Category Archives: family

Aaaaaand She’s Off!!

Last week we helped H move into her dorm room…in CALIFORNIA!  She picked a school the farthest away from home she could!  It’s a great fit, and she is thrilled to be there, so we’re truly happy for her.  But it’s such a strange feeling, to go from having her here to NOT having her here.   Buying her the one way ticket to California was the first time it really hit me…I’m not going to be in her daily life any more.

She is reveling in the independence of college.  I’ve talked to her a couple of times, mostly when she needed some kind of information, but once she called just to check in.  She sounds ecstatic.  Which makes this so much easier.  

But move-in day/parent orientation was hectic and emotional.  At least on my end.  She had just returned from a 3 day orientation adventure, backpacking at 11,000 feet.  There were 8 other freshmen, plus a couple of upperclass trip leaders, so she was able to get really close to a few like-minded kids right off the bat.  We missed all the planned parent activities because we were lugging boxes from the mailroom to her room, and making a few Target and Bed/Bath and Beyond trips.

I had forgotten how small college dorm rooms are!

 But surprisingly, she fit everything she needed into the space.  She was adament that I not organize her things, so I did the jobs she assigned me…connected her printer, hang bulleting boards, and unpack and throw away all the boxes.  We had dinner together the night we arrived, and the last night we were there, and met her for a quick breakfast the morning we left.  By that time we were extraneous.  Not needed.  She was being very sweet, but it was obvious she was ready to fly, and we needed to leave so she could get started.  I noticed that we were the only parents walking their kid back from the dining hall, and realized it was definitely time to go.  So we had our last hugs in front of her dorm, and watched her walk away to take her French placement exam. 

Nothing is going to be the same.   I’m excited for her, but it’s hard to stop the worrying…I think about her constantly.  Where is she now?  Does she like her professors?  Is she getting enough sleep?  Did she lock her bike?  Is she meeting lots of nice people?  Is her bed comfortable?  After almost 19 years of living and breathing her every single day it’s hard to stop.   But we’ve raised a smart, kind, resourceful, outgoing young lady, and I do know in my heart that she will be OK.  That doesn’t make it feel any less weird, or hurt any less.  I miss going into her room at night just to watch her sleep.  I miss making her weird vegetarian/tofu meals.  I miss dragging her out of bed on the mornings she slept late (which was any day she didn’t have school!).  I even miss her rolling her eyes at me when I did something she thought was goofy.

I miss this…

But I’m staying very busy.  Going on long hikes with J and the dogs, volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, trying new recipes, and buying new art supplies so I’ll hopefully start painting again.  Maybe I’ll even start blogging more often than once a quarter!  This whole experience is kicking my butt, but every day gets a little bit easier.  Slowly, but surely, I’m quitting the helicopter mom business.  But it sure would be nice if I had a closed circuit camera there to keep an eye on her!

Happy 75th Birthday, Daddy!

We celebrated my dad’s 75th birthday last night with almost all his siblings and spouses, which is all he wanted to do.  It was such a nice evening, and reminded me of how much my family means to me. 
When I was growing up, my dad was my touchstone.  He was the one I measured everything and everyone against.  He was the smartest dad I knew.  Anytime I had a question about anything, he ALWAYS knew the answer.  Either he was the best bluffer in the world or he knew a little bit about a whole lot of things.  Either way, I loved the conversations we had about so many things-maybe not so much the informational tours of sewage treatment plants (he was a civil engineer and many family vacations revolved around wherever his jobs were)-but almost everything else.  Now my husband calls him the “Shell Answer Man”.  His love of learning inspired me to never stop reading, listening and opening my mind to learn new things.
He worked very hard when my brother and I were little-traveling quite a bit-but when he was in town he never missed a ballgame, dance recital, school or church function.  Now that he’s retired, he is the best cheerleader for his grandchildren’s events, sometimes going from one to another to another-all in the same day!  I thank God every day for parents whose love of family permeates everything they do.
Daddy didn’t cry much when I was little.  In fact, I remember vividly the first time I saw him cry.  He came to school when I was in third grade to pick me up and tell me that my grandfather had passed away.  It was such an anomaly…he was the strong, stoic one in the family…that it left an indelible impression on me.  Who knew that he must have saved up all those tears, because now his love for his family makes it difficult for him to get through a family prayer without waterworks!  I always thought I was a crybaby.  It’s good to know I came by it naturally.
My father’s life and the way he’s lived it has taught me by example what it means to have a family-strong leadership and unconditional love for God and each other.  I once read an essay about how life is made up of the in-between moments.  Not just the posed, photo-op BIG EVENTS in life, but the moments in between.  I remember so many in-between moments with my dad…sitting beside him in church, listening to his big BOOMING bass voice belting out hymns, going to Shoney’s every Sunday after church, fishing in the creek at Grandma’s house, marathon sing-alongs on our many road trips…the list goes on and on.  I’m so thankful for the moments, and for my Dad, for teaching me what life’s really all about.

Love Is A Verb

Twenty two years ago, I met a boy.  He made me laugh the first time we met.  He was very different from the guys I had dated, because he was so open and didn’t hide from his feelings.  In fact, from the very first day we met, I have never wondered where I stood with him, what he was thinking, or how he felt about things.  It was honest, refreshing,  and a little bit scary.  He asked me out and when I turned him down three times in a row (because I already had plans, I promise!), he kept asking.  And after a few dates, when I went on a trip with a friend, he met me at the gate when we came home…hugging me so hard I almost lost my breath!  I had just come out of a long term relationship and was pretty scarred, so I was a little hesitant at first.  But something about him just felt right.  His persistence and enthusiasm would have turned me off if it had been anyone else, but I just had a feeling that I’d better not let him get away.  Now, 22 years later, we just celebrated our 20th anniversary, and I love him more today than I did the day I married him.

It’s kind of scary when you think how little we knew each other when we got married, two years after we met.  We were in our late twenties, and had plenty of experience with other people, so we knew what we DIDN’T want and kind of knew what we DID want.  We had the same values and goals, wanted to be with each other all the time, couldn’t imagine spending our lives apart, and what I’ve discovered is key…we laughed together.  He has kind of a biting humor, and I “got” him.  He was happy when he made me laugh.  And now, 22 years later, we still laugh…a lot.  I can’t imagine a better father for our daughter, and I can’t imagine a life without him.  We have grown up together…and now we know each other better than we know ourselves.  

I was in love…I felt safe and secure with him.  I’d fallen in love before, several times, actually, but had never felt as safe in his arms as I did with him.  The last twenty years have been cram packed full of a lot of things…Buying homes, renovating homes, having a baby, school applications, homework, work, carpools, play dates, vacations…and I’m not gonna lie…some difficult moments.  My tendency when things get difficult is to withdraw and sulk…I don’t like to talk about my feelings.  J’s tendency is to fight it out to the nth degree…and even when we resolve things, he likes to talk about it.  A lot.  We’ve learned over the years that somewhere in the middle is the key.  I’ve had to work on looking inside myself to try to figure out the “why” and “what”, and then push myself to talk about it, and he’s had to learn not to beat everything into the ground.  But we rarely (I really can’t truthfully say never) go to bed angry…maybe sleep deprived after loooooong discussions…but not angry.  Everything always looks better in the morning.  We have also worked hard at making each other feel special, not an easy thing when you’re mad at them.  But we’ve learned that biting your tongue and saying or doing something nice gets you a whole lot farther than biting at each other, or sulking away in a corner.

My pastor, Pete Wilson, spoke last week in church about “How to Stay in Love”…and he blogged a portion of that sermon this week. Once again, he nailed a subject that was on my mind, since J and I just returned from a 20th anniversary trip to the Bahamas. I’d been thinking about our life together and why I think it’s so strong. He said that while we’re all naturally equipped to FALL in love, we’re ill-equipped to STAY in love. And here’s the quote that I love…

 “You don’t feel your way into an action. You act your way into a feeling. Act loving, be loving, then you’ll feel love.”

How true is that? Love is not a noun, it’s a verb.  You shouldn’t think you have to be LOVED to be LOVING, it’s the other way around.  Be loving, you’ll feel loved.  Simple.  Somehow J and I figured it out.  Some people never do.   I pray that we both continue to work as hard on making each other feel loved as we do now.  My daughter will be entering college in less than two years, so I’m sure there will be many boys in her life.  I’m so glad she heard Pete’s sermon… Hopefully she’ll remember that falling in love is the easy part, realize that you have to work to stay in love, and she’ll find the happiness and fulfillment with someone that I feel with her father.

I must be in a sharing mode, because here are some photos from the last 20 years with the love of my life, frizzy hair and all!

What I’m not Thankful For

 Woke up to rain this morning…blessed cool rain.  I had forgotten how much I love rainy mornings when I don’t have to be anywhere.  In a few hours, the madness of Thanksgiving week begins, but for now, I can relax with my coffee and my crossword puzzle while my dogs sleep on the floor next to me.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday…maybe my favorite.  It involves eating, family, time off from school and work, the weather is not freezing or sticky hot, and best of all, you don’t have to buy gifts!  We’re fortunate enough to spend the holiday with my parents and my husband’s parents, a tradition we started about 4 years ago.  We started our marriage with the compromise, Thanksgiving at his parent’s, and Christmas at mine.  That seemed fair, given that my mother lives for Christmas, and his mom, being Jewish, felt the same way about Thanksgiving.  It worked out great the first couple of years, even though my mom’s birthday always falls during Thanksgiving, so I had to miss that.

Then my daughter was born in September, 1993.  Our first Christmas with her was at my parent’s new home, and we had just finished opening presents with my brother and his family when we received our “Merry Christmas” phone call from my mother-in-law.  Her joyful holiday wishes soon morphed into a sobbing moment, when she said, “I can’t believe I’m missing it!”  So, from that moment on, they would travel to Nashville to celebrate with us.  It became a wonderful tradition…Christmas Eve Dinner with my parents, and my husband’s parents and their respective spouses, Christmas Eve Services at church (my favorite holiday tradition is having my jewish in-laws at church with me!), and Christmas morning at my moms.  It took us 16 years to convince my parents to come to Thanksgiving with us, but it’s been great.

Yes, I am thankful for family.  Having a loving family, in relatively good health at this point in my life, is something I never take for granted.

Other things I don’t take for granted…A daughter who is everything I wish I had been at her age…and more, and a husband who is my best friend, and who makes me feel like I’m the queen of the world.  I’m thankful for a lot of things.

But this morning it occurred to me that there are a lot of things I am NOT thankful for.

I’m not thankful that there are terrorists in our world who have given our government a reason to take such precautions for our safety that our country has been focused for days on the stupid body scan/pat down controversy.  You know what?  As soon as someone hides an explosive on their person that is not found by our security and blows up an airplane or God forbid, another high rise building, people will be re-thinking their opposition to all of this.  What part of “It’s for our SAFETY” do people not get?  Geez.  If they have some body part that every other human being doesn’t have, and they don’t want anyone to see it, then don’t &*(*& fly!

I’m not thankful that Belle Meade streets have been so torn up for the better part of a year that I can’t bike on any of the streets without fear of losing a tire.  For that matter, I’m not thankful that they haven’t paved the road in Percy Warner Park going from Belle Meade Blvd. to Deep Wells.  There is one turn there that is like a minefield!

I’m not thankful that Kate and Jon Gosselin are still celebrities, in some way, instead of in jail for bad parenting.

I’m not thankful that my daughter has so much homework over Thanksgiving break that we have to take another suitcase to hold her books…I weighed them…55 pounds!!

I’m not thankful that a woman in Pakistan has been jailed for a year and a half, awaiting execution for talking about her religion.

I’m not thankful that one of my dearest friends and her husband have been fighting cancer for the last few years.

I’m not thankful that Nashville doesn’t have more options for buying humanely produced meat.  And I’m not thankful that a handful of companies have taken over the production of the vast majority of our food, putting smaller companies out of business and producing inferior food that makes us sicker and fatter.

BUT, I am still more thankful than not.  Thankful that I live in America, thankful that I have my health and my family, and the ability to to just about whatever I decide to do…including putting my thoughts into words.   I’m thankful for the opportunities that my daughter will have as she graduates from High School in a year and a half.  I’m thankful that I can spend time in the mountains, a place where I feel peaceful and closer to God.  I’m thankful that my body hasn’t given out yet, and I can still run and bike and swim.

So, when I start to feel all negative and pissy about the things that make my blood boil, I just remember that the good outweights the bad. 

What are you thankful for?

Maintaining the Connection

It’s Saturday morning, the first weekend of the school year, and I’m sitting in the kitchen,  doing the crossword puzzle, waiting for H to wake up.  I just realized I’ve been doing this almost every morning for the last 16 1/2 years.  I feel like my day doesn’t start until  she’s awake.  Typically, on the few days that she doesn’t have to wake up early for school or some other activity, we let her sleep in.  Theoretically.  But I usually can’t just go on and do what I need to do until she gets up.  What is up with that?  When she’s out of town, it’s not as bad.  I will go ahead and do whatever I have to do, but until I get a text or phone call from her, I’m still on edge.

I’ve been really sentimental and emotional lately.  Even catching glimpses of “Bethenny Getting Married?” on TV will make me tear up.  Seeing the usually bitter, acerbic Bethenny Frankel get all mushy and gushy about her new baby daughter takes me back to the wonder and the profound love that smacked me over the head when H entered our world.  I wonder if it’s this bad when people have more than one child.

These intense emotions are being exacerbated by the fact that my sweet, loving, sensitive almost 17-year-old daughter is experiencing some normal bouts of moodiness.   Last night, we were at a party, and she was at the Friday night football game with friends.  We had not seen her much all week, since school had started, and Friday we saw her even less.  She left for school at 7 a.m., went to her Friday volunteer job after school, and ran in to take a 5 minute shower before leaving to get ready at a friend’s house.  When she texted me that she was home, I couldn’t wait to leave our party to get home and talk to her for a few minutes before she fell asleep.   (I know, I know…get a life, mom!)

Anyway, we came home about an hour later, and I went upstairs to chat with her.  She had a different idea.  When I think of it from her point of view, (long week, emotionally drained, needing to decompress)  I completely understand, but it was still difficult for me.  She was in her bed, watching some mindless TV, and I came bursting in wanting to hear all about her night.  She did NOT feel like sharing…just didn’t have the energy.  I reverted back to childhood and kind of stomped off, then she felt guilty and apologized.  Not the outcome I had imagined or wanted for the evening.

When I reach WAYYYYY back into my memory of being a teenage girl, I remember the need to establish some freedom and autonomy from my mom.  I needed to assert my independence from my mom,  but still needed the connection… although I had no idea how to do it.  As a result, I know I pushed her away.  So there was that give and take that I’m experiencing now.  She pushes me away, and then when I go away, she tries to pull me back in.  She experienced an incredible growth this summer from her experiences at Adventure Treks,  Operation Smile, and Design Camp at NCSU.  She is discovering things about herself, and in an effort to develop that sense of self, she feels the need to rebel a little against my control.  I know that…my common sense tells me I need to let go a little bit…but my emotional side keeps fighting back. 

We’re making some progress.  The good part is she’s developing a really good connection with her dad.  They walk the dog together, or have lunch together, and she is telling him more now than she did as a young girl.  I do bite my tongue many times when I want to ask for more details than she gives, and try to keep my tidbits of “advice” which she always sees as criticisms, (are you going to wear that?  I like your hair better this way, etc) to a minimum. 

In other words, when she pulls away, I’m trying not to pursue as hard.  She does always come back.   Every now and then, when the stars align, I am in her bedroom when she feels like talking, and we have some wonderful discussions and connect in a way that gives me hope for the future.  I think she reaches out when I don’t push so hard.

So my hope for this school year, is that she continues to find out more about herself…her goals, her dreams, and who she wants to be.  The only way that is going to work is if I let go.  Not all the way.  Just more than I have in the past.   We will always be bound together, but I’m going to give her some slack in the rope.

Still here…

I know I post this sight quite a bit, but the summer view of the quiet lake showing the perfect mirror image is so beautiful!

Yes, I am still alive. I am sitting on the balcony at our lake house in North Carolina, reading and relaxing before the weekend of July 4th activities begins. This is the first July 4th that we haven’t had houseguests, so we’re actually being a little more social than normal. Parties tonight and tomorrow night…we’re starting to meet more people up here. Since we plan on this being our home in a couple of years, it’s nice to finally start to make connections. For the first few years, it was such an ‘escape’ for J and I, that we liked the fact that we didn’t know anyone. We were able to just fly under the radar, come in and do things we wanted to do without any social obligations. But that would make for a pretty lonely existence up here. We’ve met people playing tennis, at the club, and at “music on the mountain”, the monthly pot luck get-together on top of Mt. Toxaway. We always take Rosie, our black lab, who serves as a wonderful magnet for new people.

H hasn’t had much luck meeting kids her age. We’re having better luck just bringing friends with us, or having families with friends her age come visit. We brought three friends right after exams were over for five days, and last weekend some dear friends came up with their daughters and a friend.

The problem with that is that when we’re here for weeks at a time, it’s hard to get kids up here for a few days. So, she just hangs with us, sleeps late, plays tennis, walks the dog, and signs up for every camp she can talk us into. She’s now in the snowy mountains of northern California, backpacking, ice climbing, rock climbing, rafting, and camping for a month. I was just reading about her upcoming hike to the summit of Mt. Shasta…it’s a serious thing! They’ve had record snowfalls and still have tons of snow there. So in addition to worrying about her staying warm and making it to the top of the mountain, now I have to worry about avalanches and accidental luge-like falls down the mountain.


She flies home and has four days with us before going to design camp for a week at North Carolina State University, then one night before going to a leadership conference for Operation Smile. Then she’ll have six days before school starts. Something tells me those six days will be spent reading the three summer reading books she hasn’t done yet, and completing the projects as well. So much for a relaxing summer. J didn’t want her to do the last conference, because he thought it was just too much time away from us, but finally recognized her desire to be around other 16-year-olds, and relented. She might decide hanging out with her parents isn’t as bad as she thinks, after the whirlwind of activities…or not. It’s all good. I miss her like crazy, but if she was here I’d just be dragging her out of bed before noon every day and bugging her about her summer reading. What fun is that?

As a rising 11th grader, she is spreading her wings. As we begin to let the rope out a little bit, there are lots of emotions that accompany it. I’m proud of the decisions she has made, and is making so far…her choices in friends and activities. I’m trying not to be a ‘helicopter mom’…letting her make mistakes and learning from them. That’s hard for me. I have typically been one of those, swoop-in-and-fix-things kind of mom. We’re lucky that her mistakes have (so far) been minor, and affected mostly herself. She’ll make more, and become a better person for it, of that I am sure. I have to bite my tongue, sometimes literally, to avoid nagging her about her summer reading, her eating habits, what she wears, how she fixes her hair…all things that really don’t matter in the large scheme of things, and things that drive H crazy. When she does the eye-roll, or the “mo–ooomm”, or the silent treatment, it’s usually because I’ve gone a little overboard in the motherly “advice” (or as she sees it, “smothering”) When I am successful at keeping my mouth shut about the little things, we have incredible times together. Before she left on her backpacking trip, we played golf, tennis, hiked, watched movies, and cuddled together. I’m so glad we did. She’s going to have an incredible time while she’s away, but hopefully, she’ll remember the good times we had before she left.

The Every Day Memories

I’m not the only one in my family who’s been hit hard by the pollen in Nashville this spring. For me, it has aggravated my asthma to the point that the medication doesn’t seem to be doing anything to help. I can’t run more than a mile without chest pain that feels like a truck is parked on my solar plexus. For J, it’s allergies. He’s walking around sounding like a dog choking on a bone…a dry, hacking cough, and sinus congestion that makes him feel terrible. His snoring has escalated to decibels that rattle the windows. On a good day (without pollen), he snores, I nudge him, he rolls over and stops for a little while. Usually that happens 2-3 times per night, and I can fall asleep in between the snoring, and hopefully stay asleep most of the night. But now, he is snoring on his back, on his side, and even when he falls asleep sitting up. He’s waking himself up several times a night. And when I try to nudge him to turn over, his attitude is, to say the least, not very accommodating. Last night he decided to sleep in the guest room so both of us could get a good night’s sleep.

I was sitting in bed, reading, when H came downstairs and said, “Daddy is worried that you might be lonely. Can I sleep with you?” I thought about it for half a second, but pulled the covers back, patted the bed next to me, and she jumped in. I turned off the reading light and snuggled up next to her, a smile on my face. Memories of moments from her childhood, when she had nightmares, or couldn’t sleep, or just wanted to be with us, when she’d walk into the bedroom and ask if she could “cuddle” for a little while. She’d wiggle in between us, put one little hand on me, and the other on J, and the “little while” often turned into all night. I usually didn’t sleep well on those nights. When she was really little, I worried all night that I’d roll over and wake her up. As she got older, and more accustomed to sleeping alone in a queen sized bed, sleeping with her growing limbs all over the place became like sleeping in a bowl of spaghetti. I was constantly lifting arms and legs off my chest and putting them back in her space. So as she got older (and so did I), I felt we all needed a good night’s sleep more than she needed to “cuddle”. So we started sending her back to her bed. It wasn’t until last night, when I woke up in the middle of the night with her 16- year-old LEG (yes, her leg) smacking me in the face, that I remembered just how much I loved those everyday moments. On those nights when she was snuggling in next to us, J would reach over her head, rub my hair and we’d both look at each other and H and smile. Everything was alright. We were together.

I take lots of pictures of my family. I have boxes and books full of photos from special moments. Vacations. Recitals. Graduations. Birthdays. I don’t have so many of those regular, forgettable moments. The times spent together doing nothing special. The naps together, jumping in the McDonald’s play area on a Tuesday afternoon together, reading at night before bed, brushing teeth together, weekday meals together at the table in the kitchen, watching TV, walking the dog, picking out groceries, wrapping gifts, packing lunches, shopping for a new backpack, playing the ‘alphabet game’ on a family hike together, taking a temperature when someone’s sick, wiping away tears when a friend disappoints you, the list goes on and on. It’s those every day moments that I treasure more than the special occasions. The ones I wish I’d taken more photos of. Every once in awhile the camera would be conveniently sitting nearby when something happened and I’d take a photo…H taking photos with her first camera, H and J falling asleep while watching TV, J teaching H how to shoot a free throw. I will always remember those moments when I see the photos. But those other moments, the ones I didn’t photograph? I’ll remember them when I least expect it. When she’s not around. When we have a typical mother/teenage daughter argument. I remember washing her hair in the bathtub with the “Baby Bop” cup pouring water over her head to rinse out the shampoo…”Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle…RAIN!!!” I remember thinking she was finally eating a cheeseburger (even when she hated meat from the time she was a little girl), and then seeing the pieces of meat sprinkled on the floor around her chair. I remember her walking out on stage at a show at Opryland when she was 3 years old and standing front and center while the show continued to go on and she smiled the whole time, thinking she was supposed to be there. I wish I’d had a camera then. But those memories are as sharp as any photo could ever be. I just never know when I’m going to see them.

The way he loves me

My husband owns his own business…he runs it from just about anywhere. That is a good thing when we want to spend weeks at a time in North Carolina. He still needs to check in every now and then, but he spends more and more time in our home office. He is always busy…answering emails, writing ads, talking with clients and employees, putting out fires all over the place, and running to meetings several times a day. But it took awhile for me to get used to having him here.

I’m sure it took him awhile to get used to seeing me in my pajamas until 3 p.m., and it took him several months to learn that I like to read the paper, do the crossword and Sudoku, and drink my coffee in the morning without talking about everything HE reads in the New York Times.

I had to learn to share the exercise room. We’re both kind of exercise fanatics. We put in an exercise room a few years ago, with a treadmill, stair machine, elliptical, spinning bike, stepmill, and various weights and things. When J went to the office every day, he would use the room either before or after work. Now, I have to share it…which means he takes command of the remote control for the TV. I’m always behind on my shows on the DVR that he hates…Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Desperate Housewives and Big Love. It’s OK, though (said through clenched teeth and a forced smile), I like watching Fox Business News and reruns of The Dave Ramsey Show.

We’re both busy, but seeing each other every day for more than a few hours at night has become very comfortable. We each have our own worlds. He goes to his business appointments, I go to my volunteer meetings, shop for groceries, cook dinner and we both have various medical visits. Even though I try to remember which ailment he is visiting a professional about (hips, neck, back, etc) I don’t always keep up with it, and I really didn’t think he had any idea about my rare doctor appointments.

So yesterday, I did some work, went for a run and jumped in the shower around 11:30. J said, “You have your pulmonologist appointment today, right?”

I was shocked that he knew I had my follow up visit with the doctor to discuss my exercise-induced asthma that was just diagnosed about six months ago. I was even more shocked when he said,

“Do you mind if I go with you?”

I said, “Sure”, but I was very weirded out by it. He hasn’t gone with me to any kind of doctor’s appointment, other than when I was pregnant with H.

He had a meeting before my appointment, so I really didn’t think he would make it on time. But after I parked and started walking in, he drove up. When we were sitting in the waiting room waiting to see the doc, he told me he just wanted to make sure I really had asthma.

He said, “You are so physically fit, and you’ve exercised your whole life, so I just can’t really believe you have asthma.”

I was a little offended. Did he think I was making it up?

I introduced him to the doctor, and he sat back and listened for awhile. Then he started firing questions.

“She doesn’t always need the rescue inhaler, is this typical?” (YES)

“Since her attacks are usually exercise-related, is this really asthma?” (YES)

“Will she always be asthmatic?” (Probably)

“Why did she have to stop running a few times last week?” (Cold weather triggers asthma)

But the last question, more than any of the others, kind of touched my heart.

“What do I do if she has an attack and we don’t have an inhaler with us?”

My strong husband, who loves to take charge and rarely admits he needs help, just wanted to know how to take care of me.

It may not sound like a lot, but it’s one of the reasons I love him.

Top Ten Reasons why I haven’t posted lately

It’s 6:30 a..m…my favorite time of day. My family is still sleeping and I have an hour or two to eat my toast, catch up on emails, read the paper, and today I decided to face the horror of (DUM DUM DUM) the unwritten blog post. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything that I feel like I’ve forgotten why I started doing it in the first place. I’ve even put a lot of thought into just shutting it down, and starting all over with a different kind of blog, one that might be a little less A.D.D. (all over the place), and a little more narrow in topic. But that would never work for me, because I never know what is going to motivate me to sit down and write.

This morning, after I finished breakfast, fed the dog, checked facebook, read my emails, and looked up Colorado College for H (who is in 10th grade and beginning to think about colleges), I looked up at the bookmark toolbar on my mac and winced as I clicked on this blog. Yep, it’s been almost two months since I wrote anything. So in essence, I’m probably starting all over anyway. But I’m still going to write about my life, because that’s what I know (and that’s what my mom wants to read).

We’re in Lake Toxaway this weekend for fall break, and I think it’s as good a time as any to make excuses for why I haven’t posted, and to start writing again, because to be honest, I write for me. No ads, no promotions for products that I keep getting asked to review (so please stop asking me!), just a place for me to talk about life with a teenage daughter, a husband who is my best friend, my girlfriends (yesssss!), and my dog.

There are a lot of reasons for not writing, but here are the top 10:

10. We had H’s Sweet 16 party last month with her best friend…lots of planning for a party with 115 of their closest friends. In H’s words…”Best night of my life!” And as a mother, those four words made it all worthwhile.

9. I started taking bioidentical hormones this summer, which have made me feel like a new woman! I’m sleeping all night long for the first time in years. So I’m feeling so much more energetic during the day, but the wee hours of the morning, when I used to write, are now spent sleeping.

8. I’m chairing two committees at H’s new school. Last year when H was in her first year at the school, I tried to volunteer so that I could meet other moms, but they didn’t need me! Strangely, at this school, they have so many uber-moms that volunteer, the positions get taken pretty quickly. At her old school, there were just a handful of moms who had time to volunteer, so a few of us did all the work and we were always looking for warm bodies to help.

7. J turned 50 this month, so two weeks after H’s “Sweet 16”, we had a 50th birthday party for him. More party plannning, and a house full of family from out of town.

6. I made two slideshows, one for H’s party and one for J’s. Shouldn’t have taken me the bazillion hours it ended up taking, but I had so much fun looking at all the old photos it took five times longer.

5. Between H’s party and J’s party, we went on a cruise to New England and Canada to see the fall colors.

4. Now that H is back in school, her schedule is unbelievably busy. Fall basketball double headers, workouts three days a week, open gym two days a week, driver’s ed every saturday, and her social life whenever she can squeeze it in. Not to mention her schoolwork. She’s in 10th grade, and two of her classes use college textbooks, she has homework until 11 or 12 every night. I know it’s not MY schedule, but I’m still shuttling her back and forth between all of this, as well as trying to calm her down when she’s overwhelmed, which is quite often. She now has her driver’s license, so now she’s shuttling me around (which is another blog post altogether).

3. Even though J’s birthday party was last week, we’re also planning a long weekend next weekend in North Carolina with some close friends. This is J’s favorite place in the world, and he wanted to celebrate in an intimate way with our friends.

2. My 15 year old nephew just spent three days in Pediatric Intensive Care at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for some weird reaction to flu symptoms. He was sick for a few days, fever wouldn’t come down, throwing up like crazy, so my sister-in-law took him to the ER to get some fluids. When they couldn’t get his fever to come down they transferred him to Vanderbilt and when he got there, his blood pressure dropped to 47/20, and his kidneys shut down. All the blood tests have come back negative, so they have no idea what caused it all. He’s better now, and came home yesterday with a pick line to continue his IV antibiotics, but he gave us all quite a scare.

But the number one reason I haven’t written anything, is that I feel so inadequate compared to some of my favorite blog writers, like these:

Busy Dad’s Blog
La Belle Saison
Mrs. Fussypants
Suburban Turmoil

But what is up with the blogs that suddenly have pop up ads all over the place??? Come on guys, that is so annoying. I know you have zillions of readers and make some money from the ads you have, but POP-UPS? They’ve got to go.

Anyway…there are my excuses. I promise I’m going to do better. I enjoy writing when I do it, so I am going to JUST DO IT. So please, the few readers I had before the sabbatical..please come back!

Spring is in the Air…First proposal done by blog?

Yes, I know, I haven’t posted anything in a long time.

Basically, it’s just all the normal, every day mom stuff.  Went to New York for a bar mitzvah.

Can I just say, it was kind of OVER THE TOP!!  But other than the zillions of dollars they spent on the extravaganza, it was actually very sweet.  And kind of sad.  We were there for my husband’s cousin…it was his son who had the bar mitzvah.  J’s aunt (cousins’s stepmother), boycotted.  Said she wouldn’t come.  Couldn’t be bothered.  So very sad for the little boy, because all his other grandparents on his dad’s side are dead.  There is a point in the ceremony that the bar mitzvah’s parents come up to make their speeches, and their parents (the grandparents) join them.  The mom came up with her mom and dad, and J’s cousin came up, all by himself.  I was so choked up.  She missed such an incredible experience, that she will never get back.  Her loss.

Then, spring break in Snowmass.  This is our 8th year to ski over spring break, and the first year that we’ve been to Colorado for a week with NO NEW SNOW!  It actually wasn’t bad.  Snowmass is so big and so high that we were able to find tons of good conditions, although by our last day it was obvious that they really needed more snow.  Luckily, I heard they just got a foot.  The good thing about the weather was it was not super cold, so we didn’t have to wear 3 or 4 layers.  We had lunch in the village on St. Patrick’s day and were entertained by some very self-confident young ladies, who didn’t wear any layers at all!  I think the green liquid they were slamming down before getting up on the table helped their self confidence.

I love Snowmass. It’s a big mountain, with lots of single black diamond runs (I’m not so good on the double diamonds). We love skiing bumps, and there were bumps all over the place…good, well definied, soft bumps. (Or mobiles, as H used to call them). Plus, Snowmass is right down the road from Aspen, the coolest mountain town in Colorado. Aspen is a real town, now like Beaver Creek, which we love, but was built all at the same time and has no real character. The shopping and the restaurants in Aspen are fantastic.

Skiing together as a family is my favorite thing to do.  It is the ONLY sport that all three of us do together.  J and H are beautiful skiiers.  I will try anything, but I don’t look so good doing it.  But it’s so much fun when we start at the top of the mountain, J goes first, then H, and I bring up the rear with a huge smile on my face.  I don’t know how much longer H will be happy doing spring break with just her parents.  But while it lasts, it’s pretty great.

Now we’re fixin (yes, I’m from the South) to go to Dallas for a friend’s 50th birthday.  Wow.  My friends are turning 50.  How did that happen?

I’ll write something really good soon, I promise.  In the meantime, check this out.  Maybe the first proposal done by blog!  Awwww……