First hair cut 09.29.06

This was Brandons first hair cut. The coolest part is that my grandpa owns the barber shop that we went to. I was so proud of him because he didn’t make a peep. As you can see in the begining his hair was getting a little crazy and hanging down ovver his ears. Now he is extra handsome. After the hair cut grandpa gave him a lollypop and my mom and grandpa said I had to let him have it since it was his first hair cut and all. He sucked all the way to the tootsie roll and then took a big bite. I saved his hair and I already ordered the pictures and can’t wait to add them to his scrapbook.

What could have been 09.28.06

Do you ever ponder the “WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN?” I sure do. I found myself doing it tonight. A friend of mine briefly mentioned an old flames name in a conversation and I wondered hmm what ever became of my old AOL chat love. So I did what I’ve become very good at lately and I Myspaced him. There he was. Don’t get me wrong he doesn’t hold a candle to my husband but a few things caught my eye. First of all, he is a Giants fan. I wasn’t until I got married but its still interesting to see that we have sons who are weeks apart in age and were at Giants games with in days of each other. Something else that caught my eye was that he quoted FRIENDS on his website. Okay so if you know me you know I’m a FRIENDS freak. I love the show. I couldn’t believe it. Most people would have no clue this was a quote from my favorite show. But the wierdest one was his nickname. Cheese. NO WAY MAN. That is my nick name. Who else has that nickname. It was so odd. It felt as though we were living the same life just states apart. So then I start thinking of everything else. If only I had built the house I wanted when I was 18 instead of being impatient and buying one already built. But then I wouldn’t have met Rob. Or would I. Were we meant to meet each other or was it a meeting of convinience? Hmmm. Had I continued on in school where would I be now. I ask myself this question often. Honostly I quit going because I realized I was going to work for my mom no matter what happened. There was no reason to go and learn other things when I knew what my destiny was. The biggest what if I have is where would I be had my dad never died? I got asked the other day if I would go back and change it. My response sparked quite the fight. I said NO. No knowing what I know now and seeing where I am now I wouldn’t. Is that selfish of me? Sure, maybe, NO. Some background. My dad killed himself. If you ask me that was selfish. He attempted suicide once and didn’t succeed. He called me after that I was 12 and he told me it would never happen again. I was 12 I believed him. I can’t be sure on the timing but shortly there after my dad was dead. Here is what is interesting. My parents where divorced. They divorced when I was young and had both remarried. So when he died I woke up that morning and my mom came in and said I have to tell you something. She had that look on her face. I immediatly asked “Is my dog okay” She said yes and that actually my dad killed himself that night. Back to the interesting part. I wasn’t sad. I guess maybe I was shocked. I was so young I don’t think I knew what to do with that information. It was like well I”m going to tuck this away and deal with it later. I was joking with someone today that you should never ever mess with my memory. I remember all. So true to form I remember going to school that day. I was wearing this annoyingly ugly sweater my mom made me wear and I hated it. I came home and mom asked how was school and I said it was good we had Turkey and Mashed potatos for lunch (at the time my favorite hot lunch meal.) I think this pissed her off. I guess I could have made it easier on everyone if I would have just freaked out and cried and shown some kind of emotion. Not me though. I simply went about my life. I got dressed up for the funeral I acted like a girl and fretted over what to wear (white coolots with a black and white blazer that looked ridiculous) and I didn’t cry a tear. Everyone sat there telling me how sorry they were and all the while I was like man I just wanna go play with my friends. Long story short it took a long time for his death to catch me and when it did I reacted by acting like a huge jerk and getting close with to many guys thinking it would help. Back to the point. His death got me where I am. I was raised by an amazing dad (no not a stepdad but a dad) and an amazing mom. I was given all the best things in life and given all the tools to get where I am now. I got through my dads death in my own way. I had times of depression, times of anger, times of hurt, and times of craze. It was hard because for so long I didn’t know how I felt. Finally one day I figured it out. Someone who was supposed to love me unconditionaly made the decision to leave me. Pardon my french right now but FUCK HIM. One day I woke up and realized that he sucked for doing that. How was I supposed to grieve over a person who could just dump me aside for his own selfishness. He was where he wanted to be. This wasn’t the first time he tried it. He tried it many times, times I never knew about. When I got married never once did it cross my mind that my dad wasn’t there because my DAD Kirk was there. When my son was born his grandpa was there. And that is when I had clarity. I had a son and I realized the magnitude of being a parent. I realized how seriously mean it was for my dad to leave me. He must have been pretty concerned with himself to leave. I am a parent now and all I think about every day is my son. How can I make him happy. How can I be safe and keep myself alive for him. How can I make his life the best life possible for him. These are questions my PARENTS still ask themselves today. So you ask. Would I go back knowing what I know now and save him. NO! He left me. And because he didn’t care enough about me to stick around he left me with people who did. He left me with people who feel about me the way I feel about my son. Because of this I own two homes. I drive a beautiful car. I dress nicely. I am polite and well read. I have been on nice vacations. I have the most beautiful son on the planet. I have the best husband a girl could ask for. A husband who would never leave his son. I have friends that stuck by me when I didn’t know who me was. But most of all he left me with the knowledge of how to be the best parent I can be. So maybe I should say thank you to him. Thank you for helping me see who I never want to be. Helping me see that drugs are not the right way of life. Helping me to see that just because I made mistakes doesn’t mean I need to continue making them. So what could have been? Well I’d rather worry about what IS. For those of you who knew me in middle school and those of you who knew me in high school. Here is the start of the confession. The confession of a girl who had no clue how to behave. A girl who ran to guys looking for a way to fill a gap that never needed filling. The girl who was a bitch because it was easier to be defensive then to explain why I wasn’t hurting over the loss of a father. The confession of a girl who used a death that never bothered her as an excuse to get away with anything. A girl whose heart was hurting but who never knew why. These are my confessions. I have two friends that I’ve had from elemetary school. Ginger and Katie. They know my confessions. They know my soul. This is why they are still with me. They are watching me finally figure out who I am. Who I could have been all along had I not been affraid that very first morning in November to say HEY DAD FUCK YOU FOR LEAVING ME. So Ginger and Katie thank you. Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for 23rd chances. Thank you for knowing I was never as messed up as I seemed. Thank you for knowing even if I didn’t that someday I would get it right. I said that I finally realized that I wasn’t upset about my dad. It took losing my grandma (my dads mom) to reliaze how death felt. Te see what mourning was. I still mourn her loss years later. So Ginger thank you also for being there the day she died. For skipping class to show up at the hospital and repark my car. For watching me smoke cigarettes and passing no judgements. Finally thank you God if you are there for giving me my son. For giving me the strenght I found in him. The strength to be open and honost and finally let the world see a broken me. A me who is on the mend. I’m sorry for the ramblings but this has all been so long in the making. I’ve never confessed these things before and its only the start. So again I digress back to the beginining. Do I like to sit back and think about what could have been? YES. And it doesn’t always lead me down this road. It just did tonight. I think for today instead of saying what could have been I’ll say what IS. Because what IS, is all that matters. Thank you to everyone along the way who has dealt with me. And to those of you who couldn’t maybe its selfish of me to say its your loss. I’m amazing. I’ve only just learned that though.

By the way the photo is of my DAD Kirk the dad that didn’t leave me.

Little big man 09.27.06

This is my little big man. I took this picture because he looked so grown up in it. I can’t belive it. Its funny how clothes make the man. If I put him in feet pajamas he almost looks like a little guy again. A couple nights ago I was putting away all of his old clothes and I found the outfit he wore in the hospital. It was so little I think I actually got a little misty eyed for a second. My little guy is so big now. Sniff sniff. I am going to frame it. Maybe I should only let him wear feet pajamas from now on so I still think he is little.

Fun Quest 09.27.06

Okay So I know that my recent posts have been pretty dismal. Sorry time for some cheer up time. I took my son to Baby land inside of FunQuest which is inside of what used to be the Reno Hilton. I think now it is some uber resort called The Grand Summit Resort. Anyway this was the best idea I’ve ever had. It only cost five dollars and it was hours of fun. My cousin and I took our kids. Let me tell you a little bit about this monster. It starts on the floor and goes up about three flights. To get up you climb through tubes or up foam stairs. This leads into the big ball pit. Brandon hated the big ball kit but was delighted by the baby one that came later. With each level you go up you encounter such things as a rope bridge or a tunnel or some sort of obstical. Brandon had such a great time. Unfortunatly my cousin and I are a lot older and we had bruised knees the next day. When you make it to the top of this monster place their is a giant learning room with a child car wash that they tumble through and have a great time. Then you get to the bounce house and I think Brandon bounced himself silly. At one point he bounced right into his cousin. FInally if you are lucky enough to find the secret hidden giant whirly slide that leads to the bottem then you can come out. We had to ask some one how to get out. Brandon was sad though and tried to climb back up. After this room there was a little gym with small slides and the baby ball pit. However there was one thing there that caught Brandon’s eye and I couldn’t drag him away. That is right. The drinking fountain. Holy cow was this kid happy. He followed every little kid that went there just trying to get a chance to play with the magic fountain water. Finally the night had to come to an end. We went to Round table for some pizza and then right across the hall from there was an ice cream shop. Do you think we stopped? Anyway for only $5.00 I say this was good family fun and totally worth every second of it. It was also an amazing work out for mom. I can’t wait to go back.

Deep thought 09.26.06

If you read these you probably know that I actually publish on, and yahoo360. Its all the same blog but I have a few buddies on each sight. I recently began reading the blog of an old friend. When I say old I mean we go back to Brownies in Elementary school together. If I think real hard I think her mom may have even been the troop mom until Gingers mom started doing it. We went on to go to high school and cheer on the squad together all the while never really speaking to each other. I looked at her as someone who seemed so stuck up and who never gave me the time of day. All the while I was desperatly wishing I could have been in her group of friends. I think she probably looked at me like I was a total ass and a huge bitch. I could go on with the names I was called in high school. Hows that saying go sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? WRONG. I remember the words every day of my life. One that sticks out the most was a time a girl in high school the last weeks of school said “You know Shannon I wish I would have given you a chance before because you are really a nice NORMAL person.” Hmm I thought to myself. If they didnt consider me normal what did they consider me. Anyway back to my friend. I’ve been reading her blog lately. Her name is Emery. I hope she doesn’t mind but her blog can be found here. I think everyone should read it. It is the most amazing and clarifying thing I’ve ever read. I don’t know why but it is. Now as I read her things I sit here saying wow I wish I would have made an effort to let her see who I really was so maybe I could have made a change in my life so long ago and become her friend. However had I done that I probably wouldn’t have the husband I do and that would mean I wouldnt have had the soul meaning of my life…my son Brandon. So many of you are probably wondering “its been 6 years, why is she holding on to things from high school?” I’m not. Actually I was going along really good. Until I received a lovely little myspace message that went like this..”You were such a bitch to me and my brother I am glad to see your well- Happiness is all that matters I hope you grew outa being Shannon keefier that thought she was hot shit- Beautiful babys- have a nice life!” WHAT. WHERE DID THIS COME FROM? I was shocked. To tell you the truth I was shocked silent for a moment. I could not believe this person who I will let remain annonomys (no I don’t feel like spell checking) would write me this. What must be going on in her life to hold on to something like that for so long and then seek me out just to tell me this. My first thought was to respond like HOT SHIT Shannon and tell her that I see she has done real good in life being a skank (as her pictures show) however I removed my fingers from my keyboard and I thought “what would Emery do?” Now if you even kind of know me you know I don’t generaly believe in God. I want to but I’ve been so lost and mixed up in my life its so hard to clarify all of that now. So instead I find a little bit of good in everyone and I create my own savoir (again with the spelling.) So I realized she would simply respond nicely and honostly. I responded to this girl that it wasn’t polite to judge when she knew nothing about me and the things I have encountered in my life. She knew none of the reasons I am who I am. I apologized for what ever she was upset for and said that Each of us needs to withdrawl from the cares which will not withdrawl from us. I’m paraphrasing here, my response was much longer and much nicer but you get the point. I think Emery would be proud of me. So now you may ask why do I care so much what this person I barely know thinks of me? I guess sometimes its easier in life to confide in those who are not in your face every day because you get an outside opinion and you are not judged and you don’t have to see the look of disgust on their face when you mess up. Maybe someday I will write a blog about all the reasons I am who I am. If I did it could probably be published into a book and I would venture that it would become a New York Times best seller and everyone would think it was so witty and funny and fiction. Maybe that is what I will start working on now. The problem with coming clean about your life is that most of the people in your life cannot accept truth. When confronted with the reasons I am who I am the people involved in the story would simply get upset and defensive and tell me I have it all wrong. So maybe I’ll hold onto it a little longer. I simply don’t have the strength to hear that I have it all wrong like I’ve heard so many times in my life. So anyway Emery if you are out there reading this (no one reads these but me really) Thank you. Thank you for letting me see its okay to question my life, and the roads and paths I’ve chosen. IT is okay to wake up and wonder is this the life I would have chosen for myself? Its okay to wish that my job was different and that I was following my heart and becoming a chef. Its okay to wish that I had the courage to pick up and move somewhere that had a culenary school that I could attend. Okay wait let me be real. I wouldn’t move out of state because I wouldn’t move my son from my parents but I still would love to attend an acutal cooking school and open a restraunt. Okay well I’m done for the day. I need to sit here and reflect on everything I wrote and figure out if it even make sense. To the person who felt like they needed to send me that lovely Myspace. I hope you find your Emery and you find your clarity and you finally learn to let go of those things that bother you.

Snuggle Bear 09.21.06

Most mornings now when we walk out to my car my son immediatly tries to get in his wagon. This is extra cute because his wagon has a little door that he can open and climb in and close it behind him then he sits in his little seat like lets go mom. So most mornings we end up going on a little stroll around the neighborhood while he gleefuly rides along in his trusty plastic wagon. Yesterday morning was interesting though because I swear everyone must have been doing laundry at the same moment because my neighborhood smelled of dryer sheets. As I walked along inhaling the slightly sweet slightly suffocating smell I began to imagine that there must be tons of those little snuggle bears running around my neigborhood hiding in yards or under cars. This made me giggle. Maybe they knew that it was a chilly morning and we needed something to help us warm up. Maybe there were just there for my sons enjoyment and he could see them all along. Either way I was pleased with myself that I even took the time to notice the smell and more pleased that I took the time to enjoy it.