Thursday, February 18, 2016

Picture of the Week - 2/18/2016

Does anyone else get totally stressed prepping for a vacation?  I sure hope I'm not alone in this! 

I have lists and reminders everywhere.  Work and packing and sports and boys and groceries and laundry.  Oh yeah, and our house is a torn up mess and there are a variety of people needing a variety of appointments in order to get to a plan where our house eventually looks a bit less like a construction zone.  There's a lot going on, yo!

But there are still some little moments - even in the midst of utter chaos - where it's kind of awesome to be me!  A kind word from a co-worker.  Watching my oldest take one more last, lonely lap around the fields after practice just because that's how he likes to end while all the other kids are hopping into the cars and driving away.  Yep.  I'll take this crazy chaos.  I love this crazy chaos. 

Here's a picture of the Little Boys first lacrosse practice of the season.  It's Beckett's first "official" practice ever.  Last year we couldn't keep him off the field, so this year we signed him up as part of the Little Shooters team.  He's a full year younger than the next youngest kid on the team.  And he hung right in there with the rest of them.  Love that child! 

Saturday morning Bob and I are taking off before dawn to head on the annual Buckeye Cruise trip.  The boys will be with my parents (in the disaster house) for the week.  I'm not worried about any of them - other than maybe how my mom will feel sleeping with Ozzie curled up behind her legs.  LOL  There's no snow in the forecast and very little chance that our cruise will get delayed due to fog like it did last year.  It's going to be a great week - so forgive me if the POTW is late next week.  We've got some serious R & R to take care of and may not have a chance to write.

Have a great week everyone.  We'll raise a bucket of beer to you at some point over the next week!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Picture of the Week - 2/11/2016

I'm in Scotland this week.  I left on Saturday and head back home tomorrow.  I'm not sure I will ever view business travel in a favorable light.  It just doesn't fit well with my personality and with the commitments I have at home.  Occasionally there are some nice bits.  I've had some excellent meals while traveling.  And earning frequent flyer miles and hotel points is nice.  But overall it's still a drag.

I was chatting with one of the guys on my team the other day and he asked me if I enjoyed making the trip.  I told him the truth.  From a professional perspective, I enjoy getting to meet with them face to face.  We accomplish more in a week than we do in a month working through conference calls and web meetings.  But from a personal perspective, I hate it.  I have guilt about leaving.  I am sad about missing events.  And I miss my family, my house, my pets, my routine.  So I told him the truth.

And this particular trip - the SH*T literally hit the fan at home since I left.  You should all send Bob some good vibes.  He's earned them this week.

We had a plumbing issue which caused a sewage back-up on our main floor.  It was significant.  A plumber was called in.  He recommended that we bring in a restoration specialist.  That restoration specialist used some kind of fancy tools to determine that nasty water had seeped under our hardwoods and ran in a fairly large area around the first floor.  They started tearing out flooring, baseboards, took doors off hinges.  They have determined that the entire area (bathroom, toy room, kitchen) is unusable.  They told us to throw away anything that was used for clean up, both rugs involved (one of which I really liked) and a bunch of toys that were on the floor in the toy room.  They brought in some heavy duty fans and de-humidifiers.  It's pretty much a mess.  

During all of this, Bob has also been dealing with the boys (one of which is sick) and the dogs.  He's pulled in reinforcements (thanks Berber and Pappy) to keep things moving forward.  There's an insurance adjuster coming to the house today.  We may have a bit of a plan on what's going to happen. 

Bob has sent me pictures.  I want to weep a bit...  but there's very little I can do from 4000 miles away.  So I'll pull up my big girl pants and dive into whatever we need to do once I get home.  In the meantime, I hope my dear husband knows how much I appreciate him.  It's a good thing he's sooo skilled in dealing with sh*t!

Have a Happy Valentine's everyone!  And if anyone knows of a good flooring option for a household full of busy boys and dog feet, let me know.  Seems we are in the market for some new flooring.  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Picture of the Week - 2/4/2016

I sometimes get caught up in the day to day stuff that has to get done and forget to look at the big picture.  I doubt I'm the only one.  When things are busy, it's easy to see only the long days and longer to-do lists and not recognize the gradual changing of the seasons or the passage of time.  Then something happens and it's a bit like a big ol' slap in the face.  

That something this week was Spencer getting his braces off.  



That seems kind of small in the grand scheme of things.  They were a pain.  Now they are gone and he's happy.  It would be pretty easy to move on and not stop to recognize the significance of the end of braces.  Because that is the end of a phase.  An ENTIRE phase of his life.  And it is significant.  He'll never again be a tweener with braces.  He's pretty much full-fledged teen boy now.  

I was contemplating this yesterday and then up popped this article in my facebook feed - Saying Goodbye To My Boy

The details of this article aren't all the same for me.  For one, I've never ever been confused as someone who is 5'9" tall.  But the general theme is very much top of mind for me right now.  

I think watching these changes is pure magic.  I think it's even cooler that I actually like the people we are building.  They are competent, intelligent, compassionate boys.  They aren't perfect and I know they aren't "complete" just yet.  I know there are more lessons to learn (in both directions) and I know that these moments will be easy to miss in the minutia of real life.  But at the end of the day, I'm very very pleased with the progress Bob and I have made in creating some pretty spectacular PEOPLE.

So today, I'm celebrating the completion of another phase for Spencer and opening my eyes to see the special in the everyday stuff we are all going through.  Soon enough, all the little "annoyances" will once again change and I'll be left with new challenges to keep up with while I try to acknowledge the swift passage of time.

This week - go hug your kids or your pets.  Raise your glance (when it's safe of course) from the traffic on your commute up to the sky.  Remember that this phase (good or bad) will pass and there are more adventures around the corner.  

See the magic - and be thankful for it!

(And don't ask me why Spence insisted on having the balloon the orthodontist gave him tied around his neck for his "After" picture.  He is, after all, still a goofy 13 year old!)