Monday, March 07, 2011

Bowling Shoe Envy

I have bowling shoe envy.  There...I said it.  Marc and I were bowling a few weeks ago and a girl a few lanes over had on the cutest pink, black, and white bowling shoes.  I remember having the envious thought and then immediately thinking "Do I really have bowling shoe envy?"

We started bowling regularly about two months ago.  We have always loved to bowl, it just wasn't something we thought to do on a regular basis.  In December, Ethan was invited to a party at the bowling alley for his friend, Tyler.  A few weeks later, I got in touch with Tyler's mom and another mom from school and we set a bowling date.  And that's how it all started.

Now we bowl at least twice a month with the Shelnutt's...Tyler, his sister Savanna, mom Jen, and dad Brian.  We are considered regulars at the bowling alley and most of the staff knows us.  The adults all have our own balls and shoes.  The kids don't want to use bumpers any more.  Other people cheer on our kids.  It's like our own version of the show "Cheers."  Smack talk and high fives fly frequently as do dancing fingers and the happy dance.  It's the one sport that Marc and I can participate in together and he doesn't totally annihilate me.  I can (and do) actually hold my own and put up a score to beat.  I love it!  My child is learning patience, determination, and frustration.  But he's also learning courtesy, sportsmanship, and respect. 

I get made fun of at work for owning my own ball and shoes.  And I have actually had to add "bowling" as a category to our budget.  I love my sparkly ball and pink and white shoes (complete with a flame on the side) and wouldn't trade them, or the time we spend together bowling, for anything!

Friday, February 25, 2011

We Are Too Young For This

We are too young for this to happen to us.  My friends shouldn't be loosing their parents.  We are not built for this or ready for this.  But then again, how would I know?  I am a rarity.  Of course I wouldn't be ready.  I still have 3 of my 4 grandparents.  I'm almost 33 years old and I don't know anyone else my age with THREE grandparents.  So how could I be ready?  And how could I think that one of my friends is ready?  I live in this little bubble that isn't normal.  It isn't reality.  But it's me. 

I lost Papa, my dad's dad, when I was a freshman in college.  Can you even believe that?  I was 18 before I didn't have 4 grandparents!  I still remember the day he died.  And I like to think that it was exactly on his terms.  He knew that most of the family would be together.  And we would be there for the ones that weren't as strong and needed someone to lean on.  Everyone had someone.  And we laughed that night.  Or at least I did.  When the nurse brought out the bag with his personal items, his teeth were on top.  If you knew Red Olvey, you knew he NEVER took out his teeth.  The irony of that moment had perfect timing.  I remember being strong and holding it together at the funeral until the service was over.  As we were walking out of the chapel, I saw my best friend.  And two minutes later he hugged me so tight and so hard that it felt like the saddness was being squeezed out of me. 

Everytime I hear "Far Behind" by Candlebox, I think of my cousin, Clayton.  We lost him a little over a year after my grandfather.  And I still remember the call from my mom.  I was a sophmore in college living on campus.  I was on my way out of the dorm when she called.  I got halfway down the stairs before I lost it.  I stood in the stairwell crying my eyes out.  I drove home the next day and hated myself the whole way home.  For the last few years, I was...not mean...but not nice.  I can't think of the right word and it still bothers me.  Everytime I hear "Far Behind" on the radio, I stop surfing.  No matter how much of the song is left.  And I think about Clayton.  I'm trying to remember a time that he wasn't smiling, and I can't.  He was the kind of person that really would have made a difference in this world.  He was one of a kind. 

Clayton is on the far right, behind our grandfather's truck, with his brother Vance, Uncle Van (my dad), and his father Mike.  This was taken about a month before he died.

In the past 14 months, I've lost another cousin and an aunt.  Both sudden and both equally as saddening.  Two women that absolutely were making a difference in this world.  Two women that spent most of their lives on different paths that eventually crossed and they both touched so many people. 

So while I have lost some absolutely amazing people that I think about all the time, I haven't lost many.  So how can I understand what one of my best friends is going thru?  And what a few other friends have gone thru recently?  We are too young to loose our parents.  And it's not fair.  So the best I can do for my sweet friend is to do whatever she asks me to.  And let her know that I'll be there to hold her hand, give her a hug, and hand her a tissue.  All she has to do is say the word.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Packing Up

Today I packed up all of Ethan's clothes that he's outgrown.  I was excited and sad all at the same time...excited because it means he's growing up, and sad because it means he's growing up.

Over the weekend we bought the makings for Ethan's BIG bed.  The mattress is being delivered on Wednesday...stay tuned for those pictures!

Happy New Year's!!

For dinner, we have jambalya (yum)!!

Ethan didn't make it...he fell asleep around 9:15

We hope you had a peaceful New Year's, just like we did!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Tear and a Smile

As 2009 draws to a close, a poem keeps popping up in my head.  It's called "A Tear and a Smile" written by Kahlil Gibran.

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
for the joys of the mulititude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
to flow from my every part turn into laughter.

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
of life's secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
to be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than
that I live weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
depths of my spirit, for I have seen those who are
satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and longing,
and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening's coming the flower folds her petals
and sleeps, embracing her longing.
At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet
the sun's kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
to the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to return
to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
the greater spirit to move in the world of matter
and pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
and the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
and return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty ---- to G-d.

Life is a precious balance of good and bad.  I am a firm believer that you have to have both in order to live a truly fulfilled life.  2009 had some dark spots in it for us, but that only made the bright spots shine brighter.  I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Jewish Family's Holiday Tree

At the beginning of December, we made our way to the local Christmas tree lot to get our 2009 Holiday Tree. Since we moved here in 2003 we have ALWAYS visited this lot in the winter for a tree and then in the summer for pine straw. As we get out of the car, the gentleman approaches us and tells us about the tagging system and where we should look for what we want. We in turn tell him the story of our many years at this lot. About 10 minutes later we flag him down and point out the tree we will be taking home (this was a record, by the way. It usually takes me AT LEAST 30 minutes to pick out the perfect tree). Can you only imagine his surprise when we tell him we are Jewish!?!?!

As most of you know, I grew up in a "mixed" family...mother is Jewish, father is Christian. For as long as I can remember we had a menorah on the mantle and the tree in the corner of the living room. And for as long as I can remember Christmas wasn't really about religion. It was about a time to spend with and celebrate family.

When Marc and I bought this house, there were a lot of discussions and compromises in our future. One discussion...winter holiday time! He knew that I would want a tree and was obviously a little hesitant at the idea. Once I explained my point of view, he was a little more at ease, but still not totally sold. That first year I swear we had the older brother to the Charlie Brown tree. But it was our tree none the less.

Over the years the collection has grown, along with the tree. Our theme is blue, white, and silver with snowflakes and snowmen...a true representation of the SEASON of winter for us.

This year Ethan got to help decorate the tree. We even made a few ornaments at Nana's company holiday breakfast.

My favorite ornament

2009 Holiday Tree

We hope the holidays, however you choose to celebrate, was a memorable one for you!

My, how you've grown...

It's amazing what can happen in a year.