Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wow the summer is just flying by!

I can't believe I haven't written anything about our summer, other than the camp experience that wasn't!     We've been busy.   Really busy.

Lots of golf

Lots of swimming

Lots of playing with friends

Lots of playing in the sprinkler

Lots of softball games

A much needed night alone with some of my favorite women.

A road trip to see cousins in Minnesota

A few trips to the zoo

A weekend at the cottage with more cousins

A birthday for a little someone

A sad anniversary

A happy anniversary

A ginormous backyard barbecue party 

A trip to Bay Beach

A day at the children's museum














Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jodie

At last, the post I've been trying to write for the past two years.



Honestly I don't know why it's been so hard to do.    It's easy for me to gush and could go on and on about this incredible woman (and I frequently do).   It's just there's so much more to Jodie.

Yes,  she's a phenomenal mom,  and by phenomenal I mean totally kick ass put my lame mothering skills to shame sort of mom.   And she's absolutely a one and a million kind of friend- you know,  the kind of friend that knows just how you take your coffee, and just when to invite you in for a cup.  She's not only the most hard working and giving person I know,  but also the most thoughtful and sincere friend I've ever had.   I feel like I'm learning to be a better person because of her.

But she's so much more than all of these things.

Jodie is the hand that wiped my tears.

Jodie is the voice that tells me to get over myself.

Jodie is the smile that can light up a room.

Jodie is the reason I believe in friendship.


When I met Jodie, gosh like 12 years ago (wow, we really are getting old!) I never in a million gazillion years would have guessed how important and permanent she would become in my life.

It was a company party.  Jodie worked with Jud and I was the new kid.   I remember meeting her and thinking,  wow this chick has her shit together.   She was gorgeous, dressed incredibly, very smart, talked all businessy,  mingled with all of the "important" people.   My insecure self felt a little out of place.    But as soon as she started talking to me those insecurities faded away.  She was real.   She was genuine.

Over the next few years we saw each other occasionally.   Jodie left the bank to stay home with her kids  and my life at that time was all about my growing family.    I remember bumping into her a number of times at story time with the kids, and every time she was so warm and sweet.   I always thought, man I wish I had a friend like her.

Then two years ago when we moved to this part of town,  I emailed Jodie because I knew she lived in the same area.    I thought maybe she could give me the scoop about the school and maybe even get our kids together so they felt like they knew someone when they started school.    Sending that email was probably the smartest thing I've ever done.

It was 4th of July and Jodie had written to tell me about the big parade and festival at our local park.    Jud and I packed up our excited kids and started walking to watch the parade.   I immediately noticed all the people lining the streets and started to panic.     We were so stupid, we didn't go out early and set up chairs or a blanket.   Jud and I started bickering because I think I may have mentioned going early to save a spot but he didn't think it was necessary.     I remember being so irritated because there was no way we were going to get a spot where the kids could actually see,  I started envisioning the walk home with sad disappointed kids... when Jodie walked across the street, sort of like my knight in shining armor ;)    She of course had a blanket all set up and invited us to watch the parade with them.    The kids all immediately hit it off.   They got along almost bizarrely well, like friends at first sight.   That night we watched the fireworks together (on their blanket of course because we didn't go early to get a spot for that either)  both of our families.    I kind of knew that night that this lady was going to be in my life forever.   At least I hoped she would.

Since then Jodie has taken me under her wing.

She has taught me, she has listened to me, she has really understood me.    Not to mention she has saved my unorganized butt on many occasions.  

Having her just a few blocks away makes me finally understand what it's like to have family close by.

During our wait for Will,  I had mentioned to Jodie that I was really nervous about the travel to Ethiopia.    I was terrified about making the trip alone, but there was no way Jud and I could both go because we had four kids at home and no real other options.   Jodie looked at me and just said "no. you both need to go.  you're both going."  

Seriously, who does that?   Just takes in someone's kids?  

Not only did she take care of all four of my kids (plus her own three) so that Jud and I could travel together, but she loved my kids while I was gone.    I never ever could have had the experiences I did in Ethiopia (like meeting birthfamilies) if it weren't for Jodie.   Knowing that my kids were with her put my mind at ease and I was really able to just focus on the trip and embrace that whole experience.    For that I will always be indebted to her.

I don't know how I would have made it through these past few years without her love and support.

When I told her I was going to speak at my mom's memorial service, she made sure she was there.    She knows when I need her without me ever having to ask.

Part of me is going to be lost when she moves.   And the other part is going to be texting and calling her nonstop!

Jodie- I know you hate being the focus of attention but I had to find a way to tell you all that you mean to me.   I'm so grateful to have you in my life.











   








Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

These days

I'm thinking of my mom

I'm remembering where we were one year ago.

just.one.year.ago.

It sucks.

It's still hard to move forward.

And as soon as I think I AM moving forward

I find myself falling ten steps back.

Ah Summer

The plan for this summer was to not plan so much.

The boys baseball season is just wrapping up and Caroline's softball season is in full swing.    Other than practice and games the 4 bigs have golf once a week and Caroline and Jack have piano and guitar once a week.    So our summer was left pretty open.   That's what I planned wanted.



This summer I really wanted the kids to just have time to play and be together.   Take bike rides, walks to the park, make up games on the playset, run through the sprinkler, have Popsicles in the middle of the afternoon for no reason.

But our crappy weather the first two weeks of summer vacation put a damper on all things.   We were stuck inside.all.day.everyday.  We were all ready to strangle each other.

Oh and when it rains really heavily for multiple days, because of our flooding basement history, my husband tends to have a coronary every night which leads us to carry up ALL of our shit  most prized possessions from the basement.





Then I get to spend the next day carrying everything back downstairs and reorganizing the storage room.

Fun Fun.

On the bright side I did get to really go through everything in the basement and was able to purge a heck of a lot, which always makes me happy.   Most things I put on Craigslist for free just to get it the heck out.  Which is another story for another day.

This week was the first really nice week weather wise that we've had so far.   It was also the only week the 4 bigs had any other big scheduled days.    A first for us, we signed the kids up for a one week y day camp.   Caroline, Jack and Sam were dropped off at the bus at 7:15am and then picked up at 5:45pm   a looong day away from home.   Caroline loooooved it!   Seriously,  the nature, the outdoors, the adventure, the sense of independence, it's so Caroline.  Perfect fit.  Yesterday was an optional overnight...I was very anxious.  Caroline not so much.   As we were walking up to the bus she told me that she really wanted to do the 2 week overnight camp next year.   UmmmNo.





Tuesday night (two days into camp) Sam had a bit of breakdown.    Turns out camp is just not a good fit for him.   Too much.   All of it.  Too much.   Of course I didn't want him to feel that way about something I thought would be fun for him, so I told him he could be done.   No more camp for Sam.

The next morning when Jack found out that Sam was not going to camp he suddenly had loads of complaints about camp. (even though everyday he gets in the car and goes on and on about all the fun he had that day)   Jack wanted to stay home too.   Ugh.  Now I'm thinking about how much we paid for this one week camp and they're only two days in, what will the husband think about them dropping out?   I tried to talk about all the stories he had and what fun adventures he had in just those two days, what would he miss if he didn't go back?    Then he said, "yeah, camp is fun but I like being with Sam more.  If he's not going I don't want to go."     How do you say no to that?    So...no more camp for Jack.   Both boys were home.

I had Emma in a little camp at the park for the mornings because I was worried that she would feel left out with the other bigs at camp all day.    She was so so.   Not too thrilled.

Then she gave me this


She told me she really just wanted to be home.

No more camp for Emma.

I guess maybe we're just not a camp kinda family.

Other than Caroline of course!




and as it ends up after the overnight Caroline had a huge rash on her neck and a scratch on her eyeball!   The next morning she could barely open her eye....so no camp for Caroline.

So much for planning.