Hi there bloggie friends! It's been forever since I've written anything. Thanks to you guys who are still checking in and for the notes on here and facebook telling me you've noticed my absence.
Christmas was a little rough here. All my kids, except Tony, were going through somethings that tugged on the mama heart strings.
Watching your kids hurt emotionally or physically is the toughest part of parenting. When there's nothing you can say or do to make it better. Knowing that it's part of life and it's theirs, and only theirs to experience and deal with, still doesn't make it any easier to let go.
Oh! How I miss the days of kissing the boo-boo, maybe a band aid, and we could go back to playing again....
But things are better here.
Nae is back at college and actively looking for her summer employment/ internship. She has had a couple phone interviews and we are excited to see where she will end up. We were hoping for something close to Chicago so we could see her more but she has some wonderful opportunities in other areas of the US. I won't lie, I'm thankful that it's the US this year and not Sudan again.
The other kids just finished up their semester exams and are breathing a sigh of relief that they made it through the first half of the school year in their new schools.
The Hubby and I just came back from a vacation in Cancun. Since the new job, The Hubby hasn't taken any time off (it's been over a year and a half I think). He really needed it!
Uncle Mark, The Hubby's bachelor brother took a week of his vacation time, flew up from Hilton Head and stayed with the kids and the puppy (I know! We thought maybe he was drinking when he agreed to do it!). He did an amazing job and the kids loved having him here for a whole week all to themselves.
I have some vacation stories. I'll tell you a quick one today.
We flew from O'Hare to Charlotte, NC then onto Cancun. I've never been to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport before. It was very nice. We came from a dark crowed O'Hare, filled with crabby people in extra long security lines (thank you Mr. Underwear Bomber) where flights were just beginning to be delayed because of a big snow storm--- to a big open cheery terminal in Charlotte, where the main area is full of windows, a man playing a grand piano, and rocking chairs to sit in the sunshine (or giant bean bags chairs to nap in).
But the best part of CLT....the bathrooms! Yes, that's right, the bathrooms. See one thing I haven't told you about myself is that I notice bathrooms. I enjoy finding nice bathrooms. It's kinda like a little treasure hunt. (if you're a long time reader of this blog, you may have noticed this fact in this post) I just didn't admit my gift back then. Yes, it's a gift really. Being able to find these "jewels in the rough" in some unlikely places. I like to consider myself a "Bathroom Connoisseur". I think it comes from my years of camping. My camping friend, Vonda, (and her husband, Dave, who we actually went on this vacation with) and I would try and pick our favorite camp grounds based on the "facilities".
So even though this bathroom wasn't a "jewel in the rough" because the whole airport was nice, I was still wasn't expecting what I walked into.
I happen to walk into the entrance of the restroom with another woman who I didn't know. We came in shoulder to shoulder and the first thing we see is a fancy little "spread" of mouthwash, breath mints, lotions, feminine products and a big tip jar FULL of money. I don't know if it was the shock of us both seeing all that money that stopped us in our tracks or the booming voice of the big black lady saying "Welcome to Big Bertha's Bathroom!!!"
We both hesitated and looked at each other for a second a little surprised. Then "Bertha" shouts at us in her southern accent "Come on, come on in! Don't be shy!" as she is waving us towards the toilet stalls. Then "Bertha" says "Everyone gets a seat in Big Bertha's Bathroom!" and she laughs this deep laugh while showing each of us to our own "seats".
The stall and everything in it was sparkling! And "Bertha" was waiting right there when I opened the door with a rag in her hand for a quick tidy up.
She continued to crack jokes and smile and "encourage" all of us ladies while we were in her domain.
Now I know why that tip jar was so full....and I couldn't help adding to it.