Posts Tagged With: celebrate

bon voyage

YBW and I are at the airport waiting for our flight.

Can you guess which coffee is which?
I’ll give you a hint…I don’t take cream.

We just arrive at the gate.
I’m going to journal for a hot second then crack open the first book. He’s going for a walk.

I’m going to miss all y’all! Plesse try not to do anything terribly interesting while I’m gone!
See you in three weeks! ❤

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three weeks in November

YBW and I decided to celebrate 10 years of us by going on a three week trip.
We’re doing a full-transit Panama Canal cruise.
We’ll spend three days in San Francisco before board the ship.
Over fifteen days we’ll visit five ports of call and spend Thanksgiving day going through the canal.
On day three, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Four days later, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
The next day, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Two days later, Fuerte Amador, Panama
Canal day
The next day, Cartagena, Colombia
Three days later, we disembark in Florida.

We were delighted when we realized this trip was on each of our lists for years. I think it’s fun we get to do together what we’ve each wanted to do before we even knew each other.
I’m most excited about exploring Cartagena!

Actually, this trip came about quite by accident. One sunny afternoon about 18 months ago, YBW got it in him that he wanted to stop into a travel shop on the way to the grocery store. He was like, let’s just see what’s up. I was game, so in we went.
Turns out Princess Cruise Lines was having a fantastic deal and we were able to capitalize on it. Our room got upgraded to a club level mini suite, we each got a full drinks package, all our gratuities are being taken care of, and there’s a laundry list of other amenities I can’t even think of at the moment.
For so long, it felt like the trip was so far away, but in writing this I just realized we leave in nine days!

YBW is already making lists…I need to get it together! I haven’t even begun to make a list.
I have an idea about what I’m going to pack, but no real organization as of yet. I’ll spend the next couple of days creating a list and getting pre-organized.

We decided to embrace the opportunity to be ‘unplugged’ and made the choice not to purchase wifi access on the ship. We know this will be tricky when it comes to keeping up with the news in the world, and with our family and friends, but I’m actually kind of excited to shut out the world and just be with my Sweetheart for fifteen days.
We travel well together.
YBW gets a bit of travel anxiety about getting to the mode of transportation in a timely manner. I get a bit of travel anxiety if we don’t have enough of a plan.
But we know this, so we know how to plan for and accommodate to ease each other’s anxieties. In all honesty, I’d much rather sit at the gate for an hour with a book than be running to board a plane at the last minute anyway.

Speaking of books, YBW has loaded up all his books from his kindle to his ipad so he has his music and books all in one place.
On the other hand, I only read ‘real’ books so I’m having to be mindful about packing. Only paperbacks so they won’t be too heavy. I’ve planned ahead as I read my TBRs, trying to knock out all the hardback books first and saving the paperbacks to pack.
Perhaps I’m a teeny bit organized.
Not at all as organized as I normally am, or would be.
I’ve been distracted by the girls and baby being here, and Halloween.
But they left yesterday, so I’m giving my all my attention to getting organized and packed.
I’m actually going to create my first list as soon as I finish writing this.
Then call my doctor for some scopolamine patches…just in case.

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I DID IT!!

I did it!

My paper passed with flying colors on Tuesday afternoon! Shortly thereafter, I submitted my final project.
I finally stopped checking to see if it passed yesterday when I received that text from my adviser!

My first term started April 2009.
My last term started April 2019.
It took me ten years to finish this degree plan.
Ten of the roughest, yet most wonderful years of my life.

I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my family!
Thing 1 and Thing 2 were my cheerleaders. Supportive when I was down and didn’t think I’d ever finish, celebrating when I was successful. This last term, they were almost as invested in these courses as I was.
As much as I did it for myself, I did it for them.

When I shared the news with Thing 1, her pride and joy were reflected in her voice. That did my momma heart good! My girl is proud of me! I’m so grateful for that!

I didn’t get to talk with Thing 2, but she texted me:

YBW was on his way home from work when I called him.
“Hi baby!” he said.
“I DID IT!”
His pride and joy were enormous!
How did I want to celebrate?
I said, “I just want to hug you!”

To be perfectly honest, I expected to feel relieved to no longer have the albatross ’round my neck.
I was in no way prepared to experience the range and intensity of my feels!
I had no idea how aware I would feel of the years of hard work.
I didn’t realize how proud I would feel.
I was (and remain) unbelievably aware of my gratitude.

I did it!
But I didn’t do it by myself, y’all.
My precious husband has loved and supported me through this process.
His gentle encouragement. His assistance to help me through the dreaded math courses.
His kindness when I wanted to give up, but couldn’t let myself.
I could never have done this without him.
He loved and encouraged me. Cheered my successes. Asked the difficult questions when I needed to hear them.

He was the first one to use the phrase ‘college graduate’.
All the feels!

I knew I couldn’t decide on a place to celebrate with dinner, so I chose to celebrate with cocktails!

Just YBW and me, quietly toasting the pay off of my hard work.

I am chock full of love and gratitude.
My cup truly runneth over!

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collecting my reflections

In the last month I’ve had a house full of daughters, a son-in-law, and one sweet baby.
Organized and hosted the most wonderful party to celebrate Baby K.

welcome to the Bubbly & Baby to celebrate Baby K

Who’s that baby?
a guessing game

yummies and goodies

a monogrammed cake was one of my ‘must haves’

*all photos credited to Thing 2 and used with permission*

I spent precious time with my girls.
We shopped. Visited with friends. Attended a party to celebrate a friend’s daughter going away to college.

Yesterday, I made the long journey home from GA where I left Thing 1 and Baby K at home. (Husband N was here for two weeks and returned home empty handed, while Thing 1 and Baby K stayed here with us for another two weeks.)

Now here I am, daughter-less and baby-less, which I don’t love in the least.
But, the truth of the matter is I’m content to be me.

I didn’t write in my journal or for this blog in all that time.
I was so busy living in the moment, I didn’t take the time for reflections.
My reflections are shooting out all over the place and I’m racing to collect them.
I need a bit of time with my journal for sure.

I’ve finished the first half of my thesis paper. I’m meeting with the course adviser this afternoon to create a plan to proceed with the second half. My plan is to submit the finished paper by the end of the month. I’ll be OK if it comes back for revision because my term doesn’t end until September 30th. That gives me another whole month to make sure all I’ve dotted all the i(s) and crossed all the t(s). And then I’m finished.

I’m a bit overwhelmed even thinking about all the time that will free up.
How will I spend it?
I don’t want to waste any more time.
I mean, I’ll waste some time, cause I like to watch the TV occasionally, you know?
I want to use my time successfully.
For the betterment of me.
For my own personal pleasure.

I’ll get about that soon enough, right now I’m going to take a moment to miss little nugget of deliciousness.

OK, baby fix, check.
Time to move on to collecting my reflections and planning how to spend my time.
I’ve got this!

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sweet birthday baby

Today I’m celebrating twenty-two years of Thing 2!
Even though she’s all grown up, she’s still my sweet baby.
Y’all, she’s only sweet a portion of the time, and she’s not at all a baby. But she is mine, and I love her more than the moon and the stars!

Thing 2 is doing the hard work of figuring out how to be an adult in this world. And however much she feels like she’s getting her ass handed to her, she’s actually making more progress than she realizes.
She’s one of those stubborn sort of girls, the ones who sometimes can’t seem to get out of their own way. (I wonder where she gets that…?) She is sometimes crippled by her own inability to make and trust a decision. She sometimes feels overwhelmed and defeated. But she’s tenacious. She keeps at it. She’s doing the day to day and eventually that will make a dent in the large and looming future.
I worry for her.
But I have faith in her.
She can do it! This thing called life.
She can do it because she’s chock full of muchness.

It seems strange to think of her as my sweet little baby, she hasn’t been that for so long. She’s her, you know? She’s a girl doing her best to live her life. She’s the daughter to two people who haven’t made her life terribly easy. She’s a sister. She’s a friend. She’s a lover. Now she’s an auntie!
In addition to her being all those things, she’s simply herself. I sometimes wonder if she feels like being herself is enough.
I believe it is. I hope she does too!

I won’t be able to smother her with hugs and kisses today, but I will twelve days from now when I collect her at the airport!
The idea of celebrating her in person brings me such joy!

Here’s a photo I absolutely adore.
Thing 2 deep in thought where the sea kisses the shore.
Can you see her muchness?

circa 2003 on the pier at Folly

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a strange and unusual international week of the birthday

It’s International Week of the Birthday!
I honestly didn’t realize it was IWotB until yesterday when I received a gift from my darling friend and mentor, Jessica!

This beautiful glass globe has a tiny round opening on one side designed to insert small pieces of paper. The idea is to write a wish or some gratitude and insert it into the globe.

A physical reminder to pay attention to hope and examples of my thanks.
What a beautifully loving, and thoughtful gift.
Jessica knows what’s up!

When Birdie gets a birthday gift, Baby K gets a new bow!

Y’all, I am chock so full of hope and gratitude I might run out of little papers to write it!

YBW comes tomorrow! Thing 1, Husband N and I are all smiley and clappy about that!
(I love that my daughter and her husband are just as excited as I am to see my precious husband!)
Baby K didn’t quite understand why we were so joyful so we assured her that her Papa YBW is someone to be excited about!

My birthday is mother’s day this year. Thing 1 and I have talked about making sure to celebrate equally my birthday and this, her first mother’s day. She wants us all to go to the plant farm and out to dinner on Saturday. (the place she wants to go isn’t open Sunday) Then Sunday we’ll go to the the next big town where there’s a decent Mexican joint where we can celebrate each all over again!

This year International Week of the Birthday is much different than it’s been in the past. But I feel extremely fortunate to be able to be with my daughter as she negotiates this new strange and unusual time in her life. I love watching her learn to be a mommy to her own daughter. What a beautiful mother’s day gift for me to actively participate in this moment in her life.
I’m all about my birthday birthday! I’ve never liked when my birthday fell on mother’s day.
But this year, I’m embracing them as one.
I mean, come on. If I was never born, I couldn’t be a mom. And if I wasn’t a mom, I’d be missing out on this wonderful time with my daughter and her daughter.

It’s a strange and unusual IWotB…but after all:

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mighty fine shindig

I brought gifts to a party I attended Saturday.


Craft paper and twine are about as gender neutral as I could get. However, I did use pink hearts for the tags I wrote. Baby K got clothes (including Nats gear, gotta get her started early), socks, and blankies. Thing 1 and Husband N got a car seat and stroller frame for it to snap into.

Husband N’s darling cousin knew Thing 1 couldn’t be properly celebrated without that perfect flower crown. And y’all, my girl was all about it!

Y’all! She is So! Stinking! Cute!

There was concern about how successful the celebration would be as time seemed to get away from the party planners. But I’m overjoyed to say that Thing 1 was celebrated like a princess and had a lovely time at her party!
She hates to be the center of attention and dreaded the opening of gifts. And after a crib, car seat, and about a billion precious blankets, clothes and lovies later, she was relieved it was over, but did enjoy the process more than expected!

We tie dyed bibs and onesies for Baby K.
If I wasn’t the only one photographing the party, I would have never left this station. I absolutely love to tie dye!

Thing 1 did a little henna tattooing.

It was an exhausting day in the best possible way!
I was impressed to see how hard Husband N worked to celebrate his wife and their daughter.
I was overjoyed at the love coming at them.
My girl deserves to be pampered and celebrated like a princess. She’s doing the hard work of growing a human.
I see her.
She’s strong and healthy and beautiful in her pregnancy. She’s content and joyful in her life.
She’s ready.
I am overflowing with love and joy for her!

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twenty five years of Thing 1

When each of my girls turned 13 I created a book. This book was filled with photographs from their first moments until as close as I could get to the deadline before their birthday that year.
For this day twelve years ago I made Thirteen Years of Thing 1.

I honestly don’t know what the significance of my daughters becoming teenagers was, but when Thing 1 was closing in on that title, it hit me in a way I didn’t expect. And going through the photographic evidence of her lifetime brought me great comfort when I was so anxious about that anniversary of her birth.

Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of Thing 1’s birthday.
My first daughter has been in our world for a quarter century. I am awestruck!

I was on the phone with her one day last week, we were talking about her birthday. I remarked “quarter century of Thing 1”, that gave her pause. She hadn’t considered it like that. And then she rallied and said, “Sounds like it should be a book year.”
D’oh!
I did not make her a book. Part of me wishes I had, especially since this is her last birthday before becoming a mom.

I’ve called her twice already this morning. Her phone is turned off. Part of me is pleased she’s getting to sleep late, the other part of me wants to hear her voice.

I’m feeling my joy in the back of my throat and bubbling up into my eyes this morning.

Sally commented on a birthday social media post, “If she only knew how special she was to all of us! She’ll always be 3 in hearts!”
It’s true!
She was the first kid in my friend group. The first kid so many people ever loved. And even though we always tease that Sally is really my first daughter, Thing 1 changed the world for all of us.

Twenty five years ago I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Truth is, I still don’t know what I’m doing some of the time.
I don’t think I mommied her the best possible way. I think I mommied her based on the way I was mommied.
BIG MISTAKE!
But, I learned better over time.
I grew up with her. I learned to be a woman the same time I was learning to be a mom. She paid a bit of the price for that. But she also experienced the maddest kind of love! More fun than she can possibly remember. And somewhere down deep in her I believe she holds the nugget of truth that she is the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had.
I know I failed at being her mom sometimes, but I also know that I far exceeded any mom expectations.
She is who she is because I am her mom.
I am who I am because she is my daughter.
She made me a mom twenty five years ago. In May she’ll make me a grandmother.
Still awestruck!

This is one of my all time favorite Thing 1 photos.

Age ten, November 2004 on the dock in Charleston.

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not for comparison but for inclusion

I’ve been reading loads of end of- and beginning of- year posts. Some written after giving real thought to what 2018 looked like to the writer, some filled with new hopes, thoughts, or ideas for 2019. Some written to stimulate real thought from the readers.
I got a text from my friend Nora yesterday, it was her adorable bitmoji carrying to the curb, a leaking, stinking garbage bag labeled 2018.
I’m not sharing the pic because I’m making a point about using words. My initial response was to laugh. I even replied “Amen, sister!” But that’s because I reacted to the picture I saw.
When I started describing it just now, I realized I have mixed feelings regarding 2018. And not all of it belongs in that stank trash bag.

There was so much death in my world in 2018.
From Thing 1’s miscarriage to YBW’s precious mom, our beloved sister in law’s mother, friends at work lost parents, YBW even lost one of his colleagues, a man in his 50s. One of my oldest friends lost her mother, a woman who was dear, close friends with my own mother. And another part of childhood dies.
So much loss.
But in 2018 we celebrated anniversaries of birth for our collective children, we celebrated the graduation of our youngest. We celebrated at the news of a baby joining our family.
We experienced teeny little victories, and joys throughout the year. Some personal, some collective. Some meaningless to anyone other than me.

As I consider the close of one year and the start of another, my main take away is I must pay better attention.
Life is fragile and precious.

I spend so much time eyeballing everything from my own point of view.
Well, I guess we all do that.
Remember that show, Ally McBeal? Courtney Thorne Smith’s character asks Ally something to the effect of why her problems are more important than everyone else’s. To which Ally replies, They’re mine.

Looking at the world through your personal lens, your stuff is so much bigger, more important than everyone else’s. And that really does make sense.
I see the world through my point of view because it’s my life.
I’m not suggesting I’m as selfish as Ally McBeal.
Though I’m suggesting I can choose to look past the end of my own nose.

If I broaden my scope, I will see at least some things from a more inclusive point of view.
And in my heart of hearts, I believe that will benefit me.

Pay attention.
I do more than I give myself credit for. However, in general daily life living I spend a great deal of time on autopilot, and that surely narrows my point of view. I think so many of us live that way, just doing what needs to be done without really stopping to see. To engage.
By actively paying attention, we’re naturally more engaged. And being engaged in the world around us is the best way to foster connections with other humans. And even the most misanthropic among us longs for human connection.

YBW and I had a conversation the other day that went sideways af.
I got my nose out of joint and left the room.
I tried to step outside my own irritation and went back to him asking why I’m always the bad guy.
Turns out that the way I asked my question triggered something in him. He felt “backed into the corner” and that I was “wagging my finger at him”.
I asked if he’d expressed something specifically to Thing G. My intention was to talk with Thing G about it if he hadn’t so YBW wouldn’t feel disappointed later on.
So after a heated and somewhat defeated (on both sides) conversation we came around to questioning how to close the gap between intent and perception.
From my point of view, his perception is that my intent is to be purposefully hurtful.
So how can we communicate in such a way that perception and intent are reflective on one another?
We sorted to the best of our abilities the practical aspect and agreed to try different language on both sides.

It made me think though.
Am I paying enough attention to how what I do impacts others?
Am I paying enough attention to how what others do impacts me?
Am I paying enough attention to how what I do impacts me?

Focus on self while paying attention to the bigger picture.
How does what I do impact me and the world around me?
How does the way I look at the world around me impact me?

At first glance, these questions seem big, and perhaps tricky to answer. But if I break them down, they’re simple and I already a good portion of the answers.
Answering them feels simpler than executing the answers.

How can I pay a different kind of attention in the coming year?
How will paying that attention change my world?
Y’all, I’m setting out to answer these challenging questions because I know however lovely my life is, it can be even more so if I choose to see my life in this world from a broader point of view.

I think Ally’s response makes sense. Her problems were more important to her because they were hers.
I feel the same way. I suspect most of us do.
However, by simply shifting the way I look at things, I will remember to see how much bigger the world is than just me.
Doesn’t mean my stuff will stop being important to me, just means I’ll see it from a broader point of view.
By paying attention, and looking at things differently, I’ll begin to see the importance of other people’s stuff.
Not for comparison, but for inclusion.

Acknowledging the importance of others does nothing to negate my own, and does everything to create stronger relationships.
I’ll have moments of narrow view.
But that won’t stop me from trying.
I’ll have moments of paying attention.
I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to more of the latter.

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Baby K

Thing 1 called me late last week with some pretty spectacular news.
Her baby is a GIRL!
Y’all I will readily admit to squealing with joy!
And I mean squealing!


I’m over here like Kay Thompson, singing, ‘Think pink when you shop for summer clothes!’
But, I’m respectful of my daughter’s choice to not inundate her child with gender specific colors. Honestly, I don’t give a damn what color she decides to love.
However, I’ll see to it she has some baby-size pink Chucks for sure!

Interestingly enough, we had a conversation earlier that week in which she shared the girl name they settled upon.
I’m already working on her monogram.

Off the cuff, YBW referred to her as Baby K and I knew it would be her name here in my nest.

Baby K is at her halfway point as of Christmas Eve.
She’s expected the second week of May. Just in time for my birthday.
Now, I’m sure if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am all about my birthday. But perhaps I could share that day with my first grandbaby…
My birthday is Mother’s Day this year. What a treat it would be for me to share a birthday with my first granddaughter, and for Thing 1 to become a mommy on Mother’s Day!
Stay tuned, y’all!

Thing 1 sent sono-pics of Baby K.
I think she looks a bit like baby Groot in this one.

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