Monthly Archives: June 2009

It gets me every time…

Tonight we watched “Marley & Me“.  Eventhough I’ve read the books twice and watched the movie 4 times, I cry EVERY time.  Every. Single. Time.  Tonight was no different.

I don’t know what it is about that story that touches me so.  We have a “Marley”.  But her name is Maggie.  And she’s not your typical “good ol’ dog”, she’s more of the “crazy bitch” kind of dog.  When she was a puppy(back before I had a digital camera) and Marshall was in medical school, she was my bestest buddy.  I was essentially all alone in a town I hated.  My husband was either always at school or always studying.  I was in a job I hated.  I didn’t have a church home.  I missed my family.  I had no non-medical friends.  (The medical friends I did have were all studying, too.)  It was lonely.  Very lonely.  And Maggie was always there.  Always happy to see me.  Always happy to be cuddled and loved.  But also doing things like eating the wall, gnawing on her crate enough to destroy it, obliterating dog toys in mere seconds.  I’ve been pretty good about documenting my children’s lives…but I wish someone had encouraged me to write down the stories about Maggie.  There are so many things I know that I’ve forgotten.  If not for the pictures, I wouldn’t remember the time it snowed and she & I sat and watched it fall while Marshall cut away in the anatomy lab.  She was so cute in her little sweater.  Yes, I was one of those people who dressed my dog.  I probably still would today, but she left no question in my mind that she hated it when she literally ate her Halloween costume.  And yes, I did just say I had a Halloween costume for my dog.  But really, folks, it felt like she was all I had sometimes.  And she would sit with me and watch girly movies without complaining, and she would be excited to see me when I got home, and she would cuddle like nobody’s business.  Eventhough I bought her for Marshall, she was (and is) my dog.  Even though we now have two dogs(we got Madison not too long after Maggie, acutally), Maggie was my first.  There’s something special about the first.  And I know that the time will eventually come when we will probably have to make decisions similar to those in the book. And that breaks my heart.  And makes me want to cry.  You’re cold-hearted if it doesn’t.

But that’s not the only thing that touches me about this story.  I see so much of myself in John Groban’s wife Jenny.  She seems, according to the book and the movie, a fairly outgoing person.  A good wife, a good mom, a good friend, a good girl.  And she stayed at home with her kids-the first two who were only 17 months apart.  I know what that’s like.  I know how hard that is.  I was in the midst of that when I first read the book.  And to see her struggle made my struggle seem more bearable.  I remember reading this sentence and thinking, “This is me.  This is totally, 100% me.  And I’m glad to know I’m not alone.”:

“The joy [our children] brought us was profound.  Yet the darkness that had descended over Jenny while she was on forced bedrest persisted.  Some weeks she was fine, cheerfully tackling the challenges of being responsible for two lives completely dependent on her for every need.  Other weeks, without warning, she would turn glum and defeated, locked in a blue fog that sometimes would not lift for days.”

And, even though the book is called “Marley & Me”, it’s really about Marley’s family and all the things Marley was there for.  And it is so well-written that you feel like a part of the Grogan family.  Most of us can relate to the ups-and-downs of marriage and parenthood and life in general.  And  a lot of us have a dog…a special dog(or cat or fish or turtle) that you’ll never forget.  I hope that Maggie’s around for a lot longer.  But I can’t not notice that she’s sleeping a lot more these days.  And standing up after all those naps takes a little longer than it used to.  But I can’t imagine not hearing the clack-clack-clack-clack of her nails on the tile.  Or the crazy peacock/crying baby noise she makes.  Or the groan she makes when you rub her ears.

Look, now I’ve gone off and made myself cry again.  I need to go to bed!

Happiest Birthday To Me!

For starters, thank you all for the birthday comments you left here and on Facebook. I read every single one of them, and I appreciated them all very much!

My birthday weekend was crazy-awesome. Seriously.

On Friday, Marshall took his car in to be serviced and they promptly informed him that it was not even safe to drive the clanky thing home!  But he did, and we did a little research on cars and prices and the Cash for Clunkers campaign, which is a great program if you intend on buying a *NEW* car.

On Saturday I had some girls from church over for a jewelry making class.  One of my childhood friends is a jewelry-maker(and soap-maker and pottery-maker and candle-maker and awesome-maker), and she brought all her goodies for us to make fun and fancy jewelry.  I made a memory wire bracelet and a pendant seen below.  And she made the ring for me.  (Ignore my ugly hands!)


After our jewelry fun, Marshall and I drove around to the several small dealerships in town.  At one place, the lady was obscenely pushy.  She wasn’t a small person and her lipstick was askew, and I’m pretty sure she had on a wig.  A bad one.  Anyway, she asked for our phone number while we were still in the car.  And after Marshall ever-so-tactfully evaded the question, she leaned in close enough to kiss me and tried to get our number again.  “I have personal space issues and you have wonky lipstick.  Please back away.”

After we thought we had looked at most of the available cars in the area, we stopped at one last dealership.  We were helped by a very kind gentleman, and found a car with low miles, all the fun extras(sunroof, leather seats, etc.), and a decent price.  However, upon opening the door, I was overwhelmed by the smell of smoke.  By the time we’d test driven it a few miles, I already had a headache.  Bleh!  So much for that!

So we decided to just go ahead and go to dinner.  I was told that we were going to meet my parents and grandparents at 6.  So we were leaving the dealership at 5:30 when Marshall saw the dad of one of his patients pulling into the dealership.  This guy is the general manager of finance, so we pulled back in.  He had a few other things to show us and we ended up picking and buying this car:

2009 Nissan Murano 3

It’s a 2009 Nissan Murano(which I continue to call a Nissan Milano).  It’s a used car, but it still smells good.  And it turns on with a button.  I made fun of it at first…but IT’S AWESOME!  🙂

We took a little longer than expecting buying a car, so we were late to “dinner”.  “Dinner” was actually a surprise party for me!  20 friendly, smiling faces waiting and waiting and waiting for ME to arrive.  Awesome!  (The only thing missing were my BFFs, but they’re coming tomorrow and we get to do the whole birthday thing AGAIN!!!)

Here are a few pictures from the “Queen B Thir-ty” party!

BdayCollage(Yes, my brother has his eyes crossed.
No, Mama, they won’t get stuck like that.
And yes, the two of us are a lot alike and very different all at the same time.)

Bday cake(Um…I’m not exactly sure what we’re doing in the first one, but it was funny so I thought I’d share.)

On Sunday(my actual birthday), my Sunday School crowd had ANOTHER cake for me.  And I got not one, but two Diet Cokes for my birthday.  (They know me well!)  We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch.  And we had homemade strawberry ice cream that night.  Fantastic.  Completely fantastic!

Thank you ALL for a wonderful birthday!
I have an amazing family and wonderful friends.

Birthday Comment Cake

This is the same post I put up for mah birfday last year, slightly edited to fit the special occasion: I’m turning 30!!!

Confession: I LOVE birthdays.
Not just mine, but anybody’s really. I love gifts-buying and getting. I love cake and ice cream(if it’s good cake with cream cheese icing and homemade strawberry ice cream). I love hearing people who don’t usually sing sing “Happy Birthday” at the top of their lungs. I love the fact that every person gets a day to celebrate all on their own(unless you’re a multiple, I guess…but that’s different…multiples have some kind of bond so they don’t mind sharing birthdays, right??).

So…back to the point: MY birthday.  I turn THIRTY today!  Yay for me!  I know people say at some point birthdays become not a big deal, or that you don’t want them to come or whatever.  I hope I’m never like that.  I want to always love my birthday, or as I like to refer to it: Queen Bridget Day.  Seriously, that’s how I have it written in my calendar.

Several folks have asked me what I want for my birthday.  And while I love to get stuff, I saw a great idea at  The Spohrs Are Multiplying that she stole from her friend Casey.  Since most of you are not able to sing “Happy Birthday” to me in person or make me or cake or at least buy me some cake from my favorite cake place in the world, The Boll Weevil, I thought it would be fun to have a “comment cake”.  That’s right!  All you have to do to make me happy is leave me one little comment.  But this isn’t all about me, you know?  I also want to hear something exciting about you.  Tell me what makes you happy.  Or a funny joke(corny jokes eagerly accepted).  Or something great that’s going on in your life.

Happy Birthday to me.  Happy Birthday to me.  Happy Birthday Queen Bridget.  Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Tasty Memories

Today, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I ate a red plum.

When I bit into it, the juice squirted everywhere, running down my chin.  And the taste and the texture and the smell all came rushing back to me.  I used to love plums.  My grandmother had a plum tree in her yard.  It made tiny plums, but they were sweet and juicy.  I imagine that my mom had to scrub more than a few of my shirts to try and get the stains out.  (Sorry about that, Mama.)

Even though I still see that same plum tree often, I had forgotten about those tasty little plums it made.  I forgot about climbing up in that tree with my brother and my cousins.  I forgot about smooshing the rotten ones between my toes.  (Very theraputic, actually.  Maye I should start that as a spa trend.  It’s better than this idea.)

So that’s my tasty memory.  I know I’m not the only one.  What nectarous nostalgia do you have?

My son.


You smell like a boy.
Not a baby, not a little boy.
But a real, stinky, sweaty boy.

Your hands are covered in dirt and grim.
Your cheeks are dusty,
Except for the tear tracks left from a now-forgotten playground tragedy.

It’s time for naps.
You’ve outgrown naps, but you still “rest”.
But today? Today you ask me to hold you.
How can I say no to that?

So we crawl into bed.
And I cradle both you and your sister in my arms.
And I realize that I am the luckiest person in the world.

You take your grimy, dirty hands and rub them across my cheeks.
You flutter your fingers over my closed eyelids
Just like I’ve done to you a thousand times.

And I completely don’t care about how dirty your hands are.
Or how my precious pillow is probably going to stink now.
All I think is, “I love you.”

And then I think, “I almost chose to check my email.”
I’m glad I didn’t.
The world can wait.


I am a Christian.  I love Jesus.  And I’d like to be able to say that I am a poster child for what a Christian should look like, but I can’t.

I do pray.  I do read my bible, although not as often as I should.  I help others.  I tithe of my money, time and talents.  I’m an over-all good person.


I make mistakes.  I am not perfect.  I don’t claim to be.

I make poor choices.  I do things I know I shouldn’t do.

I also(usually) admit those things.  I don’t really hide too much. (I know, I know…you’re all shocked by that.)

So I guess what makes me so mad…no, sad really is when someone who appears to be a Christian is down-right, intentionally mean.

I know we all have our prejudices, but I try really hard not to be judgmental.  It’s hard sometimes.  REALLY hard.  But I do try.  I also try my hardest to be open-minded and open-hearted.  (Yes, I know that’s not a word.  But it should be.)

It’s been years since I first read Phillip Yancey’s book “What’s So Amazing About Grace?“, but there are so many things in that book that re-surface in my mind when I need them most.  One of the passages that comes to mind often is this(which can also be found in his book “The Jesus I Never Knew“):

A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs and tears, she told me she had been renting out her daughter—two years old!—to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit. I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing, it made me legally liable—I’m required to report cases of child abuse. I had no idea what to say to this woman.

At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naive shock that crossed her face. “Church!” she cried. “Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.”

“Church!  Why would I ever go there? …  They’d just make me feel worse.”


Is that really what we want?  I know I don’t.  I want church to be a refuge, a safe haven.  I want to be able to find a love like no other; an acceptance, a peace among others who may be very, very different from me but love me none-the-less.

But for many people, I know that just isn’t true.  And I hate that.  And I want to know what we, what I specifically, can do to change that.  I know that you can only build a house one brick at a time.   But I’m ready to start building.

Sure, we’ve all made mistakes.  I just recently found out that years ago I was mean to another girl at church.  I don’t remember it, but she does. (We’ve talked about it, and we’re cool now.)  It hurts me that my thoughtlessness hurt someone else so badly that they still remember it 15 years later.  And sure, I’ll probably make mistakes like this again.  But I hope that my awareness will make me think about my actions before I act, think about my words before I speak.

In the same book, Yance quotes a counselor(David Seamands) as saying:

Many years ago I was driven to the conclusion that the two major causes of most emotional problems among evangelical Christians are these: the failure to understand, receive, and live out God’s unconditional grace and forgiveness; and the failure to give out that unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace to other people. . . . We read, we hear, we believe a good theology of grace. But that’s not the way we live. The good news of the Gospel of grace has not penetrated the level of our emotions. (Emphasis mine.)

I want to live a life full of grace.  Who’s with me?

Not-so-Wordless Wednesday

Because I’m always behind the lens, there are very few pictures of me.  Of the ones that are taken, I’d venture to say that I am happy with roughly 1% of those.  I much prefer hiding behind the camera!

But every now and then I get a good one.  If you’re my friend on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve seen this before.  Sorry.  I’m really not full of myself, I was just excited to have a good picture of myself!

This is the way my hair looks if I fix it appropriately:

Bridget01And I like it when it looks like that.

However, most of the time it ends up looking like this:


So, after seeing the new Night at the Museum movie, I’ve decided that I really like Amy Adam’s hair. The one playing Amelia Earhart. I think I might attempt a cut similar to hers:

Photo by Hamara Photo

Photo by Hamara Photo

What do you think??

Me Day

I feel like a horrible person when I complain about my kids…because they’re all generally happy and healthy. They’re good kids.   A little loud, but that’s no one’s fault but my own.  I realize that.  It’s genetic, so really it’s my parent’s fault.  🙂

I know how lucky I am to have the opportunity to stay home with them.  And I love it.  I really do.  But I know many of you will understand me when I say this:  there is such a thing as too much togetherness.

(I almost hesitate to say that.  I imagine Heather Spohr might disagree with me.  I know she’d give anything to have one more moment with her Maddie, even if it was a scream-filled-pull-your-hair-out kind of moment.)

I am with my kids (during the summer) all but about 5% of the time.  They go to church and we’re not together there.  And we occasionally get a babysitter.  But when we get a sitter, it’s usually for a reason.  If I’m going to pay someone to keep my children, I feel like I should use that time to it’s maximum potential.  I should accomplish something. So I get a sitter and I run errands, work on my temporary volunteer job, chaperon trips with the youth at church, stuff like that.  Occasionally we’ll get a sitter in order to go on a date.  But that’s not as common as it should be.

And then I started to think about something.  I say that I want to accomplish something. And I do.  But I’m beginning to question my own definition of “something”.  Does that mean I have to check off x number of things off my never-ending to do list?  No.  That’s nice and all(I do love marking things off a list!), but maybe I should focus on accomplishing those non-tangible things.  Not being a mommy for a little while.  Not being responsible for anyone but myself for a few hours.  Not having to clean up spit-up, drool or poop.  Not having to chastise, yell or give mean-mommy looks.

So tomorrow, instead of going to the church and working and instead of staying here and dealing with bottles, sippy cups and my pantless, almost-potty-trained daughter, I’ll be going to have a “Me Day”.  I will be running some errands, but it’s SO much faster without my three amigos tagging a long.  And I’ve heard that I should go see The Proposal. Apparently it’s a good, funny movie. (And you get to see Ryan Reynolds nekkid! heh.)

But I will miss them while I’m gone…even if it is just a few hours.  And I’ll smile when I remember how funny it was when Lydia accidentally spilled half a bag of fresh blueberries into the muffin mix instead of just one cup.  The look on her face was so adorable.  And I’ll laugh when I think about Carter singing to Lydia after she pooped on the potty for the first time today! (I sang and danced, too, but I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as cute!)  And I’ll swoon when I think about how sweet little Asa burrows his head into my shoulder-the best feeling in the world!

And what better way to maximize baby-sitter usage than to relax and spend time taking care of “me” so that when I get back, I can be a better “Mom-me”?

Brother's Day

In the car today while talking about Father’s Day, Carter asked me this:

So when is Brother’s Day?

I actually think that’s a pretty good question, and I think that we should start celebrating Brother’s Day and Sister’s Day.  Seriously…if we can celebrate “Executive Coaching Day” or ” World Toilet Day”, we can surely set aside a time to celebrate our siblings!  (Although I am kind of sad I missed this awesome holiday.  Maybe next year!)

So after a short google search, I found this: National Siblings Day.

We’ll totally be celebrating this next year!

Confessions, Part Three

Confession:  I am actually a shy person and I’m scared to death of BlogHer.

In many situations this is true.  You may not believe it.  But I do struggle to “put myself out there” when I’m in an unusual environment.  Meet me on my own turf?  Ms. Confidence.  Somewhere else?  Not so much.

I’m particularly scared about BlogHer.  Soooooo far out of my comfort zone!!!  I feel just like I did those last few weeks of summer right before starting high school.  Knowing that there were bigger, cooler kids.  Wondering if I could hold my own.  And wondering if I was really ready.

I’m just an average mommy-blogger. (I don’t hate that term as much as most.  I’m a mommy and a blogger, so it makes sense to me.)  I started blogging, like a lot of moms, to keep our families updated.  But then I discovered how therapeutic it could be and I fell in love.  And once I got on Twitter…I finallly felt like I had co-workers(the only thing I missed from “real” jobs).

Through my blog and Twitter, I have met so amazing people.  I’m in an online book club, I watch as one of my IRL friend’s family grows & changes even though we don’t live close to each other anymore, and just recently I learned about bird sex. (Heh.)  I want to meet some of my “friends”, and I want them to become friends instead of “friends”.  (I really need to work on my over-use of punctuation!)

I’ve heard that BlogHer is what you make of it.  It can be fun and exciting if you put yourself out there and meet people, or it can be boring and miserable if you aren’t at least a little assertive.  There are other BlogHer newbies I want to meet.  There are BlogHer veterans I want to meet. There are people I’m scared I’m not good enough for.  (I really didn’t want to end that sentence with “for” but if I said “for whom” I’d sound like an ass.)  There are people that I’m sad aren’t going. And since I’m traveling with citystreams I know that I’ll never be completely alone! 🙂

So I’ll try really hard to not be a wallflower, and I’ll be sure to make sure that I have a good time.  Who’s going to be there to help me?  Comment, tweet or email me if you don’t mind holding my hand(or hiding in the closet with me).