Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Advice to today's High Schoolers

Inspired by Mama Kay's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop 


High School 

It was either the best time of your life or the worst time of your life 

You either miss it or could not be happier it is over 

You either keep in touch with your high school friends or have not seen them since the day you graduated 

Good, bad or indifferent, High School is a rite of passage we all go through

To today's High Schoolers, I offer a few pieces of advice:

Do not wish away your youth; being a grown up is overrated
Don't try to act older than you are, this is the same as wishing your youth away 
And when you do finally hit the age you were trying to be at 15, you're going to wish you were 15 again 

Share your workspace/lunch table with whomever comes your way 
Someday, it could be you looking for a friendly face and a place to sit 

If you need help, no matter what you need help with, ask 
I don't care if it’s from a teacher, a friend, a parent, another family member, a coach, just ask for help when you need it, you do not have to do this alone
 
If you know the answer, raise your hand 
Don't be a know it all, but do not hide your smartness, your greatness, or your knowledge

It is OK to make mistakes, just learn from those mistakes
Do not try to cover the mistakes you make up - just own them 
And do not make excuses 
 
Peer pressure will hit you from every angle: pressure to join a club, tryout for sports, to smoke, to drink, to kiss, to have sex, to do something you know deep down inside you should not do 
And sometimes, you will be able to resist peer pressure
Sometimes you won't 
It is OK for you to say No 
And sometimes, it is OK for you to say Yes 
But whatever decision you make, make sure it is your decision......
And that you are prepared to live with the consequences of that decision 

If you do decide to drink, DO NOT GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR 
And if someone you are with decides to drink, DO NOT GET INTO A CAR WITH THEM 
Call your parents, let them come pick you up 
Sure, they'll probably be pretty upset with you and yep, maybe you'll get grounded or will lose some privileges 
But it is better than losing use of your limbs, or worse, your life 
And trust me, they will not be as angry as you think they will be
 
If you can't call your parents, call a sober responsible adult you trust 
I am such a person for my friend’s kids, and they have called me more than once 
And their parents are ever so grateful they did
I don't tell the parents anything except I have their teenager and they are safe
I leave it up to the kids to tell, or not tell, their parents 
 
Guys - No means No  
Girls - if you mean No, say No
 
Let me also say it this way:
 
Girls - No means No 
Guys - if you mean No, say No 
 
That's right, it goes both ways 
Again, apply this to your whole life
 
Do not take pictures of yourself in compromising positions 
And do not allow pictures like that of you to be taken by someone else 
And let me be specific: in my day, it would have been a picture of us smoking or drinking a beer or throwing toilet paper in the trees of our teacher's yard 
Nowadays, a compromising picture includes all that AND pictures of yourself/or random body parts with and without clothes on 
You may think those photos are private 
You are wrong 
And if you receive such a photo of someone else, do the right thing: do not forward that photo
Delete it 
Do not share it in any way shape or form.... think about how you would feel if it were a picture of yourself you received....
 
I will not tell you to be yourself - most of you probably don't even know who you truly are yet 
Hell, I'm well into my 40s and am still finding myself 
Instead, try everything at least once
And by that, I don't mean all the vices in life 
I mean go out for the school play, the Team (whatever team it is), and join the Clubs that seem like they may be fun and interesting 
Submit a piece for the Art Show 
Take Chemistry instead of Biology 
Join the band or the choir or both!
Take Greek if it is offered instead of French or Spanish 
Just try everything - and if it suits you, if it is fun, if it makes you smile and challenges you and brings you a sense of fulfillment, keep doing it 
This is how you will figure out who you are 
And this is how you will become you 
 
Show the same respect to the custodian as you do to the principal/headmaster of your school; they both work hard and are there to keep your learning environment healthy, safe and clean 
Again, apply this to your grown-up professional life as well 
 
Quick story: my first job out of college was for a Fortune 500 company in Illinois. We occupied 10 floors of a 15-story building. I got to know the cleaning crew who took care of our floor (there were two crews for the 10 floors, about 6 people per crew) 
On my third day, I stayed late and introduced myself to them...and by that, I mean I was sitting at my desk crying because I was scared and overwhelmed
The crew came in and politely ignored me until I looked at one of the women and said please tell me it gets better?!
She promised me it would and sat with me for twenty minutes while I ugly cried and snot ran down my face 
When they took their break, they invited me to join them for dinner
I stayed and they became my first "work friends" talking me off the ledge and giving me much needed encouragement
I started having dinner with them at least once a week and learned the names of everyone on both crews
At holidays, I'd leave them baked goods and little gifts
When it was someone's birthday, I'd get a cake or cupcakes, a bunch of balloons and a card
I'd leave their "birthday" on my desk (or stick around if I could to celebrate) as a surprise
On my birthday, they'd decorate my desk
And my area was always a bit cleaner than everyone else's
If I worked late, one of the guys always walked me to my car
And in the winter, when I would go to leave, my car was already cleared of the snow and ice the daytime storm had dropped on it
Not quite 2 years into that job, I was up for a promotion; there were 8 of us going for 1 spot
It was a coveted position for which you had to be nominated to even interview for the role
Not only was there more money but more exposure and visibility as you'd be working at the Campus which was where our corporate headquarters were located .... which meant you got the green badge which allowed you access to ALL our buildings across the region
When I was awarded the promotion, the VP (who a few months later became the CEO of our Division of the Company) told the story of why I was awarded the role
He said he could not decide between three of us: I had less experience than the other two but, a couple of the managers were really pushing for me given my performance thus far
The VP could not decide, he consulted a CEO friend of his.
As luck would have it, this CEO knew me. 
I did not know he knew me, nor did I know I knew him 
Turns out, one of the guys on the cleaning crew I was having dinner with weekly was said CEO – specifically, he the owner/founder of the Cleaning Company
He used to clean with the crew because our company gave him his first break into the industry
He said cleaning with the crew not only reminded him of where he came from but what his people needed to do their jobs well
And because of the way I treated he and his crew, he was convinced I would be the right person for the role
He said, if I treated the cleaning crew like this, the employees who would be working for me would be treated with the same amount of respect 
And when employees are respected, they are happier
And when employees are happy, they are better at their jobs
And when employees are better at their job, the profits look better
And when the profits are better, we all benefit
 
So be respectful of everyone, you never know who is who or who knows who....
 
Write shit down - you will not remember half as much as you think you will
Be organized - with your time and your stuff
Mind your manners
Say please and thank you 
Hold the door open for the person behind you 
And if someone drops their books, help them pick it up 
 
Make eye contact, smile, say hello 
 
Being cool, dorky, funny, too serious, uptight, ugly, pretty, too fat, too thin, too this, too that....is all a matter of opinion 
 
What goes around comes around 
Also known as karma
So be nice 
It is that simple, just be nice 
 
Don't talk about people behind their backs
And if people talk about you behind your back, they are not friends 
 
If you don't have something nice to say, try not to say anything at all 
And if you do say something that is not nice (and you will), apologize 
 
When I was in high school, there was this guy who had a huge crush on me 
He went out on a limb and told me 
We went out on a few dates, but I blew it because I did not know how to react
When he gave me his senior picture it simply read, I’m in love with you, what else can I say?
I still did not know how to react
So, I didn't 
I wish I had 
And I still regret that
I may not have grown up to marry him, but I betcha he would be one helluva a friend to have as an adult 
So, if someone goes out on a limb with you and tells you how they feel, be honest with them
Even if being honest means saying, I have no idea how I feel …. because they have gone out on a limb and that is the hardest thing to do
 
I got made fun of in junior high school 
A lot 
For all kinds of reasons
I pretended not to care, and I never really said anything/told anyone 
When I got to high school, that continued
I still never really said anything/told anyone
Instead, I in turn made fun of people 
Don't fall into that cycle 
Avoid it at all costs because by the time you leave, you won't have as many friends as you think you do 
 
Remember, the first step is the hardest to take - once you take it, it will get easier 
And then it may get harder, but then it will get easier 
That cycle will repeat itself all though life 
So just be ok with the fact that sometimes, it will be hard 
And sometimes, it will be easy 
It will only be as hard as you let it be 
And it will always be easy if you remember to just have fun 
 
Pay attention in class and take notes
If someone asks to share your notes, because they were out sick, do so
One day, you too may be out sick
But if someone WANTS your notes because they did not take any, this is not someone you want to align yourself with, they are using you
 
Always read the book 
I had a teacher who would assign a book to read 
We would discuss it in class as we were reading it 
He would then give us a test on the book 
There was only ever one question on the test 
From that question and based on your answer, he could tell if you had read the book or watched the movie
And from your answer, you either passed with an A or flunk with an F
There was no makeup or extra credit 
Always read the book ... don't take shortcuts 
 
Listen to your parents
I know they are a pain in the ass
It is sort of in our job description
But your parents love you more than you will ever know
Their advice, their nagging, their constant breathing down your neck is so you don’t make the same mistakes they made
And believe you me, they made mistakes
Maybe they won’t admit to the mistakes they made but trust me, everyone makes mistakes
 
Your emotions and hormones started going crazy when you were around 10/11
They will continue to go crazy for the next few years….so will your skin
Just take deep breaths, wash your face, brush your teeth and floss
 
And everything you are thinking and feeling about your period, boys, girls, kissing, sex, the hair growing (or not growing) in weird places, dirty dreams and crushes on your history teacher – your parent most likely had the same thoughts and feelings, talk to them about it
They will be embarrassed and possibly deny it but keep talking to them
Eventually, they’ll assure you - you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings and you will get through this
 
Girls – your period is the worst
I won’t even sugar coat it
Always have an emergency change of clothes in your locker
And wear a sweater or something to cover yourself because at some point, you will leak
And if you see this happen to another girl, offer her your sweater to cover up
 
Same for you boys, if you see this happen to a girl, do what my friend did for me: he walked next to me with his arm slung around my waist, his backpack hanging off his arm covering my ass
Best friend a girl could have asked for
No one ever knew – and my secret was safe with him
 
High school is not the “real world”
Neither is college
Neither is graduating from college
Here’s the secret no one tells you: You are already in the real world, you’re just supervised
So, don’t think high school makes you an adult, you are still a kid (embrace it!)
College won’t even make you an adult
 
The first plugged up toilet you have to plunge yourself makes you an adult – trust me on this one
 
In the meantime, enjoy high school as best you can
Go to the dances, cheer your team on at Homecoming, attend the school plays and concerts in support of your peers
Study, work hard, stay on point and remember, life gets better
Even when you think it is a good as it gets, it can always be better – so can you!



Tuesday, February 5, 2019

One is the loneliest number......

We welcomed another niece into the family this past weekend
Lucy was over the moon
Partly because she was excited for her cousin to become a big sister but mostly because she and her new cousin share a middle name
Sunday, we were in the car on our way to Target, talking about the new baby and looking at the pictures on my phone my sister sent when Lucy stopped speaking mid-sentence
I looked over and her eyes were all watery
Luce?
She turned and looked at me and when she blinked, the tears slid down her cheek
I pulled over unsure of what was wrong as she still had not said anything
Honey, what happened? What's wrong????
I just realized I'm the only cousin who is an only child!
Her chin was touching her chest and her shoulders heaved as she sighed and stifled a sob
My throat closed up and I had to swallow a few times before I could speak
My eyes burned and I was trying really hard not to let tears form in the corners of my eyes
I shook my head thinking it would stave off the wave of emotions rolling through my my mind and squeezing my heart so hard it felt as if it were breaking in two
Oh Lucy, honey......I'm......I don't......
Words failed me and we sat in silence
A few minutes passed and I found my voice reminding Lucy her oldest cousin is an only child
But he's all grown up in college Mumma! I'm the only little cousin with no brothers and no sisters! All I have are cats - I can't even get a dog because our stupid house is too small and you and Daddy work! And now, I'm the only kid who is an only kid in our whole family and I hate it! Besides, he was probably as miserable as I am but just never told anyone because he's a boy! And I'll be alone when you and Daddy die!
There was nothing for me to say
So we sat in silence for a few more minutes, both of us regrouping and trying to figure out if we should get our emotions under control or just let them run wild
This being an only child has come up countless times in Lucy's little life
A couple years ago, we spent a week with my brother and his family which includes our 3 nephews
Sure, they fought and teased one another unmerciful
But they also looked out for one another and stuck up for each other and at night, would sneak into each other's rooms to talk or seek comfort from the dark
By week's end, Lucy was fighting with them as much as they fought with each other but, she also became protective and attached to them
She cried all the way to the airport
This past summer, we spent time in England with my sister-in- law and her family which includes two nieces
The girls adore one another and could spend hours in each other's company - sometimes talking, sometimes just compatible silence and sometimes giggling, singing, dancing and being silly
And sure, sometimes arguing and disagreeing with one another
But there was something so comfortable and comforting about their relationship
Lucy would stand off to the side watching them and though they did their best to include her, it threw their rhythm off a bit and it was clear Lucy was an interloper
But they shared secrets and hugs and laughs with her whilst we were there
Once, a couple kids teased her about being an only child and told her we did not have more kids because she was so terrible and angry and difficult to deal with.......that we decided not to have anymore kids because they could be like her
Lucy expertly fought back and informed her tormentors that was not the reason at all but instead, we did not have more kids because "My Mum had her vagina removed! She can't have anymore kids you morons!"
For the record, it was not my vagina I had removed, just had a good old fashioned hysterectomy
But that did not stop her from coming home and asking me to confirm she was not a horrible child and she was not the reason we only had one child
*sigh*
All I could do was assure her she was not a horrible child or a troublemaker or an angry child and she was not the reason we only had one child but instead, we were lucky she was the child we got to have
What I could not and don't tell my 9 year old is how heart broken I am at not being able to give her a brother or sister
What I don't tell her is how hard it is for me to see or hear about someone else I know having a baby
How the sight of a pregnant belly can send me into a dark and jealous spiral
What I don't tell her is how much my heart hurts when I look at her baby pictures and realize I will never have another baby
What I don't tell her is how much it hurts when I realize all her firsts were the first and last firsts I will ever know
What I don't tell her is that I am scared she will have the same struggles and heartbreak I had
What I don't tell her is how hard it was for me when the doctors finally said we're removing your uterus and I realized my time was up
I cleared my throat and took a deep breath before I started talking
Lucy, honey....
She was leaning back in the seat with her head turned away from me looking out the side window
She rolled her head towards me but kept her eyes down
I'm sorry kiddo - I love you
I put out my hand and when she nestled hers within mine, I clasped it as tightly as I could
She squeezed back
I'm sorry pal......
It's okay Mumma, I know it makes you just as sad as it makes me.....and I'm happy I have a new cousin and M gets to be a big sister....I just wish......
I know kiddo, I know
And then I tell Lucy how much we love her and how much love, laughter and light she has brought into our lives
I remind her that even though she is an only child, like her oldest cousin, she will soon find her world filled with friends who can be as close and as important as siblings
I tell her that family is not only blood, and the same last names and sharing grandparents, but family is also defined in so many other ways and though she may not have a sibling, her "family" is so much bigger than the traditional definition and that her family will continue to grow
And I remind her that no matter what, her Dad and I will forever and always love her
Can we maybe try to see my cousins more so I am not so alone?
Sure Luce
Even though they all live away?
Yes honey, we'll try
Because Mum, you and Dad are getting old and I don't want to be alone when you die and I am the most scared of that
I know pal, we'll do what we can and I promise, you will not be alone when we die
Mumma?
Yes honey
I'm sorry about how sad this make you
It's ok pal, it makes us all sad but we just have to remember how lucky we are to have one another and that we need to work harder at seeing our family so we have those relationships
Ok Mumma.....you know what would make you feel better?
What's that?
A dog!
No
A fish?
Nope
A turtle? A gerbil? A hamster? A lizard?
Nope, negative, not going to happen kiddo
Ok well, if you change your mind, Dad and I really want a dog...
Got it pal, noted!
Can we go home?
Sure
We drove home in silence, the errand forgotten
As we were getting out of the car and headed up the walkway, Lucy took my hand
Mum?
Hmm
You know what I do like about being an only kid?
What's that?
I get you and Dad all to myself!
Thanks Luce, that makes me happy to hear you say
Also, when you do die, I won't have to split your money with anyone!
I stopped mid stride and started to form a response
But it sort of came out like a sigh crossed with an umph crossed with a how the fuck am I supposed to respond to that statement crossed with the thought of well, she's not wrong......
And I'm pretty sure face contorted into a weird look each time I took a breath trying to come up with a verbal response.....
Lucy giggled
It's a joke Mum! Seemed like it was getting pretty serious so I thought we needed to break it up a little
I chuckled and started walking again
You're right Lucy, and yes, you do get all our money, so yeah, I guess there's that.....
This time it was Lucy who stopped mid-stride and exclaimed with a little too much excitement for my liking....
Just how much money are we talking?!?!?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Forever Home

September 24, 2018

Ziggy came to live with us 6 years ago
He came in as a 17lb, 5 year old black cat
He is now a 20lb, 11 year old black cat and is more loved as each day goes by
His nicknames range from Ziggy Boy to Chubzilla to Count Chubbula to Zigmund Zigaby to Zigs to Zigladon
Ziggy follows Lucy around the house and sits next to her whilst she's watching TV, eating breakfast or reading
Ziggy sits on Sean while we're watching TV after Lucy has gone to bed
But he sleeps with me
Only Lucy can pick him up
Only I can brush him
And only Sean cleans his litter box
Ziggy is spoiled
And we're spoiled for having him
He completes our little family
A couple years ago, Lucy wanted nothing more than to have a little brother or sister
So much so she would get upset with me when she asked for one and I would dodge her questions
When I finally explained to her I could not have more kids, she held my face in her little hands and assured me she was ok with that as Ziggy was her brother and he was more than enough
But Lucy has always wanted more cats
And for a short time, we did indeed have two cats
Herbie lived with us for a few months
But poor old Herbert Sherbert the 3rd was not happy as a house cat
He loved us and we loved him but he loved the outdoors more
So he went to live with Uncle Michael and Neenie at the lake
Herbie is happy
We are still sad
In 2016, we started looking for a new cat
We'd go to the shelter a couple times a month in hopes of meeting the perfect cat
But then a cat bit me and I was on antibiotics twice a day for a week and scared of shelter cats for a year
We (I) finally worked up the courage to go back to the shelter
I just don't get too close to the cats
So we started looking again
But we could not find the right cat for us
In June, we were in Reading at a Family Field Day and started chatting with an agency in Wakefield which fosters and places cats
We looked at numerous pictures they had at their booth and were also directed to their website which showcased an even broader field of cats up for adoption
Lucy started to get more excited but first, we had to make sure we were all up to the task
So we had many long family conversations about cost and responsibility
I'll pay the adoption fee! Lucy declared
Honey, that can be up to $200
It's worth it Dad!
So it was agreed
We'd look for a second cat to join the family
Sean and I would cover the vet bills but Lucy would pay the adoption fee
We figured a 5-7 year old male would be best; old enough so he was out of his kitten phase and a bit more chill
A little younger than Ziggy in hopes of keeping Ziggy young
And a male because Sean said he had never had good luck with female cats
Lucy wanted a Maine Coon Cat
I wanted a Norwegian Forest Cat or a Rag Doll
Sean just wants someone else to clean the litter box
Lucy and I then spent one lazy afternoon on the website for the agency in Wakefield
And we stumbled across Andre.....a 7 year old Maine Coon cat
I emailed about him, filled out the application and we waited
But nothing happened
Yesterday, with not much to do, and Lucy frustrated because we never heard back about Andre, we took a ride to the MSPCA shelter (same place we got Zigs, same place the cat bit me) to have a look around
As we wandered through the cat room, I kept seeing this little gray and white kitty getting all kinds of love from people
Until they realized her age and then they'd walk away shaking their heads and saying it was too bad she was so old
I was standing in the corner as Lucy and Sean went from cage to cage peering in with curiosity and anticipation of finding the perfect cat to come live with is
At one point, Lucy sought out a volunteer and peppered her with questions about one cat in particular only to find out the cat was going home later in the day
Dejected, Lucy hung her little head and frowned
The volunteer, this wonderful woman called Cristeen said to Lucy let me flip through the book for you and see who else we have
Lucy perked up and we returned to the cat room while Cristeen looked for Lucy's cat mate
Then Lucy spotted the little gray and white kitty
And then Sean spotted the little gray and white kitty
Sean popped open the cage which was high up and the cat jumped into Sean's arms
Lucy melted
Sean melted
Cristeen came back into the room and found Lucy and Sean with the cat called Harley
She's not quite what you are looking for said Cristeen
Can we hear about her? asked Lucy Can you get the paper on Harley and tell us about her
Cristeen looked to me and I nodded
Harley is a 15 year old female cat
Her owner was forced to give her up when her adult son moved home with various dogs
Harley was looking for her forever home to retire in
By all accounts, she is a pretty healthy 15 year old cat and had been well taken care of until the dogs moved in
And by all accounts, our daughter had fallen in love
Sean and I exchanged glances and shoulder shrugs
Cristeen gave us time to discuss
Lucy pointed out to us that Harley only had a few years left and didn't she deserve to spend those last few years with a family who could love her and take care of her?
And Lucy assured us she would work with Ziggy (who is pretty chill) to get him to understand how much Harley needs us
Then Lucy pulled out all the stops and went straight for our heart strings:
If we take her home guys, when she does die, she'll die in a house full of love ..... isn't that the best thing for her? I don't want her to be alone......
Even Cristeen the volunteer knew Lucy had just sealed the deal
Minutes later, we were sitting with Jenny, the adoption counselor
Lucy could not contain her excitement
And Jenny and Cristeen were just as excited for both Lucy and Harley
As we completed the paperwork, Lucy kept babbling away to Jenny about how Harley deserved a forever home in her old age and assured Jenny we were just the family Harley needed
Plus, she told Jenny, I'm paying to adopt Harley so that should tell you how important this is to me
And then Jenny, bless her heart, did the most wonderful thing anyone could have done for Lucy that day - and for us as Lucy's parents
When Jenny slid the adoption papers across the table, which were pre-printed in Sean's name with a signature line for him, we realized Jenny had also made a line on the paper for Lucy to sign
Jenny turned to Lucy as Sean signed his name and said
Lucy, I'm also going to need your signature as you're paying the fee and Harley is your responsibility
Lucy, with her head held high, beamed as she signed her name with the flick of her pen
By the time we left, everyone knew Harley was going home to a house with lots of love for her to live out her final days because as Lucy said
Hey! We all gotta die sometime and it should be in a house full of love......
Welcome to the family Harley Girl



One Belt Away

September 8, 2018

Last night, she sparred for 6 minutes, did at least 30 crunches, 30 push ups, 100 punches and planked for so long her body started to tremble and though she’ll deny it, she was brought to tears with less than a minute to go
But she persevered and now she is a brown belt.....
One belt away from her black belt
We will sleep with one eye open from now on
And could not be more proud of The Goose








All by myself

August 3, 2018

I'm the only person in the office today
I mean LITERALLY the only person
My one call was cancelled
It is so quiet, I am not only caught up, I am working on next week's calendar items
I also engaged a telemarketer in conversation for 20 minutes, had coffee with the Fed Ex Freight guy, used the motion board I got with my stand up desk for 25 minutes, shared my grandmother's blueberry muffin recipe with the mail girl and made a playlist
It is not even 1pm.....

Happy Birthday to the Other Queen

August 1, 2018

For some, today is a day to celebrate National Raspberry Cream Pie Day or National Girlfriends' Day
Others will partake in events for National Scout Scarf Day or Worldwide Web Day
It is also Respect for Parents Day and International Childfree Day which confuses my head a bit but who am I to judge
Some people will use today to kick off Inventor's Month, Fishing Month, Peach Month and Happiness Happens Month
There will also be, I am guessing, birthday remembrances and parties for Claudius Francis Scott Key, Herman Melville, Mother Jones, Henrietta Lacks, Dom DeLuise, Jerry Garcia, Coolio, and Jason Momoa
But for me, I will spend August 1st celebrating one of my all time favorite people
She's smart and sassy, no bigger than a minute and single handily brought back Talbots
She loves penguins, feeds the birds, chipmunks, deer and chickens which frequent her backyard and talks to all of them in a sing songy voice that makes you wonder if she is not in fact Snow White
She's up on politics, down with Jesus, and adores the Blessed Mother
She still watches the Golden Girls and Designing Women as if they never went out of style or off the air
She's retired but has never been more busy and has a schedule which rivals the Queen's
She can relate to the youngest person in the room, the oldest person at the table and everyone in between
She's soft spoken but packs a powerful punch with her words and her laugh will bring tears of joy to your eye
She can put you in your place with a single arch of her eyebrow and build you up with a nod of her head and five encouraging words
She says things like:
beggars can't be choosers
if wishes were horses beggars would ride
praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
dogs barking, can't fly without umbrella
She sends text messages filled with emojis and GIPHYes
And she still sends cards for every occasion and thank you notes for gifts received
She is Grammy and Grampy's eldest daughter and Aunt Nell and Uncle Ed's favorite niece
She's a younger sister, an older sister and an aunt to so many nieces and nephews
She's a wife - 51 years this past February
She's a mother (1 boy, 6 girls, all natural child births ladies..... ALL NATURAL.....all 7 times...)
She's a Noni to 4 adoring grandsons and 2 doted on granddaughters
She's a friend to many, a companion to some, a lifeline for others and she diligently prays for every single one of us
She's been strong in the face of adversity and vulnerable with a quiet strength and faith that sees her through to the other side
She's taken a lot of shit from people over the years but has never complained, she simply shrugs, and knows that this too shall pass
She is more than I could ever hope to be
Loretta Kearns, you are, and continue to be, the only person I will go out of my way to wish Happy Birthday to on Facebook.....
And not just because you are my favorite Mum but because you continue to be one of my favorite people in the whole wide world
May your day be filled with well wishes, love, frosting (why bother with the cake), and whatever your heart desires
Happy Birthday Mum!
Hang onto your wishes and dreams
Eat your veggies, say your prayers and keep being you
Love the bag, love the shoes, love everything, love you!

At the Car Wash

June 10, 2018

Sent Lucy and Sean outside to wash the cars
The sidewalk and the side of the house have never looked so spic and span clean
Also, Sean may be giggling louder than Lucy 
He definitely screams louder than Lucy
And Lucy's aim with the hose has improved dramatically since last year