Friday, September 11, 2009

The High School Graduate Who is Now in College

So what, I'm late posting this...but here is Matt in all is glory as he finally graduated from High School, which was the only thing my mom made him promise. Now he is a Delta Chi at the University of West Georgia!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wow! It's been a very long time since I have posted and much has happened. To recap, here are the highlights:

  • Andrew scored so high on the CRCT he was invited by Duke University to take the SAT as a 7th grader. He took in December 2008 and scored higher than 33% of the graduating seniors. His math scores were good enough to be invited into an online summer class, which of course he declined because who wants to do school work in the summer. He called it Nerd Camp.
  • Matt graduated High School - whew! We had a big party with way too much Sonny's Barbeque and I haven't eaten at Sonny's since (that was in May). I just can't stomach the thought of barbeque yet.
  • Andrew's basketball team made it to the championship game but didn't win. They came in second overall for the season. I believe he had the most assists on the season and was second in points overall.
  • Matt managed the Duluth Baseball team in his Senior year. He really enjoyed it and I think the players really enjoyed him. Sadly their record was not a winning one and they got a new coach midway through the season.
  • Just after graduation we headed off to Las Vegas with my friend Anne-Marie. I was attending a conference and thought it would be a fun get-away for the boys. We stayed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and saw The Blue Man Group. By far this was the best show I have ever seen. The boys and Anne-Marie also took a helicopter tour of the Hoover Dam and Grandy Canyon. The boys saw The Lion King and Anne-Marie and I saw Zumanity. As for gambling, well Matt won $111 and I won $141 on the slots. Of course I lost all of mine continuing to play. Matt decided to stop and bring his home (he won that on the last night).
  • Just before school started back we took off for a week to St. Augustine, Florida. My sisters, Sara and Carey (and her husband Kevin and daughter Lindsay) were there as well. They all went parasaling, we played some poker and hung out at the pool. We really enjoyed spending time with them.
  • Andrew is now in 8th grade and doing well so far. He says his Social Studies teacher is "hot" and he really likes his math teacher. He's even going in early on Tuesday and Thursday for 8th grade only intramurals.
  • Matt is now a freshman at West Georgia. He's in a dorm with a roommate and loving every bit of the college life. He's hoping to pledge the fraternity Delta Chi. Life at home is certainly quieter without Matt...I think it's because there is no arguing between the brothers.
  • Me, well I am just working so I can continue to be the ATM for both boys and now the University of West Georgia.

I'll try to be more timely so when Deanna reads this she won't be able to chastise me for delayed posting.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Teenage Stud!

When your baby is all of a sudden a teenager you have to wonder where the years went. I can't believe Andrew is 13 this year and in 7th grade. Only 5 more years until I have an empty nest. I had to share his picture because he is so stinking cute! Well, at least to me he is. Enjoy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My New Financial Plan

With the current financial crisis, I've done some evaluation and here's my new plan:
  • If I had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, I would have $49.00 today.
  • If I had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, I would have $33.00 today.
  • If I had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, I would have $0.00 today.
  • If I had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, I would have $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Ok, so we went to Tampa for vacation on July 19th and returned the 25th. It's only been a month since then so I guess it is about time to report on the adventure. We went to escape the sadness that seemed to fill our daily lives just after my mom died. We had originally scheduled a trip to St. Louis, MO but when my mom got sick I canceled those plans.

So my friends at work gifted us with some extra spending money and we took off to Tampa for a week. We saw a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game, where Matt caught a home run ball bare-handed and became a new fan favorite. We went to Adventure Island water park where Andrew had tons of fun sliding down twisty curvy rides. We went to Busch Gardens (pictured) and Andrew was nuts for all the roller coasters. At four o'clock that day we got caught in a downpour that we thought would last a few minutes, like most afternoon storms in Florida, but at six we decided we'd had enough and headed back to the hotel. Andrew didn't like missing some coaster time, so I took him back the next day and he rode Montu - three times!

We ate at Landry's on my birthday (yes I am now 41) and drove around Clearwater Beaches and St. Petersburg. If you ask the boys what they remember most about our vacation, I bet they'd say bowling since we went a record 3 times in 3 days!

Anyway, it was a long drive and we were exhausted once we returned home but it did us a world of good. Both Matt and I commented that we weren't sad anymore and we pronounced ourselves ready to return to normalcy. I'll let you know if we ever find normal - we didn't have that even before my mom was sick. Nonetheless, we are all doing well now. In fact I think we laughed so hard with each other during this trip that we came dangerously close to busting a gut.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back To Reality

Well, my mom died July 5th and we had her memorial service on the 8th. Then my sister-in-law and nephew returned to England on the 10th and my brother followed on the 12th. I returned to work this week on the 14th and it all seems so surreal. I feel like someone else is in my body controlling my movements. I feel like an outsider looking in and wondering when I will feel "normal" again.

I didn't think I would have a hard time with my mom gone because when she was here all I wanted was for her to leave me alone. She would call almost everyday to see what the boys and I were doing for dinner and now of course she doesn't call, for anything.

My brother has called me several times and told me it is okay to grieve and to grieve for as long as we need too. I think I am might be in the anger stage because it seems so unfair that my mom won't get to enjoy retirement or spend any of the Social Security money she worked so long and hard to earn.

I'm not really questioning my faith, or my mom's, I know she is in heaven and I know this is God's will and His timing. It's not for me to question, but rather to trust. And I will get there eventually, but I just am having a harder time than I thought I would.

I'm grateful to my many wonderful friends who support me. I would be lost without you all. Keep us in your prayers please, I think the boys and I are still adjusting to life without "Nana".

I did want to mention two good things that have come from this:
  1. I reconciled with my half-sister Sara. Most of you know she lived with me for a while until she made a terrible decision to purchase alcohol for Matt and his friends. That was two years ago, almost to the day my mom got sick. But now she is living with our other sister, Carey, and has saved some money and holding down a good steady job. She's really gotten herself together and I am very proud of her.

  2. I got to spend good quality time with my brother, Chris and his wife and son, Caitriona and Harry. It's possible I have the most amazing sister-in-law on the planet and certainly one of the cutest nephews ever (see picture with Matt & Andrew). I've never really spent time with my brother or discussed in depth anything, but now I have a much greater respect for him as an adult, a husband and a father. My brother and his family are a class act!

So, that's all for now. Guess I need to get on with writing all the thank you notes I have piled up here. For those reading this, THANK YOU!

Friday, July 4, 2008


I know it isn't Mother's Day but as I sit here in my mom's hospice room watching/waiting for her death I felt it only appropriate to reflect on her life. Over the past month as her health has rapidly declined, many of her friends and family have passed through to see her. As June ended and July began she really lost her ability to speak so now the visitors are more for our family than her. It's been great hearing stories about her life and it has taught me a few new things as well:
  1. Choose friends wisely. My mom has friends visiting from elementary school - yes 5th grade friends that she has kept in touch with for years. Not only do they visit, but the send her flowers, cards, and check her website daily for updates. Make sure the people you surround yourself with, are the ones who will be with you until the end.
  2. Never underestimate the importance of family. When my mom was first diagnosed she wanted me to call every family member and let them know. But I didn't know all the third cousins twice removed. She of course had all the information for them because she went to all family reunions and really cared about them. She knew the names of their kids and in some cases grand kids. Likewise, they all knew and cared about her. Some of her family she would also consider as friends.
  3. Keep the faith. Stay close with God and lean on Him. It doesn't make sense to waste time trying to determine what His purpose is in taking someone to heaven. God has a plan, it is perfect and He deserves our trust. Period.
  4. Let others help you. So many people have been great about bringing food, sending cards, visiting, or sharing stories even when we said we didn't need anything. The truth is we don't want anything, but we need to know our mom's life meant something and touched someone else in some way.
  5. Laugh. That's it, laugh - especially at yourself. Reflecting back on my mom's life has been entertaining for my brother and I. Never lose your sense of humor, most days it will be the only thing keeping you going.
  6. Say "I Love You" everyday. Say it to everyone you love every time you see them. Don't expect that because you rub their feet or do their laundry without being asked that they know you love them. Tell them, hearing it is very important.
  7. Don't work too hard. If you do, you won't be able to really enjoy life and living.

Also, I've found new respect for my mom and her struggles as a single mother. I can honestly say I was blessed to have her as a mom because she sacrificed everything for my brother and I and the only regret I have is that she will be gone too soon and unable to enjoy all she worked so hard for. So remember to live, laugh, and love all those close to you.

And Happy Independence Day to you all.