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Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's That Time of Year

My Baby at Pitching Practice
Baseball season, it is my busiest time of year. Both of my boys play baseball so there is a lot of running from practice to practice, game to game, and some traveling to tournaments on the weekends just for good measure.  I scrub jerseys, to free the knees from the grass stains and red dirt that mark a well-played game. We hunt for the elusive “cups” that somehow seem to leave the sliding shorts and get lost as soon as we are home from a practice or game. Shoot, who needs dryer eating socks; I have a house that eats athletic supporters. 

Baseball also means the end of the school year is fast approaching. We have 5 more weeks left here in our little school district. Where did this school year go? I swear I just packed their backpacks with all the shiny new school supplies that were so painstakingly picked out. Their fresh shoes that we spent hours picking out just the right pair…have been discarded as too small and too worn out. Jeans are starting to get the high in the ankle look. The school year is ending and their jeans are a testament to how much they have grown. 
My Spring Wreath and Gardening Gnome

Five weeks left in the school year puts us just about the time to start planting the garden.  I had been planning to do some raised beds this year. I just like the look of them for my small town backyard garden. However, I have been a compost queen and I spent some time outside turning my dirt and noticing how wonderfully dark and rich it has become. I may just have to sow directly into the ground. So many decisions, Spring, or as we refer to it as Baseball Season, has so much work to do. So many things to get done. How is someone supposed to live simple?  Well simple does not always meaning not busy does it? I have certainly come to that conclusion. It is the simple thought that I am practicing this seasons. Spend time with my family and plant a garden. In the moments I want to feel overwhelmed with it all, I am just reminding myself that these are the times that matter. My children love to eat from a garden and they will grow up to remember the garden we planted year after year. They will, hopefully, look back on the memories of baseball and the friendships gained on the field with awesome nostalgia. Actually, to think of it, my oldest is in 7th grade, I am still friends with the people I was friends with in 7th grade.  So, as the kids grow and look back, may they all laugh about the summer before 8th grade while they sit around a campfire when they are 30. I hope their kids are playing baseball in a backyard somewhere while they are at it. 
Garlic has sprung

Now, I just have to remember to breathe slow, deep, breaths and laugh and I will make it through just fine. A glass of wine probably won't hurt either. 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012


A dear friend of mine has 3 brilliant, funny, beautiful girls. She has recently found out that she is expecting a fourth baby later this year. Her girls remind of what I imagine sisters to be like. I don’t have sisters. For the most part, I come from a family of boys. Boys, Boys, Boys everywhere, really. My mom has a sister and even though they are 10 years apart in age, they are so very close. My aunt and my mom may have busy lives and children, grandchildren and even a great grandchild in the mix, but they still talk on the phone or drop by for visits with each other regularly. My dad has lots of sisters and I know growing up he felt a sense of protectiveness over them all even though he is one of the youngest in the bunch. I know his family dynamic was different. His relationship with his sisters was not the same as between the sisters themselves. 

Jessie and I, circa 1983ish lol
Why am I having such a need to write about sisters? I have a cousin, Jessie. She is the closest thing I have to a sister. She lived with us at times, growing up. We stayed up late at night giggling because we shared a room. We argued in a way that I think only sisters can. She always had my back growing up and I would have done anything for her, still would. We definitely got into our fair share of trouble, but almost all of my memories growing up include her, whether good or bad. I cannot count the times we have laughed and cried with each other. When things happen in my life, she is the one I think of first to tell. She knows me, in my soul, she knows who I am and where I come from. Jessie knows I hated getting up early to have to take the first shower in our one bathroom house and she knows that while I may present a tough exterior, she knows I have a marshmallow heart.  

Baseball anyone?
Baseball season has started and it is one of those times of year that I miss her the most. Jessie, ten years ago or so, left me behind in Michigan and moved to Florida. It has been good for her and her family and I am so proud of where she is in life...  But, holidays and baseball season are when I miss her the most.  We have children that are around the same age, boys of course, and they all play ball. I wish she was here freezing alongside me at practices. Cheering and ducking fly balls. Call me crazy but I envision this still taking place in Michigan, even though I’m sure her sons last baseball practices in Florida did not involve all the moms bundled in sleeping bags and the kids in sweatshirts and layers. I would love to cheer her boys on. I do from the wonderful family connector, Facebook.

So, sisters, not everyone has one. I am sure it is a complicated relationship on so many levels. I just honestly don’t know for sure. I do know, having been blessed with a close cousin, that it is a wonderful relationship even in all its complicated-ness.  Having brothers is no less wonderful, just different.  To bring this post back to my mantra of Back to Basics, living simple… enjoy your family, brothers or sisters. Don’t take anyone or moment for granted.

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