Run down …

At the end of another busy day we found ourselves out to dinner AGAIN last night. UGH. To put it into perspective, Libs didn’t finish up at school until 7 pm and she probably could have stayed longer if I had let her. Again, UGH.

Sitting at dinner last night I was abundantly thankful that I didn’t have to cook. I really don’t like eating out during the weekdays, but I was so tired and hungry that I didn’t care. I’d even been feeling a bit sketchy earlier in the day too. Almost like I was about to come down with something. I dismissed it because I’ve been so busy and stressed these past few weeks. Add in the poor night’s sleep that I had the other day when Reese had her growing pains and it wasn’t a good equation. I, however, chose to remain in complete denial. Bad idea. Again, again, UGH.

As we were enjoying our not-homemade blessing of a dinner last night, I caught a glimpse of something on Reese’s face. SNOT. Her nose was dripping ever so slightly. I instantly began claiming that the chill in the air both inside and outside the restaurant must be causing it. As she began to drip more I moved into accusing allergens as the culprit. This was clearly a desperate stretch since the child doesn’t even have allergies! By the time we got home Reese was in full drip mode. Somehow I still managed to give her a bath, dry her hair and get her into bed a few minutes before her bed time. Moments like that, I feel like I have magical powers.

Unfortunately the magic wore off pretty quickly. My poor baby girl was not having a good nights sleep. I rubbed her back, repositioned her and cuddled her all night long. At around 4 am she seemed to be more comfortable than she had been all night and was sound asleep. I was SO THANKFUL!

So what did I do? Sleep, right?!?! NOPE. I got up and rummaged through paperwork. Really Jennifer, REALLY?!?! Oh and I forgot to mention that at some point in the darkness of night, my denial officially wore off. I began to feeling sniffly too.

1000 times, UGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t feel run down!!!

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24 Groundhog Days later and love still knows no bounds …

Today is Groundhog Day. It is also the day that my mother died. For 24 years this day has not passed without tears and sadness. Sure, some years are better than others, but generally it’s just awful. I usually spend most of the day trying to avoid contact with the outside world. I try to limit my interactions to the people who know me the best. Those brave souls who have seen me at my worst and loved me anyway. Because for the most part, on Groundhog Day, I’m a wreck.

Twenty-four years later I STILL find it difficult to maneuver through this day. I mention this because ongoing grief is not something people talk about much. The initial grief that comes from loss we all understand even if someone has never felt it. But ongoing grief is a different beast. It shocks me how it still consumes me. It can be as painful as the day my mother died. And I think I know why.

When I feel genuine love for someone and they feel it for me, it’s like this energy has been created. It’s one of the most beautiful and powerful feelings I have ever felt. Being a mother myself and now having children venturing off to college, I find that their absence, although not permanent (thank you Jesus), still leaves an energy behind. It’s a connectedness that pulls on my heart and makes me want them home with me. And it’s also that connectedness that fuels their desire to return home. The love I have experienced both as a mother and as a daughter does not understand time, distance, physics, or logic. It is almost a stronger KNOWING than faith. This love just … IS. It is a constant. And although it’s not always at the forefront of my mind, it is and (I believe) always will be present. And after 24 years of grieving I can assure you that the energy that came from the love I felt from and for my mother is still as strong as it was when I could reach out and touch her. It has never gone away. I still want her to come home. I still want to hug her and spend time with her. Put simply, I STILL want my mommy. And I’m thankful. Although these ties to her tend to cause me incredible pain on days like this, it is a reminder of the gift that God had so graciously given me. Genuine love. And I will ALWAYS be thankful for that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love knows no bounds!!!

Delightfully surprised …

Yesterday I hinted (blatantly suggested) to Sid that she should bake me a King Arthur coffeecake mix that I had bought some time ago. She didn’t seem to go for the idea, and I forgot all about it. Last night I had a late hair appointment and literally just threw all the dinner dishes into the sink before leaving for the salon. I got home just in time to put Reese to bed. I accidentally fell asleep with her and when I woke up later I was completely out of it. Forgetting all about the dirty dinner dishes.

When I woke up this morning I saw a text on my phone from Sid that said, “You’re welcome”. I was a little baffled but concluded that it must have been in relation to me thanking her for helping me so much yesterday. I would later find out that I was wrong about that when Libs came into my bedroom and asked if the coffeecake on the counter in the kitchen was for breakfast or for something special.

WHAT?!?!

There’s a coffeecake on the counter!?!?

Sure enough, not only was there a delicious coffeecake on the counter, but all my dinner dishes had been washed! WOW!

I know that I say this a lot, but I really mean it. I have the most thoughtful kids in the world. They are always doing kind things for me and make me feel special. To say I appreciate them, seems like an understatement. They truly are THE BEST and I love them more than words could ever express.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are delightfully surprised!!!

Marianne (MY ROCK) …

Being an MSW and a parent for over 20 years has not given me an immunity from worry. Heck, sometimes I think they may have made it worse, HA! Trust me when I say that I have seen some ugly horrible situations. So when it comes to my precious babies (yes, I know two of them are adults now) I can’t shake the worry that comes when they are sick, injured or recovering from surgery. I know I should be a pro at this by now. But I’m not. And times like this are when it comes in handy to have an incredible friend. My best friend from high school is one heck of a woman. She is ALWAYS there for me. She is the level headed thinker when I am the wreck. She might be just as worried as I am but she pulls together a strength for me that is grounding. Her love and support has carried me through many times when I have felt scared and alone. And I couldn’t be more thankful for her.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have someone to rely on!!!

SUPERMOM …

Today is one of those days when I’m not sure one of me is enough. Yesterday round two of cold and flu season hit our home. Sid and Reese are both sick with fevers again. And these fevers are MUCH higher than the first time around. Ugh. This makes week FOUR of someone being sick here. Heck, I’m still not myself and it’s been almost two weeks since I first got sick. This YUCK lingers! On top of two girls down, George is getting his wisdom teeth pulled today. I got out of bed incredibly early to make sure he ate a huge breakfast since he can’t eat 8 hours before his surgery. I know he’s 18 now and could have made his own breakfast but he’s still my son. Moms lose it a little when it comes to the words CHILD and SURGERY. Well, at least I do. So needless to say I made him breakfast. Which was fine because I was awake anyway. I was up most of the night with Reese who was extremely restless. I was happy though, I was finally able to fall asleep for about an hour. YAY! Then it was time to wake up to do Libs’ hair for choir portraits today. She had to be at school early today. Of course she did. OY. But somehow I managed to get her to school UNUSUALLY early with her backpack, tennis bag, choir dress and hair and makeup done. Nothing forgotten! A miracle, if I do say so myself.

At some point today I’m going to cry. I just know it. My guess is when they take George back to have his teeth removed. I’ll have a moment alone and a second to breath. Let’s just hope it’s more tearful rather than blubber-y.

Clearly most of this crazy day piled up by no fault of my own. I scheduled George’s surgery months ago and we just found out about the portraits. And SICK happens whenever it happens. My friends and I joke that when I have a stressful day it’s not like everyone else’s normal scoop of stress. It’s got extra toppings, HA!

Days like this I am in awe that God trusts me so much. When I look in the mirror I see just one small woman. But God has put some major love, tenacity and determination into this little frame of mine. He’s packed me with everything I need to get through days like this. And I’m grateful. So, so grateful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel like SUPERMOM!!!

The beauty and joy of growth …

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with Sid while she was on her way to meet her boyfriend. She was taking the BART in San Francisco and telling me departure times and other little details. She was a pro at San Francisco public transit. I remembered our first time on BART together while we were touring colleges. This was several years go and I worried that this type of transportation would be too overwhelming for her. I was wrong to have worried. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with George while he was out picking out some luggage at a store in Petaluma. LUGGAGE. My son was buying LUGGAGE. He drives himself to stores, buys luggage, gets himself to airports and flies alone now. This is my child who NEVER paid attention to details or his surroundings. The one I worried about for the longest when he crossed streets. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday when I picked Libs up from school she got into my car. We looked at each other with relief and gave a “high -five”. We discussed how WE MADE IT through this HELLA crazy week. When Libs was little she was my LAZIEST child. She and I always joke that she sat on the couch for five years. Ah, the good ole days, HA! Now she takes AP classes, is in her school’s Digital Media Program, volunteers, sings and performs with the Women’s Advanced Choir and is on the tennis team. My, how times have changed.

I bought Reese a Barbie Accessory Advent Calendar this year. She has loved it! Every morning she opens it along with her advent book box and puts a new number ornament on her little wooden tree. We were in a rush yesterday morning so we decided to wait until later when she had time to enjoy it. Last night after her bath she did her Christmas countdown regime. She was very happy about the new Barbie running shoes she just opened up and was excitedly telling everyone. She was standing down the hallway and I had to stop. Her past and present collided. I remembered a scene from last Christmas Eve that I took a picture of and put in a photobook. It was of Reese as she excitedly stood in the same hallway as we were leaving to go see Christmas lights. She seemed so much taller than the little girl I remembered last year. Her speech has immensely improved. And her capabilities have grown by leaps and bounds. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday, was filled with precious memories of years past and of the beauty that comes with change. I am STRUCK by moments like these. I’m so grateful to experience them. They are a treasure. I love being MOM to these four incredible souls. They truly complete me. And their growth brings me nothing but pure JOY.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you grow!!!