Monday, September 23, 2013

A Goodbye I Don't Want to Say

An administrative level position came open in my office after about 10 months of working here. Even though I only worked here a relatively short time, I felt confident that I could do a good job at the administrative level, and my boss thought the same thing. After interviewing me and several other candidates, my boss hinted that I was basically a shoo-in. Then she told me they had one more interview. She was a late applicant but had a lot of experience so they had to interview her. Ok, no big deal. The next day my boss called me in and told me they offered the job to that late applicant. I put on my happy face and hide my extreme disappointment. She told me that they knew I’d do a good job but the lady they had chosen had a ton of experience and would be an excellent addition to our office. Yeah ok, whatever.  

Little did I know the impact this would have on my life. This lady that they, very rightly, chose over me is now one of my closest and dearest friends. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have survived these last six years without her, professionally or personally. Maura is one of those people who embodies the spirit of goodness. Her level of compassion and caring is unparalleled and I am so grateful to call her my friend. I have never worked so well with someone, or had such a perfect complement and balance in a teammate. We fill each other’s deficiencies perfectly and sometimes I feel like we are just an extension of each other. But it’s not just work stuff. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in the last 6 years, especially this last year. I’ve cried more in her cubicle than any other place combined. She’s helped me talk through more issues than I care to remember. She knows when to give advice and when to just listen. She heaps on the support and love in ways that I never thought possible. She has been my crutch when I thought I couldn’t move. She has been my motivation when I didn’t think I could go a second longer. She has held me up when all I wanted to do was crumble. But, of course, that’s not all. She has also been an amazing mentor to me. She never let an opportunity to teach me something pass by. She always included me and went out of her way to show me how to do something. I can say without question, I am a better person for knowing Maura.

On Friday she gave her two-week notice and I’m afraid I’m going to grab onto her leg and never let go as she walks out of the door on her last day. She has been my life support and I can’t fathom coming to work without her here. She is making the right decision and I am so happy that she doing what is best for her…but damn I’m going to miss her. Of course we will stay in touch as much as humanly possible, but there will be a gaping void that cannot be filled.

So Maurina, I’m going to miss you more than words can describe. But once again you are being a perfect role model as you embark on an uncertain, but necessary, future. Your faith in God and in yourself makes everyone around you a better person. I wish you all the happiness in the world and I look forward to continuing our friendship despite the distance. Good luck my dear friend. Thank you for being you and for all you have done for me in these last six years! I will cherish our friendship forever!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tomorrow we'll be earlier

This morning Bud and Babe’s bus driver told me I was one fast mama. While I don’t appreciate the possible undertones of that statement, I have to admit it was quite appropriate. Why you ask? Because at 7:05 this morning I was sprinting down the sidewalk in my socks yelling WAIT at the top of my lungs with the kids trying to keep up behind me.

According to the published bus routes, their bus is supposed to come at 7am every day. Since the first day of school he has unerringly come at 7:12 every. single. day. Those 12 extra minutes are crucial to our morning routine. It means they get more time to sleep in, it means I have another few minutes to get my morning in line, it means if I shoot to have them ready by 7:05 every day that gives us a few minutes to sit in our stairwell and spend some time together that isn’t distracted by finding backpacks, making lunch, and any other sidetracking task. I love those few minutes in the stairwell. We can see the bus as it turns the corner and the kids still have time to get to there. We are warm and dry and talkative. I can tell them how much I love them and ask them what they are looking forward to today. It’s only a few minutes but it means so much to me.

But today as I picked up my shoes to put them on, I heard the familiar rumble of the diesel engine coming down the street. (I can’t tell you how thankful I am that our windows face the street and I can see these things!) I had no time to get my shoes on but thankfully the kids had their shoes and jackets on already and were just waiting for me. As I picked up Babe and ran with her down the stairs behind the speedy Bud I figured I’d just stay at the door and let them run to the bus. I kind of have this thing about going outside in my socks. I don’t like it. But there weren’t a lot of kids at the stop this morning and my kids aren’t there every day so the driver wouldn’t know to wait for them. As we emerged from the house I knew there wasn’t going to be enough time if I let them go alone. So, in all my shoeless glory, we started running down the street. The DPW guys next door noticed us and started yelling STOP to the driver…which got me yelling WAIT! NO! DON’T GO! WAIT!...which made them laugh at me. As the bus doors closed I knew he was going to pull away and we were still far enough away for him not to notice us. I dropped Babe’s hand, put my head down, and started to sprint. After a several yards I heard his brakes engage and I thanked my lucky stars! He stopped and opened the door and my kids ran up behind me and climbed on. “You are one fast Mama!” he said to me. Thank the good Lord for that!!

As I walked back to my house I couldn’t help but think of the scene of Dottie and Kit running to catch the train. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, shame on you better get yourself a copy of A League of Their Own and watch that classic STAT!

Tomorrow I'll make sure we are ready earlier.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

School Days

I’ve been trying to write a post about the first day back and the words just aren't coming. So instead I’ll let the pictures do the talking. 

This one takes my breath away
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Also, can her backpack be any bigger on her?

They are the cutest
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But they still are brother and sister!
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She did NOT want his arm around her! He thought it was hilarious!

I love these two!!
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But it doesn't mean I'm not going to tickle them when they won't keep their eyes open for the camera
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No nerves here! She was so happy to get her name tag and stand with her class!
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Bud lined up outside his classroom. 
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He's upstairs this year so we had to find our way...but we made it!

My favorite story of the day happened as we were walking into school. Babe couldn't walk very fast in her new shoes (they were a little big) so I was carrying her and she was snuggled into me so nicely. I told her I loved her and she gave me a squeeze. I leaned over to Bud who was walking next to us and I said "I love you Buddy!" He turned to me and said "Keep your voice down, I don't want the other kids to hear!" And so he begins his journey into second grade! 

This morning was their first morning of going on the bus from our apartment. It conveniently stops right next door so I couldn't ask for better. But I got better. The bus they ride is the Butterfly bus (as you may know, Babe refers to herself as Princess Butterfly)!! So I like to think it's a good omen and this school year will be a good one! I'm so proud of both of them. Bud is just unbelievably smart and kind. I am in love with the boy he is turning out to be! And Babe is giving her brother a run for his money with her brains and sweetness. She already is one awesome little girl and I love watching her grow and state her independence (as troublesome as that may sometimes be). I just couldn't love these two more!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NYS Fair and Awesome Weekend Recap

Remember how I promised you two posts in a 7 day period? Yeah, I thought it was a long shot too. But how about 2 posts in a 2 week period? Better than nothing right?

So yeah, my weekend with my girls was LEGEND…wait for it…DARY!!!!!!!!!! Having my friends visit was just what my soul needed! I can’t even recount all the fun stuff that happened because it’s the stupid little stuff that made the whole weekend what it was. However, some things were documented photographically so I am able to recount those. (Lucky you!)

There was that time that Smidge brought a suitcase big enough for her to climb into and get lost…
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And there was that time that I wanted Smidge to braid my hair so Jamalee helped me get my hair wet…
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And that time we ALL braided our hair and took the wackest coolest selfie of all time…
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And the time we took a picture to make my cousin who flaked on us jealous…
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As you can see from those documented times, we had ourselves a very good weekend! We spent Saturday at the New York State Fair having a GREAT time!! As you may remember, I received free tickets to the Fair in return for my blogging about it. Honestly, I would be blogging about it even if I didn’t get free tickets so really that’s just a super fun bonus!!

We got there about lunch time and headed straight for the butter sculpture…you HAVE to see the butter sculpture!
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While we were gazing upon all the wonderful butteryness we had the wonderful surprise of being ambushed by my kids!! I knew they were planning on being there that day but with the crowds I never expected to actually run into them! 
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From the butter sculpture we headed over to my most favorite exhibit every single year. It's the same exact routine but I still love it every time! What am I talking about you ask? The New York State Trooper exhibit of course!!!

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They always start with the roll-over simulation, then do the K-9 unit demonstration, then comes the repelling demonstration. Based on the pictures I took of the event you can guess which is my favorite!

For the life of me I cannot get Blogger to post my videos using photobucket so if you'd like to experience the awesomeness of this demo please click the following two links: Bad Boys and Repel

I really do love that part of the fair! But that wasn't all we did! No sir! We also walked past one of those photo boards and initially we kept going but all of us agreed we had to turn back and kick the little kids out of it snag some unsuspecting individual to take our picture!

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All of us agreed that it was fitting that Smidge was the nut. :-)

Ok, but this year, I have a new favorite part of the fair. For any of you who have been reading me for a long time may remember my love of trampolines and how I've never forgiven my parents for trying to pass off an exercise trampoline as a real trampoline one Christmas I jump on them any chance I get! In the past I've always walked past the trampolines at the fair, nearly salivating at them but my cheap side holding me back. But not this year! This year FUN prevailed! And I jumped! Oh boy did I jump!!! And swung a little too but that part wasn't great. (Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.) 

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Once again the whole I can't upload click the link to see me in full swing action!!

In my defense, I believe I started to swing like that because I somehow eventually managed to get my fat ass to do a flip!!

Oh yes, my friends! This was a fabulous Fair experience this year! If you are ever in the Syracuse area at the end of August you MUST make plans to go! You won't be sorry!!

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A very bad picture of the giant sand sculpture...also not to be missed!