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Friday, April 30

birds..

If you haven't noticed...they are fricken everywhere!
but I HAD the chance to notice this morning,
when I had to make Garrin and myself disappear
while there was a showing on this house.

We opted to take a quick drive around town to waste time.
Left with Garrin still in his jammies....
but two things were still missing....
Connor and his bird identifying book
because we ended up at some conservation area.

So I don't know what the hell I was looking at or taking pictures of..

I don't know - black winged red bird, red winged black bird...
Something like that.
I know this is a swan....
but I didn't know they are mean .....all those early years
of being an ugly duckling I guess.
The thing hissed at me.
I don't know. Something the town must be "conserving"
since he has a homemade house.
Oh, wait! I know this one.
Canadian Goose??? 'cause I'm from Canada......
Check out the duck. Boy and a girl, though one of them
is behind one of the trees. And I didn't even see the
turtles......until I downloaded the photos. I must go back now
to see if I can find them for real!
And this little thing.
Wasn't hard to find this one. All I could here was
peck peck peck peck.....
loud and annoying for sure.
Spotted this tall thing on the way out.
I don't know.....crane.....heron.....egret.....
flamingo??......ok I know it's NOT a flamingo...
All the old ladies were there with their binoculars,
all along the road. As hard as I tried to observe
proper "conservation area" etiquette,
apparently the old folks didn't care for the fact the my truck wasn't pulled
properly over to the side of the road. Told me flat out
that it was parked in the middle of the road....to which, of course,
I marched right over to see for myself, and proudly announced that it was NOT.
AND that I was leaving.......
All in all, it was indeed a pretty cool place I discovered.
Next time I might walk though.

Thursday, April 29

Team Up Thursday

Here is what Kimberly, my sista', and I came up with for our
FRUIT theme this week:

I guess Fruit Loops would have been a poor choice in the "fruit" category,
but it would have been funny......anyhoo. I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot
this week to capture the theme. It was very hard to pull into the parking lot and
just sit there and try to take a shot, without all the customers thinking I was
casing the joint................took me about 5 times pulling in there to actually
get it and get OUT.

So my sister's is fabulous, as usual. Looks like she may be making me
some banana bread shortly!!!

Tuesday, April 27

rain, rain, go away....

.......otherwise in the immediate future we will have
to purchase this thing called a LAWNMOWER
and this other thing called a WEED WACKER
because with all this rain....
EVERYTHING IS GROWING AT RECORD SPEED!!!
(obviously we didn't mow rocks or dirt the past 9 years)

...and besides, I have too much other stuff going on
to worry about THAT stuff......

Seriously, it is making everything look just beautiful,
and new and fresh and green...
But it's kinda bumming me out...
rain and clouds do that after the initial excitement
of a change in weather wears off....

I feel tired and a little grumpy
and a little on edge...
So taking a little time that I really shouldn't be sparing,
I grabbed my camera and walked around outside to take some
pictures of the goodness of the rain.
I might add, it didn't take me long after coming back in the
house to feel all grumpy again, because I was now cold and wet....

Let me just look at these one more time,
THAT will make me feel better...















...for now.
(wink, wink)

Saturday, April 24

Damn Girl

I say this a lot.....actually I SING it a lot.

There is a song that says "Damn Girl" in the chorus,
Sexy Chick by David Guetta, which is quite popular right now,
and then a song titled "Damn Girl" by Justin Timberlake.

It is surely way funnier to me, but I sing it in the car when I am driving around
with the kids because when I curse, it makes Connor giggle. And he by far, has
the best giggle of all my kids. And because I very rarely curse, it is such a treat for them...
ok - I'm lying about the amount of cursing I do.....

anyhoo

There is a quote on my calendar that says:
"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true
friends will leave footprints in your heart." yup....Eleanor Roosevelt

just to sidetrack real quick - there once was a time that I was part
of a book club and one month we had to read a biography - we chose one on
Eleanor Roosevelt......fascinating...really. I HATE biographies....hate 'em.
But found that I really enjoyed reading about her. Google quotes by her...
there is not one that I don't like!!!!

back to it...

The quote..
this is my friend Leslie...

DAMN GIRL..........
we make the 40's look awesome don't we. I love how her highlights offset my
crow's feet!!!!!!

Anyway. She is one of quite a few friends who have left foot prints
in my heart. And I love her! I love us! I love who we've grown in to!

YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE PEOPLE!
And if I haven't told you lately,
I will. I promise.
Because for us it doesn't matter how near or far,
how often we talk, how much our lives differ,
we will always remain friends.

Friday, April 23

Sometimes we all need a good..

slap in the head...

I was lucky enough to find a song that was downloaded onto my iPhone
accidentally. By Hannah or me....not sure which one of us did NOT recall
purchasing it from iTunes...but...
I like it.
I like it a lot.
And I think I've heard it before.
But I am not sure where or when or whatever...

Time of Our Lives by Paul Van Dyk
Check it out if you can.

There's a time for us to let go
There's a time for holding on
A time to speak, a time to listen
There's a time for us to grow

There's a time for laying low down
There's a time for getting high
A time for peace, a time for fighting
A time to live, a time to die

A time to scream, a time for silence
A time for truth against the lie
A time for faith, a time for science
There's a time for us to shine

There's a time for mixed believing
There's a time to understand
A time for hurt, a time for healing
A time to run, and make a stand

This is the time Of our lives...

WOW - no matter WHAT is going on in our lives -
we need to look at it this way.....seriously.

It's hard to think that all the things above, good and bad,
should be classified as "the time of our lives"...
but it IS the simple truth.

Great song!
If you ever see me feeling sorry for myself
feel free to give me a good slap upside my head.

Thursday, April 22

Team Up Thursday

Shape
The Theme....
I mean, what comes to mind right off the bat is
what great shape I am in.....I wanted to take a picture of myself
leaving the gym..........

OK that was a joke. A big one. About as big as my butt.

So here is our diptych this week.
Me on the left - Miss Kimberly on the right.
(with two little ones, I had a feeling Kimmy would do this.....as we
do NOT discuss what are pictures are until we are done Wednesday night!!)


Tuesday, April 20

Well....good morning

This post will be thoughts of random-ness at it's finest.
By the way - "Random" is no longer the word of the day for my daughter..
it is now - "Legit". But that will be a different blog post entirely.
Anyhoo.
Just some crap that is swirling through my mind.

I haven't picked up my camera in five days.
WTF?
Seriously.....
It feels strange at best....what am I going to do when I get arthritis in a couple years???
When I can't lift up the thing to my cataract-ed eyeball anymore??
Crazy thought for sure.
Today I picked it up and I felt

I felt

I felt
A.L.I.V.E.!!!!

just kidding....but it felt good!!!

Anyway. A lot of stuff going on...my mind is full...
Not sure if I can get it all down here.

Did some reading over the weekend. Read Water for Elephants. Finally.
Friends told me to read it like 4 years ago I think.
That's right up there with Bill and I just watching I Am Legend....last month....
Completely amazing read for sure...so un-Jodi-Picoult....fabulous though.

Then I picked up a good one.
Bitches on a Budget.
I'm about 1/2 way thru - so funny.....so insightful....I am loving it.
I've also had the opportunity to spend memorable moments with some very
incredible people these past weeks. People that have been a part of my life and
have been a steady constant. And I am beyond grateful. They have ALWAYS been
there for me even when they haven't been there for me...make sense? Distance means
nothing in a real friendship.

I also cried this weekend.
I am not a cry-er.
Ever really.
But I realized that I needed to cry in order to get over something.
To put an end to something.
To finalize something.
Which makes sense for me. I realize that primarily I cry when I lose
a family member. Crying is my final release. My let-go.
I did that this weekend, and damn it was hard.
But it is done. And life goes on.

The house that we live in is up for sale. (not the reason for the crying)
Which is a pain in the ass.
Kind of.
It's a pain because I have to ride the kids CONSTANTLY
about keeping it clean.
BUT
it's clean...all the time.
How's about that for taking the good with the bad?

In the meantime, we are getting things at the new house ready
to move in. Cleaning, cleaning, some cleaning and more cleaning....
Did I mention the house was built in 1790?
That, too, another blog post on it's own.
So, needless to say some things put on the back burner to get other things
done. Ok with me so far.

With brings me to my last thought.

Our daughter.
This will be my biggest test yet.
Teenage years.
She is pushing me and I am pushing back.
It is hard to sense whether she is still a little naive,
or smarter than I know.
Either way, life is a challenge - for her for sure right now,
but for me as her mom.
Time to dig out the rosary beads......


no not for me!!

To hang them around her neck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 15

Team Up Thursday

Can you guess the theme?
"From Lying Down"
Besides the fact that Kimmy, on the left,
and I, on the right,
had to mess up our gorgeous hair and get all kindsa' dirty,
it was a pretty cool perspective, wouldn't you say???

Wednesday, April 14

How your whole day can change in an instant

A crazy busy typical day here today.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
Momentary segments of wanting to cut my head off.
But nothing over the top.

Hannah and Connor off to school.
Garrin waking up at his usual leisurely time of 9:30ish.
Laundry.
Dishes.
Phone calls.
Emails.
yadda yadda yadda.....

We'd planned to head to my sister's house to
hang out with Matthew while she took Gabby to the doctors
so we left a little before school.
Showered, dressed, hair done...good to go.

Now it's about 4:30ish.
Second wave of busy-ness in full swing.
Lunch.
Picking up kids.
Helping with a report Hannah is barreling through tonight
because she procrastinated and it's due tomorrow homework.
Some more laundry.
Trip to the pool.
yadda yadda yadda.....

So Garrin is sitting on the potty before heading outside
to play with Connor and when he is done he yells


"MOM I HAVE NO UNDERWEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".


OK Well just get them and put them back on,
I am thinking......
There they are.
On his bed.
Still.
From this morning.
Clean.
Never worn.
All day.
Not to school................

Monday, April 12

Fairy Dust perhaps???

So in the bright bright sunshine yesterday,
I trespassed and took pictures of my neighbors azaleas
that are in full bloom right now.
The sun was sparkling on anything and everything shiny.
The following 2 shots were right out of my camera.
No photoshopping!!! gasp...........


But then again, I just couldn't help myself!!



Sunday, April 11

Taking the good with the bad, I guess.

Lotta stuff going on right now.

Without going into too much detail,
we are at a point in time where we
are realizing some of the consequences of
choices that we have made regarding the last 6 months or
so of our lives. Some good, some not so good.

Many of the decisions were imperative to our
survival, so to speak.
As individuals,
as a couple,
as parents,
and as a family.

And while it has taken a long time to begin
working through all of these decisions,
we know with our hearts and souls,
these were very thought out decisions,
knowing what may not be best for us now,
will be best for us in the end.

Which is why I feel so f**ked up sometimes.
I feel as if I am undeserving of any good that
may come into my life. How could "good" even
come to me right now? Am I humbled enough by
what has happened these last months...? How can
I stand tall when I feel so small?

Well, one thing I make sure I do.....
I look at what I have.
I look at what God has given me.
I look where He has guided me to go.
I look at things that ARE mine,
will always BE mine.

These clowns:
And I remind myself that after all that has happened,
it IS about THEIR future.

Saturday, April 10

yup

Raising a couple of computer junkies over here.
Totally fine with it. Might work to their advantage someday.

For now... I guess I'll have to watch SpongeBob by myself this morning.
HAPPY WEEKEND!!

Friday, April 9

Some of the sights.....

springtime
I suppose texting while walking is better than
thinking about her actually texting while driving, right?

Thursday, April 8

Team Up Thursday

Color is the theme this week.

I know, I know.....I took the easy route.
Duhhhh.....Easter Egg coloring this week.
Me on the left
Kimmy on the right.

Yeah...my sister gets a no-brainer shot,
walking by the bucket of markers we have here,
she shoots.....she SCORES!!!

Wednesday, April 7

My Mom - the b*tch

I have resigned myself to the thought that this is probably how my kids
will see me at some point in time. Hopefully not most of the time,
but that is a possibility.

As much as I admit, it is hard being a parent,
I do not forget how hard it was to grow up.

Kids are growing up so much earlier than they used to.
In all aspects.
Mentally.
Physically.
and certainly Socially.

The hardest part from a parents perspective is that you end up
having to have VERY frank conversations way before you
wanted to
intended to
or ever had to listen to as a child yourself.

But it is what it is. Right? Reality comes into play
and as a parent, you need to step up to the plate,
and do whatever is necessary to get your message across and
protect your child.

Case in point.

It has been a not-so-smooth adjustment for Hannah
in her new middle school. She has gone from a huge school of 1600
to a more intimate school. She went from being extremely popular
to the new kid. And we know how kids treat new kids.
She's gone from a very rigid dress code to a little more flexibility.
Not easy for a pre-teen almost teenager who is trying to define
who they are in what they wear.
She's experienced some bullying. Of which she's handled very
smoothly in the past.

I've tried to give the best advice possible without
taking each and every one of those little shits out myself
interfering too much. Giving advice to my kids,
always ends in me being a hard ass.

Hannah got in the car yesterday all smiles.
She had two new bits of information for me.
1. She is now a member of the Popular Kids of Longmeadow.
She was welcomed into the group yesterday....literally.
They said "Welcome Hannah." wow
and
2. The school is allowing the kids to wear short shorts.
Fan F**king Tastic.

While I am thrilled that my daughter is Popular now
(did I just say that???)
I am less than thrilled about the shorts.

Without making this blog post never-ending,
I will just condense this into a few words that came up in our hour long
conversation together.

respect, puberty, sluts, tank tops, boyfriends, teen pregnancy,
sex, private parts, body, modesty, reputation

Just shoot me now.

In the end though I told my
beautiful daughter that though today I am the bitch mom,
she will remember this very conversation when she, too, is
sitting in a car, having the very same conversation with HER daughter.
And I hope that while what I say goes, she doesn't hate me too much,
for very long.

because
What Comes Around Goes Around
She WILL be me someday.

Tuesday, April 6

I know, I know....another dang quote.

"What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to
what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out, into the world,
miracles happen."
Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Sometimes what you have to say,
has already been said by someone else.

Or better yet, sometimes when you have
something to say, someone else says it way better.

Anyhoo

Here is my kid.
What lies behind my kid is nothing short of a miracle.

Under his feet......a step in a positive direction
for the Herbst family.
We have just signed a two year lease with option to purchase on a home
here in Longmeadow.
We are here to stay.
We feel some permanence now.
And a great feeling it is.

So, after 4 months here...we are moving.
Again.
But it is right down the road a bit.

And while I struggle knowing that my life has been less than
perfect the last six months or so,
making this decision is a "step" in the

right
positive
hopeful
exciting

direction.

I need this for myself.
I want this for Bill.
I know this is for my kids.

Monday, April 5

I am appreciative

"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are
joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories."
George Eliot



Sunday, April 4

Happy Easter!


Saturday, April 3

The walk






Who needs a shrink when you can walk around admiring springtime,
it's new-ness,
it's fresh-ness,
it's beauty.
OK - I take that back. Everyone can probably benefit from a little therapy,
but THIS is doing ME a world of good.
Again, thanks to the Egans for sharing this lovely little piece of Massachusetts
with the rest of us.