Archive | February, 2012

Goodbye To An Old Friend

29 Feb

Yesterday, I learned via Facebook of a friend from college dieing of brain cancer.

This whole Facebook phenomenon has an interesting twist when someone dies. This is the second time that one of my Facebook friends has died, and their Wall turns into a virtual memorial, with people posting memories, sympathies to the family, and pictures.

I haven’t talked to David since college, but we reconnected on Facebook a few years ago. He came to the Reno area regularly for Burning Man, and it would have been fun to see him on one of those trips. He had two young daughters, and it just breaks my heart thinking of his little family carrying on without him, and also thinking about all he will miss as a father to those girls. Thanks to Facebook, though, we had at least reconnected virtually, I was aware of his illness, and I was also informed of his passing in a very timely manner. If this would have happened 10 years ago, I likely wouldn’t have found out about his passing at all.

The other Facebook friend who died was someone I knew all through elementary school to high school. From what I could gather on the Wall posts, she committed suicide. Periodically, like on her birthday or the anniversary of her death, I’ll see notes that her Mom writes to her, or notes that friends write.

I wonder what Facebook’s policy is for people who have died. So far, it appears they leave the account intact, and it seems to be a high tech way for people to mourn the lost.

It definitely makes me think about my own mortality when people my age die. Especially David, who I remember as a vibrant, funny and fun loving guy. Let this serve as a reminder to live each life in the fullest.

Rest in peace, Dave.


Cook Family Reunion

28 Feb

Cook Family Reunion

My parents met at a ski club.  They introduced my brothers and I to skiing at a young age, and we’re now continuing that tradition with our kids.  Two weeks ago, my whole family gathered at Kirkwood, CA for a family ski day.  What a lovely time it was, indeed.  I can’t wait for my kiddos to be old enough to ski all day!

P.S.  Isn’t my brother’s puppy ADORABLE?!

Love Can Build A Bridge

21 Feb

I was watching Oprah sometime last year, and she did an interview with The Judds.   The Judds then did a performance of their song Love Can Build A Bridge.  I was instantly transported back to church camp in the early 1990s…  I remembered singing that song with my camp mates, full of hope for finding the perfect love in my life — that of a husband, of children, and also with God.

I was very religious in my teens, needless to say.

That song spoke to me powerfully back then.  When I saw the song performed on Oprah, it stopped me in my tracks. I replayed it over and over.  Soon therafter, I started using that song to sing my children to sleep.

Little Man has now become very addicted to the song.  I’m not allowed to sing any other lullaby to him.  He insists on the “Bridge” song, and also will only allow me to sing it when it is bedtime (no breaking schedule).

The other night, I was singing this song to him, when I heard my daughter singing along from her bedroom, and my son started singing, too.  I was amazed that they knew all of the lyrics.  It also made me smile. If any song lyrics are going to make an imprint on my children, I think these are the perfect ones to describe the love I feel for them as their mother.

Love Can Build A Bridge (lyrics)

I’d gladly walk across the desert with no shoes upon my feet
To share with you the last bite of bread I had to eat
I would swim out to save you
In your sea of broken dreams
When all your hopes are sinking
Let me show you what love means

Love can build a Bridge
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a Bridge
Don’t you think it’s time?
Don’t you think it’s time?

I would whisper love so loudly
Every heart could understand
That love and only love
Can join the tribes of man
I would give my heart’s desire
So that you might see
The first step is to realize
That it all begins with you and me

Love can build a Bridge
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a Bridge
Don’t you think it’s time?
Oh, don’t you think it’s time?

When we stand together
It’s our finest hour
We can do anything, anything Anything, anything
Keep believin’ in the power of Love
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a Bridge

Don’t you think it’s time? Don’t you think it’s time?

Valentine’s Scrouge

14 Feb

I like Valentine’s Day.  I do.  It just comes on the heels of my daughter’s birthday, and after going all-out to celebrate that, Valentine’s Day tends to be an afterthought for me.

This year, I have two Valentine’s Day pet-peeves:

1.  My daughter’s teacher came up with this lovely idea to have kids draw a Valentine’s Buddy, and they would each bring lunch for their buddy.  In essence, I still have to make a lunch, but I send it for some other kid, and Lord knows what kind of food that other mother will be packing!  I ate lunch with my daughter last week at her school, and every time I do, I look in awe at what other parents are packing for their children.  The winner this past time was the Mom who packed one white breadstick and one brownie for her child’s lunch.  Really?!  Nothing with viable nutrition!  The teacher spent the lunch trying to gather food the other kids weren’t eating to give to him.  So yeah, I have high standards with the food I give my kids, and this whole switching lunch thing isn’t my favorite Kindergarten activity.

2.  Goodie bags.  The Mothers at my son’s daycare send goodie bags home for every random holiday.  He got a goodie bag yesterday from a 1 year old, filled with plastic junk and candy.  I’m not a believer in goodie bags even at birthday parties — because, truly, who has ever received a goodie bag in which the contents weren’t pitched within a week?!  Do I look like a slacker Mom for not giving goodie bags to the other kids at daycare?  Probably.  I don’t really care.

Seeing posts on Facebook today of what other Moms have done to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their kids truly made me feel like a slacker.  They baked muffins, decorated the table, bought cards…  I bought one chocolate rose for my daughter, and sprinkled a few candy hearts on the table.  Thankfully, the kids are young enough not to know any different.

So that is my rant for the day.  We still have cupcakes coming out of our ears at home from my daughter’s birthday, so I’ll be avoiding all of the Valentine’s treats like the plague.

Butt Cake

13 Feb

The past few weeks have definitely been a whirlwind.  My parents came into town to celebrate my daughter’s sixth birthday with us.  It has been such a treat to have my parents visiting!

The night before Little Miss’ birthday, my mom baked her a special mini-cake in a cake pan that looks like a present.  They also baked a bunch of cupcakes for the kids that would be attending her party.  My mom put the cake on the rack to cool, and then started making frosting.

My daughter got up on the counter to help make the frosting.  A while later, I came into the kitchen to find them happily frosting cupcakes on the table, and this was on the counter.



That’s right, people, my daughter had sat on her own birthday cake without even knowing it!  We all got a good laugh out of it, and the newly named butt cake then went into the garbage as whe baked another cake.

Here is what the second birthday cake looked like:

Much better!

This past weekend, we skied with my parents and all of my nieces and nephews.  What a treat it was to ski with our entire extended family.  I especially enjoyed skiing with my parents.


This week, I am getting Lasik Enhancement surgery, and I won’t be allowed to ski for a week.  You all know what that means, right?  It’s FINALLY snowing here.  Figures.