29 April 2010

Sami Dog

7 February 1995 - 27 April 2010

When I was 20, I thought I was pretty grown up. Sure, I still lived in a dorm and didn't actually pay any of my own bills, but I was 20, so therefore, grown up. We used to volunteer at the Animal Shelter for one of our Rotaract service projects, and I absolutely fell in love with one of the dogs I took to the nursing home. In my head, I named him Bingo and we had big, big plans. I convinced my fiance at the time (who had his own apartment) to let Bingo live with him until I moved into my own apartment that summer, and then I got busy buying a collar and bed and food and all the things a little boy puppy would need. But there was just one glitch: when I went back to the Animal Shelter to adopt Bingo, he'd already found another home. That was a setback, I tell you. But not for long. There was another litter of puppies that had just come in that day, and they offered to let me look those over. So we took them all outside and sat down to get acquainted. These puppies had a Husky mommy and they weren't sure about the daddy, but they thought he was a yellow Lab. They were pretty puppies, but there was one that stood out. She played and jumped and came right to me when I called. The others just ignored me and did stupid little puppy things, and I was not impressed. I thought I'd wanted a Bingo, but apparently, what I needed for my new grown up life was a little yellow ball of fur who answered immediately to the name "Sami." (Not too old, not too young, not too silly, not too serious, not too feminine...it fit just right.) After I got to know her even better, I joked that I should have named Sami "Kitty" because she loved to pounce on her toys and use her paws like hands. (And yes, a few years later we would adopt a "Kitty" to keep Sami company when she was so lonely for Charlie.)

It was love at first sight for Sami and me, and she went everywhere I went. She was just an amazing dog...so much more than "just" a dog. My parents, who had no idea they'd be supporting a grandpup, couldn't help but fall in love with her when I took her home for the first time. Sami was the first animal to be welcomed into Mom and Dad's house, and that was HUGE. She quickly became part of my family at home, and also my family at school. She was so much a part of the family, in fact, that Lynn even left in the middle of our wedding reception to go pick up Sami and bring her to join in the fun. Lynn tied a bow around Sami's neck that matched the bridesmaids' dresses, and we have some great pictures of her at the wedding.

Life went on, and we all got older. Sami loved James and Lynn, but I was her girl...and the rest of her heart, from the beginning, belonged to Dad. He quickly claimed her as his fishing buddy (sadly, I think Sami has, in her lifetime, caught more fish than James) and took her out on the boat every weekend we were home. When we were first married, James would go out with Dad almost every weekend, and of course Sami would go, too. This went on for several years, until Dad stopped fishing. By that time, we had let Dad "borrow" Sami...it's funny how just knowing that Sami was with him gave us peace of mind. Sami was never a mommy, but she sure loved to mother all of us. And she loved, loved the kids. To Ronny's kids, I think Sami will always be "Grandpa's dog." To me, she's just Sami. But so many memories of her are tied up with Dad, for all of us.

Tuesday morning when James woke me up, I knew something was wrong. I'd had a horrible feeling all day Monday that I couldn't shake, but I thought I was just sad because it would have been Grandma's birthday. Now I wonder. Anyway, I don't want to talk so much about Tuesday morning. I'm grateful that Sami didn't lose her quality of life at the end, and that she didn't suffer terribly. She was happy up until Monday night when we fed her, and if she seemed a little more tired than usual, we chalked it up to her weekend bath & haircut (which wore her out, usually). We called the vet here who took care of Jesse for us, and they were wonderful...we couldn't have imagined a better, more peaceful way to say goodbye to Sami. She didn't even have to go into the vet's office, which, if you know Sami, she would have hated. I'm grateful for that, and I'm grateful for 15 years of unconditional love, and I'm grateful that she and Grandpa are together again. As hard as it is to know she's gone, there's some peace in that.
And lest we get too serious...I'll share my mother of the year moment. So, we didn't want to take Kayci to the vet to actually see Sami go. We sent her to school, but she knew that Sami was very sick and I'd told her to go ahead and kiss Sami and love on her a bit before she left since we had to take her to the vet since she was so sick. Kayci knew something was up. After school, Heather took Kayci to BlueBell so Noble and I went to meet them. I wanted to wait until we got home to talk to Bitty about Sami and give her a chance to take it in, ask questions. I really expected her to notice how different it felt when we drove up...Sami's absence is so big and so weird, I thought for sure she'd know when we got home. But anyway...I digress. Noble spilled some water in the car, and Kayci was upset about it. I told her, in true Kristi fashion, not to stress, not a big deal, we have bigger things to worry about. And she replied, "Yeah, like Sami dying." I'm sure my mouth fell open as I asked, "How did you KNOW?" And she looked at me crazy and said, "Know WHAT???" Crap. "Well, Bitty, Sami DID die today." So that, dear friends and family, is how Kayci learned that Sami went to Heaven. Smooth, no?

All kidding aside, saying goodbye was hard. Knowing she's gone is hard. Knowing what Aunt Susan is going through helps keep it in perspective. We had a good, long run, Sami and me. Dad said a lot of things, I know, but he always said that Sami was one in a million and that she was proof that mutts are the best dogs. I agree, Dad. She was the best.

Backtracking a bit...

We were having internet problems on Monday, then the rest of the week...well, I'm a bit behind on my blogging. But I can't let it go by without celebrating the fact that Grandma Weseloh would have been 100 years old on Monday the 26th.

Grandma is the "Clara" in Kayci Clara, and one of my all-time favorite people in this life. You know the person who is always there to cheer you on, the one who encourages you no matter what? And the one who also throws in the things you need to hear but don't necessarily want to hear (who can forget the spring before my wedding when she informed me that I was getting "broad in the beam"...it hurt to hear, but it was true, I did gain 10 pounds during student teaching!)...Grandma was one of a kind. She's my earliest memory, and the person who taught me about unconditional love (you know, you can't always appreciate that stuff in your parents until you get older). Grandma's house was home away from home, even though she lived over 500 miles away. Back in the old days, that was a major trip, but we still made it once or twice a year. God bless my parents for that...it couldn't have been easy with the three of us.

Grandma, Kansas, and my Weseloh cousins are a huge part of who I am...my roots. It's not too hard to figure out that James and I are living the life we are now, in the place we are now, because a simple life is all I've ever aspired to. (Well, other than a few years in college when I was sure I would be rich someday...never figured out how to accomplish that on a teacher's salary!) I think Grandma would approve of the little green house and our life here, even though I'm sure she wouldn't be a big fan of all the technology. A TV was about as techie as Grandma got...I don't think I'd even attempt to explain the internet to her if she was around today. :)

For Grandma's 90th birthday, we wanted a special invitation. This poem just seemed to fit, as it's always reminded me of Grandma. It hangs on my wall today to keep me in check when I get my priorities mixed up, which happens far too often for comfort. :)

"My Symphony"

by William Henry Channing

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
To study hard, think quietly,
Talk gently,
Act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;
To bear all cheerfully,
Do all bravely,
Await occasions,
Hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.

Grandma died in 2003, 8 weeks after her namesake was born. I know it's self-centered, but I do think she stuck around to meet Miss Kayci Clara. As soon as we got the go-ahead to travel with Bitty, we took her to meet Grandma. That was the last time I had a lucid conversation with Grandma, and her final words to me were to raise Kayci to follow the right path.

Wow...big stuff this week. Happy belated birthday, Grandma...I'm grateful for you, and for all that you've given me and taught me. I am learning from your example, and your legacy, still.

28 April 2010

Sense of Humor

Let me start by saying, nothing going in right now is about ME...I get that. But I had to laugh out loud, when, in the midst of running around, tying up loose ends and struggling not to be stressed I get in the car and hear, "It's the End of the World As We Know It."

And I feel fine...

-- Post From My iPhone

19 April 2010

What's your legacy?

This weekend, we made a quick trip to San Antonio to celebrate Molly Blohm's 2nd birthday. At the party, we got to visit with Melissa's brother-in-law Guy (Cathy's husband), who's one of the funniest people we know. Guy was talking about training his rookie firemen, and he said he always asks them the same question:

What's your legacy?
When someone sees your name on a transfer request...God forbid, a death notice...what comes to mind about you? How will people remember you--what do your actions say about you?
What's your legacy?

I feel like I should write something profound today, but I find that I have more questions than answers. So that's the question that's running through my mind today...what's your legacy?

And I'll leave you with a happy thought...thank you, sweet friend for this happy, and for all of you who have written or texted or called. Today is a good day. :)

17 April 2010

Great shirt!

Yesterday I stopped at thd Gap Outlet on my way home from work. I saw a shirt that looked perfect for my Boy, so I bought it. When I showed it to him, he loved it, too. Then he said, wait s minute...and pulled an almost identical (1 thread color off) shirt from the closet.

Hmm. Turns out I was right...it was perfect for him. A year ago at the Gap...

-- Post From My iPhone

16 April 2010

Live, from Region 4...

I know, it's not quite as exciting as ...from New York!...but it's all I've got today. :) I had a 9:00 meeting at Region 4 this morning to finalize a project I have been working on for 14 months now...hooray! I'd budgeted time to allow myself to be here until 11, to have time to get over to Galena Park and prepare for our 1:00 meeting. But, as luck would have it, the 9:00 ran short, the few changes I had to make took just a few minutes, and now I'm sitting here on a couch that's much nicer--and cleaner!--than mine, finishing my reports for 2 of my 3 other Region 4 jobs before I head to GPISD. Sound exciting? Probably not. :) But I figure, I can take an hour now to do this and it's one hour less I have to find this weekend...and I like to turn in reports on Friday, so I can stay on track. And hopefully I'll have enough time to finish up a small GPISD job that would help me be up-to-date there, too...then I'll head into the weekend with my day-to-day work caught up, one major project down and one giant step ahead with the remaining major project. If you're still following...that will all feel pretty good. :) (One of you asked recently what I DO...so my goal is to talk a bit more about work. Someday I'll take time to explain it all--today is not that day!)

Noble is at Heather's this morning (his absolute favorite place in the world right now...I swear, both of my kids would switch their name to Dallmeyer or Headley in a heartbeat if I'd let 'em!), and then James will pick both kids up at lunchtime and head to College Station for Katie's ring ceremony. (My GPISD 1:00 is too big for me to miss it...otherwise, I'd be on my way home right now...sad about that, but would be sadder to leave my teacher-friend out in the cold today. Sigh. With luck, I'll make the after-party.) Big couple of weeks for James' siblings...Adam turned 17 last week, and Katie's getting her SENIOR RING this week. At Adam's birthday dinner last week (pics are on flickr if you're interested), we talked quite a bit about how little they were when James and I started dating. Katie was a 3rd grader, and Adam had just turned 3...they weren't much older than our kids are now. It's hard to believe how much time has passed since James and I fell in love. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I'd taken a few other paths I considered. We had a long talk a couple of weeks ago--what if I'd stuck with it and gone the University route like I'd planned? James and I both know that I would have been married to my job, even more than I was to teaching...and who knows how that would have turned out. I'm 100% sure we'd have more money, and equally as sure we wouldn't be near as happy. So I'm grateful I listened to that still small voice all those years ago and changed paths...even though I didn't understand at the time. That still small voice is how, I believe, I stay in tune with God's plan for me. I don't often understand it, and I do often fight it, but I know if I listen, I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Man, I'm rambling...too much work time, not enough think time this week. And definitely no time to blog/journal. Back to that voice--yesterday, a new mom at MOPS really touched my heart. I won't share the details, but I will say that when I saw her walk in the door, that small voice said, talk to her. And when she said that she was starting a new business (selling a product I've purchased in the past but don't care to purchase as a rule), that same voice said, buy something...anything. So, I did...long story short, I got to spend some time with this mom yesterday and hear her story (well, part of it--I doubt anyone but her knows all of it...it's a deep one). Anyway, on the way home I mentioned to another friend where I'd been and she said, "I think that's so-and-so's daughter..." and it all clicked. The mom I thought I was helping out? Who turned out to need so much more than a sale? She may be the daughter of a lady who used to work for me and go to our church...who asked me often to pray for her daughter. Isn't it funny sometimes how those things come full circle? So God has opened a couple of doors there for my friends and me to help this mom out, and show her that people DO care, and she DOES have a support system, even though she's new to town. How awesome is that?

I've been sitting here typing for 14 minutes...I know I have 10 more before I HAVE to wrap up my reports. This is the good thing about having Noble home: I have become, in so many ways, better at managing my work time. I only have a few good work hours a day to work, so I have to budget my time well. With the big major project I was working on this week, James had to really step in and take over for a few evenings in a row, but he did and things worked out really well. Now for the next month I need to work time in to work on that project every day so we don't have to disrupt the family schedule so much again. I'm learning as I go...pulling Noble out of daycare was HUGE for me (I know, I know, it's not about ME) and every day I see that it was exactly the right decision for him, and ultimately, for our family. Our house is just a better place to be. Oddly, I'm more relaxed, which trickles down and makes the house feel calmer, I know. Now, the laundry hasn't been put away since Sunday...but other than that, I'd say we're in good shape. I hope James would agree!

The other thing on my mind this week is, of course, Dad. Monday will mark a year since he died. As we've gone through Easter (when things changed so drastically last year) and the days since, my heart has been heavier and heavier...but it's not unbearable. I've learned so much about myself and about life and about family priorities and family relationships this past year. Does it absolutely suck that he's gone? Yes. But I am also grateful that I can see the good things that have come in the past year, as well. Life isn't all good or all bad, no matter what your friends' facebook statuses would lead you to believe. It's a balance, and some days, it tips more one way than the other. Today is a good day and a horrible day, all at the same time, but I'll get through it by putting one foot in front of the other, breathing, letting what can roll off roll off, and rejoicing in the great things that are sure to happen today.

That's my wish for you today, as well: don't take what other people do personally--they're probably not trying to hurt you, and it probably has nothing to do with you, truth be told. Let what can roll off roll off, then keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. Before you know it, you'll be past whatever it is, and on to the next adventure. Take time to look around and enjoy the journey as you go...even when the journey is hard, there's something beautiful around you. Find it and take a moment to appreciate it. Well, maybe that's lots of wishes. Have a great weekend!!

13 April 2010


-- Post From My iPhone

12 April 2010


James was more than a little leery yesterday afternoon when I yelled from the shower, "Bring my phone! I need a picture of this!!!" Needless to say, it wasn't quite what he thought...

To rewind a bit, we pulled our flower beds out this fall because we just hated the rotten landscaping timbers, the randomness of the bushes and...whatever those things were. Our house has looked so SAD since then. Last week we had someone mark off the new beds, and this weekend we finally went and started buying plants. It was so fun! We decided this time to do something we've never done before...actually take it slow, think it out, and do it one step at a time (in the past, we've just bought some plants, stuck 'em in the dirt, and hoped for the best!). Maybe this is a sign of maturity...or a sign that we don't have money to burn on this one. :) Whatever the case, we set the plants out on Saturday and looked at where we needed to fill in, which borders needed to be pushed and squished. Yesterday we went and bought dirt and a few more plants, then spent time yesterday evening planting the first part of the beds. We got wild and crazy this time, and compromised on my request for commando gardening. At the far end, we planted all of our fruits/vegetables/herbs...right now, that's strawberries, squash, chives, cilantro, parsley, basil, tomatoes...hmm, and some random sunflowers and some artichokes or something we're playing around with. I don't know why the sunflowers are with food, other than the fact that we had room there. :) After we bring in a truckload of dirt, we'll finish the other end with the flowers and stuff...but even just sitting on top of the beds, they look good!

I'm looking forward to finishing the beds, but work needs to come first this week. (Big, big projects due...and if you've been reading, you know my schedule has changed drastically...I'm a little behind. To say the least.) Anyway, my nails are clean this morning, but I can't wait to get out there and get them dirty again!

09 April 2010

Glad ForceFlex--really?!

I usually don't get excited enough about things to complain or make a fuss. But today when the bag broke--again--I'd had enough. I went to Glad's website and told them all about it. Are you a ForceFlex user who's sad these days, too? Let's see if enough of us can get Glad to change whatever it is they're doing that make the ForceFlex bags suck eggs these days. Help!

06 April 2010


There's a weird phenomenon that happens to the daytime hours when little ones are involved. That 7ish hours during school? It's really only a couple of hours long here in the Momzone. Seriously! A year ago when we decided to put Noble in daycare so I'd have time to work, I was shocked at how fast the day went...and at how little "work" time I'd actually have during the school day. I'd finally adapted to it and worked my office hours around to maximize the time and I think I was doing pretty well. Of course, that just meant it was time for a change, right?

I thought the days were going to be so LONG, chasing him around 24/7 instead of just 17/7. :) But here's what's funny...the same Momzone time phenomenon applies here, too. Yes, now Noble's here with me from 7:45 AM-3:30 PM instead of at daycare. But of that time, he's asleep a couple of hours, he eats a little, we play a lot, we might run an errand or two...but that's it. The days are just flying by. It's a little bittersweet, to tell you the truth. I'd prepared myself for long, arduous days...and it turns out, there's not nearly enough playtime as far as I'm concerned.

Huh. Who'd have thought?

03 April 2010

ilove it...

-- Posted from my iPhone

01 April 2010

Today's To-Do List

I'm a task-oriented person. I like to make lists, and I like to check things off. I even add stuff just for the purpose of checking it off (take out trash, check...). As I work to realign my time priorities, this is biting me...you know where.

So here is today's to-do list, give or take a few things:

Be Mommy.