Monday, February 27, 2012


That is the sound of me falling off the workout wagon. I was doing great for over a year going to gym faithfully three to four times a week. Since beginning school, I started to slip a little more simply because there wasn't enough time. I can usually make it work on Mondays and Tuesday mornings. But then Ellie started speech and they asked that it be every other Monday at 8:30, right during the time of my favorite class, Body Combat. Add the holidays and lax eating and well let's just say the jeans are a wee bit tight.
HOWEVER...I shall not be discouraged. I won't be brought down that easily! I won't buy bigger jeans! This isn't my first time at the fall off the workout routine rodeo! The good thing is I desperately miss working out. I love having that time to turn on my I Pod and sweat it out to Florence + Machine or whatever new artist I happen to discover I love at any given moment.
A new plan is all that is necessary for me to get back on this wagon. This new plan will be working out every Monday morning that Ellie doesn't have speech for the regular class I love. I will also hold Tuesday open from 8:30-10 for working out. It will be sacred. Unless illness befalls us, my booty and Ellie's lil' booty in the daycare, will be there! On speech days and on Thursdays, for now, I will go at 5:30 AM! I get up then anyways for my internship. I will go the gym for a quick workout and shower and get ready there. If this seems to work I will add Friday mornings in. That will give me a total of three days, at first, and then hopefully I will become addicted and be the person you see in there all the time. Well, let's not get crazy!
If you read here and you pray, pray for me, won't you?! I have worked very hard the past five years to lose weight. I have kept most of it off but I would love to lose another forty before my husband's 20th reunion this summer and certainly by my 20th next summer. That would have me being the lowest weight ever since, well, ever:)
I am hoping this will motivate me. Since beginning school, I have realized that I am pretty good at sticking to something if it's planned out. I know sitting in tight jeans thinking, "Good gravy when can I peel these bad boys off?" certainly makes it pretty damn easy to get my arse moving again!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I will never forget the little boy, who had been beaten with a hanger by his baby sitter's 13 year old son. His soulful eyes literally pierced my soul the moment I met him. He was timid and scared and his eyes were so very wide with fear. His mother was drug addicted and was now gone from his life. His father was murdered in a gang shooting shortly after his birth. I had the privilege of working with John at the Cook County Juvenile Court. We met with him over a two week period. I probably only saw him two or three times. Once to prepare him to go into the large courtroom, filled with adults and the boy who did this brutal thing to him. His grandmother brought him every time. Sadly, she was completely detached from this precious little boy whose had known more sadness, pain and loss in his short three years than most experience in a lifetime. She was disinterested in him in a variety of ways. He came to her only because she was his only living relative that was willing. When asked about long term plans for John, she had none. She wasn't interested in any services we could provide that would make this sweet boy's life more comfortable or even bearable. This little boy didn't have a room or a bed even. He slept on the floor in the living room each night with a blanket.
When it was John's turn to testify I remember leading him to the stand, as he passed the offender, he froze in absolute terror. Although he had been prepared for the reality that this boy was in the room, the reality to this precious boy was quite another. I smiled down at him and gave his hand a squeeze as if to say,"You're o.k. buddy, you've got this." He did have this. He did wonderfully, his testimony flawless. The offender was convicted of aggravated battery and sentenced appropriately.
After the trial, John and I had a few moments alone before everyone came back into the room. I told him how brave he had been and how great he had done. He crawled up on my lap and I remember we just colored a picture together, a rainbow. I started it and as I prompted him, he added to it. I remember feeling some relief that he was able to imagine. He was able to dream of a world outside of the one he found himself in.
Soon his grandmother came and took John out of the courtroom, out of my life, forever. I remember wanting to grab him and hold on to him and to keep him. I have worked with many children over the years and this boy had me. I couldn't bear to see him go. But, go he went. I had to go to the bathroom because I couldn't contain my sadness. I cried and cried and then decided that I needed to move on. That, if I held on to the grief I felt for this little boy that I wouldn't be able to help others that were as deserving as him.
Thirteen years have passed since I met John. I think of him often and pray that he found his way in this life. That someone did love him and see the sweetness and sadness in his soulful eyes. I pray he was rescued.
As I was deciding whether or not to apply to graduate school last year at this time, John's face and those eyes flooded my mind. I thought that in the end, even in the sadness of not being able to "fix" everything about John's life, even though I couldn't right all the wrongs that had been done to him, I could for a few moments give him a rainbow. I was able to give him a hand to hold when he so desperately needed to cling to one. I was able to give him 100% of my efforts for him, for his family, for his social worker.
Each time I work with someone now I remember John and strive to give each person that same amount of effort. I have to believe that sometimes that's all we can do. Whether we're social workers or lawyers or doctors or waitresses. I know that to survive it the world of social work as a career that 100% is sometimes all I can offer.
I hope John continued to draw rainbows. I hope I am able to always impact lives and never just go to work, fill the time and not have any investment in the clients I am privileged to work with. I pray that those of you who read here have that same joy in your work. I hope you're able to give your 100% joyfully and with purpose.
I am contemplating doing an internship at the Child Trauma Assessment Center next year. You can tell just by the title that is hard work. It is filled with kids like John who have had to deal with too much too soon. The thought of being there and assessing those types of kids and situations quite frankly terrifies me. It can so much easier to just do the easier work, to leave that kind of work to someone else. I can't help but think that God is whispering to me, "There are more rainbows to be drawn, Susan". Well, then I guess that's all there is to say.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Things I love...

After a day of school and a little distance from my little lovelies and reading Pioneer Women's blog here is a more positive, less whiny list today of the things I LOVE:
1. Jesus
2. Jeff
3. My boy
4. My girls
5. Grace (not the girl, the most amazing gift)
6. Biggby coffee
7. Roasted brussel sprouts
8. Holidays
9. A Sunday afternoon nap.
10. A fun night out with the girls
11. My Kindle
12. Reading
13. Discovering new music
14. How God finds the most suttle ways of speaking to me.
15. My internship
16. Girl's Weekends with life long friends
17. Laughing till you want to throw up
18. Caroline's smile
19. Matthew's insight
20. Ellie's giggles
21. Sleeping in.
22. Hearing a great sermon that makes you feel on fire for God.

See, I am not always such a Suzie Sour puss:)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The whole - HEARTED truth

Today is Valentine's Day and I am so not feeling the love. Warning: If you're looking for a touchy feely, inspiring post..GO ELSEWHERE:)
My kids are 6,5 and 2. This is the first Valentine's Day that they get the meaning of it. The meaning of it to me, is to show EXTRA appreciation for those you love. How did I do this for my family today you may be asking yourself. Well, and yes, I realize I am being a wee bit bratty by listing it but it's my blog so too bad!:)
1. Bought 3 darling little baskets for the kids and filled it with some things I knew they would love including candy, crayons, books. A new piggy bank for Ellie who has been coveting her brother and sister's forever!
2. Made a special Valentine's Day lunch with heart shaped sandwiches.
3. Ordered special Valentine's Day cupcakes for our family and paid extra for Caroline to have egg free cupcakes.
4. Bought heart shaped pizza for dinner.
5. Bought Jeff a funny card and wrote something really nice inside.
Well intended but here is how the day has gone:
1. I could tell from Matthew's face that his basket didn't exactly thrill him. Probably because it didn't include any Wii games!
2. Caroline cried at 7 a.m. because she couldn't have candy.
3. The kids had a playdate and Caroline was downright witchy to her friend.
4. The kids have fought and whined ALL damn day!
5. The kids have told me I am the meanest mom ever about 10 times each today.
6. Ellie suddenly turned naughty:)!
And yes, I know, I am blessed. Yes, I know I am a brat. Yes, I know I should just be grateful that the biggest problem, right now, on February 14, 2012 is that my kids are being brats and my husband still doesn't get it that I want him to go out of his way for me, ONE FLIPPIN DAY a year.
This Valentine's Day I feel a little bit like the single girl who is surrounded by people in love and you just want to scream, "Take your flowers and candy and kids who bring you breakfast in bed and shove it!" Wow, I really am letting it all hang out.
Oh well, hopefully, at the very least, I am teaching my children that in our family we value love and being love and showing each other love. At least I hope that's what they are learning in their rooms, since I grounded them for the rest of the night!
How do you like me now, Cupid?!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

What the hooligans are up to..

Time for an update on what Matthew, Caroline and Ellie are up to these days. Why? No, its not any one's birthday, no one has done anything that spectacular or earth shattering. I guess that's why. Lately I have had a melancholy of sorts with the realization that one day all of this will be a distant memory and my little children will be three teenagers and I want to remember the cute, the irritating and all that falls between.
I think it began when I re reading some old posts about how Matthew use to crawl into our bed in the morning, when Caroline was not even 2 and have the sweetest little chats with me. Let's just say he doesn't do that anymore. What I would give for one more lispy conversation with my little pacie obsessed baby boy. Now he rarely comes into our bed. He is "big" enough to come downstairs without us and almost always sleeps in anyways. Maybe it is that Caroline lost her first tooth and I realized that she is closer to 6 than 5. Or maybe it was that I have found some new blogs lately, the depressing kind that make you want to hold up in your house with your kids and just love them 24 hours a day because really we never know what tomorrow brings. Whatever the reason, here we go...

Matthew..6 but inching closer to 7 with each passing day. Loves Wii, loves Legos, loves Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ninjago, pokemon, Harry Potter, hockey.
Dislikes school but is good at it! He loves to read and is a good student. In fact he just got his second report card and his teacher had lots of glowing things to report about our guy. He has many friends and seems to just get along wherever he goes. He is our night owl and the kid could go on about 5 hours a sleep a night. He is a lover of all things stuffed animals too and sleeps with about 100 at night. He is a big fan of Daddy and is his constant companion.

Caroline..5 and nearly a half. Caroline just lost her first tooth! As I mentioned in another post, her vision is our latest issue. We're going to Ann Arbor and she will be wearing a patch starting next month. Caroline's asthma has been very well controlled this winter and for that we're very grateful! Maybe last year's winter of sickness built the middle sister's immunity? Caroline loves school and excels at it. Favorite past times include coloring, painting, drawing, having mommy spell out letters for her so she can write letters, stories, etc. She still goes to speech therapy twice a week at school and I have to say when she finally loses her lispy way of talking I will be one sad mommy. Things you may hear her say include, " Oh man!" when she is exasperated by not getting her way. " " I weally don't like"..insert pretty much every food except turkey hotdogs, bananas, grapes, bologna or Oreoes! Caroline continues to be very allergic to peanut and eggs which means she is always packing some oreos and an epi-pen , like any good anaphylaxic should!The girl loves "homework" oh dear Lord please let this continue! She also brought home a great report card. Caroline started gymnastics in the Fall and will be in her first recital in June. Still spunky, still sweet, that's Caroline!

Ellie, 2 and our little boo boo! (Our favorite nickname for her!) She loves keeping up with her big brother and sister. Ellie adores going to daycare three days a week while mommy is at school and internship. She is learning all about numbers, letters, the weather and about GOING POTTY. Mommy loves that part!! In January Ellie moved to a classroom with older kids and has done great with the change. Last week she started speech therapy and wouldn't you know it she has begun talking more and more. Her favorite things to say are, " I want mo!" I want Daddy or mommy" or whatever she wants at that given moment! She is social and sweet and well, we think pretty darn cute too!

So there you have it, or I guess, there I have it. What my kids are up to and like on 2/6/12!