Thursday, February 23, 2012

Date Night

Life is so hectic! 

I seem to blink and suddenly another week has come and gone.  Between work, errands, time with family, and the daily crap that seems to fill in the cracks, Ben and I have spent less and less time together over the last few weeks.

So, tonight, we had a much needed date night.

Time to sit and engage.  Time to talk about our days.  Time to discuss what we've been doing at work.  Time to hold hands, look into each other's eyes, and really connect.

Tonight I'm thankful for having the opportunity to go to dinner with Ben.  I'm also thankful for the gift cards that we received for Christmas that made our dinner out possible!

Monday, February 20, 2012

2 Years

2 years ago today, Ben went and rescued our Mia from the pound and drove with her to the airport to pick me up as I returned from a visit to Ohio. 

She wasn't a surprise - in fact, I'm the one who found her the weekend prior when we happened to stop in to Petsmart during an adoption fair. 

We had Jack and Molly with us and decided to go in to see the fish (their favorites).  When we realized that there were dogs in the back, we took a stroll to "just look". 

And there was Miss Woof, lying down quietly in her cage, looking a little bit sad.  Noticing my interest in her, the nice man got a leash and brought her out so that Molly and I could say hi.  As Molly began poking and prodding and pulling her ears, Mia's reaction was not to recoil, or to growl...instead, she went belly up for a tummy scratch.

I said to myself right then and there "this is a great dog".

Well, long story short - she was ours within a week.

2 years later, we can't remember what life was like before we had her.  Sure, we get irritated when she pokes us with her cold wet nose in the mornings, and we are annoyed when she barks at phantom noises that nobody else can hear, but she really is our baby.

We love her more than anything - she completes our little family.

Happy Anniversary, Mia!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

 Valentine's Day is a challenge.  People either throw themselves into it - flowers, candy, cards, gifts, romantic dinners...or they don't.  Very rarely is there an in-between. 

Today, instead of getting myself caught up in the chaos that surrounds Valentine's Day, I'm not thinking about me.  I'm not thinking about whether I got flowers, or gifts, or a romantic dinner out.

Today, I'm thinking about my parents.

My dad has never been good at big holidays.  Even long before the Alzheimer's, he didn't "get it".  I'd call to remind him of mom's birthday, or their anniversary, and often helped him with Christmas shopping. 

This year, he approached me about doing something for my mom - I kind of blew him off, because he asked me on February 1st. 

One of JB's new favorite things to do is to go to the grocery store with my mom.  But, instead of walking the store with her, he prefers to sit in the cafe area, drink a cup of coffee, and people watch.  

Last Friday, I got a call from my dad while he was sitting in the grocery store cafe having a cup of coffee.

After our usual small talk, he asked if I'd help him with Valentine's Day.  He told me that he wanted to get a card and a dozen yellow roses (her favorite) for mom. 

Now, one might be inclined to think "Gee, he's at the store right now.  Why doesn't he just walk over to the floral department, buy a card and flowers, and be done?". 

Well, Alzheimer's doesn't work that way. 

So, I told him that we'd take care of it that weekend - little did I know that there would be a pretty substantial snow storm and that we'd be snowed in.

Long story short, the weekend got away from me. 

Last night, on my way home (at 9:00 at night), I realized that I still hadn't gotten anything for my dad to give to my mom.  So, dutiful daughter that I am, I stopped at the store, bought a card and flowers, and drove straight to my parents' house. 

Any frustration I'd had with my dad not thinking to get a card on his own, or irritation at the fact that I hadn't been home since 8:30 that morning, quickly disappeared when I saw how proud my dad was to be able to present my mom with a card and her favorite flowers.

Granted, he didn't do it on his own, but he DID remember that it was Valentine's Day, and he DID think that it would be nice to get something for my mom. 

I know Valentine's Day isn't about getting flowers, or cards, or going out to dinner - it's about remembering.  Remembering to set aside time to tell your special someone that they're special.  Remembering that sometimes we forget to put them up on the pedestal that they belong on.  Remembering to say "thank you for loving me".

This year...Dad remembered!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Things I'm Not

The other day, my boss was telling me about a job interview that her son had recently gone to.  He had to teach the interviewing panel something, using no visual aids or props, he had to answer situational questions about "on the job" scenarios, and finally, he had to give a list of 10 things that he "was not".  He, of course, asked for clarification on how literal they wanted him to be: "I'm not a desk", etc.  They said that they were looking for 10 things about who he is, his personality. 

Wow...quite the challenge, especially on the spot in a job interview.  Not only coming up with 10 things, but having them be 10 things that don't sound completely negative. 

This got me thinking.  What am I NOT???  Somehow describing what you ARE seems exponentially easier than describing what you are NOT. 

It's taken a few days of consideration, but here's what I've come up with so far. 

1.  I'm not always sure of myself
2.  I'm not dishonest
3.  I'm not spontaneous
4.  I'm not going to allow myself to be taken advantage of or manipulated
5.  I'm not always willing to take advice or ask for help
6.  I'm not sure that I really and truly want kids
7.  I'm not used to someone wanting to take care of me
8.  I'm not content
9.  I'm not happy with any part of my body
10.  I'm not as negative as I sometimes sound
11.  I'm not comfortable having to be assertive
12.  I'm not decisive
13.  I'm not dogmatic or closed-minded
14.  I'm not insensitive
15.  I'm not sure if I've made my parents proud
16.  I'm not interested in being the center of attention
17.  I'm not afraid to be silly

Now, obviously, this is not a list that I'd give to a potential employer, but I thought it was an interesting exercise in self-awareness.