Monday, March 14, 2011

Love, Loss and other Life Lessons

its been a hard few months.

my sister, my baby sister, had two days of such incredible loss that it stopped me in my tracks. i am a person with words. words on paper, words in life......little word bubbles pop up over me in my sleep. but words here, failed me. not once, but twice.

and its so unthinkable, and tragic, and undeserved. because the person who deserves more happiness than anyone should is a person whose walked a million miles through deserts of struggle and tragedy to get there. and the oasis that she found, was the love of her life, who she knew would be her every heart's desire since they were 11.

and i can't figure out what to say.

those tiny hands and feet and smiles and promises you put into their hearts the moment you know they are inside you, there's still time for more of those. don't say your goodbyes just yet.

good days are ahead.

way ahead.

but they aren't today.

waking up to the words, "your grandfather has just passed away".

its a little unsettling.

he sat in bed at 2 am, as i sat in bed at 2 am.

he couldn't sleep. i couldn't sleep.

he stared at the wall, wondering and wishing.

i stared out the window, wondering and wishing.

he asked for a snack: pickled fish. as he ate, his nurse brought him some juice. finishing the glass, he asked for another. she left the room to get it, and came back to him...gone.

he'd drifted off, asleep, and then into eternity.

he was probably smiling, because his snack was so enjoyable, as compared to the hospital food. he was probably wondering if his son would bring him some more on monday night. he was probably thinking of his wife, who would have loved to share a dish with him too.

and then he thought, "why don't i go tell her all about it".

and he left.

when you think that two weeks ago you put your other grandmother to rest, watching her husband grieve over the loss of a love that lasted lifetimes. true love, first love, forever love. and you count yourself lucky to have been witness to that love: 5 daughters, 18 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

and when you think of a man, whose last evening was spent with his son, my dad, joking and laughing. and the last thing he wanted before entering heaven's gates is to eat some pickled fish, it makes you smile.

and when you think of that woman who lies awake at night next to the man of her dreams, wondering if she'll ever hold their own little baby in her arms, you send a million prayers and wishes to God, knowing that they will soon come true.

but today,

just today,

you wonder when it will get easier again.

here's to loving, and losing, and never taking a single day for granted again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Great Grabbie monday

want to enter to win some fabulous etsy bucks at a beautiful shop?

yeah, me too!

So go to this blog, and follow the directions, and you could win one of these fabulous signs, or a great custom made order of your own!

love this

and this

and REALLY love the one at the top! i actually have it in a necklace. words to live by!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


i used to believe in new year's resolutions, keeping them, quitting them, and trying over and over again to start and finish them.

before i married an eyeore like nate.

he doesn't believe in resolutions, on january 1st or any other day. "its just one more thing you're going to quit" he says.

oh bother.

and he's kinda made me stop believing in them too.

he says, "if you want to change, change! don't make a list, and don't wait until this huge day with all this pressure to be different...or better....or worse...or whatever."

so a few days late, because of my baby boy's birthday (who isn't such a baby anymore, now that he's 9...."the same age as Anakin Skywalker in episode one"-what a momentous year for him) a few non-resolutions, just things about me that will change. things i love, and things i would love to love more.

hmmmm, where to start.

i think, for me, i'll need to stop sighing, and growling, and doing the big "mom" noises i do when i am irritated. my kids do them, and they sound awful. i set that example for them, so i need to undo it.

i need to forgive faster, and more often. and remember that other people deserve the same grace that my husband, heavenly father, parents and sisters, and children grant me every day.

i need to hug more. i don't hug. at all. only nate. i need to hug my kids more, because i was a kid who hated being hugged, but now i wish i would have gotten more of them. they need it, and some days, i need it too.

i need to use self control. around oreos, and diet coke, and things with frosting.

i need to unplug. unplug from the tv, unplug from work, and unplug from my constant dialog in my head. and start connecting in the moment.

i need to reach out to friends more. ones i've let slip through the cracks. i've celebrated my own weddings and babies and big days and moments, and now my friends are getting to do those things too, only i'm telling myself i'm too busy to pick up the phone. or a pen. they need to know that i'll cheer on their successes the way they did mine.

i need to have a friendship with my mom and dad. they don't need to parent me, and i need to learn how to listen.

one more, and then i'm done.

i need to spend more time listening to my heart, and what makes me happy. i'm driven by the elves of "time lost, wasted, things not done, people not happy, to-do lists looming" that chatter in my ear all day long. i need to do the things that make me happy, even if its not always convenient. i need to put myself on my "to-do" list, right at the top.

so there's a start.

i'll keep you posted.

for now, celebrate today, and every day, like its the first step of something great.

here's a secret:

it is!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

hmmmmmmm, it seems like a good sign

say goodbye to the old
and in with the new

while :gasp!: furniture shopping last night with an all-too chipper hubby, we realized that it has been 7 years since we moved out of our first "drowning in debt" Lombardy house. Seven years! beckett was 2, and we bought a roll-off dumpster, and threw away most of our lives because
1. it was trashed, and wasn't worth anything
2. we were beginning to be a little hoarder-ish, so most of it was just stuff
3. we didn't know where we were moving to, so we didn't think we had room for all that crap.

so with our four kids, one van, one car, a billion boxes of stuff, one queen sized bed and nightstand and armoire, and one FABOOSH green chair, and $1500 in our pocket to show for our loss of a house, we were off. we bought double bunk beds, a new couch, a free kitchen table and chairs (thanks to my dad!) and moved into the saddest place ever: low income housing.

but we didn't see it that way.

because to us, after selling our house in a short sale 2 weeks before the sheriff's sale, with shame in our hearts and kids to hang on to, we got the one thing we truly needed:

a fresh perspective, and a brand new start.

and it did start there. nate set up our (tiny) bedroom with a computer desk, and introduced me to quicken, and showed me how to budget, and balance a checkbook, and have money left over every month. it wasn't a lot, but it was the first step. and as each creditor got their fair share (oh discover card, we still hate you!) and the phone calls became less and less, we got a sense of what normal must feel like.

normal must feel like happiness, when you realize your pay check isn't gone the minute you get it.

normal must feel like wisdom, when you realize you just don't purchase the item you're craving, rather than take on extra jobs to cover your bounced check fees from all your impulse purchases. (true story!)

normal must feel like a breath of fresh air, as you breathe in sanity every night, knowing you'll sleep. instead of staring at the wall while you feel your world crumble around you. you lay there, making yourself stay in bed, because you know if one foot hits the floor, the other one will follow and you'll run out on this life forever.

we still made mistakes. lots of them. and we still get a little spendy, but we have a good balance now, and the perspective to see where we can get to.

so fast forward 7 years. the kids are at home, and we are at ashley furniture buying a new bed frame. even though every part of me wants a new mattress and bedding and to redecorate everything, i'm thankful for the new bed nate is buying me. i loooooooove it. and when we sign the papers and walk out the door, i say to nate "this is one of three things we have left from our life in lombardy. our bed, our armoire, and our faboosh green chair". and we are speechless for a minute, because that seems like a lifetime ago.

and usually, i have trouble letting go. i don't like change, at all. anyone who knows me knows how paralyzed i get by change.

but this bed, and the journey that took me to my barbie dream house, and all those sleepless nights i spent in it, i'm just a little happy to let go.

goodbye, old bed. hello, new life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

two birthdays down, two to go

well my baby boy parker turns 12 today. and my daughter (and favorite oldest child) madison turned 14 on sunday.


its amazing how everything people told you about life passing you by so quickly will catch up with you while you are making pickle wraps in the kitchen, and your husband stands baffled while you cry. rolling those pickles in cream cheese, you look into the living room at your four children rocking out to weezer, dancing like they hadn't fought all morning long, but like they were the best friends you always wanted your kids to be. and how 5 minutes earlier, your husband came up behind you and snuggled your neck and kissed you, and told you how much he loved you. (like the movies, seriously, it was. it gave me goose bumps). fast forward to the center island 5 minutes later, tears rolling down your cheeks, and all you can do is smile through them.

i think about the mom i was when i was 19. the day i had madison, how overwhelmed i was, because in truth, i knew i wasn't ready to be a mom. all the visitors left me flustered, and all i could do was feel uncomfortable in my own skin, because i didn't recognize this little monkey that someone had legally entrusted me with. but i knew i had lots of help, and i was going to need it. friends like mo, sisters like kelly to teach me, and a baby sis like melissa to come home from TX and help me feel 19 again. a mom and dad, divorcing, who set it all aside and helped me be me, in the mom form. and for a great grandma, like mom mom, who let me sleep some sanity in, did all the bathing and cooking and cleaning, and let me slowly dip my foot into the pool of motherhood. you would think with all that training and help, i'd be ready two years and two days later for parker, but boy, i wasn't!

that fall day, two days after madison's 2nd birthday party, when this little man was born. i remember how safe i felt, knowing that i had a husband to share that birthing room with. how all the 9 interns and 1 doctor and 2 nurses made the room feel crowded, but the room was silent when nate whispered in my ear "you can do this, babe!" his sweet little faced, bruised and dented from all the force the doctors used on him smiled back at me, and i loved his little nose, which looked just like his dad.i felt i must have given nate the best gift, because while i watched him look at parker while holding madison on his lap, i knew we were a perfect family. i had him to rely on, and madison to help the transition go smoothly (she has no idea, to this day, how much of a help she was to me!). it was hard, being home, and feeling alone. there were dark days, and even darker moments, but when i stop to think of all the moments that were best, i think i can say i did a pretty good job. watching madison and parker form bonds i'd never understand (being that i came from all girls) i was happy to have a boy, even if i didn't (and still don't!) understand what makes them tick. he is perfect, and sweet. and i adore him more every day.

so happy giving-birth day to me, and happy 12th birthday to parker. the first piece in the olson puzzle that made us a family. i am so blessed. so very very blessed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

i've turned off the disconnect button

i've been feeling a little lost lately

not at my job(s), which i love
not with my kids, whom i adore

but with my man.

yep, this guy

and its sad, because EVERYONE warns you. "make sure you find time to connect. make sure you take time for each other. make sure that you don't put your kids first".

we have always been the "quality time when we can get it" people, and its been enough to make the magic happen most days.

but when you're looking down the throat of 12 years of marriage, the magic moments tend to be a little....hmmmm... less sparkly than you'd like sometimes.

take this fall. football. student council. switching jobs, twice. vehicle stress. changing buildings. business trips. the whole shabang. it makes for some exhausting weeknights.

and the short tempers
and the quick to fight back response
and the "who in the h*ll do you think you are, not putting me first or remembering my needs or helping with the chores, or making me feel loved, or even remembering to kiss me goodnight" repsonse.

yeah, it kinda got that far.

and somewhere in the thick of it we had one of those arguments, where you say things you can never take back, and things happen that change the shape of your marriage. and at that moment, you can see it all slipping away.

it was the most stomach wrenching, fearful moment of my life.

and we're climbing back from it. but still, there's a gap between us. there's my end of the couch, and your end of the couch. my schedule, your schedule. my plans, your plans. and it starts to be okay. because you get more done when you don't have to plan around someone else.

only that someone else is the center of your world, and you really start to feel alone in a 3000 square foot home.

so i stopped. and i remembered what brought us together in the first place.

friendship, and laughter. no love. just those two things.

so i stopped with the kissing, and stopped with the "making quality time" or anything else.

and i made time to laugh with him, at us, and at the kids, and at anything else that was funny.
and we made time to be friends. "sure, i'll watch you put your motorcycle back together for 2 hours" and "you can sit and watch 'teen mom' with me again, and talk about how sad we are for the girls in this next generation".

so maybe the tv wasn't turned off, so we could "connect". but we found the friendship, and sometime in the fast few weeks, those first kiss..first everything flutters have started to come back.

and baby, i think i'm in love.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

i'm crabby

i love rainy days
i hate it when nate won't answer his phone


so instead of running to target and taking out my anger on baked goods
(yes! i will eat you, and you will hate me, but i don't care! i am crabby!)
i am checking out new blogs

and just when i thought i had seen it all

i read this

"the party"

and it made me laugh
out loud

you should read it too.

it will turn your day from crabby to happy
and save all the baked goods at your local target store