Life is Good – November 11, 2011

How is it possible that seven days have just flown by and at the same time, feel like it’s been a long week? That’s exactly how I felt these past few days. It wasn’t exactly the easiest week, and just when I was really feeling down about it, today arrived and brought with it a hearty dose of smiles, laughter and warmth.

I’ve been working on a special project with a small group of people for the past few weeks. We’ve been working all together in a conference room so that we can easily bounce ideas off one another. I was the first to arrive today, and when I turned on the lights and looked over to my workstation, this is what I saw:

I was unusually tired this morning after having had too little sleep for too many consecutive nights, and my mood had grown progressively worse from the previous few days. But when I saw the scene awaiting me at my work station, I felt myself light up inside. My birthday is this weekend and my wonderful coworkers wanted me to know they hadn’t forgotten! There were also fresh bagels for breakfast and homemade red velvet cupcakes. I took one bite of one of those cupcakes and decided it was like eating a piece of Heaven.

All day long, other coworkers stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and to share in the goodies. All of the bitterness that had been building up inside of me all week long simply melted away. I am so fortunate to work with some really amazing people.

Life is good!

Family Time

It was a wonderful weekend with all of the kids home. Kacey came home Thursday evening, (no class on Friday). Brad, Heather and Dacotah arrived Friday night. Jake, of course is always here because he still lives here. But it seems like he’s never here because his schedule is pretty much opposite of normal. Most evenings when I come home from work, he’s already gone to his job, not to return until long after I’m asleep. Days will go by without seeing hide nor hair of him.

So I was really looking forward to this weekend of family and dogs and chaos and a messy house. Unfortunately, Heather spent most of Saturday not feeling well, so we kept things mellow and stayed around the house.

I seem to have developed this need to cook for everyone when they’re around, so I spent plenty of time in the kitchen. We managed to have a big lunch/early dinner all together and this included Connor too. I made the family’s favorite home-made sloppy joes and a batch of cheesy potatoes and a nice salad.  Everyone was so full that we just skipped right on past dinner Saturday night.

When we weren’t eating we just hung out and watched movies together and talked. Of course, the dogs were a constant source of entertainment for all of us. They really enjoyed each other and it was fun to watch them playing together and displaying their doggie affection for one another.

The weekend ended way too soon. Brad and Heather left first, having a four-hour drive ahead of them. I don’t see Brad often enough and now it’s going to be Christmas before I see him again. I see him and Heather together and realize they are young, capable adults who are forging a life of their own together. Brad is not my little boy anymore. He’s making it on his own and doing a good job of it. I’m so proud of him, but still, I couldn’t stop the tears from coming when he walked back out the door to go back to Fargo.

Luckily, Jake decided to spend the afternoon at home, and Kacey was able to stay home for dinner before her ride came to take her back to school. And at least she is near enough to come home and visit often, so saying goodbye to her wasn’t quite as hard as saying goodbye to Brad.

I guess I’ll just never quite get used to saying goodbye to my kids, but when I think about it, that’s a really good thing.

A Friend for Lucy

We’ve got a full house this weekend. Kacey is home from school and Brad came home too along with his girlfriend, Heather and their dog, Dacotah.

We were all curious to see how Lucy was going to behave with another dog in her house and aside from a little incident involving a rawhide chew, all has gone well. In fact, it’s gone better than well. Lucy loves having a friend to play with. She and Dacota played in the back yard yesterday for hours on end. Dacota thought they were going to play “keep away” but it turned out to be a toss-up between “tug-of-war” and “keep away.”

The two dogs played and chased and tumbled and ran all over the back yard. Lucy got the upper hand when she realized she could hide out under Mark’s fishing boat and trailer which are sitting in the yard waiting to be winterized and stored.

The two dogs kept each other entertained and got plenty of exercise. Lucy, being the pup that she is, tired out before Dacota and was uncharacteristically quiet for most of the afternoon!

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Life is Good – November 4, 2011

I’m not sure where this week went. The days flew by. But when I stopped to think about it, it was a really good one.

Loving my job! Right now I am testing newly developed systems to make sure they work as they are supposed to. And this involves not only testing things to make sure they work right, but testing things that aren’t supposed to happen to make sure they don’t happen. So I get to dream up all kinds of things to throw at this thing solely for the purpose of seeing what comes out on the other side. It’s kind of like when I was a kid and my grandma gave me an ice cream bucket in the kitchen and let me mix all kinds of things in it to see what would happen. Only now I’m getting paid to do that! So cool.

Movies! I saw two movies – in the theater - this week! I never see movies, much less see them in the theater. It has literally been years since I’ve gone to the movie theater. But last weekend, a friend asked me to see a movie with her. We saw The Help and I was absolutely in love with it! Do you remember that feeling you’d get as a kid when on that rare occasion you’d get to go see a movie and it was so much fun that you didn’t want it to end? That’s how I felt. I wanted to sit there and watch it all over again. Of course they don’t let you do that, so I decided I would definitely be buying the movie when it comes out on DVD. And in the meantime, I may read the book again, because I also loved that.

A few days after seeing my first movie theater movie in years, I went back again, this time with Mark. We saw Footloose. Again, loved it! It was really fun and held pretty true to the original. And it had me wanting to get up and dance! Two thumbs up!

Lunch with a great friend – I work within a very short walking distance of one of my favorite friends, and yet we’ve hardly ever had lunch together. We finally made a point to get together this week and had a wonderful time! We definitely have to do that more often!

Full House! All the kids are going to be home this weekend – to celebrate my birthday – which is not this weekend. But this is when it works for everyone to be home, so I’m not complaining.

Life with Puppy – Lucy has settled in nicely in her new home. One of my favorite things is when I come home from work and she nearly tackles me with joy! There have been only a few puppy casualties around the house. One shoe, a candle, a plastic jack-o-lantern, one floor vent and one rubber backed floor mat have met their demise via my puppy’s teeth. (Mark took her along in his truck when he ran errands not long after Lucy attempted to eat the floor mat. She threw up in his truck!) Yes, I’m done feeling sorry for her being kenneled when left alone. Clearly she can’t be trusted alone for any amount of time just yet.

Chewing a rawhide bone

BUT … she hasn’t destroyed anything of any real value. This weekend we’re going shopping for more puppy toys. Life is good!

I haven’t written because I’ve been busy fighting with my husband and such

It’s been requested that I get the lamp shade off my head and write another post. I guess it has been a few days, hasn’t it? What can I say? I’ve been busy.

Things at work are going swimmingly, but busily! Busy is good, right?

And the after-work hours have been busy this week too. I bowled one night this week (very well, thank you!) Another night we took Lucy to meet Mark’s parents. She was extremely sweet and gentle with Grandma and Grandpa. Mark’s dad is recovering from a bout of pneumonia and Lucy seemed to sense that she needed to be extra gentle with these people. She walked right up to where Grandpa was sitting and rested her chin on his knees and let him pet her and tell her what a good girl she was. Then Grandpa showed Lucy where the doggy treat cupboard is and proceeded to feed her several treats.

Oh, and then there was the night that I was home, but I didn’t have time to write because I had to go to bed early because I was mad at Mark. See, there was an issue involving one of our children. Not an extremely serious issue, mind you, but one that needed discussing. I suspected Mark’s reaction would be less than calm. I suspected his reaction would be something like …

No! Not happening. To which I would reply, “Well wait a minute. Let’s talk about this.”

To which he would then say, Fine. But then (child in question) can plan on paying for all of this out of their own pocket! To which I would say, “Can I say something here?”

To which he would respond, Fine. Do whatever you want. I don’t care.

To which I responded by telling him that those three reactions are exactly how he always responds when there isn’t an easy answer to a problem and that he can’t just expect to proclaim his decision and then sweep the issue under the rug.

To which he responded that I always think he should never get angry and that I always cater to the kids. To which I told him “For your information, I am not necessarily in favor of this and I have all kinds of feelings about this but you are so busy making decisions all by yourself that you couldn’t even bother to act like a grown-up and have a reasonable discussion with me.

At which point I shut myself in the bathroom because I was done talking to him and didn’t want to continue. At which point he knocked on the door and said, I’m sorry. What are you feeling? To which I hollered, “ANGRY!” To which he responded, So I’m thinking you don’t want to discuss this right now? To which I said, “Not particularly.”

And being the pig-headed woman who I am, I required a couple of hours to stew about the whole thing (during which time he would ask, Are you still mad at me? To which I would lie unconvincingly and say no) before deciding to punish him by depriving him of my presence and going to bed early. Like 8:30 early.

(May I just take a moment here to give my husband credit for putting up with the emotional tornado he calls his wife?)

And so I slept on it and woke up realizing that the problem was not Mark’s reaction at all, since I knew this to be his typical reaction. The problem was that I took his reaction personally. Again. Twenty-three years of this, you’d think I’d have this figured out by now. So I now know that in the future, I should expect these very reactions from him in the face of difficult decisions, let him get them off his chest and proceed after he’s done pretending he’s in charge of everything. Because we all know that it’s really me who is in charge of everything anyway.

I’M KIDDING! (Sort of.)

So anyway, that’s why I’ve been a slacker this week. Sorry if I’ve disappointed anyone with my lack of writing. I promise to try harder to keep up from now on.