Thursday, January 29, 2009

New blog

Hello my loyal readers (all three of you)! I have launched another blog, this one chronicling my experiences as a mom-to-be. You can access it here. I hope to post to it more frequently than I have been posting to this blog. This blog will remain in existence so I will still have a channel to share my thoughts with the world. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Star is Born

Baby Benjamin Hamm came into the world yesterday! My little nephew weighed in at nine pounds, five ounces and is a cutie-patootie!

Baby Ben: May The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It has been a while...

...since I last posted. I have been waiting to post until I had experienced something that moved me in some way or struck me as interesting to talk about. I don't like to post without anything in particular to say.

So I have been putting it off. And putting it off. Well today I don't have anything Earth shattering to share. It has been a typical day at the office. It is 4:30 on a Friday, so it is rather quiet.

But two interesting things did happen today: 1. I walked by Robin Williams on the sidewalk and 2. I heard my baby's heartbeat for the first time!

Bill said I should write in the baby's diary that I saw Robin Williams minutes before hearing the baby's heartbeat. But I fear I am a bad mother-to-be, because I have no such baby diary! (Question to mothers out there: is this something I should have? Am I negligent because I don't)?

Because I am lacking this baby diary, I guess this blog will be where I chronicle these two events, one amusing but not life changing and the other highly amusing and definitely life changing--well at least for me and Bill.

Hearing the heartbeat certainly made me feel like this is real. I often wonder if there really is a baby in there, but today confirmed that there most definitely is. The strangest thing might just be next month when we find out if we will be purchasing baby gear in blue or pink. (My prediction: we will be buying blue)!

Now the question is what well-known person might I see on the day of my next doctor's appointment?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

That favorite teacher...

Today I saw her! Madame Krasucki, my French teacher for three years in high school. She has been the teacher I've always cited as my favorite when asked that age-old question of who that one teacher was that had a lasting impact on me. She taught me so much about language, which I loved, but also so much about life! She was that teacher who everyone felt they could open up to and tell their life's story. It's been 12 years since I've seen this wonderful lady, and today I saw her again!

I caught her eye as she was leaving the building, and she stopped in her tracks to shout out my name. It was like slow motion in a movie, I ran over to her. We embraced. I had the silliest grin on my face, not only because I saw her but because she instantly recognized me!

I had to tell her what I'd always told others--that she was and always will be that one extra special teacher. She said I made her day. I hope so, because she made many of mine. If I ever teach, which I sometimes aspire to do, I will try to emulate her caring way and her enthusiasm for teaching yet another batch of students how to make crepes, how to say the Hail Mary in French, and how to pass that monstrous AP French exam!

Madame Krasucki, though I never said it when I knew you well, you are one of a kind!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A week in the woods

I couldn't be much busier at work these days. Project deadlines are looming, new business pitches are mounting and taking up much of my working hours, and I have unsigned, unaddressed birthday cards sitting on my desk at home intended for friends whose birthdays have since long passed. In other words, I am stretched a little thin.

I don't mean to complain. I only tell you this because I also want to tell you about something I did in the midst of this chaos that was pretty special. This something took me away from all the chaos for seven days, and guess what? The world kept spinning. Business continued at the office. The dogs survived their seven days at the kennel with no permanent damage.

So this special something was Camp Quality. I and my husband served as companions to campers who have or have had cancer. We spent a week in the woods with these kids who ranged in age from seven to 18. My camper has been in remission for several years and looks forward to Camp Quality more than anything each year. Bill's camper is still going through treatment for two types of blood cancer and is responding well. It was his first year at camp, but I suspect not his last!

Being with our campers 24 hours a day for seven days was definitely exhausting, but wow what a reminder of what it means to get back to basics! I spent hours at the archery range with a great kid who repeatedly thanked me for coming to camp. Bill spent an afternoon fishing with a 12-year-old who had faced death. Puts things into perspective a bit.

But the most touching moment was probably seeing my husband lift a wheelchair bound teen out of her chair so she too could slow dance during the most anticipated event of the week--the sock hop! She enjoyed it so much, she asked for a second dance. I was so proud of him for initiating this and for giving this young girl a memorable night during a very memorable week. I was teary-eyed, as I was at least once a day each day of the week.

Then we came home. We did a lot of laundry. Caught up on the mail. Picked up the dogs. Went back to work. The grind was calling. We jumped back in, but with a little more reluctance than usual. We had experienced something so profound that tracking reports and e-mail seemed almost wrong. But we're slowly beginning to get back into our groove with an eye on next year and how we can escape for another week in the woods with some angels (who yes, sometimes acted like devils) on Earth.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

RIP Mr. Pausch

Tomorrow will be the one-week anniversary of the death of Randy Pausch. I've written of Pausch several times before on this blog and how his parents let him literally draw and compute math equations on his bedroom walls when he was a youngster. I was struck by his parents' willingness to let their son literally use his wall as a canvas to scribble and draw about all that interested him. Pausch talked about this and other formative events in his life that enabled him to be able to confidently say that he had lived the life he had always dreamed of living.

Randy, you're an inspiration to us all. May you rest in peace!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Living like you're on vacation

Ever noticed how when you're on vacation, you take on a new persona? You suddenly want to chat with strangers, find out where they're from, inquire about the next stop on their itinerary? Yet, when at home in the midst of the usual grind, you pass strangers on the street or at the coffee house in the morning and don't give them a second glance let alone engage them in coversation?

What if we could live like we were on vacation all the time? Talk to strangers and inquire about their day? Be genuinely interested in their response?

On my recent trip through the great peninsulas of Michigan, we were fortunate to stay at some great bed and breakfast's. In the intimate setting of these small inns, we were able to share breakfast with other travelers. Some were coming, some were going. All were interested in each other's stories. Where were we from? What stops did we most enjoy? Did we want a restaurant recommendation nearby?

What if we could engage strangers when back at home, waiting in line at the lunch joint or walking the dog just like we do when staying at a rustic inn while on holiday?

Having pondered this since my trip, I am going to try a little experiment during the next week. I am going to say hello to everyone with whom I can gain eye contact. I am going to ask them at least one question (besides how are you)? And I am going to see if I can replicate some of the good natured banter that always seems to take place in vacation mode. We'll see what the response is!

In the mean time, enjoy another pic from our U.P. adventure!

(Bill in front of the still operational Whitefish Point Lighthouse on Lake Superior)