Archive for the Category ◊ me, in a nutshell ◊

17 Jun 2008 What is this thing called Wanderlust?
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In 1999, before we got married, Eric spent months trying to find a job that would allow us to live in Michigan.  It was my dearest wish and to his credit, he tried very hard to keep us there.  He went on multiple interviews, but the cost of living was different and he was unwilling to move to MI to make less money.  I supported that idea, but was reluctant when it came time for us to move.

One cool, June morning, we loaded my entire life into a U-Haul truck and drove to Chicago, towing my jelly bean behind us, ready to begin our new life in IL.  I sobbed the whole way and was generally nasty and miserable about the idea of leaving home and Eric, who has the patience of Job, put up with me until I turned the corner.

We lived in an apartment in Arlington Heights for two years before deciding to buy our house.  Leaving the apartment wasn’t too hard, but in 2004, after years of struggling here after United Airlines crapped out after 9/11 we got the news we’d be moving.  Eric found a job!  Five years after we first tried we were moving to Michigan, with the salary and position that Eric needed to make it all work out.

But then, came the horrible thing.  We had to leave here. Our home.  I felt phyiscal pain when we left here.  I put down my roots and they had wound around the foundation of our little white house, tightly.  I felt severed when we left, the stumps of my roots aching.  Not long after our move to MI we went to OH to visit family.  Eric and I croweded into a twin bed in my Grandpa’s attic and I sobbed for all the things I missed. 

The worst thing about our two years in MI was my inability to put my roots back down.  I was happy to leave our first rental, but even though our second rental was much more appealing to Eric and I, it wasn’t home and my roots grew mangled and pot bound as I had no place to put them down.

In a stroke of luck, I guess, we found ourself back in our house in 2006.  Eric found a job and our tenant defaulted and suddenly we were home again.  We missed my family, but my roots did a jig, I swear.  Dancing with delight as they sunk themselves into the soil and wrapped tightly around the foundation  again.

But over the last few months I notice that my roots don’t feel bound as tightly anymore.  I feel kind of detatched and indifferent.  I feel like it might be time to find someplace else to be, and I don’t just mean a new house in the same area.

A couple of months ago Eric b egan the interview process with a company that would take us out of state.  He was unsure, of course, if it was even worth our time.  If we’re not willing to move, he argued, why waste me, and their, time?  Talk to them, I said, let’s see what they have to say.  It would take a pretty specific package for us to move.  What could it hurt us?

And I felt the tendrils of the roots slowly unwinding themselves from the crushing grip they had on the foundation of our house.  I admit that I wouldn’t hate an out of state move.  I think I could even like it.

But why this change?  Why now?  This isn’t like me.    I’ve spent some time pondering why I feel rather apathetic about moving or not when in the past I’ve been opposed, strongly, to moving.  Why are my roots relinquishing their hold here?  Is it because I know that as our family grows that staying in this house becomes less and less possible?  is it because I know Eric’s desire to live somewhere warm and I want him to be happy?  Or is this about me?  Am I tried of the same old, same old?  I really don’t know.

Eric had his third interview yesterday.  He flew to North Carolina.  Now we wait and see.  Will there be an offer?  What sort?  And if no offer comes, do we decide to pursue a job in that area any way?  So many questions.  We’re waiting for answers.

24 Apr 2008 Nostalgia? For this?
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Today I was looking back over my archives and I wondered in which month I had posted the most prolifically.  It was July 2004, which really struck me as odd and when I clicked into the archives I was transported back to our first summer in Michigan and, I confess, missed that time.

DSCN0128.jpgThe condo was small and actually cramped.  We couldn’t park our cars in the garage and, in fact, they hardly fit in the driveway.  We had no dishwasher, only one bathroom and it seemed like our meager furniture hardly fit inside the joint, but somehow, I miss the simplicity of  it.

Which is totally crazy on several fronts, the first of which being we’re certainly not over run with room and amenities here.  But…Eric was working a very predictable bankers hours job that he rarely brought home.  The pay was okay and for the first time in a few years things were okay financially, even if they weren’t great.

I was home, again, and had confidence to go out and do things that I hadn’t had before.  I took Emily places beyond the grocery store and, Emily, well, Emily was four which seems sweet and uncomplicated compared to eight.  We played and got along easily and i had all the time in the world for her, something I miss.  I feel like we’re not as close now as we were before Cadence came, but that’s another post, really.

But there is just this feeling of peace that surrounded those first few months.  Despite our sadness at leaving our home, our first few months in Michigan are marked in my mind as peaceful times; cool, misty mornings.  Emily asleep just down the hall.  Shaded mornings playing in the back yard under flowering apple trees.  Afternoon sunshine blazing through the windows, the cool breeze from the lake and the confidence that I knew where everything was and how to get there.  We would listen to NPR on the weekends on the stereo in room off of the kitchen and Emily would play and Eric would use the computer and I would sew and we were peaceful together.

Things would change so quickly.  By August things were rushing forward and we wouldn’t return to that peaceful place again.  We moved out of the tiny condo in November to avoid dealing with them selling it while we were renting and while I felt more at home in the new place, I never again found that peace.  In fact, once Fall of 2004 rolled around we were riding on the Bad to Worse train and things wouldn’t improve until we made it back to Lakemoor in 2006.

But for a little while, it was great.  And I miss it a little bit.

18 Apr 2008 I know..
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You know, from time to time I struggle with what the purpose of this blog is.  I wonder if anyone actually reads it.  I struggle with deciding if I want to put it out there for other people to read or if I’m happy with a little word of mouth traffic.  Sometimes, I’ve decided to make my blogging separate and then tried to drive more traffic using other blog sites, but I always come back here, because I’m still not sure of my readership and it seems silly to maintain two blogs.

And so, I get quiet.  I don’t leave because I won’t, but I’m in that phase again where I’m trying to figure out purpose and intent here and all of that crap.  Do I want to put it out there?  Do I not?

And so on and so on. It’s cyclical.

So, a quick update. 

Things are well here.  Emily made her first communion last week.  She was excited and I was happy that she’s so
First Communion 016.jpg so involved and interested in church.  I admit that I struggle with faith and figuring things out and it’s just nice to see Emily who can just plunge forward and not ask questions and have doubts.  This is who loves her.  This is who she loves.  It’s what I love best about kids. 

On Tuesday we’ll head to church for a special mass with her classmates and a celebration brunch.  Emily is excited about the whole thing. S he gets to wear her dress to school, take pictures, sing songs, participate in mass.  It’s like a Happy Communion Girl Trifecta.   And, of course, we get to see her all dressed up and looking like an angel, which isn’t so bad either.
All of this underscores that this is a sad season.  Those who know me know why and I struggle with how much I speak about Mom and all that crap (Mom would be amused by lumping it into one “that crap” statement.  It’s an inside joke, kind of, that involves my wonderfully dramatic and super funny brother).  I’m working hard to focus my mind on something else, but I keep flitting back to last year.  To make matters better, my anxiety has come back and I headed to the doctor and had my happy pills increased in strength so I can get by this little bit without being a mess.  I can deal with the sadness just fine, but the hysteria over the panic attacks really doesn’t work well for me.

05 Feb 2008 Before Lent
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Yes, it’s true. I’m giving up casual use of the computer for lent.  I’ll be spending about 10 minutes a day checking my e-mail and keeping up with my meetup group obligations.  I haven’t decided, yet, if blogging counts as casual use or not.  I’m not sure what giving it up is going to mean.  I’m sure I’m going to have a few days of withdrawal, that’s for sure.  Add in meatless Fridays and things are going to be CRAZY around the house.

Anyhow, I just wanted to tie up a few loose ends (haha!) around here before I went.

Emily is eight today.  We took her to American girl place today where she picked out another doll to love and be loved by.  She was very mature when picking out her agreed upon two outfits (and because she behaved so nicely we agreed to let her get the starter kit and I threw in the half price outfit of the week).  She’s currently flying Mia over her head in ecstasy.    It was worth the time and effort and money.

of course, on the way home we ended upo driving in possibly the worst storm of winter and, let me tell you, we’ve had some doozies thus far.   Noaa.gov is predicting 9 to 18 inches of snow.  WTH?  I mean, really.

Oh, and to the prick in the Lexus tailgaiting me down Darrell road this evening, eff off dude.  Seriously.  There were three cars off the road in less than a mile and i KNOW you have four wheel drive in your fancy car, but the roads were very bad and four wheel drive ain’t never stopped no body.  I considered flipping you the bird as you passed me in the turn lane on the way to God knows where (but not the hospital, so there goes that excuse) but I had my girls in the car (which is why I was driving like an old poky grandma) so I gave you “the look” and called you a peckerhead on your way by (and then went back to saying The Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary until we got home).

So, anyway, happy lent. :o) 

08 Jan 2008 How much can I blog in two mintues….

…That’s my self imposed Time to Get off of the Computer time.  I’m going to do up a few chores and then head upstairs to my happy, clean crafty area.  I finally finished sorting and putting away this morning, leaving me with a nice expanse of space.  I resumed work on Cadence’s cherry corduroy jumper, putting in the hem during nap time.

I have to admit, that the excess of craft supplies i’ve amassed over the past year has me a bit,…oh….forlorn?  Adding to that is the fact that I have 13 yards of fabric (I think,..maybe 14 or 15) heading this way from around the country to add to the enormous pile that isn’t fitting my storage AND today I got another box from my scrapclub (insert very chagrined smile here).

But it’s good.  Right?

RIGHT?

01 Aug 2007 It’s the second most wonderful time of the year
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School time is drawing near here in lovely IL. Now, I’m not one of those moms who rejoice because their offspring are finally heading back to school, ending days of tedium and tantrums. Emily’s a pretty good kid and I’ll miss her for the hours she’s gone.

No, the reason why I like late summer is simple.

School supplies.

Aisles and aisles of gleaming, beautiful, sale priced school supplies. On our forray to target (for, like a handful of vacation supplies) I was drawn in the moment we hit the front door and saw piles of beautiful school supplies all over the place. Multi-colored ink pens (oh how I coveted one of these in grade school), pencils, yummy smelling mini erasers (I skipped those because they’re totally unusable, but I still love to smell them).

10 one subject notebooks for a dollar? How could I resist. Into my cart they hopped. Binder dividers? Folders? Cute pencil cases? I am smitten. A box of 120 sharpened crayolas? Ecstasy. Really it is.

I remember with great fondness the odor of a brand, new trapper keeper. I remember the way a sheaf of papers, newly loosed from their plastic wrap smells. School supply shopping is a trip down memory lane, full of smells and sights and sounds. The lumpy white paste we used in first grade, the crisp swish of newly sharpened safety scissors. The click and clack of three ring binders snapping shut.

Yes, it’s love. I admit it. Even as a college student my school supply lust wasn’t quenched AND I had a job and could buy my own. Erasers and gel pens. Mechanical pencils in wild colors and colored paper clips. Recycled notebook papers in pastel colors.

School supplies make me positively giddy. :O)

14 May 2007 Faith…
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Emily Dickinson wrote, “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church and I keep it staying at home.” I couldn’t agree with Emily more. For me, God is more in my daily life, in my home, in my kids and marriage, than I have ever found Him at church. Every day I’m in Presence of His Miracles. It’s humbling. Every day that we wake up and get another day together is such a huge blessing.

My dad talked to a good friend of his over the weekend. This Friend had a friend lose his seventeen year old son the weekend my Mom died. He had a bright future, came home from school on Friday complaining of a headache and was dead on Sunday. His pastor was praying and was angry with God. He asked WHY would God DO such a thing. Why would He take a good kid away from good parents. Why would He allow that life to end? The pastor said, even though the room was full, it suddenly got very quiet and he could hear God speaking to him. God said, Why do I always get the blame when things go wrong and none of the blame when things go right? Why don’t you attribute the good things to me as well as the bad?

To me, God is like a father. Really. I believe that I lived in God’s heart before I was born, before even my parents’ parents’ parents were born. We are children He longed for and wished for needed to love, like my girls are to me. So many people point to God not answering prayers. God not intervening when He absolutely could, but like a parent God just can NOT give us everything. Sometimes we give our children gifts that are EXACTLY what they wanted; the right size and shape and color. Sometimes, we can’t give them what they ask for. Sometimes it’s an approximation. Sometimes we have to deny them completely because the time is wrong or the gift is wrong or we have a better gift in store.

When I left our home in Lakemoor in 2004, I felt physical pain at having to rip up my roots here. I cried for this house weeks and months after we left it. In the fall of 2004, we were so desperate for another home. We MISSED our home. All of us. We viewed a new home in Michigan and were desperate to have it. We wanted a home so badly. We spoke to some people about creative financing and I prayed. Halfway through waiting to see if things would happen, I changed my payers. I asked for a home.

We didn’t get that house we wanted. And THAT was the blessing. Really. We couldn’t have known the different things that were heading our way and having two, large mortgages would have been HORRIBLE. So, like a benovolent father, God said, “Sorry. Not that house, but I’ll bring you a home.” We rented a condo that had some of the features we missed in our house and some features we didn’t have before but liked and in a year from that prayer, we were heading home. So, could God have given us a mortgage? Of course He could have, but it would have been a horrible misstep for us. And, He DID answer our prayer, by the way, but His answer was No. An answer doesn’t have to be yes to be an answer. No is an answer just the same.

When we first got news of my Mom’s tumor, I prayed that God help us through. That he bring us peace. When conventional treatments weren’t working, I prayed for God to help us and He did, by bringing a new team of doctors with a fresh outlook that bought my Mom nearly two years. As her end drew, I prayed for peace; hers and mine and everyones and I believe she’s found hers and oddly enough I seem to have found mine. I asked for peace. I asked those who were praying for us to pray for peace and I have no doubt that she and I have found it. It was a gift God could give.

07 Mar 2007 COnfessions of a sleep deprived mother….;
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It’s not news, really, that Cadence isn’t a good sleeper. She’s just not. Period. If she manages to string together six hours over night, we’re dancing in the freaking streets. So, we’ve been dealing with this cold for about five days now and Cadence actually seems WORSE since we went to the doctor and started antibiotics.

Nothing serious is going on with her. She’s just stuffy and king of feeling off kilter, but what it does mean is that Cadence’s usual spotty sleeping has gotten even worse, For the past two nights, Cadence has been awake every two hours, needing consoling, changing and nursing. It leaves for a very tired me in the morning.

Eric has been leaving a bit later because he’s in class this week. This morning, as I’m nursing Cadence at 6:30 and pondering how my morning is going to actually work, he said, “Did get as much sleep as you wanted?”

No. It has nothing to do with WANT at this point in the game. I’m not getting nearly the amount of sleep I need and I’m meddling through the day, fuzzy headed with little to no energy.

It’s really making for long days.

So, I’ve been resisting doing housework, etc and found this fun little meme on a knitting blog….

The idea is, to visit This site and click on the year you graduated. Copy the top 18 songs onto your blog. Bold the songs you loved, Italicize the songs you’re ambivalent about hand strike the songs you hate.

I’m doing 20 because, well, I like round numbers…

1. All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
2. I’ll Make Love To You - Boys II Men
3. Turn The Beat Around - Gloria Estefan
4. I Like To Move It - Reel 2 Real
5. I Swear - John Michael Montgomery (or All-4-One)
6. Bootie Call - BLACKstreet
7. Another Night - Real McCoy
8. On Bended Knee - Boys II Men
9. The Sign - Ace of Base
10. Always - Bon Jovi
11. Crazy - Aerosmith
12. Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John
13. Action - Terror Fabulous
14. 100% Pure Love - Crystal Waters
15. At Your Best (You Are Love) - Aaliyah
16. Beautiful In My Eyes - Joshua Kadison
17. Mr Vain - Culture Beat
18. Power Of Love - Celene Dion
19. Mr Jones - Counting Crows
20. Whatta Man - Salt N Pepa

I look like such a hater, don’t I? But, there were a few songs on that list that I had totally forgotten about that I did really like, just not many in the top 20 (and honestly, a few of those I have NEVER heard of). My list of the top 13 from that year looks a little different. In no order…

  1. I’ll Make Love to You -Boyz II Men
  2. Crazy-Aerosmith
  3. Laid-James
  4. Wild Night-John Melloncamp
  5. Loser-Beck
  6. Basket Case-Green Day
  7. Stay-Lisa Loeb
  8. Blackhole Sun-Soundgarden
  9. Undone-Weezer
  10. Sweet Jane-Cowboy Junkies
  11. Closer-Nine Inche Nails
  12. Cantaloop-Us3
  13. Today-Smashing Pumpkins
17 Feb 2007 The house is asleep.
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I am not.

I should be. Cadence is sleeping in her own bed, snuggled up. Emily is sleeping peacefully and Eric has been sawing logs for the last half hour. But I’m restless and so I’m up. It COULD be the pepsi I drank too late in the evening, but I’m doubtful about that because caffeine doesn’t normally keep me awake.

From time to time I get edgy and restless. I flit from thing to thing, never able to actually settle my mind or my body on what it is I’ve chosen. I’ve tired, since about 10:15 to lay in bed and watch a movie, play a game online, read a blog or four, considered sewing (and then rejected it out of fear of waking Cadence), considered cleaning my bedroom, but rejected that for the same reason as why I opted not to sew.

I journeyed downstairs thinking I could scrapbook, vaugley thought about cleaning the living room (and rejected it when I saw the biggest mess was the pile of laundry Eric dumped on the couch earlier today, and I didn’t feel like dealing with the laundry OR putting the laundry away).

So, I’m back at the computer. Hoping to find enough to do quiet my mind. It won’t be long, I’m sure, before Cadence will be fussing and I’ll be leaned into the crib, shushing and patting her back to sleep and morning comes dreadfully early when the aforementioned little Miss wants to eat and be awake from 6:30 on.

07 Feb 2007 Why is it that….
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on nights when Eric is home, as evening wears on, Cadence has a few fussy periods that are easily calmed with rocking or nursing, BUT when Eric leaves for the evening (for instance, to play racquetball) Cadence spends a good portion of the evening in “screaming demon” mode? I mean, really? Is it for my benefit?

Of course, my issue tonight was that I was a wee bit stressed. I’ve been working on a gift for a birthday coming soon. I’m a few hours work away from finishing it, but the issue is finding time to do those hours of work. I completed one step tonight have two more steps to go, at least one of which I think could be time consuming and difficult. I harbored no illusions that I would get that far with Eric gone, but I had hoped to be able to get through the step before the last time tonight because I didn’t think it would take long at all.

And it didn’t, but Cadence spent that time squalling in her swing, upset about the injustice of the whole thing.

And I found myself getting upset and frustrated that I couldn’t get this part of the project done OR able to load the dishwasher OR being able to load in our expenses into our budget program, things that don’t take long, but are easier to accomplish as two. I played. I jiggled. I sang. I patted. I rocked. I nursed. I suspected that Cadence was tired having taken only, maybe, an hours worth of naps since 7 a.m.

Cadence fell blissfully asleep around 9p.m. I was able to put her into her crib where she’s been for the last forty five minutes or so, allowing me time to cool off, load the stuff into my budget program and decide to ignore the dishes until tomorrow. I don’t like to do that (leaving them just makes extra work) but they’ll wait.

And I might even be able to get part of the next step done on that giftie I’m working on (though not stressing about. It may be late and I’m sorry for that, but I’m sure the recipient will understand the amount of work it took vs my available time).