Wednesday, July 20, 2011

call me doogie houser

I have to get used to all this blog business.  When I'm typing, I feel like Doogie...
So I thought I'd post something that doesn't really require much writing: pictures of my girls.  We were on our way home from 2 (yes, 2 in the same day) family reunions & spotted a beautiful red barn that was calling our name.  Besides the ant bites, it was a good stop!  I love to take pictures. I've done a wedding, a family shoot, a reception, & then a million shots of my own.  I love capturing moments for my girls because I know that I am in charge of their memories.  We've been to a couple of places that I thought were pretty special & memorable (like Turpin's parents' farm), & Annabelle asks what this place is & proceeds to explain that she doesn't remember it.  What?!?  You mean ALL these things we do (to quote The Killers) you don't remember?!  Well, I can accept that.  I know that the experiences make them better people... not neccesarily remembering each detail.  So, I'll be the good mom & take a million pictures & videos so that they can hold their memories dear one day... I'd give anything to have tons of pictures & videos of me as a child (I'm sure myself & Addie would be identical in our looks & actions!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

no really, an OLD friend

Uncle Jr's 80th Bday Dinner

My Uncle Jr turns 82 years old this week.  He is my maternal grandmother's brother & had two sons: Lance & Norman.  Lance (whom my brother was named after) died when I was in high school from complications of being paralyzed.  He became paralyzed when he climbed into a tree to get a cat.  I'm not sure if he got the cat or not, but he fell out of the tree, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.  My favorite memory of him was that he was a hippie.  When we'd have family functions, he would give me his cigarette butt after he finished it & tell me to go pretend to smoke it in front of my mom... who of course overeacted and told me to throw that nasty thing away.  They played Imagine by John Lennon at his funeral, which instantly became one of my most loved songs (that's usually how I work... if I hear a song & attach a person, time, or event to it- it's embedded in my soul for good.)

About 15 or so years later, Uncle Jr's other son, Norman, died from a very unexpected suicide (I guess most are).  He is now "left" with 2 grandsons & me as his "grandaughter."

Uncle Jr & I first got close when I was about 10 years old.  I'm not sure why, but he says he loves me like a grandaughter & will always think I hung the moon.  He calls me about every-other-day to say hello and ask the same question: "Has anyone told you today how beautiful you are?"  I know he loves me dearly because he always checks on me, & he's always there to help me out: yardwork, going to my doctor apts to entertain the girls, moving me into my newest classroom at school, lunch dates (I take him to all my fave places... he even tried sushi!), and the occasional stroller ride for the girls while I shop.

Uncle Jr with A & A's "decorations" on his face

I've learned over the years how fortunate I am to have my Uncle Jr in my life.  He gives me encouragement, lends a hand, and shares stories from our family's past that I wouldn't otherwise know.  Annabelle & Addie love him, too, and that obviously means a lot to me.  He brings them candy each time he comes, & he usually brings a bag of pinecones for Annabelle (the girl loves nature!).  We talked the other day about his death and both decided we wouldn't be too shocked because he's old as dirt... but he wanted me to know that he was happy and would have no problem with his life being over.... and then told me not to cry.  I told him I'd smile at the memories but cry at not only losing an Uncle, but a friend.  I'm so lucky to have an 80-something-yr-old man as one of my besties in life. <3