Friday, January 29, 2016

Shopping For Fun

Every once in a while Beth will ask me, "Can we go shopping for fun?"
The way she says it makes it sound like a product.
"Our cereal is on aisle 7 and the fun is on aisle 4."
But we love to shop for fun!! 

This time we went to the mall.
She bought some pants and tops at JC Penney.

She bought a wallet at Charming Charlie.
Now THAT'S a fun store!!
Nothing but jewelry and accessories, all assorted by color.
You bet my daughter with special needs loves that store!

Then it was off to Auntie Anne's for a pretzel and small root beer.
After that we wandered around JC Penney again.
Shopping for fun is the best!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I'm Not Sure You Could Really Call It A Date

Beth told me last Friday that her and Nick were going out for breakfast 'tomorrow'. He told her she could pick the restaurant this time, as long as she picked IHOP or Dennys. :)

I asked Beth if his mom was available to drive him. I told her she needed to check with me and dad to see if one of us was available to drive them. What time would they meet? Which restaurant were they going to? Her and Nick were texting back and forth when finally she said that Nick wanted me to email his mom. Too many questions I guess.

We met at a restaurant that was about half way between our homes, Chuck and I arrived first. Beth had asked Sharaya and Diana to come as well and Diana told us, "Beth is riding with us, the cool kids!" Well fine then! :)

Chuck sat at the 'old folks table' and the waitress took me to the table where the kids would be sitting. Nick and Loren arrived next and Nick came over to give me a big hug. He sat next to me and began talking about what he was going to eat, how important it is for the man to pay and when is Beth coming?

When the girls got there, Nick got up and gave Beth a hug, I think he called her Sweety. Beth and Nick sat next to each other and Sharaya, Diana and Allie sat across from them. We could hear them talking and laughing but Diana was the only one I could see. Is it considered a date if you're with your boyfriend and your sisters? Chuck, Loren and I were kind of in a different room and we had a great breakfast. It's been fun to get together with another mom who has an adult child with Down Syndrome. There's so many issues that just aren't there when your kids are little. We talk about jobs and transportation and living away from family. It's amazing to think that we're in this stage of life with Beth.

After a while, Diana texted us saying they all wanted to go to the mall. I explained to Beth that she was going to ride with Nick and his mom to the mall, then her sisters would meet them there. She was definitely okay with that! She got to sit in the back seat with her 'babe'!

Diana told us later that they all got to the mall and she, Sharaya and Allie went one direction and Nick and Beth went the other direction! On the drive home Beth told her sisters that they talked about how many kids they were going to have. Nick wants to have 2 kids some day but Beth isn't ready yet. Oh my.

(Thank you Sharaya for taking these pictures!)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

They Kissed Like It Was Just So Natural

While Beth and Nick were at dinner last week, I walked around the mall for a while. Then I got a text saying they were done.

I walked over to the restaurant and met both of them, plus Nick's mom and the rest of the family outside. We stood there talking for a few minutes and then headed to our cars.

Nick's mom headed to their car and I turned to go to ours when I saw Nick step toward Beth, lean down and give her a kiss on the lips.

Right there in the middle of the parking lot! Like it was the most natural thing to do!

Beth is 31 and has never had a boyfriend. I'm not used to her being kissed by guys! I'm not sure I'll ever forget that image! :) 

He kind of leaned forward on one leg and bent down, and Beth looked up... and they kissed!

On the lips!!

(This whole 'boyfriend' thing is taking some getting used to!)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Their Second Date

Beth came upstairs on Dec 29th and said her and Nick were hanging out on New Years Eve.

I thought, 'What? How?' I looked at her phone and saw that she had sent Nick a text. "We be together on New Years." He responded with "Okay" and promptly sent his address. In her mind, that was that. It was all settled that they would spend New Years together.

I figured they wanted to be together on New Years Eve to ring in the new year. He lives almost an hour away from us and I couldn't drive him home at 1:00 in the morning. I hated to disappoint her but I knew I wasn't gonna be able to make it happen and I had no idea what his mom was doing for New Years. I apologized to her and told her I would figure out something.

His mom and I emailed back and forth a few times and we finally decided on New Years Day. Nick's family was celebrating a birthday and they were gracious enough to have it at a restaurant about half way between our houses. Beth and Nick could have their own booth while his family sat separate. I asked Beth if this would work and she got the biggest smile on her face and said, "Sure!"

Let me give you an example of this smile. Nick gave her a necklace for Christmas. A beautiful heart with small red hearts inside. I took some pictures of her wearing it and they all looked like this:

I must have taken 5 or 6 pictures, then got an idea. I asked her, "Do you like the necklace you got from (in a sing-song voice) Nick"?

Okay, there it is!! That's the smile we get every time we say his name! Every. Time. It's adorable!!

Now, where was I? New Years day, we get up and get ready. She is bouncing all morning, happy, excited. We're driving to the restaurant and I told her that Nick's mom invited me to stay. Did she want me to stay, I could sit in a separate booth? Or I could leave and not be there at all? "Not be there at all." 

Well fine then! :) 

We get to the restaurant and Nick meets us at the door. We go in and I meet his dad. He invited me to sit down but I told him that Beth wants to be alone with her boyfriend and doesn't want me there. He laughed and totally understood. As I'm walking to the door, Beth and Nick follow me and tell me goodbye. Nick said he'd help her with the menu. (She really doesn't need help but I think it's sweet that he wants to be there for her.)

I asked them if I could take their picture.

As I walked out the door, they turned around and the waitress took them to their seats. (I snuck back in and followed them to see where they were going! Turns out, it was right across the aisle from Nicks family. His family was in a little alcove and Beth and Nick were in a booth so even though they had some privacy, his folks had a perfect view of them. Whew!) 

I went across the parking lot to the mall and had a Subway Club and a small root beer. It certainly wasn't Olive Garden but I kept smiling as I thought of the two of them!

Then on Sunday, Beth filled out a prayer request. 

"I like Nick because I am full in love with him. I hope he love me too."

Monday, January 4, 2016

A New Normal

We have a new normal, and it keeps changing.

I think I already told you that Chuck worked for U.S. West / Qwest / Centurylink (the phone company) for 19 years. Everyday he'd take the bus into work, sit at his desk for 8 hours, then come home. He had evenings and weekends off and we came to rely on that.

Then they decided to close his department. With progress comes outdated technology and his department wasn't needed anymore. He looked for work for 6 months, then finally landed a job driving those same buses he used to ride to work everyday.

Now he's low-man-on-the-totem-pole and he doesn't know his hours until the day before. Sometimes he goes to work at 0-dark-thirty and other days he goes in the afternoon. He works evenings and weekends and even holidays.

This Christmas we were at Sharaya's house. It's different going to someone else's house because all of your usual traditions don't happen. And they shouldn't happen because it's not your house. We had a great time, she had snacks and drinks and fixed a great lunch. We opened presents and took pictures, it really was a great morning!

Then 12:00 rolled around and Chuck had to leave for work. Our new normal. I don't like it, but I'm adjusting.

Sharaya had to drop Allie off at her dads (Sharaya's new normal) then her and Diana went to the movies. 

Beth and I came home and sat at the kitchen table and talked. I asked her if she wanted to play some board games but she said no. We drank tea. We talked. Last year her and I went bowling and I don't know why I didn't think of that this year! I wish I had.

I thought about some dear friends who are living a new normal. One is in a rehab center recovering from a stroke. His family brought his gifts to him and helped him open them. Another friend's mom (80 yrs old) had been hit by a car just a few days before Christmas so they all had Christmas at the hospital. Another friend who, like my daughter, left her husband last year. I bet this Christmas was a new normal for her too.

It seems so many peoples lives have been uprooted, unsettled, and their futures uncertain. One thing I do know though, no matter how crazy things get here on Earth, God is still on His throne. None of it has taken Him by surprise and He has the answers. He may not always tell us the answers, but He knows what's going on, He knows the next step and He will never leave us.

I pray you had a good New Year's celebration (we clinked our glasses at midnight and were in bed by 12:30!) and I hope the God of Truth fills your hearts and minds in 2016!


The aftermath

This was Beth while she and I sat at the table back at home.
She was out! I guess I'm not a very good conversationalist! :)