Letters For Lucas http://www.lettersforlucas.com Wonders, Mishaps, Blunders and Joy.. commentary on my life as a mom in the form of letters to my son Thu, 10 Nov 2016 02:01:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 My Candidate http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/11/my-candidate/ Thu, 10 Nov 2016 01:53:39 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9836 It is the day after the 2016 Presidential election and I am sad, shocked, confused, and very worried for our country.

I know I’m not alone.

The candidate I voted for, researched, supported, donated money to, believed in and admired did not win.

My candidate is tough as nails.

My candidate has withstood a constant barrage of hatred, vilification, smears, and mudslinging for 25 years. Republicans blame her for everything!

I was able to look past my candidate’s flaws and scandals. I saw a person who has spent much of her life fighting for causes that are important to me; family values, children, education and equality for ALL, especially women and minorities. She has been a champion for advancing equal opportunities for women and girls in America and around the globe, calling women’s empowerment “one of the great causes of my life.”.

This is who I want in the White House. Electing our first woman president would be an important step to ending gender inequality. And now that I am the mother of a daughter, this is imperative.

More than ever.

This country is so full of hate.

lolaforpresident

I still believe.

My candidate impressed me with her intellect, judgment, and compassion. We all know the mess she endured because of her husband’s infidelities. That was not her doing. She tried to protect her family as best she could and in the end, perhaps having her own political agenda and dreams of leading our nation from the Oval Office, stood by her man.

I took Lola with me yesterday when I went to vote bright and early and snapped a photo outside my polling location, an elementary school within walking distance of our home. Elated to finally see a woman’s name on the ballot, I proudly voted for my candidate with my daughter at my side.

I was not expecting to be emotional but I cried anyway.

I cried tears of joy because I thought we had come so far and not since Barack Obama have I cared this much about politics.

I voted for Obama in 2008 while pregnant with Lucas and rejoiced at his win while at a Madonna concert at Petco Park. That was a magical night.

Watching Decision 2016 unfold on NBC as polls closed across the country  I was thrilled to see the many blue states light up. I thought my candidate had it in the bag.

I was wrong.

So many of us were wrong.

Today I believe more than half of our country is made up of ignorant ass hats.

But I digress.

As I try to honor the outcome of the election and make sense of this America we live in, I will continue to teach my children, my sweet innocent children love, kindness and tolerance. I will teach them that ALL lives matter and to use their voice. Loud and often!

Donald Trump is going to be our president.

And as Secretary Hillary Clinton said this morning in her concession speech, “we owe him an open mind and the chance to lead”.

This is really happening.

And it will be interesting to say the very least.

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The following is from The Huffington Post article, America Elected A Man Who Said ‘Grab Them By The P***y’ Over The First Female President:

Donald Trump openly bragged about using his celebrity status to sexually assault women. And multiple women accused him of actually doing so.

He said he was in favor of banning people from entering the United States based on their religion.

He believes that women he finds physically unattractive or overweight are lesser people.

He thinks that many Mexican immigrants are rapists.

He mocked people with disabilities.

He encouraged violence against protesters at his political rallies.

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The Wedding http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/10/the-wedding/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/10/the-wedding/#comments Wed, 05 Oct 2016 18:30:11 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9819 August 27, 2016

The Bride.

She looked beautiful without a doubt, perfect Victory Rolls in her hair and pin-up style makeup, but what stood out most was her assuredness. She truly had a confidence about her I have never witnessed before.

She was comfortable. And it set the tone for the day.

Comfortable with being a bride, ready to walk down the aisle and very much ready to be married.

The Dress.

The style of Leah’s dress fit with the decor of the gorgeous venue; a strapless A-line cut to the knee that she added a tulle halter neckline to and was covered in beautiful beads. A midnight blue sash sat snug around her middle. She wore sensible blue suede shoes to match and changed into adorable Mrs. Brungardt flip flops at the end of the night.

The Venue.

Just a few short blocks from the hotel we stayed at, the Oviatt Penthouse is in an Art Deco style high rise designed in the late 1920’s. The building is a Los Angeles treasure. Although a bit musty and dank, taking the wood paneled elevator to the top floor was like stepping back in time. The walls of Mr. James Oviatt, popular haberdasher held secrets and much of the penthouse was off limits. Signs warning, “do not touch” were displayed in several places. The original fixtures were delightful, especially the ones in Mr. Oviatt’s bedroom; his dressing table and antique lamps, the lime green tiled sauna in his bathroom, tiny sinks and other toiletries.

The LA skyline was the star of the evening and much to our surprise it turned out to be a very cool evening, in fact heat lamps had to be brought out by the nights end.

Leah put a lot of work (and Etsy purchasing) into planning a perfect wedding day and small significant details chosen with love were used on the dinner tables; delicate paper flowers made out of old maps were part of the centerpieces, personalized thank you notes were tucked into each guest napkin, small chalk boards described the signature drink, (purple lemonade) and directed people where to go and what to do. Every song played by the DJ had a love theme.

The Bouquet.

Leah painstakingly made her own bouquet after seeing a friends. A round globe about the size of a volleyball covered in trinkets and special items representing her and Aaron’s lives together and mementos of those around her; a penny minted the year our parents were married, a Thomas the train cupcake topper, Lego and many of our elementary school teacher mom’s colorful earrings. I’d like to think the Corona Light bottle cap was a nod to me. It’s a unique piece of art!

The Guests.

Months earlier when lamenting over her guest list, the names on their A and B lists, I gently reminded Leah that everyone that should be present, would be and that a good rule of thumb was if she hadn’t looked someone in the eye in a year or less, she might want to reconsider inviting them. She took my advice in some cases and not in others, which resulted in last minute cancellations and disturbing texts from friends who could not attend.

Undeniably her guests, the ones who did attend, each and every one sang her and Aaron’s praises. Leah is so very loved and has built a network of friends that have become family over the years.

The Sister of the Bride

I had the distinct honor of spending the entire day with Leah, beginning with breakfast, just the two of us and then giving her away a little before 7:00 that evening.

It was over mimosas (and bacon) at Bottega Louie that I shared the toast I would give that night. I was worried about it being too melancholy and knowing it was going to be an emotional day, I wanted her to hear it first, to prepare her in some small way. I had struggled so much to find the right words in the weeks leading up to this monumental occasion.

We cried and laughed and then cried some more. And then ordered another mimosa!

Someday I’ll share the words I read with trepidation, shaking hands and a lump in my throat the night of my sister’s wedding here.

givingawaythebride

Thank you, Tracy for capturing this shot. I adore it! xo

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Bassinets, Cribs & Sleigh Beds http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/09/bassinets-cribs-sleigh-beds/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/09/bassinets-cribs-sleigh-beds/#comments Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:54:03 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9810 ~ I wrote this August 23, 2016, but I don’t get around here very much anymore. ~

From the window of my walk-in closet I watched a man my husband works with pick up Lola’s crib and mattress from our front porch, load it into his van, and drive away.

It took him three trips to and from where we left the furniture and a garbage bag full of baby blankets and linens.

His sister’s friend or a cousin or someone who can’t afford one, needs the crib now more than we do.

The lump in my chest arrives almost immediately upon witnessing this and I have the following thoughts….

I’m thrilled to see the crib go to a new home and I love the thought of a new baby sleeping in the crib.

I’m a big fan of out with the old and in with the new.

I enjoy my children reaching new milestones exactly around the time they are meant to.

And yet, although I know it’s time, I’m tearing up as I watch the man drive away.

I want to yell out, “Stop! We need it one more night”.

Lucas’s crib is still in the garage. We will be donating it next. His is dark wood and we spent a small fortune on it and it’s matching dresser and bedside table. Because… first born.

Lola’s crib is white. I had to get her white because she’s a girl and all little girls have white furniture.

The mattress, however, provided gentle slumber to both of my small babies and I hope whoever sleeps on it now is surrounded by love and light and has the sweetest dreams of a bright and prosperous future.

It’s time.

Lola enjoyed two years, two months and one day in that crib. Prior to that, she was in a bassinet in our bedroom.

She outgrew that too, as it seems this is what babies do.

Now she proudly dreams her nights away in a big girl bed.

A beautiful white sleigh bed.

With ice cream sheets.

dreaminglola

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Taking Care Of Business http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/08/taking-care-of-business/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/08/taking-care-of-business/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:32:45 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9794 It’s a leap of fate starting a business, there is also a very, very steep learning curve and things pop up almost daily that you never thought would. Decisions to be made, records to keep, documents to create, meetings, brainstorming sessions, strategy, and expenses. So. many. expenses. But here we are,  Take Flight Social Media Consulting is almost 6 months old!!

We had a business plan by mid-February, took on our first client March 1, filed for an LLC March 22, launched our website April 5 and became “Facebook official” April 7.

We have worked with 11 clients to date and currently have eight on our roster.

I learn something new almost every day and thrive from trying to balance all my different roles. It’s definitely a juggling act. I misstep on occasion, but today, all the balls are in the air.

Things I didn’t know I’d love about having my own business. Also known as, things I’ll never take for granted:

  • Choosing an awesome business partner, who shares your vision, work ethic and is always a friend first. I’m so glad we are in this together, Nichole!
  • Reliable Wi-Fi. Duh.
  • Excepting help when offered and knowing when to ask for it.
  • Supportive husbands and families.
  • All. the. caffeine.
  • Dry shampoo.
  • Voxer.
  • Amazing friends who send business our way and cheer us on because they genuinely want us to be successful.
  • Clients that let us do you what we’ve promised.
  • Asking for what we’re worth!!
  • Taking on the risk and reaping the rewards.
  • Slowly paying off our investor.
  • Karma.
  • Sundays. Sundays are sacred. Sundays are for family.

Things I’ve done while owning my own business that I’m not so proud of:

  • Held conference calls in the car, bathroom (with the mute button on, of course!), grocery store, car pool, parking lots, my closet, dressing rooms, etc.
  • Produced eight pens from my purse at any given time.
  • Gone through the Starbucks drive-thru just so I can respond to an email.
  • Been in jammies and not brushed my teeth until way past noon.
  • Let my children watch way too much TV on the days they are both home with me. Mommy guilt, much?
  • Manically checked and rechecked my phone and email for likes, engagements, notes from clients or potential clients after having delivered a killer proposal.
  • Told a client I didn’t care for their product. Gulp. They took it pretty well, considering.

The list of things I’ve done that I am proud of far exceeds the above list. I never thought I’d be here at all, but it has been an amazing ride and I have enjoyed every minute. I love what I do, who I do it with and I’m eager to see where the next six months take us!

Airplane

“Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.”

– Ryan Freitas, About.me co-founder

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My Second Child http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/08/my-second-child/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/08/my-second-child/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2016 17:19:36 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9785 It’s true what they say about second children, they totally get the shaft. There’s fewer photos, less fanfare surrounding milestones, they tend to fend for themselves on occasion, enjoy the snot out of all the hand-me-downs and are inadvertently overlooked from time to time.

Take this blog for instance, I started writing Letters For Lucas shortly after Lucas, my first born was two months old. I wanted a place to record his every move and share my, what I thought at the time, were deep and profound thoughts on motherhood.

It was my first time and this was my online diary of what we were both experiencing, a baby book of sorts. Letters For Lucas literally started just as that, letters to my son. It eventually grew in many ways and has sadly now all but been abandoned. I treasure this space and wish I had more time to write. I often think about having the whole thing printed because I don’t want to lose these words, these memories, and I feel guilty not sharing letters, thoughts and wonderful happenings about Lola here.

My second child, my daughter, my precious sweet Lola. The child we longed and waited so patiently for. Lola brings so much joy to our lives and it is hard to believe that she just turned 2 1/2. She is a sassy girl and we love her to pieces.

Lola started preschool this summer. Eek! She goes three mornings a week to the same preschool Lucas attended and loves it and this morning was the first that she blew me kisses and waved goodbye instead of crying and pleading with me to stay.

She started taking ballet classes this summer too and and next to riding her scooter or big brother’s hand-me-down bike, it’s one of her favorite things to do.

Spunky and smart, Lola is the perfect combination of girly and sporty, which I adore. She loves books and playing with Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, pushing one my old dolls around in a baby stroller and having bumper car remote control car races with Lucas all over our living room.

We are in the process of potty training and soon she will be in a “big girl” bed. Later this month she’ll be a flower girl in my sister’s wedding and you know I can’t wait to share those photos! Now, if I could just find her the perfect flower girl dress.

And will you please take a look at this little nut in goggles?!

lolagoggles

Oh, my heart, my sweet Lola.

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Happily Ever After http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/07/happily-ever-after-2/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/07/happily-ever-after-2/#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:58:14 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9772 This is a very exciting time in our family and most definitely in my sister’s life.

It has been months of preparation, list creating and guest building, taste testing and over analyzing, decision making and expenses and much celebration.

One month from today my little sister is getting married!

Because our parents are both deceased, I have been given the distinct honor of walking Leah down the aisle.

She chose me to give her away.

I don’t know if I can do it.

I’m honored. And there is no one else. Really.

It should be my job, but this is a position I never dreamed I’d have and one I know she never thought she have to ask me to take.

Just as most little girls daydream, it should be our father by her side. Not her older sister.

The Father of the Bride is an iconic role and such a huge part of a wedding.

How can I measure up? How can I channel my father and bestow his wisdom on life and love onto my sister and her new husband? How can I be a substitute for the greatest man either of us have ever known? How can I be equal parts serious and witty like he so effortlessly could? How do I keep from crumbling in what is sure to be a pivotal moment in my life?

I am already starting to use visualization techniques to make through what is going to be an incredibly emotional day.

This will mark yet another milestone event that my parents will miss.

One month from today Leah will say “I do” in front of all of the most important people in her and her finance’s life and the two people that are meant to be there the most, won’t be.

And yet, like we have for the past almost nine years, we will endure.

We will muddle through. We will cry and muster our bravest faces. We will get through the days leading up to this monumental day, my sister’s wedding day, and all the days after.

Happily ever after.

happilyeverafter

 

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The Facts Of Life http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/04/the-facts-of-life/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2016/04/the-facts-of-life/#comments Sat, 09 Apr 2016 22:18:23 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9760 I haven’t blogged all year.

There have been 100 days in 2016 and I haven’t posted a single thing.

Until today.

I write to process and over the last two weeks there has just been too much.

So today I have to write.

On March 29 my good friend, Shane, from both high school and college, found out that his seven year old son, Hollis has DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), an inoperable and incurable cancer. Shane is one of the nicest people I have ever met and his family does not deserve this.

No family does.

The Doherty family faith is unwavering and their support system immense. If there is a God, I hope he’s listening to the thousands of family and friends praying for this precious little boy.

To learn more about this amazing family, watch this from Fox 10 Phoenix: Valley boy battles rare form of brain Cancer.

I created this simple graphic using the app A Beautiful Mess and it warms my heart to see it all over Facebook.

I created this simple graphic using the app A Beautiful Mess and it warms my heart to see it all over Facebook.

Three days later one of Todd’s former colleagues lost her long battle to cancer.

We then discovered my dear father-in-law was hospitalized while vacationing in China with an pneumonia. Luckily, he made it home safely yesterday, but as we waited for news from around the world as to whether or not his team of doctors were going to allow him to travel, we heard my sister’s fiancé’s mother’s cancer is back. She has a grueling treatment ahead of her.

The next day we learned the sad news that another friend’s father had died.

Death and illness are all part of life, I get that but we have had our fair share of bad news lately and when it keeps coming day in and day out, it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around each blow.

It’s cruel.

When bad things happen it forces me to stop and take inventory and appreciate all the goodness in my life. And to be fair, there was a lot of goodness in the last two weeks too.

My brave friend, Anna gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Andrew Luke! Her story is absolutely incredible and this baby is already so loved. Back in September, 2014, I shared a review of her book, Rare Bird here: Loss is Loss is Loss.

After months and months of planning, my sweet friend and now business partner (!), Nichole and I launched our social media consulting business, Take Flight. We are over the moon and can’t wait to see where this new venture takes us. We already have three clients and two proposals in the works!

Despite a lot of together time and several rainy days stuck indoors, we survived Spring Break and a quick sun-filled get-away to Palm Springs! Nothing makes me happier than seeing this boy smile and he knows exactly how to make me put just about everything into perspective.

Spring Break 2016 Day 5/9 - La Quinta

Spring Break 2016 Day 5/9 – La Quinta

I suppose, you take the good, you take the bad, right?

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The Last Email http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2015/12/the-last-email/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2015/12/the-last-email/#comments Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:05:43 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9753 My In Box is always a disaster.

Several years ago, in an effort to help out Mother Nature, I sat with a enormous pile of paper catalogs and called each and every company and asked them to remove me from their snail mail list and send me e-mails instead. I’m now on all of their email lists.

Each morning I easily wake up to 50+ e-mails. Most of them I delete right away, others I save to read later in folders I have painstakingly made over the years, occasionally I am sent something that truly requires my attention or captures my interest or I’ll need for a later date.

I receive daily parenting tips and a quote of the day, my husband’s travel itineraries, notifications from my son’s school and his teacher, new blog post alerts from my favorite writers, notes pertaining to Avery and Austin and committees I am on, and tips and tricks from social media marketing experts to help me do my job more efficiently. Rarely there will be a note from a friend, but most reach out through Facebook nowadays. I try to be good about filing and organizing but sometimes I get behind. Way behind!

Case and point:

IMG_8100

Needless to say, my In Box causes me a lot of anxiety.

I always found comfort knowing if I scrolled all the way down to the very bottom, there was the last email my father ever sent me.

The subject line is: sox and addresses and it is dated Thursday, October 11, 2007.

The Boston Red Sox were in the playoffs that year (they went on to win the World Series) and because of where my parents lived and worked at the time, in Tunis, Tunisia, they were unable to watch the games live so Todd and I recorded them and mailed them. Not the same as watching the games live as they were happening, but for a die hard Red Sox fan, my father was very appreciative. His message reflected that. He also shared that he and my mother had notified the school board that the 2007-08 school year would be their last in Tunis. Come June, they would be moving stateside!

He and my mother died four days after he sent the email.

The email itself is totally mundane but it meant a lot to me to see it at the bottom of my In Box and I loved knowing it was there.

Recently (sometime before December 15 to be exact), Lola had my phone and has savvy as I believe she already is with electronics, somehow she managed to delete every e-mail in my In Box. Not a big deal when I discovered it because I just moved all of the e-mails from the trash back to the In Box to sort through later.

Unfortunately, the transfer didn’t happen and all the emails remained in my trash folder.

Unbeknownst to me, I deleted my trash the next time I was on my lap top.

I am devastated over this realization. I lost several important items, most important, my dad’s e-mail.

I’m also grateful Todd made a PDF of dad’s last email a few ago when I thought I had accidentally deleted it. It’s not the same, but at least I have it.

This year I lost two things that deeply connected me to my parents, in July it was a pair of treasured earrings that were my mothers. I wore them almost daily and can’t go in to details without feeling sick over it and now this e-mail. I can’t help but wonder if these are signs. Signs of growth and peace. Or perhaps a way for the universe to see how I would respond.

Whatever it is, the losses hurt.

Now and always.

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For Now http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2015/12/for-now/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2015/12/for-now/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2015 21:05:27 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9747 The world is a scary place.

And it is getting scarier everyday.

Just this morning, The Los Angeles Unified School District shut all schools after receiving a “rare threat” from an overseas email account.

Sometimes I stand over my sleeping babies and weep.

What have I done bringing them into such a place?

These tiny humans have no idea what is going on in the world.

They know nothing of terrorist attacks, mass shootings, discrimination, or hate.

For now.

But they will.

In their rooms late at night is the place I feel the safest.

They are okay, their worlds are in tact. They are unaware.

For now.

Carefully I kiss their cheeks, brush the hair from their faces and breathe in their innocence.

I quietly hope for a better world for them as I tiptoe out of their rooms.

A world with more tolerance, more understanding and more love. A lot more love.

My six-year-old gets it.

For now.

goodheart

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Done! – NaBloPoMo http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2015/12/done-nablopomo/ http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2015/12/done-nablopomo/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 20:48:10 +0000 http://www.lettersforlucas.com/?p=9650 So much for owing myself six more consecutive NaBloPoMo posts. Agh!! Well, I tried.

This time of the year is so rough with lengthy to do lists, shorten tempers and trying to squeeze it all in. Just this past week was crazy!

We got our tree, the boys went out of town while Lola and I stayed home and nursed colds, did a bunch on online holiday shopping, decorated the house and started our holiday cards, oh and my sister got engaged! More on that later….

At any rate, I consecutively wrote 17 posts in a row and a total of 23 for the month. This will be my last NaBloPoMo post.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Editing photos, even if it’s just adding a watermark or resizing is a huge pain in the ass.

2. Participating in NaBloPoMo felt like homework every.single.day. and I decided I don’t appreciate writing under pressure.

3. I have plenty of content and ideas and don’t need prompts at this point in my life and I was thrilled to have cleared out my drafts folder.

4. NaBloPoMo kept me from watching hours of mindless TV. And reading. And I love reading. And TV.

5. This exercise encouraged me to let go of perfection and just write.

6. I’ve been blogging for over six years, but I’ve never blogged with any kind of regularity. I viewed this as a fun challenge, but decided I don’t want to be a full time blogger, I want to write bigger, more meaningful, meatier pieces and aim higher. I’ve been published a few places and I’m very proud of that and want to do more of that. Having said all that, however, I am motivated to keep adding to my blog when the mood strikes me. I like this space.

7. Writing begets writing. Even if it’s bad, I have to keep writing! I have to get it off my chest, out of my head and out here, there, anywhere for the sake of my own sanity.

Thank you for so much for reading my 7707 words and for the 50 comments.

23 days!! Yay me!!

Did you participate in NaBloPoMo, or NaNoWriMo? Did you finish? What have you learned from the challenge, whether you finished it or not?

NaBloPoMo November 2015

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