Monday, July 18, 2011

When She Grows Up...

Everyday Abby learns something new and everyday she makes me laugh.  One of the things that I love to do is just watch her play.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting a sneak peak into her future and seeing the start of a life long passion.

For example, she LOVES shoes.  She insists on wearing new shoes out of the store.  Her love of shoes recently went a step further when I saw her doing this:

I asked her what she was doing and she told me that those were her shoes!  There she goes designing her own shoes already!  Perhaps she'll be a fashion designer!

Then theres her love of singing and dancing.  I mean take a look at this face... is she a future rock star or what?

Then theres her natural artistic ability.  The concentration.  The use of colors.  Totally a budding artist!

Or maybe tattoo artist?

I can't forget the drama.  She literally stood in front of oven one day, staring at her reflection and practicing her sad face.  She has even learned to cry on demand!  Maybe she'll be an actress or a model?

The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's Hard to Believe 2 Years Have Gone By

Here we are at the 2 year mark.  Two years since my Mom has been here.  It's hard to believe.  There are so many times I still want to call her.  Sometimes whether I told her something or whether she was somewhere is fuzzy... I can picture her talking to me about something but then realize it would be impossible.  She was just always there, always available to chat so sometimes my mind plays tricks on me.

It's crazy to think of all the things that she wasn't here for.  The little things. Abby's first words and steps.  The funny things she does.  The gossip from family get togethers.  Then there's the big things.  A new baby.  A new home.  Family tensions.

She's been missed, by so many.  The longer she's gone, the more I learn, the more I admire her.  The pain is still just as raw but it surfaces a little less now.  I'm sure it will always be there.  I try not to focus on the sadness because I know I need to move forward.

I read this the other day in Mitch Albom's book "Have a Little Faith" and I thought I would share.  It follows a story as told by Rabbi Albert Lewis during one of his sermons.

"My friends, if we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business.  Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight.  We will never wallow in the agony of 'I could have, I should have.' We can sleep in a storm.  And when it's time, our good byes will be complete."

There is no greater lesson we can learn and losing my Mom so young has taught me this lesson well.  Do what's right, treat people right and keep your regrets to a minimum.  Make sure the ones you love know it and try hard to bite your tongue when you're angry.  When I think back to how I treated my Mom, I think I was pretty good to her.  However, there are some things that I wish I wouldn't have said or done.  I was young, stressed, tired.... so many excuses.  But those moments are ones I can't get back.  I try to remind myself daily to not make the same mistake but it's sometimes hard.  All a person can do is try.

Mom, I miss you every day and I am forever grateful that our last words to one another were "I love you."  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrating with a BBQ, Fireworks, and Reptiles?!?

The 4th of July always meant big family parties when I was a kid.  There would be family, food, and laughs and a strong sense of patriotism.  Over the years the party has gotten smaller as family has moved away, including myself.  With Dan's schedule as crazy as it is (he's working midnights right now) and family 4 hours away or more, we typically celebrate some holidays much smaller than my childhood memories.  Small is not always a bad thing because we're flexible enough to pick and choose what we want to do and yesterday proved to be a crazy sort of day filled with surprises.

My sister and I took Abby to a bouncy house first thing in the morning.  She had an absolute blast!  She's one of the toughest kids I've ever met and held her own with the older kids.  I held my breathe half the time and after 45 minutes my nerves were just shot!  We left, she cried hysterically, and went for lunch where they gave her all the necessary accessories to become a pirate!  Awesome!

After a much needed nap (not for me unfortunately), we sang some patriotic songs.  I discovered 2 things:  one, I have forgotten most of what I learned as a child and two, there is a serious shortage of upbeat patriotic songs.

When I finally woke Dan up Dan finally woke up, we went outside to BBQ and have some fun in the sprinkler before getting ready for fireworks.

This is where it gets a little crazy.  We drove all the way to the fireworks and paid $5 to park our car.  We walked from our car to the actual fireworks location which took about 40 minutes since Abby refuses to use a stroller (and hasn't for at least 6 months now).  At which point, Dan looks at me and says there is no way we're getting back to the car and getting home in time for him to be a work.  So, after a million "What do you want to do?  I don't know... What do you want to do?", we walked back to the car and made our way out of the busy lot to find a location further away but less crowded to see fireworks.

The only way to get Abby to go faster than the first walk was to promise her ice cream so we stopped at McDonald's on our way.  As we walk out of our car we see this:

and this:

Apparently the owner of these animals rescues them and does kids parties.  I'm still confused as to why he was outside McD's but it was interesting to say the least.  Abby, as always, was fearless and enjoyed eating her ice cream cone surrounded by Boa Constrictors!

We then left McD's and could not decide where the best place to park was.  We also couldn't figure out where to look.  We also couldn't figure out what time it would actually start.  Finally, we decided to drive over the bridge and back.  As luck would have it, traffic on the bridge closed on our way back as soon as the fireworks started so we got to see the show from what I think was the best spot!  Abby's face was priceless!

I hope you and your family had an fun filled holiday!  


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