Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The prodigal blogger returns...

It is March 5, 2014.  It seems like it's been a year since my last blog post. Oh wait, it has been although I'm getting in just under the wire for an actual 365-day year and I have promised myself that I would write every day for the forty days of Lent and I will even write every day of the forty days on the actual blog, not just in my little journal.  How about that Dad!

Life in the last year has been fast-paced and full of many changes and lots of highs and lows.  Yesterday we lost Marc's mom after a long year plus of decline.  Mom Mathews aka Grandma Beach was just shy of 99.  She was quite frankly, amazing.  She was, and proudly so, the ultimate party girl!  Grandma Beach knew how to have a good time from her firm adherence to Happy Hour to teaching her grandchildren how to gamble.  She was also a fantastic mother-in-law, never once criticizing me for the way I did anything and always thinking that everything I cooked was delicious.  I shall use her as my role model should I ever be a mother-in-law.  And, when I don't want to do something, I shall just smile enigmatically and say, "we'll see."  There are more stories but maybe for another time.

In addition, we acquired Dug in the last year.  If you follow my Instagram account "GwennieM", you know all about Dug and the #dailydug.  I love Dug.  Really, I do.  One day Dug's brain will be as big as his giant Labrador retriever body.  One day he will not be the very hungry Dugapiller (thank you Claire for that) and he will turn into a beautiful butterfly.  In the meantime, I'll continue to spend a small fortune on chew toys to prevent him from chewing my house.  Remember my post about the theology of Jack Russell Terriers?  I was right, JRTs do have a different world view from Labs.  Labs only think about what something will taste like or how it will feel crunching in their teeth.  They do hate squirrels though just like JRTs. At this moment though, he is cuddled up on the couch and I love him. 

More exciting than Dug and equally expensive is that  Mary Rollins found the college of her choice and her college choice likes her too!  Mary Rollins is going to Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.  I'm sorry that I wasn't blogging during the height of our college hunting months but suffice it to say that it was SO MUCH FUN!  MR hired me as her college counselor (which reminds me that she owes me a latte -- I work cheap) and I had a great time reverting back to my old higher ed days helping her to focus in on good schools.  We looked at Elon, University of Richmond, Belmont, Skidmore, Furman, Connecticut College, Sarah Lawrence, Wagner, Transylvania (my favorite :-)), Dickinson and Muhlenberg.  Her final choices came down to Skidmore, Dickinson and Muhlenberg -- three wonderful schools that are all a million miles from Lexington.  Well, not quite a million miles but many more than her initial 5 hour radius from home that she wanted.  Apparently ballet girls need to go north to the land of Yankees.  Had we know she would one day attend college in the northeast, we might not have given her a two-part name.  (Please feel free to give suggestions on the best way to educate Yankees about the two-part name in the comments below.  My favorite suggestion so far has been, "tell them it's like Billy Bob...everybody gets that.")  So the Mule School is going to have a good Kentucky girl who has all her own beautiful teeth and will even wear shoes to class.  And, MR is excited about Northeastern winters (I know!?!  Who says that?!?).  She got some fabulous Hunter boots for Christmas (which Dug has chewed already, and some warm coats so she's ready. She'll get to do lots of dancing at Muhlenberg, study hard in lots of different subjects as she majors in undecided and get to visit Isabug in New York.  There are good times ahead!

What else happened last year?  We went to Yosemite and San Francisco (incredible), Maorimere and I went to London & Wales (which deserves its own post with pictures).  It was a fantastic year of travel with our excellent college visit trips as well.

Oh, we also tried to sell our house and move to my dream house on Central Ave by Woodland Park.  It seemed like a good idea at the time but fortunately, the house we wanted to buy sold before we could sell ours and some of the Mathews (not the college bound senior who is moving away anyway) realized that we actually really love our house and don't want to move.  Except, one of us realized that she really loved her house but would love it even better if it had a new kitchen.  Can you see where that's going?  I have two guys downstairs right now who have torn out my kitchen and there's a dumpster in my driveway.  I'll try to show you some pictures as I'm sure over the next 40 days I'll be blogging about my renovation.  I'm also getting new hardwood floors in over half of the first floor.  For the next 2.5 to 3 months, I'll be putting Dug to work as a garbage disposal/dishwasher.  Oy, we'll see how it goes.  I'm also redoing the laundry room while were at it because I wanted to make sure that our only sink was the very tiny bar sink in the basement.  Putting our house on the market and renovating the kitchen has been a very good experience for me as Realtor.  I had forgotten just how painful the selling process can be especially when you have three dogs.  I also have a really good idea of what it costs not to renovate a kitchen.  All I can say is there taking me out of this house in a box!

Keep Marc and all of us in your prayers as we mourn and celebrate the passing of the remarkable Kay Mathews. Thank you Mom M. for your many, many gifts to us. 




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