It's that time of week again... time to look back over my blog history and see what was going on in my life that was blogworthy on this day.
If you take this link from this day in 2009, it will let you follow a link to an old Youtube video of my niece Jamie singing the Backyardigans. She was home sick from church and I was watching her... and she was just so darn cute! She's already, just nine years later, become quite the performer and I am proud to say I have a video of her way back when she was just an adorable little four year old who already had perfect pitch!
On this day in 2011, I was already struggling with the back pain and struggling with my responsibilities as a single mom. Fortunately Austin was helping out a bit and I was as grateful then as I am now. We have had to lean on each other a lot and it doesn't always look pretty but it works.
In 2012, we were looking forward to Austin's graduation from high school. I wrote my own commencement speech and I still think it's pretty durn good advice. You can read it here.
On this day in 2013, I was adjusting to disability and mom was adjusting to life at the mountain house. It breaks my heart to pieces that she had such a short time in this beautiful house and was sick for so much of the time. She worked so hard all of those years in the little house on Sherwood Drive and finally she had the time and space to do whatever she wanted. As much as I miss her... I'm more sad for what she's missing. And of course, she probably has so much better now... it's selfish of me to want her back but I can't help it.
We had a brand new Cosette back in 2015 and I was struggling with migraines... as usual.
I don't know if any of you are following these links to read the old blog entries.. I know it's quite the rabbit hole to chase... but for me, it's good to look back. I've had a hard time lately allowing myself to feel all the feels because it does hurt to not have my mom around any more. But it's good to see how precious those last few years with her were. Thanks for allowing me to reminisce a bit! Love and hugs, y'all!
Thursday, May 24, 2018
It's that time of week again... time to look back over my blog history and see what was going on in my life that was blogworthy on this day.
Posted by Heather at 2:16 PM
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Marvin started this game with her in the car when we got through traffic lights. If it's red he will say, "goooooooo green!" and it turns green. The trick is that he watches when the other side is changing and doesn't say, "green" until just before it's about to turn green. This absolutely amazes Cosy! She is sure that Marvin is magic. Even if Marvin isn't in the car with us she will say, "goooooooo.... green.... gooo... green..." until it turns green. If it takes awhile she will say, "Marvin says.... gooooooo green" and usually by that time it does turn so she is convinced that Marvin has done it.
Well, today while we were on the way home from Dunkin' Donuts, as we approached the intersection at the Courthouse the light was already green. Cosy said, "THANK YOU, Marvin!!!". Because he is, after all, the keeper of all traffic lights everywhere. As we were driving away I said, "Did you know that Marvin is Nana's boyfriend?" Cosy responded with, "Did you know that Marvin is my BEST FRIEND?"... Of course he is! He's the Magic Man who pulls the car off the road when we pass pastures with horses and cows so she can get out and see them. He took her to see an emu and a Brahma bull and then... on her birthday he took her to see all the fishes at the Georgia Aquarium (all of us took her but he drove...) So there you go... want to be Cosy's best friend? Show her lots of animals and make the traffic light turn green for her. It's all she requires.
I also love that she knows our small town really well. When I pull up in the Ingles parking lot where our little in store Starbucks is located she starts asking for Starbucks. When I turn on the dirt road she lives on she tells me that her mama lives on that road and starts looking for her house. She asks to stop and see the horse who pastures near our house and if she can't find it, she tells us to shhhhh! because the horse is sleeping. If Pop's car isn't in the driveway she says, "Pop's playing golf" which, about 80% of the time is correct. If she hears a car in the driveway she runs to the window to see who is there... and if it's Pop she has to run downstairs to give him a hug.
She's definitely a bright spot for all of us and I feel so blessed to be her Nana. I'll put together some Oliver stories for you soon! I'd love to hear your favorite kid/grandkid moments! Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 10:03 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Oh, dear, I do love a good Royal Wedding, don't you? The way I see it... the next big televised wedding will be when Prince George marries which... he's turning 5 this year so probably in nearly thirty years, which would make me 80 so... who knows, this may have been my last. If we're still around for the next one, let's get together to watch it, ok?
My first Royal Wedding was Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer back in July of 1981. I was 13 and still believed in fairy tales. Di was only six or seven years older than me which seems insane... such a baby. Of course, I was 17 at my own first wedding so... eh.
I know I watched Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's wedding but I don't remember being particularly moved by it. It happened just a few months after my own first wedding so maybe I was beginning to get over the whole fairy tale thing by then, who knows?
The truth is I am pretty much a devoted Anglophile. I'm interested in all things royal, even way, way back in history. I can trace my lineage back to a few direct ancestors who were queens and kings and things and quite a few more Lords and Ladies and such. There is something about the tradition and history of it all that appeals to me, although, I'm sure in reality... if I were paying taxes to support them and such, I might not exactly love it. Benefits of my ancestors having left the Island many centuries ago, I suppose.
My impressions of Harry and Meg's wedding are as follows:
- Getting up at 4am is harder than it used to be.
- I was insanely excited and did a lot of pregaming the day before by watching lots and lots of documentaries on the British Royal family.
- I watched the coverage mostly the BBC America channel but also some CNN and some of the E! coverage. Too much fluff on the second two channels, more straight to the chase on BBC. Maybe that's what I like about Brits. No, honestly, if you've read my blog you know I'm way more fluff and bother than I am likely to get straight to the point. Who am I kidding?
- If you watch my Instastories, I did a little coverage during the wedding. I made a point of explaining why Marvin wasn't joining me for the viewing party... because he DOES NOT CARE. I said that because he was so very much over hearing about the Royal Wedding that he started playing me this little soundbite from... Kevin Meaney's stand up routine... of him singing this "I don't care..." song. I don't mind him not caring. Obviously, I want to date a man, not a clone. I hope this link will work for you, if not, try this
- I was really, very sad for Meghan about how her family acted in the week before the wedding. Maybe they did need a bit more public relations training but honestly, her half sister and half brother are perfect asses. Her dad had known about his need for surgery for quite a while and even had the surgery scheduled for the week after the wedding. With family like she has, who needs enemies? I can absolutely understand why she only invited her mother.
- Seriously, with her father... as a dad you have ONE JOB on your daughter's wedding day, ok, maybe two jobs... write the check and walk her down the aisle. Since he didn't have to pay for it he had ONE JOB and he couldn't manage. That's poor planning.
- My stone cold heart toward Prince Charles melted a tiny bit at him walking her down the aisle. It melted a good bit more at him escorting her mom and Camilla the Hun out afterwards.
- I'm sorry. Camilla is still the Other Woman in my book and her hat was completely excessive. Too extra, as they say these days.
- The Duchess of Cambridge, on the other hand, (Princess Kate for those who aren't up to date on these things) was completely gracious. She wore a dress that she has worn in public at least three times before, way to go not trying to upstage the bride! She did look a bit puffy still but she has just had a baby in the past month sooooo... I'll give her some leeway.
- How much do you love Princess Charlotte's outgoing personality? I love that George is reserved and shy and Charlotte is waving like a queen. It will serve her well.
- Kudos to Prince Philip for recovering from hip replacement well enough to attend. He's aces in my book.
- I didn't love Meghan's dress. I would have like to see it fitted a bit better. It seemed like the fabric in her arms and torso was a bit too loose. Maybe that was the look they were going for, what do I know about such? I just liked Catherine's wedding dress better.
- I wish the television coverage had shown more of the children in the wedding.
- I also hate that the television coverage missed Meghan's curtsy to the Queen after the ceremony. That's a big moment and it made it seem like Meghan DIDN'T do it when reportedly she did.
- I loved Meghan's low, loose bun. I thought it was a good look for her. Some people were bothered by the loose strand of hair but I thought it made her look more relaxed and natural. I also thought her makeup was good.
- While I thought the chapel was beautiful, I missed them being at Buckingham Palace on the balcony afterwards. Those photo ops after Royal Weddings are iconic. Yes, the kiss outside the chapel was lovely but it wasn't the same.
- I liked her second dress more than the first.
- I know lots of people loved the American preacher but ... meh. I thought his energy was fun but his remarks wandered quite a bit, in my opinion.
- I also didn't really love "Stand By Me". It was too choral.
- I'm really happy for Harry. He's always seemed a bit lost since his mom died. I watched a documentary from last year where he said he had only cried a few times over his mom's death. That seems terribly unhealthy to me. I cry a few times a week over my my mom's death and I'm grown and it wasn't a shock and... well, you get it. The same documentary really made me feel that William and Harry HATE the press and who can blame them... except I feel like the press is for us, the weird Americans that go nuts for the Royal family which makes me feel guilty and a bit rejected.
- I fully expect them to have a baby in the next year.
- As much as I love the big royal affairs, I fear that the next big thing will be the Queen's funeral and that makes me sad. And then of course, King Charles' coronation and I'm still not over him not loving Diana like he should have. I'll be happier at William's coronation if I'm still around for that but I realize that makes me sound like I want both the Queen and Charles to be gone and that's not true at all. I love the Royal Family. At least I love watching them.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about the wedding, Harry, Meghan and all things royal. Love and hugs, y'all.
Posted by Heather at 7:10 AM
Monday, May 21, 2018
This Monday started too durn early after too little sleep. I was dreaming that I was working at State Farm and it was close to the end of the day. A client's family came in wanting to add coverage for a newly acquired vehicle and had lots and lots of questions. In my dream I didn't remember how to work the quoting system and all my co-workers had left/were leaving for the day. I panicked and then remembered I just had to wake up to get out of the situation. Ahhhh!
My life doesn't involve dealing with last-minute demanding customers any more... it doesn't involve co-workers who sneak away leaving you to deal with stuff beyond your pay grade... would I trade all of this fabulous life of living with pain for the opportunity to work again? In a heartbeat.
But then I got up and took the pain meds I need to even think about getting out of bed... I realized that once again I'm starting my day with a migraine for the upteenth day in a row... and I remembered that line from Les Miserables that says, "Truth is given by God to us all in our time, in our turn." I'm living the life I was meant to live and therefore, even in the painful, early mornings, I need to find reasons to embrace every day as it comes... I need to find reasons to love Monday.
- 1. Today is THE DAY I get my partials. After years and years of smiling very carefully to try to keep people from seeing gaps in my teeth... after lots of pain and lots of dollars, today I'll leave the dentist office with more teeth than I went in with. That's a good feeling. I know it will take some getting used to. I just feel very blessed to have been able to get to this point. I will be grinning like a Cheshire Cat in future photos. Hope you don't mind. Somebody needs to buy me a steak this week!
- 2. I have to take Austin to work this morning as we're a two car family and have to go in three different places this morning but that won't always be the case. Matter of fact, I could just have him run me back home after my appointment and then he could have the car for the rest of the day and drive himself home. He's doing a great job and growing in confidence and I'm confident in him. It's a whole new world for us!
- 3. I am starting the day with a headache but once the dentist appointment is over, it's a quiet day for me. I can rest and maybe this series of headaches will end. If not... I'll be heading to Urgent Care tomorrow for a toradol shot - or something - to get this thing in check. And for once in my life, if I'm not well enough to drive myself there, Austin can take me!
- 4. Tomorrow is Tuesday! There have been several moving parts as we looked forward to this upcoming weekend (which starts on Tuesday night for Marvin) and fortunately, his schedule works out this week that if I can't go to him, he will come to me. We've only done that a few times over the past 8-9 months that we've been hanging out. I usually go to him because it's easier... he's usually playing softball on Tuesday night and working Wednesday and Thursday night but this week he can come up on Tuesday night and I love that our weekly date night(s) are important enough to him that if Mohammed can't come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammed (metaphorically speaking). He's a good egg. I'm glad that our time together means as much to him as it does to me. That's the part that warms my heart the most. Most of my past relationships have meant me working my butt off to keep things together, putting the other person first but not being put first. I don't feel that way with this man. I feel like he works just as hard (probably harder) at making sure we have time together, whether on the phone or in person. It means a lot to me, maybe even more than he knows.
- 5. Barring another migraine, tomorrow is another Cosy day. We had a really great time with her yesterday (Sunday). She did a great job going potty. She helped her dad wash the car which made for an adorable photo op for me. She is just an adorable, funny kid. I feel so blessed to be her Nana.
- 6. I'm also still basking in the joy of a great FaceTime with Oliver last night. He had tried to pull his shirt off and it got stuck on his head. I got tickled at him and the more I laughed, the more he performed. He has a brilliant sense of comedic timing and he is also a very, very, funny kid. I posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram of his predicament. Marvin said his favorite part of the picture is how much I'm laughing... I love that even at a very young age my grandkids have a good sense of humor and actually like making me laugh. What a treasure they are to me!
Posted by Heather at 7:02 AM
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Yikes.... I didn't blog yesterday! I had things swimming right along last week, with all of the weekday blogs written by Monday afternoon and then... Harry and Meghan got married and I was so caught up in the magic that I couldn't even stop to blog. That's not entirely true. Last week I struggled quite a bit with migraines. I had a significant headache almost every day. FORTUNATELY... I had already written several blog posts so it didn't matter. I did not have one written for yesterday and I had a miserable headache so... there ya go. Real life strikes again.
Today my head is a tad bit better but there's still a headache lurking. I can function to a certain degree with a headache but one problem I have is that I can't focus my vision. This makes blogging or reading really tricky. Please overlook any spelling mistakes in this blog post. I have a theory that every time I stop drinking powerade/gatorade, I get headaches. Last week I thought I'd try flavored water instead and... it may very well be a coincidence but all I know is I have had a headache every day. You better believe I'm pounding back the powerade today!
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this in my blog - I've definitely mentioned it on Facebook - but Austin got his drivers license last week! For so many years he has just not felt confident enough to take the test and all of a sudden on Monday he decided to go the next day. He was off on Tuesday so we picked up Cosy and headed to Toccoa, a small town near us where there is a Department of Drivers Services office. Honestly, I thought... no way he goes through with it... but he did. And I thought for sure, if we just show up without an appointment there is no way they'll fit us in... but they did. And then we realized there wasn't current proof of insurance in that car but they gave us a fax number and I was able to call one of my lovely former co-workers at State Farm who kindly and quickly faxed over proof of insurance. I figured with as little experience as Austin has had driving, he surely wouldn't pass but I hoped that they would help him know what he needed to work on and we could return in a few weeks but... he passed. He actually did very well, including parallel parking which he had never done before. And lastly, I thought that even if he passed he would probably not be ready to start driving right away and would still take quite some time yet to be confident enough to drive independently. Well, that has just not been the case at all. He has driven himself to work and back twice, he has driven to friends' houses, he has gone into town a few times and he even picked Cosy up this morning all by himself.
Austin driving is a GAME CHANGER for me! I have struggled so much over the past few years with being unable to take medication on schedule because I had to wait until after I picked up Austin as a few of my meds make it impossible to drive. I have had so many days where I really just had to suffer until he got off work. In turn, he has had many days where he would have stayed later at work but he knew I really needed to be "finished with my day". My dad helps some, especially if I'm struggling but my dad is gone ALL the time! He plays golf more days a week than not and he has so many obligations at church and in the community that he's just not available a lot of the time. It has been such a blessing the past few days for Austin to be able to get himself where he needed to be because my head has hurt so bad and driving was not going to be safe or comfortable for me.
I am definitely struggling with letting go of my last baby. I've been responsible for my kids for nearly 32 years now - literally my entire adult life. I don't know how to NOT have to worry about getting folks where they need to be. It's an empty nest syndrome that I wasn't prepared for because I truly had no idea that Austin would be driving NOW all of a sudden. I've had to be more involved with Austin than the others and I've had to be involved so much longer but he is definitely ready. I was a bit bummed last night when Austin told me he was going to pick Cosette up this morning because... that's MY THING... getting my sleepy girl first thing in the morning and having our little chats alone in the car on the way home... it's a very precious time for me. I felt... like nobody needs me anymore. But Marvin was sweet and practical and reminded me that I am still very much needed in their lives and of course, today Cosy ran straight to my room as soon as they got her and I still dressed her and fixed her hair and helped her go potty today (no accidents the whole time she was with us! Yay!). It's an adjustment but it's time for me to be able to take care of myself (and maybe finish the embroidery project I started for Marvin back before Christmas...)
Yesterday while I was feeling so awful Austin was able to run to Walmart for me. It's been so long since one of my kids has been able to do the shopping for me. Pop picked up meds for me this weekend while I was feeling poorly but I hate to send him with a list, especially a specific, picky one. I literally took pictures of the products I needed Austin to buy for me and, of course, he shops with me frequently so he knows what I buy and roughly the price range I find acceptable. He's a good shopper. I had thought so fondly of the potential of not having to take him back and forth to work but I completely forgot about the awesome aspect of having someone to run errands for me. WHAT a bonus! And as much as I love my sweet time alone with Cosy when I pick her up... by the time I take her home I'm usually absolutely wiped out. To get a break from THAT chore is awesome! And... also good for her to have time alone with her dad which is really, really rare.
Tomorrow I have a very important appointment that I'll talk more about when I blog in the morning! Hope you've had a great weekend. Tell me about your own empty nest moments... when that last little chick stopped needing you as much... love and hugs, y'all!
Posted by Heather at 3:47 PM
Friday, May 18, 2018
I thought it might be fun to use a few questions I found on the internet as a writing prompt for blogging. I don't always wake up feeling creative with the words just pouring out. In fact, today I woke up quite sick from a migraine so my only thoughts were ... ugh. Fortunately, I had written this blog a few days ago. Hope you enjoy! I'd love to see your answers to the same questions!
1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing in your life, what would that be and why?
Just one thing? Can I make my one wish to wish for a thousand wishes? If not... I would wish to be really wealthy. Although my first thought is, "I'd like to be healthy and strong," I feel like having money gives you opportunities to improve things in your life. I would be able to have access to better doctors (no shade toward my current doctors intended there) and possibly find answers to some of my health challenges. I would be able to afford people to do some of the things that cause pain for me. I could afford someone - a chef, maybe, or even just one of those meal subscription services- to help me eat better and possibly lose weight which obviously would make life easier. My back needs less of a load to carry. Money could change some of the situations that bring me stress. I could make it so that Marvin doesn't have to work as much - or at all, up to him - and we could travel or... just hang out together more. I need a car in a bad way as the one I'm driving is difficult for me... it's hard to turn and I feel exhausted from driving it.. grateful to have it but you know, if I'm wishing... I would have the best mattresses to sleep on and massages and ... oh, I think I need an inversion table. It seems shallow to thing that money could change everything because, obviously, that's not true but it could make some things easier...
2. What do you find yourself thinking about the most?
I definitely can't make this just one subject. I think about Oliver and Cosette every single day... and my nephew Finn and his baby sister due later this year... and how much I want to love these babies the way that my mom would have loved them if she had the chance. I think about Marvin and how he's feeling... if it's a rough day for him emotionally or physically. I think about our relationship uh LOT... not in a "where is this going?" kind of way, not like you might think... I think about things we can do together, even as simple as where we might go to lunch this week. I think about how I can be a good partner for him and what would make him happy. I think about my kids and each individual relationship... not just my boys but also my girls... Ryan's fiance Sara and Cody's wife Marquee... and also Tasha, even though she and Austin aren't together, she's the mom of my granddaughter so I think about how she is doing. I think about my dad and his happiness... his health... and so forth. I think about my brothers and their families. My nieces and nephews are so precious to me and as they're getting older I get to communicate with them on a more adult level. It's quite a lovely bonus. Sarabeth has a blog you can click the link to see it (be kind if you comment) - it's amazing considering she's grown up on my blog. My nephew, Cory just recently got married and we've enjoyed a much closer relationship as he's gotten older. And of course, watching Jamie blossom as a performer has just been such a joy for me. I think about all these moving pieces to our family. I still think a lot about my estranged brother and his family and how much I want them to return to the fold, so to speak.
But there's so much more... I think about my friends, in real life and people I know only (or mostly) online. When one of my online friends went through a hard time recently there were about a dozen ladies who rallied around her and prayed for her and encouraged her and just really cared on such a deep level. I realized how invested we are in each other's lives and how unique that is to our generation and the ones that follow because of the relationships we've been able to form online... and it made me want to nurture those relationships more. Whether friends or family... I think about whether or not I'm giving people enough love and support. But I also think about whether or not I'm being kind to myself, remembering my limitations and respecting my boundaries. I have a tendency to push myself too hard when I have the chance to be with others and then I end up feeling very isolated and lonely when I am in too much pain to keep up.
I also think about a lot of superficial stuff like the upcoming Royal Wedding and who will walk Meghan down the aisle if her father doesn't. I think about the political climate and racial issues and just all the hate there is in the world toward people who don't think like us or look like us or love like us. I think about what makeup colors I want to try and whether I have enough yogurt to get through to the next day when I feel like going to the store. I think about whether my meds are all filled and if they're working. When I talked about my schedule I talked about staying mentally busy and this is exactly what I mean... my brain is never quiet until the ambien kicks in at night and then, and only then, does my mind stop racing.
3. What are the things that bring you the greatest pleasure?
The things that bring me the greatest pleasure aren't things, they're people. It's weird because as an introvert I so greatly value the time alone to rest and recharge but I love the time I spend with the people I love. I love texting with people... and facetiming with Oliver... and the long talks Marvin and I have on the phone when we're apart. I LOVE being in my nest but I also love the nest I have at Marvin's and how safe and loved I feel there. I love every single minute with Oliver and Cosy although I am definitely worn out when they go home. I love hearing from friends (I love it more via text than on the phone, though... ) But I also love a good meal out... (or in)... going to concerts with my honey because it makes me feel so alive... I love traveling, even if it's not a major travel destination. Marvin and I took an overnight trip to this place in East Nowhere, Tennessee to handle some business he had. We did no sightseeing (there were no sights to see) ate in a really average BBQ place, spent the night in a basic hotel and it was just fun to have a change of scenery... although I am 100% homebody and love to be in my nest. We had a really good time.
4. What is your biggest accomplishment in life?
Bringing my children into the world and helping my mom leave this world. It all took so much strength and courage and faith... and in all of those moments I felt so empowered and capable. Those events make me believe that I can do anything. I also feel like having the courage to wake up every day and keep going is a huge accomplishment. There are a lot of things that have happened to me that should have taken me out of the game... made me bitter and jaded... and I feel like the fact that I don't allow myself to feel defeated is a battle I win every single day.
5. Where are you most comfortable?
Two places: my nest at my house and my nest at Marvin's. They are the places I feel the most calm and relaxed, the places that I have the least amount of pain... they are the places that allow me to be my most authentic self and to take the time I need to introvert and recharge.
I would love you for you pick any or all of these questions and answer them! I know it's easier to comment on Facebook, rather than on the blog and that is perfectly fine. I think we all would draw strength from seeing each others answers and it's a really cathartic exercise to stop and think about these things. I've got more questions like this if you're interested in seeing my answers... let me know! Love and hugs, y'all!
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Just for the record, I'm total Yanny - until Marvin changed the pitch higher and then I heard Laurel. Honestly, I thought I had some kind of hearing loss... but anyways...
I thought it was so much fun looking back at old blog entries last week that I am going to do it again... let me know if you're looking back with me! Can you believe I did not post on this day in the past three years? But I have a nice long list prior to that if you'd like to venture back with me.
I wrote a nice long blog post on this day in 2014, giving a lot of detail about my life here and things I was doing. When I read it... it seemed like a lifetime ago but honestly, it was just four years.
On this day in 2013 I had officially stopped working for ... well, at least until now... and actually my disability just got extended by Social Security, I'll write a blog update at some point. I was juggling parenting Austin long distance and getting ready to make the move to the mountain house ... where I have lived happily ever after since.
In 2012 I was struggling to collect unemployment, wondering if I should go for disability instead (the short answer is no, that last attempt to work was immensely valuable in proving my disability case)... and feeling grateful for the things that were happening in my life.
May 17, 2011 had me learning to adjust to living with chronic pain... and dealing with chronic lack of child support. My life was one big logistical nightmare, balancing work with running a household and trying to handle my responsibilities when I was in terrible pain. I'm so grateful for disability (pay, not the actual disability) and having help around the house.
Apparently there was a time when I didn't work as hard to find Reasons to Love Monday. This post from 2010 just smacks of misery. Also... I'm eating those words about Obama taking the presidency seriously. Live and learn, chickadee.
May 17 was a Sunday back in 2009 and I churned out this literary gem... don't bother getting a snack first, it won't take long to read... Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tell me what makes this day special in your world!