Day 111 – Happy Easter 2019

Only managed to a get a few photos of the madness, but it was a good day! Of course, Cadence was up at the crack of dawn itching to get outside and hunt eggs. Henry finally rolled out of bed at 8:30 and was immediately on edge when the eggs he worked so hard coloring were gone.

“Hey!” he hollered. “That Easter Bunny stole my eggs! I gonna hit him!” Then he ran to the window to see if he could catch the thieving bunny in the act while Stevie and I cracked up and explained to him that, no, the bunny didn’t steal the eggs, he just hid them…like a joke.

Henry was not impressed, but was excited once we got outside and starting hunting.

Cadence ran around the yard so fast, I barely got a photo of her, but I did manage to wrangle both kids on the step for a quick minute to snap what may be my favorite photo ever.

Notice the creeper in the window behind the kids…

Electra was as irritated as Henry that she didn’t get a chance to catch that bunny and eat any of the hard-boiled eggs. Sorry dog, maybe next year.

Had some family time, a delicious brunch, another egg hunt at Grandma and Papa’s house, and then headed back home to soak up the last few hours of the weekend.

And yeah, Henry was still threatening to hit that bunny if any of his eggs went missing.

Happy Easter all!

Day 110 – Easter prep

Had some fun with the kiddos today coloring Easter eggs. Minimal breakage, and just one minor battle when Cadence apparently looked at one of Henry’s eggs wrong and he felt the need to give her a jab in the ribs.

Bring on the Easter Bunny.

Day 71 – Big Hero and Blitzkrieg Bop

This kid.

We’re slowly moving out of the crazy not-listening, tantrum-throwing phase and into that sweet spot where we get to really see Henry’s personality starting to shine. He’s still my introverted, contemplative boy who likes to crawl up on Momma’s lap and snuggle. But he’s starting to learn that if you want to stand a chance in the Romano house, you gotta turn up the volume.

He’s also got a wicked sense of humor, a killer smile, and stubborn streak that can drive you to the very edge of sanity.

We’ve officially mastered the potty training, and now we’re working hard on eating better dinners without staging massive protests. So yeah, we hit a milestone and got a new toy. And tonight, H-man celebrated by getting to play a little Spiderman on the Playstation while singing his new favorite song, Blitzkrieg Bop.

This boy is either going to be a rockstar, a lawyer, or a stand-up comedian. And no matter how it shakes out, it’s sure going to be an exciting ride.

Day 60 – Be the person you needed

This week has been a time of deep reflection for me. It happens sometimes, when the universe aligns in a way that demands my attention. And while I tend to keep this blog separate from my work life, sometimes it’s just not possible because so many of the things that I’m passionate about overall–learning, connecting with people, serving and supporting others–are things that I actually get to do as part of my job.

I spend a lot of time wondering how I get to be so lucky.

I know part of the reason I’ve been feeling so nostalgic lately is because Stevie and I have been talking about planning a trip back to New York this summer. Yep, that always gets me, thinking about getting to go to the place that will always feel like home.

But there have been other things the past few weeks too:

  • attending a first-gen book reading where memories of my own early college days came flooding back, and receiving a long, lovely email from Dr. Nakhai as I was walking out of the building and back to my car
  • going to a meeting of the First Gen RSO (student club) I serve as an advisor for and having a great conversation with the attendees about why we all chose to go to college and the different ways our families supported our dreams
  • getting my memoir manuscript back from my friend Tammy with her thoughts and notations jotted all over the pages that smell like campfire smoke from all of the late nights spent reading–the story of my adoption and reunion and the years I spent in college trying to figure out exactly who I was and who I wanted to be

I fell in love with the idea of college in my high school guidance counselor’s office. There were bookshelves filled with college catalogs, and on really slow days when there weren’t a lot of notes to deliver during the period I worked there in the middle of the day, I spent my time thumbing through the books and trying to imagine myself in the pictures taken on beautiful campuses, sitting in the classes that, from the descriptions, sounded a helluva lot more interesting than any classes I’d ever had the chance to take in high school.

I fell in love with college the minute I stepped on campus and walked into my first class. And it wasn’t just because of the class content or the independence of being away from home or the beautiful campus from the bustle and excitement of New York City…it was the people.

I saw a quote floating around that said, “Be who you needed when you were younger.” And it struck me that one of the reasons I love my job so much (working with college students and helping them transition from high school to college, from adolescence to adulthood) is because of the incredible people that I met during this exact time in my own life–the leaders, the mentors, the friends, the people who taught me some of the most difficult lessons in my life, the people who answered my questions and helped me get back up when I stumbled, the people who cared about me and believed in me and pushed me so much farther than I ever thought I could go.

Be who you needed when you were younger.

I was fortunate enough to find all of the people I needed, to still have them in my life today. And one of the reasons that I eventually made my way back to work in higher ed was because I know, without a doubt, I am supposed to take all the love and support I was given and pay it forward. And I feel so incredibly blessed that I get an opportunity to do that every single day.

And I hope you’ll forgive the indulgence because I just have to share…UNL does a really great thing where parents can write in and nominate a faculty or staff member on campus who has made an impact on the lives of their students. I have so many amazing colleagues all across campus who are helping students and changing lives in the way mine was changed and wow, that is such a cool thing! And I was so incredibly humbled to be nominated again this year and to read the comments submitted from the parents.

I can only hope these families know how honored I am to have an opportunity to work with their children and to be the person I needed (and found!) when I was once there too. ❤

 

Day 53 – Sleep and self-care

I fell asleep in the recliner last night.

What can I say? It was a long week. I’d just eaten a bowl of pasta. And I’m fairly certain my iron levels have been running a little low (don’t worry, I’ve got a stash of iron supplements that always helps me get back on track).

By 7:00 pm, Henry and I were snuggled up in the chair. By 7:30 pm, I was nodding off. And by 9:30, everyone in the house was snoozing.

So yeah, technically this blog post is about 12 hours late, but hey–my blog, my rules. And I truly believe that missteps or stumbling blocks or failures are not truly failures if we take the time to learn from them and keep challenging ourselves to move forward.

Choosing to take an early night and not force a blog post just to meet my own self-imposed goal of completing another 365 project is a choice I’m not going to feel particularly bad about. It’s all about balance and priorities, and last night’s priority was indulging in a little self-care and getting a full night’s sleep.

And yeah, it feels good.

Now, let’s get back to it.

Day 43 – Throwback

I think this is always going to be one of my favorite photos.

This was such a fun day. Cadence was about 3, and we’d spent a day out in the yard at the old house raking about a billion leaves. When Stevie busted out the leaf blower, Cadence thought it was too much fun to run away from his as he blew stray leaves into our piles. I grabbed my camera and caught gold.

I bought a large canvas for Stevie for his birthday, and it has been in his office ever since. After his office was rearranged (and the only photo-hanging wall was made into a giant whiteboard), he finally decided to bring the canvas home. For the last week or so, he has been cleaning and rearranging in the basement, and he told me he was going to hang this downstairs, to which I replied that he most certainly was not, and I promptly swiped the canvas and took it to my office.

Time to do a little decorating!