Monthly Archives: April 2009

Officially Old

I consider myself a pretty self-aware individual.  I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses.  I am compassionate and generous.  I like to think I’m kind of  funny. Others might disagree, but that’s probably because they have no sense of humor. 🙂  I am also a somewhat messy person and I am just a tiny bit vain.   I am very proud of the fact that at 38 years old I don’t color my hair because I don’t have to.  I have no gray hair.  I love it when people are shocked that I have a 14 year old daughter.

I have no intention of aging gracefully.  I plan on fighting it every step of the way.  Am I making it harder on myself?  Probably, but I’m OK with that.

Today I went to get my eye exam.   After he had me read something near my face (rather than on the far wall) I jokingly said “Is it time for bifocals?”  Imagine my shock when he didn’t laugh along with me and instead started his response with “Well….”

That’s never a good sign.

“…….we have a couple of options.”

Options for what????  I’m 38.  Barely 38.  I’m basically still 37, right?

“You could definitely use some correction for reading.  Probably the easiest thing to do would be to get some reading glasses.”

You’re kidding right.  This isn’t funny.  Bruce is almost 43 and doesn’t need reading glasses.  I have no gray hair, how can I need reading glasses?

If I’m completely honest I have noticed myself holding things just a wee bit further away when I’m reading.  But I figured my prescription just needed to be tweaked.  I didn’t think I was……

old.

I shudder just saying it.

But after the initial shock wore off I managed to see the humor in it.  I envision myself with the skinny little glasses resting on the end of my nose and peeking over the top to look at things in the distance.  Maybe I’ll get myself once of those fancy-schmancy beaded chains and wear them around my neck so I don’t lose them.

But for today I just picked up a pair from Target and we’ll see how it goes.

And for the record, I had gotten so used to this:

that I forgot it was supposed to look like this:

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My Very Special Day

Happy birthday to me!  It’s my Very Special Day and that means that everyone in this family has to do what I want with a smile on their face.  It is hands down the best day of the year.

This morning I got Starbucks and a cinnamon roll.  I took a nap and  then Bruce and I went on a walk together.  I got a new lens for my birthday so I made Kayla go out and let me get some practice with it.  It was pretty windy so we didn’t get much, but it was fun anyway.  Later tonight Bruce and are going to watch Fireproof.  I like birthdays.  They’re the best.

I’m not entirely happy with the sharpness of this lens so far.  I will give it a little more practice before I send it back for a different copy.   Maybe there is a learning curve or perhaps I’m just used to my 50/1.4.  This is not my normal processing and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I tried to go for the desaturated, grungy look but I think I have some work to do. 🙂 I got a little lazy and didn’t erase back the texture on these very well.  If I decide to print them I will go back and do that.  It was just a little too much work for my Very Special Day.

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Grandpa Jack

My heart is heavy tonight.

Earlier this evening I got a call from my dad to let me know that my Grandpa Jack is not doing well.  At my age I know that I am very lucky to have grandparents that are still alive but it does not diminish the pain I feel during his demise.

I have always felt an inexplicable bond with my paternal grandparents.  It is not the normal bond grandchildren feel toward their grandparents.  It is something special, something unique.  I could never put my finger on it.

Maybe some history will help you understand….

My parents had a turbulent marriage.  They wed at a young age and fought hard to make their marriage work.  I have no doubt that they were in love, but circumstance and immaturity took their toll and they divorced when I was 12 years old.

When I was a young adult I found out that my mom and I had lived with her sister and her family for a time while my parents were separated.  It was an “a-ha” moment for me.  I had memories and a bond with this family that were not logical, but knowing that we had lived in their home was the final piece of the puzzle.

A few years ago this uncle died.  My dad came to the funeral and we were talking about the time in which I had lived with my aunt’s family.  My grandparents came up in the conversation and my dad said “You know you lived with them, too, right?”

My heart stopped.

I literally got goosebumps.

No, I didn’t know that.

My parents tried hard to make their marriage work.  At times it became too much and they would ask my grandparents to take me while they worked on their relationship.  My grandparents took me in and cared for me as if I was their own.  More than once.  More than twice.  I was theirs and they were mine.  Do I remember these times?  Not at all.  But I knew there was something there that drew me to them my entire life.  They were always mine.

They have an amazing story.  They married 6 weeks after they met.  My grandpa was in the army and fought in WWII and Korea.  He wanted to fight in Vietnam but his age prohibited him from doing so.  He selflessly served his country because it was the right thing to do.  He was awarded the Medal of Honor during his service to his country.  He went behind enemy lines by himself  to rescue a fellow soldier who was left behind.   The most incredible part of that story is that he never once spoke of it.  Even my grandmother didn’t know why he was awarded the Medal of Honor until they went to a reunion of his division a few years ago and she heard the story from a fellow soldier.   He went on to become Superintendent of a school district in Minnesota.

My grandma is an extraordinarily intelligent woman.  She was part of designing the United States’ first jet airplane.   She is an amazing woman full of spunk, brains, and courage.  She raised three incredible children while following her husband around the world.  Words cannot describe the admiration I have for her.  Being the wife of a soldier is not easy.  The pay is not good but her children never fully realized the struggles of a military family because she ensured they always felt like they had enough.

They have lived through (in no particular order):  The Great Depression, WWII, The Korean War, Vietnam, recessions, booms, Democrats, Republicans, The New Deal, The City on the Hill, Watergate, Whitewater, The Cold War,  Desert Storm, Yes We Can,  Monica Lewinsky, JFK’s assassination….I know I am missing many things…

I am incredibly lucky to have been born into this family.   I have learned courage, gratitude, perseverance, logic, sacrifice, and grace.

A few old photos I dug up of my grandpa:

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult but inevitable time….

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Easter Eggs

We finally got around to coloring Easter eggs this year, but Kayla is not feeling well so she pooped out after a couple of eggs and Noah just got bored with it.  Since I had boiled 3 dozen eggs I sat there and colored them myself.

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Braces and Bathrooms

Sometimes I feel like my kids don’t know how lucky they have it.

When Kayla was 10 we finished the basement.  In the process she scored not only a bedroom away from the rest of us but also her own bathroom.  A bathroom all to herself.  A bathroom in which she can take as long as she wants to get ready….and take up as much space as she wants…and not worry about bumping elbows with someone else….

Now that I think about it, I have never had a bathroom to myself.  I shared it with my sister, my dormmates, my roommates, my husband.  Does she appreciate this luxury?  Probably not.  She’s a teenager.  She doesn’t appreciate much…it comes with the territory.

Rarely do I venture into her private haven but when I do I always get a little surprise.

She’s in a big self portrait phase which borders on an obsession.  Maybe I should be proud that she is taking an interest in photography?

And every girl needs to be properly manicured:

Considering this is what I saw on my last visit, I was pleasantly surprised.

As a side note, who doesn’t remember how exciting “Deband Day” was?!?!

Before:


After:

She had better wear her retainer….



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