Friday, June 21, 2013

Cody Dody

This week, our family suffered a devastating loss.  My youngest cousin on my mom’s side died at the young age of 30.  I can’t even begin to describe this loss.  It is something I haven’t ever had to deal with because truth be told, our family hasn’t experienced many untimely losses.  We have lost grandparents, yes, but this just seems more raw, unchartered, and almost unbearable.

Cody was the “baby” in the family.  As the last cousin, he took to the role of charmer and cutie in the blink of an eye.  I really don’t remember the exact time it was that I realized that this boy just meant something different to me.  I love all of my cousins and am so fortunate to have had a lifetime of memories with them, but with him…it was just different.  I know he knew this too.  He had this infectious giggle that made people crave hearing it over and over.  He had a smile that lit up his face and could make you melt.  As we got older and everyone started having their own families, it was natural that we didn’t see each other as often.  I can’t tell you the last time I saw him, but I know it was years ago.  I am so sad we let that happen.  

As cousins, we were so lucky growing up.  I was going through pictures and it dawned on me how fortunate we all were to have had the family we did and spend all of the time together we did.  Holidays, vacations, graduations, weddings…we were always together.  I loved that most pictures were taken at a holiday and we were usually all sitting at the kids table.  I also love that even in our twenties, we still demanded a kids table so that we could all be together.  And I think I have my Aunt Leath, Cody’s mom, to thank for always saying, “Okay, we need to get a cousins picture before everyone leaves,” because now Noelle and I and all our other cousins have these memories to hold on to and remember.  It is almost a suffocating need to have them now that he is gone. 

I spent a couple of hours at my Mom’s pouring through pictures to find some for my Aunt to use.  That was the hardest thing I think I have ever had to do.  Knowing that the next time we were all together, we would be one less…unimaginable.  We often joked that the next time we would all see each other was at somebody’s wedding, trying to guess who that might be…because funny enough, all the boy cousins are still single.  It would have never occurred to us that it would be for this.  I feel this overwhelming need to be around them.  I need to see everyone and sit together, and cry together, and laugh together because together we will be stronger and help each other through this.  So, we will meet at our kids table next week and share stories and memories, hoping that brings us peace when it is needed the most.

My all time favorite picture of him.  I don't know why, but it is.  The other day I went through four albums and three boxes until I found it. 
Noelle, Cody and I.

That hugging...lasted for years.
I think this was at Pixie Woods.

With my grandparents.
With grandma.



Hello kids table!

One of my absolute favorites.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Insanity

I am completely envious of those moms out there, dads too (I don't discriminate), who have luxury of dropping off there kids in the mornings for school and having six or seven hours to themselves.  I believe I have expressed my feelings about this just comes down to plain jealousy.  I often wonder what it would be like to drive through a car line and do a drop off to come home to a quiet house.  I would like to think that in those treasured hours of peace that my house would be picked up and the mountain of laundry that is usually my reality is small and waiting for more clothes to make it an actual load.  Every summer I think to myself...This is it!!!  I'll be more organized, I will do more cleaning, I will get rid of stuff while Rich is gone so he can't bring it back into the house!!!  We are on week two and some of this has happened and some has not.

This is the newest addition to our refrigerator.  After the first two days of summer break and the boys being home and up to no good, I was at school making this (at Ryan's suggestion).  Our friends the Locke's have had this up in their house and it seems to be working well, so Ryan thought we needed one.  Hey, I will try anything.  He seems to respond well to it and it was needed because he is six and often forgets that he has a broken arm.  None of us have forgotten...just him.

Does this look like a kid who has a broken arm?  Lucky for us the padding fits over his "cast".

I am SUPER motivated this summer in particular.  A couple of months ago we decided to give our living room a face lift.  I am one hundred percent confident that if you had walked into our house ten years ago, our house would look exactly the same as it does right now.  Hence the change.  Our furniture looks like we have had two boys and two puppies the last couple of years.  Our carpet looks like we potty trained our dogs indoors.  And the overall look of everything was "soooo ten years ago".  At least that was what my line was when I told Rich it was time for some change.

He didn't need a lot of convincing.  The state of our furniture and floor is so obvious that I have seen people cringe when they have walked through the door.  It's like white trash central in our living room and I really had stopped inviting people over for that reason.  I had hit a breaking point and it was time to put some action into place.

In the next few weeks, we will be getting new furniture, new flooring, some new security doors, and maybe most importantly...a new TV.  (All of Rich's friends just gasped and checked their pulse)

I really view Rich's TV as the first love of his life.  She has been with him for the past 19 years.  Let me say that again....NINETEEN YEARS.  And without fail, EVERY SINGLE TIMES ONE OF HIS FRIENDS HAS WALKED THROUGH THE DOOR THEY HAVE SAID, "Heather, when are you going to let Rich get a new TV?  I mean look at this thing!!!"  And my reply to all of them was..."I have never said he couldn't get a new one, he just hasn't wanted to!"  And that is the truth. 
At any point he could have upgraded and moved that beast out, but he didn't feel the need to because it still worked. 

Tear, tear.

When we sat down to talk about all of the changes we were going to make, one of the major ones was getting a big wall unit for the huge wall in our living room.  With that agreement, it was obvious that the beast was closing in on her final days and that she would need to be replaced.  And with that started the research.  And research.  And research.  I can't tell you how many times we have been to Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, RC Willey because I have lost count.  Or maybe I have just hit my head against the wall so many times in hopes that it would be cleared from my memory.  It doesn't matter...what does matter is that a new TV is on its way and we may actually be able to see the color of people's eyes soon along with general detail that shows up on most TV's.

With all of this that is happening, it is not all happening at once.  I wish it were.  We are like in a holding pattern because things of course can't all be delivered at the same time.  Floor one week, furniture the next, electronics days after that.  I am hopeful that this will all be over in a couple of weeks.  I am ready to move on to the rest of our summer and enjoy our new look.