And then there’s this

There has been a lot of stress and sadness in our home since I was last able to write anything here.

At the end of October we had to have our beloved Jules, our eleven year old Golden Retriever, put down.  It was heartbreaking, as those things always are, but it was even more than heartbreaking, if that is possible, because both girls insisted on coming with me to say our final goodbyes to her and to hold and pet her as she took her last breath.  We remained in that little veterinary office for over forty five minutes holding the remains of that sweet dog, crying, and attempting to get ourselves together enough to emerge from the room with some dignity.

Immediately following the election…waaaaaay back in November…in fact, as I was watching the election returns at ungodly hours of the night, I started having panic attacks.  Mini panic attacks.  Itty bitty heart racing panic attacks.  So small that on that great big scale of panic attacks hidden away in therapist offices everywhere they may not have even registered, but I was very aware of them, and even though I could control them fairly easily by excusing myself from a conversation or turning off the computer or grabbing one of my kids for an unsolicited hug, they scared me.

This fall, Hayden applied to several colleges (yay!  The possibilities are endless!  Her future is so bright!) and, as the acceptances began rolling in from every school she applied to, so did the panic. (Oh, my God!  She’s leaving me!  How are we going to pay for this?  She’s leaving me!)  This is an ongoing stress as she tries to decide where she wants to attend college, how far away she will be from us, etc.  It’s the proverbial parenting dilemma: I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to see who she becomes, what she does with her one magnificent life–while, all the while, feeling a tremendous sense of loss for the little girl she was; she used to hold my hand for everything, and now she runs ahead of me.

My mom passed away on January 29th of this year.  Four and a half weeks ago.  On my sister’s fortieth birthday.  She had undergone a major surgery on the twentieth, and although there were small ups and downs in the time between the surgery and her passing, she had done remarkably well.  She was ready to be discharged from the hospital on the twenty-ninth, literally dressed and ready to go, when she suffered a pulmonary embolism.  Despite a large contingency of doctors and nurses and the such, they were unable to save her.

That Sunday morning I was just getting in the shower to go to the hospital in Albany, NY when I received the first text that something was wrong, that something was happening.  I was on the road, almost to Hartford, CT when my Dad called to tell me she had not survived what he thought at the time was a heart attack.  I continued to drive towards Albany making a couple of phone calls–the first to Steve and the second to my friend Suzanne.  Twice I had to pull over on the Mass Pike/NY throughway to vomit.  It was the worst morning of the worst day of my life.

I have much I want to say about my mother, but I’m not ready today, so I will just leave this here.  For now.

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Year

This beautiful girl started her Senior year of high school last week.

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She was very patient while I took several photos of her before she drove herself to school for the first time ever, oh my heart!

Mom!  Stoooop!  I’m gonna be late!

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So, I stopped.

For a minute.

Then I chased her down the driveway.

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And, so, it begins.  My baby girl’s Senior year of high school.  So many milestones coming up this year, and I want her to enjoy every single minute.  I’ll try not to let her see me sobbing in the corner.

The Summer of Nancy

This is Nancy.

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Nancy showed up at my parent’s camp one day via a shopping trip to Target in which Hayden casually threw her into the cart declaring she loved Nancy and that she would love her and feed her and play with her everyday.

At first, Nancy blended into the family nicely and played well with others.

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But, rather quickly, all others were forsaken as Nancy’s charm caused everyone to gravitate towards her and her alone; everyone wanted the attention of Nancy.

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They loved her individually.

They loved her in pairs.

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They whispered their secrets to her.

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Even the adults were smitten with Nancy.

Occasionally, Nancy got a little frisky and attempted to mess with anyone not paying enough attention to her.  Luckily for Hayden, Nancy was unsuccessful in bumping her off the paddle board this time.DSC_0345

Only because Nancy decided it was more fun to be pulled around the lake.

One day, Nancy became a little too frisky and ventured out into the lake unaccompanied.  She managed, with a little help from the wind, to make it several camps down the Narrows before Hayden, the love of her life, was able to rescue her.

It was a close call, but tragedy was averted and this, the Summer of Nancy, was saved.

Until next time.

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Notice the beety, evil eye.  She’s plotting something.  I just know it.

I’ve got this

I started my new job at a small medical billing company yesterday and I couldn’t be more excited.  The position is temporary for now, but could develop into a full-time permanent position depending on how it all goes, how well I perform, how much we like one another, and if it feels like a good fit once the probation period has ended.  I hadn’t considered temporary, or even part time, positions simply because I pictured going back to work as an all-in endeavor, but, I think, this is actually pretty perfect for our family situation right now. I’d been slightly apprehensive about the timing of me working because of everything that has gone on at school with Anna, and how tentative she still is, not to mention Hayden’s stomach issues (which, knock on wood, are improving, but that is a post for another day), so this easing into it a little more slowly, though unexpected, makes perfect sense, and is probably best for us at this point.

My first day on the job went remarkably well.  My coworkers were warm and welcoming, and the woman training me was patient, organized, and thorough.  Her teaching style gelled perfectly with my learning style, and I was immediately relieved. The work is going to be challenging, but I feel as though my education has prepared me well.  Admittedly, I pictured myself more in the coding end of the profession than the billing, but my foot is in the door, and I’m going to take this opportunity and run with it, make it work to my advantage, while I gain valuable experience.

I have my own cubicle, and I understand working in a cubicle is supposed to be a wee bit depressing, but I can hardly contain my glee because I’ve never had my own little cubicle before, and the thought of personalizing my space is intoxicating to this office supply nerd.  Also, having a cubicle makes me feel like a grown up.  I have a desk and a desk chair and a desk calendar, I have a filing cabinet that is currently empty that I can add to and label files as I see fit, I have a two monitor computer and a phone, I have a stapler and a staple remover…you get the picture.

I know the passcode to enter the office.

I have a job where I am not only allowed, but encouraged, to use colored markers.

This is a good thing.  I’ve got this.