Thursday, September 11, 2014

I you? (where and what???)

September 11, 2001.

It's one of *those* days.

*those days that will forever be a before and after

* those days that you will always remember where you were and what you were doing

*those days that will forever define us as a nation, person, family member

*those days that remind us that there are horrible people in this world

It was 11 days before our wedding.

I was working as a Marketing and Admissions manager for a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility.

This was pre-HIPPA, so I left the house early to get up to the hospital, comb through a few prospective-admission charts and talk to some doctors as they did rounds. I also wanted to chat with some discharge planners before their morning meeting (which meant, I was there pretty darn early).  I left the hospital around 8:15, and decided to stop at Walgreen's to pick up a few odds and ends for our upcoming honeymoon trip.

I looked at the clock when I fired up my maroon Taurus- and thought about my brother and sister-in-law who were leaving Germany right about that very moment - headed to the US to attend our wedding.  I was excited to see them, and spend a few extra days with them before the wedding whirlwind swept us all away.

I made a quick phone call to a salon to get my nails done a few days prior to the wedding. Check that off the list.

I heard Rick Beckett and Scott Winters report that a plane had hit Tower 1.  At that point, they were speculating that it was a malfunctioning plane.

I got back to the facility within 10 minutes.  The news was on- there were residents watching the coverage.

That's when we saw Tower 2 get hit.

Silence fell.

There were no words.

This was no longer an accident.

                                                        We were under attack.

The looks on our resident's faces.

                                                                   The sheer disbelief.
                                                                                            Their fear.
                                                                                                          Their helplessness.

Then we heard about the Pentagon.

Then we heard about United flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania.

                                                                             What's next?

All flights were grounded.

                                                                       Where was my brother?

                                                                            Would his leave be cancelled?

                                                                                              What about our wedding?

What about our honeymoon plans?

                                                                       What a scary day.

I was supposed to travel to Sales Camp in Indiana for work that night.  A bunch of us from the region were slated to go.  I assumed it would be cancelled.

It wasn't.

We all traveled in silence.  In disbelief.

Where we tried to catch glimpses of news coverage in 5-10 minute breaks.  And then tried to focus on how to sell, sell, sell....numbers, numbers, numbers.  (Seriously, Heartland?!?!?!?  GAH!)

Later that night, I learned that my brother's flight was waiting on the tarmac, but never left the ground.  They were stuck on that plane for 6 hours waiting to take off; then had to go back to the base and report.

For a week, the skies were quiet.  The people were quiet.  The news was buzzing.

Here's what I learned from that day:

  • Others are scared too.  Never disqualify their fear as less than yours.
  • The most helpless people will probably be the most scared.  Try to find something- ANYTHING for them to do to feel helpful- even if it's tying patriotic ribbon to a pin for others to wear.
  • Sometimes the best-laid plans don't always work out the way we planned them.
  • Don't spend too much time and effort giving things that matter up for a company who only cares about the bottom line- and not the people who get them there.  Companies that mistreat their employees are not worth working for.
  • There are bad people in the world.  Do what you can to be smart about it, and then leave the rest to God.
  • God is still God.  God is still good.  No matter what.

Did you get that???

  • God is still God.  God is still good.  No.matter.what.

Where were you on that morning?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So....this is what I know.

I don't know much, but this is what I do know:

- we started school last week Tuesday.  Yes, we always start before public schools.  I'm grateful for it.  Having 2 4-day weeks to ease into the school year is helpful.

- Yes, I do have pictures.  No I'm not posting them yet.

- I find that the more we get into the school year, the more I love the parents I'm in a little community with.  Everyone dropping off and picking up...I love seeing them.

-  Dave and I watched the Divergent movie (sadly, I did not read the book first...I broke a cardinal rule), and now I find myself trying to figure out what faction I'd be in.  I think I'd go for Candor.  Only because I completely lack a filter.

-  In true PMD form, we all have colds.  This happens at the end of every first-week of school.  When the germ cesspool is in session.  It seems that I am the worst hit.... which is good for them, rough for me.

- My cell phone is a Piece. (yes, capital P).  I'm only getting about 1/2 of the texts meant for me, and approximately 1/3 of them are getting out.  Plus, it seems to be having a "memory issue.". Which is funny, because I cleaned it out and there's still no memory.  Sheesh.

-  Gutters were installed on the front of the Love Shack today.  And the back.  Tonight Dave did the first coat of stain on the newly-finished pillars.  We are literally ONE stain coat away from a finished front!  WOOHOO!

-  The inside is still largely unfinished.  It will remain so for a few more years.

-  Yes, years.

- I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The post in which I say a lot of nothing

I have a bunch of posts swirling around in this head of mine...

...but right now none of them really make sense.

Does that make sense?

What I will give you is a few observations as of late:

  • I think the world needs to make a few more unscheduled cameos in each other's lives.  And we need to make sure we make people comfortable when they make cameos.  I was gifted with this sweet hospitality Sunday night.  My friend has the gift of hospitality and of making people feel comfortable.  I appreciate that.

  • I think the world needs less passive aggressive facebook posts, conversations, and texts in general.  If you have something to say, say it.  Say it TO WHOM you need to.  Be done with it.

  • The world needs people to be nicer to each other.

  • Perhaps the world needs less facebook in general.  (?)

  • The other day, my husband was talking about how I lack filter with my words.  I later informed him that I DO filter my words...and that if he actually heard the words that don't make it out of my mouth, he would be ...what's the word.... frightened?  Appalled?  Terrified?  Entertained?  Yes, I'm a straight-shooter....and I'm honest.  This is scary to a lot of people.  BUT, I do tame my words.  And I do not lack empathy.  So...that's me.

  • Dave and I took the Meyers-Briggs personality test.  I am ENFP, he is all-the-way ISTJ.  Can we say opposites attract?  I knew our personalities before (hello...we've been married for almost 13 years), but it has helped me take a step back in our conversations and help me see things from his point of view.  Or at least, it helps me tailor my words so he will better understand where I'm coming from.  It also helps me figure myself out better. :)

  • Some of my favorite kids go off to college this year. Some just got engaged to be married.  Some are just moving far far away to start their careers after graduation. I'm excited for them to begin their lives, but holy cow.... if that doesn't give a fresh bit of enjoy-today-for-these-days-go-fast, I don't know what does.  Some of these kids I remember teaching art to in 3rd and 4th grades.  One I remember in pig-tails so vividly....oye.

  • Our church has a new pastor.  And new people.  And some old people.  Either way, I'm encouraged.

  • Do you know anyone looking for a 5 bedroom house in my area?  There's a great one that will be on the market shortly.  Great neighbors!  (Must have children and be normal- yes, there WILL be a screening process...)

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Oh, my dear sweet middle child.

How is it that seven years have passed since the day of your birth?


So much has happened in your little lifetime,

and yet, your life is still just beginning.

You are right in the middle of your childhood,

and you're dedicated to enjoying every minute of it.

You add a level of fun and chaos that no one else does.

You keep us on our toes.

You keep us laughing.

You keep me sighing.

You remind me to be patient.

You love music.

You love to laugh.

You're up for...well, just about...anything.

You are task-oriented, and love to be helpful.

You appreciate small things.

Even something as small as spoons from Mr. Bahr on your summer birthday.

You can find joy anywhere.

Even in a corn box.

or with hats...

ANY hat.  :)

You are giving and thoughful of others.

You attract attention wherever you go.


As the middle child, 

you take your role very seriously.

You are equal parts

pesky-little brother

big brother's fan,

protective loving big-brother, 

and I'll-teach-her-a-thing-or-two big brother.

You love and respect your dad with a fierceness that few other children your age understand.

And you melt my heart.

My sweet boy,

On this, your seventh birthday, I just want to say a few things to you.  (And, you about it for the world to see as well.)  You are such a gift.  Your presence- whether crazy insane, or calm and focused, always carries a warmth with it.  Everyone is a friend, and everyone is included.  You have such a big heart, and you love people with a fierceness that is unparalleled.  You try hard, work hard and play hard.  In everything, you give your all.  I love you for that.  For all of it.

As you continue to grow (side note:  please stop...just for a bit...or slow down the heart breaks a little bit with every birthday...), I pray that you will always know who you are.  I pray that you will always know Who you can turn to, and that God is always with you.  I love how much you love God, and I pray that you will always continue to grow.  I hope that you will always be thoughtful of others and continue to have a generous heart.

My promise to you as you grow, in years past, today - your birthday - and in the future, is that I will always be here for you.  With a warm hug, with a prayer, with a smile...or even a box of tissues.  I promise to pray for you - without ceasing.  I promise to keep teaching you about God and His unending love for you.  

I promise to be your biggest fan.  

Today is your seventh birthday.  Seven years ago (right around this very minute) we first laid eyes on each other.  My heart leaped.  I was instantly in love. 

 I'm so grateful that I get a front row seat to your life, C.  

I know God has special plans for you.

With all my heart,


Friday, August 8, 2014

Just some observations #hashtagedition

  1. A. has a crazy skinned knee that keeps getting banged up every time he turns around.  #chicksdigscars  (right?????)
  2. C. has taken up skateboarding.  He's really enjoying it, and really getting into it.  Then...I step back and remember the skater-dudes from my high school days and want to torch the darn board.  #hopefullyskaterfashionsarentwhattheyusedtobeinthe90s
  3. I went to Menards yesterday.  It's not the same store I worked at when I was in college.  #thankgoodness  And I had good customer service! #nicechangeofpace
  4. Happy Birthday, Liam!  #eightisgreat
  5. Dave and I took a personality test- the Myers-Briggs test. Ever heard of it?  I'm a pretty strong ENFJ and Dave is hard-core ISTP.  #oppositesattract #keepslifeinterestingtosaytheleast
  6. We attended Coast Guard Festival in my hometown last week.  I got to see Gina- which is always something to look forward to and enjoy. #lovethatgirl
  7. There are a few different kinds of people in life.  Those that don't want to do anything (either by lack of generosity or lack of give a sh*t), those that want to do things but never follow through, and those that do. They just don't know the meaning of word "no.". They see a need and fill it.  It doesn't matter if it's in their "job description" or in their wheel-house... they just do it.  Without need for glorification.  #weneedmorepeoplelikethisintheworld
  8. School starts in just over 2 weeks.  #julywashardbutimnotready
  9. I won a gift certificate from our auction for 3 hours of housekeeping time.  We used it 2 weeks ago.  It was lovely.  I enjoyed a blissful quiet afternoon of a clean house, boys at a friend's house and a sleeping baby.  Those 90 minutes were good for my soul.  Now, my house is dirty again (#welivehere), and I'm ok with cleaning it.  I want to show my kids how to take care of things we own, how to be hospitable for guests, and how to not have such an inflated ego that we're completely incapable of doing the yucky tasks for ourselves.  That said, I wouldn't mind having a deep clean done once a year. #wouldntmindatall
  10. C. turns 7 in 6 days.  I am not ok with this.  #timeslowdown

Friday, July 25, 2014

Phoning it in- May- July edition (with bold and on the edge here)

Ok, ok ok...
I need to catch you up on the randomness of that which is my life.
So- baseball league for A.
I parked where I did- because there was room for about 1.5 cars when I pulled up.
I thought "hey!!!  this time I won't get parked in!!!"
Yeah...some moron decided that was a good parking spot.
(my PARKED IN van is the one with the door open)

ambidextrous baby girl.
Waiting for the doctor to come in for well-child check up.
And then shots.
I hate shots.

This is what happens when this crazy toddler of mine finds the marker stash.
I should always know to double check when I hear her say
"colour papah"

Oh, Kate.
MOPS Steering Team retreat.
I sat next to her during this session
and had the pleasure of witnessing her snack.
Mind you, all three items were served in separate bowls.
I can tell you that I reached over with my (clean) hands and mixed it all up.
More than once.

Hottie boy Dave
Stylin' the sun hat.

What happens when your fridge doesn't fit the graduation cupcakes?
You put them in your bathtub on top of ice.
My friend, Leah, is a resourceful one.

Baby L. loved Leah's hair toys.
There were tears when we left.

When you leave behind a sun hat at said friend, Leah's, house..
...the middle child finds you in the nursery at church to return it.
God Bless those special middle children. 

New deck.
New screen awning(the perfect size for our deck!)
One week.
Big winds.
Big storm.
Bad awning.

Cleaning out the boys' backpacks from last school year.
This pencil was less than 2"
This is also where I tell you that there were 5 unsharpened pencils at the bottom of the bag.

Baby L. was eating some Keebler cookies at grandma's house.
You know- the ones with the cookie and caramel with coconut and chocolate over top?
I asked her for a bite
(even though I can't due to gluten content)
because I wanted to see if she had a generous personality.
With a BIG smile on her face and a
"Heeer ou doe, mama!"
This is what she gives me
Yeah...a giver, that one.

Again...with the middle child.
Reminds me of a movie line
"You're not cool if you don't pee your pants!!!"
The middle child is always...always cool.

Celebrating Father's Day with a little Spoonlickers.

(Big brother not pictured- he was camping with grandma and poppa)

Baby L's hair is *just* long enough in the back to curl up under her fedora.
too cute.

Look what I found at Wal-Mart.
A bit of nostalgia!
And fourth of July dessert goodness.

Came home from swimming.
Warm towel.
Kitchen floor.

Throw back.
Fourth of July last year.
Oh my heart!

July 5th barbeque at the Bethesda home.
My kiddos were awfully quiet,
so I went to search for them.
Found them sitting quietly on the swing.
Chatting the afternoon away.

Hi mama.

Library fun

We've been outside a bit this summer...
can you tell???