Showing posts from 2014

December 20, 2014: We are the World

My kids are now adults and an almost-adult. With this rite of passage comes a new way of thinking and planning Christmas.

Although kind-hearted, I know my eldest, at his ripe age of 21, is as concerned with friends' home on break and which party everyone will be at, as he is our family Christmas. Reality: He is more concerned with the former.

My eighteen year-old is just as happy spending time with his girlfriend and her family as our gift opening by my Christmas tree. I'm pretty sure the former wins out again.

And then there is my youngest son, fourteen year-old Grant. Gift buying and wrapping are now an afterthought. Cookie decorating is out. Hanging out with friends; definitely in. Last year, Grant was still a bit fresh in the Christmas frolic. The dawning of a new age has become apparent with his high school years beginning.

Christmas looks totally different this year. Although the tree is glowing and decorations are up, the boys seem to be just playing along with our Chr…

December 16, 2014: A Mary Story

Cleaning up my e-mail archives, I stumbled on a story my mom shared with my nephew and then later shared with me. My first ordinary day as the little sister...

Sandy Wagner: home from the hospital 9/16/67

Dear Josh,

Aunt Sandy turned 46 years old last Friday, the 13th. After getting home from the hospital on the 16th, I laid Sandy on the sofa and called Matt & Mark to come in the house from the backyard. Babysitters Gma & Gpa Gib were going on and on about our new pink bundle of joy while both boys walked very carefully to investigate what warranted so much attention. They got real close to her face for a really good look. Who to blame? I don't remember, but someone flipped the top of the blanket over Sandy's face. No longer interested and impatient to play again, they left the room to go back outside.

I wish I could describe Gma Gib's reaction and Gpa Gib's laugh. Gma Gib was a little less complementary a few minutes later saying "She looks like a little …

December 12, 2014: Sentimental Sandy

Today I'm working from home. New windows are being installed. This was a planned expense. Last week the water heater was replaced and the week before that, the heater and air conditioner. None of which were planned. Ouch.

'Good attitude', I keep reminding myself. I will have a whole new house by the time I'm done! Expensive? Yes, but thank goodness I have saved for a rainy day (I thank my parents for teaching me this early in life). far as these last few weeks go...such is life.

Dealing with monetary matters and material 'stuff'' doesn't cause me to lose sleep. I fully realize that it's all just stuff. Here today, gone tomorrow. It's the non-material stress in life that requires me to stay focused and stay positive. Relationships, health, attitude...they all take work and are so intertwined with those around us; inner circle and outer circle. A careful balance with much nurturing is required. But even with the best nurturing, they can s…

December 1, 2014: Brad Lane...Gone, but not Forgotten

Brad Lane...Gone, but not Forgotten Brad died on December 1, 2007.  Although it has been seven years, many details from the days following his death feel like yesterday. This is especially true each year as we reflect on the anniversary of his passing.  Somehow that fateful time becomes a raw memory imbedded in the mind with a void that grows bigger in the heart as this day passes.  I see it in the eyes of his family and in their words of encouragement to each other as they cope to get through and rally as a family.  That is the Lane way…cope, love, persevere together.  As this anniversary is now behind us, the memories burn bright again.  And we all know that memories come in many shapes and sizes.  For the Lane’s, memories are carried in the good; that of a lovable brother, uncle, son and in the bad; the painful memories of losing Brad. What began as a very ordinary Saturday in Nebraska, one that most of us have experienced a hundred times over, turned into a day that changed our liv…

November 28, 2014: Motive

I think a lot about motive these days. Both mine and that of others. Assessing life choices, I always challenge myself with understanding the underlying individual motives.

Purity of motive is golden and makes decision-making easy. Working through personal that's a whole different story.

It started at a young age when I had to think through whether my new friend, Mary, really wanted my friendship or if she just wanted to hang with my older brothers. Motive? Likely brothers.

As an adult, the stakes got bigger. Somehow personal agendas expand. Understanding motive has became even more important.

Then there are times when motive is gray. The gray area is the toughest. Do I want to give to that charity because it's the right thing to do or do I want my name displayed prominently in their flyer? If my motive was completely pure, would name recognition be necessary? Hmmmm...that's a tough one. There are good arguments either way.

I learned a lesson in that murky g…

November 26, 2014: Joy

My kids are so different. By now my oldest son has viewed the above picture and is rolling his eyes. Although Zach is a man of few words, I know what he is thinking.
"Time to close the yearbook."
Ben holds on. Zach moves on. And Grant is now smack dab in the moment.
As I drove home from work yesterday, I watched the sun set on a cool fall night and remembered the same drive a year ago. Instead I was driving to my son's state championship football game in Lincoln.
Fast forward a year, Ben is now graduated and in college. And Skutt is back in Lincoln, playing for a back-to-back state championship.
I teared up as I drove. Great memories poured into my mind and into my heart. No doubt it was a memorable night.
Now that I can reflect on a win and a great night, I can also share a personal confession.
I was not the good mother cheering from the stands. Instead I sat in the bathroom and paced the interior halls by the concession stands during the entire first half of the footb…

November 18, 2014: Let the Fun Begin...

I ran into a friend and fellow Skutt mom at parent-teachers conferences about a month back. Her question to me centered around the perceived quietness in my life.

"You haven't been blogging lately. I bet life is quiet without Ben around."

I went on to answer with positivism on Grant and my new routine. Yes, it was more quiet. And, yes, we did miss Ben a little bit. But quiet was good with blog subjects less abound with my purported favorite subject out of the house.

Life has continued at a hectic, but predictable pace. It actually took some time for Grant and I to get used to two days a week with just the two of us. With a husband in Denver on Mondays and Tuesdays, I hadn't a clue what these days would feel like less Ben.

Three kids to two was a much easier transition than two to one. Our new two-person existence actually felt awkward for a while. Neither Grant nor I knew what it felt like less his older brothers. A feeling neither of us had experienced before. We d…

November 16, 2014: Hot Water

So my intent was to post this blog last Tuesday. And then I had second thoughts.

The picture Grant took of me to accompany my story later struck me as provocative. It seemed innocent enough when I ran into the house soaking wet. My request of my 14 year-old was to follow me out into the cold to take the photo of note.

"Grant, I have a blog story on my mind. Come out and take a quick picture for me!"

All this with a towel around me, fleece hat on head, and swimsuit on body. Grant didn't blink an eye. Either a good or bad testament to his mother's parenting prowess.

But the swimsuit was the ultimate problem. Where no straps work best in hot tubs, the lack-thereof give the appearance of swimsuit non-existence.

Fast forward five days and my blog still sat in draft. The picture was on my mind.

So tonight I asked my friend, Robbie, for validation. I pulled up the hot tub picture on my phone and simply asked "what do you think?"

Her instant response..."you&#…

November 4, 2014: Just Another Ordinary Day

Just another ordinary day in Omaha.

Many have been asking what I'm up to; why this blogger has gone suddenly quiet. Illness? Sadness? Or joyful bliss in my new chapter?

So here I sit. 9:57 p..m. on a Tuesday night, answering this very question. I am feeling like I'm 'back home', pounding on my keyboard, but without the background noise of work e-mail, spreadsheets or checking on-line grades for kids.

My ordinary day of today is much different than it was two, three...five years ago. We are all older with pressures of everyday life, much different.

I guess the best way to start is not with a catch-up of the many days that have passed since my last blog, but instead on the day now ending. Pretty representative, if I say so myself....

Today started with a 5:30 a.m. run. I have run with this same group of ladies since we were potty-training our now 18 year-old's. Same route. Same friends. Same kids. Just different challenges and life goals. Our perspectives have chang…

October 16, 2014: Honeymoon Serenity

Honeymoons are fun. No matter how many times you go on them.

I have been questioned, rightfully so, on whether this was really our first honeymoon. Technically it is the first honeymoon, but for the second marriage.

Do note that I understand the confusion on multiple fronts.

Referring back to a prior blog on how we planned a wedding in fifteen days, the honeymoon planning didn't get any more attention. We got married in January. And then Garrett went on a guys ski trip to Telluride in February. True to my nature, I haven't let this one pass without spousal scrutiny.

I deemed the trip, Garrett's honeymoon with Mike (ski friend). Since I have not let opportune moments pass without reminding him (continuously) that he took our honeymoon without me.

Noteworthy was that I had my own trip to Mexico planned with my adult children (no Garrett) at the time of the Telluride trip (did I mention that I wasn't invited to Telluride?). In my favor was the timing of this May excursio…

October 11, 2014: Gramma Lou

This blog on Gramma Lou has sat in my "draft" folder for close to a year. My delay in posting had no ulterior motive other than my fear of not doing it justice.

My apparent passive aggressiveness stemmed from 1) not wanting to project having a superior relationship simply by being the one to pen the story and 2) making sure this little story adequately reflected the spirit of woman who lived life large and with meaning.

Today my heart told me it was time to pull out this draft. Messages come in various forms. For me, it was through a brewery tour.

I thought about Gramma Lou as I listened to a cute young beer guide talk about prohibition. I couldn't stop from smiling.

One of my favorite stories to tell relates to my former grandma-by-marriage. Although she has since passed away, I was still married at the time of her death. I guess I can technically still refer to her as Grandma. Thank goodness. Because any other reference would just make me sad. Gramma Lou was one heck …

October 7, 2014: Happiness

I toyed around with calling this blog Positivity and then went with my gut and called it Happiness.

No one can take that away from me. I own that feeling.

Today I read a post from a perceptive young man on FaceBook. He asked the question "What does it take for someone to be happy?" I loved it. Perfect timing.

I spent the day battling the devil. In small ways and in big ways. The deadly sins of greed, envy, pride, and manipulation with selfish motive (my self-proclaimed 8th) are abound.

Such is life. I have choices to make. Dance with the devil and get pulled into the crap. Or rise above it?

I chose #2.

On the drive to drop Grant off at school this morning, I was enthralled with God's beauty in the rising sun. Grant rolled his eyes as I snapped pictures at the stoplight next to school.

"Mom!! Stop" was his pleading. But then he smiled.

Just two nights prior, he pointed out the beauty of a sunset on our drive home from Village Point. It warmed my heart that he knew to fi…

September 25, 2014: Date Night and Stuff


Tonight was date night. A very nice reprieve. And as always, there's a lot of stuff going on.

Dogs to walk. Kids to raise. Employees to lead. Buildings to build. Flowers to water.

Stuff. Lots of stuff.

There are trainers by day and long-time friends by morning. New friends sprinkled throughout. Runs in the morning. Gym dates when we can work them in. And work to get done. All the time.

Kids with stuff. Kids getting older. Parents getting older.

Places to see. Pictures not yet taken. Full calendars, but yards and animals that still need tending.

With many invitations for stuff full of other things and other people, tonight stayed true to us with Thursday night date night.

Margaritas. Chips. Smiles. Sneezes. World problem solving and just plain trying to figure out our collective seven kids. Texts from the road and the football field. School updates and planned events for the weekend. Time never stands still. Constant movement.

Work together. Every Wednesday, Thursday, and F…

September 20, 2014: On a Skunk and a Prayer

Larry's in town. And we're having a good time. He started with a flight into Denver last Friday and has been tagging along our busy schedules ever since. Last night was a fundraiser in Omaha and then late-night sushi. Today is Husker football and Cabela's. Tomorrow is our last day of the Larry tour, so I believe a grill out is in order.

For those who haven't met Larry, he's Garrett's dad. He and I have had a special bond from day one. We first met five years ago in Garrett's Denver kitchen. I had flown in to visit while Larry was doing the same. Garrett chose to surprise his dad with my later entry.

At that point in Garrett and my early relationship, Larry knew of me, but knew little about me. He later said what he knew was "my son had stars in his eyes when he met you". In Garrett's defense, my mom later independently countered with "she fell fast. I never saw her fall for someone like that".

So as Garrett and I were falling fast w…

September 13, 2014: My Birthday

"You say it's your birthday. It's my birthday too, yeah...."

My birthday is was technically yesterday. Birthday Weekend. And I love having my birthday. I love everything about.

I'm grateful for my parents birthing me mid-September. A glorious time to celebrate being born. My memories are filled with sunny, but cooling, transitional days from summer into fall.

As an adult, this annual celebration has most times been in the enjoyment of the outdoors with much anticipated first-of-fall weather. Last year's milestone was exceptional as I watched my son collect a football win under an orange moon sky. Friends gathered before and after this high school event as I donned my gift of a pink tiara.

Birthdays of days past have included Husker football tailgates and wine with friends on the restaurant patios. A 40th b-day golf celebration was filled with a dozen friends on an otherwise tranquil Thursday night. Many of my b-days have begun with birthday runs with my favo…