Friday, December 31, 2010

#30 Blogging

Of course, blogging had to be in my "30" list! I wouldn't even have a "30" list if not for blogging :)
This has been a wonderful addition to my life & it has given me a much needed outlet. I am not always the most open person (until I get to know you & am comfortable with you anyway) in real life. I am not one to spill my guts about everything that is going on in my life. Oh sure, I'll listen to you spill your guts & sympathize & if I have something relevant to share-I will, but otherwise-my best friends & family are usually the only recipients of that benefit ;)
It's not quite the same when it comes to writing though. I can type or write the hardest feelings for me to verbalize & publish/share them at the drop of a hat. Why? I don't know, but I can. Do I always then like to talk about them out there in real life? No, I still mostly save that for a few select people, but at least I know it's "out there" in space & then it's fair game for anyone who wants to bring it up & talk about it with me, I guess.
I have also discovered through blogging-people who seem to be very similiar to myself when it comes to this. I have also discovered people who have shared similiar struggles. I have also learned that although, I do like reading the "lighter" "funnier" blogs/things-give me the "hard" "heartwrenching" stuff over it anyday. I'm the same way when it comes to books, as a matter of fact. Romance novel or story of the Holocaust? I'd take the Holocaust story each & every time. I don't think that I'm a glutton for punishment or anything-I just have come to realize that I want to "know" the story & "know" how people deal with things~even the most terrible things that one can imagine. I feel like it gives me perspective on the world & how to attempt to keep terrible things from happening, which in & of itself is impossible. Happy endings happen and are great to read about, but I know that many times they come after many a struggle. This may also be why I become frustrated by romance novels when they end up not having a happy ending~at least make it worth it for me when I do take a step away from the more difficult stuff! :)
I also feel like I have had my eyes pried wide-opened by the blogging world. There are so many different people & so many different viewpoints~if one doesn't become more open-minded, then one will be frustrated all of the time! Growing up in a rural area & still living in a rural area surrounded by people who are very similiar to myself in their beliefs, doesn't always make for broadening one's views of the world, but blogging at least gives me "snippets" of what other people, different people have to go through & deal with in life & that is always interesting to me!
I am so grateful for blogging & although 2010 was a bit of a "slower" year for me-I am still so happy to have the experience of being able to share my life with those who care to read it!
I made it! :) 30 posts to celebrate 30 years & just before this year ends too! ;) Thanks for sharing in just a portion of the things that make & have made my little world go round!

#29 Luke

My son!

You were the answer to many, many years of prayers & the end to many, many tears that were shed as a result of those unanswered (at the time) prayers!

You are an awesome little guy! I know it & I want you to know it~even if others don't always see it-know that your mother always does :)

I remember life before you were in it & I can honestly say it is sooo much better now that you are in it!

Parenting is HARD!!! You have taught me this.

I am constantly concerned about how my decisions & the decisions of others are affecting you.

You are smart & ornery~this is not always a good combination ;)

You are also still sooo young~only 3~I have to remind myself of this from time to time, especially when I am expecting more out of you than you're ready for at times.

You have taught me so much & brought so much joy (& worrying too) into my life! I have cherished these last few years & can't wait to see what the next 30 bring! :)

#28 Infertility/Adoption

Infertility turned my world upside-down. It robbed me of the chance to experience a child growing in my womb. It kept all of the experiences of pregnancy, giving birth & the effects those have on one's body from me. It has brought much heartbreak into my life. It affected everything about me-physically, mentally, emotionally, & even spiritually. It changed forever the way I see the world and how it operates.
Adoption brought me the gift of motherhood. It made me a parent. It has brought much joy into my life. It has allowed me to experience the births of two children alongside their birthmoms. It has also brought me almost unbearable heartbreak, but luckily before this it had already given me the gift of my son who helped to ease the heartbreak. It causes me to wonder how it has & will affect my son & his life in the future. It has also changed forever the way I see the world & will see the world during the next 30 years.
I can't say that I have always been "happy" about these two things being part of my first 30 years, but both have had a major influence on who I am today & how I view things that happen in my world today & I know that they will both be a part of me for the rest of my life~for better & worse.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

#27 The Little People...

my nieces & nephew!

What can I say? They make me very happy! :)

Yes, several of them can be wild & crazy at times, one of them can be a bit of a "mother hen" at times, most of them like to sing and/or dance, a couple of them never seem to stop smiling, a couple of them have very powerful sets of lungs, one of them is always sleeping (give her a break she's only a couple months old at this point!), a few of them are fairly ornery, a couple of them really like to wrestle with my child (if they get the chance AND can get away with it :) and all of them have made me laugh/smile at one point or another!

I wouldn't trade any of them for the world & I'm so happy that Luke has all of these wonderful kids to grow up & play with!

Thanks for bringing so many memories & joy to my first 30 years! :)

#26 Scott's Family

In-laws...the family one becomes part of once married...sometimes this is a good thing...sometimes this is a not so good thing...lucky for me~mine is a very good thing! :)

When Scott & I got married, I not only gained a whole other family to become a part of, but also a new set of neighbors. We live literally "right across a pond" from my mother & father-in-law. A year or so later, Scott's brother & sister-in-law built a house in the field behind ours. And when his other brother & sister have traveled "home" from their respective homes, they too stay at his parents' house so the "neighborhood" is full of in-laws at any given time :)

We all enjoy spending time together & it is not unusual to gather together on Sunday mornings after church (because we all belong to the same church too, believe it or not~hehe ;)

It is also not unusual to find any of us randomly showing up at my mother & father-in-laws' house, especially now that the grandchildren are in the picture.

Of course, as with every family as each new member of the family enters, some customs/traditions have had to change a bit or at the very least be adjusted & in the same respect, there were several new/different traditions that I became introduced to as well.

Scott's family has been a great addition to my life & I'm so happy to be a part of their family & to have been welcomed so warmly into it!

Thanks for making the last part of my first 30 years so memorable & here's to many more memories over the next 30 years! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#25 Scott

10 years together...7 1/2 of them married...who knew?

Well, actually, I did :) I had a feeling after that first date that things would work out this way, but, of course, until they do-no one can know for sure I guess ;)

He is my husband & he is one of my best friends.

He knows me way better than most of the people who know me.

He is loyal beyond belief.

He loves me very much.

He can also annoy me quicker than almost anyone else :)

He doesn't always clean up after himself.

He does like to talk about work WAAAAYYYYY too much sometimes.

And he does REALLY like to tell the same stories again & again.


I wouldn't trade him for anyone else &...

he has made these last few years of my first 30 years wonderful!

Thanks hubby~love you! :)

#24 Beth

My sister...
when we were younger, I had to take you along with me & my friends whenever we were out someplace-very uncool to a junior high/high school age kid...
now that we are older, I willingly ask you to come along places & it's very cool! :)
when we were younger, we played together, but I was the older sister aka "the boss" so you pretty much had to go along with whatever I said...
now that we are older, you are your own person & instead of one of us being "the boss", we've become friends instead & neither one of us has to be "in charge" of the other
when we were younger, I had to "set a good example" for you because I was the oldest sister (even though I am only slightly 3 years older than you, which isn't really that much)...
now that we are older, I must have done a wonderful job :) because you set a great example for those around you!
So, thanks sis, for sharing (most of) these 30 years with me!

#23 Emily

My sister...
when we were younger, you were always right there at my heels or attempting to lead the way when I, the older sister, was too cautious to try something...
now that we are older, we're each making our own paths in life-different yet still very similiar too
when we were younger, we were either the best of friends or fighting like cats & dogs...
now that we are older, we very seldom fight anymore (maybe because we haven't had to live under the same roof for several years now ;) which leaves lots of room for friendship to continue growing as the years pass
when we were younger, I had to "set a good example" for you because I was the older one (even if only by 16 months)...
now that we are older, I must have done a super job :) because you set a great example for those around you!
So, thanks sis, for sharing (almost all of) these 30 years with me!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

#22 My Dad

My dad is awesome because...
*he raised me & loves me (& my family)...
*he loves my child & is a wonderful grandpa...
*being a farmer-we didn't see as much of him during the day as kids, but anytime one of us girls calls nowadays, you can bet you will be in for a longer telephone conversation...
*he never complains about helping out his own mother whenever she needs it...
*he enjoys spending time with his wife, my mother, especially if it means going to the casino boat together :)...
*he is probably my most loyal blog reader & is always asking about what the next post will bring (this one is yours dad ;)...
*he is one of the best people I know!
Thanks for giving me 30 wonderful years so far!

#21 My Mom

My mom is awesome because...
*she raised me & loves me (& my family)...
*she loves my child & is a wonderful grandma...
*she participated in many, many carpools to allow us girls to participate in the different activities that we got to do...
*when anyone asks her for help, she helps...
*she has always been there when I needed her most...
*she enjoys spending time with her husband, my dad, even if that does mean having to tolerate a trip to the casino boat every once in awhile ;)
*she is one of the best people I know!
Thanks for giving me 30 wonderful years so far!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#20 Sports

Sports have always been a part of my life in one way or another...
As a younger child, I remember going to watch my aunts & some of the ladies from where I grew up play softball during the summer. In the winter, I would sometimes get to go along with my mom to her Tuesday night bowlng league games (which she is still doing.) I always thought that both of these were really neat to watch.
As a little bit older child, I got to start playing on a summer league softball team of my own. I think it was like 3rd-8th graders at the time that I got to join (the ages changed a bit not too long after this, I think). I remember really liking it, but also being fairly nervous around all of the older girls too.
As a junior high age child, I very briefly attempted basketball (it was not for me!), tried track for a couple of years, but found one of my main loves when I was introduced to volleyball in 6th grade. I also continued playing softball both in school & during the summer & at some point started playing on 2 different summer teams for several years. It was busy, but it was fun!
As a high schooler, I continued playing volleyball & softball. I was definitely had a more successful volleyball career & even "started" on varsity for parts of both my junior & senior years (there always seemed to be 3-4 of us vying for the same 2 spots), but even if I didn't "start" I almost always got to play part of the game (unless a sprained ankle had me sidelined.) My high school softball story was a bit sadder, except for my sophomore year on JV, I rarely got to play outside of getting to be a designated hitter for 1 game of a doubleheader. Summer softball was always more of a favorite for the sheer fact that I actually got to have some "field" time, plus it had the bonus that most of the people on the teams were my friends outside of the sport too!
As a college person/adult, I have really gotten away from my playing days A LOT! Oh, I'm still up for the chance to play anytime I can get it, but there just don't seem to be quite as many opportunities around my current area as there were in the area I grew up. Especially not for women, which really irks my inner "feminist" at times :) I have missed it, but I can honestly say that I haven't missed the "busyness" of that kind of year-round schedule.
Last year, though, I volunteered as a 6th grade volleyball coach & I LOVED it! The coaching angle is quite a bit different from the player angle, but it does still let me get that taste of it & occassionally I still get to "play" by having to teach the skills to the players ;) Well in the new year, I will begin my journey as an "official" coach since I was hired to be a 7th grade coach this past fall. I'm excited about the upcoming season, but terrified by the prospect that I will officially be "in charge!" But as I have learned from my first 30 years of sports experience, I'll just have to take it one step at a time, learn the ropes, and just remember to breathe! :)
I wonder how important sports will be to my next 30 years?

"Voicing" Laryngitis's ups & downs

Since this past Sunday, I have been suffering from laryngitis, which means that my voice comes & goes as it pleases & when it does come, it isn't very well. Here are some pros & cons I have been experiencing...

Con: I either can't talk or if I can, it is very forced & my throat ends up hurting anyway :(

Pro: Students think that they need to whisper because I am whispering :)

Con: I had to attempt working in a school with small children all day long :(

Pro: I only had 2 days of school this week & the schedules for both days were fairly lax due to the holidays :)

Con: My 3 year old does not understand why I can't talk at times or why I won't go along with his bedtime song request to "sing louder Mommy!" :(

Pro: Baking cookies with my 3 year old is one activity that does not require a lot of talking :)

Con: I HATE not being able to talk at will for however long I want :(

Pro: I at least still get to go to bed each night with the hope that my normal voice will have returned by morning~when there is nothing else, there is still always hope left, right?! :)

Here's to hoping it's mostly back to normal by Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

#19 Birthdays

The number 19 will always make me think of my birthday, since that is my special date. Thus, the 19th edition of these "30 to celebrate 30" posts is simply just a celebration of birthdays!
I have been blessed so far in my life to have celebrated 30 birthdays, which I am well aware is many more than some ever get to & far fewer than others have gotten to & I am hoping that I still have many, many more left to celebrate.
No matter how hard the thought of getting older may seem at times, the thought of birthday cake never does get "old"! ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#18 Marriage

As of today, I have been married for 7 1/2 years! That is just a bit shy of 1/3 of my life at this point & already I can tell how it has morphed from the early days. It'll be interesting to see how much more it changes as I enter my next 30 years!
In the earliest days/years, I was often left wondering why people ever said "marriage is hard" & "marriage takes work" because those first few years were "easy" for the most part. I also scoffed at all of those people who said that "the first year of marriage is the hardest!" because ours was a "breeze."
In the middle years, I started realizing what "hard" felt like as we traveled the path of infertility & watched those around us whom we loved dearly getting that one thing that we were always left dreaming of/crying about the loss of. These were also the years where we really had to pull together as well because we could just have easily let it all fall apart and each gone our own way!
In these latest years, parenting has entered the mix & as the old cliche goes "children change everything." We don't go out as much as we used to...we think twice about doing something that will make us have to stay out late (because of an early wake up caller-unless he is spending the night somewhere!)...personally, I HATE having to be the one to line up a babysitter all of the time & am constantly left wishing that Scott would take on this task more often...I'm sure that he is not so happy about the fact that he can't & I can sleep through just about anything (yes, this means when Luke wakes up at night) because he is constantly left with this responsibility & probably wishes that I would wake up & take on this responsibility more often [for all of the "I just hear everything at night now that I am a mother & my husband sleeps like a log" mothers out there who might scoff at this, in my defense-I did hear everything when he was an infant/baby, but that changed for some reason around the 1-1 1/2 year mark!] Parenting=a million different little and major stressors & decisions that one has to endure 24 hours a day for many, many years probably the rest of one's lifetime. Add that into the mix with marriage & it can cause quite a bit of stress in a marriage, especially if anything gets "tough" in one or both of these areas at the same time. Lucky for us, even when we have become the most irritated with each other or when "tough" things have happened through the course of these past few years, we still know that there is no one else we would rather be irritated at or with than each other :)
No, there may not be as much of the ooey, gooey, mushy love/romance stuff anymore like the early days, but I wouldn't trade what our marriage has "grown" into for anything & I can't wait to see where it "grows" over the next 30 years! [I'll probably be left thinking just how naive I was at this time-just like I think now about the 'early' years ;) hehe]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

#17 College

Some people yearn for/talk about/wish (at times) they could go back to their high school days. NOT ME!!!
Some people despise/choose not to talk about/are glad that they never have to go back to their high school days (including reunions).
Once again, NOT ME!!!
High School was okay-I had lots of good memories & there were a few not so good. Basically, I remember a lot of homework & activities/sports, friends being the center of my world (but me not really going out all that much) & A LOT of obsessing over various things and people. I enjoyed it, but feel much better that that part of my life is over with, at least until a reunion pops up again once every 5 years. And, YES, I have enjoyed my class reunions very much-it's fun to catch up with everyone & see how we've all changed (and not in that "oooo I can't wait to get revenge/see so&so fat" sort of way!)
For me, the part of my life that I could go back to in a heartbeat is college (just as long as I could drag some of my friends along with me ;) Again, there were a few speedbumps along the way, but boy was it A LOT of fun too!
*Living out on my own (with many wonderful roommates along the way! I was very lucky in this respect-I had great roommates, for the most part, all throughout my college days.)
*Lots of fun was had both by going out & by staying in (& yes, many times there may have been a bit of liquor involved & sometimes it was just plain old nuttiness/probably stupidity on me and my friends' parts :)
*Classes that I loved & made me feel challenged. What can I say, I'm a "school" girl. I like it & I kind of always liked homework too-NERD ALERT, I know!
*My last 2 years were probably the best of them all because I had friends I could depend on/have fun with, Scott had entered my life at this point & I finally felt like I was headed in the "right" direction with life in general. The only people missing from my life at this point were the "little people" aka Luke & anyone else who has been born over the past 7+ years as well as a few other friends that I have made in that timeframe too :)
*Infertility had yet to turn my world upside down & inside out-completely changing the way I view almost everything in life.
Last, but definitely not least, was being an "adult" & being viewed as an "adult" without truly having to completely be the adult!!! :)
Awww, college, thanks for all of the memories, but no matter how much fun it would probably be to go back-I'll take where I am in life right now instead & continue hoping that 30 more years of memories will be just as fun to reflect on too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sugar Sprinkles

I thought that title sounded more fun than "tidbits" or "updates" or whatever other regular/kinda dull title I usually come up with :) plus 'tis the season for sugar cookies & of course sugar sprinkles so it works! ;)

*WHOOPS!!! Dec 1st came & I thought "this date seems important somehow, but why?" Alas, it was a Wednesday though (which is my busiest of the week usually) & between going to work, staying an hour later to tutor, picking up Luke then immediately dropping him off at Gram & Gramp's so that I could eat supper/prepare my lesson/then head up to church to teach PSR, then picking Luke back up since Scott (who usually does this on these nights) had chosen to work late on this particular evening, putting Luke to bed & finally just putting my own feet up for a bit & heading off to bed-(I'm going to pause here just to admire this super great run-on sentence that isn't quite done yet ;)-& then vaguely acknowledging Scott as he came home/to bed somewhere around 10:30, somehow just due to life, basically, I managed to forget that this was an important date! Sometime during a shopping day/date together this past Friday (the 3rd), my brain finally caught up with the rest of me & I remembered that Dec 1st is the anniversary of when Scott & I had our very first date...10 YEARS AGO! A whole decade. Longer than some marriages. Crazy. I can't believe it's been this long already (I know, how cliche, right?) We have had our share of many,many good times & of course, bad times too, but here's hoping that the next 10 years will bring plenty more good times than bad & that we're still smiling on the other end of it ;) hehe

*We have been celebrating Advent here by doing a little "Christmas" each day. Thus far it's mostly been decorating something each day with just a bit of baking tossed in recently. It's been nice not having to do it all at once. Next up...Christmas cards, baking & making candy, holiday parties, reading more of our Christmas books, etc.

*A batch of sugar cookies was made this past weekend. I had picked Luke up his own little rolling pin & he did such a good job rolling out his little ball of dough & then using the cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. He is one smart "cookie" though & quickly realized that one could eat the dough at the edges of what was rolled out without messing up his cookies.

*He ate so much dough-I kept thinking...this is going to be bad if we have to take him to an E-room ;) (He also reported that the dough tasted sooo much better than the actual cookies once they were all made!)

*There are only 9 more days of school until Christmas break begins! Usually this is means for rejoicing, but somehow this year it seems like it is going to be difficult to "fit" everything in before vacation arrives.

*Happy "Immaculate Conception" Day to all of my fellow Catholics out there! I'm not even sure if that is appropriate to say, but there it is. We went to church last night & Luke was really excited to be going to "Aunt Janet's" (not our regular parish) church. Luckily, she was there to say hello to afterwards & my apologies to all sitting within a 100 yard radius of us after the 'Sign of Peace'-if you were there, you know why :)

*Speaking of church, Luke does not like to wear his shoes in church. They are the first thing that comes off & yes, I am that mother. I have chosen my battle & this is not it...I just let him leave them off until church is done. I could force the issue, but I figure that I am happier knowing that he actually "pays attention" (even though it may not look like it to bystanders) & knows what is going on during the Mass. He loves watching Father & watching "what happens next" so I don't fight him on the shoes. Maybe if he is 8 & still not wearing them-then I'll pick this battle, but he's 3 & I'm not.

*Our priest is convinced that Luke will either be a wine presser or a Franciscan because neither of these jobs requires shoes. Either one sounds good to me-extra wine or extra prayers-both are needed to make it through life at times, right?! ;)

Hope you have enjoyed these "sugar sprinkles" & there should be several more posts coming up in the near future between Christmasish posts & finally wrapping up my "30" themed posts!