Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sam I love!

I am in love with a man named Sam! He is a handyman in our old neighborhood. He did some carpentry work for us before and I forgot he does 101 other things too. I met him at the old house today to do some small repairs and discovered he is my hero. He can do all the things we need done to get the house "market ready," and his prices are really reasonable. So I can breathe a little easier, can trust him to do a good job, and I don't have to run back and forth to meet work men who don't show up! I gave him a key and did a happy dance! We still have some things to move out of it, but this was a huge burden lifted from me. Now you see why I am in love?! (For those of you who don't know Sam.. he is tall, very thin, & 70-ish or older, no worries Brian!)


Brian & I spent the better part of Monday doing much needed yard work at the new house. Compared to what we used to have, we have a huge yard! It was alot of hard work, but since this was the first time we have really done it since we moved in, it should be easier next time. The reward is the beautiful yard we can now enjoy.
While I was weeding I got to thinking about "weeds". Some are deceptively pretty, then they spread and crowd out the plants you wanted there. Others are not so attractive, and some are downright prickly and nasty. Just when I thought I had them all, I found a few more tucked behind a bush or mixed in with my other plants. I was very careful to try and get the whole weed, including the roots, so they won't come back. I was sore and tired when it was done, but looked around me and enjoyed the fruits of my labor.
There are times my mind feels like it is full of "weeds". I try to get rid of the negative thoughts, and the destructive things that tend to grow and spread. I try to keep the depression from crowding out the good things going on in there. From time to time I will realize I did not get all the roots out and something grew back when I wasn't looking. Other times I find something tucked away, hidden with other thoughts. Like my yard, my mind needs frequent tending, a little extra nurturing now and then, and more patience and persistence then I think I have the energy for. Always a work in progress. There are times my mind becomes neglected and overgrown, the job seems too great to get it weeded out. It takes longer than I planned to get the job done. It leaves me sore and tired. Then there are times I can sit back for a moment and enjoy the fruits of my labor, open my mind and see more flowers than weeds. And for that moment all is beautiful and good.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Family Dynamics..

Bless Diane for all the emotions she went through this weekend. I won't go into detail, but it is very similar to any major function or event where family & friends make an extra effort to be part of the celebration. You can't please everyone all the time. I remember Brianne's graduation and her wedding. It can be crazy. Mike & Diane had everyone staying at their house which as sweet and generous as that was, made it all the crazier for her. She juggled everyone & everything well, even her ex-husband.. she is a better woman than me!
No matter what our age we are still driven by our family dynamics. No matter how many years have passed we can still let our buttons be pushed and let ourselves fall into old emotional habits. Then there are the dynamics we marry into. Oh Boy!
It was nice to be there as a bystander and help pull her back from the edge when needed. I wish I had more time with all of them just to enjoy them. We say we will make time, yet time slips away from us too fast. I hope they have settled back into their lives and get a chance to enjoy each other this summer before Justine is off to college and the family dynamics change again!

A midnight run..

Diane, her youngest daughter Vicki, & I picked up Justine (the graduate) from her job at about 11-ish Saturday night. We needed a couple things so we decided to make a midnight run to Walmart, the only place open at midnight! Right off the bat Diane starts things off.. as we are walking in she says.. avoid eye contact with the greeter guy and see if we can get by without him being able to "greet" us. Honestly he wasn't paying much attention so it wasn't too difficult. He was probably a very nice guy, but did look a bit creepy and very sweaty, so we dodged him and giggled our way into produce. Diane about wet her pants! Her girls were giving us a hard time about being loud, so we reminded them it was Walmart in the middle of the night, who cares! So Justine asked if that meant she could skip down the aisle if she wanted to and we said sure.. so off she went.. her sister caught it on video.. it was too cute. We got what we needed and Diane makes a point of saying Goodbye to the greeter guy. I gave her a hard time about being too good to say hello, but it was okay to say goodbye.. she was really going to confuse the guy! It wasn't so much about the dodging or the skipping, it was about letting loose and having some fun to break up all the craziness that goes along with big events & family functions, not to mention a house packed with people. It was good to share some laughter.

Where's the beef?

I have to back track to a very funny memory of Kierra when we lived in Wyoming. She was about 2-3 years old. Brian & I took her to dinner with us to a nice restaurant, Richard's. She wanted a hamburger with lots of pickles. When the food came she opened the burger to get her pickles and at the top of her lungs yelled.. "Where's the beef?!" Her burger was missing the burger! It was around the same time as the commercials with the old lady yelling the same thing. It had everyone in the room laughing. Good memory..
The beef in Nebraska (actually may be over the state line in Idaho according to Mike's sister) is at a place called the Pink Poodle. Hunter & I got in at about 1 pm (1 hour behind our normal time clock) on Saturday. That night we all went to this restaurant for what was supposed to be the best prime rib ever. It was! It was sooo good.. and sooo huge! I couldn't eat it all and I am a well known carnivore. I cooked some of everyone's leftovers up the next morning with onions and mushrooms to go with the frittata I fixed for breakfast.
It was so good to see Mike, Diane, & the kids again. The kids have grown up so much. They were so good with Hunter and he really enjoyed all the attention. Mike was stationed in England when we were there. He was single back then and everyone tried setting him up and marrying him off. I am glad he resisted and waited for Diane. They are a perfect match and make an awesome family. It is beautiful country out there as well. Even when it was 86 degrees there was a nice breeze and low humidity. We had great weather the whole weekend.
More stories to tell later!

Hunter on the plane 5-19-07

Hunter on the plane 5-19-07
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
Hunter & I went to Nebraska to visit with friends and celebrate their daughter's graduation. Hunter flew a couple times as a baby, but this is the first time he was old enough to remember and understand it. He did great! More info about the trip on the next few blogs!

Happy 1st Birthday Tortuga!

Tortuga May 13, 2007
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
She just turned a year old yesterday (today is still Wed. for me, haven't been to bed yet!) the 22nd.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Monkey 5-06-07

The Monkey 5-06-07
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
He was drying off the pirate ship after a rain shower.

Poncho & hat made by Great Gramma B

Poncho made by Great Gramma B
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

The Kids 5-14-07

The Kids 5-14-07
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
A bit fuzzy, but too cute not to show off! They were all playing on the stairs, (the bottom only has 3 steps).

Monday, May 14, 2007

Words & Wishes...

Okay, so I tried to "skip" yesterday. And guess what? It didn't work. I could not escape that it was a Sunday, the 13th of the month.. AND Mother's Day. As much as I tried to make it just another day, it refused to be. Hunter started things off on Saturday night at dinner when he asked me if Mother's day counts when one of your children dies? I told him it counts whenever, and however, someone becomes a Mom. He asked me if Kierra got to celebrate Mother's Day in Heaven? I told him I didn't know, but it would be nice to think she did. I got a little teary, and one of the ranch hands noticed and asked if I was allergic to the smoke in the air.. before I could answer, Hunter told her "No, my Mom just gets sad when we talk about my sister who died." He then told me to close my eyes and feel my heartbeat, she was right there, and that would make me happy again. I told him he was so strong and so smart, I was a very lucky Mom to have him for a son.
Just about then another woman came by and asked him if he was celebrating Mother's day with me. He said No, I am not a Mom, and I am trying to make my Forever Mom happy right now. She looked puzzled and said Forever Mom? He then went into a full speech about how he had a birth Mom who carried him in her tummy, then he went home from the hospital with his Nana & Pop-Pop which kind of made Nana his mom til he came to live with me and I loved him and became his Forever Mom, cause his Dad & me adopted him. Now he has lots of brothers & sisters who are more than his brothers and sisters except for one sister who died, which is why he was trying to make his Mom happy! I bet she was sorry she asked. His words blew me away. She asked him how he knew all that and he told her, my mom who is right here told me, she tells me the truth because she says you shouldn't lie. So I ask her things and she tells me. She told him he was very special and thanked him for sharing with her. He told her you are welcome, Happy Mother's Day tomorrow... if you have any kids or not!
Sunday morning everyone kept hugging me and telling me Happy Mother's Day. It drove me crazy. It was all I could do not to break down in tears. I tried to stonewall myself, think of something else.. I had no control. Hunter wasn't too keen on riding and I just wanted to get out of there, so we headed home thinking we might stop at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, only to find out the interstates (I-75 & I-10) were being closed on & off. So we took our time going the long way home and got in about 6 pm.
I did think of all my children yesterday and how lucky I am. I did think of the day each one of them were born, as well as the day Tristan & Alexa were born. It all replayed like a movie in my mind through out the day. I just can't stop the pain that clings so closely to the joy of it all. The pain of her death, the pain of knowing despite all my memories of being her Mother, her babies have little to no memory of her. How easy for others to say, don't think of it like that, try not to dwell on the negative. As if I can flip a switch and control it so easily. There are no words to describe the twists and turns of my emotions. No words to describe how out of control it makes me feel. No words that will ever bring her back to me, or to her children. So yes, I wish I could have just "skipped" yesterday, and so many other days..
But I couldn't, I can't, so I don't..... but that doesn't stop me from wishing....

Saturday, May 12, 2007


In this age of cell phones it is quite a common occurence to get "disconnected." I was talking to my sister, Cricket, on the cell phone last night. First my phone battery died, then I hit a dead spot and it dropped the call. Lastly, I hit a no signal zone in the middle of nowhere near the ranch.
It isn't just because of cell phones. I have been "disconnected" from various friends and some family members at times because of differences of opinion, or outright fights. Then there are the ones that get dropped for no apparent reason. We just lose touch, then get to the point where there is "no signal" anymore. I try to keep my friends within reach, even the ones who live far away. I can't say my family has always been close..the Brady Bunch we are not. I have been at odds with different ones from time to time. Most of the time the fences get mended. The ties may not be as strong as they once were, but things smooth over. A few are beyond repair and that's just the way it is and most likely will always be. I have my reasons and they are my own.
There were lots of times Kierra and I would butt heads. We both hated to think we were too much alike. We both held our ground and defended what we thought was right. Even if it meant disconnecting for awhile. I am glad we were not at odds when she died. This is painful enough without more guilt.
Something I find I share with my siblings, as well as something I have passed on to my children is being stubborn. Which can make the "disconnections" more lengthy and more difficult to reconnect. I know it is a flaw, and trust me, I pay the price for it often. But as stubborn as it can make me in a negative way, it also makes me fiercely loyal and stubborn about the people I love and care about too. So as often as I may get disconnected from the ones I love, I will keep trying to get through, I will keep trying to "reconnect"...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Love Bugs

They are everywhere at our new house. They obviously love each other, but does anyone else really love them? They stick to each other and everything else! They are smashed all over the front of our cars, sticking to the windows and doors of the house. Dying and lying all over our back patio and front walkway. I can't remember them being so abundant since I was a child. The kids don't like them and won't play outside if they see them on the slide or playhouse. Alexa is our big announcer if they land on the sliding glass doors. She runs around yelling "bug-bugs!, come here, look!" Tristan says "ewwww, yucky!". Hunter trys to tell them that love bugs are good, they don't bite, and won't hurt them. It doesn't seem to convince them. Because moments later you can hear Alexa's yell.. "Bug-bugs!"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Surreal Life..

SURREAL 1 : marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; also : UNBELIEVABLE, FANTASTIC .

That's how I feel alot lately, like my life is surreal. I do my best to keep up, going through the motions the best I can, but sometimes it all just gets away from me. I walk into this house and think.. wow, how did I get here? How can this really be ours? I am working on cleaning out the Beckley house and I do the same thing there. Is this where we lived? How did we get here? Are all those memories real? It seems like a whirlwind sometimes.
Mother's day is coming up and I know I am blessed and should not dread the day, but I am. I wish the loss of one didn't seem to overshadow the lives of the others. It doesn't always, but it is for that day. I can't keep it from feeling that way. All the rational thought in the world doesn't make it so. So I am taking Hunter up to the horse ranch for the weekend. Some one on one and a change of scenery. Just what the Dr. ordered. Not really, but I tend to be my own doc anyway, so as usual, I will override him!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Ok, I ate all my Lima beans....

I tend to let my frustrations and expectations run high. I tend to put more stock in others than I actually ever see. So I bring it on my self when I am disappointed. I could say someday I'll learn, but I know better. Brian says I need to learn more patience. That may be true, but again, the odds are stacked against it. I am the old dog who can't be taught new tricks! At least in some instances. At least I can end my day with a clean kitchen and knowing I got alot done today. Whoopee!
It's like eating all the yucky things on your plate so you can have dessert, and then finding out it's all gone!


Today I spent the morning cleaning the new house, then trying to do some cleaning and organizing at the Beckley house. It is slow going! Brianne took the kids overnight last night and to church today. Then when we all got back to the house this afternoon I tried to take Brianne, Justin, Chad & Hunter to the Imax theater to see Spiderman 3. They had presold all their tickets for the weekend, so it was soldout. Instead they all went to see it at the Avenues. Brian, Tristan, Alexa & I all stayed home. Brian worked on his stereo equipment, I cleaned out closets and sorted/ put away clothes. Tristan & Alexa were supposed to take a nap.. that never happened. So they played outside til the rain sent them in, then they danced to the music on the stereo and we danced with them. It was fun. Brian and I agreed Tristan has a lot of Kierra's facial expressions. I thought how glad I am I can still remember what she looked like and what her expressions were. Tristan seems to have them more so than Alexa because he has the same color eyes as Kierra. There were a few teary moments too, but we kept them to ourselves.
Alex recently sent a box to the twins with stuffed camels and a letter. The letter was full of dreams and promises. I have to remember where he is and what he is doing in Iraq. I have to remember he may very well have the best of intentions. I have to remember he is there and we are here, just as we have always been here. We had dreams and promises to keep with Kierra too, and we are here and she is not. I have to remember yesterday, last week, last year... today... and all I can do is hope for tomorrow.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Alexa 4 5 07

Alexa 4 5 07
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
Isn't she lovely!?

Lexie & Bri 4 5 07

Lexie & Bri 4 5 07
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
Today we went to the Mother & Daughter Banquet at Brianne's church. It was hard and there were a couple tearful times, but all in all it was a good day. I don't get enough time with Bri, so I enjoyed spending the afternoon with her. We took part in a silent auction and I ended up going home with 4 of the baskets and Bri took home one! At least it was for a good cause.
When I was getting Alexa dressed I realized how tall she has gotten. Most of her dresses are too short. So on the way there she & I stopped off at Kohl's and found some beautiful dresses on clearance. They grow too fast!

Have I altered the universe?

No, just some artwork I have. The first piece I have had quite awhile. I had a frame custom made for it to look like a window, complete with window box for matching flowers. It is a beautiful piece. The other piece is from the same artist, it has been unframed since I got it a couple years ago. I wasn't sure which one would go in my bedroom, and which one would go in the living room. I found a great frame on clearance, so I took out the picture and reframed my art. Then I decided I liked both pieces in my bedroom, so I found another frame on clearance. To reframe them I had to cut both pieces down. Brian wasn't too happy with that. Did I ruin the value of the artwork? Yes, I most likely did. But I didn't buy them to resell them. I bought them, actually Brian bought them for me on cruises we took, because I liked them. And they look awesome in their new frames. My bedroom was one of my favorite decorated rooms in the new house. Now it is #1. I found a huge piece of metal art for the living room and it looks really good. Brian isn't keen on the artwork being "hidden" in our room. So if you come over I will have to show you my bedroom so I can tell him they aren't hidden away! I am getting it all done bit by bit. My antique mantel looks fantastic. I used some of the large 20 inch pieces of tile we had leftover from the tilework that was done, created a faux hearth, mounted the mantle to the wall, found a great fire screen for it, and presto.. check the photo gallery for updated pix.

Hunter mohawk 4 30 07

Hunter mohawk 4 30 07
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
We just did this for fun, he was having his head buzz cut like Chad's. He had the mohawk cut off a couple days later. He kept telling everyone who was suprised.. it's just for fun, and it's just hair!

Tristan 4 30 07 halfway thru haircut

Click on picture to see before and after pix. His curls were getting way out of control, so it was time for a haircut! I do miss the curls tho..

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Alot, not alot?

Does it make sense that I have alot going on, but not alot is going on? I have been trying to adjust my lifestyle and not overdo. That in itself is exhausting! Just one more thing that isn't making sense! My right arm is giving me fits. Part of it is the ligament, the other part is throbbing pain in my upper arm, which my doc says is pinching from my neck problem. He is suprised I am not having other nerve/pain issues.
I am trying to slowly but surely get the Beckley house organized and emptied. I am hoping to have that done by the first of the week. The kids are jumping right into summer mode and I haven't caught up with spring! Alexa finally went into the sprinkler yesterday. Let's see if we can progress into the pool!
I have some pictures to post, so let me go do that and I will catch up on more later.