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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Change is Afoot.....Hopefully

We accidentally bought a new house.

Hahahahaha.  I am not kidding.

I blame A-girl.  She had a babysitting job on the other side of our neighborhood.  I was dropping her off and drove through a part of the neighborhood that I didn't even realize existed. Then I saw the "For Sale" sign and made the fatal error of heading home and looking it up on-line.  It was beautiful.  Slightly over budget.  But, wonderful.  I then made my second mistake and sent a link to Rainman in which I said, "If this house would have been on the market when we were looking, I don't think I would have needed to be convinced to go over budget."  Or something like that.  His response?

"I think we should go look at it."

After a little back and forth and me assuring him that wasn't what I had in mind all along.  (It really wasn't!) We called our very patient realtor and she set up a showing.  D-man was even home from school, so all 8 of us were able to take a look.  About halfway through the home, I turned to the realtor and said, "I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure all 8 of us are on the same page about this house"  I wasn't.  We all loved it.  It had lots of stuff that we wanted, plus a few extra things that we didn't even realize that we wanted.  That said, it is not a perfect house.  There are a few things that I wonder how they will actually work once we get in there.  But, when I was telling one of my friends about the new house, I said, "I can't really explain it.  It just feels peaceful, and....right".

We put in an offer contingent on our selling our house and they accepted.  Then I had to figure out how to whip my house into shape and get it on the market.  So, I have been decluttering and filling up dumpsters instead of blogging.  (The question now becomes, why, in the world, were we living with a literal dumpster full of stuff in our home?)

Now, we wait.....for the perfect buyer/family for our house.

There are also some other things swirling around our family.  Some potentially awesome and exciting changes.  But nothing that I can talk about yet.

I am just praying and praying some more about where God will be leading us.  Praying to have faith in God's timing.

I have been trying to get myself to come and blog more.  The problem is that I seem to have turned into a bit of a whiny curmudgeon in my thought processes.  I am not sure you will want to hear how annoying I find people and situations in our lives.  So, instead of subjecting you to that, I have just stayed away from blogging.

I will try to keep you posted more often on things around here....and, if you have a buyer looking south of Atlanta....send them my way!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Oh My Word, I am So Sorry.

For. any of you that care, I am sorry it has been so long since I posted anything on here.

Life just seems to really be clipping along at a fast pace and I seem to be more and more subject to outsiders demands and schedules.

It is actually much worse now that I have older kids, which is ironic because I remember when I had all these little people running around my house and it just felt so....crazy sometimes.  Well, gone are the days where the six kids and I just hung out at home, doing our school work and going on field trips or adventures, at our leisure.  Here are the days where my high schoolers have competing academic and athletic schedules.  I feel bad that my 3 youngest aren't getting a chance to have those quiet days at home like the oldest 3 got.  Now, more than not, they are piling into the van so we can drop off or pick up an older sibling from their stuff.  Sometimes they can bring school along and kill two birds with one stone, but lots of times it just makes our "home" school day horribly hectic and interrupted.  They are NOT getting the kind of education that their older siblings got.  I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing....or if it just is what it is.  It is definitely different.  I am hoping the academic content is at the very least the same, but I am not sure because I am rushing to and fro.

But, I really miss the days when I truly controlled our days.  I have no control now.  I don't like it. Rainman seems to be doing a lot more of the heavy teaching than I am these days.  Which, I guess is both good and bad. He is an incredibly smart and dedicated dad and husband.  But, I am so busy with other stuff, that I am missing that time to just sit on the couch and help them stumble through fractions or history.

So, that is part of my reason for not blogging more.

The other parts are slightly more complicated, and also somewhat related to my older kids.  They are older and have many more opinions now on what pictures are posted of them and what stories are shared with the world.  The words, "Don't put this on your blog!"  have become common around here.  It has become harder and harder to give them their own personal privacy and still share my stories of being their mom.

I have also been in what I will call - mid-life- crisis mode with my internal thought processes.  Lamenting the fact that I am really beyond child bearing years now and no more little babies will be coming into my world (biologically anyway).   There are other mid-life type thought processes happening so, but I will share (whine) about those some other time.

None of this makes for very good blog reading.  No cute pictures go along with a middle aged lady being confused and feeling sorry for herself.  So, here is one from our very first cruise!


So, I guess I will say, that I am going to TRY to blog more regularly.  Even if it isn't for you guys, it helps me document our lives and events so I will remember them when I am old!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Visitation

We attended a visitation last night.

This wasn't the "usual" kind where someone was old or sick had passed.

This was for an 18 year old, senior in high school,  that was murdered last weekend.

He was the son of A-man's baseball coach and the big brother of his teammate.

We were in shock when news came out.  Heartbroken for their family.  Rainman and I kept saying things like, "I can't imagine...."

And, we really can't.

I was actually holding it together pretty well, until  I saw the slide show with pictures of his life. Santa pictures.  Pictures where he and his dad had fallen asleep in the hammock.  Pictures of him blowing out birthday candles.  Pictures of him up at bat.  Pictures of him gently touching his new baby brother.  I honestly had to stop watching.  I couldn't take it anymore.

We stood in line for 2 hours because there were so many people there to see his family.

One of our pauses in line, we ended up next to his grandparents, who we had seen casually at baseball games, but never had a real conversation with.

The grandmother slowly looked each of us in the eye, then looked again.  She said, "I just want to remember your faces.  I want to remember who came here for him.  It means so much to us."

The grandfather told us that he looked pretty good.  That they had done a good job getting him ready.  He did have some bruises, he warned us, from both the fight the night he was killed and from his new found passion for MMA grappling/wrestling.

Once again, I had to bite the inside of my mouth to stop myself from crying.  Normally, I am a big eye contact person.  I like people to know that I am listening to them and paying attention.  But, I just couldn't look at him.

Then, A-man's teammate spotted him in the receiving line and weaved his way through the pews and people to come over and say hi.

Let me tell you, two 11 year old boys spontaneously hugging each other when it isn't because of joy of a game won, is heart wrenching.

They hugged. They put their heads on each others shoulders.  They stepped apart and did sort of a manly shoulder pat before standing their awkwardly for a bit, because.....what do you say?

We finally made it to the front of the line and A-man's coach was standing at the foot of the casket and the mother was sitting at the head of the casket.

Visitation had started at 5:00.  We got there at 7:00 and finally made it at almost 9:00.  We asked  A-man to go first in line, because we weren't sure that the coach and his wife would recognize us in the throng of people, but we knew they would recognize A-man.

The coach took one look at A-man, held out both arms and pulled him in for a huge hug.  A-man quickly turned his head away and hugged him back.  He later told me he had to turn his head away so he wouldn't cry when he was looking at his coach.

They hugged.  Coach whispered something in his ear.  Then let go, held him by the shoulders and looked him in the eye again and told him how happy he was that he had come for "his boy".

Rainman and I took turns hugging too.  As he pulled me in, the coach asked me "How are you holding up?"  I said, "I am barely keeping it together, so I cannot imagine what you are going through."

Coach let go and turned to our whole family and talked about how when they had first arrived at the funeral home today.  He couldn't stop crying.  He talked about his chest actually literally being in so much pain he didn't think he could do this.  Then the people started coming......and coming.....and coming.   He said, he realized that all those people were coming for "his boy" and it made him proud to have been his dad.

Rainman and I told him that he should be.  He was a good kid.  Yes, he had gotten into some trouble and made some stupid choices.  What teenager hasn't?  We talked about how funny his son was, how nice he was to the little siblings of the boys on the baseball team.  I mentioned that he was a little bit of a smart alec.  The coach said, "A little bit?!?!"  We chuckled.  Coach said that  he couldn't believe that this happened to his family, and that now their job had to be keeping the people that did this in jail and make sure they stayed there.

It is hard to know how to end one of those kinds of conversations, but, there was still a ton of people behind us, so, Rainman gave him one more hug and we moved on past the casket to his mom.

Back in Minnesota, I used to sing at a lot of funerals and I learned early on, whether I knew the deceased or not, even if they were a close friend of the family, that I couldn't look in the casket because then I would cry and not be able to sing.  It became real then.  The person in the casket was somebody's.....something.  It was real.

So, once again this night, I just glanced in the casket.  His grandpa was right.  He looked pretty good.  He had on his ever present baseball hat.  He looked.....young.

A-man once again was the first in line to the mom.  She too, looked him straight in the eye and pulled him in for a huge hug.

When it was my turn, I lost it.  I couldn't be calm, cool and collected anymore.  This was this woman's baby.  We both just held onto each other and cried.  I just told her that I had no words, just love.  Because, again.....what can you say?  Nothing.

She squeezed me tight.  Kissed my cheek and thanked us for coming.  She too, looked us all in the eye before letting us move on.  I think she was trying to stamp in her brain the faces of all the people that came for her baby boy.

I left and was weepy on and off the rest of the night.  I just kept picturing the little bronzed baby shoes and the pictures of him opening presents on Christmas morning.  I looked around at my babies....and just  This shouldn't happen.

We are all heading over to D-man's campus later today.  I want to give him a hug.  I want to eat a meal with him.  I want him to be a smart alec and annoy me.  I want to see him give A-man a choke-hold and then a proper hug when we leave.  I want to see him walking along the street holding V-girl's hand.  I just want all my babies together and to hug them.