Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nifty Idea

I got this nifty idea to do a Family Photo Shoot as a gift to my Dad for his 60th Birthday. (I couldn’t write about it until we gave it to him:)

I set up a Sunday morning 11am time frame at a cute little Parks n Rec park down south close to Missy’s house (my step sister). I even begged my once night owl brother, Mark and my Sister in Law, Suzi to get up for it. I’ll leave out the fact that they beat us all there.

We decided on black tees and jeans for all ten of us: Missy and her family of four, Mark & Suzi, and me and my family of four.

We let the kiddos all play when we first arrived and I just started shooting candids; which was great because the kiddos didn’t realize at first. We didn’t really have too much of a plan, just the idea that we take a bunch of shots and frame them in a collage of sorts. (Can you believe it, I didn’t have a plan!?)

We had a really good time. We laughed and giggled and even joked about some silly shots we should do. Some we did and others we didn’t. (Miss, I totally should have pushed you on that swing, LOL). And the photo bombing my brother did behind the four grandkids was priceless!

We ended up going with pictures of the two grandsons, the two granddaughters, all the girls, all the boys, each individual family, each couple, and each grandchild separately. Oh, and of course a silly pic of all the adults on each of their cell phones not paying attention to each other (Dad hates when we do that;). We finished up with a photo of all ten of us together that was perfect for the main focus of the collage.

All in all, I found a collage frame with TWENTY-FIVE openings and was able to fill it through some very tough choices! Ok, so I didn’t do a list going in, but did you really expect not to see something like this…

We had a blast setting it up and were tickled over the fact that we kept such a secret. Can’t wait to see where he displays it.


Sixty Things

Family is everything

Respect and Love your Mom

Call your brother

Stand your ground

Teach your kids

Change a tire

Drive a stick shift


Drive an RV

Parallel Park

Use a level

Name that tune

Trust his instinct in men

TV Tunes

Check the oil

Mow the lawn

Climb a tree

Clean your plate

Don’t waste food

Don’t smoke

Enjoy your music


Fight for what you believe

Record musicals on cassette

Work for yourself

Words hurt

Trust your gut

Some things are meant to be


Seal coat your driveway

Hammer a nail

Back your spouse

Discipline your children

Train a dog

Don’t swim with a weight belt


Drive in the snow

Be symmetrical

Visit Cape Cod


Meet new people

Visit old friends

Paint changes rooms

Hair grows back

Screen in your porch

Don’t grow up too quickly

Fly a kite

Walk in the rain

Appreciate nature

Love animals

Regular is not Phillips

Celebrities are people

Use your resources

Love thy neighbor

Iron fists bend

Pay with cash

Fireflies aren’t bugs

Be proud of your kids

Swim parallel to the tide

Never get too old to call him Daddy




Monday, June 25, 2012

Pile Of Dog Crap

What to do when you're damned either way? Who knows? Who will ever know?

What I do know, is that this situation pops up every two-three years. It happens when I've met my quota, when I've had enough, when I just can't take any more. When I'm tired of being stepped on, or seeing someone I love stepped on or just plain tired. Tired of selfish comments and actions. Tired of being left out. Tired of being taken advantage of. Just. Plain. Tired.

I finally speak up.

And no matter how I do, I come out smelling like a pile of dog crap.

It's inevitable. It's impossible for the situation to go any other way than me smelling like a pile of dog crap.

No matter what I point out. No matter what I say. No matter what I refrain from saying. No matter who I complain to. No matter what happened to get the two-three year cycle started again. It's always me. My problem. My issue. My fault.

It's bullshit.

Or a pile of dog crap.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

You Make It Happen

A letter arrived in the mail addressed “to the parents of Madylin.” 

Woohoo! It was the letter informing us that our Future Third Grader (wasn’t she just born) was accepted into S.T.E.P. (Smyrna Triad Enrichment Program).

I am beyond proud. I am ecstatic. I am thrilled. And honored. And, did I mention, proud?

This is the child that is five days shy of the age group for her grade. Five days shy of my Alma Mater allowing her to test or try or even chat with the principal about early enrolling. Five days.

Those five days prevented that school the opportunity to teach this young mind, to shape her future, to encourage greatness. Those five days prevented that school from knowing this bright, shining star that is our child.

Thankfully, as I’ve mentioned before, one school gave her a chance. One school knows not every child is a rule. One school talked to her, encouraged her and taught her how to be herself and learn as fast as she may want to learn. Thankfully, Tender Loving Kare in Middletown gave her the opportunity she needed.

Am I bitter? I sound so, I know.

No, I’m not bitter. I’m proud. Not only of our Madylin and the smart, loving, kind, caring, courageous girl she is; but I’m proud of her parents and that we didn’t give up, didn’t take no for an answer, and we kept pushing for our girl.

When you know what’s right for your child, you make it happen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Post My Mom Wrote

Events Leading up to June 13, 1975


I had just started a brand new job, was just getting into the swing of it when I discovered I was pregnant with my first child. When we made our calls to our parents to give them the good news (“Guess what, you’re going to be grandparents!”) Juli’s Dad’s mom said “Oh, I know, isn’t it exciting??” My best friend, my sister-in-law Lynne, was also pregnant with her first child!

Lynne and I were both so excited to be pregnant together that when they came down to Dover for a visit, we went to the old Woolco Department Store and bought two maternity tops, stuffed pillows underneath them, and modeled for our husbands! How silly we were to be looking forward to those maternity clothes when we still had 7 months to go!!

Our due dates were about 2 weeks apart!

Morning, Night, Everyday Morning Sickness:

Lynne didn’t suffer like I did through all the nausea! Lucky girl!!

My best friend for most of the 9 months was those sleeves of saltines that I kept on my bedside table and carried with me everywhere. Before my feet hit the floor in the morning, cracker crumbs littered the bed. I couldn’t go near the meat case in the grocery store and as much as I loved to cook, I couldn’t eat the food I cooked. It smelled delicious the whole time I was cooking, but then when I would sit down to eat, I’d totally lose my appetite. Still can’t understand where all those pounds came from since it didn’t seem like I could keep enough down to have gained all that weight.

Due Date:

First Lynne’s due date came and went, still no baby, and she was gaining on my due date of June 1st. Then my due date came and went, still no babies! Finally she had Matthew, which gave me hope that at some point I would deliver my baby…after all, I certainly couldn’t have mine before hers! LOL

I don’t remember the exact date my mother came up from South Carolina to be with us, but I do remember that she was here at least 10 days beforehand. She took over the cooking, laundry, etc. as we all waited for my time to come.

Mom, being the helpful person she was, decided to see if she could help move things along a little faster. So we went running around for a couple days to used furniture stores, yard sales, shopping til I would drop. In an out of her Challenger, up and down steps, lots of walking…No luck, baby was still very happy where he/she was! Leave it to Mom to step it up a little bit…on Monday of the week our baby made an appearance, Mom decided that we should go strawberry picking!! Now, I am eternally grateful that there were no cell phones with cameras in existence way back then as I struggled to get my enormous self down in a strawberry picking position and then get myself back up again! And the whole time, Mom and I are laughing hysterically at ourselves and what we were doing!! (The strawberries were delicious!!)

My mother continued her helping ways through the week, serving me watermelon and corn on the cob hoping that might get things moving. What really got things rolling, though, was her asking me if I knew what Friday was. Heck no…I wasn’t thinking that far ahead! When she told me that Friday was Friday the 13th, I just looked at her and said, “that’s the day I’ll have this baby!”

FRIDAY, June 13, 1975

Sure enough, I woke up Friday in labor and the three of us took off for Dover Air Force Base Hospital where Julianne was born on June 13th at 1:37 p.m., the first grand-daughter on both sides!!