Truth!

In addition to cleaning out my closets, I have been cleaning up my blog.  I have a newly updated About page which you can read here:

ABOUT

I went through my first year of posts to edit the boys’ names.  I originally referred to them as Frick and Frack.  These were the nicknames my mom gave them when they were very little.  You could see how this could become confusing to a reader so I went back through and updated their names to Full Speed and T.Puzzle.  There are a lot of posts in that first year that made me laugh out loud and made my heart swell with love.  There are touching posts, posts about the loss of my mother and posts about how Mad Dog is always right (not really!) and as a married couple we never fight (no comment!).  There are some posts I read through where I cringed and broke out in a cold sweat.  It was like I was right back in it.  Reliving those vivid details of some of the epic power struggles I endured with my boys (especially T.Puzzle at the onset of his terrible threes) was not for the faint of heart.  After reading these I fully understand why I never felt compelled to expand my brood.  However, I am deeply grateful for the two that I have.  One of the biggest takeaways in terms of my parenting abilities is NEVER ASK ME HOW TO POTTY TRAIN!  I failed repeatedly and miserably not once but twice.  There was a point in time that I wondered if I should buy stock in Pull-Ups as I was fairly certain my boys would be wearing them FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!  Again, I could not do that again.  Two is my absolute limit.  I heard the Pull-Ups people were really bummed to hear that.

img_0267
T.Puzzle is stunned that he actually learned to use the potty.

There were some stand-out posts and there were some where I was clearly phoning it in.  However, there was one in particular that floored me.  It is the one I wrote on the year anniversary of Writes for All Mommies’ inception date.  Here is my favorite passage from it:

I think the biggest change for me has been coming to terms with motherhood. I think sometimes when we are unhappy with who we are, we blame our choices and our circumstances. I will admit, especially in the newborn years, I struggled with my all-consuming role as a mother. I thought that maybe if I had made some different choices, like continuing to work or if I was somehow parenting better, I would feel happier. Turns out, it wasn’t my boys or motherhood, it was me. It doesn’t matter what I accomplish outside of motherhood that determines my value, it is ultimately up to me to determine that. Whether I become a world-famous author or if all I manage is to raise two, well-adjusted boys, my value remains constant. I get that now.

Truth is timeless.  That is for sure.

You can read the post in its entirety here:

HAPPY BLOG-A-VERSARY TO ME!

From this I would like to take it one step further.  What if I actually don’t have to do a thing to prove my value?  What if our value is actually tied to who we are and not what we do?  Is it possible my value was already locked down before I even decided to have kids or pour my heart out on my laptop keyboard?

I now know this is not only possible, it is absolute truth.

It’s true for all of us.

img_0266

Sending love to you all.

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.

ry=400-23

She married her Buckeye at Disney World that same year.

ry=400-20

 

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.

ry=400

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.

ry=400-6 ry=400-7 ry=400-8

 

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

ry=400-2

 

 

ry=400-14

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.

ry=400-11

 

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

 

ry=400-4

 

See you next year!

 

ry=400-12

 

THE END

The Two Mouseketeers

Posing in front of the Disney Dream

There comes a time in your life when you finally understand that while you may not always get what you think you want, you end up with exactly what you need.

This blog about motherhood has always been my attempt to make sense of what it means to raise two active and highly spirited boys.  I have learned that while I may never totally understand their temperaments, they are pretty amazing exactly the way they are.  There is great freedom and beauty in this acceptance.

I have never appreciated their personalites more than I did on our Disney Cruise over the Labor Day weekend.  It was an absolute blast.  The boys and their phenomenal energy and spirit only enhanced the experience.  Well, except for the few times we were confined to our cabin.  At these points, I may have appreciated considerably less energy as would any rational human being.  Despite the slightly cramped quarters, the whole cruise was fantastic.  And best of all?  I got to bring home two of the best Mouseketeers any Mom could hope for.

Pinch Me

More often than not, Mad Dog and I have these surreal moments, especially as a weekend draws to a close, where we look at each other in disbelief and say, ‘the boys were really well behaved, weren’t they?”  It’s almost like we need someone to pinch us or that we need to thumbprint our kids to make sure that they are really, truly ours.

When public outings for so long have been a battle ground, it’s refreshing when they simply become enjoyable.

I didn’t see that coming at all.

And, for those who read this blog regularly, I bet you didn’t either.

Fun at the Alligator Farm.

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas morning and the presents are already unwrapped.

The cookies for Santa are gone, the new toys are already in play and the waffles made by Mad Dog already eaten.

Things start early on Christmas day when your kids are young.

We had some new traditions and kept some old.

on our way to Christmas Eve dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse.

 

the official reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' in our Superman pjs

 

two very excited brothers get ready to sleep in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would appear.

T.Puzzle announced that ‘Jinker Bells’ was his favorite holiday song.

Full Speed summed up his Christmas Eve experience at church as ‘good AND boring’.  It was good because he made a lot of new friends and it was boring because he had to keep ‘standing up the WHOLE time!’

For the introspective lot such as myself, it is a time of reflection.

Some of it sad, like missing loved ones you’d like to have near and most of it glad because of the loved ones you do have with you on this special day.

Mad Dog shows off his new office art.

Life is like a Christmas tree. 

Compared to others it may not be the tallest or the brightest.  It may not have the most presents or look exactly the way you want it.

If you embrace it for exactly what it is and appreciate how special it is because it is the only one you have, then maybe, just maybe you will realize that you have the tree and the life you were meant to have.

Merry Christmas, everyone!