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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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Last night...

A little while after I tucked the kids in last night, I could hear Jacob blowing his nose a lot which probably meant that he was crying. I went up to check on him, and sure enough...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thirteen years ago.

As of tomorrow, December 11, it will be thirteen years ago that Matt proposed to me in Niagara Falls. One of the most thrilling days of my entire life. 1999...

Friday, December 7, 2012


Listening to Christmas music over and over with the kids has desensitized me to it, and I'm actually starting to enjoy it (to an extent). Plus, knowing I got my kids some of the things they've been asking for all year is making me look forward to Christmas morning.

I was remembering earlier today how Matt used to get a kick out of me with Christmas... He would say, "You gonna sleep tonight?" on Christmas Eve, and then he knew I would be awake before the kids on Christmas morning just waiting for them to wake up and start that magical day. It's been a while since I've thought of that, because it's been a while since I really felt it. But I think this year I truly have some Christmas spirit - especially because one of the biggest things that Sydney has been wanting has come to fruition... ballet lessons!

I talked to a lady from one of the places I called (the most reputable one in the area) and they have an opening! She can start the first week of January. So, I'm going to get her the ballet slippers, leotards and tights, and she'll open them on Christmas morning and then I'll tell her she will be wearing them at her ballet lessons. She'll flip!! I'm really looking forward to it for her, and even for me. It will give us both a chance to socialize more with people in our new town. We both need that desperately.

I've been drawing on my children's Christmas spirit and it's rubbing off on me. And we are all very blessed that I'm able to give them a Christmas to look forward to. I know there are so many that won't - for many reasons. I'm counting our blessings, and choosing to be positive in everything.

On a side note, I had a pair of Matt's sunglasses in the van and Sydney found them (of course). She asked whose they were and I told her, and she was even more enthusiastic about wearing them. Matt is like an invisible hero/celebrity to her. I don't know if that's healthy or not, but we're accepting it.

Matthew Richard Row, we all love you and miss you so much. I know you'll be with us on Christmas, and in between, as you have been right along. Thank you for your presence and guidance. I love you with every part of me!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jacob & Sydney things...

Sydney announced this morning, "I had a dream last night that I was riding Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! YAY!! My first Christmas dream!!" So cute!

She has been talking a LOT about Matt. "Daddy" this and "Daddy" that. During a meal when I announced it was quiet time (she rarely has a thought that doesn't get verbalized, and as a result, is too busy talking to eat), she whispered with a smile, "I was dancing with Daddy in my head." She says she misses Daddy, that she wishes she had a daddy, did Daddy like this song? and it goes on and on. I know it's a stage, but it takes the wind out of me sometimes. I'm glad she's talking, though.

She is dying to take ballet lessons. Just to make sure, I asked her the other day that if she could choose between ballet, gymnastics or karate, which would she choose (since she's expressed an interest in all of those), and her answer is still ballet. Even though they are expensive, I'm looking into what's available in our area. I'm hoping to suprise her this Christmas by telling her she'll be taking lessons soon! She'd be great at it. She's strong, flexible, and loves to perform. I've been asking Jacob what sport he might be interested in, and he consistently says baseball. I'm trying to get information about the little league in our area, but haven't had any response yet... We've thrown a ball a few times and batted, and he has a knack for it. Matt was in little league for years, and he (of course) was great at it.

They seem ready to get involved in things like this, and now that we are truly settled, it's a great time to start. And a great way to meet new friends!

I have to do a brag on Jacob... He got on the honor roll this marking period. I guess that stuff starts in 3rd grade! He is doing SO well on his school work, and really loves school. As soon as he gets home, he dives right into his homework without me having to say a word. I'm so proud of him.

When I was decorating the house with the outdoor lights, there was a strand that wasn't working. I told him it probably blew a fuse. (I blew a ton of fuses in California trying to string too many strands of lights together until my neighbor finally told me you shouldn't string anymore than three of them together or you'll blow fuses. Oops!) Jacob found the little compartment on the lights that contains the fuse and figured out - completely on his own - that one fuse is active, the other is an extra. He took out the blown fuse and replaced it with the extra, and voila! I couldn't believe it.

The kid quotes very specific factoids from the things he reads all the time - things about science, space, etc. I'm starting to think he has a photographic memory. I've always wished I could retain information that well.

Oh! Something else I've been meaning to write down... A while back, we got into the van and something stunk. I said to the kids, "Ewww - something stinks in here!" And Jacob, without missing a beat, said dryly, "Must be the extra tuna sandwich I keep under my seat." HAHAHAHA!!!! Oh my gosh - I hadn't laughed like that in a long time!

The other day, Jacob, Sydney and our neighbor Jessica were all playing on the set in the backyard and Jessica kicked Jacob in the head by accident (walking underneath her while she was on the monkey bars). He came into the house running and screaming like a little banchee. (He was OK, by the way. He has a tendency to overreact. I could just feel Matt roll his eyes at the scene.) I thought it was time I sit him down.

I said, "Come on in, sweetie - we need to have a talk." We sat down on the couch, and I said, "This is sort of like a father-son kind of talk but since Daddy's not here to do it, I'm it. If you were on the playground at school and you got hurt and reacted like that, your classmates would probably make fun of you for acting that way. You're eight years old now. You've got to learn to shake it off, tough it out and move on. I know you can do it - you're a tough kid!" He totally got it and smiled proudly like I told him a big secret. Then I said, "Now as your mommy, I'm gonna give you a big hug." I think it went well. I know there are other important talks we need to have soon - like about drugs, for example. When the elementary school gives you a supply list at the beginning of the year with Purell crossed out because they caught some kids sniffing it, it's probably best to have that talk sooner rather than later.

I am constantly blown away by the things my kids do and say, and I really need to start writing them down more often!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Skydiving & Dancing

Just remembered a crazy dream I had last night!

I skydived for the very first time, and after I safely landed, realized that I had no instructor attached to my back, and no one told me how to deploy the parachute. I remember jumping out of the plane and briefly remember the sensation of falling at a high rate of speed with the wind whipping my face and body. I intentionally skydived, which is something I would NEVER do in my waking life. Matt and his dad went together for the first (and last) time for his dad's 70th birthday, and while it was a really great moment for them and an experience never to be forgotten, that's just not for me.

What reminded me of that dream was standing on a step stool outside on my front porch hanging Christmas lights. Only had to take two steps down, and I was a teeny bit afraid of that height. I'm totally not a candidate for skydiving.

Then I had a separate dream that I was dancing with an ape at a party in someone's garage, hosted by some guy with long, crazy hair from an 80's band.

Don't even bother trying to make sense of that one! =)-

Christmas Music

It's that time of year, and today's the day... diging out the tree and all the rest of the crap that goes with it. The kids are having a BLAST, and we're listening to Christmas music as we deck the halls.