Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Definition of Family

Being a part of a family is one of the most important things God gives to us. Family might not be by blood, but being a part of a circle is essential to our well being. I got very upset talking about this yesterday so I'll try to intertwine it all together for basic understanding. I am the only child, the only grandchild and the only niece. My family growing up was the immediate family of my mother and my dad then Grandmommy as her husband had passed away, Granny Jac as she divorced my grandfather, then Grandaddy and his wife, Rae and my Uncle Mike. I am very close to my Dad's extended family and call them cousins. My grandfather's great nieces and nephews are my brothers and sisters. When Mom passed away my family was thrown into a hurricane and we were off balance. Dad then married Brenda and I gained a sister, a brother and down the road a sister in law, three nieces and two nephews. Sometimes I feel as if I try too hard to make it all work. Sometimes I want us to be as close as blood so I try and try. I am close to my stepbrother and his wife and I love their entire family. I don't know about my stepsister as she just won't believe me when I say I want in her heart. Enter Nick's family who I try to make my own as well. His mother treats me as a daughter. They invite me into their lives as I am one of them. Last night his brother did not invite me to a family dinner and I burst into tears. At first I didn't understand and Nick wondered if it is because it is the week Mom passed and I am more tender. I explained how I just want to be a part of a big family and I just want everyone to be together as one. It seems like a small thing, but it just showed me that it's just like when the cousins have a family Christmas and as much as they say I am included I am not in their white elephant drawings. Stephanie can call me Aunt Julie, but I'm not really Trooper's aunt. It gets exhausting trying so hard at times to be all of these things. In my immediate family that I was given upon birth I do have my Dad, Grandmommy and Uncle Mike. I thank God for that every single day. My Dad and Brenda are so special to me and they keep our family close and we all try to visit and be as one. So to me family is as essential the blood pumping through our veins... It is essential to our happiness whether it be as I said, by blood... or by marriage... or by those that surround us.

That blood pumping through my veins got together this weekend and it was a lot of fun.

Brenda and Dad drove in from Midland and Steven and his family drove in from Oklahoma. Friday night Nick's mother cooked for all of us and I was excited for them to meet Steven's family. Rylie didn't talk for a few hours, but she did have fun with the dogs. She was a little shy at first. We stayed there and all talked for a while then went back to the hotel room. Saige is now ten months old and she is just adorable... always smiling and laughing. Saturday I took them to the Galleria because Ashley loves Old Navy. We bought Rylie a bunch of clothes from The Children's Place and Old Navy for preschool next year. I don't know how many times she said this weekend, "Mama, I wanna go to school!" Then we all met Nick at Saltgrass. I ate entirely too much, but it sure was yummy. Nick left us to dogsit so I enjoyed the time with my family. We all just hung at the hotel watching the Olympics and hanging out. Rylie and Saige entertained me the whole night! We were trying to teach Saige to crawl... very entertaining! Dad had gotten a brand new truck so he was proud to show it off. It is beautiful and includes all of the highest technology! Love it. I was very sad to see them leave Sunday morning. We always have such a nice time all just chilling out and enjoying one another's company.

You see... it doesn't always have to be about blood. Sometimes I push so hard to be a part of each family. In that room I think I've said before in a writing I knew "this was my future." As in... what we are born with might not always be our family. My mother, my dad, me... gosh, that was glorious, but it wasn't God's plan for us. We got another chance. Thank Him for both.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Weekend

I began writing this last night, but I had a bad day so it was very negative... I had to tweak a few things...

The day began with being stuck in traffic and ended with the annoying girl on my elliptical. Yes, my elliptical. I wanted to shove her off because, you know, we all think we own our machine at the gym. It's quite funny now to think about! I did find another elliptical... but it wasn't mine!!!

My Valentines weekend was great. Friday they drug me to Cowboys for Kristen's birthday. Now, I thought this place was a club and I was highly against going because Nick tells me I have an old soul. Sarah Cohen begged me telling me she would just sit and chill with me all night so I agreed. Actually it was a really neat place. It was older people dancing around to country music. It was a lot of fun. Nick and I even danced, but with high heels on I slipped a lot!

Sarah & Me

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Nick's client's home. It was a really nice time. Andy has three BMWs in his pristine garage... They are so beautiful, but they are more show cars... I would rather drive them! We had such a a great time with Andy and his wife just talking and enjoying the night. See... maybe I do have an old soul? I like it that way.

Sunday for Valentines Nick cooked me breakfast and he was so proud of himself. He hates Valentines, but he still managed to get me flowers and cook me breakfast so he doesn't hate it as much as he claims. So later that night I cooked him steak... This is a HUGE deal for me. I cook chicken is all! I don't much like red meat, but men do. I made it in the oven and I did take a bite - yummmmmy. We had a really great Valentines Day. I didn't go to church because I worked and it was just too much of a rush and I was just too lazy... I'm pretty annoyed with myself so I have been watching podcasts, but I know it doesn't take the place of church. Not cool, Julie. Anyway... we ended the night by watching "Couples Retreat" and we had a really nice day.

My family is coming this weekend and I am so very excited. In 2010 I am beginning to get overwhelmed with weddings, bachelorette parties, baby showers, wedding showers... I am so glad for some down time with the family. I love the blessing of so many friends, but it sure is hard to make it to everything. As you can probably tell with my old soul I probably won't make most of the bachelorette parties!!! Ugh... do old souls not live it up or do we just not care about people dancing and drinking it up? I'd like to think I'm young at heart and maybe just a little uptight!

Nine years for Mom is next week. Not sure how I will "celebrate" the day yet. My claws came out last as I was talking to Nick's mom about how she went to her Daddy's grave this week for his birthday and put flowers on there... and we began just talking lightly about it and Nick said he didn't understand my morbid curiousity and how I picked out pallbearers and talked about burying people in certain places. It is strange to most people, but not if you've been through it. I've told the story over and over again that when Mom died Dad and I sat at this little table in the funeral home with the Stewart family and the funeral man thrust a sheet of yellow paper in front of us and told us to write down her pallbearers We were in such shock we stared at the piece of paper. I think that is the time Dad walked out of the room overwhelmed and I just sat there for a few minutes staring into space. I want to be given the respect that I've walked through this journey. No, it isn't normal to talk about... but, come on, what part of losing your mother at nineteen is normal? In a sense I feel old like I talk about in the soul way... but, sometimes my maturity feels like that nineteen year old... It's such a weird balance. Losing my mother is something that is so deep and so painful that we cannot even find that pain. It's easy to talk about, but that pain is just somewhere in the soul and no one will understand that until they step into that journey. You know... losing a loved one at any age isn't normal. It just will never be normal because we all want to live forever. We want our family to be like it was when we were this age or that age. Ageless. It's never normal.

I'm glad the sun has risen today and it's bright and happy!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Snow is magical. There is something about it that transcends us from adults into children as we roll and play. I was off yesterday as it began to snow. I didn’t believe Nick when he told me the snow was sticking to the ground. I had to go to the dentist so I wasn’t too thrilled about spending some of my magical day in the chair… we shall get to that next.

I have loved going to the dentist since I was tiny. I have had braces and retainers since I was eight years old. I’m accustomed to making my smile perfect… hey, it’s large… I hadn’t been in a long time so I was ready for the new adventure. I got some whitening trays… though happily she told me I already had really white teeth. Duh… I work hard at it. The dentist told me I needed a deep clean… grrr… $150 later… He numbed up my mouth and dug deep into my gums. I didn’t inherit great teeth. Dad and Grandaddy both have fake teeth. Mom and I always had bleeding gums. That’s why I love the dentist. They help my huge smile be bright.

So after a nap through the beautiful snow… I headed to Nick’s to play. Nick, Geoff, Tony & I all played hard rolling and throwing the football and tackling one another. I did make the mistake of hitting Nick in the eye with a hard ball… oops… he wasn’t happy about that one. Geoff and I’s snowman wasn’t so pretty… He was short, but wide. We got tired of him collapsing so we gave up and stuck some charcoal on his face and spray painted him some clothes. Geoff was artistic because he grew up in Ohio and thinks snowmen are art. Tony and Nick made this perfect snowman complete with goggles, a hat, arms and spray painted clothing. Well, he was too tall… he fell over J… Made me smile that we “beat” them.

Somehow I drove home in the slush at 20 mph. It was a long drive, but I made it. I didn’t want to see the magical day end… The snow is now slowly melting and the magic is rushing away. I’m just so glad we got to have it for atleast one day. I just kept flipping back to a home video my Mom took of me and Cody in high school playing and making snow angels. We were laughing and running around the yard. That magic just floated with me throughout the entire day.

Nick's House

Uh Oh. The snow collapsed Nick's tree branch

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ruidoso Weekend

Something like life has been going on around here. I'm getting used to this cold weather and I loathe it.

Nick and I met our friends, Tony and Katie in Ruidoso this weekend. Once we got to his parents' lodge it was totally snowed in and the snow was up to our knees! We made the boys get out and shovel... Everyone went up the mountain on Friday and I stayed behind at the lodge. I didn't feel like skiing for two days... I have old lady knees... I tried to ride the four wheeler, but the darn thing was dead... so I took a long walk and hiked up the snowy mountains and watched a lot of TV! When they finally got back we all went into town and had dinner then got ice cream and settled back into the house!!! The snow on the mountain was the best I have ever seen it... so powdery and deep... not icy. I skiied a few blacks, but mainly stuck to blues. I'm very cautious with my knee! We got to ski Apache Bowl a couple of times which is usually closed due to lack of snow. After the long day we hung out at the bar on the mountain until the traffic cleared out. We sat by the fire and talked. It was a lot of fun!

I don't like to be attacked with snow.

Nick jumping off a tall rock

I look like a yellow marshmallow


We were very tired when we flew back in, but we went directly over to our friends' Ashton and Donna's house for their Superbowl party. Donna and I fed the guys all of our goodies and mainly enjoyed the commercials. So now it's back to real life. The weekends are filled with activities. This weekend has a birthday party, dinner with Nick's clients and maybe Valentines Day... Nick is sort of anti- Valentine's because it's a Hallmark holiday. He knows I still better get something. Then next weekend Dad and Brenda come to visit!!!! And somewhere down the line I have seven Save the Dates for weddings on my fridge... Hmmm....??? Not sure I will make all of them. Throw in some baby showers and trying to help plan the Class of 2000 Reunion... Fun fun never stops.

My friend, Lindsey started radiation today for Stage 3 breast cancer. She has no idea how she is impacting our lives. I read her blogs giving all the glory to God... and then I reflect upon myself and realize how I don't give Him the glory even in the smallest obstacles. It has helped with my walk. God is always working on me and molding me. Lindsey doesn't care what medicine says about her diagnosis. Her genes are genetically mutated to resist chemo, but she doesn't care. Somehow she is just flying through this... It's all God. It's still hard though. Beneath the warrior is always a child.

And... as we go into February... We all know it's Mom's month. Damn February 26. I just hate it. Someone on Oprah says the date should not rule the day. Nah... it doesn't... I still hate it. Nine years. It's about now just sharing it and living through the fire. And thinking like Lindsey. Thank God because maybe I can change the world through my strife? Who knows? I want to fight against heart disease. Stupid thing took her. So February isn't as hard as it once was, but it's still not my favorite month.

There ya go. And I've been sick for a week. It's an okay diet, but my nose might fall off soon. That's life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ruidoso Bound

Guess where I am going this weekend?

Nick, Tony, Katie and I are going up to Nick's parents' lodge in Ruidoso for a weekend getaway. I'm not an insane skiier like the three of them so I might just chill out one day and shop in town while they ski the black diamonds of the world. I'm not so swift in my cool ACL brace. I am pretty good at blues and I can hang, but I don't feel like breaking my leg. I like to blade so Katie is bringing her blades for me to use!!! The lodge is in this really great area with elk and all kinds of wild animals! I love Ruidoso... We have gone there since I was four years old. It's the perfect size and the town is adorable.
Picabo Street. Signing out.