When the Rambler met Nick

So, thanks to the amazing When Mike Met Mariska post written by a friend (seriously, if you haven’t already visited it, I highly recommend Making it Up as I Go – all you parents will laugh, cry, and generally commiserate with the smart, funny, tongue-in-cheek Mariska), I realized I have not written much about how I met my husband, Nick. Most of my friends know the story because, heck, they were there. Or have had to endure Nick and I making cutesy faces at each other for the last 16 years.

Anyway, the first time I met Nick was in my Sophomore year at high school. He transferred into my Biology class. I remember sitting in the front row of Bio, reading my horror novel carefully hidden in the pages of the Bio book, hoping not to catch anyone’s attention. For some reason, Nick was up at the front of the classroom, chatting comfortably with the instructor laughing and holding a french horn case, with his impeccably straight hair running past his shoulders. He glanced at me with a quick smile – and all I could think was: “What a jackass.” I don’t know what offended me so immediately. Perhaps it was his confidence and his shiny perfect hair (as compared to my ragged, frizzy hair that I kept in a bun 90% of the time to hide its unruly nature). Given my extremely shy personality (mind you, at this point, I went by “Raven”, my hair was fading from dyed black, and I tended to wear combat boots and tight black jeans with turtle necks), I was prone to think anyone who called attention to himself was a jackass. Or maybe it was because he was talking so loudly that I couldn’t focus on my horror novel. In all honesty, it was probably his confidence that I found unsettling. Until I met Nick, I had never really known what it was like to talk freely.

Nick went on to be generally disruptive the rest of my bio class that year. He was always causing a ruckus and getting sent across the room by Mr. S. He would complain that it wasn’t his fault, that P was doing something horrific to him (I think hitting his knee through some kind of martial arts helmet was his complaint at one point), and he would voice this complaint from one side of the room to the other. The whole time I would think to myself “What a jackass… ”  In retrospect, all I can think is that I was really horrible. I like to think I’m not judgmental, but scaredy-cat Raven was incredibly judgy. Especially when people interrupted her very precious reading time.

Of course, according to Nick, his recollection of me from Sophomore Bio was the chick in the black jeans with the nice ass. So, maybe on some level, I was right?

Flash forward to my Junior year. I was still petrified. I thought that by interacting with people, they would somehow see how weak, stupid, or generally lacking I was, so I spent most of my lunch period outside on the bleachers behind the school – you guessed it – reading. At some point, a group of guys headed by my friend and neighbor Stu descended on my bleachers, and forced me to put the book away. At first, I thought the whole thing was a coincidence. It was random chance that they had appeared on the bleachers to hang out. They had probably included me in their friendly banter just to be nice. When it became clear that my reading haven had become the hang out for Stu and his group of friends, I found a new place to hide. It took no time at all before they found me again. After one more location swap, I gave up trying to find new places to squirrel away and read. These guys made me laugh. And Nick, with his much shorter hair and easy smile, wasn’t nearly the jackass I thought he was.

At that point, these guys invited me almost wholly into their midst. I succumbed to new levels of nerd-dom I had never known existed. D&D, RPGs, Boffing, oh, how my nerd-dom grew!

On my “study” period, I would often roam the halls, thinking, daydreaming and trying to pass the time until my next class. At some point, I started running into Nick in the halls. Being the generally clueless hermit I was, I thought it was funny that Nick happened to roam the halls connecting to the IHS wing to South. Especially since he wasn’t enrolled in IHS. We would chat about, hell, I don’t know what. I just remember feeling really at ease with him. I never felt that awkwardness when you don’t really feel like you have anything to talk about with someone. I never felt like I had to pretend with him. He seemed to accept me as I was, not questioning how broken I might be on the inside.

Then there was role playing. A friend of ours ran a few RP games, and Nick was one of the frequent members. At one point, Nick came late to a session having jogged to the house from a martial arts test. He was bold and plopped himself right in front of where I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, announced he was tired, and laid his head in my lap. I was completely taken aback as he seemed to doze in my lap, and looked up at my other friends, who seemed just as startled as I was. Stu made a “WTF? Are you two an item?” gesture at me, at which I replied with a wild “Help! I don’t know what to do!” gesticulation. This was apparently hilarious. But it was the start of something amazing.

Within a few days, I received a telephone call. Mind you, I didn’t give my telephone number lightly, so not many people had it. You can imagine my surprise when my mom told me it was Nick who had it, who had apparently gotten it from another friend. He had been holding onto my phone number for weeks, apparently, picking up the phone, before his nerves died and he placed the phone back on the receiver. Our friends were apparently ready to kill him, they were so tired of hearing about me from him. So, he gave in and called me. We talked for about 4-6 hours, until we both almost lost our voices and Nick’s mom came down and found him still on the phone well after midnight. Then, he quickly asked if I would like to see him. Just him. He asked if he could pick me up, and terrified, I said I would rather walk. I didn’t want him to come to my house and see how poor I was. He would maybe meet my mom, and depending on her mood, she would either seem lively, vibrant and funny, or terrifying, unpredictable, and intimidating. So, I walked to his house. When I got there, he commented on my medallion. He attempted to pick it up several times and kept fumbling and dropping it, so I took it off my neck, and that’s when I noticed how badly his hands were shaking. He was so nervous that he dropped the medallion underneath his fridge. Little ol’ me was making this seemingly confident guy tremble? I was stunned.

We went on a walk and continued to talk. I remember feeling nervous and happy all at the same time. After a while, he dropped me off at my house and gave me a quick hug, after letting me out of his car (mind you, he had to let me out of his car – the car wouldn’t open from the inside – this was mostly hilarious, because my mom had thought Nick was such a gentleman until her car broke down and he gave her a ride. Then she found out, and said she hadn’t realized she was letting her daughter ride around in a date-rape car, and politely asked Nick to fix it, which he politely ignored, until the car blew up and he got a new car).

Anyway, it’s difficult to convey the awkwardness and awesomeness that went into this dating process. I was relatively new, and hadn’t had any dating experience outside a couple of REALLY awkward experiences from middle school. Someone asked me if we were boyfriend and girlfriend, and I said I didn’t know, because, hell, I didn’t. I liked him. He seemed to like me. We went on a couple of walks. We would talk at boffing sessions, but we had barely held hands, so what did that mean?

I asked Nick later that day, trying to play it off, so I wouldn’t show how nervous I was that he might say “What?! No, we’re just friends.” Luckily, playing it cool, he said we could be if I would like us to be. I said only if he wanted us to be, to which he said, “Sure.” Not quite the commitment I was looking for, but it was close enough. I went distractedly through the rest of the day, alternating between a state of excitement and nervousness.

In the next few days, I found myself opening up to Nick in ways I had never opened up to anyone. I told him everything about myself, and he accepted it with calmness, encouragement, and sympathy (but not pity – I would never have forgiven pity).

Two weeks after our “boyfriend/girlfriend” conversation, at the very end of a date, Nick leaned in and kissed me for the very first time. It was a simple kiss, but magical all at the same time. At the very end, he leaned back, looked into my eyes and said “I love you.” He turned, after dropping the bombshell, and started to trot down my front stairs. I blurted out an “I love you, too” and was horrified that the words came out, as (if you know me), I HATE lying or saying things that might be even slightly untrue. As I watched him drive away, though, I felt a sudden rush of emotion and realized that even though I may have blurted out the words, and even if we had only been dating briefly so far, the words were true. I did love him. He was kind, thoughtful, funny, and spirited. Later, I would learn that he was crass, compassionate, loyal to the end, timid on occasion, and the most amazing man I had ever met.

My family has always been a relatively small unit (my mom and siblings against the world!), so when Nick committed to me, he took on the whole messy shebang. And he loved us all – my amazing, wonderful, beautiful, roller-coaster family. He was my rock through the custody battles my mom went through with my dad (and he’s the one who posed the innocent question to then 17 year old me “If you’re so terrified of your dad, why do you have to go see him?” I had never questioned it. Dad calls, we go. I had never thought of the situation where: Dad calls, I say “I don’t want to see you. I’m not going.”) And life got better.

There are so many different ways in which Nick’s simple questions instilled me with a new lens to look at myself. I used to write him notes and that would say “You saved my life.” And it was true. I have a family, accomplishments I wouldn’t have dreamed of when I was a kid, and the life I have today because he loved me and taught me to love myself.

Yes, I am who I am because I persevered, but life would have been a helluva lot cruddier if I had to muddle through it all on my own. It’s been a rollercoaster, and it hasn’t all been pretty, but damned if I am not still in love with that wonderful (snoring) man.

-the Rambler

Spirit of Christmas

A few days ago, I found myself looking through various Christmas plants, trying to find just the right one to bring to my Mom. For some reason, I couldn’t find one anywhere I went. And while I couldn’t find the right plant or flowers, I knew she probably didn’t care. It was just my mission. To let her know I still think about her. Every day. And how much I wished I could have seen her hold my daughter- just once – before she left us.

So, you can imagine my surprise (and tears) when I opened up my Christmas present from my sweet, sweet husband.

Gramma Christine finally gets to hold her granddaughter.

My husband’s only request to the artist was that the drawing reflect the joy the two would have felt if they had ever met in person. I think he succeeded.  In spirit, I know my mom would have held her exactly like this.

And I am so grateful that a moment like below could happen, a picture I am posting with permission from my amazing sister, Dark Moon (a.k.a. The Monster in Your Closet). It is obviously the inspiration for the above picture. I am just so happy my mom was able to meet at least one of her grandchildren, so each of us could see the joy she would have had in ours.

Even in her last moments, there was so much tenderness. So much light.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I know mine has been amazing.

-The Rambler

Saying the Right Thing

To start off, I’ve been reading a new book on cognitive therapy entitled “Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.” To say it’s life altering is something of an understatement, especially for people like me, who have borne the nickname “Worry Wart” and “Guilt-Monster” for almost two decades. I beat myself up over EVERYTHING. Did I say something that could be interpreted wrong and hurt someone’s feelings? What if that thing that seemed so innocuous at the time causes something horrible to happen in the future, and it will be my fault when everyone I love dies?

A high school friend used to joke, “Yes, Rambler. The mere fact that the sky is blue is your fault. When the sky finally falls, everyone will look around and say “Rambler?! Where is she? It’s all her fault!”

I take errors on my part very seriously, in part, because I always want to improve myself and be a better person – the person I believe I owe it to my mother to be. I don’t want to be the person who discourages someone from achieving something great – I don’t want to be that mental roadblock that makes someone feel bad about themselves. I make mistakes. Errare humanum est. So what? Prior to reading this book, I would have fretted over every mistake. I would have made a checklist of doom, ensuring my own defeat, because my checklist of “ALL THE THINGS I SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT DO” is endless. Impossible to memorize, but very possible to beat yourself up over if you fail and remember the failure, and then create a mantra of all your failures as a “reminder” to do better in the future. Sure, that’s gotten me by until now.

But, this book has opened my eyes to my guilt-laden ways of thinking. While talking to my sister earlier this afternoon about love, marriage, and a more positive worldview, I mentioned how funny it was that I often talk to people who will say things like “I loved that post about x” and I look at them confused because not a single person hit “like” on the FB post. The world is crazy busy and not everyone is an obsessive compulsive FBer like me. I recognize and understand this. But if you’re able to take the time to tell someone you like something, why are you so hesitant to do so online?

On some level, it comes down to privacy. Online, there is no guarantee that something you “like” will be private. When you’re online, you have to be cautious, you have to be wary of saying the wrong thing, lest prying eyes discover something you don’t want them to know. Or, perhaps it’s become the new popularity game.

Personally, I think it’s the same thing that keeps us timid, and keeps us from saying the positive things we think about other people private. When we say something nice, we expose something of ourselves, which in turn means we open ourselves up to some form of attack or critique. Part of this discussion really comes from a post my sister wrote about Mr. N, my 4th grade teacher. Mr. N was my lesson in telling people honestly all the nice things he thought about people. It didn’t matter that my mom was an impoverished single mother of four, who worked two jobs, lived on foodstamps, and whose kids often wore threadbare clothes from Goodwill or clothes drives… Mr. N always had something nice to say to my mom. And not just to her – about her, in front of other parents at Parent’s Night. In a world where my mother felt like nothing but a failure, he took the time to simply be kind. And that shaped not just her world, but mine. I wouldn’t be who I am if Mr. N hadn’t taken the time to recognize and see my mom. I can only imagine how tough it must have been for a teacher in an alternative school comprised of mostly well-off, extremely educated parents. But that’s who he was. And it’s who I want to be. My mom wrote Mr. N a letter when I was 17, because Mr. N continued to be an amazing role model in my little sister’s life. I may post the entirety of the letter at some point, because it shares so much of my mother’s soul, her pain, and how much those few kind words can go to help someone when they are hurting and alone… But until then, here’s an excerpt my sister posted.

I know that I will be eternally grateful to Mr. N not only for sharing his memories of my mom at parent’s night, but for sharing that letter with me. I cried the first time he showed it to me. When he gave me the original and two copies, I was so extremely touched that I didn’t know what to say.

I think, when it comes down to it, the issue is that we’re afraid.  We’re afraid of opening ourselves up for attack or criticism. We’re always looking for the right thing to say, whether it’s at work, online, to our friends or to our family. In this age of easily accessible words, most people think “less is more”… They’ll only “like” things if they are unafraid of any potential repercussions.  Which is fine – the internet, FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc, they’re all there for self-expression. And can I really blame folks? I mean, in the age of celebrity mishaps, it’s difficult not to learn from the impulsive, knee-jerk trends on the internet and reality TV.

But as I read this book, I realize just how important it is to take those simple steps to ignore the voices that keep telling you that you need to be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. You will eventually say the wrong thing. You will do the wrong thing. You will probably fuck up horribly quite a few times while walking this mostly green and blue earth. And you know what? That’s okay. Because, to err is human, and, as the saying goes, “to forgive is divine.” I told this to my mom before I went to Cambridge, when she asked me to forgive her. I told her I had nothing to forgive, and that she had my love. I can’t remember my exact words, but I know I had just read Paradise Lost, and told her that to forgive is divine, and that included forgiving herself. She seemed to think about it, but I don’t know if she knew how, in the face of the laundry-list she kept of all the things she thought she had done wrong.

So, as a note to myself, I’m throwing away my own laundry list. I’m going to hit “like” on anything that makes me smile, laugh, or just generally moves me to hit “like”. I am also going to forgive myself when I say or do the wrong thing. I will own my mistakes without being burdened by them.

In the end, saying the right thing really just means saying something. Acknowledge the beauty, the positive, and the light. Fight the urge to be negative, because it does affect you and everyone around you. It pushes people away, keeps them at a distance, whereas letting yourself say the wrong thing on occasion? Well, that just helps you see who your real friends are. 🙂

-The Rambler

Firsts

The week and day for giving thanks has formally passed, and boy did it breeze by.  I can’t believe December is closing in on us so quickly. My writing, or rather, my editing is still slogging along at a snail’s pace. But hey, I’m almost done with Chapter 5! So there’s some merit in slogging through the mire of repetitive adjectives that is WD. By this time next year, I will hopefully done with all drafts of WD and sitting back and enjoying the fruits of my labor. Whether that’s sipping a cup of hot cocoa and thinking “Thank God I’m done with that bullshit” or swimming in dough, it’ll all be good. My preference is for the latter of the two options, but we shall see. Once I finish this second draft, the beta readers will be subjected to, er, have the pleasure of reading my “finished” product… Then comes the fun. 😛

That being said, the last few weeks have been amazing. Thanks to antibiotics and the wonders of nettipot, my sinuses are finally clearing, which has helped me truly enjoy life and my family again. Just in time to be bedazzled by so many of my little girl’s firsts! On Thanksgiving day, she walked unassisted for the very first time. Prior to Thanksgiving, she had taken a step or two to me or to Daddy, but never had she just stood up all on her own and WALKED! And boy did she walk. Once she decided to go, it was all speed! She has the bumps on her head to prove it. 😛 A full month for my baby’s very FIRST birthday… I can’t believe it’s so close…

Thanksgiving was an amazing and blissfully relaxing day. For the first year since my husband and I have been together (going on 17 years), I finally slowed down and committed to just ONE Thanksgiving, and it was amazing. It was easily the least stressful Thanksgiving we have ever had. I like to be everywhere at once – at my mom’s, at Nick’s mom’s, his dad’s, with our amazing adoptive family who welcomed us to their table when we didn’t have anywhere to go… I’ve been the “I don’t know how to say no” person for so long, that it was nice to sit back and just enjoy the holiday and my family. All I had to do was bake a cheesecake, throw some mashed potatoes together and show up to the warmth and wonder of the K-H joint Thanksgiving festivities. Because we just did the one, the day for giving Thanks morphed into a long holiday weekend of thankfulness and good memories.

So, in keeping with a tradition that I am fighting to keep alive, here is a list of the things I have been thankful for the past year:

1. My daughter – she has brought more joy into my life than I ever imagined was possible. As she takes her first steps, babbles her first words, signs her first signs, and experiences this amazing world, I get to experience each first and the joy it brings her. I feel so lucky and so damned in love, I’m ready to burst every time she beams her toothy grin at me. Hell, I never knew I could love someone or something so much!
2. My husband – we may still be figuring out this whole parenting thing (you’d think now that our daughter is almost a year old we’d have it figured out, but it turns out a toddler is completely different than a baby… who knew? I feel like I had finally gotten the baby thing down…), but he’s been with me every step of the way. No matter how late he stays up, he’s there in the morning to help me get the little girl ready for the day, and is just an amazing and wonderful man! Did I mention that he let me slip away for an entire night to go to a lady’s weekend getaway at a fancy spa hotel??? He is a saint. A silly, crass, speedy-diaper-changing genius, gorgeous saint
3. My brother – I am lucky to know, let alone be related to, this man. He has so much love in his heart. He’s always willing to watch my daughter so Daddy and Mommy Rambler can go for a walk or run errands, or just take a quick nap. When he finally decides to move out, I really don’t know what we’ll do. One thing I know for sure, I don’t tell that guy how much I appreciate him nearly enough!!! Complain about the dishes in the sink? Check. Say: “Hey, thanks for holding the baby while I did x, y, and z.” Um, while I may say the words, I think their being followed by complaints about the dishes might not have the overall desired effect. And hell, in spite of his bouts with insomnia, he always makes my little girl giggle!  Plus, she squeals with laughter whenever he enters the room, so clearly I need to shower the love on Uncle! He is a great, loving, and wonderful man… I just need to make him believe it.
4. My sisters, near and far. While I may not live with them, I am thankful every day for my sisters. TMiYC for her constant encouragement and helping keep my dreams alive, sharing her journey as a writer and a mother, well… Those gifts are priceless. She will always be the Dark Moon to my Silver Star. My lil’ sis, I’m thankful for her sweet, unassuming nature – no matter how different we all are, she is always just as loving and accepting of others – I see so much of my mother’s warmth in her (and some of her kookiness, too!). I am thankful for her son, the sweet lil’ man who plays so nicely with my little girl.
5.  My friends. They continue to blow me away. Even though much of my communications with my friends recently has been electronically (via Facebook or IMing), their continued warmth, humor and positivity is a constant inspiration. I will always be thankful to the K-H crew (all generations) for opening up their homes and hearts to my family. They have been and always will be a light to me and my family.
6. Work. I am thankful every day for the job I have and the people I work with. They are a lively group, and while we may not always get along (can’t have work without some drama!), I am soooooo eternally grateful to be employed in this dismal economy and to work with people who realize that the work day is supposed to end at 5pm. I am thankful that my bosses kick me out if I stop watching the clock. Hell, I’m thankful that I work in a place where I enjoy my job enough that I don’t spend my day waiting for 5pm, so much so that I’m surprised when it arrives!
7. My brain. Now that I’m weaning off nursing, in anticipation of lil’ girl’s first birthday, I finally feel like I am myself again. Welcome back, Brain. You have been sorely missed…
8. The book my sister gave me necessitates this… I am thankful for me and for my body. I am thankful for all the things I do right every day, regardless of all the things I do wrong. Tomorrow will always be a new day, a day for fun and being nice to myself.

And, of course, I’m thankful for you readers who put up with my meandering rambles. I hope you enjoyed your turkey day and are ramping up for the holidays… 🙂

-The Rambler

Happiness and Gratitude

I have been sick, yet again, for days. While thinking of ways to strengthen my immune system, I have had extra time with my little one, as we’ve sneezed and coughed into (in her case, at least) each others faces. I am annoyed that I am sick again, but I am also exceedingly grateful.

Getting ready for this week, this favorite week of mine (yay, turkey!), I couldn’t help but take a moment to compose a little poem to reflect the happiness in my heart.

Her Light
Time grows still
When I see your smiling face
The light in your eyes
And those dimpled cheeks

My love, my sweet, my darling
My daughter.

When I hold you, Little One,
Your hand against my cheek
Your laughter
Music inside my soul

I know you

My love, my angel, my light,
My daughter.

 ****

It’s hard, feeling her wonderful weight in my arms, knowing that in just a few short years (well, ten, hopefully), she will hate to be smothered in her mother’s kisses, spun in circles in her mother’s arms, or simply rocked to sleep and held while she touches my cheek and I watch her eyes droop into sleepiness.

But, I am so thankful and know I will love this wonderful little girl as she grows into whomever she chooses to be. She will always be my little girl.

Happy Turkey Week! May we each find something to give thanks for…

-The Rambler

Update

While I am blogging a little bit more than I did in this blog’s beginning (one entry in two years), once a month is a little less than I had anticipated!

So…… Interesting news? None really to report. Drudgery? Sure thing! Draft two has been making remarkably slow progress. I’m in the process of editing Chapter Three, and it just doesn’t sit right with me. I’m going to start bringing my laptop to work again soon, so I can write on my lunch break, which should speed up my editing. It’s exhausting work to get home and think about doing anything aside from chilling with my family and getting ready for the next day.

I’m slowly prioritizing my life to make sure I make the time for the things that I care about. I definitely need to give my family (mostly my poor neglected spouse) a little more TLC. Then I need to focus on Waking Dreams, because I am dedicated to finishing this novel and polishing it to where it needs to be. Then, I need to make sure to fit time in with my friends, since I’ve somehow become something of a hermit!

Once I finish Waking Dreams, I can finally work on a couple of other writing projects that I am excited to start! Including, a project that I will only call TBC Retold.

Hopefully I will have more to report in my next entry!

Content

Sooooooo, it’s been a while. Sorry! (Not that those who read this are generally missing much.) Sickness has plagued my house, but we’re finally through the colds, ear infections, then repeat of the colds. Oh my, is being sick tiring! I haven’t been this sick since, well, I don’t know. I guess when I was pregnant and had kidney stones. I’d like to not repeat that. It was akin to the pain of labor, but without the joy (or the constant uncomfortable feeling that a BM was nearly imminent, which to me tipped labor into being a little more unpleasant).

Anyway, draft two of Waking Dreams is coming along. Slowly, but coming along. My writing group is kicking back into gear for the school year, so hopefully the final draft of Waking Dreams will be polished by Summer of 2013. *fingers crossed* Although, this is a hobby, so my general rule of thumb for the things I enjoy is pretty simple: Don’t set strict timelines for the things you enjoy – they quickly become an obligation and lose their sparkle. And if you know me, you know I like me some sparkle! It’s funny – I like shiny things, I just don’t like wearing shiny things. I’m the magpie that collects shinies to look at.

Life is going really well. Grampa Phil’s health is improving after a post-op scare in the hospital, Hubby is enjoying his new job, I’m enjoying my work, and I’m enjoying my favoritest job of all: being a mommy. It’s amazing how being a mom has completely changed my priorities. I don’t mean to sound cheesy (although I realize that’s impossible to avoid), but it’s absolutely true. I don’t stress about work (as much), I don’t worry so much that people may not like me, or fret that I suck at the greater part of social niceties. Because, frankly, who gives a s&*t? My little girl is happy, healthy, and growing into a sweet, beautiful, laughing little girl. I love visiting her on my lunch breaks because it just lifts my mood the rest of the day. If I succeed in that one job, then life is golden. That being said, I’ve been given a temporary little promotion at work that is also amazing. I had forgotten how much nicer it is to do slightly more complicated and varying tasks.  It makes work much more enjoyable, so I’m going to savor every single moment of this temporary position!

I’d like to say that I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about sucking, but, well, I’d be lying. When you feel like you’re the odd duck all the time, it’s much easier to feel like you’re on the outside looking in. I used to feel like if a group of my friends arranged a gathering without me, that that reflected poorly on me – that there was something wrong with me that they didn’t want to hang out with me too. Now, I realize, it’s okay not to be invited to everything. There are different vibes to every gathering, and small gatherings allow for a greater intimacy. If we invited all our friends to every gathering, well, we’d never get to actually find out what’s going on with folks!

Of course, as a mom, I’m still finding that balance of me-family-friends, oh my! I think my sanity is finally coming back, and a lot of that is, as I posted previously, just letting go.

As it stands? I couldn’t be happier with life. I am an incredibly lucky lady.