Sunday, September 16, 2012


I had a little chat with my mom the other day.  The subject of God came up.  Sometimes I know my mom worries about my soul.  Every once in a while I have to remind her I'm okay.  I may not be in church every Sunday, or any Sunday for the past four years.  (I did go once with Mindy when I visited Colorado in 2008.)  Despite my absence record in church, my faith has never been shaken. 

I don't quote scripture to anyone, not because I'm ashamed, I just don't memorize anything.  I'm not afraid to share a scripture, but I would be embarrassed if I got the scripture wrong in my attempt to encourage someone.  I make it very clear to whom ever I am talking to that I am not religious.  Make all the jokes you want, but I have a relationship with the Lord.  I once made a very public and in writing statement about something the Lord did for me.  Man did that come back to bite me.  I actually had more than one person ask me if I was in a cult as a result of that letter.  The awkwardness I felt after that letter most certainly kept me from sharing on such a large scale again.  Well, except now.  BUT, my faith stayed the same. 
Agape Banquet

2001 - 24th Anniv.
 I fail God everyday, He NEVER fails me.  

2007 - 30th Anniv.
The way I let people know He's real is by telling the awesome things He has done for me.  Trusting the Lord doesn't mean you will always have a good outcome to a bad situation, it just means you will make it through that bad situation. 
Feb. 2012
I know God is real because my parents are still married.  
My parents are celebrating 35 years of marriage on September 17, 2012.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And she's off!

Why are you waking me up this early?
My Godmother, Mindy sent me flowers!
I can't believe you got me a fish!

She talked to her fish the whole time she ate her breakfa
The time has come.  A new chapter.  A big chapter.  The kindergarten chapter.  I knew this day was coming when Rylee was just several months old.  I had dropped her off at daycare before heading to work.  I was driving by an elementary school I always drove past.  But on this day they had a sign up in front of the school letting parents know the time to register their kids for kindergarten was coming up.  I panicked.  I don't know how to register a kid for kindergarten!  There was nothing about this in the baby books I read.  Okay the one book I read.  Okay, the one book I skimmed occasionally.  Oh no, I should have read the books!  I don't want to be an adult!  I just want to make a u-turn, pick up Rylee, call in sick forever, and cuddle with Rylee.  We can play all day and no one has to get hurt.  I know, I'll call Mindy (aka my best friend who talks me off of the occasional ledge) she'll know what to do.  Mindy proceeds to speak to me in soothing tones and says, "Jess, it's okay.  You've got about five years before Rylee needs to be registered for kindergarten.  You probably are still dealing with hormones being out of control since your pregnancy.  Calm down and breathe."

Logically I know I'm ready.  As far as school supplies, I'm ready.  Emotionally, come on, we both know the answer to that stupid question.  It's not like I'm hiding in my closet curled up in the fetal position crying about the fact my daughter will not be in my sight every minute of the day.  Well not yet.  Realistically it's not the part where she's not in my sight all day that is troubling me, it's the thought that she could be picked on.  She could be teased.  She could say something in front of her whole class and they could laugh at her and she could cry.  What if she falls on the playground and the school nurse calls me but I'm in the bathroom and don't hear the phone ring and Rylee has to wait in the office and she's crying and scared?  Oh my God why do we send our kids to kindergarten!  It's not okay!  I'm not ready!  Let's calm down and be rational.  She's not going to college yet.  I'm not sending her to another country for a foreign exchange program.  She's not running off to travel abroad and find herself, where she meets a creepy guy named Paolo and tells me she's in love.  She's going to kindergarten for almost three hours a day.  No big deal right?  Why is this so scary?

Oh how I loved the Care Bears!
Rylee will encounter peer pressure.  (I'm not thinking anything serious in kindergarten, like drugs, but maybe someone dares her to jump off of something that could result in a broken bone.)  Rylee might have a kid in her class that is mean to her for no reason, or worse, Rylee might be mean to a kid for no reason. 
Mom, what were you thinking when this outfit was chosen?
If I picked it, you shouldn't have let me. If you did, well, you know I'll be sending you the therapy bill.
Becky and I with the girls in September of 2007.
We still can't believe how fast time flies.
My sister in-law, Becky, and I were discussing this milestone the other night and shedding some tears thinking about the big change that is about to happen to our families.  My niece, Makenah, is starting kindergarten as well.  Becky said, "We are about to let more people into our lives.  Kids, parents, and teachers."  Ugh, do we have to?

 We, Rylee's family, won't be the only voices speaking into her life.
This is the most terrifying part of starting school.

Later mom!  I'm too excited to be scared!
I can look back and remember a teacher who influenced me, impacted my life in some intense way that made me never forget them.  Thank you Mrs. Parodi, where ever you are.

My kindergarten class.  Mrs. Linden on the right. 
And there I am on the top right, unaware that red and purple really don't go together.

I remember my kindergarten teacher very well.  I am so blessed to still be in contact with her.  She taught my sister, my brother, and myself.  Her name is Mrs. Lee Linden.  She sent me a copy of "Life's Little Instruction Book" when I graduated high school.  She sent Rylee a copy of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" when she was born.  I have moved a lot in my life.  Fortunately my family wasn't moving when I was in school, so I was able to attend the same elementary school until it was time for Jr. High.  All the teachers I had back then were able to see me grow.  I want that for Rylee.  I want teachers I trust, in her life.  They don't have to have the same religious or political views as me, I just want to trust them.
C'mon Dad! This is the only time I'll be cool
with you riding the bus with me.
Wow, trust, a small word, but a very heavy one.  I have to trust myself.  I have to trust that Rylee will remember the things I've taught her about manners and listening.  I have to trust that she'll make wise choices on the playground.  I have to trust she'll do the right thing if she sees a kid getting picked on.  I know this isn't the end of teaching my daughter, it's just the beginning of finding out if she's been listening to me. 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

5 Going on 15

For those of you with a girl who has a little while before she reaches the milestone of turning five, this might be a small warning, no insight, into the intensity that your princess will be facing. I have been told that girls start to battle an onslaught of hormones around this time. Well I don't know all the scientific facts about that statement but I can tell you a storm has been brewing in the Roemer house since Smylee Rylee blew out her candles. Emotional seems like an understatement. The crying is intense. The mood swings will give you whip lash. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about, but at least we know why it's happening, and we may not be able to communicate in the middle of our sobbing drama, but we do have the vocabulary to explain what we're upset about at some point. And if we can't explain it, we apologize and try to laugh it off. "Sorry about that! Don't know where that came from! Didn't mean to bite your head off! I promise not to threaten your life again." Well, you have to ride this insane emotional roller coaster with your darling girl and be as patient as you can. Trust me, you'll wish you could just drop her off at the park and go get a smoothie while she rides the ups and downs.

As frustrating as this new chapter in our lives has been, there are moments of brevity. While driving home from running errands today, a song came on the radio. Rylee told me when she hears it she thinks of when she first got Mooty. (Mooty is the most beloved of all her stuffed animals. I wrote a previous story about the time Mooty was lost and then found. Very dramatic and triumphant story of love and courage in the face of loss and, okay, not really. But it was really upsetting at the time.) I am going to include the chorus lyrics to the song so you can get an idea of just how serious her love for Mooty is.

"A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have love you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Sunday, January 29, 2012

You Can't Scare Me, I'm a Mother

I saw a fun Halloween decoration, it said, "You Can't Scare Me, I'm a Mother."
While it makes for a funny decoration, it is so far from the truth. Of you course you can scare me, threaten my kid and you'll scare me. (You'll see my mama bear instinct kick in pretty quickly too though.) If my kid gets sick, it scares me. When my kid is in another room and I hear a thud proceeded by crying, it scares me. When I have bad dreams about my kid getting lost, it scares me. When I think about my kid, who is five today, turning into a teenager, IT SCARES ME.
Everyone agrees the world is scarier today than it was even twenty years ago. Sure way back in the day, out on the range, life was hard. Sickness and weather were far harder to deal with than they are today. But the dangers today are so sneaky. Kids bullying other kids leads to tragic stories on the news. Terrorism. Don't get me started on terrorism. The fact that my five year old has to take her shoes and any metal items off while traveling through security at the airport is so sad. Now parents have debates about whether or not vaccinations are a good or bad thing. You make a decision, but there is always that one percent of doubt in the back of your mind making you wonder if you did the right thing giving your kid a shot, or not giving them a shot.
I try really hard to not stick my head in the sand. I try to be informed. But after awhile I realize I just have to do the best I can at steering this adorable human in the right direction. I saw a quote that really sums up how I try to remind myself to not worry. "Worrying is like praying for something you don't want." If you believe in the power of prayer, like I do, then you know the weight of this quote is heavy. Every time I'm faced with a new parenting task I've never encountered I find myself thinking about how I was raised. Thank God for my parents. I am so blessed I was raised the way I was raised. I think I'll let my daughter listen to a bit more music than I was allowed to listen to, but other than that, I have a guide for my parenting future.
Now, onto to the not so serious, but still being sincere.
Top five, since she's five today, reasons why I love my daughter. I am really making this difficult for myself.
1. Her sense of humor. Oh my gosh she's funny.
2. Her laugh. No matter how bad your day might have been, that laugh will fix it.
3. Her love of animals. This reminds me of me and I'm glad someone else thinks the way I do.
4. Her generosity. She seems to have my knack for enjoying giving presents more than getting them. Don't get me wrong, she's five, she REALLY loves getting presents right now, but she's on her way to understanding the importance of it is better to give than receive.
5. Her diplomacy. Try getting her to play favorites. She really won't give in to pressure, at least most of the time. I'm concerned about her tendency to ignore her diplomatic tendencies when sweets are offered as a bribe.
Of course there are more reasons I love my Smylee Rylee, ahem, her smile, but I'll keep it to five for today. I am so thankful for her. She has changed my life. She teaches me. She doesn't know it, but she does.