Monday, September 26, 2011

there goes my hero

(Gotcha! Not a Foo Fighters post.)

This is the story of us...
Sara & Nick - 1996

We met in high school, when he started dating my friend Kristina. They broke up, we stayed friends, and eventually started dating. 8 months is a long time in high school. We broke up over some dumb crap that I said. I moved away to college.

Fast forward 7 years, to 2003. I had moved to Georgia. I was visiting my BFF in Ohio, and her sister told me that she ran into Nick at the Post Office, where he said something to the effect of: "If I ever saw Sara again, I'd marry her."

Well. I had to call that guy, right? Lucky for me, his mom still had the same home phone number, and I still remembered it. I called, we talked.

We talked. For hours, every night for six months.

My BFF Julie had a small wedding back home that Valentine's Day. We hung out that weekend. Julie & I went to the mall for hair and nails, and this guy walked with us through the mall, then alone, carrying her veil. Because he told me he would help.

He visited me in April. And May.

It had all the excitement of a brand new relationship, with all the comforts of a long time friend.

I visited him in June. He proposed.

He moved to Georgia in July.

Together we moved back to Ohio in December of 2005. Rented a little house, got a little dog.

in the lobby of the Riviera, no we didn't get married at a window

We were married in March of 2006, at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in lovely Las Vegas. And lived happily ever after, so far!

So, I married my high school sweetheart, sort of. But he's always been my hero.

Monday, September 19, 2011

lost in loss

The two experiences I've had with death are shockingly similar, yet worlds apart. The whole family gathered in my grandparents' house. At my mother in law's home, there were four, then three when she moved on. I stand next to a man who has now lost both of his parents. I'm there for him as much as I can be, but I'm still just outside of it. Still feeling helpless, wringing my hands, doing the laundry and hoping it helps.
The loss of my mother in law has been, and continues to be life changing. In my world, my grief is secondary, and that's OK, because it is still personal and important. She was a friend, a connection to my husband's past, my sole female counterpart in being a Panza. I miss her smile, the one that looks exactly like my husband's.

I do my best to be a support staff, for Nick and my father in law, because I feel that's where I best fit. When the situation presents itself, I know what to do, I feel confident in how to help these two men. Mostly, their needs are practical. I'm good at practical. When emotions flare, I offer a hug, and usually a few of the right words find their way across the room. I say it's OK to cry.

But here's the place I really get lost: What do I do for my son, who has lost his grandmother?

I don't have a place for this. Up until now we haven't done anything. She's in a few pictures around the house. Oliver still recognizes her, and points her out as Grandma. But... he's not yet two. Those memories and recognition will fade.

When do I tell the stories? How do I tell them without crying, for fear of confusing him? Why would Mommy cry over a story that's supposed to be happy, about someone we love? And worse... what about the stories I don't know? The questions I can't answer?

The memories he won't have.

I grieve for his loss more than anything.

Because he won't remember how she loved him so much.

Friday, September 16, 2011

i believe i've waited long enough


The concert in Cleveland is NEXT Tuesday!

So that makes this Foo Fighters Friday super double extra special, duh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

top 5: things I love about the internet

  1. Pinterest! Not only is there a ton of cool stuff to look at and give me ideas... (like birthday party stuff,  cute clothes, recipes, and decorating ideas) this is a great site for keeping track of "that one thing I saw on that one website but I didn't remember to add the page to favorites and what was it again?" For example, I get emails all the time about "healthy snacks for kids!" and "quick, easy, super simple on-the-go breakfasts!" and instead of saving the emails from now until oblivion, when I clear out my inbox and delete everything, I take a few minutes to flip through them and pin the ones that appeal to me. (If you'd like an invite to Pinterest, let me know.)

  2. Online shopping! I never make time to go to the store for random crap, like a planner or a new pair of shoes, so online shopping, especially Amazon with their free super saver shipping, is way convenient for me. Plus great stores like Old Navy have good, easy return policies for stuff that doesn't fit, so I don't get all anxious about returning something if it's too small or ugly in person or whatever. I also have an Amazon Wish List which is like pinterest in that I add stuff so I don't forget what it was that I saw, but people can buy me stuff! I have lists of stuff for me & Oliver, so no one ever has to guess what either of us would like for our birthdays or Christmas. I also have a wish list to remind me what it was I wanted to get for other people! Last year we did almost all of our Christmas shopping on Amazon.

  3. Swagbucks! Speaking of Amazon, I have gotten $25 worth of gift codes since I signed up with at the end of April. And I have about $25 more waiting for me to cash in! It's so easy to use: you earn for searching, watching online videos, I pretty much just spend a few clicks a day... and not only can you get gift cards, they also have a store full of stuff you can spend your Bucks on.

  4. Blogging - I have a few great girls that I call real friends now, thanks to this little blog. Plus, it's fun for me to think up new things to write about, and just put stuff out there that I enjoy... like Foo Fighters Fridays. Is it weird that I visit my own blog sometimes and just scroll through and watch videos and stuff? Plus this is as good a place as any to post pictures of my kid for my mom and aunts to see. Because he's really what it's all about anyway. :)

  5. Gmail. OK, this seems a little obvious, but I really do like Gmail way better than Yahoo. It took some getting used to, because it wasn't as pretty or something? And the "conversations" thing where stuff is all grouped together? Weird at first, but now I love it, especially the chat feature - it's how I keep in touch with my girl in TX and my dude in NY. Eh, Top 5 lists can be tough.

Angina's tough.

Friday, September 9, 2011

shame, shame go away

It's Foo Fighters Friday again!
This week's treat is a NEW live video from their NEW album tour, which I will hear LIVE in 10 days!
FYI: I will be making a total fool of myself at this concert. Most likely jump/bouncing straight up and down the entire time. And unable to stop myself from singing along. It's what I do. I have no shame.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: the last sink bath

nice faux-hawk, buddy
After this, he officially moved into the big boy tub, the land of way too many bath toys, and room to move and splash mommy and daddy!

Friday, September 2, 2011


So. Sometimes, the state of my house has been downright embarrassing. And not like: There's dog hair on the couch! but like: I think that's mold in the toilet bowl. Gross.

It seems like the only thing I really made an effort to keep up on was Oliver's room. He always has fresh blankets, clean clothes, things organized. No matter how lazy I am and how bad we let this place get, Ollie and his stuff are always clean and tidy. (Well, in the interest of full honesty, that's not always true of his high chair.) Point is, I never let my tendency to do the bare minimum of cleaning reflect on him.

Okay, this is starting to sound like we NEVER clean the house, which is not true. It's just that, like I said, we'd do the bare minimum. Laundry gets done when one of us runs out of clean underwear. Pots and pans get washed as they're needed.

That is, until now. Us Panzas had a heart to heart, and decided we needed to knock it off.

Being frustrated and overwhelmed all weekend because the house was a pigsty? Because we were super busy last weekend and now there's god-knows-what papers and stuff stacked on the dining room table? Because we get down to play on the rug come up with two weeks worth of dog hair?

Total bullshit. We felt sad, you know? Like what kind of example are we setting here? How do we teach our son responsibility when there's dishes piled in the sink and the refrigerator full of forgotten leftovers?

It has been four days since we hit our wall. We talked, decided, resolved, and got motivated and organized and shit. Not including last weekend, when I cleaned the shower, in only four days worth of weeknights, the house feels clean.

accountability. boom.

With our list posted on the fridge, we know what our chores are for the day. Just the simplest thing, breaking down everything that needs done so it doesn't pile up on us, and doing a little bit each day (with some catch-up) we're already feeling lighter, happier, and more like adults.

So, lovely friends, what do YOU do to keep up on the housework? Am I missing anything?