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Gobble Gobble


Last year I counted off a whole mess of things I was grateful for . This year, as you can tell by my lack of posting, I’m a little less motivated to put that list together. So I’ll keep it short and sweet. I am thankful. Period.
My life is far from perfect, but I am learning lessons and becoming better every day. I have work and love, however frustrating each of those things can be at times. My house may be messy, but my child is happy. For that, I give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled with love and warmth. Thanks to all!


Giving Thanks

Today I am thankful for many things. In the interest of time (and saving my thumbs as I am once again phone blogging), here are my top ten:

10. I am thankful that I get to work with caring, thoughtful, intelligent, funny people. At a time when work loads are nearly unbearable and people are trending towards permanent cranky, my job is (albeit hectic) a place of joy for me. I am truly grateful for my colleagues. I get to work with amazing people doing good, helping work that is challenging, interesting and meaningful. If I have to work outside my home there is nowhere I would rather work.

9. I am grateful for domestic technological advances. Yes, I’m talking to you dishwasher, love of my life. Washing machine and dryer, you’re pretty amazing too! Central heating and air… brilliant!

8. I am thankful to have more than enough food. I can’t even imagine how it would feel to send my child to bed hungry. I know so many children out there don’t have enough. This I one of those things I need to be more thankful for on a daily basis.

7. I am thankful for my cat, Bacheecho. He is my little gentleman, and he doesn’t get nearly enough credit these days.


6. I am thankful for my health. I know I complain about not being healthy enough, but I have no chronic diseases, have had no overnight hospital stays. I take how healthy I am and the amazing things my body does for me every day for granted. So thank you to my body, for getting me up, allowing me to dance with my child, drive my car, see the world around me, and live.

5. I am grateful for my friends, new and old. I have so many people who care about me, who fill so many roles in my life. They are inspiring, good hearted, interesting, and they truly enrich my life.

4. I am grateful for Jane Young, my incredible mother-out-law. She is kind, fun, thoughtful, and helpful. She loves my child like her own, listens to me gripe, is there for us any time we need her, and is completely selfless. I also think she raised a pretty great child of her own, but that’s just me.

3. I am thankful for my family. My mom and stepdad, my dad and step mom, my sister. They have each helped shape me into the person I am today. I had a great childhood, rich with love and experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

2. I am thankful for my ridiculously crazy awesome country home. I still sit and am awestruck that we own this house, this piece of land. We are so lucky. I never dreamed I’d live in such a beautiful place. I thought owning land was going to be out of my reach. But here I am. I get to look out my front window at this in the morning

And I have an amazing yard for my child with animals, a playground and so much room. It stretches all the way back to those trees.

And the big red barn? Really?! It’s all ours. I am such a lucky woman.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for these two

They are my life, my family, the reason I am here. I am grateful to each of them individually for being such marvelous people, loving me so much, and bringing joy to my heart.

Who knew 9 years ago, when I first started dating this guy Taylor, that this would be where we ended up. With our tiny person with the big personality, in our country home, having weathered some truly heartbreaking times, loving and living life, creating memories, being a family. I am so very blessed. CHEERS!


In my thoughts………..

This week it will be five years since my stepmother was killed in a car accident.  This tragedy was immense in my life.  When I received the call from my dad that she had been killed I thought he was joking.  I can still very much remember how the news hit my entire body.  I can vividly remember the quesadilla I had just made that was sitting on the counter.  I couldn’t stop thinking about that quesadilla.  It was like my mind couldn’t process the information so just kept defaulting back to the stupid food.  As the reality of the situation presented itself over the next few days, it felt like I was in some kind of surreal, hazy nightmare.  The first day I woke up at my dads house after the accident I remember thinking, “Oh my god, this isn’t going away.  This is real.”  It was terrifying.  And very true.  My dad and Mo were a pair, and lived their lives very happily together.  They got each other in a way that most people didn’t get them.  They were passionate, adventurous, and strange in a way that made sense to them.  I feel intensely sad when I think about my dad living without her, though I know he is so grateful for the time that they were able to spend together.  That kind of loss of a partner is unimaginable to me.  When I watch my dad with Josephine I can’t help but think of how much fun Mo would have had.  And I can’t help but think of her daughters, and how they will feel and do feel as they have children, get married, experience joys and struggles without the support of their mom.

Mo’s death was the beginning in a slough of death and loss in mine and Taylor’s lives.  Over the past five years so many of our friends and loved ones have died, almost like a cruel joke.  It seems like we would just catch our breath from one loss, only to be hit over the head with another.  We have lost my aunt, three of Taylor’s grandparents,Taylor’s father (when I was newly pregnant with Josephine), and two of my cousins, along with various friends and coworkers. 

The other day I drove past a cemetery that I have been to numerous times, and I thought, “Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been there.”  It felt like a lifetime, actually.  In reality, I was at that cemetery twice this year, most recently in March, when one of my longtime employees lost her battle with cancer.  How that seems like a lifetime ago is beyond me.  I think I feel safe if we go six months without a death. 

Last week I got an email from Mo’s sister telling me that my dad had been in a car accident and that he was at her house.  He was driving to my house to visit on Highway 50, the same highway that Mo died on five years ago.  My dad was a couple of hours late getting to our house, which worried me (particularly since I knew he was taking Highway 50, which I try to avoid at all costs), but I tried to put it out of my mind.  My dad sometimes stops at friends houses pushing his visit back, or decides to take a change of path at the last minute.  When I opened my email I had the familiar feeling of being hit by bricks – the wind knocked out of me, my skin getting tight and hot, my breath slowing down to a snails pace – that I have gotten anytime we get the call that someone died unexpectedly.  My mind screamed.  This was all in the .02 seconds it took me to read further that he was alive, but badly bruised and hurt.  My dad is really lucky to be alive.  His car veered off the road and he was airborne for quite a while as he went down the side of a hill, ping ponging off of trees until his car crashed into a tree about 250 feet down the hill.  He had to crawl up the hill back to the road and flag down a car, bleeding, bruised, with a sprained ankle.  Apparently his front wheel was pushed inside the drivers side of the car.  It could have easily pinned his foot in, causing him to be trapped down a ravine, without a line of sight to the road.  I shudder to think if this would have happened. 

I felt jolted by this accident in a way that I didn’t expect.  Early fall is always a little rough for me with death anniversaries abounding, particularly Mo’s, that started this trend, if that’s what you can call it.  This year, however, the dull feeling seems to be a little worse than usual.  I can’t pretend that bad things don’t happen and that the people around me are going to be safe.  I know that is untrue.  I know I can’t protect my daughter from feeling loss and sadness in the future.  I just want her to not have to feel that yet.  I am not ready for another tragedy.  I very much want and need a break.

My dad’s accident felt like a warning to me.  Don’t get too comfortable, remember that life is fleeting, remember what’s important.  I am guilty of worrying too much about things that don’t really matter in life in the long run.  I stress myself out over the lawn not being mowed, the dishes being clean at the end of the night, work that I need to get done tomorrow, next week, by the end of the year.  Although I know that this sounds counter productive for a trying not to be lazy person like myself, but I need to remember to slow down.  Take a deep breath and enjoy the here and now.  Let things go and forgive.  Live intentionally and claim my happiness.  Make the most of my time and really, truly love the people I am surrounded by.  And so in loving memory…for Mo, Ed, Jeanne, Emmett, Charlie and all the rest.  We miss you so, but try to live to the fullest in your memory. 

Dad and Mo, October, 2006

Me Time!

Last week Taylor surprised me with a day all to myself. When I woke up he told me I had two surprises. The first was a hair appointment to get my hairs dyed and cut (he must have had a hint that I was feeling a mess). It was amazing to get my hair done! I hadn’t cut my hair in a year or so (what? I told you I was lazy).

Next up was an appointment to get an hour long massage. Seriously. It was pure heaven. I was so relaxed at the end that I forgot who I was… It was just what I needed. My neck has been superiorly fucked up lately, and now I feel freaking fantastic! Taylor planned to have Josephine stay at his moms house, so we went to dinner at the toddler unfriendly time of 7:30! I know, it’s like we were teenagers again! Party over here!
But seriously, folks. It was really really nice of Taylor to treat me to a day where I was getting pampered. I don’t take time for myself really at all. From the moment I get up until I drop into bed I am mostly doing things for other people (although I suppose I am cleaning the house for my own benefit too, but you know what I mean). I understand why people say you have to put yourself at the top of the list sometimes, but I also know why so many moms just don’t. Or feel like they can’t.
Being a mom (a parent in general) is non stop work. Joyful work, yes, but work nonetheless. It is easy to forget to nurture yourself when you are busy nurturing your little one. It’s easy to put self care off because, well, you know babies grow quick so you better cherish the time, play and get dirty with your child, teach her life lessons, manners, empathy, make meals and give baths, make time for the messy stuff like painting, muddy puddles, running wild, and plus the dishes need to be done, the floor needs swept, that bathroom is dirty again, and those weeds don’t pull themselves you know! And then for some of us there is our outside of the house job too. Reports, meetings, data collection, meetings, strategic plans, more meetings. Phew!
So thank you Taylor, for remembering that sometimes a mama needs to feel like a lady too. And for seeing what I need, even when I don’t have the time or the forethought to ask for it. Thank you for being so thoughtful and proactive. Thank you for forcing me out of mama mode every once in a while when I get completely sucked in. Thank you for being. I love you. Your crazy fast mind thinks of everything!
Oh, and p.s. If you need a haircut, Irene is amazing. Email me if you want her info. And for an out of this world massage, Michelle at Zenia’s Yoga and Massage is so, so good.
And now, back to life…..