And it’s free

December 30th, 2009

I love this photo.

Looking at it, you really have no idea where it was taken.

What I see is my Dad, my son and my lovely brother.

This photo will always remind me of how this Christmas seemed just a little different than the rest.

What this photo doesn’t tell you, is that my brother just gave my dad the greatest gift in the world by going to Christmas Eve mass with him.  That gift elicited tears of joy from my father before, during and after church.

It cost nothing and he didn’t even burst into flame!  I did have my camera there just in case he would.  How cool would that be?

Adam and I gave CT a simple sweatshirt.  He didn’t ask for it.  It wasn’t anything particularly amazing but he loved it non the less.  As we sat at the table Christmas morning he thanked me for the sweatshirt, for about the fifth time.  He was truly grateful for this gift and wanted me to know how grateful he was.  At nine, we saw it.  He was honestly grateful.  Not just telling us thank you because he knows he has too.

Tears rolled down my cheeks at the table as we passed the rolls.  His gift to me…his honest gratitude.

And the last of the gifts that made a difference this year were the letters.  My dad hand wrote letters to everyone and so did Nana and Papa.

Nana and Papa wrote each person a Christmas note that reminded us of our own unique special gifts and just how much they appreciate them.

PJ’s read:  A purposeful disposition, physical strength, an organized mind, an enterprising spirit and the love of her family.

CT’s read:  A very warm heart, a sound body for sports, creativity in thought, inventiveness and the love of his family.

KP’s read:  Big eyes and a smiling face, fast afoot, powers of concentration, the will to help and the love of his family.

These are gifts that maybe only an adult can love, but as an adult I must say, the generousity of thought and love that went on this year was amazing.

Christmas Eve Morning Run

December 24th, 2009

Adventure Cats

As our new running buddy Katie, who chose to go to the gym this morning instead of run with us said, “You’re kinda like the Postal Service, you run in anything.”

That we do.

This particular run, with all the snow and unplowed streets was ridiculous and funny and fun.

Thanks for the run girls.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

In the spirit of the sweet baby Jesus

December 22nd, 2009

Yesterday the kids and I brought a tree to my parents house to decorate for them, for Christmas.  This turned out to be one of those labors of love that I would have rather stuck sharp rusty nails into my eyeballs than have to do again. I did not go as I had planned, any of it.

After 7 hours, 3 stores, a trip back to my house, lunch out, 2 snacks, 1 lost dog and three tree stands later, my mom and I stood by the decorated tree and laughed.  The stroke that I thought I was having around 3:00 subsided as the white wine washed away the throbbing temple pain at 7:00.

We continued to laugh as I explained that this was suppose to be no effort for them, just joy and ease.

We laughed even harder at the pot the Christmas tree ended up in, filled with sand and rock and the fact that the tree still DID NOT stand real straight.

We laughed harder still when I reenacted my bout of Coprolalia that occurred during this most lovely tree trimming event.

Then I almost spit out my wine when my oh so sweet mother said,

“Yeah, I found myself saying fuck the other day.  And then I said to myself, FUCK you better FUCKING stop saying the word FUCK!”

And I couldn’t stop laughing as I asked her if I could blog what she just said.

Shhhhh, it’s coming

December 21st, 2009

Are you ready?

Silver Holloware…married so long now no Traditional gift exists

December 20th, 2009

Right this moment, when I look out the window, it looks just like it did when Adam and I walked down Michigan Avenue 16 years ago.  It was dark and the snow was falling in big beautiful flakes, as the light from the street lamps bounced off them.  We had decided at the end of dinner that night, that we were going to Vegas to get married, and literally…we were on our way.

That was 16 years ago.

We only called one person from the plane, our old roommate Pat, who we had just spent the night with after seeing a Paul Westerberg concert.  (Happy Birthday Pat!)

We didn’t give a moments thought to where we might sleep, who was going to marry us, what we were going to wear or where we were going to get married. Who cares about such details?

So we forged ahead.  Hours later, we found ourselves walking towards the alter, for all three of those steps, wedding music played out of a boom box.   A stranger stood before us with a bible, some words of wisdom and we exchanged vows with tears in our eyes, knowing THIS was it.  Knowing we could do anything, together.

Thanks for being my partner in crime babe…I love you!

Happy Anniversary.

Fa la la la la la la la la

December 17th, 2009

I was sitting in my kitchen tonight and started to hear singing.

At first I couldn’t tell what the song was, but I knew the melody and then it became very clear.

It was KP, from the bathroom, signing, “Ohhhhh hooooo mo-o-o-m will you wipe me, fa la la la la la la la la!”  Over and over again.

Who wouldn’t come a run’n for that?

Advanced thinking

December 15th, 2009

Because I am lazy, I decided to vacuum my coffee table today, instead of dust it.  Seriously…why not?

It went so smashingly that I think, in regards to cleaning, I will deem 2010 the year of GETTING IT DONE ANYWAY YOU CAN, it don’t have to be pretty.

Runs in her blood

December 10th, 2009

Adam is an entrepreneur.  It is something that runs deep down into his core and won’t let go of him.  In fact, he tells this story of when he was young and decided to smash rocks, put them back together and then walk around the neighborhood and sell them as Rock Puzzles.  He moved onto shoe shinning, lawn mowing and oh so many other things from there.

So yesterday, when PJ came off the bus and told us she and her friend Claire had written some books on the bus and wanted to sell them, we just kind of nodded our heads.

I thought that was the end.

Nope.  She decided she needed to type it up and print it out.  Then she made 40 copies.  Then she made a container to hold her money.  Then she practiced what she was going to say when she knocked on the door to the neighbor’s homes.

And when she got off the bus today, she grabbed her friend Una and they canvased the neighborhood selling the story for 25 cents.

They ended the night $7.42 richer then they had started.

Neighbors…do you understand what you are creating?  Do you?

Look at her dad.

Random LOVE

December 3rd, 2009

We recently started running just a touch later on Saturday mornings, which means by the end of our runs the sun is trying ever so hard to come up and we can actually see where are feet are landing.

About two weeks ago, I noticed this little spray painted bit of graffiti on the bike path around Lake Harriet and I just couldn’t let it go.

It makes me smile and want to go spray paint some stuff.

The slightest breeze

December 1st, 2009

My friend Jen tells me that I compartmentalize things.

I tell her I know, but that’s how I make it work.

She then tells me it’s ok to “feel” whatever it is I’m feeling and that I can be sad and sit in my sadness if I need to.

I don’t like to sit there often or for a very long time and I usually don’t go there all by myself.

Yes, I do compartmentalize, but sometimes those compartments open and it all spills out.

Which happened today.

Maybe it was the news of the passing of my old bosses husband or the sound of my dad’s tired voice on the other end of the phone or the In Memory of Jim band around a tree I saw when I was taking pictures at the lake or maybe it was the wonderful article my friend Ellen sent that her father wrote about one of his cancer patients or possibly is was the sweet card I got from my friend Megan, telling me she was thinking of me.

Maybe it was all of it washing over me, all in one day, all too much to take.

So I sobbed.

Wishing I could take the pain away for my dad or my mom for that matter.  Wishing I could change the future.  Wishing we could walk down a different path.   Wishing I had control, some kind of control over this, just one ounce of control…but I don’t.

So I sobbed even harder.

Then I gathered up all the emotions that spilled out, put them in their box and shelved them for later.