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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, June 29, 2011

An update, and then some...

Well, the good news is, since Jacob has played that CD about 563 more times since my last post, I'm beginning to become desensitized to it, and starting to form new associations to the music - for instance, both kids singing along together. Bittersweet...

I love my sister so much. I texted her a few days ago to ask her if she still has her old phone since Verizon is charging us for not returning it, and fortunately she does. I called her today to share my victories in organizing my house with her, and she said that one of the first thoughts she had when she got my text about the phone was that I'm making progress because I'm actually looking at my bills!!! Hahaha!! She knows me better than anyone in this world.

For some reason, when someone is going through a difficult emotional time (I learned recently that this isn't just associated with a loss, but with a major funk of any kind), the bills seem to be the first thing that suffers. I don't know why, but it seems like any incoming mail (good or bad) ends up in piles and pushed aside. Bills or not, there the piles sit... It takes almost everything you've got to build up the gumption to sit down and open up the envelopes and deal with their contents. It's only very recently that I've started (mostly) keeping up with the mail that comes in. For some reason, the same applies to outgoing mail - that's even harder for some reason. I know I owe a million people thank-you's for a million different things, birthday cards, etc..... My apologies to everyone. I've thought about it LOTS, so if it's truly the thought that counts, then I might be in the clear.

My sister recognized the fact that I not only must have opened the Verizon bill, but actually LOOKED at it and am even questioning it! For her to "get" that was so amazing to me. It even opened up my eyes to see that I'm making more progress than I even thought! Thank you, Michelle!!!!

I've been living in California now for almost two years - it's only been two and a half since Matt's death - and it seems I might  FINALLY be getting settled. Even though I may have made it "look" like I had it together shortly after we arrived, it's taken me this long.

And I'll let you in on a little secret.... There are probably lots of books, articles, etc. out there with tips and tricks for getting organized, but I had a simple revelation recently that put it all into perspective (and you're getting it here for free - he he):

Monday, June 27, 2011

Train music.

Jacob has this "All Aboard" CD from John Denver... Back when I worked at Gow, before Matt died, one of the parents and I got talking about our kids (among many other things) and she recommended this CD to me for Jacob because of his love of trains. It's full of train songs, and we used to play it all the time. It's upbeat, happy music that Jacob got a thrill out of listening to. Right after Matt died, when my house was full of people, Jacob really wanted to play the CD again. I couldn't deny him. So, had Matt just died, I have a silent houseful of people, and this happy music that used to bring so much joy to our home was playing - it was all a very strange irony.

Fast forward to this home, two and a half years later. Jacob found the John Denver CD that we used to play all the time. That played that day. He was SO excited to find it, and I was excited for him! Until he played it. As I listened to the music, my heart sank and took me right back to the last day I heard that music. It's been playing over and over again for the last 3 hours. Thank god it's bedtime (well, a bit past now) or I think I'd have to jump off a nearby cliff.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Getting caught up...

It's been a while since I've posted a true update with what's going on in our lives, so here goes!

I made a difficult decision to stop volunteering with Soaring Spirits in order to focus more time and energy on my kids and my home (and myself). I also decided to go forward with starting up my college consulting business for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. I'm planning to be full swing by the fall, and start bringing in some money to the household.

Sydney's full-day preschool program has been discontinued, and that spurred the mad search for preschools for next school year since she still has a year to go before Kindergarten. That led to me finding a school for both her and Jacob, since I want to keep them together. Not only do they get so excited when they see each other in the hallway, on the playground or in the cafeteria, but it's comforting for them, and for me for them to be together. Plus, it's easier for drop off and pick up.

I found a school that has both a preschool and elementary school on the same campus, and they will offer the kids a wonderful well-rounded education. Right now, the public school system here pretty much only offers reading and math - no science, PE, art, music.... Anything extra has to be outsourced. When I grew up, public schools offered all of that. Unfortunately, if parents want to give those same opportunities to their children out here, they have to send them to private school. It's gonna be expensive, but I'm pretty sure we qualify for at least some financial aid. I'm taking the same approach to this as I did when I moved out here. I knew it was the best thing for us, and I'll figure out how to make it work as I go along.

During this time in between, I'm getting caught up around the house (it has been woefully let go) - getting organized, clean, and at a place where I can maintain it easily. I do have some big projects planned, like staining the play structure that Matt built, staining the table and chairs outside for the kids, and the gate, painting the bathroom and laundry room, and painting the outside of the house. Those are things that have been on hold since we moved here, and I would really like to get them finished before the fall, too.

The kittens we got a few weeks ago from the SPCA bring a lot of life and fun energy to the house. They're over their upper respiratory infections and doing great! I can't believe how quickly they started using the litter boxes... SO much easier than a dog!

I finally planned our trip to Buffalo in August for the Run for Row. It's scheduled for August 21 this year, so if anyone who is reading this plans to be in the area, please register - it'll be great to see everyone! You really don't even need to run. You can walk, or just socialize and be there to offer support. It's the 3rd annual 5K - I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I'm not sure how it can be the 3rd one already when it'll just be three years this November since Matt's accident... I'm not willing to think that hard about it to figure it out on my own. I'm actually excited about this trip to Buffalo, though - I think the last time I was there, I faced my fears about going back, and now I feel freed from them. Mostly...

Things with Carlos are going great - we're just taking our time and enjoying each other's company. He's patient, sweet, and always makes me laugh. In April, Matt's parents took the kids for me for a few days and gave me a nice, much-needed break. During that time, Carlos and I took a day trip to Santa Barbara, which was so beautiful and relaxing!

Had a big birthday bash for the kids in May to celebrate both of their birthdays, and it was a hit! I hired a couple who have a traveling science class, complete with reptiles, a kikachu and even a wallaby! It was Aunt Michelle's gift to the kids, and everyone had a great time. Ginny and Roy came out for the weekend and were a HUGE help.

That's about it for now... Forgive the choppiness of this post, but I'm just getting over a migrane and am still having a problem sounding coherent! Well, back to chipping away at my To Do list... =)