Friday, July 29, 2011

My Little Soapbox Moment


I try to not delve into politics or my personal beliefs too much on this site because I firmly believe that everyone has a right to believe what they want and I don't want to push my thoughts onto others, however, this debt ceiling business has gotten me so riled up that it's hard to keep my mouth shut.

I'm going to keep this quick - I promise.

Whenever this issue is discussed, or any issue for that matter, the words 'Republican' and 'Democrat' get thrown around like dice in an endless blame game that ultimately gets us nowhere. Politicians personal agendas trump the needs and desires of the average Joe (like you and me) and all we are left with is a manufactured battle with people taking sides when really, I think if you stopped and looked at it, most people are more alike than we are different - but that is not what Washington wants you to believe.

Sigh.

Remember how when you were a child, you were taught the golden rule?

Treat others how you want to be treated

Whatever happened to that? Why the constant political division? We are all just people, trying to live the best lives we can, and be happy.

My Dad, who often says, "I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat - I am just me," once said to me, "You know, at the end of the day, make sure people have jobs and the rest sorts itself out," and I think there is a lot of truth to that. But no...the political world wants us to feel divided, pitted against each other, and fighting their fights.

Well, I'm tired of it. Some of the people in my life who have left the most lasting impressions are those who see the world in a totally different way than I do, and that is okay.

So, dear Washington - just get your act together, mmmmmkay? Stop the petty arguing and the disrespectful innuendos - we would really appreciate it.

Please and thank you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hi...

I have not posted in a long while.

My schedule has been frenzied, to say the least. I always say that, I know.

The other day I turned to Dan and said, "Why are we always rushing? When are we going to be able to just relax?"

His response was, "I know, but we should be thankful that we both have jobs and a lot of friends and amazing people in our lives to do things with and a house that is ours, that we get to do whatever we want to. I bet we would be a lot worse off without those things."

This is one reason I love my husband - his sense of perspective is always intact and he has a way of lovingly calming me down when I get a bit frazzled.

This coming weekend will be the first weekend at home in about a month, and I am so looking forward to it. I am going to take a copious amount of pictures and share with you some of what we have been up to in our little abode.

Until then, I leave you with and oldie but goodie that I can't seem to stop playing lately.



Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

La Mia Famiglia

Clockwise: Me (in silver dress), my sister Caitlin, Caitlin's boyfriend Joel and my husband Dan

While browsing through some old photos last night, I came across this gem. It was taken last September for my cousin's wedding and the second we saw it, we knew it was a classic. We call it our mob photo. Look at those facial expressions!

Dan, who is pushing my Grandma's wheelchair, looks like he is wielding a gun. My sister and I look like those don't-take-any-crap wives from those mob shows and Joel's suit and shades just finish it all off.

The wedding itself was a very lovely and happy occasion, but this photo just caught us in one great moment of looking like we are out for a hit.

Happy Friday Everyone!

P.S. - Speaking of sisters, mine came over last night just to hang out. We were both on my couch, watching Hording: Buried Alive, when she suddenly said, "God - I really want to barrel punch you in the back right now because I love the sound it makes," then proceeded to laugh hysterically. The weird thing is, I totally knew what she meant. Sisters...such a strange and wonderful bond...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes...

Sometimes...

...I go to CNN.com and read the entertainment section and nothing else.

...I eat peanut butter straight out of the jar...with my finger.

...I wear way too much eyeliner, on purpose.

...I think about opening up an antique shop that also sells freshly baked pie and root beer floats.

...I wonder about how different my life could be had I only made small, seemingly insignificant, different choices.

...I watch things that I know will make me cry just so I can cry.

...I go to expensive online stores, fill my cart with items, and never buy them.

...I look at my husband and think about how much I utterly adore him and it is almost too overwhelming for me to handle.

...I listen to songs on repeat, as if there are no other songs in the world. Here's my latest re-discovery...



...I find myself able to live absolutely in the moment, without thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Those are the best days...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rest In Peace, My Sweet Grandma

My Grandma Fran and me, at my wedding, April 2010

On Saturday, July 9th, my beloved Grandma, Frances, passed away. I can't even believe I even just wrote those words. It is completely and utterly surreal.

The past couple of months had been a fight for her. It all started with 2 broken vertebrae after she tripped at her house and that spiraled into a serious of treatments and medications that her body just couldn't handle. Eventually we were told there was nothing that could be done and we all made our way, one by one, to Lincoln, NE to see her and say goodbye.

It's only been 9 days since I got back from that trip, but I can honestly say that my decision to see her before she passed was one of the best things I have ever done. I will cherish that time forever. If you are ever unsure if you should visit a dying loved one, do it. No excuses. Just go.

My Grandma was an INCREDIBLE woman. She was the kind of person people write books about, overcoming so many obstacles that it would take hours for me to type them all out. However, there is one story that always sticks out in my mind. Living in the small mining town of Butte, MT, she was married at 17 and got pregnant shortly thereafter, having 3 babies in 3 years (the 3rd one being my Dad). During this time, her husband started to drink too much and began beating her on a regular basis. His drinking got so bad that she had to take a night job to provide for the family. One night, after working a long shift, she missed the bus and had to walk home. Upon arriving home that night, after her long walk, she found every single piece of clothing she owned cut into little pieces. Apparently her husband was angry that she had missed the bus. This was the last straw for her and she scooped up the kids, left the house (and everything she owned) and never returned again. She had nothing, but was determined to provide a better life for her children.

Shortly after that episode, my Grandma filed for divorce - something almost unheard of in the 1950's. A devout Catholic, she turned to the church for help, but was shocked to find that they now wanted nothing to do with her. She was a divorced woman, and that was a scarlet letter they did not approve of. Like salt in the wound, her church (that she had gone to her entire life) asked her to never come back.

But she did not give up. She never gave up.

In a story that is much longer than I am going to delve into here, she stayed focused, believed in her faith and did what she had to do. I take so much away from that story. I look at my Grandma as a shining example of how to keep moving forward. How to believe in better things. How to persevere.

'This too, shall pass' was one of her favorite sayings, and I know she knew the truth behind those words.

In the years that followed, my Grandma met Bill, my Papa. He was a wonderful man who took her in, along with my Dad, Aunt and Uncle. He treated them as his own, eventually adopting them. Years down the road, they had a child together. Life had it's ups and downs for Fran and Bill, but there was a deep love that lasted until my Papa's death in 2008. I don't think that it was any coincidence that since the day he died, my Grandma's health has been failing. It is the thought that they are now together again that is helping me more than anything else, as I navigate these murky waters, knowing they are both gone.

Oh Grandma - I love you so much. I don't think you will ever know how much you have inspired me and guided me. You were a feminist in your own time. You were a pioneer, a force of nature. Despite the miles between us, you and Papa were always there - always a part of our lives. Your sense of humor was sharper than a knife and I will forever miss that laugh. I loved that you always had your nails perfectly painted and your makeup applied like a pro. I've said it before but will say it again - we always had the best dressed Grandparents at every event. I hope you know how much you were loved. I look at my Dad, and what an amazing man he is, and I know that we owe it to you. Thank you for being you and for everything you brought to all of our lives. You fought so hard in the end, just as you did your entire life. It was so hard to see you in so much pain. I wish you nothing but the greatest peace, dear Grandma. I love you, forever and always. And, when the pain of losing you feels too unbearable, I am going to remind myself that this too, shall pass.

Have a good week everyone, and take a moment today to tell those you hold dear that you love them. At the end of the day, that is what life is all about.
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