Friday, May 31, 2013

Rock Star Status

Fame doesn't impress me, wealth doesn't either. Cars not really (well unless its 1960's VW Bug) and houses, well it's spirit there and not there structure I'm looking at. I think talents are awesome, especially musical ones, but even that, it's the spirit the music brings into my heart that really gets me.

You want to impress me, show me or someone I love your capacity for kindness. As I look to those who I deeply respect and love it is their kindness that has elevated them to ROCK STAR status in my books, not their possessions or position.

My life has been blessed by beautiful friends and my family has been shown countless times our friends' endless capacity for kindness.

This week has been rough, but we have once again, we are shown an endless capacity for kindness...

The call from a dear friend didn't surprise me, her kindness has been at our cross roads for years, she gained rock star status years ago and she couldn't lose that status if she tried.

What did surprise me was the kindness shown by another. Someone whose kindness and compassion is not a requirement by our association. They could have just as easily stood on the pedestal of policy and position, but instead showed unconditional compassion and understanding. I have always deeply respected this someone and have always seen their great integrity... But Tuesday they became a rock star.

Somewhere I read the statement "Always be a little kinder than necessary". Tuesday someone did just that, and it was EVERYTHING for me and my superhero.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Real Estate

The sale on my Dad's house was final this week. Huge relief and a little sadness. It's odd to realise that the only real estate my parents have left is their grave sites. Odd that there are no family homes to return to. Odd to think that with no family or ties left in Yorba Linda I will probably never return to that place...

I hated that house on Hillock, even as a young child it scared me.  So I am surprised at the odd sadness, but not the overwhelming relief that has accompanied its sale.

I often look around my own home and I am instantly reminded of how far removed I am from the chaos of my childhood. How far different my children have had it, than I did. Far from perfect, but safe and clean and loved.

The thought that things could and should have been different for Kelli and I as children will always bring a sting of sadness but...

 Kelli and I have risen far above that house of our childhood, and only her and I know what a true miracle that is.

Good riddance Hillock house.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Superman Slipping

{Please not now, not today....}Yesterday was already slated to be busy...a kid at the dentist, picking new options for my Dad's still non existent head stone (American Monument, you suck!), estate stuff, and a house-full for a double baby shower I was hosting...

What wasn't on the original schedule was an urgent visit with our favourite doctor and then Superman's employer...oh and tears, lots of them.

Superman has been doing so well, which only adds to the sting of this sudden set back. Monday morning I knew things had slipped for Superman, by Tuesday morning, even with endless prayer and pleading, there was no denying we were facing a crisis.

Witnessing the firestorm of mental illness is fun (complete sarcasm). Even with all the understanding in the world, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed by a roller-coaster you never had any intentions riding.

So my morning started with a far from humble prayer...that was pretty close to this...

Come on, really?!?!...But I paid our tithing, serve others gladly, didn't tried not to yell at my teenagers...We've been good better than normal...Can't we have a pass on this one??? Why now? Why again?

I dreaded our visit with the doctor and with what would probably need to happen.

The drive to the office was silent, the wind and rain around us saying it all.

"Stop trying to figure it out, it's an illness, there doesn't have to be a reason, let's just deal with where we are" the doctor said with unexpected kindness. I blinked back tears as I felt...well, understood.

New meds and sometime at home...

Then the kindness and compassion shown by Superman's boss... well all I can say is a tear filled THANK YOU.

See it's easy, when things fall apart to feel completely abandoned and I did...But as I felt the out pouring of love and kindness shown to Grant and I, I could not deny that God is in the details of our lives.

Last night's prayer was a humbled, tear-filled "thank you for all the kind people in our lives"

Oh how I am hoping this is just a speed bump, but one never knows. What I do know .... our lives are blessed daily by amazing and awesome people who know how to show HIS love.

{one hour, one day at a time}

Bailey's Famous :)

Bailey's elephant made the paper and is featured at the Pearl Ellis Gallery for the next few weeks....
And is also shown online here
Bailey you rock! Just remember where your mother lives when you're famous!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Love Pickles (TMI)

****Warning this posts mentions periods and TMI....sorry****

So Superman has decided to kick his Coke Zero habit the same week I am "riding the cotton pony" and yes that was very poor planning on the part of one of us {*cough, cough*Superman *cough, cough}

So what happens when you have a caffeine starved Super hero and an over-emotional, donut craving wife in the same house???

Fighting. That's what you have fighting. And no, not the rational let's sit down and calmly discuss that which may...possibly be bothering us. No we are talking the petty,(is there something smaller than petty?) your darth-breathing while I am watching Donut Showdown is making me homicidal crazy, kind of fighting... Oh and he's not innocent either, In the last few hours I've gotten snapped at because I mentioned that he missed the turn to 7-11(for my donuts, don't judge), was using HIS pillow on his side of the bed, oh and the ice cream in the fridge is apparently HIS....

Yup it's an "I love pickles" kind of day around here.

{The "I love pickles" story....years ago we had dear friends of ours, children in our house for the afternoon...At some point an argument between two of my older girls erupted...Our friends' son starts yelling from the other room "I LOVE PICKLES, I LOVE PICKLES!!!!" We all start laughing as said boy emerges from Dallyn's room still yelling "I LOVE PICKLES", with a great big smirk on his face. The argument between my girls had quickly stopped as I asked I love pickles why he was yelling that. "Well when my parents fight that's what we yell and it usually makes them laugh..." "What?!? I thought your perfect parents would never fight, I said with a smile." "Of course they do!"

Since then we have also adopted the "I love pickles" approach to anger management....And let's just  say we have heard "I love pickles" often today.

And guess what? My superman has tomorrow off too. Yay! And there aren't any kids around to yell "I love pickles" This could be really fun!

All kidding aside...I love my husband dearly and fully support his efforts in leaving the Coke Zero behind, but marriage is hard!  At least one of us will be back to "normal" next week, right superman. Is taking a wager on whether or not Superman kicks the habit, wrong? Mama needs a new pair of Vans. :)

A (one-sided) Water Balloon Fight

Settling a parent's estate feels like a one-sided water balloon fight in a monsoon.

Now I've never been in a monsoon, so I might be stretching here. But, I have almost drown once (twice if you asked my mother) so I have a clear recollection of getting deluged with water while being caught in a rip tide, swimming off Catalina Island...So imagine that, but add a thousand water balloons being pelted unmercifully in your direction every time you get you head above the waves for a breath.

My parents left a mess....

Both had stopped functioning, living years before they died. And the depth to which this happened, has become even more apparent as we (mainly Kelli) have unravelled the mountain of paperwork to settle not one but both of our parents finally affairs. Why both, now? Well my Mom's California estate was never settled at the time of her death, something completely beyond our control, but we are the ones that now have to clean up the mess...And yes it has compounded grief and frustration....That would be the monsoon, I guess.

The water balloons....

Last week amid countless phone calls and emails... we have had to prove that my Mom is indeed dead.(more than 9 years dead) A death certificate apparently not enough....that was fun.

Sort out title issues and have my dead mother's name removed from the title of my Dad's house.

 Try to prove that IRS tax liens from 2009 could not be my mother's, she died in 2004 and if you are going to file a lien you might want to make sure the social security numbers match, just saying???

Take seventeen minutes from the generation of a legal document from the lawyer in CA, to sign it in Canada, and fax it back, so escrow can continue, yay me, yay technology

Pray that the buyer doesn't back out, while we sort out this mess....

Now I know, people have way bigger heartaches and struggles than this and I am trying to keep all things in perspective, but this has been an emotional roller coaster.

I waffle from anger and frustration with those who could have taken care of this, long before now, but chose not to. To deep guilt for feeling angry with dead parents. To plain sadness for evidence of lives suffered instead of lived. To loneliness, because many around me simply don't get that this still hurts, way more than I want it too.

People usually mean well (I think?) but I am finding it harder and harder to talk about...I worry that people will think I should have moved on by now or that I am over reacting or that I am selfish in my own heartaches and do not realise many have it way worse than I do(oh and I know they do)...But it makes it hard to open up when people say dumb things (I should write a book). But here is a pointer..

Please don't say "Well.... you can have mine?!?" offering me your parent that is still very well alive and you are angry or annoyed with (its happened more than once)....I don't want or need another replacement parent, I just need a listening ear while I work through the grief of losing mine.

Last week started with almost no hope that we would ever see the end of my parents witnessing many tender mercies as we actually caught water balloons and now it's looking like things just might work out...This is NOT lost on me. I just need a nap and friends that love me , even when I am tired.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Look what my favourite painter child, Bailey, made me for Mother's Day....
 I love, love, love it!
Of course my bed is always made like this ;) and man our room looks tiny.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mom's Day, We Meet Again.

I don't know what it is either? But D-man couldn't wait to give it to me, last night...."OK so I didn't inherit your creative gene" Dallyn says with a big smile as he hands it to me.

Mother's Day....we meet again...

Superman called from work yesterday and I burst into tears...Emotional. Nut. Job. That was me. Why??? When superman asked, I blurted out "it's Mother's Day and the only pants that fit today are my yoga pants!!!!"... There was a really long pause (pretty sure Superman was just muffling his laughter) "ummmmm....I...don't know what to say????....what am I supposed to say??? (he asks apologetically)....I'm sorry sweet heart."... Let's just suffice it to say they day only went down hill from there....

You're not supposed to hate Mother's Day...Get over it...You are being ridiculous...Motherhood is a blessing denied to many...Be grateful...What kind of woman are you???

I tell myself these things over and over again...but the harder I try to convince myself Mother's Day doesn't bother me any more, the more the emotions get the best of me....At the moment I am struggling as a Mom. Guilt mostly, I guess...It's hard not to blame yourself some, for an offspring's choices... Maybe it's just wishing and wondering if I had done different (yelled less, listened more, read Dr Suess more), things might just be different now....

Also this week I have had several times in dealing with my parents estate I have had to explain my Mother's death and why things haven't been settled before now...It drudges up old hurts, I wish didn't hurt anymore...

So between feeling like a failure as a mother (at least slightly) and never having a healthy mother/daughter relationship with my own mother, the fact that I am expected to celebrate the fact that I am a matriarch, feels like a big BIG stretch for me this year...And yes I know, I am not supposed to feel this way.

My rebellious move this year, the primary will NOT be singing any of the "Mother's Day" songs (I can't stand any of them, blasphemous I know) we have opted instead for my favourite song "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" (narcissistic, sure...but it will keep me from needing sudation ;))

I promise not to wreck it for any of you Mother Day, lovers out there....but if I seem slightly drunk checked out, emotionally unavailable, going through the motions :)on Sunday, y'all will know why :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Big Stick Parenting

I just love it, EVERYBODY ELSE ;) is like my adult child is going off to Harvard, serving a mission, getting married in the Temple, building an orphanage in central America, starting the next great Google....

And I am over here in my little corner.....
"like...soooo....well...I don't understand what random Kramer offspring is thinking and well least I didn't beat chase, yeah chase (non specific) offspring with a big stick ?!?!"

Just in case you are not in the big stick phase of parenting "adult" children yet, here's a little heads up......
They make their OWN decisions!

and sometimes said choices leave their parents a little befuddled and bewildered(I like big words).....

{Unspecified decision/choice by unnamed offspring, is brought to our attention, by a complete stranger}


We acted like the reasonable, thoughtful, level headed, educated, sane, happy parents  that we always ALWAYS  are.....Of course you believe me, right? ;)
NOT!!!! We are still trying to get there.

See it's easy to sing are kids praises when their decisions are ones we would have them make, when those choices reflect values we have tried to instill in them....When there are achievements to be celebrated. We can brag and boast and post and trust me we all do...

But what are parents supposed too do when those choices don't reflect our hopes or dreams we had for our kids? What are we supposed to do when they are not going to Harvard or have decided they need a hiatus from church, or their choice cause worry for an unknown future ...

Our hearts have ached and ached over this.

We realised that we had two choices as parents...

Hate those choices and be miserable, be angry and close doors or....

Love our child as always and be kind.

Kindness and love feel so much better.

It's time to put the big stick away and move forward. Life has a way of working out. The most important thing I can do is to make sure my kids (named and unnamed ;)) always know they are loved and valued and ALWAYS have a treasured place in our family.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sewing Away Sorrow

What a weird week! Blogging is my usual go to therapy...but sometimes circumstances make that an inappropriate forum (see I do have a filter). This week has been an exceptionally emotional one, amazing happy and good news.... frustrating news... and yes even some heartbreaking news...All worthy of posts, eventually. And there is nothing I can do to fix any of it. But since I have rules about when I blog like I can't be tired, angry, crazy or hunger...I have had to find other forms of therapy...sewing and Slurpies :)
Three blankets in 24 hours, all made of repurposed, second hand fabric...I am always more creative if I am worried about something and if I also have someone in mind to give my creation to.... Each of these blankets already have names for them....
Aren't they pretty :)
I am still feeling excited for the good news, worried about the frustrating news  and plain sad for the heartbreaking news...and I see many more sewing projects in my near future :) ...If anyone needs a blanket, bag or stuffie let me know, I am completely serious. :)In all my sewing and thinking and sewing and thinking I realize the only thing I CAN do is.... LOVE first. Anger, frustration, sadness and worry, they need to find their way to the back of the line...Love comes first.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tamer Takes a Tumble :)

So the Superhero comes home last night , limping, ever so slightly....
What-did -ya-do? (I didn't really want to know) But he thinks I'm a good wife. :)
"Chasin' a shoplifter"
Grant you're an idiot!?!
What happened???
"I was running and all of a sudden I realized my body was  here (points a head) and my feet where here(points behind)," Grant says gesturing over  dramatically. "and I went down and a ton of people saw me wipe out!" But I got right back up and caught them....
"Why are you laughing! You...hahahah...falling....hahahaha....that. is. hahahahahah hilarious!!!!"
Robin stop,  it was embarrassing!!!!
Yeah, someone said you should have tuck and rolled. I said their is no tuck here, just rolls.
So I figured his owie needed an appropriate bandaid :)....
We went grocery shopping last night and Grant was bombarded with "are you sure you are ok?" "man that was quite the tumble" "you're my hero, Grant".(they were all snickering) Yup That's my famous husband...taking one for the team.
bahahahahahah!!!!! I guess he can add shoplift tamer to his lengthy skill set :)