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Category Archives: the little things

Easter Memory

When I was younger I was part of something very special. It was the mother of all service learning projects. They called it “Service to the suffering”. The Diocese of Trenton, a Roman Catholic thing, ran this event with our CCD groups. When I look back at that time in my life I feel very fortunate to have had such a moving experience.

“Service to the Suffering” was held the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the Holy Week before Easter. During these three days we would meet together, all of the kids in CCD from the entire diocese. They would split us up into groups. Dividing us from our core CCD groups so that we would meet new people. 

Our newly formed groups would all gather on buses where we would then be shipped off to different locations. All of the places would be somewhere that could use a little TLC that could be accomplished by teenagers. 

My fondest memories of places:

A community pool. We cleaned out the drained pool, painted picnic benches, and raked the expansive lawn. Now that sounds like hard work right? But what I remember is the massive paint fight that my new best friends and I had. Everyone was covered in red paint!

We went to a psychiatric hospital where some of us cleaned the grounds while others sat inside with the patients and did crafts or played games. I was on the grounds crew. Dealing with other people was never one of my specialties. What I remember most about this day was that a boy in our group that I had a serious crush on made me book marks during his craft time. 🙂 I was a teenage girl. 

In my last year I remember being given the honor/burden of getting to carry the cross all day one of the days. 

Every day they pick one kid who gets to carry the cross for the whole day. It was their way of giving us just a small taste of what Jesus had to go through and symbolism for everyone bearing their own crosses through life. 

This cross was no joke. It was a 6 foot tall thick pieces of wood, honest to god you could nail someone to it cross. We don’t play around at Service. 

At the end, on Saturday night there was a big dance. Always a highlight in my book. Of course there was a mass at the end of every day, which was always amazing. When you put hundreds of kids together that really believe and feel it, it can be very powerful. 

Even though my faith is nowhere near what it used to be that is a feeling that I will always hold dear. 

Having this experience was something so powerful and wonderful. Now that I am a mother of “almost teens”, I find myself longing for this kind of experience for my kids. I wish that I could find something for them that would give them the memories and profound emotions that this event held for me.

 Happy Easter

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2016 in the little things

 

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I may never learn

Why is it that I am always looking for my families approval?
I did something that I am very proud of myself for doing.
*even though the article in the paper makes me sound like the least eloquent person in the world*
However, I have dinner with my family and all the sudden I’m back to just feeling like a house wife that is just trying to make herself feel important. Why do I let them do this to me?!?
After my swearing in on Wednesday we went out for dinner and a celebratory drink. My parents and a close friend came. I was surrounded by support and love. The look of pride on my dad’s face could have made me cry. But then this weekend, my siblings…!!!!!
I got comments like “why would you want to be a part of that board” “they (the BOE) don’t really do anything anyway, right?”
UHG!
Well, despite them I am still really excited about doing this. I made the comment to my dad “If you ever run into the problem of starting to get a big head, or just overly excited about the possibility that you could create change, just bring it up with these 3. They will knock you down quick and put you back in your place.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. But, DAMN! I’m frustrated that I let them get to me. And that they can’t just say “congratulations” and move on.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2014 in the little things

 

Parental Victory

I took Tyler and my nephew Trevor to the beach today. On the drive we were listening to music. My mix is kind of all over the place. I don’t have a specific genre of music that I listen to. So we went from a Minecraft parody of will.i.am’s scream and shout, to Macklemore, to The Piano Guys. When The Piano Guys came on it was “Over the rainbow”, Noah’s favorite. Tyler says I love this song, and I make everyone in the car shush so that we can listen to it.

Trevor looks at Tyler and says “You really like this song?”

Tyler says “Yeah it’s Great.”

Trevor goes “But it doesn’t have any words.”

Tyler’s like “So what, it’s like the whole world is right here.”

His brain works a little strange with comments like that. But I see this as a total win for me. I have officially taught my kids about music. I was so proud of him. 🙂 (and me) 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in the little things

 

It’s the little things

The Piano Guys concert was awesome! Steve, the cellist, is a god!
The venue that we were at I have to say was nothing spectacular. I really wish that we could have been closer to the stage. Their expressions while playing are the best. And there is just something about being able to successfully play a cello like a drum that is fascinating to me.
I knew that the music was going to be fantastic. They played my favorite songs while I sat there in awe. What I wasn’t expecting was how great their showmanship was. They are funny! And so comfortable on stage. I’m really hoping to get to see them again. Maybe I’ll use it as an excuse to finally get out to Utah, their home state. Also home to some of the most breath taking landscapes on the planet.

In other news; This whole having the infusion in 5 1/2 weeks thing is BS. 4 weeks seems to be key. Maybe even 4 weeks and a couple of days. But an extra 10 days is no good. I have been so totally drained. And of course when I’m tired, I’m cranky. Unreasonably so. Armed with this knowledge I am trying to just let things roll off my back. People pissing me off may just be my brain saying “take a nap!”. So I won’t discuss all of the things that are pissing me off right now. I’m going to just sit back, listen to my newly acquired Piano Guys CD, and wait for Tyler to get out of school. 🙂

 
 

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Eye Problems?!? What eye problems?

I was going to write yesterday, but I used up all of my spoons celebrating! 🙂

They doctor’s appointment went very well. I don’t know why I didn’t just go to him at first. I guess I just didn’t want to deal with it. I just wanted it over. How rare could this really be? I’m sure that anybody in optometry could help. I was wrong. I was so wrong. When I went to the first doc I even asked, “Well this is pretty common now, right?” And he said Yes. So I figured I was good.

Whith my specialist I asked the same question and he said no. I am still one of the few. The first guy just didn’t want to make me feel weird. TOO Late!

Any who. The doc has me on new eye drops. They are actually gels. Or at least he kept calling them gels. Which is a little scary. Since I am still putting it in my eye 5 times a day. Or rather I will be when it comes in. They had to special order it. “It’s not something that we usually carry.” Was what the pharmacist said. So I will be on these for 2 weeks and then it is back to the docs.

And then the most exciting news. The news that sent me for a celebratory coffee and a little bit of dancing in a Starbucks. After the virus is quiet for 6 months to a year I can get a new eye!!!!!

Ok so not a whole new eye. I will still be my beautiful brown eyed self. 🙂

I will be eligible for a cornea transplant.

Sure, sure, sure, that sounds scary. Or at least I think that that is what my mom kept saying while I kept jumping up and down saying “Yeah!” in hushed screams. 🙂

Ok that’s enough smiley faces for one blog.

I am really, really excited. I don’t even know what it is like to have normal vision in both eyes. It has been bad like this since I was 7. I actually have started to wonder if it will make a difference. Is my left eye compensating so well that I won’t notice? I don’t know. I keep closing the good one and trying to focus with just my right eye, almost to remind myself how bad it is. It’s bad. I remember a time that I used to do that while reading.

“If I close my left eye can I still read this page?” For a while I could. Now I absolutely cannot. It’s a miracle that I can tell there are black fuzzy uneven lines that are PROBABLY words.

HAHA! I can look out of my telescope with my right eye! I know that sounds like a strange thing to be excited about. I always feel like such a freak using my left eye for those things though. Cameras, video cameras. Oh and right now, I can’t see 3D. It is totally lost on me. It just looks like a normal movie. Or when people have the 3D papers or shirts. Nothing. I don’t see anything different. In Disney people are all like “Wwoo” when something “Flies out of the screen.” I will totally admit that I pretended right along. But there was nothing. But after the surgery I’ll see it!!!!!!

OK I am totally getting ahead of myself. First thing is first. I need to put the virus back in it’s little hole. Then I need to do some super research. I don’t want to be scared or nervous about this. But I want to be very well informed.

 

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My momentary obsession

Ok so sometimes I get obsessed with a song.

Right now it’s “Beethoven’s 5 Secrets.” by The Piano Guys.

It’s just the way that it makes you feel.

I believe that in order for you to be able to consider it a good song, you need to feel it!

The tune can just absolutely sway you. (That sounds strange. But it’s really the strings that do it to me.) Then of course you have to turn up the volume until you can physically feel it. Which of course makes me yearn for summer when I can do that with my windows open.

This song makes you feel very introspective. As I feel most instrumental music has a tendency to do. There songs definitely are not background, listen while you read, kind of songs. You have to actually listen and get swept up in them.

If you haven’t ever heard of The Piano Guys you absolutely need to immediately go to YouTube and look them up.
For the first time it is essential that you watch one of their videos. With The Piano Guys, it’s not just the music. The visuals are just as breathtaking, awe inspiring, and amazing. The sweeping vistas that they use and the way that they use the piano and cello in ways that you just never thought of really adds to the music. I have the privilege of going to one of their performances in March. I’m not really sure what it is going to be like but I’m really excited to see how they bring in their visuals with the music when it’s in person.

My kids favorite is “Over the Rainbow”. All of the videos are so good that I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. However “Angels we have heard on high” has my favorite videographers. 🙂 Check it out.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in the little things

 

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Thoughts from my day…

We had snow.
Wonderful beautiful snow.
The kids and I made the ugliest snowman ever, as well as some lovely snow-angels.
Then I woke up this morning and it was spring! 60 degrees and no snow. Sure it was raining a little. But who’s 2013 didn’t need a little rinsing away?

Now they are closing schools tomorrow because it will be too cold?!?
I say bundle up baby! You have spent too much time in this house! Back to school with you !

I know that the title of my blog is “Being Too Strong”. However, I feel like I haven’t been being strong enough.
I don’t usually make New Years’ resolutions. Most of the time it’s pettiness. Like “I’m going to eat healthier” “I’m going to go to the gym more””I’m going to stop swearing in front of the kids”. Now we all know that none of those things are actually going to happen. But in keeping with the “self-help” theme… Here’s my resolution.

I’m going to be stronger this year.

My main thought with that happened while I was walking up the stairs. I don’t need to use the railing to get up or down them. I should stop relying so heavily on them. My foot/leg is doing phenomenally better. So I think that it is probably time that I stop using the railing like I’m climbing Everest.

My other thought is that if I didn’t let things bother me and stress me out I might not have had my recent issues. The lesions in my spine would have stayed quiet. I wouldn’t have, what seems like a permanent, hole in my toe. And maybe, just maybe, I could open my right eye and look at something without being stabbed with hot pokers. Maybe.

My next doctors appointment for that last one is tomorrow. I squeezed it in right before my infusion.

See why I need school tomorrow?

Oh and my last piece of randomness for those following;
I got my blood test back. No JC Virus anti-bodies. So I am still free and clear!