I just “celebrated” my 6-month anniversary at my job. I’m enjoying being out and interacting with other adults each day. The work is fairly easy and I am hoping to go back to school and move up to more challenging work eventually.
I’ve been thinking lately that I’d like to start a new blog – something different. I’ve thought about things involving chocolate, or running, or being a retired military veteran’s spouse, or ??? I don’t get around to writing for this one much lately, so we shall see.
The kids are doing well: the oldest is a freshman in college, the second a dual-enrolled college/high school student, and the youngest just a smarty pants. He won 1st place in his category at the county science fair for the 2nd year in a row. Hubby is teaching for his 2nd year at the local middle/high school and is still finding it challenging, while also working very hard at getting our house built. I can’t wait until it is finished!
I’m sure the 2nd 6 months will go by as quickly as the first 6. Here’s to hoping 2011 will be a great year all around!
For T 1: You always surprise me. When your father and I found out you were going to join our family 17 years ago, it was a surprise. You are still good at sneaking up on us and surprising us. You are a loving, gentle soul. I’m proud of my strong-minded, hard-working son who is becoming a fine young man.
Dear T 2: You are always there for me. When we found out you were arriving 15 years ago, it was after months of waiting and hoping. You came into our lives at a perfect time. And now you are here, a rock for our family. I am so thankful to have such a loving, caring, beautiful daughter!
To T 3: You always keep life exciting for me. When we found out you were joining us 12 years ago, we were so excited to add to our family. You are always curious and asking questions. Thank you for keeping my life lively. I adore my loving, smart, caring, funny son.
Know that I am so thankful for each of you everyday, even when I don’t tell you. My love will never stop.
I got tagged this weekend by my SIL “Ouisa” at http://ouisaforpresident.blogspot.com/ to list 6 things that make me happy. Only six? It is funny that she mentions that her husband would “probably tell you that nothing makes me happy.” It makes me stop and think about myself a bit. I have so many things to be happy about, and I am. But it probably doesn’t show much. I am often somewhat quiet and reserved. Except maybe with my children and husband. I can show them what’s wrong more often than what’s right. I know that I need to work on that.
(Only) Six things that make me happy:
1. Spending time with my family and friends
2. The sound of children’s laughter
3. Surprises (planning them and receiving them)
4. Being in Florida (preferably on the beach)
5. Visiting new places
6. Chocolate (did you think this wouldn’t be here?!)
Now I am supposed to tag six other bloggers to do the same, but since I am still somewhat of a newbie and as I said, reserved, my blog-o-sphere is pretty small. So for now I am going to use this as a personal reminder that I need to try to show those around me more often that I am happy and that they are a huge part of it.
Wow – 9 months of 2008 are history. I remember when I was a kid, not being able to wait for my birthday and Easter and then summer vacation and then Halloween and Christmas. It seemed like time went by s-l-o–w–e—r than molasses. And now, it won’t slow down. I recently asked my mother was it like that for her when my sisters and I were kids. She said, yes, time did seem to go faster at that same point in her life. It seems like after the kids were born, our lives have been on fast-forward. I look forward to birthdays and holidays and other special events, but they come and go so quickly. I busily prepare for them, and then they just shoot by, and I don’t feel like I’ve had enough time to enjoy them. Sometimes I try to sit back more and drink it all in, try not to do all the cleaning and preparing that I normally do, just so I can enjoy some of the time. But now it’s still just a memory. I guess that’s what life’s all about though. And I hope that we are doing a good job of leaving our kids with some good memories to take with them into their adult lives.
I was out with a girlfriend recently who just had a baby boy 5 months ago and whose (military) husband recently deployed overseas. They also have a 3- (almost 4) year-old daughter as well. She had dropped her daughter off for a parents’ night out at her preschool, and we were catching up over dinner at a restaurant in the mall (Cheesecake Factory…yum yum). I had taken my youngest two as well, as they had some gift cards they had been wanting to spend. My friend asked my children what their first memories were, to which they responded with places they remembered living at the time, Florida, Japan, Guam… My friend said she was afraid her daughter’s first memories were going to be of her yelling at her. And then my daughter said, Oh yeah, one of my first memories was when I stole some of my mom’s M&Ms from her purse when she told me not to, and she was so mad at me! I didn’t know whether to try and save my friend from more feelings of guilt or feel guilty myself. I did a little of both.
Sitting here thinking about it now, I don’t wish that one of my daughter’s first memories is of me getting mad at her about disobeying me, but then I know that that moment must have had an impact on her because of the relationship I have with her today. My daughter and I are very close, very good friends. I am still The Mom, but she knows she can come to me at anytime and talk to me about anything. I’ve told my boys the same thing. I’m sure they don’t tell us their every thought, but we talk – a lot. And I love it. When I’m out and see other moms or dads with their children, I feel blessed when I see how some kids speak to (ignore) or treat their own parents (often not very well). We aren’t the perfect family, and I know I don’t always use my best words or tone with them, but I try, just like most parents. And we try to emphasize that how we speak and what we say to one another is important. Why is it that we act differently with strangers (sometimes it seems better) than with our own family? Because there is a lot more interaction going on; that’s where the memories are being made.
I have always loved to hear family stories. I remember as a little girl listening to my grandmother tell my sisters and me about growing up in South Carolina with 4 brothers and 3 sisters and then moving to Florida when she was 12. I wanted to be where she spoke of. It was then that I started asking about ancestors. I wanted to know where our families had come from. My mother’s side is mainly English with some Scottish. My father’s fraternal grandparents were Czech and his maternal side was French. My mother-in-law and her mother have found someone from one side of their family was on the Mayflower and another side back to Robert the Bruce in Scotland. We have compared a few notes between my husband’s family and mine and see where some of their paths could have crossed in the past. With all the resources on the internet now, I have learned new things my parents couldn’t pass on to me about their families and have met a lot of cousins.
Before we moved to Paris a couple of years ago, I met a distant cousin through the internet who lives in France. He didn’t speak any English, but I had just learned to speak French. So when we moved there, my family and I were able to visit the quaint town of Muttersholtz, Alsace, France where my great-great grandparents lived before they immigrated to the US. There, we were taken on a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city by some other distant cousins. We kept meeting cousins along the ride, and it felt like a reunion. A few months later we were invited back as special guests to the unveiling of a book that had been written about the town’s history. They had put a picture of my children and me in the book under a 2-page write-up about how my great-great grandparents, a couple of uncles, and a few cousins had left France for the “New Frontier” of the United States. They seemed so proud of their connection to the US and of having several of the off-spring of previous citizens of Muttersholtz in their midst that day.
I have fun reasearching my family’s genealogy, and maybe one day my children will enjoy reading the stories and interesting facts I have collected over the years. I know they love history class at school, so maybe they will love their family history as well. My youngest son’s 4th grade history class was based on the Greeks all year long. I knew he was really into it when everytime we went to the bookstore or library, he came to me with an armload of books about the ancient Greeks or a Greek god or a Greek dictionary. He couldn’t get enough of it. He even did a special report, not assigned by the teacher, for the class. My kids come home often with, “Did you know…?” and have a new interesting fact unknown to them before that day.
History is important in many ways. It tells the story of life. It tells us where we came from and may give a glimpse to where we are going. It tells what may have been done wrong in the past and gives us the opportunity to do it right or maybe just better the next time.