Friday, February 27

Feeling the love

As you all know, I spend a lot of time at Payton's school. Between what I do at school plus what I do at home for the newsletter and banking for the PTC, it's about 15 hours a week.

Today, during morning assembly, where the entire school and all staff, and a good number of parents all gather for pledge & announcements, the principal called up two staff members for a presentation. Luckily Mrs. McCoy had twisted my arm and made me promise to come to assembly, because the staff members were there to present ME with an award!!!

They presented me with a bouquet of orange lilies, a dozen cookies and a HUGE card signed by all the students in the school. It was so great! For a moment they doted on me and told everyone how much I do for the school and the staff.

I felt so honored! There are several parents at the school who do a lot, and I'm sure they'll all get their turn as Parent of the Month, but it was great to be recognized. Not by the principal or Mrs. McCoy who are always telling me how much they appreciate what I do for them, but by the school staff who see all I do for the entire school, not just my son's classroom. I even got a few hugs from staff members.

It was a great way to start my weekend!!

Tuesday, February 24

Fun in the Snow

This past Saturday, while the boys were at my in-laws, Matt and I met up with a great couple that we are friends with from church, John & Angie.

We'd made plans weeks before to go tobogganing, but with the impending snow storm, we weren't sure if we'd make it. Well, we decided if we didn't go then, we'd never go, so we made the 30 minute drive to the toboggan run, The Fridge, in Waterford, MI. It was nearly empty when we arrived and we had fairly good weather the entire time.

We rode a total of 6 times in various teams and groups...all 4 of us, boys vs. girls, couples, etc. We even got to race a few times as they opened a second shoot later in our visit. It was so nice to just be outside, do something we never get to do, spend time with couples and not really talk about the kids much...ahhh. I think I got a glimpse of what life will be life in 15 years.

After riding a while and warming up with hot cocoa, we decided to grab a bite to eat and relax. Despite the storm which left 4 new inches of snow on our lawn, it was really a great weekend!!

Saturday, February 21

Memories: Part II (Yep, just as long as Part I)

Friends. I've been blessed with many over my (almost) 30 years. Many have come and gone. A few have stuck around (Hi, Michelle & Bethany). I've made new friends with every new location I've been in my life and it's always been easy for me. But here in Michigan, I've made some of the best friends of my life. And as I've grown, I've learned what a true friend can be and should be. My "Michigan Friends" have taught me that. Here are just some of my "A good friend..." lines. Please share yours in the comments!

A good friend tells you that sweater doesn't look good on you and finds one for you from her closet that rocks.

A good friend helps you fight off the drunks in the Big Daddy Taxi.

A good friend is just as happy with a night in as a night out.

A good friend laughs with you so hard you squirt drink out your nose.

With a good friend, you can have a inside joke that you don't want to share with anyone because then it isn't just your secret anymore.

With a good friend, you can hang out in a tea house for hours talking about nothing...or everything.

A good friend watches your kids in a pinch or lends you her car when yours is broken. (yes, I put children and cars in the same category...get over it.)

A good friend shares her favorite spots, tricks and recipes with you without feeling like you are stealing something. (Children's names do NOT fall in this category.)

A good friend meets you for drinks (coffee or other) and non-shopping (that's walking around looking at things you wish you had money to buy).

A good friend doesn't keep track of who's "turn" it is to buy lunch.

A good friend actually prays for you when she says "I'm praying for you." (and prays even when she doesn't say she will and there's nothing you've asked for prayer for.)

A good friend is someone you confide in. Someone you count on. Someone you share your hopes and dreams with. Someone you share your deepest thoughts and even some of your nightmares with.

But a great friend. A great friend is someone who tells you the truth. Even when it hurts. Someone who isn't judging, but helping. Someone who is willing to risk friendship for that brutal truth you just need to hear.

To my great friends who shared their brutal truth with me in my times of need; Thank You. You have helped save me, my marriage, my kids and our friendships I'm sure. Thank you for being my amazing friends.

And to think back in high school, a great friend was someone who told laughed, talked about boys and agreed that your parents were totally out of touch. What did we know back then, Michelle?!

...all this from a Bob Seger song that has NOTHING to do with friendship...

Friday, February 20

Memories: Part I. (It's a long one, folks...sit down.)

After a big surprise decision on Payton's part and long drive to Toledo this evening, I made another long drive home...ALL. BY. MY. SELF! I loved it!

As I lost my Ohio radio stations and began searching for something new to listen to, I came across a song that flooded my mind with memories. Isn't it weird how you can hear just one or two seconds of a song and you KNOW the song. And you remember the moment or the event that sealed that song into your memory? You can almost transplant yourself back to that setting and feel the emotions all over again?

For me, that song was Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band's "Turn the Page". Hearing just the first couples seconds transplanted me back to high school...probably a Sophomore I think. It was after a football game and I was sleeping over at Michelle's house. Her dad had picked us up from the game and we stopped to get pizza on the way home. I remember pulling into her neighborhood when this song came on the radio.

It was obvious this was a great song for her dad, yet being only 15 years old, I had no idea who this was and had never heard the song before. It wasn't music my parents played, I knew that! He turned that music up so loud, and rolled down the windows on the truck. When we got to the house, the song wasn't quite over, so we went around the neighborhood a few times at 11pm with the stereo blaring until the song was over with him singing the whole time! I couldn't believe somebody's dad did things like this! Not my parents! Not my dad! I thought, "Michelle has one great, very cool Dad!!"

For whatever reason, that moment stuck with me. The song, the smell of the pizza, the emotions, everything. I doubt Michelle or her father remember that moment even.

But as I was listening to the song, and all these memories and this story came flooding back to me in 30 seconds, I think about Michelle. We were great friends back then. We were those friends who "got" each other when no one else did. Along the way though, Michelle and I lost our friendship. That's what happens with teenage girls when boys come between them, I guess.

It's a shame really. I remember our last face to face conversation. And I remember the phone call that ended it all. We weren't arguing, we just decided that because our boyfriends didn't get along, we should distance ourselves. Silly now looking back since neither of us are with those guys. But we made that decision with 16 year old brains.

So we lost contact, and just in the last year have we finally reconnected 11 years later. (I'm so glad we did, Michelle. I look forward to meeting up with you very soon.) take this journey with me; song spurs memory of her dad's antics, then my friendship with Michelle, then the end of friendship. This leads me to thinking about current friendships. All of this in two minutes.

I starting thinking about what a friend was back then in high school. And what a friend is now. They couldn't be further apart, could they? I have more thinking to do on it, but I'll write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17


Payton is off school 3 days this week & Maxwell is sick. Snot hanging from his nose, coughing sick. We went to the doctor yesterday and she wasn't concerned. She felt he wasn't contagious and it was just a chest/head cold. Thank goodness. But he's still miserable and I haven't taken him anywhere since Saturday.

I'm not feeling the best myself and I'm starting to go insane. I can only play the same games, the same puzzles, & watch the same 5 tv shows so many times. I was to take Payton to a friend's to play today with our playgroup friends, but the hostess' daughter is sick, so that canceled our plans. I was really looking forward to not having to find things to keep Payton busy. He has pent up energy that needs to be release. We've gone so far as to print "homework" for him to do. Tomorrow, we hope to make it out with some friends....hopefully that will help.

Tomorrow is the last day of our alternate schedule then school resumes on Thursday! Thank goodness! Pray for my sanity.

Saturday, February 14

Happy Spamalot!

I did it again! I completely surprised Matt. I worked with a friend of his to cancel plans they had, found a babysitter (THANKS, CHRISTINE!!) and he was completely surprised when we arrived at the Fisher Theater in Detroit to see the Broadway show, Spamalot, last night.

Now, I'm not a Monty Python fan. At all. But I remembered a few songs from high school or college or maybe my brothers singing them...who knows. Other than that, I felt I was just going to be going for Matt. I knew he'd love it and be very happy. And he was!! But I found it funny too. For different reasons. Matt was able to draw from the movies and compare things. But I found humor in the humor and lines. The antics were great and it didn't disappoint. Everyone leaving the theater was very happy and talking about it. It's in Detroit until Sunday and if you have the chance to go, I recommend it.

After the show, we went for appetizers and a drink before we came home. It was great to be able to plan something for Matt that had nothing to do with me and he in the end was very grateful. He's told me "thank you" about 20 times I think. I guess I'm learning to be more self-less. And it was so very worth it.

Tuesday, February 10

Buttons and Books

My boys have always had these weird fixations with things. Almost a type of OCD level.

When Payton was just 3.5 he was OBSESSED with matching colors. He was so organized and would get upset if things didn't look "right". But his biggest obsession has been tags and sucking fingers. When he was just 1 yr old, he learned to rub silk tags on clothing and stuffed animals and it became a comfort for him. In time he added in sucking his fingers. We're still breaking him of that.

But his latest obsession is (finally) a good one! He reads. "Real" books. all day. He's reading level 2 readers with no problem. And he loves to read and figure out riddles. He's just like his Papas!

Maxwell didn't escape the OCD gene either. He's obsessed with his belly button. He gets upset if he can't reach it in the car because of his coat or shirt being in the way. He rubs it, taps it, pushes it...everything. And he has no decency. He'll do it anywhere! No matter who's looking.

Hopefully, someday SOON, both of my children will outgrow these compulsions they can't yet control. And then we'll probably having something more difficult and trying that they obsess over!

Monday, February 9


I'm not sure why, but I'm under some amount of stress. I have this pain in my neck that just won't go away. Matt's rubbed it. I've used a heating pad. Tried stretching. Nothing's really working.

And you would think not having the kids (or Matt) for the weekend and just enjoying time with my mom would be relaxing! The only stress we were under was where to eat and not being able to find a pair of jeans that fit Mom "just right". It was a wonderful weekend, don't get me wrong, but still this pain looms.

To add to it, today at P's school there were a lot of moms complaining about the principal. I tried so hard to be supportive and offer solutions or at least avenues to dealing with their problems. But still, when I left, I was feeling the stress of their complaints. Why, oh why, do I turn others' issues into my own??

This week looks to be pretty low key. The boys and I were supposed to go to Ohio to visit my favorite aunt, but it looks like those plans are to be canceled. I'm working on a special Valentine's day for the boys. I think probably a special breakfast and if the weather looks good, maybe a trip to the zoo. Matt has to work.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, February 4

Emotions Flying High

It's been a busy, emotional week for my boys. They both seem to be flying high on the sensitivity spectrum.

Max has been crying and whining over nothing and has learned to throw fits like his brother. Tonight, he was crying over a fork that fell on the floor and when I told him he needed to calm down, he screamed "NO!!!" at me and ran to his room and closed his door!!! When did he transform into a 8 year old girl??

Payton has always required a decent amount of sleep. Usually around 12-hours every night. If he doesn't get it, he's a mess. Our weeks have been filled with swimming lessons and church, making him late to bed two nights this week already. Tonight, his "listening ears" must have been broken because he was corrected several times because of behavior issues. It wasn't long before a meltdown ensued and he was a screaming, teary mess.

It's days like these that I feel the need for a break. Oh yeah! I'm getting one!! My father-in-law will be taking both boys to Toledo tomorrow afternoon where they will stay until Sunday. Matt will be joining them for military on Saturday & Sunday, so it'll just be me and the dog this weekend. Ahhhhh.....

Enjoy the boys, Dot & Gene!! (tee hee)