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    Monday
    Jul252011

    fun is not a four letter word

    I am pre-empting my intended journal entry for tonight for one much more exciting.  Tonight I watched “Giuliana & Bill” on the Style Network.  I love them. She’s Italian; he’s from Chicago, what’s not to love?  They’re taking a year off from trying to get pregnant - to have what they are calling “The Year of Fun”.  Sheesh.  Sure sounds better than my 12 month plan.  My year is a lot of work with fun fit into the corners of the schedule. The other way around sure sounds better.

    Genius light bulb moment! (I don't have a photo of a light bulb, but I do have this stunning Ikea lamp) After my 12 month plan is over I will have my own Year of Fun.  It will start where the 12MP ends – on my family’s European 50th birthday celebration/vacation. This is a fabulous idea! No matter where I live or where I am in my journey – it will be my very own Year of Fun. Thanks Giuliana and Bill,  I think you've started something great.

    I will now begin taking suggestions for what should be included in my Year of Fun.  These are just a few of the words that are not allowed in your suggestions:  scrub, save, organize, diet, budget, landscaping, laundry, stress, and debt ceiling – and there are many more. Any and all serious suggestions and offers are welcome.  Have your people call my people. 

    Sunday
    Jul242011

    have friends will travel

    I’ve lived here 27 years, and have had too many close friends move away.  You miss being able to stop by, run into them at Giant Eagle, or meet them for lunch. It's painful, but strong friendships remain -  even without close proximity. 

     

    Last night I hosted a dinner party for Dan and Beth (see the remnants above).  They moved to South Carolina 3 summers ago, and I miss them terribly.  They are here visiting for a few weeks, and we got old and new friends together for dinner.  The kind of dinner where you spend hours at the table - because you can’t stop talking to these people you love. 

    For years, Beth and Dan always invited me to spend holidays with them when my kids were with their father.  They didn’t care that I wasn’t actually a part of their family – they made me a part of their family.  What is it that someone said?  Friends are the family you choose.  My point exactly. 

    Every time a good friend moves it reinforces the fact that important relationships are not dependent on location. I might decide to stay here - in the place where I’m comfortable - with the people I know and love. But there’s no guarantee that my friends will stay here. They will follow jobs, retire other places, and if I stay here only because I have friends here – then I may just be left behind.

    No matter where I choose to live I will make friends, I will visit friends, I will keep friends. Besides, with the kids off at college - won't I have more time to travel?

    Tuesday
    Jul192011

    hail purdue

    Off the 12 month plan track a little this evening to talk about the actual empty nest thing. While it's true that I'm completely scared about the house being empty (translation – I like my kids, and I wish they could be around forever), I'm so very excited to see them go off to college.

    I loved college.  Just about every single moment.  There’s a bond you have with those you’ve known and lived with in college that is hard to replicate as an adult.  Maybe it’s the bond from the crying-in-the-middle-of-the-night-on-the-floor-of-your-room-after-you’ve-just-broken-up-with-your-boyfriend. Those friends - they're worth more than all the treasures of the earth.   I’m so grateful to still have my college friends in my life. You know who you are.

    I'm a crazy loyal Purdue fan. I loved the football games, and the basketball games. I loved ordering pizza in the dorm on Sunday night in a room the size of my closet. I loved meeting Susie at Arby’s every Monday for lunch.  I loved my History of Ancient Engineering class, and not just because I was the only girl.  I loved late nights at the design studio pooling our money so we could go across the street to McDonalds and buy chicken nuggets. I loved that at Purdue on graduation day they herald you with trumpets and you walk across the stage and are actually handed your diploma.

    My oldest has finished her 2nd year studying art in London.  She’s having a remarkable experience, and although it’s different than the traditional American college, it’s perfect for her.  She’s independent and easily manages the responsibility of living across the pond all on her own.

    This summer we’re getting my son ready to start his first year at Xavier. It’s the perfect school for him.  We’re shopping for bedding and towels, laundry bags and first aid kits (he’s not sure he needs one, but I’m pretty sure it’s a necessity!) I don’t know who’s more excited – me or him – he’ll be so happy there, and he deserves it. 

    And one more time through the college application process with my youngest.  She’s looking for a different experience than her brother and sister. It will be exciting to see where she ends up.  She’s just returned from a yearlong exchange program in Sweden, and now speaks 3 languages.  I think colleges should be fighting over her.

    So you see, the solitude that frightens me also means so much happiness for my kids. I hope it's the most fun four years of their lives. Of course they'll be fine. Of course I'll be fine. It’s just a normal transition for all of us, and opens doors of opportunity for me. 

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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