Sunday, December 2, 2018

No More Teens

When I began this blog, B was 9, K was 10. You and I have watched them grow through this online journal of sort. For many, many years, my moniker was mom to two teens. Well guess what? Those tweens that became teens are now officially both in their twenties. That's right! B is 20 today.  I'll wait for another time to discuss how weird it is to have a 20 and 21 year old. Today, we celebrate B!

Dear Cookie,
You have really come into your own this year! You have always been determined to get things done, but this year I have noticed you taking your own future in your hands. You are not afraid to ask for help which is such a sign of maturity.

Of course I had to read all the birthday posts that I have written for you over the past 10 years. They are all similar. I mention your smile, your laugh, your singing and your inside and out beauty. However, looking at pictures of you, I realized how cute you are in hats!! Quite the fashionista :) Maybe Santa will bring you a new one!

Love you honey! Hope this year is the best one yet!!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Judy Blume Did Not Prepare Me For This

My favorite tshirt is one I got a Sparklecorn party in 2010. It was one of the many parties at Blogher and I believe that year we were in NYC. The front of it says,


It relates in so many ways. I wore it painting a bedroom, I wore it to physical therapy, I've worn it to the beach, on walks, to bed. I chuckle whenever I wear it because Judy Blume was my favorite author growing up and she taught me a lot, just not everything.

My brother has cancer.


I feel like living in this tshirt. WTF? My little brother who I am suppose to take care of and protect has a disease that I can do nothing about. He had cancer 15 years ago. He had radiation to shrink the tumor in his sinus, then had it operated on, healed and rode his bike every year to raise money for cancer research. After the 5 year mark and especially the 10 year mark, when it did not come back, we all breathed a sigh of relief.

And sort of forgot about his cancer.

Then this summer, he had a sore on the roof of his mouth. It seems like a blur from the beginning of September to now, but it included an ENT, MRI, 2nd opinions and a 6 1/2 hour surgery to remove the tumor sitting at the base of his sinus cavity reaching into his mouth and 49 lymph nodes. He is currently trying to gain some weight back before he starts radiation and chemo.

There are a few blatant ironies rearing their ugly heads. One is that the treatment (radiation) that helped him in his first battle with cancer has caused his second battle with cancer. And there is no way for him to avoid radiation again. Two, he has raised 10's of thousands of dollars for Dana Farber Cancer Institute over the past 11 years riding in the Pan Mass Challenge. Last year alone, he raised $30,000. Now he is being treated by the very doctors he and his riding are supporting.

He is starting radiation and chemo after Thanksgiving for 6 + weeks. I thank God for the support of family, friends and strangers. However, I am scared, we are all scared. The what if's are huge and I do not have Judy's phone number to ask her to write us a book on this topic. I guess, my tshirt and faith will have to pull us through.

He's done it before, he can do it again. Here is to Tommy kicking cancer's ass.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

K is 21

21 years ago, I gave birth for the first time to a beautiful red head with a swirl of hair at the top of her head. The nurses insisted that she would have curly hair. Boy were they right! The didn't mention that my little red head would be strong willed. When K was around 2, I remember telling the pediatrician that she was strong willed and would not give up trying to do pretty much anything until she succeeded. The pediatrician assured me that as hard as that trait was as a toddler, it was going to be an asset when she got older. I could not agree more!

K, as you embark on your year of being "legal", do not ever forget that determined little girl you once were. You can move mountains with your strength (Ok, maybe not a mountain, but you get where I am going). You are thriving and surviving on the other side of the country. You work, go to school, and still manage to have time on the beach and to hang with your friends. I feel that our relationship is stronger despite the miles between us. I am so grateful for that and for you!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

It's B's Birthday

Dear Birthday Girl B,
It is hard to imagine that you are 19 when I still think of you around this age.

I am glad that H and I could surprise you at college last night! Speaking of college, I know that the beginning was really hard for you. I know how hard it was for you to "adult" on your own. It's hard managing living on your own (laundry, meals, keeping your own room) AND friends, schoolwork and managing that free time. But you have done it! And that is what you need to be proud of. Many things that are hard to accomplish are more appreciated in the long run. Less than 2 weeks and you are finished with semester number 1! That is unbelievable!! You have rocked it, well maybe not every day, but many days. It was fun to hang out with you and your friends today. I am blessed and overjoyed to be your mom. And believe it or not, all this college business was just as hard for me as it was for you!

I love you !!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No Way Jose

I've always loved a good storm. There is a certain electricity in the air, lots of excitement around town and usually news reporters since we live out on the "elbow" of Cape Cod. Recent storms like Harvey and Irma were not "good storms". The flooding, death and destruction was tragic. A good Cape Cod storm is a strong Nor'Easter which is what "they" are predicting Hurricane Jose to be. No one is boarding up shops or houses, there is not a run on water, but people have moved or REmoved boats. I went out this afternoon to take some pre-storm photos. The problem with a strong storm around this time of the year is that a lot of leaves fall off the trees and the salt water flying through the air causes a lot of fall flowers to die. Here's a little taste of pre-Jose.....

 Hazel's, always ready for a party


Skiffs piled up

Sunday, August 20, 2017

K On Her Way

First Day of Kindergarten complete with butterfly

This girl has always done things her way. They may not always be the easiest way or the conventional way, but she perseveres and gets what she wants. Tomorrow she starts college in California, 2 years after she graduated high school. She took her time, followed her heart and will be a full time working college student. I wish I was there to buy you your first day of school outfit and your new backpack, K, like I was all those other years. I think you will make new friends, learn lots of new things and grow in unimaginable ways. I am so very proud of you.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts on Mother's Day

Mother's Day has given my some time to think about moms. I love being a mom. Seriously, I could not even think of a better job to do. Not even having to taste test M&M's or chocolate chip ice-cream all day would be a better job. I simply just love being a mom. So, I have been wondering how a person such as myself who did not like babysitting and was not really "comfortable" around little kids when I was younger turned into a person who loves being a mom. I would say it has to do with the people that came before me.

Now, before I start, do not get me wrong. Everybody has flaws and no one's life is perfect. I am taking the best of each "mom" here and how they influenced me for the best.

My mom's mom, also known as Nanny or Bernice was part of my life until my mid twenties. I do not often remember her smiling, but I do remember little things that make me think she cared about us a lot. She and my grandfather had a house on Lake Winnepesauke in NH. She always made sure that there was a little present on our beds when we arrived. For me it was usually a bag of M&Ms and a Trixie Beldon or Nancy Drew book. Sometimes it was comic books. For lunch she would make us Peanut Butter and Fluff sandwiches, with chips and Mountain Dew. She always baked congo bars or chocolate cake before we came, too. One time when I was sick at her house, she made a pulley system from my bed to the door with a cup on it. She would put m&ms in it and I would pull it over to the bed.

My dad's mom, also known as Grandma or Eleanor, was also around until my mid twenties. Where my Nanny lacked in emotion, my Grandma made up for it. She was always smiling. She would take us bowling and then we would take her on a mystery ride on the way home. How she knew how to find our house without GPS is a miracle because we would take her all over town. She loved Maine as much as me. We could sit on the beach for hours playing games, body surfing or tanning. One time when I was in college and she and I were at our house in Maine before the rest of my family came for the summer, we had a bad thunder and lightening storm in the middle of the night. I was petrified and sat on a stool in the middle of the family room ready to run when the nearest tree came down. She somehow knew I was sitting there and came out to reassure me and help me see the beauty in the storm.

My mom is the mom everyone wanted growing up. She was at all of our games, recitals etc. She was the mom to go to for chocolate chip cookies. She volunteered in the school, She was happy to have our friends to our house.  She was and is always good for a hug and an 'I told you so'. She did not give us everything we wanted growing up, but helped us with solutions for how to get it. We spent every summer in Ogunquit, Maine with her while my dad came up on weekends. We all spent every winter weekend at Waterville Valley ski racing. She did not like to ski, but liked being there to warm our toes and give us a good lunch before sending us back out for afternoon training. She still is our biggest cheerleader and is now her grandchildrens' biggest cheerleader. She also has a great sense of a humor and a laugh that K can imitate to a tee. She has certainly taught me how to find the humor in every situation, good or bad.

I often feel badly that I cannot give my girls everything that they want, that I cannot do more for them. I feel badly that we cannot go on great vacations or that I cannot buy them all that they want or deserve. However, looking back on my memories of my role models, I see that that is not necessarily what's most important. Don't get me wrong, money helps, but in this case it is certainly not everything. I did not write about the expensive things that each bought me, I did not write about jetting off across the world with them, I did not write about them buying me a brand new Mercedes when I turned 16, mostly because those things did not happen. The things that immediately came to my memory was the compassion, the love, the hugs and the caring. The just being available and making me believe that I was important and cherished was what counted. I only hope that one day, my girls can see that this empathy, love, caring is the one gift I can give them that does not cost a thing, but is the most sincere.  So, I will end with a big thank-you to my role models and an even bigger thank-you to B and K for giving me the opportunity to have the best job in the whole world.