About Laura

With five kids, one with special needs, a handsome son-in-law, a perfect grandchild (seriously, aren't ALL grandchildren perfect??), a even handsomer husband, my career as a NICU RN....what else would I be doing but juggling?

giants

I love social media. I really do. What a great way to keep up and stay in touch with everyone who circumnavigates in and outside of my family circle. I see babies, first day of school pictures, vacations and adventures galore and I celebrate (like) them all. But with the good and great comes the bitter, tragic and sad because we do share it all on social media…and I mourn with you all then too. It’s social. It’s media. I celebrate it all…except, you know when it hits too close to home.

Our dear Uncle Bill passed away this last Sunday night.

I found out on Facebook.

It’s okay.

Actually, no, it’s not.

But I get it because it’s part of the social that is social media.

A family friend posted on our cousin’s wall expressing her sorrow, love and condolences, as we often do when someone we know and admire and love dies and from there it took off as others shared their own thoughts, sorrow and love…all before family can take the time to make sure that all of the family knows. So while on my break at work Sunday night, I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed and discover that our dear Uncle Bill had died that night.

Yeah.

I love social media but Sunday night I hated social media.

It’s really crappy when you get really bad, sad news that way.

It happens.

It absolutely, positively sucks.

But if I was to learn anything from the man I have always called Uncle Bill it was to focus on what is important right here, right now…family…our family…his family.

His daughter Kimra shared:

the world lost another unsung hero. Our father Billy Yowell, lost his long battle with PLS and Parkinson’s disease. He was a great father who was always present in in his daughters’ lives. Never missing an event, he cheered loudest with each success and cried the hardest at each failure. He was a hard worker who believed that if you worked hard all things were possible. Quoting my cousin Mark “Bill was a giant of a man in my life. He seemed to define how a man should be masculine and strong but never too strong to show humor and especially love”.

So true. So very true.

Monday morning, after work, I sat down with Daniel and shared with him that Grandmom’s brother, Uncle Bill had died. The first thing he said was that his cousin, Amy, one of Bill’s daughters, and her husband, Randy, would need a hug from him because they must be very sad.

Oh Daniel!

Trying to understand, together Daniel and I talked about Uncle Bill and the kind of man he was. We talked about his patience, his kindness to everyone, his fairness and his amazing sense of humor.

I think that I want to be just like him.

You are, son! You are a giant just like our Uncle Bill.

Billy Ray Yowell
Nov. 14,1940 – Aug. 30, 2015
Billy will be deeply missed by those who were blessed to know him. He was born in Blytheville, Arkansas and raised in the Bay Area. He entered the U.S Air Force after high school. While stationed in San Diego, he met Carol Johnson and married in 1961. After his military service, he continued his career with the Ford Motor Corporation. Billy is survived by his wife Carol; daughters – Kimra, Tamra, and Amy; grandchildren – Drew, Tim, and Tracy; and sister Dorothy Brown.

working on messy love

Years and years ago, back when The Big Top was scarcely beginning, a friend of mine gossiped confided about what another dear friend had shared about her marriage…that it was work…WORK, she snorted. Love and marriage is not work, at least it should not be…in her humble opinion. Years and years later, the three of us all are still married to the same darling husbands and having been married to the same darling husbands for 33+ years, I would imagine that we all can agree together that there is some work…maybe a lot of work involved in more than 33 years of marriage.

I thought about that a lot a couple of years ago when a certain actor/director/producer accepted a Best Picture Academy Award and acknowledged that his marriage to another actor was the best kind of work, which then cued up all the talk that their marriage was DOOMED! Doomed, I tell you, because he thinks love and marriage is work. Of course two years later it seems that all that talk was correct as the marriage of this Hollywood power couple seems to be over.

Go figure!

Yet, based on my own personal experience, I still sit on the Love and Marriage is Work Team because it is. It’s sometimes easy-peasy, lemon squeeze-y and it is sometimes blood, sweat and tears work because it can be frustrating, exhausting, scary and thrilling all at the same time. Better or worse, it’s messy.

And I was totally going to talk all about that messiness that marriage is when shit happened, as it often does, which made me realize that marital love isn’t the only kind of messy love in my life. Friends…family…so many different individuals that stir up the dust and debris all around us and making a general mess of everything in our lives and relationships….a big, fat mess…a mess that SOMEONE will have to clean up…a mess that is part of our love for each other.

UGH!

I hate messes and chaos and dust and debris and, especially, cleaning up messes and chaos and dust and debris. Always have. Always will. But I do love love and I love those in my life whom I hold dear…my friends, my family, my darling husband. I love them all in spite of all the messiness that is loving them. I hope that they feel the same.

It’s work sometimes, all the messy love in my life.

Worth it though.

Thank goodness I can celebrate that…today and every day.

what makes me a PTA reject

Yes, I am that mom. I am a PTA reject.

Why are you even remotely surprised?

Now it’s not that I didn’t try. Back when Hollie was a bright-eyed little kindergartener, I did sign on to join and I enthusiastically planned to attend all the meetings and take on all the projects. Then I attended my first meeting…

Oh you work?

I’m not sure why this seemed to be such a bad thing but it was. Still I pressed on determined to support my daughter by supporting her school. They needed me, no matter what anyone who regards moms who work outside the home as bad people might think. But attending meetings and participating seemed like, well, it seemed like junior high where ugly, awkward, pimply-faced me just wanted to be friends and fit in with the graceful, pretty, clear-skinned popular girls.

It seemed that this is where the pretty, clear-skinned popular girls landed…in the PTA.

UGH! This feels a lot like Moms’ Bible Study!

Whatever!

I stopped attending the meetings. I definitely did not sign on to any committees or special projects…except for that one year I was on the school yearbook committee because Yearbook Mom told me the year before that there was no way that Zoë’s name could appear in the yearbook with the umlaut above the “e”. Well, it did when she was in second grade because her mommy participated in the yearbook committee and with a Sharpie pen put two dots above the “e”. Yearbook Mom at first was not amused, but every year after there were two dots above the ‘e’ because I showed her how it could be done. But other than that I was pretty comfortable with paying the annual PTA dues and buying the crappy wrapping paper, the stinky candles, the chocolate candies and all the walkathons because it was for my kids’ school. The school got the money, my kids got the class credit and ice cream party for kids whose parents were members, the PTA moms didn’t have to deal with the awkward of me wanting to fit in and for them to tell me that I couldn’t…and they could get back to their whispering about the moms who worked outside the home…especially the one who looked like she just rolled out of bed in rumpled scrubs at the afternoon pickup…yes, me. It was good for us all.

Added bonus is the free ice cream for me!

Frankly, I find myself wondering why we can’t just adopt this approach to school support and fundraising?

Sign.

Me.

Up.

All kidding and snarkiness aside, I still support my kids’ schools….Dolphins and Timberwolves and now Sun Devils all the way!!! Just let me write you a check and you all who eat, sleep and breathe PTA while hovering closely over our kids’ schools can continue to do the awesome that you do. Smile and thank me…then get back to the whispering about my just rolled out of bed look…or the other moms who just don’t seem to fit in.

Like my daughter.

We’re totally okay with that.

And then when I’m feeling oh so smug as I write this the phone rings…

Mom…

What’s up Daniel?

Today was a minimum day. Are you going to come get me?

Yes. I did that.

sometimes it’s just a resting bitchy face

So there I was sitting at my kitchen table, checking my email while waiting for a scheduled phone interview from a reporter. The appointed time passed and, thinking that perhaps she is running late and will be calling any minute now, I started to do other things like check my Twitter feed, pin some more stuff on Pinterest and check out what my laptop camera can do. Of course it’s the perfect time to take a selfie!

Hmmm…good hair day…I’m going to use this for my Facebook profile picture because…why not?

Yes, I was still waiting for that reporter to call me.

And then…

Are you okay?

I’ve seen that look before. Hope Bill isn’t in too much trouble.

You look so sad.

Praying you’re okay.

Am I okay?

Is Bill safe?

Should I be alone looking like this?

Am I in any danger?

What about everyone else out there?

OH.

MY.

GAWD!!!

People…darlings…friends…family…

It’s called a Resting Bitchy Face!!!

I’m fine.

Although I nearly died from boredom and general annoyance while waiting for that reporter to call. She never did and I am afraid that I might never get that hour back.

Perhaps I am not okay after all.

Thanks for caring.

Beyoncé’s status secured

How was your day, Mom?

He asks me that every day as he climbs into the car at the end of the school day. He cares, he really cares that son of mine.

After a long busy 12 hour night shift in the NICU, the mad drive home in go-to-work rush hour traffic followed by staying awake for just a couple hours more in order to take him to school and then enjoying the decadent pleasure of a 2 hour nap before picking him up from school, I can tell him with all the confidence that my day so far is pretty good. In fact, I tell him that it is great because I woke up like this.

I don’t get it, Mom.

Epic bed head, no makeup…I’m flawless, son.

I still don’t get it.

Fair warning to Queen Bey, Blue Ivy will someday soon be a teenager and she just might not see you as flawless anymore as our teenaged children often do. Enjoy these times now, Bey.

For now I am humbled and Beyoncé is indeed flawless.