Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Men-In-Drag...For Charity!

As promised, I am doing a post about the annual "Men-in-Drag" Softball game for charity that Brad played in. This year we didn't have much time to dress him up with all that has been going on, so I ran to the local thrift shop and found him a dress. He insisted on wearing one of my hats because his"hair" kept getting in his eyes and he wanted to be at his peak when actually playing the game!

We got to the field and it was hilarious (as always) to see these big burly guys dressed as women. My favorite was when 3 of them drove up simultaneously on their Harleys!

Brad & his cousin, Doug Pope

The game started with the usual fanfare; National Anthem, Cheerleaders (in Drag) and the crowd ready for some good laughs. Brad got some good hits, scored a couple of runs, but was really most valuable at First Base! I was actually really impressed with how well he did getting guys...I mean "gals" out at first! He is a major Baseball fan (Yes, he's a HUGE Yankees fan...he LOVES Yankees Haters, BTW) and he played his heart out.

Aja and Natalie came to the game and we had some pretty great laughs. It was hilarious to watch these guys get up to bat and hike their skirts up so they could get the right position at home plate to hit the ball. And to see them run, some with purses, was priceless. Time-outs were called for "broken fingernails" or "loose false eyelash"...my favorite was "run in their pantyhose". In fact, when Brad was getting dressed, I showed him how to put on his pantyhose without running them. Of course, he pulled a bit too hard and put a hole in them on his upper thight. he was SO upset and told me to go get his some DUCT TAPE...NO, I'M NOT KIDDING!! I told him to put on my biker shorts and he'd be O.K...he was really worried!

After the game, we decided to go to our local fast food drive-in, the "Dairy Keen" which was packed on a Saturday night, and Brad and his cousin Doug were good sports as they proudly walked in and ordered their food! Yes, people stared and whispered, but we didn't care.

So here are the pictures of the "gals" who played their hearts out for charity...Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Bunch of Random-ness

WOW...so much has happened since I last post...I'm not even sure where to begin!

First, let me say thank you to all of you who were concerned for me since I came home from SkyWest Training. Believe me when I say that I am SO glad to be home and have realized that SkyWest is not the right fit for me...something else will come along, I'm confident.

I have been super busy finalizing my Swiss Days duties. PR/Advertising for Swiss Days is like being a weatherman in Seattle: "Chance of rain"...!! We get over 100,000 people who attend each year. The biggest part of the job for me is getting things ready beforehand on local T.V. news programs. Already we have had to reschedule 2 appearances...with less than a week to go, we'll see what happens. At any rate, I am SO excited for the big event. If you are in Utah, Swiss Days is Fri/Sat Sept 3/4. The square opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 8:00 PM both days. It's going to be a blast this year!!

I woke up 3 days ago with a sinus infection. It about did me in yesterday, but today I am much better. I'm sure my precious *Littles* passed that germ on to me, but that's O.K...I'll survive! They are all doing well...all 5 of them.

I miss Anthony and Brooklyn so much (they live in Idaho) and hate that I don' get to see them everyday like I do the other 3. Nevertheless, they are precious and I ADORE them. Anthony is THE SMARTEST kid I have ever known...even smarter than his mommy who was pretty dang smart. He is hilarious and always keeps us laughing. His little mind just works in an odd way (not bad "odd"...hilarious "odd). He will be 4 the day after Christmas, but I think of him as close to 5 because he is so intelligent.

Brooklyn is sweet and more of the silent type...at least when I see her. She seems so mellow...or is that because she is around Anthony all the time? Not really sure. At any rate, she is so adorable and has been so cuddly with me that last couple of times I've seen her. Again, she is very smart. I'm sure she will give Brittany a run for her money! I heard that they might be coming down for Britt's birthday the weekend of the 11th and 12th...hmmm...hopefully, we'll see. I need some sugar from those 2 Littles...It's been way too long..

Natalie got moved into her apartment in Provo. It's a darling, furnished apt. with 4 bedrooms so each girl has their own space. WOW, things have certainly changed since I lived there in the 70's. She is super excited to be out on her own but is SO burning the candle at both ends by commuting to school in SLC everyday (about 45 mi) and then working each night from 6-11 PM. I have a feeling that will end very soon...

Our weather has been "Old Testament" type weather lately! EXTREME thunder showers and crazy lightening. Two nights ago my house shook from one of the thunderclaps. Aja called to make sure I was O.K. It's nuts! I hope we can order up clear skies for Swiss Days, but have a feeling that the thousands of rain ponchos that the Boosters ordered will be put to good use.

My dad is doing better. He is actually beginning to eat a bit now and doesn't look quite so skeletal. He had us pretty worried. He is walking pretty good and has come up to Midway to see us 3 times since he left the hospital. I know it's difficult for him, but I'm glad he makes the effort. He is an example of true tenacity and determination!

I know this post has been All-Over-The-Place...Sorry about that...That's just kind of how my life has been lately! Hopefully things will settle down over the next few weeks...Swiss Days will be over and then we start again! I promise a more cohesive post next time...Next post: Brad in Drag!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Life Is Hard...

"Life is hard. It's harder when you're stupid" ~John Wayne

I heard this quote recently and thought about how I have, many times, made stupid decisions and every time, they have complicated things. I laughed when I first heard this and immediately thought of "other" people who maybe appeared to make stupid decisions...then I thought of myself {gasp}...

I find life so incredibly interesting. Just when you think things are going great and you are on the right path, something happens and things change and turn 180 degrees from where you think you were headed. This has happened to me over and over and over again...I guess that's what makes life interesting.

Brad and I went to a movie today. We decided to take a break for a few hours and drive down to Orem (about 25 min. away) and as we were driving down the canyon, I noticed that a few trees were starting to turn different colors...Provo Canyon is incredibly beautiful as it is, but when the leaves start to turn, it's breathtaking. I noticed that some of the leaves were bright orange, others were bright yellow and a few were a vibrant purple. I always look forward to Fall; it's one of my very favorite seasons and in Utah it's INCREDIBLE! The only problem with Fall is that Winter is right behind it...and it seems like Winter hangs around much longer than any other season...but I digress...

As I have been reflecting on how my life has taken some pretty sharp hairpin turns just within the last month, I thought about how maybe that's what helps us create balance in our lives. After all, nature takes sharp turns and seems to always maintain some semblance of balance. Things don't always turn out the way we expect or even hope. And maybe that, in and of itself, can create harmony.

So now that my "best-laid" plans have been undone. I can either freak out and fall apart or I can find ways to celebrate the good things in my life. Just like nature celebrates the beautiful changes and displays the magnificent colors of the dying leaves, which will inevitable fall and blow away, I have to find ways to celebrate the changes in my life. The dead leaves make room for the new ones. The tree grows taller and stronger and seems to flourish because of the loss.

I am SO incredibly blessed and have absolutely NOTHING to feel slighted about. I have an amazing life. My personal challenges and trials are a blessing. I have tried to adopt a thankful attitude realizing that the Lord must really love and trust me to allow me to be tried in whatever ways I have been and will be tried. He knows that I can overcome anything if I really want to. He also knows that I can become stronger if I have the right attitude.

Now, I'm not saying that I have mastered this...I'm FAR from it. But, I have come to the realization that that's just life. Pure and simple, life is a test. I personally feel that it's a testament of God's amazing love for each of us. He knows what we can handle and He knows what will break us. He is always there to pick up the slack and expects us to do ALL that we can (and maybe then some). I have found that He is always there...even when I'm going over the edge...that's when He helps me build a parachute!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Curve Ball

Well...I went to SLC for training for SkyWest Airlines. I had adorable roomates and was doing great...that is, until today. We had an agility test where we had to lift a 45 lb suitcase and put it into the overhead bin 4 times, then lift a 35 lb can and stow it about chest high. After all that, we had to run up and down 2 stairs 5 times...all in 2 minutes. Well.....last year, I broke my left wrist and it has never completely healed and it gave out on me. I got the 45 lb bag into the overhead the required 4 times, lifted the 35 lb can and on the second lift, my wrist was shot. I dropped the can on my foot and that was it! Since you have to pass all of the tests, I decided to opt out and cut my losses.

I have been asked to come back to the Aug 31st class but it will all depend on my wrist and now my foot which I am sure is broken. The can fell on the top of my foot and cut it, it is now swollen and I can't walk on it. What a mess!

I am thrilled at the thought of resuming my Swiss Days duties and hoping that I can fully heal by then. SkyWest is not a totally closed door...they aren't my first choice of airline, but they are a great carrrier and I was excited to fly again. There is another airline that I have wanted to be with, they just aren't hiring just yet. Maybe I just need to be more patient!

Thank you for all of your kind words of encouragement and all of your confidences in me. For the record, I had PERFECT scores on all my verbal and written tests. I met some amazing people and will always be thankful for the associations I made these past few days.

I KNOW that things work out for a reason. I don't know why this happened, but it did and that's O.K. I am thrilled to be back with my sweet husband and I will move forward with a positive attitude!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Up Up and Away...But Just For Awhile

I have only four more days until I leave for my training with SkyWest Airlines. Since I have done this before (yes, I still have to go through it!) I know how intense it is and therefore am saying a very temporary "good-bye" until I can get back to my blog.

I will still be trying to read my daily favorites, but don't anticipate having the time to keep up with my own. So for now I am saying a fond "farewell". Please check back periodically as I may surprise you! I look forward to sharing all of my "adventures"' with you and hopefully some good humor about my passengers and layovers. I love you all and will miss you, BUT...I'll be back!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

6 Fabulous Fun-Filled Years

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. I feel badly that I didn't post yesterday, but I woke up and hit the ground running! So here is my tribute to my amazing husband...

Forgive me if you have heard this story before, but I think it is so great that I want to tell it again: On February 23, 2004 I was called into work (Delta Flight Attendant) even though it was my "off day". I was told by scheduling that a flight attendant had been injured and needed to be taken off a trip so I would be replacing him and finishing his trip for him. I was also told that I needed to get to the airport ASAP because the plane would be arriving from Portland, OR and the crew was scheduled to depart for Denver in one hour. I raced to the airport so as to not cause a delay for the passengers.

When I arrived at the SLC airport, I signed-in and was told that the plane hadn't even left Portland yet due to a mechanical problem. Now I had over an hour to spare! So I went up to the concourse, found my gate and stowed my bags on the NEW plane that we were going to take. No one was onboard yet except the 2 pilots. I introduced myself and left to go to the Deli and grab a sandwich. I did just that and as I left the Deli and was heading back to the aircraft, I saw this VERY well dressed, handsome man walking towards me. He stopped me and very kindly said, "I just have to tell you that you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen"!

I was stunned! I thanked him and we started talking. In just a matter of 15 minutes, we found out that we both new some of the same people, we talked about our kids and family, exchanged some nice pleasantries and then, out of nowhere, I blurted out, "Well, are you going to give me your number, or what"? That is just NOT my style to ask a man for his number...but I'm sure glad I did...(hee hee).

Brad told me that day that he had stayed at a hotel in SLC the night before because he had an early morning flight. He had somehow missed his wake-up call, consequently, he missed his flight. He was stressed to the max because he was on a business trip trying to get to Iowa and since that isn't a real "hot spot" in the airline industry, he was going to end up arriving at his destination well after midnight with a 2 hour drive ahead of him and he had an early morning meeting the next day! I was stressed because I was supposed to be off that day, had to rearrange my plans and did Delta a favor by flying on my off day. We were both at the same place by strange circumstances...hmmm...coincidence??

We said our goodbyes and he boarded his plane to Minneapolis, I walked back to my gate. As I was walking down the jetway, I was overcome with emotion...so weird...I felt so strongly that it was really important that I pay attention this this potential relationship. What?!? What relationship...I just met the guy! When I landed in Denver, I checked my phone (as I always did) and he had left a very sweet message for me. Awww....

My sweet Brad proposed to me 5 months later in NYC...it was romantic and wonderful. We spent one day at a Yankees game (Yes, he's a HUGE Yankees fan...and yes, he's used to all of you "Yankees Haters"). During the game he said, "Wouldn't it be awesome to get engaged at Yankee Sadium?" I quickly had visions of my name in lights on the score board with really bad hearts bursting out of the letters saying "Mary, will you Marry me, Brad?" I almost gagged as I bluntly blurted out, "NO, that would not be cool...". I felt kind of bad for shattering his "dream", so during the 7th inning, I turned to him and asked, "Will you marry me?" he beamed and said "Of course!" 

Yankee stadium where I "proposed" to him...

But, the official proposal came the next day. We had finished a fabulous dinner, saw "Hairspray" on Broadway and took a walk up to Central Park. We took a carriage ride through the park and he proposed at "Strawberry Fields" (the memorial that Yoko set up for John Lennon) under a full moon and a starry sky...it was PERFECT!
"Strawberry Fields" memorial to John Lennon...
 We were married on August 10, 2004 in my parents yard...it was beautiful and we had all of our family and loved ones with us.
Six years later, we are happier than I could have ever imagined. We have certainly had our share of trials in life, but it is so great to travel on this journey together and to really and truly be best friends. He is the sweetest, kindest and most amazing man I have ever known. My kids love and respect him and he has edified my life in ways I never thought were possible. I love this man with all my heart and am so thankful for him!

Thank you, Honey, for walking up to me that day and taking me on the ride of my life! I love you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

One More Week!

It's Monday and it's the beginning of the last week that I will be home. I leave for training next Monday night (to check into the hotel) for at least 24 days and class starts promptly at 7:00 AM on Tuesday morning. I am excited, I am stressed, and I am even a bit sad!

I know that this is the right decision for me, and both Brad and I feel very good about things. But my sadness comes in with regard to my sweet family. Obviously I will miss Brad. I HATE being away from him overnight but we both are trying to keep the end "prize" in mind. What will really kill me is being away from all of my *Littles* for a month. They change so much from day-to-day...in a month I won't even know them! (O.K., that was a bit dramatic, I know). But little Tage is only 9 months old and just about to crawl and he's pulling himself up, trying to stand. So the next month will be huge for him.

I also will miss my kids. It is so great to talk to my girls everyday and while in training, I'm not so sure we will be able to do that. And if we do, we'll have to keep it short because I know the intensity of the training and the need to focus and study. But all will be well...

Since SkyWest is putting us up in a hotel in SLC that has a kitchen in each room, I am going to get busy this week making Bread, Spaghetti Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Cookies and anything else that I can make to take down there...I also have to make up some of my handy dandy Laundry Soap for Brad and also some for me to take. We have been told that we will be taken to a grocery store the first day to do some shopping, but I'm going to try to take as much food and supplies as I can from my house because I am so CHEAP and I don't want to spend more money on things that may or may not get used while I'm down there.

I have been stressed  because I am trying to tie up all that I can with my Swiss Days position. I have most everything done and my good friend Kerry will be my "on-camera" gal for our media blitz. She went with me last year on a couple of local T.V. shows and news programs and was a real pro. She looked great on camera and she loved it! (I'm in charge of PR and Advertising for Midway Swiss Days). There's so much to be done between now and next Monday, but I'm confident that I will get it all taken care of for this wonderful group of people I work with and I know that Swiss Days will be a huge success with or without me...

SkyWest sent me a Training Packet complete with all-you-need-to-know for the first day of training. When I took the sample tests, I knew ALL of the answers without even perusing the material...same FAA stuff and general airline information that I needed to know at Delta. I know that my previous experience will be an asset in that area. What I'm really worried about is memorizing their PA announcements...at Delta we didn't have to memorize them and we all kind of adapted them into our own verbage, just making sure that we hit certain important points. I have memorized the SkyWest PA, but have to stop myself from slipping into the Delta PA's out of sheer habit and years of repetition.

My final "stress" point is my wardrobe! While in training, we HAVE to adhere to strict "Business Attire" standards.  I have purchased the necessary items that are required and I am going through my wardrobe trying to find pieces that I can put together since I donated mounds of my old business attire outfits to charity thinking I would never be in the work force again! I DETEST panty hose of any kind and haven't worn them in years other than in the winter I wear tights...$85.00 later, I am set with hosiery...yuck! My biggest challenge is wearing closed toed/heeled shoes! I am a total shoe person, but have mostly open shoes, strappy sandals, gladiator sandals, or funky boots...not many practical pumps.

Overall, I'm almost ready. Mentally, I'm gearing up for the rigorous daily routines of early mornings , late nights, classwork, drills, memorization and tests. I've survived before, I'll do even better this time...hopefully! I'm ready to meet my fellow classmates and form new friendships with all and lifelong relationships with many. Change is difficult. I have been comfortable in my own little routine of life...that's all about to change...but then again, isn't that how life's supposed to be?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hold On Tight

Many of  you know that I am a former flight attendant for Delta Air Lines. I resigned almost 6 years ago and have not worked since. Recently my sweet hubs and I have undergone some major changes in our life. He resigned from his job of over 33 years and has started with a new company. He is very happy where he is, but it has been a bit scary giving up the comfort of such a long, lucrative career...he definitely made the right choice to leave; he loves what he does now and our future will be much more secure.

During these past few months of "change", I have contemplated going back to flying. While virtually no airline is hiring flight attendants, I decided to apply for whomever was hiring and it happened to be SkyWest. This is so interesting to me as Delta and SkyWest are so closely affiliated and I never thought I would work for a regional commuter carrier...

I went to the interview on Tuesday in SLC and almost 200 people showed up. I quickly met 2 of the sweetest people, Billy and Mary. They made me laugh and we decided to hang out together for the duration of the day. We made it through the group interview only to find out that the other Mary was cut :'( Billy and I made it through to the one-on-one interviews. I happened to be the first name called for the one-on-one and when I was done, I went back into the holding room to say my good-byes to my new BFF Billy and he gave me a big hug then he loudly said, "O.K Everyone say good-bye to Mary"...they all said goodbye and I took a bow and gratuitously waved to the crowd! He was hysterical...

Yesterday I received a text from Billy saying he was in and had I heard yet...I checked my email and up until yesterday, I wasn't sure if I'd even accept the position...there it was..."Congratulations, New Hire". So now Billy and I are in the same class and he will MOST definitely make the intense 24 days of training more bearable. The good news is that training will be in SLC and since I live more than 40 miles from the SLC airport, they will put me up in a hotel. Training starts on August 17...YIKES...so soon...then on to wherever I get based and I'll be back in the skies.

Now that the decision has been made, Brad and I are very excited and feel really good about it all. I am so happy to be with a solid company and I am excited to see a bunch of new places...I am also SUPER stoked that their seniority is so different from Delta and after one year people are holding great lines and getting weekends and holidays off...if I were still with Delta, I'd still be holding a crappy schedule, working some holidays and weekends and I would still be considered "junior" after 12 years!

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not excited about the training, hopefully my past experience will be an asset. But I am most excited to get my flight benefits back...AND I get privileges on Delta and United as if I were an employee of theirs, not to mention the other carriers that I get to fly on free or for a very discounted rate. So watch out world, I'm Back, and I'm loving it!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Love and Disconnect...

Most of you know that I have a son whom I rarely blog about, but when I do...watch out! The reason I say this is because he is a recovering drug addict...heroin to be exact. As far as I know, he has been clean for 16 months now...from heroin...not sure about his other addictions. Yes, he has several. He is addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and not sure what else but I know he has, and probably still does, smoke  pot.

His name is Tyler. He will be 25 this month and I adore him. He's a precious soul. He was most definitely my easiest child to raise and definitely my most mellow, easy-going, laid back little peacemaker. My girls are I.N.T.E.N.S.E. (not a bad thing, actually quite humorous, just who they are) and he is the polar opposite of them. Anyway, this little peacemaker hit his late teens and decided to try heroin. I don't know the details and I guess they don't really matter. What does matter is his decision to take that first hit. It didn't just happen, it was a decision. He made it and had no idea how that one decision would affect his life and the life of the people who know and love him for years to come.

I don't have much contact with this sweet boy. Oh, we have the occasional Facebook conversation usually consisting of some post he makes with me commenting on it. We text each other about once a month and if it's a really good month, we actually speak on the phone. I think I have seen him in person maybe 10 times this entire year...and we live only about 45 minutes apart from each other. Very sad...

"Love and Disconnect"...those words come into my mind when I think of my baby boy. After all that we have been through together, this is where we have ended up. The multitude of lies, stealing, enabling, worrying, falling apart, aching, agonizing...well you get the point, I have had to remove myself from the daily goings-on in his life. I am proud of him for the good things that he is able to accomplish and no longer surprised at the stupid mistakes he still makes. Because of my inate desire to enable him, I have had to disconnect in some way and it sometimes kills me.

This is my child, my baby to be exact. This is the sweet boy who cared more for others than even himself. Who stopped his car, in a blizzard, to help total strangers who were in need. The boy who was fierce on the football field, basketball court or baseball diamond. This is the boy who was protective of his single mother and scrutinized the men I dated, issuing them a "warning of bodily harm" if they didn't treat me right (tongue in cheek). And then we lost him...not to death, to something even worse...drugs.

The gammut of emotions is impossible to list in one post. I have spent way too many hours, days even months beating myself up and blaming myself for his situation. I even almost died from a heart condition exaserbated from the stress of worrying about this child for several years. I have felt helpless and completely hopeless at times. I have isolated myself and have hidden myself from the truth because it was too impossible to acknowledge...but his choices are not a measure of anyone in his family. He does not determine my self-worth or define who I am.

Please don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on him, I just no longer know what to do. I am desperately looking for an Al Anon group to attend and maybe even some one-on-one counseling to help me. I know what NOT to do, I just don't know anymore what TO do. How do I mother this 25 year old (going on 12)? How do I help him without enabling him?

So I have found a group that meets on Wednesday nights, about 25 minutes from where I live. I am going to my first meeting in two days. I'm terrified and excited all at the same time. You see, I'M the one who now needs help. I'm the one who needs to learn how to live in this new world of mine that I did not choose, but that I have to acknowledge. I am excited, I am terrified. I know that I'm not alone and in a way that makes me sad because it makes me realize that there are other good, loving parents who have or are living the hell that I have lived. I will make it through this. Hopefully Tyler will make it through this as well. I'll keep you posted and any prayers are deeply appreciated. God bless us all!