Friday, August 28, 2009

Memory Keepers

We will be spending this weekend getting our home ready to put on the market. I am sad about having to sell the house. I have grown attached to this house and it has become our home. I love the layout. I love the neighborhood. And I love that it’s a 2-minute walk to the pool. If y’all don’t know TX weather, anything more than a 2-minute walk will leave you gasping for air in the sweltering summer heat.

I know I will become nostalgic as we go through each room to pack things up or throw things out. I am bracing myself to argue with M on what we keep and what we throw out. Already, we’ve had words on the value of the boys’ artwork and “art” projects. I want to keep everything. M does not want to keep anything. He doesn’t understand that memories fade and we need something tangible to remind us of how much the boys have grown and learned. I have papers from a couple of years ago where Michael was just learning to write his name. It was unrecognizable, but it takes me back to how proud I was of him to try so hard. Yeah, his “c” was backward and his “E” had 4 lines across not 3, but he was still a genius to me regardless.

I think I have a difficult time throwing anything out because everything has the power to draw out memories. Each object has the power to trigger feelings from the past. Each handprint that my boys made brings back vivid memories of the day they made that handprint. It brings back the way they smell, the way they talk, and how things use to be. I’m afraid that if I don’t have the objects anymore, I will lose the memories too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken…

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth…

This is one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost. I think of it every time there is a big decision to be made, and it gives me comfort. After all, life IS about making choices for better or for worse. This poem affirms it for me.

The reason I bring this up is for the past couple of weeks now, we’ve been faced with diverging roads and we’ve been wrestling with what road to take. When I say we, I really mean me. M. bases his decisions on facts and logic while I struggle with the intangibles and emotional. If I had based this particular decision on logic and facts, the choice I made would be a foolish one by that standard. Thank goodness I have a husband who is willing to accommodate my foolishness.

We have decided to move back to California. It’s a choice that I still struggle with, hoping that it’s the right one for us. I was very excited when we first moved to Dallas. I was excited about the great financial advantage that comes along with the lower cost of living. We have done very well here. We have retirement saving, college savings, savings account, and we have established on an emergency fund. M. is doing great at work and I have a very stable job. For all intents and purposes, we are thriving financially. Why would we want to go and move back to a state that is in bankruptcy?

Because for at least the past year, all I think about is how terribly lonely it is not to have family around to share in our good fortune. Yes, we have met some great neighbors who are great to hang out with. The problem is when Memorial Day or Fourth of July holidays roll around, they celebrate it with THEIR family. I don’t begrudge them that. I just want to be able to do the same with mine.

So now that I am standing at the fork in the road, I have chosen to take the one that will take me home. I just hope that going home is the right thing to do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Do You Spell....?

Last night, Matthew wanted to go play an online game on the computer. I said no because he only had 10 minutes until bedtime and bedtime is already a struggle without the “get off the computer” fight. He got upset and walked over to where my laptop was.

I few minutes later, he came to me and asked, “How do you spell I love mommy?” with a little smile on his face. I smelled a rat at this point. I asked him why he wanted to know. He gave me a huge smile and said, “Because I love you that’s why.” Something was definitely up. I walked over to look at my laptop screen. He had managed to pull up the online game website and was in the process of logging on. All he needed was the password which happens to be luvmommy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School is Now Open for Business

The schools were opened up for business again yesterday and I can’t escape from teary narratives of moms crying as their little ones bound into the great wide halls of learning institutions. On the radio, moms (and sometimes dads too) are in tears talking about junior’s & juniorette’s first day of school and how they will miss their little ones. At work, I hear stories of moms crying in the car silently as their kids hopped out without so much as a good-bye kiss.

I frown and nod in the right places because after all, I do have a 1st grader. I do understand and I am a little sad about him going off to school and being a big boy. After all, he did tell me this summer that it’s embarrassing that I kiss him in front of his friends, which frankly broke my heart a little. With that being said, I cannot muster up a tear for the beginning of this school year. Maybe because I’ve been dropping him off at Summer Camp every morning already and seeing him off at school is really not different in our daily routine. I don’t know.

What I do know is that we had an excellent 1st day of school. Last minute, we decided to walk to school yesterday morning with our neighbors. It was a beautiful morning and you can feel the excitement and anticipation just pouring out of all the children (and there were lots of them). I think Michael enjoyed being a part of that crowd and I was very happy that I can at least give him that. Even though he will be at Pink Elementary for another month, I want that 1 month to be as "normal" as I can make it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Isn't There a Child Labor Law?

You fly all the way to California thinking you'll be getting unlimited supply of donuts and they put you to work. In the words of Matty, "What the heck?!"

Well, at least we got a sweet ride out of it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...

M and I took Michael and Matthew to see the Rough Riders game this Saturday and had a lot of fun. And before I write about anything else, it’s official. My kids are the cutest ever and here’s why.

As we walked through the ballpark gate, we were approached by one of the gals who put on the little contests they have in between innings. She asked how old the boys were and I said 6 and 4. She asked if they would want to participate in the on-field games. Michael is shy, so he declined and we thought Matthew might be too young so we declined for him. In the end, they didn’t go out there, but the point is, they were asked which proves that they are the cutest kids ever. Sure, they found some other kids to do it, but those kids were second choices.

I was very surprised that Michael really was interested in watching the game. He paid attention to strikes and balls. I’d hear him say, “Uh-oh he’s got 3 balls. 1 more ball and he gets to walk.” Or “This guy has 14 homeruns. He’s good!”

He danced when the songs blared on, and was on the lookout for flying baseballs. Unfortunately, no baseball came our way, but we had fun watching out for them nonetheless.

Matthew was not as interested. He played with his Gameboy most of the time, but I think he had fun eating the popcorn and ice cream. We did not stay the whole game because they had a big day swimming at the pool with the Chen girls earlier and were exhausted by the 6th inning.

It was such a joy to be able to share this new experience with them. Michael wants to see a football game next. I would love to take him to a Cowboys game, but I might have to start playing the lotto first. I just found out that it costs $5 for a bottle of water at the Cowboy Stadium. I can’t imagine how much tickets are if they can charge $5 for a bottle of water.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Candid Camera

My lil' bro sent over a CD with tons of awesome pictures of the boys when they were in CA. Love them! I love looking at the pictures he took. In fact, we have several of his pictures enlarged and framed hanging in the boys' playroom. They were perfect candid shots and perfect for that room. Here are some of my favorites.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Funny Man

I was looking through the calendar this morning and it hit me that we only have 4 mores months before the year ends. Yes, I know y’all can read the calendar, but really folks, less than 4 months of Christmas shopping left. Just thought I’d point that out.

We’ve got exciting news yesterday but all the details are still fuzzy so I can’t say much until things clear up a bit. It’s something that M and I have been planning for but did not think would come until much later. No, we're not pregnant.

I flew in from beautiful Albuquerque last night and got home in time to tuck my little ones in. Matthew was especially talkative that night. Michael had a couple of jokes he wanted to try on me. He asked me to spell ICUP. I did and he and lil' brobot rolled around on their bed laughing their heads off. “Get it? I-C-U-P” More LOL from both.

And my heart is full.