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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random current events - getting caught up...

Some recent quotes:

"Mommy, every time I eat this it reminds me of home sweet home." - Jacob, while eating his grilled, marinated salmon.

"I love you brown and pink hearts." - Jacob (His current favorite colors are brown and pink.)

"Is that a lot of pancake for one little boy?" - Jacob, while eating the giant pancake I made him for breakfast on Saturday (he ate the whole thing).

"Don't you tell your momma no!" - Jacob (to Sydney after she told me "no" in a very adamant tone.)

"Daddy all gone." - Sydney (just a random comment - couldn't connect it to anything happening at the moment.)

"Bubbles!" - Sydney (after she tooted - we call the tubby toots "hiney bubbles" but she wasn't in the tub when she said that.)

Dinner conversation with Jacob from the other night:

Jacob: "Mommy, are you thinking about the Polar Express right now?"

Me - "Ha ha! No!" (He's on a BIG Polar Express kick again after a nice, long hiatus from it.)

Jacob asked, "What are you thinking about right now?"

I said, "Mr. Matt's wife, Liz - Maddy's mommy." (I had just finished reading this post.)

Jacob - "She died."

Me - "Yes, she did. What are you thinking about right now?"

Jacob: "The Polar Express songs..."

Later that same evening:

Jacob: "What's your favorite color?"

Me: "Pink."

Jacob: "I love you one hundred pink hearts."


I had a dream the other night that Matt had just been hired as a professor to teach a mechanical engineering course at a college in California. I went with him to see the huge classroom that was assigned to him - it had balcony seating above, as well as auditorium-like seating below. He was a little quiet, rubbing the tuft of hair on his chin, trying not to let on to his nervousness at his new responsibilities. Afterwards, a bunch of the guys and some of the girls all went out for a beer to celebrate. We walked down a spooky old street with unfamiliar trees to the bar. I didn't recognize any of the people, but they were all friends with Matt through his new job.

If only...


My brother and I went to the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl on Sunday, October 25. It was sort of a last minute decision to go, but I found cheap seats and I thought why not - it's practically in my back yard! We had such a great time. We took a shuttle to the venue, and the driver actually got lost. What should have taken about five minutes took almost twenty, and when he stopped to ask a crossing guard for directions, Bryan and I decided to bail (before I hurled from bus-sickness). So did the rest of the bus. Black Eyed Peas opened, and did an awesome job. U2, of course, was phenomenal. I had always wanted to go to one of their concerts - they are my favorite band, after all. It was somehow incredibly emotional for me, though - lots of factors involved I think... Between finally getting to see my favorite band play live, Matt not being there to share the experience with, hearing songs that I listen to when I'm driving... I think that's the biggest one. Driving is when my mind tends to wander the most towards thoughts and memories of Matt, and it was the one place (well, at least when I was working) where I could cry, scream, and let it all out with no one to witness. One song, in particular, has been my theme song since I decided to move, and they played it that night. Of course, I bawled.

I was talking to the lady seated next to me, and it came up in conversation that Bryan was my brother, and she asked where my husband was. I told her.

I must have cried more than I even realized that night, because when I woke up the next morning, my eyes were so puffy that I couldn't get my contacts in. It's been a while since I cried that much (and cheered) in one night. A much-needed release, I'm sure. All the wine I drank probably contributed to that, too.

Bryan and I skipped the return shuttle and walked from the Rose Bowl to my house. How cool is it to be within walking distance to the Rose Bowl???


I have been in a serious funk lately (I think I mentioned that before) and I know one of the things that has been weighing on me was not having the pictures, the rest of the curtains and the shades hung. I finally got the majority of it done in a day and a half, and I feel a lot better - boy does my house look cute!! I know, pictures... they're coming. I also attempted to anchor the bookshelf to the wall as a preventative earthquake measure, and ended up making swiss cheese out of the wall with the drill. It's tough to find studs behind lath and plaster walls! I left that for later - thought it was probably best to walk away from it for the time being...

I had my friend, her husband and their little girl (who Jacob said he's going to marry someday) over for an impromptu dinner just the other night (we have been having a lot of those - it's been fun!). The winds were picking up and got extremely gusty as the evening went on. We were talking during dinner about having enough flashlights, matches, candles, etc. in the event of a power outage. After discussing my lack of preparedness, Bill went out to pick up a lighter, some flashlights and extra water, and no sooner did he leave when the power went out! Fortunately, I did end up finding some matches and lit the candles I had around the house. It looked so beautiful in there. Power went back on about an hour or so after that.

The next day after the power outage, I was getting the kids ready for bed. They were both being so incredibly challenging, and I was at my breaking point. What didn't help was the fact that there is a very thin line lately between seeming to have my shit together and having a breakdown. It doesn't take much to throw me lately. I generally try to keep myself somewhat together in front of the kids - I want them to know stability and feel secure with me, but that it's OK to cry once in a while, because everyone cries. Well, I ended up having a major breakdown in front of the kids - I just couldn't hold it in anymore. What happens with me is before a breakdown, I get angry, and I usually can't even put my finger on exactly why. But my nerves get frayed, and I get angry until I finally break down and cry, and then I feel better. I wish I could skip the anger crap and just get to the crying and feeling better. So, there I am, on the floor in the bathroom, and Sydney - all 2.5 years of her, comes up to me and rubs my back and mumbled some sweet words to me. I look up to see her big brother who is looking at me with the same look on his face that Matt would get when he didn't know how to handle me. My poor kids.


Halloween sucked and was great, all at the same time. All I could think about was Halloween last year when Matt, the kids and I went trick or treating with two of my best friends and their kids. We drove to the town they live in, met at Connie's house, had a little pizza and wing party and went trick or treating from there. Matt walked Jacob (who was dressed up as a bell - a subject for another post) up to each house, while he either had Sydney on his shoulders or I was pushing her in the stroller. It was going to be such a great tradition - especially when Sydney was old enough to participate and enjoy the experience.

This year, one of my neighbors three doors down invited the kids and I to their house for a Halloween party, and there were probably 15 kids there, all close in age. Jacob and Sydney were in their glory. Jacob wore his ghost costume for a total of five minutes, but Sydney looked adorable as Tinkerbell (I know, I know, pictures... eventually). Matt's friend Rick would have been so proud - Jacob was rocking out on a toy drum set in the garage, and Sydney was his sidekick on the keyboard. I had a flash forward picture in my head of them in about 16 years, in a band... After the party, we all went trick or treating in our lovely neighborhood. Sydney, my big girl, went up to each house, and said "Trick or Treat," "Thank you," and "Happy Halloween." Jacob was running ahead of us with the gang of boys singing the Trick or Treat song.... A nice new tradition, but still leaves me longing for the old one (minus the lousy weather).


The kids and I had a fun playdate with Melodie and Reece today. We both took away a feeling of peace, comfort and camaraderie. Plus, she's fun to hang out with, and Reece is a sweetheart. We'll definitely be getting together more often. I have to say, one of the perks to moving out here are the great new young widowed friends who live nearby - Michele (who came out to visit me soon after I moved and is responsible for getting all us widowed folk together), Matt L. (who has been a great friend and hooked me up with some good music and more good friends), Melodie, and I think Erynn also lives close - I have to look into that. Did I miss anyone near LA?? After that, we drove to my brother's and hung out with them for a while and had Pacos (the BEST Mexican food in Cali!) for dinner. It was a good day.


Boo said...

It was so good to hear your news - you have been busy!

Wow, you are brave to go to the concert - I really don't think I'll ever be able to go to one again. Music is so evocative isn't it? I had tears in my eyes just thinking about you going, let alone me!!

I loved that "swiss cheese of the wall" - at least you tried! I find it so frustrating that I don't know how to do stuff :-(

Your kids sound so lovely - yes please ... pix

love and hugs

Shannon said...

WOW Andrea, No wonder you haven't posted in a month! You have been busy! Listen, If I had a nickel for every time I have had a break-down over my sister, I would be rich! My 4 1/2 year old does the same thing as Jacob. He sees me crying, comes oer to me and says, "Mom, are you sad again about Aunt La La going to heaven?" I say yeah sweetie. He says, "But Jesus is taking good care of her mommy!" I loose it again for about another hour. But like you say, it's good to let it out, I just wish it wasn't always in front of my kids. I am glad you are making friends and adjusting well to your new environment. It sounds great ou there! The Holidays are creeping up so fast..and the are really going to SUCK-ASS without our loved ones! Take care! Shannon

Danielle said...

Sounds like a whole bunch of up and down right now. To be expected I am guessing. I keep you in my thoughts for a lot more ups. I am so proud of you for you move and just in general who you are.

Crash Course Widow said...

Anger always came really quickly for me too when I had to deal with Anna at bedtime; holding it together after 12 hrs just wasn't possible at that point. I was one pissy, grieving mama...and that was after the first year, well into the second and third. The toddler years are tough when you're grieving.

And concerts, Halloween, etc., etc.: Yup. Right there with you. I do have an easier time with them now than I did in previous years--so yes, it does get better, eventually--but they're still crummy at times. (Anna's and my foray to Disney on Ice last weekend was certainly one.) With you being so close to the 1-yr anniversary, I imagine you'll have more moments than usual where you're a mess/emotional/crying/angry/etc. I know I did, even though I was supposedly doing better because I had a plan, I was moving, I'd survived a year, I was gonna have another baby, yadda yadda yadda. In hindsight, though, I had no idea what I was going through and how it was all a big cover-up for how big of a mess I really was.

Hugs, sweetie. Miss you tons. You ever make it up to Oregon or Washington, you let me know so we can have a playdate too. ;o)

Glenda said...

Andrea, you have been so busy. I'm happy for you. Thanks for sharing! Sending you hugs! and can't wait to see the pictures (if you do share) :)

Mel said...

It was so good to hang out with you.

Yes, I think Erynn lives near me!

Anonymous said...

I love U2. One of the concerts Elias and I always wanted to go to.... I had hoped we would go together when they came to Vancouver this fall.

'Walk On' is my theme song from them right now. Damn, more tears.