Sunday, June 17, 2007

To the men in my life

Its days like today that really remind me of how truly blessed I am. I have been given the gift of having four incredible men in my life who have shaped me into the person that I am today and who will continue to be the role models that I admire and look up to for the rest of my life.

John- From the moment my mom heard your voice on the other end of the phone, we knew she was in love- and it wasn't that much longer until you won over the hearts of us all. With your teddy-bear hugs and your glowing smile, you welcomed us all with open arms. You have brought back the light in my mom's beautiful eyes; a light that had been dimmed ever since my parents divorce. You love my mom more than anything in the world, and I am honored and grateful to say that you show the same amount of love and affection to my brothers and me. I think I can speak for all three of us when I say Thank you. Thank you for everything that you do, and continue to do, for the boys and myself. Wishing you a wonderful Father's Day filled with lots of love and kindness! I love you, John!

Gpa Les- It's hard for me to express in words just how much you mean to me. You have always been viewed as a hero in my eyes; not just because of your courageous efforts in WWII, but because of the manner in which you care for all of those around you. You have always put everyone else before you, making sure they have all been taken care of before taking the time to treat yourself. You have one of the biggest hearts I have ever known and you would do anything, for anybody. Your kindness shines bright from within and I only wish more people in this world were like you. The love that you and Gma share is proof that there really is such a thing as soulmates and it gives me the reassurance that "true love" really does, and can, exist, even in today's divorce-prone society. You have taught me more than you will ever know, and more than I can ever repay you for; I am eternally grateful to have the honor of calling you my Grandpa. To my hero, Happy Father's Day, Gpa Les!!!

Gpa Bob- From the very beginning, you've always made me laugh. With your sarcastic sense of humor and your contagious laugh, you've kept me smiling for 23 years. Through the good times and the bad, you've always been there. Whether it was a hug, a smile, or simply throwing up our peace signs, you've always managed to make me feel better. Although you may not agree with some of my decisions as of late, I know it is only because you want the best for me. That's what makes our relationship so great- the fact that you can tell me what you think, I can tell you what I think, and no matter how similar or different our opinions might be, I know that you'll never, ever, stop loving me! You are an incredible man, Gpa Bob, and I pray everyday that I will be fortunate enough in my life to experience the same kind of love that you and Gma have shared for over 50 years. If I can show my family the same kind of love that you have given throughout the years, I know I will have lived an extraordinary life. I love you so much, Gpa, and don't you ever, ever, forget that. Happy Father's Day!

And last but not least, to the most important man in my life, my Father.

Dad- Where do I even begin??? There are not enough words to express how much I love you. You have made so many sacrifices over the years just to make sure that the boys and I always have the best and never have to worry about anything. You sacrificed everything that you had in order to provide a stable environment for the boys and I during the most unstable period of our lives, all those years ago. No matter how near or far we are from one another, I always know that you're there for me, whether you're just down the road or on the other end of the phone line. I know I may not say it enough, but I CHERISH the relationship that we have. As much as I hate the distance that is between us, I honestly believe that it has made us closer. Whether its an intense hour-long conversation about life, or just a quick 5 minute call to inform me about "man's inhumanity to man" (haha), your phone calls always put a smile on my face. You are always there when I need someone to talk to- telling me exactly how you feel, but still giving me the freedom to form my own opinion- even if it's not the same as yours. I love you sooooooooo muchy, baby, and I will forever be your baby girl! Happy Father's Day, Dad! Love Always, Doods

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kinda like baking soda and tomato juice

If you've ever been a blond, you're well aware of our love-hate relationship with chlorine.

As the summer heat rises to a sweltering 110 degrees, most of us can only find relief in one thing; our swimming pools. As a native Arizonan, I am more than thankful for chlorine- without it, there would be no birthday parties at waterparks or lazy Saturday afternoons spent lounging by the pool; for our crystalline pools would look like a Florida swampland covered in green fungus with god-knows-what lurking beneath the surface. Unfortunately, this chemical that is supposed to keep our swimming pools free from any green algae does the exact opposite to our hair color- it turns it green!

For the last week, I have been walking around the office, listening to my co-workers tell me how awful my hair looks.

"Danielle, I am so sorry, but your hair looks HORRIBLE!"

"Oh man! What did you do? Your hair looks like green horse hair."

Alright- I got it, I HAVE GREEN HAIR!!! So to attempt to fix this problem I went to the local beauty shop and asked for some help. After some contemplating, I decided to opt for the cheaper bottle of chlorine-eliminating shampoo- only after having been promised by the clerk that it would work "just as well as the expensive brand". Well, low and behold, it did nothing except for make my hair look like green straw. So today I finally did what I should've done in the first place- I called my hairdresser.

"You're kidding me right?" I said to the man on the other end.

"No seriously, just mix them both together, let them sit in your hair for 5 minutes, rinse thoroughly, and you'll be as good as new!"

Alright I thought to myself- better go and find me some baking soda and tomato juice...

Well, now it is 9 o'clock at night and I have yet to unwrap the towel that covers up my hair. What's it going to be? Green? Blond? ORANGE?!?!?! I'm almost too afraid to look. But before I sign off, I guess I should try and get to the point of my story.

This whole concoction really got me thinking; life is kind of like baking soda and tomato juice: Just when you think two things couldn't be more wrong for each other, they surprise us and form together to make perfect sense (and if you're lucky, they might even make you blond!)

Is it wrong to dream?

I've been a dreamer all of my life- always dreaming about exciting adventures around the world, falling in love with my prince charming and living a life full of love and luxury- but at times I wonder if all of this dreaming is setting me up for disappointment?

If I don't exactly "fulfill" my dreams the way that I've always planned, am I going to be unhappy? Or do these dreams give me the strength and perseverance I need in order to conquer the world?

Sometimes I think my dreams are what get me through the day. They offer the perfect escape from reality when I need it the most. Instead of the monotony of the day, I can slip away for a few minutes and dream about whatever I a flash, I'm sitting in the grass underneath the Eiffel Tower, reading a book in French while my true love runs his hands through my hair and stares at me with loving eyes.

But there are other times when I feel my dreams are holding me back. I want to be successful. I'm not sure in exactly what field, but whatever it is, I want to be the best. In my dreams, I'm already at the top, traveling the world for business and getting to do all of the "glamorous" stuff that comes along with being at the top. But in reality, I don't get to start at the top; I have to start at the bottom--something my dreams never prepared me for.

So what if my dreams never become reality? Will I be disappointed if all of my dreams don't come true? Or will I be appreciative of what I have, knowing that no matter what happens, no matter where I may be, I can always take a break to dream...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Reality knows how to bite

After the initial excitement surpasses, reality begins to sink it's grimy little teeth into my skin.

I'm leaving.

I'm moving thousands and thousands of miles away. From everything; from everyone.

I'm living with people I've never met, in a town I know nothing about, where they speak French- not English.

I'm leaving behind 23 years of friends, 23 years of family, 7 years with my first love, and a lifetime full of security in knowing that I have family close by if I ever need them.

Over there I will be alone,perhaps not in love or spirit, but in reality.

But surprisingly, at least for today, I think I am okay with all of this...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Third times a charm!

OH...MY...GOSH!!!! I can NOT believe that this is finally happening!!!! I GOT MY FAMILY!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!

I am freaking out right now- so please forgive me for my childlike writing; I am just WAAAAYYYYYYY too excited to think at this particular moment.

Alright, let me try and calm down so that I can give you a little more insight into the situation. I will be taking care of 3 boys (Lord help me!), ages 10, 7 and 5- but luckily all three will be starting school the first of September. I will only be working evenings (expect for Wednesday when I will work mornings since the boys don't have school that day). The family would like me to arrive around the end of August and I am supposed to stay until the end of July 2008! Woa! I will be living with the family as they are moving from Paris to a small suburb just west of the city this summer- but I have been assured by the family that it is very, VERY easy to get to and from Paris- I'll only be about 5 miles away- so I hope they're right! Everything is going to be new for the family as well as myself, so it's definitely going to be a learning experience for all of us. I will have my own room and private bathroom with my very own entrance. Even though it is in their house, Madame L. said that it is basically like my own apartment and I can do whatever I want with it. :)

Now all I have to do is get through the whole Visa process!AGH!

I'm sure I'll write more later, but this is about as much sense as I can make at the moment :) Wishing you all a wonderful day.