our silent heroes

bigstock_Fire_Department_Emblem_5049554-297x300this might seem like a random post and it kinda is. i’ve always had a huge affinity for the police department and then by no surprise dated a police officer.

i was obsessed with police shows. everything related to law enforcement as far back as i can remember. but i never had exposure to much fire dept related. i’ve always appreciated the job they did, but never did i know what i was going to learn.

Chicago_Firebut in the past few weeks i’ve become OBSESSED with Chicago Fire (and Chicago PD but this post isn’t about that).

i am riveted because i have learned so much about what firemen really deal with on a daily basis that i never thought of before. i’ve never needed their help, THANK GOD, so having never really pondered what goes into the life of a fireman (and EMT) i never pictured what they see on a daily basis.

i never imagined what choices they often have to make in a split second.

i never imagined the emotions involved in their jobs on a daily basis.

i ignorantly only had pictured them putting out fires. that’s about it.

i pictured the pumper and the hook & ladder and that was that.

but through the new show Chicago Fire i have had the opportunity to learn so much more about what a fireman deals with on a daily basis.

the gruesome accident scenes they see. imagesZMVGWW49

the lives they save while putting their own at risk.

the terrifying situations they put themselves into daily in order to do their job.

i don’t know that thank you would ever be enough.

i do know that i will never take for granted the job of a firefighter.

i have a few friends that ARE firefighters and you know who you are, and i dedicate this post to you. for all that you do every day that you go to work. for every day that you leave your families to work with your brothers (& sisters) of your firehouse.

Chicago-Fire

and thank you Dick Wolf and NBC for opening my eyes to something I’m ashamed to say i wasn’t realistic about for 38 years. the firemen out there are the true heroes of our world. ❤

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random thoughts by traci volume 1

it occurred to me tonight kind of out of the blue that i somehow got stuck on this serious imagine_box_atopic business of the blog.

indicative of my state of mind i’m sure, but not really who i am.

somehow i want to start sharing some of the bizarre shit that happens to me and only me, and i want to share my quirks and some of the things that i like or don’t like or do or don’t do that have people commonly referring to me as an enigma. 😉

for starters, i need to figure out how to get into a better writing place. i want to write all the time, but with my not being a morning person, you wouldn’t get anything upbeat or appealing then, and lately, i find at night i’m just so exhausted that i take my laptop out, i fire up wordpress, and then i sit here watching tv zoning out.

so, i bought one of those iPad cases that has a Bluetooth keyboard, figured i’d try it out. it was a cheap knockoff i got on groupon (my first groupon purchase EVER, yes, shocking to many of you i’m sure.) and hopefully it will help me write when a certain toddler-to-be decides to nap and i have some time to think. (which in reality, should increase my blog posts from 1 per week to maybe 2! LOL)

i can’t really tell you what triggered this next thought. i’m AT home and haven’t been women's restroom signanywhere but work today, so i’m blanking on what i saw or did that prompted what I’ve decided will be my first quirk announcement! LOL.

i don’t use public bathrooms. like ever. i can tell you where they are most places i go because my mom or my best friend seem to need to visit every single one in every single place we go. but i rarely if ever will use a public bathroom. now, if i’m being honest, which why shouldn’t i be, it’s not just public bathrooms, it’s most bathrooms not my own or not ones i use regularly.

like at my parents house or work, i use the same exact bathroom every time i’m there regardless of if that means i have to wait.

i prefer not to use bathrooms that children use. it’s a cleanliness, germy thing.

it’s a claustrophobia issue. it’s a smelly issue. it’s a i have a weak gag reflex and am not great at plugging my nose without actually using my hand issue. i just don’t like them. and luckily for me i don’t have to go too often.

toilet_squarea few exceptions are disneyland, dodger stadium and most starbucks have been ok. but that’s my limit. oh, wait, i’ll use a macy’s or nordstrom’s bathroom too, i just don’t frequent them often.

it’s bizarre and weird and probably something you could go the rest of your lives never knowing, but now you do! i hope you sleep better tonight! ha! 😉

it’s so much my “thing” that most of those closest to me will return to me after a trip to a public restroom and rate it to me quietly as if they know i’m waiting to hear just in case i need to go! recently my SIL did it, and we giggled that she’s joined the crazy train that is my bathroom phobia.

and really, the irony………..i’m the daughter, grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter of a wholesale plumbing supply mini empire. in other words, they sell toilets. Bwaahaahaa!

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unanswered prayers

yesterday i was given THE best gift of my life.

my friend and her husband and baby came to town and i offered to take the 22-month old so they could go out to dinner and then he just stayed the night.

he is just adorable! and the sweetest little guy. it was so weird being with another little person the same age as the baby that i watch all week, that wasn’t him! we had  a great time together. and he is welcome to my house any time he wants! i mean, he slept later than me!! his mom had come from the hotel and we were having coffee and talking for a while before he got up! my kinda guy! 😉

having him here at my apartment was THE BEST gift anyone could have ever given me.

whilst 12-hour days with 3-kids, chasing, carrying, question answering, directing, meal preparing, argument referring, question answering and cuddling are all just in a days work  for me, it’s my job. i leave my house and i step into their house and i’m at work. but having a baby in my own house, on my saturday night was eye-opening.

i wasn’t in work mode. i was at home. and yes, my house is not completely baby friendly and if a baby lived here full-time it would be, but ZOMG you can’t get a god damn thing done!!!

and it REALLY made me realize what i was on the brink of getting myself into last year and was still considering. single motherhood.

it changed my thoughts on EVER trying to do this alone. i will add the caveat knowing what i know about kids, it would be MUCH easier with an older child, but they start out as babies and then become toddlers before they are older children!!

i digress.  imagine_box_a

as i sat here last night in my room, watching the sweet little baby in the pack n play  by the light of my electric baby safe candles, i couldn’t help but think of garth brook’s unanswered prayers.

i want to be a mom more than anything in the world. and i know what it’s like to take care of them and be with them, but to be the sole care-taker of a child under 5 is just exhausting. it’s never-ending. it’s rewarding and fun but it’s nonstop.

today has been an interesting day.

feeling sad. i can’t help but think of the adoption that didn’t happen. but i also can’t help but be relieved because of those 18-hours it made me realize how not ready to have a baby on my own, in this apartment i am.

it made me grateful. so very grateful for that experience and ability to come to this conclusion on my own.

and i know someday we’ll know all the answers, but for now……..it is what it is and maybe, just maybe there’s a good reason some things don’t work out. ❤

“sometimes i thank god for unanswered prayers

remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs

that just because he may not answer, doesn’t mean he don’t care

some of god’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

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what’s on my mind tonight

i don’t really want to write.

i don’t really have anything to say. not anything that matters. one red balloon

ryan saldana’s family is on my mind. constantly.

some people don’t understand. that’s okay. i won’t try and explain.

but i will explain how i know many of us are feeling.

sad.

hopeless.

helpless.

afraid.

confused.

angry.

sad.

scared.

i know what is the hardest to digest is how it was a tragic accident. an accident that parents worried about for years before my time and will continue long past.

there’s no illness to fight.

there’s no time to be mad. to be angry. he’s just gone. in one snap moment their lives were shattered and changed forever.

as someone who watches children and loves them deeply this rocks me to my core because it could happen to me.

it could happen to you.

none of us can say that it can’t.

i think that’s why so many of us are having a hard time with it. we are helpless to do anything to change what has happened and helpless at what to do to keep it from happening again.

all we can do is grieve for ryan. we can pray for his family. and we can be extra vigilant knowing that bad things just do happen when we least expect them in the worst ways.

hug them a little tighter. watch over them a little longer. hold those hands a little tighter.

that’s what’s on my mind.  sig_green

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red balloons have new meaning

red balloons

i have no words.

in the 2 hours since i’ve read about this, i cannot think of anything else.

i have nothing to share.

i have nothing important to post.

nothing that could top the saddness i felt when i heard this morning about the tragic accident and loss of a 3.5 year old little boy.

today, i have no words.

i just see red balloons for ryan.

please read here and you can find out all about #RedBalloonsForRyan.

i pray for his mommy and daddy and all those who loved him.

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bar mitzvah weekend 2014!

okay so i totally screwed up. i agree to a blog a day in the month of may and then on may 3rd i dropped the ball!!! BUT, to be fair i was busy having amazing bar mitzvah fun celebrating an amazing young man. so get over it!! 🙂

i’m going to work on catching up at some point by posting twice in a day…….just you watch!!

but, without further adieu…..

this past weekend was the bar mitzvah of my cousin’s son who is more like a nephew to me was called to the torah saturday, may 3rd, 2014.

THIS IS HUGE!!!

how is the little guy i helped potty train now considered an adult within the jewish faith.

time flies, that’s how!

there are no words to properly explain the how proud i am of louis and the job he did.

there are no words to explain how mature and such grace he showed the entire weekend.

the little boy was gone, all signs of little louis missing and only this teenage version was there.

20140506-060518.jpghe read from the torah beautifully.

he honored his family and friends.

he showed respect.

he showed appreciation.

i don’t know what REALLY should make a man, but those things are what really matter.

friday night was the shabbat service. we had a small, short-ish service. it was at that time that his mom, julie gave him his tallit (prayer shawl) that he will wear for the first time saturday morning when reading from the torah. this is the first time he will be able to wear one and carry on this tradition.  we had a wonderful family dinner afterwards, held at the synagogue and outdoors yet their group of friends and family are so warm that the feeling was incredible. you forgot you were outside you were so engulfed in pride and love.

saturday morning was the big day! louis assisted in leading the morning service and read his torah portion. he did amazing. it was obvious he’s worked hard to get there and that, no surprise he was a force to be reckoned with, just like he is on the ice playing hockey!!

we celebrated louis with a luncheon at the synagogue following the service and even there, i watched him and that little boy who would’ve been running around and being silly was not so little and not running around, but visiting with family and friends and accepting the accolades he earned and deserved.

saturday night was a small party for the kids and out-of-town family and very close friends. 20140506-060544.jpgi’m not gonna lie, they ALWAYS know how to throw a party! they don’t do it often, but when they do they are not easily forgotten!! complete with taco truck, green screen & photographs, an awesome music track that i thought was a DJ most of the night. oh, yes and a bar. with the most delicious pomegranate martini’s i *might* have had quite a few of! 😉

 

the weekend was amazing. and it’s times like this that i am so glad i live in so cal and can be part of these kids lives. not just on the big days but through it all. admittedly in the past few years our schedules aren’t in sync but i’ve gotten to see them grow and flourish on the day-to-day.

i will leave you with one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE louis stories. he has been and continues to be the most compassionate person. no matter how many times i’ve told this story in 10 years it never gets old to me!!

i have very curly hair that i mostly wear straight. and at that time, i apparently never wore curly around the boys. on a particular monday i had gone over to play and help out i was wearing my hair curly. if i remember correctly the day before my roommate/friend rachel and i had gone to a wine tasting in malibu and gotten caught in a torrential downpour, of LA proportions and therefore my hair wasn’t straight. okay, so most of that afternoon louis was not his usual loving self. he threw toys at me. he pulled my hair, he wasn’t nice. i realized he was uncomfortable with my new “look”, so i asked if he wanted to touch my hair. he did. he played with it. he asked 8239584 questions, as louis ALWAYS does btw, and he learned all he could about why exactly i came over looking like this. in the end, the best explanation was it was rainy and wet and i didn’t feel like taking the time to blow dry it.

we went about the rest of the evening with dinner, bathtime, tv, goodness knows what else. and as i’m walking out of his room and turning off the lights he says, “traci, maybe you shouldn’t come over and play anymore when it rains”.

even at 3 he had a kind heart and a sweet soul, and i hope he never loses that.

congratulations louis. i love you and am so very proud of you. xoxo T

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