Tag Archives: memories

When The Challenger Fell

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When The Challenger Fell

I’ll never forget the year the challenger fell. I was in the 6th grade. Everyone was talking about the teacher who was going to the moon. And our classrooms tuned in that day, to watch history in the making.

Of course we weren’t at all prepared for what we saw. 10-9-8-7 clouds of smoke started to bellow at the base of the rockets. 6-5-4-3 anticipation was building. We’d seen space shuttles before. It wasn’t amazing that we were sending someone to the moon. 2-1-blastoff. It was amazing that we were sending someone “normal” to the moon.

She wasn’t an astronaut. She was a teacher. With students our age. One minute and thirteen seconds later, tears flooded my eyes.

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This isn’t just about you…

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This isn’t just about you…

Dear Son,

I know you’ve been the one to go to school every day  most of the days for the past 13 years, and you’re the one who passed all the tests and finished the classes, but this graduation isn’t just about you. It’s about a journey, a journey between the two of us.

12_09 (3)You see, my life is sort of divided between the years before you and the years since. You, my sweet son, changed who I am.

I was a wife and a step-mom before you were born. And I like to think my mothering was pretty good. BUT YOU brought out my MAMA BEAR.

The first moment I saw you, the majesty of the heavens paled in comparison to this miracle I made. Oh yeah, Daddy made you too, but that’s a different story.

I stared at you for hours thinking “holy crap, you were inside of me!” The bigger you grew, the more that amazed me. All the sudden one day I looked up at this young man who was taller than both his parents and I said to myself “that was my tiny little Dyl Pickle” and I looked at my hand and remembered how you once sat so small in my cradled arm. Read the rest of this entry

Impossible To Beat

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Valentine’s Day really isn’t my favorite holiday, but I’ve said that before.  It just never lives up to those movie-made expectations. I’m always left feeling sort-of bah-humbug. But this year I didn’t have a bad Valentine’s Day…

I didn’t sit around and write 65 cards for my kids to pass out. I sort of hate that tradition because I know where those cards end up. I also didn’t spend 19 hours perfecting the most amazing Pinterest cupcakes ever. Because I also know exactly where those cupcakes wind up. Instead the ZooCrew requested “Fruit Rollup Valentine’s”… AHHHH! The best of both worlds! A cool valentine + a snack for the party rolled into one! I’m loving the Type B personality that has taken over my life. Simple AND impressive: that’s how I roll! (OK, that’s how I’m learning to roll. Better?)

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Daddy Didn’t Know

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So apparently my husband had no idea that we give out teacher appreciation gifts! I’m not sure how he missed that. We’ve had kids in school for the past 16 years now. I used to do a Christmas gift, maybe a little something for their birthdays- but add that to the pile of “things I did when I had a few kids!” Now, I run a zoo, so it’s just once a year that I sit down and try to show my appreciation for the people who spend almost as much time with my kids as I do- and if you know my kids, you know these amazing people deserve some appreciation! Daddy should have realized that even if there wasn’t a tradition of teacher appreciation already in place, there would need to be some kind of recognition for the people who help tame our circus!

This year I thought it would be fun to make some edible arrangements. Every single time that commercial comes on, KK asks me if we can order one of those. I looked once- I was going to surprise her, and when I saw the price, let’s just say that fell off my to-do list. I thought “surely they couldn’t be that hard…”

My little ZooCrew was so excited to open the fridge this morning and see the creations they got to give their teachers! One teacher even emailed me a pic of her enjoying it!

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A pony on the side

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Out of my seven kids,  only two are girls and they just so happen to be the oldest and the youngest.  Even though my Blondie is all grown up,  I still remember exactly how it happened….

It was midway through second grade when her hair styles stopped being up to me every day.  She started having special requests such as braided pigtails or low pony tails.  Then right at the start of 3rd grade she figured she could do it all by herself.  I let her,  even when she looked a little bit like a page out of Dr.  Seuss.  I had just had a baby,  and I remember crying at how big she was getting,  and at the same time I was relieved that I could close my eyes for 5 minutes while she wrestled with the comb and detangler.  Read the rest of this entry

He Had Me at Hello

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Things are pretty tough in the Zoo right now. I’m having to spend big chunks of time separated from my husband and manage the bulk of the household on my own. Meanwhile, he is scrambling to cover the financial side of this partnership, and he’s under a huge amount of strain. There’s nothing like sleeping all alone to give you hours upon hours of reflection.

The other night I was flipping through the channels. When I can’t sleep I like to find an old movie, one I know by heart, and turn it on. I can close my eyes, listen to the dialogue, and picture the movie in my mind. This helps me turn off the constant questioning that buzzes on in my brain. “Do I have enough in the bank to cover the cell phone bill? When is the last day to pay the cable? Are we out of fruit snacks? Did Trenton show me his reading log? Did Jayden find his shoes? Did we feed the turtles today? How hard could it be to tape and float sheetrock?”….. It goes on and on, so if I can find a movie, one I already know, I can usually go to sleep. Read the rest of this entry

For the 11th Time….

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Well folks, it happened! I turned thirty-something for the very last time. April the 9th, the day that made me who I am. Seriously, so much of me has been entwined in the particular day on which I was born. I was expected in May, but that would have made me a Taurus. Not that I’m all hung up on Astrology, but I am slightly entertained by it. I could never be a Taurus because they are practical and they like regularity. I was meant to be an Aries…. the Ram is fiery, bossy, determined, and, well, they can’t be wrong. Yeah, that’s more me. Always right! (Or so I think….) Read the rest of this entry

Jim Gammage

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The other night I was laying on my bed with my husband – don’t worry, this story is rated PG – anyway, I was snuggled up next to him and we had our pretty little granddaughter sitting on my lap. We were just staring at her, mesmorized by her tiny little hands and her precious little smile. Suddenly I felt one of those tears escape. You know the kind, the bittersweet memory tears! I looked over at my husband and said “I wish we had more memories of moments like this!” 
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Irreplaceable Angel

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The day after Thanksgiving I sent my son to our shop to fetch the Christmas boxes. He came home empty handed, bearing bad news. The main pole that holds up our 8 foot Christmas tree was bent, badly bent. I don’t know that I’ve ever faced a December as bleak as this one has started out. News of the broken tree seemed to be icing on the cake.

I love Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the decorations and the lights and the spirit floating around. I love the parades and Santa Claus and the chance to grant my children a wish or two. I love Christmas. Read the rest of this entry

The Longest Day

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Wednesday.  3:30 am.  I was awakened by twisted legs that betrayed my exhausted body.  I was forced out of my warm cozy bed to try to straighten out the pain when a bout of nausea slapped me in the face.  I stumbled to the bathroom where I spent the next hour crying out “please help me!”

Of course my husband snores so loud he and sleeps so deep that he never heard me.  I staggered back to bed around 4:45 and tried to grab just one more hour of sleep. 6am came too soon.  I opened my eyes to a text message from my sister.  It said “I think Dad had some kind of seizure.  He fell at 3:30 am.  I think he needs to go to the hospital.  Say some prayers.”

I knew it was going to be a bad day. I just knew it. Read the rest of this entry