Happy Holidays, motherhood

Life Lessons of 2017

It’s hard to believe, but another year is drawing to a close.  To date, this has been a year of tremendous change as Full Speed became a teenager (!) and T.Puzzle jumped more solidly into the double-digit realm.  It’s not the age-number per say, 13 and 11 respectively, but the growth and maturation I’ve seen from them.  It’s been a lot to process as I am seeing more clearly the young men they are becoming.

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Full Speed is on the left, T.Puzzle on right

T.Puzzle continues to surprise us.  He developed a love of distance running.  How Mad Dog and I produced a distance runner is still a bit mystifying, but it is awesome that T.Puzzle is finding his own interests and pursuits.  LEGO construction and playing video games remain firmly at the top of his list, but nice to know that he likes to get up and go sometimes, too.

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Full Speed became a middle-schooler this year (it starts in seventh grade in our region) and he has adjusted beautifully.  He shows leadership to his classmates willingly coaching them through Algebra assignments, and has a zest for presentations in class.  A recent assignment in Civics had him debating school politics and he was in his zone.  Leadership qualities and a passionate debater, hmmm…does that sound like anyone we might know?  He also learned that not every dream is realized as he tried out for his school’s soccer team and didn’t make the cut.  My favorite part about this life lesson was his genuine happiness for a long-time friend and classmate who did make the team this year.  It’s not to say that Full Speed’s given up on soccer forever, but oh my, isn’t there a wonderful world of possibilities out there waiting for him?

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One of the very best parts of 2017 was the addition of our newest family member, Miss Lady.  She is by no means a perfect dog, but she absolutely has been the perfect dog for our family.  She keeps things lively here which I’m not so sure our senior resident (Little Guy) appreciates.

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Little Guy’s shocked expression captures the essence of his disbelief at the amount of his new sister’s energy.

If you ever need to feel like you are the most amazing being alive, come on over and hang out at our house for a while, Miss Lady will not disappoint with her enthusiastic snuggles and love for you.

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Miss Lady is as sweet as she looks.

Mad Dog continues to travel all over America and then some as the scope of the call centers he oversees grows and grows. As hard as it is to be away from him sometimes, I see how fulfilling his position is and know that it is keeping him challenged and inspired. That’s truly all I want for all three of my boys, to be challenged and inspired.

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As for me, I’ve made a little more space in my life for the things I enjoy.  I continue to walk our dogs every day, have started a daily yoga routine and write as much as possible.

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Life is short so whatever brings us joy is absolutely what we should pursue.  It’s as simple as that.

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Hope you had beauty-filled 2017 and that the lessons that lie ahead for all of us keep us growing in the direction of love.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

children, humor, motherhood

Beating the System

Recently, I’ve taken a more laissez-faire approach to parenting.  I’m trying to instill personal responsibility in my boys.  For instance, they need to make their beds each day, and if they don’t, they will get an earlier bedtime.  I don’t fuss about it, it just is.  Either you want the later bedtime or you don’t.  Your bed will show me.

Full Speed decided to bypass this system.  When Mad Dog and I turn in for the night, it is part of Mad Dog’s ritual to check on the boys and make sure they are tucked in and comfortably asleep.  What did he find?  Full Speed lying on top of his perfectly made bed curled in a little ball for warmth.  You technically never have to make your bed if you never use it.  Nice try, but get yourself under those covers.

reenactment of what it looks like to sleep on top of covers
reenactment of what it looks like to sleep on top of covers

Where does this slyness come from you may wonder?  Well, as I walked into my formal living room, what caught my eye but this nifty little piece of decorating…

Buckeye Shoes, REALLY??
Buckeye Shoes, REALLY??

When I agreed to letting more Buckeye memorabilia creep into the corners of our home, I’m pretty sure gym shoes were not anywhere on my radar.  But technically, I never said out loud, “Please, no athletic shoes as part of the decor.”

I.

Can’t.

Win.

children, family, gratitude, motherhood, Ohio State Football

The Story of a girl and her Buckeye

This is the story of a midwestern girl. She grew up in a rural town and never thought much beyond the outskirts of the farmlands that surrounded her. On a whim post-graduate school, she moved to Chicago. There, she met a Northwestern matriculating Buckeye. She didn’t think much of football but she did think much of the Buckeye. Quickly, she fell in love. Not so quickly, he did too.

Their romance wasn’t always a fairytale. No matter, the girl followed her heart again and again. On her convoluted path to finding everlasting love with this most handsomest of Buckeyes, she journeyed to Arizona with him to her first Ohio State National Championship game. As fate would have it, they won in a spectacular double overtime fashion.

January 3, 2002  Final Score:  Buckeyes 31, Hurricanes 24 (the girl still has the sweatshirt which she stole from her Buckeye)
January 3, 2002
Final Score: Buckeyes 31, Hurricanes 24
(the girl still has the sweatshirt which she stole from her Buckeye)

 

This prompted the Buckeye to believe in miracles.

He got over himself finally and proposed to the girl.

She said yes.

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She married her Buckeye at Disney World that same year.

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She didn’t even mind when Mickey had to show some Buckeye spirit.  I mean, she was finally married after all.  She was in a generous mood.

O-H-I-O

O-H-I-O

 

Two, awesome little Buckeyes soon followed. Understanding that her Beloved bled scarlet and gray, the girl agreed to raise their family strictly Buckeye.

the girl, her Buckeye and their first baby Buckeye
the girl, her Buckeye and their first baby Buckeye

 

Little Buckeye #2
Little Buckeye #2

 

Two more National Championships followed. The girl didn’t attend either as she had her little Buckeyes to care for and tickets for such events are a rarity. Both of these ended in heartbreaking losses. Her Buckeye made it to both of these. He likes to pretend he never went as both games stir painful memories for him.

Flash forward to present day and the Buckeyes had done it again. They were ready to take on the Oregon Ducks for the National Title. The girl hoped and prayed that somehow her Buckeye would get to go.

The Wednesday before the game the Buckeye called the girl.

“Are you sitting down?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“We have four tickets to the game.”

“What! FOUR?”

And, that’s when this story starts getting really, really good.

The Buckeye and the girl packed up their little Buckeyes and hit the road. So what if it was 30 hours round trip? This was the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

As the weekend unfolded, the anxiety of the pending game was almost too much for the girl to take. She tried to keep her focus on being grateful to spend this adventure with her 3 favorite boys regardless of the game’s outcome. It wasn’t always easy.

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Finally, game day arrived. As this little family made their way into the enormous stadium, nerves were at an all-time high. There were Buckeyes EVERYWHERE. It was like they were attending a home game at the ‘Shoe.  The band was impeccable, the crowd was electric, the jumbotron was massive,….it was AWESOME.

As the game commenced and the Ducks methodically marched down the field and scored on their first possession, the littlest Buckeye burst into tears. As the waterworks flowed, his heart lost its ability to believe in a Buckeye victory.

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The Buckeyes quickly answered and spirits were lifted instantly but remained precarious until solidly into the second half.

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As the fourth quarter began to dwindle, the girl couldn’t believe that she was there. That the Buckeyes were going to win. Her Buckeye was joyous. Her little Buckeyes rejoiced. The whole stadium erupted as the final seconds ticked away.

She was there.

With them.

Celebrating a victory.

Wow.

A once in a lifetime moment.

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And, yes, she’d marry her Buckeye all over again.

 

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See you next year!

 

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THE END

mommyhood

Team Spirit

dressing in family Buckeye gear when T.Puzzle was a baby and Full Speed was a rambunctious two year old
Okay, I’ll admit it.  It can be a bit cheesy to have your family dress all in the same team gear on game day.  It also can be a whole lot of fun.

It’s our tradition and since I married someone passionate about football, I go with it.  I have yet to convince Mad Dog to wear a matching ‘I heart Michael Buble’ ‘ t-shirt with me, but that’s another blog post for another day. 

I have to be honest here, there is a definite downside.

If you happen to remove your poorly behaved four year old from a restaurant and take him outside so he can tantrum his way through his punishment, there is no denying the kid is yours.  Even if you surreptitiously slide your body away from your prone, screaming child, the matching jerseys are a dead give-away.

So, wear your matching family jerseys with team pride, but maybe keep your Buble’ t-shirt in the trunk of your vehicle for emergencies.

children, gratitude, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood

A Clean Conscience

It has been a gorgeous weekend.  I have been outside with the boys watching them play in our cul-de-sac for hours and hours.  Our neighbors have been out to keep us company.

I asked my one neighbor if Mad Dog calls her to come and talk to me.  That way he can go inside without guilt and watch football.  She claims he does not but her timing seems to coincide with important Buckeye games.

It starts with the boys grabbing their bikes and I’ll start chatting with my neighbor.  Mad Dog silently sidles up to us with a lawn chair and powerade for me.  He casually sets it in the shade as I am a contradictory Florida girl who prefers shade to direct sunlight.  He stands a moment or two and like a henchman for Don Corleone, waits for his boss to nod his dismissal.

I always grant his discharge.  I can’t say it’s without a grudge but it sure beats sitting inside on a gorgeous day watching a football game (in my not-so-humble opinion).

When I was outside this afternoon he not only watched football, he cleaned the house and did laundry.  He’s leaving for a business trip in a few hours and will be gone most of the week.

Clean house, clean conscience I suppose.