Monday, May 23, 2011


This past weekend was graduation for our local high school. It made me remember Jessica's graduation four years ago. The night before, she was home because none of her friends were going out (she said it was so they could "rest" but I think it was because no one wanted to risk getting in trouble right before graduation). I was getting things ready for her party and she was following me around, asking to help, because she was so bored. She even played games with Maddy before she just couldn't take it anymore. "I need some excitement, I'm so boooooored!!"

I realized I'd forgotten to get cups, so I tossed her my car keys and told her to run to Walmart. As she drove off, I realized that she was driving with an expired license plate (I had the sticker in the glove box), a blown tailight (the bulb was in the glove box too) and all the beer was in the trunk. I called her and told her to drive carefully. As she started to yell at me I said hey, you're the one who wanted excitement. Luckily Walmart was pretty close, so she made it without going to jail.

Jessica would be graduating college this year, assuming she had all her credits and didn't switch majors halfway through. Would she have stayed in this area or would she have found a job in Chicago, New York, or halfway around the world?

Kelli would be finishing her junior year this year, and we'd be starting to research colleges and scholarships and all that fun stuff. Her scholarship fund will be ready to go soon for someone (hopefully more than one) from her graduating class to use for college. I wanted her class to be the first recipients.

I don't know what she'd want to be - would she still want to be a vet or would she have discovered some other path in life? Would she want to go to school close to home or would she have gone away?

Maddy says she's going to stay close to me, and when she graduates she's going to move back in with me. We'll see if she still feels that way in six years. I tease her that we're going to give her a U-Haul for a graduation present, but I know once she moves out I'll just cry.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ok, So Next Project!

I knew it had been a while since I posted, but I couldn't believe it was last on April 13. I have literally aged since then - I had a birthday. We also celebrated my husband's birthday, a wedding, a cutie-patootie's first birthday, and I went to Chicago and met the US Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood.

I also had my first Ikea experience while I was up there, and I got mousetrapped in the store. Seriously, I had to ask a worker how the hell to get out. And then I wound up walking through more fantastic stuff and found a galvanized steel lantern that was perfect for my patio table. So it wasn't all bad. I am planning a return trip and looking into U-Haul rentals. It's probably a good thing it's four hours away.

But I digress. It was great to attend the FocusDriven summit and meet Secretary LaHood along with members of the Illinois legislature, other families who have lost loved ones due to distracted driving, and the lovely Jennifer Smith, founder of FocusDriven. She and I have talked on the phone and emailed so much over the past year I kind of forgot we'd never met face to face. I am excited to begin working with her on law enforcement education.

My next big project is the upcoming fundraiser for Jessica and Kelli, which will be held Saturday, July 23 at the KC Hall in Collinsville, from 7pm to midnight. Maddy suggested the theme of Green Earth - to support Jessica and Kelli's belief in recycling, sustainability, and respecting the planet.

Mark your calendars!