Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Today I could write about how we had a fabulous, fabulous time at the little's first birthday party this weekend.  I could tell you about the tasty food my family (and Costco) helped me prepare, like the Black Bean, Corn, and Rice salad (with help from this recipe here) or the Pasta Salad with the fabulous Newman's Own dressing or the loaves and loaves of bread my friend brought for make-your-own sandwiches, or the awesome awesome guacamole my mom made, or the crowning jewel, the apple carrot "cupcakes" (muffins) I made peanut, dairy, and oil free with the recipe from Bob's Red Mill...

I could tell you about the new bikes, bike helmets, and beautiful beautiful quilt my mom made for Dallas' first birthday.  But instead, I'd like to remind all of you (who in all likelihood need no reminding) that today is Memorial Day.  There's a reason people are pushing to have the day moved to the middle of the week, so it's not just a day about bbqs and homemade ice cream and the first day at the beach (for the brave ones on either coast).  It's to remember. To be grateful.  Grateful to our veterans, the families of the veterans, the wounded, the weary, the deceased, the active, and the families of all these who sacrifice day in and day out.  Many of you understand in an intimate way these sacrifices as some of the sacrifices are similar to those in the LEO life.  But we will never truly know until we walk in those shoes, which truly can never happen.

Instead we can be grateful.  Grateful that we can speak badly about politicians and those in office, doing their best (or not) to lead us.  Grateful that we can read the Bible or the Qu'ran or the Book of Mormon or attend "The Church of the Inner Spring" (as in bedspring) on a Sunday morning.  We have so much choice, and so much freedom, and it was bought and paid for with a price.  At times, a very, very high price.

Let's remember.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is it possible...?

Is it possible to get bloated on cough drops and hot tea?  It sure feels like it.  I weathered the H1N1 storm at our house without a scrape, my kids have gotten sick multiple times and I've escaped unscathed.  However, this week, during the busiest week of the school year, family in town, and a big birthday bash to pull off... I got hit.  I'm sick.  I feel like a truck ran over me and backed up on top of me.  How is that possible?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Taking a moment out of my crazy month of May to let you know that The Dispatcher and Her Officer have a SouthLAnd contest running that ends on Thursday, May 20.  Go check it out and get to followin' them if you don't already!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wow, it sure is quiet!

I mentioned in my last post it is pretty busy around here.  It is, but I also feel pretty empty inside.  I don't know if I can describe it.  I'm not necessarily lonely or depressed or hungry (all versions of "empty") but there is something missing.  I think it might be the case that I am so overwhelmed and not keeping up very well with what's going on in my life that I get that "deer in the headlights" feeling, everything leaves my head and I am completely totally out of it.  lame.  I know.

As I've mentioned before, we live quite near to dh's place of work.  So this week has been kind of exciting in that every time I hear the news helicopters outside our window (or should I say "above") I flip through all the news channels and start combing twitter to find out what's going on.  Every time, I've found something on the news and once that segment is over the chopper flies away.  Talk about noise pollution!!  The other day I had to have the TV volume turned All. The. Way. Up. so that I could hear it over the noise of the chopper!  Sheesh! 

So, nothing else exciting going on around here, and thankfully the news -- as usual -- has made mountains out of molehills so that makes me a happy wife.  DH is scheduled for a good amount of OT coming up and I'm busy getting ready for all the family coming to town, open house, and the big 1st bday party for baby Dallas.  Very exciting, although gotta get rid of my deer-in-the-headlights issues!  :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Somebody's turning one!

Today is Friday, and usually the kids (older ones) have gymnastics but the gym is under construction!  boohiss!

So instead I'll be burying my head in the sand over all the things I should be doing and going to get some retail therapy in.  We'll hit Costco (for the second time this week) for printer ink and photos for the birthday party.  I'll hit at least one "party" store to check for zoo animal themed plates and all that fun stuff.  I have a second one in mind, too, (some sort of $1 Store) in case the first doesn't have quite what I want.  My mom found some great ones online but the frugal shopper in me wants to check around town first to see if I can find something cheaper and still cute.  Maybe we'll also hit Target with my collection of coupons.  And if we can get everyone to nap early enough maybe we'll also hit the zoo or another museum in town later in the afternoon.

This month is HUGELY busy for us.  The end of school with a big open house, family from all over coming into town, the Big Birthday Party, and craziness at DH's work (translate: hellacious overtime)... If you've read back over my previous posts (from a year ago!) you know that our baby has not been the easiest baby ever.  He is delightfully hilarious now (although still quirky) but friends!!!!  I am buying champagne and toasting all my friends and family at the big party for enduring the first year with me.

Now if I could just kick the weepiness out the window...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Sorry, folks, I'm just not done talking about my weepiness.  I'll get over it eventually, I'm sure, but for now I'm still chugging along.

Last week (as you know if you read my previous post) had a big hitter on the end of it.  But before that happened, I was really hit over the head with a giant realization that I try to control all sorts of things that really are NOT for me to control.  I order around my children, I take care of all sorts of things, and as police wives (or any kind of married single mom!) we are "in charge" more than we are not.  I spoke with a mom of eight kids (ranging in age from two to 24 years old) last weekend whose husband is no longer working as a cop.  She said one of the big transitions for them has been that she is so used to "doing it all alone" that now with her husband home, they run into issues where he wants to participate in life but she excludes him without thinking about it.

Wonder if that day will ever come at our house!

In the "big excitement" category, I got in touch with DH while he was on duty recently and asked him if he needed anything at Costco since I was there.  He flipped out saying "There was just a high-speed chase over there! You should be glad you weren't in the middle of it!"

At least I know to pull to the right and yield to emergency vehicles if I had been!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

And so it goes...

I've been pretty weepy lately.  It could be a million things but it's made it a little hard to blog about much lately.  You'd either get the totally horrendous version of me or the very hilarious version of me.  And neither are really the truth right now.  So, you're getting nothing'.  ;)

But on my mind (and conveniently I can type about this because I'm procrastinating on the billion other things I'm supposed to be doing to prep for tomorrow) is yesterday.  Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my dad's death.  I remember that first year after he died.  The milestones hung out like huge boulders signifying another day walked without him. I counted 7 days -- one week.  Four weeks -- one month.  Two months.  Three months.  One year.  I didn't think I could take it.  I couldn't even imagine my life five years out.  But 13?  Never in a million years could I imagine myself here, now, with so much less pain than I felt then. 

It used to be that I would count the days until the next milestone.  I would flip the calendar to "April" and think about the slightly-less-than-four weeks I had to mentally prepare myself for the Big Day.  This time I gave it a few fleeting thoughts as I knew it was "APRIL" but for some reason I got slapped in the face with the actual date mid-morning.  I hate when I do that.  I really prefer it when I go to sleep remembering that tomorrow is the day and I can wake up prepared to not be sucker-punched in the gut because I've pushed it to the back of my mind.

That first Big Day I took the day off work.  I tentatively called a few family members, making small talk and asking eventually "Are you OK today?" dripping with the heaviest of implications.  Each one knew exactly why I had called and answered in their own way.  My dumb brother -- did he actually say "yeah, whatever"?  I can't remember but it was something equally noncommittal, if it wasn't that.  Then again, what do you expect from a 14-year-old?  I stopped by my favorite ice cream shop (couldn't actually hit Baskin-Robbins, Dad, sorry!) and took my journal to one of my favorite gardens waaay up the hill.  I found a secluded spot; I sat and cried and looked out across the great expanse and had our little chat.  Don't worry, I don't really talk to dead people but it made me feel better.  :)   Years later my future husband proposed to me near that same park.  It's a special place.

Year Five it worked out so that I was together with my mom.  We went to a special old-time family spot, enjoying the view and specifically remembering Dad.  It was sweet, and it was huge. 

Now my mom is remarried.  I'm married.  I have kids.  I have this list of things I've accomplished that he wasn't here to share in.  Life is different and other interesting people, things, and hobbies have come to fill in the empty gash that he left; a gash of varied shape but that each of us in the family has in some way.  I read "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis a million times.  I've searched the sadness of my memories and cry any time someone else tells me they have lost a dear one to death.  It doesn't matter if I know the deceased, but somehow my tender heart can mourn with them. 

I wouldn't be like that if I hadn't lost my dad -- and eventually both grandfathers, an uncle, two cousins, and a few friends -- in rapid succession.  Who are you?  How did you become who you are?  Are you soft and tender-hearted?  (Even under that tough guy, rugged shell?)  Do you know without a doubt that the important people in your life KNOW they are important?  Are you "ready to go"?  Just because you're ready doesn't mean you will actually, um, kick the bucket.  It's just called "being prepared."  Do you go in to a gun battle without preparation?  I don't think so.

The only thing that's certain in life is death.  Do you live without regret?  We mostly live as though life is certain and death is uncertain, but that's completely wrong.  It will be much more difficult to forgive or reconcile or truly live if one of the involved parties is... dead.  I know I'm being extremely blunt but it's true. If there is one gift you can give yourself, this can be it.  Do you know how freeing this can be to know that you did the right thing when time was up?  You can call your mom THIS SECOND and tell her how much  you appreciate her.  Yeah, she's your mom and maybe she did kind of screw you up but she gave birth to you and cared for you in ways which you cannot comprehend.  Or go call someone else.  Write a note.  Skip the email, write it in your own chicken scratch.  Your mom/dad/aunt/uncle/cousin/friend/grandparent/super friend will thank you.

Did you already miss your chance to make it right with someone who is now gone?  Well, buck up, my friend.  Know that you can move forward and have a choice -- you can make the same mistake twice (or three times or four times) or you can work more diligently to get it right this time.