Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Strangers On a Plane

Last trip I sat by Randie (I always introduce myself and shake hands.  Their faces NEVER match their names.  And I usually ask if they prefer to pretend that we aren’t sitting on top of each other like cattle or if they are talkers.  No one ever considers themselves a talker.)

Randie travels frequently for business.  He has an ipad, listens to Dwight Yokum, and has these amazing Bose headphones that block out almost all external noise.  He preferred to keep to himself, except when one of us had to move in which case you had to pull different parts of your body out from under different parts of the other person’s body, which always required an apology.  He also liked to play chess.  On his phone.  Not his ipad.  Which I was intrigued about. 

But the most interesting part was that he apparently doesn’t play chess very well, because throughout the flight he would make various “losing” noises which were always preceded by “that was a bad move” noises.  Sucking, blowing, a curse stopped before it escapes.  All followed by deep breaths as he’d begin a new match and the whole process would start over again.

On my flight home, there was Harriet.  A woman about the age of my parents who was heading to Milwaukee.  She and her husband were on the plane, but not seated together.  The flight had been delayed and in order for them to get on this particular flight that had to take what they could get.

She was in a middle seat, and he was in the window seat across the aisle from us.  Which made me feel sooo bad.  He has a problem with his leg and has to use a cane.

And so I tell her that I would have happily changed places with him.
Except I have to sit by the window.
On THIS side of the plane.

So I imagine that Harriet, who-has-never-liked-her-name, is telling the story to her sister about sitting next to a nice gal from Michigan who laughs out loud at movies on her phone, reads books on her ipad, pours only a drink at a time into her glass of ice, and insists on sitting on a particular side of the plane, next to the window, behind the wing….

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wisdom . . . at 32

I have been remiss.

I have not thanked my Lord for all the things I have been blessed with.  At 32 I did not thank the Lord enough for the insights He bestowed upon me.

Now, it has been 12 – uh, oh! – 14 years since I was 32 years old, but I don’t mean Wisdom at 32 years of age. 

32 means so much more.

I thank God for the wisdom he gave me to allow myself 32 seconds “just for me” at the end of my shower. 
I turn the cold water down, just a smidgen, so that the warm water suddenly feels hot.  Right before it –ooo!—feels like a spa steam shower.  32 seconds to clear my mind and think only of how good the hot water feels on my shoulders.

I thank God for the wisdom that he gave me to allow myself 32 seconds of prep in my car, after my seatbelt is fastened, so that I can multi-task on my way to my next destination.  I use these 32 seconds to text my spouse (on my way!—I use a shortcut on my phone that allows me to only type “mmmm” to get that message out there. 

I hit send then I shake up my bottle of nailpolish (I love the sound of the mixing beads hitting the glass bottle—and I’m still in search of PINK-A-BOO nailpolish.  For now, I am settling for Sheer Pink by Revlon.)  I slap on a coat of this lighter-than-pink nailpolish, start the car and I’m off!

I thank God that He gave me the wisdom to set my DVR to record one minute early and one minute late because Comcast seems to be off by 30 (dare I say 32, maybe?) seconds and I used to always miss the last punch line in a sitcom.

At 32 I don’t think I had ever sweated under my arms.  I just never sweated there.  I also never grew hair under my arms.  (TMI?)  I did not thank God for these things. 

Now, at the lovely stage of life I am in, just 32 minutes of housework and mothering can cause me to break into a sweat under my arms. 
And any day I expect to raise my arms to put on my bra only to discover that there’s a forest growing under there.  (Thank you, God, for not bringing that fantasy to life.)

And now that I’m 14+years past 32, 32 degrees is no longer warm.  I can’t get by with wearing only mittens to work and leaving my coat in the car.  Now, I find myself wearing my long wool coat to football games in September, when the temperature drops to 60.

This stage of my life has also blessed me with the ability to lose 32 hairs out of my head every time I comb my hair.
But don’t worry….
I seem to find new hairs to replace them:
in my black mustache,
a 1-inch black hair that appears (I swear!) out of nowhere under my chin,
a ¾ inch black hair that grows out of the middle of a mole on my left wrist.  I never see it as it grows.  It just shows up during work hours at that length every now and then.

At 32 I could function on 4 hours of sleep. 

At 46, I need a 32 minute nap every 2 hours.

At 32 I wasn’t thankful enough for the people I was surrounded by at work.

Now, I am increasingly surrounded by newly graduated 20-somethings who think that 32 is “old age,” and that an education can replace life experience.  (Hey! just wait ‘til you’re 14 years passed 32 you people who don't even know how to use a typewriter!!)

At 32, I didn’t thank God for a regular period.  For the years when every 32 days my open-ended sentence got punctuated.

Now, I am blessed with monthly surprises: 
   Surprise!  No period this month.
   Surprise!  Three light days this month.
   Surprise!  You’ll need to go to the bathroom 32 times today.
   Surprise!  Psych!  That wasn’t really your period starting.
And best of all:
   Surprise!  . . .this is only the beginning!

Well…since it’s taken me about 32 minutes to put my thoughts down I’ll go try to get 32 winks!
Good night!

And thank you, Lord!

Monday, September 9, 2013


I am a procrastinator. 
But I do not tolerate this trait in others very well.

All weekend I planned to do something FUNLike make cards.
Instead, I spent hours cleaning my DVR (aka, watching TV), and a good chunk of time playing a video game on my phone (Joey would laugh!).

And at 10:15 last night, after I decided to clean the kitchen counters (yes, the floor is still gross), I thought to myself, “Wow!  You still have a good three hours to make cards. 

At 11:30 I was still sitting in front of the TV.  I got hooked on Mad Men last week, and my addiction was strong.

Finally I turned off the TV and went to bed.  George decided to sleep in my room since it has the air conditioner.  Around 12:30 we turned the air off, and I fell asleep.

I awoke at 5:40 to a raging downpour, that continued until 8:07.  At 5:41 I double-check my alarm settings and went back to sleep.  Wrapped in the knowledge that the roof was not leaking, as it had during the last storm when Kent swore it was due to a backed up rain gutter.  The silence lulled me to sleep, along with the distant rolling thunder.

I awoke at 6:40, 6:44, 7:00, and finally at 7:10 I told George it was time to get up.

I proceeded to the bathroom to put on makeup since I didn’t want to carry make up in my bag to work.  Trying to simplify.
Trying to lessen the weight in my bag.
Trying to actually GET ready for work BEFORE I arrive at work.

Oh, who’s kidding who?
I was trying to make room for my bag of Snyder’s Pretzel sticks, which I am currently addicted to.

Knowing the rain was going to be an issue, I switched from my smaller bag (a thank you gift from a gal at work) to my normal larger-than-a-flat-screen-t-v bag. 

But after carrying the small bag for a few days, the large bag seemed extra roomy.

A certain indication that I need to take more stuff with me to work.

So I load up my bag with at least fifty water color pencils, an acrylic block, a sunflower stamp, paint brushes, a permanent ink pad, two pens, two markers.  And a pencil. 

Then I went back for my “only a mother can love it” wood mount rubber stamp that consists of
A rooster
Standing on a lamb
Standing on a pig who is
Standing on a cow.

I love this stamp. 

I also throw in a bottle of bacon bits, a 2-cup jar of homemade potato soup, an extra pantiliner, sinus and allergy medicine.

At this point, I am hot.

I remove my short-sleeved suit jacket because I know that it will easily slip across my large bag as I race through the downpour and dash (ok, trudge) across the parking lots to get to my building.  Once I get there, of course.

So I’m in the bathroom putting on my makeup. 
Yyyyeaaahhh, I should have spent 7 minutes this weekend bleaching my mustache.
Hind sight, and all that.

I’m working on my eyeliner.  I use an eyebrow pencil for eyeliner. 
I don’t know why.
But this morning it is dull.
But the sharpener is buried in the bottom of my large bag,
In the bottom of the box that contains 50+ colored pencils.
So I use the eyeliner pencil as-is, and clean it up with a Qtip. 
(Note to self: you only have four of these left.  It’s almost time to buy some more.)

I then begin to apply some Oil of Olay with sunscreen because the skies will surely clear up and I will surely want to spend my lunch hour walking in the park rather than at my desk with the rubberstamps and other crafty things in my purse. 

I mean, let’s face it.  We all knew the likelihood of my actually USING the items I put in my bag was slim.

As I put away the Oil of Olay I hear a drip drip drip.
In the ceiling.

In two places.


We had a problem in the bathroom once before with a leak, when it actually started leaking onto the floor.  So there’s nothing I can do about it except remember to tell Kent to call our landlord Mr. Wilson, and be thankful that we do not own the house.  This is why we rent. 

And I make a mental note to remind Kent to mention the----------

“….Mom there’s a leak!” George calls from the bedroom.

I sigh.

I told Kent about that before.
I’m shaking my head, but finish putting on my powder foundation (it really covered that red blotchy area where I have deep frown—I mean concentration – lines) when I can’t believe my ears.

Am I hearing that correctly?

I go to the bedroom.

And my ears did not deceive.


Now, given that there’s a literal downpour outside, what is inside is less severe.
Except that is only because it is being slowed by shingles, tar paper, plywood, insulation, and dry wall.

I know all this because of HGTV.

And I think:
I Told You So!!
Why didn’t you listen to me?
Why can’t you take care of something when the problem starts?
Why didn’t you do this
Why didn’t you do that?
Why is there a huge box of MAIL, surely filled with important bills to be paid and junk mail to open, sitting in the corner of my bedroom---on KENT’s side!!??

Upon closer inspection I see that there are three leaks in the bedroom, and I try to position the large tote, using a kitchen chair, strategically so that it catches all the water.

It’s impossible.

I thank God that I
And put away
The Towels.

But it’s Kent’s problem now.  I have to get ready for work.

I finish my makeup.
(How is it possible that a white dog hair can imbed itself among my eyelashes while I am sleeping?  It takes four tries to get it out.)

I’m wearing a new shirt today.

It’s too small.

But it will look great under a jacket. 

It’s more Vanessa than Margie in color.
But I saw it a week or so ago at Walmart.  Only one.  Someone obviously returned it to ours after purchasing it at another walmart store.  It’s a size 20 (misses).  I’m a 2X 3X 4X or so (womens), but I took it as providential when it was still at WalMart on Saturday when I went and since it was only $9.87 I bought it.  It has lovely buttons all the way down the back of the shirt…..  It’ll be fine under my jacket, as long as I don’t plan to do anything that requires my arms to be over my head, at which point the shirt will raise and I’m pretty sure people will see my bra.

“Misses” must be shorter than “Women”.

Kent comes home.
I fill him in on the rain leaks, including the new one around the back door.

I resist, really hard, the urge to say I told you so.
I deserve an academy award.

I put on my ultra nice short trench coat, tie the belt, put on my bag, grab the dvds so I can return Mad Men (hoping they get season six SOON), pick up the umbrella, kiss the husband, say goodbye to the dog, and I’m out the door.

Kent said I needed gas.
That I might need it before I get to work.

The attached picture is what greeted me this morning.

I’m sitting on the hill in Jonesville praying I’ll coast to the gas station that is at the bottom of the hill.
But I am not too concerned because I know from playing my video game “Hill Climber” that the momentum from my vehicle going downhill will get me up the small incline to the gas station. 

I get gas.
And a 2liter of Pepsi.
I’m going to need it.

I get to work.
It stops raining.
I gather my bag and Pepsi, lock the doors, double-check I have my keys, get to my office, share the story about the gas with some of my co-workers.

Hang up my coat.

Pull down the sleeves of my new shirt since they are too tight and ride up.  They’re more like capped sleeves.

I go to put on my jacket
….it’s right at home where I left it.

Happy Muuunday to Me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Aunt Polly

My Aunt Polly died in December.  We miss her.
Every day.

When she was eating chips or cheetos or pretzels, and she was finished for a while (cause with a group the size of our family, we never stop eating for very long), she'd fold the bag over.  Just once.

That is so cool.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Sigh…I love baseball.  .

This article brought back fond memories of my now eleven-year-old’s tee-ball league. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/45045154/

My son was born with baseball skills.  He could pitch on target at the age of three.  People used to pull over on the side of the road to watch him pitch to his grandpa; he’d be at it for hours at a time.  At age four we moved to a new neighborhood and a stranger pulled into our driveway one day to ask if George was going to play ball.  I knew nothing about the ball league, and the kind stranger (a coach) assured me that even though the deadline for signing up had long since passed, I should contact the village office right away.  …and be sure to give his name as The Coach.

All this to say that I was SHOCKED at our first tee-ball practice.  But not as shocked as my son was.  There he was wearing his well-worn mitt in the infield, down in his stance waiting for the first batter to hit the ball.

The batter hit the ball, all right.  And it went about five feet.

But what left George and I dumbstruck was that ALL the rest of the team, despite some were playing in the outfield, RAN to get the ball at the same time.  At the same time!!  (They literally looked like chickens at feeding time.  Years later, that is still how I refer to the peewee league.)

And to rub salt in the wound—they didn’t keep score!!!  And they were allowed like TEN STRIKES. 

It was more than we could comprehend.  There I was sitting in the stands with a score book, and all the other parents were just there to encourage the fun.  Craziness!!!

Throughout the season George would ask me through the fence for the score, and when I responded honestly the other parents would give me “that look.”  But I didn’t care.  Their kids were squatted in right field digging for worms and tossing dirt in the air.  My son was not allowed to play in the dirt—and never wanted to.  Our motto was always, “If the Tigers can’t do it on the field or in the dugout, neither will we.”

Last year George was drafted by an unknown team, full of first-time players.  They won only two games.  Despite the agony of defeat, it was a good lesson.  A very good lesson…for this mom.

But I whisper a prayer every now and then that the call I get about this year’s draft is from a familiar voice. 


Friday, November 2, 2012

Tuesday is . . .

....my favorite day of the week.

I was up at midnight to welcome in the day.  I watched Switched at Birth.  I read a little bit with George.  I let the dog out.  I let the dog in.  Out.  In.  Out….  You get the picture.

I went to bed around 12:30.

In the same bed with my husband, who was snoring like an elephant (which is why I was up at 12:00 to begin with!), and with my son (thunder was rolling in!).

I crawl in the bed, and ease myself down.  Adjusting the covers just right so that I am not terribly hot or terribly cold.  I balance myself on my side—just right—so that I am not falling out of bed.  (I mean, c’mon! These guys are not small.  Nor am I.)

And I get to THATPLACE where you know you can settle your brain for a long fall nap, when Darla-the-Devil-Dog comes in to say she’d like to get in bed too.  She’s worried about George.  And Kent.  She’s pacing and looking through the house for George.  She doesn’t like the thunder, and she keeps putting her feet on top of my hip: her way of saying “I’m over here.  Let me in.  Hold my paw.”  And with each scrape of her unbearably long nails (don’t get me started on that!!) she leaves behind a grain of sand.

A small grain—smaller than a mustard seed—can keep me awake for hours!  I have to get out the packing tape and get it off my sheet.

I yell at the dog.
Kent tells her to lay down.
And she does. 

Guess she just wanted to hear his voice.

And at 6:01 my clock goes off.

I get up, and frantically clean up my craft space because I promised to make ten Halloween invitations for a girl at work.  Yes, I could have done it last night.  But why do it then when I knew I could do it later?  “Hello.  My name is Margie.  I am a procrastinator.”

The alarm goes off at 7.  Time for George to get up.

The alarm goes off at 7:23.  Time to take George to school. 

My hands are covered in orange and pumpkin and black ink.  But who cares!?  It’s CRAFTY!!

I take the boy to school.

On Time.
On Time for breakfast.

It’s a miracle.

I go back home.  Finish coloring some parts of the cards.  Stamp the envelopes.  Blow dry my hair.

Add some glitter to the cards.

Put in some hair gunk.

Put on eye liner.

Blow dry the glitter I put on the cards.
It’s 8:30.

I’m officially late for work.

Leave the driveway. 

Hello fresh air!

I roll down the windows.

Turn on the tunes!  Bubba can’t come in this morning so I switch to another station.
I turn on the heat.  Floor only.


The radio DJ says something infinitely funny.

I call my work voicemail to recite what the DJ says.  I’ve gotta write that down when I get to work.

Can’t hear my phone, so I roll my window up half-way.

Leave the message.  That was a good one! 

I’m loving technology!  What an amazing time we live in! 

How fantastic is our God that he allowed us to be born in America!

I tell myself I am OK with paying $200/month for our cell phones.  I love having it!
Turn the heat up, it’s getting chilly.

I hock a luggie. (How do you spell Loogie?)

It must come out.

I spit out the window.


It sticks.


To the INSIDE of the window.


…and so my Tuesday begins…. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quilt As You Go: the New Hobby

I think I mentioned that I have like so much creativity bottled up inside me lately that it's hard for me to settle down and actually complete a project.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you my new love of sewing!  Let me begin by saying that my mom is this phenomenal sewer.  In fact, she can do anything.  But for her birthday in March, I determined with myself that I would make a quilt for my mother.  Not a full-size quilt, but a lap quilt.

I found a lovely pre-cut pack of squares at a small fabric store in Jackson, MI, called Country Stitches.  (Who wouldn't love a store called that!??)  Then one day while waiting for my favorite deli Hillsdale Filling Station (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hillsdale-Filling-Station-Deli/160368094007560) I walked over to the sewing machine store there in downtown Hillsdale and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had the little square packs, too!  A treasure, in my own backyard.  I had no idea!!  In fact, Trevathan's had TONS of different fabric CHARM PACKS, but this one from MODA just spoke to me.  So I bought some and headed home.

I was terrified to begin....
Am I really going to try this?

But I knew I had to do it.
For better or worse.
And since I am already poorer,
I dove in.....

I sewed my mom's quilt top.  


We received this iron as a wedding gift in 1993. I loved that I was ironing every single seam with the same iron I'd used for almost 20 years.
I thought of my mother each time I ironed a seam.  How she toiled and cared for us growing up, never complaining even one time.  How she spent countless hours at her own sewing machine to create the most beautiful and custom-made clothing for her little girls.  How she could design and sew anything my heart could imagine!
But I realized very quickly that I didn't know how to actually quilt.  Time ran out and I had to wrap it as it was.  Still, it was beautiful, and I loved creating it.  (I hope she loved it as much as I loved making it.)

That project inspired me to make one for my daughter, who was soon moving away.  But this time around I was determined to do the WHOLE THING.  So I squared my shoulders and decided to make a lap quilt using the QUILT AS YOU GO technique!

It was UH-MA-ZING!!!
I was addicted from the start!!
I made a third quilt before I finally hit pause!  (I'll post pictures of that gem below.)

For Vanessa's quilt, I first began by sewing together the charm pack blocks that I wanted to use, and also chose a coordinating fabric to add more contrast to the quilt.  I cut those into strips, and was ready to begin assembly--the step before sewing begins!  

Step One:  layer the backing fabric, the batting, and the quilt top together.  It's important to line up the top of the quilt.  The sides don't have to be even because you can trim them up later on.

Use lots of pins!

 Step Two: You make your first seam across the top, using a 1/4 inch allowance. Sew all the way across.  Add your next strip on top of the first strip, right sides together.  Pin all the layers together, then stitch this all the way across.  Take the layers to your ironing board and on the right side, press down the second strip of fabric.  Add your third strip, right sides together and repeat until the quilt is the size that you want.

Not a problem!!

Step Three:  Trip up the edges so that all four sides of your quilt are even.  You can see in this photo that the edges are even.Like magic, your quilt is almost complete!

Step Four:  Apply binding.  I chose to make my own.  THIS TOTALLY ROCKED!!

Using the scissors that my sister gave me about five years ago for the very first time, I cut fabric out and sewed it into strips.

 Pressing it half then sewing the raw edges to the quilt.

Final Step:  By hand fold over and blind stitch the binding to the front of the quilt. If you do it right, you won't even see your stitches.  I did not do it correctly.

With each stitch I took I thanked God for the precious gift he had blessed me with so many years ago.  My baby girl.  Born with personality and confidence and a joyful heart.  She has blessed and touched so many lives.  What a gift that was!


And here's a quick peek at the quilt I made for Lynn.  She asked me to make her a lap quilt for an upcoming trip, picked out the fabric herself.  I was nervous to make something requested by someone else.  Especially using a fabric I'd never used before, but it was great.
So sassy!!  Sew Sassy!!

In my hands you can see the fourth quilt I made.  This is more of a receiving blanket--no batting involved.  It's super-fast.  I love love loved it and can't wait to get some gorgeous flannel and try one for real.  This one was for her dogs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Days ago, I was sitting at my craft table, trying to chat with my cousin when an ant runs across my table. The little bug! I smush him with a business card. 
Take that!! 

A little more chatting with Sandra and along comes that bug's brother! 
I tape him to a piece of Scotch tape. 

Which gets me to thinking about bug spray, as I'm pretty sure that I wasn't invited to the family reunion that's going on somewhere in the nether-lands of my craft room.  And when I crash that reunion, I want to be prepared!

So I'm sitting here, and what I want to know is where my son left the bug spray. He's at his grandma's, about 90 minutes away.

So I call him.

"George, do you know where the bug spray is?" I ask.

He said, with total confidence, "Next to the microwave." 
Nope, not there.

Confidence again, "In the broom closet."
Nope, not there.

"Is it in the coat closet?"
"On the shelf, maybe."
"On the bookshelf."
Nope, nope, nope.

Finally, I say, "so what you really mean is you don't know where you left the bug spray."
And he says, "that is right."
With confidence.

AHHHHHH!!! He's not even a teenager yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I See the Light

We all deal with goodbyes differently.  This weekend, we're saying goodbye by sharing our creativity!

My daughter is moving next week--about 6 hours away from us.  Before leaving she came to visit for a couple of days and we decided to do some crafting and creativity while she was here.  She decided to antique a frame to hang above her bed at her new place.  Here she is, pausing her painting to pose for a picture.

So beautiful.

She then painted my lampshade for me while I was painting the base.  I found this on clearance at the Big Store, and plan to use it in my kitchen.  (Actually, we began our weekend by meeting up at a local store that specializes in primitive and Americana style--right up my area.  Bretty's has some great stuff, and you should definitely check them out!  It was there that I was inspired to move forward with my plan to ROOSTERNIZE my kitchen!!)

The lamp met my criteria: it was small, and it was cheap.  $4 cheap.

(Let's not talk about the lovely King Tut Gold paint the way it came....)
I began by taping off the black base.  I wanted to keep the project within my budget of $5, so I used the paint I had at home:  Spray paint left behind by previous inhabitants.  But since the paint was a brighter and more orange-y version of fire engine red, I also used some of my son's flat black paint that he used to paint his bicycle.
Painting the lampshade.   

Let dry overnight.  Then I stamped using Close to My Heart's Friendship Bouquet set (page 142 of the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book) sunflowers.  Let me say, the stamping was awful!  Lots of problems there, but in the end, I love it.

Just remember as you create:
          we create with LOVE and JOY,
               not with perfection.

She's Gone

Is it too early to say "She's Gone?"

I just watched my daughter drive away, heading back to her grandparents' home.  She'll be there another 4-5 days and then will leave for Louisville, Kentucky.  Five hours thirty minutes.  Three hundred fourteen miles.  Two interstate highways.  Two states.  Away.

I want to sink down to the floor and bawl my eyes out.  If I were in a movie, I'd have done that.  Grabbed a box of tissues, leaned against the front door and slowly and gracefully sllllliiiiipppppped my way down to the floor, pulled my knees up to my chest and began to weep.

After a while I would have blown my nose loudly and let my head roll to the side of my shoulder.  I'd close my eyes for just a moment, and take a deep cleansing breath.

I'd open my eyes, and it'd take a moment for them to focus, as my head is still sideways, but I would find myself looking at my bookshelf where -- miraculously -- sit photo albums displaying images of her life.

I'd open the album that caught my eye and I'd see her as a baby.

There'd be a lovely montage with equally lovely music as I peruse the photos.  They would end with a fabulous picture of her wedding day, where the photographer caught a special moment exchanged just between the bride and groom, allowing the on-looker a small glimpse of the joy and adventure that await them.

In the movie,  I'd close the album and hug it in my arms, tightly to my chest.

And I'd smile.

The music would continue to fade as the scene fades black and credits begin to roll.

But this is no movie.
And my body shape won't allow me a graceful slide to the floor.
And I'll be in my grave for years before I'm able to pull my knees to my chest.

So, what I actually do is stand on the porch with my door open, letting out the airconditioning and watch her drive away as far as I can see her.

I come in, take off my shoes, take a deep breath, tell myself I'll see her on Wednesday--it's her birthday, afterall.  I can cry then.  I take another deep breath, and refuse to allow myself to crawl into bed with her dad and break down.

Instead, I run into my craft room to record this memory here.  Because my baby is leaving.  And threehundredfourteenmilesisveryfaraway.

But I am proud of them, for who they are and who they will become.  For facing this adventure despite their anxieties.  For going forth and LIVING their lives, not watching it out the window or on the television.

Proud of them for not settling for jobs that just make money, but for wanting more out of life.  For knowing what they want to become, and working their way to get there.

Good bye for now, Goose.  Mommy loves you.

My babies:  Vanessa and George.  At cousin Angie's wedding in June 2012.