Thursday, January 21, 2016

Joyful Funerals

I took my grandmom to a funeral of a friend of her's today. Her friend was 3 years younger, 94, and up until the last 4 months, had a full and happy life. Her last 4 months were in serious pain, but let's not dwell on that..

This friend was a dear bridge playing partner for 10 years - they were partners every Saturday, emailed frequently (yes, emailed), and would play Scrabble online (yes, online) almost every single day, plus talk on the phone until their hearing aids started giving them feedback. Then it was primarily email for non-Saturday conversations.

Funerals amaze me. I found out how important this person was to a whole bunch of people - and it was real. It was sincere. Funerals of people I have known also amaze me, finding out different sides of them that I never know. We never really know a full person, right? We are all a little different to our people - maybe in our groups we are silly, or quiet, or funny. Maybe with our family we are directive, or rule-oriented, or serious, or the fun one. Maybe with our children we are friends, or firm, or distant. I love the different perspectives of a life.

Millie, who I never met, lived an extraordinary life. She was born in 1921 and double majored in biology and chemistry, but the family didn't have the money to have her go into medicine, so instead she joined the WAC (Women's Army Corps) and served at Walter Reed as a physical therapist. She raised two daughters, worked part time, served in a serious capacity with the Democrats, read to the blind, did crossword puzzles in ink, forged serious bonds with all four of her grandkids and knew them. Visited them, saw their games and plays and things, emailed with them, texted with them, and apparently wrote "Like" as a comment on  their Facebook posts because she didn't quite understand the like button. Her daughters and her four grandchildren all got up and spoke about her, and you could honestly feel the sincerity of how much love she gave, how sassy and curmudgeonly she could be, how smart and interested and alive she was.

I also got to spend the day with my grandmom, who is 97, and who was sad because she lost someone important to her. She told me all her friends are dead. We talked about how being 97 is a good thing, how she has gotten to know and love so many people, and yes, lose so many, too. It must be hard, though. To have lost so many people important to you.

I feel honored to have been part of today, to meet this woman through the people who loved her most, to hear how important a life can be, and to appreciate life, today, just a little bit more.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Perspective and Thankfulness and lots of finished crafts

I received a "Thankful" journal from a friend at the holidays, and I write in it sporadically. Honestly, I tend to write in it when I'm VERY annoyed about something, or if something big has happened. So if I am frustrated with Tate and her non-ability-to-hang-her-towel-ness, I will end up writing how thankful I am to HAVE her, and why. It isn't like I plan that, it just feels like I want to write that at those moments. Odd.

I had a wonky health issue the other day, all is well now, but I was worried. First thing I did when I got home was to write how thankful I am for doctors who give their careers up to help save others. What a noble profession. I think it's easy to get lost in the insurance claims and the short visits, but these are people who are dedicated to making sure people they don't know are okay. I think that's pretty great.

On other topics, I have been terrible about taking photos of the things I have made recently, for Christmas or just in general. I made coasters for my parents (crochet), a scarf for my mother-in-law which I also did not get a photo of, a shrug for Tate, and a cuttlefish for Smith. I also made little gift card crochet holders which seem to be a big hit, and a future class for the local knit/sew/crochet store. I also made a cute bag that will be a future child class. I am now making birthday presents for my niece and my mom, and a QUILT for ME! I've had this flannel fabric for about 3 years, with the intent of making a quilt. Tate is taking a sewing class my MIL got her for Christmas at this great local store. She's making a pouf (an ottoman, essentially) and it has inspired me to do some sewing. I just need the binding material and the stuff for the insides and I'm ready to go!

gift card holders/change purses

Crochet bag, future class

Hat and wrist warmers for my beautiful niece

Tate at her pouf class

Quilt top, complete!

Ice skating, Egyptian style, in her shrug

This is from where I got the cuttlefish design - Smith's is red but looks just like this guy.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Snowy days, warm(ish) house. We've been sledding and keeping warm. So far, the kids have had 3 snow days, and 2 with 2 hour delays. I think I have that right. So 3 days so far that were full and on time. Smith went to school yesterday for 5 minutes before I got him for his orthodontist (!!!) appointment. It was nice to have the house to myself for 30 minutes.

He's getting braces at some point this year, likely April or May. Feels like a big step - another step toward "finishing" him. It feels good. Tate surprised me last night with a long note. I got up to our room to go to bed, and there was a long note about a couple things that are upsetting to her, and I was so thankful that she had written it. I wrote her a long note back, so pleased that she was sharing what was going on in her head and her world.

I've started in on a couple new knitting and crochet projects. I'm now down to my waist on my sweater - if I buckled down and finished it, it would not take me too much longer. I get distracted too easily! But I did sign up for doing another crochet class, this time, boot cuffs! I got a skein of yarn last night at the Finch and started working on them so I can see how much time they take. I also have two projects in the works for my mom and for Cassidy - February and March birthdays!

Tate just started her Christmas present from Grammy - a sewing class at the Finch, creating and sewing a pouf!! She took the first class last night and LOOOOOOOVED it! I think we have a budding sewer. Sew-er, not sewer. Ew. She picked very Tate-like colors. She's doing the class with 3 other girls from her soccer team, and there was definitely a spirit of competition going on in there.

Time to wake up the house - it's a full day of school today!

tate preparing for a friend

like a squishy teddy bear!

cream soda float at Shoes

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 - a New Year!

I keep hearing/reading about people making New Year Intentions instead of Resolutions, and i like it. Resolutions seem bigger, although I don't really follow them anyhow.

I think, maybe with age or cutting myself more slack, that I've gained more perspective into myself. I am a good mom and wife - I know this. I am a good employee, too. I am an okay house-tender, which will simply have to do as I do not want to give more effort into cleaning. David asked me the other day why I hadn't pushed the kids to help me clean the house more instead of ice skating, and I had to answer - I will ALWAYS choose ice skating with the kids over cleaning. Always. I will remember that over having a clean house.

So. My intentions. My intentions are to honestly stay the course I am on.
* live intentionally
* experience laughter and joy every day, hopefully far outweighing sadness and stress
* enjoy my peeps every day
* listen better (I could use some work on that end!)
* cut myself slack when things are tough and balance is elusive

I am cutting myself slack on my blog, as I haven't posted since September and am not going to do a giant recap!

Happy 2015 - to living!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

What's in a week?

Quick check of my photos shows me that since Saturday, 13 September, a whole lot has been going on over here.

Saturday - Meeting at a math/science school that Smith is going to apply to. Only 60 kids out of 700 get accepted, so it's a loooong shot, but he is interested so we'll see what happens.

Saturday later - Smith, Grammy and I went to Antietam with my cousin, Steve, to see the reenactment of the battle. The battle actually occurred 152 years ago, September 17. It was a drizzly day that ended up being beautiful with great temperatures, and it was really nice to spend the day with Steve, who is a Civil War EXPERT. We hit a yummy creamery for ice cream on the way home.

Grammy's first selfie! She and Smith were cracking up.

Sunday - Taters had a game about 2 hours away. We drove with friends, as Smith and David had a different game that was far away. We won, and it was a pretty day to be outside. Afterwards, the entire team went for ice cream. I love this team! The girls and the parents. Really could not be happier.

Monday - Smith came home not feeling well. Got puppy cuddling, though.

Seriously, this dog.

Thursday - High school football game, and the 8th grade middle school band was invited to work with the HS marching band. Smith played (I can't remember its real name) a french horn/trumpet, or as he called it, a frumpet. It was a beautiful night!

Friday - Elementary Ice Cream Social! No pics as I as co-chair and busy, but it was all outside and fun and a great time with all the kids. Pre-social, we had the kids at the school making a maze for the classroom mouse? Hamster?

Saturday - Brownie meeting and short hike, gymnastics, lunch with my mother-in-law, then dinner at her place. Full and nice day.

Sunday - more soccer (Taters scored both goals!). bake sale with her bff (made $80 - $30 of it was for pediatric cancer research. Go girls!), dog park and then regular park. Gorgeous day.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Off my hooks and on my needles

I'm so excited, it looks like I am going to teach a crochet class at Finch, this awesome store near us! They do sewing and knitting and have yarn and fabrics. I am so thrilled.

I made this hat for the class, but it seems they have a lot of people wanting to make hats for their men, so I got some beautiful charcoal gray yarn from Finch to make a "store model". I'm just about done it, but no photos of it yet. Meanwhile, I am keeping this baby for me. Love it.

This beauty is going well. I am so happy with my yarn choice. It's that short sleeve sweater, which was DEFINITELY going to be done by fall so I could wear it, but whatever. Life gets busy. It's a fun project and will look cute in February, too :-)

Now I am on to thinking about what I'm going to make for the holidays! Tara and I have a great plan down, meeting once a week for about an hour to stay "on task" for gifts, knitting/crocheting/having coffee/feeling our pain after a barre class. Good times!

Smith Mountain Lake

One of our favorite places - Smith Mountain Lake. We did our usuals, Sheetz, lots of jet skiing, paddle boating, lake swimming, hammock dozing, ice cream eating. Brett and Kim came, too, which was really nice - Brett did a bunch of swimming with the kids in the lake, too. Kim and I did some hard-core paddle boating :-).

My favorite day/time was when the 4 of us took the pontoon boat to the bottom of the mountain, "parked" it, and spent the next 2+ hours eating lunch, jumping in the lake and back onto the boat again and again, and just having a great time. One time, there was a giant horsefly, and David pushed us all out of the way to jump in first. We kept joking that he was the captain, yet out FIRST. Very funny. 

It was a great end to a great summer. We came home on Monday of Labor Day, and got ourselves ready for the school year!

Apres Sheetz

Lunch and boat time

Riding to Mitchell's

Hammock time!

Smith's first catch of the trip

Extreme Paddle Boating

Guinea Fowl Posse

Homemade beekeeper suit after David got stung from standing on a bee's nest. He got about 15 stings. We found this great worksuit that was my great uncle's, and it was exactly David's size!