Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Goodbye to 2012.
I can't say that I am sorry to see this year go.

Obviously, I have no desire to wish my life away, or take any moment of my life for granted, but this has been a hard year. Our family needs a new year, a new beginning even if it is the man-made marking of time on the calendar.

I began the year, the first day of the year, in the hospital for four days. Luckily, that was just testing and did not pose a real health threat, but follow-up visits revealed another condition that needed to be addressed. Six months of holistic treatment, six months of traditional treatment, and a stay in the hospital in December for surgery, have made this a personally trying year. I have felt unable to be productive, sometimes unable to get dressed during this time. I have not been myself and it has taken its toll on me and those around me.

But there have been things for which I am so grateful.

We finally found our church home with the local Unitarian Universalists. I am more spiritually grounded than I have been in years. Our family discussions often center on our beliefs and how those beliefs effect our living in this world. The children have found acceptance and joy with the kids there and we often express our joy in being a part of this community.

Embree took on her largest stage role to date in The Velveteen Rabbit and enjoyed herself so much. Her poise on stage can't be taught. She handles herself so well. I look forward to her growth as an actress.

Reeves took on his first speaking role on stage as Santa in a reader's theatre of The Night Before Christmas. I am so proud of his efforts and his comic timing. I hope he will seek out more opportunities on stage as well.

Brice has taken so naturally to kindergarten. He is a natural at math and so willing to try anything hands-on. Though his full throttle approach to life can be tiring for his parents, his zest for moving forward makes me happy to be his teacher.

Though the year has been tough, Todd and I are closer than we have been in years. We have big plans for this year...plans for centering our lives around each other and the kids...around home.

Today, though I still feel some of the effects of surgery, I feel better than I have a single day in 2012. I am on the road to being back and better than ever and I am excited for tomorrow to bring this new year.

Here's hoping that the new year brings blessings and peace to us all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012::Christmas past

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest -not the great occasions - give the greatest glow of happiness. -- Bob Hope

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Put Your Feet Up Day...

Long absence from this space and from regular life, but things are looking up. Maybe we'll see more of each other again right here. Merry Christmas.

Friday, June 8, 2012

{June 8} adventures in the making and this moment

adventures in the making: things we are planning or dreaming or scheming
a playhouse for mommy: restore an airstream

and {this moment}...

Connecting with the lovely SouleMama in {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stuck in cruise control

No posts since February 19! Really? I have received notes from some of you wondering where we are...on some backroad tour with no access to wi-fi? Sort of. We have wi-fi. It's me who is on a backroad tour. No, actually, I've been stuck on the interstate. You know the one. The highway where you put the car on cruise control and fiddle with radio just to make the time pass? No scenery. Same five restaurants at every exit.

I am creatively stuck. Our semester has been a strange one wrought with health concerns early on and then filled with days of the same old same old. I'm not complaining. We are happy and healthy and together as a family. It's me. I am in need of a creative challenge. Nothing to write about here. Nothing to inspire art. Nothing to even complain or argue about. I am lucky, I know, but my brain is bored. I don't want to become one of those blogs, or one of those mothers, that the kids are perfect, the meals are all lovely, and the house is immaculate. Boring!

My kids are far from perfect. Just ask the youngest who sat for two hours on the potty recently because I was not home to help him with the, well, with the necessities. Ask the middle one who hasn't worn clean clothes this week. Ask the oldest whose room is a zoo...with all the goodies that come with zoo keeping.

My meals are not perfect. With so many allergies, doctors orders, and preferences, we are pretty much living on beans, greens, and air lately. We have joked about eating at Mexican restaurants where everything on the menu is just a different combination of the same three ingredients. We laugh no more!

My house is not immaculate. I have never had the desire to have a perfect house. I like the kitchen to be clean and hate dust bunnies, but the rest? Who cares? But even my "relaxed" sensibilities are on edge these days. Piles and piles everywhere!! I am formulating a major purge this summer. What I wouldn't give for seven outfits, five settings of dishes, and just enough homeschooling paraphernalia to fit into a large plastic storage box!!

So, we are here, and we are happy, and we are messy. Maybe I can kick off the cruise control and take the next exit. I bet there's something fun there that isn't on the interstate sign. Maybe I can write about that!!

Oh, and maybe I'll get around to changing my banner to something a bit more spring-like...maybe by summer.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Busy Week on The Backroad

Are you ready for your busy week? Busy weeks are all that are to be had around here, for sure. Ours began this morning when our whole family participated in a pancake fundraiser for the Community Theatre, followed by the usual list of chores necessary to keep us going all week.

This week we have work, school lessons, guitar lessons, Lego club, teaching, dentist appointments on two different days, and a doctor's appoint on another. Auditions for the upcoming production (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I am directing and the kids are participating) are Saturday...which begins the busy-ness of rehearsal season.

But...I am not complaining. We are living the life. It's easy to become wrapped up in the must-do moments and overlook the fact that we are reveling in the best days of our lives. All I have to do is look at my daughter, who will be a teenager in one month. These are the moments that will sustain us and they are flying by...quickly.

So we make a point to build in time in our schedule for each other...
Breakfast before lessons
Family Dinner at 6pm
A walk in the dark
A visit to the humane society to play with the cats
and a few special activitiess here and there.

This week we will head to Cincinnati to the Museum Center Omnimax to see this...because who can say their life is complete until they've seen The Rocky Mountain Express on a five-story screen? (Well, we could actually RIDE the Rocky Mountain Express, but not this week.)

And we are looking forward to Easter here...because we all need a trip home now and then.

And I'm sure some of us will be dreaming of the Backroad Adventures we could take in one of these...because who doesn't have dreams of leaving it all behind sometimes?

What will you be doing this busy week? 
Whatever it's hoping we all make a little time for the Backroad!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our vacation to Disney

We finally took our kids to Disney!

Our oldest is almost 13 and though she has been asking for years, we wanted to make sure that the youngest (almost 5) would be old enough to enjoy and remember it.

Our plan was to go once. There is so much to see in the world. That's still our plan...mostly. Disney makes family vacation so easy.

Some of the things that wowed us:
The Dining Plan made all the difference in the world. Plenty of food. Excellent service and help with food allergies. We feel that it really saved us a great deal of money and hassle.

The lines. We went at the end of January, first of February. We utilized the fastpass system a few times, but really didn't need to on all typically crowded rides. The longest we spent in line was 25 minutes the whole week.

The time of year. Again, crowds were minimal. A few rides were closed for refurbishment, but it didn't detract from our fun. The weather was between 79-84 degrees all week. Perfect for us.

The cost. While it is not a cheap vacation, we were aware of the costs upfront and didn't come away with buyers remorse because we felt pressured to spend more than we planned. Part of that success, I think, is giving the kids spending money and allowing them to spend it at their discretion. No negotiating and begging, so no feeling guilty or pressured into impulse buys from the family funds.

The cleanliness. It was clean, really clean. There were only a couple of bathrooms that needed attention and both times there was a cast member either already there working or passing us as we walked out. The rest of the park was just pristine.

The Cast. We never heard the word, "No." There were always smiles. They seemed happy. We hope their working environment is as happy and satisfying as it seems to the guests.

The resort (Port Orleans-Riverside). Clean. Lush vegetation. Quiet. 24 Hr heated pools. Easy access to transportation and parking. Decent food.

What didn't wow us...NOTHING. (Well, maybe we got a little tired of the food by the end of the week, but...we just missed homecooking, I think)

It was a totally satisfying vacation.
While we may not go back, it will always remain a favorite for all of us, I am sure.

In the next week, we'll be sharing our photolog of our time at the parks.
Hope you enjoy!

Have you been to Disney and had a great experience too? Tell us about it!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17

Seems we have slept through the first seventeen days of the year. 

Well, we haven't exactly been asleep, but we certainly have been laying low.

I have been suffering from costochondritis for some time, and it became painful enough on January 1 to land me in the hospital for three days of tests to rule out heart-related problems.  Luckily, my heart is in good shape and doctors agreed that the pain was likely caused by the muscular-skeletal inflammation. It is a relief to know that I am not in any immediate danger, but I am still left with the pain that sent me to the hospital. Some days it hurts to lift a mug of coffee. Most days I can't do laundry or sweep. All days I can't lift anything over 5-10 pounds, including my four-year old. 

I hate asking for help, but I am trying. There are so many things that aren't getting done and I am trying to let them go. We are headed to Disney World in 12 days (our Christmas gift to the kids). I am resting up and hope to enjoy it with minimal pain. Right now, that's what's driving my will to ask for help and rest. We are getting our school work done, and everyone is eating. I guess there's comfort in the important things. 

And, I am grateful...oh so grateful...that it was nothing more life threatening.