Category Archives: Marraige

This is my heaven.

Life is short. What happens after you die? I wouldn’t know. Whatever it is it probably isn’t this, and I love this.

I love the sound of my baby’s breath as she sleeps.  I love the strength in my husband’s rough hand as he grabs mine. I love the giggles that echo down the hallway. I love the taste of a ripe peach, the smell of an approaching storm, and the way it feels to drift off to sleep. I love the beauty of music. I love the company of good friends.  I love the feel of sand between my toes, a cool breeze on my neck, and the soft skin of my son’s cheek on mine as we snuggle.

What comes after this is unknown to me. Maybe it is better. Maybe it is not. But it is not this, and I love this.

This is my heaven. 

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The Witching Hour

My children are generally happy and content kids.  When I’m home with them in the summers we have very nice days.  During the school year, they are both happy where they are.  They are easy to manage and fun to be with.  The older one is very helpful and creative. The younger one is still extremely cute and takes nice long naps in the afternoon.  They make life pretty easy.

But every day has a witching hour. Your family probably has one, too.witching2

For us, it usually falls around 4:00, right as I get home from work.  Suddenly, everyone becomes whiny, bored, and hungry – despite having just had a snack an hour ago.  You don’t want to give them more snacks because dinner (which you’re trying to get started) is just around the corner.  The little one is grabbing at your leg saying “Up! Up!” and you eventually have to put him on the other side of the gate so he doesn’t get burned or trampled. He starts to cry as he attempts to climb the gate, all the while still screaming “Up!UUUUUPPP!” witching1

The older one, having used up all of her allotted TV time earlier in the day or week, is now “sooooo boooorrrredd” and “no” she doesn’t “want to go outside and play.”  Trying to be a hands-on parent, you invite her to come help with dinner.  When she enters the kitchen, the little one screams louder because he’s not also allowed in the kitchen.  Eventually, he starts throwing things over the gate, some of which land in the dog’s water.  In attempting to help pour ingredients, the older one ends up spilling something on the floor.  Even though you maintained your temper, she starts crying inconsolably. You can’t believe there are still four hours until bedtime.witching3

At that moment, your spouse walks in the door from work.  All you want to do is shout “Please take them! It’s been a long day and I’m just trying to make dinner!”  But you can tell from his face that it’s been an exceptionally long and stressful day for him, so you decide to give him a chance to settle himself.  Somehow, after burning a few things (and possibly yourself) you finally get dinner on the table.  You carefully portion out the amounts of vegetables everyone is required to eat before they can leave the table.  You then get up three or four times to get the forgotten spoons, condiments, and napkins.  Finally, you get to sit down to your (now cold) dinner.  Whew.

Jim and I have both played this role.  It’s just part of the parenting journey.   Years from now, when we come home to a quiet house and fix our simple dinner-for-two, we may even miss it.

For now, I’ll just make sure there’s always a cold beer in the fridge to have after dinner

Fatherliness

Happy Father’s Day to anyone who has or has been a father.

Here’s shot of my father, with my family, looking fatherly at a wedding in November of 1983:

I think my favorite part is my brother's face.  At just under 2, had had no idea why he was in a white tux carrying a pillow.

I think my favorite part is my brother’s face. At just under 2, had had no idea why he was in a white tux carrying a pillow.

 

Here’s a shot of my father with the father of my children:

Any guesses where they are in this pic?

Any guesses where they are in this pic?

 

Anyway, father-filled or not, I hope everyone has a wonderful day today.

Happy Early Father’s Day!

We won’t be able to celebrate Father’s Day with Jim on Sunday because the kids and I are headed on a week-long beach vacation that day.  After all, what better way for kids to celebrate Father’s Day than to go on vacation without their father?

The truth is, Jim would love to come with us to the beach, but he’s re-arranged his priorities for this summer.  Because of his job, time off is hard to come by this time of year.  He can only really manage to take one week off each summer.  Usually we use it for a family vacation, but this year he’s decided to use his week off to help people who are still rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy.  So, while we’ll miss him next week, we’re very proud of him for making that choice.  He’s a good man.

Since we didn’t want to miss Father’s Day completely, we celebrated it last night.

First, there were the preparations of wrapping presents and making cards.fdaygroup1

Once he was home, we enjoyed a dinner that included Jim’s favorite casserole, “Chicken Delight.”  The meal ended with a lemon torte because lemon is one of Jim’s favorite flavors.fdaygroup2

Finally, it was time for card reading and present opening.  Keeping with this summer’s camping theme, Jim’s Father’s Day presents were a pop-up trash can and a camping kitchen from Cabela’s.fdaygroup3

Happy Father’s Day!

On the Brink

This is me.Louvre

It is July 2001 and I am 22.  I have recently graduated from college, ready to join the “real” world.  But first, I think I’ll stop and soak my feet in the fountains of the Louvre.  Sure, why not?   Just look at how relaxed I am.

(Also, try not to notice how my arms are bent really weird so they look like they’re inverted…..Did you look?  Ha! Now you can’t un-see it.  Weird, right?  I’ve tried to avoid bending them like that since my senior year of high school when I was sitting on the heater in my AP English class and Chris Rash told me I had freaky, weird-bending arms and it grossed him out.  This, from a guy who would snort a string up his nose, cough one end out of his mouth, and pretend to floss his brain – and who also had a last name that was something you got from Poison Ivy or unprotected sex. Anyway, I must’ve forgotten about my freaky arms for this picture.)

I don’t even really know the girl in this picture anymore, and she certainly doesn’t know me.  I don’t remember what I was thinking in the quiet of this captured moment, but I’m sure it wasn’t about mortgages, diapers, grading, or any of the things that occupy my mind today.  She’s almost unrecognizable.

I don’t have that many pictures of myself that I like, but this is one of my favorites.  Artistically, it’s not really that good of a photo and I look like any other 20-something American female tourist in Paris, but I smile whenever I come across it in my photo album.  That afternoon, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, I was a blank slate.  Unemployed, unmarried, and unencumbered by adult life.   Even more, I like to think that the girl in the picture – the one who spent the summer of 2001 traipsing around Europe instead of job searching – would be really happy to meet me.  She would be pleased with how we turned out.

I’m sure we all have things we would like to say to our younger selves.  Personally, I would simply tell the girl in the picture, “Everything is going to be wonderful.  Don’t worry about it.  Enjoy this moment.”Parisb-horz

 

Because we hate people…..

Well, of course we don’t hate you.

I guess I should clarify. We hate people in movie theaters. Actually, just I hate people in movie theaters – Jim is amenable to sharing his movie watching experience with others. I, on the other hand, am an overly sensitive, easily offended, eye rolling, passive-aggressive pain in the ass in public. I sit and stew over how the person behind me is ruining the movie for me. I complain to Jim, thus ruining his movie watching experience. Meanwhile, the oblivious rude person behind us is having a wonderful time.

Here are some examples of behaviors that really get my panties in a wad at the movies:

  • Yelling at the screen
  • Open-mouthed popcorn chewing
  • Bringing children who are obviously too young to sit through a two hour movie, then spending the entire time trying to keep them occupied, therefore missing the entire movie anyway.
  • Kicking my seat.
  • Insisting on sitting in the middle of the row, then getting up several times during the movie.

 

Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I know this is my own issue and I’m the one who is actually ruining my evening most of the time. Only twice have I really been so offended that I either confronted the person or spoke to a theater staff person. Usually, the behavior is only merely annoying and I should really just try to ignore it.

But I’m that person, so I can’t.

Jim and I both love movies and we don’t want to give them up. So to guarantee us pleasant movie watching Jim did something ridiculous: he built us a movie theater in our basement.

The TV looks small, but it's really just far away.

The TV looks small, but it’s really just far away.

That’s right. When we could have been investing in our retirement, donating to the poor, or saving for our kids’ educations, we chose instead to create a room in our house that was completely unnecessary merely to avoid having to watch movies with anyone we haven’t hand-selected. (Also, so we can watch them in our pajamas, without paying a babysitter, and stop whenever we want to pee). He even built a platform so we could have two rows of seating. Fortunately, we already owned several of the components (furniture, most of the electronics, etc.) and paint, moulding, and a couple 2 x 4s don’t cost that much.

Some people love the experience of going to the theater, but I just want to get lost in the movie without distractions. Since I’m in education, and I’m merely adapting for my weaknesses (lack of patience, lack of tolerance, etc.), I prefer to call it “differentiated media ingestion.”

Next, maybe we’ll turn our dining room into a recital hall so we can avoid rude people at concerts.

 

 

 

Welcome to my Blog!

 

Welcome to my blog! My name is Holly.  I am a wife and mother of two children (a 6-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy).  I teach music full-time in a middle school, give music lessons privately in my home, and direct a local church choir.  To learn more about me, check out the “About” page above.

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Why Blog?

I’ve been journaling privately since the first grade.  I love to write.  It’s therapeutic and artistic.  However, having others read my writing is extremely nerve-wracking for me.  I think having someone see me naked may be less stressful.  This is a ridiculous way to feel about something I love doing, so I decided to dive in and share my writing with the internet.

Why “Taking You With Me”?

In searching for a blog title, I kept coming back to the idea of life as a journey.  I love how the phrase, “taking you with me,” can have so many meanings:

  • To my husband – “Life is an adventure and so I’m glad I’m taking you with me.”
  • To my kids – “I’m going to the grocery store and I’m taking you with me.”
  • To my readers – “As I blog about my life, I’m happy to be taking you with me.”

And then, there’s the most common use of the phrase:

  •  “If I go down, I’m taking you with me!”

In any case, “taking you with me” implies that we’re going somewhere, whether physically, emotionally, spiritually or otherwise, and we’re not doing it alone.

So, thank you for joining me on this journey!