Friday, January 18, 2013

I've moved!

With the help of the great Cass Comerford, Personal Social Media Consultant, I have a new blog address:

Come on over and check out my new digs!



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My 10 Favorite Things about My Son, Gabriel

  1. His soul is old and glorious.  He tolerates life with compassion, and seeks the answers that will yield him a greater understanding of how the world works.  He welcomes strangers as though they are friends, and treats friends as though they are family.
  2. Gabriel is sweet and tender with the feelings of others.  The only time he is sad is when he feels the pain of those around him.
  3. He is gracious.  He often thanks me for teaching him how to be a good person, even when the learning process requires tough love.
  4. He is principled.  He understands the difference between right and wrong, and most often applies this knowledge to his decision making.  When he falters, he assumes responsibility for his actions and offers a genuine apology.
  5. Gabe truly cares about other people.  He eagerly engages in conversation that does not center around himself.
  6. He respects his own limitations.  If something makes him uncomfortable, he listens to his inner voice of warning instead of going along with the crowd.
  7. He ensures the happiness of those around him by flexibly adapting to their interests and hobbies.  He is happy as long as they are happy.  
  8. He securely demonstrates affection to those he loves.  He initiates kisses and hugs with his family (even his little sisters) in front of his peers, boldly ignoring those that see this as a weakness.
  9. Gabriel takes great pride in being a role model.  He makes it a point to set good examples for others.  
  10. He is fair; always willing to share the load so that no one person has to carry it alone.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"All out...All the time."

     I lost a good friend of mine recently.  No matter how many deep breaths I take, there is a heaviness in my heart that won't go away.  His passing was much too soon, and I grieve for all the life he had yet to live.  I am sad for his wife who was undoubtedly the love of his life.  I am sad for his daughters who are too young to truly appreciate just how special Daddy was.  I am sad for his family; parents who lost a most ideal son, and siblings who no longer have the unwavering strength and support of their big brother to lean on.  I am sad for his friends, both past and present, because he was the kind of guy that you made it a point to keep in touch with.
     His was a personality that sparkled.  You couldn't help but smile when you saw him.  He was upbeat, charismatic, adventurous and fun.  He made it a point to be optimistic, never wasting any time on petty drama.  It was easy for him to offer a genuine compliment; and when he said it, you knew he really meant it.  He was admirably fair, always willing to do his part and pay his way.  He was eager to make out with his wife in public, and tore up every dance floor he ever encountered.  Always happy to share the spotlight, he was most content just being a part of the crowd, never dismissing a soul.
     In his short 38 years, Cory Sprow packed more goodness into his life than most 80 year-olds.   His voice may have been quiet, but he lived out loud.  He touched the people around him and left imprints on their hearts.  It was necessary to hold his funeral in a high school gym, and there wasn't an open seat in the house.   The service was uplifting and peaceful, just the way he would have liked it.  I left his memorial inspired to be the best version of myself, as did everyone.  
     Even in passing, his legacy continues to grow.  The continued outpouring of community support and fund raising for his family has been sensational.  His spirit is catching.  In some ways, he's more alive than ever.  With Cory in my heart, I am motivated to contribute more of myself to help people.  To lift my peers up when they are feeling down.  To get caught in the act, instead of the dream.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Make It Count

     Over the course of the past week, I've been doing a lot of thinking.  Here is what I've concluded:

LIFE IS PRECIOUS...And I must live it accordingly.
  • I will work at my relationships.
  • I will make time for the people that I care about.
  • I will be grateful for hellos and careful with goodbyes.
  • I will not sweat the small stuff.
  • I will be quicker to agree to disagree.
  • I will love fiercely and leave no room for regret.
  • If I have something nice to say: I will say it.
  • I will forgive those in need of forgiving.
  • I will apologize when I've behaved inappropriately.
  • I will live with the intention of loving whatever life has to offer.
  • I will search for silver linings during less than desirable circumstances.
  • I will appreciate the little things that often bring the greatest amount of joy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Necessary Release

  • I snapped at Craig today...which means I'm not writing.
  • The messy house is driving me crazy...which means I'm not writing.
  • I'm on edge even after a workout...which means I'm not writing.
  • I'm craving chips and dip...which means I'm not writing.
  • I am struggling to find motivation...which means I'm not writing.

You see, I possess 3 guaranteed releases in life:
1.) Exercise: Already tried.
2.) The Unmentionable: The kids are home and Craig is not = not an option.
3.) Writing...So here I am.

And I'm already starting to feel better.  I just exhaled a deep, calming breath.

  • I realize how silly I must have sounded to Craig during my rant this morning.  No wonder he smiled.  I hate it when he does that.  Because then I smile too, before I'm done being frustrated.  Clever man.
  • I accept that the house will be messier for the next few weeks while the kids are home.  It is what it is.  And I'd rather have them 'home and messy' than 'not home and clean.'
  • At least I worked out.  I'd feel much worse if I hadn't.
  • I'll save the chips and dip for later when my salt-junkie-of-a-friend can join me.  Then I'll really enjoy my guilty pleasure.
  • I'm ready to roll now.  I took time for me.  I looked inside from the outside.  And if that's all I have to complain about?  Well, then I'm one lucky lady.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Star Strikes

     We took the kids to a charity bowling event yesterday supported by the NBA.  Usually I'm a horrible bowler.  But yesterday I was on a hot streak.  I bowled two strikes and a spare early on.  
     The attractive black man in the lane next to ours was impressed.  "Shoot!  I'm gonna have you throw my ball for me!" he said.
     I laughed.  " don't want me!  This is the best I've ever bowled!" I admitted.  
     He didn't believe me.  "Are you a hustler?" he teased.  
     "Sshhh!!!  Don't tell!" I joked back and winked at him.

     A little while later, Gabe said to me, "Mommy!  I can't believe I got to bowl with Chris Paul today!"
     "Who's Chris Paul?"  I asked.
     "MOMMY!!" he addressed me with frustration.  "How can you not know who Chris Paul is?!"
      "I don't know."  I shrugged my shoulders.  "Who is he?" I asked.
      "He's practically the best player in the entire NBA!" he professed with excitement.
     "Good for you, buddy!  Did you talk to him?" I asked.
     "Oh my gosh, Mommy!" Gabe giggled and rolled his eyes.  "Yes, I talked to him!  And so did you!" he focused on my ignorance.
     "I did?" I asked.  "Who was he?"
     "Mommy!  He was the guy that asked you to bowl for him!" he pointed out.
     "Oh!  Really?" I asked.
     "Yes!" Gabe shook his head in defeat.
     "Well, then it's a good thing I was bowling strikes today!" I said with exaggerated relief.
     "Mommy...You don't even care that it was Chris Paul?" he asked me.
     "Honey, I don't even know who Chris Paul is.  But I do know that the guy that bowled beside us today was nice and happy to be here.  And for those reasons: I like him," I told him honestly.
     "So when he's on TV blowing up the court, you're going to cheer for him because he's 'nice and happy?'" Gabe challenged with macho sarcasm.
     "Well, that and the fact that he thinks I'm cool," I nudged him playfully.
     Gabe sighed.  He knew he wasn't going to get anywhere with his dorky old mom.  
     "Well," he confessed, "I guess that's a good reason to cheer, too."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Momma Bear

     I loved being a parent today.  I got to chaperone my eight year-old twin daughters’ second grade field trip.  It was a morning full of laughter and fun.  I got to know the girls’ classmates in a relaxed atmosphere; what a great group of kids.  Their innocence made me laugh as they participated in casual conversation.  One boy told me he wanted to be a cartoonist when he grew up, even though I think he was born to be a comedian.  Another boy declared with conviction that he wanted to be an elbow doctor.  Sydney and Taylor snuck in spontaneous hugs and snuggles all morning long.  Their youthful spirit, camaraderie and light-heartedness was contagious.  My heart burst with grateful joy for this time spent with my daughters and their classmates.
     AND THEN...
     Then I heard the news of the school shooting.  
     I was crushed by the undeniable presence of evil in this world.  Tears formed in my eyes as I read the latest death toll.  I shivered with confused disgust as I imagined the horrific acts of violence committed against the innocent and unsuspecting victims.  I was flooded with panicked empathy as I tried to imagine the terror of the unknown as parents raced to the school to find out if their children were dead or alive.  I was depressed for those children and adults who will be tainted by the trauma of this one day for the rest of their lives.
     Then my compassion turned into anger.  How could anyone be so cruel?  So heartless.  So evil.  What demons could possibly possess anyone to make the choice to murder an entire Kindergarten class, among others?  I just don’t get it.
     My mind won’t stop spinning.  My heart won’t stop aching. 
     I will hug my babies tighter tonight.  I will pray for those families who can no longer do so.  And I will continue to keep a vigilant eye on the safety of my kids, no matter how paranoid I may seem.