Posts Tagged ‘family’

post-thanks

1 December 2008

Hope everyone had a fun time with food and family (or whomever you spent your US Thanksgiving with).

My holiday was decent.  It was nice to get away for a bit; exchange Tuis & Kai for the Doodles and Tubs of Fun.  And of course, getting to see my family… the tradtion of me carving the turkey…  and actually getting to relax for a bit too.

My Thanksgiving comprised of a quick stop at my late stepmom’s mother’s family’s — an event I typically avoid.  But apparently I have a pretty decent younger cousin, Charlee, who I’ve never met before.. so I just talked with her for a while.  Then we headed off to my dad’s folks.  My newly married cousins, Matt & Kiley were there, as were Timmy and Lil G.  I really do hope that I can continue to get together with Timmy, Matt and Kiley for the holidays.  When Timmy, Matt and I were younger, we spent a lot of time at Grandma & Grandpa’s…  and so now that we’re all adults (or occasionally pretend to be), it’s been nice getting together every once in a while to catch up and continue joking around.

After our filling thanksgiving lunch… the real adults (minus Grandma) took naps… the children ran around… and us young adults sat and talked for a bit.  … Eventually, I had talked the whole family (minus M&K who had to leave) into getting hot wings for dinner… I placed a record order.  $0.60 boneless wing night.  I ordered: 18 plain, 20 sweet barbeque, 10 asian zing, 8 hot barbeque and 5 medium.  A total of 61 wings.  And now I can say the hottest I’ve had is hot bbq.  It was good, but still wow.  Asain zing is still my first pick probably.

Anyway… Friday, my mom and I braved the traffic and mobs of idiots.  I picked up some new ear buds (my panasonic ones had stopped working in the right bud, causing me to question my hearing for a while)… and I got the new Kanye cd too.  Came home and I rested — watched a lot of Deadliest Catch.

Saturday was supposed to be my IsoIsa’s* birthday party.  Unfortunately, he passed out yet again… so we spent a lot of saturday in the hospital, mainly the ER.  IsoIsa fine.  His blood levels were low… he’s having kidney problems (his kidney function is around 25% or so)… but despite all of this, he’s still doing well.  As with 3 of my 4 grandfathers, I know it’s really only a matter of years.  I’ll be lucky if they see me married (if I ever choose to do that)..  But.  He is doing well and is back home.

After lunch, Timmy and I went back to the mall… made some nice shirt purchases and.. and.. FINALLY found boots I liked… However, that saga is for later.  At the mall, Timmy and I ran into his roommate Carter… and then later into Timmy’s brother** Nick and his girlfriend.  We hung out with them for a while.. eventually Timmy dropped me off at mom’s…  where a few hours later I eventually got bored and decided to head off to Timmy’s house… I hung out there, watching him play Grid… got to hear more stories about how Timmy’s ex, the Razzle Rat, is barely watching their daughter (Lil G) and is still a little immature drama queen.  (Seriously, you think I might just be against her for leaving Timmy.. but nope, RR is seriously immature and all of her “friends” think so too.)

Enough of that though.
I got home safely.  I have boots.  And I got to spend some great time with the family.  Even made a deal with Hannah (the oldest of my younger sisters)… she gets to buy my 1GB blue iPod shuffle for $20 for her christmas gift… and well, this just means I get to go out and buy a new iPod for myself.  (more on that later as well).

*IsoIsa = Grandfather (my mom’s dad)
** Nick is Timmy’s brother-in-law, hence, Timmy’s brother, not necessarily mine… though the kid is great.

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damn it feels good to be a gangster

26 November 2008

or: Things I Am Thankful For 2008

adorable.

1. Lil G
Most adorable niece ever.  Seriously.  She never ceases to amaze me, and is a pretty smart little girl.  I just want to spoil her, more so than she already is.  Plus, she gets bonus points for knowing all of the words to Rhianna’s “Umbrella” — as tired of the songs as you might be, it’s so worth hearing over and over again with this amazing 3 year old singing.

img_48282. My Momma
If you’ve ever wondered where my dorkiness comes from, yeah here’s it is.  All from mom.  She’s perfectly okay with it too.. which is awesome.  She feels the need to let me know whenever she sees a monkey, and is constantly sending me Get Fuzzy comics or lolcats.  And while some moms steal their children’s instruments because of the noise… my mom stole my electric guitar and my electric bass (which I stole from my brother) so she could play them.  Every Sunday she rocks out in her church’s praise band.. and yes, she does jump and play barefoot.  Pretty awesome for a grandma.

timmy3. Timmy!
Despite the typical older brother things (see: punching, headlocks, wrestling, cracked noses), my brother is really important to me.  I mean, yeah.  (see: the wench)  I still look up to him a lot.  And if I’m going to go shopping with anyone, Timmy is among my first choices.  I like his style, and he tends to find good things for me.  I don’t always agree with things he’s doing, or some of his choices… but I love my bubby.  And hopefully within a year’s time we’ll have similar tattoos (cherry blossoms).

family4. Dad, Cynthia & the girls
Actually.. I want to say, I am amazingly thankful for Cynthia.  She is a blessing to our family.  Other than Karen, my late stepmom, I can’t think of another woman to join our family and help raise my sisters.  Her humor works really well with dad’s — so that’s been great for him.  She’s well traveled, and sees the importance of a good education and higher education (meaning my sisters might be convinced to go to college even more so). She’s taken on a lot — never been married and now she’s got 4 girls at home, two adult children and a grandchild.  She’s pretty amazing in my eyes.  And as always, I’m thankful for the love and care that my dad gives me.  And I’m growing to appreciate my younger sisters more and more.

5. Family in general
My whole family is awesome — and I’m thankful for all of them… all of the grandparents (5 grandmas and 4 grandpas)… the aunts and uncles… all the cousins… I’ve got a pretty awesome and very supporting family and that’s been amazing.

6. My job
While I could do without the data entry and some of the tediousness.. I am indeed thankful for a full time job with benefits where not only am I paid well, but I’m appreciated.  I’ve got a boss who’s really understanding and actually is concerned about me and my goals outside of the facility.  Not many people are this lucky right out of school.  Plus, having a nice income with few bills.. well… my wardrobe, entertainment, and video game budget has definitely increased.  (I get to play with lasers and liquid nitrogen. bonus.)

7. The amazing group of people I call my friends
Seriously.  I feel pretty lucky.  I don’t even think I could name them all.  There have been a select few who have really been there for me and have seen me at my best and worse, and yet they still love me.  Two in particular I practically see as sisters now: Chrizzle and Mennogirl.  They’re pretty amazing.  And I’ve got my uber spectacular group of GC Kids whom I love and miss.  There’s my work friends (George whom I enjoy our evening walks to the train; and Dani and Meaghan who can only be described as wonderfully zany).  Topping everything off with some really amazing people who I’ve met recently — most of whom I’ve met thanks to Dan and Adam… The potluck group… The awesome folk of the reading band and the Mucca Pazza memebers I’ve been lucky enough to get to know… I’ve really got an amazing group of people in my life right now.  (Who else would put up with velociraptor attacks and nonstop dorky nerdom?)

8. The Kits.
Crazy as they may be… I love Tuija and Kaija.  They are just awesome little wonderpets.  Psycho little wonderpets sometimes… but awesome.  Two kittens are a bit much, but it wouldn’t feel right only having one of them.  Definitely a package deal.  And I’m appreciating how they’re morphing into cats and are enjoying a good cuddle.

9. Buffalo/Hot wings.
you taste so good.  there needs to be more of you in my life.

on furrier news

6 November 2008

Apparently one of the next important, and I say that fairly loosely, decisions that the Obamas have is what type of dog to get.  This has seriously made the news — even in the uk and canada.  And personally, I’m entertained by it.  (and of this as well.)

It will honestly not impact my personal life whether they choose a rescue pup, a pure breed, or even a hybrid.  While it will indeed, and apparently, make a statement if they rescue a dog from a shelter, they really should just pick the best breed (recognized or not) for their family.

I did a lot of research on breeds growing up, and of course I had “puppy” on my christmas list for many years.  Finally, for my 14th birthday my mom said we could get a dog.  We had just moved into our own home and had a yard, and my mom had these naive notions that just because it was my dog I’d actually walk it….  Well, even though I had done research, we didn’t pick a purebred — nor could we afford one really.  We went to ARF (the Animal Rescue Fund) and found us a scrawny little guy.  He was in a litter of four — there were two black fluffy puppies (a girl and a boy) and then two skinny brown puppies with some black points (also, a girl and a boy)…  With my brother’s help, we picked the runt.

Our Handsome boy.

Our Handsome boy.

And that is the story of how Dexter joined our family.

He’s part Collie, part German Shepherd, and Part Labrador Retriever.  Or as I like to call him, he’s a Doodle — only, minus any and all traces of -oodle.

He’s been an amazing dog to have.  Barely barks — only if there’s someone at the door, and only once at one of my brother’s friends.  He likes to curl up amazingly small and pretty much just be the most adorable puppy you can find.  He’s got a great temperament, and well is just happy.   He’s got feathery hair behind his ears, on his legs, and on his tail — all of which likes to form dreads, which I generally have to trim out.

Anyway.   According to those news sources listed way above, the Obama girls are interested in a Golden Doodle, which sadly isn’t near my own Doodle.  It’s a Golden Retriever-Poodle mix.  The AKC is hoping they’ll get just a standard Poodle.  (Personally, I don’t see the Obamas as a Poodle family…. granted, I just generally don’t care for Poodles… unless on skirts.)  .. And PETA is hoping they’ll get a rescued dog, a pound puppy.  Again, honestly, they should just get what they want.  Since their daughter has an allergy, it might not be a bad idea to get a pure or hybrid breed… with the Great American Mutt, you can’t guaruntee the whole hypoallergenic coat thing.  Though, you might be able to find one in a shelter somewhere.

I’ve very pro-pet — well, very pro-responsible-pet-ownership.  I think pets can be great companions, and also great entertainment (and I’m not talking Michael Vick stuff).  But I definitely think that if you have the resources, the time and the affection… You should invest in a pet.  It is indeed a lifelong commitment — generally about 10 years or more for the larger ones (this includes rabbits too!), and well, anything from a year to five or so with some of the smaller ones.  I’ve been lucky to have quite a few awesome pets — starting with Kitty (also named Miah Tiger), then Dexter, then Bear, and now Kaija and Tuija.  (more information found: on this page).  I’m looking forward to the holidays, Tuis & Kai will get a sitter of some sort (maybe jrosei and her sisters), and I’ll get to see Dex and Bear — along with the rest of my family (and their pets — Muffy the Cairn Terrier, Jenna the Neopalitan Mastiff, Mr. Molly the cat, Giget the spoiled Shih Tzu, and Laddie the annoying terrier mix….)  … Dexter’s the best though.  Seriously.  He wins.

my puppy loves me

my puppy loves me

Two years on… (remembering KSS)

6 October 2008

I’m going to start this post with a quick little disclaimer-like-thing in saying I typically don’t care to do the “xx-years ago today…” style posts… however, not all timely remembrance posts are bad… and well, I’ve never claimed to not be a hypocrite (not that that has anything to do with this post)… anyway.. on with it… (it’s going to be slightly rambly…)

Two years ago, my life changed.  That’s actually a bit of a conflicting understatement, but it’s true.  On 5 October 2006, my stepmom, Karen passed away after a year long battle with breast cancer.

It feels sort of weird looking back on it now — as though I’ve become accustomed to her absence.
I used to cry quite a bit, and it was hard to watch any show where someone lost a loved one.  Medical shows were quite terrible — inevitably someone would have cancer and/or there would be some sort of emotional death.  I still do cry once every so often.  It’s just bound to happen.  I lost a parent.
One thing’s for sure, it is easier to talk about now.

Saying that my life changed was a conflicting understatement is a bit confusing.  But life, following its true nature is a series of changes and how we adapt to them.  Our lives are continually changing, whether we notice it or not.  To lose someone, it’s definitely a change.  It’s hard to put into words the effect death has on our lives.  There are ways that Karen’s death has touched me that I might not discover for years, if ever.

The thing I do know is that we continue on.  We might not necessarily move on, but despite how we feel the world does continue and life presses on.

My dad married Cynthia a month ago, and my youngest two half-sisters (ages 5 and 7) are already calling her “Mommy”…  (A lot of Karen’s family actually showed up to the wedding even.)  All four of my half-sisters have gotten hair cuts (something Karen didn’t see as necessary — she liked their long hair), and they’re all wearing blue jeans quite a bit now.  In fact, there are times when I’m not sure what their mother would think of their wardrobe.

I’ve often wondered how my sisters and my dad have coped with this day after day.  Hannah, the oldest at 13, was 11 when she lost her mom — Lydia, now 5, was 3 at the time.  Gracie won’t remember Grandma Karen, but she knows who “Cindia” is.
So far, things are working well with Cynthia.  Outside of Karen, I think if I had to pick someone for my dad and sisters, I couldn’t think of a better match.  This is a huge adjustment for her as well.  She’s never been married and has never had kids — now she not only gained a husband, but 4 at-home daughters, 2 adult children, a granddaughter, and a host of family which includes Karen’s…  She’s also taken on the responsibility of homeschooling all of my sisters as well.

Karen and I didn’t see eye-to-eye theologically.  I remember her looking visibility disappointed when she learned that during my time in China, I wasn’t there to evangelize and convert people.  Karen was strong in her faith and convictions.  And I respected that.  But she’d let me know if she didn’t agree with how I was living my life.  Even to the point of trying to get me to end a relationship I was in.
Cynthia and I also don’t share some of the same views religiously — granted, neither do I with my father either… However, I find her approach to my brother and I different.  Maybe it’s because she didn’t have the nearly 13 years with us during our youth that Karen did… Cynthia sees us as adults and treats us as such.

One of the hardest things has been the “stepmom” issue.  My mom is still very much a part of my life.  Karen was one of my parents, but she was my stepmom — and it’s been hard to know how to define that relationship because it so different with every person.

One of the great ironies… Karen died during Breast Cancer Awareness month….

Karen Sue S. | 1963 - 2006

Karen Sue S. | 1963 - 2006

Things I’m looking forward to…

30 September 2008
  • Seeing my new stepmom (almost a month since the wedding)
  • The Globe (91.1FM WGCS) 50th Anniversary
  • A very short trip to Goshen (mostly due to the Globe’s 50th)
  • Seeing my beautiful momma!  (and seeing her rock out at church — she plays bass in the praise band)
  • Seeing my brother, and more so, seeing Lil G (my amazing niece)
  • Changing my hair — cut & color
  • Seeing Dexter & Bear — my childhood pets now under the care of my momma
  • Casiotone for the Painfully Alone concert (10.14.08)
  • Deerhoof concert (10.17.08)