Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Milestones

This month has us seeing some milestones that I have dreaded for years. Yesterday, our daughter was driving a car. She had her first driving lesson. Back in the day, we didn't get our permits until we were 16 1/2. Now, they get them at 16, but, they have conditional licenses when they are 17, which we never had. Either way, these kids seem like babies to us. We live in a very (read: OVER) populated area in New Jersey. It's wall-to-wall cars and traffic here and everyone is in a hurry and either talking or texting on a cell phone too. No one uses blinkers anymore, they are steering with one hand and holding their phone with the other. If I was a cop, I'd write people for using cell phones ALL DAY LONG. No warnings, ticket city, baby. 4 years ago, a teenage girl almost mowed me down while I was crossing a street she turned onto while texting. I am STRONGLY against it all. Anyway, I have dreaded my kid driving a car since before I even had a kid. And, the older I get, the more horror stories I've heard, and the more nervous I get. I have decided that she is not driving with her friends right after they get their licenses. So many kids get in accidents in those first few months. I don't need my kid in the car with them for that. This may sound extreme, but, one more tragedy in my life and it's gonna put me over the edge. To say I feel jinxed after the life I've lived, would be an understatement. Plus, I drive to the high school and see these kids cut people off and have all these near misses or accidents even. The first day I had my new-to-me Volvo, a high school kid pulled right out of a side street without seeing me and almost caused us to crash. It was a close call. I bought this Volvo for Liv. Volvo designs their cars purposely to protect the occupants in the event of a crash. But, her friends won't be driving Volvos. Nope, I am a stay-at-home mom for many reasons and one of them is so that I can drive my kid safely wherever she has to go. Thursday and Friday will be her final 2 lessons and then, I have to summon the courage to start letting her drive me around this crazy place. I've always said that THIS is when I will start drinking alcohol, or move to Minnesota, or both. OY! I am so nervous about all this, but I know I have to give her as much experience and pointers that I can before she turns 17 and it's outta my hands. I don't know if I've written this on this blog already, but my younger sister knows a woman whose 14 year old son died being in the car with his 17 year old friend, on a highway right near here. The woman in my bank just told me her nephew crashed his car the first day he had his license and he and his friend died because it burst into flames and they couldn't get out. UGH, I needed to hear that story this past week like I needed a hole in my head. I am going to be doing a whole lot of praying about this. Call me overprotective all ya want, but, you cannot turn back the clock. My nieces and nephews all got in accidents too. Statistics don't lie and the statistics for inexperienced drivers are hair-raising, to say the least.

The second milestone is that Liv is going on vacation without us. She will spend a week in LBI with our friends to hang out with their daughter. Another OY. This will be the first time she is really away from us. I am not looking forward to it at all. Oh, I've gotten used to the sleepovers and the fact that she is out a lot with friends. And, during sports seasons, I drop her off at school at 8 am and don't see her until 6 pm. BUT, this is a whole week away, 8 days really. No one sleeping in her bed at night. I know this is good for her. I want her to be independent and she is not the least bit concerned about being away from us, which I am VERY glad about, but, I will miss her terribly.

So, the kid is growing up. I strongly wished yesterday that she was four again. As with so many things in life, you don't feel ready for them, but, they happen anyway.  I'm proud, glad, and petrified all at the same time. This pic of her and Tim was taken in Cape May last week on top of the lighthouse and YES, yours truly hauled her asthmatic, back-injury plagued, out-of-shape, vertigo and claustrophobia toting butt up 188 stairs too. There's our little girl, reaching new heights. I spose I should post the other picture that shows she's reached a higher height than her mom. Just a sec..... There ya go. Yep, she's taller, but I'm still the boss!!!  ;o)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cape May

I have been coming to Cape May in the summers since I was a kid. This is the 15th year that we have come to this particular motel with my parents for the 4th of July. We started when Liv was 2. Last year was a horrific trip, with my mom passing out and vomiting while unconscious and winding up in the hospital. Her memory continues to get worse and my father continues to put off retiring, or stepping up to do what's necessary to help her. It is really frustrating. Yesterday, we had rain here. My sister, Cathy, went to Walmart with my parents. She told my father to stay with my mother while she went to buy what she came for. My father, AGAIN, walked away from her and my mom started walking around looking for them and got lost. It was a huge store and it took a while for my sister and father to find my mom. My sister was furious at him and he knew it. It is very hard to deal with this. Tim and I have been doing the "in sickness and in health" thing pretty much our whole relationship. My parents were lucky enough not to have to deal with that until their kids were all grown and they even have adult grandkids now. Still, my father refuses to do what he should be doing and puts on a martyr act for us as to how much he has to deal with. He rolls his eyes and is impatient with her. It's infuriating. SUCK IT UP, Dad. If it were you who was losing your faculties, she'd be taking care of you, without a complaint to be heard.

We have a lot of great memories of this place. We all love Cape May. Things are very different now though, and it's hard not to miss how things once were. My mother used to love the beach. She won't go now, just stays by the pool at the motel. We have to watch her all the time as she will see something and just mosey over there without letting anyone know. One minute she was with us as we walked an outdoor shopping mall, the next minute, she was gone, we found her in the Fudge shop. 15 years ago, we were watching a 2 year old like a hawk in the crowds, now, we're watching my 72 year old mom. Life is hard. And how do we get our father to retire and step up to the plate and do what's right here, without it causing a confrontation? He doesn't want to do it. He can, he is not incapable. He just doesn't want to. Very selfish. OY. Lotsa changes going on, many of them are not the good kind. :o(

Last night, we ran into a family that we used to spend a lot of time with here. We travelled with them for years, (both of our families had trailers.) They have retired now and own a house here, as well as in Florida and they still own their house in northwestern NJ. They spend 4 months at each place. We have not seen them in years and it was great to see them. They have hardly changed, are obviously quite comfortable financially, and enjoying their retirement. The differences were hard for me to see. My parents have changed a whole lot, and their retirement years do not look nearly as rosy. Gotta make the best of it, I suppose. What else can ya do?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Worth posting

Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love,
Time is eternity!


It has been over 4 years since a woman, named Nancy, from Indianapolis, died. Some of us in the blog world knew her as La Cootina. She was a spitfire, full of wit and sarcasm. I always checked her blog when I signed on my computer, as she often left me laughing out loud at her posts. When she signed off, this was something that someone posted in the comments. We've lost too many, at far too young an age, to this dreadful disease. I pray for a cure to be found, but it was not soon enough for many REALLY great people that MM stole from us.

Friday, June 13, 2014

There are days like these

On Fridays, I play a lyric challenge on my Facebook page. I post a lyric, usually from a 1970's song, and people guess what song/artist it is. Sometimes, if it's around a holiday or event, I try to pick something fitting. Tim texted me shortly after leaving for work this morning. He said, "lyric challenge-Butterfly Kisses- on 95.5 now." I turned the radio on to hear the end of the song. I looked up the lyrics and chose the verse that had to do with a daughter's sweet 16 birthday, which is what the song was written about, and also what we are celebrating with Olivia right now, and fitting for Father's Day weekend. I text Tim back and tell him he is an old softy, beneath that tough exterior. He replies, admitting the song made him tear up. I post the lyric challenge on my FB page and then break down sobbing at my kitchen table, because, I know why Tim misted up. Most people would choke up at this song, thinking about how fast their kid(s') childhood went. But, for Tim, it's something more. Much more. He doesn't know how long he has with her. He made her sweet 16. We are taking her and 17 friends camping next weekend to celebrate. But, he cries for a different reason. He thinks about all he might miss. I sobbed for that same reason. Because, as excruciating as this all is for me, I cannot even imagine how painful it is to be the one who might leave and miss so much more. I pull myself together, thinking, "if I let myself go too far down into this grief, I don't know how I'll get out." Then, I see one of those pop-up news items about an Australian rock band member, who just died this morning, after fighting multiple myeloma for 7 years. He must have been diagnosed around the same time as Tim. So, the waterworks start again. My poor sister called from VT in the middle of this, and I cried even more trying to explain what was wrong. Tim and I get a slight reprieve from this MM stuff, only going to the doctor in 3 month intervals, and the fact that he is not on treatment, gives us as normal a life as we can get, under the circumstances, BUT, it is always right there. Reality doesn't take a vacation, not if you're of sound mind. The tears, the fear, the grief. It lays there, right under the surface, and, sometimes, all it takes is a song, or a memory, or a statement, or a news item and it all comes out. Like a volcano, the pressure builds up and then it all blows.Who knew there'd be days like these.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Holding pattern

I feel like I'm in some state of suspended animation. Tim has been off chemo since May of 2008. When I think of that, I come to the conclusion that it's some kind of miracle. Indeed, we had a lot of people praying for him/us in the beginning, and some who tell me they still are. I mean, this was a man who had an IGG of 10107 when we walked into his MM specialist's office. He'd had strep sepsis when diagnosed and was hospitalized just a few weeks later, again, with an infection in his sinuses. His auto transplant did nothing. How do you have that glass bottle of Melphalan dripped into you(I guess it would eat plastic, it's so toxic) and have it do NOTHING? His doctor flat out told us he was in real trouble after that. He thought he would fast track through all the MM meds and not respond well to them all. How did we wind up in this place where he has avoided treatment for over 6 years? There is some guilt about this, when you see others struggling so bad, or passing on. I just don't understand sometimes what it is that gave us this reprieve. I am grateful, BELEIVE ME, we are SO grateful. It's been so long now, I wonder if I've forgotten just how to live and function in that desperate place that we were in then. The one where I cried whenever I was alone, woke up in the middle of the night and went downstairs to cry. The place where every time you go somewhere, you wonder if you will ever be coming back together. I used to see my husband look around as we drove away from our vacations and know that he was wondering the same thing. I feel like I've become complacent. But, why not. Do I want to live with such crippling fear every day, so that, what?, I feel more prepared for when that other shoe drops? Are you ever prepared? I don't think so. Financially, I think about how we will know when he can't work anymore, and what will happen to us without his income. I mean, if we closed his business then, look what happened, he's been fine and able to work for years now. How do you make MAJOR life decisions when you just don't have a clue how things are going to go. I know I have a long way to go to catch up with things around my house and get myself organized and what am I waiting for? If he goes back on treatment and I am this far behind, it will be chaos for me. Am I purposely doing this, subconsciously thinking it won't happen if I am not "ready". I dunno. This is so strange. Now, his numbers have been creeping up very slowly. Do we have months? years?  until we need to go back to that nightmare? Everything is so unsure. People talk about planning vacations and things so far in advance. We've had to cancel vacations because he got sick. I don't believe we're going anywhere until we are on our way now. I don't get myself too excited and don't plan too far in advance. Just seems like a waste of energy to me. Our support system has shrunk in these years. His family is pretty much out. My sister moved to VT and my mom is not well, is losing her memory, so of course I wouldn't expect any support from my parents while they are dealing with their own issues. Most of our neighbors and casual friends don't even realize he still has cancer. They think he beat it. Would we tell Olivia when he goes back on chemo? Honestly, I don't want her worrying. If he goes on Velcade and goes into another remission, something Dr. Durie said is very possible in his case, why get her so upset and scared. We are trying to keep her life as normal as possible. I try not to obsess about all these things, but it's not easy not to "go there" at times. I've come to the conclusion that you just can't plan for what you don't know, but it is SUCH an insecure feeling being where we are. There may be some things you can get in order, but, there's just not much you can do. When tragedy strikes, you fly by the seat of your pants and do what ya gotta do at the time. You put out fires as they crop up. Another MM wife posted today on a Facebook MM page that a family member ranted on to her about what a horrible week she'd had, lost her keys, she said, meanwhile this MM wife is dealing with her husband relapsing. Yeah, we don't live in that place that "normal" people live any more. The day of that diagnosis, you are culled out from the group of people living a normal existence. You are now living in "life or death" reality. It's something I wouldn't wish on anyone. About 2 years ago, I walked to the post office with my dog. It had rained and the ground was wet. A man walked up behind us and my dog jumped up and got her wet paws on his slacks. I did not see him coming so did not react fast enough and apologized profusely. He went off on me, flinging the "f-bomb" and everything, in front of other people. (welcome to Jersey) I was stunned, and as he walked across the street, without even thinking, I called out, "if this is the worst thing that happens to you today, count your blessings." I walked off thinking, I wish my life was that charmed that 2 tiny paw prints on my khakis was my worst problem. I live in fear of losing the love of my life, and watching my daughter's world fall apart, every day. Everyone in my position looks at their mate and tries to imagine what it would be like without them. You don't want to think about it, but you do it out of fear. You think, OK it's been a lonely day, but what if he wasn't coming home from work in a few hours? What if I was going to sleep alone every night, had no one to talk to about what happened today? I can't even imagine. I like my alone time as much as the next gal, but, I get depressed if I'm alone all the time. I'm not content with my own company. I just can't imagine my life like that. I don't want to. I met a woman recently who started dating her husband when she was 15. They were together over 30 years, had 2 kids in their 20's and he died. Had 4 or 5 different cancers. First one hit when the kids were young. Went into remission for 17 years and then MDS hit, probably from the chemo and radiation of long ago. Other cancers followed.
She told me she started dating 6 months after he died. I am not going to think about that stuff for myself, but, I can tell you this, I don't judge her. She agreed with something I have heard other widows say. You start grieving for them while they are still here. She spent the last three years of his life in crisis mode watching him die. She makes no apologies for dating so soon and I don't blame her. The loneliness must be crushing. I feel like I've gotten spoiled these last 6 years and I don't want to go back there to fearing losing him every day. It's still hard to have purely joyful moments with this hanging over our heads, but it's so much harder when you are watching someone take poison, sweating out lab results every few weeks, and wondering how much longer your family will be whole. Every good thing that happens, you still think, is this the last time we'll see this, be here, enjoy this type of event? Everything is bittersweet. Part of being grateful, is knowing things could be worse, and knowing there are many other people who have things so much harder, they would trade places with you. Everything is relative. Compared to them, we appear lucky, but, compared to most, we are living one of their top nightmares. The other day, a family in a neighboring town got a call. I have friends in that town that know this family.Their 19 year old daughter was killed in her apt. by an intruder, while she was attending culinary school in Fort Lauderdale. How do you go on? We went to Fort Lauderdale for our employee's wedding last year. Liv loved it so much she wanted to move there. We have a daughter who might be going away to school in 2 years. I would not want to go on if this happened to us. I just could not imagine conjuring up the desire to get out of bed, ever again. When you look around at all the painful things going on in the world, jeez, what's it all for? Seems that evil is winning out way too much these days. People post these awful pictures of abused animals on facebook and I am horrified so much that I can't get the images out of my mind. The world's gone crazy, and I find myself having a really hard time making sense of it all. I really do. But, I know that I have to find things to be grateful about. I've learned that if you don't you can really get into a funk. I know that there are families like that one in the neighboring town, that can't find a single thing to be grateful about. They will bury their baby and the world won't ever seem right again. I have to continue to play those head games with myself and look for those little mercies God is granting us. They're there, some days, you just have to look really hard for them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

This is why

When people tell us all those cliché reasons why we shouldn't be estranged from Tim's family (life's too short, etc.) it only takes a story or two about the things they've done to us to make them see why we are. They change their tune real quick. Yesterday was another one of those days. As Tim says, his family has no filters on their mouths. After ruining so many holidays and vacations and events with their constant fighting and nastiness toward me and others, they still don't get it, that all these friends they lost were sick of hearing it too. A few years ago, Liv was playing her first softball game of the season. We were assistant coaching. She pitched the last 2 innings of a game our other pitcher had lost already, but Liv pitched great and the head coach was so impressed. She threw a great two innings, shut down the other team, and Tim and I were so proud. Tim's father came up to Tim in the dugout and confronted him about an argument we'd had with Tim's sister-in-law,(this was the time we told her she was not welcome in our house that mother's day after ruining the prior Christmas for us with her nasty comment when I bought Tim his new truck). Tim got really upset at his father for bringing this up, and right then to boot, and as I walked up to him, he was angrily telling his father to stay out of it. We went from being proud and happy to really angry in just seconds and another good memory was tainted by them. About the only times we see Tim's parents are at Olivia's games and we don't enjoy them being there. We are civil and I talk to them like nothing ever happened, but, we'd prefer to be able to enjoy our daughter's games without them. The last 2 seasons, Tim even asked me not to tell them about every game so we could just enjoy them together with the other parents. Several times I have had to tell them to be quiet because they get irritated and start yelling out onto the field, either at players or the officials.(in the rec. league, your team can be disqualified if your fans yell at the umpires). You would think they would knock it off after being told once, but not them. They live by their own rules and don't care what anyone else thinks or who they upset with their behavior. Last week, we were sitting on bleachers right by 1st base when one of Liv's good friends, and our 1st basewoman, missed a throw to 1st. My father-in-law nastily said, "you should have had that." Her mother was sitting right next to us and the player, Rachel, heard it and got all nervous and shook up. I told him to be quiet, and my mother-in-law chimed in and said, "well she should have." These people just don't get it. This stuff happens. The girl didn't do it on purpose. Tim's whole family has a "do as I say not as I do" habit. If people said things to them like they say to other people, they'd go ballistic. That whole family just shoots off nasty comments to everyone and thinks everyone should just take it from them. I talked to Tim about what happened with Rachel. He did not hear the whole exchange, he was talking to someone else at the game. He was not happy. We are friends with her parents too. This is a great family that we've known for years and here is Tim's parents insulting their daughter. It's very embarrassing for Tim. We hoped it wouldn't happen again but we both agreed that if it did, he had to be stopped. Yesterday was Liv's final game of the year. It was a really tough season. Liv played extremely well but we have very weak fielding and batting in many of the other girls. But, they are a nice group of kids. Our coach is a bigger problem than that, as she just has no idea what she's doing and makes a lot of mistakes. We won 18-11 yesterday. Liv threw 8 strikeouts and threw out 3 runners, making 11 out of 15 outs herself (we only played 5 innings and were out of time). It was a hard fought win for Liv. The varsity coach took our 1st baseman and shortstop to play for him. The girl our coach put at SS screwed up many times and the coach left her in for 3 innings until she finally put someone else there. Anyway, the girl playing right field is a very good friend of Liv's and not a great player. She only started playing softball last season BUT she tries very hard. In the last inning, when we were trying to make sure we held them, Cheyenne fielded a ball and then made a very bad throw which resulted in runners advancing and maybe even a score, I can't remember exactly. My father-in-law started yelling at her. This 77 year old man was red in the face and furious and starts ripping into a 15 year old girl. I wasn't having it. She could hear him. I spun around to stop him, saying(in a low but VERY angry voice), "shut up, that is Liv's good friend, and you can go the hell home!" I'm just so done with this. He is so out of control. Both Rachel and Cheyenne were just at Liv's birthday party the other night. Great girls. Heck, Cheyenne spent almost the whole weekend over our house a few weeks ago, sleeping over and everything. I took my book(I keep stats for Liv) and walked away, standing by the other set of bleachers for the rest of the game. Old Phil was furious. Cannot tolerate a woman standing up to him, and that woman being ME just drives him insane. Tim had heard him yell at Cheyenne(was a few steps away talking to other parents) and shot over immediately to stop him. I didn't even realize they had gotten into it after I left. My kid was pitching and I was glued to the action on the field. Well, it went like this. My mother-in-law was saying "that was uncalled for" about what I said. Tim said, "it was called for, that is Olivia's good friend and we don't do that here. Do you hear any of these parents yelling and insulting the girls? You did this to Rachel last week too, another friend of Olivia's and the poor girl was embarrassed and upset after you did and her mother was right there. You can't just yell at these kids because they miss plays." Anyway, Phil said, "that's it, I'm done." Apparently, this means he's not coming anymore to which we say, YAY! He was ready to leave right then but it was probably Tim's mom who was not gonna miss the end of the game. Tim's mother actually said that maybe that's why we have such bad players and these parents should all be yelling at the girls, maybe they would play better if we did. REALLY?!!! She is just as bad as he is. Tim and I coached softball for 8 years. I have never seen a girl perform better when she was nervous or upset. I have seen them perform better when we have pumped them up and encouraged them countless times. These people just shoot off their nasty mouths at everyone and then wonder why they never hear from their old friends anymore. DUH!!! And, would it be OK if the parents started yelling at my daughter every time she threw a bad pitch? I can tell ya, it happened twice last year, that people that didn't even know her said something about bad pitches and I was NOT happy, even saying something to a woman next to me about her nasty comment.(she got out of her car, saw one bad pitch and started in, not knowing she was standing next to the pitcher's mother) It's just not necessary. They are kids. Even the pros have their bad days. I am sure Tim's parents would go nuts if people were yelling at their granddaughter. Olivia was the best player on the team this year and last year, as well as the "MVP" in her recreation league team too. We had many parents come up to us this season and say, "we wouldn't have a team if it wasn't for Olivia. She is such a great pitcher and we are so grateful for how hard she has worked. Please tell her we said that." Does she deserve to be yelled at too when she is tired and throws some bad pitches? I did not bother saying good-bye to Phil and he barely grunted Tim's way as they left. They did it again. Ruined/tainted what should have been another positive, wonderful memory for our family. We did not tell Olivia what happened. We're hoping she was too focused on pitching and ending the game to hear what he yelled out to her friend. She ended the game on a strikeout and we were just thrilled. So, THESE are the people who claim to be crushed over all that's happened, just sick over not having a relationship with their son. They still do and say whatever they want with no concern to what it does to us. They think that WE were out of line confronting him and there is nothing wrong with publicly insulting 15 and 16 year old girls who make mistakes on the ball field. They ruined yet another memory for us, as is their norm, and they think that WE did something wrong. I've probably said this before. My father told me once, "Denise, never argue with someone who is dead wrong. It's such a waste of time." That is the case with these people. I just said what I had to to stop his rant and walked away. They have lived their whole lives this way and have a long list of ex-friends to prove it. They'll never change. This is NOT how you support your grandchild at her games, by yelling insults at her best friends. They know those are Liv's grandparents. Besides being obnoxious, it does not reflect well on Olivia. So, game over. We probably won't see them, or at least him, at any more games. Again, not sorry. They ruin things for everyone. So, all those clichés are well and good, but when you see holiday after holiday, vacation after vacation, and all these memorable events ruined but this kind of nastiness, it gets old. We're trying to make good memories for out daughter. It's near impossible if they are involved.

Moving on.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sweet 16

Tomorrow is the big day. Olivia turns 16. It's surreal to me. How did it fly by this quickly? Tomorrow also marks 6 years since Tim had a chemo drug put into his body. It doesn't seem like it's been that long, but it has. He had a check-up on this past Friday. His kappa number went up to 36, I think it was. Knocked the kappa/lambda ratio out of normal range too. This bums me out. We saw the head nurse this time, doctors were busy, and she is not worried about it. They see people whose light chain numbers jump by the hundreds so, to them, this is no big deal. To us, it is. His numbers are creeping slowly northward. They are still very low, but, a trend is a trend. Life has been full of medical issues lately. Olivia got what appears to be a staph infection on her leg, maybe even MRSA. The culture did not show anything, but they think/know it was a false negative. I have had some crazy symptoms going on which resulted in another bladder infection and a trip to the urologist, my first ever. I have to go to an ear, nose, and throat doc because I've had some kind of "click," for lack of a better word, in my throat when I swallow. Now, Olivia has to go to a dermatologist because some other kind of process started on the same leg. Tim and I both got pretty sick with colds and sinus infections. At one point, all 3 of us were on antibiotics for different reasons. I've been back and forth to CVS pharmacy so many times, I'm practically on a first name basis with everyone there. SHEESH!
Hopefully, things simmer down for a while. I'm just sick of it. I feel guilty complaining. It's all relative and it's so hard to know so many people who are really struggling and dealing with so much worse than we are. You're ticked and you want to complain, but, then the guilt settles in and you feel like a heel. Suffice to say, there is just a lot of hard stuff swirling all around me and some days, you just get so weary from it all. Can't remember what normal feels like anymore.

Back to the sweet 16. It will be a weekend of parties(Liv's birthday, mother's day) and I am still trying to arrange a camping trip or day trip to the beach for Liv and her buddies. I haven't a clue what to buy my kid, a sure sign that she has too much. (sigh) We have such a small family and she has a nice group of friends but not enough to warrant renting out some place and hiring a DJ. She has been to several sweet 16 parties now. They have fun when they do that dancing and DJ thing, but, in a few of the cases, kids invited all sorts of other kids that they didn't even hang out with just to get bodies there. I just don't understand inviting a whole bunch of kids that you're not friends with, especially to a gift giving event. I'm not OK with that. At the last party where a girl did that, some girl created a whole bunch of drama at the party and really ruined it for the guest of honor. I thought, "well, she is not even your friend and you knew she was trouble, why did you invite her?" Nah, not going down that road. We are taking a whole bunch of them out to dinner and a movie on Sat. night, and then we will try to do a camping overnight or beach day one of these weekends.

After a long, cold, snowy winter and a cool, wet spring, the beach sounds like a pipe dream. But, rumor has it we may hit 80 degrees here next week, and we're starting to see some 70's lately. WOOHOO! Olivia has one more week of softball. She has played great this season but we have a very weak team and a coach who is clueless. It's been great seeing Liv do so well, but she cannot win games by herself. We just try to enjoy it and support the girls as much as possible. The games are played right after school so most parents don't make it, but, our little group tries to cheer them on and I alway bring them snacks for after the games, which they appreciate. So, I guess that is the update. As always, the time feels like it's slipping through our hands like water. Too fast. Just too darn fast for this old girl. Here is a pic of our big girl, pitching on opening day! SO proud of her!!!

Happy mother's day!!!