(Getting out of) my own way

There’s an underrated movie – the sequel to “Get Shorty.” It’s called “Be Cool” and if you haven’t watched it, you should. Even though he’s extra creepy now, John Travolta does alright in it – but the better parts in it are any featuring Vince Vaughn, The Rock or Andre 3000. Best parts (in my opinion) are in the video below (very best is right about the 6:15 mark).

Anyways. Be Cool. The phrase, not the movie, has been on my mind lately. Because, wouldn’t ya know it, one of the hardest things someone with anxiety can try to do or be told to do is “be cool.”

I wish I could tell you that after my last long post – you know, the one about Tinder and being single and finding love and all that – I’ve been MIA because that boy who asked me the trivia question and I fell in love and were living happily ever after.

Not quite.

We hung out, a couple of times. Until it became apparent (which it should have earlier) that he had different ideas about what we were than I did. Which is fine. If it weren’t for the games it took to get to that point. And some other things I won’t add here. And part of it, I will admit, was my own fault, because, silly me, I expected him to want to talk to me and get to know me more than he actually did.

So back to it, right?

Yes, but with stipulations. This next time, no games. And if they say some weird stuff up front, THAT IS A SIGN, LAURA. That meant weeding out guys like the dude who messaged me and asked me to do something I hope no one ever asks me to again because that’s the SECOND time in my life that’s happened and, REALLY?? No thank you.

There is this one though. We’ve texted for a while now. And have attempted to go out three times, two of which were on the days where we got the most snow we’ve gotten in years because OF COURSE WE DID. Thanks, Universe. First time I get a date in a while and you dump a foot of snow on us. Twice. Point taken.

Anyways. So far so good, which means that’s when it gets harder to be cool. And harder to stop worrying so damn much. And harder to stop getting in my own way – second guessing texts or words or as sometimes can happen, lack thereof. I have to remind myself, out loud sometimes, that I am good enough, that I am worth pursuing and being with and stuff like that because this thing that I have – my mind – is doubting me and second guessing me at every turn. By the way, if I don’t remind myself, I have others that are doing it for me, my unofficial life coaches, if you will.

I haven’t had the best luck in relationships. When I got to a point not too long ago where I thought I had, I was wrong, yet again. I guard myself quite fiercely anymore, so when someone gets in, they’re in. Which makes them deciding to leave that much harder.

I’m not punishing people going forward for what others did to me in the past. That’s a new rule. As is the one about being yourself and if they don’t like it they’re not gonna be worth your time anyway.

The fact that I’m writing an entire blog post about it may show I’m thinking about it too much which is breaking the cardinal rule of being cool. But it’s because I want to do things right. I’ve waited a long time for good things in the relationship department, and if I can stay out of my own way, maybe I’ll get them.

Can I blame the weather, partially, for this too? This winter has been miserable, and when you live with already heightened (or lowered, I guess) emotions, it can take even more of a toll. When you only want to stay in bed or on the couch (which is basically your default anyway) because it’s too cold or gross to go out, you have too much time to think. Thus the analyzing and “should I have said this and that” and “I wonder if that was stupid” or dumb things like that.

And then sometimes you drink a 45-ounce margarita and it gets worse.

Long story short – I am trying to be cool. Some days it works better than others. Some days the lies my subconscious tells me are quieter than others.

Dating is hard, kids. Dating in the social media age and when everyone communicates mainly by typed out words is harder. Dating when you have an anxiety issue is hardest.

I refuse to be a hot mess though. And I refuse to rush into anything or settle for the sake of being with someone/anyone.

So. Baby steps. And reminding myself to be cool.

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Um, whoops…

So I turned 30 and abandoned my blog.

Unintentionally, as usual.

I’ve done this a few times before. And I hate it every time. Every day that goes by that I don’t write, I feel guilty, but obviously not guilty enough to actually write something and post it – which I totally could have because, insomnia. This is one of those posts that you’ll skim through ’cause it’s something new but it’s not as substantial as most of the other stuff. It’s one of those that tells you that I’m alive, I didn’t forget about this place and I have lots to tell you.

At least this time I have more of an excuse. Since I turned 30, a lot has happened.

The abridged version – most of which will be expanded on in individual posts:
– Three weddings
– Three graduations
– Covered the Derby Red Carpet for work and a gala where I met someone super-famous
– Four or five (I lost count) graduation parties
– A bachelorette party and wedding shower
– My depression/anxiety got better..then got kinda crappy again..then got a little better
– I made it through the 8th week of Couch to 5K
– I went to Boston for the last time for a while and to Minnesota for the first time ever (and to Wisconsin where my dad tried to make me visit cheese places even though that would probably send me to the hospital on account of the lactose intolerance.)
– I planned/chaperoned and exhausted myself with a weeklong mission trip/staycation in Louisville that included 15 of our friends from Jamaica from last summer and all of my youth group babies.
– OH AND I BOUGHT A CONDO.

Yeah. Consider the fact that I just had to plan out over a month ahead of time when I want to have people over to paint one of the smallest rooms in the place and that tells you how much free time I’ve had lately. That and the fact that me and the bff haven’t seen each other in about 4 weeks and we just scheduled a time to hang out together on Aug. 1. With planners.

Excuses, excuses, I know. But it is painful to not have time to write and get out all that is going through my head every day and I’ve made a promise to myself to make sure to do that from now on. Regardless of if I post it, I will take about 30 minutes every day (which may be at 2 a.m. when I can’t sleep one night) to write something/anything, because it physically makes me feel better, not to mention helps the anxiety level go way down.

Plus, I’m all caught up on Game of Thrones now so I don’t have that distracting me.

So yeah, welcome me back and whatnot..I promise I won’t take 3 months off again – until I get my book deal anyway..

Dirty 30

That headline alone should get some clicks, don’t ya think?

It’s not what you think. Or maybe it is. I don’t know how your brain works.

Today I turn 30.

Holy shit.

I thought that was old, once upon a time. And I still feel like it’s old every once in a while. But I am also at the point where my friends are hitting that age first (I’m the baby of one group of friends). And I haven’t seen any major “OMG” moments happening because the 3 is the first number now.

I don’t know what I expected…but when you’re younger, 30 always seems so far, so significant. Like, “by the time I’m 30 I’ll have this and do this and blah blah blah” and that’s not how it is at all when you get there.

Within the past few years or so I have, I’ll admit, had the momentary freak-outs of “Is this where I’m supposed to be in my life, at this age?” And, well, that’s kind of dumb.

Do you know who decides who you should be and when you should be it? YOU.

What a concept, right? Took me a bit to figure that out, but I got there. Eventually.

And, believe it or not, I think I’m right where I need to be. Recently I’ve been reminded of that, because as I got even closer to that “milestone” of turning 30, things have been getting better and better.

I am closing on a condo in the next month. I might will be getting a puppy. I got a raise at work. The photography thing is picking back up and I have a couple other things in the hopper (HOPPA – friggin’ love that commercial and that accent so much) in the near future that could mean even more big changes. Hopefully. I am where I want to be in my relationships – I am beyond blessed with friends and family that I am grateful for every second of every day.

I am happy. I am happier than I’ve been in a long while. And for someone like me who has struggled with the four flat tires of depression for as long as I can remember and who even got pretty low a couple months ago, that’s HUGE.

The happiness thing has made me want to share that feeling with others..but, how should I do it?

I had a grand plan a few weeks ago to do this big thing for my birthday. Remember the girl I told you about we saw in New York? That got 2,900 flowers donated to give out for her 29th birthday and used them to urge others to be kind and pass along her kindness? I wanted to do something similar. And silly me thought with little planning I could make it happen and get it all done in a day.

Change of plans.

This year, in honor of 30 awesome years behind me (some more awesome than others, of course), I am going to do 30 awesome things. That could be anything – from spending an entire day doing acts of kindness to a trip somewhere to taking part in an experience I’ve never had before. It may include checking some stuff off my list.

The possibilities are endless. I want your input – your suggestions, your help, and, if possible, your company on some of these! Thoughts?

There is absolutely no reason not to make 30 (and every year after it) something great. So. Leggoooooo.

Best laid plans and whatnot

I had these plans, you see. I wanted to take some time and have a regular stream of stuff written for this blog (for this month, especially), because in a little over a week, it turns five. Yes. An inanimate object, a bunch of words and photos and files I put together turns five years old March 30. 

May not mean a lot to you, but for someone who doesn’t know who she is if she can’t write, that’s a big deal. That’s a commitment. That it has kept going – kept me going – and people have read and laughed and cried and loved along with me, well, that’s really important.

So to celebrate I wanted to have post after post ready to go, to tell you all sorts of things and show you some great pictures and keep up some of these features I do that have become a habit on here.

All of this may sound trivial, but it’s not, to me. I need to write. I need it like I need water or air. I need that creative outlet and that place to put down all of the thoughts and feelings and stories I have when I can’t – or don’t want to – say them out loud.

That said, these past two weeks have dealt two major blows in my life – last week, actually. This week, I’m still reeling. Letting things sink in.

There are things I want to write about – I need to write about. They’re serious things. Important things. But I’m not ready, yet. I can’t, yet. I want to keep distracting myself with other things, share my pictures from my recent trip to Boston and NYC, where my sisters and I collectively celebrated our birthdays and were able to be together after our hearts had been hurt so badly last week.

I can’t wait to tell you about those trips. I can’t wait to tell you about two very important parts of my life that I’ve had to deal with losing  in the past week and am still just starting to process. I can’t wait to celebrate having kept this sort-of time capsule-y thing, this look into my mind and heart and life for the past five years.

Soon. Very soon. 

Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

Did you feel a change in the atmosphere Tuesday? Like the world got a little better and colors were brighter and while life might still have been kicking your ass, at least it was wearing slippers instead of steel-toed boots?

It’s on account of The Album.

Mumford’s new one, DUH.

They played some of this stuff at their concert I saw last month wherein I confirmed my suspicions, that Marcus Mumford has the voice of an angel.

Download it/buy it/order it/watch it on YouTube/borrow it from a friend or whatever you need to do, just get it. It’s that good.

Current favorite obsession?

This one.

I can’t even…

What music does – what REALLY good music does – is takes you away. No matter the drama, no matter the day you’ve had, the week you’ve had, the year you’ve had, a good song (or better yet, a good album, which are few and far between) pulls you out of it. At least for the time you’re listening.

There are many times I’ve just sat and listened. Nothing else, just listened to a song and let my mind close off to all of the other stresses and problems and worries of the day.

It’s not something that’s happened as many times as I would prefer, and it’s a practice I’m reinstating. A few minutes a day, just to zone out and concentrate on nothing but listening to or singing along with a good song. A song that makes your heart and mind and soul smile. And I’m so serious, you guys, that song you just (hopefully) listened to, that’s one of them for me.

What’s your song going to be?

Ch-ch-ch-changes. Little ones.

Quick, take a look around this page. Notice anything different? I’ll give you a second to look.

Yup! Up there ^. Or way up there (or waaaaaaaay up there or on the home page) depending on how many posts I’ve written since this one..

It’s a new page!

I decided to go ahead and separate out my Life List, because it’s a lot easier that way and it reminds me that I need to be checking stuff off.

Now you can keep up with me as I try to accomplish the things on that list – and everything in between, of course. And I also will take any volunteers to help me accomplish any of them.

A couple of them I plan to get done soon – as in the next six months, hopefully. And for the rest, well, ASAP!

What’s on your life list? Anything you think I should add?

Is it considered a sabbatical if you don’t go anywhere?

Guess what I haven’t done much of this month?

Yeah…if you came back after the limited amount of excitement provided after March’s blogapalooza, you must really love me. And I love you, too.

It wasn’t intentional, originally. Granted my brain had just about dried up when it came to new and exciting things to share with you, and even when I did think of something, I didn’t have hardly any time to write it.

You should see my calendar for May. The only days without stuff written on them until after Memorial Day are Wednesdays. And Wednesdays are only blank because I can’t make plans for those days. Wednesdays are our production nights at work and I don’t get home before the sun goes down — and lately, I’m nowhere near home before the hour is into the double digits.

This is not a post to complain, because I want to be doing every single thing that’s keeping me busy. However, I would also like to blog. But something had to go for a bit, and unfortunately it was this website right here.

It’s not permanent, and I didn’t mean to stay quiet for so long, but when you work the majority of your day on a computer, the last thing you want to do is come home and work on one, therefore for almost all of April my laptop has been regulated to wedding-related work and Netflix instant TV shows and movies only. Oh, and I finished a book or two in there somewhere.

Yeah, we’ve missed a bit, you and me. And for that I am sorry, especially if this is even such a thing that merits an apology.

But I have had people ask about why I wasn’t posting and encouraging me to get back on the horse and what a better time to do so then right around The Most Wonderful Time of The Year, the Kentucky Derby! (See what I did there?)

More substantial stuff will come later on – like photos from my family’s Derby party this weekend – where I get all stealthy and try to take amazing candid stuff in preparation for these weddings (yes, plural) I’ll be taking pictures at next month. Plus there’s the usual stuff you can look forward to – the texts that sound like my friends, insane amounts of Instagram pictures, the websites I wish I’d thought of and a ridiculous amount of songs because I spend entirely too much time in the iTunes Store.

But I want you to know, I’m not gonna be quiet for a whole month again, in case you’re worried. If you’re not, well, then, bully for you. You shouldn’t be.

For now you’ll have to settle with an update on a lot of things, portioned in nice little bite-size morsels for you so we’re all caught up and it’s like I never left!

Ready? Go.

Gettin’ crafty up in this piece
One of the things you’ll see later this month is how, while I was “away,” I was real crafty. Like, so much so you won’t believe it was me that did it on account of I usually suck at crafts.

This is the way we ball
Sand Volleyball. Monday nights. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Well maybe not but damn is it hard to run in sand. And one night it was so cold my feet turned purple.
In other news I can’t serve in the sand, but am infinitely more willing to throw myself towards the ball. On account of it doesn’t hurt. Especially if you have one of those later games and you get a couple beers in beforehand. Note: The beers have nothing to do with my serving abilities, or lack thereof.

The 28th Amendment
Full disclosure – I had to Google how many amendments there were in the Constitution. Don’t judge me. You probably didn’t know it either – there are 27 – unless you are Baby Einstein.
This particular amendment has nothing to do with a historical document, because, well, I never wrote my Five down on paper.
After careful consideration and months of not having him on my TV, I have decided to make a change. I’m removing Michael C. Hall from the list, though I’d still like to have him tell me bedtime stories ’cause his voice is sexy. He’ll be replaced by Zac Efron. Again, don’t judge me. He grew up. And he grew up well.
That’s all I’ll say about that except for how I haven’t seen his new movie yet but I really really want to and the preview by itself is enough to make me need a cold shower.

The best show you aren’t watching
Justified. It’s about Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky. Timothy Olyphant just shoots people. ‘Cause he can. And Daniel Faraday from LOST is in it. As the opposite of Daniel Faraday from LOST. I’ve watched all three seasons in the past month. HOOKED. Thank you, Eth.

Weddings and babies and houses, oh my!
We are currently less than two months from Ashley and Matt’s wedding, less than three months from Rebeck and Jered’s and less than four months from Rachel and Swarles’!
Wedding season is in full swing – May is full of showers and parties and that reminds me, I have a dress to get altered.
After this weekend I’ll have taken three couples’ Engagement/Save-the-Date pictures and I was recently asked to shoot another wedding. WHAT?
Add to that the addition of our little half-pint, Emma, to the CKR fold and you guys, we have a baby. Who let us have a baby? And there’s another one coming in October!
Our second half-pint belongs to Katie and Hunter, who recently just made MY life considerably better by moving to the Lou. Now we just gotta get Sammi to Nashville and our plans for a CKR compound will be closer to fruition.

That One Time I Almost Rode In A Hot Air Balloon
With Derby season comes Derby Festival, which includes a ton of cool events that you get to participate in if you so choose, moreso if your job is in the media. Yours truly was ALMOST so lucky.
Scheduled to go up in a hot air balloon for the Great Balloon Race that was cancelled the morning of. And it was not rescheduled. Even though it is, EVERY. OTHER. YEAR.
We’re not talking about it anymore, but I have to share this gem:
When I was talking to my mom about getting to ride in the race, she said, “Do you get to go on it for the whole time?” to which I replied, “Nope, I’ll probably bail out in the middle of it. I think they’ll probably have a parachute for me.”

Running
What is, things I stopped doing completely? Yeah, about that. I’m getting my ass into gear this month because I’m signing up for a couple of runs later this year. And if I sign up and pay the money, then I have to do it. And that is some good motivation, because I don’t like to waste money (pay no attention to my ever-expanding DVD collection…).
So far, my friend Sammi has convinced me to do the Tap ‘N Run in Nashville (I am nowhere near ready and probably won’t be, for the one in Louisville) and the Color Run, which are a 4 and 5K, respectively. And the Tap ‘N Run includes beer. So there’s that.

Making a list and checkin’ it twice
A few weeks ago my good friend Matt (who, by the way is a beast of a runner and is gonna get famous for his blog, Lager Jogger, so you should check it out and say you were there at the beginning), Tweeted to me “I have so many things to do I need to make a list of all the lists I need to make.”
Never has something been more true. This is my life right now, which is fine, but WHOA a pause button like Zack Morris had on Saved By The Bell when the world paused but he didn’t have to would be real nice some days.
I have lists of lists to make, for real, and at some point, I’m gonna get to them all.
Eventually.
I’ll put it on my list.

Resolution-izing

I’m a couple days late to the party, I know, but I’ve been thinking. I needed time to solidify my plans for the new year and come up with things I want to do more or less of this year or start or stop doing altogether.

In no particular order, these are the things I want to do — or don’t want to do — this year. Since I am putting it on the Internet for the world (or the few people that read this) to see, I’m counting on you guys and girls to hold me to it.

1. Get healthy. I believe this was one from last year and probably a few years previous, but this year I’m serious about it. Wanna know how I know? I worked out outside on Monday. While it was 30 and snowing. If you know me, you know that’s a big deal.

Seriously though, I resolve to eat better and smarter and well, less. Newsflash: You don’t HAVE to clean your plate if you physically can’t without feeling like shit after.

1a. Get healthy. Besides the eating better and working out stuff, there’s some other health matters that need attending to. Nothing life-threatening, just some things that need to be checked out and hopefully fixed. As we saw last year with the surprise appendicitis and, well, a week and a half ago, nothing is out of the question. I hate going to the doctor, but I have good insurance and would rather pay a co-pay than for anesthesia from a surgery. That’s just ricockulous.

2. Spend wisely. 2012 will be the year I attend — and in a couple cases take part in — some weddings. It will also be the year I (attempt to) become a homeowner (or condo owner cause that’s cheaper and easier). Plus one of my best friends is having a baby and I’m ’bout to buy that kid all kinds of adorable stuff.

Add to that a resolution to get outta town more often to see friends and family (you’ll see that later on in this list) and I gotta be careful where I spend my money because I’m gonna need to be spending it. Kind of a lot.

Savings will be important, but I’m not going to become a hermit, necessarily. I’m just going to think it through a little more before I decide to shell out some dough.

3. Spend my time wisely, too. It kind of goes along with the previous resolution, in that I don’t have to always spend money to get out of the house and enjoy myself. But besides that, I want to do more that involves helping others.

I loved being a team captain for our family and friends’ Alzheimer’s Walk team and can’t wait to do it again this year. But there are other things I’d like to do as well. I want to find ways to volunteer my time and give back to others because if there’s one thing I realized in 2011, it’s that I should be (and am) beyond grateful for what I have in this life because others aren’t as lucky.

4. Road trip it up. I have friends and family all over the country. Well, kinda. They’re mostly east-coasters but there are a few others scattered between here and California. OH and there are those two guys I know living in South Korea and that family I have in England.

Now I may not be able to do another big trip like I did in 2011, but BG is a two-hour drive. Nashville is three. Jackson and Chicago are five and the company I will find when I get to those destinations is well worth the extra time spent in the car.

I also have aunts and cousins in Tennessee, N.C., Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania I’ve been meaning to visit.

It may seem to contradict my whole not spending much money thing, but in 2011, I plan to make a more concerted effort to visit my family and friends who don’t have the same area code.

5. Only play games if I’m with the Game Night Bitchezz. Now really, I’m not talking about board games. But speaking of which, hey game night friends, lets try to do this getting together thing more often than we did last year. Or maybe I’m just feeling spoiled because I’ve seen you all like, every single day since UK went on Christmas break.

Nah, the games I’m talking about in this case are of the mind variety. I’m 27. Some of the gentlemen (and I use that term very loosely in some cases) I’ve dealt with in recent years are older than that. Time to start acting like it.

If you like me, you like me. If you don’t, fine. None of this middle of the road, I’m not sure stuff. If I care about you, I’ll make the effort. If I see that you’re not, I’ll adjust accordingly. Done wasting my time on those who aren’t worth it.

6. Be crafty. Remember how I told you about this plan for my room? Haven’t done it yet. It’s easy and cheap and my wall will look so much prettier, so why the hold up? I have no idea.

Plus, have you seen Pinterest? Holy crap it’s addicting. And there is an endless supply of crafty things on there even I — She Who Sucketh At Crafts — can do. I mean, the vodka-soaked gummy bears I saw on there worked, who’s to say other things won’t?

7. Gimme a break. I need to take it easier on myself. I believe I said last year-ish that I wanted to be happier. I think I was, for the most part, in 2011. But there was still that pesky anxiety crap to deal with. The majority of that anxiety came from unnecessary worry.

Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t something good about keeping yourself in check. But I need to maybe do it less. The sooner I realize I’m never gonna be perfect, the better. I will do my best, while remembering that stuff will go wrong, and more often than not, it will be out of my control.

I will stop being so hard on myself, so mean to myself, so amped up on the thought that one little thing will have a domino effect on everything else. In related news, I may find a new therapist, since I haven’t been able to get ahold of mine in about a year (something seems wrong with that…).

8. Make this blog better. We’re coming up on the third birthday of this here website and there’s so much more I could be doing. So make note that I am declaring that I will post more, shoot more pictures and actively try to make this thing look better in 2012.

And there you have it. Eight resolutions for 2012. I think I can do it. After all, it’s on the Internet now, so I kind of have to, don’t I?

Happy New Year, boys and girls.

The Greatest

Maybe you think that title refers to Muhammad Ali. And maybe you’re right. Or maybe you just never had the chance to meet my grandpa, Wally.

I’ve written and re-written this entry in my head a million times in the past month and a half. And it never seemed right. Still doesn’t, really, but I’ve got to get it out.

Three years ago, we lost my paternal grandpa. He’d been sick but was getting better and just days before his death he’d had a successful surgery we’d hoped would heal him up.

It was a Wednesday night when he died, almost all of my extended family crammed in a room at the hospital, none of us wanting to leave.

My maternal grandpa, during the past few years, got sicker and sicker. There was pneumonia, there were falls, there was a couple times he seemed to have had a stroke. Through it all, though, he had his mind. His mind didn’t fail him, even when his body did.

My grandpa was the smartest person I’ve ever met. He graduated from Stanford, Harvard Business School, was helping my sister do chemistry homework when he was 92.

He was in Ripley’s Believe It or Not for a football-game feat his father had accomplished years earlier but no one else had.

He climbed mountains, literally, worked on movie sets and always had a list to make or a story to tell.

He wanted to know what was going on in school, with work, at the UofL game if you were the one using their old season tickets that day.

He made cards on his computer. When one hospital trip had him out of commission around my birthday, I still got a specially made one that said “Happy Belated” when he was home and feeling better.

He always had a camera and I joked that we must have a picture of every meal we ever ate together as a family.

Last Christmas, I bought one of those books where you could record your voice reading it. I had him and my grandma read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” so that one day, I could share it with my kids – their great-grandchildren.

In early September, things changed. He fell, but this time was different. He broke his hip.

With that one fall, my grandpa changed too. He was in the hospital, either on morphine or in excruciating pain. They decided to operate, hoping that things would be better afterwards, but told us going in there was a chance he might not even make it out of the surgery.

All of the sudden, this 94-year-old man — one that we were sure was going to live to at least 100, that would be over on Christmas morning just like he had for years — was given a 50/50 chance.

When he made it through the surgery, I (and I don’t know who else, maybe it was just me) naively thought things would get better. Sure they’d be different and rehab would take a while, but he’d be fine in the end.

But then things got worse. Except for the last time I saw him.

He was eating dinner when I got there and while my aunt Carolyn filled out some paperwork, I helped out and fed him, something I never envisioned having to do.

True to Grandpa form, though, he corrected my wrong technique. Ever the manager/engineer/boss, he took the spoon from my hand and showed me how to do it the right way.

And a couple hours later, when it was time to leave, I said my good-bye. I told him I’d see him soon, I loved him and I’m glad I got to see him.

The man that didn’t look or sound or act like my grandpa earlier that day suddenly did when he gripped my hand hard and said he was glad I came by.

When I left his room, I got about 10 steps into the hallway before I lost it, thinking it was the last time I’d see him alive. And, as it turns out, it was.

The night he died, the University of Louisville/University of Kentucky football game was on TV. There are few things – mainly his family, I think – that he loved more than UofL football. He left us in the middle of the game, which I think was strategic.

You see, he wanted a better seat for the game then his hospital bed. And he got the best one. And, wouldn’t you know it, his Cards won that night. I like to think he had something to do with it.

In the days that followed, like we’d done when my other grandpa passed away, my family rallied. We hugged, we cried, we ate, we drank, we told stories and missed grandpa.

After his funeral, which ended in the early afternoon, we came back to my parents’ house for food and family and celebration. Because that’s what he wanted us to do.

He wanted us to celebrate his life, to not be sad but to spend time together and enjoy ourselves. We celebrated his life, that’s for sure — so much so that when someone drove by and saw 50 people out front playing cornhole and drinking beers at 4 p.m. on a Wednesday they didn’t know what to think.

But I can’t help but thinking that the one who would have loved that the most, who would have been sitting there with his camera at the ready and a smile on his face, is the one who wasn’t there.

I’ll miss getting a card from him this Christmas and on my birthday.

I’ll miss him taking a picture of all of us as we sat around the table together for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas breakfast.

I miss how when you were on the phone with him and saying goodbye and you said “I love you, Grandpa” he’d say “OK.”

I miss making him laugh and watching his eyes close, his head hang down and his shoulders shake.

I miss him being there for my grandma, his wife of 68 years, who is lost without him.

The night he died, I went to her room with her and held her hand while she cried. One of the things she kept saying was “He was too good a person.” And as I rubbed her back and tried to calm her down I said “Yes he was. He was the greatest person. The greatest.”

day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone

It’s getting hard to narrow down the possible song choices for this challenge. I could come up with a few for each day.

Just joining us? Here’s days uno, dos and tres of the 30 Day Song Challenge. Oh, and quatro.

Day 5 – Song that reminds you of someone.

I’m not gonna go into this one too much, the song pretty much speaks for itself. It reminds me of a situation with a particular boy – not one that I’m dealing with right now, but one that was a pretty big deal for a pretty long time. Sucks how it ended up working out, but I don’t regret it. It taught me what I do – and definitely don’t – want in my next boyfriend.

Plus, Jason Mraz sings it and he might be my next boyfriend. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Jason Mraz, “You and I Both.” My favorite of all of his songs. Ever. Yeah. It’s that good.

P.s. Just start the video and read something else – it’s not a music video, just the song. But it’s the acoustic version and I love it and I picked it. It’s my blog. I do what I want.