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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't We All Just Want a Good Friend?

Uh huh, that's me, out at restaurant with a friend having dinner sans a screaming toddler. What fun, indeed! It seems it's been just a week or two since the last time I felt this same......utter.....can't. quite. put. my. finger. on. it. ........feeling. Ah yes, liberation. Quiet chats with good friends can change your life. But, good friends are chance happenings when you are in fact a military spouse.

It seems that in every life I've lived here and there I've had at least ONE GREAT friend that was the yin to my yang. The great part about moving all over God's green earth for my husband's job is that I get the opportunity to meet so many amazing women. The awful part about it is that our time is usually limited. Although I believe that friends can be close over the distance and time, it is very difficult to do in actuality.

All that being said I'd like to give a shout out to each of my dear friends from each of my many strange and beautiful lives I've lived already.

I love my friend Jill. We spent our days together as stupid elementary school troublemakers. She let me be the Kara B. that I was no matter what. She had other friends that looked down on me because our family didn't have a lot of money, but she never let that get in the way of our friendship and she never treated me like I was second class. I will never forget how she just let me pretend that everything was normal on the night my Dad died. I stayed at her house for a sleep over.  I was a wreck, but somehow in her own subtle 12 year old wisdom, she was just there to help me feel like the whole world wasn't ending.

I love my friends Krista and Shelley. No Duhhh.....Middle School!  We were seldom together as the 3 Musketeers that most thought we were. In fact, most of our friendship was based on the presumption that we'd be getting together (just myself and one of the afore mentioned) to wrongfully judge, criticize and further humiliate the missing party. To tell you the truth, this weird "friendship triangle" taught me more about life than any other I've since had.

I love my friend Aric. Nothing sums up my High School experience better than eating 2 bean burritos on Taco Tuesday, then jumping on his trampoline while he professed his love for me. He taught me that life is REALLY complicated, but never too much for any one person to deal with.

I love my friend Julie. Julie and I were counselors together one "summer from hell" at camp. She is THE most captivating person I've met in my life. Every time I have a conversation with this girl I learn 15 new things about myself. She's bright, beautiful and amazingly faithful. I respect her. Someone once told me that if a woman lives her life in such a way that you admire and hope to emulate that you should tell her. I'm not sure if I have, but hey, that's what this post is about right. I think you are amazing Julie. Love you girl!

I love my friend Annie. She's too much like me so I shouldn't go into too much detail lest I give away my own secrets. We were friends before we knew that she worked with my boyfriend. He wound up being a total loser. We're still friends. She's hardcore, but usually what I need. Logical, sometimes seems emotionally detached, but if you hang around her for more than a minute to get to know her you'll realize that she's got a enormous heart. She helped me remember that I am still Kara B. with or without anyone else.

I love my friend Amanda hug n kiss. College friends and roommates. She wandered the streets of Vermillion with me in a drunken stupor, ate countless slices of R Pizza together at bar time.  She taught me about why hydrogenated oils suck. She stuck by me thru my terribly flawed but perpetual, nightmare relationship with WURM. And, now, we share the bond of motherhood.

I love my friend Beth. We met in college. She showed up in my routine and then found her way into my heart. She was there beside me at Carey's while I sipped my gin martinis. Never judged. Always smiling.  She's just that wonderfully perfect example of a midwestern, home grown girl. I always admired her innocence. On the night she got married, I told her husband, "Beth still thinks that the world is flat...... and don't you dare tell her it's round." Well, I think that reality finally did catch up, but she's remained a kindred spirit and I miss her terribly. We too, are mothers together in this life.

I love my friend Kristy. Spending time with her is a trip and it's a little bit different every time. Late night escapades, bar hopping, DANCING, divulging deep dark secrets or an afternoon of venting on the couch which sometimes resembles a helpful therapy session with snacks (and by snacks I mean wine). She's just another amazing woman along for the ride. What luck, I tell you, to have met her. A lifetime friend I can just about guarantee.

I love my friend Suzi. Talk about an absolutely insane yet brilliant and somewhat scattered soul. LOVE THIS WOMAN. She is my SEESTER. She cared for me when my husband was deployed for 15 months. We commiserated in our employment. She taught me to quilt. The time went too fast. I just wish we could have been next door neighbors our whole lives.

I am anxious to get to know my new friend Krista. Let me tell you that it is a little intimidating what a brilliant young woman I've found her to be. Still, I know that she and I are like minded. Obsessive and maybe a little high strung. I agree that you'll never find either of us relaxing and enjoying a newspaper article on the couch some Sunday afternoon. We too, will be mothers together, although she's not quite totally taken this in as reality. She seems a bit unsure, but I haven't a single doubt about the amazing mother she'll be to her son.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Worst Christmas Gift EVER

Double dippin' in Mama Kat's Writing Prompts.

I just have to say to all those out there, " Sending a generic Christmas card (regardless of however pretty and glittery and shimmery it is) with a signature is absolutely worthless." If you are sending it to me, please just save your 44 cents on the stamp. I want a picture or a letter of updates and happenings. 

There, I've said my peace.

Mama's Losin' It

Saturday, December 11, 2010

5 Silly Monkeys

For my first entry in FOTO FRIDAY

Household6Diva FotoFriday

I am going to put up my latest dinking on Photoshop Elements. I am obviously just a hobby photographer, but I made a book on Shutterfly for my son about the Five Silly Monkeys. I used a pic of his bed and all his special monkeys. I'm excited to see him open the book for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Enchanted (A Picture Story of a South Dakota Christmas)

Christmas in South Dakota

Summer days fade, I wake to a chilly fall dawn
 I dig out my warm sweaters and pull them all on.

In rows of brittle stalks, we spy bright orange vests.

Bird dogs stir pheasants up out of their nests.

My mind enters a place  ‘round about now each year. 
I can’t help but to think of the season I hold dear.

The holiday music starts playing in shops. 
Green, red and gold adorns the rooftops.

 I find it hard to collect every memory and reason, 
just an overwhelming love of the whole Christmas season.

December the 7th is special for me. 
It’s the day we go out and chop down our own tree.

We can wander for hours to pick one that’s just right. 
Then Daddy cuts it down and ties it up tight.

Hoists it up on the roof of our family car 
while we pile in the backseat like pickles in a jar. 

Once at home, disembarked we dash for the cellar
 retrieving our sockings and all last year’s treasure.

We bring in the tree and wrap it with lights,
 it’s the first of so many of our warm glowing nights.

 There is cake and ice cream and we all sing along,
 “Happy Birthday, Daddy” is our family song.

As each ornament’s unpacked there’s a memory to impart
 of who made it, or gave it, each small piece of art.

Wow what a mess, what a beautiful display
 is our Christmas tree laden with candy, glitter and clay.

When every small piece of Christmas is settled
 there is one last job to be done. 

Dad lifts me up to put on the star 
because I am the youngest one.

From then on there’s the baking
 and home-made gift making. 

The smells and the tastes
 and the hours we waste.

 Laughing in the kitchen over cocoa and snacks,
 scaling the roof tangled light strings and tacks.

Christmas Eve is upon us, dressed in holiday fare 
we scuttle through snow in the winter night air.

 At the church we give praises to the new baby King
 while the candle light twinkles and everyone sings.

Silent Night, Holy Night it’s the time honored song.
 Eyes are damp, hands are held as we all sing along.

Back at home is the smell of warm milk and butter,
in which oysters are dropped by the dozen and smothered. 

Tiny crackers and pepper flecks rise up top all afloat,
 just the thought of that stuff tightens up my small throat.

And the opening of presents came with one stipulation,
 eat the soup, choke it down with much anticipation.

Then all huddled and waiting Mom stalls and Dad tries
 to deflect all the impatient whines and cries.

We read, “The Night Before Christmas” and “Rudolph” and such
but there’s nothing that quiets us all quite as much
 as the story of Jesus born here on the earth
 and the angels proclaiming his heavenly birth.
 Once again, I’m the youngest which means I’m the first
 to tear in to the present which taunts me the worst.

The big one awkwardly covered with Santa Claus wrap
 or the tiny square box Mommy placed in my lap?

One by one they’re ripped open and the chaos ensues,
 “Hold it up, oh, how cute, that one’s perfect for you.”

Exhaustion and pleasure send us upstairs to bed.
Stockings hung, carols sung, evening prayers are all said.
 And the part I like most on that last night before
 is the peace and the quiet that creeps ‘cross the floor.

 It cushions our home like the snow does the streets.
 We drift of to sleep under down and warm sheets.

From our beds to the hearth is our path at first light,
There our stockings all hang full of goodies packed tight.

And the rest of the day and the week for that matter
 are spent lazing and playing while our bellies get fatter.

As our vacation from the world slowly slips through our fingers
the love and sweet memory of home often lingers.

As a child or a mother or grandmother too
 I reflect on the season with something that’s new.

A new recipe, ornament, child or song
but the greatest gift that I know has been there all along.

Keep Christ in our home, in our days passed together,
keep Christ in this holiday for now and forever.

Mama's Losin' ItEnchanted