Friday, August 25, 2017

You I love.

Carson told Robin when she was really little that instead of saying "I love you", she would rather say "you I love". Because if it's the last time you see that person, the last word you said to them was "love." There's so much truth and goodness to that! Just like the goodness Robin brought to our lives.

So today is the day. One year. "Miss" is too weak a word. I can't quite think of a word that describes this last year of firsts without her. The last time I saw her was August 25, 2016 at 3:22 PM at the gas station. The reason I know it was 3:22 is because I looked at the clock and couldn't believe that she wasn't already in the carpool line to get Carson at 3:45. She liked to be the first one Carson would see when she would walk out. We both smiled and waved, as both of us were on our phones, per usual...and I'm sure both of us were assuming that we would see each other after carpool in the cul-de-sac in the next 20 minutes anyway. But God had another plan. Since that time I have thought of 1000 things I wished that I could have said to her, if I had only known it would be the last time I would see her.

Supposedly, as I've read, "grief is just love with no place to go." This year of firsts has been hard. But I am forever grateful for Carson, Billy, Tricia, Cheryl, and Bergen, and all the friends who knew and loved Robin who have given me a place to put that love. Especially those who have asked how everyone is and who have listened to my Robin stories. Thank you! Sharing definitely eases the pain. She loved us all so hard and so fiercely. And she would also love knowing how frequently her name comes up in our conversations.

In her absence so much has happened. So much I wish we could talk about. There have been birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and every day life…teen drama, mama drama, she would have gotten a kick out of the third-world-like illnesses at the Baker house this year, car accidents, my exercise induced panic attack that sent me to urgent care, drama in The Acres, and all sorts of stuff. I have cackled and belly laughed by myself in my car thinking about her while passersby probably thought that I was crazy. I have sat silently and mindlessly recalling some of my favorite times with her, wanting to hear her voice again. There have even been times that I have said "oh my gosh I've got to tell Robin", only to feel the blow of reality. Then there are the deep moments of grief, I feel they have aged me…a lot. She would thoroughly enjoy the new wrinkles that have popped up on my face and the ridiculous amount of gray hairs that have sprouted. And then she would encourage me to let Billy color it...because he just LOVED to do hers! 😜 But I have also felt an urge to live life to its fullest. I have found myself seizing opportunities and having confidence to do things I wouldn't have ordinarily done. It's been a gift in this ugly, dark time.

Instinctively, I still look across the street and wonder when she's going to be home. And I also miss her phone calls first thing in the morning and her walking over to sample my dinners while I was cooking...because she wasn't. I am blessed to have had her directly across the street and in my every day life for 10 years. She may be gone, but I'll never forget the pizzazz she added to my life. I said in her eulogy that I have never had a friend quite like Robin, and I doubt that I ever will again. And I still feel the same way a year later.

I would love to think that she can see this post and know how much she's missed, but I know better than that. I know that where she is is far greater than anywhere here on earth. But I'm still waiting on that cell service to Heaven, or at the very least a Facebook page! It sure would take grieving down a notch.

Any who... we made it through the "firsts" and we're on to "seconds". And I'll always be wishing she was here while celebrating her memory every single day.

"You I love", sweet friend!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Summer 2017 Edition of "Have You Ever?"

Have you ever...

left your 14 year-old son for dead in the middle of the NC mountains, in a cabin straight out of Deliverance, at an all-girls camp to work on the kitchen staff, with one of his best buddies from birth?

 Facetime with Sambo at Camp Glenn-Arden, where he spent 2 weeks on the kitchen staff. I may or may not have cried when I dropped him off. SO thank God for Facetime!

 Sam and Harper's cabin...can you hear the banjo music?

Sam-Sam the dish-washin' man.

Sam and his buddy Harper who got him into this mess. 😉  But he came out with a pretty good paycheck and a solid skill set in the kitchen.

been in awe of a God-wink straight from Heaven?

Long story, short... At Worship Week Camp, Fulton was asked to sing a verse from one of my favorite praise songs, which happened to also be Robin's favorite and was played at her funeral. I have no doubt in my mind that she had something to do with that song selection for Fulton and I was so happy to have Carson standing right there with me.

In my last post I mentioned that it had been kind of an "off" summer. I've struggled to juggle it all - working from home, entertaining the boys, and taking care of the house, all while Shan has been traveling. My prayer each day is to "be signing when the evening comes." Most nights my singing sounds more like a sigh of relief that I survived another day. But in my heart I'm singing!

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord Oh My Soul)

And Oliver couldn't have made a more precious Blues Brother in his skit!

had a night that you didn't want to end, because it meant saying goodbye to someone you've loved a very long time?

You'll have to read it here on Facebook, because I don't want to start crying again.





reconnected with childhood friends for a wedding weekend and automatically turned back into a 12 year-old girl?

I love friends who are more like family and the fun weddings that go along with them! We had an amazing weekend in Charleston with two of my oldest friends, Christine and Dawn, and Christine's family.


had a Snapchat filter ease your pain until the meds kicked in?
Chronic Daily Headaches (it's a real thing...look it up) are not for sissies!!!

gone to an abandoned mall to ride the escalators and run the halls on a hot, rainy, summer day in Columbia, SC?


had a little red table that you purchased from the preschool where your boys went, and they have all out grown it, but you just can't get rid of it because they still like to sit there?
They literally eat breakfast and lunch here everyday.

had a little boy who brings the party be in so much pain that you will stop at nothing to find out what is wrong...even if it makes you look like the Munchausen By Proxy mom?
Another long story... basically what started out as a sinus infection, turned into a hellacious cough, that caused excruciating middle of the night headaches for this guy, and landed us in the ER and Dr.'s office a few times and then a brain MRI. We are happy to report that according to our family friend who is a neurologist that Fulton has a very healthy and "fluffy" 11 year-old brain. I am not happy to report that he still has his horrible cough 3 1/2 weeks later and that he has passed it on to me and Sam!

used your phone-a-friend to get picked up a block from your house and be taken to urgent care, during a run, in the middle of a summer day, because your heart-rate was 2,000,000 BPM, only to find out it was an exercise-induced panic attack and you were a little dehydrated?
Can't make it up. Discuss amongst yourselves.

jumped the batteries for two stranded motorists in one week - one of whom is a dear friend on a conference call for a meeting that both of you are supposed to be at, while you have bronchitis and are seeking mechanical assistance from YouTube and your "back-up husband" on the phone because your husband is out of town and her husband is in the middle of a deposition - and the other motorist is a stranger at gas station who caused you to miss your movie time?
Mandy will kill me for posting this. But it's amazing the lengths we'll go to for our fellow Junior Leaguers!

Funny tidbit...we both have the same car and neither of us knew how to open the hood. I had to watch a YouTube. 😳

had to call the FAPD because a lady with a husky on a leash comes into your yard repeatedly to "play with your dog", even though you've asked her not to, and then your dog eventually gets attacked...just as you thought he would?
#BadArnold is his nickname for fun, but he is really a great dog and I felt so sorry for him. But y'all it sounded like Call of the freakin Wild outside in my front yard. Poor buddy was pinned under the shrubs yelping. 😢

taken your children to be tested for Whooping Cough because nothing is helping this cough and it's been in your house for almost a month?
Just got the call...NO WHOOPING COUGH! Praise for small victories.

had a summer that sent you on a trip to the grocery store, that makes it look like you just broke up with your boyfriend?

But seriously. Have you...EVER?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Excuses for a Lackluster Summer

Y'all the summer is almost a wrap and it all started out grand. But some how it completely lost it's sparkle and may very well go down in Baker history as one of the lamest summers ever!

The was good. We had the Baker family beach trip, swim team, and an anniversary trip to Asheville. We had a quick trip for 4th of July, minus Sambo, to Pawley's for Salute from the Shore - one of my social media accounts - and we were livin' it up. We didn't even let the crappiness of a girl running a red light and totaling my car dampen our spirits. We were in it!



Celebrating 18 in Asheville at the breweries and at a good high school friend's restaurant - The Junction 👍 👍. 

Summer swim team season 4 at SVCC.


July 4th in Pawley's with 4/5 of the crew.

The joke of that day and the death of the Green Goddess is that the girl hit her so hard that she $#!+ her horn (3rd pic).

We were all ready to take on the summer. And the boys were ready to take on our weekly thematic schedule that F&O made up! We had a plan. A plan that would allow me to work and them to have something to look forward to daily. I thought it was pretty clever.

I planned to make a cute graphic to post, but...

Everything about Sam in this picture makes me giddy with joy! The other two are pretty stinkin' awesome too. 
Make it Monday yielded a Funfetti cake by Sam, a chocolate pie by Oliver, and a lemon pie by Fulton.

We successfully made it one whole week on our schedule and then it was just piece-meal. A day here, a day there. #momfail #schedulefail 

My excuse... Last May-ish (2016) I started working from home doing some social media management, and in January I took the plunge and started my own consulting company  - CB Vivid. It has only been about 7 or 8 months, but I have REALLY loved it! My clients, the flexibility, collaborating daily with one of my oldest and closest friends... I needed that little schedule they made to break up our days and give me some structure, so I wouldn't get completely sucked into work. But the summer got me! I thought I was, but I was not prepared, y'all. 

I was presented with a whole-new challenge - managing a real-live business with conference calls, being on other people's schedules - not my children's, deadlines, BIG marketing budgets, high-profile events, PLUS managing a household with 3 active boys on swim teams and golf teams, play dates, laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, packing for vacation, trying to exercise and eat right...the whole kit and caboodle. Then you throw in the "traveling husband" and overwhelmed doesn't begin to describe the feeling. Maybe suffocating

I did some sitters and grandparents here and there, but scheduling and coordinating sitters is hard and I'm a worry wart about their safety, and I haaaaaaaaaate asking my mom and MIL for help. H.A.T.E. it. It's an issue. But I don't want to put other people out. So I've been slogging through it, basically as a single mom during the week. 

If based on the last month, my kids "What I did over summer break" essay will probably say something like...watched TV from 7am to 4pm, fought with my brother every hour on the hour, destroyed the den and the upstairs, ate copious amounts of refined sugar, poison, dye, and saturated fat from boxes of pre-packaged food, played video games until my eyes bled, did science experiments without my mom's permission with random household chemicals and ingredients, etc. I'm sure their new teachers will think we're a lovely family. 

Where am I going with this? Who knows ? I guess it's just real life. And in real life THEY ARE FINE! I am fine. And at the end of the day, they are loved, fed, and clean-ish! I have always bent over backwards to make sure my boys have had epic summer vacations. Something noteworthy...postable. There were definitely some good moments - all those mentioned up there ^^^, some fun day camps, a spontaneous trip to Carowinds, and some trips to the movies, but it's just different than what we're used to. 

Worship Week Music Camp at Shandon Baptist

I am no longer a thrill seeker. Shan gets all that glory! I stick with Oliver. 

Despicable Me 3 with 2 of my 3 Minions and Wonder Woman with my 3 Wonder Boys

It's just seemed off - a little chaotic and lackluster. Call it poor planning or lack of prioritizing. I'll know better next summer what to expect. I know this summer is not going to be the ruination of them. They have actually gained some valuable skills. They've gotten creative, learned a little conflict resolution, time-management, learned to handle disappointment, and that the world does not revolve around them or their summer break. They may have even developed a greater appreciation for the routine that the new school year brings (I know I have!). 

I can't say from now until August 22 that there will be any exciting trips or events to blog about, so I'm putting #SummerBakation2017 in the books and anything else will just be gravy.