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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Going to Razorback country

So last fall Jon's company transferred him to Arkansas. He's been coming home about a weekend a month since then except for December when he took a 2 week vacation.

The first thing Jon did when I called to tell him I quit my job was buy me a plane ticket to Hot Springs. So two weeks after that, I was on a little vacation.

It just so happened that the day I flew out of PA, was on the biggest snow storm we had all year. Eight to ten inches. I was worried that I would miss my flight. Of course nothing had really been plowed between my house and the airport which is about 20 miles. I put it into 4 wheel drive and carefully passed everyone on the freeway. I followed tracks of a semi truck who paved the way. I made it in half an hour.

It never fails that I get the full pat down when I go through security, every. time.
So I stood there while the agent kept saying, "I'm using the back of my hand" when she felt my backside, sides of the breast. I was thankful for the warning.

It took an hour to de-ice the plane which was fine by me. I was sitting in between 2 gentleman; one a Delta pilot and the other a father of 5 from Nebraska. They were both nice and we chatted the whole time. I made the pilot laugh when we were talking about roller coasters and he said he preferred to stay on the ground. I replied, "Said the Delta pilot." which made him slap his knee at the irony. Coincidentally enough, each of us stopped at Subway before the flight so we ate lunch together in our row, kinda fun.

Takeoff was a little bumpy and there was a lot of turbulence. A plane had just skidded off the runway at Laguardia earlier that day so that was on my mind. I noticed the pilot wasn't white knuckling it, so I felt pretty good even when the plane swayed back and forth and the attendants had to suspend snack service.

After a long day of layovers and flying, I grabbed a rental car and drove an hour up to Hot Springs. It was a pretty drive going up to the mountains, hills more like it. But nonetheless, pretty. It was dark by the time I arrived to Jon's hotel so I couldn't see much of the town but I saw lights reflecting on the lake that his hotel overlooks. And a lake nearby is always a good sign.

A Take on the town later!


An old sign in the very cute town 
of Hot Springs, Arkansas 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Out of the ashes

This sad, little blog will be born again! 
I've had a lot going on in the past few years. Who hasn't? But really, there was no time to carve out much for anything, so I let go of a job that was sucking the life out of my family and was offered another one. This one allows me flexibility and creativity. friend and I signed a contract today on a little space inside of a co-op! So between the two endeavors I'll be full time again but on my own terms, own hours. Now I can get back to a much more fulfilling life. 

Sometimes one has to take that leap of faith and let things fall into place afterwards. It's almost like giving yourself some breathing room to allow new things to come up. 

A favorite past time of B's

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's on my mind

Oh my gosh, I am so bad at blogging these days. Time seems non existent. For blogging anyway. But here are the random thoughts going on in my mind...

THE salute seen 'round the world. Aren't there more important issues relevant today? I'm kind of worried about the rising cost of tuition, the scam that is student loans, mental health and our involvement in the middle east. The salute from a civilian President is not even necessary by the way. Reagan started it.

Don't you love it when you get a message from someone saying something that fills your heart with joy? And when you read it you are in awe because it was just the thing you needed and you know that friend didn't know you needed it? I LOVE that.

I'm so tired of mommy wars. I thought we were past that. Here's my advice: let's all just do our job no matter what it is we choose to do and quit trying to convince everyone it's the greatest job in the world. Let's just work hard and feel confident with a personal satisfaction of a job well done. Does it really matter what anyone else thinks? No.

I have a craft planned for the kids this weekend using leaves. I am so excited. I love Fall! I love the crunch under my feet when I walk on leaves and acorns. I can't resist bending down to pick up their beautiful little forms. At work when we are closing up, we do a bag inspection. And when I opened a pocket of my purse there were acorns in it. My lead associate said,
"Are those acorns??" and laughed and laughed.
Why yes, doesn't everyone collect them?

Jon and I were in Hilton Head for a few days visiting old friends from when we lived there. I had forgotten it was heaven on earth. I drove by the kids' old elementary school, our old house, had breakfast at the Squat n' Gobble, and met up with a few friends. We hit the beach early on one of our favorite, less touristy beaches. I was out in the ocean for hours just bobbing around. The surf is not crazy crashing like it is in the Northeast and the sand is soft and silk like. I just floated and let the waves slowly push me to shore. What a beautiful creation our oceans are.

On an unfamiliar but particularly rough day recently where I was feeling very sad, Blair said, "Look on the bright side, you still love us." No truer words were spoken. Usually in those situations one tends to think about how much they're loved so as not to feel all alone which is how one should think and know. However, her  words hit me so profoundly that I knew it was directed by the Spirit. I needed to remember that my capacity to love could stomp out the actions of others that cause me stress and fuel me to be a better human being. So with that I got to work. Inspired thinking from an 8 year it.

I finally bought spray paint for a quick lamp redo in Blair's room. I could totally be happy as a graffiti artist. Except that I can't draw. And my finger gets tired of holding down the spray nozzle... Ah vell.

I'm making cupcakes this weekend.

Did I mention I love Fall?? I could say that over and over.

Do you ever say a word over and over and then it loses its meaning?

I'm glad Clooney got married.

The end.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happenings that probably aren't that interesting but it's what's going on around here

The end of the school year was a flurry of activity. Reese finished up baseball season with a perfect losing record. The team really improved despite the losses. They had fun and more importantly, learned a little more about life, having to work together and be dedicated and loyal to a team. We were really proud of Reese for sticking through it. Now he's looking forward to fall ball and going in to middle school.

Trae finished up his first year of  Kindergarten and T-ball and loved it. Trae man loves everything. He is the best kid that way. Anything and everything is the "best day ever" for him. It doesn't matter what it is. He was one of 3 kids to be selected to all stars. So much fun. He already went to 2 Vacation Bible schools this summer. Again, it was the "best summer EV-ER!" so far.

Blair Noel played soccer and was great! She really enjoyed it and just looked the part of a soccer player. She also finished up her 2nd (3rd? Oh my gosh, I can't remember) year of Girl Scouts. I hope she sticks with it. I only made it to 9th grade but loved it all those years. She's heading into 3rd grade next school year and was a favorite among her teachers for being that one that always helps others in class. She is now giving Trae summer school lessons at the kitchen table. We are getting her room together this summer. I bought her new curtains and we went to Sherwin-Williams and gathered sample colors for her walls. She really wanted blue, just blue, so we came up with a nice color scheme that I think will be really pretty, one that's not all blue.

Charley went to church Young Women's camp for a week and then on to Girl's state for a week after that. The weekend she came home I didn't even see her. She was so exhausted. A good, had-a-blast exhaustion. She was president of her Seminary class this past school year. Her teacher said she was the only one that comes in happy that early in the morning. It's always been that way. As a baby I would go to pick her up out of her crib and she'd be lying there, smiling, waiting for me. Friends are really important to her so she is spending a lot of time with them this summer before her last year of high school when she won't have as much time to hang out.

Unfortunately last week, we made an unexpected trip to Texas for Jon's father's funeral. It was quite a shock but Jon's at peace with it now. The good thing is that you reconnect with family and make plans for future visits and not just at funerals, which seems to be the way it's been the last 10 years.

The service itself was nice, not very long. Jon recalled some funny stories and moments with his dad. One was when they were living in Laredo and Jon, at age 4, challenged him to eat a dog biscuit. They both sat on the back porch and ate some. He recalled his dad's quirky sense of humor, how he was so proper and had a great work ethic. And he highlighted his father's protectiveness of Jon's mother and the tender and loving way her treated her. That's where Jon learned it.

We all went to a restaurant afterward and sat for hours; laughing and mingling. Just the way dad would have wanted. Charley and Belén could not attend which was disappointing but that's the way things go sometimes.

While we were in Texas, we made sure it was fun for the kids. I took them down to the Riverwalk while Jon and his siblings worked on boxing up their father's belongings. I spent many summers in San Antonio visiting my grandma and cousins and the Paseo del Rio is a must stop. I swung by Comfort, Texas which is one of my favorite antiquing towns in the Hill Country. We usually take a trailer if we drive the Durango but we took my little car to save on gas. The trailer comes in handy when I find just the antique and can haul it home. Of course this time we didn't do that and I found just the antique. Oh well. We made stops along the way at hotels to rest and swim. We found a water park in Arkadelphia, Arkansas that was such a good deal we plan on making that a traditional stop on our way to and from Texas now.

The kids enjoyed seeing their cousins and filling up on Mexican food (I can't find anything half-way decent in PA, except my own of course ;) ) and Texas barbecue! We went to Rudy's in Austin on the way home to have lunch with our nephew and his wife. The food was so delicious but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. They even have a web cam where you can watch them cut the brisket. Texans are serious about their barbecue.

Sadly, I was not able to visit my mom's side of the family, the Hernandezes. It was a tight schedule to say the least. I was only able to take a week off of work so there was no extra time to do much else. Hopefully next time.

That's life in a nutshell right now. Off to cleaning up the house, putting things back in order and prepping for a long week at work...until next time.

~ L

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The tide is changing - update on dealing with depression

I came home from work the other day and Charley said, "Mom, someone wants to see you..." and it was Belén, skype-ing all the way from college in Idaho. I am so thankful for technology! We sat and chatted and I told her funny things about work which she understood, having worked for me all last fall up until leaving for college. She told me all about school and the fun she's having, along with some of her more difficult days. With depression, you just never know when those down times will occur but she's hanging in there.

We had to be a little firm with the admin and ask that she have one on one counseling rather than the group counseling session she was placed in. We are not the type of parents to hover and to ever ask for exceptions for our kids. They know that if their teacher, whether in school or church, or coach of their team says that they need to get with the program, then they need to get with the program. I don't think we've ever run into a problem with a teacher. They know we aren't those parents who think our kids are the golden children. Those parents bug me.

But in this case, we knew they didn't know the severity of Belén's depression. We asked her to first do as they suggested and report back on how she felt. She tried the group session but it was a no go. The Dean's office staff said they are overwhelmed with counseling but the majority is dealing with homesickness and anxiety, which untreated can result in far worse problems, of course. We absolutely didn't mind finding a counselor off campus but after reviewing her file, they realized that working her in to a private session was best. That helped ease my mind a lot.

It's been a little over a year since our whole journey into the treatment for depression started. It's been a long road and will more than likely be a lifelong one. Hopefully gone are the days that one is viewed as flawed, lacking faith or just plain ridiculous when even everyday life is too much for some.
I think the tide is changing.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Giving it another go

So I haven't been here in a while. I haven't been anywhere in a while, really. All I do is work it seems. Well that's not true. I was in Utah and Idaho last weekend to take my daughter out to college. Charley also came along which made it even more fun. We made it a whirlwind trip and did a lot of shopping to set her up at school while we were out there. Thank goodness for Ikea and their amazing prices.

While I was there I did a lot of thinking. I really needed that trip and time to go though the experience of seeing my baby spread her wings, so to speak. I also needed to see my dear friend Janet. She is the bomb. I'll have to tell you about her sometime.

But while I was there I really had to evaluate. Like I said, I work a lot. I know everyone is busy but I feel like I let my hours get completely out of control. Most of it is out of my control I guess when I work for a corporation that dictates the job of course. And since I like to keep the electricity going and food around the house, I keep working. I talk with other managers throughout our district and we laugh when something new comes up and ask if we missed the memo that told us to add 6 more hours to the work day. I know we all have dealt with that. But through it all I say, 'well at least I have a job.' And truly, the salary has helped immensely with all the hospital bills and now college tuition. But that's the problem. The level-headed part of me talks the other part of me off the cliff.

But while I was in Utah I was thinking about what I really want to do and how I am going to get there. This is something that I've been trying to figure out for 20 years now actually but other things took precedence. But Trae will be in school full-time next year so maybe it will be time to do that really new something. So I sat down this morning and tweaked my resume. Until I did that I hadn't realized that I have a decent work history so maybe something will come up? I'll just have to send it out and see.

I told Belén before I left her in Idaho to make sure she explored every opportunity in college and that it's ok to let her heart dictate a little bit about what she wants to do in life vs what she feel she should do... just my inner hippie talking.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014