Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bullet-Point Journal of the last month

It's not that I can't write in complete sentences and craft intelligent blog posts about what it going on--it's that I don't have time.

I have to save the "complete" and "intelligent" parts for areas beyond the blog.

But for the purpose of memory keeping and sharing with those who follow me here, this is the nutshell of what I have been up to for the last month. Bullet-Point-Style.


  • College. Me--in college. I'm only taking one class this semester and one is enough. I'm doing a lot of writing in this class, which, as you know is what I love. I find the class a tiny bit challenging and a lot-bit nerve wracking. Something about turning a paper in that you have poured emotion into and then edited to suit the assignment for a grade. I have to save most of my "intelligent" energy for this class.
  • College. Nathan applying for college. He is totally sure of where he wants to go. But mom is forcing him to have a backup plan. Plan A is expensive. 
  • Scholarships. Because Plan A is expensive, scholarships need to be applied for. Here he is winning his first one:

He was one of four (out of 114) to win a $500 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to St. Louis for a "Town Hall Meeting"; another leadership conference which is just sort of right up this kid's alley. He writes speeches at football practice and practices them on the way to the event. He gets just the right amount of nerves. He is a really, really good public speaker.

  • Work. I am still busy working in Wilton. Business is picking up. This is good because we all like to eat.
  • Weight loss. I lost 10 pounds this last month. Kind of crazy, I know. I am working on a writing project for someone who is a Yoli distributor. We made a trade, I got a month supply of products, I lost weight while writing. Yay me!
  • Pictures. Tis the season where I take football photos for the high school football team. I love those Friday Night Lights. I love being able to capture a piece of that for the athletes and families to keep forever. 
  • No weddings. Yet.  Some of you know that last weekend was the "date" that my fiancĂ© and I picked out to tie the knot. We had a little something planned that was supposed to be a surprise to everyone. But it turned out that the surprise was on us. We didn't get married last weekend. 
  • Marz is working.
  • Claire is running cross country.
  • Tookie is playing her first year of junior high volleyball.
  • Nathan is the kicker for football.
  • I love every second of this crazy-busy-bullet-point life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Another LAST First Day

I decided to delete my post from a couple of days ago when I talked about my son's last first day of school.

On Monday, I registered the kids for school.  As I was at the school, signing paper after paper, giving out health information (again), purchasing athletic passes, reading computer forms, paying for lunches and all that happens this time every year for the last 13 years....
...it all became real.

This would be the last time I register my son for school.

Next year, it will be all on him.

Which is another thing.  He's started applying for colleges.  He already has a first choice in schools and a backup-plan if that first choice doesn't work out.  But he is determined to make it all work.

I'd like to make note that this is ALL HIM.  He is determined.  He knows what he wants and where he wants to go.  HE is applying.

While I support him and sob silently in the background.

I'm not sad that he is transitioning from one chapter to the next, and doing an excellent job of it while I try desperately to hold him back  on for a few more minutes.

I'm sad because I feel like I may not have savored every word on every page of every chapter that I have been so blessed to be a part of up till now.  Did I actually wish days away?  What was I thinking?

And not even 24 hours after I signed him up for his last year of high school, he brought home his application for the Iowa Page Program.

You should know that I knew this would happen.  He considered applying for this his junior year, but chose to stay home and be the president of his class and plan a prom.  He wanted to then, but wanted to plan prom too.  So he said, "next year, mama.  Next year."

Now it is next year.




So next week, we will celebrate (or mourn, depending whether or not you are the kid or the mama in this story) another last first day.

I swear, I swear, I will not take a single day of this year for granted.  I will take it all, the hustle, the stress, the everything and savor it.  Or at least I will not wish it away. 

Because for all the time I've invested in these kids....I can see the payoff.  It may have seemed that I demanded a lot from them.  And it's true.  But only because I expect them to be good people.  To love God.  To love each other.  To use the gifts they were each given.  And to let everything else fall into place.  In the process, some things have to fall to the wayside. 

And guess what...sometimes it works out.  I never ever expected anything more than the greatness that is unique to each of my children.  It looks different for them all. 

Which just colors my life.  

Mamas~train you kids to be who they were meant to be and not what anyone else thinks they should be. 
And they just might do it. 

In honor of this new LAST First Day, I'm including a reprint of an article that I wrote and was published several years ago in the Texas Suburban Parent magazine and the Virginia Child Guide.  It is about me sending my youngest off to kindergarten. 

Sigh. 

I miss kindergarten.  And I will forever be thankful for the kind school nurse who gave me a box of tissues and didn't rush me out of kindergarten round-up with mascara running down my face. 

It is no longer my current story.  Just a memory.  One I'm determined to keep alive.  If you care to note, there is a comment about "blinking" and knowing that all of this will fly by.  That's my story now.  No blinking.
The Last First Day
By: Robin Paulsen

I’ve spent the last five years, two months and 25 days in complete denial about the inevitable event that will soon take place in our household. Quite frankly, I’ve refused to even think about this particular topic and have ably dodged the questions regarding it from well-meaning friends and family members.
But now, there is no more denying that the dreaded day is upon me. Maybe it’s upon you as well. I’m talking about the last first day of kindergarten.
My baby, the youngest of four, will soon be skipping off into the land of public education and structure as I smile, wave and tell her to have fun, all the while, suppressing my tears. Because after this day, I will never again have another “first day” of kindergarten. This is the last one. I’ve been around the mother-hood long enough to know all too well that I am going to just blink and she’ll be getting her driver’s license and shopping for prom dresses. I’ll blink again and find her walking across a stage as she accepts her diploma.
That settles it. I’m done with the blinking.
My baby, of course, having watched three older siblings going off to school, has been waiting her whole life for this day. She has practiced all she thinks she needs to know before walking into a classroom. Tying laces, zipping zippers, and reciting her address and phone number are all a breeze for her. She can write her alphabet. The proof is permanent and on our basement wall. And not being satisfied with just saying, recognizing and writing her ABC’s, she has successfully burped her way through the alphabet song. In her mind, this feat must be worth some sort of extra credit.
It’s true that I’m sad. Sad that a chapter of her life is about to come to an end. But I’m also proud of the fact that I get to be her mommy in every chapter of her life.
And to answer all those questions as to my plans for the school year, I’m not sure what that will look like. I’m not quite to that chapter of my life and, right now, I’m content to savor every page of this one.

I do have a couple of predictions, though, on what the last first day will look like for me. I do believe that a staff member of our school will hand me a tissue and escort me off the property. I’ll go home, drink a hot cup of coffee without having to reheat it, use the bathroom without interruption, and perhaps, read an entire magazine article from start to finish.

But I definitely will not blink.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"I could complain, but nobody would listen..."

...that is why I blog.

Today has been a pretty awful day.  It sort of reminds me of the song by Shania Twain that goes...

Honey I'm home and I had a hard day.
Pour me a cold one
 And oh, by the way,
Rub my feet
Give me something to eat
Cuz hey, honey I'm home.

 The only flaw being that HOME is where all the hard day happened.  

I'm ready to go back to work!  

For the selfish purposes of venting, and hopefully feeling better after, here's my day:

Alarm goes off.
Sleep 30 minutes past alarm.
Wake up to this....

 

Thank you, dogs.
Go to let dogs outside.
The rope is wrapped around my car tire.
I step in doggie-doo trying to get the rope out.
To no avail.
Grab my keys to move car.
Tie up dog.
 Notice that his food which was left out from earlier is crawling with ants.
So I kick the food out before dog can start in.
Which I'm certain has garnered some looks 
from neighbors or 
businesses located close by
who may have already been alerted to my mood towards said dogs
Since windows are open.
(note....I was not teasing my dog with food only to kick it out away from him.)
(I was keeping him from eating ants.)
(Besides, he's already eaten our leftover supper.)
So I spray the ants off the sidewalk 
And the doggie-doo off my shoes
And head back inside to get ready for my work day.
Which was wonderful, I'd like to say.
Until I received text messages from my kids that they were finding chicken bones hidden in the cushions of the couch.
Cool.
So now I'm home.
And I have some furniture to vacuum.
But I wanted to complain about it first.  
Thank you.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Have you heard the one about the traditional and non-traditional student?

What's the difference between a "traditional" and a "non-traditional" college student?

Bunions.  
I'm joking.  Kind of.

When I'm nervous, I tend to hide behind humor. 

Today I start back to college for the first time in over 20 years. 

I have taken several different types of classes and attended writers' conferences over the years, but I never actually obtained a degree.

Today I take the first step towards that goal.  Because I can.

I'm nervous because what if I spend the next five years working towards it and I end up taking care of parents or grandkids?  What if I end up landing the perfect-for-me job at a newspaper and I end up not even needing that degree?  What if the book(s) I write take off and I end up traveling and speaking? 

What if?

I've finally come up with the answers to those questions:  I will be a caretaker/reporter/author/speaker/traveler with a degree.

Today I'm taking that first step.

I've got my back-to-school outfit all picked out....

It's a good thing that my first class is online.  The other college kids might make fun of my jammies.

 And my designed-for-comfort footwear. 

Because, you know, I am a non-traditional student.  Proof is right there on my left foot. 







 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Turkey and Cheese Love

 This is a repeat post from last year.  
This summer looks pretty similar, minus a couple of details here, sprinkling a few over there, still packing lunches and spending hours on end at the ballpark.
Hope you are enjoying your summer. 
Thanks for stopping by and visiting me here at Write-On, Mom!  
 

Nothing says "I love you" like a turkey & cheese sandwich with mayo and mustard.

Or so I'm told.

The Wildcat has been putting in 40 hours a week at his summer job.  He leaves there and heads off to baseball every night.  He dresses for three teams.

I'm sorta proud of this kid.


Earlier this month, I told him I would pack him a cooler and drop it off to him.  I did exactly that.  When I approached the dugout he looked at me like "what are you doing here?" 

Not the reaction I had hoped for.  I handed him his lunch and walked away.  And held back my tears.

The next game I did the same thing.

And the next game.

And the next.



His reaction quickly changed over the course of the month.  And I actually got a "Thanks, mama. I love you."

Did you read that?

He said it.  In the dugout.  With team and coaches present.  

I handed him his cooler and walked away.  And held back my tears.




Yesterday the Wildcat told me that in between games, one of his teammates said "Nathan, your mom must love you."

"Why's that?" he wondered.

"She always makes you a big lunch for your games."

"Ya.  She does."

Be still my heart....I do.

I'm adding this to my "Mama Bible":   
And this is how you will know thy mama's love for you:
 by the contents of thy lunchbox
Which overfloweth with Turkey and Cheese
PB & J
Fruit Snacks, Gatoraide 
All of that
and a bag of chips


 

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Role, New Student and Newly Signed

So there's alot going on behind the scenes here at Write-On, Mom!.

In the last few weeks, I signed on for some new responsibilities at work, I signed up for some new classes in college and.....I signed a contract to write a book.

Allow me to expand:

New Responsibilities:  No secret I am a licensed massage therapist practicing at the Wilton Chiropractic Clinic.  Recently our office manager retired.  I am not the new office manager.  But I am taking on some of her responsibilities alongside my massage work that I do there. 

New Classes:  I write for the QC Times.  And I love it.  I am not on staff but on a work-for-hire basis there.  Someday it would be great if I were on staff there.  I asked my editor a few questions and he let me know that even though I have the bylines, in 5 years if I want to contend with the others applying for staff positions, it would do me well to take some courses in multi-media journalism.  So I am.

Newly Signed:  Last week I signed a contract to write a book. 
I've been writing newspaper and magazine articles for years...and books that mostly exist in my head for years.  But this book isn't in my head....it's in someone elses!  I'm a ghostwriter.  I'll be putting pen to someone else's story. Sounds kinda creepy.  But I'm officially a "ghost." 

THIS IS A BIG DEAL to me. 

Dear Blog Readers,  You have told me time and time again that I put words to your emotions.  QC Times subjects have told me that I have put words to their thoughts.  And even people that I have taken sports and wedding photos for have told me how I have been able to capture their story. 



Now I will be capturing another's story...in. a. book.

Big deal to me. 

I feel like going out to buy a new backpack. 



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Son Still Wants to be Spider-man When He Grows Up

So the Wildcat still wants to be Spider-man when he grows up.

He's wanted to be this species of super-hero ever since he was like four.

This hasn't changed.

He still laughs in the face of danger, pretends to sling his web at people or situations that seem to warrent a good web-slinging, (sound effects and all) and insists that any bug bite, bruise or welt is a spider-bite intended to increase his super powers.

(I admit that I may have entertained this thought when undergoing a bone marrow biopsy a couple of years back....my bad)

The only thing that has changed is his age, size and voice.

He's 17, barely fits in his own bed, and when he says "mama, can you sing me 'sunshine'?" as a bedtime song, it sounds exactly the same except that his voice is like way, way lower.  And I can tell that he needs to shave.  

I love how some things never change. 

It's probably good that his 17-year-old Spider-man personality also sees fit to aspiring to be involved with the Senate, Congress, Education, Business, and Government.

Spid-ey characteristics probably would work well with any of these things....just not a BOX to check or MAJOR or MINOR or even a CERTIFICATE when planning a college career.

Perhaps that change is in the works.


But for now, since I haven't seen evidence of spidey-traits being publicly recognized....AND after talking with his sisters, it is clear that I need to talk to him about how pretend-web-slinging is not a good defensive driving technique.

Because not everyone understands and is ready for Spider-man to be driving his sisters to school.

(Or attending college.)


In case you were wondering what Spiderman looks like, here are a few then and now shots:

Christmas 2008
Jr. High Football

Reading Names of WWII Veterans at Memorial Day Services

Spidey with his mama.