Saturday, May 28, 2016

It Was 45 Years Ago Today!

It was May 28, 1971. I was upstairs in my bedroom with two of my best friends getting ready for a first date with an older man. I was 16 and just finishing my sophomore year of high school. He was 19 and had been out of school a year and working in the construction field operating heavy equipment. My mom and dad weren't sure if this was a good idea, but they were willing to give it a try.

We had met the week before at the Port. It's a local root beer stand where all the kids cruised and hung out. Believe it or not, it's still there today. They still have drive up dining in your car and the car hops wear roller skates. The food trays attach to your car window. I kid you not. He actually asked the girl I was with out first. To this day he claims he was just getting information about me.

Whatever the reason, tonight was my turn. I began to hear the distant rumble of his car engine. My God that car was loud. I would learn later that there was no sneaking in late in that car. You could hear it coming two blocks away. My heart began to beat faster and I was nervous. The only older guys I had dated in my limited dating experiences were just a year older than me and still in school. I take a last look in the mirror. My friends say I look awesome in my lime green hip hugger bell bottoms and white sleeveless shirt with lime and yellow trim. My hair is long and flowing and my make up is perfect. I head down the stairs that lead to the foyer which is right next to the living room where he will be waiting.

I got half way down the stairs and I see him....smoking a cigarette!!!! Are you out of your freakin mind!?!? My mother hates smoking and had tried to get my dad to stop for years. This is not the way to make a good first impression. I can feel the blood rising to my face. I just need to not make eye contact with my mom and get him the heck out of there. We say good bye and we are finally out the door.

I begin to regain my normal body temp and breathe a say of relief. I don't know him well enough to tell him he's an idiot. Of course, that will come later. We are double dating and the other couple is in the backseat. I say hello and we are on our way to the 49er Drive In (it's still there too) to see the romantic classic PATTON. Nobody told us that it was a 12 hour movie and I'm late getting home on the first date. My dad is cool about it because we were seeing a war movie. My mom wasn't thrilled, but she wasn't going ballistic or anything.

I saw him the next day and the next day and the next day and every day there after. With the exception of a huge fight in 1972 that lasted for two days, we have never been apart. We got engaged on November 19, 1972 and were married on September 8, 1973. When I think about the time frame, I can't believe that my parents let that all happen. I got engaged when I was a senior in high school and married three months after I graduated at the age of 18. We had our first baby when I was 20 and he was 23.

I think the main reason we have stayed together with no major problems over the years is this. We were so young. We had no expectations of what marriage should be. It was what it was and we were happy. We grew up together and made our own adventures along the way. We built a really good life. We had excellent examples in both of our parents. They had been together forever and were both happy in their marriages. We are still happy together and I am blessed to have that all these years later. I can't imagine my life with anyone else.

My plan for the rest of the day is to convince Dick that going to the drive in is a good idea. It is supposed to rain and I don't know what is playing, but I don't care. It is Saturday, May 28, 2011. 45 years later and I think we need to mark the occasion.  The only problem with that is that we are babysitting our grand pup Duncan for the weekend.  Would he like the drive in?

I know that I have posted this picture before, but I love it. It just looks like us. Happy and relaxed. That is pretty much how we are now. We don't fight. What's the point? If we get mad now, it's over quickly. We have a good life. We have four beautiful daughters who have chosen wonderful men in their lives. We have five perfect grand kids that are the lights of our lives.

Life is good and we can't ask for more than that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Where I'm From

I am from Coffee Creek, from Barbie dolls and bicycles.
I am from the loving warmth of the big house on Morgan Avenue.
I am from the snowball bushes, the huge vegetable garden. 
I am from Sunday dinners and huge, extended family Christmas parties, from Jankowski and Povlock and most importantly from the loving arms of Casey and Louise.
I am from the well loved and the stubborn.
From be home when the lightening bugs come out and be nice to your little brother.
I am from the catholic faith. I'm from catholic school and Sunday mass and trying to live what you learned at that mass.
I'm from the hospital in Valpo and 100% Polish, pierogis, duck soup and stuffed cabbage.
From the big wooden swing on Grandma Helen's huge stone porch, the walks uptown with Grandpa Martin, and his big copper colored Pontiac Chieftain in the garage.
I am from Dad's work shop,  Mom's kitchen, a million kids in the neighborhood, homemade Barbie houses, and siblings to play with. 
I am from learning values and morals, learning limits and boundaries, learning it's not all about me, and knowing I am loved.
I am blessed.
I am happy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

It's Easter!!

The last time I wrote here, it was a few days after Ash Wednesday.  I made some Lenten promises to myself.  Goals if you will.  Today is Easter, so I thought I would update on my progress.

I said that I was going to give up excuses and to a degree, I have done just that.  I said that I would get up in the morning and exercise first thing before I could think up an excuse not to and I have.  I said that I would walk every day and with a few exceptions, I have done just that.  Some days not so long, but some days I've done six miles.

I said that I was going back to yoga, but I haven't. It's not that I didn't want to, but the class that I wanted to attend is no longer an option.  The option that is available is right after school and very crowded.  To get a space you have to be there 15 or 20 minutes before class and I can't get there that soon.  I also don't like being on top of people and having them on top of me for yoga.  I'm going to have to wait for summer break to go to a morning class and see how crowded those classes are.  They weren't bad last year, so I'm hoping.

My half marathon training is coming along.  This week's long walk is an easy four miles.  I'll be doing that when I get done writing this post.  I love walking.  It's time for just me.  Jesus and I do a lot of talking then.  We work out quite a few things.  It's good for my soul.

I hope that you all have a Happy and Blessed Easter. I will be spending mine with my family beginning at mass and what could be better than that?  I'd say pretty much nothing!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

No Excuses!

It's lent and that's the time that we Catholics give things up.  I am giving up my usual Bacardi and pop, but this year I've decided to add to that list.

I've been finding myself in a bit of a fitness rut lately.  It's cold outside.  Do I really want to go back out after I get home from work to go to yoga class?  Do I really want to go on the treadmill when I dislike it so much because it's too cold to walk outside?  Do I really want to get out of my nice, warm bed at 5:00 in the morning to workout before school?  Well, guess what?  This lent, the answer is yes!  I am giving up excuses!

No excuses allowed this lent.  I am walking, I am going to yoga and I am getting out of bed early to workout.  I paid good money for the new Beachbody Hammer and Chisel program and I'm getting back to it.  

I even decided after finding nobody willing to walk the Indianapolis Mini Marathon with me that I was going to do my own right here at home.  The fun thing that happened because of that decision is that several of my classmates in different parts of the country are going to do it too.  We are having our own virtual half marathon.  That is going to be so much fun.  I'm even going to look into getting us finisher medals.  We couldn't have decided this a minute too soon though.  According to my Hal Higdon training plan, we need to start training on Tuesday the 16th.  That's just three days away.  

So, that's what I'm doing for lent.  I'm excited to have a plan and I'm thrilled to be giving up excuses.  It's time to do this and stick to it.  I've got friends to be accountable to.  I've got me to be accountable to.  I've got God to be accountable to.  I can do this.           It's all good!! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Happy November!

It seems almost impossible that it can be November already.  It seems like the older I get, the faster time goes.  I guess as long as it keeps going though, I'm in good shape.

I'm starting a fitness challenge tomorrow called Fit for the Holidays.  It runs till the 28th and has a calendar to follow with goals for each day.  You earn points for what you do and have the potential to earn prizes.  I'm doing it for to get back on track, to have the accountability and feel better in mind and body.  I'm excited about this.  It's going to be awesome and I expect to do a great job.  

I'm also doing the plank challenge.  Anybody want to join me?
Last, but certainly not least, I'm continuing with the 75+ mile challenge with my friend Donya.  We just finished October and I did it!  I finished with 78 miles.  The hard part this month will be that I know a lot of it will be on the treadmill and I really don't enjoy the treadmill.  I'm going to give it my all though. I did my first 5.2 miles this morning.

So, that's the plan my friends.  Wish me luck.  I am going to do this because I know that I can and I am worth it.  No excuses.  

Here are a few of my mantras for the month to help keep me motivated.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Old School Blogging / The Fall Edition

I'm so happy and honored to be hosting Old School Blogging #OSBlog with Elaine this month. I've been joining in for a long time now and being asked to host is a dream come true.  Copy and paste the questions below and join in the fun.  I love it and have so much fun doing my own and then reading all the other posts.  Here are my answers to the fall edition post.  

What is your favorite Halloween candy?
That would be a toss up between a Mounds and a Butterfinger.  Usually the Mounds bar will win because of the dark chocolate.

What is one of the worst "treats" you ever received in your candy bag?
A toothbrush!!  Who thought that was a good treat and that was about 50 years ago.

What was one of your favorite costumes you wore when you were a kid?
The costume that I remember the most was when I was a gypsy.  We went to mom's closet and jewelry box and it was awesome.  I wish I had a picture of that costume.

How about your favorite costume as an adult?
I just spent an hour hunting for the pictures of my favorite adult costume and couldn't find them.  Probably 20 or so years ago, my husband and I went to the party store and bought an old man and an old lady rubber mask.  We dressed up like the old farmer and his wife.  Nobody knew who we were unless we told them.  It was so much fun to be that unknown.

What scares you most on Halloween? Spiders? Zombies? Axe murderers? Eyeballs in a jar... (or something else)?
To be honest, nothing really scares me about Halloween.  Even when I was a kid it didn't scare me.

So then, what is your favorite scary movie??
While it's not a horror movie, I think the movie that has scared me the most was the original When a Stranger Calls with Carol Kane and Charles Durning.  It totally creeped me out and still does.
What is you favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?
My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is my whole family sitting around the table with me.  That and the turkey!
What is your favorite piece of clothing or accessory to wear in the Fall?
Definitely my Notre Dame hoodies!  I bet I have eight or so and I love everyone of them.  They are comfy and cozy and just scream fall to me.  Go Irish!

What is your favorite pie?  If you do not like pie I will forgive you but then what is your favorite Fall dessert?
I think my favorite pie would be apple, but I love all the cobblers and crumbles that get made with all the apples in the fall too.

Do you live where there are four seasons? If so, where is your favorite place to see the fall colors?
I live in northwest Indiana, so I definitely live where there are four seasons.  I don't think I could live where there weren't four seasons.  My absolute favorite place to hike and see all the colors is at the Indiana Dunes State Park which is just a couple miles from my home.  It is just beautiful there.

What is your favorite fall tradition?
Oh, hands down it's taking the preschoolers to the pumpkin patch every year.  We just went a couple weeks ago and the kids had a great time.  Riding the hay wagon out to the field and being able to pick any pumpkin they want is so special to them and to us, their teachers.  This year was especially fun because my grandson is in one of our classes.
Is there anything else special about the Fall to you?
I love Notre Dame football and that is definitely what always comes to my mind first when I think of fall.  There is nothing like going to the stadium for a game. 
So, it's your turn to answer and linkup with us.  Be sure and check out the other linkers and see what they have to say about fall.  Be sure and tweet with us too using the hashtag #OSBlog and tag Elaine @elainea and me @bacrdimama.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stream of Consciousness

The older I get, the more it is proved to me that some of the people that I thought were my friends really aren't.  They are people that I have known for years.  They are in different circles of friends.  Some of them overlap into more than one group.  People I thought I could trust.  People that I thought had my back.  But, not so much.

Oddly enough, I am okay with this fact.  I'd rather know than keep on going thinking differently.  If I have learned nothing else in my older years, it's this.....

Don't get me wrong.  I have lots of friends.  Some of you I have met right here on this blog and you mean the world to me.  I have some wonderful friends who have been my friends since we went to school together.  Friends I have met through work and my kids.  Friends who I love like my family and that love me right back.   

I'm just happy to have finally figured out who's who.

The five minutes went so fast writing this week.  Stop over at Jaime's and check out all the #SOC posts and join in, if you'd like.  It can be so good for the soul.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Old School Blogging / ABC's of Me

I have not blogged since spring.  It has been an amazingly busy spring and summer.  I kept saying I was going to get back to blogging, but just never quite made it happen.  When I saw Old School Blogging was back tonight, I knew I had to do it.  You should too.  It's fun and here's the link to join in.  Here are my ABC's of Me!!

A- Age: 60 and I love it!!
B- Biggest Fear: Deep water and most especially deep water in the dark.  The scariest time ever was when I got tricked into getting on the Staten Island Ferry at 10:30 at night.  At least I got some good pictures of the NYC skyline.

C- Current Time: 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday
D- Drink you last had: Tall Bacardi and coke with lime
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: My best friend, Vickie!!
F- Favorite Song: Tough question, I have so many.  If I have to pick just one, I'd say Roll Me Away by Bob Seger.
G- Grossest Memory: The Porta Potty at a Jimmy Buffett concert.  Needless to say, I didn't have to go as badly as I thought.   
H- Hometown: My hometown and my town for the past 60 years is Chesterton, Indiana.  It's small town America, but getting bigger all the time.  Somewhere I have a picture of the gazebo in the park downtown, but I can't find it.
I- In love with: This awesome and amazing family!!!

J- Jealous Of: People who's house is always clean.
K- Killed Someone? Ummmmm, no!
L- Longest Relationship: Including dating, I've been with my husband for 44 years.
M- Middle Name:  My middle name is Kathryn.  It is also the most over used name in my family and my grandma's name.
N- Number of Siblings: Three sisters and a brother.  I'm #3.
O- One Wish: Health and happiness for my family and friends.
P- Person who you last called: My daughter Katie to check on her sonogram results.  Grandbaby #5 is due in October.  He's a boy to be named Christopher Collins Snyder.
Q- Question you’re always asked:  Was it hard raising twins?
R- Reason to smile:  My sweet and wonderful grandkids!!
S- Song you last sang: Uptown Funk in the car on the way home from work.
T- Time you woke up:  5:15
U- Underwear Color:  At the moment I'm dressed for bed, so it's navy boxers.
V- Vacation Destination: Disney World with the whole family one day!
W- Worst Habit: I have no idea.  It was smoking for a long time, but I gave that up many years ago.
X- X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, right foot and stomach.
Y- Your favorite food:  That would be pizza.
Z- Zodiac Sign:  Sagittarius.  My horoscope for today was "Long-term trends are coming to a favorable point for you, Sagittarius. This is a good day to examine them and make some moves forward in pursuit of your goals. There's a great deal of energy working in your favor today and asking you to take charge and lead the fight toward a better reality. Get out of bed early and get moving."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

I was at a bridal shower today for my youngest daughter and her fiancĂ©.  I am so happy for them, but it's kind of breaking my heart at the same time.
It's funny, but not so funny how fast time goes by the older you get.  It seems like it was just last year that she started kindergarten.  Wasn't it just last week that she got her driver's license?  How is it even possible that Abby is 27 years old, a college graduate, an amazing first grade teacher and someone's fiancĂ©????  This time thing is just not right and certainly not fair.

Come July 18, all four of my girls will be married.  If I close my eyes, I can still hear them as little girls.  The giggles, the whispers, the yelling, the sweet little voices.  How did they get so grown up?  Nobody okayed this with me. 

I watched with such love and pride when my husband walked the first three girls down the aisle.  There is something different this time.  It's the baby.  It's the last time I will see one of my daughters walk down the aisle on her handsome father's arm.  It's the last time I will see that look on his face.  That special mix of love, pride and just a hint of sadness.  My girls are all daddy's girls.  Always have been, always will be and he eats it up.  They have such a special bond. 

It just doesn't seem possible that time has gone by so fast.  Or that the time went so fast writing this week.  Stop over at Jaime's and check out all the #SOC posts and join in, if you'd like.  It's really fun.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Old School Blogging

The "I" version.  The job is to finish each sentence after being given the first two words. 

I am busy!  It's that time of year when things start to get a little nuts with the end of the school year. 

I wonder if grand baby #5 will be a boy or a girl. 

I hear the tv in the bedroom.  That's where I should be.  I should be going to sleep instead of on the computer.

I see a summer filled with so much to do approaching.  We have weddings and showers and graduation parties and anniversary parties and vacations coming up in the next few months.  

I want time to just slow down.  Time is flying by and I feel like I am missing too much.

I am ready for school to be done.  I have so much to do to get ready for my daughter's wedding. 

I pretend that I am a size 8.  Stupid, I know, but I still do it.  Maybe one day in the near future, I actually will be.

I feel very tired.  Today was Preschool Olympics and it was awesome, but I have over 23,000 steps on my Fitbit for the day.

I worry that I don't get to spend as much time with my kids and grand kids as I'd like to.  It seems like the older I get, the faster time goes.  I hate that.

I cry far less than I used to.  Menopause was a great leveler for me. 

I am happy.  My life is wonderful and I love it.

I understand that I need to be good to myself.  It can't always be about everyone else.

I say what I think most of the times.  Sometimes it's just better to be quiet.  

I dream about a great big family vacation to Disney World with all 14 of us.  That would be awesome.

I try to exercise every morning before work.  It seems like if I don't do it then, it's to easy to make excuses later in the day.

I hope that my daughter's wedding is perfect and absolutely everything she hopes it will be.

I am blessed beyond belief.

I love old school blogging.  Maybe you would too.  If you'd like to join in, just head over to The Miss Elaine-ous Life and link up.