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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Monday, December 31, 2012

    My 2013 Dead Pool List...

    This list is for you, Dad.  You always loved the game. You saved every single one of your Dead Pool lists for years.  Heh.

      1.  Brooke Mueller
      2.  Lindsay Lohan
      3.  Penny Marshall
      4.  Willie Mays
      5.  Hugh Hefner
      6.  Ernie Banks
      7.  Mike Ditka
      8. George H. W. Bush
      9. Courtney Love
    10.  Cardinal George

    By the way, I think I won last year's Dead Pool.  I had Joe Paterno and Robin Gibb.  I'm just sayin'.

    Come Back Later...

    Shortly before midnight tonight, I will be posting my Dead Pool list for 2013.  It's already in queue.  I wish everyone a safe New Year's Eve.  Get yourselves a designated driver and don't be stupid about it. 

    I, for one, am hoping that 2013 is a lot kinder to me and my family than 2012 was.  My only resolution is to waste no time loving those who love me, too, because every day counts.  You only get so many steps, you know. 

    Come back just before midnight.  My list will be up then. 

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

    The Macabre...

    I am composing my Dead Pool list for 2013.  I know my Dad would want me to keep doing it.  He loved the macabre of it all.  I had second thoughts about doing it this year because my Dad can't participate this year and I miss him so much.

    However, since my Dad loved putting his own list together every year, I think he would want me to put mine together this year.  So, I will be posting my own Dead Pool list for 2013 tomorrow.  Whether anyone plays along with me or not, in the spirit of my Dad's love of the game, I'm going to continue this family tradition.

    I love you, Dad.  This is going to be one helluva list.

    Saturday, December 29, 2012


    This was the day Leia decorated Dad with all the toys she could find. 
    That was a good day.  Oh, how he loved his grandchildren!
    How we all miss those moments...

    Friday, December 28, 2012


    I found this picture on Liv's Innotab 2S.
    Yes, she took an upskirt pic of her Barbie.  WTF?!  She's only SIX years old!
    What kind of monster have we created with this new toy?

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

    Liesl & Leia...

    Meet Liesl and Leia.
    They are two of my four children who keep me going.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012


    The past couple of days have been very difficult.  It was not easy to spend the holiday knowing my father wouldn't be here to celebrate with us.  It took every amount of energy I had just to keep my composure through it all.  And now I'm completely exhausted, just bone-tired.

    I miss my Dad.  We all do.  The holidays without him were rough.  Seven weeks ago yesterday, we buried him.  It just isn't fair.

    It seems that grief does not follow a predicatable pattern at all.  It comes in waves, some small and some tidal.  It strikes when you don't expect it and just when you feel like you're okay, you're hit in the head with the guilt for simply cracking a smile.  It just plain sucks and each of us are on this journey alone. 

    I'm glad I don't have to be back at work until January 3rd.  I really need the time to decompress and find my emotional groove before the onslaught of work responsibilities resumes. 

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

    Difficult Is Not The Word...

    Merry Christmas, Dad.
    It's not the same without you. I just want to sleep the entire day away so that I don't have to
     feel this way. Sigh...

    Monday, December 24, 2012

    The First Of Many...

    Today is going to be a very difficult day.  It is our first Christmas Eve without my father.
    I don't know how I'm going to get through it; I just know I can't go around it.
    It won't be the same, but he will be in our hearts and on our minds as we try to make sense of this new "normal."  I miss him so much and so do my kids.

    I just want to get through it without falling apart at dinner.  This tenderloin is for you, Dad, but it will never, ever taste the same as it once did.  I love you, Dad, and I hope you make your presence known tonight.  We need it.

    Sunday, December 23, 2012

    J. W. Beans...

    My dog Java is one very happy and lucky Labrador.
    Those eyes, however, make her look vicious.  Heh.

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

    Mindless Drivel...

    Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  Sigh...

    Friday, December 21, 2012

    Last Day...

    This is my last day of work before Winter Break.  I sooooo need the break.  The holidays are going to be rough enough for all of us without Dad this year.  I need the time away to 

    I just want to get through the holiday.  Not having to go to work while enduring the holiday, too, is a good thing for me.  I need to figure out how to keep my head intact.

    Jammie Days, here I come. 

    Thursday, December 20, 2012


    Liv had her holiday show last night.  It was beautiful!  And she looked so pretty!
    The dress, the shoes, the tights, the pose, the hair, that smile...all of it so refreshing.
    How I love that kid! 
    Her presence silently reminds me to see Christmas through her eyes and not through the veil of my grief.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012


    This is probably my all-time favorite episode of The Three Stooges.
    You remember it...the marshmallow cake that they made with bubble gum...

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012


    I'd better not show this picture to Livie!  Eek!

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    Proud Mama...

    Guess who's Student of the Week?  Go, Livie!

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    Dear Santa...

    Is that really too much to ask for?  Sigh...

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    A Sinister Solution...

    Oh, this is giving me a sinister idea!  Heh.

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    The Storm...

    Yeah, I would say that this "storm" is definitely changing me.

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    A More Accurate To-Do List...

    Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
    I've had a particularly hard time the last ten days or so.
    With the holidays so close and my Dad not being here with us anymore, I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how I'm supposed to act "normal" when there's nothing "normal" about our lives right now.
    It's just too soon to celebrate anything, yet I'm supposed to do it for my kids. 
    It's not an easy road to travel.
    Right now, I'm back to square one hour at a time.
    And that's pretty much all I can do.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Bring On Jack Frost...

    I'm so ready to retire the razor until April.  Sigh...

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Mr. Glitter...

    Liv and Glitter Fitzgerald, our Elf-on-the-Shelf, a.k.a. "Mr. Glitter"

    She leaves food and something for him to drink every night.  And he leaves little notes for her to read when she wakes up.  It's the highlight of her entire day.
    Oh, to be that young and innocent!

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    The Giving Tree...

    The story of my life...and it's a wonderful story still in progress...

    Sunday, December 09, 2012

    My To-Do List...

    It's a good list...for every day, not just today.

    Saturday, December 08, 2012

    Busting Balls...

    I was on fire yesterday. 
     I had something important to deal with and I just can't tolerate incompetent people.  So, I went straight to the top and busted a few balls...again.  Not the first time dealing with people who just can't get their shit straight. 
    Fuck with me all you want, but never fuck with my kids or my money.
    That is all.

    Friday, December 07, 2012

    Glitter Fitzgerald...

    Our mischievous Elf-on-the-Shelf is affectionately known around here as, "Mr. Glitter." An he has been showing up in the craziest places in our house lately. The kids love the anticipation of finding him each morning.
    It's the little things in life that have me counting my blessings...

    Thursday, December 06, 2012


    Every day that passes, the meanings of "light" and "home" become clearer to me.
    And that is not a bad thing at all.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012


    For almost a decade, blogging has been my therapy.
    That will not change anytime soon.

    It is my history documented.  In the last ten years, a lot has happened in my life.  I find comfort in writing a lot of it down so that I can look back on it later.  On these pages, you can see many things: joy, pain, grief, anger, milestones, betrayal, relief, pride, etc.  I can count on one hand how many days I have not posted in the last decade.  I don't know many people who can say that. 

    Love it or hate it or bothered by it, this blog is a part of who I am and all that I've endured.
    I "hold the pen."  This is my voice.  And you can't take that away.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2012

    Decking The Halls...

    Well, the tree has been completed; the outside decorations and lights are up; and Glitter, our Elf on the Shelf, is appearing in the strangest of places these days.  Christmas won't be the same without Dad, but he'll be here in his own way.  We just have to get through this...together.

    Monday, December 03, 2012

    A Butterfly...

    We are completely self-centered if we think that this life is all we have.
    While I am agnostic, I do acknowledge that there is something more than this world and this life.
    I do not belong to any religion and haven't for decades, even though I was raised Catholic.  I do not consider myself big enough to give a name to whatever is larger than humanity.  I am just a drop in the bucket of humanity.  There is something much greater than man, but I cannot give it a name and I refuse to give it a name.  I prefer to get those answers when my turn to be a butterfly comes.

    I do believe that my Dad became a beautiful butterfly when he died.  I believe that the end of life here on earth is just the beginning.  And I don't think you need to belong to a specific religion to believe that.

    Perhaps his job here was done.  Perhaps his job now is greater.
    Perhaps we, as a society, view death as the ultimate end, when it could be the beginning of something far greater than humans could ever imagine.

    A caterpillar, too, thinks it's the end.  And then he turns into a beautiful butterfly, free and untethered from the confines of his dark cocoon.  What if this life we all live is just the dark cocoon?  What if we emerge from that darkness and are finally able to experience the other side of life without earthly worries? 

    I am just a grain of sand.  I am only smaller than small.
    I cannot say what is on the other side of life, but I bet it's something humans could never fathom.
    Right now, I'm pretty sure my Dad is winking at me because I finally get it.
    Yet I won't really understand it until I break out of my own cocoon. 
    I'm just a silly human who thinks I know.
    *Winking right back at you, Dad.*

    Sunday, December 02, 2012

    One Month...

    My Dad has been gone for one month today.  While we all have been adjusting to life without him, he has been adjusting to the afterlife.  I'm sure it's just as hard for him as it is for us.  I'm guessing his adjustment is a lot like being born and it's just as difficult.  He had a very good life, though.  It was full of lots of good things.  He enjoyed his favorite activities (fishing, gambling, cigars, Facebooking, the Cubs, the Bears, nature, etc.), ate his favorite foods, loved his family.  He was a great man.

    We miss him a lot and the sting of his absence is still present.  However, he left all of us with valuable lessons:

    Live life to the fullest. 
    Enjoy what makes you happy. 
    Root for the underdog. 
    Cherish your time here. 
    Always say "thank you."  
    Tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. 
    Never give up.
    Let your words be kind. 
    Never go down without a fight.
    Stand up for what you believe in.
    Sleep when you're tired.
    Make amends.

    We learned a great deal from Dad.  We learned from his examples and we learned from his mistakes.  He was a great man; he loved his family; and he loved his life.  Whatever he is doing now, he has all the answers to all the questions he'd been asking his whole life.  And he's alive in me right now.  He left a legacy that none of us will ever forget.  For that, I thank him. 

    I love you, Dad.  And I'm grateful to have had a wonderful father like you.  While I am still very sad that you're not with us physically anymore, I am very happy that I got to have a Dad like you.  I see little things each day that remind me of you.  Sometimes they make me cry; sometimes they make me smile.  I'm trying really hard to smile more.  I think that you would want that.

    Saturday, December 01, 2012


    December 1st already...
    Tomorrow marks one month since my Dad passed away.
    As much as I want December to be over and the holidays to come and go quickly,
    I shudder to think that another month will come and go and my Dad really won't be coming back.
    This is all too painfully real.