Late Night Memories

It is 1:49 in the morning and I should be sleeping but couldn’t sleep. Fair warning this post will twist and turn.

I found myself tossing and turning and thinking about crazy things that stand out in old memories in my mind. It’s so interesting what the brain chooses to remember about certain things.

My grandfather has always been an early riser to begin with but he also used to run a boat and liked to get an early start to fish. When we were kids, we would come up and a day out on the water was usually the case. Sometimes these were day trips for nothing better than just riding on the boat. But other times we would be roused before it was light out to go down to the boat and take off. It’s funny because I don’t really remember the actual fishing part on these trips (I do remember fishing during the day later on others) but I do remember being so excited we were going before it was light out that I had a hard time sleeping.

I remember once we were all laying on the floor in the room where my grandmother slept. My brothers and father have never had trouble sleeping it seems when anything exciting is about to go down. I’m always awake. They sleep just fine. Christmas Eve, you name it. Not a big deal to them. At least that is my perception. I’ve always been too excited to wait.

But I remember laying there and then I’d hear Oompah moving about. The kitchen light went on and his coffee machine. But then he came in boisterously and yelled at us all to get up. I think it was like 4:30am or something. I don’t really know. What has me laying awake at the moment is what he actually said. I remember when I was a kid my dad would wake me up and say, “up-get, school-go.” Which is not what Oompah said I don’t think but I can’t really be sure. The weird thing is I can hear his voice. I just can’t remember the words. Weird… I do remember what it was like though. I’ll have to ask now. I think maybe my parents got the “up-get” from him somehow. He definitely said something really particular for us to get up. “up-get, roll-out?” Something like that. Argh it’s bugging me. My mom probably knows. Will ask her tomorrow.

Then I remembered donut holes. The highlight of the weekend mornings in Elk Rapids. Oompah used to get up at his ridiculously early hour. Probably to go to the dump but then he’d always stop on the way back to get donut holes. Some glazed and some cinnamon. He even did that sometimes when I stayed with him in college while I worked at the local grocery store. But then somewhere along the way he stopped. Maybe I should pick some up this week. I don’t really eat that stuff anymore but for some reason that memory popped into my head.

Then my house where I grew up meandered into my thoughts. I still have dreams about that house and could tell you almost anything about it, I can visually still picture the weirdest things. I remember before we renovated the back of the house and kitchen. What sticks out to me? The way the handle on that screen door or whatever that was was like. How the paint was wearing off the button. The white gate between our yard and Clarks’ stuck. You really couldn’t go through it. You climbed over in those days. There was a time where I had some childish fit when my grandmother and mother and I were making Christmas cookies one year. And I hid on the stairs. At that time there was a door on the stairway and I laid between the door and the first step until my grandmother came and got me out.

Lots of stuff like that. I guess it’s just interesting what the mind chooses to pick out of memories. I’m so glad I do enjoy photography (I plan to spend a few more hours everyday scanning our old photographs and letters) or so many things would be missed- I just wouldn’t remember them. Particularly the funny things JM says. I guess for that reason it’s also good to write about them.

Right now he’s into excavators. Except he says, “excabators.” He says, “Yes. They pick up rocks and dirt and put them into the dump truck at the construction site.” Haha how cute he is. He likes to count how many “excabators” are on his sheets. There are many I’ll tell you.

Right now he likes to “do it myself.” He wants his blankie “over my head.” When we get home from picking him up from daycare at the end of the day and Joe is already home he says, “daddy is here! He is in the room with my trains.” When he goes places he has to “run faster.” “I want to” has sometimes become “I need to” or “I don’t need to do that.” He has gotten really good at throwing the beach ball back and forth. He doesn’t quite understand when HE misses the catch. He instead says, “oh you missed!” Bulldozers are “bozers”. I love that one. There are so many times in the day he can be trying. I can lose my patience when he says, “I want to do it myself” or “I got to count these excabators.” But then I realize how time flies. Days are long but the years are short. I’m enjoying this 3 year old because once he’s 4, the 3 year old version is gone for good. And then I need to enjoy the 4 year old.

Been a good summer so far. Really been thinking and pushing myself a lot. Mentally and physically. I’ve worked out nearly everyday. Hard work outs 3 days a week. The other days I just make sure to move my body. I get outside. I take care of my physical body so as to be there for my family and for myself really. I’m trying to take cold hard looks at what I really want to do and how I can improve that. One of my bad habits is to look for affirmation from others to know if I am doing the right things. Trying to let that go more and more. Unplug and be more present. Getting more sleep. In fact up until this little stint, I got 8 hours of sleep for a consistent couple of weeks. Reading a lot and listening to a lot of interesting podcasts. Working on listening more, talking less.

Reminders yet again about journey. Falling in love with the process. I tend to be a perfectionist. I want to have everything done. All the landscaping. All the photos scanned. All the house cleaned. Every project done. Every organizational thing at school done. Every piece to my office decor in place. Nothing unfinished. But that is life. Unfinished. And the attempt to try to “finish” it is just futile. Endless unhappiness that way. And then my perfectionist ways- if I can’t get it all done NOW then I tend to put it off or schedule unproductive long blocks when I tell myself I’ll do it but then feel overwhelmed so I don’t start. It would have been better to do small chunks here and there and deal with some unfinished ya know? I’m working on it. It’s a process. 🙂 I’m making small strides to do a little bit everyday and not care so much about what others think. Or having everything completely done all the time. It’s great to strive to do the very best we can. But we never arrive if we truly want to grow. That is the magic. I’m good at that in some areas of my life and career but forget in others.

Speaking of process…plants really don’t care about other plants. Or when they bloom. Sometimes they are late. Sometimes early. And they have to enjoy their process because all to soon it decomposes for the next season. I usually get frustrated by gardening because I hate weeding… blahhhh. BUT, I do love the beauty in flowers and I love how they have to just “be.” I particularly love this picture because one flower is in full bloom. Many others behind it are not. Various stages. Isn’t this flower incredible?


Happy Summer

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Pretty hot and sunny here but enjoying the summer! John Michael, Remi, and I went to the park and played outside a whole bunch today. Unplugged and happy. We read books and played with trains. Been a good day.


JM and Rem loved sharing the pool today. I think these pictures sums things up nicely!

Some recent John Michaelisms:

“Yeah my did!”

“Hey dad. Hey Dad. Dad. Daaaaaad! Hey Dad!”

“Hey Mom. Hey Mom. Mom. Moooooom! Hey Mom!”

“Look at me!”

“I’m counting!” (He can count a little over 20!)

(Loves to tell his trains what to do) “You wait there. Oh no! Oh my! Stop at the station! Too fast! Slow DOWN. Percy! You fell of the track!”

I say, “I love you, do you love me?” He says, “love me!” Then with prompting, “I love you!”‘

“I need to….” or “I don’t need to…”

“I want to jump!”

“I’m 3!”

He lets me give him a ton of kisses every night before bed. I know my days are numbered  that he allows this.

Today he told me he was going to drive a REALLY BIG TRAIN. And said it just like that.

Probably many more. Ahh he is my little one. While the days are long (I’m super tired these last few days- stay at home moms are SAINTS), I know the years are short so I’m grateful for this time with him while I can.


In other news, I’m working on myself. I’ve been working not to drink as much. In fact, I completed a 2 week stint with not a drop. I had just a couple over the weekend (red wine) and back to no drinking again this week. Feels good. Working out everyday. I finally lost a few pounds! Also drinking tons of water. Half my body weight in ounces + some. No soda (but haven’t drank soda in years other than a handful of times. It’s been almost maybe 10 years since I have! Wow). Very low carbs. Look at that sweat rolling down my face. I weirdly like that. My skin and nails have been sooo much better.

Lots of work at school- still working. Paid down some debts which is a good thing. Working to get debt free as soon as I can.

Trying to just keep falling in love with the process. Nothing is going to be all in row or all completely done. Just fact of life!

Looking forward to going to Elk Rapids for Harbor Days. Some jobs of work there but mom and dad have the house looking fabulous. Really cool. JM will have fun in the really big lake and we will see the annual parade and fireworks. We also are going to try Siren Hall (a nice restaurant) which should be fun.

Anyway It is now 7:33 so I think I’m going to watch an episode of Big Bang and then retire to my bed! We do go to bed at 8pm after all! At least these days…


The Heat of Summer

Sunday night here. Haven’t updated this in a really long time! Yikes. I plan to get back at it.

Much more to catch up on- one big thing is I have a different job since the last time I posted! I’m still a band director but shifted more north and teach in a bigger school district now. So far so good. I love it! There are ups and downs but I’m surrounded by people who get it and it’s been wonderful. I’m definitely thankful to everyone as my last job- it’s not that. Very supportive colleagues there as well. It’s just been a great challenge for me and I love teaching only band. So that’s been a great switch.

I promised a colleague I’d convert all his drill over so I finally got that done. Which is pretty cool! Feels good to be done with that for sure.

John Michael is huge. Right now he is 3.3 and playing with his trains. Talking to himself. “Hey Thomas, where are you?”, “There you are!” Love listening to his imagination. I want to document more of how he talks for sure so I can remember later. More on that later.

Lately trying to work on my authentic self while still improving all I can. Trying to embrace being more in the present over caring that everything on my to-do list is done or that everything is perfect. That’s just not going to happen.

(This is going to be a stream of consciousness post fyi! ha). I am super proud of the work I have done so far this summer. I have been drinking a LOT less (in fact just finished a stint of not a single drink for 14 days). I wouldn’t say I was/am an alcoholic but I would say we drink too much. So that has been feeling good. I want to do a 30 day challenge so pretty soon Joe and I are going to try that.

I’ve also been working out a ton. That has been really great. I think I have lost some inches but no real pounds yet. I think it’s due to muscle gain.

Joe is amazing. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything in my professional work or personal goals without his team player mentality. He has SO helped with JM, housework, etc. He has even been exercising more also. Go Joe for the win!

I know this post is all over the place. I’ll get more into it and make more regular posts as we go on here. At least I hope! Peace out for now!