Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from us! This is the best you all get from me.(I am challenged in the mail department.) Brandon (gray sweatshirt) will be 22 in December and is working at Bloom Health in Minneapolis as a computer programmer. Adam (blue button up) is 19 and studying Material Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota and working at 3M as a Tech Aide. Hannah is 17, a senior in high school, skating, volunteering, babysitting and works at Cold Stone in Woodbury. You don’t need to know how old I am. (right?) (okay, if you really want to know message me and I will tell you.  ) I am still at Woodland Hills working with kids ages birth to kindergarten. Merry Christmas and lots of love!



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2012- The year of change for me. You all, I think I will be blogging more. Blogging about life and the fun I am having. I am still in transition but I feel so much stronger, I feel like me again!!! This is a synopsis of 2012. I am so excited about 2013, bring it on!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I didn’t let fear stop me from doing things. I entered a rib cooking contest and won against all men. 🙂

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My resolution for last year was to confront issues that were bothering me before they got too big. I did pretty well with this and my life was more peaceful. I haven’t made any new resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one close to me gave birth this year. I am hoping in the next year and a half that will change.

4. Did anyone close to you give die?

My ex-MIL passed away this year and my beloved dog Lady Bug.

5. What countries did you visit?

Travel, besides to skating events, was not in the budget this year. I am hoping to get to Switzerland to visit my brother and his family in the next year and a half.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

More stability and travel. Less stress.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

There are many- the day my daughter turned 16, the day my son graduated from high school, the day that my son turned 18, the day that my son went to college for the first time, the day that my daughter got her drivers license, the day that my MIL passed away, the day I found out my Dad had cancer, the day that my Dad had his surgery,the day that Lady had to be put down, the day that my son turned 21.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Nothing in particular comes to mind as a big achievement but over the last year, I have come into my own and am happy. This is a big achievement I think.

9. What was your biggest failure?

My biggest failure is getting caught up worrying about crap that I cannot change. Not spending enough time having fun with those I love.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No major illness or injury.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The best thing I bought was a ring for myself. It is designed in the shape of a flower to remind me to keep blooming and have a fresh start.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

All three of my kids have grown this year by leaps and bounds. I am proud of decisions each of them have made.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

This year I chose to not let others behaviors or decisions affect my mood or behavior so I will say no one.

14. Where did most of your money go?

All my money went to living expenses for me and the kids. I had very little extra this year but despite that, it was one of the best years I have had.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

winning both fantasy football leagues this year

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

the gundam style song. Mostly because my kids hate it that I didn’t know the name, I hear it everywhere and it makes me laugh.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Much Happier.

b) thinner or fatter? Same

c) richer or poorer? Same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Travel. Spend time with family and friends. Trying new things.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying and being afraid of what might happen next.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas eve- I had appetizers with my kids, went to Les Miserables with my daughter, mom and a friend.

Christmas day- with my parents, my sister and her family, homemade waffles it was awesome!

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

not in the conventional sense

22. What was your favorite TV program?

hands down- Downton Abbey!!!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

absolutely no! I don’t have time or energy for hating anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Language of the Flowers- excellent book

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?


26. What did you want and get by year’s end?

Foam memory topper and a Chi straightener- thanks to my wonderful children, I got both

27. What did you want and not get by year’s end?

A different vehicle. It will happen in 2013, my old Ford Windstar has 239,000 miles on it.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

None stick out. I did enjoy Hunger Games

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 43. I was at my friend Mary’s celebrating my birthday, her daughters birthday and her MIL birthday. We share the exact same birthday and are all exactly 30 years apart in descending order.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I can’t think of anything

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Fashion concept? umm I just try not to look old. lol.

32. What kept you sane?

My friends and family for sure. I have the best support system around.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

no one comes to mind

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

the election in general.

35. Who did you miss?

My friend Shawna. She is in Texas. I miss her constantly.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Diana. I connected with Diana in April of last year. It is like we have been friends forever. She will be my friend for life.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

I learned this year to look to see what is going on with others and not be so self focused. If someone is acting in a hurtful manner towards me, I try to see what might be causing them to act that  way and not take everything so personal. It has created true empathy in my this year.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

My friend Jenna and I share this one:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Stand a little taller

Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone

What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter

Footsteps even lighter

Happy new year!

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The Thing About Helping

I have been pondering the issue of helping as of late. Helping myself, my kids and others. How much is too much? How little is too little. How much time do I have to devote to helping? As a friend, a parent, a neighbor and a human being how much of a choice to I have when it comes to helping?

I love to help. I love to be there and make someone else’s life easier. Why? Do I like it because it makes me feel good? Yes, I suppose I do. Do I like it because it makes others feel good? Yes, I know that is a big part of it. Do I like it because it is something I know I should do? I don’t think so. I have a hard time doing things just because it is something I am supposed to do. I really have to believe in it to “own it”.

Modeling helping others is something that I have tried to do for my kids. I feel it is really important to look outside yourself, see the needs of others and do something about it. Volunteering in some capacity is a requirement for my kids. I don’t care how you volunteer or where but you must do it while you are in high school.

The reason I have been thinking about this so much is I really want to do more to help a family I know right now. The problem is, I have ideas but I don’t have the resources to pull it off. I am trying to figure out how to mobilize people and keep the expense to a minimum for us all. I may need help figuring it out. Asking for help is something I am not good at. Kinda hypocritical? Yep. I am working on it. Stay tuned….

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Me—This person is changing

Me—This person is hurting

Me—This person is happy

Me—This person loves her kids

Me—This person has wonderful friends

Me—This person’s life is completely changing

Me—This person loves to help

Me—This person cries easily

Me—This person wants to continue to grow and change

Me—This person is saying goodbye to important people in her life every two weeks for the next six weeks because they are moving

Me—This person is strong and will make it through what life throws at her

Me—I am happy to be me. I don’t always love myself. I don’t always make the right decision. I am me, I am who I am.

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A place to vent

My Twitter friend Chibi Jeebs needs a place to vent. I am happy to provide that space cause as you all know my blog could use a post.  This is what my friend has to say:

My phone rang when I got home last night.  It was Mom.  I was surprised because we had just spoken extensively the night before, and it was around the time she starts getting dinner ready.  My sister had another car accident.  Yes, another.  And because she said “another,” I just knew.  “She had another seizure, didn’t she?”
She started having seizures about ten years ago.  They ran multiple tests, but when they couldn’t find a cause she was labelled epileptic: she’s been on anti-seizure medication ever since.  Unfortunately, as an “immortal” teenager who didn’t ever witness the horror that is a grand mal seizure (I know there are more up-to-date terms, but I’m not sure what her seizures are categorized as), she never took it seriously: it was a big joke to her – until the day she had a seizure in class and realized that every single one of her classmates had now seen her convulse.
She hadn’t had a seizure for quite some time until she forgot to take a few pills.  She ended up falling off her bed onto her bedside table, breaking her lamp with her face (yup), and eventually doing a header down the stairs.  She gave herself a black eye and split her lip open.  She felt too embarrassed to go to school; she swore she’d “never forget again!”
And she didn’t.  For four years.  A combination of stress and forgetting a couple of pills caused her to have a seizure while driving.  She somehow managed to maneuver through a parking lot before crashing into a garbage container.  She totalled her car and broke her arm.  She also lost her license for six months.  Her insurance increased to an almost unaffordable amount.  We figured she’d learned her lesson.
Fast forward 1 year and 363 days later (seriously – I got goose bumps when I realized how close the dates were), my mom’s calling me to tell me that my sister’s had another seizure while driving.
This time was scarier, though.  She called Mom from a pay phone asking her to come pick her up because she had no clue where she left her car.  Yes, she had a seizure, crashed her car, came to, and wandered far enough away she couldn’t find it.  They drove around for an hour trying to find it (no luck).  Dad and our brother found it; unfortunately, the police had found it, too.  She somehow managed to maneuver between two SEMI TRUCKS in a truck stop parking lot before crashing into a cement abutment.  The whole driver’s side of the car was crumpled up; the windows on the driver’s side were smashed; both air bags deployed; there was damage to the ROOF of the car.  It’s totalled.  As Mom pointed out, if she’d been angled any differently, she could have gone under one of the freaking semis and decapitated herself.
She told Mom this wasn’t her fault.  When Mom looked at her and went “Pardon me?” all she could say was that it’s not HER fault she’s epileptic.  However, as Mom pointed out, it’s entirely her fault that she has seizures, because it’s entirely her fault she forgets her pills – pills she’s been taking for TEN YEARS.  And we’ve ALL tried to remind her (she gets pissy about us “nagging” her and treating her “like a child”).  Mom tried one of those seven-day pill holders (it’s still in the package on her desk).  We’ve told her to set an alarm on her cell phone, to put them beside her toothbrush, etc.  Nothing works.
At this point, she’ll lose her license again.  There’s a possibility she won’t get it back (and no, I don’t think this would be such a bad thing: at least she wouldn’t be on the road being a danger to herself and others).  Even if she does, her insurance will go through the roof.  I just…  I’m at a complete loss.  I’m pissed off and disappointed and frustrated and sick over what *could* have happened.  If she hasn’t learned her expensive, dangerous lesson yet, will she ever?
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A Happy Sad Kind of Day

When my son graduated from high school in June, one of the speakers said the words in my title. I have reflected on these words a couple times over the summer and thought about how true the words were. Yesterday was another one of those days, a happy sad kind of day. Yesterday, I took my first born to college. Yesterday was one of the happiest and saddest days of my life. Add to it being separated from my husband, it made it really tough. Thankful we get along and are trying to make things work so the day went great from that aspect but when I got home and cried, I longed for strong arms around me to hold me and tell me it would be okay. Instead, I was the strong arms, crying with my sobbing daughter, feeling like a puddle of mush.

It was a happy day. I am so proud of my son. He is a great man. He is so strong. I am very happy and proud that he is going to school, using his talents and bettering himself. He will do well and graduate with a Computer Science Degree and a minor in Music. I admire him, I never went away to school. I have a 2 yr. degree and lived at home until I got married. I have others experience to draw on but know frame of reference for myself. I talked to my middle son about this on the way home yesterday. So proud that he is planning on Chemical Engineering or Pre-med. Proud that I have raised confident children through all of my crap I am going through, I did okay and will continue to do okay. As I got home last night, B text me from college. He said, “I am having a great time. love you.” I was a proud puddle of tears.

I will get through this. It will all pass. He will come home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and in the summer. We will talk and be close. It will never be the same but we will settle into a new normal. I am and will always be his mother.

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Today I am remembering Madeline Alice Spohr. A little princess who impacts so many lives. A beautiful little girl taken from us too soon. Heather and Mike , Annabel and Rigby I am thinking of you, I am remembering with you, I am praying for you.

Today, I think, I dream and I see purple. Maddie’s color purple. I will, for the rest of my days, think of Maddie when I see purple. Beautiful purple flowers for a beautiful girl.

I took this photo this past summer and named it for Maddie.

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What a day I had

There is a reason that I call this blog staying centered in a crazy life. Crazy crap happens to me. I really don’t think I ask for it. What should be simple, never seems to turn out that way. Today is a prime example.

At 2:20, I get a call from B. Mom, I have a flat tire and I can’t find the jack.

Me- “Where are you?”

B- “I am on the side of the freeway.”

Me- “Oh my lord. I will get dressed and come!”

Yes, I said I will get dressed and go get him. Yes, it was 2:20 in the afternoon, I was still in my Pj’s. Not only was I in my Pj’s but they had pizza stains on them. I made myself a nice little lunch, and promptly spilled it all over myself. I was working from home, on the phone with a vendor trying to find artwork for shirts so I didn’t have time to change. Back to the story.

I ran upstairs, brushed my hair, kinda looked in the mirror, pulled on jeans and a sweatshirt, grabbed a cap and left. Notice I didn’t say- put on make-up, put on bra, put on socks. I just left. My kid was stranded on the side of the road, I was getting there as fast as I could.

As I drove, I talked to B on the phone, he was 20 minutes from home. Asked what happened, talked details, asked what he had tried, etc. I talked to hubs who was in a meeting downtown but happened to call. He had some good suggestions and new what was happening which made me feel better.

I get to B on the side of the freeway. Cars are whipping by, semi’s are whipping by practically blowing us over. I was freaked out to be honest. B and I are reading the manual, literally, on the side of the road to try to figure out how to free the spare tire from the bottom of the truck. Thank God B has a smart phone. We had to Google to figure out how to get the sucker off. The manual was absolutely no help!

We figured out how in theory to lower the tire. We were unsuccessful. I called hubs again. We just switch auto insurance and he remembered he got towing and road side assistance on the new plan. A call was made, help was being sent. This should be the end of the story right? Wrong. After waiting an hour for the road side assistance that they called, he pulls up, in a crappy old mini van. He gets out and doesn’t even touch the car. He said since we couldn’t get the tire off, he couldn’t changed it and could not help us. WTH? I was pissed. I signed the forms off he went.

By this point, B had been in the car 2 hours. We had the hazards on, the radio for a bit. You know what is coming next. Yep, we drained the battery. I called the insurance company again and said now not only do we need a tow, we also need a jump. We sat again. I had to pee for 1 1/2 hours at this point.

Meanwhile, H is calling. She is stuck at school! Crap! I racked my brain, made a couple of phone calls and got her picked up! A was calling too, but he was okay!

The next guys came with a big ass tow truck. On the way, they called the other guy a idiot. They got there, they tried everything B and I tried to get the tire down. They were unable to get it down. Come to find out, we were missing a piece off of the pipe. The beat the hell out of the pipe thingy and made it work. They jump started my van. I gave one of them a ride to a different tow truck while the other guy changed the tire.

B and I then drove the truck and van to the tire shop. Got new tires on the truck & a oil change. I got to pee after needing to go for 3 hours. Yes 3 hours! I almost ran to the restroom at the tire shop. We got home at 7:50. The day was shot but B said he was happy to be with me. We are safe and $300 poorer. All in a day.

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Our Community

This beauty is Layla Grace. She lost her battle with cancer today. I was honored follow this little girl on Twitter for the last few months. Today, with the rest of my Twitter and Blogging community, I mourn the loss of this precious life. Many do not understand the reasons I blog and am on Twitter. Many do not understand this community. Many do not understand the support, the love or the draw to this community. To me, this is their loss. They miss out for not opening up, not putting yourself out there, not expanding your community. I know some who read, really feel for me. They laugh with me, they hurt with me and for me. Today we cry with Layla’s family, we mourn with you, we cry for you. May God’s peace and love be with you today.

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