Monday, January 16, 2017

Blankets on your Beds.

It won't always be like this.

Days when I don't have school (like today... MLK Jr. Day) and I still have the option of taking you to preschool.

Days when I can drop you off, walk you into your classrooms, kiss you goodbye, and then head back home for a day to myself.

I enjoy days like this..... especially when I'm having a "good day". (People who struggle with anxiety and depression know what this means.)

I enjoy not rushing in the morning on days like this..... I can take my time making you breakfast, getting you dressed, helping you brush your teeth......

I can leave the house A MESS... breakfast dishes out, PJ's thrown all over the room, toothpaste all over the bathroom, beds unmade, drawers left open, lights left on.....

I love when, after dropping you off, I can come back home and take my time straightening up our home.

I can "pick up" and "put away" the craziness from the morning.

My favorite part about this is folding your blankets on your beds.

Not your bedsheets or bedspreads... but  "your blankets".

Your "bankies".

Your "lovies'.

You know what I'm taking about .......Linus has one... I had one...

Your security blankets that you have had since you were babies.

Leo's is pale yellow and white stripped on one side and on the other side has little baby elephants, ducks, turtles, and giraffes.

Cece has 2... her "buncha blankies" as she calls them. One is white flannel lined with a pink ruffle and the other is just an old plain white gauze swaddle blanket.

I usually find them flung all over the house... this morning Leo's blanket was on the floor in the hallway and one of Cece's was on the couch and the other one  was in my closet.

I gather them up and bring them back into your rooms.

I make your beds first and then I grab your blanket's.

I usually hold them up to my face, feel the softness against my skin, and  smell your scents on them first.

I shake them out to fluff them up a bit.

Then I lay them on your beds.

And I think about how you are still my babies and still so little. I think about how much I love you both and how sweet you are. I think about how lucky I am to be your Mom and I pray to God everyday that I don't screw you up.

I also remind myself that one day you wont need your blankets on your beds.

One day they will end up in your memory boxes, in your closets, tucked away for good.

Its this realization that reminds me to love every minute of your "little-ness".........cause it sure is going fast.

I love your blankets on your beds and all that they stand for.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas 2016

Every year I strive to do it better than the last.

This year I think I did.

I decorated more. I cooked/baked more. I got better presents. I spend (less) money. I did a better job wrapping. I was better with the Elf. I took a picture of Santa in our living room to show the kids. We left more goodies out on Christmas Eve.  We remembered to sprinkle reindeer food in the lawn. We went to Christmas Eve service. We watched more Christmas movies. We put out more lights.

Overall.... I was proud of myself on how I handled the holidays this year.

There were some areas where I slacked though.... which I am OK with.

I didn't send out Christmas cards this year. I only got the dog one gift, instead of two. I took the tree and decorations down earlier than normal. I was more depressed this year. I failed at Black Friday Shopping and therefore was still shopping on December 23rd.

Leo and Cece get more and more fun every year.... and I think it will only get better the older they get.

This year Leo asked for a basketball, basketball hoop, Rocket Booster, and "shoot guns".

He got all except the Rocket Booster. I search Google for weeks..... only thing I found was made by NASA, weighted about 13 tons, and cost about $4 billion.

He also got a keyboard, remote control car, PJs/underware/socks, bed blanket from Nonnie,  race car track from Moe-Moe and Pa Pa, tickets to see Daniel Tiger from Aunt Lisa and Uncle Casey, and about a dozen other mind blowing toys from Aunt Jilly! About about 4 Nerf guns...... which is probably going to be the reason I have to for up my anxiety meds.

Leo didn't care much for our Elf, Cecile. He wasn't into searching for him in the morning and when I threatened to send Cecile back to the North Pole, Leo offered to help him pack.

We had to wake Leo up on Christmas morning... and he was grumpy of course... but perked up soon enough! He is like his Daddy. He doesn't get too excited about anything..... unless its sports or horse  related. I love that boy more than my morning coffee. And that's A LOT.

Cece is a Christmas freak!!!! And I love it! She was REALLY into Christmas this year! She loved to drive around and look at lights! She loved helping me bake! She helped me wrap gifts and was constantly singing all the wrong word to Jingle Bells! She reminded Leo on a daily basis that "Santa was watching" and told us all "Merry Christmas"

Santa was good to Cece Grace... she got a Disney Princess dollhouse, guitar, stand-up mic, and amp, babydoll, Barbie pool, mermaid Barbie, clothes, a vanity set from Miss Wendy and Mr. Joe that was her favorite, a long Rapunzel wig that she wore alllllll day and even to the family Christmas party that night, where she asked me, "Mommy, do you think anyone will recognize me?" (sidenote: the wig had to be trashed that night cause it was making her break out in hives. She was devastated.). She got some new make-up, perfume, tap shoes from Nonnie, water beads from Aunt Jilly, tickets to see Daniel Tiger from Aunt Lisa and Uncle Casey, and an easy bake oven from Moe Moe and Papa.

She made sure to tell anyone who asked, "I didn't get any coal!" Good girl, Cece!

The Christmas season really is magical. I hate to see it end every year and to be honest, it takes me a few days to perk back up after its all said and done. Next Christmas isn't guaranteed to any of us, so that could have been all of our last..... but I hope not. I hope next Christmas rolls around and we do it all over again, only better! Thank you, Jesus for being born and for allowing all of us to celebrate Your birth!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

You Are Here.

September 2016
Things are good.
Not fantastic.
Not amazing.
Not terrible.
Just good. And that's good.
  Leo is 5 and Cece is 4. I am 36 and Toby is 35.

He is in his 2nd year of preschool..... thank Goodness he didn't go to Kindergarten. He just wasn't ready. Best choice Toby and I ever made. What's the rush, right? Better safe than sorry.

She is in her 1st year of preschool.

Cece is my dream girl. She is a blessing that I don't deserve. Her cuteness at 4 years old melts my heart every day.

Leo is so loving and caring and I am so proud of him. I tell him how much I love him everyday and I don't think it will never be enough. He is the best thing in my life. She is the best thing in my life.

Gertie is almost 10 years old and I worry about her everyday. I don't know what Ill do without her. She NEVER leaves my side. She still plays with her toys, eats her food, snuggles with me at night, and kisses me whenever she gets a chance..... as long as she still does those things I'm happy.

Toby is still as amazing as the day I met him....probably more. At 9 years of marriage we are still a strong couple. Lots has changed, but I'd be concerned if they didn't.

He's an awesome father and still tells me I'm hot. I'll take it.

Work is good. I love teaching 9th grade. Its a fun age. And I love that I get to teach both of my passions.... English and History. Never expected to get to do that.

  I'm still trying to accept that I'll never be as happy in the workplace as I was when I was at WSJH and worked with "Team Darby". That was a once-in-a-lifetime group given to me by God himself and I guess I'm lucky to have been blessed with it.

Toby loves his job and is thrilled with the new responsibilities he's been given. He's a true leader and is really good at what he does.

Leo is playing soccer this fall and so far seems to like it.

Cece is in her 3rd year of dance and she adores it.

Cece is currently sick with Strep throat and she is pitiful. I think she's going to be like me. I got sick a lot when I was a kid. Why? Who knows. What is it about kids when they are sick? She has the ability to turn me into a puddle of goo when she is sick. Her sad eyes and they way she says "mommy" when she is sick get me every time. We have been making "sick beds" on the couch for her, giving her extra baths, her own box of Kleenex to keep by her bed, her own ice pack, and anything else her little heart desires.

Leo wants to bad to be sick.

I'm still struggling with self image and its the most annoying feeling in the world. Sometimes I think I'm crazy and sometimes I feel normal. I can never tell on a day-to-day basis.... which is scary. Getting old is not an enjoyable experience and one that I'm learning how to deal with.

Im working hard at staying organized and keeping the household together. I enjoy it and take pride in it. The laundry, the cleaning, the groceries, the meals, the decorating, the memory-making..... its all important to me.

Trick-or-treat is around the corner and as of now Leo is going as Spiderman and Cece will be Elsa.

  Toby and I are starting to plan a trip to Mexico to celebrate our upcoming 10 years of married bliss. We are still trying to figure out a time to go....

We are going on a date on Saturday night. Im looking forward to it.

As of now, September 2016, things are pleasant. I cant complain.... Im a lucky girl.... God has blessed me and Im thankful everyday, even though I don't say it as often as I should.

And that is where we are on the map of life.

Would You Be There?

If I went to see a medium?

Would you show up "from the other side" and talk to me?

Is that even possible? I mean.... I see TV shows where it happens to people all the time. Is it real?

Do people really "cross over" and visit us?

Do our loved ones who have died have an option to do this a lot?

If this is true, would you show up for me if given the chance?

If so, what would you tell me?

Or would you roll your eyes at the thought and leave me sitting there, waiting....... You never really were into any of this "stuff", so I honestly don't know if you would "show up" and "speak".

If so.... Tell me that you miss me as much as I miss you?

Would you tell me that you "see everything"?

Would you tell me what it's like in Heaven?  Would you shared details about what God is like?

Would you tell me that you are with Rosie and Jerry and Grandma and Grandpa?

Michael Jackson? Whitney Houston?

Would you know who Leo and Cece and Toby are?

Would you be proud of me?

Have you been watching "The Walking Dead"? Cause you would LOVE it.

If I asked you about the day you passed away would you remember it as I do?

Or would you see if differently?

Would you be upset at me for not really saying "good bye"?

Or would you tell me that you understand?

I wonder if you would tell me if you were ready to go or not.

Would you tell me whether or not that dream I had about you in the tanning bed was real or not?

Did you really stick your hand through the door and wave to me?

Were you waving "hello" or "goodbye"?

Would you tell me if you think I'm doing a good job raising my kids?

Would you love Leo and Cece like only a Grandpa would?

  Id love to know your thoughts about Donald Trump maybe being our next President.

Would you take the time to give me medical advise?

I wonder if you have tried to do this before and I wasn't paying attention?

If so, when?

If not, why?

If it IS possible that people are able to connect with others who have passed on, then why is it so expensive?

Why does it have to cost $500+ do ask someone to simply tell someone else "hi" for you?

People who have these talents are special people.... why are they using their God given gifts to make money?

If they really are God given gifts.......

I just wonder if you would show up..... and if you didn't, who would?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Rosie... Saying Goodbye

So Rosie died.
I had no idea it would hurt me as bad as it did. My God, how I loved that woman.
I was asked by her daughter to share memories of her at her funeral.
It was by far that hardest thing Ive ever had to do...... yet it was probably the proudest Ive ever been. I haven't cried that much since my dad died. Everytime I stop and think of a specific memory, picture her face and her smile, hear her giggle, try to remember her smell, or imagine myself hugging her, I get the worst flash of saddness in my chest/stomach. I thinbk I will miss her for the rest of my life.
Here is my speech:
I call her Rosie. To me, that is her name.

This nickname was created because my sister and I (at the age of 4) were not able to pronounce Ileana.

We also created a nickname for her husband ……….. we called him “Big Daddy” and for anyone who knew Bill, that name was a perfect fit.

Rosie was my childhood babysitter, and aside from my parents, she was one of the most important people in my life.

And as life carried on and I grew older, she became much more than a weekend babysitter….. she was a

·       A substitute grandma, sitting in the front pew at my wedding

·       A shoulder to cry on when my father passed away

·       A friend who I could visit, laugh, and drink  “sanka” coffee with every couple months.

·       And my personal cheerleader….. as she was the last person who gave me a “pep talk”  before I gave birth to my first child

So many memories of my childhood involve Rosie:

·       Making homemade bread with her and Big Daddy

·       Putting together jigsaw puzzles

·       Playing hours of marco polo

·       Looking forward to her coconut lamb cake every Easter and chocolate truffles every Christmas

·       Her making me warm milk and honey when I couldn’t sleep at night

·       Listening to old records on her record player.

One of my favorite memories that I have of Rosie is when she would take my sister and I to church with her.

She always made us wear a nametag and whenever the pastor would ask, “Do we have any visitors today?”, she would make us stand upstand up in the pew so everyone could see.

 At the time, it was slightly embarrassing……

but looking back on it now, I realize how proud she was to bring us into her church.

How proud she was to introduce us, “her girls” to her church friends and how important her faith was.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Rosie also taught me many things….

·       How to play Chinese checkers, solitaire, and gin rummy

·       Special songs like “I love you a bushel and a peck…” and “Ring around the Rosie”

·       How to say my prayers before every meal and before bed

·       And the true meaning of the phrase “it’s the thought that counts” when gift giving.


That’s another trait about Rosie… her giving heart. I can recall the many gifts she gave my sister and I over the years.  Birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. They were never much, but the meaning behind them is what made them so special……. A box of pocket-size Kleenex, a single pencil, a stuffed cat, or a piece of her own jewelry….. which I wore on my wedding day……… all simple, in-expensive gifts that came from the heart.

Its funny…. I have probably received hundreds of gifts over the years….. but these gifts from Rosie are ones that I remember  and treasure the most.

A friend of mine (and of Rosie’s) recently shared with me a  few verses from the book of Mark that she felt described the kind of woman Rosie was. 

The verses are entitled “The Widow’s Offering” and I’d like to read them…..

God says this:

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.

Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 

But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44

 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”


Rosie had specific characteristics about her that only “Rosie could possess”….

·       Her strong and confident faith in and God

·       Her smell

·       Her love for the color pink… light pink….

·       Her jet black hair…… when even at the age of 93 still didn’t have one single shred of gray…..

·       Her distinct handwriting

·       The sound of her laugh

·       How her glasses would rise on her cheeks when she would smile

·       And her hands…….

As a child, and even as an adult, I would always would rub my fingers over the prominent blue veins  on the top of her hands….. Her skin was so thin and so soft and her nails perfectly manicured.

A lot of these traits are also traits that her daughter, Diane, has…..

and I love the fact that I can see bits and pieces of Rosie in her.

I know Rosie is elated to be in heaven with God.

 I know she is reuniting with Big Daddy, with my dad, and so many others that have gone before her.

 I know she wasn’t scared of death and was ready to “go home” when God came for her… because she told me many times.

I also know how much she will be missed.

 By me and my family.

By her family.

And by all of us here, who were blessed to know her.

A quote from one of my favorite books helps explain how I will continue to go through life without Rosie’s presence….

“Lost Love is still Love. It takes a different form, that’s all.

SO…. Even though I cant hug her tiny frame, hold her hand, or hear her laugh anymore……… I still have my memories of Rosie…. As we all do.

Nurture these memories.

Hold them and dance with them until you see her again.

Remember that “Life has to end, but love doesn’t”.

May you rest in peace, Rosie….. I love you a bushel and a peck.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bitter with The Bachelor.

The Bachelor.

I've watched this show, on and off, for years.

I've never really taken this show too seriously, but I have always enjoyed the guilty pleasure of following it.

Until now.

It wasn't until last night, when I was watching the most current episode, that I suddenly realized the total stupidity of this show.

 It suddenly hit me that this show is disgusting.


A total joke.

Get a bunch of girls together and have them compete for the love of one man.  And according to the contestants and the man himself..... the love that is being fought for is....real. Real love.

REAL love is not something I would EVER want to compete for.  I'll compete for money, material items, vacations, bragging rights, self-motivation, tickets to see CĂ©line Dion..... but not for love.

First off..... Ceceilia Grace....... if you EVER "compete" with another girl for the love of one man, I'll kill you. 

NEWSFLASH........ A strong, confident, smart woman should never have to compete with anyone for anything.... let alone the love of another human being.

The girls on this show last night pissed me off. These girls actually break my heart. I hate the fact that some of these girls are idolized. I hate the fact that the "prize" that they are all competiting for is also idolized.

One girl said, "He is the man of my dreams. He is the one I've been waiting for my entire life. He is the type of man I want my dad to give me away to."

Who exactly is the man of your dreams?

A man who cheats? A man who lies? A man who tells another woman besides you  :I love you"? A man who is incredible at "playing the game"? THAT is the man of your dreams?

The man of my dreams kisses ME.  Not her.
The man of my dreams holds ME.  Not her.
The man of my dreams looks deep into MY eyes. Not hers.
The man of my dreams whispers sweet-nothings in MY ears. Not hers.
The man of my dreams gets introduced to MY family. Not hers.

Never once when I was younger did I dream about a man who I had to prove myself to or fight for.

Never once did I dream about a man who I had to beg to "pick me! pick me!"

These girls should really step back and look at this man and his character.

On one eposide, Ben (the prize to be won)  had 2 girls on a date. (seriously?!?!? That's just sick.)

 One of the girls was going to be rewarded with a rose at the end of the date.... for I guess being the better girlfriend to Ben.

 Ben stands in front of them both, holding the rose in his hand.

The girls are looking at him like lost puppies..... begging for the rose.

He walks toward one girl, and askes her to "please come with me".

The girls eyes light up, she smiles, takes his hand, and they walk off to a privet spot on the beach.

 Once they are all alone, he looks at her and tells her.....

this rose isn't for you.

What a dick.

What an asshole.

To humiliate that girl like that. To get her hopes up. To trick her like that. What kind of "prince charming" does that?

He then leaves her standing there...alone on the beach... as he walks back to the other girl, hands her the rose, kisses her, hugs her, and they walk off in the sunset together.

where just minutes ago, he was telling the other girl, the girl he just humiliated, how much he liked her.

WTF dude? !?

THAT is the man of your dreams?!

BASS- TURD (yes I know its spelled wrong)

Lets switch gears..... the "reality" of this show is a joke.

These dates? bahahahah.

How about taco bell and putt-putt? What about shopping at the mall, eating at the food court, and then kissing goodnight in the car?

Who rents out the Braves stadium for a date? Who makes a reservation for a table at the top of the effile tower? Who kisses under a waterfall in Jamacia then swims with dolphins.... ON A DATE?!?!

And can I mention that there is never any food on these dates. If a date dosent involve food..... it sucks.

Come on....   do these girls think this is real life? I hope not. I really hope not.

Lets think about their appearance.....

The clothes they wear? They way they always look flawless? How they all have impeccable style and taste? And WHO buys their clothes?!

Can you say "stylist"?

Lets mention where these girls live.....

When Ben has narrowed down his selection to 4 girls..... he gets to travel to their hometowns and meet their families.

This is usually the part when he also gets to go to their homes and see how they live.

All these girls live large! I mean, their homes are styled, trendy, clean, and they actually have real furniture.

I don't know about you, but when I was 22 or 23, I was still using hand-me-down college furniture and had framed pictures on my wall of drunken college nights.

My APARTMENT (not HOUSE) didn't look like a magazine ad for Pier One!

I mean.... I'm well into my 30s and I still trying to figure out my decorating  "style".

When these girls talk, I just want to plug my ears and yell really loud to block out the sound of their ridiculousness!

"I love him"
"I'm falling in love"
"He's perfect"


Have you heard him fart yet?
Have  you smelled his morning breath yet?
Has he seen you on the toilet?
Have you watched him barf?
Have you seen him clip his toenails?
Has he seen your period stained underware?
Has he seen your legs 2 weeks post shaving?
Has he seen your armpits 2 weeks post shaving?
Have you seen him weep?
Have you done his smelly laundry?
Have you smelled his burps? Has he smelled yours?
Have you seen him in severe pain?
Has he seen you depressed and unable to get out of bed?
Has he seen you worry about paying your light bill or making your next car payment?
Has he gotten angry with you for spending too much money at the mall?
Have you seen him so drunk its disgusting?
Has he seen you after working a 40 hours work week...... while on your period?
Have you seen him absolutely terrified?
Has he ever caught you in a lie?
Have you ever caught him in a lie?
More than once?
Have you not been able to go out on a romantic date for months because money is tight?
Has he seen your nails un-manicured, your make-up off, and you in your stained t-shirt and sweat pants?
Have you seen him gain weight over the years?
Have you watched each other grow and mature?
Has he seen you when your sick?
Has he experienced your bitchy-ness?
Have you experienced him when he is a selfish asshole?

Cause all this WILL HAPPEN.

Hopefully BEFORE marriage.

If you haven't don't these things yet.... of course you love him! If you haven't seen the worst in each other yet, then of course you are both perfect!

If you wanna know if you REALLY love him..... experience all the above first..... and if you still wanna hang out with him, then it might be love.

This stuff isn't shown in the show, is it?

I mena, I know its entertainment. I know its for ratings. I get it.... but still.... "Love" today is so misunderstood.

And Im gonna have to be the one to explain the real truths about love to my kids.... which I would have done anyway, without the help of "The Bachelor" or "Married at First Sight"..... but these "reality" shows don't help out with parenting at all.

Ugh.... Ive got a lot of work cut out for me...... thank you TV for making my job as a parent even more difficult that it already is. Seriously..... thank you.

Netflix, Nonsense, Needs, and Never Again.

Breaking Bad
Orange is the New Black
The Walking Dead
Chelsea Does
How to Make a Murderer
Prison Break
Tiny: A Story About Living Small
The Killing
Lie to Me
Heart of Dixie
The Dark Matter of Love
Fame High
The Hundred
My Brothers Keeper
First Comes Love
Super Size Me
American Horror Story
Gossip Girl
Gilmore Girls

My family drama
Donald Trump
Hilary Clinton
Book Banning
Salary of professional sports players
Lifestyle of the Real Housewives
Justice System
Farrah from Teen Mom
The Fox and The Hound
Kate Gosslin
Being "too busy"
Teacher Salaries
Reading a book for pleasure
My weight
Long runs on a school day

New water bottle
Fringe booties
Bedroom curtains
Coffee Creamer
Hallway rugs
Ice cream
Diet Coke
Blue Moon
New left knee
Detox Tea
Vanilla Frozen Greek Yogurt

Never Again
Half Marathon without training
Going to the beach 10 days after giving birth
Trying to drive all night
Teach "The Lord of the Flies"
Drunk Dial
Go to a golf tournament with Toby
Go too "cool" on my blonde highlights
Have bangs
Be pregnat
Get pregnant
Try to stop taking anti-depressants
Freedom Writers
Wear spanx
Read in the car
Use the excuse "young and dumb"
Allow Leo to have a camera while I'm taking a shower
Assume...... anything
Trust a duck
Eat Las  Vegas Buffet
Go to Put-in-Bay with Katie
Boogie Board
Melt "orange buttercream" wax cubes at work
Get acrylic nails
Long run on a school day