Friday, April 29, 2011

The Drive...

I have a love hate relationship with my daily commute to work.  I love listening to the morning radio shows and having my coffee.  It's a good way to think about my day and plan for work.  It's good to decompress on the way home so Olivia has my full attention.  I have good phone conversations to pass my time as well.  I also see the same green truck at least a couple times a week with the fake bullet hole stickers on it.  I laugh every time I pass it.
See the "bullet holes" on the tailgate?

The part I hate the most are the memories.  It's mostly on the way home.  I cry almost every day on the way home.  It may be for a minute or two or even longer.  I'm not sure why and sometimes I don't know why I'm even crying.  It's either a song that comes on the radio, passing by every landmark on the way home that reminds me of all the driving we did together, not having my usual after 5pm call to Patrick about dinner or just memories flooding my head.  I think this time is therapeutic for me, but it's also so hard.  I am so busy otherwise, that this is the only time I have to grieve by myself. I think it's good for my grieving process and being able to move forward.

I also think about the drive in a different way.  It's my drive that I have within to be a successful mom, employee, friend, family member, etc.  Without this, I wouldn't be able to accomplish a darn thing.  I'm still not sure how I do it now.  My ability to remember things has been taken away by grief and mommy-hood.  I was always so good at remembering everything.  Dates, names, phone numbers, errands, etc.  Now if I don't write it down, it doesn't usually get done.  I just put my Winter/Christmas rugs in the basement.  I have a sore back because I forget to call the chiropractor.  I leave emails in my in box to remind me it has to be done.  I've lost a few plants this way, too.

The other weekend we were in Ripon for Ultimate Frisbee.  I am so proud of the Merriman boys for their drive.  They are working on finishing another year of college, keeping "The House" alive and fund-raising for Olivia's college fund.  They amaze me.

Easter was pretty low key for us.  Olivia had a basket, but she had no clue what was going on.  She did have a pretty dress on all day:)

She has also been wearing 6 month clothes now!  It's so fun to put new outfits and finally shoes on her!

Over spring break, we got a visit from the Goehlers.  O had her Bears bib on for Brock.

Olivia and Brock

Reese giving O a hug.  I love her reaction!

Becky and Olivia.

Reese and I

This weekend, Olivia and I are just going to lay low.  We've both had colds and not feeling well.  It would be nice to have a weekend where we didn't have a million things going on at once.  So I will be cuddling with my girl all weekend and relaxing.

I'd also like to say thank you to a friend that I have reconnected with in the last couple of years. We've been talking a lot recently and it's been great reconnecting.  The conversations are great and stay positive.  (I've been deleting people in my life that are negative) It's easy to relate to each other, as we are both single/only parents.  Glad you're back in my life:)

One more thing.  I had the best Bloody Mary this past weekend at Cantwell's baby shower in Green Bay.  It was a huge conversation this week!

It was a huge mug!  I couldn't finish it in 2 hours:)

Included: beef stick, string cheese, shrimp, spicy pickle, olive, mushroom, lemon and lime. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ultimate 2011

Yesterday was a Phi Kappa Pi (Merriman House) tradition.  It was their Ultimate Frisbee tournament.  For quite some time, the boys and girls get teams and compete in a tournament.  For over 15 years, they have picked a family to raise money for.  This year, they picked the Patrick Blessing Memorial Fund.  Thank you to Tyler Shultz for organizing the event.

The shirt they made for the event.

Last year, Patrick and his brothers attended what would be his last Ultimate.  He had so much fun and talked about it for days.  He just loved hanging out with his fraternity brothers...and as always...for a good cause.
Patrick, Adam and Jim at Ultimate 2010.

This year, I made meatballs for the boys.  That has been a Merriman tradition as well.  I got Olivia all bundled up and we headed for Ripon on Saturday  morning.  
O all bundled up for the day.

We met some alumni there as well. Sibleys, Leatherburys, Mathias, Blessings, Schrieber, Luek, etc.  It was so fun to be able to hang out with them.  
The boys. Ultimate 2011

We also had a chance to go back in the house.  They opened it up for a few hours.  It just wasn't the same.  Not only with not having Patrick there, but the house was empty.  It's too bad Ripon College couldn't come to a conclusion on making it work.  It's a damn shame.  I wonder if Ripon will get all of their donations this year like they did in the past?  We'll have to see.
O and I in the lounge in front of the fireplace.
Shawn holding O on the mantle.  He held Payton in that same place 14 years ago.

Before we left for the day, Channel 5 News was there to document the event.  Thank goodness I wasn't on camera for long.  But Miss O got her TV debut!  She looked great on camera.

We then headed over to the "Old Timmons" for a beverage.  Had some nice laughs with the girls and the boys took care of O.
Jon and O at "Timmons"

Then it was time for dinner at Roadhouse.  Our tables were full of fried food.  Fries, corn dogs, jalapeno poppers, cheese curds, mushrooms, pizza, sandwiches, mozzarella sticks, etc.  It was awesome!  I didn't eat too much.  I had to weigh in today for my weight loss challenge.  Great.  More laughs were had and we enjoyed our time together.
Cheese curds and BBQ sauce.  My new favorite at Roadhouse.

Then O and I headed back to Fondy.  It was a tough drive home.  Memories were flooding my head.  Wishing Patrick was here to enjoy this.  It's always a good time when I see our friends...but also hard.  It's weird not having Patrick there with us.  Then when it's time to go, all of the couples are on their way back home together and I leave by myself.  I miss the days where it was Patrick and I leaving an event.  It's just something I have to get used to over time.  It will get better.  If I didn't have O, I don't know how I would be handling all of this.

As I crawled into bed last night at 9:15, I told myself that I had to stay awake and see us on the news.  It was going to be hard. I was so tired.  Then I got a call from my good friend, Rese.  She helped me stay awake for a while.  We always have great conversations and she's been such a good friend during this whole time.  Some people have dropped off after Patrick died and don't contact us much anymore.  Not Rese.  She's checking in on me all the time to make sure we are ok.  At 10:15 or so, there we were on Channel 5 News.  They did a nice little segment on the event.  I was proud to see my baby on tv:)  Both of them. Patrick and Olivia.  

Today I'm spending the day working, laundry and holding my girl.  Tomorrow is Monday and I don't get to spend time with her during the week.  So I do as much of that on the weekend as possible.

Hopefully it gets as warm as it was last Sunday!

Have a good week everyone! 
Olivia in her first ride in her stroller like a big girl! (It was 80* a week ago today)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I'm following suit on 2 other blogs I read and talking about what I'm thankful for.  There have been so many bad things going on, that you have to be thankful for what you have.

I am thankful for...
  • My mom, dad and sister-in-law for watching Olivia during the week while I work.
  • A warm and loving environment for Olivia to grown up in.
  • Great friends...old and new.
  • A car that's paid off (Patrick's that has plenty of miles on it) that I drive my 500 mile weekly commute.
  • People in my life helping out with Patrick's memorial fund.
  • Family and friends keeping Patrick's memory alive.
  • Olivia. She keeps me on my toes, sleeps through the night, eats well and is happy 99% of the time.
  • All of the presents and donated items for Olivia, so she has everything she needs.
  • That Patrick knew he was going to be a daddy to a little girl and we got to decide on a name before he died.
  • DVR. I don't have time to watch live TV anymore. 
  • Doctors and Nurses at Froedtert and St. Luke's for them being able to do all they could to save Patrick.
  • Cameras. To capture all of my moments with Olivia.
  • Fat clothes. Until I lose 3 more pounds of baby weight and an extra 10-15 pounds.  I'm not sure how I would look at work in my sweatpants.
  • Wine. I just really like wine.  It tastes so good.
  • Doritos. I just really like Doritos.  They taste so good.
  • Family. For every time I need them and for helping me raise Olivia.
  • Eye cream.  So people at work don't think I'm a zombie with my bags and dark circles.
  • iPhone.  If you have one, you know why I like it.
  • Having a birthday.  Didn't want to turn 36, but I am here and have the opportunity to celebrate, when others can't.
  • Pearl Jam. CD's, songs on the radio, concerts, my iPod and of course, Pearl Jam Radio.
  • Merriman= Family that's not necessarily related, but always there for you.
  • Chiropractor. Keeping me in line.
  • Sunday paper.  Catching up on Fond du Lac  The Sunday paper comes with coupons for me to clip.    Last week I was paid 1 cent to buy my toothpaste.
  • Coffee.  I have 2 cups every day.  Starbucks on a special day and if I'm super tired.
  • Flowers.  They can brighten anyone's day.
  • Getting my hair colored.  You can't see my gray then.
  • Purses.  I really like purses.
  • Shopping.  It's therapeutic.  But must use coupons and shop the sales.
  • Naps.  For Olivia, not me.  It gives me time to try and get stuff done around the house.
  • Kids.  Their laughter and voice brighten your day.
  • My calendar.  It keeps me organized.
  • Patrick Bernard Jahner. Born April 7, 2011.  
  • Patrick Bernard Blessing.  8/12/75-7/22/10. He made my life and made me a better person.
 Here are a few pictures that make me smile.

My superstar playing at Shauna's.

Olivia and I at my birthday party.

Chunky legs and leg warmers

Backup dancer for Jlo

Olivia and grandma in her skinny jeans.