Month: May 2014

I’m Sleepy and Lucky and Happy

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s so much I want to write about tonight, but I’m really sleepy.  I don’t think clearly when I’m tired, so it’s unlikely that these thoughts that have been running around in my head all day will make any logical sense when I try to share them with you tonight.  I’m going to try, but consider this fair warning.

I spent the night at the CIA last night.  No, not the Central Intelligence Agency – although, if I had a bucket list, that would definitely be on it.  Becoming a secret agent is second only to learning to fly on my list of things to be and do.

But I digress.  Let’s try this again.

I spent the night at the CIA last night.  That’s the Culinary Institute of America.  If you’ve never been, you should go.  The views alone are worth the trip.  Add in the food and you’ll feel as though you’ve been swept away to some beautiful, foreign land. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there for the views or the food.  I was there for work.

The CIA was the site of our JDRF Hope Gala this year and it was a beautiful night.  I always find that our gala gives me a much-needed boost; a reminder of the importance of our work.  Sometimes I lose sight of that.  I’ve been working for JDRF for seven years.  I knew very little about diabetes when I first started and, like most people, I had an incredibly skewed perspective about the disease and its causes.  Last night, our emcee (whose daughter lives with type 1 diabetes) joked that every time his daughter talks to her grandmother, her grandmother says, “Why don’t you stop eating all that sugar.  That is why you have diabetes.”

How frustrating it must be to live with this disease.

There are two different types of diabetes:  type 1 and type 2.  Type 2 is the one most often associated with a poor diet and lack of exercise, but type 1 is different.  Type 1 has absolutely, positively nothing to do with diet and exercise and there is absolutely, positively  nothing – nothing – that you can do to prevent it.  Most people don’t know that and that’s why I love my job.

Every day I get to talk to school-age kids about diabetes.  I get to tell them that there is a difference between type 1 and type 2.  I get to tell them how cool it is that they are learning about this in elementary school because, I admit, I didn’t have a clue until I was a grown mother of two.  And do you know what’s so awesome about admitting that to them?  They think I am totally uncool for having no clue.

My job makes me feel like I might be doing something good for the world.  That makes me happy.

My goodness, there’s so much more I want to write about tonight.  I want to tell you about the two little girls I met seven years ago – my “first family.”  I want to tell you how much I learned about diabetes, about mourning the loss of life before diabetes through this family.  I want to tell you about the tween-age boy who stood up and spoke to a room full of adults about his experience with the disease.  I want to tell you about my amazing village of friends and neighbors who make it possible for me to spend an entire day at work.  The safe space that I know my kids can go to when I need to be gone from morning ’til night.

There’s so much I want to say…..but I’m sleepySo, I’ll simply say that I am lucky and that makes me happy.

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I Must Be Doing Something Right….I Think

Sometimes the friends your children choose to surround themselves with are the best indicator of how well you’re doing as a parent.

Looks like we’re doing a damn good job.

I feel like I’m always telling my husband how lucky we are with the choices my oldest daughter, in particular, makes when it comes to her friends.  She has managed to surround herself with some pretty great kids.  Last night we got to spend some time with the family of one of her friends.  I left feeling as though I must be doing something right.

I want to write so much more right now, but time won’t allow for that today.  Another day.  Today I think I’ll leave you with this gem, courtesy of my youngest.

Me: “Go get your pajamas on.”

A:

Me:  “Go get your pajamas on.”

A:

Me:  “Why do I keep repeating myself?  Get your pajamas on now!”

A:  (Sitting naked on the couch)  “I put them on already.  These are my invisible pajamas.”

Yep, I must be doing something right.  Right??

 

Day One-Freakin’-Hundred!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I did it. I freakin’ did it! I successfully blogged for 100 days – 100 consecutive days.

I just gave myself a pat on the back, a great big hug and I attempted a cartwheel. I’ll probably just stick with the pat on the back and the big hug next time.

I now totally understand why my kids and their teachers always celebrate 100 days of school. This is an occasion to celebrate, a blissful milestone. I want to glue 100 noodles onto some cardboard or create a paper hat with 100 circles on it or, better yet, place 100 pennies in a metal container and shake it while singing a new song about 100 happy days! I feel another cartwheel coming on.

Can I tell you a secret? I feel as though I’ve shared too much already – what’s one more thing?

I didn’t really think I’d make it this far. I thought that life would get in the way, that I would run out of things to say, that I would throw my hands up in the air at the first complaint from my husband or my kids. But, I didn’t. Instead, I found a way to include this happiness in my everyday life. I found a way to make it work. And, the best part? I’ve found a community of people who inspire me, who cheer for me and who encourage me every single day. Awesome.

This is one happy freakin’ day. And only 265 more days to go!

The World Has Clearly Run Out of Superheros

I’ve run out of superheros.  Not the comic book versions with their fictional powers, noble intentions and whimsical capes.  I’m talking about the real life superheros.  The ones who live virtuous, genuine lives.  The ones who change hearts, transform lives and inspire the world.  The ones who use their talent – their sheer brilliance – to make the universe a better place.

Maya Angelou died today.

Who’s left?  A rapper named half-dollar – oh, excuse me, it’s 50 Cent (why isn’t this plural?) – who has bad aim?  I’ll pass.  I could idolize Puff Daddy – or is it P Diddy or just Diddy, or have we settled on Sean Combs?  I suppose he simply needs to work out his commitment issues before comfortably revealing his own superpowers to the world.  Of course, there’s always Kim, the perpetual bride.

Hrumph.  The world has clearly run out of superheros.  

I never stood in Maya Angelou’s audience and I never shook her hand, I simply listened to her speak.  I heard her voice reciting her own brilliant works, always calling for humans to act like humans.  I am happy that I managed to share space in this world with at least one brilliant mind, one noble human being, one genuine superhero.   

Fisticuffs. Bet You Can’t Use That in a Sentence

I woke up to a new follower today. I’ve been neglecting my followers, which is somewhat pathetic given that there are so few of them. If I were in the business of blogging, my neglectful ways would surely be my demise.

I want to be paid to read and write. How does one do that? Do I need to become a librarian? Or can I simply read blogs, then write my own blog and somehow make millions doing it?

That would be lovely.

There are so many wonderfully funny, insightful, talented bloggers in the world. I’m always humbled and, truthfully, a bit surprised when one of them shows up on my page. I want to spend the day reading through their pages and offering witty replies. But I don’t have that much time….and I’m really not that witty.

Today’s new follower uses the word fisticuffs in the title of her blog. Who has ever used that word successfully in any context…ever? I was immediately enamored. And then I started reading her blog. It was dripping with sarcasm and dry wit.

She had me at fisticuffs.

Sometimes a simple word from a witty new follower is all it takes to make my day happy.

Woodland Limbo on a Nature-ish Day

20140526-190254.jpgHow often do you start your day with limbo in the forest and end it with a freshly cooked bowl of arroz con condules?

Can we do this every weekend?

We woke up feeling inspired by another beautiful day and decided to take a ride to Moonbeams Nature Preserve.  Woodland walks always make me happy.  We packed the essentials – water, bug spray, sunscreen, snacks and, of course, a net for catching critters.  We came across two trees holding a limb perfectly in place for a round of limbo.  We caught a frog and we jumped on this spongy forest floor covering – I think I’ll nickname it moon foam.  It was a lot of fun. 

Of course, I’m leaving a few things out.

There was the argument my husband and I had while deciding where we should go.  And, of course, once we got there my youngest daughter was bothered by the grass that tickled her legs.  She spent some time walking much like the classic wooden soldiers – one leg raised straight out in front of her, trying desperately to cover as much ground as possible with each one of her strides.  Once we began following the path into the woods, she looked nervously from side to side, certain a bear was lurking nearby.  She mistook a wood stump for a fox – or was it a coyote?  My oldest thought her little sister was silly, though she had a moment of her own.  She caught a frog and stood still for just a little too long.  The mosquitoes sniffed her out and she was quickly surrounded.

Ahhh, the joys of nature.20140526-194048.jpg

After scanning the forest for that pack of wolves, my youngest daughter managed to take some beautiful pictures.  This picture of a tiny footbridge that we crossed is my favorite.  Maybe she has a future in nature photography…..or maybe not.

As for my oldest, well she would happily live among the trees.  As we left the trail to head back home, she ran to catch up with her dad.  “This is why I’m glad he’s my dad,” she said.  “He’s so nature-ish.”

Yes, I suppose it was a happy, nature-ish kind of day.

No Complaints

20140525-180949.jpgIt is a perfectly sunny, 75 degree Sunday afternoon.  It’s also Memorial Day weekend.  That means we get to do more of this tomorrow.

Any complaints?

Nope, none here either.  Enjoy this beautiful weekend….and hug a veteran.