Monday, December 29, 2008


We are home and the holidays are over - phew! I survived this visit with only a little evil spoken. I did lose my temper at one point - it was in defense of my children. Those with children will understand that "mama bear" instinct that comes out.

Otherwise, I mostly avoided any contact, and watched my girls enjoy their cousins. They played the Wii Rock Band and laughed until they had tears streaming down their faces. It was so fun to watch them.

Dan and I took a walk in Los Gatos and had about an hour of "normalcy." We talked about the people we saw walking and wondered what they went home to for the holidays. Did they look forward to it? Was it out of obligation or joy?

Sooo, I wasn't perfect - if Santa was watching I would guess I'm teetering a fine line somewhere between naughty and nice.

Thursday, December 25, 2008



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Speak No Evil

Those of you who know me, know I had a rough go with my mother-in-law on my birthday in July. I have spoken to her only once since. I have encouraged my husband and children to have a positive and productive relationship with her but I have removed myself from the equation. Soooo, here come the holidays. It is our usual course of action to go to her house sometime after Christmas during the school break. Our plan is to this year the day after Christmas. I thought about not going, just sending Dan and the girls. Dan asked me to go, the girls begged me to go, so I decided to go for them. Then we got a card in the mail from her and along with lots of other stuff, it said, "and Troy, thank you for the best present of all, your presence." Now, from the outside looking in, that's kind of sweet. From my perspective and knowing her like I do, it's a condescending dig.

The woman is over 80 years old. The signs she is losing her mind have been apparent for all the years I have known her. I still harbor a great deal of hurt and anger but the only one it's hurting is me. There is no satisfaction in it. She isn't affected by it at all. So I need to let it go, but how do I do that I keep my pride? How do I go down there and smile and be there for the girls and Dan and speak no evil? I need to - I know it will serve no purpose to say or do anything about this. I'm grinding my teeth already. This will be a real lesson for me. Can I be the person I wish I was? Can I fake it until I make it?

For now, I will just pray for snow so I can put it off a little longer.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Vacation Begins

Today was the last day of school before our two week break. The students were excited, the teachers were excited - the energy was high. I just went in to see the kids and be there for the class party. I love how energized they are and how ready they are for the holiday.

I was tired though. My parents watched the kids and Dan and I stayed in this amazing room at a local casino. They had this incredible week night deal making it affordable. It was so nice to have that time. I don't think we've had a night away since July. I know - for many people it's once a year if that - but it's always our goal to spend several nights a year by ourselves. We drank, ate, gambled, laughed, talked and had a really special time.
Our friend sent us champagne and chocolate covered strawberries- it was just the touch to help the night feel special and decadent. I got to the room about two hours before Dan could meet me. I filled this enormous jetted tub with hot, bubbly water. I turned the equally enormous flat screen tv (that is IN the bathroom) to the soaps I haven't watched in forever and climbed in. It was so relaxing and over the top. Seriously - a bath - who has time for that?

It was one of those nights when your forget there's an economy problem, you forget about stresses of work and family and just escape to another world. We felt so far away and we were only ten minutes from home.

In other news:
I had an interesting exchange with one of B's teachers at middle school. I received an email from her that blew me away. I can't imagine EVER talking to a parent the way she spoke to me. I got right down to her level and sent an equally nasty email back. I was fuming! I should have counted to ten and taken a deep breath before I clicked "send" but I didn't. It's all fine now, I went in to see her and though the resolution wasn't very satisfactory, the anger dissolved. It made me think about how anger can take over and make usually positive people snap. Then it is fed and grows until it almost feels good to be so angry. Interesting to think about....

Alrighty, I'm planning on riding the high I have now right on through the holidays. Exhausted, happy, content.....

Have a wonderful holiday season! (Catherine, Lisa and sometimes Elizabeth and Tricia - my only readers! :-) Hugs to you!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finding the positives

Working hard to find the positives right now. It shouldn't be difficult because there are many. Have you ever noticed though how easy it is to wallow in the negative? That negative energy just feeds off itself and multiplies. I've been there for a few days. Frustrated with a student at school and the system that is perpetuating the problem - whining to my peers who understand my frustration and by doing so, feed my need to be negative. (They are trying to be supportive - I'm just taking it where I want it to go.)

I'm worried about the economy - Dan's hours and salary are being cut. We'll be fine - mostly luxuries to be hacked - but a bummer none the less.
And really, that's it. Frustration at work and worries over money. If I were to list all the reasons to feel positive - the blog would over load. Yet here I wallow any way.

Then I got an email from a friend who didn't really know the extent of my wallowing but knew I was getting deeper. All it said was to look for positive aspects in every experience. That turned a light switch for me. My emotions are within my control. Many other things are not - but those are. I can reach for a positive thought that will lead to a positive feeling. I can do that. That's empowering.

Now, I just need to remember to do it! :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All is good

Dad got an "all clear." No cancer. Retest in 6 months. HUGE relief.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Family and all that

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I brought a couple of pounds and a cold home with me. We went to my brother's home, had fun eating, talking, laughing.... all the usual for our family.

Dan, the girls, my mom, my sister-in-law and I all did the 5:00AM Black Friday shopping event. I was hard pressed to find signs of the recession at the Roseville Galleria. There were sooooo many cars and people - most with arms full of bags. We made took care of a lot our gifts - but we're scaling way down this year, so this wasn't a huge task.

When we got home, the girls, Dan and I decorated the Christmas tree then pulled out a bunch of our old holiday videos to view and reminisce (sp?) about our Christmases past. They girls love watching scenes from their childhood - we all laughed so hard remembering some of those times. We have a "giggle video" that we love to watch over and over. B is about 21 months and K is about a month old. They are just out of the bath and in undies and diapers. B keeps touching K's belly button and K lets out this high pitched happy yell that sends B into a fit of giggles. They do this over and over. We've seen it a million times and still laugh hysterically every time we see it.

These videos remind me what a great family I have. Nothing is perfect and there are days I want to get in my car and just drive - see where the road takes me. However, most moments are good moments. We watch too much T.V., fight occasionally, eat out a few too many times a month, eat some non-organic processed foods and many other things that people from the outside looking in might judge as bad parenting, but we have two fabulous children. They do well in school, clean their own rooms, make their own lunches, do their own laundry, have amazing senses of humor and even more amazing warm hearts. They are good human beings and growing more incredible by the day.

In other daily news.....

We should hear today or tomorrow about my dad's biopsy results. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

I get in to see a homeopathic doctor who practices both Eastern and Western medicine on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed that my hives will disappear and the this two year journey of hives from cold will end.

I'm thinking of going back to school.....shhhhh.... I haven't told anyone yet. :-)

If you read my blog, will you email or comment?

Have a great day!