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Wife. Mommy. Lover of cookies.

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RT @HonestToddler: Toddler Tip: She has a bounty of nerves underneath that "last" one. Don't worry :)

Archive: June 2009

And We’re Off

It’s been almost a year in the making, but today we’re finally headed off for our big safari. We’re meeting up with my family in Miami in just a couple of hours, and from there, it’s on to London for a couple of days, and then (finally!) on to Kenya. For better or for worse, everything is packed, the luggage has been weighed (and I’m secretly giddy that I have enough room left over to bring my laptop, even though we’ll have no internet at all in Africa), and we’re *really* ready to hit the road.
I haven’t spent this much time with my family……well, ever, and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t think it’s a big secret that I think my little sister is one of the coolest people I know, not to mention one of the most fun. Somehow, the kinds of memories we’ll be making are better shared with a lot of people. Kevin and I haven’t been on a vacation in nearly a year, and we both *really* need some time away. It will be a relief to get on the plane later today and leave everything behind for a couple of weeks.

Having said that, I’m a little bit afraid that I’ll suffer severe detox symptoms from lack of teh intrawebz. Unlike some, I am perfectly aware of how many times a day I twitter or log on to Facebook. I KNOW I have an addiction, and I’m totally okay with that. After all, the internet is how I stay connected with the people i love most, and who are the farthest away from me. Rest assured, however, that even though I (gulp) won’t be around these parts for the next couple of weeks (after Tuesday, anyway. I fully intend to be connected in London), I will absolutely be thinking about all of my friends and family. In case I haven’t said it enough, I love y’all (and “y’all” know who you are).

In the meantime, have a great couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to annoy the crap out of everybody with pictures and stories. Oh, and one more thing? If anything really good happens, shoot me an email, m’kay? Just in case. 😉

Things My Father Taught Me

So many people complain about/are in therapy because of their childhood. Not me. I had an awesome childhood. Both of my parents made sure I balanced work and play, and both of them taught me valuable lessons on how to live life. There are two things, though, that came straight from Dad.

The first is my competitive streak (thankfully, Kevin shares this particular trait, otherwise we might have a problem). And yes, Camille, I can hear you snickering and making a “Will and Grace” comment. I don’t mean that I HAVE to win at everything I do; but I’m sure as hell gonna try. The effort is important, and if it’s not worth trying, then it’s certainly not worth winning. I also learned that sometimes people will cheat, and that’s not okay. The best example of this is the famous “little Merrin can cuss like a sailor” story from when I was 9 years old, but that’s a tale for another day (and honestly? I don’t tell it nearly as well as Dad does). Winning isn’t everything, the effort is part of the accomplishment, and it’s okay to be proud of your achievements, as long as you don’t flaunt them.

The second, and perhaps more valuable, gift from my father is a sense of adventure. I remember snorkling in Mexico, scuba diving in Bimini, sailing in the Caribbean, deep-sea fishing in the Bahamas, and exploring Verona with my Dad. I’ve learned that even the best laid plans can change at the last minute, and if you keep an open mind, sometimes it works out for the best (hellooooo, Hotel Serbelloni on Lake Como). I’ve learned that even if something doesn’t sound appetizing, it just might be the tastiest thing you ever put in your mouth. I’ve learned that if a steak isn’t rare, you may as well be eating shoe leather (if I had to choose a last meal, incidentally, it wouldn’t be a cheeseburger and escargot, it would be my Dad’s steaks). I’ve learned that you should try everything once, even if it scares you. It’s a big world out there, and there’s a lot to see and do and learn.

My life would be a lot less rich if I hadn’t had those experiences or learned those lessons. So thanks, Dad, and Happy Father’s Day.

What is this blog of which you speak?

I used to really enjoy emptying my head on the pages of my blog. A blog I’ve had, might I add, since 2000. Nine years. Wow.

The advent of Twitter has my constantly thinking in 140 characters or less, so my thoughts tend to be far less developed these days, and that’s a shame. I’ve always been a journal-er (I still have my journals dating back to middle school…..I pull them out now and again, and I especially love the high school ones), and I’m glad that our upcoming trip is giving me a reason to get back to that. There is something so much more organic about taking pen to paper.

I have realized lately just how much of my life is online….Everything about it has been documented since the late 90’s, and I’ve tried not to sugarcoat any of it. I’ve meticulously documented happiness, heartbreak, triumph, and tragedy, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I’m glad it’s out there in case I forget one day. I have pictures, stories, video…You name it. But I’m also really looking forward to getting back to basics. Maybe it will help break me of my technology addiction.

I hope I don’t stay in the rut of 140 characters, though. I have too much to say.

I Blame Twitter

And Facebook. Those two things are really the reasons that I’ve been so absent here lately. Believe me, it’s not that there isn’t anything going on; quite the contrary. I *knew* that once March rolled around that time would start to fly by, and boy, has it ever.

Kevin had his one year check up at the cardiologist, and he’s doing better than we could have ever hoped for. He’s not only officially as good as new, he’s actually BETTER than he was before his heart attack.

Oliver continues to be a little monster, but that’s one of the reasons we love him in the first place. Just since April, we’ve had to replace two phones, one remote, a Kindle, countless socks, and three pillows. He’s a special little beagle, but he’s so cute that we continue to let him get away with murder. That, and Kevin ADORES him.

I spent a week in Texas visiting with the Coopers for The Boy’s fifth birthday….and I STILL can’t believe he’s FIVE. We started our adoption journey a little over three years ago, and that, too, seems like yesterday (at least some days it does; others, it still feels like an endless wait).

We’ve been to Kentucky twice in the last two and a half weeks. Sadly, the second visit was for the funeral of Kevin’s Uncle Bill. Bill and his wife, Virgie, have always been dear to me, and Bill will be missed more than I can possibly say.

We leave in just over three weeks for Africa. This, too, is completely surreal. We started dreaming about this trip a year ago, we’ve planned for countless months (just ask Kevin….the man spent 11 months researching pants, for crying out loud), and now that I’ve lost all control of time, it’s finally here. Life’s funny like that; long stretches of nothing much followed by bursts of HOLY SHIT I HAVE NO TIME.

Even so, though, we’re ready with the right meds (no malaria, here, yo), we’re geared up with super-cool safari wear (I’ve been DYING for an occasion to wear a hat I bought 3 years ago, and this is the perfect excuse!), we’re swimming in memory cards for the Nikons, and the brand new shiny Kindle (courtesy of Oliver), is loaded with reading material.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to not blogging. If you miss me around here, don’t forget you can find me on Twitter (@merrindonahue), Facebook (Merrin McCallum Donahue), FriendFeed (MerrinDonahue), and plain old email. But seriously….I might have time in about, oh, three months to start hanging around here regularly again.




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