Friday, July 30, 2010

i hate being judged and try to avoid it whenever possible

Based on yesterday's post, you may disagree, but once someone told me that I am the least judgemental person they have ever met. 

I have been reformed, and I agree. 

I wish other people were like me in that way. 

I hatehatehate feeling judged.  It's one of my least favorite things.

In all honesty, I judge people just like everyone else.   Inwardly.  In my own private mind.  But I don't mock them, call them out on their crap (for the most part) and make them feel bad or uncomfortable about things that they have said and done.  I just don't think it's my place to do that.

And I really don't think it's someone else's place to do that to me.

Unless of course you're someone in my very tiny little inner circle of people.  Then you can judge me and call me out on my crap.  Because then I feel like it is a worthy assessment.  Sorta.  I'm really a poor sport receiving constructive criticism.  Criticism = sucky.

Once someone told me that it is none of my business what other people think of me.

I was like, whoa! What a concept!  Seriously.
 
It really is none of my business what other people think of me, unless they make it my business.  I try to live by that lately, really I do.  Say this out loud to yourself ten times every day, and maybe it will make you feel less anxious and concerned about what is going on in people's minds.

IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.

There.  All done!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

8 Bad Dates Part Uno

I am pretty sure I could make a movie called 32 [crappy] Dates.  It would star me as the girl who consistently found herself in far too many less than spectacular situations with some less than spectacular guys.

When I was all single and lonesome, people were always trying to set me up.  I was so fickle though, (and in a serious guy-hating sad funk) even the slightest thing would have me changing my phone number and getting it unlisted to avoid the unwanted phone calls and voice messages that I would get from people that I had no interest in dating or going on a second date with. (Holy run-on-sentence Batman!)   I actually changed/unlisted my telephone number several times.  I kid you not. 


Anyway.  I was thinking about all of the things that turned me off in guys and potential second dates in general when I was younger, and it sounds very shallow and mean now.  Seriously, I should be embarrassed for even writing this down and sharing it with the potential world, but what the hell, right?  I can only claim dumb young girl-ness for my rotten, shameful behavior.  

But let's get on with the meanie that I was back in the day.

One guy, who my husband, sisters and their respective spouses call the D.H.er (for reasons that I cannot disclose) was a smoker (yeah, not my thing - no offense) and he totally overstayed his welcome and rolled his cigarettes into a little neat line on the table.  Like, weirdly obsessive.  That guy did not get a second date.  I saw him from afar at a department store years later (incidentally, he was wearing a cheesy suit) and hid from him in the clothing racks. 

I also had a real live stalker once.  He even called my sister and (literally) cried at her that I refused to return his calls.  But in my defense, he turned all weird and got high and told me he shaved himself.  In the downstairs region.  If you get my drift.  That seriously grossed me out (no offense to those that are into that) and I got out of that one as fast as possible.

Once this cutie cop who used to come into my work a lot suggested we meet up out at this bar for a few drinks and I was all, "OK, cool, I'll be there!"  and I showed up and he had these hideous stark white sneakers on.  Practically glowing in the dark.  For some reason I totally couldn't get past the sneakers so I found a way to sneak out of there and never spoke to him again.

There was also that short window salesman who my brother-in-law Ty set me up with that showed up in a green pleather (as in plastic leather) jacket.  Besides being of extra short stature, he was BORING.  (I have nothing against short.  I married short.  I am just trying to paint a picture for you.) Ty knew me.  What the hell was he thinking??  Short, pleather jacket guy got the boot.

(rob can wear a green pleather jacket whenever he wants to)


My Mom once tried to set me up with a house painter who she thought was so nice, and I was slightly interested until I heard his last name was Hoare.  He tried to say it was pronounced like "whore-ay," but it didn't fly with me. I mean, why even go down that road if you could potentially show up at your 20 year reunion and introduce yourself as Jessica Hoare.  Yup. Good try Mom.

There was this adorable guy that I had been crushing on for literally years.  Definitely tall, dark and handsome.  He was super flirty every time we were in the same vicinity, and finally we kind of actually made a plan to get together.  We went down to the river, hung out and talked for a long time, it was really nice, and I was liking him.  Til he kissed me.  Which was gross, and totally not all it was cracked up to be.  He was a terrible kisser and there was no way to deny it, because you know, kissing is sort of important.

Then there was this guy I met at work who was interested in me.  Even though I didn't know him too well, I thought he was cute and seemed nice, so I went with it.  He was a little older than me.  We met for a group date at a lake, things were going OK and then he took his shirt off to go swimming and it looked like he was wearing a sweater vest.  I mean, he was so very hairy, I almost gagged.  That and the fact that he had B.O. was a huge turn off.  No offense to all of the smelly, hairy guys out there and the women who love them, but I just couldn't get past it.  Then I later heard that he was married and I was so offended.  I felt really sorry for his wife because she ended up with a stinky, hairy cheater.


I would consider this a sweater as opposed to a sweater vest, but thanks either way google)

And finally, while we are talking about older hairy guys who I met at work, I will leave you with the image of this guy I will call Mr. Beach, just for the heck of it.  On this first date we met at his apartment, and I was sitting there on the couch waiting for him while he changed before we went to where ever it was that we were going.  Well, I think he thought I would like it, but he came out with no shirt on and he was really muscular (which actually turned me off very much in itself), and flexing (kind of like he would make a big muscle while he picked up a cup of water or something. ew.) but he was also pale and freckly, and all of the no-shirt wearing and miscellaneous flexing caused me to notice one very random patch of fur on his back that was about the size of my face.  And he had two snarling pit-bulls locked up in the kitchen and he had cheesy mood music on.  It was bad.  Really, really bad.

I know this may sound harsh of me.  Sorry, but I have to tell it like it is.  Or was.  Shockingly, I have many more stories of this nature, and maybe I will share them in another post.  A Part II of 8 more bad dates that I have been on!  Woo hoo!

I'll bet you are all on the edge of your seats...


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Harriet the Spy lunch

When I was a kid, I was a huge reader.  Well, not a huge reader, but an average sized kid who loved to read. A lot.  I always had my nose in some form of reading material, whether it be books, magazines, encyclopedias or comic books...

One of my favorite books was Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh.

(This is exactly what my book looked like.  Except mine was way tattered from multiple readings.)

I wish I still had that old book.  I know that there are plenty of other HTS books on the shelves, but they look different of course, and it's just not the same.  I would give mine to Megan if I had it, because she reminds me so much of myself with her little book-lover ways.  Maybe I will order it on eBay for myself her.

Anyway, the sole purpose of this post was to tell you that I had a big fat Tomato and Mayo sandwich for lunch.  (And yet here I am, several paragraphs into this post already.  Go figure.)  It was a Harriet the Spy sandwich (if you are not aware, Harriet would only eat tomato and mayo sandwiches for lunch). Which I could eat eight of in a row if I didn't have such fabulous self control.  That sandwich is ridiculously great, and simple, and incidentally tastes a million times better with tomatoes picked from your own garden.  Which is why I only eat Harriet the Spy sandwiches in the summer. Let's just say that I need to use my own personal tomatoes because I have an irrational fear of accidentally biting into a rotten tomato.

Anyway.  There you have it.  My oh-so-exciting post of the day.

(ps -- If you like tomatoes, I challenge you to try one of these for lunch today and tell me what you think.  Make sure you cut the tomatoes into big fat slices!  And by all means use an excess of mayo.  Seriously.)


Monday, July 26, 2010

welcome to my life


*disclaimer* I am officialy crossing into MOM BLOG territory with this post. proceed with caution.


Every day at least once a day I hear, "Mom, I just went poop!"

And then I pause for a second.  And hope she is just informing me for the heck of it.  And then if my husband is home I say "NOT IT!" and touch my nose to make it official.

And then I hear, "Can you come wipe me?"

And then I say, "You try it yourself this time."

And then she says, "But it's a gross one!"

And then I grumble, "Fine, I'm coming."

And the little slavedriver says, "I don't hear your footsteps!"

And I guess today I didn't respond quickly enough, because she added in a cutie little sing-songy voice, "My butt is waiting for you!"

Wanna come over and wipe some butts?


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The "eagle"

Cuteness: The whole lot of us were driving up to Albany the other night to go out to dinner in celebration of my husband's big promotion. Along the way, he got a call on his cell phone (shocker!) and began a conversation with the (very important) caller while driving.

All of a sudden I hear Brookie exclaim from her spot in the back, "That's an eagle Dad!"

"Where?  You see a big bird flying out there?"  I replied, looking out the window for the bird that Brooke had spotted.

And she says, "No Mom, it's an eagle for Dad to talk on the phone when he is driving."

I'm assuming she meant illegal.  Which it is.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

staying home and stuff

I feel fortunate enough to be able to spend my time taking care of my family and our household, and I do not work outside of the home. Some people prefer to go to a job, and I guess I prefer to remain at my job every hour of every day.



I never did get the controversy between the "Stay-At-Home-Mom," and the "Working Mom." I mean, who really cares what the title is -- all mothers are working mothers in my opinion. Instead of getting silly over terms, I just choose to enjoy this stage in my life, and take each day as it comes.



No, my life isn't always perfect as a SAHM, in fact it rarely is, but to me, that is actually the beauty of it. I like that if my daughter gets a belly-ache at school, I can run over within minutes and grab her and plop her on the couch til she feels better. If my son forgets his lunch (oh it happens far too often), I can choose to run it over and give it to him (if I am not irritated with his constant forgetfulness). I can neaten my house, pay my bills, make dinner, grocery shop and do all of the things that may distract me or overwhelm me if I only had the weekends to accomplish them.


I also like that I can bring my kids back and forth to school, that I am the first one they greet after a long day, and that life doesn't have to be crazy and rushed and scheduled to death.

Someone recently alluded to the fact that I don't want to go back to work.  Which kind of pretty much hurt my feelings actually.  I guess in many respects I don't want to go back to work, but not because I am lazy or unambitious.  That's what hurt my feelings, the thought that someone might think that of me. 

The reasons that I prefer to stay home rather than go off to work are:

(1) I can.  I can stay home and I feel lucky.  Getting here was a long process - I worked as a kid, started summer jobs when I was 14.  I worked as a student, through college, as a grown up, mother and wife.  I started, ran and sold a business.  I also worked while my husband went to law school.   Now we are in a position where a second income isn't necessary to keep us afloat, and I can stay home.

(2) I (we) don't want babysitters spending more time than we do with our kids.  If I worked, mornings would be hectic and hurried.  Chaos makes me feel crazy inside, and I can see that rubbing off on my kids.  Kids would either be home alone after school for a while, or in after-school care with babysitters til dinner time.  I'd get home and dinner and homework would be hectic and hurried.  My enemy, chaos again.  Before long, baths and bedtime and what do I have to show that is of any value for the day besides a paycheck?  Probably a headache mixed with some guilt.

(3) My husband's schedule is very erratic.  His job will always come first, because it is always going to be the most important one financially.  He has a lot of meetings during the day and at night, and sometimes he has to commute in to the city.  More often than not, I would be responsible for getting 3 kids up, dressed, fed, lunches and bags packed and to two different schools at two different times.  All while getting myself up and dressed and ready and to work (oh, chaos - it hurts my head thinking about it).  If anyone was sick, had an appointment, an emergency or a need - that would fall on my shoulders pretty much 98% of the time.   

Basically, things run more smoothly with me at home.  And it works for us.  So there, naysayers.



One more thing! 
I understand that not everybody can or even wants to do this. Being the one home the most can truly be exhausting, and sometimes overwhelming -- my day starts the moment I open my eyes, and doesn't really ever end. Because nine times out of ten, I get up in the night to take care of a kid who (fell out of bed, has an ear ache, had a bad dream, needs to go potty, is coughing, etc.). I do this because I want to, and I totally never judge a Mom who can stay home but prefers to go to work.  To each his own and all that stuff.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

zodiac

So Alex emailed me this from work today, and followed up with this comment:

Hon, This is totally you!  Except the messy, unorganized and pet parts.  Especially the long-winded story, attractive, trustworthy, great kisser and sleeping parts.  Wink wink.


AQUARIUS (me) 
Does It In The Water (interesting.)


Trustworthy. Attractive. Great kisser. One of a kind, loves being in long-term relationships.  Tries hard. Will take on any project. (Why, thank you!) Proud of themselves in whatever they do. (Eh) Messy and unorganized. Procrastinators. (Hey! I do not concur. I am neat and organized AND I do not procrastinate. Well... kinda) Great lovers, when they're not sleeping. (LOL, what can I say?) Extreme thinkers. (oh, I am pretty extreme in the thinking department...) Loves their pets usually more than their family. (Nah...) Can be VERY irritating to others when they try to explain or tell a story. (Well, I have been accused of this once or twice...) Unpredictable. Will exceed your expectations. Not a Fighter but will knock your lights out.  (Ha!)

(*as you may have already guessed, my little personal comments are in the black.) 

So getting that email made me go on and check to see what other qualities that people who share my sign should have.  What I found about Aquarius pretty much fits me to a capital T:

-Would have made a great hippie
-So independent
-Completely unpredictable
-Fascinated by everything
-Most likely to save the world
-Don't care what other people think
-Keep your options open
-Notorious Nonconformist

I thought that was funny.  Because really, it is just about right on.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

grammar snob and good manners

When I was little, my Grampy would either not respond, or say "What?" until we corrected our grammar when we were talking to him.

Like if I said, "Grampy, can me and Ali have some Fig Newtons?"

He'd say, "Who?"

And I'd be like, "Me and Ali, you know, us." Confused, pointing to my sister.

And he'd say, "Who?"

And then I'd get it.  "Ohhhhh... can Ali and I have some Fig Newtons?"

And then he'd sort of smile and say yes.  They always had Fig Newtons. Those are my favorite.  I could easily eat a whole slab of them in one sitting, but lets not go there.

As a kid, it used to get irritating.  My dad did the same thing, he'd poke us with a fork if our elbows were on the table, and we always had to put our napkins on our laps.  You know, all of that annoying stuff that kids could care less about.

As an adult, I find myself doing the same things to my kids (not poking them with a fork necessarily).  Poor grammar gets on my nerves.  I am especially appalled when actor on television uses poor grammar, or Cod forbid it is actually in a published book wrong.  Like the person who edits the writing didn't even notice that what was written is so not grammatically correct??  I'm pretty sure that's kind of their job!  Anyway, I like good manners.  I value them.  And I like that when Alex and I went to a luncheon at The Waldorf for one of the attorney's in his firm, I knew what to do with all of those utensils.

So to Grampy, who I hope is watching up in heaven and smiling, I'd like to say thank you.  And I get it now.

Monday, July 19, 2010

is it only me?

Apparently me and my sisters are so very cool, that our kids want to lurk around whenever we are sitting and chatting together.  For the life of me, I just can't fathom ever trying to sit in on a conversation with my Mom and my aunts when I was a kid. B.O.R.I.N.G.

The thought of all of that adult boring stuff would send me running for something fun to do.  We also grasped the concept that if we bugged my Mom enough, sooner or later, she would just wrangle us all up and go home.

Don't get me wrong, I love having my kids around, and I especially love having real conversations with them.  To be honest with you, I do like the fact that they actually want to be around me.  But.  I also value and appreciate time with other adults.  Kid-less time with adults.  Where topics can range and we don't have to censor ourselves to little nosy ears that pick up on so much.  Often times we are discussing stuff that is none of their beeswax or completely inappropriate.  My sisters and brothers-in-law are peers, so we can throw around terms and conversations and information that just isn't what we want the kids to being hearing. 

My sister Jenney tried to put it into perspective for her daughter Abby, who was hurt one day when we asked her to take a hike during an adults only conversation.  Jen said, "How would you feel if the next time you had Anna and Kaitlyn and Missi over, I came up and flopped on your bed and listened to your boy talk and tried to act like a teenager?"

The thought of that mortified Abby, and I think she finally got it.

The question is, am I the only extremely cool Mom out there that has this problem??


meet me monday thing

For Java over on nevergrowingold.blogspot.com, who is doing this Meet Me on Monday thing:

1. What is your favorite sandwich?
My favorite sandwich is one that my sister Ali made up, which I wish she would come over and make for me today because I am too lazy.  It is grilled or broiled chicken breast with melted Monterrey Jack cheese and roasted pepper on a nice mushy roll.  The key to this being the best sandwich ever though, is the secret sauce, which I will share with you, because I am nice like that: mayo mixed with Mrs. Dash.  Oh, my mouth might be watering...


2. What is stashed under your bed/mattress?
Oh gosh, lots of junk! Dust clumps, slippers, random magazines, and I am sure my husbands shoes and misc socks.  Lost toys for sure...

3. What is your favorite flower?
Well, I really love flowers, so it is pretty hard for me to narrow it down, but I would have to say anemones.

4. What is your favorite magazine?
Truth: People Magazine.  But I also highly enjoy Family Fun and Good Housekeeping, lots of others actually.

5. How often do you weigh yourself?
Oh yuck.  Every single day.  And I hope for some miraculous change that never really happens.




Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bearie and Elephanitie


Brooke has never been overly creative when naming all of her animals...



These are two of her favorites, that get the coveted spot on her bed with her blanket.  Elephantie is a hand-me-down from her big sister Kara, and Bearie has been around since Brookie was a tiny little baby snuggling in her crib.  Bearie is getting worn and scraggly, but still gets dragged around every now and again.

They got to join me and Brooke for a little time spent one afternoon in the backyard; sunshine, smiles, swinging and one nice, crisp and juicy apple.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Shout-Out iheartfaces

This site is all about photography.  I think it's pretty cool.  There are contests and challenges every week.  And great tutorials.  Check it out!

http://www.iheartfaces.com/

Friday, July 16, 2010

obsessed

I think I am becoming obsessed with taking pictures of clouds and the sky.





And flowers. 





And barns. 








And cows. 




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Lazy Pool Days













For Goodcheapeats.com - What's on Your Plate Wednesday, I decided to share one of my favorite Summer Salads, which is appropriate because, well, it's summer!

Handfull of Mixed Greens
1/2 cup of No-Sugar-Added Mandarins
1/8 cup Craisins
1/4 Avocado
1/8 cup Goat Cheese
1 TBL Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Olive Oil

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do-Over

Someone just asked me, "If you had one do-over in life, what would it be?"  and there is no way I could come up with just one answer.  Because there are so many moments that I would love to be able to do over, just because wondering about different outcomes is something that totally consumes me at times.

But I often think that those things that maybe I regret, or are embarrassed about, or just plain want to forget kind of brought me to where I am right now.  Sure, I wish I could do over that mortifying car ride home from a concert at SPAC with my sister Jen, one of her old boyfriends and one of his friends -- I mean, in reality, if I could do that night over I sure would feel a whole lot less like a loser, but in the scheme of things, that night of misbehaving and drinking too much would never change anything about my life now.  Except maybe if that night never happened I could tolerate the smell of rum a little better.  But let's not go there.

I like to think that even the things that I regret and am embarrassed about have taught me something.  

One for sure do-over would be not caring more about college options, and not putting more of an effort into school work in general even, way back in the day.  I know I would definitely care more if I could do that over.  I just kind of accepted mediocrity, did not push myself to excel, and sort of gave up as far as school was concerned.  I slid by under the radar and totally accepted the B's.  I figured, at least I was passing without too much effort.  But that laziness drives me crazy now, as an adult.  If I had tried even a little bit, I could have done so much more!  Now, I mostly feel like that ship has sailed, and that makes me sad.

I also wish I could have a do-over with some relationships that I had in the past.  Like with people who I didn't treat as well as I should have, or people I never should have wasted my time on... if I could do some of those over, I would.  Definitely.  I hate that I sabotaged some of the best relationships over my own fears, that I accepted sub-par treatment from both boyfriends and girl friends, that I threw away opportunities of real and lasting friendships with people that were good and kind and loving.  There really are people that I wish I could go back to, as a mature grown-up vs. a selfish kid, and just apologize to.

Most of all though, if I could have any do-overs, it would be certain quiet moments with my kids when they were little.  What I wouldn't give to lay in bed with Kara while she drank a milk ba-ba, and rubbed her pacifier on her cheek, or rock Meg while she twirled her soft curls into little knots, or sit with Alex while he happily splashed in the kitchen sink "bath," or scratch Brookie's arms and sing her lullabies while she tried to go to sleep...

Oh yes, I would love a do-over with those moments, but only so I could thoroughly enjoy and appreciate them for what they were. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Shout-Out

So another blog that I stumbled across one day that totally caught my eye is the Cheeky Kitchen.  Brooke is a great cook.  (ooh, that rhymed!)  And I love the way she photographs her food.  And I love the way her food tastes.  I would love it even better if she came and made her food for me though. 

But seriously, her desserts are beyond incredible, and I made her butter cream frosting and couldn't stop eating it.  I tried to freeze it so it would be harder to sneak a lick and it didn't even deter me.  Have you ever eaten frozen frosting?  It's pretty great.

http://www.cheekykitchen.com/

Friday, July 9, 2010

tractors and levitating


Last night at our house:

"Thanks for dinner Mom.  I'm going out front to ride my tractor for a while."  the 4-yr-old girl.

"I'm going upstairs to practice levitating." the 12-yr-old boy.

"Well, I guess I'll just go to my room then." the 21-yr-old girl.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

bock bock. what the H?

So I went into the grocery store the other day, quite lazily unprepared for dinner.  I was thinking maybe BBQ chicken on the grill, maybe a little corn on the cob. 


I was perusing the chicken section of the meat case, and I was excited to see that our local grocery had finally stepped into the 2000's (Gosh, that sounds dumb) and started carrying organic, free range chicken. 

I've been wanting to go free range for like, ever, so I grabbed a package that looked like it had enough meat to feed the fam, and I almost tripped when I saw the sticker price for a snitch over one and a half pounds of meat.  TWENTY-SEVEN DOLLARS.  Yup, I said it.  Now my question is, who pays 27 bucks for four little pieces of uncooked chicken?  By all means if the Grand Union wants to marinate it, pop it on the grill then serve it to me and my family on a silver platter -- maybe I could justify the money.

I want to go organic, I want to go free-range - I really do!  But who can afford that on a daily basis??  That is seriously pretty much 4 times the amount that I typically pay for regular chicken.  No wonder our store doesn't carry it, I would venture a guess that the meat probably goes bad before anyone in our town would buck up for that.

Oh well, guess I will have to wait til we win the lottery.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

for Abby and Bridgett

Two of my nieces happened to read my blog the other day, and they went through all 178 posts and decided that they were very poorly represented.


So I guess it is time they get their own feature. 


I will start with Abigail Elizabeth, who is going to be celebrating her 14th birthday this month. She is so smart and pretty, and always tries to get me to convince her Mom to let her do things that she isn't allowed to do.  She writes really intriguing poetry, and can easily put words to paper that seem to flow so naturally.  When I think of Abby, my brain automatically conjures up the image of the soft pink doll that I gave her when she was just a baby, "Babya," who was never far from her reach.   I remember how Abby sucked her thumb while holding Babya, and tickled her ribbon.  I think of how hard it was for Abby to accept change, how much she was afraid of as a little kid.  I remember her dimply little cheeks and her devilish grin, wispy brown hair and tiny little self.  Whenever I see Abby, she hugs me hard and isn't afraid to tell me she loves me.  She's such a good kid - even though she teases her brother mercilessly and eats too much candy.  The thing that makes me smile the most is seeing the worn and dingy collection of Babya's that still have a place on her bed - no matter how grown up Abba gets, I have this feeling Babya won't ever be tossed aside.  And I love that.


 
And 12-year-old Bridgett Catherine, my beautiful blue-eyed and raspy-voiced God child, wanted me to be sure to mention that she is a Level 6 competitive gymnast.  She is such a funny strong-willed kid.  She doesn't let herself ever be bulldozed, and always seems to speak her mind.  She is in no way a follower, and will not do anything that she doesn't want to do.  In fact, I remember Bridgett refusing to walk til she was good and ready, at about 15 months.  She gets that spirited will from her Irish father I think!  She was always such a sweet, tiny little peanut.  Bridgett loves to sew and do crafts, and is always making something.  She's so thoughtful and caring, and when she was little used to make us pillows out of paper and stuffing.  She has such a great imagination, and will play school with her sister for hours.  I love that Bridgett is so dedicated to Gymnastics - seeing her compete and master such challenges has been really exciting.  I cannot wait to see how far she will go.