Birthday Reflections

For those of you who have been reading my blog over the last several years, you know that I tend to write a reflections type post near my birthday…..what I have learned, where I would like to go, etc.  This year I have hit a numeric milestone (as many consider multiples of 5 “milestones”).  Additionally, my birthday happened to fall the day before Yom Kippor when, as a Jew, my designated time of reflection is coming to an end.  So I thought I would put some of my recognitions on my blog, making them public and making them more concrete.


I am now 45 years old.  I am a happily married wife, mother of 3 amazing kids, have a frustratingly annoying but incredibly lovable dog, I live in an area where I feel happy and safe in a home I own with my family… really is good.  I have the freedom to do much of what I want and explore endless possibilities.  I smile and am happy most days, worry about my children nearly every day, and look forward to the new adventures of tomorrow.  I spend too much time sitting around and doing nothing productive and try to find ways to avoid doing the things that I know must be done (like almost everyone I know).


I think the biggest thing I need to work on while I’m 45 is to find my organization again.  I know I’ve been saying that for a while, but this time I really mean it (again).  My house needs some serious work, both in terms of cleanliness and repair.  There are some major household projects that we would like to take on, but we feel we can’t until we get some other things under control.  We are planning a big trip to Mexico in about 5 months and we need to plan how to help Simon maneuver new experiences so he (and the rest of us) can enjoy the adventures.


What does that mean?  It means living by the calendar.  It means making my infamous detailed to-do lists again.  It means keeping my promises to myself and to others.  It means making more of an effort to be there for others.  It means knowing when it’s time to say “No” when asked to be a volunteer for something or knowing that this is my opportunity to jump in with both feet.  It means not feeling guilty when I know I’ve done my best, even if I have not been successful on the outside.  It means recognizing that the effort is always worth at least as much as the result.  It means setting realistic expectations.  It means recognizing when my “realistic” expectations are anything but realistic.


Most important, it means taking time.  Taking time to be a better mother…..a better wife…..a better friend……a better Jew……a better person……a better me.


And that’s exactly what I’m going to try to do!


Insanity Has Taken Over!!


Yes, things are totally insane right now!!!  We are less than 2 days of a HUGE road trip, and the incessant planning and checking and re-checking and shopping and packing and unpacking to be sure we have everything and re-packing and checklisting……they are all in full force!!!!!

It’s currently Monday afternoon.  Bright and early Wednesday morning, we plan to be on the road.  We are taking a road trip.  We’re going to Indiana first to visit with Dad’s family.  I don’t think many of them have ever met Ballerina and Music Man and just a few more have met Big Brother.  Since my Mother and Father-in-Laws grew up in the same small town in Indiana, many in their families have stayed reasonably close.  And we’re hoping we can find a way to see as many as possible without fully overwhelming our kids.

Then, on Friday, we’re heading to a suburb of Detroit, Michigan for my brother’s wedding.  All 5 of us are in the wedding and the saga in getting Ballerina’s dress is a story for another time (when there’s time).  But it’s straightened out now and she is perfectly happy with her dress and can’t wait until Sunday when she gets to wear it for the big day.

But Dad and are are compulsive planners.  And every time we are serious about planning, things tend to go smoothly.  We make regular car trips to New York or Connecticut.  Sometimes we go to Pennsylvania for a long day or a short weekend.  But in general, we know we can pick up things that we forget along the way.  We are determined to not need that crutch this time around.  We are going to pack correctly and make sure that everyone has everything they need for the whole trip.

So, we have the checklist for packing.  And we have the checklist for loading the car.  And we have the grocery list to be sure we picked everything up we needed from the store.  And we made sure that the dog would be well cared for (including a vet visit today to make sure her immunizations were up to date).

Tomorrow Dad will be home and we will make sure everything is set (with the exception of the actual packing) so that, when the kids go to bed, we can just pull everything together and have them waiting by the door.  I can bring Domino to the “Doggy Hotel” as early as they open and Dad will be able to make several trips out to the car, loading everything in it’s proper place so we can pull out what we need when we need it.  We can also set up the numerous movies, books, stuffed animals, homework assignments, etc. so we can do things as we’re driving.  The snacks for the road have to be where we can easily get to them.  And, hopefully by 10pm, we’ll reach our destination in Indiana.

But before that happens, I’m off to pick the kids up from school.  I have some PTA responsibilities that have to be met, Ballerina has her dance class tomorrow afternoon, Big Brother has scouts tomorrow night and I’m supposed to be at a PTA Meeting (which will probably NOT happen).  All clothes worn since Saturday will need to be washed so they can be packed, but we need to remember to leave something home so they can dress the following day.  Despite going to the grocery store today, there is likely going to be another trip tomorrow, Dad has to pick up his tuxedo (because, like I already mentioned, he’s in the wedding), and we have to get iPods and iPhones properly loaded.  I also have to finish up my popcorn duties for the week for the local cub scout chapter.

Can you tell I’m going just a bit nuts right now?  INSANITY!!!!!!!!!!!