Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flower Girl, Love and Stuff

Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.  In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels. Love may also be described as actions towards others (or oneself) based on compassion, or as actions towards others based on affection.

Countless times throughout the last two, almost three, years people tell me they "don't know how I do it".  I can understand from the outside looking in why this thought would cross so many people's mind.  However, it never really crossed mine until recently.  I have three answers to this perplexing thought so many seem to have.

First and foremost I think the most obvious answer is Miah Jane.  My little band aid.  My sunshine.  My little wing.  One of my most favorite quotes of recent is "You don't realize how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have".  This isn't just my life anymore.  The moment I became a Mom I had to adjust to that and it helped me tremendously.  The focus is no longer on just me and what happened to me.  This happened to Miah Jane too whether she realizes it now or not.  Jeremiah's death happened to a lot of people.  Which leads me to my second answer....

Answer two, there is ALWAYS someone worse off than you.  Once again focus.  Sadly, there is an insurmountable amount of perspective in the world to draw from.  It affects my heart in such a way that I truly can not watch the news or much TV for that matter.  It's easy to get lost in your own swirling world I understand that I catch myself all the time, but I have found it's just as easy if not healthier to step out of my own skin and notice the great big world around me. 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  ~Plato

Answer three has been my favorite to think about these days.  Not that I don't eat, breath, and sleep answer number one.  However, answer number three has catapulted me to somewhere I haven't been in a very long time.  Happy.  I am blessed by an enormous  amount of LOVE.  Be it my life line of a family or life raft of friends.  It is incredible and so powerful.  Every stretch and reaching act of compassion or love that has been extended to me and my daughter I grasp onto pulling myself closer and closer to the person I once was but better.  Every card, letter, comment, discussion, hug, and kiss fuels me to reach for one day after the next; just as the excitement of a love at first sight moment, the birth of a child, becoming newlyweds, or the realization of a best friend creates the euphoric sensation of conquering the world.  In my experience, love perpetuates love my friends.  It is not in my nature to preach.  I don't like telling people what I believe they should think or feel.  I am simply speaking from my grateful stitched up heart.  God is Love in my house.

To love is to help and encourage

with smiles and sincere words of praise

to take time to share

to listen and care

in tender, affectionate ways

To love is to make special memories

of moments you love to recall

of all the good things

that sharing life brings

love is the greatest of all.

May I present to you.........

Mr. and Mrs. Scott Rauch

To love is to share life together

to build special plans just for two

to work side by side

and then smile with pride

as one by one, dreams all come true.

To love is to have someone special

one who you can always depend

to be there through the years

sharing laughter and tears

as a partner, a lover, a friend.

~ Kellie Spehn

Thank you Briana and Scott for my tanker load of fuel!!  Your wedding was one to remember!!
Crying happy tears is one of my many favorite things to do and I got to do it a lot last weekend.  Once again thank you for the experience.  I love you both so much.

Thank you to everyone who has to contributed to my mending heart, soul, and life.  I hope you all know who you are.  Please take note that you have helped someone and her daughter.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kimmy Day

There are actually a few things I vividly remember from the day Jeremiah died.  I don't think there's much sequence to my few flashes, but there are two that stand out in my mind significantly.  The phone call was one and the moment I realized my child was not going to have a father he or she would physically know.  In that moment I remember looking my Dad in his dark brown sad eyes and telling him "I don't want Bean to be screwed up".  How am I going to explain this to her?  How am I going to make her feel like she's not missing something? Better yet someone?  Someone so special.  I suppose I just love her and the rest will fall into place?

With age comes more decisions.  More intelligence and personality.  With her 2nd birthday quickly approaching (now has come & gone) it felt like it was time to make a big decision.  Is it time to put her in some sort of preschool program?  Obviously she is my only child.  She is extremely attached to me and Gama.  By the way she's back to sleeping with me in "our" bed.  It's a long story and I don't want to digress too far.  Anyway, I was beginning to feel inadequate.  Am I meeting her needs?  Structure, activity, socialization.....all these things swirling in my head and no Jeremiah to bounce them off of.  Yes I have my sister, Jordan, my parents, but I needed Jeremiah.  Her father, the other person who was supposed to share this responsibility with me.  Let me tell you it is one thing to take on the duty of parenting with a partner, but it is a whole new ball game when it's only you. Me.  The sole person who in the end is responsible for this child, her life, and her father's legacy.  HELLO PRESSURE!!!!!! 

I don't really remember how I stumbled upon Shining Stars, but I did, and in that weird meant to be way we are two months into enrolling her in this program and I can say with all honesty I am confident in my decision.  I bounced back and forth between a couple Montessori schools, but upon my first tour of Shining Stars something about it felt right.  At one point during a observation of the class I looked up at the door of the classroom and on it was the quote "Every Day is a Gift".  Damn right it is.  Words I have learned to live by.  Gold Star!!!!  Upon my second interview with the teacher Mrs. Kimberly (Miah calls her Kimmy) I explained our story.  Through my watering eyes as I spoke I could see something familiar in Mrs. Kimberly's blue eyes.  She too had a story.  One very similar to Miah Jane's.  Mrs. Kimberly's father died when she was two and her mother was seven months pregnant with her brother.  Okay.  I think we are done here. 

Miah attends "school" Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Sometimes she calls it "school" and most times she calls it "Kimmy Day".  The first couple weeks were absolute torture.  Miah cried the entire drive there and Mrs. Kimberly had to basically peel her off of me so I could leave.  ABSOLUTE TORTURE!!  What was I doing to this poor child?!!!!  I thought I would give it one good solid month and go from there.  Well here it's November and girlfriend loves her some school!!  Each week got easier and easier and we now have a groove.  The team effort Mrs. Kimberly and the other teachers provide is incredible and more than I thought was possible.  I've been given reassuring phone calls, emails, notes, and best of all pictures as proof of what my Dad told me early on.  She's going to be okay. 

 Some of the Shining Stars!!

 On a particular rough day Mrs. Kimberly surrendered her desk to MJ and let her watch a slide show of pictures from her birthday party to comfort her.

 A little one on one time with the VERY loved "Kimmy" aaand I think a guinea pig?

 HOW THE HELL?!!!  Magic in those four walls I tell you!!!!

 Hamming it up!!  This means good things!!

I YI YI child what Mommy would or wouldn't do for you.

Thank you Mrs. Kimberly, Mrs. Evelyn, and Mrs. Julie!!!
You made such a hard decision so easy!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Surfboard Growth Chart

Along with the fun traditions a birthday brings I have decided to have Miah Jane's picture taken annually with her Daddy's long board.  One of my favorite ways to keep Jeremiah incorporated in our lives.  Especially during such a special time of the year when we celebrate the blessed day MJ began to heal all our hearts.

Monet Layton  you are incredible.  I had absolutely no intention to be in these shots, but Miah and Monet had other plans and I am so glad they did.  Once again Monet, THANK YOU!  Job well done!

The money shot.

Hello light at the end of the tunnel.  There's a lot of these if you can train your eye to look for them.  Undeniable (to me) someone is at the other end waiting to take your hand.

Undeniable that she looks just like our someone in this picture.

It's not the traditional family portrait, but we are all here in some capacity.

Very instinctive this little one.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.

-Mary Elizabeth Frye

My Uncle read this at Jeremiah's funeral per my request.  It's also the reason behind my one and only tattoo I decided to get at thirty-three years old.  Thirty-three years old.  That's how old Jeremiah was when he died.  Thirty-three birds for thirty-three years of his life.  Jeremiah would hate this.  I've contemplated tattoos with him a time or two and wow was it always shot down.  Lucky for him there was never anything I wanted on my body permanently anyway.  Permanent has a nice ring to it now.  Jeremiah is a permanent mark on my body, my heart, and my soul.  When the time is right I hope I can convey this to Miah Jane.  I'm sure it's going to be a tough one, but I've got a lot of those ahead of me.

And Babe, if you don't like it you should have been here to make sure I didn't get it.  At least that's how I justify it to myself.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Miah's 2nd Birthday Party

We celebrated Miah Jane's 2nd birthday a few days early with our closest pals in the Children's Garden at the Naples Botanical Gardens. 

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words......

Please silent the music at the bottom of the blog before playing!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"mommy i want beach"

Pause music at bottom of blog to hear video.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

A few couple turns...

Hi.  Let's pretend that it hasn't been so long.  Let's pick up where I left off and leave "concept of time" for someone else to worry about shall we?  Good.  Thank you.  Let the documenting begin...

My most favorite inside joke with my best friend, Trish, is the "a few couple turns" phrase.  It stems from a hilarious story of stopping to ask a fellow New Yorker directions to a restaurant.  He obliges in a very unintentional yet unhelpful way.  "Just go up to this light up here, take a few couple turns to the right and you'll run right into it."  Really?  Does this guy know what happens if you just keep making turns to the right?  Circles.  Does he know that few is more than a couple?  As nonsensical as these directions were I have found they are very relevant to my life now.  I've taken a few couple turns in the last few couple years and as lost as I've ended up I've managed to find my way without concern of where I think I might be going.  I'll give you one guess who is responsible for that....insert smile here.

So yes I've been lost, but a good lost this time.  Lost in the wondrous depths of quite a few and coupled moments my precious growing daughter rescues me with on a day to day basis.  Let me try to simplify what I am so cosmically trying to say......with pictures.  That's all you want to see anyway right?  I am going to do my very best to sum up our summer.

This summer we.........
Beached it A LOT.......often times with some of our favorite friends.

We brought the 4th of July in typical all American style........watermelon slice as big as our head.  CHECK!

We were a part of a very special parade........

I will not give the story justice, so please I encourage you to visit StillCrazy Resurrected to fully understand.

We love you dearly Poppa family.  You have embraced my daughter and I as a part of your own.  Something your family knows and does very well.

We gave swim lessons another try.  This time with swim teacher Ryan Porucznik and our buddies Devin and Lexi.  Not quite swimming yet, but certainly not afraid to try unlike last year.  We can't keep her out of the pool these days!!  She has no problem jumping right in thanks to Ryan and his teaching technique!  Mr. and Mrs. Schimmel we can't thank you enough for hosting our private lessons every Tuesday and Saturday!!

We developed a very nice tan.......

...which may be why she has developed a need to always want to wear hats & sunglasses..

She knows she's funny too by the way..........

(sorry for the quality of some of this pictures taken with my phone that almost always has a finger print or jelly on the lens)


Never short on smiles and laughter with this one.

We checked out Busch Gardens on a whim one Saturday.

A monumental step for both Mommy and Baby.....drum roll please.....she sleeps in her own big girl bed in her own big girl room!!  I talking about Mommy and Baby here!!  THIS IS BIG!!

And yes a lot of times she insists to sleep with shoes on.  These sandals in particular are her favorite.  Wants to be ready to go once she wakes up I guess.

Girl can't get enough of music and dancing!!

We ate lots of birthday cake this summer.....which is probably why she dances with such vigor.

We discovered cake pops at Cousin Briana's bridal shower...again with the cake.

 We revisited our favorite city.......

In conclusion....

MJ knows the primary colors, first ten numbers, and 75% of the alphabet.

She licks her finger when turning pages of books only to turn the page with the finger she didn't lick.

She has developed a habit of picking her cuticles.

She likes to say "pee pee in the potty" but doesn't do it.

She still is very attached to her pacifiers which she no longer calls "dooda", but rather the color they are. 

She laughs when she poots.

She calls Auntie Tanya "Tan", Uncle Jordan "JoJo", Grandma & Grandpa "Gamma" (yep both are Gamma), Uncle Georgie "Jaj", Cousin Mike "Mike", my Baba "Baba", my friend Kara "Kah", my friend Meghan "Maig", her friends Emerson and Noelle "EmmyNoNo" (as if they are one name), and me "Mommy" or "Mommia".

She says "I Love You"
(thanks to JoJo's persistence).

Miah Jane's Sountrack

MJ's Visitor Counter