Tuesday, April 30, 2013

how to tell......................

If you regularly read this blog, then you won’t be surprised by the statement that my kids and I are rather a close-knit unit.  We’ve always been a close family, even before Rob got sick.  I would not say that the tragedy of this past year has brought us closer to each other, but rather that we have clung on to one another a little more tightly and almost exclusively, which I think is normal and right.  It is a good thing…   but, spending almost all your time with double-digit midgets does have its consequences…………
 In light of the seriousness and dreariness of my last post I thought I would add a little humor to this blog.  The idea for this post came to me when I saw a blue port-a-potty parked at a construction site down the street from my house and immediately thought I’d spotted the TARDIS.  After a week of this same thing I thought, “Man, I need to watch something besides science-fiction”.
The top 10 signs that not only are your kids geeks, but that you might just be one, too – or just in desperate need of some adult conversation.
  (and don’t feel bad if you don’t get any of these – there are many I wish I could unknow.  Like cat bug.)
1) I’ve already mentioned the TARDIS.  And catbug.
2)   Someone offered me cake and I had to refuse because, “the cake is a lie.”
3) Any hissing noise immediately puts me on my guard for a creeper – which I am sure is right behind me, ready to explode. 
4) Everything – EVERYTHING – can be made into an arrow to the knee joke
5) A broken jar of tartar sauce in aisle 2 sends me looking for Tim-Tim and his mini-minotaur. 
6) I hurled a barrel and cut down a house plant and was genuinely surprised that it didn’t yield any sort of financial gain. 
7)   Did I mention catbug?
8)   “Dude, this thing claims I have mail.  Dude, now I’m totally reading it”, “We’re on a bridge Charlie”, “I like Trains”,  “Once upon a time in the magical land of Toronto, Canada……….” and other ridiculous movie/youtube quotes are a part of my daily – if not hourly – conversation
9)  I understand several phrases in Elvish, and worse – I can respond now. 
10)  I have had the most imponderable joy of watching Charlie is so cool like, which makes me, like, cool

Now, someone please go bake me a pie – what flavor?  PIE FLAVOR!  I’m off to Facebook chat with my daughter, even though she is in the same house as me.  Because that’s how we roll.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

five months

My dream of all dreams and my hope of all hopes
Is only to tell you and make sure you know
How much I love you and how much I always did.
And yes I know you loved me, I can see it in your eyes
And it was in your struggle and it was in your mind
And it was in the smile you gave me when I was a kid
Feels like no one understands
And my only chance
To talk to you is through my prayers.
I only wanted to tell you I cared
Every night after and every day since,
I found myself crying when the memory hit.
Sometimes it knocks me down; sometimes I just put it away.
Down in my mind where I don't care to go
The pain of a lesson is letting me know
If you have love in your heart let it show while you can
Yes, now I understand
But now my only chance
To talk to you is through my prayers.
I only wanted to tell you I cared.”
 - The Avett Brothers (Through My Prayers)

I haven’t updated my blog in a while – mostly because my less-then-adequate internet connection makes uploading pictures frustrating.  So there have been dance performances, scouting ceremonies and events, and a trip to another country that I want to write about and share pictures – but it’s hard when I can easily be so discouraged by a timed-out response when trying to upload a picture
The other reason is because of 5 words.
 I just can’t even imagine 
I hear it a lot.  
a lot
I think it’s something I’ve probably said.  When there’s nothing else to say. 
I never really thought about what it was saying.
And since I hear it often I thought I would tell you that you’re right. 

You can’t. 

I hope that you never can. 
And while you might be impatient for us to figure out our new life, “get over it”, you might be anxious for us to move back to the states where you’ll be closer to us, you might not want to think about how hard every single second of every miserable day is, you might want to suggest more prayer, or a Bible verse (or medication) -I want you to remember this:  You just can not – CAN NOT – even begin to imagine.  No matter who you are.
  I used to be something else.  And I don’t mean to put myself up on a pedestal.  But I was, I was something else because of the extraordinary team I was a part of.   I don’t mean to make Rob out to be something more than he was either, but we really were quite the amazing team.  And the 5 of us, together.  We were unstoppable.  
   To say the least: the kids got where they needed to be on time, we ran cub scout dens, and volunteered in whatever the kids were doing, completed work and training, homeschooled the kids, kept appointments, dinner was yummy, the house was clean, the yard was tended, the car was cared for, and moving (while not without its challenges) was not a big deal. 
   Intention is a dangerous word
There are days when my every intention is to make some sort of progress on something – anything - and I am stuck staring at an open closet door where his uniforms are hanging.  Suddenly it’s 3 hours later and I don’t know where that time went.   I seem to constantly be running late and have missed appointments (that ARE written down – in several places).  I have found myself doing dishes and I will be hit with a memory of those last days and find myself washing the same plate for 30 minutes.  I forget things and am so unfocused, easily frustrated and overwhelmed.  Consumed.   
  I don’t think I thought about what we were going through.  I just cared for him and that was all, I wrote about things and how awful they were awful then, but I was somehow protected from really being overloaded by the enormity of their weight.  Now when I remember something I am forced to almost relive it.  And feel it.   And it is paralyzing.   
   Working on anything for the move – for any of the 4 of us– just forces the realization of leaving here.  The only home the boys can remember and the last place the 5 of us lived together as a family for SEVEN years.  It also means moving away from a military community and leaving that life behind, which is all my kids have known and what we’ve been immersed in for 16 years. We, none of us, want to leave here though we, all of us, realize we have to and are accepting of it – but please stop expecting us to feel excited about it.  or even to make the best out of it.  That just doesn’t fit in this situation.  It just DOESN’T. 
     I pray everyday.  I read the Bible (almost) every day.  I am running or at least walking every day. I am sleeping a normal amount, most of the time. I have people checking in on me and offering to help – I only wish I knew what to ask.   I have talked to people about my head.  I am assured this is all normal and unless I want to go on medication (which I DO NOT) then all I need is time.   I talk to my kids all the time, every day, and they talk to me about all that’s going on with them.  I know what they’re going through and I know their hurt.  The four of us are dealing, together, with everything and keeping God center.  But, you just can’t even begin to imagine.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

class feis

The Ramstein class fees - My two dancers had a good time - and after the long day we went out for pizza with a bunch of the dancers and parents.  It was a good time and a nice way to spend our last feis with Mary and so many of the other families that would be moving away from Germany and Tir na nOg.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

grown up

For Sarah's 18th birthday I asked many people to write Sarah a letter.  The letters could be anything they chose, just something to wish her a Happy 18th Birthday - normally a big milestone, but this made even more so as being so soon after her Daddy died.  People sent beautiful letters offering advice, songs, Bible verses, humor, movie/TV quotes, stories about her daddy, little gifts, etc.  There were over 40 letters and almost everyone I asked to participate really went above and beyond to put a lot of thought.  It was such a blessing and she loved it.  
 Decorating cupcakes with bestie, Hannah

Sarah's cake (something from her favorite video game, the Legend of Zelda) made for her by the mother of her good friend, Rachel.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


for our last hurrah we spent a rainy,chilly day in Oxford. Our sightseeing was a little hampered by the cold and wet conditions, but we managed to have a great lunch at the Eagle and Child Pub (a dream come true for a literary geek like my son, Noah) and see a bit of the beautiful architecture on the buildings throughout the town.  
 Noah in the "Rabbit Room" inside the Eagle and Child Pub, where the Inklings met

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wizard for a Day

one of our favorite days during the trip was a visit to the Harry Potter studios outside of London.  Some friends of ours from Germany arranged this trip for us and, for the Harry Potter nerds that we are, we couldn't have asked for a better gift!  We spent the day climbing around on set pieces, meandering through Diagon Alley, taking our picture in the Mirror of Erised, pouring over art direction and set models of giant arachnids, hippogriffs, and the Hogwarts castle.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


A fun-filled day trekking about London with Heather and her daughter, Stella, we walked for miles and got to see all the spots we wanted to hit:  Abbey Road, Trafagler Square, Leicester Square, Wesminster Abbey, London Bridge, Big Ben..... it was such a great day.

 Some of our favorite things were being silly trying to get these shots of the clocktower, cramming into the telephone booths, riding the tube, and stopping for hot-chocolate and pastry.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

in the Park

We spent a day at a nearby park with our gracious host family. We ended with some ice cream, because it's NEVER too cold for ice cream.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

a nerd's eye view

Dr. Who, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, OH MY!  We traveled ALL over London and explored all the geekiest places we could find.  With the help of a hop-on/hop-off bus, and our fearless tour-guide, Moira, we came - we saw - we were not EXTERMINATED!!