Posts Tagged With: love

(an unusual) Baby K weekend – January 2022

Thing 1 called me Wednesday afternoon.
I was checking out after getting my hair did.
Me answering: Let me call you right back.
Her: Uh, OK. But we have a gas leak, can Baby K and I come to your house?
Me: Yes! Why are you even asking. I’ll call you right back.

I called her back asking about Husband N, the dogs and cats. Thing 1 told me she turned off the gas at the tank (their furnace runs on propane) so they could no longer smell gas in the house. Husband N had to stay there for the guy from the propane company to come.
They were more worried about the cold than anything at that point, but we did come up with a plan just in case.

Turns out they simply ran out of gas. Which in itself is a somewhat convoluted story that shouldn’t actually have happened, but not actually relevant to my point.

Thing 1 and Baby K arrived within half an hour of me getting home.
My daughter was frazzled. Her daughter was excited to be at “B-Papa house”.

This weekend was our Baby K weekend.
But our grandgirl arrived Wednesday afternoon and the weekend weather was looking bleak, so I suggested to Thing 1 she go home whenever and we’d bring Baby K home later in the day Saturday to avoid traveling Sunday.
This plan worked for everyone.
Of course Thing 1 wasn’t getting any toddler-free time because she was here too.
Though it was nice to have some time together in our two mommies-two daughters sort of way.

Gas tanks were filled Friday morning.
Closet design appointment was scheduled for eleven Friday. (more on that later)
Thing 1 stayed long enough to get Baby K in bed for her nap before she left.

Baby K was grumpy and sad Friday night and asked to go home several times. (so unlike her) I explained it was too late to go home Friday night, but reassured her we would take her home Saturday morning when she was ready.
Kid woke up all chipper and ready to play!
We ended up taking her home after her nap Saturday afternoon.
She was nearly exploding with joy when we got her home. Not just because she was home with her mom and dad, but because we were all there together with her.
She was super huggy and giggly. She kept saying, “Come here quick, please!” just so we could all see some silly thing she wanted to show or tell us. She told us, “Both of you” or “All of you” a few times too.
Her joy is contagious!

It was a tricky week to be in my daughter’s family.
It was a tricky week for YBW and me, though I think we got the better end of the deal.
Extra Baby K time for both YBW and me.
Unexpected time with my girl for me.

Things will come up.
Plans will change.
It won’t always be the way we hope or expect.
However, we’re lucky enough to be in a situation in which we can make it work together.
That’s the bit I love most!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Encanto: does being magical = unconditional love?

We watched Encanto Tuesday night.
On Disney+ from the comfort of our own sofa.

photo cred: walt disney animation studios

I had no real interest in seeing it. I hadn’t even seen the trailer.
But Thing 1 has been expressing her interest and excitement for a couple of months now. She’s even been listening to the soundtrack for a few weeks. So her hype kind of tipped me from the edge of ‘maybe I’ll watch it’ to choosing to watch it.

Y’all!
I laughed.
I cried.
I was mesmerized.
I cannot recommend this movie enough!

First of all, the music!
So many great songs! In English, and in Spanish.
I’m ready to watch it again just to hear the soundtrack.

I’m fascinated by Colombian history and culture. (you may recall it was the place I was most excited about going on our 2019 Panama Canal trip)
This film did not disappoint when it came to Colombian culture.
Not to mention the animation itself was unbelievably stunning.

But what got me the most was the story.
Mirabel is a girl who grows up in a family where everyone is magical but her.
To be told you’re not special you’re entire life is a feeling I understand down deep in me.
This girl knows she’s not magical like literally every other person in her family, yet she shows up every day and does what she can to contribute. To make life better for everyone around her. However, no matter what she does, or how hard she works, it’s never enough.

I know what it feels like to be told you’re not special.
I know what it feels like to grow up in a family where no matter what you do, nothing is enough. But you keep trying every day because it’s the only way to feel loved.
Like me, Mirabel is a classic over-functioner.
Her sisters kind of are too…

Mirabel’s story is infinitely more complicated but also a bit simpler than that, but it hit a trigger point in me.
It was beautiful and sad, and hopeful all in one.
And hope is a truly wonderful thing.

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present and engaged this Christmas

For the first time I can remember, I didn’t take any photos at Christmas! ​
A tiny part of me is sad there are no photos, but I love that I was completely present and engaged on Christmas Eve when our family was here.
Three of our four kids, their two partners, one mother in law, and our grandgirl came to our new home to celebrate together.
We popped bubbly.
We laughed.
We opened gifts.
I was disappointed Thing 2 and Boyfriend M weren’t with us, but I talked to her for nearly three hours earlier that day, and I know she spoke with her sister too.

I put out the cookies Thing 1, Baby K, and I made.

We ate three different varieties of soup.
We nibbled and talked and told stories. We were content to celebrate together.

Baby K helped me pass out pressies to her parents, uncles, and other grandmother. She enlisted her Papa’s help as she was feeling a bit shy about taking gifts to her uncles and Thing C’s girlfriend.

We all had Christmas Eve gifts of jammies and books.
Our adult kids get gift cards for Christmas, which may seem boring, or even like a cop-out, but it works for our family.
Of course, not being an adult, Baby K gets gifts.
And I can assure you she was all about opening them!
Even though we went to see her Christmas morning, she opened gifts from us while she was here on Christmas Eve.

It was the loveliest Christmas I’ve had in a while and my love and joy were spilling out all over.
I hope all y’all and your families had a wonderful Christmastime.
I wish you all comfort and joy.

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love and joy and cookies

Thing 1 and I baked cookies all day yesterday.

Baby K said, “I help you!” many times.
Of course toddler help looks often looks like her taking cookies off the pan and cramming them in her gob as quickly as we can cut them. (I’m over here like, dude, that’s what scraps are for!)
Or taking a handful of flour and throwing it on the floor while saying, “It’s SNOW!”
Then when her mother unceremoniously removes her from the stool upon which she stands, laying in the flour on the floor and…”I making snow angel!”
(Yeah, we laughed. It was freaking adorable!)
We had a reprieve when her Papa came home from lunch and they sat at the island being all cute while they ate their lunches together.
And again while she napped.

Baking is not my strong suit.
But yesterday, baking with my girl. I was absolutely content.
I enjoyed her company.
I enjoyed working in the kitchen with her.
I enjoyed watching her be her daughter’s mom.

That time was sacred to me and I’m grateful for it.
It wasn’t about the cookies, though most of them turned out beautifully.
It was about the process.
It was about the fellowship.
I know how fortunate I am to live close to my daughter, especially after not for so long.
But more than that, I know how fortunate I am to be close to my daughter.
Love, joy, and gratitude are spilling over in me and out into the world.
I hope y’all can feel it too!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

silly reindeer

Baby K spent Saturday night with us so her mom and dad could get some last minute holiday stuff done before her other grandmother comes late tomorrow.

Our girl loves herself some snapchat filters.
“Me! Me!”

“Now ‘Boowie’!”

Who wore it better?
I’m going to go ahead and cast my vote for the toddler.

I hope y’all are doing all the fun/goofy/wonderful holiday things that bring you all the joy!

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Baby K weekend December 2021

Our grandgirl was busy this weekend, y’all!

Saturday we played in the creek behind our house. That girl loves water! So much so that she dragged me into the middle of the creek before she realized the water was up over her boots!
After dumping out the chilly water and squeezing her wet sock feet, she decided she was better off standing on the shore throwing rocks.

After dinner we watched one of Birdie’s favorite holiday shows!

What you can’t see is her dancing every time they sing about how the Grinch is so mean.

Sunday morning we were up, breakfasted, and ready to roll before nine o’clock. We wanted to take Baby K to see the National Christmas tree. The night before YBW checked on the interwebs that the trees opened at 8:30.
We were like, how perfect! We’ll go first thing before it gets too crowded and be out of the city before lunchtime.
Alas, the universe was all, haha NOPE to us.
When we got to the Ellipse, everything was closed!
I immediately got on google…and this is what I saw.

Y’all, I’ve lived here my entire life (minus eight years) and never ever have the fucking trees been closed on the weekends.
Or in the evenings.
Is this a covid thing?
I don’t even know, but I gotta tell you I was pretty damn salty about it.

It was quite pretty though.
This is the first time in my memory that there are pressies under the tree.
But no trains!
I was disappointed, but Baby K had a blast being in DC!
She was in her buggy at first, but then she decided to walk. Across 17th Street. The kid is a natural at navigating crosswalk signals. (while holding hands with Birdie and Papa, natch)

We went next to Old Town Alexandria.
Our plan to let her walk to her little heart’s content.
Her Papa and I got coffee, she got a great big chocolate chip cookie and off we went down King Street towards the river.
Of course we had to stop at the huge Christmas tree in Market Square at City Hall!
Baby K nommed her cookie, ran through the square, and climbed up and down each set of steps and the ramp on the stage right in front of City Hall.
Sadly, our outing was cut short when she had an accident.
We got her all dried up and put on clean clothes, but her shoes were wet, so it was time to go home.

Where she built with blocks then had pizza and salad for dinner.

Oh! NEWS FLASH!
She doesn’t call me B anymore.
She says Birdie now. Only it sounds like Boo-wie.
So, Baby K’s weekend at ‘Boowie’ and Papa’s house had it’s ups and downs, but being together is what it’s all about.
All the JOY!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

first night blessings

Hanukkah began at sundown yesterday.
YBW joined me in saying the prayers and lighting the candles.

I love the first night of Hanukkah most of all because of the special prayer said only that night.

Thanks be to you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for keeping us alive and in good health and for bringing us together.

I’m not actively religious, but I do have beliefs.
Lighting these candles and saying these prayers on the first night of Hanukkah, I feel down deep in me the connection to my ancestors. The ones who lit these candles, and the ones who lit their Advent wreaths.
I’m so grateful that we are alive and in good health and together, especially in this season which I love so dearly.
My wish is all y’all feel it too!

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grief is a dick punch

My mom’s been gone ten years this week.
I have more feels about this than I’d like.
It’s simpler to just kind of know intrinsically that she’s dead and not really think about it. Because when I do think about it, I mostly feel anger.
Ten years later and I’m still so fucking angry!
I’m angry she was sick and kept the secret. I’m angry at her for choosing to die.

Seventeen days between finding out she was sick to finding out she was dead.
Like, why am I surprised she was selfish? Why am I surprised she kept her declining health a secret? She was nothing but secrets.
Knowing she was who she was doesn’t make the anger any less.

I’m angry I barely got to see her.
I’m angry I had to rush to say goodbye.
I’m angry that helping her ridiculous husband manage his grief kept me from helping my daughters manage their grief.
I’m angry that my grief is more anger than anything.

I’ve worked through so many things in therapy.
Cleary this is not one of them…

TBPH though, most days I’m just a girl with no parents. And I’m OK with that. My anger spends the majority of my life taking a nap. But when it wakes, we just kind of fuel each other and feed off each other and I simply cannot believe things she said and did are still manipulating me. (Perhaps it’s that I’m letting them manipulate me…?)
Either way, I’m not feeling love for her. I’m not feeling sad she’s gone. I’m not nostalgic about her.
I’m feeling really fucking mad.

Feeling all this anger can’t possibly be good for me.
But I’m over here up to my ass in it.

My logical brain understands I need to let it go. (y’all hear Elsa too, right?) Send that anger on it’s way. Even if it’s replaced with nothing, that’s most likely better for me. To feel anything instead of anger, I’m here for it.
My feelings place understands I don’t feel that anger the majority of my life. That it flares up when I do stop to think about my mother’s death.

Our relationship, her life, neither of those had to end the way they did.
Her mom died suddenly when she was only twenty three years old.
My mom chose to die in secret and I found out suddenly when I was forty years old.
She knew what that was like. To lose her mom without warning. Why would she do that to her own daughter?
I don’t understand that kind of selfishness.
She was controlling the situation (and us in it) even as she was dying.
Talk about needing to let it go.
Just fucking be real with your children. We’re adults. We can handle it.

That’s not who she was.
She was a tyrannical dictator who ran her world with an iron fist.
She wasn’t about to give that up at the end of her life.

How disappointing.
She could have done it differently and we all could have felt our feels as we went.
Of course she wasn’t interested in us feeling our feels. To be fair, she wasn’t interested in feeling her own feels either.
It just occurred to me that she’d probably enjoy that I’m angry about her death.
That’s nearly enough to make me choose to never be angry about it again. Why in the fuck would I give her the posthumous satisfaction?

Interestingly enough, simply writing about it helped me feel less angry. (must journal more frequently)
I’m an orphan in this world. An adult child of deceased parents.
Most days I’m cool with it. I adapted. This is my life now.
But the anniversary of my mom’s death got me thinking.
And feeling.
That anger didn’t bubble up in a manageable way, it erupted like a volcano and I was simultaneously burning and drowning in the lava flow.
Somehow I survived and the lava is cooling.
I find myself wondering if this anger volcano can move from dormant to extinct.
I mean, time and work-of-self moved it from active to dormant…so that’s moving in the right direction, yeah?

I don’t know.
I can’t help but wonder if feeling angry is better than feeling unloved.

Grief is weird.
Sometimes it’s just a normal state of being.
Sometimes it’s a straight up dick punch.
I’m choosing to move back into ‘normal state of being’, this ‘dick punch anger’ is painful and exhausting.

That’s what life’s about though, right?
The choices we make.
I choose to feel my feels.
I choose to figure out how to process those feels.
I choose to acknowledge, accept-don’t-judge, and release those feels.

I do think it’s OK that I’m angry about the way my mom died.
I don’t think I need to let it consume me.
Look at me, over here growing.
Huzzah!

Categories: death | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

the joy of coming home

How precious is this mid-century house?
Thing 2 closes on it tomorrow.

My baby bought a house!
She’s saved for so long, squirreling away nearly twenty thousand dollars. And her credit score is in the 790s! She’s making an excellent investment. She’ll have twenty five thousand in equity when she walks through the front door.
She’s worked hard to get to this place.

She was planning to purchase by herself. But part way through her process, she and Boyfriend M realized they wanted to own a home together.
I’m overjoyed! I truly believe this young man and my daughter could be each other’s forever person if that’s what they want.
His mother isn’t as enthusiastic as we are. My understanding is she thinks they’re going about the order of things incorrectly. However, my gut says the bigger truth is she’s dissatisfied that he son isn’t living the life she expects him to live. She’ll get over that. All parents have to at some point.
I see my daughter and her boyfriend actively asking and answering the hardest questions. They’re working together. They’re making smart choices. They’ve planned and made commitments to each other about how it will work.
I trust Thing 2’s decision.
I trust she has a solid foundation upon which she will continue to build her life.
She’s choosing to build her life in a home with this young man. Just as he’s choosing to build his life in a home with her.
Their trust in the other is considerable.

The inspection showed the house needed minor repairs.
They talked the sellers down in price, well below asking. They got approval to do the work before taking ownership and contractors quickly got in the house.
A friend of theirs has brand new appliances to give them. Everything but the fridge, if I remember correctly.
That’s one hell of a friend!

In our group chat she was asking what Thing 1 and I think about paint colors.
She sent this.

My understanding is she’s thinking Lazy Gray for the walls and Serious Gray for the cabinets.

Y’all, my daughter has worked hard and long to get to this place. She’s been working towards this with a single minded fury.
To say she is excited is an understatement.
I am immeasurably proud for her.
She DID it!

Thing 2 and her kitty Oliver, and Boyfriend M and his kitty Meryl move into their new home this very week!

We three girls will purchase and move into our new homes in the same calendar year.
Fresh starts for each of us in 2021.
Now that’s something to give thanks for.
My Momma heart is overflowing with love and joy and gratitude.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

finding the right balance

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know Thanksgiving is absolutely not my thing. But, Thanksgiving is Thing 1’s most favorite holiday. When the our dining table arrived, Thing 1 said, “You know, Momma, our house is really small. And yours is big. And you have that big island and new table. So, if I cooked and cleaned, would you host Thanksgiving?”
Without hesitation I told her yes, I also told her I had to talk with YBW.
I only got as far as “and yours is big” in relaying her question before he said “Yes!”

YBW then reached out to each of our other three kids and invited them for Thanksgiving. And when I say invited, what I mean is he didn’t actually give them a choice as much as he was like, I want you here, please and thank you.
And if you actually knew my husband, you’d know that’s not his typical M.O.
The boys and Girlfriend L are confirmed.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K are confirmed.
YBW’s brother, his wife, and our nephew are also confirmed.
Thing 2 and Boyfriend M cannot be here.

YBW and Thing 1 are planning to do all the work. I’m planning to watch the parade and drink apple cider mimosas and play with Baby K.
Though I’ll make the cranberries and probably the stuffing. And maybe the gravy, because it’s Thing G’s fave. Though Thing 1 could absolutely make him some gravy he’ll love.

I’m excited about three of our four kids being in the same place at the same time.
I’m excited about two of our kids’ partners being here with us.
I’m excited to welcome my brother in law’s fam to our home.
I’m disappointed Thing 2 won’t be here, but what she’s doing instead is actually much more important.

I have real, and deeply rooted anxious feels surrounding Thanksgiving and I’m working hard to reconcile those feelings with my excitement of us all being together.
These opposing feels create unbalance in me, and I want the joy to outweigh those feelings of discomfort.
I don’t like Thanksgiving, but I love being surrounded by my family.
I’m hopeful to find the right balance.
But even if I don’t, I’ll always have the parade.
And that’s fine by me.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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