29 January 2012

Locks of Love

Our daughter has had long hair for most of her life. It's been well past her waist for years.

Since Christmas, she's been talking about getting it trimmed or maybe having a few inches taken off. Then last week she decided she wanted to cut off the required amount to donate it to Locks of Love.

And that is just what she did...

Not only does she look a lot better, in my opinion, she also gave someone the gift of some very thick, curly hair.

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

20 January 2012


It's here.

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

14 January 2012

Birthday Blues

Last night at a basketball game, a friend of ours said to me, "You are now the mother of three adults." That's because yesterday was our youngest daughter's 18th birthday. But wow - what a way to make a gal feel old.

The birthday girl's day began with her dad taking her out to breakfast as he's done every year of her life. Then she had to go on to school, which in my opinion, is just wrong. Don't you think kids should be given the day off on their birthdays? Of course, as a senior with a bad case of senioritis, she's taken many other days off so far this year, so I guess it all evens out.

Then she had a basketball game in the Bangor area, which is two-hours away from home. Being the devoted sports fans that we are, we made the trek up there, but we did it by coastal route. We even made a stop at my favorite Big Chicken Barn Antique & Used Book Store and had dinner at Dysart's Truck Stop. All this without the birthday girl, of course, who had to make the long trip by bus with her team - through freezing rain and slush.

The game was disappointing as she didn't play much and the entire team seemed to be in a funk. They lost to a team that is ranked far lower in the standings. As if that weren't enough, the coach, who had emailed all the parents telling them their daughters could ride home with them this ONE TIME, changed her mind after the loss and made the girls all ride back on the bus as punishment. This, after many parents made the long drive up to the game. Happy Birthday!

So we began the drive back, only to find that I-95 just south of Bangor was covered in ice and the snow was coming down fast and furious. We crept along at 25 and 30 MPH, only to see many cars slide right off the highway. It was a nail-biter, but we made it in just over three hours.

This morning, our newly adult daughter had to wake up early to go to her forced-volunteer job with the rest of her team of coaching elementary school children in the area, and then they have practice this afternoon. And then she works tonight. But we will celebrate SOMETIME. I have two - yes, TWO - cakes on order from The European Bakery and then - THEN - we will have fun.

Being the mom of three adults is much harder in many ways than being the mom of three small children. I would have disagreed if someone told me that at the time, because I'd have argued that at least the adults can wipe their own bottoms and tie their own shoes; but now I see that back then, at least I had some semblance of control over their lives.

These days, my babies have big kid problems over which I have very little control, if any at all. When they hurt or suffer, the most I can offer are hugs and prayers. Usually I have to stand back and watch from the sidelines (literally, in some cases) while they learn their own lessons and fight their own battles. And I have to smile strongly so they won't know it's absolutely killing me on the inside.

But that's what we moms do, isn't it?

So, for my girl who was recently voted class clown of her senior superlatives, here is one of her many senior picture photo shoots. This should clear up the whole "class clown" thing, in case there was ever any doubt.

Happy Birthday to my darling daughter who always makes us laugh. You are precious to me and will always be my baby girl, no matter what the calendar tells us.

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

04 January 2012

The Frigid Maine Coast

Yesterday my daughter and I made the most of the incredibly sunny day, and we took a drive along the coast. It was cold outside, but the sunshine shone through the windshield and we got some much needed light therapy.

Notice the lack of snow.

This morning it is 5 degrees, windy, and we are stoking our wood stove.

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

02 January 2012

Looking Forward

I've heard many people commenting on how 2011 was for them. Many had a banner time, while many more are only too ready to say good-bye to such a tough year.

I realized yesterday that I hadn't taken the time to reflect on the year as a whole. I was too busy reflecting on the last couple of days, weeks, months. When I try to think about the year as a whole, it seems more like three or four years. It's been a long year, if nothing else, and it had its ups and downs.

So I've been looking back over photos and at this blog to see what exactly we did last year and WHY IT SEEMED SO LONG. The first thing I found was my New Year's Day Post from last year, and it didn't make me feel any better. This time last year, I was saying pretty much the same thing - that the year had been crazy, so crazy I was glad to see it go.

This causes me to pause and ask myself why all I ever remember are the bad times? Because life is hard? Sure it is, but it's also good.

So rather than gripe about how long and hard the year was, I choose to focus on the good: the fact that my second child graduated high school; the fact that my oldest is all grown up and I LIKE him; the fact that my husband still has a job - and one he really likes; the fact that although we are in debt, we can pay our bills; the fact that we have now been married 20 years, which is HUGE in this day and age; the fact that I have friends all over this great country, who are very dear to me; and of course the fact of good medical care.

I also choose to look forward. There is a lot of frustration and a lot of unknowns in our home right now, but there is also a lot of good. I choose to fixate on the good. I know I'll fail, because I always tend to fixate on the bad - but hey, it's good to have goals, right? :) Besides, I have this amazing family... imperfect and hard at times, but yet, there they are...

Happy New Year to you all, two days late. Better late than never? I think so.

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes