Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moments: Goodbye Hazelwood Manor.

Sad but true, we bid adeu to our beloved Hazelwood Home of 4 years. And although we are looking forward to our next season of life in our new house, parting with *this* house is bittersweet. I feel like so much has happened in our family since moving mindset, faith, friendships, self-awareness, priorities are so changed. I truly feel like a different person. I put my heart into re-decorating the interiors, making it a 'forever' home that grandbabies would come to visit. And yet life doesn't quite work out the way we plan, now, does it? When I'm feeling a bit ovewhelmed by the loss of our Hazelwood home, I balance the emotion with memories of the yard that needed thousands of dollars of work, the paper-thin windows, the way I couldn't position my bedroom furniture in any other way than it was, and the sheer hugeness of it.

We've downsized a bit, not much, but enough for us to realize how much crap we own and don't use. I waste entirely too much energy trying to figure out where to store it, whether we should keep it with the 'rainy day' mentality, and where I should ultimately dump it, putting it out of it's misery. I'm still trying to persue a simpler lifestyle, less gadgets, less time worrying over mere things, more time with the people in my life I love. Kinda hard right now.....seeing as there's still boxes stacked everywhere. But I'm determined.

Please remind me of this as I plot and plan all the things I want to do with this new dwelling. Already my mind is spinning out of control with paint ideas, furniture ideas, wall removal ideas. None of which we have money for, and all of which I promised my dh could wait until we were 'settled'.....but settled means different things to different folks, no?

I've decided to breathe deep each day, ignore the wallpaper, and be thankful we can afford such a wonderful house. Any ideas what to rename this blog? Our new street name doesn't exactly flow the way Hazelwood did. I'm leaning toward "The Cul-de-sac Chronicles". Yay or nay?

PS. Here is a picture of the knight in shining armor who helped us move the aforementioned crap in not one but two 26 ft truck loads. He is the son of a moving man, and has the shirt to prove it. He packed our stuff with the greatest of ease....just like Tetras, says he. Thank you Thank you Thank you Mr. N for your cheerful attitude, expertise, and unrelenting perserverance in moving our family from point A to point B. We truly couldn't have done it without you!

Musings: These beauties are mine????

Yeah, ok, I'll admit it. I'm stunned everytime I see my girls in a picture. I'm stunned at how grown up they are, at how pretty they are, and how happy they seem. Sure, pictures never tell the whole story, but I revel in these snapshots of my babies, just as I did when they really were babies.

So here are my three princesses enjoying a girls' night at M's new apartment ...yes, she's officially flown the coop and is playing house on her own with my cast off furniture. Kinda the designer 'early parent's attic' motif. It works. (...and come on now, how many of us have fond memories of feathering our first nest with decades old pieces from supportive family and friends anxious to rid themselves of eyesores and yet feel good about 'recycling' for a good cause...pondering how a navy blue plaid couch and fiberboard bookshelves should sit just so on the wall and how the red shag carpet remnant adds the perfect touch of warmth?)

For funsies I dug up some older photos my hubby scanned into the 'puter.

Here's a shot of the three girls with their big brother circa '99:

And another shot of the two olders with their papa circa '93:

Here is Baby G in a collage in '94 (K is in the tub, and C is celebrating birthday no. 8 on his shared birthday with dad who's turning a ripe 28 *grin*)

The whole gang, adding B and Baby S in '01:

*sigh* Time flies.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Moments: She made it.

It's been the longest, shortest 4 years of my life. As I watched my oldest baby girl receive all manner of accolades and awards over the last couple weeks, culminating in her class march to receive her Honors with Distinction Diploma, I found myself in this really weird place....I was straining to 'feel' the significance of these brief moments. Straining to grasp the reality that she'll be moving out within the month, on her own forever, no longer flitting thru my house with friends and emotions and laughter and tears.

I suppose we all do this during defining moments of life....our graduation, our wedding, the birth of our first child, our first mortgage, our child's driver's license, etc. Times we will look back on thru memories in a photo album or the tug of emotion in our gut as we ponder the past. At the time we tell ourselves, "well, this is it, this is a defining moment, and we'll remember this forever." But while I sat in my seat in the massive arena last night, waiting patiently for the stream of red robes to make their way thru the formal traditions of our nation's graduation ceremony, I was struck again by the slow-motion way these events occur as they're happening, only to reach the end and wonder how yesterday the doctor was telling me "you have a girl".

The sages tell us to savor these passing moments, so I've tried to really do so, taking lots of pictures, and basking in my emmense pride over this beautiful creation I brought into the world just 18.5 years ago. I turn over in my mind the little goofy things she did growing up, and passion she exudes for living life. And I'm getting it. We are living in the moment, stressful as it can be, living it fully with emotions in tact and in full swing.

I was worried I should cry at the ceremony and maybe wouldn't. But I needn't have worried. The monotonous pomp and circumstance wove its magic thru the tensions and harried-ness of the last week. Seeing my stunning daughter walk up to her place before the stage in the midst of the music and the banners, I was having a hard time keeping it together.

So here she is, on Awards Night, balancing her many acheivements garnered after four years of hard work, smiling her incandescent smile. And here she poses with her sibs, having moved the tassle from one side to the other:
And here is her dad and I, feeling every bit the 22 year old I was when she was handed to me at St. Joseph Hospital in 1989, still glorying in her presence, still worrying I'll let her down, still feeling incapable of being who she needs me to be for her. And yet, she is an adult now, me a middle age mama, bewildered that she's been mine for such a short time and preparing to let her belong to herself and to the brilliant future that awaits her.

Dearest M,
You are light and strength and irrepressible grace. I look back on the last almost 20 years in fear and trembling, knowing I've not been as I longed to be for you so many times. But as we stand on the precipice of the nest, know that I gave you my heart and now give you my blessing to fly away into your life with joy and expectation for all good things. You are an amazing, talented, beautiful young woman......I am so proud of you, not just because of your accomplishments, but because you are part of me, part of my heart. Be kind to yourself, believe in big things, but don't let the little things pass by without notice. You have so much to offer the world with your smile and your empathy and your passion, and I'm certain you'll be a blessing to many, many people who will cross your path. It's pretty much inevitable.
Thank you for being my Schmodie.
Now, go do your thang, girl!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Musings: Last day of school.

Someone pinch me. It's over. I made it. The kids are currently sitting in their respective schools on the last day of the school year. I've gone back and read the posts I made documenting the ups and downs of the start of this year, and the bumps along the way, and I'm incredulous that we're done.

I have a glorious couple months to re-evaluate what will happen for the next school year. Whatever happens, it's gonna be a completely different experience. First off, we'll be in a new house in a new school district. Second, another of my chicks will have flown the nest, shrinking my little brood down to a mere four. Third, I'll have 2 kids in two different school district's high schools....and at least one at home. Haven't completely decided what the 3rd grader will do yet, but I'm holding out hope that he'll still be home with me for yet another year.

In many ways I feel ok with my life, with all the changes that keep things exciting. On the other hand, I feel tremendously afraid, that I might be really wrecking my kids' lives, that this whole moving thing is a mistake. Sophocles said children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. Yeah, he ain't kiddin'. How care-free life would be if I didn't have to worry about the well-being of my kids! And yet how completely meaningless my life would be without them. They bring a grittiness to my life that keeps me firmly planted into the firmament, reminding me I'm still made of dust.

Living with the regrets of my choices and experiences is a part of my life, the twisted threads that make up the tapestry of my being, and so I've resolved myself to appreciating their patterned presence in the fabric. I am a human. I will need to make countless decisions on countless days regarding my kids, and lots of those days will be fraught with stress, lack of sleep, and other earthy stuff that necessarily means I'm not gonna do it 'right' a lot of the time. But I'll try to be honest in hindsight, forgiving in the present, and hopeful for the future.

And I'll buy my kids lots of Summer Snow slushies, cause they make the world a better place.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Moments: Save the Last Dance '08 North Side DanceSkins

K with her buds in costume #1

Bein' silly with another buddy in costume #2

Still goofin' with some more buds in costume #3

Last practice...arms up!

Now arms out!

Sashe' 1-2-3, 1-2-3...

Special trio dance...Stairway to Heaven

Rock it Babe!

Work it Girl!


'Twas a great show, and the girls in all five levels worked really hard. Each group 1-V did a tap, ballet, jazz, and modern. K was in Dance 1V, and is looking forward to Dance V next year.....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Moments: Prom '08

Waiting for the Big Reveal! (er, for their dates to arrive)
Another view....
A flower for K's honey.
A flower for M's honey.
K and K.
M and N.
The two princesses and a handsome prince.
The two princesses and a second prince.
And princess number 3 joins in....
The two princesses and their Knight in Shining Armor.
Queen Mother with the royal daughters.
M and N with K and K. Can't believe these beautiful ladies are mine little girls.
M and N with her besty L and her date C.
K with her crowd. (It was IMPOSSIBLE to get the guys to hold still for a picture!)
Let's go already!
Sweet! And fun was had by all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Misadventures: Um, yeah, I'll claim him.

Let me introduce my oldest hatchling.
Striking family resemblance, eh?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Misadventures: New Life and Motherly Instincts

Mrs. Robin thought she'd found the perfect place to build her nest. Unfortunately for her that place was a pot of gerber daisies I managed to kill off in a week's span and had placed just below my kitchen window on an old rickety shelf.....Fortunately for us, we can get front row seats for the coming show!

Poor Mother Robin must make the daily choice to overcome her naturally skiddish nature as she sits atop her precious blue treasures while bogart the big, loud dog comes bounding out the door to bark at indescriminate objects in the yard every hour or so. Sometimes instinct takes over and she 'flies the coop', only to hop,hop, hop back to her nest as soon as she realizes "oh, it's just that dopey dog again". She sometimes seems a bit nervous when I'm running water, or trying to get a closer look at her beautiful feathers and deep black eyes....but in all, she's a real trooper, risking unwanted gazes and bumbling beasts to protect her offspring.

When she's off her perch, we sneak out and take pictures of the stunningly vibrant torquoise eggs. I'm thankful the creator came up with this color, as it's my favoritest in the whole wide world....Here's B doing some show and tell:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Moments: I knew Jane Austen would play a role!

On Wednesday night, my oldest daughter won the Sterling Sentinel award for English/Literature. Seniors from 20 local high schools are nominated by their teachers in their respective area. The nominees then go thru a rigorous battery of essays, questionaires and interviews. M worked REALLY hard on all this, and was rewarded with a plaque and a cash award for $1500. We were proud parents for sure! Here's the official announcement made when her name was called:

The award recipient in the ENGLISH / LITERATURE category:
-Is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Forensic League and the Quill and Scroll Society.
- Is a Sectional Champion and State Semi-finalist in the Prose Reading category for Speech.
-Plans to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Communication with a focus on design and visual graphics.

Judges comments included:
-“Well-rounded … very aware of and interested in the world around them.”
-“A very personable and passionate young person who will succeed in whatever they decide to do.”
-“Reflects a passion for life that is not only refreshing, but encouraging.”

Please join us in congratulating our Sterling Sentinel Scholarship recipient in ENGLISH / LITERATURE …

From North Side High School: M(...) H(...)

Here she is with a proud papa!

And lastly, here's the write up in the News-Sentinel, which sponsors the program each year:

By Cindy Larson

of The News-Sentinel

M(...) E. H(...)
North Side High School

Achievements: H(...) has ranked in the top 10 of her class her freshman, sophomore and junior years. She has won a sectional championship in speech and was state semifinalist in the prose reading category in her freshman year. She was a member of the National Honor Society the last three years, and she was graphic design editor of the yearbook her junior and senior years.

Activities: As a senior, H(...) has interned at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. in marketing communications. She also volunteered on a missions trip to Nashville and Franklin, Tenn., in Oct. 2007. At school, H(...) took part in choir her freshman and sophomore years, as well as varsity cheerleading the last three years.

Comments: Ellen Figel, a North Side High School teacher, decribed H(...) as “Not just a writer, M(...) is a communicator. Where most students present information in an expected format, M(...) gives it flair. She is all about the presentation. She never just does an assignment; she re-creates it.”

Plans: Her goal is to become an expert in all forms of communication, including world languages, art, logic, journalism, creative writing, vocal and theater, and to share that knowledge with others.

The 24th annual Sterling Sentinel Awards honored area high school seniors nominated for the Sterling Sentinel scholarships in 14 subject areas. Since The News-Sentinel started the Sterling Sentinel Awards in 1985, we've referred to all the nominees as winners because it is an honor for them to be selected by their schools in their categories.

They are seniors at Allen, DeKalb and Whitley county high schools. The subject areas they represent are journalism, arts, athletics, business, drama, English/literature, foreign language, industrial/vocational, mathematics, music/instrumental, music/ voice, science, social studies and speech. The scholarship recipients in each category reflect the best of the best as determined by panels of judges who interviewed them. As always, students were nominated for the scholarships by their schools.

In early March, the young men and women appeared before the judges, who had previously studied their nomination applications. The judges -- educators, professionals in the student's field and News-Sentinel staff -- selected the winner in each category. The journalism recipient receives a $3,000 scholarship. Recipients in each of the other categories receive $1,500 scholarships.

The Sterling Sentinel Awards program is one of the ways The News-Sentinel recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of young people in our area. During the past 23 years, we have honored nearly 5,000 students from as many as 26 high schools, and we've given away more than half a million dollars in scholarships.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Moments: Making History.....

Two of my girls and I were volunteers for the Obama Town Hall Meeting today in Fort Wayne. We had a blast! You can see lots more pictures and details of our day on our other blog . I also posted his 11 minute speech. It was an incredible day!