Posts Tagged With: friends

directed by James Burrows

I just read a memoir, Directed by James Burrows.
You know his shows…
If you love (or like, or even just watched) any of them it’s an interesting read.
If you don’t it’s still an interesting read.

I remember my dad loving Taxi and Cheers.

I was seven when Taxi began and twelve when it ended. I remember being smart enough to understand how good it was, but young enough that most of it went over my head. I remember not getting Latka at all. I remember wondering why Louie was always so dang mad about stuff. I remember thinking there was something about Reverend Jim that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I remember being fascinated by Carol Kane’s voice. I remember not getting why it was funny but oh my goodness, did I love to sit with my dad and listen to him laugh.

By the time Cheers came on I was eleven so I was a teeny bit more savvy than I’d been at the start of Taxi. I remember feeling somewhat ambivalent to begin with. I remember wondering why Coach was so dumb. I remember wondering why we couldn’t see Sam play baseball instead of be in the bar. I remember liking Norm from the first episode. Carla was mean in a way I understood and could almost relate to. Diane was snooty and I didn’t like that. And I could not even with that damn mailman! Yet I continued watching. I grew up with the people in the place ‘where everybody knows your name’. That show helped shape my sense of humor through my teenage years and into my early twenties. I especially remember laughing with my dad as the jokes landed for both of us.

When Will and Grace premiered, I was a twenty-seven year old mom of two young daughters.
I didn’t watch this show with my dad.
But I did watch it religiously.
It remains one of my most favorite shows of all time.
Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack are selfish and flawed, but their love for each other is real. And because they love each other, we loved them too.
I didn’t love the three season reboot as much as I loved the original eight, but I gotta tell you I was so damn excited when it came back I could hardly contain myself!

Obviously Jimmy Burrows directed many more shows…but these are the three that are most special to me.

If you look at these shows you’ll find they all have the same underlying theme.
Your family is the people you choose.
Those people in that garage were a family.
Those people in that bar were a family.
Those people in 9C were a family.

Blood doesn’t make a family.
Acceptance makes a family.
A magical combination of compassion and selfishness makes a family.
Choice makes a family.
Love makes a family.

The ability to choose your family is one of the universe’s most precious gifts.
I encourage you to choose wisely.

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Baby K is three!

Tuesday last Baby K completed her third go around the sun!
The Saturday before was a gloriously warm and sunny day and we celebrated by playing in the yard.
Baby K’s friend Liam came to play.
(in reality Thing 1 and Liam’s mom are friends and the kids are still figuring it out but they’re adorable together)

Chalk and a small bubble blowing machine in the driveway.

A dinosaur dig site set up in the sensory table.

Climbing structures and a bounce house in the side yard.
(a hand-me-down from our friends Nora and Dale who’s kids have outgrown it)

Birthday hats and mini dino piñatas.
Two (almost) three year olds.
Three grandparents (Nana was here from Georgia) and four parents.
Pizza and pressies and cupcakes.
A whole lotta love.
It was a mighty fine shindig!

On her actual birthday we got together for pressies, cheeseburgers and ice cream.
It was chilly and rainy but that didn’t stop us from being outside.
Especially because Baby K discovered something extraordinary in the ornamental grass planted around the front porch.

YBW remarked no matter how excited she was about gifts, the time we spent on the porch was her favorite part of her birthday.

There were dozens and dozens of snails.
She was so excited she could hardly stand herself!
She was quite clear about how they we going to be her pets.

I love that this little girl loves dinosaurs and dollies and books.
I love that this little girl loves nature.
I love that this little girl provides us the opportunity to see the world through her eyes.

Our grandgirl is precious and beloved.
I’m grateful she was born into our family.
I’m grateful to celebrate her birthday with her.
I’m grateful to be her Birdie.

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the break we needed

YBW and I went to visit friends last week.
I’ve known this fam for nearly twenty five years, our kids grew up together, the mom and I taught together at the old preschool. They were here for our wedding in 2015, and YBW was enthusiastic about spending good time getting to know them. Y’all, he fit right into their family, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about that!

We needed a break.
We needed to get out of this house we no longer own before we move to our new house.
We needed to disconnect from everything here.
We needed to breathe new air.

Um…the air in Tucson is fucking hot! One hundred eight degrees is no joke!
Of course it is the desert.

But funky 4th Ave provided relief in one form or another.

We got to see all four of the (adult) kids, ranging in age from twenty-seven to about to be nineteen. Even my Goddaughter, the second eldest who lives just outside of Phoenix, was able to come down and ‘work’ from her mom and dad’s for a few days!
Joy is not a big enough word, y’all!

After a few days in Tucson, we (only the parent-y adults) drove six hours to spend a few days in their house in Carlsbad.
The perfect little Pacific coast beach town!

We’re back in Virginia where we belong.
Laundry, grocery shopping and tidying the house were on my list this week.
East coast time is our enemy…but we’re hoping to become friends again sooner than later.
After sleeping from only 10:15 to 11:30pm Wednesday night, I crashed about 8:15 Thursday night and woke at 9:40 this morning. Let us hope I broke the cycle.
As we head into the weekend, I’m disappointed we won’t be at the beach with our friends, but I’ve already hugged Meredith and Beau and their mommy this week, and this weekend we’re going to see Baby K for the first time since Sunday two weeks ago!

I came home feeling refreshed (apart from the wack-a-doo sleep schedule) and ready to organize and pack for our move the end of this month.
I knew I needed a break. I knew my husband would benefit from a break. Traveling is stressful, but visiting people we love is not.
We needed this break, this trip, this time with our family of friends.
I’m ready for what’s next.

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September gratitude

Today is October first.
The official start of Halloween month!
But before I get all SQUEE about that, I’m going to express my gratitude.

September was straight chaos. But it was also quite lovely.
As I look back on this month I find myself grateful for both.

I’m also grateful for:

a porchlife lunch with Mike and Josie
Husband N’s willingness to transport a 16 foot ladder
a successful and fun flea market day with YBW, his brother and sister-in-law
meeting with the builder about electricals in the new house
stackable jewelry organizers
a tearful conversation with YBW

Target run with Thing 1 and Baby K (sassy thing chose her own new shades and bag)

finally getting to talk with Jessica
Husband N’s mad landscaping skills
cool Autumn mornings
Thing G seems content at his mom’s
winery day with Nora and Dale’s family
joyfully ‘hate watching’ the Twilight saga with Thing 1

bathroom construction progress

windows open for several days in a row
playing a game called Bye Felicia
making good use of my instant pot
two of my alternative healthcare providers
Saturday morning snuggles with YBW and Baby K
exercising my 19th amendment right and responsibility by voting early
TJXrewards points

inventing this ridiculously delicious cocktail with Thing 1

having airline miles to purchase tickets for Thing 2 and Boyfriend M to visit in November
the post office in Old Town Manassas
taking a chance on the curated bundles at Bards Alley and getting some great reads
red toenail polish
CBD oil capsules
being in the car by myself

My heart is full of gratitude as I look back at this lovely and chaotic month.

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Friday feels

Today is the first day I’ve stopped and taken a big breath this week.
I needed it!
Of course, stopping and breathing gave me the opportunity to be all in my feels.

gratitude
Even though it took two full weeks, Thing 2’s covid test came back negative
I got to hug Meredith and her Mommy when their family returned from a forty-five day cross-country trip
My gloriously supportive friends who encourage me to think outside the box

than central air

joy
YBW and I put down the deposit for our house yesterday, and will sign the contract Wednesday

excitement
Road trip with YBW (we leave for GA in the morning and return with Thing 1’s family on Monday)
Baby K will be here all the time
I’m going to tutor select students this virtual school year (kind of like being an ‘at home’ substitute teacher)

It was an exceptionally great week to be me!

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day five

I had a nice quiet morning organizing books. Of course then I had a stack of books I’ve read, but don’t actually want to keep.
For the most part, I share books with my friend Josie. I can trust her to take good care of the ones I want back, and know anything she passes along will go to a good reader.
In true ‘if you give a mouse a cookie’ fashion, this book organization lead to me texting Josie. Which lead to YBW and I going out to Mike and Josie’s to drop off books. But since we were there, we had (an appropriately socially distanced) visit on their porch and carry out from this precious local restaurant called Field & Main.

When we got home there were packages in the mailbox for me!

Colors from the Essie summer collection Bustling Bazaar, and Christopher Moore’s new book! The second sequel to one of my all time favorites, Fool.
AND(!!!) Check this out!

International Week of the Birthday continues to rock!

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Happy Birthday, Baby K!

Today this little girl celebrates her first go around the sun.

We’re not celebrating it the way her parents planned.
No party.
No (extended) family.
No friends.
No bumble bee themed ‘Happy Bee-Day’.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not celebrating her wherever we are!
We’re celebrating her joining our family.
We’re celebrating her milestones.
We’re celebrating her life.

But I am reminded of the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas…

“And the Birdie, with her Birdie-feet ice cold in the snow room temperature on the floor, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And she puzzled and puzzled ’till her puzzler was sore.
Then the Birdie thought of something she hadn’t before.
What if Baby K’s birthday, she thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Baby K’s birthday, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

This precious baby girl has brought so much into our world.
The love, joy, and gratitude are enormous, and they are real!

Won’t you join me in celebrating Baby K’s birthday by sending love, good vibes, prayers, cheers, (or your favorite way to celebrate) to her today.
Please and thank you!

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I wanted to share the stories

Tuesday last I went to the PO to send out all the photos I sorted for my friends and family.
I sent five large first class envelopes, three bigger priority mail padded envelopes, and one big priority mail box.

The first text came from my cousin Chris at 11:32 Thursday morning.

Bless you Robyn! Bless you. Just got the pics you sent me. Brought some much needed happiness, and a tear to my eye. Love you.

The second text came the same day at 5:02 from his sister.

I got the pictures. Thank you so much. Perfect timing Chris is coming over tomorrow.

The third text I got was from Sally at 5:11 Thursday afternoon.

Who are the other two folks?

I got Nicole’s text at 3:24 on Saturday.

We are loving all the pics! Thank you!

At 5:40 this came from Kristen. She taught second grade to both my girls. When Thing 2 was in her class, she had her first child. We saw them frequently. With the aid of social media we stayed in touch all these years, and she was here to celebrate with us last summer at the party for Baby K!

What a surprise!!!! Thank you!!!

He’s checking himself out (heart emoji)

I heard from Becca later Saturday evening at 8:18.

OMG!!!! Loved it!!! Thank you (with a bunch of smiley heart emojis)

Sundance got quarantined away from home, so her package is at her house waiting for her.

And the big box was delivered to the Things father, but I haven’t heard anything. I mean, not that I expected to. But I keep thinking, now I regret being kind to you.

Thing 1 said, “Momma, never regret being kind.” and she’s right.
None of these packages were about me. About the response I got for sending them.

I sent photos to my friends and family because I wanted to share the stories.
Their kids were babies in some of these photos. The stories of their whole young lives caught in these images. I wanted to share those stories, those memories with their families.
I absolutely adored going through these photos. The stories they told came back in vivid detail. Jogging my memory of other stories. I spent a few days reliving my daughters young lives. It was a sacred place to be.
It was also bittersweet. This part of our lives is past. And dwelling too long there would be less precious and more painful with every passing moment.
The time I spent revisiting my life, the lives of the people I love was a beautiful gift. I’ve sent off photos to my friends and family so they can revisit their own journeys. I find myself ready to once again look forward.

I’m pleased to be finished with that portion of the process. I look forward to the time when I can be with each of my girls and go through their boxes of photos. Sharing memories, stories, laughter, and maybe even tears.
In the meantime, I have the last two boxes. These are more photos from my past. Some of me as a child. Some from the collections of my parents and grandparents.
They feel less fun to me. Though, I remain hopeful that I’ll find pics that tell a story I don’t remember. Or one the girls don’t know so I can share with them.

I do still have a box of photo CDs to add to one of those external hard drives. Though, I’m not in a big hurry to get after that. I need a break from my life as a young mother. I don’t want to feel that bittersweet feeling. That pull of the past.

Those CDs will be there. Sitting in that box. Waiting patiently until I’m ready.

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knowing and telling of stories

In case you were wondering the status of the great and arduous process, here’s an update.
This is what It looked like when I finished through 2002.

Each of those boxes was chock full of photos.
I finished the preliminary sort and purge, and returned to those boxes only the photos about which I wanted to share stories. Or photos I wanted the girls to be able to decide what to keep and what to purge.
There are five finished boxes, in those boxes, I sorted the pictures into the following categories.
Thing 1 only
Thing 2 only
the Things together
me
Mommie, Daddie, and Grandaddy (yeah, all in one box, but I only had five)

Of course then I had to bring the rest of the boxes upstairs.

At this point, I’ve gotten through 2004. I haven’t looked at photos since Saturday last. I needed a break this week.
As I sort, if it’s for one of my girls, I write the year and who’s in the pic on the back. First and last names and where the photo was taken if I know. That’s to help jog their memories.

In addition to sorting out photos for the girls, I’m setting some aside to be sent to other people. My intent is to box these up and put them in the mail just as soon as I finish the initial sort and purge. I’m only writing the date on the backs of these.

From left to right, these stacks will be sent to the following people:
Becca
Nicole
the next two are for my cousins
Brooke
Sundance
Sally
the Things father

Grandaddy was on each of these ships.
Either in WWII or Korea.
With a teeny bit of research, I was able to verify which ship was which and label accordingly.
This Golden Dragon thing was kind of cool, I just wish I knew more about it.

I have all his Navy information in a container in the basement. I’m hoping to connect each ship with his time on it, as well as locate his ribbons, dog tags, etc. and compile all that information in one place. For what purpose? Well, in the meantime, just for me. If at some point Thing 2 wants it, yay!, if not, equally yay!, it’s her choice.

It’s interesting to learn more about the man who raised me. He never talked about himself, or his life. As far as we knew, he didn’t exist until the day I was born. He was simply Grandaddy. My mom didn’t talk about his life either, or her own. I grew up knowing practically nothing about the people who raised me.
I tried to do that differently when I became a mom.
I want those girls to know who I am and why. That in addition to being their Momma, I’m a girl. A human being with thoughts and feels and plans and dreams and a sense of humor and flaws. And love.
Knowing and telling each other’s stories is so important!

I’m planning to go back to the photos this coming week.
But today, YBW and I are going to set up the porch! After his cleaning and protective sealing of the porch a couple weeks ago, I purposely waited. I wanted to let the pollening happen before we set it up for porch life. But I’m tired of waiting! I’m looking at the oak trees and realize I simply don’t have the patience to outlast them.
We’re going to set up rugs and furniture and umbrellas today.
Then I’ll be able to go out and porch life whenever I please!

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surprise book sharing

I found this on my front porch Wednesday afternoon.

It’s in a zip bag not to protect us from germs, but to protect the book from rain.
It poured all day Wednesday.

This note was enclosed.

I bought this book as a gift for Meredith on her ninth birthday. She was finishing up a thirteen book series before she started this on. We agreed it sounded interesting and she promised I could borrow it when she finished.

I’m taking a break from photos today. I made it from (approximately) 1915 through 1999 and feel like I deserve a rest.
My plan is to read this book and engage in conversation with her as soon as I’m finished. (I’m hoping about three or four hours, but we’ll see.)
If life was normal, I’d read it and walk up the street to their house, or she’d walk down the street to my house and we would snuggle up on the sofa with the book and talk talk talk.
But life isn’t normal, so I’ll text her mom and see if she can face time or we can talk. It won’t be the same, but it’s still lovely to share a book with a friend.

This is exactly what I needed today.
Wish me happy reading.

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