Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I am heartbroken.

My best friend, Alecia, is moving five hours north to "The County" due to her husband's new job promotion. Alecia and I met when she was waitressing and I was still being irresponsible and frequenting the local tavern for fun. We hit it off quickly and soon we were each other's closest confidants. We have been there for each other through horrible relationships, but both got to stand next to each other at our weddings to wonderful men. We were also there for each other during the amazing births of both of our daughters. During the last year we have been fortunate enough to be home at the same time with our kids, which brought us even closer. We have been able to help each other whenever needed, spend many mornings drinking coffee and pretending that we had nothing to do, and have had many wonderful opportunities to have lots of fun with our families together.

We've known about her "possible" move for a while now. Alecia is officially moving in the next few weeks. I can't stop crying. Our husbands feel bad for us, because they know how close we are, but I don't think they understand how close. I have had many dear friends in my life so far. I should be grateful that Alecia has been so special. I just have this sinking feeling that a huge piece of me is walking away. I feel so selfish, because I am secretly (not anymore) frustrated that she won't be close by after my baby is born this winter. We are both bothered because she and I have invested so much into our friendship and we do not feel like trying to find another person to fill the void (I'm not sure anyone could.) She truly is my "soul friend" as cheesy as that may sound.

I'm only going to allow myself to feel bitter and depressed for a short time longer. I really am grateful to have her in my life and I know that she will continue to be there for years to come. When we retire we are each going to own RVs and travel around to our children's colleges to embarrass them. I wish for everyone to experience the type of friendship that I have with Alecia. She has helped me to laugh more, love more, and to focus on the positive things in life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New York City, Here We Come!

My best friend Alecia and I are about to embark on an adventure. We are taking three individuals with disabilities on a trip to New York City! Laurel, who lives with my family and is going on the trip, keeps saying "New York City, here we come!"

Having watched every episode of Sex and the City, Alecia and I have envisioned what our trip to NYC could be like: Shopping for shoes, brunch, and whichever cultural experiences we prefer (Phantom of the Opera and club-hopping!)

Upon realizing the reality of the NYC experience that our fellow travelers would enjoy, we decided that we should probably come up with some alternate plans. So far we have purchased tickets to see Mary Poppins at a Sunday afternoon matinee and have made reservations at a Marriott Hotel in Brooklyn to be away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. The group will be thrilled to see the Statue of Liberty, visit Coney Island, and explore the Museum of Natural History.

Alecia and I are grateful to be able to travel with such wonderful people and know full well that, although it's not the Sex and the City-like fantasy trip we initially imagined, the trip will undoubtedly be a trip we'll never forget.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ode to Hal

I love him, I do.
Easter was quite the event this year, as most holidays in our family are. Hal endured the scavenger hunt that the "Easter Bunny" created, visits with Grandparents, two separate egg hunts and a family photo session. I've decided that most men are just not programmed to be excited about these types of activities. Overall, the day was delightful. Hal managed to stay quite cheerful and slipped in several comic relief acts. My favorite act of the day was documented by our camera set up on a tri-pod in the living room. I was in the other room fighting with the girls to have clean faces and semi-reasonable hair in order to capture a decent family picture. Hal was apparently bored and decided to make sure the camera was set up to capture our whole couch so no one would be cut out of the picture. I must say that his photo shoot has made me laugh to myself on several occasions. I am grateful for his sense of humor when I am too uptight to have one myself. It does put things into perspective!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Keep Your Family Close

My Aunt Fran died suddenly this week while on a boat in Hawaii, where she lived. She was in her mid-fifties and was living life to it's fullest. I am grateful that she was with her long time love and her closest friends when she passed away.

The last time I saw Aunt Fran was six years ago when I went to Hawaii for her 50th Birthday bash. It was a rare opportunity for me to travel with my Dad and spend time with Fran and my other Aunt, Mary Lou. Fran was not able to come to my wedding three years ago and never met my husband and girls.

I have been so incredibly sad this week knowing that I hadn't spoken to Fran in so long and that my family will not have the chance to meet her. This event has made me realize that I take it for granted that I have such a wonderful family. I have never been good about corresponding, but I want to be able to remember the last conversation I've had with a close family member when the time comes that there won't be a next conversation. My family will be hearing a lot more from me from now on, whether they like it or not!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Does Having A Family Mean Losing My Identity?

My seven year old stepdaughter has taken a sudden interest in learning about me. She just recently began asking me all sorts of random questions about myself. What embarrassing things have happened to me? What are my hobbies? What's my favorite thing to eat? Emily's question and answer series has made me realize that I don't know much about myself anymore!

I tried to think back to when I was most myself. I don't know. I was shy and awkward growing up. In high school I always managed to have a friend or two from the popular crowd or the cool crowd that gave me just enough confidence to be somewhat outgoing with people. In college, when there weren't as many social pressures, I gained even more confidence, but still managed to mold myself to whatever was going on around me. I moved to Maine, endured two serious relationships, briefly dated several guys that were totally wrong for me, and finally settled down with my husband and started a family.

My husband has NOT lost his identity. He hunts, fishes, sees his "buddies" frequently, and falls asleep on the couch watching TV. I, on the other hand, work, clean, cook, keep the kids busy, and sleep. Where did I go? What do I like to do for fun? It is not Hal's fault that I've completely ignored myself, but it is his duty to help me as I regain my identity.

This year I am going to rediscover myself! I have started by going to the movies on a Thursday night with my girlfriends, reconnecting with old friends on Facebook, sewing, and drinking wine with friends on a Saturday evening, all while my husband handles everything! Talk about liberating!!! I encourage every woman who has completely devoted herself to nurturing everyone around her to stop and make sure that she's not disappearing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Goodbye Winter!

Spring Cleaning/Organizing Extravaganza 2009

This winter has been a long one. Having lived in Utah and Montana prior to moving to Maine, I figured I was accustomed to a good snowy winter. Well, I was wrong. After a winter full of freezing rain, Nor' Easters bringing 16-24 inches of snow per storm, and days on end of 0 degree temperatures I have never welcomed spring so openly!

Unfortunately, under all of the snow lies the yard that did not happen to be tended to before all of the snow came. I once heard my husband say "you worry about the inside honey and I'll take care of the outside." I reminded him of this statement and, thankfully as I type, he is outside cleaning out the garage and coming up with a strategy on how to reclaim our yard.

My inside job of organizing has been going on for the seven years that I've lived in this house. Roommates have come and gone, I've added a husband, two kids, and the woman I care for, which all means a lot of stuff to keep track of! I am proud to say that during this long winter I have managed to clean out every single drawer, closet, and cabinet in the entire house. I am the queen of "Clean Sweeping" and I finally feel as though I am nearing the enlightened state of being an organized person.

Unless I add a major addition to our house, there are no other possible spaces to store things. I still have those nagging items that just don't seem to belong anywhere. Since the addition is a five year plan I have decided to tackle round two of my organizing frenzy and focus on more efficiently storing all of the items that I have decided are worthy of staying in the house. I'm off to browse the online wonder store so called "The Container Store."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How Many Times Can I Say "Blog" in this blog?

Whoa! I had no idea that I was going to get sucked into the world of html tags and layout design when I decided to begin blogging. It all started when I was reading my friend Jenn's blog (the first blog I've EVER really read!) Her blog is so full of life! She has a great template, fun "blogs," and many pictures posted. Upon returning to my blog, I felt like I was looking at a bowl of oatmeal. Needless to say, I spent two hours last night reading how-to articles and searching for blog templates.

I went to bed at 11:00 pm and instantly fell deep into the dream world of blogs! I was trying to blog every thought in my dream. I was picturing layout boxes and kept rearranging the boxes, as if I was playing Tetris, to make them fit just right on my blog. It was crazy! I woke up repeatedly throughout the night and kept telling myself that my blog was just fine and did not need any more attention!

Today was a fresh start and I had much more success finding a template. I also figured out how to make a picture mosaic (an idea I stole from Jenn's blog!) I did manage to tear myself away from my computer for most of the day to have lunch with Hal's family and shop for the girl's Easter dresses. I started looking online for the dresses yesterday and I decided to force myself to go into one store and buy them without researching every store I could think of and agonizing over which dresses were the cutest. After all, I don't have as much time to think about that kind of thing now that I have blogging to dream about!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Really, Another Blog?

Ever since I quit my job last summer, my mind has been spinning out of control. At first I had so much information stored that I no longer needed. After a few months of restless nights full of the strangest dreams, I've seemed to let it all go. Whew!

The release of all of this information has left room in my brain for a large variety of new, wandering, and aimless thoughts, ideas, and day dreams!

I've finally decided that a blog just might be the perfect outlet for me. What a great way to sound off all of the randomness happening between my ears!

Here it goes, my first official blog entry:

I Need Some Focus!

I'm obsessed. What do I want to be when I grow up? Do we want to stay in this house, or is it time to move on? I need a bigger tent. I want to go on a road trip, a cruise, and make it back to Utah to spend time with my family. The girls need Easter dresses and swimsuits. What party theme should I go with for the girl's birthdays next month? I want to tear out the ugly bush in the front yard. Where do I stop?

Since being home full-time, I admit that I have much more time to think about all of these things. After I think about all of this stuff I feel guilty that I'm not thinking about more important things. Should I volunteer somewhere? I MUST finish college! I need to do more to help the environment. I feel ignorant about the big world around me. How am I going to make a positive mark?

I love my computer! I research all of the above topics and many more on a regular basis. I have decided that I am destined to use my computer to do whatever it is I am going to do. While this realization has provided a sense of focus for me, it has also opened a huge can of worms!

I plan to use this blog to keep track of the ideas that I've had and the solutions that I've come up with. I am not going to worry about what I write making sense or mattering to anyone else, but please feel free to add your two cents to anything I post!

I have to stop typing now. I could go on forever!