Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Definition of Christine

Christine is Latin for "Follower of Christ"........or a horror novel by Stephen King written in 1983. Depends on your Google results.

Ahhh.......that doesn't help.

OK, start easy:  Christine is a mom. Christine is a wife. Christine is a daughter, a sister, a friend, a cousin, a niece, a granddaughter.

That's all well and good, but doesn't define me beyond my relationship to others.  At times I stop and really try to define who I am to myself and get a little discouraged.  In a grotesque way I often wonder what my obituary would say.  "She was a nice person. Didn't do anything extraordinary, wasn't the member of any organizations and didn't have a passion for anything outside of a cold glass of pinot grigio with a few ice cubes."

But seriously, now that I'm going to be forced to talk about myself at job interviews, I'm starting to worry.  I don't want to let unemployment define me.  And I don't want to start a pattern of writing and blogging about how I can no longer "label" myself as a VP, or as a working mom, or even a stay at home mom, because I am in that in-between place right now.  But I have to figure out how I want to present myself to others in order to try and secure that next gig.

On the flip side, I have incredible pride in the fact that I'm raising two children who don't use many labels so why am I obsessed with my own? They've never used black or white to describe someones skin - they use light or dark.  We've discussed when and how to use fat and skinny and we remind them that people come in all shapes and sizes.  They don't see wealth or poverty in what someone "has" but understand that we do our best to help those who need some assistance, whether it's food or clothes.

So when it comes to trying to describe or define my own purpose, it gets pretty complicated. Do you ever think about your definition?  And is mine now officially "neurotic"? Could be...probably don't want to start off with that in a job interview, huh?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Natures calm

When things are beyond your control and it seems like you'll never get back to that place that was so familiar and comfortable, nature has a sweet way of reminding you to stop...breathe...and instills a welcome calm into the madness.

Sunset   June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tipped upside down

I always proclaim, "It's harder to find a new job when you have a job, then when you don't!"

I guess I'm about to find out if that is true.

Sneaking around on job interviews and to meetings is so stressful when you are unhappy at your place of work. The lies. The fake sick days. Ugh.  However, when you love your place of work, it is just as stressful to find out that you no longer have that happy place. The shock. The sadness. The despair. Ugh.

My draft post for last week was supposed to be a tribute to my husband and my Dad for Father's Day.  Instead, that got dumped in a bucket when I found out that the world as I have known it for 3 years was about to change.

I explained to my children what happened so they wouldn't be freaked out when I started picking food out of the garbage and shouting (more than normal) "This toast is too damn expensive to throw away without eating the crust!" My daughter started brainstorming ideas. They are as follows:

Work at school
Work at a restaurant "You'd be really good at that" (been there, done that)
Work at the Mall (her favorite pick)

and after her shower last night:

Work at....uhm...well...I can't think of any more

Yeah kid, neither can I.

Onward. Upward. Outward. Chin up. Can't cry until they foreclose on the house. There are no tears in unemployment.

Keep the wine away. The pity party could get ugly.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You go get 'em little man

Congratulations to my snug bug who officially graduated from preschool.  Holla!

He started the daycare/preschool process much sooner than his sister did so he's a pro at ABC's and 123's now.  His thirst for knowledge blows me away. We love you, little man. Bring on kindergarten!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When life hands you lemons, squirt them in your eyes

What have I been up to the past couple of weeks?

Let's see. There's been a sudden, unexpected death. Followed by a somewhat expected death. Followed by an expected death. Not up for smelling lilies again any time soon. How did they become the dedicated flower of funeral arrangements? And must they be so strong?

Then I rearranged my schedule 100 times to accommodate canceled school days for my daughter because death #2  was a teacher (which still didn't allow me time to attend any of her services). That gave me just enough time to rearrange the schedule again the next week for 3 consecutive 1/2 days of school, a girl scout ceremony, preschool graduation (a very happy event, Thank God! Post to come soon.), a work event and another wake.

Somehow I managed to find time before my evening work event to travel into the Boston office only to be told "Hey, love the work you've done but the people who pay the bills want to make cuts and lucky you, you're first in line to go. We'll let you know by the end of the week." *mouth drops open*

Which brings us to said "end of week" and I am taking more time off so my children aren't celebrating their last of day of school only to be dumped right back into a pseudo-summer session the very next day until camp starts June 28.  Should be lovely to coordinate vacation days with them and a pink slip.  Drink much? I think I will, thanks.

So hand over the lemons.  A direct shot in the eyes would be much more pleasant right about now than what I've been up to.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Hairy situation

I recently started taking pictures off of my laptop (if you heard it churning and chugging you'd understand why) and storing them on some flash drives.  This should free up space and hopefully keep me from losing all the precious family moments, captured by digital technology, so for generations to come they can all huddle around their portable viewing devices and reminisce about Great-Grammy Sierra's family. (Can you tell I have mortality on the brain?)

Man, do I miss film! Photo albums rock.

Anyway, as I was copying, moving and cleaning out these fabulous memories it occurred to me that I need to share the evolution of my daughter's hair with you. Because it's just too amazing to keep on a flash drive.

And so the journey begins. Age 2 (Heat Miser has a run for his money)

"She looks like Annie." And the identity crisis began..Mommy, what is my real name? Age 3

Finally long enough to be in her face, but thanks to one of her preschool teachers we didn't need to worry about that at all.  Age 4

Here come the headbands. Every color. Every day. Very humid day in this picture. Funny, can't tell with her hair. Looks the SAME every day. Age 6

At last! Long enough for real braids. From Afro to shoulder length in 7 years. How quickly does your kids hair grow? I can count on my fingers the number of time she's had a haircut. Age 7

I hope she grows up to love it as much as everyone else does.  Because as a woman with curly - no frizzy hair - there is nothing I love more than to have it blown straight.  Oy vey. I'm in trouble.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fish Out of Water

Driving across town my son asked me, "Mommy, do fish live out of water?"

Me: "No honey. They live in water. Have you ever seen a fish walking on a sidewalk?"

Him: "Ha ha. No. I haven't...but I think I'll write a book about that."

Me: "That would be awesome. A story about a fish that lives out of the water and can run around the yard with a dog, or live with a family?"

Him: "No. A book of things that don't exist. Like trees in stores."

Ahhhhhhh...alrighty then.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Goodnight Ginny

I wish I could share with you some of our wedding video.  It was taken by a friend - who is not a professional - but who did a better job than any professional could have ever done.

He simply went around and asked people to say something into the camera and since he isn't one to take No for an answer, everyone pretty much obliged.  And it is hysterical. And we love it. And it's hard to believe it was almost 10 years ago.

On that video is a wonderful woman who liked to laugh. A lot. And loud. And with the raspy sound of a smoker and the howl of a drinker - but that was the best part. And she is a highlight on our video - flirting with the "videographer", dancing and kissing into the lens.  She only had sons, so growing up she used to treat me like a daughter every time she'd see me. We'd sneak off to talk about boys. Or for a cigarette. And when I was older we'd clink our glasses over some funny joke or comment. She carted around her wine coolers or always had something "on the rocks" in her hand. She never failed to tell me she thought I was beautiful. And I knew she meant it.

Today I learned of the death of  her dear soul whose time with us suddenly and unexpectedly came to the end of a long, hard journey, but whose love of life and family will stay with us beyond her time on earth.

I'll have those images of her forever thanks to that video and the memories I hold close to my heart.

Goodnight Ginny. You were a hoot and always showed me so much love.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Running update

Remember that Couch to 5K program I started WAY back when?

Well, the couch won.  Ok, not the couch, but I decided I am not a runner. Don't like it AT ALL. In fact, can't stand it. I don't like the bouncy, bouncy of running. I don't like the breathing part. And my knees hate the whole stinking idea.

No worries. I haven't stopped exercising, I've just decided that running a 5K is not in my near future.  Maybe I'll explore it again down the road, but for now I'm happy mixing up my cardio with different levels and speeds on the elliptical.

As a friend recently explained, "I'm certainly not a gazelle when I run."  

Me neither, sister. Some would argue I more closely resemble an elephant running...for sure!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy (?) Memorial Day

It seemed odd this weekend wishing people a Happy Memorial Day.

Is it supposed to be Happy? Isn't this holiday all about losing loved ones at war? I understand we want to celebrate the sacrifices made by the brave men and women in the services, but as we lounged around the fire pit, swam in the pool and ate American BBQ fare, it felt weird hugging people and shouting "Happy Memorial Day!"

I'm certainly not poking fun at the holiday or asking that we change it, I just don't think that I think about it in the right way. Don't get me wrong, we are proud to be Americans. We wave our country's flag in front of our house almost every day (barring the cold months when it freezes up) but we aren't big on parades or visiting relative's graves or talking about family members who served.

Maybe because I never actually met those family members to hear their stories, or maybe because we are a family with few men (and fewer who were able to fight for our freedom), I just don't find myself "celebrating" Memorial Day so much for the Memorial part as for the Day part.

I guess whatever your tradition on that holiday might be, one thing is certain, and that is we can all appreciate the Day we get to spend with friends and family who are with us now to welcome in the summer season and for that I am absolutely Happy!