Category Archives: holidays

New Year

What’s so good about the New Year?! Only EVERYTHING.

It’s like ‘Hope’ in a bottle. ‘Hope In A Bottle’ is not what caused my party-goers to fall down the front stairs, doze off on the couch or take a little rest on my front lawn. It was beautiful revelry – with a side of Karaoke. Totally my cup of tea.

partyroomThe dates leading up to the New Year…28…29….30….ah! They call to me. ‘Look! A blank page, a new start, a chance to begin again.’ Dennis laughs and asks me if I realize that I don’t need to wait for a date on the calendar for all of these things. Of course I do! There is no avoiding it – it really is 1/1 and to me that is exciting.

The day is a tool. Aren’t they all? It’s a reminder, a symbol and a beacon. It is a clear demarcation – a line in the proverbial sand? Do you know how much I love sand?

I use today to set intentions and solidify my ideas. Last year and this year I used Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook. I unraveled, raveled and developed a word for my year. No, I can’t tell you! It’s super-secret. But it’s awesome.

I have a new pen and a new notebook. I have plans, dreams, resolutions and goals neatly line up. I have big ideas that are full tiny details. I am constructing lists. I am one big walking, talking and breathing New Year’s cliche and I love every minute of it.

Happy New Year everyone. You don’t have to do it my way, but do it someway. Sure, it’s just another day, but it is all that we’ve got.

Can you guess what one of my New Year’s Resolutions is?

Save

20 Years

“Twenty years now
Where’d they go?
Twenty years
I don’t know
I Sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they’ve gone

And sometimes late at night
When I’m bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin’ a ghostly white
And I recall”

Thank you Bob Seger.
It is Ethan’s birthday. For me, this day marks 20 years of parenting with 100 more to go.
Many years before there were 4 boys comprising this crazy and chaotic clan – there was just three of us. Dennis. Me. Ethan. 5 1/2 years. Just us.
His Story is something I remember with emotions that can bubble to the surface even as I read it today. Living with Ethan is incredibly intense – that’s the truth. He is intensely complicated, intensely persistent, intensely funny
…and intensely loved.
Happy Birthday, Ethan!

Sappy Valentine’s Day

I tried to buy a Valentine’s Day card for Dennis. I really did.

We do not use the words, ‘Darling’, ‘Sweetheart’ or ‘Honey’. Never have and never will. He often refers to me as “Borland”, my maiden name. I just call him, you know, Dennis. Or ‘dude’.

The cards were so sappy, that at this point in our relationship (the 20-year mark) they seemed condescending.

I think if cards said things along these lines, they would be more authentic.

To The Guy I Married,

I love you because you’ve changed as many diapers as I have and you know when to make the kids take showers and when to just send them to bed.

I appreciate that you have learned to consider grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup dinner and you know just when to order pizza.

Thank you for ALWAYS coming by and unlocking my car with your key fob when I lock my keys in the car – again, and bringing jumper cables to the mall because we left the interior lights on – again. I love you because you say ‘it’s no problem’.

I love you because you understand that library fines are just a part of life.

Thanks for always offering me the big tv and the more comfortable couch. Love comes in many forms.

It means so much to me that you go to work – everyday. I know you love me because you have never let the household utilities get shut off or the house go into foreclosure, you make sure the kids have sneakers and you understand that $523 at Costco IS a bargain.  Thank you for consistently improving our FICO over our 20 year marriage.

Thank you for the date nights we’ve spent in Target – I really like being there with you. I truly love ‘family date nights’ to arcades and the boardwalk.

You are never better-looking than when you are vacuuming and your household ‘to-do’ list makes me feel very special.

The times we spend together are, indeed, the very best of my life. Mean it.

You see, it just depends on what you consider ‘romance’ folks.

Weekend Wonderful

This weekend was right in my wheelhouse – thanks Dennis! I LOVE a weekend that starts with a Friday night in NYC for Christmas festivities.

DSC04081 DSC04085 DSC04091 DSC04094 (1) DSC04095 (1)We took the opportunity to visit Ellen’s Stardust Diner. The servers are all broadway-caliber performers who are auditioning for shows or between shows. They serve and sing and the atmosphere was fabulous. I was pleasantly surprise by the great food.

DSC04108 DSC04125 DSC04145 DSC04155 DSC04158 DSC04167We then made our way to Rockefeller Center. It was cold and crowded and exactly what you should experience in The Big Apple 5 days before Christmas.

DSC04169 DSC04172 DSC04191 (1) DSC04193 DSC04195I wanted The Boyz to see and be photographed in that iconic setting. Later in the weekend, while watching Miracle on 34th Street, Sean said – ‘hey, we are just there!’ Exactly. Just what I was shooting for.

The Macy’s windows don’t fail to impress – ever. I loved the Solar System theme.

The weekend continue with brunch with Santa…

and a solstice bonfire celebration, at which I forgot to take pictures, but it was full of fire and feasting. I embrace Solstice a little more every year – it fits every religion or lack thereof and is a simply wonderful way to mark the season.

Sunday found most of us home for most of the day – walk-taking, movie-watching, cookie-baking, game-playing, time-experiencing 🙂 We capped off the evening here.

I hope you find what makes you happy as you anticipate the impending holidays. My souvenir for NYC? I brought home some Holiday Spirit. Very Merry.

November is Nat’l Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. They work together for me, so I’ll tell you a story.

Mikey was brought to our house (the week of Thanksgiving) by an emergency unit of DYFS. We signed up for that. We agreed to take children at odd hours, with no items of their own, for very short term stays 🙂

Mikey arrived at our house in a soggy diaper, a football jersey with his puffy dark hair in little, stringy braids. He was brought with a black trash bag filled with 14 prescription medications that we needed to figure out how and why to administer to him. He tried to get into the bath tub with his tiny Air Jordan’s. He ate his weight in pancakes. He didn’t say a word. He just smiled.

000_0020In one way, it was such a strange experience having a child suddenly show up for us to care for and to parent. In another way, it was mundane and normal – we just needed to do the next thing that needed done. It was a surreal experience for me. I wish I could have had insight into his little 16 month-old brain. Mikey was flexible and resilient and he settled into the new sights and sounds and experiences – including his two older brothers – without trouble.

Because Mikey was in foster care, it was unclear how long he would stay with us or if he would permanently join our family. Some people think that we must have spent lots of time pondering and considering foster care and adoption. We really just put one foot in front of the other and kept trekking through the process as it opened up organically. When Mikey had been a part of our family for about 9 months, Dennis said ‘if he can’t go back to his biological family, we are adopting him, right?’ Yes. Of course. That was easy.

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I tell Mikey that our family situation and his adoption into our family are not chance or some ‘second-best’ option. I tell him that families formed by adoption are special and blessed. I tell him that this is exactly what was supposed to happen – because it did. I tell him that this plan was written in the stars, from the beginning of time, by the hand of God. I believe it with all my heart.

I am so THANKFUL.

“Somehow destiny comes into play. These children end up with you and you end up with them. It’s something quite magical.
~ Nicole Kidman

The 4th Annual Cousin’s Day

Once upon a time, one sister was blessed with the opportunity to provide childcare for the other sister. The first sister never needed to worry about her children and knew they were well-loved and cared for. The other sister, did not need to leave home in pursuit of another type of paid employment. Oh! The joy they shared 🙂

One sad day, the kids all moved on in different, big-kid, endeavors – like school and stuff and the magical time period ended. But, realizing that it was a very special and exceptional bond that makes people into cousins, there clearly needed a more official way to celebrate the sacred bond that they shared. The sisters deemed the former ‘Columbus Day’ (I never really like him anyway) ‘Cousin’s Day’ and so a tradition began.

Feel free to revisit The 1st Annual, and The 2nd Annual and The 3rd Annual editions of this recurring event. May I now present to you – views from The 4th Annual Cousin’s Day Celebration.

‘Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold
the cousins together.’

~ Woodrow Wilson

Ethan’s Birthday Post

My most popular blog posts are always about Ethan.

DSC00705 (1)Maybe it’s because his gigantic personality is crammed into his 4’11 & 3/4″ frame. Maybe it’s because Ethan goes big or goes home – in all the best and worst possible ways. Maybe it is because his brain works so unbelievably different than the rest of us and he gives us a tiny view into a different dimension – sometimes I think it could really be that.

DSC00739He is our resident ‘psuedo-hoarder’ (only because I won’t let him go any further) and the most frustrating DJ (he usually only plays 2/3 of a song) there is.

Ethan turns 19 today.

He is remarkable and I am honored to be his mother. I am glad that his story is being written right here next to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.