Growing As The Days Pass


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Our Michigan Manget

Because of him, we all bonded over sand castles and bond fires. Together we experienced thunderstorms and late night dance parties. Without him we would not have laughs over pincher bugs and slush puppies, goats or elixir less nights.  He gave us days on the lake, trips to the trading post and long car rides to lighthouses. He gave us Mackinaw Fudge, Rosa’s Lasagna and Muglin’s Whitefish. He gave us Landon Cottage, the Lincoln Log Cabin and one hell of a basement. Because of him we rode the waves of the lake on the Sea Nymph, paddled too far on the kayak and smoke bombed Robin Lane one too many times. Because of him we have memories that seem to never fade and jokes that continue on for years. Because of him we have each other. For that I am thankful.

 

Rest In Peace Papa

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Dont’ cry because it’s over, smile because it happened


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Top 5 Reasons My Bus Driver Is Insane

1. His use of the horn

-> Car in front of him is taking too long to make a left? Beep Beep!
-> Car in front of him is driving too slow on the freeway? Beep Beep
-> Want to enter the carpool lane in the designated area? Not in front of him Beep Beep! He honks as he speeds past the other lanes notifying everyone he is coming through and don’t you dare.

2. His use of the loud speaker. The outside of the bus has a speaker so that the driver can speak to patrons outside. For example “This is the 123 bus to Easy Town” My bus driver uses it to talk to cars (because they can totally hear him) “The accident is on the other side of the road!! Keep moving!”

3. He speaks his mind. He says things out loud he probably shouldn’t *As we drive through Chinatown* “These Asians need to learn how to drive their Toyotas”

4. Discharge Only means discharge only, no questions. Even if you are a little old lady who does not understand that people can exit but not enter. He will slam the door in your face.

5. His use of the internal speaker. He yells into the mic the bus stops in his crazy accent. “Negussta Though an Kane” Translation: “Next Stop Thousand Oaks and Kanan”

Now you may ask, why don’t you report this guy? He sounds unsafe and rather rude! I have thought about it many times but dude gets us home at least 15 minutes earlier then the other drivers and in LA 15 minutes cut off ones commute is a God Send

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? -George Carlin


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The C Word

I am a fan of the reality show The Little Couple on TLC. This season, Jen, one of the main characters, finds out she has cancer and has to go through chemo. The show did an awesome job following the journey. I laughed and I cried. Each week I felt like I was going through it with her and her family.  The downfall to watching though has been that it made me feel so guilty. It was a constant reminder that I wasn’t there when my mom needed me.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer during my senior year of college. I lived 2,000 miles away. I will never forget the call that November. “I want you to know everything is going to be okay…I have cancer.” I listened in shock. My mom could die. She was sick and there was nothing I could do.

I got to go home at Christmas. By that time she had had a double mastectomy and was recovering prior to chemo. It was a tough Christmas. She started chemo a few days after I left. Though my mom, dad and I spoke multiple times a week, I just wish I could have been there to help. I could hear the strain in their voices. They were tired and struggling and I was 2000 miles away. I couldn’t sit with my mom when she was receiving treatment, I couldn’t hold her hand as they shaved her head, nor could I help her get out of bed when she was hopeless. My mom had cancer and I had class.

In April, I was able to be fly home for the weekend and surprise my mom. When I saw her all I wanted to do was hug her and cry. She was frail and sickly. She had very little color in her face and you could tell she was just tired. That weekend I did not cry, but instead tried my hardest to make her smile as much as possible. This was my chance to help her and I put my all into the attempt.

My mom finished her treatment in May and to this day is cancer free. I am so grateful that she had the strength and will to kick cancers ass. I am forever thankful for my family who took care of her. My dad, sister, grandparents, and aunts all chipped in where ever they could. I know that I did the right thing finishing school instead of running home but I don’t think the guilt will ever go away.

I’m sorry mom.


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Unplanned Change

This year has seemed to be a year of change for me. Looking back on the first quarter of 2014, I have sent myself back to church, picked up books again, started writing once more and began working on my health. What boggles me is how unplanned it has been. Everything just fell into place. For someone who plans everything, months in advance, this change just seems odd…but it makes me happy, so I guess I will roll with it.

I have been attempting to get myself back to church for years. I was raised Catholic and grew up where not going to church was not an option. When I moved away the habit didn’t stick but there was always a voice in my head telling me I needed to get my ass back into one of them pews. Seven years later, I’m back. I attend the Cathedral downtown before work once a week. I am totally down with the weekday mass; no hoopla, just the bare bones mass. I have enjoyed having something to reflect on throughout the day and even week. It adds a little light to the darkness, pushes positivity and gives me a new outlook. I like it.

Starting to read again has also brought me joy. Last year I took on a year-long paralegal course. With full-time work, full-time school and a house to run, leisurely reading really wasn’t an option. But not until I picked up a novel a few months back did I recall how much I missed reading, or should I say escaping. Falling into the lives of others, feelings their feelings, seeing their sites, it’s the best. A book can make me appreciate what I have or dream bigger dreams. I am so thankful I found them again. I am also glad I found the library…shit can get expensive when you buy all your books.

Writing. Jotting. Blogging. I’mmmmmm baaacccck. The one and probably only thing I am grateful for when it comes to my high school education is that it taught me the importance of writing. (Thanks Mrs Potts!) I am no good at getting all the rules straight but the art of writing my thoughts downs and telling my story has brought much inner peace. You have no clue how loud my brain is. I know everyone says that, but I am not joking, the damn thing gives me anxiety attacks on the regular. I wrote a lot at the beginning of my young adult life but since starting my career, writing has really taken a back seat. I still write millions of lists and calendar like crazy but my real thoughts and ideas have stayed stuck in my brain. Alas, it has gotten too loud. I am over it. I want to be able to go to sleep at night. This seems to be helpful, and i am grateful for that.

My health. Ugh. First it must be said that I come from a family that loves food. Food brings us together. And I am not talking carrots and celery, more like salami and brie. In addition, I am married to the skinniest junk food eater around. Ding Dongs and HoHos. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes. The dude loses weight eating mass amounts of this stuff. Staying healthy in the bubble I live in is definitely difficult. I am not in any way blaming these people, I am just stating the fact that will power is a necessity for me to live a healthy life. Will power has always been difficult for me to find when it comes to my health but I think I had my epiphany and will power has appeared, stronger than ever. I hope and pray I can keep this up. I am currently transitioning into a slow carb lifestyle. So far I have really enjoyed it, though difficult, I feel accomplished. My goal is to stop being ashamed of my appearance. Though a difficult task I really hope I can accomplish it.

Four months in and already four significant changes. I can’t imagine what the rest of the year will bring! Maybe it will be a year of quest for inner happiness…I will let you know in December.

 

“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability” -Remmy. Ratatouille


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The Light That Came From The Dark

This month my older brother would be enjoying his 29th year of life. Unfortunately he was only given the opportunity to enjoy 17. His unexpected death brought about a lot of darkness. You often hear the question, if you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? Ryan automatically pops into my head. I’ve actually thought a lot about it though and, I know this sounds awful, but sometimes I think maybe I wouldn’t change anything. I miss my brother terribly, the loss brought about so much pain to my family and I but, as it does, life continued on, and happy things came about. My family would never be as close as we are today, nor would I likely have the relationships I cherish most today. If not for my brother’s death, I would have never created a bond with my aunt, who pushed me to go to a university, where I then met my husband. I probably wouldn’t have majored in Criminology, therefore not having the career I have today. That one night, completely changed my future.
For years, that question has kept me up at night; Would I change the past? I don’t know, and I just have to accept that.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Thinking for Yourself

Over the weekend I had a conversation with my dad about how much I liked iTunes Radio more than Pandora. We are both avid music listeners and debated the differences in the apps. One thing that he brought up about Pandora was that it would shuffle his stations for him where as iTunes Radio only allows you to listen to one station at a time. His argument for Pandora was that he didn’t want to decide what kind of music he wanted to listen to every day. He wanted the app to just play everything he liked.

Technology today is terrifying. We are being taught that we should stop thinking for ourselves and let the apps make decisions for us. Personally I enjoy waking up everyday and thinking “Hmmm, what am I in the mood for today?” I sometimes wonder if we are heading toward a Wall-e world. Our check books are automatically balanced, Facebook customizes ads for each individual user, Pandora shuffles stations and we use Siri to answer questions instead of Googling it ourselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love technology like the rest of the world. I have multiple smart devices, I am constantly connected and I too experience anxiety when I leave my phone at home. I just worry about where we are going. Are my children going to be those human blobs pictured in Wall-e? Are we eventually just going to surrender our opinions and let the computer decide?

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