It's difficult being a step-parent. Difficult for the parent (the step one and the "real" one) and for the child no matter how old they are. I thought it would be easier for a child who is an adult or almost an adult but you know, I think it's even more difficult. I've seen it in Adrian. We became his "parents" just because we're raising him not because we adopted him. I'm the Mom and his mom's the Mom. I've seen the confusion not in his mind but in his emotions. There was a time about a year ago especially when I could sense that he was really struggling with the balance, "How can I love and be loyal to my Mom and still feel like I love Aunt Sandy." I've tried to be sensitive and help the best I can and Uncle Mike is over-the-top sensitive and insightful and has been the light that is leading Adrian through this maze of uncertain emotions. He's coming out of it and very stongly loves his Mom and he realizes it's OK to love me too. It's a different love. I can only compare this to what children no matter what age feel when they have a step-parent. Within the first couple of years of our marriage Rachael, Mike's oldest daughter introduced me to one of her relatives as her step-mom. It was one of those moments that make time stand still and the entire earth glow. I love my step-daughters and I don't want to take their mother's place I just want them to let me love them. My children became step-children at the same time they were struggling to get through college, get established in their careers and provide for themselves. Alex was 13 when we got married and he lived with us. We gave him space and he gave us space. He juggled the balancing act very respectfully and honorably. The Lord is blessing us all. After almost 12 years we are coming together. There are six children plus Adrian so that makes 7. We seldom see Mikes daughters, they are going through "it" in their own lives and I've assured him that they'll be back. My children have been "through it" and now they're back. They are respectful, loving, kind and accepting. They all called Mike for Father's Day and Amy, bless her dear sweet loving heart, prepared a wonderful Mexican Buffet and gave Mike an adorable, very endearing "Happy Father's Day Grandpa" card with a beautiful picture of the grandbabies. She has only referred to Mike as Grandpa and Berkley loves her "PaPa". When Major was born she introduced Mike to one of her friends as "My Step-Dad." It's another one of those moments when time stands still and the entire earth glows. We are so blessed.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Now I'm two! My Mommy and Daddy put on the funnest party! Grandma and Grandpa Scott came from Amarillo which is fun enough. Grandma and Great-Grandma (the ones who live here) prepared the food which helped Mommy who decorated and wrapped presents and took care of Little Major. Daddy didn't start the charcoals early enough so my three Grandma's and Mommy decided to broil the hamburgers. Right before they were done Daddy said the coals were ready so he finished them on the grill. One thing though, it started raining. Assured that it would stop in a second Daddy went ahead and put the burgers on the grill, closed the lid and it started pouring! And it didn't stop! Daddy got drenched! He did some die-hard grilling let me tell you. Thank you Daddy! When it was time to light the candles, I was waiting and there was not a dry match to be found. They were on the patio!! Grandpa Scott was trying to get some action out of the lighter in the truck when Grandpa (the one who lives here) found two matches in the middle of the box and lit them with the now perfect coals. Still raining. Thank you Grandpa! I blew out two candles! Yea!! I prefered frosting, so Mommy let me have just frosting. Thank you Mommy! Present Time! I love my Jack-in-the-Box from Great-Uncle Don, I couldn't stop playing with it. Mommy and Daddy gave me a tunnel with a ball tent at the end, WOW! Baby Elmo is stuck in the box but Mommy will fix it. Thank you Everybody! It was soooo special! I am one blessed girl!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Can somebody help me?! Aaron my dear, sweet, super amazing first son called me yesterday and said, "Mom we have to pick a song for our dance at the wedding." I didn't say anything. He continued, "The mother/son dance." I'm still in shock, "You and I are going to dance." I squeak out, "OK." I mean yea, I would do anything for my son and his wonderful bride, Susan whom I love and adore. But I've never danced. Well maybe one time, but that can hardly be counted. We chose, "What a Wonderful World" you know, Louie Armstrong. He asked me if I was familiar with the song. I said yes-s-s, trying to recall. Any song other than a church song has not been a part of my life until 12 years ago when my "they-don't-get-any-better-than-this" husband began introducing me to music. My whole world opened up. But I haven't danced. And I was picturing Myself, Petroleum Club, Sit-Down Dinner, Live Band, Dance Floor, Just Me and Aaron. Aaron said, "Don't worry Mom, I'm not a very good dancer but I'll lead." Me in heels, tripping over my floor length dress. Still uncertain I told him it would be wonderful. He had to go. We hung up. Then I thought Aaron's probably a really good dancer just like everything else he does, just has the knack. I felt better. I called Amy, she assured me, "It's a slow song Mom. You'll do all right. Just hang on to Aaron." And you know, I will. Oh, I let him go, a long time ago and he's riding on the high heels of the earth. But in my heart I'm hanging on and I always will. I am so blessed.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I was born 10 days after my parents first wedding anniversary, 7 weeks premature. My brother, Dale was born five days before my first birthday. We were close, not just in age, but in heart. Growing up people thought we were twins. We went to a babysitter together before our brother Don was born when Dale was 3 and I was 4. I was just a toddler but I remember standing at the door watching our mom walk down the sidewalk. I still see myself standing at the door in my little rompersuit feeling alone. But Dale, my brother, he was there and we were together. I had to go to kindergarten when I was 5, ready or not. It was the first time in my life I remember not being able to stop crying. I was standing there waiting for the bus and I couldn't stop crying. My mom was trying to comfort me and there were other kids and they were excited, but me, I cried and cried, I wanted to go home. Going to school was better the next year because Dale and I were standing at the bus stop together. Life progressed, we had two more brothers, twins. The family moved to Oklahoma. Dale and I played and argued and did chores and grew up. He was proud of me, I was proud of him. When we moved to Midland I was a Junior in High School and Dale was a Sophomore. We were in the same Texas History class. He made an A without trying I made an A but I tried and tried and tried. We ate lunch together in the cafeteria. When I was 19 I moved up North. I rarely saw my brother, or the rest on my family for that matter after that and we didn't communicate much. But I've always known that he is there. I love my brother with all my heart. Our hearts are still joined, they always will be. Today is his birthday. We are so very blessed.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
My parents were married on June 12, 1953. If my Dad were still alive on this earth they would be celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary. I always remember, every year, it's just a date I can't forget. This year I did forget to call my Mom and mention it however. Daddy told me once that when he first saw Mom she was 15 years old and with someone from her church named Jim DeSpain and he thought, "What is a beautiful girl like that doing with a guy like Jim DeSpain?" They were married 10 days after her high school graduation. She was 18, he was 19. And the rest is history. I am so blessed.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Ah, Jayla, Sweet Jayla, what a wonder you are. Tomorrow is your 4th birthday. I remember the day you were born. So little, so sweet and sooo precious. Your Mommy loved you and cared for you and played with you, she was sooo delighted! The Lord has His Hand on you and will every single moment of your life.
Jayla is the first born of my sweet niece Christina, the first born of my brother Don. She made my mom a Great-Grandma, Don a Grandpa and me a Great-Aunt. What a blessing! Everytime I stop by which is several times a week she always says, "Hi, Aunt Sandy." Sweetly, quietly, somewhat shyly and it's a moment set apart, separate from everything else that's going on at the time. And I say "Hi, Jayla Sweet." At that moment the very earth seems to stand still and then as quickly as it seemed to stop life goes on. What a blessing she is!
Monday, June 8, 2009
I made some vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free blueberry muffins from Erin McKenna's cookbook babycakes. I loved them. Adrian did not like them, and Mike took one little bite and said they were, "Not bad." Not bad!!! Did he say, "Not bad"?? I don't know what to say! Wow, thank you. Blessings.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Today is also Dale and Judy's anniversary. Their 29th. I love them. Dale's my brother, Judy's my sister(in-law). Then've finished college, gone to seminary (which will make you or break you), worked two and three jobs between them while raising three little ones, moved, adjusted, settled in, packed up, kept going, kept going, kept going. They've been in ministry this entire time which is where their heart is. They now have three adult children, graduated from college and happily married (so that's six adult children) and all actively involved in ministry. They have blessed 100's of lives and will continue to bless 100's more. A real testimony to the grace and mercy of God. We are all so very blessed.
Today is Brian and Lindsey's first anniversary. Brian is my nephew and Lindsey is his bride, my niece now and the inspiration for this blog. The Lord has blessed them with an unbelievable year. Her blog is Pleasant-Drive.blogspot.com The odds they have come through this year are truly a remarkable, inspiring and blessed story. Their's was a gorgeous wedding. She was an amazingly beautiful bride. Dale officiated the ceremony and it was so personal and endearing. There will never be another wedding ceremony like it. So much promise, so much hope, so much love and gratefulness for each other and a deep sense of honor and respect and committment towards one another. It was a glimpse of heaven and the awesome gentle love of the Lord. We are so very blessed.
Friday, June 5, 2009
This afternoon I made Vegan Macaroni and Cheese. I loved it. Adrian said it was really good and ate two big bowls. Mike took one bite and said, "Yuck!" Then had a hand full of potato chips and a few crackers to "wash the taste out of my (his) mouth". Then ordered a pizza. God love him. I am not deterred. And as long as he's healthy and he swears he is. Looks healthy, acts healthy, never gets sick, what can I say?! We are blessed.
The most difficult thing about raising someone else's child is not actually being the mom. And in this case I'm not even the Step-Mom, I'm the aunt and actually the uncle was married before so does that make me the step-aunt? I don't think so. I'm the real aunt but not by bloodline, by marriage and there's a difference. I'm sure it's a lot like being a step-mom and I'm one of those too. But that hasn't been an issue. It gets difficult let me tell you. Being the mom but not really the mom. And my weakness is I let my guard down, I start feeling like the mom. Every time since day one, the moment, the very moment I start feeling happy and secure and in control and like the mom something subtle happens to "knock me down" and put me in my rightful place. I really think it is the Lord's correction, because I'm not the mom, he has a mom, I'm just the aunt. And it's a blessing.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
We have a garage queen! Here's how it all started. Mike came home from work one day and after dinner sat down at the computer and while searching through ebay found a '65 T-Bird convertible. He looked over at me and announced he was going to buy it and asked me for the credit card and would I help him complete the online purchase. I was shocked, stunned, alarmed and angry. Let me lay some ground work here. My husband is not impulsive. My husband is not out of his mind. My husband does not demand his own way. But this, well this was clear out of the blue thinking from him and I didn't know what was happening. I was upset to say the least and angry. Let me explain. We had just been through an oil bust. We have a Drilling Fluid Consulting business. When it rains it pours. One day chicken, next day feathers. After 9/11 the oil field crashed and consultants are the first to not get called. So we lived on savings and then credit cards. In addition, we had just bought the house and the Yukon providing us with not only a place to live and transportation but payments. Just a few months before the "I'm going to buy this T-Bird," annoucement we were back to work and I was writing checks to pay off our previous months living expenses, then our plan was to get us out of debt and prepare for the next bust which is inevitable in this business. We didn't buy the T-Bird on ebay that night and we didn't get a divorce and I didn't kill him. About six weeks later Mike called me while on route from one rig to his next and told me he had found a '65 T-Bird, the car he wanted to buy. A man in Georgia owned it and he'd been on the phone with him, etc. So I completed the paperwork and went down to the bank and got a cashiers check for everything we had in the bank until our next check came in in a few days and put the shipping charges on a credit card, ouch the credit card I had just paid off. A few weeks later the car and all it's "glory" was delivered around midnight. Mike was excited, I was trying to be excited. We drove it a couple of times with the top down, it was fun but quickly realized it had issues and really needed to be restored. At this point Mike was working so much we had more money than time. We trusted people to take it and restore it but quickly found out that when they say about 15000 tops they really mean about 4 times that and then it's not done. The last oil field boom lasted about 5 1/2 years. We were able to pay off the house, the yukon, the motorcycle, the credit cards and buy a Denali. Train and employee our son-in-law, Charlie and brother-in-law Michael. Put money into the T-Bird attempting to get it finished and remodel the house and get money ahead so we can live comfortably through the next bust which is what we are doing now. Oil field in this area came to an abrupt halt just after the election. Then after nearly six months of trying to get the self-employed body shop owner used to be neighbor of ours to finish the painting of the white, now black Thunderbird it is in our garage. And now the real work begins. Mike is finishing the restoration and I am so proud of him. He is learning as he goes. He studies wiring diagrams with a magnifying glass. I'm not sure yet what the Lord is accomplishing through this experience but it's something life changing. The '65 T-Bird will be restored and we'll enjoy it and we are so very blessed.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I love June 1st. There's just so much anticipation in the month of June. We have a birthday every week except this first week and wouldn't you know it, five the third week. Dale and Judy's 29th anniversary and Brian and Lindsey's 1st anniversary on the same day, my Mom and Dad's anniversary, Sweet Berkley's 2nd birthday, Father's Day and (my birthday, let's slide right by this one) on the same day and Andrew's birthday, and Aaron and Susan's WEDDING! We are so excited! They have planned for over a year and a half and it is going to be magnificent! We are so blessed!