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8 posts from June 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Momgoingtofl It is so hard to say "goodbye" to someone you love.  This morning, my mother left for an extended visit with my brothers in Florida.  She plans on staying several months and spending time with them.  I think it is a good thing, but something made me break down this morning in her bedroom and I had the most awful feeling that this was the last time I would see my mother.  I pray that isn't true.  I don't know what I would do without her.  She has lived with us for 10 years, and although we disagree at times, 95% of the time it is calm and normal and happy around here.

My mother has never been one to verbalize her feelings or emotions.  Me, on the other hand, I'm a blubbering idiot.  I hug, I kiss, I cry, I hug some more, I cry louder, I write letters of endearment, I'm a mess.  Naturally, and quite opposite from me, Mom is disconnected.  I rarely see her show emotion and she hardly ever verbalizes her feelings.  She has always been that way, though.  Her own mother passed away when she was 11 years old and I am sure that that experience changed who she is forever.  I don't think she ever got over her mother's death, because to hear her talk about it, I think that is the only time I see my mother show raw emotion. 

Fortunately for us, my mother is pretty sharp.  She will be 84 years old this October and seems to have an excellent memory.  Better than mine most of the time now that I think about it.  She has lost a bit of her reasoning and judgment capabilities in the last year or so I have noticed.  I suppose that is all a part of aging. 

I am blessed to have had her with us this long.  She has been involved with the family as best she can and helpful around the house now and then too.  She'll cook occasionally and help unload or load the dishwasher.  She'll even drive herself to her doctor appointments (don't worry, she doesn't drive hardly at all but she is a good driver consider her age).  Yeap, we've been very blessed to have her with us.

Momgoingtofl4It is so hard to see her go, even if it is supposedly just for a visit.  For some reason, this time, I broke down.  I'm still all in knots inside right now just writing about her.  I love her so much. She has always been central in my life and has been there thru so many difficult times.  I know that my mother has always had the best of intentions even when we didn't always take her advice. 

She's been good to us.  She hasn't always been there for me or the children emotionally, but she's there if you know what I mean.  She'll complain about the mess, or the kids, or our dog, or Bob's eating habits, or the groceries we buy.  There is always something for her to complain about - but I try to appreciate and value the fact that she is with us to complain.  She is here and I love her.  She is with us even if she is difficult at times.  Heck, we are all difficult at times.

"Mom, I love you.  I love you more than you could ever possibly know.  I appreciate you so very much.  I am grateful for all that you have done for us.  I miss you already and you haven't even taken off on that stinkin' plane yet.  I love you, I love you, I love you.  You are the center of my world and in many ways the biggest part of who I am today.  I only wanted you to be proud of me.  I only wanted you to love me too - and tell me so.  I hope you have a wonderful time in Florida - relax, enjoy the balmy breezes, the quiet (because it certainly isn't quiet around here).  Take care of yourself, eat well. 

I love you.  I know you will call me everyday and if the day gets late and I haven't heard from you, I will certainly call you.  Good grief, we'll probably talk on the phone more than 5 times a day."  Thank you Sprint.  I guess in many ways this is an open letter to my mother. 

Love you Mom - bunches.  Susan

Say What You Need to Say

Bucket List

I just finished watching "The Bucket List" with my children.  What a wonderful movie.  With Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two terminally ill men who meet in a hospital.  They become fast friends and Morgan and Jack decide to write down the things that they want to do before they die, especially since they both are given 6 months to a year to live.  In that year, they both travel the world together - an awesome experience, even to watch. 

What hit me hard is that Jack Nicholson, in the film, has a daughter whom he has not spoken to in years and when Morgan surprises him by taking him to her house Jack and Morgan have a falling out.  I could feel my chest tightening during this scene because I have a daughter, Kimberly, 27, who has not spoken to me in over a year and it kills me inside.  I love her and I miss her terribly, but no amount of telling her this matters.  I would do anything to be able to communicate with her and make her understand.  We both need to communicate and listen.   Still, this scene really choked me up, obviously because I can relate.

The movie is wonderful and it really makes you think about your life and puts perspective on love, faith, and happiness.  There is a lot of majesty in the scenery and a lot of reflection in the message.

When the credits were rolling, a song began to play and I searched for it on the web.  As it turns out, it is called "Say" by John Mayer and the words are profound.  I wanted to share it with my readers.  If you haven't already, or even if you have - watch this movie.  It will make you laugh and cry.  It is a Jack Nicholson classic - again.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Limited Too & Maggiano's Little Italy - Charlotte

Maggiano2 Yesterday, Bob and I and little Glen went to Southpark Mall to get some clothes for our growing daughter, Sarah, who is 14.  She didn't know we were going there and actually, neither did we, but since we were in the area after taking Glen to a doctor appointment, we thought we would save gas and stop in to get her what she needs.  I swear she is going to be seriously tall in the next few years.   Sarah is already 5'5" and in a size 8 shoe.  Slender and so pretty.  And smart too!  Anyway, we were out and about at the mall - something that I rarely do, by the way, because personally, I hate going to the mall.  But, Sarah's jeans and shorts were getting a bit too tight, and her shirts were too small, and she was beginning to look like a homeless child.  I resigned myself to having to take a trip to Limited Too to appease her need for clothes.  Fortunately, they were having a sale, so that surely helped. 400 dollars later, she is looking pretty cute in all her new clothes. 

Maggiano3 That was our Limited Too excursion.  We got hungry, of course, after all that walkin' and so we headed to a restaurant we hadn't tried before - Maggianos in Southpark.  Nice.  It was very italian and packed for lunch, but not so much that we had to wait, there were just a lot of people there with lots of red and white checked table clothes.  To my surprise, the hostess heads us to the back of the restaurant and up some stairs to an elevated dining area that was empty.  Two thoughts - either she is embarrassed by us and wants us to be away from civilized patrons, or we are special.  I'll opt for special.  We were clean, we didn't smell funny, and although I am still limping a little bit from my knee injury 5 weeks ago, I was walking well enough to shuffle up the stairs without having Bob have to plant his hand firmly on my behind and push me up the stairs.

We had a nice view of all the people below and we were greeted by not 1, not 2, but 3 servers over the course of the meal.  It was a bit confusing - who is our server?  But they were all professional and courteous. 

Maggiano5 Glen had a child's Cheese Ravioli, and it must have been good because he ate every bit of it.  Bob had some Tomato dish that I did not try. It was pretty.  Bob kept insisting I try it, but I refused.  I figured if he liked it that much, he can eat it.  I was going to enjoy the rest of my Ceasar salad (which was good, but still not as good as the one I had at Sugar Magnolia).  We did, however, get served a lot more salad at Maggiano's, and Bob and I like to share a Ceasar when we are out.  I had the Fettucini Alfredo with Broccoli and chicken and it was very good, however, there wasn't a lot of broccoli or chicken, or at least, not as much as I would have expected for a restaurant like theirs. There was a lot of noodles, however, and I did have a nice take-out for lunch today.  Still, I was searching for the chicken and broccoli while I was eating the left-overs today for lunch.  Darn.  Couldn't find them.  So, Maggianos - more broccoli and chicken in the Fettucini Alfredo please!

Strange, I can't remember what Bob ordered.  It obviously didn't make much of an impression, and I do remember that he didn't finish his either, which for Bob is unusual. 

The bread was kind-of tough for my liking and appeared to be made-on-site, but again, it wasn't what I would have expected for a restaurant like this one. 

Don't get me wrong.  I enjoyed my lunch, and I will probably go back sometime, but considering the cost of feeding Bob and I and our grandson, Glen - about 70.00 (included tip) and that didn't include wine or dessert, I would've expected more.  Put it this way, it didn't leave an indelible impression on my brain like "Wow, I loved that restaurant, we'll have to go back soon!" No.  It was more like "okay, that was nice, now let's go home." 

Today was leftovers, popcorn, and movies.  Not a bad weekend so far and fun with the family.  My son, Matthew, however, seems to have disappeared again to our neighbor's house for a sleepover with his best friend, Alex.  Why am I not surprised?  I miss him when he isn't here! I live for his goodnight kisses and cuddles and morning hugs and snuggles.  boohoo.

Wall-e is fun for the whole family

Walle We decided to spend this afternoon having some fun with the kids, so we all packed into our Suburban and headed to the Regal movies at Stonecrest on Rea Road in Charlotte.  I particularly like this theater because it is clean and the seating is very comfortable and more spacious than a lot of other theaters.  Also, you have a place to put your drink and the armrests are cushioned too.  There is also knee room so if anyone has to get by you to go to the restroom, you don't have to stand up or turn sideways.  I really hate having to do that.  Also, the seating is at a distinct angle so that you don't have to watch the movie over someone's head, making it comfortable to sit anywhere and not feel like you are compromising your view of the movie.  So, if you come to Charlotte, or you live here, check out the Regal theater sometime in the Stonecrest Shopping Center, you'll enjoy it.

Walle2 Okay, enough about Stonecrest, now I'd like to tell you about the movie.  Wall-e was fun and funny.  About this little robot who turns the earth's garbage into crushed squares, spits them out, and builds towers with them.  In other words, the earth becomes filled with towers of garbage.  Then he is surprised by a visitor from outer-space - Eve, and they become friends.  The communication in this movie is excellent, because it is mostly done thru interaction and actions not words and you can feel every emotion and understand what is being communicated. That is extremely creative and our children were very engaged in the active dialog between Eve and Wall-e throughout the entire movie. 

Continue reading "Wall-e is fun for the whole family" »

Bob on Charlotte.com

Boboncharlottecom I've got to admit, it is a bit strange going to www.charlotte.com and seeing my husband's face on the front page of the website.  I wasn't expecting that.  I mean, it was interesting enough being in the paper and all, but of all the people they obviously interviewed for this article, you'd think they could find one picture that would be better to grace their website.  Oh well, as long as he isn't in the "most wanted" section of the site, I should feel glad.

If you click the picture above, you can read the whole story on charlotte.com.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Born to be

Img011This is tough.  Still, this is something that I have wanted to do for some time now - journal my life.  I think it is important as we get older, to journal our life in stages so that our children can visit our journey when and if they desire to discover our passage, our discoveries, our frustrations, our difficult lessons throughout this life.  That said, I would like to say that this will not be an easy journal for me to write, but I feel that it is necessary for my children and hopefully for some personal healing in the process. 

 I was born in 1959 to a stay-at-home-mom and a father who had his own real estate business.  We lived in Maryland in a small home in Silver Spring, Maryland.  My earliest memories are of being in a crib with a bottle of milk and the nipple clamped between my gums.  I remember gumming the rubber nipple and slinging the bottle around my face and then whipping it across the room.  Yeap, I actually remember this.  So, I suppose my memories go back farther than most.  My mother would come into the room and she would ask "how did your bottle get over here?"  Yes, I even remember her saying that.  Probably because she said it every time she came into my room.  It became redundant after awhile.  She stopped giving me the bottle when my baby teeth started coming in because I could no Img010_2 longer grip the nipple in my gums and sling the bottle around my face without putting a big hole in the nipple.  This was unfortunate for my mother because now if there was any milk left in the bottle it got all over me, the crib, and the walls.  Now the question wasn't "how did your bottle get over here?" it was "what on earth happened in here?"  That was the end of my bottle days.  Darn.  I was really enjoying ripping those nipples to bits. 

Next adventure of course was the trampoline.  No, not an actual trampoline - my crib.  I did a number on my crib and broke the side rails.  I wanted to bounce all the way to the ceiling and out of my limited space.  Dad was good at repairing it until I broke it a dozen times.  I recall the feeling like I was flying every time my feet left the mattress.  It was glorious!

Img015 My father used to call me Soapsuds when I was growing up. That was because I loved bubble baths and would scream if my mother tried to take me out of my bath.  I'd splash and play and make funny noises and blow bubbles all over the bathroom.  If I was going to have a bath, it was going to be a darn good one.  Inevitably I would have to be dried off and then I would cry because my fingers were all pruney and my toes were all shriveled up.  That used to scare me and I think that is probably why I cried.  Sometimes I would take my fingers and open and close them time and time again trying to get them to go back to normal.  I couldn't figure it out.  Boy, did I feel clean, though.

To be continued....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Soccer Happy


I love to see my kids happy, and playing sports has that affect on them for sure.  Today there was a picnic at our church for the soccer team that Sarah participated in this season.  The parents, coaches, and kids all played a game of soccer after we chowed down on good food.  It was awfully hot outside, but the kids had a blast.  Glen came home and immediately crashed.  I think he is out for the night.  We took 407 pictures - most of them were bad - really bad.  These are just a few of them that came out tolerable to look at.

Sarah is always laughing


Sticky shirt

This is Karen.  She did not want her picture taken.

"Oh geez!  Why did I do that?!!"

"This sure does taste great!"

The one thing I really hate about picnics - the unwelcome visitors

"What am I supposed to do in here?" 

"I mean really, what am I supposed to do in here?"

"I really don't get what I'm supposed to do in here."

"Does Glen have to embarrass me?"

"I kicked it!  I kicked it!"

"I think I've got a bug in my eye."

"Oh man, that was a little too close for comfort!"

"Maybe I'm supposed to be on this side."

"No really, aren't I supposed to be on this side?"

"Hey!  Get out of the goal will ya?!!!"

"This is getting ridiculous"

"On second thought...."

"This net is kinda fun to play with."

I'm a happy mama

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sex and the Suburban Wife

SarahandChris You know you've been married a long time when you go out on a date with your husband - dinner and a movie - and the conversation at dinner is why the shower has no water pressure if the sprinklers are on and the conversation in the car coming home is about psi and water pressure being too low off of our well. 

What makes this even more ridiculous is that we saw "Sex and the City" the Movie and should have been wanting to get some action when we got home.  We walk out of the theater and the conversation immediately goes to water pressure to our newly installed (my husband installed it) irrigation system.  Yes, it was a girly movie, but I'm beginning to think his mind was on water pressure the entire night. 

SandtheCinYellow Are we just too comfortable with each other that the passion and romance is forgotten altogether after the honeymoon?  Oh, I forgot, we didn't have a honeymoon.  I'm still waitin' for the honeymoon I suppose.  Don't get me wrong, we dearly love each other and there is plenty of lovin' going on after the kids are asleep, but not as much as in the early years of our marriage and a little less with each child.  Fatigue.  Or should I say exhaustion, plays a big part in being too tired for anything but cool sheets and a soft pillow.  I'm so stinkin' tired most of the time that his snoring doesn't even bother me.

I will say this, we are on the same page about most everything.  He is my best friend in addition to everything else.  He is the center of my life and surrounds everything that is important to me.  My life would not be this comfortable, nor would I be sleeping like a rock if I wasn't completely and totally in love with the man lying next to me. 


Water pressure?  PSI?  Showers?  Sex?  I don't care.  If he's happy I'm happy.  He took me to dinner and a movie that I wanted to see and yesterday was his birthday, so this was for him.  Now that's a great guy.

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