Friday, May 22, 2015

Take A Minute To Remember - Again

I ran this post last year, shortly after starting my blog.  As we head into another Memorial Day weekend, I hope you'll click on the link below and read (or re-read) Lynne Cobb's article. It offers a unique perspective on the life and struggles of soldiers and their families, and how we all need to make our moments count.

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Everybody is excited about Memorial Day weekend.  It's the official start of summer, picnics are planned, stores have huge sales going on, and most of us have three days to enjoy it all.

I hope everyone has a great weekend outside, spending time with family, eating good BBQ, enjoying life.  I know I will be.

Somewhere in the middle of all that fun, will you take a minute or two to think about what Memorial Day means?  Remember the men and women who have served our country so honorably, and remember the families who had to let them go.

As I was working on this post, I came across a beautiful article written by Lynne Cobb, called What is the ultimate sacrifice?  I promise if you click over and read it, your life will be enriched.  Her words are so thought provoking and important.

Have a fantastic weekend.  And don't forget the sunscreen.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Great Teens On Thursday


I've got a bunch of random teenager related stuff running around in my brain today.

If you're the parent of a tween or teenager, I hope you've visited Joshshipp.com.  Josh was raised in the foster care system and has used his experience as a troubled youth to become a teen advocate and motivational speaker.  His mission is to empower teens and help adults understand them better.

Josh's website is full of tons of helpful information including a free video series for parents and a sample cell phone contract (both of my boys signed something similar when they first got phones).  There are also videos of some of his speeches, and articles like "The 5 mistakes almost every grown up makes with teens".

I agree with Josh, and think that teenagers often get a bad rap.  Yes, they are definitely difficult, and just like any segment of the population, there are a few rotten apples in the bunch. But overall, teenagers are kind, caring human beings just waiting to show you how great they are.

A few examples:

--Several weeks ago, we were discussing T's future college choices, scholarships, and how much it was going to cost to become a veterinarian. Without hesitation, my older son said "if you need help paying for things, you can always ask me".  I was floored.  By the time T gets to school, C will be done with his college program and working full time, but he will be moving out on his own and taking on his own expenses.  To offer to help his little brother pay for college left me speechless, and a little teary.


--It's prom season.  Luckily, our high school only has a senior prom so we didn't "have" to participate this year.  Which is good news for the wallet.  These two prom stories made my heart smile.

When Drew Holm couldn't find a date, his 93 year old great-grandmother jokingly told him she'd go with him.  He took her up on her offer, and they had a wonderful time dancing the night away (well, until 9pm - that was grandma's bed time)!



Back in fourth grade, Ben promised Mary, a beautiful young girl with Down's Syndrome, that he would take her to prom someday.  Seven years later he made good on his promise.



--And finally, just down the street from my house, two local high school girls saved a man in a McDonald's parking lot by performing CPR.  They had stopped to get a snack, and noticed the man lying on the ground, unresponsive.  They remembered their recent health class training course, and paramedics said the man would have died if the girls hadn't been there.

Do you have any great teenagers in your life?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jeans, A Tshirt, And The Met Ball


There's nothing more comfortable than a tshirt and a broken in pair of jeans, and it's an outfit formula I wear a lot.

During the Spring Style Me Challenge, one of the participants introduced us to the Express Knot Front Tee.  I ordered one, and then quickly purchased two more once it arrived.

It's the perfect weight and so soft.  The best part is the knot detail on the front, which makes it look a little more fun than your average tshirt.  

And on a completely unrelated subject...

The Met Ball, also called the Costume Institute Gala, was held in NYC a few weeks ago, and the theme this year was China: Through The Looking Glass

Apparently Beyonce and Kim Kardashian read their invitations wrong, and showed up wearing through the looking dress instead.



Not sure how either of these represent China.  I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be allowed into China in those dresses.

On the other hand, Helen Mirren got it exactly right.  Stunning.



And while there's not a lot of Chinese culture represented here either, Katy Perry's Moschino dress and matching handbag were really fun.



Do you suppose she was actually carrying anything inside that spray paint can?

Linking up with Get Your Pretty On, The Pleated Poppy, Not Dead Yet Style, Thursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayBecause Shanna Said So

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Old School Blogging - I Am


Today I'm linking up with Elaine at Miss Elaine-ous Life for some Old School Blogging. The theme this month is I Am.  I thought this was going to be really hard, but apparently I needed to vent a little.

I am....tired.  So, so tired.  I spent fourteen hours on Saturday setting up and working our high school Booster Club golf tournament.  We started at 8am under drizzly, chilly conditions, but by noon things cleared up.  I got in my car to go home at 10pm, and it was the first time I sat down all day.  Since then, I've realized that I'm getting too old to spend that many hours on my feet.


I wonder...how long it will take to recover.  I actually feel worse today than yesterday.

I hear...children playing outside.  No one new has moved into my neighborhood for years, and all of the kids are teenagers or older.  Must be friends visiting someone.  It's a lovely sound, and I wish I had their energy.

I see...sunshine.  The next week is supposed to be sunny and warm.  Finally.

I want...a BBQ hamburger for dinner.  My friend Deena shared some delicious recipes on her blog today (BBQ pizza!) and now I'm craving BBQ.  

I am...too tired to make said burger, so I'll probably have a sandwich instead. 


I pretend...sometimes that my parents still live nearby, instead of in Arizona. My mom is visiting for two weeks and I love having her here.


I feel...angry and sad that they moved away.  

I touch...upon these feelings when she's visiting.  The rest of the time I try to get over it.

I worry...about them being so far from us if they have an emergency.  There are no family or friends nearby to help.

I cry...when she leaves.  It will probably be months before I see her again.

I am...a daughter, forever.


I understand...that kids grow up and life goes on.


I say...all the things I'm supposed to.  I'm excited for my boys, and so proud of them.  But I can't help wishing I could turn back the clock a little bit.

I dream...of what their future holds.  Where will they be in ten years?  Will they fall in love? Find fulfilling careers?

I try...to picture what my life will look like once I'm not being a parent twenty four hours a day.  I can't picture it yet.

I hope...above all else, that they are happy.  That's what I want the most.

I am...a mother, forever.  And did I mention that I'm tired?



Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Motivation VII


I was reminded about courage yesterday when Todd and his family came for dinner.  Last week Todd took twenty steps without weight straps, using a walker.  When it comes to courage, he's my hero.


Friday, May 15, 2015

The Ultimate Road Trip


Today I'm linking up with the Style Me Bloggers to share our summer travel plans.   I've got a lot of fun things coming up in the next few months, but I think I'll wait and share them as they happen.

Although I wrote about camping and hiking this week, I really prefer my travel to include hotels, shopping, and nice restaurants.  Maybe some beach time with a fruity drink in hand.

Having said that, I've got a secret dream vacation that's been percolating in the back of my brain for years:  to rent a deluxe motor home and go on an ultimate road trip around the U.S.  I'm 99% sure I could never get my husband to go for it, but I'd love to be gone for at least a year, and hit every state.  There's so many wonderful sights to see, but these are some of the highlights...

--Mt. Rushmore.  When we moved from North Carolina to Seattle in 1977, my parents drove right by Mt. Rushmore and didn't stop.  I think by the time we got to South Dakota they were done.  But I really want to see those big President's faces carved in stone.

--The biggest ball of twine.  Have you seen the movie "Michael"?  I'm kind of like John Travolta's character, and I love to visit quirky roadside attractions. There's some debate over which state actually houses the biggest ball, but any of them will do.



--The Catskills in New York.  On the opposite side of the country from where I live, this mountain wilderness looks beautiful.  Maybe I'll run into Johnny and Baby at Kellerman's!

--Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona.  In fourth grade I did a class presentation on the Hopi Indians and their adobe buildings, and I've been fascinated by them every since.



--Charleston, South Carolina.  I'm sure my huge motor home, road tripping self would be completely out of place in this genteel city, but I'd love to see the historic architecture and beautiful gardens.

--The Cadillac Ranch in Texas.  This public art installation was created in 1974.  It consists of junk cadillacs half buried nose first in the ground, at an angle similar to the great pyramid in Egypt.  I really need to see this.



--Stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.  Any song by the Eagles brings me right back to my childhood.  There is actually a Standin On The Corner Park where you can have your picture taken.  Cool.

--Key West, Florida.  The southernmost point of the continental US is reached by a 113 mile, 42-bridge highway.  It's an eccentric, wacky island town home to writers, artists and retirees.  Plus gorgeous beaches, where I can probably get that fruity drink.


I'm constantly adding to this trip in my mind.  It would probably take two years to see everything!  Better start working on my husband now.

Be sure to visit the other Style Me Bloggers and read about their summer travel plans, then link up with us below.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Be Brave And Parent A Teenager


This past weekend, a local teenage girl was killed in a terrible accident.  The weather on Saturday was sunny and unseasonably warm.  A group of kids were swimming in the river, and walking up onto the trestle to jump into the water. They didn't hear the train coming until it was almost upon them.  Two boys jumped in time, but Kristi was not so lucky, and was hit by the locomotive.

For her parents, family, and friends, it's tragic and devastating.  While I didn't know Kristi personally, I have friends who did, and they tell me she was a wonderful young lady.  Smart, kind and athletically gifted.  She was due to graduate high school in a few weeks, and attend a local university in the fall on a track scholarship.  Now, instead of getting ready for her graduation party, Kristi's parents are planning a funeral.  I can't even imagine their heartbreak.

My older son lost a friend to a car accident during his junior year of high school. Three boys were headed to the store before cross country practice.  They were driving too fast and decided to "jump" the car over a hump on a nearby road. The driver lost control and hit a tree.  Juan was killed instantly, and his two passengers were seriously injured.  All great boys, who made a bad decision.

As a parent of teenagers, these events are terrifying.  It reminds us that this could happen to any one of our kids.  No matter what we teach them, and how smart or responsible they are, everyone makes mistakes.  Or follows an impulse.  Most of the time it turns out fine.  But every once in a while, the car spins out of control, someone makes a wrong turn, or the train appears.  Even though our kids are our precious angels, they're also.....human.


Being a parent requires a tremendous amount of strength, hope and faith. Parenting teens takes it to a whole new level.  Letting them learn to drive. Or go out into the dangerous world without you.  Find their own friends.  Make mistakes.  All you can do as they walk out the door is say a prayer that they'll be okay.  That they won't follow that impulse, or make that bad decision.

Right now, my younger son is somewhere practicing dance choreography with a group of kids for an end of the year assembly.  As he headed out, he excitedly told me that he's learning to do a back flip for the routine.  My heart skipped a beat, and my first inclination was to tell him no.  But I stopped myself, took a deep breath, and told him to be careful.  As hard as it is, I have to let him do back flips.  And trust me, it's hard.

Friends whose kids are older tell me it gets easier once they're away at college. Out of sight, out of mind, or something like that.  I'm dubious, but I'll be finding out soon enough.

In the meantime, I'll keep letting my heart go wandering around, and be thankful when it returns home each night.
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