Wednesday, January 28, 2015
This week my final thought to you has something to do with “Bucket Lists” and how important it is to follow through with checking off some, if not all, of the items accomplished. And El, you don’t have to be a senior citizen to start this process… actually I think the younger you are the better!
Final Thought: As the years pass by, prioritize your Bucket List to accommodate your age. It’s all about happy accomplishments Ellie and wonderful memories, not the “I should have when…” or “I wish I did…” statements that turn into regrets later on.
One of the items on my bucket list is very generic. And that is because it has to do with Poppy. I have classified this checklist item as: Anywhere Poppy wants to travel to… Go! So this past weekend we drove to the Poconos to spend time with Steve and Jackie at their place. Since I had the day off from school Poppy and I left early on Friday so we could get a full day of inner tubing in at Big Boulder Ski Resort.
And what a blast it was! Ellie, I think we were the oldest people there that day, but only in body… certainly not in “minds”! We probably went down the tubing shoots at least 50 times and giggled with every run. We even got to the point where Poppy and I would lock our tubes together with him taking position in the front and me in the back. If we could stay in alignment without spinning Poppy and I could work up a speed that would have us flying well past the rubber strips that they had strategically placed at the end of each shoot to stop the tubers. El, we had so much fun inner tubing that Poppy is hoping your family is available in a few weeks for a repeat. I can only imagine the delight you will experience being the snow-bunny that you already are! As for Will, we will have to work on convincing him that snow can actually be lots of fun! …
Remember: It is all about Happy Accomplishment and Wonderful Memories.
Here is another important “Bucket List” item that is on my page Ellie: Take a girls’ trip with my Mom and Sister. Since Gram Bubbles is now solidly climbing the 4th tier of the age ladder (she is a very spry 81 years, 4 months, and 28 days old) I thought it important to ask her what is on her Bucket List that she still wants to check off before she so calls “checks out.”
Just so you know, Gram thinks that she has made a ‘live and die’ arrangement with God. And it actually has a name (created by the one and only Barb Jones). It is called ’Eighty-Five and Out.’ In other words, Gram believes that she has lived a quality life and will be ready at the age of 85 for the Good Lord to call her home. I have told her I don’t think it works that way but she is quite stubborn and believes it will because that is what she wants (her analogy reminds me of the millennium hoopla when everyone believed that there would be a disastrous Y2K crash. And did that happen? Nope. Everything is still just as it was). But I guess I am getting off track now so back to the Bucket List. Well, Gram’s reply to my question was, “I’ve always wanted to go to San Francisco Mickey, and I would love to go with my girls.” So I called Aunt Sheri one day late last summer, told her about Gram’s wish, which she was totally on board with being a part of, and then booked a trip for the three of us to travel to San Francisco early this spring. Ellie, not only is Gram Bubbles excited about this upcoming experience, but your Aunt Sheri and I are too, especially since we get to share this special time with our Mom. … Remember: It is all about Wonderful Memories and No Regrets.
I still have many more items on my Bucket List to share with you Ellie, but they are for another time.
Before I close this blog though I thought it would be fun to hear what you, as a 5 year old, would put on your Bucket List. Silly me… I should have realized that you wouldn’t have a clue as to what a “Bucket List” is, so first things first. Your Mommy was kind enough to explain to you its definition, and after a little bit of thought you came up with 3 endearing items to add to your own. Here they are Ellie: 1.) Look for bunny rabbits. Now this may be viewed by others as a bit odd, buy hey… it is your list El, and I am pretty sure that this will be an easy one to check off before you become a senior citizen! 2.) Visit Catherine and Henry in England. I am personally liking this one El. You just might find me hiding in your suitcase with my passport in hand ready to tag along! 3.) Take horseback riding lessons. This has got to be the sweetest one as its connection comes from the little stuffed pony Poppy got you that never leaves your sight.
I am not sure but you may be the youngest person who has officially started a Bucket List Ellie. And that is a good thing as it is just a way of reminding us to embrace life to its fullest. Remember: It is all about No Regrets.
Love you Ellie Girlfriend!
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
It makes no sense but you and I had a conversation about college already even though you are only in preschool (it made me giggle and swell with adoration and pride with your response).
Final Thought: Follow your heart and your dreams.
In the past, if anyone asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up, you would reply, “Stay with my mama.” The only way you would agree to go to a university or get a job is if you could live at home and teach with me. But recently your tune has changed. You are now saying that you want to be a doctor (although you aren’t sure what kind but you are curious as to all of the different types). I think the realistic doctor kit that Santa brought you (filled with x-rays, an eye chart, a working stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, prescription pads and bottles filled with candy, bandages, clipboard with patient charts, a diploma, and an anatomy poster- everything a real office would have) influenced your thought process and glamorized the profession for you.
I had to laugh though because when you first saw the set, you immediately said aloud, “I guess Santa goes to Chick-Filet.” I asked you what would make you think that (assuming you would guess he got hungry and likes the same food joint as you do) but you replied, “The wipes from this doctors office are the same ones they have there. He must have picked them up on his way here.” You are observant and think so far outside of the box.
I’m sure that you will change your mind a dozen more times but I would imagine that I won’t ever hear you say that you want to be with me forever again- another sign that you are growing up my dear. Know that I love you very much and will support you in achieving your goals but also know that our home will always be your home with an open door.
And do remember that work and money aren’t everything; consider other outlets that bring you happiness- family and hobbies. It’s a constant juggling act (filled with sacrifices) as I am still figuring out.
I love you my forward thinking daughter!
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Well… it is another gymnastics day and I have to say that I am so glad that your Mommy and Daddy count on me to take you to your class now and then because it is certainly a precious site to see! This blog will not be long, but before they come to a permanent end, I want to touch upon your cartwheels. And that is because if gymnastics comes to an abrupt halt like ballet did, (where you lose interest in the hobby after one year), I doubt you would remember this moment in time years down the road.
Final Thought: There is a saying “Practice Makes Perfect”, but more times than not the saying should really be “Practice Makes Us Better”!
And Ellie, you are true testimony to that statement! Let me back up for a moment and explain your gymnastics class weekly agenda and my first time observing. First Ellie, there are about 6 of you in the class and all of you are pretty much equal in “gymnastic” ability! Your instructor usually has you all doing a few stretches to start off. You are the only one El, who can split your body into a perfect “T” shape (like the plastic Barbie dolls whose limbs can move inhumanly) while laying face down, body flat on the floor with arms stretched outward and still pat out the pizza dough your instructor has you pretending to make. Next comes forward and backward rolls which are pretty much done with ease by everyone. Following that is the walk on the balance beam which to be honest with you boggles my mind. Ellie, for the life of me, I don’t understand how you do not fall off that thin board as your eyes are constantly darting to wherever there is activity in the room, everywhere except for where they should be and that is focused on the end point of the balance beam! The next rotation sends you to the spring board where you are to run, take one hop (with one leg) at the beginning of the board, then two hops (with both legs) at the top of the board and then land on your knees as you spring towards the mat. Ellie, this gymnastic activity always makes me giggle because it is like watching you play Hop Scotch… the one foot/two foot hop doesn’t always happen when it is suppose to! Next up is the cartwheel mat. When your instructor laid it down, I thought… “Hmmmm, that is kind of cool.” There were two perfectly positioned hands and two perfectly positioned feet boldly outlined on the mat for you little ones to use while turning your bodies upside down from one side of the mat to the other. The visual was pretty self-explanatory. Well… actually for adults it is. You and your classmates saw it a little differently. Ellie, instead of standing with arms raised tall and ready to glide your upper-body downwards and sideways as your lower body raises itself upwards and over your head… you turned into a little robot!
First you studied the position of the right and left foot and then set your own directly on top of them. Next you studied the position of both hands and quite robotically placed yours directly on top of them. Then instead of hoisting both legs overhead like a windmill, your cartwheel looked more like a frog with led in its bottom weighting it down! You swiveled your hips sideways with a hop that was no more than 2 inches off the ground and leaped from one side of the mat to the other. El, the impressive part of this ‘definitely not a cartwheel move’ was that your feet landed perfectly in their rightful spots on the other side! Now fast-forward a dozen weeks. Your cartwheels are officially the real deal and you are having lots of fun performing them. You no longer need the mat to show you how to position your hands and feet and only use it as a reminder to where you are to be in the rotation. The parallel bars, the trampoline, the floor mat and the pit follow in your class’s one-hour time slot. And with so many versatile activities to practice and hopefully some day master, it is amazing that you don’t ever leave there exhausted! You are quite agile little one and it is only a matter of time before all the gymnastic moves become comfortable to you.
Poppy and I saw a movie last night about the life of Stephen Hawking, a physicist and cosmologist who was riddled with a motor neuron disease. The movie ended with a great quote of his and it is definitely great wisdom to live by. He said, “ However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” How true Ellie… All we need to do is practice.
Love you Ellie jellie-gumby-bean!
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Happy 2015 Sweet Girl!
Final Thought: Slow down.
With the New Year brings new goals. Mine is to stay in the moment and be present. After an amazing month and half of holiday craziness, I found myself craving our routine (we were watching too much tv and reading too few books). I found myself saying to you often, “I missed you today,” despite us being in the same house. Saying that aloud made me really hear the words… “I missed you today,” when you were right there but I was too busy wrapping presents, sending cards, decorating, and finding a million more things to do except taking advantage of time with my beautiful children.
Your resolutions for 2015 are: to say I love you more and to spend more time with Poppy. My prompt for you to understand the word resolution was, “What are things you can do to be a better person in 2015”. Of course, coming off of a fun afternoon with your Poppy (Chick Filet, bowling, and Sweet Frog), I would completely agree with that second resolution too!
He brings you many smiles!
But I have to say that although I know everyone has room to improve, I am so proud of who you are now. Here is a beautiful example. I loved that after opening only two presents on Christmas morning, you stopped (despite the large pile in front of you), came over and wanted me to open the gifts you lovingly and thoughtfully picked out. The first was a cat ornament you chose because you thought it would remind me of my cat that I had as a little girl. The second was a star bracelet (actually I should say stars because there are multiple sizes, some with sparkles that dangle from the gold band), which you bought while shopping with your Dad.
He was trying to steer you toward the scarves and long necklaces but you told him you knew I would love this best of all. And Ellie, I do. I will keep it forever.
May 2015 bring you much happiness and love Ellie!
Friday, January 2, 2015
Can you believe we are now into another new year? And what a great one it shall be, especially for you! First of all, you will be turning 5 years old this March, and also starting kindergarten in the fall… 2 huge first time moments! So what is my final thought for you this blog? Well….
Final Thought: Follow your heart Ellie. Let your dreams and hopes guide you as well as the wisdom of those you trust.
I recently realized that I also needed to take heed to this insight. While Gram Bubbles was visiting last week, she said to me, “Mickey, when are you going to write another poem? You write beautiful ones and I like reading them.” Here is a woman Ellie (that I trust) who puts all her confidence onto me. And I thought, “Hmmmmm…. I am overdue, so I guess I shall give it a try.” And here is what my heart had to say:
The Season of Spring
I love Winter, Summer, and Fall
But Springtime is the best of all
The old year’s done, the new year’s here
Never to stay, so hold it dear.
With it comes Hope, Promises, Dreams
Snowflakes will thaw while sunshine gleams
Winter departs so Spring can appear
On March 21st, it’s in full gear!
Green buds sprout all over the land
Renewing its color as God had planned
Around comes May with its sweet flowers
Thanks to April for its misty showers
Cold cloudy days give way to blue skies
And songbirds sing a heavenly surprise
The air fills with laughter and childhood play
The earth comes alive with each passing day
Fresh air and smiles are Springtime’s face
A season of beauty because of God’s grace.
By: Mickey Russell
Like always El, when writing this blog my ideas stem from you. You see, you are a springtime baby. And from day one you have always been my blue skies and sunshine. And now Will is too.
Happy New Year sweet one!