Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Times They are a Changin'

I like to embrace change. Change is good. But when the change happens in friendships, I find myself eating Cookies and Cream ice cream straight from the carton, followed by Toll House cookies by the handful. Some changes are not all good.

A couple that Jim and I would count as some of our closest friends is moving. Far away. We've been friends for 20 years. We've camped together, seen our kids grow up together, prayed together and laughed and cried together. Their middle child and our last child are close friends. And they are moving. Another layer to this is that he's my minister. He officiated at Matt and Brenna's wedding. If you don't go to church, you may not understand this part, but a minister has a huge impact on his congregates' lives He is the person who gives wise teaching, who is there to to pray, counsel, listen and care in every crisis, and a person who guides us to continually live at a higher, spiritual level. It sort of leaves a hole when ministers change jobs, because they aren't just a project manager or something. They're family. The move is good for them, and I believe they are making the right decision. They feel called by God, and since he is a minister, they should probably listen to that call. But I'm heartbroken because I'm self-centered, and I can't see how this will make MY life better.

My school staff is also family, and part of that family is changing, too. Our counselor has the nerve to be retiring!!! This wonderful lady does not consider her work to be only supporting the students, but also caring for the quirky, but lovable staff at my school. The counselor takes this part of the job seriously and does it well. Many, many times I've been in her office crying. She's listened to me, and given me good direction. She's just a good person to turn to for comfort. She has excellent ideas about how to handle different situations-both school-related and otherwise. She's been through so much herself that she speaks from experience. The kids and staff alike adore her because they know she cares. She makes us all better people. She's not moving away, but her house will be too far to walk to when I need comfort and counsel at school. I will miss her daily.

The last change is especially sad. Some friends of ours are having marriage issues. They are both great people. Amazing people. Loving, compassionate, caring, funny, spiritual people. They are both hurting, and there's little Jim and I can do but listen and hope for healing. When our friends hurt, we hurt, and it's no fun to see them like this. We love both of them. We are praying for a miracle.

Meanwhile I pray. And eat too much sugar. In setting my heart on the things above, I find comfort. It's not about me. Peace comes in waves as I adjust to the changes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Thirty Year Journey

Jim and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary Monday. I took the day off school and we took a sentimental journey back to our roots. We walked around Isla Vista noting that the Bank of America, which was burned in the student riots in the 70s, was now an ATM, and the falafel stand,

the frozen yogurt place, the coffee place, the original Kinko's and every other sentimental building was gone. The woman at Starbuck's asked if we'd ever been to Isla Vista before, and we said that we'd fallen in love there 30 years ago. She said "Awww. It's so nice to know it's possible to find true love here." We walked on the beach, took in the view from the eighth floor of the library, and were amazed at how much it had changed. A few years after we got married we returned to campus and tried to fit in as if we were still students. Years after that we wondered if we looked like professors. Now we can't pass for either. We look like parents of students who had children late in life. I gave Jim a book I had made (a Snapfish photo book) and he cried. We had dinner at Enterprise Fish Company where we had shared so many meals when we were twenty-somethings, and really enjoyed being together. I'm so thankful for Jim, and for all the fun we've had together, and for what a great dad he is, and for how he's really been there for me in the hard times. I'm really glad I moved in next door to him in the summer of 1977. It's been an incredible journey.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kelly Makes the Quarter Century Mark and Molly's Right Behnind

We celebrated Molly's 20th birthday and Kelly's 25th birthday yesterday. Matt and Brenna came to party, too, and, as always I was happy to have all six of us together. I offered to take them out to dinner, but they wanted me to make something. Since we don't eat out (ever) I thought they would think it was special to eat out, but either to save our budget or because they really do like my cooking they wanted to eat at home. "What do you want? I'll make you anything." Molly wanted that famous special occasion birthday dinner tuna casserole. Tuna casserole?!!! (Although I do have a recipe from scratch--not made with canned soup--that I like, too.) I ended up making these Salmon/Pineapple/Green Pepper Shish Kabobs with Israeli couscous.
They originally wanted an ice cream cake, but Molly chose this delicious tart instead. (With Kelly's permission.) It's always so fun to hear their stories, see their thrift store purchases, and view the newest TED talk or Youtube video with them. They always find the most interesting entertainment on the web.

I already wrote about how proud I am of Molly, and Kelly is every bit as amazing. She makes me laugh, she brings home great kindergarten stories each day, she is living out her faith, she has good common sense ideas, and is a wonderful daughter. I'm so lucky.

Happy birthday to my special girls! May the Lord shower his best blessings on you this year.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Molly

I am no longer the parent of a teenager. Molly turned 20 today. She has grown up into an amazing person and I am so proud of her. She is compassionate, and cares about the world. She is smart and doing well at University. She has a lot of friends and is busy most nights. She is artistic and talented. And she is an incredibly wonderful daughter. I'm so lucky. Happy Birthday, Sweet Molly!