My Friend Zoe

Craig travels quite a bit for work.  It didn't take long to learn that it's much cheaper to rent a car than it is to drive our ancient gas-hog Durango around the state of Minnesota.  So, once or twice a month, he rents a car from Enterprise.  It's a great way to test drive all models of cars, and they're usually brand new.  He's gotten to know the rental agent, Zoe, pretty well over the years.

So this morning, he informed me that he had a reservation at Enterprise for 10:00 a.m., and that I should be ready to take him to pick up the car.  Craig is very prompt, so I was surpised when 10:15 rolled around and he wasn't home.  I called his cell and his office, no answer.  10:30 - still no Craig.  I was starting to get worried that we'd lose our reservation, so I called Enterprise to explain the situation.

Me:  Hi, Zoe, this is Marie Beckerleg, Craig's wife?  We were supposed to pick up our car at 10:00,  but I can't find my husband, and frankly, I'm a little worried about him.  Can we still pick it up when I track him down?

Zoe:  Oh, don't worry, Marie.  He called me this morning and said that he had a meeting at 9:30, and wanted to push back the reservation to 11:00.  He's just fine.

Me (laughing sheepishly):  Well, at least you know where he's at.  I guess he forgot about informing his wife of the time change.  I've been waiting for almost an hour.

Zoe (laughing): Glad I could help.  Would you like me to relay any messages when he comes in?

Me:  Yes, please sit him down and explain about communicating with his wife, and not just our rental agent.

Zoe:  You bet I will; I have the same problem with my husband.  Have a good trip!

She gave us this nice Camry:

And some tips on communication as well.

Raise the Flag For Jesus

Murray singing:  "Raise the flag for Jesus, raise the flag for Jesus.  Yayayayaya!  I yuv you, Jesus.  Bwess us our Yourd (Lord) for these the gifts and bounty through Christ your Yourd, name of FatherSonHoweeSpeertAmen."

This, while running around in the back yard yielding his bike flag, screaming about Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 

I can't complain.  The following conversation ensued:

Murray:  "Mom, did Jesus come down to see us?"

Me:  "Yes, Murray, he sure did.  God sent his only son to save us from our sins; the things that we do that aren't good, and to make us happy."

Murray:  "I know, Mama, Jesus was very hurt, the bad guys were mean, but then God made him better and He come back to us.  God is the best."

Apparently, Catholic school education is paying off.


When I was in kindergarten, birthdays were a big deal.  But if you had a summer birthday, it meant that you didn't get to wear the birthday crown, be the line leader, or bring special treats from home to share.  Thankfully, I had a pretty awesome teacher, who celebrated our "half" birthdays, for those of us turning another year older when school wasn't in session.  My big day came on January 13th that year, and  I remember being over-the-top excited. My mom made her special homemade blueberry muffins, and I proudly led my class to snack time, and then passed out the coveted treats.

Just as I was sitting down, I leaned over and threw up.  Everywhere.  And then I cried.

My mom picked me up, dried my tears, took me home, and snuggled me into the special sick bed that she always made for us.

I can still feel the disappointment.

Fast forward 20 odd years.  At Murray's school, the kids rotate snack days, so the "summer birthday syndrome" isn't a problem.  Even so, when Murray learned that yesterday was his turn to be the snack guy, he was overcome.  He literally skipped to school, unpacked his "pack pack" (back pack), and smiled proudly when he handed over the pudding cups we had purchased (sadly, due to risk of illness, the days of homemade treats are over.  Everything must be store bought and sealed).

It sounds silly, but to an almost five year old, it was huge. And because I remembered how excited I was at his age, I could completely relate.  Thankfully, he didn't throw up.

Later in the day, during free time, he chose to play dress up (his teacher set up a Shutterfly account; I love that she's documenting the kids' days so parents can see what they're doing). 
I think he should go on a calendar as the cutest fireman ever

When he got home, all he could talk about was how much the kids loved snack that day.  I grinned, feeling his excitement and pride.  Things like this might be small to us big people, but to the little people, it's huge.

Welcome to my first ever "back to school" post.  I'm sure there are a million other mommy blogs covering the topic today, but since it's our first of many school years to come, humor me, please.

I feel like summer just started, but sadly, it's "officially" over.  Some highlights of one of the best summers we've ever had:

When we're at the lake (my Grandparents' beautiful home), from sun up until sun down, fishing is Murray's favorite past time.
 Coming in at close second though, is swimming and hot tubbing.

Even Rudy gets in on the action.

So, it was with a few tears yesterday, that we left the lake and prepared for Murray's first year of school.  It's silly, I know, but I've never been good at change.  And, though I'm often made fun of for being over-emotional, I can't help but feel a bit sad. 

 Our first ever back to school picture, on the sidewalk in front of our home.
 And of course, we had to take one at school. Sorry about the glare - I was too nervous to get a different angle.
Standing by his backpack (or pack pack, as he calls it) and his very own hook.

I tried to get a picture of him sitting at his desk, but I couldn't see through my happy/sad tears and pushed delete by accident.  Oops.

It's a bittersweet time in our lives.  Big changes, but good changes.  Yes, there were tears when Craig and I dropped him off this morning (not only mine, but Murray's, too), but we know without a doubt that we left him in good hands.  I'm excited for him, I really am. Our love for this boy is so deep, so profound, so miraculous.

I can't wait until 2:45 today to hear all about his very first day at "schoo-uh."