Shannon's Shenanigans

Random day-to-day musings from me

Till the next episode…

There was recently a quiz going around on Facebook… “which TV mom are you?”  I already know which TV mom I am, but I took it anyway.  I got Gloria from Modern Family.  Uh, yeah.  Right.

I’m not sure who the other choices were for the quiz, but no matter.  I am 100% Frankie Heck from The Middle.  If you’ve not seen it, she’s basically a mom who is always scrambling, always late; always well-intentioned, but always a few steps behind.  She forgets the snack bag everywhere they go.  Her house is always cluttered.  She leaves big projects until the last minute and has to freak out and run around like crazy to get them done.  This morning I was reminded just how like her I am.

It’s Kermit’s birthday today.  He’s 10.  TEN!  Tonight he was also in a big performance he and his classmates have been practicing for all year.  So, we had a lot going on.  I tried to stay on top of it.  I really did.  I read the paperwork that was sent home for the performance, detailing expected clothing and behavior, the day’s schedule, pick up procedures, etc. I submitted the permission forms and request for tickets in a timely manner.  I e-mailed several times with the teacher to ensure his EpiPen would go with them to the performing arts center, since they were having snack and dinner there.  I coordinated with her to make sure it was still OK to send in a birthday treat for the class that day and I made sure said treat actually got to school on the right day.  I even did the same for Grover since he’s a summer birthday and wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to take in a treat.  I made sure we went out to dinner to celebrate Kermit’s birthday last night, since we wouldn’t have time tonight.  I felt pretty on top of things!  I thought I had it all under control… until last night around 11:30 PM.  I sat up in bed and cried “oh no!  I forgot what he’s supposed to wear!”  Steve sighed.  I resigned myself to going to sleep, since it was too late to do anything about it anyway.

I woke up this morning and sifted through the mountain of papers that make up our house, and found the right one… and discovered the bad news.  The outfit required of Kermit for his performance included jeans.  Kermit HATES jeans.  He hasn’t worn them in about two years.  He doesn’t like long pants at all, but will tolerate workout type pants when it’s cold enough that I demand he wear more than shorts.  Since he has refused to wear them for years, we haven’t been buying any and the largest pair of kids’ jeans in the house was a size 8.  Thankfully Kermit is thin enough that they still fit, even though they were snug… and they were on the short side.  He was not happy at all.  There was a bit of drama.  I offered to go in to work late so I could go buy him bigger jeans and take them in to school so he could change.  He dismissed this as entirely too embarrassing.  Why that was embarrassing, but wearing jeans that are obviously too small is not, I don’t know.  I felt bad though, that he had to wear something he hates on his birthday.  So I did something I swore I wouldn’t do… when Grover and I went shopping for presents this afternoon (because I left that to the last minute, naturally) I bought Kermit a birthday gift he desperately wanted, but that I sincerely hoped he wouldn’t get.  I bought him whoopee cushions.  And then we set off to go see the show.

And, as often is the case for my friend Frankie Heck, things turned out OK.  The performance was great and Kermit did a wonderful job, despite the small jeans.  We went out afterwards and got ice cream.  He opened presents and was positively gleeful when he saw the whoopee cushions.  He and Grover spent much of the night using them and laughing insanely.  I think maybe ten is going to be a good year after all.

Leave a comment »

WWST?… What Would Shannon Think?

I always get a kick out of people’s Facebook posts when they talk about things they’re excited about that are clearly “grown up” things, and not something their younger selves would have considered remotely fun.  Like a new vacuum cleaner or insurance discounts or double coupon day or whatever.  I relate to the realization that the younger versions of ourselves would clearly never understand the current versions.  Like today… I pulled into a gas station and saw the price listed as $2.96 per gallon.  UNDER 3 BUCKS!  That just made my day.  Shannon of 20 years ago would have never gotten so excited over such a thing (especially considering she was used to paying $1.00 for a gallon!)  Many, many things make the list of “Things 2013 Shannon Finds Exciting that 1993 Shannon Would Roll Her Eyes About”.  Getting carpets cleaned.  Adult swim at the pool.  Naps.

It’s like running errands after you become a parent for the first time and really recognizing that there is a distinct “You… now” and “You…then”.  You might have thought that running errands would only minimally increase in length of time and number of steps once you have a baby in tow.  Like, a Target run would go from:

  1. Get in car
  2. Drive to destination
  3. Get out of car
  4. Get what you need in store
  5. Go home

To

  1. Put baby in car
  2. Get in car
  3. Drive to destination
  4. Get out of car
  5. Take baby out of car
  6. Get what you need in store
  7. Put baby in car
  8. Go home

But in actuality it goes like:

  1. Pack a whole arsenal of supplies in your diaper bag
  2. Put baby in car seat
  3. Realize baby just had a blowout
  4. Take baby out of seat
  5. Decide if baby’s clothes are salvageable – act accordingly
  6. Bathe baby
  7. Dress baby
  8. Clean car seat
  9. Put baby back in car seat
  10. Hear baby scream
  11. Realize it’s baby’s feeding time again
  12. Take baby out of car seat
  13. Feed baby
  14. Change baby
  15. Put baby back in car seat
  16. Put baby in car
  17. Pray that baby will sleep in car
  18. Get to store
  19. Wrangle car seat into stroller or cart
  20. Start shopping
  21. Realize baby’s pacifier is missing when baby starts screaming
  22. Buy new paci
  23. Wash paci

And on and on and on.

So, the first time you get to run an errand alone after becoming a parent, it feels glorious and carefree (except that you keep panicking when you realize you’re alone, since you’re used to having a person attached to you at all times) and you have no idea how your former self ever took running errands solo for granted.  But your former self couldn’t possibly understand why running errands alone would be exciting.

So anyway, back to my most recent “me…now”/”me…then” disconnect… while I was pumping the wonderful UNDER 3 BUCKS gas tonight, I realized my former self wouldn’t understand much about my current self.  I’m sure she’d think I was boring and easily excitable, if nothing else.  And she’d be despondent to learn that roller coasters make me dizzy and nauseous.  Truly.

But then I thought about it, and realized she would identify with me in some ways.  She’d totally get that I was super excited to come home tonight and try the salted caramel cupcake that was calling my name.  She’d completely understand that I’m still hopeful each time I open the mailbox that I’ll have something fun in there. She’d think it was cool that I’m still reading Stephen King like he’s going out of style.

But if I ran into her, and she did roll her eyes at me and call me lame… well, I’d just show her my iPhone and my DVR and Facebook… and she’d shut right up.

Leave a comment »

The Weather Wild

Everyone knows that planning a camping trip is a gamble.  The biggest question of all is, of course, will the weather cooperate?  You may as well ask a Magic 8 ball that question, because even if you happen to be planning your trip just a few days out, you are not going to get an accurate weather report, especially in the temperamental, thunderstorm-heavy summertime.

Even so, my family planned a 2-night camping trip for this past week.  As fairly seasoned campers (at least in the sense that we have slept in tents in state park campgrounds with bathroom facilities many times), we knew the potential perils of outdoor life.  Of the 8 camping trips we’ve survived over the past 4 years, we’ve had to bail three times on at least one night under the stars due to rain (and on one memorable occasion, snow). So we planned the trip a few months ago, complete with stops at Fallingwater (a spectacular home in western PA designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) and a white water rafting trip, and hoped for the best.

At the time we planned the trip, we asked the Magic 8 ball if the weather would cooperate and it said: Ask again later.  Naturally.

In the few days leading up to the trip, the Magic 8 ball, accompanied by the Weather Channel said: Outlook Not So Good.

My optimistic husband, the happiest camper of us all, said: let’s go anyway.

The morning of the trip, as we headed west in a car loaded down with gear and chattering children, the Magic 8 ball, accompanied by downpours that made driving on the turnpike downright terrifying, said: You’re screwed.

As we pulled up to Fallingwater, the world around us drenched in rain – but the sky courteously giving us a reprieve from Fallingrain- the Magic 8 ball said: Signs point to yes.

Image

As we left Fallingwater and the rain started falling again – hard – the Magic 8 ball said: Haha, fooled ya. So, we managed to find the LAST non-smoking hotel room under $250 per night in the area –  in the strangest Holiday Inn ever.  We availed ourselves of the amenities and crossed our fingers that the weather would improve by the next day for the rafting trip.

Image

See those purple doors in the background? Those are rooms. This pool table, the swimming pool, a indoor playset and more were all in this indoor courtyard. Many of the hotel rooms, including ours, had windows that looked out onto the courtyard and no windows to the outside. Weird.

As we had breakfast the next morning and watched the rain fall outside, we asked the Magic 8 ball again: Will the weather cooperate? The Magic 8 ball replied: Your guess is as good as mine.  The Weather Channel app said the same, changing every 15 minutes.

Steve herded us into the car to head for the river, in hopes that our rafting trip wouldn’t be cancelled.  I will admit, I was hoping it would.  Spending 4-5 hours in a raft in the rain didn’t sound like fun to me.  We got to the rafting place and found that our trip was on.  The employee assured me that even if there was lightning we’d be safe, given that we would be in a gorge.  I really didn’t believe her, but she promised no one had ever died from lightning strikes in their 50 years of service.  I didn’t ask her if anyone had died from anything else.  What I DID do was promise her that if I were to die because of a lightning strike, I would most assuredly be returning to haunt her.

So we got fitted for life vests and were herded into a van and driven to the river.  We met our guide, a wonderful guy named Kirk.  We heard the safety talk.  We learned that, despite what I had read on the website, Kirk would actually be in the raft with us.  I was very happy about that.  I have the utmost confidence in my husband’s ability in the outdoors, but I am nervous with my kids around water (they’re not super swimmers) and having more adults together in the raft seemed a good idea to me.

We took a lovely rafting trip down the Youghiogheny (commonly called the Yough – pronounced Yock, if you’re interested).  There were small patches of mild rapids – just enough to make the kids squeal with delight and a little water splash up on us.  Nothing like the trip Mrs. Camper and I took the summer after college graduation with another friend of ours when we nearly flipped the raft on some pretty scary – to me- rapids.  A nice, family-friendly rafting trip.  I highly recommend it.  We stopped for lunch.  I saw a flower growing out of a tree and it made my day.

Image

Image

Image

Somehow the sky alternated between a little overcast and sunny, and none of the dreaded rain appeared for most of the morning…  The Magic 8 ball said: I told you I had no freaking clue.

About 90% of the way into the trip, the wind picked up and the clouds rolled in.  We heard a low rumble of thunder in the distance.  I got really nervous, but tried to act brave.  Our guide Kirk said that we were almost finished and could push through or pull over and get under the raft if we were worried about lightning.  We decided to push through and paddled our butts off.  Me and Steve and Kirk that is – I’m so, so thankful that he was in the raft with us or we’d never have gotten out of there.  The wind was completely pushing us backward into the current at one point.  But the three adults in the raft worked hard.  The boys, who all day had been nearly decapitating each other more than actual paddling, made a few half-hearted efforts.  We heard more thunder, we saw some lightning and then the skies opened up.  We finally, finally made it to the “take out” and ran to seek cover in the truck that was there to pick up the raft.  It poured even harder.  The Magic 8 ball said: Even I saw that coming.

Image

After the lightning had stopped we decided to just make a run for the shop, and we did.  By the time we got there, about a quarter mile from the take out, we were drenched.  100% drenched.  But alive, and happy to have had the experience (minus the rain).  We changed clothes and drove up to our campsite which was, of course, also drenched.  It had stopped raining by that point and neither the Weather Channel nor the Magic 8 ball nor we could predict what would happen next.  Should we stay or should we go now? I’m not sure if The Clash ever answered their version of that question but we did and decided that for the first time in our lives, we were going to totally abandon a camping trip.  Even if it didn’t rain anymore, it was a giant mud pit up there.

We drove the by natural water slides, another thing we had wanted to try out in the area, but I think the heavy rains ruled that activity out for us anyway.  It was more like a raging river than a water slide.

Image

So we headed home.  And of course the sky was blue and gorgeous.  The Magic 8 ball said: Dumbasses.

Image

Leave a comment »

Stay on the happy side, always on the happy side…

I’m having kind of a crappy week.  Nothing major, but enough to have me feeling a little low.  Today in the car I was engaging in a little (probably borderline psychotic) self talk to help me focus on the positive.  Sure, I’d had a no-show appointment today, resulting in a wasted 90 minutes of my time and nearly $50 in gas and baby-sitting expenses.  Plus I missed out on a movie I really wanted to see with my kids, which I could have attended if the people had just cancelled our appointment instead of no-showing.  But oh well, at least I have a job, and one I love 85% of the time, at that.  Having a wonderful boss and great colleagues, working with cute kids, and doing something I feel is useful all make the other less pleasant parts of the job (like today) bearable.  See, I was really trying to focus on the positive.  Yes, last night brought some frustrating moments with Kermit, but this morning he woke up and was sweet as pie.  Yes, I’m dealing with some move-related stress, but it’s temporary and will end soon.  Yes, a good friend moved far away today, but at least she’s still in driving distance.  I will get down there to visit one day!  Yes, Steve used jalapenos instead of green chile in last night’s dinner, but… well, even I recognize that that’s not a real problem.  I felt my mood lifting.  Coincidentally, Blind Melon’s “No Rain” was playing on the radio and I could visualize the little girl in the bumblebee tutu and that just made me feel even better.

And then.  Then.  The car in front of me swerved to miss a big piece of busted tire in the road.  I saw it coming but couldn’t do anything about it.  Concrete divider to my left, lots of cars behind me and to my right.  So I ran over the big chunk of tire, probably wrecking something in the undercarriage of my car.  Seriously, this happened just as I was talking myself into seeing the positive.  And sure, there is positive to be seen even in the tire scenario.  A road mishap could be much more detrimental than possible undercarriage damage.  But still… it almost felt like a sign from the universe.  “Life sucks and you know it!  Stop trying to tell yourself otherwise!”  I never can decide if I believe in signs from the Universe (or God or any other higher power) or not.  So tell me… what do you think?  Was it just unlucky timing with the tire in the road, or some sort of message for me?  Have you experienced any signs?

Leave a comment »

Rollin’ – rollin’ – rollin’ on a scooter

What a wonderful afternoon for a bike ride with the kids.  Blue skies, fluffy clouds, perfect temperature, a light breeze.  Even so, I had a miserable time.  Miserable.  Downright heart attack inducing, if I’m being honest.  I used to think that once I got my kids past toddlerhood, I’d be able to relax a little.  Until they were, like, teenagers.  You know, I figured there’d be some golden years between the days of them putting every stray thing they found into their mouths and stumbling around, nearly careening down the stairs all the time and the far-off days of worrying about hideous, unthinkable things such as dating and driving.  I was so wrong.  So very, very wrong.  Sure, I knew I’d still have to worry about things like strangers abducting them.  And water safety – you can never be too careful around water.  And choking. I knew I’d always worry about that, especially after seeing the Six Feet Under episode that started with the middle aged woman dying because she choked on a piece of food while all alone in her apartment.

But I figured that as long as they were right in front of me and not eating or near water, I’d be able to breathe a little easier.  But they make me worry.  Daily.  About all manner of things.  They like to climb.  A lot.  They’re always crouching atop the monkey bars or way up in trees and giving me visions of all sorts of accidents that could follow.  And the bike riding.  Oh, the bike riding.  How many times can I tell them to ALWAYS LOOK BOTH WAYS FOR CARS before entering or turning around in a street before they actually, you know, DO IT?  What different words can I use to convey the importance of going in a straight line and not zig-zagging out into the path of passing cars?  And the stakes just got higher.  Last night Kermit purchased an electric scooter with his birthday money.  This afternoon he took it out for the first spin.  The second time he left the driveway with it he drove right in front of an oncoming car.  My heart skipped a beat – or seven.  I screamed, the people in the car scowled and shook their heads in derision (they being the parents of perfect children, I am sure).  Kermit insisted – INSISTED- that the car JUST APPEARED.  He looked and there was no car and suddenly there it was, about to mow him down!  I’m telling you, if you believe this kid, you will believe we live in some magical, Bermuda-triangle kind of place.  Stuff just appears, disappears, breaks on its own… there’s no end to the mysterious happenings around here.  So we made a new rule about looking for cars before driving into the street – which is not really a new rule at all, but I clarified it by showing them WHERE they must stop and look.

And then we went on a little jaunt – me and Grover on bikes and Kermit on that blasted electric scooter.  I can’t tell you the number of times that Grover gave me new gray hairs by not looking for cars, despite me screaming at EVERY CORNER for him to do so or how many times that Kermit scared me badly by losing control of the scooter – I’m not even sure what the problem was, but he’d stop and stand next to it while holding the handles and the stupid thing would still be trying to skitter away from him.  We finally made it home -somehow- and I used those 6 words I try never to use… wait til your father gets home.

Leave a comment »

The Very Best Girl Scout of All

So, ever since I wrote my original Simon post, I’ve been meaning to write one about Scout.  But since my blog is pretty much stagnant, I obviously haven’t gotten around to it.  Then yesterday something happened that inspired me to just do it already.  (I’m pretty sure everyone who might be reading this already knows, but Simon passed away in July and we adopted Dexter in September.  There is no way in heck I’m prepared to write about all that, not now, probably not ever.  Moving on…) I was walking Scout and Dexter before work.  It was a lovely morning and we were greeting all the neighbors who were out and about doing yard work.  Scout, who has always had a propensity for attacking vacuum cleaners, darted over to an active lawn mower and tried to attack it!  She was barking ferociously and putting her face down near it.  The man pushing it was no longer a friendly, waving neighbor but a startled, fairly panicked dude.  I yanked Scout by her leash and had to drag her, barking all the way, down the street.  (I really, truly hope this is not a sign of senility… the old girl is pushing 15.)  And I started thinking… I really need to give Scout her due.  This dog fears no one (except the vet).  She has a tenacity and ferocity I can achieve only a shadow of, even on my fiercest days.  She is amazingly resilient.  She makes no excuses.

How did Steve and I come to own such an awesome little dog?  I’ll tell you.

Once upon a time, two young and dumb kids named Shannon and Steve got married.  Steve was applying to grad school at the time and they thought it would be fun to go somewhere different for the few years he’d be in school.  He applied all over the country – Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Florida, etc.  They ended up in Albuquerque.  Shannon agreed to move that far away from her family on one condition – that she be able to get a dog.  They pulled into Albuquerque with the U-Haul on a Monday.  They were at the animal shelter Tuesday evening.  They were looking for a smallish dog, and one that was already full grown.  The first room of the shelter was full of puppies and huge dogs – all of whom were adorable and lovely, but not quite right.  The first kennel in the second room had a little black dog named Inky, aged 2.  Inky and a poodle were the only smallish, full grown dogs there that day.  Steve ix-nayed the poodle.  Shannon asked to meet Inky.  A volunteer led them to a “socialization area” – a small, fenced-in patch of concrete, really.   What, you were expecting grass?  Please.  In Albuquerque you don’t bust your butt to grow grass just to have dogs pee on it.  Anyway, Shannon sat against the fence, with her knees drawn up in front of her.  Inky did a sniff around the perimeter and then immediately set up camp under Shannon’s legs.  It was love at first sight.  She was flea and tick infested, but she was a thing of beauty.  Adoption application was made, approved, and Inky (immediately re-christened Scout, as in the tough little girl from To Kill A Mockingbird) was picked up two days later.   The End.

So that’s how we got our little girl.  Our Good Girl Scout.  Our Scoutasaurus Rex.  Our Scoutacaster.  Our Scout About Town.  Our Miss Scout.  Our Scooty-Scout.  Our Scout Eleanor Amelia.

Image

My beautiful girl!

After we first got her, we used to walk a certain route that took us past a house that had a tall, wooden fence around the yard.  There was one slat missing.  If the dog who lived there was in the yard, he would push his snout through the opening and he and Scout would bark and gnash their teeth viciously through the fence.  They couldn’t actually reach each other, don’t worry.  Stopping at that fence became Scout’s favorite part of the walk.  She would pull at the leash very excitedly as we approached and she would hop up all expectantly, and if the big dog wasn’t there, she would walk away huffing and puffing and whining… pretty much spoiling for a fight.  We never did meet that dog… we never even saw more than his snout.  I have no idea what kind of dog he was.  But he was big.  And loud.  And scary. And she never.backed.down.  I am fairly certain she wouldn’t have even if there weren’t a fence to protect her.  Proof? We were at a dog park a month or so ago and a HUGE dog, easily 5 times her size, kept hovering over her and trying to start a fight, growling and pawing at her.  Did she back down?  No.  What did she do?  Turn and snap at him and bark her irritated little yip.  She is 14 years old.  That’s like… 80-something in dog years.  And she still stands her ground and makes her voice heard.  Always.  I know I have often said we could all learn something from Simon, but I think many of us could learn from Scout too.  Stand up for yourself.  Don’t be intimidated.  You are strong and you are powerful, regardless of your age, your size, your health.  She had surgery last month and within hours was back to her old ways. No time to waste feeling sorry for yourself.

Now, I’m not saying all these qualities are always a good thing.  She has gotten into fights with dogs we are friends with, and she is not one to drop a grudge.  Once you’re on her pooper scooper list, you’re on it for good.  Once she sets her sights on an enemy… be it a squirrel or a cat or another dog, she will not rest.  She’s a terrier, she can’t help it, I guess.  There’s nothing to do but remove her from the situation and let her calm down.

The world needs souls like that, I think.  It needs people (or dogs) who work tirelessly toward their goals, who won’t be intimidated, who are true to themselves, who will fight for what’s right, who will stand up for others.  The more I think about it like that, the more I realize Scout and Simon really were each other’s Yin and Yang.  They balanced each other out in an amazing way.  For almost 12 years we had the best of both worlds… we had the endlessly accepting, loving, tolerant Simon and we had the fiery, tenacious, brave little Scout.  Truly a beautiful thing.

Image

1 Comment »

How many times I can say the word “friend” before you scream?

Friends, friends, friends, friends, friends!  Today I am thankful for my friends.  I am thankful to count my family members among my friends – it is such a blessing to have things in common that make us actually enjoy spending time together.  I love those times, however rare, when Steve and I get together with John and Char and sing crazy songs and laugh like lunatics, or when we go bowling with Junior, or when I get to just talk, talk, talk with Sherry, Vanessa or Ericka.  Opportunities are few and far between these days but I cherish the memories of road trips and concerts and, yep, even going to wrestling matches with them.  I love getting to meet my mom for lunch on occasion and hearing stories from Sonny’s younger and wilder days.  I enjoy sharing my love of dogs with my dad.  Heck, I even love being harassed by Bryan, and laughing over random memories, such as him once trying to sell me to rednecks at the bowling alley for a ridiculously small sum of money.

And I love my not-by-blood friends.  I love sharing all manner of common interests and experiences with them.  Looking at the things I share with my friends makes me realize that they help me be a more well-rounded person.  With my friends I camp, I hike, I play Words with Friends, I laugh like crazy, I try new things such as surfing (once – terribly).  My friends introduce me to new types of food and new ideas and books I’d otherwise never have picked up.  I love that each of my friends has his/her own special niche in my life – with some friends I can discuss parenting, with others I can go on endlessly about movies or music or TV, while some of them are my go-to pals for advice or back up.  The friends who seek me out for advice and support are a blessing too because they make me feel valued and helpful and sometimes a girl just needs that.  Also necessary and so appreciated are friends who will gently support me through anything and friends who will tell me what I need to hear, even when I don’t want to hear it (such as when Stef-head once told me flat out “You know you’re being an ass, right?”)  I love that my friends will try to teach me new things, like how to use chopsticks, even when I’m all but a hopeless cause – and they don’t even make too much fun of me while doing it!  Having friends who support the things I love to do is also wonderful- those who read my blog posts and look at my pictures and tell me I’m doing a good job, even when it’s debatable, always make my heart smile.

I love that I have formed work friendships through the years, creating special connections with people who can understand particular joys and stressors I may be having when no one else can, and I love that I have stayed friends with many of these people long after our working relationships ended.  I am over the moon to have friendships so strong that they can endure months, and even years, apart when distance-or time- is an issue.  I love reuniting with these friends and somehow feeling just as comfortable together as we always have.  And I love that, with some of my friends, we’ve been able to withstand differences and even the occasional spat, and that we’ve always been able to repair things easily, focusing more on our fondness and respect for each other than whatever disagreements we may have had.  I love having people who know me so well that they can help connect me with things they know will bring me happiness and fend off things they know will be disagreeable to me.  Having people to step in and protect me from birds and Jello and all the other things in the world that are out to get me, it’s truly priceless.  And finally I’m happy to be married to a guy who can do so many of the things I mentioned above, making him one of the best friends I have.

Friends, friends, friends, friends, friends!  For all of you, I am thankful.

Leave a comment »

Trick or treat, smell my feet…

So, here it is, the one day of the year when the fact that I’m a bigger chicken than either of my children is blatantly on display: Halloween.  Last year I wrote about my theory on why I’m such a scaredy-cat.  Read about it here.  This year I figured it was time to give credit to one of the people who has helped me the most throughout all my insanity: my big sister, Sherry.  Just this morning I was remembering my trick-or-treating days of yore… the days when I dressed up as Lemon Meringue and ET and things like that.  We had one house in our neighborhood that was notorious for being scary – spooky decorations, people who would pop out at you wearing creepy masks, the whole shebang.  My wonderful sister would go up to that scary, scary house and collect candy for me while I stood safely on the curb.  She would also, as the years went by, make returns to stores because, for some reason, that was scary to me too.  She would pick up the phone and call stores to ask questions for me when I was too shy to do even that.  And now that I’m finally brave enough to make my own phone calls and returns, she is still very often the one I call when I’m scared or upset.  She is still my brave big “sissy” and I love her much!

 

Leave a comment »

And to top it off, I lost an earring…

OK, so it’s probably clear to anyone who has read a sampling of my blog posts that I’m not a normal person.  I am also not a normal girl, if you consider girls who like shopping and clothes “normal” anyway.  I pretty much hate shopping.  All shopping.  I’m sure I’d like to browse for home decorations or shoes or shower curtains or something or another if I had more disposable income.  But even then, I’m sure I’d hate clothes shopping.  There are the obvious body image issues that arise when many women shop, but there is also the fact that I have absolutely no sense of style.  I don’t know what looks good, I can’t accessorize, and I look for comfort above all, which means I’m always drawn to the same (ugly) stuff.  So today I found myself in a pinch, needing a dress to wear to a wedding this weekend.  It’s no surprise that this was my primary thought during the harrowing excursion through the mall: “I couldn’t hate shopping more.  I couldn’t be more clueless about it.  I couldn’t be more ashamed that the first dress I was drawn to was designed by Jessica Simpson.  Ugh.”

Leave a comment »

Another year bites the dust

So last year on my birthday I told you all about how my birthday is also the anniversary of the day I met Steve.  Here we are now, a whole year later, with me closer to 40 than 30 (eek!), and I didn’t get either of the things I wished for last night.  Nope, I woke up to neither self-styling hair, nor a self-cleaning house.  What did I get for my big day?

  • Loads of phone calls, texts, cards and Facebook messages from friends and family, near and far, with so many kind words
  • A scavenger hunt from Kermit, a dance in the kitchen with Grover (who held out his hands in such a gentlemanly way it almost made me teary) and the cute little note you see below
  • A freshly baked apple pie from my dear husband
  • Lunch AND dinner out
  • A very glad heart, from all the love I felt all day long

This is especially heart-warming after all the stress and turmoil of 2012.  (Trying to move, and not knowing for months whether we would, really kinda sucked.)  The fall has brought not only this wonderful birthday I’ve had, but also calm and relaxation (and the return of the messy house, which I could have lived without).  And I look forward to this next year, even if it means I’m marching ever closer to that 40-mark.  My next 12 months will surely bring lots of gifts – the most important of which is time with friends and family.  And, in very exciting news, both a great niece in November (congrats Ericka and Dustin!) AND a great niece or nephew in April (congrats Vanessa and Daniel!), which means even more joy and celebration.  And hopefully I will finally achieve that goal of running a 5K before my next birthday.  Yep, lots to look forward to this year!

Birthday Happiness

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: