I know that many of you have heard of this... shoot, it's been emailed around and around and around and attached to a forward and I believe there might be a "if you don't forward this on, no one will like you anymore" attachment somewhere in there. ::::roll eyes::::
But, the whole premise behind it really is extremely poignant to me.
I moved a lot growing up. Like a LOT. Every three years we moved to somewhere different. I have lived in Akron, Ohio (okay... not really but was born there), Bethel Park, Pennsylvania... Peters Township, Pennsylvania... Bel Air, Maryland... Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania... Bucks County, Pennsylvania... Newark, Delaware... Stockton, New Jersey... West Chester, Pennsylvania... Newtown, Pennsylvania... and then Houston, TX.
Then, I went to work on ships for five years. For five years I traveled to parts unknown. I met new people. I met fun people. I met irritating people. I fell in love. I fell out of love. I thought I had fallen into crazy... (ha)... and that might be true. I experienced things that only the lucky get to ever experience. Now, I worked my butt off (okay... not really, it's still there in force) for that adventure but it was worth it. :) The people that came into my life for THAT *reason* changed my life. Some of them, I am happy to report are still here... making it a season or a lifetime ( lifetime option is yet to play out thank goodness).
When I got off of ships, I settled back in Houston and I wondered what my life would be. I wondered what this next phase would have in store for me. If you were to read my journal, and you won't, (ahem), you would see the uncertainty and the excitement brewing. I had gotten OFF ships for a reason and my next path, although uncertain, was waiting.
It was about six month's later that I met my husband and lots has transpired since. (bought first house, welcomed my niece into the world, quit one job, went to another, got married, got pregnant, bought second house, bought new company, bought third house and moved to Fort worth. Gosh, so much more has happened... but I think of the people that have been here along the way.
Many of them I owe to the internet. As I mentioned in the last post... what an awe inspiring thing this has turned out to be. These relationships have literally changed my reality into what it is today. They have made my "new season" worth it.
I don't really know where I was going with this... I guess I just got sappy this afternoon.
I spoke in the last post about my Houston friends and what they have meant/mean to me.
I was terrified when I moved up here that I wouldn't find the same kind of thing up here. Luckily the Nest has provided me with good friends... no, GREAT friends up here too. The internet has not let me down. My new circle of friends is uplifting, they inspire, they kick in the butt when you need it, they support, they pray... I think this is the most unusual and touching to me at the moment. THIS particular group of women are all very Christ centered. Not saying that my other friends aren't or are... but to find five such women all in the same stages is ... well unusual in my experience.
It is hard to explain to my husband why women friendships are so important. But, I think when you have moved as much as I have... it is THESE friendships that are sustaining. It in no way diminishes his role, I promise!
But, it is THESE women that have made this move easier... it is these women that have made it palatable... and have made it well... easier to come *home* after a wonderful weekend in houston.
I got engaged in January of 2005. I met my "internet" friends at a "knot gtg" in April. We all planned our weddings together and in fact many of us attended each other's weddings last minute. One in Chicago and one in Wisconsin. :) This was my first get together and I met Genevieve and Amber and Shannon first. I remember walking away from the event saying... awhhh man... I liked them. I sure hope they liked me too. We all had our dresses fitted together at the incomparable's Arlene's. And many times we went out for sushi at Zake afterwards. It was truly the only place we could talk ad nauseum about weddings and no one got offended. Oh how much skinnier we all were then. No offense ladies! This is Amber's wedding... this was the one in Wisconsin and we had such a great time!
So, I first met Genevieve in April and she was already married. She was the first... however I got to know her JUST as she was moving to San Francisco. She was a bridesmaid in Ambers wedding though and I really got to know her much better there. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, Amber, Genevieve and I all got pregnant within month's of each other. Sadly, Amber miscarried her beloved twins at 9 weeks. Genevieve and I were heartbroken. (not as much as Amber, of course... but just so much at a loss!).
Amber was a lady though. She accepted and embraced our pregnancies, even co hosted a shower for me at my house. Unfortunately... we didn't get to celebrate Genevieve's pregnancy quite the same way. But she did give birth, just after me, in San Francisco to Isabelle.
This past weekend was the first time I got to meet Miss Isabelle. And she was perfect. She was the polar opposite to Joe. She was the definition of a little girl which is how she got her nickname, Belle. She was so well behaved. She was in my parents house for almost 9 hours and didn't get into ONE thing. And she charmed not only me but the masses.
It was during the opening of gifts that I had the chance to hear the most precious little "AGAIN" out of her. I was tickling her and when the giggles would stop she would very daintily look at me with those gorgeous blue eyes and say... "Again!" I fell in love! It is difficult to capture the spirit of a two year old on digital film... but this little twinkle you see in her eyes was there all day long. She can count to ten already. She knows names of people and her vocabulary is unreal. Definitely a visible difference in girls and boys. At least MY boy! :) She was looking at pictures of Joey and asking me... "Who's that?" and I would say "joey" and she would look at me and repeat... "JO-EY". and I just love this little deer in the headlights look. I can 100% attribute Miss Isabelle's sensitive nature, inquisitive style, gentle demeanor and amazing intellect to her wonderful parents. How blessed she is.
So, Mr. Joey has it tough tough tough. :) He has three beautiful girls that he gets to surround himself with regularly. Well, far more than that... but these three that were born within days of each other.
How special that one day they will all get to know each other and know that their mom's were equally as amazing and I am so very lucky for having THEM in my life. The internet is a spectacular thing.
And I cannot wait to meet the newest round of "internet" babies to be born!
Again, welcome to the blogoholic readers. :) I hope you'll grab a glass of wine cup of coffee and stay awhile.
This weekend I traveled to Houston. I left on Thursday kid and husband free. :) I decided that it would just be too hard to co host a baby shower with a toddler in hand... not impossible but certainly not as easy. I also decided it gave me four days to sleep and it gave Jason four days to bond. :)
I had hair appointments, nails, reuniting with old friends, crablegs, cider, chinese buffet, coffee with friends... a chock full weekend. :)
Here are some pictures from the baby shower. I will do a seperate post on the adorable Isabelle! She DESERVES her own post! :)
Hi confession bloggers! I am so honored to be featured and promise to write a new post tomorrow. (today). As it is... I am writing this on my iPhone with a sick toddler watching the wiggles. :). I am supposed to have boot camp at 5;45 am but am thinking I won't make it. :-}. What do you think?
I had a fantastic weekend filled with friends and family! I have tons of fun pictures and the cutest little two year old girl to tell you about.
For now... I am an ex traveler, doting mom and devoted wife, daughter and friend.
I am so excited. I mentioned a post or two back that I joined a site of blogaholics called "confessions of a blogoholic". It's a new blog that highlights other blogs that are fun to read. There really aren't any criteria... just a love of reading other peoples lives. :)
Well, they are doing a *thing* called the podium. They will feature one blog a week. I sent in an email and I guess I was first. So, good news. I will be featured from April 27th to May 1st... now the bad news. I have to say something worth reading... something interesting...
... something... interesting.....
there, I said it. HA! I'm such a comedienne. I have to say I am humbled (even though it's not a "chosen" thing so much as a "I was first" kind of thing)... and nervous.
When she notified me, she mentioned that i can direct them to some of my better posts. And I think it all depends on the moment. I am prone to moments of drivel. Shoot, most of it is drivel... but then again, one persons trash is another's treasure, no?
So, first of all ... welcome to my blog. Second... if you are interested in getting involved with Confessions of a Blogaholic... click on the red sofa to the right. :) Or just click here.
Probably the posts I am most proud of are the ones that involve Joe. As of course, he is my crowning achievement... which says a lot. I have done a lot of really neat things. (skydiving in New Zealand, anyone?) But being Joey's mom is by far the hardest and the most rewarding.
For my in real life friends... do you have any favorites?
On another note... I had such a great day! Joe and I awoke and had a somewhat lazy morning. While he played I decided to make these muffins that a friend (Dana) had told me about ages ago. It is super super easy... it is one can of pumpkin and one box of spice cake. That's it. Even my mother who does three ingredient meals could do that, right? :)
And as I was putting them into the muffin tin, I took a taste of the batter. Oh my goodness, I was transported instantly to Mabel G's in Skagway Alaska. We used to plan our day around making it to Mabel G's to pick up our cookies for the week. It was this little shop that had cool gifts and at the back was a counter that served coffee drinks and these cookies that would tantalize even the most distinguished of taste buds. they would come out of the oven and they would frost them. If you were lucky you would get a warm one. If you were unlucky, you would miss out all together.
My muffins were in no way the same as these cookies but they may have inspired me to work on the recipe. I now, must find the recipe for her cookies. It is not a want... it is a NEED. So, if anyone I know has been to Mabel G's in Skagway, Alaska... and remembers these cookies... help me show my family what a little slice of gastronomical delight is. K? :)
We eventually did hit the road and stopped by Hobby Lobby to pick up the "brownie pop" trays so that I can start trying them out and walked out with about fifteen gifts for my friend who collects flamingos... some yard art, some icing and a new orange lantern to put over my light in the family room. ($100 later)... we went to Old Navy to get Joe some shorts and walked out with four pairs of shorts, two pairs of jammies, two shirts and a pair of pants for me ($100 later) we went to Barnes and Noble where I had promised Joe he could play with the Choo Choo. He had a blast and I had a blast watching him. He met some new friends and it was just so fun to watch him.
Home for a nap and then back out to Costco and Kroger to pick up our staples for the week (and beyond) and I even planned out my recipes for the week. :) Go me! I am so super organized... Ha!
We played tonight, I made the brownie pops (yeah... good thing I am testing it, the first batch turned out horrible) ... I do have some pictures but will post them tomorrow. The second batch was much better thank goodness. :) Cause if they weren't... and don't get better, I may have to cheat and pay someone to make them. :-D
All in all a great day! :) And tomorrow I am looking forward to church and pictures in the blue bonnets. :) and we are going to our friend Susan's for a cook out.
So, last night I went to the Best and Hottest Products Event put on by Metroplex Baby and it was all the way up in Dallas. (for me it was an hour and fifteen minute ride each way)... and I had a blast. I was so excited as I had heard so much about it and it was worth it. I met some new ladies and all in all had a great time.
It was at a place called the Dream Cafe and although it was a bit too small for the event, a very nice little cafe. I got there early and met up with a few nesties and had a glass of wine while we waited. Actually... scratch that... I got there WAY early and got a pedicure (had a glass of wine) and then went and met up with the ladies and had another glass of wine. :-D
They let the VIP's in early and one other girl and I waited outside until 6:30 when they let us in. We met some other super cool ladies and decided to all sit together. And the way that it worked was cool. (Extra cool if you didn't splurge on the extra money for the VIP ticket because it really was a "game of chance"). When you got in and sat down. They called the VIP's up to choose a "flower pot" which had a boon spoon in it.
The boon spoon is a really cool spoon... it would be extra cool if I had a child that was still eating baby food. I might be able to use it for his yogurt though... or wine... wait, that's not right.
I got off point, didn't I?... Inside the boon spoon was a number. That number depicted when you got to go up and choose an item. They had over 100 items and 100 people. Items such as a crib. 4 Quinny Strollers, P'kolino book cart, reading seat, and fun seat.... Tubs, trikes, snoogles, diaper bags, Pedipeds, blankets and on and on and on.
I drew #24 which all in all was pretty good. and I won the fun seat which was what I wanted. :)
Actually I wanted a tricycle thingy or a duallie stroller but this was a super cool prize and I was happy with it. The food was good, the friendship was great and I really enjoyed myself. I think the funniest part of the evening was watching one of my new friends unscrew the tree house they won and try to fit it INTO a Toyota Highlander just like mine. It was realy a comedy of errors and I wish we had part of it on video.
Anyway... I got home about 10:30 and both hubby and son were asleep and I finished a few things up and crawled into bed myself. But I slept rather fitfully and Jason awoke at 4:30 to get ready to leave for Matagorda and I got up around 6 and Joe around 7 to get ready to go to work. It has been raining and thundering and lightening all day long. It's coolish and it would have been a perfect day to snuggle under the covers and read a book or watch a movie or shoot, watch stupid daytime television. :)
I really had a great time and it's a great group with so many fun events. I look forward to going to a few more. However, it has left me really sleepy. :) I cannot wait to get home, play with my kiddo, eat some dinner, put him to bed and snuggle in myself. I am so not 19 anymore. And I think I am happy about that! ;)
So lately in the quest to work and not work (wink wink)... I have been following more and more blogs. I read the random musings of complete strangers around the world. I pray for complete strangers. I think of what they are doing and how their families are faring at the things that THEY blog about.
no... definitely! :) But, that is the main reason why people blog, no? It's out there for the world to see. It satisfies my desire to write and to say things that some people want to read and others don't care to read and yet others are obligated (Grandma?) to read. :-D
Why do I follow complete strangers?
It's kind of like reading a novel but instead of having a beginning, a crises, a resolution and then an ending... you kind of have it all in there and you get to know the characters and you become invested in their lives. So, for me, an unending novel. which is awesome! :)
Anyway... I digress. :)
One of the blogs that I have recently started following is called confession of a Blogoholic. It's for others that are just like me. They have blogs listed under categories and you can read and read and read. They will feature one different blog a week. How cool is that?
The link is on the right of my blog. It's the super cool red couch. :) If you like to read about other people's lives... click on it and you can always add yours too.
I know this was ages ago, in fact back in 2003, but I want the chance to tell you about my trip to Rome. I had been working on ships for about three years when I got the chance to sail in the Mediterranean. I had just been promoted to Assistant Cruise Director (on my climb to Cruise Director) and this was my first cruise in this role.
I flew from Houston to Venice (I think) and they drove me to the ship. It was all a bit overwhelming and way cool! I met the team I would be working with almost immediately. The Cruise Director was Gary Walker; the Hostess was Kym and the Cruise Staff was Krazy Karl, Shaun and Caitlyn. I instantly bonded with Karl and Shaun... they were MY boyz!
So, when the opportunity arose that cruise for us to go into Rome, we jumped at it. One Cruise Staff member has to stay on board to conduct activities for any people who stay on the ship for the day. It was Caitlyn’s day, so... Karl, Shaun and I got ready. The Cruise Director warned us about the train service into Rome... saying that it is NOT uncommon for the train workers to strike so make sure you left enough time to catch the train back to Civitavecchia where the ship was. I had Bingo scheduled for 4:30 that afternoon and one could ABSOLUTELY NOT miss Bingo! I was the Bingo Belle which meant I had to be there.
Off to the train we go. It is a sunday morning and we left early so that we could catch all of the sites. We arrived in Rome and headed to the Vatican first and were lucky enough to see the Pope, Pope John Paul, do his benediction and then leave the church to get in his Pope-Mobile. Wow! Karl kept saying over and over again... “We got to see the dude with the big hat!”
It is even more inspiring now, to know that we had the chance to see the Pope in person that day, considering he is no longer with us. The crowd that was assembled adored and revered him, no matter what their religion was. It truly didn’t matter!
From the Vatican, we hopped on a bus and headed over by the Colosseum. On the bus ride, I took a picture of Karl and I... turned out Crazy Western Union man behind me was not only copping a feel, he was doing this weird staring thing. :) Oh, and I cut off Karls head... that happens when you are 5’2 and he’s 6’5.
We did a quick drive through of the Colosseum and decided not to go in, due to lack of time. But, took some pictures outside.
We wanted to grab some lunch in Rome... so we found this little cafe near the Colosseum. We had a yummy lunch and then I got the “eye” from our married Italian waiter. :) He even gave us free dessert to take with us.
And now, the real adventure began. It was starting to get late, and we knew we had to head to the train station. We asked the waiter if we could walk to the station and he said... SURE! Yeah right! Here we are... two guys (with REALLY long legs, mind you) and me... all 5’2 of me in heels. Yeah... not a real great idea. We go streaking into the train station and can’t find our platform. Finally, we find the platform and the train is pulling OUT of the station. It was one of those moments where you just know... “I AM SCREWED!”
So, there are no other trains that are going to get me back in time for Bingo. There is no taxi that is going to get me there in time for Bingo. Face it... I was going to miss Bingo on my first week as Asst. Cruise Director. This sucks!
We catch a cab, tell them to take us to Civitavecchia and head out. $250 later... we pull into the ship, I run to put on my uniform, sure that I was fired... walk into the showroom and Gary, the Cruise Director, is calling my bingo. He just knew I wasn’t going to make it. I did get in trouble, but not too bad. :)
So, I was perusing my old blog and found this post. It got me to thinking. And I decided to repost it. That blog is never visited anymore and it's not as if I had anything profound to say... but I guess I wanted a bit more than just "joe" on here. :)
So here is a post from September 6, 2006
There are times that you sit and reflect upon your life and how you got to where you are right now. Of course, 'right' now is always changing. However, I recently had the opportunity to speak to two different ship board friends of mine rather unexpectedly.
Oh, the fun we had. I suppose ship life and boating life aren't that different in this one aspect. For some reason, wine and water seem to go hand in hand. There were many nights when we would sit on the back deck of the Zaandam, drinking a glass, or ten, of wine with people that were our family away from family. It's not altogether different from sitting on the back of my dad's boat or on the 'party pier' at South Shore Harbor.
One of the chats us crewmembers had on board one evening, involved where we saw ourselves in the not so distant future. I knew at that time that my life at sea was coming to an end and that I wanted the 'real' life. To me, the real life consisted of a house, dog named Murphey, garden, car, husband and 2.4 children. I always joked that 'they' say the .4 is the hardest part to come by.
It is so easy to take things for granted. To a person residing on land, it is nothing to walk in the grass, take a bubble bath or sit on your back porch going over a days' activities. To a person residing at sea, it is nothing to wake up in Skagway, Alaska with snow capped mountains and the sound of a choo choo train whistling it's way into town.
I now work very hard at not taking for granted those wonderful things that once were so rare and precious to me and now are part of everyday life. There is 'wonder' in the normal for someone who didn't have 'normal' for five years. Or for some of my friends, ten plus years.
Recently, there was some hubbub about a crew member for Princess publishing a blog, on this very site, and giving away the 'secrets' behind crew doors. It's human nature to want to know how the other half lives. It's unusual. It's kind of similar to celebrities... even in our own minds. Human nature wants to know what it's like living with a roommate in a cramped space. Do they want to know? Do they really want to know that in reality, we were treated very well. Or is it more exciting to hear that we are mistreated? You will find people in both categories and both would be telling you the truth... because truth is your own perception, isn't it?
Working at sea is a personal choice... and one that people make for their own reasons. For many of the honest to goodness crew members on board, the ones that make up the beds, cook the meals, serve the meals and work in the engine room, it is grueling. They work long hours, away from their families for years at a time. They make the ultimate sacrifice for their families. However, when they go home, they live very well.
It is not an easy decision for anyone to make. To leave your home, your family and even your country... but, if that means that your children, your spouse, your parents and siblings can live a better life... what is to question?
So, this weekend was a bit of an eye opener for us. I was getting the picture that Joe was really understanding much more than he was letting on (manipulative little devil)... and that the only one who was NOT getting it... well... was me.
This weekend we had to take a big step into the arena of discipline. I hate it. I do not like it Sam I am. We had ventured into this arena before... kind of like sticking your big toe into the cold cold water of the lake only to turn around and say... nope... I kind of like it on the shore. But this weekend... well... this weekend we continued to hit out of frustration and to take a chomp out of me (he has done this before but now he knows what he is doing)... and he doesn't like to share.
I think we have arrived. We have arrived into that stage that you read about and hope that you don't have to experience. Terrible Two's!
We jokingly say that he is one temper tantrum away from being an only child. Except that yesterday... yesterday it might have been true. Jason picked him up from daycare and brought him home. They did great together until I got home. What IS it about mom that means that all bets are off? I am quite sure that he spent more time IN time out last night than out of it. He got his little bottom popped (through a diaper how much pain can be felt?) twice and finally I held his arms tightly across his middle to work at allaying the temper tantrum. eegads!
Then... the little devil er... I mean angel fell asleep. His little breath went into that sweet little "puh" and his little eyes twitch with the dreams that grace his slumber. His horns retract and the halo once again becomes apparent. He reaches over in his sleep (we cosleep most of the time) and he tangles his little fingers into the hair at the nape of my neck and this is how he sleeps. He might roll over with his little butt in the air. But always... always... he knows that I am there.
I had a conversation the other day about motherhood. And how your view of motherhood changes over time. When I was dreaming of being a mommy, holding every baby (awake or asleep) in my arms... I invisioned the kind of mom I would be. Then, when I was fat (as my husband says I was) and pregnant, I had all of these ideals of things I was and wasn't going to do. What things would make me a good parent and which things meant that I immediately went to the "bad parent" section when splitting people up into groups. HA! THEN... I became a mother.
Motherhood to me now means something totally different... something totally MORE and something totally UNglamorous!
++ picking boogers out of his nose because he can't do it. And if he could... well... he would most certainly eat it. ++ the knotted tangled mess of the hair at the nape of my neck, once we all awaken, from his fat little fingers twirling it around. :) (so worth it, by the way). ++ pulling open his diaper to see if there is a "sprise" in there or worse yet... when you can't see, sticking your finger down there to *see*. ++ the wonderful aroma of your baby fresh out of the bath ++ the not so wonderful aroma of your baby fresh out of the mud. ++ the screaming tantrums when you tell them no. ++ the cuddles when you are the ONLY one who can fix it. ++ knowing that they are hurting and NOT being able to fix it. ++ seeing that smile on their face when you KNOW they are about to do something devious. ++ seeing the crocodile tears on their face when you have to enforce the limits from that devious decision.
gosh, the list just goes on and on and on and on. We have so much power as a mom. We are shaping and molding their little lives. Do you think if we really thought about it... understood the gravity of it... that we would continue to do it or do it all again?
So, moving is hard. Moving is very hard. Packing up all of your belongings, putting them into itty bitty (or not so itty bitty) boxes and moving them to wherever your relocating to and then finding new spaces for all of your worldly items.
Saying goodbye to your family. Saying goodbye to your friends. Driving away. Driving away his horrible.
Then, finding new things. A new doctor. A new dentist... new supermarkets, vets and hair dressers. You have to *think* about where you are going and how do you get there. You don't know anyone to call if you need something and if you need a cup of sugar... well, then jump in your car, think about where you are going and get you some.
So, all of these are the obvious difficulties in moving to another place.
You always have promises of when you come back to visit. When you come back to visit... well then you'll get to hang out with your friends, love on your family, see your family dog and scratch your kitties ears. Go eat sushi at your favorite restaurant and stop by to see your rent house. You'll get to "spend time" with all of those people you love and miss so much.
But you don't think of the fact that you just cannot fit it all into one itty bitty weekend. You can't think of and put your son first and work a full day AND still get into town and get it all done. And of course, you can't make everyone happy.
Moving is hard. What people don't mention is that those friends that you miss so much become email friends and phone friends (if you're lucky) and even blog friends. And I pray and hope and pray some more to keep in touch with them because when I move BACK to Houston I am going to NEED them because then I am going to be mourning my friends up here.
Moving is hard. You want to make people happy. You want to make your family happy. sometimes you feel like it would just be easier if you didn't visit at all. Then you can't miss it and you can't disappoint people.