Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I do this from time to time. Think. And I've been thinking lately, that I think alot. Huh? Work with me here will you? This is another one of these kind of posts. I am not going to think about my words...this is very free style. Turn away, or keep going, just consider yourselves warned! He he.

Ok, so I'm not much for deep thinking on my blog. Typically I like to keep it relatively light. After all, I am just a housewife. I don't talk about things that are too controversial; like abortion. Cuz really...don't get me started. For real. I could get started, in which case, my blog wouldn't be light and vacant anymore, and then I'd have a precedent that I'd have to follow, and quite frankly, I'm just not up for that. Vacant. That just came to me as I was typing. Hmph. Wonder why? (see thinking again)
As I was saying, I don't want to cause a stir, I want to simply write what comes to mind. And lately...that's been alot. Let's get started.

Why do people wait and wait for the person who is getting into their car to actually pull away just so they can have their parking spot? At the gym. I mean really, you're at the gym. Do you really need front door parking? Sure, when it was the middle of winter and it was freezing outside, I can relate. But on a day like today? Really? There are 50 spots around the corner, but no buddy, you are going to wait, and hold up traffic for 6 minutes, rather than pull ahead to the other spots. Mmm kay.

I'm glad I'm not alone. B and I went to a restaurant today for dinner. Right next to the window sat an elderly gentleman, probably in his late 70s or 80s, eating his burger and cherry shake. Alone. I started thinking about him as I watched him. Wishing I had my camera. I made a life for him while I watched him as B and I waited for our food. He has 2 sons, both married, they used to be close. But of course both sons also have their own children and grandchildren. They 'appease' grampa by coming to visit. Maybe taking him to the fish fry on Friday know fulfilling their duties. But he's alone. His wife took God's hand. Suddenly. And he is alone. I know, all of this is fantasy. Maybe his wife was playing bingo with her friends. But maybe not. I've been thinking about death lately. I wish I wasn't.

I thought today about what it would be like to really say what I mean. Always. With no repercussions. Like Michael Moore--only w/o the repercussions. Seriously. I want to just call people out when their being selfish or rude. I want to call people out when I hear them lie to their families, or tell their kids that they can't go to youth group because it isn't a social function. Ummm, that is exactly what youth group is. If you want your kids to learn lessons and come home with scriptures and Bible study techniques, send them to Sunday School. Youth group OF COURSE is about our Savior, and growing closer to Him with other kids...but in a social environment with devotions and focused fun. I really want to tell the coach of Christian's soccer team that it is really NOT cool for him to suddenly send an email NOW to the team roster that he will be gone for 2 weeks in May, and if we want our kids to be able to practice or have games, then someone else will have to step up. Umm, not cool.

I've also been reflecting. On my friendships. My marriage. My family life. My career. "Jodie you have to have a job in order to have a career"
Oh! Didn't I tell you? I have a job. A pretty cool one. One that I am so dumb founded and blessed to have been offered that I know for certain that God had his ginormous hands ALL over this. I'm an assistant. An assistant with an amazing schedule that still accommodates volunteering, being here when the boys go to school, when they get home, and an occasional field trip or 2 or 6. I have every Wednesday off, so I could potentially still sub on those days, as well as any days that have advance notice. Yea, I like it. There are travel opportunities and the pay is exactly right for us. Yep, I've been blessed. What's more is that I am working for a Lincoln family who has a full appreciation for the Lincoln philosophy, and respects the positions I hold there, and they encourage me to maintain these roles w/o conflict to the position. Awesome. Uh huh. Blessed.

Ok so the thinking got a little windier than I had thought. So I'll leave the thinking alone for tonight. But I've got more. Like Omega 3, DHA effects, working for the art teacher, BNL, PPT, ViE...not to mention the school year is coming to a close. Maybe I'll do a part 2? And maybe not? I'll think about it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


A perfectly balanced weekend is coming to a close. As I sit on the sofa, relishing in the weekend, my amazing family snore peacefully in their beds. Ok, only one of them is snoring, I'll let you guess who. One of them is likely grinding his teeth, and the other could very well be leaving some drool marks on his pillow. But again, I'll leave it to you to match them with their slumber traits.

B is back from a golf weekend with 5 men he barely knows. He was somewhat acquainted with one of them through church, 2 of them he has met and had brief conversations with, 1 of them he has been getting to know recently, but 1 he - nor I-- had never met. He had an amazing time! Apparently they are already planning the next golf weekend. And frankly, I'm willing to help! It was good to have him go away to do something he loves to do, with new people. People who may very well become golf partners this summer. Awesome! He left Friday, and came back this evening.

The boys and I are glad to have him home, but we had our own fun this weekend!

Friday night my sister's boyfriend stopped to say goodbye to us one last time before he left for 6 months of boot camp. (or whatever they call it) He told the boys the adventures he will have, and the opportunities he will experience, and each of them hung on to every word with eyes twinkling. We don't get to see Ian often, but the last few weeks-- in particular the weeks leading up to 'that day' the boys were able to spend a great deal of time with him. We wish him safety in his duties, and we pray that he will grow and learn while he is there, so that he can return home and be everything God intends him to be. We will miss him!

After he left we went to the neighbor's house to watch their 2 daughters for a brief time until their aunt could be there. Wow. 6 months old and 2. It was so familiar to me with the stages these 2 are in (the boys are 23 months apart) so it brought me back 10 years. Only with girls. Girls with butterflies, and dragonflies, and polka dots in their rooms. The boys had Noah's Ark...which I loved...but girls are so girlie. From there the boys and I came home to cuddle on the couch and watch a movie. Together. Cuddling. Perfection.

Saturday found us waking up to a beautiful rain. Time to clean! We were able to get some housework done, and some laziness in before going to Christian's first soccer game of the year. The first of first games I must mention that did not require an umbrella, a thermos of hot cocoa as well as a mug of coffee, or a blanket. The rain had stopped, the sun came out and it was a beautiful first soccer game of the season. Christian rocked out in the goal, stopping several attempts, and left the game feeling good about the season...even though they lost. Great job Jake!

Saturday evening was spent entertaining 4 of the wives from the golfing trip. We drank margaritas and had some snacks and laughed. Wow did we laugh. 2 of these women I have never spent time with socially, but I truly look forward to our next get together. We're ready to book our weekend away! The boys had playmates to entertain themselves with so it was a magnificent evening.

Today, church, weed pulling, neighbor playing, more movie watching, Benjamin went to work for the art teacher (explanation another time) and I started to get sick.

Even so, sick or not, this has been an amazing weekend for me. It has been such a long time that I have felt so normal. Spent time with such a variety of people. Had a clean house, entertained friends, had quality time with the boys, spent the morning with our GIFT group, and ate some fun food. I am so grateful for this weekend I just wish I could bottle it up so I could open it another time.

Don't get me wrong, I missed Brian. I love spending time with him. But these things wouldn't have been the same with him here. It made me appreciate him coming home. And to be completely truthful, he earned this weekend. He has been such a source of support and comfort in the last weeks. Not to mention he has endured some tough moments of mine, where patience was low, hurt and anger were high, emotions were raw, and feelings were exposed. Losing my dad is a struggle for me. He has been my friend through it all, he is my Blessing. A weekend away was in the cards for him.

For the first time I feel balanced.

But tomorrow is Monday.

Monday, April 19, 2010


They're everywhere. We all get distracted. Some of us more easily than others.

Unfortunately, even distractions will go away. And then you end up alone.

Alone, and remembering what his laugh sounded like.

Remembering the sarcastic conversation that you just couldn't be apart of anymore so you said "goodbye I love you" and all you want to do is rewind and stay.

Reminders everywhere that you'll never be with him again.

Knowing that you'll never get to hug him, talk with him, listen to him or lay eyes on him again.

Trying to hold your head up, put on a brave face. Carry on with everyone else who isn't affected the way you are, and don't know what it feels like on the inside. So you don't say anything because you don't want to burden. Or whine.

But it hurts.

So much.

So much that no distraction really takes your mind off it. It just pulls your attention away for awhile. But it is always waiting for you when the meeting ends, or the friends go home and when the kids go to bed. Then you're alone. No distractions.

And it hurts.

You have conversations with acquaintances, maybe a little too harshly. Then you leave beating yourself up that you weren't more sensitive, or tactful. And then you think...I don't want to be tactful. I don't want to be thoughtful of anyone else. I want to scream and shout about how absolutely unfair this is. It isn't fair. They say they understand. But they don't.

I miss him.

It gets easier they say. Remember the good times they say. He's with God in Heaven they say. He's at peace they say.

I say "shut up".

Terrible right? I don't really say that. But sometimes I want to. Sometimes I want to say...YES I know he is at peace. Yes, I KNOW he is with God. YES I KNOW IT GETS EASIER!!!!

But I'm not with God, and I'm not at peace and it isn't easy RIGHT NOW.

So I cry.


I miss him.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

All about Love

By association I am a local sports fan. I like our city baseball team, I really really enjoy watching the boys play sports, and because I think my husband is the cat's pajamas, I occasionally join him to watch our professional sports teams play. I used to really enjoy these games..but as I get older I care less and less about them.


Our baseball team built a new field this past year. They opened said field on Monday with a game against the Red Sox. I have a friend in Boston who I regularily banter w/regarding our professional teams. Because of this friend--I have to hate the Red Sox. No reason, I just have to.

Last year B decided that no amount of money would prevent him from being at the opening game. And that was true...unfortunately when he and I signed up to preregister to qualify to have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the Twins opening series --- neither of us won. He was pretty bummed, but since there was nothing we could do about it, he recovered.

Enter adoring wife.

I found tickets. Not to the opening game, but to the opening series. Against the Red Sox. They even continued the opening ceremony for the first 3 games. Awesome.

Enter adoring mom.

I gave my ticket to the first child who said he wanted to go. I offered Christian the opportunity first, he passed. I offered it to Benjamin who waffled between wanting to go, and not wanting to go. His friends, teachers, principal and family all thought he was crazy for even considering the idea of going to school in place of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I just talked to them. They are having a blast, Benjamin is thanking me for giving him the ticket...and as I speak my friend from Boston is beginning a chat on FB...going to have to give him a hard time.

But not before I show you the view 2 of my favorite people are looking at right now.

Next's me and Christian. Hands down!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Couldn't resist

Back in the day before house payments, husbands, real jobs and responsibilities, my friends and I liked to take weekend trips. It didn't really matter where...sometimes to a cabin, other times to hotels, and still other times travel to outdoor concerts were taken. Those were the carefree days (although I did have Benjamin, so I didn't attend all of these events, only the baby friendly ones.) Events like those didn't plan themselves, and that is where my dearest friend Jill came in. She was the gal who would organize it, book it, and notify each participant what their responsibilities were. It was GREAT! No really, it was. It was awesome to be apart of these trips, and know exactly what I needed to bring, and never was anything left off the list. She was good. We even joked about those days during dad's visitation...they seem so long ago...

Fortunately for us, Jill was not a warden. These lists and responsibilities were suggestions. If ever someone disagreed, accomodations and trades were made. Things ran smoothly, and we all turned to her to help us get organized. It made for efficient travel.

Thanks Jill.

Oh yea, and my point is coming.

Thank you again Jill, for not being this woman.

I saw an awkward family photo on FB today (yep, you Jolene!) and it got me started on that website. I found this, and I couldn't resist sharing it with you! What a lovely breather from my recent posting! Enjoy--

The Thanksgiving Letter (back by popular demand)
From: Marney
As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.

Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.

All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.

HJB—Dinner wine

The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don’t feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don’t care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.

The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).

The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).

The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Proscuitto pin wheel – please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife

The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay

The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.

Looking forward to the 28th!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

Things are very slowly returning to normal in the MoJo household. We are back home eating meals and sleeping in our beds. We're also doing oodles of laundry, the Christmas lights have finally been taken down from the exterior of our house, the garage is being cleaned...and that is just our house.

We're also doing some house cleaning at dad's. He has ALOT of stuff! We've been going through his things little by little. So far we've been successful in dividing up, packing up, and donating his articles of clothing, nick knacks and other things.

This isn't easy.

If I had it my way, I would take a LONG break from time with my sisters, to regroup, see my family, gain a better perspective, and then divide property. For me, it's too soon. We shouldn't be rifling through his possessions so quickly, I feel as though we're rushing things. But alas, here we are.

Cobe got in a car accident Thursday night. Her birthday. She is lucky to be alive. We are lucky she is still alive. Praise God. I cried when I left her. It scares me to think that something could happen to one of my sisters. I don't always like them, and we have next to nothing in common, and when all of dad's matters are resolved, I will likely have little contact with them again....but I love them. To the moon and back, I love them.

In the wake of her crash, it has added more tension with my sisters and I. Again there is a fence. The 2 of them are on one side, and I am on the other. I've looked for advice on how we are going about dad's division of property. It isn't being handled appropriately, and that makes me sad. Unfortunately when there are 2 strong, capable women with opposing opinions, it is hard to be heard, even when logic and reason, and legality (<- is that a word?) are at hand. Sigh...I pray. I pray that they will realize that we are not against each other, and that this is not a popularity contest, I just want to move on. Soon. Very soon.

I've even listened to one of them tell people something that is so untrue--over and over--and it makes me wonder, does she believe it? Does she not realize that she is essentially telling a lie--over and over. Should I correct her? Should I set the record straight to her friends, and our family? Do I just stand by, as I usually do, and let her run the show? I'm torn, and I'm hurt. My human side says, say something. My trying to be the bigger person, keep calm waters, no feather ruffling side (you know the one I've only in recent years started listening to) says keep your mouth shut. In the grand scheme of things, it is not I who should pass judgment on her. It is not I she has to answer to...the Big Guy upstairs knows better, and that is what really matters....Right? Sigh....I want to move on. Soon.

The birds are singing glorious music today. I'm listening to them outside the window, and I am looking forward to the day that I do not blog about my sisters. I look forward to the day that I can rejoice in what is happening around me instead of being hurt by the people I have no choice but to surround myself with.

Soon, these things will not clutter my mind. Soon this will just be a day like any in my past. In the big picture, this will not affect my future, so I just need to persevere. Continue to be a dutiful daughter to God. Remember that those who condemn me, need my prayers the most. I will pray for my sisters that the Lord will soften their hearts. I will pray for myself to continue to hold my tongue, not only in conversations with them, but in conversations with others. I will pray for the courage to enter the Lion's Den, and know that I will come out unburned.

The buds are popping out all over. The hubby is playing golf, the boys are with their friends, and I am signing off for a little while. I want to get past the raw grief I still have. I want to get past these next days with my sisters. I want to wrap up the division of his property, and I want to blog about something fresh. Something exciting, something, different.

I'll be back when I have that.

Soon, I hope soon.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Celebrating Goodbye

Not easy to do.

I wonder how long I will have this numb feeling. The tingling sensation has left my body, so it isn't that kind of numb. Instead it is the numbness in that I have no feeling. Praise God for my husband, He has been a blessing for me in ways I couldn't even begin to recount. He is gently supportive, w/o causing me to feel like I'm a wacko. I'm not angry. I'm not sad. I'm not anything really. When will this feeling of not having feelings end?

We said goodbye to dad Tuesday morning. It was a beautiful service, followed by an amazing fireman's tribute, and an emotional military honors service outside in the memorial park where his paver is. The 21 gun salute, taps, the presentation of his flag, along with the drizzling rain, sound of the bagpipes, and claps of thunder, took place directly over this stone. It was heartbreaking to be apart of such a ceremony...for someone I love so much.

There were nearly 300 people the night of his visitation...I don't know how many were there the day of his funeral.

It doesn't surprise me.

He was is so loved.

I spoke during dad's service. I use the word 'spoke' very loosely. I barely made it through, and if not for the hand of Pastor Vogt gently resting on me to give me strength, I may not have made it to the end. But I did.

He gave us a recording of the service.

I've listened to my eulogy. It seems therapeutic for me right now. I meant the words I said. I hope to really follow through with what I said. Listening to my voice in the recording, and hearing the raw pain hopefully will help me to be steadfast in my desire to live and carry through the way my dad did.

I hope to heal. I'm sure I will.

Brian goes back to work for the first time since last Wednesday.

I'm going to miss him.

I work at the school for the next 2 days too. I was scheduled to work all week. Dad had other plans.

Today was my mental health day. I need another one. Several in fact. Many I think.

Thank you to each of you who have offered words of encouragement, support and love. I am honored to call you my friends. I am humbled by the generosity of those who brought us meals, baked goods and flowers. I don't know what I've done to deserve this love, but I am grateful for each of you. I look so forward to getting back into a routine. No more 24 hour shifts, I'm back in my home with my things and my family. The day will come where I will fill my calendar up with social events, and when I do, I hope to see each of you so that I can thank you in person for all you've done the past months, weeks and days.

I will celebrate him.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


As I prepare and write my dad's eulogy cruise the internet tonight, I see that many are writing about Easter. How appropriate. I could do that too. I could talk about the absolutely breathtaking music we had today during our service. The bells, the choir, the brass with the Stunning. The service Pastor Vern gave was amazing. Pastor Vogt asked for prayer for our family in the wake of dad's death. It was a touching morning.


I dance to my own drummer remember?

I could talk about the fact that I blogged long ago about writing dad's obituary and eulogy, only to not do either. I did complete the obit. It was submitted. It was printed wrong. So they printed it the next day too. All better.

I didn't do the eulogy. Until now. It's a work.

How do you sum up into 3 minutes the life of your father? How can words in just 3 minutes even begin to do him justice?

I'm trying. Well, not really trying because I'm blogging now, and I've already facebooked.

I spent money at Walmart today.

I'm sorry.

It was only like 7 dollars.

Benjamin came up with an AWESOME saying today while we were there. ALL on his own I promise. He is insightful!

Wanna hear it?

As we heard the beep beep beep of the cash registers (we were all the way in the back of the ginormous store too) he said "It's the constant beep of an economic decline."


Good boy.

Ok, eulogizing my dad now. After I check FB again, and maybe eat my potato chip and jello purchase from Walmart because I couldn't live w/o them after I saw them...but THEN eulogizing for sure....

Today was a tough day. Tonight is better. What emotions will tomorrow bring...I think I already know.

OK eulogy. I'm going, I'm going!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

He is Home

Heaven was waiting.

Dad finally took God's hand.

We grieve, but we also celebrate.

He is Home.