Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer Days...

The summer is passing so quickly. In just a few weeks, the kids will be back in school, I will be back at work, and our days will be filled with schedules and assignments.

We have been taking great advantage of our summer this year. In addition to lots and lots (and LOTS!) of baseball, we have been swimming and planning a little cottage trip that all of us will be going on during the 3rd week of August.

We are going here: Cobden Village. Its a nice resort that has water slides, wading pools, a big lake, mini-golf, and a petting zoo...a kid and parent paradise :)

Kirby will be staying with my friend, Julie while we are away. There is just too much water at this resort for Kirby to behave himself well! He totally has the personality of whatever percentage of Newfie is in him, and he cannot stand to be within a mile of water without being in it.

With good intentions of course, he will be trying to rescue every human he spots in the water, and drag them to safety on land.

This will probably be cute for the first 100 people, but after that, it may get a little annoying.

So, he will be staying on a REAL farm with cows and kittens (and deer, and raccoon, and *eek* skunks, and things that go Bump In The Night), and of course...with his girlfriend, Millie, who might just teach him to climb a tree and not be afraid of little hoppy toads and butterflies!

I have also just returned from a week in New Hampshire with the girls. Paige came back with me, but Dakotah is staying for another two weeks or so...she always spends some time there in the summer with my family.

We had a good time - its always nice spending time with my sister and catching up on all of the gossip about the town I grew up in. I'm so shocked to see how real estate has skyrocketed in the area...the house I grew up in is now considered "prime" and its incredible the price tag that would be put on our house now.

Someday we are going to be brave and knock on the door and ask the new owners if we can see what they have done to the house.

I love old houses - love the history and character and charm that come with them. We would love to tell them stories of the house and our family growing up our dog would lie behind the woodstove on cold winter mornings, and my father would simmer a big pot of apples on the top of it in the fall.

Friday would have been my dad's 75th birthday - I so would have loved him to have the chance to get old - I'm sure he would still have that funny personality, that snow white hair, and those bright blue eyes we all inherited.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blogger Reflection Award

Nicole at All 4 My Gals has nominated me for this award.

"The “Blogger Reflection Award” should make an individual reflect upon five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and who have provided a Godly example. In other words, five dear bloggers whom, when you reflect upon them, you are filled with a sense of pride and joy...of knowing them and being blessed by them.”

Of course, with this criteria, I would nominate Nicole again (her fourth nomination!) if I could. She has always been such a kindred soul of mine. It seems so strange to say we've never met - because she is like a sister to me, and it would be so natural to just "hang out" with her. She has a great laugh, and a strong sense of herself and her relationship with God. Her generous spirit is amazing.

This is what Nicole had to say about me:

"My first nomination is to Betsy at "Bits of Betsy" who truly is my mentor in so many ways. Betsy is one of the first moms who reached out to me and helped me after I received my prenatal diagnosis. Over the last 7+ years she has shown me what true friendship is, what true love for your children looks like and what love for the Lord can do in our lives."

Here are my nominations:

1) Tara Marie at Emma Sage's blog. TM shares her family's life through pictures of her children, and her extended family. She never fails to capture the true meaning in a photograph - from her dear Mamie's hands, to Emma Sage catching a frog, to Otto all dressed up in his Little League uniform. TM also weaves a beautiful life story for us, full of wonderful stories of her mom and her Irish roots, and her journey of raising Emma Sage. TM is always an inspiration to me, a constant reminder that Paige is as she should be, that she does not need to be fixed, and that the greatest tool in raising a fulfilled, amazing young lady is love.

2) Heather at Especially Heather. Heather has recently been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Heather's faith has been tested over and over again, as she has seen much hardship in the past few years. Her daughter, Emma, underwent a heart transplant. Heather writes about her daily struggles with her illness, as well as her incredible faith in the Lord. She is honest in her writing, and doesn't sugar coat her fears. My prayers are often with Heather as she struggles to get better.

3) Matt & Ginny tell their story of Eliot, their little boy who died at 99 days old. Eliot was born with a fatal chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18, and his parents knew they must treasure every day of his life. Their faith in God led them through the days of Eliot's life, and all of us should find true inspiration in the strength they showed as they cherished their son. Please watch the beautiful tribute to Eliot.

4) Amanda Baggs at Ballastexistenz. Probably more than any blog I've ever read, Amanda has completely changed my perspective - not only about people with Autism, but about how we judge a person based on their exterior. Amanda's posts and videos make me reflect and re-think things I thought I knew so much about, but really, knew very, very little about. She is an intelligent, well-read, very thoughtful person who has so much to offer the world. It is a shame for anyone who does not take the time to learn from her.

5) My last award goes to someone who reminds me that God has a great sense of humor as well. This person is so funny, so "out there" sometimes, but yet, so well-grounded and so very sweet too. I just know she is the kind of person who lights up a room when she walks into it - who laughs out loud, and doesn't hold back on her opinions. She lives with great passion, and great joy. We would (and will!) be fast friends the moment we meet - and she will make me feel 21 again, I'm sure. This nomination goes to LauraQ at Now I'm a Mom.

Here are the rules for those who have been nominated!

  • Copy this post
  • Reflect on five bloggers and write at least a paragraph on each one.
  • Make sure you link this post so others can read it.
  • Post the rules.
  • Leave your chosen bloggers a comment so they know they have been nominated.
  • Place the award on your site.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

To My Amazing Daughter

Dear Dakotah,

Tomorrow, I will drop you off for a very important event that may very well change your life forever. You will join 500 other teenagers as you Journey to The Father.

Having been on retreat before, I know the power of these experiences, and I hope (and pray) that you will open yourself up to the beauty of the weekend, that you will fully embrace all that you are about to experience, and that you will come back a richer, fuller, more beautiful young lady than you already are.

You have been one of my greatest joys, my best blessings, and I thank God for you every single day, when I wake up in the morning, and before I close my eyes at night. I have so many hopes and dreams for you as you go through the next phase of your life...being a teenager is exciting, challenging, and tough at the same time.

You will have so many choices to make, and I hope that we have given you the foundation you need to chose wisely. I hope you will leave your heart open enough to love deeply, and that those who you allow in will treat you with great respect and do their best not to hurt you.

Still, there will be times when you are hurt - when a friend betrays you or a boy rejects you. You will feel like the world is ending.

Remember, though, that Our Lord never, ever abandons you. Reach for Him in the quiet of the night. Talk to Him. More importantly, listen to and for Him. I have found that has been the biggest lesson for me. I will pray and pray, and be frustrated that He is not hearing me, and not answering my prayers, and then, I will take a deep breath, and realize that I just need to be still, to sit in silence, to relax, and then...suddenly, I feel Him, and know He is there.

This is a very unique experience, one that teenagers travel for hundreds of miles to attend. We are very lucky that we are just 15 minutes away from The Retreat.

This is just a part of what you will see...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I'm a Rockin' Girl!

My silly friend, Nic, nominated me for this award. Not exactly for the content of my blog, but because we're still just glad we get called "girl" once in a while, (mixed in with all those ma'am's!)

I'm sure there was a time in my life when I was a Rockin' Girl - I'm sure of it!!

I think it happened sometime between being President of the National Honor Society, 2nd in my high school graduating class, Class VP, etc., and well...getting married at 27. Let's face it, that gave me 9 years to do something rockin.

So, just for fun, I'll remember some of those times...those times when I was actually cool for a while - or thought I was, lol.

1) Living in NH, I was very politically active, and the company I worked for hosted all of the Democratic and Republican Candidates for the 1988 elections. I was one of 9 employees (interestingly enough, those selected were all single girls in their 20's at the time!) to cater these forums. It was an interesting few weeks, and I partied with more than a few top name candidates, secret service guys, and the various entourages that trailed along. I was all Paris Hilton, living the celeb life, for a while.

2) I won a wet t-shirt contest at a biker bar once. I still have the "Party Naked" t-shirt that I won for my stunning performance, lol.

3) I jumped out of my friend Ken's 40th birthday cake, donning red one-piece union jack pj's, and a tutu. I danced to "Leave Your Hat On" by Joe Cocker (whom I saw in concert once!)

4) This same friend, Ken, and I made roast beef sandwiches on a ceiling after a particularly festive night at a town hall dance. Note: things stick better with mayonnaise.

5) I once went to a Halloween dance at the same Town Hall, dressed with three other friends as crayons. My friend Allison mooned a police officer, and I charmed her way clear of getting in trouble by giving my sister's phone number to the officer (he had dated her years before in high school). He then basically stalked my sister for months on end - showing up at her house uninvited, calling her, etc. - She was already married with two kids at the time.

6) I was pulled up on stage during a "Sawyer Brown" (I know, no one knows who they are!) concert because I was wearing pink high-top Converse that matched one of the bass players. He stopped the concert and autographed them for me! Funny thing is, Dakotah now has a HUGE obsession with Converse running shoes.

7) I once dated a sales rep from the company I worked for who was easily 20 years my senior. He romanced me like the sugar daddy he was - taking me to concerts, out to dinner, his weekend cottage, etc.

We "broke up" because the last date I had with him was to meet him in this very posh restaurant for dinner. He requested that I wear red. I showed up in a red dress, spotted him, and he rose to meet me. As he guided me back to "our" table, there was a woman sitting there (also in red) who could have been my very own twin - except she, too, was 20 years my senior! She introduced herself as his wife, and told me she had heard wonderful things about me.

Needless to say...I had heard NOTHING about her - and I ended that relationship very, very quickly!!!

8) I once bought a car because the sales rep who test drove it with me flirted shamelessly with me, and told me that my eyes matched the color blue it was, and that my blonde hair was gorgeous. It was a blue Dodge Daytona - the car that later became the "Official Car of the NHL" - something I'm sure totally impressed my soon-to-be husband when I met him.

So...there you go - I was cool - or foolish - or a little bit of both at one time.

Now, I'm everything your Daddy wants you to grow up to be, lol - responsible, moral, boring...
People describe me as "inspiring" and "sweet." I volunteer, carpool my kids around in a MINIVAN, advocate for my children, am active in their schools, etc.

I cook homemade meals, and bake cookies for friends.

But, hey, sometimes I bring along a bottle of wine. Does that help me retain my Rockin' Girl status?

Did I mention I have a tatoo???