I want to share the incredible moments that I have experienced over the last several days, but I am simply too exhausted.

At the moment, DH and Murray are napping, and my dad and I are reading the paper. I have a lot to think about, so before my next post I will work on my thoughts and attempt to convey then coherently. Until then, be peaceful.

My Plate is Full (and My Cup Runneth Over)

I woke up this morning in excruciating pain. My lower back was screaming at me as if I had personally offended it. I made it to my office, and promptly went down the hall to the chiropractor (thank goodness we share a building). Turns out my pelvis is out of whack (probably due to moving and lifting things by myself last night) which in turn causes muscle spasms and much pain. I will need a 2 more visits, and then he said we should have it cleared up. But, until Tuesday, he expects I will be hurting.

So, no big deal really. There are worse things. The timing is rotten, as this weekend is going to be a zoo. My dad is arriving at our home tonight. Tomorrow, Grandpa and Grandma will join us in Fargo for a small celebration in honor of our mom. Some of her colleagues put together a motorcycle rally for those who have passed during their time with ND BCI. Unbelievably, considering the type of work they do, there have only been four who have died since 1916, the first. The last three who expired during their tenure have all taken place in the last three years. Anyway, after the ceremony, Maggie, myself, and my dad will hop on a plane to Denver to visit Flynn and Pat. One of our cousins will meet us in Denver as well. This will be the highlight of my weekend. I am very excited to see Flynn.

When I land on Sunday, I will run home and get ready for the sad (part II) of the weekend. The prayer service for Evelyn (Craig's grandmother) is on Sunday evening with the funeral to take place on Monday morning. It will be difficult, to say the least.

My point of all of this is not to whine. In fact, I'm loving every minute of this crazy life. What amazes me is how so much can happen in an instant, or an hour, or a year. It's just as I said yesterday: we appreciate the good and find what good we can in the bad. I'm going to do just that. At least for today. One step at a time. . .

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I was just sorting through photos to find some of Evelyn and Murray together. I suddenly found myself cruising down memory lane. First, to November 3, 2007 - the day our lives changed forever (the loss of our beloved mom). Then, just 11 days later, November 14, 2007 when our little Murray entered the world and we transformed ourselves again. Oh, how those days were some of the most painful and the most joyous times all at once. It was and still is, a tumultuous time for us, but really, isn't that what living life is all about? Taking the good and appreciating it; taking the bad and finding the good. At least for today, that's what I will do.

Sad News

We had what I would call a rough-and-tumble -topsy-turvey - upside - down week.

Craig and I and Murray were swing-set shopping early Saturday morning when we received one of those phone calls that you dread getting: Craig's grandemother had suffered a massive stroke and had been taken via ambulance to Meritcare. Unsure of the prognosis, we left for the hospital. Sadly, Evelyn passed away late that morning. She was quite the lady and will be greatly missed by many.

It was very difficult to be cheerful on Sunday. We went out for lunch but our celebration of Father's Day was half-hearted. We were still in a state of shock and grieving as well. I ended up with an enormous headache so we took a long, much-needed family nap after our outing. It was early to bed for all of us, despite the snooze.

I still have a headache, although now it's more like a dull, nagging pain. This is day three and frankly, I'm quite tired of it. I did finally make it to work today, but not until almost 10:30. It's wearing me down!

I leave for Denver on Friday to finally see Flynn after her accident. She was supposed to have the halo cast removed last week, but the doctors decided that it must stay on for another month or so. This was very disappointing news, but we are still very excited to spend some time with her and learn about her "bubble", as she calls Craig Hospital.

I am off to visit the twins. More soon.

What The?

Lately it seems that I don't have very many readers; which is fine, because writing is my therapy and my passion. I'm okay if there isn't interest in the comings and goings that are my life. But today I logged on and to my great excitement I had a new comment! I was thrilled until I read it. You can find it under my last post (Miscellaneous). If you read the comment, you'll understand the title of today's post.

Murray and I and some friends went to Midwest Kid's Fest today. We entered the teddy bear parade and although both Pooh Bear and Blue were missing, I found a cheap elephant for him to hold in his wagon. It was a fun day, although hot. Murray loved the goats, the puppet show and his hot dog. Other than that, he didn't have a great time. Oh, he did have fun with the the pre-k games that my co-worker's church set up. BRILLIANT!

I'm off to wake Murray up from a brief nap. I'm taking him to the twins house with me. I may be crazy, but I'm looking forward to it. I'll let you know how it goes. . .

Miscellaneous Things

Do you ever wonder why things happen? I was thinking today about all of the things in life (and not just my life) and began to question. Some things are simple, others are a bit more complex.

Yesterday we received a phone call that several members of ND BCI are having a motorcycle rally for their fallen agents. They plan to leave headquarters and visit the families (there are 3 as of late) of those deceased. We are all honored, to say the least. I will not disclose the location or time, because we need some privacy during this tribute to my mom and her late colleagues. We are touched; thrilled that our mom, daughter, sister, and friend will be recognized.

On another note: the "terrible twos" have hit hard and fast, and early. At 19 mos., Murray has learned to test our patience. We're still learning that when we say no; we have to follow through, no matter what. For example, after our morning routine (the last chore is feeding and watering the dogs outside) Mr. Terrible decided that it was time to play. Normally when I tell him to get in the car he does without protest. Today was a completely different story. He plopped himself in the grass and screamed his pretty big (yes, I meant to use the word big) head off. Craig and I do not put up with tantrums. We either ignore it, or deal with it using our philosophy of discipline. Anyway, once I had him in the car seat, he slapped me several times. After 3 firm no's and holding his arms down, and stating, "we don't hit", he got a swat on the behind. He cried for about 2 seconds, realized that he was in the wrong and then gave me a kiss.

I will be interested to hear comments on this post. I know that there are many good parents who do not believe in spanking. We don't make a habit of it and most importantly, (Rox - how is my punctuation? ) We don't threaten. Either do it or don't, is our rule. We give 2 choices - from eating to playing; playing to being generally pissed off, etc. One of my favorites that always works is this: "Murray, we are going to change your diaper". Murray: "No no no no". At this point, I will tell him that he can walk to the changing table, or I will help him walk. Works about 90% of the time. Toddlers love to be independent.

I'm off to bed, We have Midwest Kid's Fest tomorrow and I'm so excited. We are going to begin the day with the Teddy Bear Parade. Pooh Bear (puh - bear!) is the honorary guest.

God bless and thanks for reading . . .

A 20-Something Birthday Party

When asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, my answer was, go to the lake, of course. So we did. When asked what I wanted as a gift, my answer was, a visit from Merry Maids, of course. So that's what I received. Call me lazy, but I am thrilled to have someone come to our home while I am away and do the deep cleaning that I've been avoiding (or just too busy, tired out and unmotivated to accomplish). The everyday chores I can handle if I can start with a fresh home. Maintenance is easy - I struggle when it gets out of hand. It will be such a treat! No doubt Craig was tired of the mess too, which is probably why he agreed.

Other fantastic gifts included the latest Keri Noble CD (one of my fav's), a whole kit on Baby Sign Language, and a gift certificate for a pedicure. I've gotten off track here. It's not about the gifts, (although all were incredibly thoughtful). The point was that I was spoiled rotten and I loved every minute. The weather was fantastic and my family made me feel so loved. I'm truly blessed.

Here is a video of the new "captain" of Grandpa and Grandma's boat. He only crashed us a few times. . .

A Tribute to Nature (especially the loons)

There is a time of night when nature settles. There's dusk: the birds are quietly visiting amongst themselves, the traffic quiets, babies sleep, and peace reigns. The lake is perfectly, magically still. The only sounds are the gentle lap of the lake on the shore and the insistent call of the loons - beckoning their mates and babies to settle in for a few hours.

Then, just as I think that I have accomplished the release of stress, the incredible feeling of contentedness, I reach the perfection of peace. In the midst of darkness, there is a small window when everyone, even the loons, have a bit of rest. When I wake at dawn, the loons are calling, again, the lake looks like glass, and the doves are cooing. I relish in the mournful cries of the loons and doves. They sound sad, but in truth, they are joyful creatures. For they have another day to be.


I've been absent lately, not by choice, but just the same. It seems as though we're hurtling towards winter and we're only 10 days into June. Maybe it's the weather. It's awfully depressing to "skip" summer. So I've decided to post one of my favorite lake pictures (it's blurry). The beauty of this particular shot is that to me, it demonstrates absolute serenity. It was a cold, cloudy evening last weekend, but it was also so peaceful. Whether we find serenity outdoors in the sun, or curled up on the couch with a good book during a rain shower; serenity is vital to living a happy life.

Craig plays softball one night a week. We haven't been able to attend a game because either the weather was terrible or they played in the 9pm and 10pm slots. This Monday was the first time this season that everything worked in our favor. Murray had a chance to run the bases and throw the ball with friends Grant and Dylan.

Murray is going to start at a new daycare on Monday. I'm very sad to leave the Enrichment Center - he's learned so much and absolutely loves it - but we've been waiting for this spot at a particular home daycare to open up since I was five weeks pregnant. Our new child care provider is excellent (to say the least). Murray's cousin of the same age attends there, so it will be fun to have them together every day. The other good thing about the switch is that our new provider lives very close to the home of the twins, whom I take care of in the afternoons. The twins' parents said that Murray can accompany me any time. Once I get the hang of the twins' schedules, I will feel more comfortable having him there to "help".

Speaking of children, we are having so much fun with Murray. This age is hysterical. His little brain is like a sponge; he's constantly learning new things. This morning, for instance, we were getting dressed and he began to roll his wrists. I assumed he was doing patty cake, but when I tried to do it with him, he shook his head at me. Puzzled as to where he was going with this, I tried "The Wheels on The Bus". I was shocked that he knew the actions to the five verses that I could remember. Part of this, I think, has to do with my aunt Sue, who has been singing this to him since he was tiny. When I asked daycare today about the song, they confirmed that some days, the toddlers will sing the song over and over and over. . .

Enjoy the sunny day. I pray that you take some time today and find "serendipity".

The One (?) and Only Cheerios

I'm going to let these video clips do my writing today. . . enjoy! Don't forget to turn the sound on.

Oh How Time Flies

After re-reading my last post and doing some serious soul-searching this weekend, I'm feeling at peace once again. It's just a job - five hours a day, and we do have a great camaraderie around here. We all have our cranky days; it's not worth stewing about.

What a beautiful weekend! I ignored the housework again and we concentrated on the yard. It needs a lot of work, especially before we put it back on the market. Our front steps are crumbling, so we need to tear them out and re-do the sidewalk. We're also going to put brick around the base of the house in the front to add curb appeal. In addition, we will install an egress window downstairs so we can list the house as a three bedroom. The most exciting improvement though, is the addition of central air. I am so excited. We have 3 window units and every year Craig and I end up in an argument putting them in because they are too heavy for me and I get frustrated (similar to purchasing and putting up the Christmas tree). Hopefully these improvements will help the sale of the house.

We took Murray to the doctor yesterday, and sure enough, he does have hand, foot, & mouth disease. It's not treated by medication, so we just have to let it run it's course. He's been pretty clingy and super tired. We're hoping it will clear up in a few days.

We have a busy week again this week. Vet appts., softball, Dr. appts., and finally to the lake on Friday. I feel like the days are flying by. I have only just begun my summer hours, and I already know how much I will miss my three day weekends after Labor Day.

It's almost time for me to go play with the twins, one of my favorite parts of the day. I can't wait until Murray is better so that he can join me!