Age is just a number

One of my dearest friends here in Ohio is just a few months younger than my oldest son. As a matter of fact, it’s her birthday today- Happy Birthday Rachel! My four year old Lydia is crazy about her daughter Olivia; they have a mutual admiration club going on.

We first met last summer at a church picnic. Bonding over texting about a mutual friend’s son’s impending birth led to play dates, girls’ nights out, girls’ nights in, family dinners and lots of Fun. We chat throughout our day via texting- encouraging one another, sharing pictures, recipes, funny anecdotes our children say, prayer requests and just living life together as friends, one day at a time.

From the moment of our first conversation I really admired her. She has had all three of her babies at home and even though I have had all nine of mine “naturally” at the hospital. I have great admiration for home birthers and she is a Rock Star in my book. We have a desire for healthy eating in common, raising our children for God, a good glass of wine, homeschooling, fun and wacky crafts for our kids, tips on how to be superwomen fixing things around our houses, natural remedies to our bodies’ ailments, a desire to be good moms even when we are so tired we can’t see straight, a good laugh, a good movie, a good song to sing….which leads me to the other night.

My three older girls and I picked Rachel up one evening last week to go out for an impromptu ice cream date at Graeters. Love their ice cream. We were singing to ” Just Give Me a Reason ” by Pink and Fun and then Justin Timberlake’s ” Suit and Tie” came on as we pulled into her driveway. Rachel hopped in the car and the entire car began reminiscing down memory lane as we discussed boy bands from the 90’s. We started talking about 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. We had a rousing discussion about the boy band concerts. We debated Justin Timberlake’s merits and career choices and successes and then we had the following conversation.

Me:” I guess I really never had to deal with the boy band craze too much as my boys were the older ones when the bands were popular.”

Lilly and Phoebe chimed in that Grace liked them.

Grace ( my 21 year old on Saturday): “I liked them, I had all the CDs, I was in 2nd grade.”

Rachel: ” I was in 6th grade.”

As I heard giggles coming from the backseat, it occurred to me, I was the mother of the 2nd grader as well as a 5th grader a few months younger than Rachel with a few more boys in between. As a matter of fact I had six children at this time in history.

I really never think about the age difference of my friend and I. I have to admit the above conversation gave me a giggle and pause for thought that yes I am twenty years older than her, but on any given day, age is non-existent. Just like she never made me feel “old” as I struggled this winter and spring through the dark days of my hormones being out of whack, she just made me feel supported. We spend our days as women walking shoulder to shoulder and just enjoying being friends.

Age is just a number, even when I text her asking for permission to post about our friendship. See text below:

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Yep, age is just a number. Happy Birthday dear friend!

Happy Mother’s Day- spread the love

Happy Mother’s Day- spread the love around

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. It is all about the heart, so if you are a mother to the motherless, to your special four-legged creatures, to those in need around you, to your own mix of eclectic offspring, Happy Mother’s Day!

To my friends who have shared the love of their mother with me, thank you!
( miss you Betty Ann, love you Jeanne Rapp)

To my wonderful mother-in -law, Rainy, thank you for always being so supportive and willing to have a good chat, I love you!

To my mother, Phyllis, thank you for being a wonderful mother and friend. You always have my back. You have been such a fantastic mother of modeling unconditional love, support and selflessness. Love you more! ūüėČ

Make sure you take time to appreciate those people in your life today who mean so much to you. And remember, if you stop at the grocery or pet store or somewhere else today and a woman is waiting on you-don’t tell her Happy Mother’s Day right off ( she may not be a mother)- just stop and take the time to say, ” You look beautiful or thanks for helping me today or your smile just helped brighten my day!”

Feeling the love, spread it around.

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Me and my beautiful Mom

Life is too short to wear tight shoes

    imageBack in October, a friend came for a visit.   She commented on the new running shoes I was wearing.  Black with a white, a hot pink and a blue stripe that if I stare at too long, I see myself sitting on the beach with the sand between my toes, the ocean waves pounding and the magnificent sky stretching on and on with big white billowing clouds above.  This is where if I were watching a movie, the soundtrack would make a noise like a vinyl record screeching to a halt and I would be brought back to reality, which right now is a cold and gloomy day in Ohio.

Okay, the running shoes. ¬†I haven’t actually ran in them yet, but it gives me a great sense of comfort and glee to know, one day I am going to, yes, one day. ¬†We start talking about her shoes and she confesses that they are a size too small. ¬†Her knees hurt; her hip bothers her. ¬†Off to the running store we went for a fitting and she found a pair of shoes that slid on like Cinderella’s slipper after the ball.¬† She wears them everywhere; I think she secretly sleeps in them sometimes. ¬†I can’t really judge her that her shoes were too tight; after all, I went up a whole shoe size when I bought my new pair. ¬†Months earlier, the same, kind, saleswoman let me know the minute my foot landed on the metal measurement device that my existing shoes were too tight. ¬†I¬†imagine there are legions of women out there who torture their little piggies right along with us.

Why do we do this? ¬†Pure and simple vanity. ¬†We both couldn’t believe our feet had gone up a size as we aged. ¬†We were holding on to some belief, some conviction, some ideal of ourselves and yes, probably our youth was mixed up somewhere in the mess of our tight shoes and loose laces.

We do that in life, I think.  Hold on to situations, people, appearances too tightly.  Somehow, admitting we have changed or they have changed, or life has changed, is admitting some sort of defeat.  We find ourselves living life for just the appearance of it all and not wanting to admit or embrace that the journey changes us and sometimes our circumstances.  Sometimes, we hang on tight for dear life, choking the circulation, the blood-pumping life out of everything. We fight the change, the growth, the opportunity to stretch out, spread out and wiggle our toes.  We miss the chance to make the journey more comfortable, fresh, new, and exciting!  We stop noticing if the shoes we are running in really fit.

I am so glad I got a new pair.  Life really is too short to wear tight shoes.