Sunday, May 22, 2011

moving on

I lost my Mom 2 years ago today.

I'm still grieving. A well-meaning person in my life said a few months ago "I think the loss of your Mom is affecting your confidence, affecting a lot of your life. Maybe it's time to find a way to move past it." This person was acknowledging a change in me over the past 2 years. Not that I'm depressed and locked in a room but that something is different with me.

What does that mean . . . move past it? Package my loss up in a box, set it on the ground, and walk away? Even if I could, I don't know that I would. Because with grief is memory, sentiment, a current of love. If I tell myself I've moved past it, that box will show up on my front porch when I least expect it, something will jump out of it and claw me apart.

Grief is not a straight line that disappears into the horizon. It's a curvy line that goes up and down, thins out for a while then widens when you're unsuspecting. I'll have days in a row where I don't feel the weight of her loss, when my new "normal" has settled in. Then I'll see a woman sipping iced tea the same way my Mom did and it's back, the wide line, running through my heart.

I'm sure those days of normal will continue to increase in duration, running into each other for weeks, then months, then maybe years. But there will always be iced tea sipped the same way she did, a Christmas ornament that she would've loved, grandbabies born without her there to welcome them into the world, her robe hanging in my closet that still smells like her. And my heart will skip a beat, I'll think of her, and I will grieve.

Does this affect my confidence? My otherwise optimistic "the world is meant to be lived and loved in" personality? Sure as hell does. Do I feel like my safety net, my ever-present cheerleader is no longer on the sidelines to tell me I'm making the right choices, and the right mistakes? Yup. But that's ok. Death is part of life, and it can change you. Change is also a part of life and not a bad thing. I'll search the crowd for my other cheerleaders, I will. I'm just having a little trouble moving past the empty spot where she once was.

I'm fortunate that my loss feels like this. Because it means she was such a force in my life, so dear to me, so loved to be so missed. She, too, is missing the richness in the lives she created.

There is so much I plan to do with my one wild and precious life. The grief and the knowing of my loss will accompany me along the way, not impeding my joy but rather, weaved into my heart, a wavy unpredictable line of memory.

Bry Misty Wedding April 2005 (9)
Linda Cunningham, 2005.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

at sea

While I've been away on business, staring at this

and this.

Rich and Charlie have been galavanting on a boat off the Long Beach coast, enjoying scenery like this.

They took off early this morning in Garet & Yvette's boat, Charlie all settled in.

Chazzy rocked his Kanye West sunglasses and chilled in the seat.

There was a bit of fishing.

And finally, after a smooth day at sea, the boat was pulled in and Charlie was ready to go home.
Yes, that's a temporary tattoo on his arm. I'm bribing him with those to brush his teeth.

Rich said he was asleep within minutes of getting strapped into his carseat. I think my boy is a boat lover.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

photos from home

Whenever I travel, Rich sends me tons of photos of what's going on at home.

I love it that he does this.

And photos like this make me smile.


Now I'm off to bed. This day needs to be over for me.

a chance meeting

Sometimes when you're having a bad day, a horrible "why is everyone kicking my ass?" kind of day, something wonderful happens.

As I'm rushing through the Columbus, Ohio airport, on my cell phone, late for my boarding plane, I run straight into a dear, very much missed friend.
happy circumstances

Mindy Noordhoff. The one and only. Who currently lives in Austin, TX. I haven't seen you in years, Mindy, and there you are to light up my afternoon. The chances of us running into each other, in Ohio, passing each other in the airport must be a million to one.

But I'm glad our stars were crossed today.

I miss you, girl. Take care and hopefully our paths will cross purposefully sooner rather than later.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Yo Gabba Fest

Still all this time later, he loves Yo Gabba Gabba. And I love him in this sweatshirt.

Gabba fest

Gabba fest

Monday, May 9, 2011

a baby no more

2 years, 6 months. That’s how old my boy is. And he looks like a little boy.

From the stink eye he gives me when he doesn’t want to leave the park

To his standard jeans and t-shirt uniform.
big man jeans

From his love of all things gadgets (like my coveted iPad)
ipad lover

To the disastrous messes he makes with orange soda (or “sodie” as he calls it).
orange soda disaster

He is my boy, my sweet Charlie. The little boy who is always asking questions, soothing me when I don’t feel good (he pats my face and says “Isssss ok, mama”). The child who dances around the living room with such ferocity when he hears “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. Puts his hands up to say a prayer before dinner.

2 and half years. And melting my heart every step of the way.

Charlie, 2 years + 6 months

Mother's Day

This past weekend was a lovely, mostly uneventful (except the truck incident) Mother’s Day celebration.

A beautiful necklace from Stella & Dot caught me by surprise. French toast and OJ from my sweet boys. Dinner with our good friends Tom & Michelle.

And carrying on the tradition, Rich took my Mother’s Day photos.

He’s so good with our camera.
Mother's Day 2011

Charlie was tough to chase down in the yard.
Mother's Day 2011

But I finally caught him and forced him to be photogenic. (It’s a tough job, really, can’t you see?)
Mother's Day 2011

I think I look like my Mom in this photo. Realizing this truly topped off my Mother’s Day.
Mother's Day 2011

towing not available

Saturday morning in review:

8:45 am
I talked Rich into taking his 61 Chevy truck to pick something up at Ikea. He was nervous that it might not make it the 20 mile distance. But I was bullying him into it with the "What in the world do you have a truck for if we can't use it" crap.

9:15 am
Charlie strapped in his car seat, me squished in the middle and Rich gunning it down the 405 freeway. About 10 miles from our house, the temperate gauge jumped from a safe 160 degrees to 210. The truck started smelling like burning metal & there was a popping sound. Rich pulled over on the nearest exit and managed to get the truck into a parking lot before it really blew.

9:30 am
Assessment - a hose is blown, the engine too hot and green liquid spewing all over the parking lot. I call Hagerty Insurance towing line. The agent who assisted me was horrible, they ask for way too much information (especially when you're in distress) and gave what I thought was a long wait time (45 - 55 minutes).

10:00 am
The woman from Hagerty calls me back to tell me she has not yet "found a service provider to commit to towing us". Seriously???? It's not as if we're 50 miles into the desert. We are in Los Angeles County! She proceeds to let me know she doesn't know when she'll find someone. I have a meltdown and cancel the towing.

10:15 am
I call our other towing provider (can't mention the name). They are polite, speedy and assure me will have a tow in 30 minutes or less, maybe a few minutes more because we need a flatbed.

10:45 am
Status from towing provider B is that it will be another hour to hour/15 minutes for our tow truck. My second meltdown of the day and cancellation of the 2nd tow.

11:00 am
Rich has jerry-rigged the hose, strapped us back in the truck, said a prayer and hits the gas. We make it 3 miles down the road before we have to stop and refill with water (and repair the hose again).

11:45 am
After hitting every light on our way home and nervously watching the temperature gauge (and listening to Charlie ask 1,357 times "What happened?), we made it home.

12:00 pm
Rich was making calls to local shops to have the truck repaired. And I have apologized a million times for pushing him to take the truck. He was kind and gracious and didn't once say "I told you so". I guess that was part of my Mother's Day weekend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

a nursery for twin babies

. . . no, not our twin babies. My friend, Ann, is ready to give birth to a little boy and little girl any day.

Today I took some snaps of the beautiful nursery that she put together for the babies. So pretty.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Or view the slideshow here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

pee in the potty

To catch you up to speed on the potty training initiative:

We tried a few months back. He was not ready. Now that he's in preschool, I have a trifecta of potty training support among his school, my babysitter (Marina) and well, me. He seems ready because he asks to sit on the potty. Usually nothing happens but it was a step in the right direction.

Today was Day 2 at school of attempting to potty. And my little man peed in the toilet! (As opposed to last week when he sat on the toilet with no success then promptly hid in a corner and peed all through his clothes and shoes.)

Katie rewarded him (and GiGi for being the supportive bestie) with ice cream after school. Look how my boy loves ice cream . . .

pee reward

Sunday, May 1, 2011

the ocean blue

I mentioned in my previous post that Rich was out on the ocean today.

He was invited along for a day of fishing with our friends Garet & Yvette.

This is the first time Rich has ever done anything like this. He took some gorgeous photos with his lil' old iPhone.

Take a look.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

some things are more important than others

Today has been a surreal day.

I had some moments of fear, of staring out of this window.
something to look at

Rich was on a boat in the Pacific, far from me (safe on land). And it freaked me out.

Rich's fishing excursion

I returned home to find this:

don't sweat the small stuff

Cook became panicked and tore up the carpet in the den.

And at 8:45 tonight, my Dad called to tell us about this.

Now, before I head to bed, I've learned two things today. (1) Some things are just more important that others and (2) watching an entire country celebrate is both awe inspiring and unsettling.


glasses by marciphee
glasses, a photo by marciphee on Flickr.

Is it just me . . . or does he look like the baby from the Hangover?

photo studio

photo studio by marciphee
photo studio, a photo by marciphee on Flickr.

Our neighbor Katie has her own in-home photo studio.

So I tried it out with Charlie. This photo makes me laugh. Someday I'll embarrass him with it.