   Those people who had told her the truth about her children were kicked to the side & talked about.  And I'm not going to lie---I talked about former friends with her.   I'm sure she talks about me to those people she used to talk about but who are now her closest friends.   Until the next "friend" comes along.  
This past year I deleted these two women as FB friends.  If I wouldn't associate with you in public, why are we FB friends?
Which leads me to this year.   I've reached a point in my life where the only people I want around my family are those people who lift us up.  Who are there for us in good times & bad.  People who we can support in good times & bad.  Wow, sounds like we're looking for sister wives!  
But seriously, this week with my family has been wonderful---no drama, no fighting, no nonsense.  When I was growing up, one of my Mom's sisters was always creating drama.  New Year's Day is big in my Mom's family---the 5 siblings who lived locally would meet at either my Memere's house or my uncle's with all their kids.  I'm the youngest of 22 grandchildren & only 3 didn't live within an hours drive.  We're talking big gathering.
Anyway, everyone walked on eggshells on New Year's Day because Aunt J was always mad at someone.  Would she show up?  Would she talk to her newest target? 
When my Aunt J died in 2009, my Mom admitted that she regretted keeping the peace in trying to appease Aunt J.  That she & her siblings should have told J that if she wanted to keep starting "stuff" she could leave them out of it.  
Hindsight & my Mom are wise.
So, 2013:  no UFOs, healthy choices & no nonsense!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snow Day!

"Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery"  Bill Watterson

If this Calvin & Hobbes quote is to be believed, then my child is about 70 cents richer.  I don't know how we're going to get her to come inside long enough to eat lunch!  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Kit arrives for Christmas '12

             You know your child is so excited by her present that she's a blur in pictures!   

Hectic holiday travel & all that goes with it aside, we're enjoying a wonderful, stress-free holiday in beautiful snowy Vermont.  My husband, daughter & I are together.    We're enjoying being with family.   Merry Christmas, indeed!

Saturday, December 15, 2012




noun, plural re·spon·si·bil·i·ties.
the state or fact of being responsible.
an instance of being responsibleThe responsibility for this mess is yours!
a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsiblethe responsibilities of authority.
a person or thing for which one is responsibleA child is a responsibility to its parents.
reliability or dependability, especially in meeting debts or payments. 

There are times when being responsible stinks.  Hunter's father is sick, again.  We live several states away & I know that at times it bothers Hunter that he isn't there to help out more.  He does what he can when we visit but I know his sense of responsibility kicks in & goes into overdrive when he hears about things not going smoothly for them.

Like now.

His dad is going through another round of chemo & asked if Hunter would go up there to help out.  Of course, he said yes.  These are his parents, after all.   Monday makes a week that he left.

Sunshine misses her Daddy.  A lot.  He missed more than half of her life by the time she was 4.  That's a significant amount of time to miss.  Especially when it's your only child.   

Yesterday my heart broke for those poor families who were torn apart in Connecticut.  I'm not going to get on my soapbox about anything regarding it other than if you have a heart, keep this community in your prayers, thoughts, vibes, whatever you do.   I'm convinced there's a special place in hell for anyone who would knowingly kill a child, mentally disturbed or not.

In the midst of so much sadness I found myself at school for Sunshine's Drama Kids presentation.  Our principal & his wife were there as their oldest is in Sunshine's group.  We were talking before the kids got started & he confided in me that Sunshine told him that she missed her Daddy.  

My heart, which had already been torn apart all day, was truly broken.  I managed not to cry but it makes me so sad that my poor girl is missing her Daddy.  Hasn't she spent enough time away from him in her little life?  I know kids are resilient.  She's shown me that time & time again.  I know she'll be okay but still,  my poor sweet girl.  I hurt when she hurts.  I hate that he missed her Christmas Show.  He'll get to see it on DVD but it's not the same as being there.

I don't blame Hunter for going to help his parents---I would do the same thing for my Mom.  It's the least we can do for our families.

But I wish I had a magic wand to make her sadness go away.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Proceed With Caution

Sunshine & friends performing "Back To The Drawing Board" in the Christmas Show
I've been counting down to today.  The last day of Secret Santa Shop, the 2012 Christmas Show performed, applauded & ended.  And it's here.  Granted, it's early in the day but I'm proceeding with caution.  I'm heading into school in a little while to help out in the SSS, get the bank deposits ready for yesterday & today and then helping to break down the shop before picking Sunshine up from Drama Kids.

Tonight we're going to dinner to celebrate the show & the birthday of one of Sunshine's friends.  Tomorrow we have a birthday party to attend & then we are truly in the home stretch of Christmas Break.  I can see the light ahead of me!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Counting Down To Friday

There's this mantra in my head. . .if I make it to Friday.  If I make it to Friday, everything will be okay.

I'm not just riding the crazy train this week, I'm the engineer.    Or the porter, at the very least.

It started this past Friday.  I was getting ready to go up to school to decorate 90 some odd shirts with the 3rd graders for the Christmas Show which is this Thursday.  The PTA president calls me in a tizzy asking if I've heard that the music teacher has changed the costumes.

For the 3rd graders, the costumes are these shirts.  You know, that we're decorating in 2 hours.  Yeah, those.

Costume change.  Without letting us know.

Our music teacher is a really nice man.  The kids love him & he always does a great show, be it the Christmas Show, a presentation by the school chorus or a grade level performance at one of our PTA meetings.

That being said, he definitely marches to the beat of his own drum and doesn't share the OCD that those of us on the PTA board have.   The President & I approached him in early November about committing to a costume for the kids.  Her son and Sunshine are in this show as is the Secretary's daughter & another chair person's daughter.  We have a vested interest in this.  He agrees on the shirts which will be decorated.  We run with this--we wend home a letter asking parents to send in $5 for a long sleeve t shirt & holy cow, they sent in the money!  This doesn't happen all the time so it's clearly a Christmas miracle..  We order the shirts, they come in & we're going to decorate.

Do you get how pressing the decorating is??

So, he wants them to wear different costumes.  I fully admit to throwing a nutty & emailing  the principal, the 3rd grade teachers & the other PTA board members about how this simply CANNOT happen.  People, I ranted, I raved & yes, I threw a nutty.  As my husband says, my motto is "there is no reaction like an over-reaction"---in this case, it was warranted.

By 1030 I'm at school, with fabric paint, with 90 some odd shirts & all the other paraphernalia needed to decorate the shirts.  Somewhere around 1115, one of the teachers comes out into the hallway to ask if I've read my email as the principal has replied & is backing us up.

Don't make me pull a nutty!  I will win.

I leave school somewhere around 1230 to meet Hunter for lunch.  He's spending the next 2 weeks in VA with his family as his father is starting another round of chemo & has asked that Hunter shuttle him around.  One of the things I love about him (Hunter) is his devotion to his family & his compassionate nature.  I know some of it is the medic in him but a lot of it is just who he is.

We went back to school to set up Secret Santa Shop (SSS).  I got home at 5 & was totally exhausted.  Sadly, Sunshine's elf had left a challenge for her on Sunday---if she did her homework when she was supposed to & with out fuss, listened to us & did what she was asked, when she was asked & if she picked up her toys when asked, she'd get a prize on Friday.   Well, my little goal oriented child did all three things & was rewarded with a trip to the National Infantry Museum to see The Polar Express at their IMAX theater that night.  We went to dinner & then to the 7:15 show.  I wasn't able to sleep during the movie because I was too busy boo-hooing over the fact that like Hero Boy, Sunshine is on the cusp of not believing anymore.  She has a sleigh bell that we gave her when she was 3 & first saw the movie.  She'll shake it & tell me that she hears it ring & do I hear it ring??  But she's almost 9---it's coming.

Saturday we pulled off our Small Business Saturday/Craft Fair event but it was very eh.  We were in competition with a parade downtown & a festival at a local antique/junk shop.  Next year, we're planning on doing it in November.

Sunday was spent doing laundry & helping Hunter to pack.

Which brings us to today.   We finished the last class' t shirts & then I ran to Hobby Lobby for some AG sized ceramic pots to go with Kit's Cookstove for Sunshine.  To be truthful, I'm not even sure when we're giving this to her.  Valentine's maybe? Or her birthday.

We're full gear on SSS this week.  The PTA Secretary & another mom are running it which was a tremendous help.  They both ran it at their old schools so we're doing some things differently this year---everything being wrapped for instance.  Our only concern is that they don't have enough items.  The VP & I are a little worried but if they wind up having to buy more stuff, so be it.

I'm working the SSS on Tuesday & Wednesday, all day.   Should be interesting.  And then, Thursday night is the Christmas Show.  See why I'm holding out for Friday?

It is coming, right??

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


As in 10 years married.   Today is our 10th wedding anniversary.  Ten years doesn't seem like a lot in the course of a lifetime, but it is.

In our 10 years that we've been married (11 that we've been together), we've faced:

1 move (apartment to our own home)
the loss of 3 grandparents
the loss of 1 parent
the birth of one child
3 dogs & the loss of 1
4 cars
3 combat tours
numerous TDYs
1 trip to Paris
2 beach trips to Florida
1 trip to Disney (Sunshine & I took a trip with friends but I"m not counting that one)
numerous trips to family in VA & VT
a few "holy cow, was I mad at you!" fights
a few "I am SO so so sorry" make ups
6 years of sharing a sink in the master bath
3 years of having our own sinks! (trust me, this one?  This one's a big deal)

I'm not going to say every single moment was pure bliss.  It wasn't.  If it was, I'd wonder what was going on.  There were days it was hard &  But it was right.  And it was good.  And I wouldn't trade it for anything.  There were nay-sayers who said it wouldn't last.  Who quoted statistics regarding second marriages.

The funny thing about statistics; there's always someone proving them wrong.

I love you, Hunter & always will.  Thank you for putting up with me for the past 11 years.  You mean the world to me!  xox