Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My honey

So this month, my online book club read a very interesting book called Lost Edens, about a woman in an abusive relationship-not physical, but emotionally abuse. It was an intriguing read for me since my own relationship is so different than hers. I couldn't understand her in many ways, but I understand that when you are in the situation, it seems different.
To be honest, I struggled over what to write-Jamie was so honest in her writing, but I couldn't think of anything that raw that I could write about (not to mention that the other members can be intimidating because they all write such polished pieces and are accomplished women, and I am sitting here typing out my ideas that always sound so much better in my head than when I actually get them down on the screen!).
In Lost Edens, author Jamie Patterson struggles to save her marriage which may or may not be already over. Keeping her attempts a secret from her family, she attempts to mold herself into the wife her husband wants her to be. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by Lost Edens by Jamie Patterson on book club day, October 27 at From Left to Write. (Please do-the posts are fascinating! I love peeking into others' lives!)
However, as I read this book, I kept thinking how lucky I am in my relationship. My husband truly is my best friend, as well as my husband. We genuinely enjoy spending time together. He is a great Dad to our kids-they are so lucky to have him. We have known each other since we were 16 years old. I actually met him through his girlfriend at the time, a friend of mine. She graduated a year before me and went away to college, and I still saw him around our high school campus. We just clicked. We never had any trouble talking and would spend hours chatting away. And I was voted Most Shy in high school! Our last names were the same, so we started joking that one day we'd get married. In fact, the first time he brought me over to his parents' house, he introduced me as his future wife. I am sure his parents were a bit confused-who was this girl? We weren't even dating! I graduated and moved to southern California, but we kept in touch and saw each other on my school vacations when I came home. We had a core group of friends in common, and that kept us linked. We ended up kissing for the first time my freshman year winter vacation, but after mixed messages on both sides (I guess...), we ended up not speaking for almost a year. After we finally made up, we stayed close and when we started dating after I graduated from college, within one month, we knew that was it. We'd found our other half. We've been through a lot-moves, houses, apartments, jobs, hard times, good times, 3 sweet children, and 20 years after that first fateful kiss, we are still together, happily married for 11 years and looking forward to many more years together. Reading books like Jamie's makes me appreciate, once again, my luck in finding my Joe. I hope Jamie finds her other half (or maybe she has found him already! :-))

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And what's new with you....

I know I have some relatives that read this and would like updates on the kiddos...


Loving 3rd grade. Reading Harry Potter, doing great in math, finding a competitive edge in him, finished season 3 of Splashball (jr water polo). Loves drawing and creating-very creative. Making a movie with daddy about aliens (one of his obsessions). I think he's really into sci-fi! He ran for 3rd grade senator, but so many of his friends ran, that they "cancelled" each other out and someone else won (with not that many votes!). But we were proud of him-he had to write a speech and present it at an assembly.


Lost his first tooth and he was so excited! Enjoying first grade. I can tell you as his teacher, that things come very easily for him (especially math!). He is reading a lot now-trying to read everything. In the middle of soccer season, which he really isn't loving. Wants to try tennis next. Loves to fix things with daddy and is always found with his ipod (favs: Awolnation and Eminem!).

Miss Social Butterfly is loving school. She loves "reading" (reads to her dolls every night). Loves dolls, nail polish, shoes-anything girly! Helping Dad with cooking (mom likes to do it herself!). Doesn't like to sleep...last one to fall asleep at night. Sometimes it's just K and Dad up! Talking all the time...a real chatterbox! Likes to tease us-will say "I just kidding!"

Having a busy, but fun fall. We've been spending a lot of time in the Santa Cruz area, and we really like it over there. I could live there! Beach and culture!
Our family country project is coming along slowly...we've read a couple of books and put a huge wall map in the hallway. I found a German restaurant in the Santa Cruz area to try next time we go over there. I need to stay on top of it. Now that we don't have things going on almost night (soccer practice and splashball), I think I can schedule more family evenings. not that we don't spend every minute together as it is-we've been taking family walks when it gets dark. But I want to do more family meeting type evenings. Does anyone else do that?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Family *time*

Deborah Reed's debut novel Carry Yourself Back to Me follows heartbroken singer-songwriter Annie Walsh as she digs into the past to exonerate her brother from murder. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by Carry Yourself Back to Me on book club day, October 4 at From Left to Write.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked the descriptions of Florida and reading about the family dynamics. However, what stood out to me and something I kept thinking about after closing the book was the fact that we never know what is going to happen in life. Annie lost her dad suddenly, and her fiancee left her without warning. I know we all have had things happen in life that we weren't prepared for or didn't want to happen. I lost my own father at the age of 4, and I've missed out on the chance to know him. Many times I wonder about the some of the character traits I have and wonder if he had them too. I don't even know things like his favorite color or what he liked to eat. That makes me sad.
I talked to a few of my friends about this topic as we celebrated a "Girls' Weekend" together in Monterey this past weekend. Ashley said that she thinks of the quote that you "need to live your life like each day could be your last" (paraphrased by me). So true. It makes me feel teary eyed thinking about that, but also encourages me to hug and kiss my kids and my husband Joe as much as I can. It makes me settle for a less than spotless home when instead, I could be hanging around with the family, chatting or playing board games. It makes me question some of the things I choose to do, things that take away from my family. I've tried to cut back on things that seem like time wasters, including TV. I found that I was spending tired evenings slumped in front of the TV, instead of spending quality time my Joe. It's so easy to sit there, mindless. Which brings to mind the quote about "on your deathbed, what regrets will you have-things you did or things you didn't do?" I don't want to have ANY when it comes to my family. What about you???