Posted in Change

Cutting the Cord…Sort of

Ever since Jim and I were married we had some sort of paid TV service. At first, it was “basic cable”, which was basically cheap good reception of network TV. Then we got Comcast and a regular TV package plus Internet (hey, who here remembers before the internet was a thing?! I DO!). Then Dish TV, then DirecTV and finally FIOS, where we had  “triple play” of TV, Phone and Internet.

Fast forward to the move two years ago, where we never really installed a phone in the house, so I got used to not having it. FIOS makes it such that it makes more sense to have a triple play than a double play, so I researched ways to cut the cord. Sort of. I mean, we have Amazon Prime for the shipping, but we can watch their stuff too. We have Netflix, for both the great movies via mail and the fun shows online.

We finally settled on Sling, but kept FIOS for the two month trial period. It ended up being a mostly painless switchover. Yes, we ended up buying an antenna, because we are avid fans of NCIS and Sling doesn’t do CBS, but that’s really been it.

About six months ago we got rid of both our landline and FIOS TV. I don’t miss either one. Honestly. Having the ability to watch something on my PC or phone or the TV has been great. (although Bennett literally just asked me why we can tape NCIS and I had to explain to his completely-not-understanding-brain-because-he’s-18 that we just can’t do that. (unless we got a TiVo, but No, I’m not going to). Anyway, BESIDES not being able to tape live television, I like our current entertainment set up and love that we are no longer slaves to Verizon (or Comcast etc). If you continue to pay big bucks to the big companies, I encourage you to try something new (like Sling or Hulu or whatever).

Posted in Change, Family, Job, Me

The End of the Year of Change…or is it?

364 days ago I posted that 2019 was going to be The Year of Change. I was so nervous, which was completely understandable. Standing on the other side of 2019, though, it’s been a crazy roller coaster like I thought it would be, but man, was it a good year!

I took a class on restarting my career

One of the girls did an intensive counseling day program followed by a less-intensive group program.

Laura was diagnosed with Generalized Epilepsy and had three seizures.

Laura and Bennett graduated high school

Ethan did a one week at camp and a three week summer program, all away from home

Catie worked a summer job every day

Catie applied for and got into CPFA, which cemented her career plan to become an actor.

Bennett got his first job and works full time now at Wawa (a regional convenience store)

Laura moved out into my sister’s house and attended her first semester at college, which went better than any of us could have hoped for. She also (ahem, ahem) made DEANS LIST!

I went to counseling for myself, which definitely helped with addiction and other things.

I got a part time job after 18 years away from the corporate world

I started going back to church and am going to attend a “welcome new people, find out more about us” dinner in January with the idea of becoming a member of this church.

Jim and I did marriage counseling, which we are now finishing up. It was tremendous and I highly recommend it.

Jim is changing positions within his company after being in the same department for three years. It will start in January.

Whew! That’s so much change in one year! Especially for me!

But you know what? It really has been SO GOOD! (well, except for the epilepsy!)

As I look into 2020, there’s so much more change ahead–Bennett going to college, Ethan attending the “school to work” program at Overbrook where he’ll leave our house on Monday morning and come home Friday afternoon. Catie being a senior and doing the whole college search and application rigamarole. But where I faced 2019 with fear and trepidation, I am embracing 2020 with wide open arms. I hope you can face your uncertainties the same way!

Joyous New Year, Dear Readers! See you on the flip side!

Posted in Change, Kids, Me

The Year of Change

Some people choose a “word for the year” each new years. I’ve done it myself–last year in fact! (It was Engaged). This year I’m going with the word Change. Because I need to embrace it, although I typically hate it.

Change in parenting, change in my marriage, change in my work status…lots of change in circumstances.

However, I’d also like to embrace some internal change as well, more likely known as growth.

There’s been some serious talks around here lately, between my husband and I, between my sister and I and even between me, myself and I. Conversations about things that need to be addressed, looked at, and yes, changed.

So here we are. 5 1/2 months until graduation, 8 1/2 months until Laura goes to college and let the roller coaster start!

Posted in Change, Health, Me

When Did I Become a Drinker?

I grew up in a tee-totalling household. We were Baptists and that was part of it, but my mother’s father was a active alcoholic until his death and that was the larger part of it. I chose, at 21, to try it. My brother cannot drink and be ok, and I didn’t want to end up where he was. But I figured I would be able to tell if I couldn’t handle it. And honestly, that has largely been true.

I chose, on my honeymoon, to actively allow myself to get drunk. I was in DisneyWorld, at a bar that we walked to from our hotel room and I figured it didn’t get more safe than that. I got schnockered on two mixed drinks and HATED it. I couldn’t control my body and felt awful. I thankfully didn’t get a hangover, but that was my one and only time being totally drunk. In the last 20 years or so, I’ve mistaken how much I could have on an empty stomach or how strong a drink was and been a little loopy, but all in all, I’ve been a responsible kind of imbiber.

It helped that I didn’t like it much. Beer? YUCK. Straight liquor? YUCK. Wine? YUCK. Mixed drinks where you can’t taste the alcohol, ok. Then a few years back I discovered moscato and hello! I liked wine! I could have a glass at a social event and fit in! I could go to a winery and actually drink something! I could buy a bottle, keep it in the fridge and enjoy a glass here and there.

And that’s mostly where I’ve been. I really hate the current culture where people joke about how much wine they drink or how hard it is to get through the day until they can get a glass in their hand.

But with all the new research that’s coming out about how there’s really no level of alcohol that is healthy (despite all the crap that the spew about red wine and the heart), I’m finding myself at a place where I think I want to just stop drinking. I read this article today, where the author talks about how she gave up drinking a year ago. It won’t be missed in my side of the family. My sister can’t drink after having chemo. My brother is in recovery and doesn’t drink. My parents still don’t drink. Just my husband and my brother in law do on my side.

So I’m taking a leap of faith and announcing here, officially, that I am no longer a drinker.

Posted in Change, Kids, Me

The Firsts of the Lasts

Having two of my triplets be seniors means there’s not only a lot going on (there’s ALWAYS a lot going on!), but there’s a lot of “last times” as well. The last first day of school. The last first marking period. The last school pictures. The last pediatric dentist appointment. This week was a biggie: Laura’s last IEP. Yes, I got a little verklempt!

Laura’s IEPs used to be short–20-25 minutes–and easy.  But then last year hit and she went downhill so quickly. Instead of just vision support and Orientation and Mobility, she’s now getting counseling and occupational therapy. I’m happy that her school is so caring and supportive. I argued for more OT–every week instead of every other–and they agreed to change it. Hooray for advocating for my daughter!

In news about ME for once, I had a big milestone birthday. Yep. I’m 50! The actual birthday was kind of a letdown between my reaction to a medication and the reaction of one of my teenagers, but I’m looking forward (mostly) to this coming year as I enter this decade of massive change. I’m questioning a lot, wondering a lot, thinking a lot and emoting all over the place (up, down, up, down! I’m like an adolescent!). Here’s to menopause and may it happen SOON!

And here’s to the many lasts that will be happening in the next months. May I face them hopefully and happily and not cry too much.

Posted in Change, Church, Family, Holiday, Kitchen Reno

Christmas Time Is Here…

If you read that title in the Charlie Brown chorus singing it, you are not alone!

It’s a strange holiday season. We’re having ups and downs and weird weather and I’m left feeling a little muddled.

I have a beautiful, gorgeous perfect little brand new niece. She was born 2 weeks LATE on December 3rd. I got to hold her today. So little! So sweet! The newest-born baby I’ve held since my own. So very, very weird to look at my teenagers and shake my head at the fact that they, too, were once that small and sweet.

We visited for a third time a new church. While we were in a bit of a rush on the way out (to go and see aforementioned baby), it was still a lovely service. The pastor preached on Luke 2. Never, ever an easy passage simply because everyone (even those who only do church once or twice a year) has heard messages on it forEVER. How to put a new spin on it? He managed! I’m tentatively hopeful about this church–it feels like home already, and I like the people. They are SO friendly! We’re going to continue to visit for the time being, so that’s great.

On the not-so-great front, which I have been fairly silent about, my sister has breast cancer. Originally it was thought she could get a mastectomy and be done, but the pathology report was much more severe and now 12 weeks of chemo is in her future. As is her daughter’s wedding on April 8. My heart hurts for her, and I’m scared. I love my sister and don’t want this journey for her. She is facing it with grace and faith, but doesn’t really want to do it, either.

The kitchen planning continues. We received the first draft of the plan from the designers, but it had some errors in it (missing a soffit, forgot to figure in the new door), so I’m getting the 2nd draft tomorrow. What I saw that was correct I really liked. A LOT. We still have a lot of conversations and decisions about specifics ahead of us, but having the design in hand will be a good foundation.

In Southeastern PA, typically, it would be in the 30’s and 40’s now. Probably not snow, although on occasion it would be, but it’s heading towards winter and it will be feeling like it. Not this year, though. Today was 71 when we visited the baby in Philadelphia. Weird! It doesn’t FEEL like Christmas!

With the baby and my sister’s treatments going on, planning is up in the air. Now, any of you who have read me know, without a doubt, that I am not only Planner Extraordinaire, but also that I like things written down in pen on the calendar. Nothing is in pen. Not even in pencil. I have not one clue what is going on. And I’ve just got to suck it up and deal with it! 🙂

This week coming up is the beginning of the Great Fudge Making. This year (as was last) I’m making 12 pounds of fudge for gifts. Yes, 12 POUNDS. That’s 24 containers. Work, but so worth it!

Thanks for dropping by. I hope your holidays are peaceful, joyous and healthy.

Posted in Change, Church, Me

It’s Always Good to Make New Friends

(for those who don’t get it, that’s a reference to Disney’s Enchanted)

So….we’ve visited a new church for three weeks now. The original plan was to visit 3, maybe 4 churches and then settle down in one of them. But, as Jim put it:

1. This church is really (as in really, really, really close. Like 2 minutes maybe if I drive slowly)

2. The kids like the youth program/kids program.

3. The sermons are good.

4 The music is good (which, coming from where we came from, is actually pretty important)

5. We met two couples that we had previously attended church with two churches ago. Like, before kids. FRIENDS!

So, why, exactly, would we go visit any more churches?

So we’re not. We are going to stick with this one for the time being.

I was thinking about this fact this morning. Outside of three families (the two mentioned above and another one from our neighborhood), I really don’t know anyone there. They don’t know me.  They don’t know us. SO WEIRD!

We’d been at our previous church for 8 years. And the one before that, well, Jim was a teenager in, we dated there, got married there and were young married there. (part of the problem, as we weren’t allowed to grow up and be adults in the adults’ heads, but that’s water under the bridge by now!).

Now we are in our mid-40’s–FULLY GROWN UP, thankyouverymuch, with four kids. Jim’s been an elder, I’ve been a deacon, we’ve both been worship leaders. We’re coming into this church very, VERY differently from where we came into our previous church–mid-30’s, four very little ones, very disillusioned with God and only there because we knew the kids needed church. Our old church nurtured and loved us back to God. Now, obviously, things changed and we left and there’s definitely some hurt there. But it was also something I was ready to do. I wish they hadn’t made the decision they made, but it certainly made leaving a LOT easier.

So, all that said, it’s just interesting to me that I’m going to be meeting and making new friends with people who will know me as I am and where I am NOW. They won’t see that person I was 10 years ago. Well, sure, I’ll talk about it. But I’m in such a different place than I was, am a different person than I was. It’s just something that struck me.