Thursday, April 28, 2011

Humble Pie

As this (%@#!) deployment winds down, I feel compelled to embarrass the people who went above and beyond in wrapping their arms around us while we marched along quietly and bewildered. You helped us find our footing and remain upright while our little boat threatened to capsize once or twice.

  • My in-laws/Ninjas/Nam & Pop - Nobody else showed up more than you two. In every sense of the word, you are parents and it's no secret that I may have put Grayson up to "asking for a visit" more than I will admit. Honestly and forever grateful to you both for all you've done for the three of us. You'd never know were were five hours away. You guys never let on. I love you like we all grew up in the same house together. I guess, in a way, we kind of did.
  • My mom/Nonie - Nobody else would've answered the phone every single time I called. Especially when that meant four or five times a day for maybe 1 minute and 45 seconds. You always made time to talk to me and to the kids. That helped us along more than you'll ever know. Plus, no matter what, I always knew you understood what it was like to be single mom. You lived that life with us when we were little. You were right, it really does suck. I love you for being there for me, just me, when I was feeling crazy or incapable. You let me know I was capable and strong and that this experience will be just a blip in time. (Some freakin' blip, Mom.) Thank you, Anonymouse! xoxoxo
  • My military wife friend, Joanne. We just met six months ago and she has been THE person who helped me realize it's okay to feel sad, crazy, and lonely. Just don't become those things. I adore her and couldn't have made it without her camaraderie, gentle presence, encouraging pep talks and awesome green smoothies.
  • My neighbor and friend, Jen. She has checked in, checked on, and come to bat for us when I couldn't get out of bed and to the store for Extra Strength whatever. I'm pretty sure I still owe her 20 dollars for groceries. Plus, she even added some extra fun stuff for the kids and a sweet Get Well Soon card signed by her and her children. I don't ever want her to move back to England unless I can be sure we can all visit at least once a year.
  • My brother, Donnie. He has made me laugh more than I should've the past few months and I am one gas tank short of driving to NY to pick him up, pack up his belongings, and move him in with us here. Not because we need the help. Just so I can hang out with him all time. I love you, DJ. You really know how to hook a sista up with sunshine. You're the greatest.
  • My fellow bloggity friends: PJ, FamGoss, CRK, JRitz, Jess, Wenzy. There is something oddly comforting about knowing you guys are out there, visiting this site, cheering me on. Seriously, I feel connected to you all and appreciate every one of you for taking the time to leave kind comments, funny as hell comments, or just "hang in there and have another glass of wine" comments. You guys rock. Thanks so much for the support. It matters and really has made a difference.
  • Sonja, Elissa, Julie, Danielle, Kim and Day. You six ladies are amazing and have showed your support, encouragement, and love in various ways. The letters you wrote, the sentiments you gave, and the time you spent thinking of us here chugging along helped immensley. Thank you for making time to put your thoughts into words and mostly, thank you so much for reaching out when you did.
  • Monica - There isn't one other person I can think of who would drive all this way to drop off a casserole or two of something super yummy the way you did....twice! Your friendship is honest, real, and dependable which has served as a huge comfort during so much time of change, unknowns, and being ill-at-ease. Thank you for making the time to show how much you care. You are a diamond in a pretty rough and tumble sea.
  • Kataleena, Lisy-Lis & Marni-hey. You are my girls. You all carved time out of very busy schedules to come here and whisk me out of my funk. I love having you sweet chickees in my life. It's a pleasure b.s.'ing with you and forgetting what time it is. May we all have more time to spend chatting and tearing through old photo albums together. Thank you for your rock solid friendship. I can count on any of you and believe me, I do.
  • My neighbor, Sandy, for spoiling the kids with candy and presents every holiday. She also drove with me to CVS to stay in the van with the kids while I went in for "Abby's medicine" and came out with three huge bags of Easter Basket stuff. She will always be the Easter Bunny for me.
There you have it. The complete, unadulterated list of folks who went above and beyond to be here (even if "here" meant the telephone or email in most cases), show up and make themselves useful so much so, I simply cannot repay them. I can only let them know how big a difference it has made in our lives and hopefully I can pay all their kindness forward in ways I know will help other families in similar situations.

The best piece of advice I can impart to anyone going through a deployment is this: Pay attention to the people who pay attention to you. That is your support system. You will need them. Shower them with the love they deserve and don't waste time worrying about the others who may not have the empathy to understand.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The day may have started with me preheating a plastic purple Easter egg at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes but it did not, however, end like that.

We had a fantastic morning, noon and night with just us chickens at first then with my mom (Nonie), Steve (Grandpa T), my brother Matt (Uncle Matthias) and his girlfriend who I shall name Tink because I want to protect her privacy and because she also happens to love Tinkerbell.

So as not to bore you with trivialities of our lovely day, I shall give you highlights. And one amazing light show at the end.

Easter Bunny found a sneaky spot for Grayson's basket this year. Much better than the in-plain-sight-barely-behind-the-curtain stunt he pulled last year.

(Even still, didn't take him long to find it inside a table. Sheesh!)

Easter Bunny went a little easier on Abby's hiding spot.

After giving the green light to two very hyped up children, the race to find eggs was on!

Thirty seconds in and Grayson is already standing on things.

And then he got low with it.

But I was worried because he started to cover his sister's territory (low to the ground, visible) so I had to pull in the reigns.

But Abby was doing just fine by herself so I let them figure it out for themselves.

Which is a good rule of thumb in general when it comes to those two.

Yes, he did just put the egg he found in her basket without any prompting from Mommy Dearest. Sometimes I catch the magic even if the focus is completely off.

And yes, the Easter Bunny did hide an egg in the Shabbat box. He's got a very peculiar sense of humor, that Easter Bunny does.

Shortie with Tootsie pop bed hair finds a blue one!

Someone's pail runneth over.

Turns out, the favorite Easter egg was the one with the gelatinous bunny inside, who knew?

But of course one must count his loot to ensure one retained more than one's sister.

Which didn't seem to be a problem considering one's sister was distracted by a cherry lollipop early on.

And rather sadly, only wound up with half a pail of eggs.

But that was okay because they were quite hard to open anyway.

Once Pirate Grayson deemed all hidden Easter eggs to be secured and accounted for, we were nearly done.

Nearly done except for one other person (dog but only in the details), who still yet to go on her own hunt.

She was hunting for bacon strips.

She had little trouble locating them with her very own human GPS unit by her side.

Then it was off to Nonie and T's!

Grayson found his basket right away and spent the next hour or so perusing carefully.

While the other hemisphere fawned over and so enjoyed her new hair clippies.

In case you're wondering why I never do her hair. I do. I actually do this child's hair every single day. It always always comes out maybe 4 minutes later if she's distracted with, say some lipstick.

But moments later (below pic) the Abby hair emerges again...not to be restrained by silver, pink, or purple barrettes so matter what!

(Here she can be found happily playing with my mom's treasures. My mom finally got a girl who loves dolls instead of stuffed animals.)

After our delicious ham meal with full on Thanksgiving style sides (notice, no pictures taken during this time as my hands were too occupied with a fork and a glass of wine), the girls took five on the couch.

Then, it was time to color eggs with Uncle Matt and Tink!

(I totally barged in on their private dinner for two. I had to get to know this girl because my brother is crazy about her. You should've seen his little puppy lovelorn face when she walked through the door. I have to admit in all my sisterly over-protectiveness, she is a love and I can see them together for a long time.)

Abby ponies up to the bar right off the bat.

My cautious boy takes a little longer to become convinced he should commit.

But we're all glad he did. Look at that perfect blue egg. A definite prize.

And I couldn't love Abby's little funky pink and purple egg more if I laid it myself. Another prize.

The end results: cracked, glittered, and graffittied. So much fancier than when we were little. Oh, kids these days. : )

Then, unfortunately, the time came when I had to break my little girl's heart to tell her it was time to leave.

Abs gave Miss Tink a high five goodbye to soften the blow of leaving Nonie and Gpa T's house before she was ready.

Then I forced the poor dear to take a picture with the weirdo future sister-in-law. Ahem.

And finally, after kissing all human and canine faces alike goodbye, it was time to drive home.

Where I witnessed rays of sun absolutely reaching for its mother earth. It was as if the sun could not be stopped even though those bossy clouds tried. See? Good guys always win.

(If that's not an Easter sky, I don't know what is.)

Good guys and great skies always win.
But so do good girls who drive home with Bunny cake on their lap.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Midnight Stalling

After midnight and the Easter Bunny is taking his sweet time at our house tonight.

He's one bedraggled little rat.

Soaked in the elements, poisoned by Red Dye No. 5 and left for roadkill.

Poor thing.

Someone ought to pardon him for next year.

Please write your Congressman. (Or The Tooth Fairy?)

Easter Bunnies need to take a load off too.

Say, Maui?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thanks Sugarland

It's alright.
It's alright.
It's alright.

Yeah. Sometimes you gotta lose til you win
(click that pretty red link, go ahead, you know you can't resist.)

It's alright.
It's alright.
It's alright.

It'll be alright again.
I'm okay.

uck like glue.
(click me if you feel like chair dancing)