Thursday, December 13, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I'm a gypsy at heart. I grew up moving every year of my life. Now, before you start feeling sorry for me you must know that I loved it. Imagine being able to reinvent yourself on a yearly basis. Especially in your teens? Yes, please! People always comment on how hard that must've been growing up. At times it was hard....it's tiring moving on a regular basis. But, all in all, I loved it. It was exciting and a major learning experience.

Now, of course, the downside to this is that when you are a gypsy you have no concept of how things work when you are stationary. I can't grasp the concept of growing up with the same people. I have no idea what it's like to grow up in one house in the same room all of your life. Luckily, I'm getting to live vicariously through my kids.

We've been living a little bit like gypsies ever since we came to our senses and moved back home from Seattle. But we've found our dream house and the girls are definitely settling in. One day, I spotted a little girl playing in the yard of a house behind ours. I was SO excited! I quickly told Mina about this and she RAN outside to befriend her new neighbor. They played and talked and jabbered.....all from their respective sides of the fence.

I. Loved. It. I was just as excited at the prospect of finding a new friend as my daughter was. They spotted me watching them from inside the house....I quickly ducked in behind the curtains so they couldn't see me (ha!).

Now when we spot Lily (Mina has declared her "my very bestest friend in the whole world") Mina BOLTS out the door and plays until the very last possible moment before it gets too dark. Her hands are always ice cold, her cheeks rosy from the cold air but she's invigorated and excited. She is happy. I am home.



(a picture taken while I hid behind the curtains....friends across a fence)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy, happy, thank you.

We spent Thanksgiving at home this year and, at the risk of coming across the wrong way, it was SO wonderful. Last year was a very emotional time after losing Jenny and trying to have a "normal" holiday. The irony during that time was that our family really did come together even though we felt such an enormous loss (thank you Jenny...I'll always believe in my heart and soul you were instrumental in that).

Then we spent a very exhausting and frustrating time with our Spokane family. After that experience, B-ford and I decided....NO MORE. No more killing ourselves to make these things happen.....if anything, just for a year so that we could have our very own holiday for our very own family. So, once we found out that he would have to work the days after the Thanksgiving holiday, the deal was sealed. We weren't going anywhere!

Thankfully, some very good friends of ours were spending it on their own as well so we pooled our efforts and pulled off a great Thanksgiving meal as well as a get together that felt warm and comforting (hold the dysfunction!). It made us all realize that we have so very much to be thankful about...not just for our many material things but our friends that feel like family.

I hope your holiday was a warm and comforting one as well.... and, just in case it wasn't, here's a superb video that will make you laugh and realize that sometimes it really IS just that simple.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cooking shows, coughing fits and giggles...

I have two sick children. They've been sick for a week now and I'm just resigned to the idea that they might be sick with this hacking cough cold thing forever. I had all kinds of things to do this weekend but have ended up watching "Ratatouille" a hundred times (the good thing is that I love this movie), catching up on my Tivo'd shows (Oprah, cooking shows, Tim Gunn, Project Runway, Iconoclasts...so many and, obviously, so little time), designing our holiday cards....blahblahblah. Sometimes it's just good to, well, not do anything at all.

On a sad note, I read that Martha's mother passed away yesterday. Think what you want of her but I truly feel for her....especially this close to the holidays. Here's to you Big (and little) Martha....you rock.

On a happy note, I simply must share this little video as it cracks me up. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank you.

I have had several moments of late where I feel inspired. Inspired in such a grateful way.

It was recently my youngest daughter's birthday. It came at a very busy and hectic time in our lives (much like her birth). We slapped together a party which turned out to be a housewarming AND birthday party (why not kill two birds with one stone?) which made me feel a little guilty for stealing her thunder. But, as usual, our family and friends made it a warm and loving evening in her, and our, honor.

(Notice her cutie-patootie boyfriend, Evan. Could they be more adorable?)

It was funny when she was born....I can't even recall her due date now but with all the Scorpios in our family we were pretty sure that she would share a birthday with someone. Ironically enough, she picked her very own date (sandwiched in between her gorgeous cousin and her paternal grandfather who, unfortunately, she will never meet on this Earth) which turned out to be the Marine Corps "birthday".

We only joked about it when she was born but I know in my heart that my husband and I were deeply touched by this. Not only because of his intense pride of being a Marine but because of his sweet father who was so proud of his Marine sons. She has become a symbol, in my mind, of our Marine heritage in this new phase of our family life.

I am an Army "brat". I always felt a tiny bit of embarrassment when I had to admit this to people, especially civilians. I always felt it was something to be embarrassed about...especially when I was starting at a new school. Again. It was traumatic enough to live this gypsy life of moving every year and starting at a new school but when it had to be a school where there were other military kids and they knew I was the Colonel's daughter? Trust me, I didn't want to shout it from the rooftops.

It has only come with maturity and learning a lot more about my father, his upbringing, his experiences as a soldier, that I have been able to really embrace and revere his rank and my roots as a military child. I always took it in stride and made jokes about putting in my eighteen years in the Army but now can fully understand what that means for me and what it means for my kids when they, someday, want to understand me as a person and not just their mom.

We attended the Veterans Day parade in our hometown. I thought it would be fun for the girls to see all the pomp and circumstance involved in military fare. I never in my wildest dreams imagined how deeply moved I would be. Oh sure, a marching/military band or bagpipes can launch me into the waterworks like nobody's business but this was different. We met my parents near the parade route and walked to our vantage pointe. My father, The Colonel, was wearing his fatigues hat....no rank, no insignia, nothing. I thought it was interesting but didn't really think anything of it as he's been retired for quite some time. But I noticed other veterans milling around and, in their own familial way, would focus on my father, nod their head, say hello. It was strange to me but I knew. I knew what they were saying to each other with those nods.

We watched the endless stream of high school marching bands (sob!), platoons and battalions, bagpipes (sob!), jeeps, tanks....the whole deal. It felt like....home. All the years of changes of commands and moves and parades.....they washed over me in this strange emotional wave. It felt good. I felt....well, proud.

One particular group of soldiers walked by us and someone shouted from the sidelines "THANK YOU!" I noticed one soldier look over, almost in disbelief, and he said "you're welcome". I don't think I've ever been more moved by an exchange. With all the intolerance in the world... all of the ignorance about the war and politics and the military. It was just so refreshing, almost reassuring, to hear those simple words. Thank you.

I will never again be embarrassed to say I am a child of a soldier. I'll wear that rank with great pride and I will shout it from the rooftops no matter what people think. I will tell my kids they are children of a military family and will explain just what that means so they will never feel that it's something to be embarrassed about.

So to all the veterans in the world - past, present and future - to all of their families, to my husband, to the soldiers in Iraq and around the globe....thank you. But, most importantly, to my father, The Colonel.....thank you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ache-sent

Mid-WHAT? I'm from I-Da-Ho not O-High-O! Sheesh. Although I *do* agree with the you-have-a-good-voice for TV or radio.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
 

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

Boston
 
The Northeast
 
The West
 
The Inland North
 
Philadelphia
 
North Central
 
The South
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


More to come....take this test until I can blog some more. :)

(Thank you, Ana, for this entertaining break!!!)

Monday, October 8, 2007

No Rest for the Wicked

"God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers."
~ Rudyard Kipling

I subscribe to far too many mailings. I've been paring down in my life....trying to simplify things. One of the many daily emails I get is Real Simple's Daily Quote. It's curious how it almost always matches the day I'm having.

Life is super complicated right now and busy. Busy, busy, BUSY. The weirdest part of it all? If given the chance, I don't think I'd change a thing (well, except maybe Mina's total inability to listen to me). I mean, what exactly was I doing with my life before I got married and had these little creatures?

So, while I'm trying to simplify things, I'll keep some of my daily emails, daily rituals (ahhhh....blogs....it's ALMOST like having real friends!) and definitely my Real Simple Daily quotes.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

With tears come laughter...

Something to make one smile....in spite of it all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Long Lost Love

I have been so busy. I mean, aren't we all, right? Had a great trip visiting my friends in Seattle. Thought my next blog would be about them and how much I miss them and how great it was to visit. Well, it really WAS all great. I miss them so much and am so grateful some of them keep me in their lives. It was so fun.

But my heart has been elsewhere. My mind has been elsewhere. I keep looking at the date on the calendar and have moments where I marvel that it's been a YEAR. How is that possible? Where has she been? What has she been doing? That's what my thoughts are consumed with lately.

I just crawled into bed and was looking over these photos of my babes. They are such a wonder to me. My oldest especially as she is so foreign to me a lot of the time but then I look at her sometimes and think......aaaaah. Yes. Where have you been all my life.



And then I have moments where I think....WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! I waited what seems like a lifetime for her to show up. She frightens me. She intrigues me. She amuses me. She loves me. She tests me. She forgives me. God, she is my salvation.

And then I am brought back to her. Another HER. I have a lot of fear when I think of her now. I wish I had the strength and faith her children and husband have but I just worry. Where is she? Is she happy? Is she safe? Is she....okay? I reflect on this.....often.

"Both of my children have been beautiful surprises to me, in different ways. I thought of Jessica recently when I was admiring a beautiful piece of jewelry. I asked the shopkeeper about the stone and she told me a name I had never heard before; it was a rare semi-precious jewel. I could hardly take my eyes off of it. It seemed to hold all the colors of the ocean, changing subtly as I turned it in the light. That is how Jessica has seemed to me. She is startlingly beautiful, not fitting any mold or predictable set of characteristics. She has been a driving force in my life, especially in years past when I battled with depression and feeling like I was facing a brick wall trying to change myself. As I observed my strong, spirited yet vulnerable daughter, I realized how important it was that she have a strong mother -- she needed and deserved one -- and that motivated me to push on through. She continues to motivate me in words unspoken, and she's given both Mark and I delight and joy."



It has been a year since she died from leukemia. Died. That's a word I can barely utter. Did she really die from this? Is she really gone? Is it totally ridiculous that I can't seem to STILL grasp that she is not of this world anymore? And, more importantly, was she ever?

I've always loved the term "too good for this world" when speaking of people that die just too damn early. I am convinced of it now. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said "BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". I laughed out loud. Not because it was ridiculous but because I thought.... maybe she knew a lot more than we know now? Is it possible that she really was too good for this crazy world?

I know what it feels like to long for that love. I know when I look in my firstborn's eyes how I feel that rush of emotion....fear, excitement, anticipation, pride....yet I can't imagine what it feels like to look at that child and know you are leaving them. Oh how I wish I could know how she is. That it's alright.

I watch her beautiful daughter. I selfishly marvel at how she's become this woman from a little, angelic baby....much like my own. I look at my girls and get it. I GET IT. And now I know, SHE got it....she was so ahead of us all. She raised these beautiful children, had a wonderful family and friends that loved her more than anything. That is how I know she could leave us. She knew it would be alright. Somehow. Some way.

So it's been a year and it seems like a lifetime most days. I hope she is alright. I hope she is peaceful and shining down on her children. I'd like to be smart enough to KNOW she is but until then I'll just hope. And believe.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Goodbye Summer

After a very hectic and what feels like a very brief summer, we were able to sneak one more weekend in at the lake. There are a lot of fires going on in our 'hood (not just infamous politicians) so it was a somewhat eerie experience.


As usual, my babes were an inspiration and joy. Here are a few choice pics from our holiday on the lake...

My drugstore cowgirl (as long as you don't put the quarter in, it's all good)


My beautiful brown-eyed girl.


And my pinup baby.


Some random pics from our last days on the dock...








So, until next year, summer....


I'll be waiting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I. DUH. Ho.

Ugh.


I just watched Senator Larry Craig's press conference regarding his arrest in June for lewd conduct in a MN airport. To say I'm appalled is a gross understatement. Not only is it appalling that he CHOOSES to be such a brazen liar but it is appalling and embarrassing that this is the face of Idaho to the general public. We have winners like Sen. Craig and the neo-Nazis to thank for our shining stereotypes of Idaho.

Just for the record, Idahoans are not the crazed, militia-inspired, narrow-minded idiots that we are portrayed to be in the media. We actually are quite civilized here. I mean, we're getting a Whole Foods....hello?!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Kind of Love

After being woken up by our little angels at 6:30 this morning (there is no "weekend" schedule for them!) and having a much needed cup of coffee to get ourselves going I came up with the brilliant idea of getting out of the house. Forget the six loads of laundry waiting to be done in the laundry room! Forget the endless household chores staring us in the face (they'll be there tomorrow, right?)! Let's just GO!

We got the girls dressed, loaded them in the car, I packed the remaining coffee in a thermos, packed a few snacks for the kiddos, grabbed my camera and a sweater (Fall is teasing me in the morning with it's brisk bite) and we hit the road! We ended up at the rose gardens at one of the oldest parks in Boise and the fun began.


We looked at all of the roses and walked around the gardens.... the girls weaving in and out of the bushes and running down the paths, their father chasing after them....and I walked around snapping pictures and marveling at how beautiful it all was. And to think we were just going to stay home, maybe watch Thumbelina for the 800th time and do laundry all day.....puh-SHAH!


The girls discovered the bandshell (dedicated to the amazing Gene Harris, a Boise native) and gave us the performance of a lifetime.


After that, we found the perfect picnic table by, what I found to be, the perfect path in the park.


The girls had their snacks, we had our coffee and I managed to capture my sweetie in a non-goofy pose.


The laundry and chores were still waiting when we returned but we saw many interesting people and discovered new things (acorns! the girls have discovered acorns) the most important one being that nothing is more important than our little family.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On a happier note....

It's Friday! I hope, if there's anyone reading this, that you enjoy a wonderful weekend.

My baby is growing up....too fast. We weeded out all of her 18-24 month sized clothing as she is a full-on 2T (she'll be 22 months on Sept. 10th).



I'm sad but love watching her grow.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Definition

POSEUR
Function: noun
Etymology: French, literally, poser, from poser
: a person who pretends to be what he or she is not : an affected or insincere person


My life is going through it's own little definition, of late. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I have a lot of squatters in my life. People who say they are friends or that they care but, in fact, only care when it serves THEM.

This used to make me very resentful. Now it just makes me sad, to a certain degree. It's really not their fault that they take advantage. I mean, I LET them. What bothers me the most is that they seem to be the majority in the world. That is truly sad.

I've been cleaning out closets, sorting drawers, donating items and throwing away trash. I'm realizing my personal life needs the same overhaul.

Good riddance to all the clutter (people and things) in my life. Here's to a fresh start without all the riff raff.

Monday, August 20, 2007

And life rolls on....

I find myself growing excited about Fall's arrival (that's really saying something coming from a girl who LOVES summer).... cool weather sweaters, that chill in the air, new kids' shows that we've been waiting to see, the structure of our "normal" schedules....as much as I love summer I'm ready for life to resume from the respite of "summer vacation".

And another thing I'm excited about.... new earrings from my friend Ann's gorgeous collection of confections!



Nothing cheers a girl up like a new accessory...or, in my case, three! :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Things I love: Funny Cats

If this doesn't make you laugh so hard that your insides hurt then I really feel for you and hope you can seek some help. To say this made my day is a gross understatement. Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tagged!

I've been tagged and don't want to risk any bad voodoo so I better do it! I do not know 5 bloggers to share this with (and Ann has already done it) so will just share my weirdness and be done with it.


Here we go:

1. While I love pedicures, I absolutely abhor anyone looking at or, God forbid, TOUCHING my feet so I must do them myself.

2. I hate touching raw meat (har har...insert junior high humor here).

3. I read gossip at People.com even though I KNOW it's bad and contributes to the breakdown of our culture.

4. I love listening to Top 40 music in the car (although Sirius is looking more and more appealing).

5. I have an uncanny ability to remember numbers....just ask me what our phone number was in the Netherlands.

6. I love practically all foods but absolutely HATE wax beans. Don't ask me....it's a texture thing.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Birthdays

When I reach the point in the year for my birthday I'm just basically OVER birthdays. I have been getting a lot of thoughtful calls, emails, messages and cards though and that has really made my day. :)

Here is my lovely Secondhand Ramona (she gets mostly hand-me-downs but, I think, she wears them so well!)....as usual, my girls make my day. (And so do Nana & Papa as they have taken them for the day and night - so brave! - so we can attend a wedding and have an "adult" evening)



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Four Years

How is it possible that four years ago I was this person?



She is the most amazing gift.




And she only gets cuter.



And shows me such freedom and wild abandon when it comes to opening my heart.



Today is her fourth birthday which, of course, requires CUPCAKES!

Ariel and Tink for the girls....



Spidey and Superman for the boys...



Happy birthday, my sweet little Wilhelmina.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shoe Fetish

Hi, my name is Nannette and I am a shoe addict. I love shoes. I want shoes. I must have....SHOES. It's not even that I want to wear them....I just want to collect them. They are art to me.

I come from a long line of shoe addicts and I've been hypothesizing for years now that it's genetic. Could be that I'm rationalizing or it could be fact. You be the judge.

Here is my niece (who is now 21 and still a full fledged shoe person):


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting




Here's Mina pimpin' her kickass pony-hair leopard print ballerina flats (she's all about the flair):


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting




Here is the latest member of the shoe fan club:





She can work it on the runway too:






She's got the gams to go with it (a family trait - because what good is a killer pair of heels if you ain't got the gams?):





And here's her response when I suggest "MORE SHOES!":




Because a girl can never have too many options (or shoes, for that matter).

Friday, June 29, 2007

Choco Sprinkles

I left a comment for my friend Ann on her blog yesterday....there was a comment I read today from Mendy saying that she wanted to know the choco sprinkles deal. It's nothing secret or major just a childhood memory triggered as I grabbed a handful of chocolate chips out of the freezer (bad girl). I find it curious that these snacks haven't hit it big in the States (along with kaas souffles, patat met mayo and all the other insane delicacies of Nederland). Perhaps it's the sheer simplicity of it all.... unsalted butter, fresh bread, chocolate sprinkles.... or is it the people you share it with?

I've really felt the weight of responsibility lately where my girls are concerned. How will they remember me? Will they remember all the snuggling and tender moments we share or will they only remember the times I lose my cool and bellow at them "ENOUGH!". I worry. (As Ann so perfectly puts it, I worry about worry.)

I read Marisa's blog yesterday and was really touched by her podcast "Secrets of Dealing with Adversity". It seemed to come at a particularly appropriate time in my world (which her blogs and podcasts always seem to do.... proof that we are all connected in some way, if you ask me) and made me realize that I could learn a lot from my girls if I'd just pay attention more closely. So, I made a pact with myself today after dropping the girls off.... I will not make everything in my life a task or a chore. I am going to enjoy and let go. I'm going to look at turquoise more (a superb excuse to buy jewelry!) and look at the clock less. I'll think of it as my own little independence day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Artsy-Fartsy

Hello. My name is Nannette, and I'm an Etsy Addict.

I read the blogs of my two favorite artists every morning (with my beloved coffee). Not only is it exciting to see what treasure they have created but it's interesting to read what is going on in their lives. Imagine my delight when I logged on this week and saw a greeting directed right at me from lovely Marisa. For a moment I felt like I'd been caught sneaking a peek....but then realized....that's the whole idea! Imagine that.

I also check in with my best friend, Ann. She creates the most amazing jewelry.... I'm addicted to say the least.

I "discovered" some artists today while spending way too much time poking around on Etsy (I keep hoping it will stir those creative juices I so desperately hope that I have) and had to share just in case anyone is tuning in....

I am always looking for giraffe and owl items.... Sugarloop stuff popped up in a few of those searches and I was instantly a fan! Another new addition to my growing list of faves is Orange Willow....unbelievable stuff!

One other not-so-new favorite of mine is my daughter, Mina. She LOVES to draw and color and paint and, even though I'm extremely biased, I think she has a real talent (which I'm afraid she gets from her father). She made this particular drawing specifically for Dada.....if you look closely you can find her little body and face and we're assuming that daddy is the tall, gangly creature standing next to her. :)



I'm sure I'll find more unbelievable artists on Etsy and I'm sure I'll go broke buying all the stuff I just can't live without. But, more than anything, I know it's all worth it because I'm inspired on a daily basis by all of these incredible people!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Drone, drone, drone.....

I have the funniest best friend ever. From day one, she's been able to make me laugh, call me on my sh*t and really "get" me. She recently left me a voicemail (how mothers of small kids communicate) asking me why I wasn't blogging. After wallowing in self-pity for the last week I had to ask myself the same question. I didn't want to whine about my boring life, my kids that exhaust me, my husband that drives me nuts.....drone, drone, drone.

So, for now, I'll get back to figuring out how to generate business for my virtual assistant gig and, hopefully, will have more interesting things to drone about.....soon. Until then, here's a pic of the goil that keeps me on track... (an old pic but we're still the same!)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Girl Friday

Thanks to my friend (although I like to think of her as the older sister I always wished for) Ann, I am now an official blogger. I say "official" because it seems a lot more legitimate than my blogging on MySpace (it's like wearing short skirts now.... I'm just too old).

I am a virtual assistant but I'm also planning a foray into the creative arts. I've always been an artsy-fartsy fan but have never really attempted DOING something in the artsy-fartsy realm. Thanks to my kids (and, again, my friend Ann) I feel a lot braver about the notion.

Stay tuned.... who knows what I'll come up with.....

To all the moms I know and love ....

Before I was a Mom
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to
put them down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I
couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom -
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so
important and happy.
Before I was a Mom -
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every
10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,
the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.