A Holiday I Like a Latte!

It’s a Brew-tiful day for a cup of Joe! It is National Coffee Day (Not to be confused with International Coffee Day which comes up on October 1)! Pour yourself a cup of Go Juice, Go Go Juice, Bean Juice, Brain Juice or Jitter Juice and guzzle that Java!

In celebration, many places have some National Coffee Day deals for you. Here are just a few, courtesy of USA Today:

Krispy Kreme

Panera 

Tim Hortons

  • $.25 medium hot or iced coffee all day long when you order through the Tim’s app or website.
  • In addition, Oct. 1 is International Coffee Day and Tim Hortons is offering a $1 medium hot or iced coffee during the entire month of October when you order on the Tims app or website.

Dunkin’

  • Free medium-sized coffee on Sept. 29. Customers must sign up for the Dunkin’ rewards program to claim it.

Caribou Coffee

  • $3 medium brews for Caribou Perks members on National Coffee Day. Plus, if you’re a new Caribou Perks member, you’ll get a free drink after your first visit when you sign up.

What about Starbucks and McDonalds?

Starbucks will not have a National Coffee Day offer this year. Neither will McDonalds, a spokesperson told USA TODAY on Wednesday.

Here are a few others:

Barnes and Noble

B&N Cafes are celebrating National Coffee Day with a free tall hot or iced coffee with the purchase of a bakery item of your choice.

Bean Box

Use promo code FREECOFFEE  on the Bean Box website through Oct. 1 and get a free 12-ounce bag of coffee.

Biggby Coffee

Valid on Sept. 29 only, participating Biggby Coffee locations are offering free 20-ounce hot or iced brewed coffee for National Coffee Day.

Bonus Comedy Clip

In honor of National Coffee Day – Here is the great Chris Farley

Perk up a pot today and enjoy – leaded OR unleaded.

My Father’s Day Weekend

Father’s Day began for me on Saturday morning. We celebrated Saturday because Sam had to work on Sunday.

When I returned home from work, my kids were already up and waiting. Sam had texted me that Ella was anxious for me to come home to get my present. Ella was excited because she had seen something in the store and wanted to get it for me weeks ago. Same ordered it online so it would be here for Father’s Day.

Ella and Andrew got to play with markers (which only happens on special occasions) and decorate the gift bag my gifts would be in. She was so happy to hand me the bag.

She waited for me to reach into the bag and could hardly contain herself. When I pulled out her gift to me, she shrieked with excitement! It was really the perfect gift.

We watch Bluey together all the time. It is probably my favorite cartoon that she watches. Bandit, the dad on the show, is what ALL dad’s should be! He’s awesome. This book is just wonderful. We read it before bed last night. I don’t know who was happier about this book – Ella or me!

Andrew got some help from mommy with his gift. As I have mentioned, I’m an older dad. One of the reasons I started this blog was to write my memories and such so that in the event something happens, the memories are here. Sam took it a step further for Andrews’s gift to me.

I’m not sure who came up with the idea for books like this, but they are great. I had originally gotten one of these for my mom to fill out before she passed. She was just too sick and too tired to ever really do it. I wish she’d been able to do that.

At any rate, there are a lot of thought provoking questions in this book and Sam thought I could take it with me to work and fill it in when I was on breaks and such. I love the idea!

After nap time, the family drove up the road to look for some new pajamas for Ella. She’s starting to not fit in her current ones. We went to the Carter’s store and looked around. She was forever handing Sam and I things for Andrew or herself that she found on a rack somewhere. The funniest thing of the trip was a foreshadowing of Ella in her teen and adult years. She kept asking for shoes and even began to make a pile of ones she wanted!

Just the beginning …..

After our shopping trip we came home and made dinner. I didn’t want Sam to have to take me out anywhere, so we made chicken on the grill. We also made corn on the cob and other sides. It was the perfect way to wrap up the day.

I was out grilling the chicken and I was using a brush to put BBQ sauce on a few of the pieces of chicken.

As I am doing this, Ella is standing there watching me. She see’s me dipping the brush into the BBQ sauce and putting it on the chicken. She then says, “Daddy! You’re painting!” Priceless!

Sam kept telling Ella to say, “Happy Father’s Day” to me and it kept coming out “Happy Mother’s Day” which just made me laugh even more.

On Sunday, or “Father’s Day in real life,” as Bluey might say, we had a wonderful breakfast. I made everyone eggs, sausage, and fruit. Ella stated that it was “Deeee-lish-ous!”

We called my dad to wish him Happy Father’s Day. My oldest son called me to wish me the same. Sadly, I never heard from my second oldest son. That’s a whole blog in itself and I will spare you those details for now.

After Andrew’s nap, I decided to take the kids to the Barnes and Noble. I wasn’t sure that there was anything I wanted for myself, but I though we could pick up some new books for them.

While we were walking Ella and I were just talking. Andrew was in the stroller and Ella was walking next to me. I don’t remember what we were saying, but a woman stopped me and said that she wished she had videoed the exchange we were having. She said she was very impressed with how we were interacting. She reminded me of a teacher or something. Ella then said hello, grabbed a puzzle with dogs on the box and showed the lady.

The lady, without skipping a beat, got down on the ground and they counted dogs together, asked about the colors of the dogs, and talked about what “doggies say.” It was so cool to see. She thanked Ella for showing her and Ella put the puzzle back. The lady was so impressed with how polite Ella was. Proud parent moment.

After we got home, we had lunch. Sam took Andrew into our room when it was his nap time. Sam suggested that since one of the local ice cream places had free cones for dads on Father’s day, we should go. We wound up going somewhere a bit closer, but it still worked out because dads got a free scoop of ice cream there, too!

Ice cream is not exactly on Weight Watchers, but I had some anyway and ate carefully the rest of the day. Ella asked for “white ice cream with sprinkles” and that is what she got!

Dad may or may not have had to help her on occasion because it was melting faster than she could eat it!

She talked to everyone who came to the ice cream place! She recommended getting banana ice cream to many, even though she was eating vanilla. She was a real hoot. The owner came out and asked how her ice cream was and she said it was the “best ice cream ever!”

After the ice cream, dad decided to walk the neighborhood. Sunday, she didn’t want to ride in the stroller. So we walked together. The workout was a bit less intense than I had hoped.

About half way through the walk she tripped and skinned her knee pretty bad. So I wound up picking her up and finishing the walk with her on my shoulders. That brought the heart rate up a bit and I probably burned off about half of the ice cream calories!

When Sam left for work, it was just me and the kids. We were playing on the “nugget” and having a blast. Andrew was climbing up like nobody’s business. Once he was on the top, he would start to walk off it. Most of the time, I was there to catch him. There were a couple times where he’d do this little stuntman fall. He is fearless!

Thank you to my wife and my kids for making the weekend such a special one for me!

A Not So Romantic Date

My wife and I have been anxiously waiting to be able to go out on a date. Our kids keep us pretty busy and they are always in tow. With Sam returning to work from maternity leave after the first of the year, we were running out of available days. We lined up Nana and Papa to watch the kids for the afternoon, and Monday, we finally got to spend some much needed “couple time.”

Did we go out to a fancy restaurant? No. Did we go to a movie? No. Did we go to a concert? No. But we got time together – and THAT was all that mattered.

We had decided that we were going to do lunch. We decided to go to this little sub place that we like. I asked if she wanted to go inside to eat. Neither one of us were real comfortable doing that. We thought about it, but we decided to just grab and go (The tables are too close together and other people would have their masks off to eat, etc…).

We were going to go to Barnes and Noble to look around after lunch, so we got our food and ate lunch in their parking lot. LOL – Romantic, right?! It was nice to just sit and talk as we ate. There were no kids crying or screaming from the back seat – it was just us. In all actuality, it was weird to not have them with us!

After lunch, we walked into Barnes and Noble and began to look around. We picked a great day to go as all the hardcovers were 50% off! I had two or three books that I have been wanting to get, so I looked for them. Naturally, they didn’t have them in the store. Same looked around and found some new books by some of her favorite authors, but decided against getting them.

She’s like me in that often times as you read a series (Stephanie Plum, Ben Kincaid, etc…) you feel like you’ve read the same story before. Sometimes, the next book in a series spends half of the book recapping the previous books so you know what is going on. Then, sometimes, even though it is not a series, books by the same author can just “feel” like the same thing over again. So she put back the books that she looked at.

So what did we do? We both went over the the kid section and started looking for books for the kids!! Here we are on a date, thinking that we’re going to get ourselves something, and we wind up getting stuff for the kids. As we walked out, we were like, “I can’t wait to read this to Ella! She is going to love this one!”

Afterward, we were off to our next exciting stop on “Date Day”….

Target! Really? Yes, really.

While I was out grocery shopping, Sam had me pick up a package of baby bottles. I sent her a picture of the ones that they had and we thought they were the ones that we currently use. Technically, they were, however the ones I bought had the wrong nipples on them. Sam looked to see if she could get the right ones on Amazon and she couldn’t. She said they had them at Target, so we made a stop there.

We walked over to the baby stuff and they didn’t have the right size nipples for the bottles. Go figure. We took advantage of being there and walked around. Sam had hoped to run up to the Carter’s store in Birch Run to get AJ some pants later that day, but she found some while we were at Target. Store number 2 and we get stuff for the kids again!

We debated going to the Christmas Tree Store, which we love, just to look around. Sam said we’d spent enough money and said if we went there, we’d put our account in the red (LOL!). Knowing that it was getting close to nap time for Ella, we decided to go back to Nana’s to get the kids.

It was nice to have some quality time with my wife. One thing I never tire of, is driving and holding her hand in mine. It was a little extra special on Monday. Next date night, I will need to do something a whole lot more elaborate! She deserves it!

Date Day Selfie

Where is My Christmas Spirit?

By the time this blog posts, it will be a mere 9 days till Christmas. Our tree has been up since Thanksgiving. I’ve been listening to Christmas music. I have read A Christmas Carol. I watched a few of the holiday specials. Christmas pictures are done. So where is my Christmas Spirit?

My wife, Sam, and I had this conversation earlier today. You would think that we’d be a little more “in the holiday spirit” with all that is going on, but something just doesn’t feel right. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think Sam offered up some pretty plausible reasons.

No Snow

Sure, we had a good snow already, but it is long gone. When I was getting ready for work this afternoon, it was 55 degrees out! We’ve had plenty of rain, but we’re missing some snow. I know some will tell me to shut up, as they can’t stand snow. That’s ok, but for me, there has to be a little bit of snow for it to feel like Christmas.

Missed Traditions

Ok, I’m going to blame Covid. Sam and I are just not comfortable going anywhere. Because of that, we put some of our traditions on hold this year. One we could probably have done, was visiting Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo.

We’ve been doing since we’ve been together. It’s always fun, but we want to make sure that the kids don’t get sick. It’s probably fine for Ella, but a bit too cold to have Andrew out there at night. Next year, we’ll be back there for sure!

Online Shopping

Outside of one or two things, all of our Christmas shopping was done online. I’m not one who loves shopping in crowds, but I do like to actually walk through the stores. Many times, I find the perfect gift by just walking and looking. To me, getting a gift that is unexpected is even more special than getting something you asked for. Thought actually went into it!

Shopping in General

I guess this is kind of a combination of “tradition” and “shopping.” There are quite a few places that Sam and I love to go to and just walk through.

  • The Christmas Tree Store is one of them. We found some really wonderful things for Ella’s room after she was born. We also love going there for holiday themed items.
  • Barnes and Nobel is another. We love walking through and checking out the new books. Now it’s even more fun because we can find the kids new books.
  • The Mall – ANY mall! Just going and walking the malls is always nice for us, even when we don’t have anything we HAVE to buy. (I guess we got to walk JC Penney while we waited for Christmas pictures recently, but it wasn’t like walking the whole mall.)

Again, Sam and I are just not comfortable yet being out among people. There are just too many people who don’t cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze. I was never a germaphobe, but recently, I feel like I’ve become one.

Maybe it isn’t too late….

I have a feeling that once I am sitting there watching my kids open gifts, their happiness will fill my heart and I will be overwhelmed with joy for them. I’m sure it will all work out … memories will be made. There will be many smiles. I just wish I felt it a bit more right now….

What the Dickens?

Last night I finished my yearly reading of A Christmas Carol. I have been reading it every year since junior high school. I blogged about that here:

As many times as I have read it, I sometimes feel like I read things I don’t remember. A few years back I purchased The Annotated Christmas Carol. Throughout the story, there are notes off to the side regarding things that Dickens has written about. Some notes are as simple as a definition of an archaic word, while other notes are more in depth. Some notes are fascinating as they compare things in the story to other stories that Dickens wrote. I highly recommend it!

Now that I have read the book again, I will begin to watch some of the various movies. Before I do that, however, I listen to Patrick Stewart’s one man performance of the story. I originally bought the cassettes of this, but I was able to find it at Barnes and Nobel on CD a few years back so I can still listen to it on my drive to work.

My next book is one that I had in my library many years ago, but lost it in a move. It took me a bit to find again, and I am glad to have it again. It’s been on my shelf for a few months, and now that we’re in the Christmas season, I will read it again.

I think we can all agree that Jesus Christ was not actually born on December 25th. As a matter of fact, a study of the Bible actually proves that He wasn’t. (He was probably born around October.) This book was one I stumbled on many years ago and I am excited to reread it.

A Busy (and Painful) Weekend

Saturday

Saturday morning, I came home from work and went right to bed. Sam and I had plans to celebrate our anniversary this weekend. Originally, I was going to take her to an amazing Italian place in Troy (about and hour and 15 minutes from our house). After some discussion, we decided that since it was really the only day we had together, and I was going to sleep for part of it, that we should grab dinner somewhere closer. We decided on Outback Steakhouse. Now, Outback was the ONLY chain restaurant we ate at in Florida when we got married. We picked Outback for that reason, and because it was close to a few places we wanted to go to while we were out.

This was the first time we have been out to eat in a restaurant since all the Covid stuff. They did a good job of spreading everyone out. It has been so long since we were out, it was almost awkward. It was nice to have dinner together. It’s really amazing how something so trivial can mean so much. I will never take those little moments for granted….

After we ate, we decided to walk through Barnes and Noble. Ella loves books, so we looked through the various kid books and picked up a new book for her. She loves the Jimmy Fallon books (Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, and Everything is Mama), and Sam found one called “This Is Baby” (which she loves just as much!). I picked up a book for me, too. It was my anniversary present from Sam. She had asked what I wanted and I told her to just get me a gift card. Instead, she went with me and I got to pick out what I wanted (More on that in a few).

With baby #2 on the way, we wanted to stop at Target to see what the double strollers looked like. I never in a million years would have guessed that I would be looking at double strollers! Anyway, they only had one there to look at, which I thought was odd. Sam is all about online shopping, but she’d like to at least see the thing before we buy it. Since they didn’t really have any, we decided to look in the toy aisle for a few things. We bumped into one of our sleep teachers, Angie, and her husband there. It’s been forever since I saw her, and we were just talking about finding a day to get together for coffee. They were out getting presents for grandbabies.

The world had changed. Normally, when I run into someone I know I offer a handshake or hug them. Here we were, all wearing masks, and kind of standing our 6 feet apart. We chatted for a while and then we had to get going because we needed to go pick up Ella from Nana’s house. This is where is was crazy awkward for me … I wanted to reach out and shake Dave’s hand and give Angie a hug, but instead it was kind of a “well….ok…..good to see you …. take care…..so long…” thing. It just didn’t seem right walking away like that. I dislike the new “normal!”

Sunday

Sunday was extra busy! We all got up and had chocolate chip pancakes. Afterward, Sam and I compiled the grocery list and I ventured out to Meijer. I always seem to have to go back to an aisle because I either walked right by something OR I didn’t see it on the list until almost the end of the trip. Ella napped while I was shopping and woke up as I was bringing in the groceries.

The weather was just beautiful. I think it was like 65 degrees. We had bought Ella one of those Cozy Coupe cars with the intention of giving it to her for Easter, but decided that the weather was so nice, we should give it to her Sunday. I’m not sure why, but I thought that it literally just snapped together…..it doesn’t. I had to go get my drill, a screwdriver, and a hammer to put it together. At any rate, She really loved it and I got to push her around the neighborhood in it.

We spent the afternoon outside in her car, in the stroller, going down the slide, and running on the trampoline. Eventually, she started to yawn and I knew it was nap time. Once I laid her down, the real work began for me.

Despite my best attempt to tell Sam that the lights on the house were “Easter Lights,” I took down all the Christmas lights. I can’t complain, and I’m glad I finally had good weather to do it. This year I had strung some up high on the front porch, so I had to drag out the ladder to get to them.

Once I had the lights down, I took the totes back to the basement. While down there, like a typical guy, I noticed this huge plastic house that Sam had in the basement so our nieces could play in it. We had talked about bringing it outside and cleaning it up for Ella. So, while Sam slept for work, and Ella napped, I took it partially apart and brought it upstairs. I had measured it and figured I could get it outside no problem. I got it up the stairs, through the basement door and once at the side door – it had to really yank it out! It was SO snug! I was able to get it outside and get it washed and back together!

After I got it back together, I was back inside making dinner, so Sam had something to take to work.

Needless to say, I was in bed early that night!

My phone sent me a notification that night that said my “panoramic” photo was ready to view. I didn’t take any panoramic pictures while we were outside Sunday. However, my camera took two separate pictures and combined the two and put Ella in the picture twice! At first I thought it was weird, but after looking at it, I think it’s pretty cool!

Two for the price of one….

Monday

Another beautiful day, this time 70 degrees. It was windy, but that didn’t stop us from playing outside. More trips around the neighborhood in her car and in her stroller. Then we played in her house. I’m thinking we need to get a chair or something for her to put in there, because she walks in and really doesn’t know what to do in there.

A Good Read

The book I got for my anniversary is called “100 Bible Verses That Made America.” So far I am enjoying it. It is really amazing to see how people of the past used the Bible and the principles to help shape this country. The only issue I have with the book is that every time it quotes a Bible verse, it quotes it from the NIV version. The NIV version wasn’t even around until the 1970’s. To me, it would seem that they would have used the KJV to quote from. Whenever it quotes a verse, I just grab my KJV and read it from there. Still a very interesting and enlightening read.

A Real Pain in the … Back!

About two weeks ago, I was getting out of bed and kind of felt like my back was tight. Over the next few days, I started to feel like it was even in my hip. I’m really not sure what I did to it. It’s been bugging me and kind of annoying. I’ve taken ibuprofen and such, but it has been getting worse. Monday, I pushed Ella in that car around the neighborhood (which meant I was leaning a bit forward to push her). Then I walked another mile or so with her in the stroller. It felt good to get out and walk! I love walking, but by the time I got closer to home, I could feel like my hip was hurting more. Later, I was feeling pain when I sat on the floor to change diapers. When I got up from bed, I could hardly move and the pain was excruciating.

I had to make an appointment with my doc for a refill on my prescriptions, and I plan on asking her about it when I go in. In the meantime, I have to wait until Thursday morning and these are my friend ….

They don’t help a lot, but they do bring some relief. This morning, when I got up, I was tearing up from the pain. I was trying to load the dishwasher and could hardly bend down. Trying to get pants, socks and shoes on only brought about more pain. I’m gonna try to get in to the chiropractor, too. I’m really hoping it is nothing, but I tend to always think the worst.

I’m off to pop some more ibuprofen…..

Thanks for reading!

“I wish I still had …” (Episode 1)

I-wish

This may (or may not) be the first of a series of blogs.  The idea came to me as I was looking through my blogging notebook this evening.  My notebook contains various scribbles and thoughts that I think may be worthy of a blog.  Sometimes these come from writing prompts, sometimes a fellow blogger’s blog can spawn an idea, and sometimes they come from random memories.

The premise of this idea is a simple one:  “I wish I still had (fill in the blank).”  The reason I think this could be a series is that I think there are a lot of things that could fill the “blank”.  I am sure that you could do the same.  As you read the statement, you probably had an item that immediately came to mind!  Here is my first “blank”…

1988

Back in the late 80’s there was a store at Eastland Mall called Suncoast Motion Picture Company.  I used to visit it all the time!  They had all kinds of music, movies, and memorabilia.  This was back when you could buy movies on VHS and BETA tapes!  I could spend hours in there.  I would compare it to an FYE or Barnes and Nobel.  They always had movie and TV themed shirts (much like what you would find a Spencer Gifts), books about movies, and other entertainment oriented items.

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It was at Suncoast, that I purchased the first of many Three Stooges VHS tapes.  Up to this point, if I wanted to watch the Stooges, I had to stay up until midnight to catch them on Channel 50, or rent them on the 8mm film projector from the public library.  You could video tape them from the TV, but many times they played commercials in between shorts.  With the ones I bought from Suncoast, I could watch them unedited and uninterrupted!

stooges

One of the things that Suncoast had were these Three Stooges collectible dolls that were made by Hamilton Gifts.  The detail of the faces was just amazing!  I don’t recall how much they cost, but I remember asking for them for Christmas that year.  I remember that year, my parents got me the Moe doll.  If memory serves me correctly, my aunt got me the Curly doll.  I went and bought the Larry doll with my own money.  They stood proudly on the shelf in my bedroom for years.  When I moved out, they stood on a bookshelf in my apartment.  They were always out on display.

When I got married the first time, they were still on display in the “entertainment room” which is where I kept my many books, videos, and our computer.  Eventually, I was told to “find a place for them” outside of the house.  I had a couple radio jobs which allowed me to display them in my office.  Eventually, after losing another radio job, they came back home with me, where I was forbidden to put them on display.

Eventually, I was told by my ex that we were having a garage sale.  I was to go through my stuff and we were selling it.  Some things I didn’t mind parting with – the VHS movies I had on DVD were an easy purge.  Little by little, she kept pulling stuff out that she wanted gone.  There were things that I ended up selling that I truly regret (my first DJ rig, for example).

As the day for the garage sale drew closer, things kept getting added to the “sell” pile. When I saw my Stooge dolls on there, I blew up!  I was NOT going to sell them.  She insisted that I was!  It became the classic “they go or I go” argument.  In her magical and totally narcissistic way, she used her power of manipulation to explain I didn’t need them.  By selling them, “we’d have money to pay bills and get ahead”.  The sentimental value didn’t matter to her.  I would say that 75% of the stuff sold at the garage sale was mine.

I remember the person who bought them.  I purposely priced them high in hopes that they wouldn’t sell.  The woman dickered with me on the price and talked about how her grandson loved the Stooges and so on and so forth, which made it a little easier to let them go.  I can still remember that gut feeling when she walked out with them.  Instant regret!

Fill in the blank – I wish I still had those Three Stooges Dolls.

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I know what you are thinking – they are dolls!  What the hell would I do with them today?!  I don’t know.  I really don’t even know where I would display them.  All I know is that they meant a lot to me, and I wish I still had them – for sentimental reasons.

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A good book, a great compliment, and bad dreams.

Intro

5-Days

It’s been 5 days since I have had a chance to sit and blog.  I have been able to jot things in my notebook, but just never had the chance to write.  This blog, like the last one, is a collection of thoughts from the past 5 days.

A Good Book

I have a habit of going to that store and snapping pictures of books that I want to read in the future.  Every now and then I have to scroll through the many pictures on my phone to remember them.  I need to add them to my “Good Reads” app, so they are all in one place, but I never seem to find the time to do that.

My wife and I tend to read very different books. I read a lot of history themed books, as well as mysteries, thrillers, and biographies.  She reads more Jodi Picoult type stories.  I had received a Barnes and Noble gift card some time ago, and my wife and I took a walk through the store to see what I might want to spend it on.  While walking through the “New in Paperback” section, I saw one that caught my eye.

I have read a few books that used World War II and German Concentration Camps as a setting.  Some were true stories, some were fiction.  When I saw the book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, I picked it up to read what it was about.

tattoo

While the book is a novel, it is based on the true story of a man and woman who met and fall in love while imprisoned at the camp Auschwitz-Berkenau.  The author, Heather Morris, wrote the story after many interviews with Lale Sokolov.  The novel is based on his story.  After his wife, Gita passed away, he wanted to share his story.  The result was this book.

I read it knowing that it was a “fictionalized” version of their story.  The author stated that she wrote the story that Lale intended her to write.  Late last year, there was some controversy saying that there were things that were incorrect in the story.  The author again said that she wrote what he told her to write.  None of that takes away from a very powerful story of love and survival.  While I wished for more of an after story, I am excited to hear that there is a sequel due out next month based on one of the other characters in the book – Cilka’s Journey.  I will definitely be reading that one, too.

A Great Compliment

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It’s always great to catch up with an old friend.  It’s even better when you catch up and can talk about the good things going on in your life, instead of the bad.  My friend and I last chatted shortly after I got remarried, so it had been a little while since we chatted.  I was able to talk about my newfound happiness, the positives and positive changes in my life, and, of course, the news that we are expecting a baby in February. After chatting for some time, my friend said, “Please don’t take this the wrong way.  I don’t mean to sound mean or rude, but it is like I don’t even know you anymore!”

How could I take this as mean or rude?  I knew exactly what my friend meant.  I was a different person, a couple years ago.  It always seemed like I was complaining when we talked.  I was forever venting about the misery and worry in my life.  I was in a very deep depression.  I was SO unhappy.  I was struggling with everything and anything.  I was blaming myself for so many things! I took the blame for almost everything.  I had given up.

“It’s like I don’t even know you anymore!”  No – you don’t!  I am NOT that person anymore.  I don’t focus on negatives.  There is a smile in my voice when I talk about my life.  I have been blessed with an amazing soul mate who has changed my life in so many ways.  I don’t think you are mean or rude – instead, I thank you for the amazing compliment.  A compliment which proves that it’s not just me who sees the positive changes in my life – it’s others, too!

“When someone pays you a compliment – don’t disagree.  Accept it with grace, and most importantly, BELIEVE what they say!”

Bad Dreams

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It has been some time since I have had a nightmare.  Last night, I had a few!  I probably should have wrote them all down, because I have forgotten some of them.  I know I woke up at least 6 times in a 7 hour period.  With every wake up, I got more and more annoyed.

I often try to think about why I dreamt about something.  Sometimes, I can make a connection to something from the previous day.  For the life of me, I have no idea why I dreamt about what I did.  In the first dream, I was standing in a house looking out a window.  I was staring outside at an older car, possibly a Chevy Caprice.  Someone is standing next to it about to break into it or something and I am trying to yell out the window – I was doing everything I could to try to scream something at the person – but I could not make a sound.  I woke up in the middle of those non-existent screams.  I had only been asleep for about an hour.

In one dream, I am watching TV and I hear gunfire outside.  The windows around me begin to shatter as bullets break through them.  On the TV, I see the house I am in (it’s not my current one) on the news with “Breaking News” about a standoff in a local neighborhood.  I can see police outside the one side of the house and when two men jump through the window into the house I woke up.  (This dream may have stemmed from a radio show I heard on my way home.)

The final dream I remember involved me being chased by someone.  I don’t even know why I was being chased.  It was weird because the scenery around me changed often.  I started running through a neighborhood.  I then was running on a dirt road, through a shopping mall, and eventually I was running on the beach.  As I was running through the sand, I could feel myself sinking deeper into the sand until I couldn’t move my legs.  I was struggling to get my legs and feet out of the sand and they wouldn’t budge.  I woke up with Sam’s leg on top of mine.

On days where I have to work, I hate when I keep waking up.  I only had two cups of coffee last night and I was done with them by 3am.  I hadn’t eaten anything out of the ordinary (which has led to weird dreams in the past) and was tired enough that I should have been able to sleep right through.  I didn’t.  I know better than to let it bug me, because the more you focus on how you need to sleep, the more it keeps you awake (at least that is the way it works for me).  Hoping that tomorrow’s sleep is a whole lot better.

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Tune(s) Tuesday – “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and “Then They Do”

Let me preface this blog by saying I had an absolutely amazing Father’s Day Weekend!  Friday, I spoke with someone about some future possibilities (a future blog), Saturday I got the best unexpected surprise (which is another future blog), and Sunday, I spent time with my sons.  Past Father’s Day’s we have gone to ball games, the zoo, Outdoor Adventures, etc… This Father’s Day was a bit more low key.  We went to the movies together and saw this Pokemon Detective Pikachu movie  (which despite knowing a thing about Pokemon, I thought was a good film).  Afterward, we went to the Sloan Museum in town to see the Robot Zoo exhibit.  We also spent a little time in Barnes and Noble (getting ideas for my youngest’s birthday and checking out what they had on vinyl.

While I sat there waiting for the movie to start, I was looking at my sons.  They are out of school for the summer and they will be in 12th and 7th grades next year.  It is almost unreal how fast time has flown by.  Today’s tunes are fantastic songs that are great not only they tie in with Father’s Day, but they are a reminder to enjoy every moment – because time waits for no one!

It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker

This song was a hit, despite the bad reviews it received in industry magazines.  I always liked it, probably because I could relate to how fast my kids were growing up.

He didn’t have to wake up
He’d been up all night
Lying there in bed listening
To his newborn baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It’s gonna be OK
It won’t be like this for long
One day we’ll look back laughing
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It won’t be like this for long

 

Four years later ’bout four thirty
She’s crawling in their bed
And when he drops her off at pre-school
She’s clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says, “What can I do?”
She says, “Now don’t you worry
This will only last a week or two”

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon you’ll drop her off
And she won’t even know you’re gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It won’t be like this for long

Someday soon she’ll be a teenager
And at times he’ll think she hates him
Then he’ll walk her down the aisle
And raise her veil

 

But right now she’s up and crying
And the truth is that he don’t mind
As he kisses her goodnight
And she says her prayers
He lays down there beside her
‘Til her eyes are finally closed
And just watching her it breaks his heart
‘Cause he already knows
It won’t be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by
So he’s trying to hold on
‘Cause it won’t be like this for long
It won’t be like this for long

 

Then They Do – Trace Adkins

This is the same kind of song as the one above.  What I love about this one is the “Twilight Zone”-ish ending to it.  What I mean by that is that as parents, sometimes we just wish our kids will grow up – and then they do.  You get what you wish for, but sometimes it takes getting the wish before you realize it is not what you wan. It’s a reminder that sometimes all those little things that maybe drove us batty, are the things we really love about our kids.  Time moves forward – and moments come and go.

This can also be said of loved ones who are no longer here.  The stories that my grandma and my mother told over and over – at the time I remember thinking “this story again?!”  Now, I’d give anything to hear them tell those stories again.  Treasure each and every moment with your kids!  Enjoy even the things that drive you crazy – because soon, they grow up and you’ll want those moments back.

In the early rush of morning,
Trying to get the kids to school:
One’s hanging on my shirt-tail,
Another’s locked up in her room.
And I’m yelling up the stairs:
“Stop worrying ’bout your hair, you look fine.
“Then they’re fightin’ in the backseat,
And I’m playing referee.
Now someone’s gotta go,
The moment that we leave.
And everybody’s late,
I swear that I can’t wait till they grow up.

 

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

Now the youngest is starting college,
She’ll be leavin’ in the Fall.
And Brianna’s latest boyfriend,
Called to ask if we could talk.
And I got the impression,
That he’s about to pop the question any day.

I look over at their pictures,
Sittin’ in their frames.
I see them as babies:
I guess that’ll never change.
You pray all their lives,
That someday they will find happiness.

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

No more Monday PTA’s,
No carpools, or soccer games.
Your work is done.
Now you’ve got time that’s all your own.
You’ve been waitin’ for so long,
For those days to come.

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

Ah, then they do.