Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Make new friends ... Or not

Since were still relatively new (almost 23 months since we moved) I spend a fair amount of time nurturing new friendships and thinking about how to begin other ones. For the most part, it's just a matter of being committed to making the time. Texting back-and-forth with another mom trying to work out a time to meet with or without kids while taking into account all the other commitments that life holds.  Whether it's spontaneous or planned, it still requires me to put myself out there and although it's still a little uncomfortable at times I've gotten used to it.

Generally speaking, full-time stay-at-home moms I invite over for coffee after the kids are in school, and full-time working moms so I invite to get together on a late Saturday afternoon at the playground for a family play date.

But there's one mom that I just cannot reach, and that's the mom who refuses to ever leave her kids.  We've had several family play dates with the kids, and I'd love the chance to delve into deeper conversation with her. The kind of conversation that's difficult to do when your little darlings are always within earshot.

This woman seems to literally, never, ever leave her kids.  She home schools, her kids don't go to day camps in the summer, and although her kids have several activities she stays in the waiting area during them.  Evenings are family time as are weekends.  

After several emails back-and-forth a couple weeks ago trying to find some mom only time to meet up, I just gave up.

Perhaps that day will come one day, but for now I'll just invite her to meet up at the playground again.

Or maybe she's just not that into me!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Disney Pixar's Inside Out

For Father's Day, Mr. Quimby requested a few hours of peace and quiet to watch the U.S. Open, so I took the girls to the movies to see Disney Pixar's Inside Out.

It was a beautifully sweet movie that chronicled the journey of Riley, a ten-year old girl who moved from her home in Minnesota to San Francisco, and all of the emotions and experiences that go along with such a big move.

We did our big move when Beezus and Ramona were almost 6 and 8 and I honestly don't think the move affected them much - they weren't really that sad to leave their friends, just our house and my sister. It was my and Mr. Quimby's adjustment to the movie that affected them more than anything!  The movie hit me hard, but not in the most obvious way.

But oh my goodness, this movie had so many amazing moments: how core memories influenced personality development, the abyss of the memory dump, how the emotions of sadness and fear could spur action in a way that joy couldn't.  I particularly loved the moment when the parents displayed such empathy for Riley and her sadness that the core memory changed from one of only sadness to one of sadness mixed with joy.

I have a core memory just like that: I got in trouble once at school and was crying when I told my mom.  I expected her to be mad and was so surprised when she hugged me and cried with me.  I also loved thinking about my other core memories that shaped my personality: reciting a prayer in church as a very young child and seeing the look of delight on my mother's face; the feeling of belonging I got from being an altar server at mass and how my Dad would often take me to the early mass by myself; my first meeting at the Youth Legislature meeting when I was in 8th grade and the power I felt when I made a statement in an assertive voice; babysitting for ALL those children over the years and how good it felt that the parents trusted me.  It's pretty easy to see how those core memories shaped my personality!

Watching the movie together gave the girls and I a common language to share when talking about emotion.  When Beezus was nervous about a swim meet recently and I was trying to talk her down, I told her that the emotion fear was in control right then.  I suggested that she let fear stay, but make it move over a little bit and share the space with joy because that's what she'll feel at the end of the race. It made sense to her.

The girls rolled their eyes at me when I asked them what their core memories were, but I'm still planning to buy the DVD and I hope that the girls will sit and watch it with me as the years go by.

A selfie on a lovely shady bench after the movie while waiting for pizza.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Family time

It feels so good to be hanging out together.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


We are on a little family vacay in Hawaii this week - we needed this time together.  As always, Mr. Quimby has a meeting and it's all too easy to take the rest of us along for the ride.

It's so easy traveling with these big kids, at almost 8 and almost 10 years old.  They are confident travelers, well behaved and as flexible as their rigid upbringing allows them to be.  We have a nice rhythm with our family trips now which is made even better by the work I've done on myself the past year that allows me to be more easy going.  The only thing that gives me anxiety is dinner-time; they do fine with breakfast and lunch but they are not adventurous or flexible eaters so even favorite foods prepared in a different way are unacceptable to them.

I said above that "we needed this time together" but really, I needed this time with them.  I've been traveling a lot for work the past four weeks and I'm feeling disconnected from them.  When I'm gone, they just seem to carry on without me and I have to be reabsorbed when I return.  Departing just two days after my most recent return puts us all on equal footing again.

Monday, March 30, 2015

It's there

I have come down with a stomach bug and the girls took such good care of me tonight and were so sweet and attentive.  Mr. Quimby and I often worry that we are raising them with a sense of entitlement and that they don't seem grateful enough for all the blessings in their lives.  But tonight showed me that those kernels of empathy are most definitely there.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rocked It - Part 2

The big hearing that I've been working on was this past Friday.  The committee voted in "my" favor by a unanimous vote of 14-0.  It was great to win again, and frankly I hope the competing organization keeps bringing this issue to different venues because it creates excellent job security.

I was so nervous leading up to it - but I'm not ashamed to ask for help, which I did via facebook and directly to a dear friend/colleague and my boss and it was awesome to go into it with their words of encouragement behind me.

I made some great new contacts in the process and feel like this win on a local level positioned me well should I ever want to take on more clients or even take a new job.

I drove home feeling like I was on such a high - I had texted ahead to Mr. Quimby and the girls and they were happy for me.  We celebrated for a little bit and then it all fell apart.  Not enough ice cream to go around, and two tired girls, and some crankiness in the house for an unknown reason made for a perfect storm.  My high plummeted and I was angry and sad that my joy had been taken from me.  But I held myself together, yelled once, pulled myself back together and just got through the evening.

It was ironic that on a day of such professional success, life at home was topsy-turvy for a few hours.  But it didn't mean anything - it didn't mean that I had been neglecting my home or my family.  It didn't mean that I needed to quit my job so that I could be home more and control everything.  It simply meant that sometimes people have successes at work and sometimes people have trouble at home and sometimes they happen to occur on the same day.

I felt proud of myself for that realization, even though it took me another day to realize that.  Stuff just happens sometimes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Joy and Enthusiasm

This past weekend was Ramona's first communion. As I sit here a couple days later and think about it, the word that comes to mind is joy and then enthusiasm. Joy that my parents and my one of my sisters could be here, joy that other family members were praying for Ruthie, joy that the day went so logistically smoothly, everybody got everywhere on time and there was no bickering. It was such a gift of the day and the gift of a weekend. Ramona was so enthusiastic, and even the next day when we went to mass her excitement and joy over receiving the Eucharist was infectiou.  It made me think that we should all feel that enthusiasm and that joy when we get the opportunity to receive this wonderful gift.

As I often feel on these sorts of monumental's occasions, I am simply overcome by gratitude for the many blessings in my life.  I have troubles and trials just like the next person (see any of my posts related to mental health) but most of all, I am so blessed and I am so grateful.

Receiving the sacrament of first Eucharist should not have to do anything with me, it really should be just a relationship between Ramona and the Lord. But I can't help but feel a little bit of pride!  Mr. Quimby and I are the ones who bring them to church every Sunday, drive them to the atrium (their religious education classes) and we are the ones raising them as good Catholics. And I think it that it's okay that we are proud of that and that it's okay that we are proud that we have gotten both of our children to this point.  Of course, the journey does not end here, there is more work to do, but I love that we can celebrate where we are now.

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