Monday, December 29, 2008

It's almost the end and the beginning

I'm starting to reflect upon the year. It's natural I suppose and I guess that around this time everyone does it to a degree. I think back and remember all that has occurred - from Pete's Dad dying to my disagreement with my parents, to getting married, to finding the motorcycle club. Such highs and lows. I never id seem to findmiddle ground this past year. That space where things are comfortable, equal, happy. When people ask, I usually say that I wouldn't change the hard times because they helped me learn. I've said that about my relationship with Pete. However, 2008 would have been much better if I could have changed a few things. I'll admit defeat this time.

I'd love it if Pete's Dad could have lived long enough to see us married. While he and Pete didn't see eye to eye, it was important to him to have his Dad there. And I'd have loved to see him see Pete happy.

I'd love it if my Grandma was still here. While I know that she is no longer suffering and that she is with her God and where she wanted to be, I'm still missing her. And I'm a bit leary of how the family will continue from this point on in her absence.

I'd love it if my parents were happy for me. When I look at the wedding pictures my Mom never smiled. Ever. There was a smirk in one photograph, but no smile. I saw her smile while talking to people at the wedding, but never in pictures or while walking me down the aisle. I realize in my head that I can't make them be happy for me. My heart still hurts though.

And lastly, I'd love it if Pete had a job that he liked. While we are financially ok for now, it worries me in this economy that he isn't working.

The best part of 2008 is that I married my best friend. I used to think that women were nuts when they said that their husband was their best friend, but not anymore. I tell him everything. I vent to him. I get support from him. He helps me with whatever. He truely is the one that I want to tell everything to, share everything with. Without him I don't know what I would do. The thought makes my heart skip a beat. I don't ever want to find out.

So I'm trying to celebrate the passing of 2008. While there were certainly good times, the bad seemed to outweigh it. And the rollercoaster of good and bad times has left me a bit sick and tired of the ride. I plan to ring in 2009 with optimism for a better year. For a year that is happier, less stressful, full of hope and lets me sit in grace.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 25: Christmas

I started a new tradition. Well actually we started a few. This year we had advent calendars from Germany. I hope to keep doing that because, well I love chocolate! We decided to open some of our presents to each other on the 23rd. Just as I opened my engagement ring on the 23rd last year. I think it's a wonderful tradition. I made a big Christmas Day breakfast and hope to keep doing that. I also filled Pete's stocking with little toys.

We went to Grandma Laura's house. It was awkward and unfulfilling. I don't know what I expected - calmness or that everyone was there to show some unity. But it wasn't what I had hoped and I doubt that we'll ever do it again.

Then onto Kim's house for our little Christmas. It was so fun to see Alison and Grant open gifts. They are cute and make me smile. I surprised Pete with his gift of garage opener for the Harley. And he surprised me with a diamond necklace.

Until next year...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 24: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has always been it's own day. It's the day that we traditionally go to my Mom's parent's house and celebrate. And Santa always came the night of the 23rd so that we had our presents on the 24th. I liked my parents for that!

This year we got up early and went to the gravesites. We put flowers on Pete's parent's grave. The snow way up high and it was cold and windy. But Pete got to the grave and cleared it off. He made shure the flowers were rested on the stone and we stood. I always talk to his parents when we go to the grave. I pray to them, I talk to them and hope that they can hear me. Then we went to my Grandma's grave and placed flowers there also. Again we went through the snow to get there. And I wished her a blessed holiday and told her that I miss her.

We went home and rested before going to my other Grandma's house. Lots of kids and toys and appetizers. It's fun and loud and makes me smile. I made grasshoppers. The drink that my Grandpa made all those years ago. Everyone said how it reminded them of him. And I sent him a silent smile.

Then we went to Daniela's to drop off presents for the kids. Matthew started putting toghether his lego set right away. Alie wanted Pete to play with her.

Then to church with Paster Nordmark. He is leaving the pastoral portion of the chuch soon. It was nice to worship there on Christmas. Calming and a wonderful break from all that goes on at Christmas time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 23: Stockings

As a kid we had beautiful sewn had beaded stockings. They'd hang on the wall as we had no mantle to railing to hang them from. I think Kim's and mine ended up tearing at the loop because of how much was put in them. My mom made those stockings. She and my Grandma. Kims is the one that hangs the opposite way of ours, but that's ok. When we moved out, my Mom gave us our stockings. I have mine and although it never goes up, I look at it each year.

And you know what? I have a box of materials in the garage that are just waiting for me to make a stocking like that for Pete. And I want to...when I have time. Which seams to be never. So last year I bought stockings for us both. I never put anything in them, but they were hung up. This year, I haven't found the hangers just for the stockings so they're on a chair. But I have all the little things to fill Pete's stocking up on Christmas Day. I can't wait!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 22: Still to be done?

I'm trying to think...there are certainly things undone.

I'm stumped like you wouldn't believe on what to get my brother in law for about $15. I hate gift cards, but I think I'm stuck unless I can find something tonight.

I baked cookies but my frosting didn't set so I'm going to scrape it off and re-frost. Yes I know that I'm delusional about do that.

I still have Dave's present left to wrap and maybe one for Grant.

Other than making appetizers for Christmas Eve I'm done.

Wait, I still have cards to write and send out. I seem to be way behind in that department. They probably won't go out until the 26th, but I'll send those cards out!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 21: What does your house look like now?

Most of the presents are under the tree. The one that Pete calls teh CHarlie Brown tree for it's sparseness. Wrapped and waiting to be opened. There are 2 presents left to wrap near the stairs that I hope to get to tonight.

There are a million little cookies on the table waiting to be boxed up for CHristmas treats. I still have to make a couple of things though.

Other than that, Christmas decorations are left in the boxes. Someday I hope to have a real house that I can decorate several rooms with holiday decorations. Until then, it's overwhelming to have decorations anywhere else other than the livingroom.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jorunal Your Christmas

Day 20: Didn't see that coming...

The one thing that I never expected was the little glass ornament from Scott & Kathy. It has my Grandma's information on it. They ordered it from the company that compiled her biography. I love it. It's such a wonderful remembrance of her life.

As for cards & letters, they seem to be sparse this year. Maybe everyone is behind like me? Or maybe people aren't doing cards due to the economy, chooing to spend money elsewhere.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 19: Santa Letter

If I were writing to Santa, I'd be asking for a peaceful Christmas. It seems so simple, but I want that peace that I knew as a kid back. I want to know that everyone is happy and that it's about getting together with family, nothing else. Santa, bring me peace for Christmas and 2009.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 18: Menus...

Yum. I think that I like the holidays as much for the food as anything else.

As a kid we had ham and cheesy potatoes and corn and beens and rolls. At least that's what I remember. After my Grandpa dies, my Grandma started a new tradition. She buys pounds of lovely shrimp and my Dad (or I) grill them. Yes, grilling in the cold fridgid air. Anyway, we have those beautiful shrimp and then everyone brings a couple of their favorite appetizers. When else do you get a bunch of yummy ,not good for you food? I love the little coctail weinies, the meatballs, the chicken wings, hot dips, cold veggies and dip, chips and cheese with crackers. I love it all.

This year I'm making 2 kinds of wings - spicy and some aisan ones. Then I want to have some good german sausage in kraut. Lately I've been really hungry for that.

For our immediate family ti changes year to year. For a while we fondued. Oh man how awesome. Fried food where you sit & eat and talk for hours on end. FUN! Then my niece came about and frying in hot oil wasn't a good thing. So we had what my mom calls party chicken and wild rice. Chicken with dried beef and bacon in a cream sauce. Heavenly. For the last few years we've had prime rib. I've taken to eating mine more on the medium side and it's wonderful! I can't wait to dig into that lucious beef.

Cookies? I have to say that for a few years my mom, sister and I got together and spent a day making cookies. I loved it. I loved that we did this together, it made it feel special. Then one year my Mom decided that it was too much for her and she stopped doing it. Kim and I did it one year and then it fizzled out. So for the last 3 years I set a day or weekend aside and bake. I bake all the cookies that we used to make myself. I just remembered that when we lived at home we used to bake cookies as a family. even my dad got into it. I miss those times.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Journal your Christmas

Day 17: Gift giving

I am so excited! Pete has no idea that I actually met with the parts guy to order parts for his bike! I went into the Harley dealer and met with the parts guy. He helped me pick out a couple of things for his bike and I ordered them. I can't wait to see his face. I think that he thinks he is getting a gift certificate for parts, not the actual parts. It's almost more than I can bare seeing it under the tree and knowing that he will be opening it soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 16: Gratefullness

I'm gratefull for Pete. For the man who loves me no matter what. For the company he gives and the support.
I'm grateful for the family I have. Family is important and I cherish them, good and bad at this time as I remember those who are not here.
I'm grateful for the new friends in the motorcycle club. They've filled in a spot that was lacking in my life and I didn't realize it until I had them.
I'm grateful for my job. The economy isn't good and I know that I have a job to go to each day that supports me.
I'm grateful for my home. That I can afford it.
I'm grateful for me. That I can see the things that I have and recognize them. I need to do that more often to remind myself how lucky I really am.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 15: Visitors & Visiting

Christmas is all about the rush. Always has been. Rush to have our family Christmas. Rush to Grandma's house on Christmas Eve. Rush to other Grandma's on Christmas Day. As a kid I loved it! I got to see the cousins that I rarely see throughout the year. There were presents galore and food. What could be better? As an adult I notice the rushing more. The preping to get where I'm going and enjoying the being there less and less.

That said, I wouldn't change it for the world. It's come to be somewhat of a tradition. And this year Pete and I are trying to add some of our own traditions in there. We want to go to the cemetary on Christmas Eve. It's the first Christmas without both of his parents and it's a hard one. We want to go to Church services on Christmas Eve. A connection to the man who married us.

Because my Grandma Laura died, it will likely be the last year of getting together with that side of the family. While it's one less place to rush to, it makes me sad. I won't sit in her basement watching her open gifts. No talking with cousins and seeing their children. I'll miss it. Really miss it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Journal Your Chirstmas

Day 14: Presents

Giving is better than receiving. Of course as a child, I never thought this was true. As an adult I think I love to see people's faces when they open gifts more than I like opening mine. Although Pete is such a great secret gift giver that it may be exciting this year.

My parents always had Santa give a big gift to Kim and I at Christmas. The other little things were from them. I loved opening my bedroom door on Christmas and seeing what was under the tree. One year it was desks for our bedrooms and we thought we were cool! Another it was cross country skis and as a family we spent many years skiing. Yet another was small tv's for our bedrooms. Do you know that I still have the TV? It's one that you have to tune the channels in, but it works.

One year we knew just about everything that we were getting because we found the presents. However, it wasn't a very fun year. I think that's why presents haven't held much fun for me lately. Either I'm asking for osmething that I get or my Mom is telling me what she is getting me. It's not much fun to open something that you know that you're getting.

Pete has a whole different philosophy on presents. He believes that the giver gives what they want the receiver to have. So I never ask for anything. And I have to say that he is a wonderful listener throughout the year. He surprises me with things that I've asked for months ago. I can't wait to see what is in the boxes under the tree!

Last year was special. Last year on 12/23/07 I opened my present from Pete and found an engagment ring. I must have smiled a mile wide. I was tired from wrapping presents and hadn't showered, but the ring made my night. I remember staring at it and thinking that it was the best gift ever.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 13: Music

As I've previously said, one of my favorite memories of Christmas is the Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin type songs piped into my Grandparentt's basement each Christmas Eve. It was comforting, soft but spirited and lovable. My favorite CD to listen to is Time Life Christmas Memories. I could listen to it over and over again and in fact I do! I buy a new CD each year to add to my collection, but I always come back to this. It brings back such wonderful memories. And I always try to imagine my Grandparents listening to the music when it was new and what they were doing over Christmas at that time. I love nostolgic things, especially at the holidays.

My favorite song is the Little Drummer Boy. I don't know why - but it speaks to me. And my favorite version is the one where Bing Crosby and David Bowie sing. I'm also a sucker for two eras mixing. I wonder what Bing Crosby thought of the 'new star' David Bowie when they recorded it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 12: Christmas Past

Christmas past is a loaded phrase. I think that I associate Christmas past with perfection and I'm always trying to reach that again. Almost as if the past Christmases were my first hits of a drug and I'm always chasing that high again, trying to get the same feeling. It never really comes about. And yet when I look back, Christmases of recent aren't all bad. Just not the same.

Holiday celebrations to me are all about family and familiarity. I think that's why I love the old songs, the old traditions and seek to capture that again. I know that I can't go back to when my Grandpa Jack and Scott were alive, yet I'd love to. Things were good. People were happy, really happy. Now I wonder if the holiday not only brings joy, but sadness to my family as they remember the people that are no longer here.

With Pete I hope to make new traditions that reflect us. That lead to better memories of happy days.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 11: Oh Christmas Tree...

Every year the day after Thanksgiving, we put up our tree. Everyone else was shopping at stores and we would put up the tree. This meant going into the basement and digging it out along with the boxes of ornaments. The tree was always huge. It always had lights a plenty. And various ornaments.

I remember on year there were some new lights on the market. My mom went out and got strings of lights - I think 8 of them! Only they weren't multicolored. So we sat as a family and took all the bulbs out and made our own strings. I'll never forget that. My parent's tree is covered in ornaments that we made as kids and I loved pulling those out each year and rememebering them. There are also ornaments that my mom made when she was first married.

Now I have what Pete calls a Charley Brown tree. It's a slim pine because that's all I have room for. It's not ful, but that's ok with me. It's pre-lit with white lights on it and east to put up. Years ago my grandma Phyllis gave me a bunch of her old Christmas decorations. I treasure them I love them so much. There are old glass balls that are beautiful. There is the santa that Scott made in scouts. There is even a box of materials used to make the felt stockings that my mom made for us. My tree is covered in those glass ornaments. I love the vintage, classic style of them.

I love looking at my tree.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 10: Brown Paper Packages...

I love to wrap presents. Love it. I can remember being maybe 9 or 10 and my aunt and grandma having me wrap birthday presents for them. I love the creativeness that can go into it and yet I can also find a lovely interesting bag and stuf it in there too.

As an adult I'd found an equasion that works for me. I start with a basica wrap. I choose a new one each year. thick, welll made paper. Something that has a small pattern, but isn't Christmas persea. I like paper that is more winter or happy holidays, rather than outright Christmas. Every present gets wrapped in it. Then I vary the decoration. I take different curling ribbons, different boews, different little things and add them to the packages. the tags? Handmade. Something that I see in a crafting magazine or website and have to try out.

This year is the first year that I have all the presents bought and wrapped by 12/8/08. All of them. They're prettily waiting under the tree for Chrstmas. And I can enjoy them the whole holiday season!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 9 - Traditions

It's hard for me to write about traditions right now. My Grandma Laura just passed away a month ago. Her passing is the end to a whole line of traditions. Not only with Christmas, but with other things too. Christmas on my Dad's side of the family has always been big. 6 brothers and sisters and 12 grandchildren and then spouses and great grand kids. As a child we'd dress up on Chrstmas and head out to the farm. There was a small tree in the corner with homemade ornaments on it. The blue 'davenport', also known as a loveseat, was pushed in the coner and the whole 2 front rooms opened up. At that time we got presents from every family. Everyone got something and there were loads of wrapping paper and boxes. The Christmas meal was a sit down meal of ham. The adults at one table and us kids at another. As years progresses and I got older th presents started lessening. Cousins exchanged names and I remember buying small jewelry for Julie and other things one year. More recently it's ended up that we go over to Grandma's house in town and spend an hour or so talking with the family that we see once a year. I don't know where next year will take us, without her.

Christmas at my mom's parents was very different. I remember as a kid, sitting on the stairs to the basement while my Grandma, Mom and Aunt went down to see if Santa came while we were eating. Yes, Santa came to my Grandma's house too. We 4 cousins would sit on the stairs and my Grandpa would keep us company. I miss that. I miss those times that he was tender and engaged with us cousins. My Grandma would come around the corner and take a picture of us and say that she was trying to find something, then yell from the other room that Santa had come! We'd run from the stairs into the other room and tear into the presents waiting under the tree. My uncle Scott always got each of us kids PJ's and slippers. Always. And we'd change into them after presents and out of our Christmas best. I think that my love of Bing Crosby and Sinatra and all those oldie Christmas songs from Grandma & Grandpa's house. They'd play it on the old stereo and have it piped in the basement where we were.

Christmas at was rushed. i think that's what I'll always remember. As a family we'd have Sant come the morning of the 24th or sometimes the 23rd. Santa seemed to come when it worked for us. And as a child I never questioned it. We'd get a large gift from Santa along with smaller ones and presents from each other. Ultimately Kim and I got the same things - just different colors or models. It wasn't until Christmas night or the day after Christmas that we'd get to play with the new toys. After all the running from house to house.

Traditions - both good and bad.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 8 - Do You See What I See?

I see...
white streets and lawns with some snow
lights in trees, on houses, in windows
shoppers rushing around in stores with carts full
cookies and candies on recipe blogs and sites
Pete's presents to me wrapped under the tree
the German advent calendar with chocolate in it
ads for Christmas plays
the movie 4 Chrismtases - very funny
wrapping paper and ribbons
cards arriving in the mail
pictures of people I havent' seen in a while


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 7 - Organization

I'm really proud of myself this year. I took money out of each check for medical expenses with the intent to use that money for Christmas. There was no panic about how to pay for Christmas and it worked out wonderful! So good that I increased the amount to be taken out and plan on doing it again.

Last year I was great on buying gifts for Pete. Things that he had no idea about. Then with his Dad dying and they money he received, he started buying everything he wanted. So this year was harder. There's always Harley parts he keeps telling me. I can't wait to see his eyes when he opens up things that he never would have thought I chose to buy.

So all the presents are almost wrapped and under that tress. For once I am going to enjoy sitting in the livingroom looking at the lighted tree with all the gifts. And I'm not spending the 23rd wrapping presents to be ripped open in less than 24 hours!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 6 - Memories

Why is it that we attach so many memories to holidays? Is it because we spend them with family? I have really good memories of Christmas and some not so good ones.

My favorite memory is a mix of years. They were all so wonderful that they seem to run togheter as one. Sitting downstairs at Grandma Phyllis' house listening to the music and opening gifts. Talking with Jacque, Angie, Jason, Scott... Memories of Grandma having the videotape player going as we opened gifts so that she can relive it. Memories of wonderful food and desserts brought out. My Grandpa making grasshoppers! Even as a kid he would make us virgin grasshoppers. It made us feel so special. I think I treat my memories of Christmas as pre-grandpa/Scott dying and after grandpa/Scott dying. Everything changes after they were gone - good or bad - changed.

We spent the Christmas after Scotts death in Florida. My Grandma couldn't take a Christmas at home with both her husband and her only son gone so we escaped. It never really seemed like we had a Christmas. We were in Disney World and ona cruise and there was really nothing about it that was familiar or comforting. I don't think that I would ever do that as a adult. It was fund to vacation, but Christmas is more about home and famliy to me than vacation.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 5: Counting Down

I don't remember counting down the days to Christmas as a kid. I'm sure that I did, as all kids do. I just don't remember it. If you walk into my livingroom right now, you'll see 2 advent calendars hangining on the bookcase. They're German chocolate calendars bought at Doemiers the last time we were there. We bought one for each niece/nephew and one for each of us. I have fun opening the day on both of our calendars after dinner each night. I don't get that the chocolate piece doesn't match the drawing on the inside, but I'm going with it. *wink*

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 4: Perfect Holiday

Is there such a thing as a perfect holiday? When I think of a perfect holiday I think of holidays past. Although I don't think they were necessarily perfect. Just familiar and comforting.

A perfect holiday for me would include those loved ones who are no longer with us. Not only my loved ones, but Pete's. I would have loved to meet Pete's Mom. To talk with her about Pete and listen to her stories. To get her advice sometimes. A perfect holiday would have my Grandpas and recently deceased Grandma. It would include my uncles and my aunt who are no longer with us. My cousins, who are not really my cousins, but we considered them so.

A perfect holiday would include lucious holiday decorations. Bright reds and greens, wheaths and holly, miseltoe and bells. Lights that flicker and glow to watch while the snow falls outside. The tree decorated with meaninful ornaments and beautifully wrapped gifts. A fire and a feeling of hominess and warmth.

A perfect holiday would include the foods that I remember from my childhood along with the foods that Pete is used to having. A meltingpot of German and American foods. Juicy ham, potatoes, beans & corn, sage rolls and butter. Desserts that include home baked cookies, candies and chocolates.

And yet while I put that all down, I think a perfect holiday would be Pete and I enjoying a suggle and presents with pancakes afterward also.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 3: Coorespondence

Do you know that I've waited for many years to be able to have my own "family" so that I can send photo cards? I mean sending a photo of yourself at Christmas just doesn't seem right. Only now I have Pete to complete my family and we can send photo cards out.

Instead of worrying over whether or not I have the best design for a custom card that I would make, now I worry about the best picture. It's pretty funny.

I love receving cards. As a child I'd open the cards addressed to my parents and hang them on the closet door in the kitchen with tape. Then after the new year, I'd take them down and toss them. Actually I think if you go to my parent's house today, you'd find some photo cards still taped to their door. They've resorted to leaving those up throughout the year. So it's no surprise that I use my closet doors in the dining area to take cards to. I used to have a beautiful ribbon that I'd hang and then paperclip the cards to that. The system doesn't really work for my space now though. Although I have a new bookcase in the livingroom that I could hang cards from. Good idea!

I can't wait to get my first card. To see how everyone has changed in the last year and what people are up to.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jourmal Your Christmas

Day 2: Weather

When I saw this prompt for writing, the first thing that came to mind is the song. You know the one - "Oh the weather outside is frightful..." Then I looked out the window to the brown trees, the dead brownish green grass and bare bushes.

When I was a kid I rememeber the Holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas - being filled with snow. Lots of snow. We'd have to wrap up tight in our Christmas best dresses to get in the car and go to Grandma's house. Then we'd get ice skates or sleds from Santa or family and spend the rest of the day asking to go outside and play in the snow.

I still love the first snow. I'm like a kid in a candy store watching in awe as the flakes tumble to the ground. It makes me giggle out loud. The other night we were Christmas shopping and when we came out of a store, it had started to snow. Little tiny flakes that blew away with the slightest wind.

Christmas now consists of little snow. I'm not sure if it's global warming or just climate changes, but we get less and less snow each year. It makes me sad at times to see how little snow there is at Christmas time.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

I signed up on for the journal your Christmas. I thought it would be a fun thing to do!

Day 1: Manifesto

I declare that as of today I will be writing each day about Christmas. Actually I'll be writing about the season. Why it's special to me, what it consists of and the feelings/emotions that are tied to it. I really want an ongoing legacy of who I am at any given moment. And the Holidays are part of that. So from today until January I'll be taking some time out each day to write about what this time of year means to me. If I have time aftre the first of the year, I may print out some of the entries into a Holiday book to keep with all my decorations.


Where do you go for strength? Is it an inner streangth? Does someone close to you give you strength? Is strength in your faith in God?

I'm struggling with strength. Just when things should be good, there are trials that make me question my strength. I have comfort in God. In knowing that there is someone looking out for me. Someone that I can talk to at any time. Someone that I can pray to. I have strength in Pete. He is my rock. He listens and helps fomulate solutions to my problems. My inner strength? This is where I have problems. I need to believe in myself more.

Grandma passed away 2 weeks ago. She is at last at peace. And while I am sad that she is gone, I'm happy that she is no longer in pain and discomfort. She died at home, surrounded by many family members and her Priest. Just as she wanted. She is with Grandpa and Donny and Janie. She is loved. And I now have one more person to look over me.

Last week Pete was laid off. It scares me, but a little less each day. He will end up getting almost as much unemployment as he would pay when you consider the amout of gas and stuff that he won't be spending. He has a recall date of 2/28/09. Hopefully he will either have another job or be recalled then.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hard Times

I've been having a hard time. Sunday Grandma died. She died peacefully at home surrounded by family and with last rites. I'm sad. I'm going to miss her smile and her voice. I hope I remember her voice. I don't remember or only vaguely remember by Grandpa and Uncle's voices. Or how she walked around - quickly and always with a purpose. Or the twinkle in her eye when she was smiling. She had a twinkle. I don't want to forget it.

One minute I'm in the car and the next I'm crying while driving. It's a strange thing. I think that I'm grieving the loss of her and of the whole family. I don't know that we'll ever get together as a family again. Weddings maybe. Future funerals probably. But never to just get together. It makes me sad. I grew up and have lots of memories of this large family and I'm going to miss it. Memories of being with my cousins at the farm. Memories of Christmases, Thanksgivings, Mother's Days and family parties. Surrounded by many aunts, uncles and cousins. Always something to do and someone to talk to. Listening to the adults talking. I'm going to miss it all. A lot.

They asked me to be a pall bearer. I said yes. I couldn't say no with my Dad looking at me the way that he was. I just couldn't. And I hope I have the strength, mentally and physically to do this.

I miss you already Grandma.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Disappointing Day

I experienced something last night that I've never experienced before. I've encountered it on the internet, but never been the subject of it.

People often times talk about situations that involve people in the abstract. For instance I've seen a group of people on the internet talk about Gay Rights, the idea of it. They have definate ideas about Gay Rights. Ideas that they've come to by reading things and talking to others of like minds. What they don't realize is that on the other end of the computer is a gay person living the life. The actual real life.

Last night people talked about Pete and I like that. They refered to us as the title we have within that group. They talked about us using our title, almost as if we weren't there. Pete and I remained silent. We tried to let it roll it off our backs. We tried to put it in perspective with relation to the meeting we were having. We tried.

In the end we walked out.

It's hard to sit there and be talked about in the abstract and not take what people are saying personally. Really hard. It ends in hurt feelings.

So I'm reminded again that people need to remember that when they talk about ideas in the abstract, they need to remember that there are real humans involved in those ideas. People and their lives.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Name Change!

I finally made it to the licensing place to get my drivers license changed to my married name. It's so close to my birthday that I didn't have to get one now and then another in a few months. New picture though and I was sick and not feeling well when they took it. Oh well, I never look good in DL pictures.

Then I went to the bank and changed my name on my accounts there. I'm going to stop at the other 2 banks today and do the same. Next week I'm going to take an afternoon off and head to the Social Security office. I need to get thant changed before I can change it at work.

I also need to get the utilities changed over and see if I can get the mortgage changed or not. I'm not sure if they'll do that.

It's a lot of work to become a Mrs!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Letting go...

My Grandma is 94. She's an amazing woman. The things tht she has lived through will continue to amaze me for years. She took care of her father and the household after her mother was in a hospital. She lived through hard hard times. Kept up the same house for her husband, my Grandpa. We'd sit in wonder at her ability to make bread without a recipe becuse she'd done it for so long.
She's living a long and hopefully fulfilling life.
But she is back in the hospital. She has what is probably lukemia, but isn't willing to go through the tests to make sure. She's got issues with her organs shutting down. And I think she's just tired.
Which leads me to where I am in all this. When I was in college I spent 1.5 years going to funerals. Loved ones and very good friends. It was a hellish year. No other way to explain it. I sat it wondered who would die next. Then, it stopped. And I really haven't been to the funeral of a loved one or close friend until Pete's Dad died in April. So just thinking about this is hard.
She told my Dad last night that she just wanted to die in her sleep. And to be clear, she was sharp as a tack and said that she wanted to die last night specifically. So while I'd love for her to be around forever, I need to let go so that she can do what is best for her.
So, to Grandma Laura, I love you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The bet.

I think I was about 12 or so and in the car with my Dad. We were discussing the President and the election. Being the idealist that I am, I asked why there was no female President. My Dad explained that the country probably had reservations about a female leader.

We discussed this for quite a while and I think my Dad was trying to let me down gently. Trying to tell me that I could reach whatever heights I wanted. That I shouldn't let anything stop me. But, to remember that outside influences still sometimes prevail over my dreams.

At any rate, we made a bet. It came because my Dad commented that there would be an African American President before there was a woman President. I bet him $100 that there would be a woman President by the time I was 18.

Yes. I know. Idealism at 12. And naive because there was only 2 elections that could occur by then.

Well there was no woman President. And no African American President.

Until last night.

Whether you voted for him or not, be proud of the leaps and bounds that our country has gone through so that this day has come. This day where we still reach for equality for everyone. EVERYONE.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I told my mom that I love her

And while most people would say something along the lines of what's so special about that? It was really out of character.

Pete had oral surgery Monday and my mom and sister have been calling daily to see how he is doing. Really nice of them and I think Pete is loving this. Tuesday night I was on the PC trying to snyc Pete's iPhone, on Costco trying to upload pictures, Pete was trying to get me to listen to the TV and I was talking to my Mom. All at once. Can you say multi-tasking?

Anyway, at the end of the conversation I said "I love you." I think I did it because I'm so very used to saying it to Pete at the end of our conversations. She was startled, but replied in kind and then sat there for a moment. Then asid goodbye and hung up.

As I thought about it I realized that since I met and fell in love with Pete things like I love you and pet names come much easier to me. I wonder why that is. Honestly I called my sister honey one day and she stared at me. It's just that my family doesn't do I love yous or pet names. I can't honestly rememeber my parents telling me that they loved me as a child. I'm sure that they did, I just have no memory of it. I know that as an adult there have been medical issues that caused one of us to express our love, but never just out of the blue. While my Grandma always says I love you and I always say it back.

This is not to say that I don't love my parents. I do. I really do. However, our relationship isn't the kind that expresses love or calls each other little names.

When I told my sister this she remarked that it was sad that we don't do that. I agreed. She said that she hoped her children would feel comfortable saying it. And I told her that it seems to be that if the parent makes the effort to say it to the child as a child and keeps doing it, the child will go with it. Not to say that the child doesn't love the parent & is just repeating words. I think it's something where the child needs to know that it's an "ok" thing in their relationship to say. The child needs to feel comfortable doing it.

And I wonder how it all impacts my relationship with my parents - this not saying I love you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quicky Trip

Us on Catalina Island

The famous Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

NBC Studios where Leno films and Warner Brothers. All in Burbank.

Us in front of the Bonanza characters at the Wax Museam.

Rainbow Bar where we had dinner. It's famous for so many stars frequenting it.

Catalina Island Airport. This was a stop on the bus tour on the island.

Glass bottom boat tour. Pretty at first, but a littel boring by the middle.

Pete loved this boat.

LA in less than 48 hours:
Fly in Friday and arrive about 10:30am.
Get rental car & check into hotel.
Go out to Kathy's daughter's apartment in Burbank. Drive on the 405 & 101 in a convertable. Pass major hollywood studios and photography studios.
Go to downtown Burbank and walk around.
Go to Hollywood and see the Kodak Theater, a couple of museams and walk around.
Have dinner at Rainbow Bar.
Sleep...only briefly.
Wake before dawn to get to the marina for the Catalina Island ferry.
Take ferry and arrive in cool Catalina.
Eat breakfast & walk around.
Take island bus tour.
Take glass bottom boat tour.
Eat mexican on the island.
Return to the apartment.
Go to daughter's birthday party.
Go to hotel & sleep.
Get up...again before dawn...and get to airport to head home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Up and Down

Sometimes life seems like a rollercoaster. There are periods that are flat, and well, nice. Then there are periods that you go up and up and up and just know that there is a downward slope coming up.

The good:
We got our new Sleep Number bed yesterday. It's very comfortable. Once I get used to the warmth that it holds in, I think that I'll love it. For now, I need to get used to the warmth and figure out what my number is.

The good:
I think I have Pete convicnced to switch to ATT for cell and get iphones. Being the techie that he is I knew that he would love them as soon as he picked one up - and he did.

The bad:
Pete's mouth surgery is Monday. He won't get FLMA and is struggling to see if he will get STD. The issue isn't so much that he is disabled, but that he won't have teeth for almost a month. It's a huge blow to someone to walk around with no teeth and I'm guessing that it will cause issues with speech.

The bad:
Pete hates his job. He hates the 2 hour commute each day. He hates his coworker. He doesn't feel like the company is using his full potenital and feels stuck. He wants to quit. That makes me somewhat fearful. Wondering how long it would take him to get another job.

But, the best part in all this? You take the good with the bad. They seem to equal out in the end. The bad makes me appreciate the good all that much more. And I have Pete by my side in it all.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm so not a spur of the moment person

I'm the one who asks all the what ifs.
I'm the one who plans and plans and plans.
I make lists of things that need to be done in order to do something else.

I'm really not a spur of the moment person.

But I booked air and hotel to go to LA with only 10 days notice. A couple from the motorcycle club asked us if we wanted to go out there with them. At first I said no, for all the reasons listed above. Then the more I thought about it, why not? We have the money and really when are we going to get out there again? Neither of us have been there so it should be fun!

We're going to Knotts Berry Farm for sure and then sightseeing or something. All I know is that I did a spur of the moment thing and it feels really good!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


We had the best time last weekend! Honeymooned in Southern MN. Stayed in a wonderful suite and ate dinner at a couple of places. I would not recommend the Anderson House unless you're looking for a comfort food experience. They really don't know how to cook a nice filet. On the other hand we had a wonderful dinner at Vinifera. The place is casually elegant and the foon was wonderful! I had a game hen in a rosemary sauce and it was so good I wanted to lick the plate. They also have a bananas foster that is to die for. It's rich and oh so good. If you're looking for something wonderful to do, check out David Sheridan's Packages for sailing.
It was a great weekend full of time to ourselves and activites that we like doing. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. In fact, I plan to do it each year.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm obesessed with cake.

There. I said it. I love cake.

I don't know why, but I have been on a cake kick for a while. What do you think that says? That I lack some mineral in my body that is contained in cake? Not likely. More like I love moist cake & buttercream.


I resorted to going to the grocery and getting a piece of cake on my lunch. I ate half of it. The other half is patiently waiting for me.

I think once I find that super moist yellow cake with the perfect chocolate buttercreme that I'll once again be satisfied with other desserts.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Are you romantic?

What do you consider romantic?

Pete is a romantic guy. Little things that make me realize how much he listens to what I say and little things that he does. Saturday we were going to a pot luck with some friends. He was up before I was and rolled the motorcycle down the street before starting it so it wouldn't wake me. He came back with it gassed up along with OJ for me, milk for him, donuts and flowers. It was 1 week and 1 day since we were married. What a guy!

Then I made a comment that I'd like one of those small laptops for the kitchen so that I can use it on the counter when I'm cooking. It would save me from having to print or run up and down the stairs for look ups. His first thought? I should just get that for her. It made me smile to know that.

Other romatic things? He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work. Wakes me up a little and kisses me. He leaves me a good morning text each morning and he calls later to wake me up.

Why, you ask, do I think this is romatic? It's not kisses and loving, right? But it's romantic in that he shows his love by doing those little things for me and it melts my heart when he does. I am truely lucky.

Friday, October 03, 2008

New stuff

I have big plans. Wednesday I got to go shopping with the money from the wedding. Lots of cool new things that we wanted, we now have. Only with the wedding, the house is in terrible disarray. So I'm not putting anything out until the room it belongs in is cleaned up and everything is in it's place.

We went looking at beds last night...again. I think that we're going to get the sleep number bed. Which means that we need a new headboard for a king size. I'm both excited and wary of it. Hopefully it will live up to it's expectations.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I'm a Mrs!

Although I haven't had the opportunity to use my new name very much. I need to wait for the certified marriage license to get my drivers license changed. I need to go to the bank and have the accounts changed and utilities and mortgages....yikes!

It was a beautiful day. I wasn't nervous, I had a great time and best yet, I'm married to my best friend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm getting married

In fact I'm getting married this week. I can't wait.

I'm not nervous...yet. But ask my on Friday. And never nervous to get married, but rather that everything will turn out ok.

I'm anxious though. Like I could jump out of my skin anxious. It's really hard to work when I'm like this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good Thoughts for Pete Please!

He just called in tears...

He was in a really bad motorcycle accident at 18 in Germany. It pushed his palate up and the doctors had to break it, put a spacer in and allow it to regrow how it should be.

He's been complaining of sinus infections for the last year. He goes in and gets antibiotics and it clears up, but comes back a few months later.

2 weeks ago he hit his mouth on a cabinet and the tooth immediately got loose & fell out. Then this week he was eating rice crispies and half of his front tooth broke off. Vertically.

He finally got into the dentist today. His palate is collapsing. It's causing pressure on all of his top teeth and the infection he keeps getting slowly leaks into the boney areas that are broken.

He has to have 7 teeth pulled. Then they have to go in and rebreak the palate again, put another spacer in. Then they will make him a partial to replace all the teeth they have to pull (essentially it's all the top, front teeth that you see when you smile).

He called in tears partly because he wasn't ready to hear this. He knew it was coming, but just not now. And partially because the insurance lady at the dentist told him that insurance will only pay for 50% of the whole thing. I told him not to worry, but it only made him cry harder.

I hate hearing him cry and not being able to do anything about it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please remember

I've had this saved in my work PC for 7 years. Each year I open it up, read it and slowly take in the magnitude of how our world changed on that day. Not just that we lost so many lives. Not just that we are at war with what seems to be so many 'invisible' people. But the economy, the way people travel, the lost innocence.

A Chronology of Tuesday's Events
  1. 7:55 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 leaves Boston bound for Los Angeles
  2. 8:00 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 departs Newark bound for San Francisco
  3. 8:10 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 departs Washington bound for Los Angeles
  4. 8:15 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 departs Boston bound for Los Angeles
  5. 8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 strikes the north tower of the World Trade Center
  6. 8:55 a.m. According to wire reports, President Bush, who is in Sarasota, Fla., is informed of the attacks
  7. 9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 strikes the south tower of the World Trade Center
  8. 9:15 a.m. President Bush makes statement condemning terrorist attack
  9. 9:25 a.m. FAA shuts down all New York City area airports
  10. 9:35 a.m. All bridges and tunnels in the Manhattan area closed
  11. 9:40 a.m. FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports
  12. 9:55 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 hits Pentagon
  13. 10:05 a.m. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses
  14. 10:05 a.m. President Bush leaves Sarasota; White House evacuated
  15. 10:15 a.m. A portion of the Pentagon collapses
  16. 10:24 a.m. The FAA reports all inbound transatlantic aircraft are being diverted to Canada
  17. 10:25 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh
  18. 10:27 a.m. The World Trade Center's north tower collapses
  19. 10.46 a.m. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cuts short his trip to Latin America to return to the
    United States
  20. 10:53 a.m. New York's primary elections scheduled for today are postponed
  21. 10:55 a.m. Financial Markets closed in New York
  22. 11:02 a.m. New York Mayor Rudy W. Giuliani urges citizens to stay at home or work and orders an
    evacuation of the area south of Canal Street
  23. 11:15 a.m. U.N. headquarters in New York is fully evacuated
  24. 12:04 p.m. Los Angeles International Airport, the destination of three of the hijacked American Airlines
    flights, is evacuated
  25. 12:25 p.m. San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut down
  26. 1:04 p.m. President Bush speaks from Barksdale Airforce Base in Louisiana
  27. 1:45 p.m. Pentagon announces that warships and aircraft carriers will take up positions in the New
    York and Washington areas
  28. 8:30 p.m. President Bush addresses nation from White House

I'll admit that day was hard for me. I was living with my Grandma, however, she was on a trip to Europe while this happened and I was alone. I really didn't have anyone to process what was in my head and it stayed there. For quite some time. I slept on the couch with the doors locked and the windows covered. I had the TV on all the time. I didn't want to see it over and over but I couldn't bear the thought that I was missing out on something. I had lots of sleepless nights. Nights where I begged for sleep to come.

In the time since then I have changed. But then agian, who hasn't? Whether or not you were emotionally effected, your life has changed. We need to rememeber this day, the people that lost their lives and that our world isn't all roses.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My freebie

I was late to work today. Which is like most days lately. I could sleep forever in the mornings.

Anyway, on my way to work and I passed a truck going about 39 in the 50 mph zone on a 2 lane road. When I got done passing the truck I guess I just decided to continue on at that speed. I guess it's my new driving style...habit? I've been driving Pete's car all summer and it has a radar detector in it. That thing not only beeps at police cars with radar, it beeps at Walgreens stores, Circuit City stores, and some other local places. The point is that I've gotten used to the thing.

Only this morning I was in my suv. No radar detector in there. So as soon as I got to the top of the hill, I saw the police car coming at me with lights flashing. I immediately knew that the flashing lights were for me. So at the next little street I pulled off, rolled down the window and waited for him. All the while muttering under my breath about how stupid I was.

When he walked up he asked for my license and insurance. I reached over and got the license out and pulled out the insurance information and handed it over to him. As I was doing that I notified him that I have a permit to carry a firearm, but that there was no weapons in the vehicle or on me. As I was doing that he noticed my work information and asked about it. I told him what I did and he consdered it for a minute.

He handed me back my license and insurnace information and said that he would just verbally warn me this time. However, I needed to be mindful of my speed. I apologized and thanked him.

As I pulled away, I realized that this was the first time that I had been pulled over for speeding. And that it was my freebie so I needed to take adavantage of it and mind my speed.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'm crazy, right?

It's t minus 17 days to the wedding. Still lots to be done. Little things though - like making signs, making these little circle DIY things for the aisle, making a menu of the meats so people know what they are... Little things.

And what am I doing this weekend? Going camping from Friday morning to Sunday night.

Crazy, right? Actually I am looking forward to it. It's relaxing and it's the last campout of the season. It's fallish weather (but I'm convinced it will be a bit warmer for the wedding in a few weeks) and sleeping in the cool air is so nice.

Monday, September 08, 2008

He can't come

I feel badly for Pete. His best friend, the one that he talks to about anything and everything, can't come to the wedding. He'd been trying to find a way to get here from Texas, but it doesn't look like he'll be able to come. I know that Pete really wanted him here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I am going to marry a wonderful man

Last night Pete decided at 8pm that he had to go to the store. HAD to. Said that he needed to return things and wanted to look for something for the car. So he left and I went upstairs to do laundry and read. And hour later I called him because it had been so long. He said that he was on his way home.

He got home and came upstairs and I asked him what took him so long. He said that he was just wondering around. I kept thinking, "How weird."

This morning, as always, he kissed me goodbye before he left. Then called me to wake me up later on his drive. We talked and hung up and I got ready for work. I came down and got my lunch ready and put dinner in the crockpot and found a vase of roses and a wonderful card. The card described how our life together will be, in his eyes.

I cried. Then I called him and left him a message thanking him for it all.

I hung up and got my work back to pack my lunch and there was another card telling me that he is going to marry his best friend and a candy bar.

I cried again.

I cried because I have found that man who loves me unconditionally. Who cares for me. Who makes me feel like a million bucks every day.

Want to know how I know this? We were in Ikea looking for things for the wedding. One of them was a vase and I made a flip remark about still waiting for flowers from him. Well he did it. 3 days later. And beautifully at that.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Please, don't yell at me.

I usually don't talk about my job here. And I'm not going to get into speicifics. However, today has been rough. I'm answering incoming calls from clients and others. It seems to be the day to take it all out on me. So with that said, please know the following:
  • I'm limited in the scope of what I can do to help you. I wish I could do more, but I can't.
  • The information I can provide to you is limited. This time by law. Believe me, if I could, I'd give you everything you want because part of my job is to help.
  • I don't know it all. I work with what I have and the access to the information that I have.
  • I am here to help. Whether you want to believe it or not, I do care.
  • I'm human too. Yelling, screaming and calling me names isn't pleasant and it doesn't get you past the limitations of the first 3 things.

I'm glad it's Friday, this has been a long week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is for Shimmy

I had several things written here. To support you, to let you know that I care. None of them seemed anything close to what you need. So I give you this:

Someone remembers,
someone cares;
Your name is whispered in someone’s prayers.
~Author Unknown

You are in my prayers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pete is in love

with southern MN. We went to Houston, MN this weekend for camping. It was beautiful down there. He says that it reminds him of the landscape in Germany. There were hills and valleys that were gorgeous! This first picture is of the rivervalley near Winona. We went on a morning run to breakfast and stopped several places to take pictures.

The second picture is of the falls by Pickwick, MN. The Pickwick Mill was a beautiful stone building that we stopped at. The mill produced flour for many many years and has been renovated so that it works again. The following picture is of the huge wheel in the mill. It was beautiful.

Then at the campout we participated in the games. Pete did really well with the riding the board game. Almost won. We did a game where Pete drove and I had to put clothespins on a string. It was funny and I got 4 on my first try!

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. The next campout isn't for several weeks, but I'm looking forward to it!
As far as Grandma, thank you for your prayers. She is home and on medications. She is upset because she can't have salt and says that food tastes awful. But she is home and doing well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grandma Update

*big sigh*

They tested her heart yesterday and there is an issue with one of the valves. It's causing her heart chamber & lungs to retain more fluid. They could go in and fix it surgically. However she's 93. Most likely not a good surgical candidate. So they are working hard to figure out a medication regimen that will help her body get rid of the fluid and let her breathe easier.

And if that wasn't enough, when they were testing her heart they found that she most likely has Chronic Lukemia. I say most likey because in order to diagnose, they'd have to go in and get a bone marrow sample. Pretty invasive for a 93 year old. The thing is that it's totally curable with chemo. But again, she is 93 and doesn't know if she wants to go through all of that.

So the social worker told her and one of my aunts that they needed to have a family meeting this weekend with her and all her children. She needed to make her medical wishes known to everyone and come up with a living will. It's the beginning of the end for her.

I guess my Dad is having a hard time with it. And rightly so. I think when someone in your life is sick, you think about all the would haves, should haves and could haves. You wish you could have done things differently. You wonder what your relationship would have been like. But my Dad is kind of a stoic guy who doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve and keeps his emotions close. It doesn't help that it's the busy time of year for him with school getting ready to start and with all that comes from one of your children about to get married.

At any rate, please think of the family. I hope that the living will process is an easy one, as easy as it can be. I hope that they can get her medications regulated so she can come home, where she is most comfortable. I hope that she still has many days left in this world.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Prayers Please

See the little white haired woman to the right? That's Laura, my Grandma.

She is 93. Amazing woman. She took over caring for her father after her mother was institutionalized when she was still a preteen in the 1920's. She married then she and my Grandpa Ray took over her father's farm. She raised 7 children and tended to the house and a huge garden. Later in life she took a job for the local school district and worked for serveral years of her life. She's seen lots of good times and her share of bad.

Why am I telling you all this?

All summer long she's been telling me how excited she is that I'm getting married. How excited she is to be at the wedding. Only she ends that statement each time with "If I'm still around for it." The first time I giggled at her and told her that she was too stubborn not to be there. But the more she said it, the more it became something of her foreshadowing. It gave me that feeling. You know the one where you get that ickyness in your stomache and you get the shivers?

My Mom just called. Grandma is being admitted to the hospital how through the ER. She went in because she couldn't breathe. They found that her lungs are filling up with fluid. She's had this issue before and even had congestive heart failure after her open heart surgery because of it.

So, if you could, please pray for her. I realize that she has lived this long amazing life and if it's her time to leave this world, it's her time. Selfishly, I really want her at my wedding.

One Word

I 'stole' this from Nesa's Blog to the right:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your significant other? Pete
3. Your hair? dark
4. Your skin? oily
5. Your mother? better
6. Your favorite thing? love
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your favorite drink? pepper
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you're in? office
11. An ex-boyfriend? unmemorable
12. Your fear? unloved
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. What you're not? thin
15. Muffins? yummy
16. One of your wish list items? peace
17. Where did you grow up? suburbs
18. The last thing you did? review
19. What are you wearing? comfortable
20. Your TV? none
21. Your pets? fish
22. Your computer? new
23. Your life? hectic
24. Your mood? hopeful
25. Missing someone? always
26. Your car? red
27. Favorite store? spa
28. Your summer? quick
29. Like someone? smile!
30. Your favorite color? watermelon
31. Last time you laughed? morning
32. Last time you cried? days

It's not always easy to come up with one word. However, it makes you think about how you descibe your life and what's in it. It also makes me realize that sometimes less is more.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I thought I had it all figured out

I love to read. I remember being in 4th grade and getting a gift certificate (this was way before gift cards!) for a local book store. I went in and bought as many books as I could. When other kids were talking while waiting for the bus, I was often times reading. I remember staying up late on weekends reading the teen novels and 'disappearing' into them for hours on end. Then I discovered the library. Amazing wonderful place. I could go and check out books without having to pay for them.

In college my reading took a hiatus. I was reading way too many college textbooks and having way too much party fun to read. After college I picked it right back up again. In fact I used to order books online and have them delivered to vacation spots where I'd be going so that I didn't have to pack them. I'd leave for vacation and take a book a day to read and sometimes that wasn't enough.

Since Pete my reading has again slowed down to almost nothing. It's not that I don't still enjoy it, it's that I don't find the same need to lose myself in a book. It's also that we are so much on the go that I don't have time to read.

Over the weekend we were camping with the biker group and one of them had a book. It made me wonder if I could read while passenger on the back of the bike? Sure enough there was someone in the group who did that. She suggested that I find small books and use clips for the pages. So I bought a Readers Digest at one of the first gas stops.

Couple of things I learned:
1. It's really windy. So windy sometimes that even holding the pages with clips probably isn't going to work.
2. You bounce. And your arm bouncing isn't necessarily in tune with your head bouncing so it tires out your eyes a lot.
3. You miss the scenery. I mean part of riding a bike is seeing things from a vantage point that you wouldn't see while in a vehicle.

So books on the bike are back on the shelf. For now, I'll enjoy hugging Pete and watching the world go by.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Long post

Well not really long. But longer than usual.

What's new you ask? Well wedding stuff is still dominating me. And in turn dominates my life. Which in turn dominates my relationship with Pete. I seem to struggle at times to make sure that the relationship part of this whole wedding hoolpa is taken care of. Afterall, it's the reason for the wedding hoopla.

And now something that isn't wedding related.

Wait, I don't know if there is anything that isn't wedding related at this point.

You catch the drift, right?

At any rate, I want to make sure that Pete knows how much I love him. How much I want to be with him forever and hoe important he is to me. So I keep telling him that. All of it.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I'm feeling overwhelmed right now. I'm a trainer for new software at work that is rolling out in the next 30 days. I'm trying to get ahead of my work so that I can take time off for the wedding. We have several campout weekends prior to the wedding with the Dry Riders. I'm trying to get the house in great shape and purge things as we registered for gifts that need to be put in the house. I'm wanting to have time with Pete that is our time still. And all the little things with the wedding.

I'm overwhelemed.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The zoo, the kids and invitations

...don't mix.

We kept Alison and Grant overnight Saturday so Kim and Dave could go away for their anniversary. I call them my borrowed kids. Grant is talking like mad since he got his ear tubes. He says goodbye to everything. Seriously. The ketchup at the restaurant, the water in the otter tank at the zoo...everything. Alison isn't the best listener, but she is learning. I love those kids.

Only, I'm not used to having them. Alison has question after question and Grant seems to think I'm a human jungle gym. And he calls my name constantly. It was an experience.

While having them I tried to get the invitations done for the wedding. The two don't mix, but I was determined. And I did it. Only I needed a nap afterwards. LOL

Friday, August 01, 2008


Do you ever have flashbacks to things that happened in your past? Flashbacks that provide the same smells, sights & sounds along with all the emotions? I had one this morning on the way to work.

When I was in my third year of college I came home from class one day to find my Dad in my apartment. I smiled at him and asked him what he was doing there. I kept thinking that he was there to surprise me with lunch or something. He was incredibly sweet my first year of college and sent me cards almost every week along with flowers occasionally. I kept asking him what he was doing and he finally told me to sit down. It's the sentence that no one wants to hear. Ever.

I sat down in the livingroom on the brown, cream and peach flowered couch. The carpet was that brown shaggy stuff that hides everything and I can clearly see to this day my Dad standing by the counter in front of the door. I can see the expression on his face as he looked at me. I can smell the carpet freshner that we used all the time - cinnamon/apple. I can see the bare cream walls and feel the sun on my back.

And I can clearly hear him tell me that my uncle Scott had died. I can feel the shock. I can taste the tears on my lips. I can feel my heart race and feel the overwhelming sadness. I remember my mind racing asking how outwardly and why inside.

I don't know what prompted this flashback today. Maybe it was something I saw while waiting at the stoplight. Maybe it's the werid dreams I was having last night. Maybe it's the upcoming wedding. I don't know. I do know that I often times wonder if he was happy. If he would have come to the bar with me on my 21st and had a beer. If he would have liked Pete. If he would have found love. I hope that his spirit flows around me. I hope that he is there with Pete and I when we marry. I know that I miss him.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day One

On a whim I got on the scale yesterday. It sucked. I gained 10 pounds of what I had lost over the winter. To make matters worse, yesterday was my first alterations appointment. And it's not that my dress doesn't fit - far from it. Actually she has to take in the sides about 2 inches. It's that I feel better when I weigh less. I've been tired and have no energy lately too.

So today is day one of walking/running. I got up at 5 and walked for 25 minutes. Boy did it suck! But I did it and I'll keep increasing my time and amount of running each day. My goal is to do it every weekday before work.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ever get that feeling that you know something will happen?

Last night Pete and I were on the bike on backroads home. We were going the posted speed limit - 45 - on a road that leads up to a little lake. All the sudden this blue 4 door car passes us like we were standing still. To add to it, we were in a no passing zone. There was a car about 1000 yards ahead of us that he also passed in a no passing zone.

I said, "If he continues like that he'll never make it around the lake." The lake road as s curves that follow the shoreline of the lake. As we got to a hill about 1000 yards from the lake we see the car pass yet anothe car like it's standing still and in another no passing zone right before the lake.

About a minute later we round a curve in the lake and there is the car. It had gone around a bend that curved away from the lake too fast and when he took the next bend he headed to the lake fast. He had to overcorrect to avoid going off the bank into the lake. When he did he crashed headfirst into a tree on the opoosite side. He hit so hard that the engine was partially in the passenger compartment. His airbag went off. And it took a huge chunk out of the tree and swong the car 180 degrees so the back end was opposite of the direction he was going.

We got there only seconds afterwards and he was out of the car. Only he was calling his friend to tell him that he got in an accident. A motorist had stopped & just connected with 911. I gave the location and they send squads out. The driver couldn't have been more than 17/18. He said he was ok and continued talking to his friend. Then he called his mom.

I told Pete that I didn't want to get the kid in trouble, but that we needed to stay to talk to the police and let them know how fast he was going. That this wasn't just an accident that couldn't be avoided. When the police got there he tried to tell them that there was an oncoming car. Only we never saw an oncoming car go our way so it would have had to turn into one of the houses as there are no roads. We let the police know that he was going way to fast & passing illegally. They took Pete's name and number.

You know, that kid has an angel on his shoulders. The car is totalled. He had to have been going about 40-45 with the force of the crash and the skid marks. He is indded lucky that he survived.

It was weird and made me shake. Almost like I knew that it was going to happen and then it did.

Monday, July 28, 2008


When we go places on the bike I see the back of Pete's head. I can lean around either side of his head a little to see some of what is in front of us, but I can't see it all. Because I sit over the back wheel I feel every little bump. Sometimes the bumps are so small that I hardly feel them. Others, it feels like my spine was compressed and I lost about 5 inches of height. Pete's really good about alerting me to most bumps by yelling "BUMP!" right before he hits it.

Friday night we ran some errands and went to dinner. On the way home we decided to check out the movies. We ended up seeing Journey to the Center of the Earth. It's a little far fetched in the storyline, but very funny. Brendan Fraiser's character keeps telling the others what is coming during the eciting scenes and it reminded me of Pete telling me that there was a bump coming up.

We left the theater a little after 11pm and decided to take back roads home, rather than the freeway. It was such a beautful night. I spent a lot of it with my head tilted back looking at the stars. There are things you experience on the back of a motorcycle that you will never experience anywhere else.

About halfway home, and as I was staring up, I hear Pete yell "WET!" which means that the road ahead is wet and I'm probably going to get a little wet as we ride through. No problem, I check by looking around his head and then go back to staring up at the sky. Then I hear this little voice ahead of me say "oh no." Softly. So I peer back around his head and yell, "THAT'S NOT WET! THAT'S A FARM SPRINKLER!!!" The farmer had it set too close to the road. So I ducked my head and we rode through one of those huge farm sprinklers.

It was as if we were in our own little movie. Our own little action adventure.

Friday, July 25, 2008


No camping this weekend. It's the first weekend this month that we haven't packed up on Thursday or Friday and left to camp. And while I love to camp and love being with Pete, I'm somewhat glad. I feel like I need to get more done for the wedding. So, this weekend is the weekend of getting things done.

Our future weekends look like this:
Next weekend we baby sit my niece/nephew overnight Saturday.
The following weekend is my shower on Saturday.
The following weekend is a campout near the Iowa border.
The following wekend is a campout in Rochester.
The following weekend is free. (more wedding things & Labor Day weekend)
The following weekend is free.
The following wekend is fall campout.
The following weekend is pre-wedding. The weekend to get everything done that isn't already done.
The following weekend we get married.
The following weekend is a pot luck.

From then on, who knows. Point is that we have a lot to do in the next couple of months and it's going to be stressful and busy. I need to remember to chill out. To enjoy the moment instead of worrying about the future.

I had a weird dream last night. I dreamt that the Dry Riders kicked me out because I wasn't in revocery. I tried to explain that I could relate and wouldn't do anything to disrespect people's program, but it was no use. Pete got to stay though. I think it's because we're inviting the DR to the wedding, but serving alcohol also. I want/need to make sure that there is coffee available for them. Sheesh, the things that pop up!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Everything in moderation

I had a melt down last night. I know that I'm stressed out. I know it. I also know that I spend a lot of time trying to make sure that I have things done right and done by me. In all my years I have never learned to be a good delegator. Pete and I got into a silly argument and I cried. I don't know if he saw me cry or not, because I try to hide it. But I cried. In Cabela's. *sigh*

I know that everything will get done and we will have a wonderful wedding. In the process though there are a lot of things, little details, to worry about. I need to worry less and try to enjoy the process more.

So I made a list and I need to stick to it. Literally.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

16 Hours

I slept for the better past of 16 hours yesterday and Tuesday night. Then I was up for about 5 hours and slept last night for 8. I think all the running around, planning in my head, work and normal everyday life has caught up to me. Now I realize why couples have honeymoons. Before I thought it was just an excuse to get away and go someplace cool. Now I realize it's for the bride to recover from all the planning and hoopla leading up to the date. Too bad we're not planning one for right afterwards.

We went camping last weekend. Left Thursday night and didn't come home until Sunday afternoon. It wasn't very nice out - lots of high winds, rain and overall cool weather. The little tent camper held up through it all and except for a little spot on the sheet one night we were dry the whole time. I ended up not feeling well on Saturday and even took a little nap in the morning and one in the afternoon. And lets just say that the camper is broken in. *wink*

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the wedding planning, but I'm still having problems asking for help. I've always been an "I can do it all by myself" kind of person so why should this be any different. Sooner or later I'm going to need some help though. Hopfully not much, but I will need help.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ideas long gone

I know, just know that I had a great idea in my head last night for a blog post. I mean I can remember thinking "Wow that would be cool!" Then I fell asleep and naturally it's gone.

Pete and I are headed out tomorrow for another camping weekend with the Dry Riders. I'm excited to spend a weekend away and actually relax.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

I cannot be responsible for the happiness of others.

I must make my choices in pursuit of happiness for myself. Others can be happy for me, understand the choice I made or just be unappy about it all.

It took me 30 some odd years to get this concept. I keep wondering where the idea came from that I needed to please everyone else? I know that I've always sought positive affirmations from others and one sure way to get that is to make them happy. I know that my Mom made me let my sister tag along as a child with the idea that we'd be close and good friends so I was always thinking about whether or not it was something she could do also. I know that my Mom and I didn't have such a good relationship and for a long time I thought it was all my fault that the relationship wasn't good, when in reality is was both our faults. I know that I got tired of being shot down/being told no by my parents so I quit asking unless I knew that it was a good/yes answer.

Are any of those things that lead to the caretaking that I've done for years? The caretaking with family, friends and co-workers. Are any or all of those things that lead me to believe that I must strive to make others happy at the cost of my own happiness?

I don't know.

When I do know is that I am not responsible for the happiness of others. Simple statement. Yes and no. I do feel some responsibility to Pete's happiness as my partner. However, with that said, I also know that he would never ever make me do something for him that made me unbearly happy. That doesn't mean that I won't sit through a tv program that he liks and I hate. It does mean if he asked me to rob a bank with him, I'd feel no remorse for saying no. I also know that he would never ask me to do that.

My hard fought realization was confirmed with the meetings we had with the pastor during our counseling for pre-marriage. When I told him that I was a caretaker and that I only recently realized that I wasn't responsibile for the happiness of others, he said "Good." Coming from a man who does all kind of counseling, that was a wonderful affirmation to my realization.

Yet I needed to remind myself of it today in a conversation that I had with my sister about my mom. And I need to remind myself of it again when I think that I should have a friend be our wedding day coordinator even though I'm not sure that she can do the job. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I can't be responsible for her happiness, only mine.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

One of those days...

Man today was just one of those days. The kind that make you want to scream, eat chocolate and have a glass of wine while you relax.

1. I'm only trying to help, so calling me names and hanging up on me isn't going to help you.

2. I DO NOT get the answer tones on cell phones. The songs are usually ones about "bitches and ho's", about killing or hurting people or screaming at the top of their lungs. It's great that you want to hear it, but how often do you call your own phone & wait for yourself to answer? I certainly don't want to listen to it.

3. I'm getting forgetful. I thought I lost a whole bunch of money from my purse today. Really it was left on the kitchen table.

4. I'm waiting on mamogram results after the doctor office called me several times about getting past results for comparrison. Freaks me out.

5. I'm spreading myself too thin and I don't know how to rein it in without missing out.

6. I need to make a decision about the wedding and help and I'm afraid of hurting someone.

Just one of those days...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Who knew?

Who knew that we'd be so old that we'd never make it through 2 let alone 3 of the movies at the drive in? We get there early and pick o good spot. Then we wait and hang out and chat. Then the first movie starts and we both watch it. Good movie and funny. The second movie starts and Pete falls asleep. He sleeps unitl the end of the second movie where I then wake him up and we drive home. Even with leaving early we didn't get to bed until 4am.

Who knew that riding in the car, in the rain would take so much out of a person? We got up at 8 Saturday (after about 4 hours of sleep) to meet some friends. We then got in their SUV and spent 3 hours driving to the sourthern part of the state to meet up with the group who was camping there. Whew. I was at the fire for about 1.5 hours and told Pete I needed to nap. I promptly fell asleep for 1 hour in the SUV. Woke up and it was time to to go. *sigh* Back in the SUV for a 3 hour drive home. Although we did stop for a lovely dinner on the way home.

Who knew you could be our age and sleep most of a Sunday? We were up early, but fell back asleep until 10 am or so. Ate a little, watched a little tv and were back asleep by 11:30 only to sleep again until 2. Up and I went grocery shopping (drepressing how much food actually costs) and we ate dinner. Went for a short ride and in bed by *gasp* 9pm where we watched TV until 11. Asleep again.

Who knew?

Friday, June 27, 2008

My keeper

There are little things that Pete says that make me giggle and remind me just how connected we are. As we were picking things out for the registry at Target I was choosing plasticware. I mean that's what people choose. Be it Tupperware or the store brand or whatever, they choose storage for the kitchen.

So I put on a box of plasticware and some other containers.

Pete pipes up with a "What are you doing?" I explain that we need storageware.

He laughs and says "I'm your keeper I know what will happen to those. You may as well just take them off. You take containers to work and never bring them home. Remember I'm your keeper and I do the dishes and see the amount of plasticware disappear."

It made me giggle. For he is right that I tend to not bring home the containers. But these will be wedding presents so I will bring them home (or at least that is my plan.)

LOL My keeper.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Stress can do funny things to a person.

Lately I've been having trouble falling asleep again. I lay down and my incomnia kicks in making it really hard to fall asleep. I lay awake listing the things that I need to get done for the wedding and all the plans that we have together this summer for other things. Eventually I fall alseep, but I don't think I'm sleeping deeply.

I had a bad stress headache yesterday. It went right up the back of my neck into my head and around to my jaw. I eneded up staying home and resting in bed trying to get rid of it. I think I need to try fitting in some running or exercising again to relieve the stress.

I'm also getting rapid heartbeats. I know that it's anxiety as I've had them before. It only lasts a couple of seconds and I remind myself to breath and relax.

Stress sucks.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"You ain't got class..."

"...until you've been burned with brass." by Pete.

So I shot the .500 yesterday. It's huge and fast and all you see is red flash. But I hit the target both times at 20 feet out. Then I got a .380 shell down my shirt. I was trying to rapid fire my carry gun to figure out why it jams for me. So I had a little conversation in my head about whether to stop shooting to get the brass out or not. The brass won and I have a .380 sized blister on my chest.

Friday night we went to dinner at the place that is catering the wedding for us. We got a ridiculously low price on a heavy appetizer meal. It's seriously half of what the ordiginal caterer wanted for heavy appetizers. Half. I was pretty excited.

Saturday we went to Alison's 6th birthday. What a cutie. Then off to a wedding outside at someone's house. It was pretty and they are so in love. Interesting to see what other people do for weddings and this was so very different from what ours is planned to be.

Sunday we got up at the crack of dawn. Ok, maybe not the crack, but early for a weekend. We got on the bike and rode to Mankato thinking that we'd hang out with the group and then ride back. Only we never got to the campground because they were on their way home. So we had breakfast with them and rode home. It was windy & not a fun ride. From Friday to Sunday we were on the bike for about 12 hours.

Last night we looked and called around for motorcycle campers. We're going to look at one this week. I'm excited to camp again.

You ain't got class...

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Guy

Have I told you lately how great my guy is? There are times when I'm on the back of the motorcycle going down the road that I hug him and whisper how much I love him. I wonder at the ability of two people to find love and keep love and be in love. Not just be. He is my world and I can't imagine it without him.

Back to his greatness. He bought me a beautiful engagement ring. I love the thought that he put into it and all the questions and information that he gathered from me without me knowing. I love it. We went this week to see about custom making a ban or bands to go with it for the wedding. It's not that I needed more jewelry. It's that I wanted something to signify that I wasn't just an engaged person I was a married person. Does that make sense?

When we got to the shop I expressed how much I love the ring I had and how the gallery was important to me. The woman there showed how you can have a ring made to slip in the underneath of the center of my ring. Such that it doesn't show on the side of the gallery, but adds diamons and another small band to the shank of the ring.

That was it. Really IT. She wrote it up and sent it off for an eztimate. And I waited. When the store called they called with an estimate for one side of the band only. We had asked about both sides so they called for another estimate. It wasn't double, but a little over half as much as the inital estimate. My heart sank a little. Then I felt guilty. I was being way to demanding and greedy. Greedy.

So I called Pete and told him about the estimate and he asked me what I wanted. I told him that he felt guilt for asking for both sides, but he told me to order it. To make me happy.

Have I told you lately how much I love him. How wonderful he is to me?

I love him.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just call me Crash

Friday night I crashed. Sleep crashed. I was trying to watch a movie with Pete and ended up falling asleep. Abotu 8:30 Saturday morning his phone rang. It was Scott asking if we wanted to go to a turkey feed for another motorcycle club. Of course we did. So Pete hauled out to Hutchinson to pick up his new gun and I started in on sewing the patches on the vests.

Sewing. I'm ok with sewing, but this is leather. I take out my machine & start to thread the bobbin only to realize that the machine hasn't been used in so long that the needle sticks in the down position. So I take out the machine that Pete got from his sister. Again, something is wrong and I can't figure it out. So I start hand sewing. On leather. With needles and thread and a pliers. Damn that hurts! In fact I cut myself with the scissors, I jabbed myself several times with the stick pins holding the patches. And worst of all - I used my left thumb to place where the needle came up so much that even 2 days later I can't use the thumb and the bed of the nail is bluish...

Pete gets home and we start packing the bags to leave. I go in his trunk to get my jean jacket and the lid falls and its me in the forehead. Man that hurts. I still have a sore spot there 2 days later.

We get to the feed and as we are prospects we have to do silly things that the members tell us. Remember this game as a kid? The one where you spin on the stick and then run to a line? Well just like this prospect we had to do it. See that pipe and cement to the right in the photo? Yep, you guessed it. I headed right at it, bounced off with my hip and fell to my knee on the cement. Damn that sucker HURTS!
Anyway, by the end of the day I told Pete that I wasn't going to do anything else other than sit around for fear of doing myself in. Today, two days later, my body is sore, my head hurts and my thumb is throbbing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I had a scare

We have been running a lot lately. I say this as it's important. It's also importantl to realize that everyone has patterns that they follow as a guide to everyday life.

Anyway, we have been running a lot. We get home from work and leave again. Whether it's on the bike or in the car depends on the weather. But we head to stores to run errands, to Pete's sister about the house/estate, to pastor meetings, to the Harley dealer. We run.

Yesterday we got home and left again. This time to the Harley Owners Group meeting. Dinner at a restaurant. We got there and it was a lot going on. I was a little uncomfortable as I am with any group until I figure out my place. We had dinner, listend to the meeting and signed up for some rides.

Afterwards we rode home in the rain. And I loved my first drizzly rainy ride. We cleaned up the accumulated junk in the garage and I headed upstairs. I went to wash clothes & noted that we need laundry soap. So I took off my jewlery, took out my contacts and got ready for bed. During that time, Pete was upset about his broken bluetooth earpiece and asking me to do things for him.

We got settled in bed and talked. This is the best part of the day when we connect over silly to serious stuff, just the two of us. In the middle of the discussion I told him to get up. He didn't and I told him to get up again. He asked why and I told him my ring was gone.

We got up and tore apart the bedroom and I started crying. I kept thinking about where I would have lost it and how I should have gotten it sized smaller with the weight I lost. Then I was upset that I could lose it without even knowing it. Pete told me to calm down and we'd figure it out. After about 20 minutes of looking and me crying, Pete told me not to worry about it. But I did.

In the midst of this he was telling me to walk through my night. Then it came to me. I looked in my jewlery box and there it was with all the rest of my jewelry. I have never been so relieved. Pete asked me what I'd do if we didn't find it and I told him I'd be really sad. he told me we could just get another one and I told him that it would never be there same. That this is the one he gave me and I never want to lose it.