We got horrible news on Saturday that a guy Jason went to high school with had passed away. He was 33 years old and had been battling brain cancer for three years. Jason wasn't great friends with him back in the day (he was a couple years younger) but we have recently been supporting his foundation, Harley Helping Hands, and his fight against cancer. He leaves behind a wife, a 2 year old son and a baby girl that is due to be born in May. His wife seems to be an amazing person and has fought her hardest to save her husband. My heart breaks for her. It breaks for his kids, the little boy who will surely realize his Dadddy is gone and for the little girl who will come into this world never knowing how truly inspiring he was. I am sending all my prayers to the Harley family.

If ever there was something to make you realize how lucky you are, just how good you've got it, it is someone else's misfortune. I am taking this opportunity to remember I am so lucky. Seriously, the luckiest. No, things aren't perfect in my world these days. I could pick a list of things to gripe about but then I look up and see my husband and remind myself that I have more than so many. This is all I have been thinking about since Saturday. My thankful list...

1. My husband. He is quite possibly my world. There would be no breathing without him.
2. My babies. The best thing my husband & I have ever done. Truly perfectly healthy, happy little people.
3. My parents. My Mom would breathe for me if I needed her to, she is that giving. My Dad who has this way of making me feel loved like only a Dad can, and a sense of humor that can brighten the saddest of days.
4. My sisters. I am blessed with three of them that would be there for me no matter what - and they have been many of times. They are my best friends.
5. My Mother-in-Law. She is what dream MIL's are made of. Really, she is that incredible which makes sense since she raised such an outstanding son.
6. My health. I can chase my kids, see their smiles and hear their laughs.
7. My nephews, all 5 of them and my niece. I love these kids as if they are my own.
8. Kristie. Because I can say anything to her and she truly hears me and offers the best advice. And she always makes me remember her Dad, who I miss so much.
9. Jen. Not only is she the most caring, helpful, thoughtful friend but she has given me three girls that I can love like they are my daughters. She is the friend who I could talk to for hours.
10. My job. This keeps my family taken care of and allows me to challenge myself and use my brain and I get to do what I love. Not a bad gig.
11. My friends. The guys I've known since I was in elementary school, my girl's from high school, my beloved roomates from college and the girls I share dinner with at least once a month. I am so thankful for them.
12. Ex-boyfriends. Without them I wouldn't know exactly who I am or what it is I wanted in life (or didn't want.)
13. My house. Yes, I am even thankful for my money pit!
14. My dog. She is hands down the best fur-person in my only girl who is full of unconditional love.
15. My aunts. All of them are great people. My Aunt Nan has always been like another Mom to me is the best and my Aunt Terrie who can rub your head, make a pitcher of Kool-Aid and serve it to you in the most special glass has always been the greatest "Aunt" to me.

I could go on and on because I am that thankful. That lucky. There are plenty of things and people not mentioned (including the rest of my extended family) that I adore. It is incredibly easy to take all of it for granted. I know how good I have it and am so very thankful. To those who are not as lucky as I am today, I wish you brighter days in the future.


Insert Foot and Chew

You know how the old saying goes, you say something you didn't mean to or it came out all wrong, so you insert your foot in your mouth. We have all been guilty of it at one time or another (I just did this to my MIL a few months back...I asked her if she wanted these yoga pants I had because I wore them when I was pregnant and they didn't fit me anymore. Oh, yes I did. It came out all wrong and I didn't mean it that way, honest. I am still gnawing on my foot after that one.) 

My question is, when do you know you've said too much? Or quite possibly offended the person you are talking to? I know there are some foot-eating situations that can't be avoided, simply because there is no way to know what you are saying is offensive, hurtful or just down-right rude (this is why you never, and I mean NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you can clearly see the baby moving like an alien inside her belly.) But what about the people who just run their mouths on and on or the others who are too stupid to realize they are actually being assholes?

There are several topics that spark this type of behavior: politics, religion and parenting (including child birth and breastfeeding) are my top three faves. Now don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinions, point of views and personal beliefs. I have my own and have been known to vocalize them, as we all have. You can imagine with the big news of Health Care Reform being passed today there was a whole lot of toe nibbling going on. I have my political views but don't think it is professional to discuss them at work. That being said, I work in (as far as I can tell) a very Republican office setting. You can imagine there was some interesting talk about how HCR is the end of America as we know it. That our lives are over and that President Obama is a horse's ass. Again, I do not vocalize where I stand on this issue but I am a firm believer that HCR is not the end of America. I don't think HCR is any worse than the war that we are in (which was started long before Obama was boss) in terms of ruining America. I think if you ask a mother of a fallen soldier which is worse, her loved one being taken from her in war or HCR and you will get a pretty clear answer. Just saying, there are way worse things than people getting healthcare. I also have to laugh at the people who make comments about things they really know very little, if anything at all, about. Like the girl who said HCR was the worst thing Obama could have done, yet her son is uninsured. Politics are good to debate if you are in a social setting, discussing politics with people who actually care about your opinions. If I don't ask you how you feel about politics, please don't tell me. You have the right to your opinion and I have mine...I am not looking to be converted. This sooo goes for religion as have your God and I have mine. God bless us all.

These days there are simple subjects that you need to steer clear of unless you really know the person you are talking to. I recall a friend, not a super close friend but a friend, asking me when I was going to get going on having a baby. Little did she know I had miscarried days earlier. There was no way for her to have known that, Jay & I were private about it but I decided that was not the kind of foot-in-mouth experience I ever wanted to have. This holds true for people's feeling on gay & lesbian rights, inter-racial relationships or even abortion. Making public comments about gay marriage or people's personal rights might be offending someone and you don't even know it. Stop and think about what you are saying if you are having a casual conversation with an acquaintance! You don't want to be known as the person who is always choking on their foot or worse yet, an ignorant jerk.

She's Gone

Just like that, she's gone. These have been some of the hardest days for us as a family, watching Gram slowly slip away from us. Thankfully we had time to talk with her and tell her everything we wanted to. We had some time to make our peace, to realize that her leaving this life to continue on another journey was best for her. Gram passed away peacefully this morning. She was resting comfortably and was pain-free.

She was an incredible mother, grand-mother and great-grandmother. She was a devoted and loving wife who is now meeting Grandpa again so they can continue their life together. Her moving on to a better place is more important than my hurt and sadness. Selfishly we will all miss her, but in our hearts we know her leaving us was best. She will be deeply missed and forever loved but I can see her in that better place with a smile on her face.

Until we meet again Gram, tell Grandpa we say Hi.

Her Last Days

I haven't had time to write lately but boy, have I wanted to. Needed to. We are dealing with the worst thing people can deal with, families can deal with, a dying loved one. Jason's Grandma, who I love as if she is my Grandma, has come to the end of her life. She has been battling cancer for awhile now and we have exhausted all treatments and hospice has been called. Hospice nurses are some of the most lovely, brave, faithful people I have ever seen. I can't thank these nurses enough for the care and support they have offered not only Gram, but all of us. Truly kind people.

I have never had to watch a loved one die and it is far worse than I even thought it would be. I do believe it is harder on all of us as a family than it is for Gram as she tells us she is comfortable. She is content and calm and resting. I am distraught and sad and scared. They tell us it won't be long now - anywhere from hours to a few days and I am praying the time comes quickly for her sake (she is going somewhere amazing) and selfishly for mine. I sit with her and hold her hand and talk with her about nothing for hours all the while my heart breaking at the sight of her. Only a shell remains where a healthy body once was and she only communicates with a slight nod of her head where she used to have no trouble telling us her feelings. I miss her immensely already and she's not even really gone.

Bad News Bears

I know how it goes. You win some, you lose some. But losing a lot of them in a row really sucks. I have never really been apart of a losing streak before and I can now say winning is were it's at. Now I get how the Cubs feel.

This post could go in a million different directions because I feel like I am going in a million different directions. And I know I said this blog was like therapy for me and it is, but I am just not up to letting it all out today. It was that kind of a day...actually that kind of a week. And it is only Tuesday. I wouldn't bet on me this week if I was me.

We got not so great news yesterday, although not horrible it still was enough to monkey with my mood. Then today we got whacked with a doozey. You know the kind of news that stops you dead in your tracks and makes you realize things will forever be different. And not because you want them to be but because God has a plan and he isn't concerned with our feelings. I just keep taking deep breaths and I am hoping this either goes away or someone pours me a stiff drink.

With all of the recent doom and gloom Jay & I have been trudging through there are times when I have to remind myself to stop and smell the roses. To look at my children, in all their naughtiness, and my incredible husband and realize that this isn't so bad. This little life I have is not so shabby. Sure things aren't exactly ideal right now and we are dealing with our fair share of crap but come on, I have REALLY cute kids.