Showing posts from June, 2010


First Day of School:

Last Day of School: Nathan grew 2 inches this school year. Benjamin grew 1.5 inches this school year.
If you really want to see how much they've grown, compare it to last year's Bookends post. Why do they insist on growing up? Where is the pause button?
Summer vacation starts in four hours!

5,110 Days

624 Weeks. 168 Months. 14 Years.
All of them married to the same great guy, Michael Chase. I don't feel like I'm anywhere close to being old enough to claim 14 years of marriage, but after last year's mix up, I double checked. 14 years, sure enough.
But look at the photo above, where we are brand new newlyweds. Then look at the photo below, taken right before we left for our anniversary night on the town.
Barely recognizable as the same two people!  Looks like fourteen years have passed to me!
The only thing that hasn't changed is our love for each other. In the last fourteen years, our hearts have broken as we've been witness to the carnage of the broken marriages of our family and friends. We've never said that could never happen to us, because we've seen firsthand that it can happen to anyone. We've worked incredibly hard to keep our relationship a priority, even through multiple international moves that have stressed us to the breaking point, impossible w…

Best Day Ever

Happy Father's Day to the father of my beautiful boys! I remember vividly how I told Michael he was going to be a dad. It was early 2000, and my husband was a Star Wars maniac. He was drawing me to the dark side, forcing me to become a fangirl myself. I'd saved up and then secretly pre-purchased the first Star Wars Trilogy (episodes IV, V, & VI) on VHS which was going to be distributed close to Valentine’s Day. It was a big deal, the first time George Lucas put it out there for people to own. It cost a fortune as I recall (which makes me giggle, you can't even buy VHS anymore!). I put the receipt and claim ticket in a sealed envelope, wrote Top Secret on it, and stuck it to the fridge. I showed it to him and said it was there to be opened when he had the WORST DAY EVER. As the weeks passed, he had a few bad days, but none he'd classify as the worst.
We'd been married for almost four years, and I'd known from the time we started dating there was a good chance…

Party of 11 1/2

So guess who showed up on my doorstep this afternoon?
It's Chris! We haven't seen him in 18 months, and yes, I started crying when I saw him. He's finished up his 2+ years of Navy training, and now he's been assigned to the Naval Base in San Diego. Hopefully he'll be here until after the birth of Chris and Alyssa's son, due in August. The last few days they've been driving cross country from Connecticut to California, crossing the State border this morning. We're all so happy that they are here on the West Coast! Hooray!

To celebrate having them back in arm's reach, our family and Alyssa's family all went out for dinner. Chris requested Mexican food and guacamole, and we were happy to oblige! Welcome back to California, Chris and Alyssa! Left to Right: Heather, Michael, Tommy, Chris, Alyssa, Tahnee, Sandra, Peter, Aaron. The kiddos in the front are Benjamin and Nathan.

Family Ties

I lost my first Grandparent, my Dad's father, when I was in the third grade. It was a devastating experience in many ways. I'd never been exposed to death or dying before that. It was very difficult to see my family, a very jovial bunch of people, deeply grieving. The funeral itself was a nightmare, as all the family members except my brother and I sat in a separate section to the side, evidently to provide some privacy. My brother and I sat in the back of the packed church with my Mom's parents, where we cried and wailed, both for the loss of our grandfather and the unexplained (to our satisfaction) separation from our parents.

When Nathan started third grade this year, I unexpectedly spent the day on the verge of tears. On the surface, it was an absolutely ridiculous reaction. Third grade is hardly a milestone year. But I couldn't shake the deep sorrow that enveloped me. The truth was that I was scared of history repeating itself and of my own son losing a grandparen…

Queen Bee

Today my house was filled with bees. I was minding my own business, printing payroll checks, singing along with the radio, when I heard some serious buzzing. I was a little surprised to see a bee in the house. After all, the windows were open but they all have screens. I quickly opened the sliding patio door and did some jumping and dodging, hoping the bee would understand my little interpretive dance and make his way outdoors. He did. Big sigh of relief. I double checked all the screens and left to pick the boys up from school.

We came home to find many more bees buzzing around the living room. They were having a little bee party in our absence. I didn't jump or dodge, I screamed like a teen horror film queen, pushed the boys out of the house, and slammed the front door closed behind us. This particular reaction may have frightened the boys just a bit, judging by their fearful expressions. I tried to calm down so I could calm them down. I sat on the front porch, pondering what to…

Broken Heart

My son Benjamin was born with Pulmonary Stenosis, a type of congenital heart disease. The pulmonary valve that pumps blood to the lungs was closed when he was born. There was just a pin-prick hole in the valve that allowed the blood to push through. His tiny heart had to work much harder than it was designed to, and within hours of his birth there were already signs that his heart was struggling. He had heart surgery when he was four days old to open up the valve. From the time he was one month old, he's worn the medical bracelet in the photo above. We've never taken it off for any reason. Last week he came home quite agitated and pulled me into his bedroom and held up his wrist. It took me a moment to realize what he was showing me... naked skin without a bracelet. I asked what happened and he handed me the broken bracelet, covered in seven years worth of dents and scratches. Through tears he told me he didn't know, it just broke.

His bracelet is like the little engraved …