Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Once again...how on earth can I pick just ONE favorite memory? Do I choose when my children were born or when I was falling in love with Shell? Our ceremony in Vegas or my boy earning his black belt in Karate? Singing my first solo or listening to my girl sing hers? I'm modifying this one instead. Let's do it this way. I'll pick some news-related memories from each decade of my life so far.
Memories from my first 10 years (1974-1983):
MTV. It premiered when I was 7 years old and although I don't remember exactly when we actually got cable and I started watching it, I remember seeing Michael Jackson's Thriller video and the Making Of special which premiered when I was 9. I watched MTV after school and we'd usually have it on all weekend long. My mom listened to the same music I did, so she didn't mind at all.
Charles & Diana's wedding. Oh, how I remember that wedding and the obsession that followed surrounding the couple and Princess Diana in particular. I loved everything about the pomp and circumstance and the dresses and the men in uniform and the royal traditions... I still am intrigued and enamored with British royalty from before Diana and ever since.
Memories from the second decade (1984-1993):
The Night Stalker- Richard Ramirez. During the summer of 1985, Southern California was in a constant state of fear thanks to the serial raping and murders occurring throughout the area. I remember that we couldn't leave our windows open overnight because that is how he was getting into houses and everyone was just afraid. When he was caught by an angry mob of people, the feeling of relief was widespread.
Challenger explosion. I was in 6th grade in 1986 and the launch of the space shuttle Challenger was a huge deal because of teacher Christa McAuliffe. The launch was being shown at school and I remember that a friend and I had been helping in one of the lower grades and were on our way back to class when someone ran out and said that the shuttle had blown up. We hurried back and all I remember seeing on the television before they turned it off were the white trails left in the sky.
AIDS. By now, HIV and AIDS were well-known sources of news stories, tabloid gossip and real-life discussions. The "gay disease" had grown from a nasty STD spread by gay men having unprotected sex in bath houses to an epidemic that has claimed over 25 million people including Rock Hudson, Ryan White, Freddie Mercury, Anthony Perkins, Arthur Ashe and Elizabeth Glaser.
Memories from my third decade (1994-2003):
O.J. Simpson. The murder, the low-speed police chase of the white Bronco, the arrest, the trial, the verdict. It was on the news, it interrupted television programming, it was the topic of conversation and it brought interracial relationships, domestic violence and racism into the news in a huge way.
JonBenét Ramsey. Just one year after we moved to Colorado, JonBenet was found murdered in her home in Boulder. To say it was all over the news would be a huge understatement. The subsequent suspicion of her parents and brother along with the spotlight it brought to kids in pageants was everywhere.
2004 to the present:
Michael Jackson's death. Enough said.
President Obama. From the race between Obama and Clinton to the race between Obama and McCain, I've stood in favor of the man who would become our first African-American president. His election truly gave hope to a country that prides itself on equality but fails to practice it.
Not included above: major earthquakes, notable high-order multiple births, 9/11, Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine shootings, Princess Diana's death, Oprah Winfrey's reign, Rodney King, Hurricane Katrina, Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and Y2K.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Hmmm... and Hmmm some more...
I've learned that these challenges are best answered in bullets! Does that count? :)
- Despite what I thought as a teen, my parents weren't really out to ruin my life and they didn't hate me. I've learned that they actually did know what they were talking about a lot of the time. However, I've also learned that their way is not the only way and choosing to parent my kids differently is a decision that should and will be made by Shell and I and not by those who parented us. Their time is over, they had their fun and now it's our turn to either succeed or fail.
- I've learned that having kids is exactly like and nothing like what I was told and thought it would be before they were here. It is much easier in some ways and so much harder in others. I've learned that being a mom and more specifically being their mom is my favorite part of life so far.
- I've learned that just because two people love each other more than words and fight to be together and live the life they dreamed about, it will still be hard and challenging. Love is easy, but relationships are not. This is not something I've enjoyed learning, as this has led to more learning about how to communicate effectively and what works and what doesn't when you have two people who show their feelings in opposite ways. This one is an education in progress.
- I've learned that I can do more than I thought. I guess that means that I've learned to have more confidence in myself. I've learned that although it is the hardest thing I've done next to parenting, I can go to school and work and have a family. I'm not always good at managing my time, but it is possible. And I've learned that I'm not as horrible at math as I thought, I just have to work at it.
From Maria .
1) ONE OF YOUR SCARS. HOW DID YOU GET IT?
We had a Shar-Pei named Panda when I was young who was not a fan of other dogs. She was the sweetest dog to any other person who came over, but if a dog walked down our street, she would jump at the front door and growl and bark and snarl. She was out for blood. The only dog that she tolerated was our Chihuahua, which was a good thing since they both lived inside. However, we had another Shar-Pei who was our outside dog (this is when we lived in California) and she had the run of the backyard. The two female Shar-Pei's were not friends, and one time did get into a rather nasty fight, mostly due to Panda's intense dislike of other canine's. So, because Panda couldn't use the backyard to relieve herself, we hooked a rope lead to a stake in the front yard and would let her have the run of the yard. The lead was just long enough that she couldn't step foot on the sidewalk, but could get to pretty much all the rest of the yard. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, my scar. Typically, if Panda was on the lead and a dog was walked down the street, she would run at full speed from wherever she was in the yard until she pulled the rope taut. If someone was actually on the grass when this happened, you needed to basically jump over the rope so it wouldn't trip you. One such time, I happened to be in the yard and reacted too slowly to clear the rope. I now have a lovely scar above my ankle where the rope tore into my skin. Simply calling it a rope burn really doesn't do it justice.
2) WHAT IS ON THE WALLS OF YOUR BEDROOM?
My bedroom, like the rest of my house, is not very decorated. Hanging on the walls of my bedroom right now are: a 2011 Bones calendar, a 2010 Michael Jackson calendar (I couldn't find one for this year, so I just use it for the pictures), the poster that Shell's co-workers made for her when she went to days, and this framed poster.
3) WHAT DOES YOUR MOBILE PHONE LOOK LIKE?
It's a black iPhone 3GS.
4) WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
I listen to a classic rock station on the radio, or to the station the kids like which is basically a Top 40's type. When I'm listening to my iPod, all bets are off. It's a mix of everything.
5) DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME YOU WERE BORN?
I was born at 7:37 AM.
6) WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW?
To not be in debt.
7) WHO DO YOU MISS?
I miss my best friend and my sisters and my nieces and nephews. I miss being with my extended family on holidays. And sometimes I miss the days when my kids were little and thought we were the best people on the planet and smiled every time they saw us and gave hugs that didn't hold back.
8) IS ANYONE IN LOVE WITH YOU OR HAS A CRUSH ON YOU?
Well, I sure hope so...otherwise, what I am working so hard at?
9) WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU KISSED?
10) WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME?
11) THE BEST TV SHOW EVER CREATED?
I can't think of one "BEST". Of the shows currently on the air though, it's a tie between The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and Bones. But, I don't really watch many more than that, so I'm not really choosing from that many.
12) THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO?
13) DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK?
No, not really.
14) THE LAST PERSON TO MAKE YOU CRY?
I can't remember. I guess that's a good thing.
15) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOGNE/PERFUME?
I don't have one. I haven't worn perfume in about 7 or 8 years and Shell hasn't for probably about 4 years. I liked the way Tommy Girl smelled on her, but I have a sentimental fondness for White Diamonds perfume. That's what she wore when we were first together and when I get a whiff of it now, I can remember how I'd feel when we were close enough for me to smell it on her. :)
16) WHAT KIND OF HAIR/EYE COLOR DO YOU LIKE IN THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Eye color and hair color really isn't all that important to me, on either sex. Most eyes are beautiful, regardless of their coloring. And I really don't notice hair color that much.
17) WOULD YOU RATHER BE SMART OR FUNNY?
I guess I'd rather be smart. I don't think it would be that fun to be dumb and funny, because how would you know if people are laughing because you tell a good joke or are laughing because your lack of intelligence is funny?
18) COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINKS?
Coffee. I cannot STAND energy drinks. I don't like the way they smell or taste.
19) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING?
Just one? Can't do it. My favorite topped pizza is the Gourmet Vegetarian from Papa Murphy's take and bake. It has white sauce instead of red and is topped with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini and cheese. It also has onions on it, but I ask them to substitute more of the good stuff and leave the onions off. It is SO GOOD!
20) IF YOU COULD EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I think I want that yummy pizza! :)
21) WHO IS THE LAST PERSON WHO MADE YOU MAD?
I don't really get mad all that much, so it takes a lot to get me there. I don't remember the last time I was mad. Guess that's a good thing too. :)
22) DO YOU SPEAK ANOTHER LANGUAGE?
No. I took German for three years in high school and really loved it. I could speak it very well and read it as well. Unfortunately, when there isn't anyone to talk with, the knowledge goes away. Now I remember a handful of words and that's it.
23) WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIFT THAT YOU REMEMBER SOMEONE GIVING YOU?
This one has me stuck. I mostly remember Christmas and birthday gifts from my parents when I was much younger. I can remember stuffed animals that I got for Christmas from friends too.
24) DO YOU LIKE SOMEONE?
I like a lot of people. For the most part, I like everyone in my life. If I didn't like them, they wouldn't be in my life. Well, I guess that doesn't apply to family. No, it does. I'm not in touch with family who I don't like. Refer back to the first 3 sentences.
25) ARE YOU DOUBLE JOINTED?
26) FAVORITE CLOTHING BRAND?
27) WHAT IS YOUR DREAM CAR?
A new one, doesn't matter what kind. I fantasize about a new car with warranties still intact and low mileage and new car smell. Heaven....
28) WHAT COLOR IS IT?
29) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF EXERCISE?
Ha! Um...well...see... Exercise? I don't do it. So my favorite? Whatever will get me up and moving and motivated to keep it up. Basically, I'm still looking for my favorite kind of exercise.
30) WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING?
Oh gosh, that's a tough one. I'm all about the "it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all", BUT. If I knew that the someone was going to leave before I fell in love with them? Maybe not. And I know that you can't help who you fall in love with, but I don't think I would let it go very far knowing that I would lose them. I'm just not all that much a fan of that kind of pain.
31) WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TELL SOMEONE HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU?
Tell them. Seriously. And show them. Don't hide it or beat around the bush.
32) WRITE A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED
33) BLONDES OR BRUNETTES?
Brunettes are usually much more attractive in my opinion. Usually more real-looking too.
34) WHAT IS THE ONE NUMBER YOU CALL THE MOST OFTEN?
Shell's cell phone
35) WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST?
36) HAVE YOU BEEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY? WHERE DID YOU GO? WHAT PLACE DID YOU LIKE BEST?
The only place I've been outside of the US is the Bahamas. We loved it.
37) YOUR WEAKNESSES?
38) FRIES/CHIPS, RICE OR BEANS?
If I'm choosing between fries or chips, chips always win. Between rice and beans, always rice.
39) FIRST JOB?
I worked at B. Dalton Booksellers which was a bookstore owned by the Barnes & Noble group.
40) EVER PRANK CALLED SOMEONE?
Not that I can think of.
41) WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU FILLED OUT THIS?
Before and during: working of course! :)
42) IF YOU COULD GET PLASTIC SURGERY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Weight loss surgery and get rid of the excess skin once the weight is gone.
43) WHY DID YOU FILL OUT THIS MEME?
I'm starting to wonder. It's LONG!
44) WHAT DO YOU GET COMPLIMENTED ON THE MOST?
My kids. They really are my best feature.
45) WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF ALCOHOL BECAME ILLEGAL?
Eh, probably wouldn't miss it all that much.
46) WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?
Two more tattoos.
47) HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT?
I have two and two is good enough.
48) WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Nope, no one.
49) WHICH FINGER IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Shell's fingers are my favorite. ;)
50) DO YOU WISH ON STARS?
Not with much investment in believing on them.
51) WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
52) DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yeah, it's alright. It's legible, but not very fancy.
53) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
54) ANY BAD HABITS?
Well, there's the too much food and not enough exercise bad habit... and I procrastinate too much.
55) WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON THE SHELF?
It would probably be the Grease 2 soundtrack. I love it and listen to the music still, but it's not high caliber talent.
56) IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I think so.
57) HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET THAT YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL?
Only to Shell. And just for the record, no one has ever told me a secret and said that I couldn't tell her. So I think it's understood that she'll probably find out.
58) DO LOOKS MATTER?
Yes, I have to admit that they do.
59) YOU RELEASE YOUR ANGER?
Again, I don't really get angry very often but no, I don't release it very well. I usually just keep it to myself for the most part.
60) WHERE IS YOUR SECOND HOME?
Sadly, it would probably be my office since I spend so much time here.
61) Do you trust others easily?
Kind of. It depends on what I'm trusting them with, but I tend to think that the people I might consider trusting something with are probably dependable to some extent.
62) What was your favorite toy as a child?
My Little Pony. I had the stable and the castle and so many ponies. I loved them.
63) How many numbers are in your mobile phone?
I have 121 contacts.
64) Do you use sarcasm?
Yes, but not very well. I think that sometimes it comes off as potentially hurtful. I don't mean it to, but it does.
65) Do you know anyone famous?
No. The closest I get is barely knowing Shell's aunt who is Hazel Payne from the 70's group A Taste of Honey. Their claim to fame was the song "Boogie Oogie Oogie".
66)Have you ever been in a mosh pit?
67) What do you look for in a place to live?
It would have to be big enough for us, in a good neighborhood with good schools accessible and not a ridiculous commute for us to get to work. And affordable.
68) What are your nicknames?
Mommy, Timmy, Tyffer, Tyff, Beautiful, Sexy.
69) How many hats do you own? What is your hat size?
I have about 3 baseball caps and have no idea what size they are.
70) Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
71) Were you upset about Steve Irwin dying?
It was sad, but not surprising. You can only pretend that you are invincible for so long before something proves you wrong.
72) What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Jamoca Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins.
73)Are you lazy?
74) What are your favorite songs at the moment?
The tracks off of the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil Immortal and anything by Adele and Matt Nathanson. I've just really discovered them and can't get enough.
75) What is your favorite band?
76) How many wisdom teeth do you have?
Just the top two for the next eleven days and then they are coming out.
77) Do you want to go anywhere special this year?
There's not much time left in this year, so I'd have to say that the most special place I want to go is home. Every day, without going to class first, or taking the kids somewhere or picking them up from somewhere. I just want to go home.
78) What are you listening to right now?
The Dixie Chicks "Not Ready to Make Nice".
79) Last thing you ate?
Still the same, string cheese.
80) Last person you talked to on the phone?
A customer... a different one from before, but still.
81) What is the first thing that you notice about yourself in the morning?
My crazy hair.
82) Favorite thought provoking song?
Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror".
83) Favorite two things to hate?
That's a strange question.
84) Favorite Drink?
Ice water. Or chocolate shakes. Or a Long Beach Iced Tea.
85) Favorite Zodiac sign?
I don't care about Zodiac signs. My kids and my best friend are Leo's, so I guess that would be one I like.
86) Sports you like to watch?
If no sports ever came on my television again for the rest of my life, I wouldn't miss them at all. Yes, that's my answer.
87) What is your hair color?
I have naturally boring brown hair. I color it though, so the brown is much prettier and there is some blond in it too. It's much better this way.
88) Eye color?
I have brown eyes, but they have a green tinge to them.
89) Do you wear glasses?
No, but I think it's only a matter of time before I do.
My sisters are 3 1/2 years younger than me and are fraternal twins.
91) Favorite month?
May. Spring is still hanging around and the temps are very comfortable. It's my birthday month and the month when summer break starts for me and the kids. All good things.
92) Do you like sushi?
I really haven't had it, but I don't like fish so I don't think I'd like sushi either.
93) Last thing you watched on television?
A rerun of Big Bang Theory last night.
94) Favorite day of the year?
I have two. April 23- the day Shell and I became an us and July 30- the day my babies were born.
95) Are you too shy to ask someone out?
I've never asked someone out, when I think it would be intimidating to do so. I think I could but I am truly thankful that I don't have to worry about it.
96) Summer or Winter?
Neither, I'm a fall and spring kind of girl.
97) Kisses or hugs?
I absolutely love them both!
98) Relationships or One night stands?
99) Who is your favorite celebrity?
I love Rosie O'Donnell.
100) Books you'd like to see turned into a film?
I love books too much to see them changed and messed with, which is what happens when they are put on film.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I have plenty of wonderful memories from vacations I've taken in my life. Some of the more prominent ones include:
- Trip to Missouri with my grandma when I met so many of my family on her side for the first time. Rode horses almost every day and fed my inner horse-lover.
- Many summer trips to my grandparents' in Oakland and visiting my mom's step-sister at the restaurant she waitressed at. She'd bring me unlimited Shirley Temple's filled with cherries.
- Driving to Utah for the wedding of my second cousin and hanging out with and playing cards with the adults instead of having to play with the kids. Staying out with my cousin and her friends until very late and having everyone tease us for being so tired the next day.
- My first trip to Colorado to see my newborn niece. I got to do the middle-of-the-night feedings and hold her as much as I wanted. It snowed and other than missing Shell like crazy, I didn't want to leave.
- Taking my kids to California for the first time and showing them off to everyone.
- Going to the Bahamas with my wife.
- Road trip to California with my mom and my kids. My sister flew in with her kids from Missouri and along with my other sister and her two girls we all descended on my grandma's house for much visiting. I left them to hang out with my best friend for a couple of days before flying home and my kids went back to the desert with my sister for a bit before coming home. It was busy and wonderful. The posts about that trip are here and here and here.
- Any time my best friend comes and I take some time off is a great way to spend a vacation, even if we don't do anything specific.
A particularly wonderful vacation in recent years happened in 2009. My sister and her family were going to spend a long weekend here and we decided to do something instead of just hang out. We decided to drive to Mount Rushmore as none of us had ever been there and it was only a 6 hour drive from here. I wrote about our long weekend here and here and here. It remains a highlight today and I'm so glad we took my dad as he had a great time too.
Monday, May 16, 2011
First, it's summer finally!!!! Okay, so it's actually my summer break. I wrapped up all my finals and final projects and am pretty thrilled with how I did. My final grades were a B in Colorado History and A's in American Government, Human Sexuality, and Pre-Algebra. And, not only did I get an A in my math class, but I got the highest percentage in the class and was the only student to get 100% on the final. That class has been the best experience and has done wonders for my confidence in getting through the other math classes I still have to take to get my degree. I've got 2 more to take to fulfill the prerequisites and then will have just one for the degree requirement. It still feels like SO MUCH MATH, but now I have more confidence in my abilities and it doesn't seem as daunting. I'm all registered for Fall classes and although I'm looking forward to them, I'm also SO glad that I have a break until August. In the Fall I'm taking Introductory Algebra, Science of Biology, Music Appreciation and English Composition II. The English and Music classes are online, the math class is on campus two nights a week and the Biology class is a hybrid course that is taught mainly online with labs done on campus every Saturday afternoon. I think this semester will be an interesting mixture and since I'm going to stop working my second job once the semester starts, I should be able to manage it better.
My kids are still in school, but their last day is next Thursday (5/26). End of the year activities are in full force now. The last choir concert was last week, the end of year choir picnic was last Saturday, the last band concert is tomorrow night and the band is competing on Thursday. We just wrote the last lunch money checks for the year and their fees for next year are due by May 31. Then we can all relax into summer mode.
We are in the process of finishing up the boy's room in the basement. The walls and closet are built and are waiting on the curtains to serve as his bedroom and closet doors. We'll probably do some shopping around this weekend so he can pick what he likes. There is also some discussion about whether or not to buy him a new bed. His twin bed is about 7 years old and is in great shape, but he is outgrowing it. We haven't done a measurement lately, but I would guess he is very close to or at 5'7". He has asked for a bigger bed, and although a twin and a full are the same in length, he would have more room to position and get comfortable or even lay diagonal if he wanted. A new bed is only in the budget if we find a really good sale, so he will likely be using his twin until that happens, but we haven't moved it down to the basement yet just in case. There is a recliner in the basement from when Shell's dad was here and my boy has decided that he wants it if room can be found. He slept in that last night for the first night in his new room. It's coming along.
There is no set date for moving Shell's mom here as of now. Her doctor is working on some things with her to try to get her more mobile, so we're waiting to see what happens with that. I'm staying out of it for the most part and told Shell to let me know when there is a time frame to start planning for. I don't want to dwell on the unknown. It'll happen when it happens.
What else... Shell and I celebrated our anniversaries during the time I've been doing the 30 Day challenge. On April 23, it was 19 years since we started dating and May 3 was the 8th anniversary of our commitment ceremony. May 5 was my birthday which got kind of buried in finals and I actually had two of them on that day. I requested the 5th and 6th off of work, so in the midst of test taking, I also had some down time. I had a really yummy ice cream cake on my birthday and presents! I got 4 cute shirts, 2 pairs of capris and 2 pairs of jeans from the kids and Shell gave me two signed books that I am so excited to read: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) and Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult (who I LOVE!). Since my birthday was only 4 days before Mother's Day, we combined the two on Saturday with a barbecue at my parents' house. Saturday night was originally planned for playing cards with my parents, but the day before I got a call from Shell's best friend asking if I'd be interested in two tickets to see Lionel Richie perform Saturday night at a gala for the hospital she works for. Shell is not a fan of his, but my mom and I are so I took the tickets and we went. He was amazing and performed for 2 hours without any breaks. He did practically everything you'd want to hear and sounded great. The only songs he didn't sing that we would have liked to hear were "Truly" and "Endless Love", but since he has an all-male band there wasn't anyone to do the duet with, so I was okay with that omission. It was a fun way to do something with my mom for mother's day, and it only cost me $15 for parking!
Friday, May 13, 2011
I don't think I have a favorite city. I like plenty of places for different reasons and for memories that I've made there.
My favorite American city that I've never been to but has so much I want to see and do is New York City. My favorite city outside of the US for the same reason is a three-way tie between Sidney, Australia, London, England, and Paris, France.
I love San Francisco for many reasons, but mostly because during summer visits to my grandparents in Oakland, we'd take the BART to the city and spend the day. I loved it and I would love to take Shell there someday. It seems silly that we've never gone, but it just hasn't happened yet.
I really love the city we live in now. My kids have grown up in this area and have attended the same school since kindergarten. I love the climate and love their school, which I probably wouldn't be saying if we hadn't moved from where we grew up in California. There are cities that I enjoy visiting or would really like to visit someday, but when it comes right down to it, my favorite place is my home. I like it that way. :)
Here's a recent picture of me (and Shell) that I don't hate. We both look pretty good actually. This was taken by the very nice lesbian who sat in front of us at the Janet Jackson concert last month. The place was FULL of gay men and women. We deduced that at least half of that audience was family. It was so fun!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I haven't really had many nicknames and the ones I've had or have now are ones I don't really mind. When I was very young, my dad nicknamed me Shorty and he continued calling me that through high school. Now he writes it in my birthday cards, just to make sure I know he hasn't forgotten it.
As a variation on my name, the most common nickname I've had is Tyff, but my family has also exapanded that to Tyffy and Tyffer in the past.
Shell has many nicknames for me which are typically complements to my appearance. She refers to me as Beautiful, Gorgeous, Sexy and the other common names like Honey, Babe and Baby.
One of my favorite nicknames is what my nieces and nephew call me. When the oldest started learning names, she decided that none of us had names she approved of so she picked her own.
Okay, so she just couldn't pronounce them correctly and what she did call us ended up being our new monikers. Aunt Tyffany is a mouthful, so she simplified it for herself and I became Timmy. Sometimes they call me Aunt Timmy now too.
My favorite nickname of all is Mommy. My kids are 12 now, and they both still call me Mommy and I don't take it for granted. I'll be sad to see it go when I become Mom, but I feel like I've had a good long run with the name I grew up knowing that I wanted to be called.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
For our Christmas pictures in 2006, we went to the mall and had them done at a studio. The pictures turned out pretty great, but this one was my favorite. The photographer whispered in my boy's ear just before taking the shot and my girl had no idea what she told him. It's perfect.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I'm noticing a pattern in the way I respond to these topics. For instance, today's is asking for "something I miss", but I look at that and know that I'm going to answer with "somethings I miss" in bullet form. I'm not good at making decisions and I guess this just confirms that. I wonder if that makes it more frustrating for people reading, like "geez, just pick one thing. I don't need to read a list..." or if they're like me and see a list and think "yay! more ways to learn about this person who I've come to like so much even though I've never met them and quite probably never will!" Which side do you fall on?
So on to the list of somethings I miss...
- being in high school. I know that sounds weird, but let me clarify what I mean. I miss the butterflies I'd get thinking of Shell and how her face would break out in the hugest smile every time I'd see her. I miss getting notes in between class from her and other friends and then writing notes during class to distribute. I miss walking home with my best friend. I miss being in choir and singing every day. I miss the innocent certainty that being an adult was going to be great compared to being a kid/teen.
- being pregnant. I wish that I had seriously considered being a surrogate before I got too old to do it, because I'd really love to be pregnant again without adding to my family.
- having time to read. I haven't read a book for pleasure since I started school last fall and I'm pretty sure it has been the longest time I've ever gone without reading. I'm seriously starting a book the day after my last final. I can't wait any longer!
- seeing my extended families on holidays.
- spending time with my best friend. A lot.
3 more days to the end of the semester!!!!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I try really hard not to have regrets. Everything that has happened in my life, good and bad, has brought me to where I am today. Do I wish somethings had happened differently? Sure, but even so, I don't regret that they happened. For example, our kids were born when we were 24 years old. That sounds young, but we had been together for 6 years by then. While I'm thrilled in most ways that we did have them so young, I sometimes wish that we had more time before them as adults to develop ourselves as a couple before adding kids. We were 17 when we got together and 18 when she graduated and we moved into an apartment with friends. We moved into our own apartment a year later and lived there for a year. It was just us and it was a time that we still think about very fondly. At the end of our year lease, we moved to Colorado and right into my parents basement where we lived for about 6 months. My sister, brother-in-law and niece lived with my parents then too. It was a full house. We moved out of my parents house when Shell was promoted to manager of the Motel 6 she worked at and we moved into the manager's on-site apartment. It was connected to the front lobby area through a hallway, so there were frequent interruptions. When she left that job, it came with the consequence of no longer having a place to live so we moved to my sister's basement while we looked for somewhere to live. During that time, we were also trying to get pregnant which happened while we were living with them. A new apartment complex was being built nearby which would fit into our budget, so we put our name on one. We moved in at the end of May and had 2 lovely months as just us before our babies were born.
Needless to say, there has been very little time in the 19 years we've been together where it was just us. I prefer to look forward to the time when it's just us instead of regretting not having more of it before the kids came. And I really am glad we had our kids at the age we did, I just wish we could have had more "us" time before it happened.
And I just realized that I do have a regret. I regret not managing our finances better and making bad choices that screwed up our credit. I'm very grateful that Shell took charge of things when she did, but I wish I hadn't let it get so bad before she did.
This is very appropriate for just this moment in time.
I'm looking forward to:
- the end of this semester! I've submitted all of my final assignments, am taking my Colorado History final Thursday afternoon, taking my Pre-Algebra final Thursday night, taking my Human Sexuality final on Friday and wrapping it all up with my American Government final on Saturday. This has been a tough semester and I'm REALLY looking forward to some time to get some things done around my house and maybe even read a book for pleasure.
- getting my boy's new room in the basement finished. My dad built the frame for his new wall last weekend and we'll probably have that part done by the end of this weekend. Then we'll move his furniture down and arrange it. He'll have to deal with the curtain that's already down there for now and the overhead light, then once we recover from the wall costs we'll personalize the space for him.
- seeing my aunt next month. She's never been out here and even though we see her when we visit California, it's very infrequent. Plus she's my favorite of all my aunts and uncles and she'll be here for a week!
What I'm looking forward to long term:
- Making all this work worth it when I get my degree. AA first, then on to the BA. Maybe someday I'll do the Master's program too. Maybe.
- At the same time as I'm dreading it, I'm also looking forward to seeing what my kids are like as teens. I'm really hoping for it to be mild, but the anticipation of not knowing makes me worry about it more.
- the time when the kids are out of the house and it's just Shell and &.
- having a career and getting paid for something I'm passionate about.
- seeing my kids go to college.
- legally marrying my wife in the state we live in. Big dreaming there, but I have to believe it will happen.