Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Trip Down Memory lane

My husband has been cleaning up his computer and going through a ton of files, some more than a decade old.  He came across a letter that I had written to the boys about 8 years ago.  So, I have decided to preserve it here on my blog.  It brought me to tears when I read it again.  I sure do love my boys.


Dear Sweet, Strong, Amazing Boys:

You are growing taller and stronger every day.  The quickness of it takes my breath away.  It sounds cliche to say it seems like only yesterday.....but it does seem that way.  Only yesterday  I was a mother of one -- then two, then three.  Sweet baby boys clothed in blue, who fit in the crook of my arm.  Quickly you grew and were running away from me.  Even at that moment I realized the significance of your first steps.  Steps that were necessary.  We may bond as you  grow older, but you will always be walking away.  My job is not only to teach you how to do so, but how to do it with pride and dignity.  

Sometimes we'll clash, but one day you'll understand the convictions I have for you.  I tell you now because I understand how important a mothers guidance is.  And I've been where you are.....and where you are going.  I know firsthand the dangers that await you in your life, and I only want to steer you away; to prevent you from pain.  While I am wise enough to understand that I cannot prevent it all, I only hope I can succeed in instilling wisdom and strength in you so you can either not experience some of the hard lessons of life, or have the inner strength to grow from them.

Even now as you are so young, I raise you with your future in mind.  My prayer for you is that you are strong enough to stand up for what you believe in, but flexible enough to learn new things. I long for you to be happy and wise; to love unconditionally, to not be scared to let go sometimes.  

Most of all, I wish for you to know who you are.  Take time to be your own best friend, so that you don't have to seek outside yourself for fulfillment.  Even now I see your gifts and talents.  I hope you can see them too.  They are so bright;  it blows my mind to realize  that such amazing creatures are my children; my sons.

I have an extra responsibility as your mother. Right now, I am a role model. I hope I do it with grace and strength. But please, accept my apologies now, for I will stumble. I will misspeak and criticize. Please realize, even if we are at war, love is still present. Always present. I have fears. I cry. I shout. I laugh. Please do not be shocked by that. I only want you to realize that it's okay to feel. Weakness isn't found in showing emotions, but hiding them. Strength is shown when you do not hide; when you allow others to see who you are.

Andrew, especially for you now, I write this. You are entering a new phase of life. You are getting older; maturing. The little boy I carried in my womb, cared for, and cried over the first time I sent you off on a school bus is becoming a young man. You sometimes seem to struggle with who you are; with realizing that you don’t have to put on different faces around people. Please don't. Can you not see what I see?  I see a boy who is wise beyond his years.   I am proud of you. I am proud of your heart and your intelligence. I am proud of your "embrace life fully personality.  Your joy is contagious and will be a gift to those around you.   You can be both analytical and crazy at the same time. Embrace it. Do not hide it or be ashamed. You are a gift to this world. I apologize if I do not show it enough.

Randall, my intense, amazing and free loving boy. You are talented and amazing in so many ways, and your exuberant spirit is a gift. You cannot leave the room without a hug, which warms my heart each and every time. I know you sometimes feel like things are too hard, but at the same time your determination to not let things get you down are what is going to take you far in this world. You are not even 6, yet your depth of love for all things in nature amazes me. Your imagination is an invaluable asset that I hope you embrace. I pray that you never lose the ability to see what others miss. I know that new things are happening in your life, and sometimes it may seem scary and impossible. Hold your head high and keep walking forward. I'll be behind you if you need to hold my hand.

Ryker, my tiny little ball of giggles, you amaze me. You are the most consistently happy 
child I know. I have never in my life seen someone so young with so much happiness. It 
warms my heart to know that your daddy and I have given you a life that is free of 
sadness. Your voice warms my heart, and your feistiness lets me believe that you will be 
strong like your brothers. You are a cuddler. I don’t know if that is because you are the 
baby and that’s what you know, or if you just have an innate ability to love without 
question. But I pray that you will always have that desire to show love to those around 
you. 

My boys......I will never pretend life is easy. It is hard. But through hard work 
comes achievement, and through achievement comes confidence. Never believe that
there are certain things you will not be able to achieve. Listen to what I'm trying to say 
when I tell you to pick yourself up and keep going. Life is never lived if you are scared to 
get up or if you stay down after your first fall.

These are the lessons I want you to learn:

And as you grow, your heart will be broken; maybe many times. Learn from each 
heartbreak.

Do not follow the crowd. Be proud of who you are and stand strong. Even if at times you 
stand alone. I promise in time, pride will come with that decision.

It's okay to say NO. No to friends who ask you to compromise who you are, no to those
people that tell you that you cannot achieve, and no to those doubts that try to keep 
you back. 

Remember to see inner beauty; not only in yourselves but in all the things and people 
around you.

Make your choices with education and conviction. Just because a lot of people are saying 
it is right, doesn't make it so. Sometimes the correct path is found when you take the time to 
explore on your own. 

Never accept put-downs or abuse. And never dish it out either. Boys don't hit girls they 
like. They don’t hit girls PERIOD. They also do not pressure, put down, criticize, or run 
away. 

God blessed me with three wonderful and amazing sons. One day, you will leave for your 
own life. Do it with your head held high and a soul full of confidence. And when you leave 
my arms, know that I raised you with love and look forward to the day when you are not 
only my boys, but also my friends. 

I love you,
Mom

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stop the License Plate Madness!!!

Recently I traveled, by car, to Calgary -- a city roughly 3 hours drive from my home..  And while I was driving these mind numbing roads, I began to notice some very interesting personalized license plate frames.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  The ones that read: I Would Rather Be Driving a Golf Ball. Get it?  Not driving a car but a golf ball?  Genius.  Now these kind of cheesy frames don't bother me because usually it's just some retired man's attempt to spruce up his Cadillac. It's all good Grandpa - drive on. 

The ones that bother me fall under three categories:

1. The Princess License Frames

We've all seen these.  They are usually bedazzled with some rhinestones, colored in pink, and most likely placed on the car by some father or mother who was trying to passive aggressively tell their daughter how annoying they feel they've become.  While driving I saw one that read on the top: But, But, But...and on the bottom it read...I'm the Princess. And as I passed the car to give the obligatory stare of disgust, I saw a morbidly obese girl texting on her cell phone while driving with her knee.  Cinderella and Snow White eat your heart out.  Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not jealous of these self-proclaimed Princesses.  I just wish that they would respect real royalty and be honest about themselves.  Maybe instead of saying, "Beware Here's Comes The Princess" they could be truthful and say, "Beware here comes a woman in her thirties, who still lives in a fantasy world where she thinks she should be treated like the most important person in the room."  I'm sure there's a website that could handle this order.

2. The Exaggerated Declarations

I get it.  You think you are a great Grandma or Aunt or whatever, but I don't need to see it on your car.  Because really #1 Grandma?  Really?  Who voted? I didn't vote.  How do I know you don't secretly lace your home cooked cookies with Vicodin?  Do you even have grandchildren?  And lastly, I just passed your car and there's a man driving it!  Now what? Does this license frame mean anything?  How can a man be the #1 Grandma??!

3. Are You Trying To Get Pulled Over

I'm not kidding when I say I saw these two license frames: 1. Drunk Guy Coming Through  and 2. The top had three Marijuana leafs on it and on the bottom it said I'm High.  Yep, an actual statement of "I'm High."  What's the end game here?  Are you promoting drunk driving?  Do you hate MADD?  Were you actually high when you placed this on your car? 

So, people please give me a second.  I get it - it's tempting to place something on your car in order to distinguish yourself from all the other cars out there, but let's think about it first.  Sure you'll always find the car that reads: Do Not Disturb...I'm disturbed enough Already - but do you really want to be associated with the "crazy car" at work?  Well, actually you are probably just an unemployed blogger...never mind - bad example.

Tis The Season For My Favorite Christmas Albums

Martina McBride – White Christmas Let it Snow | Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Silver Bells | Hark! The Herald Angels ...