Tag Archives: family

Where Are My Glasses?? Oh Never Mind…

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So, a few weeks ago, my son, Mike, texted me asking if I’d be interested in hosting a podcast. Naturally, I said…”Uhhhh…yeeeaah… When do I start?” He’s always had a creative, entrepreneurial spirit about him so a question like this didn’t surprise me. 

We immediately got to work and after a few business meetings regarding content, episode segment outlines and the how-to’s of using the microphone and most importantly, sending my recorded content through the mysterious invisible lines connecting our emails, we were set to go. He was a little nervous about my tech skills and his concerns soon proved to be valid after many failed attempts to email the files… 

“I thought you wrote down the steps of how to do this, Mom.” 

“I did. But it’s not working…” 

Turns out, I was the one that wasn’t working. But, I’ve gotten pretty good at it now, having recently aired our third episode, with the next one in the works. I swear, he’s a slave-driver.

The name of the podcast is a line my kids have grown up hearing me groan: Where are my glasses? And, more times than not…yeah, you called it…they’re on top of my head. So now, as I ask the eternal question, I do so while patting my head.
Mike’s thought was that the podcast would be like a recorded radio version of my blog. That is, pretty much me gabbing about whatever happens to be on my mind or going on in my life at the moment, with topics that listeners can to relate to. I’ve also included my daughter as a guest on the show, taking advantage of her being home from school on Christmas break. So far, I’ve received some very positive feedback with people responding that they’ve found themselves laughing out loud at some of my observations.

I would LOVE if you would give the podcast a listen and let me know what you think. And if you would be so kind as to leave a rating and/or review on the site, that would be AWESOME, as we are interested in listeners’ comments and very much want to keep it relevant. We also welcome your input for topic ideas.

And don’t forget to click on “SUBSCRIBE” – it’s FREE and there is no obligation. Subscribing helps us keep track of the number of downloads and will notify you of new episodes. Thank you, thank you and I hope to hear from you SOON!!!  🙂

Links to Where Are My Glasses Podcast:

WEBSITE: http://www.wherearemyglassespodcast.com

PODCAST APP ON SMART PHONE: Tap on the app and then type in the Search Bar:  Where are my glasses

TWITTER@wheremyglasses

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One Day At A Time…

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Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.  -Martin Luther King, Jr

This is a story about faith. It is a story about hope. And more than anything, it is a story about love; the deeply profound love of a mother for her child. Beverley Jean Blanc was born in Lousiville, Kentucky in 1971 and moved to Moline, IL as a young child. She lived the typical life of most kids, going to school and working as a teenager at the local Hy-Vee grocery store. After high school graduation, she had an exciting opportunity to travel to Europe to perform with her choir. Life was good for the young girl. Beverley attended Blackhawk College in Moline for two years when she married Adam. After the wedding, the newlyweds moved to Macomb, IL when he became a student at Western Illinois University.

During this time, she worked two jobs while he went to school. Upon learning that she was pregnant, what should have been a cause to rejoice, was met with the news that he wanted to leave her. They agreed to counseling in hopes of saving their marriage. And things did seem to look up. Bev continued working and taking care of the new life growing inside her. At twelve weeks, during a routine prenatal visit, she was told that her baby had stopped developing at around seven or eight weeks.  The child had died. Completely devasted with this news, Bev and her husband moved back to Moline where Adam had secured a job with the Rock Island, IL Police Department. Soon after his return from the Police Academy, Bev suffered a second miscarriage. Her third pregnancy would prove the charm, however, and, while frightened at the very real prospect of losing another child, she was also extremely happy that this pregnancy seemed to be a healthy one. After all, Bev deserved some happiness. Her euphoria was short-lived, though, when one morning, Adam simply announced that he didn’t love her anymore. Bev was five months pregnant.She found herself back at her parents’ house, regrouping. But not for long. Adam got the shock of his life, I’m sure, when Bev returned to their home, woke him out of a peaceful slumber and said, “You’re leaving me and your unborn child. Get your shit and get out.” Beverley Jean Blanc was a new person from that day forward.

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Five’ll Get Ya Ten…Whether Ya’ Want It Or Not

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I hate coupons. I hate when I strategically choose a checkout line based on a carefully formed algorithm I’ve devised: number of people in said line, approximate number of item in carts, the gender of said shoppers (sorry, women take longer), and the checkout clerk on duty, only to find myself  behind someone sifting through her (yes, her) neatly sorted organizer. And this display always occurs after I’ve emptied my cart and several people are behind me in line. At this point, I come to the crushing realization that I’ve been deceived and am now trapped. Kill me now. Why? Because what will unfold next is as predictable as a made-for-TV movie. After a relentless search for one or more coupons for each item on the belt, there is ALWAYS an issue with one (or more) leading to an insistence on the part of the customer that, YES, this coupon IS good for .25 off the purchase of four Suave deodorants on top of the posted sale sign on the shelf and the helpless clerk responding that, sorry, it did not ring up at that sale price, all the while thinking “I hate my job.” This leads to the clerk sending out an SOS to anyone within earshot to please go check the deodorant shelf for confirmation. Slow motion the next five minutes (because apparently, I’m the only one who is ever in a hurry), the messenger returns with the sign clearly stating the sale was, in fact, for Secret deodorant. The indignant customer then accuses the store of deceptive marketing because the Suave and Secret deodorants are neighbors on the shelf and bear a remarkable resemblance, and as a result, the sale price should be honored on the grounds of pain and suffering she endured during the whole checking-out ordeal. Time to cue the manager and for me to roll my eyes, heave a huge sigh and play Candy Crush on my phone in a feeble attempt to keep my composure.

Who are the real victims here? That’s right: me and all the other poor schnooks who were tricked into thinking this would be a quick in and out trip to the store. Finally, my moment has arrived. After ringing up my items, the clerk asks the inevitable question: “Do you have any coupons? Would you like to become a member of our Savings Club? You could save 20% off your first purchase and receive offers for huge savings throughout the year.” NO! NO! I do NOT want to save money. I just want to pay a lot more for my stuff and get the hell out of here. That’s when I see the look of gratitude on the clerk’s face and my suffering line-mates. Their eyes say it all. Thank you. Thank you. I nod back in a show of solidarity and a silent encouragement that they, too, will get through this.

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The Partial Daisy

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How hard is too hard to push your kids?  Where is the line between letting them just be kids and insisting they be involved in activities?  When our oldest son, Mike, was young, we thought it was very important for him to participate in sports. It seemed only natural to sign him up for baseball and soccer every summer, spring, and fall.  As he grew older, he added basketball to his list.  At the same time, my husband and I wanted him to learn piano and drums and play in the school band, so that was just more to add to the calendar.  Of course, he also took swimming lessons every summer and attended tennis camps, as well as scouting.  He was going to be a well-rounded kid if it killed us. Continue reading

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I Feel Like A Woman…Well, Sort Of…

I wrote this post three years ago after sending my youngest off to college. She is now entering her senior year and managed somehow to thrive without mom hovering over her. Although, she might disagree… Hey, I might not be the cookie-baking, after-school-snack offering June Cleaver, but I’m still a mom. Just the kind that is ecstatically happy when my kids aren’t around. Is that wrong??

 

Woman Crying picOver the years, I’ve often wondered if, perhaps, somewhere in the dark recesses of my chromosomal make-up, I might be harboring an extra Y marker. I say this because I’ve never been the mom who gets weepy on the first day of kindergarten,  high school, college or graduations from said institutions. In fact, when my youngest was headed for all-day kindergarten, I could barely control my euphoria. Move-in day to college has never been an occasion for multiple boxes of Kleenex.  Is there something wrong with me?

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Til Death Do Us Part

DAVID AND LAUREN WEDDING PIC DAVID, LAUREN & GABBIE PIC

“To have and to hold from this day forward,

for better, for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and health,

until death do us part.”

On June 12, 2010, those words were solemnly promised to each other by David and Lauren Chase. And in the years that followed, they were devotedly lived out. David and Lauren’s story can be summed up in two words: love and faith. From that June day six years ago, David and Lauren began their new life together, filled with the dreams all newlyweds share. On December 24, 2015, their sweet life together was turned upside down in an instant, boldly challenging them to learn the true meaning of those words so happily uttered in that Mississippi church.

David and Lauren Chase entered my life peripherally, as dear friends of my son and daughter-in-law. David and Mike worked together at a trading firm in Chicago and became fast friends. Lauren and Laura met soon after, and bonded instantly. As a parent, I was thrilled that Mike and Laura had befriended such a wonderful couple. Their friendship strengthened them through difficulties and, together, the two couples excitedly planned their futures. When Mike and Laura talked of moving to the suburbs, Lauren fell in love with the idea of owning a house with a backyard for their beloved dogs, Annie and Gabbie. David needed a little prodding to move out of the city, but Lauren and Laura were ready to plot their strategy. The foursome regularly dined out, attended Chicago Blackhawk Championship rallies, St. Patrick’s Day parades and Christmas Parades. In October 2015, just a few weeks before the anticipated Christmas Parade along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Lauren traveled to Houston, to undergo surgery to donate a kidney to her twin sister, Leslie, who had suffered a rapid and inexplicable kidney failure. That might have been the first life Lauren saved. But not the last, in my opinion. Her swift recovery left everyone amazed. Almost two months to the day from her trip to Houston, Lauren stepped into an airplane en route to Florida, eager to spend Christmas with family and see her husband, who was to meet them there. That reunion never happened because the plane was forced to make an emergency crash landing minutes after take-off. Lauren was air-lifted to a hospital and suffered critical injuries. She was in a deep coma and underwent more surgeries than I could count. In time, her state of consciousness improved and with each baby step forward (for which we were absolutely thrilled), Lauren’s health would take an agonizing three steps back. She was in and out of hospitals and rehabilitation facilities in Memphis, Atlanta and Houston.

And here is where my line about Leslie’s life not being the last Lauren saved comes into play. Lauren’s progress was beautifully updated online regularly by David’s sister, Tara. I found myself checking my email several times a day for a new update and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. The updates were shared on social media thousands of times and in doing so, Lauren’s story became global. I wrote a blog a few months ago in an effort to reach more people, as well. These updates were filled, not only with Lauren’s latest medical miracle or setback, but were also woven with the beautiful love and devotion of her faith-filled husband as witnessed by family and friends. David is a very humble man who does not think he deserves praise for simply being the kind of husband God wants him to be. By sharing David’s strong faith and trust in God’s plan for them, his unending dedication to his ailing wife, his never leaving her bedside in over seven months, and his heartbreaking affectionate kisses with which he showered Lauren (as attested to by Mike and Laura when they visited Lauren), I know that people around the world were changed for the better. I believe with all my heart that sweet Lauren, who loved her husband more with each breath she took, who doted on her canine loves, Annie and Gabbie and who secretly sneaked fried foods when David wasn’t looking unknowingly played a profound role in God’s plan to bring more souls to heaven with her story.

On August 7, 2016, Lauren left this world. We are immensely saddened with this loss but rejoice in the knowledge that she is finally free. Goodbye sweet, beautiful Lauren. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

June 12, 2016 marked David and Lauren’s 6th wedding anniversary. On that day, David posted to Facebook this beautiful sentiment:

“Happy Anniversary, Lauren. Thank you for being so strong while God heals you. I love you more every day!

‘Then the Lord God said, ‘It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.’ – Genesis 2:19 CEB”

“Well done, God. She is perfect!”

https://www.youcaring.com/lauren-chase-493783

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3723602/Taking-love-Wife-s-text-husband-plane-fell-sky-leaving-paralyzed-locked-body.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3731315/We-wanted-free-Woman-32-dies-eight-months-plane-piloted-father-law-fell-sky-leaving-vegetative-state.html

https://boxwinebudget.com/2016/03/03/in-sickness-and-in-health/

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Confessions Of A Seventh Grade Nothing

THE GLORY DAYS

I was recently asked what job I dreamed of having as a kid and wasn’t really sure how to answer because I don’t ever remember dreaming about being a particular “thing.” But as I thought more about it, I guess I could say I thought about being a teacher. Not because I had any great desire to teach or an over-abundant love for children. Nor did I entertain any grandiose fantasies of my future self, making a profound difference in a kid’s life or presenting myself as an unsung hero, inspiring young minds to seize the day. No. My adolescent brain entertained thoughts of a teaching career while sitting in my seventh-grade classroom, hoping and praying that the teacher would not utter the words that I knew were inevitable… “Pick a partner and…” It didn’t matter how that sentence ended because those first words, the words I dreaded, would simply paralyze my twelve-year-old brain.

I was the new kid at Queen of Martyrs school on Chicago’s south side. The path which led little brother Paul and me there was a bit circuitous but was the result of a hasty move from our old, comfortable neighborhood to a new and completely foreign world.  No longer was I accepted simply by virtue of my last name. I was a legacy at my old school, having had five older siblings pave the way. Everyone knew us. I was the mascot of our grammar school football team; my eighth-grade sister, the captain of the cheerleaders. Life was good.

That all changed when we transferred schools and I came to the brutal realization that I had nothing going for me. Suddenly, I was a gangly, stringy-haired, self-conscious, nerdy introvert in desperate need of a friend, but sadly lacking one. Oh, did I mention I wore glasses and a retainer? I wasn’t cool. I was the most uncool kid you could imagine. A few kind souls reached out to me, a welcome I happily accepted. My brother didn’t suffer as much, having found his niche as a star of the fifth-grade football team. Soon, his reputation garnered a little respect for me and I was able to bask in his shadow.

But his benevolent umbrella couldn’t help me when I was stricken with the inevitable directive to find a partner. The worst were days when my possible partner was absent. My heart would go into absolute panic-mode as I’d scan the classroom, silently beseeching someone – anyone – to notice me and offer to partner-up.

Those were the times when I fantasized about becoming a teacher. As a teacher, I would NEVER, EVER direct my students to “find a partner” or allow them to arrange their desks as they wanted – an activity that would send the other kids into fits of joy. No, I swore that would never happen on my watch.

Well, fast-forward four decades and I never did become a teacher, which is probably a good thing. But, to those teachers who may find themselves reading this, I now beseech you to always consider the outcasts when addressing your classroom. That is one way you can leave a lasting impression on those kids. The smallest acts of kindness will always be remembered, as will the hurtful moments of isolation, which manage to plant themselves deeply into one’s psyche.

I suppose the silver-lining of that experience is that I was able to draw upon those memories to teach my own kids to notice the outsider on the playground and be that kid’s friend. Because he’s the kid who needs a friend. So I guess I did become a teacher after all. Class dismissed.   🙂

 

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