Thursday, August 20, 2015

College: It's Never Too Late!



Risks?
I'm taking them.
Have I lost my ever-lovin' mind?
Possibly. Quite possibly.
Consider my arms as wide open
and my mind as welcoming this new chapter
in My Story
as Open as
as an all night market
with lights blazing at 2am!

What got me here?
At 53 years old, I have decided to try and prime the pump
in my brain and kickstart it into a new world
that I've only entered as a sidekick,
a cheerleader, a note-writer, and aloud-reader
to other students.
Putting a first husband--
a dyslexic, even
through Chiropractic college,
across the country!
Staying up late to proof his assignments
and read Grey's Anatomy outloud to him,
writing thesis and whoknowswhat papers for his degree!
And then filling out applications
for the kids
college, scholarships, FAFSA;
loading up the car and driving kids over and across
mountains tops to college towns --
it's my turn.
Mine.Mine. Mine.


I finally got the hint the Universe was sending to me
when, time and time again,
I found myself
wanting
what others around me already had--
that little paper with credentials.
Now, I do have a variety of certifications:
Bank Teller
Dental Assistant
Chiropractic Assistant
Home Stager
Doula
to name the top ones.
But not a four year degree, 
so it's just natural to want that too, right?

I've got these tiny little talents
and big dreams
that I've explored to ad exhaustum
(I don't think that's a word, but it sounds "college-y" latin and all
so I'm using it)
and this is what I've discovered:
I want more.
I want to learn more
about design
from people who eat, live and breathe design
and --
--and this is the best part--
they're going to share what they know with me.

Last Saturday, I was invited to join a new retail business venture
with some talented, lovely women--
it'll be a smashing endeavor, I know it.
BUT...
at the end of the first meeting
one of the co-founders said,
quite emotionally:
"I've wanted to do this since I was seventeen years old. This is my dream!"

That lingered with me for the whole afternoon.

She was inviting others to participate in her dream.
It's not my dream.
I was invited to join because of my own little talents--
people I do not know,
know my name and my talent.

It is humbling, truly.
I just kinda keep my head down;
following my passions and accepting opportunities to express them.
And somehow, 
people have noticed.
Humbling.
Flattering.
Inspiring.

I came home that day and said to my dear Mr. Wonderful,
"Sign me up for college."

We got the paperwork done,
I visited the school yesterday,
only to find out the Interior Design program is filled to capacity--
but the guidance counselor visited with me
and after hearing my resume,
she gave me the Department Chair's direct number and email
and said, "Call her. She'll make room for you."

Me?
Yeah?

Okay. So I did. I emailed and attached some pictures of projects I've done--
Staging, Painting Furniture, Kitchens, Florals, Calligraphy, Re-Designs.
Was I nervous?
uh. yeah.

Then I called the number
and boom! I'm IN!

I had to take placement tests--
hey, I haven't been to school in 36 years!
On the READING part, I scored a 96.
Sentence Composition a 106.
And Math..haha...33.
Algebra may well as be Arabic in my brain.

Anyway, I'm IN.
At 53 years old,
I am still a lifelong learner.

My family is SO stinking happy for me!
My oldest kids are proud of me
and that makes me really happy too.

SO this Fall, 8 of the 9 of us are in college!

What a life.
What. A. Life.

Seriously.






Friday, May 15, 2015

Chances Are Like Opportunities



When I was a kid, 
I thought fifty years old
was old.
Like, next-to-death Old.

One's life is more than half-over by 50.
That's true.
But, like the middle of a good book
this is where the plot thickens
and there are surprises 
to keep you on your toes.

As it turns out,
there's a whole lot of exciting things
to be learned 
the closer you get to the end of your life
than previously thought!
Fifty-plus years and I am still an anxious learner.

Last Sunday was Mother's Day.
In my attempt to get insight into my impact upon
my own yahoos' lives,
I texted six of them (minus Dean)
and asked them a simple question:

"For my journal entry today, I ask asking each of you to answer one question: 
please tell me one thing you have learned form me. Just the first thing that comes to mind."

The answers that came back:

Diana: "To be brave under difficult circumstances."

David Scott: "I'll be honest, the first thing I thought of was spinach lasagna. More to the point I learned to love learning."

Arianna: "I learned to Grow The Hell Up cause you can't be shy all the time because then you won't live life to the fullest. Amen brother sister friend."

(Lots of laughter from her reference to our after thought of what our family motto should've been for 2014, according to Diana.)

Joseph: "I have learned that she doesn't want me to grow up."

Danielle: "How to TP! And be adventurous! And love someone based on their insides, not their outsides!"

*

You know, being a Mother to Many,
I have accepted the fact that I never know what my yahoos
might say in all situations--
but I know it's important to ASK these open-ended questions--
important for all of us.

I have to say that I love their responses.
Yes! I want them to be Seekers of Opportunities!
                                                          To be ON the Dance Floor
so they can dance!
To be willing, worthy and prepared
for chances to shine their best!

We are all building foundations in our lives
for the Life we want--
and I am amazed, even at age 5-0 +
the opportunities that continue to come to me
for the taking!
I am grateful for the chances to express my talents and interests--
they come to me more and more each day--
big things are on the horizon--
chances taken earlier have prepared the way
for these opportunities to develop.
Just as the scriptures say,
We reap what we sow.
But seriously,
you haveta be out there sowing something
for it to grow.
And that's alot of work.

I have heard it said that it takes just as much energy
to make a happy life as a unhappy life.
I don't know if that's true,
but I can say that it's really sweet when 
you see your dreams coming true.

Especially on this side of fifty.

Carry on People.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May May May

Colorado is ushering in the month of May
in a most lovely way...
rain
rain
raining
yesterday and today.

Is there anything better than going to sleep
listening to raindrop pelt the house
with their little soft
drop
drop
drop?

The yard is green
and the Aspens are budding
as fast as they can
getting ready to make their seasonly debut.

I love Spring in the Rockies!
We had snow last week,
temperatures climbed towards 80 degrees
and then bounced right back down
teasing us with a taste of summer
that's just down the way.

Dani's family came from Saudi Arabia
last month, staying for two very-fast weeks.
We all cuddled
and coddled
those babies
morning noon and night.

My favorite moments were reading bedtimes stories to the boys
and snuggling Gracie in the wee hours
of night and morning.
Oh sure,
we went places and did lotsa things--
but I'm not much of a "go-er"
so just loving on these sacred grandchildren
did my heart SO good!

We said hello and goodbye to Daisie
as she took a week's break
from her college studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho
and came home to visit and get her mission papers
ready!
It's such an exciting time in our family
when one of our yahoos submits their mission papers!
Now, we wait!
She could go ANYWHERE in the world
for her mission
and we are just barely breathing over here
waiting for that large white envelope
from Salt Lake City
that holds her destination inside!

If there is anything more exciting and gratifying
than to see
a child choose to
serve our Heavenly Father as a Missionary,
I don't know what it is,
honestly.
The sacrifice that this service demands is
sometimes daunting--
no daily contact--
phone calls limited to Christmas day and Mother's day
emails once a week
and that's IT.
for 18 months (for young women, 24 months for young men).
Missionaries abide specific codes of conduct like
no TV or secular music,
movies or leisure computer time.
No dating.
Lots of service from sunrise to sunset.
Going to bed dedicated and exhausted.


BUT.
What they gain in return is just wonderfully life changing and miraculous.
Each of my older kids have returned so grateful
for the place
and the people
they met and loved
along the way.

So we're waiting.
Like usual.
Aren't we always?

Bring on those May flowers.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Staying


The wait is over.
We're not leaving these Rockies just yet.
I'm okay with it.
My co-dependence upon Pikes Peak continues.

One day we'll have to part,
but for now 
the love affair goes on.



Monday, April 6, 2015

April's First Weekend

Let's just cut right to the chase, 
shall we?

First off, there's my Dean
"taking notes"
during the LDS General Conference broadcast
yesterday morning.

Showing his blank page at me,
he asked, "Spell 'God'".
"G-O-D."  I answered.
"G-O-D", he nodded.

And got busy writing that word
that feeling down on the blank page.
He sat as still as he can these days,
and really perked up when the Mormon Tabernacle sang--
he knows alot of hymns so he sings with them.
He even helped me point out a new member of the choir--
a sweet, handsome young man from our ward.

I didn't get to watch all 4 sessions of Conference,
but I can tell you that of those I got to listen to,
my favorite was a talk by Elder Kevin Pearson,
You can read a summary of it on the link.
I bet by the end of today, it will be linked to the full video though.
It really is inspiring.

Now, it was Easter yesterday.
My most favorite day.
But we didn't celebrate the traditions of Easter Eggs and dinner
because our kids from Saudi Arabia will be here next weekend
and we're going to do all of that with them.

So. Stinkin'. Excited!

This morning, 
at exactly 3:27am 
I sat on my bed,
a little bleary-eyed,
and french-braided the Caboose's hair
because she's taking a special trip today.
Meeting the Saudi kids in Orlando, Florida
for a week at Disney World!
She was a little emotional last night
about flying by herself from Denver to Orlando.
In fact, she'd never flown before.
So unlike the rest of the yahoos
who LOVE to travel away from home,
and always have--
she is my little homebody.
But Mr. Wonderful and Mr. Nana 
gave her a blessing last night
so she could sleep.
Which she says she did pretty good.
And while typing this up, 
I got a text message from Dani
saying they had her in their arms 
at the airport and all is well.

Talking about being out of Comfort Zones.
We're all branching out, aren't we?

No word yet on the new opportunity in Washington.
The interview went well and we should know something this week.
So we are still in a holding pattern on that.
But you know this, 
no matter what, 
Life Goes On.

Happy April!!