Ten Years

I came across this picture the other day.  Sagey was just a pup, she was a handful and we were on our own.

Standard Poodle

Now ten years later, the scenery has changed but I still have my hands full.

Mom and Daughter

The other day, Mark and Jess went to the Daddy-Daugher Dance.  What a handsome couple, huh?  But unbidden, my  mind’s eye flashed forward another ten years.  The scenery will change again.  Mark will be next to me behind the camera as we snap pics of Jess and her prom date.  The thought was too bittersweet…

Daddy Daughter Dance

…so let’s just freeze frame here for awhile.

Standard Poodle and Child


It’s Good We Trust

This is a little girl who had a rough week and was tossed from one adult to another as we scrambled to clear our schedules.

Jess Sick

This is a mom who had a guilt-ridden week.  Doesn’t she just look like she’s trying to make excuses?


This is the husband who stepped up to the plate and bailed out the mom who had a guilt ridden week and took care of the little girl who had a rough week.


This is the Auntie Grandma that was a lifesaver and helped the guilt ridden mom and husband who stepped up to the plate and helped care for the little girl who had a rough week.    (One of the duties of a good Grandma is submitting to queenly make-overs.)

Auntie Grandma

I am so glad, and also hopeful, that we are through this rough week.  It started when Jess spiked a fever last Saturday.  She ran a high-grade fever all weekend.  Mark and I were both staring at hectic work schedules in front of us and a couple of dentist appointments for Jessie that needed to be juggled or rescheduled.

Monday Mark and I split the day to take care of Jess.  He stayed home with her in the morning and I came home in the afternoon and took her to the doctor so he could go to work.  Mark stayed home Tuesday and we cancelled Jessie’s dentist appointment.  She was feeling better as Mark can attest to by the marathon Scrabble tournament.  However, she was losing sleep at night due to her congestion.  Wednesday she returned to school and we seemed to be in the clear.  Thursday afternoon I received a call from the school.   Jess had vomited in the bathroom.  Mark stepped up, cleared his schedule, picked Jess up from school and took her home.   Jess promptly fell asleep for three hours on the couch.  I was worried we would have to cancel the other dentist appointment on Friday but Jess was fever-free and feeling well when she woke up.

DGG Karen came over Thursday night to stay with Jess on Friday after I brought her home from her morning dentist visit.  Not just any visit.  A tooth extraction visit.  And her first experience at the dentist besides having her teeth cleaned.  Jess was brave and good through the ordeal.  She and her Auntie Grandma, DGG Karen, played together all day Friday.  Karen looked more tired than Jess when I arrived home from work.  Jess can do that to you!  She had some minor swelling on Friday night but only fussed when she couldn’t have Doritos.  (Jessie, not Karen.)  After an exhausting week she fell asleep early for a much needed rest.   (Again, Jessie, not Karen.  But I imagine Karen might have done the same thing.)

Mark can rest easy, too.  He bailed me out a couple of times this week so I wouldn’t have to leave work.  Karen deserves a good rest because she bailed both Mark and me out on Friday.

Believe me.  It was a crazy week.  I feel guilty about not being able to take any significant amounts of time off work this week.  Especially Friday because I know that was a scary day for Jess.  But, staring a week down, trying to determine how much sick time vs. vacation time you have to juggle for the coming year is one of those things that is much clearer in hindsight.  I’m fortunate that I have a family I can count on for support.

But in hindsight, after those little arms went around my neck and Jess cried crocodile tears because she couldn’t have Doritos, I knew I should have stayed home Friday.  It was more than Doritos.  She was tired.  She was sick of being sick and tired.  She wanted her mommy to know she had a rough week.  It didn’t make everything instantly better for her but she at least knew I was paying attention.

Saturday morning Jessie woke up and looking at the back of her dollar bill she got from the tooth fairy, she read, “It’s good we trust.”

It sure is.  Especially for sick little girls and guilt-ridden moms.

Time for Manicures, Parties, and Rapunzel

Jessie asked me the other day, “Mommy, why don’t you wear dresses and paint your nails?”  I was torn between laughing hysterically in her face or beginning a tirade on the pressures of balancing family and work.  Instead I opted for:  “Jessie, we’re late…go, go, GO!”  Which I guess is a more efficient version of the tirade.

I used to do both those things but searching through mounds of nylons for one pair that does not have a run can add a precious two minutes to the morning rush.  “Don’t mess with the dress” became “don’t mess with a dress.”  I’m lucky if I have a clean shirt to match my slacks.

Manicured nails gave way to washing dishes, grooming poodles, and, again, finding thirty spare minutes to sit still while your nails dry.  Add a seven year old that does not understand “smudging”.

But Jessie’s question nagged at me for several days.  I don’t want to be the “old” mom.  I clearly remember wishing my mom was a little younger at times.  My parents were at least ten years older then most of my friends’ parents.  My mom didn’t understand things like pierced ears, bikinis, or eye shadow and mascara.  She was fine with a dab of lipstick and a small compact of face powder.  She usually put it on in the car after urging, “Shelley, we’re late…go, go, GO!”

I want Jess to know that she can ask me style questions.  I realize we won’t always agree.  Hopefully future disagreements will be more about clothes then tongue piercings or tatoos but I, at the very least, hope she will value my opinion from time to time.

I do paint Jessie’s nails quite often.  She has such tiny hands it usually involves me basically running the brush over the entire tip of her finger and telling her the paint on her skin will wear off eventually.  However, I decided we should have some real “girl” time.  I bought some new polish, put on my readers and we did this:

Manicure party

It was a perfect hen and chick party.  We talked about her birthday party.  Who she wants to invite and how she wants to decorate.  We talked about her little boyfriend, Jack, at school.  We talked about how her skin looks like her dad’s and how white I am but how we both have brown eyes.  She asked me if I ever had long hair and her goal for her hair is to grow it like Rapunzel.

I received more than I bargained for with this girlie time.  Plus the added bonus of discovering a polish that has lasted for five days without chipping.  I’m aiming for Sunday nights during “quiet” time for the mom/daughter manicures.

Imagine the treasures if I can make this last until college.


divine (di-vin) – magnificent; exquisite.  extremely pleasant; delightful.  To know by inspiration, intuition, or reflection.

Divine Greene Girl Shelley.  I’m the fourth of the four original Divine Greene Girls.  The first three are my sisters DGG Karen, DGG Peggy and DGG Nancy.

How we came up with this moniker, I don’t remember.  I think one of the Good Guys pinned it on us.  It sounds like something GG Bill would come up with.  I have a feeling he was the source.

But no one can deny that we are divine.  Just look at this:

And this:

These are when we were hotties.

Well, we’re still hotties.  We’re just a little older now which not only makes us hot, it also makes us seasoned.   Seasoned, another word for spicy.

We’re hot and spicy!

We even have our own Coat of Arms designed by DGG Peggy.

DGG Coat of Arms

Joyous and Ever Loyal

I’ll explain later about the feet…

The DGG’s are my roots, my origin.  They are the women that showed me how to make a family and how a family can form in many different ways.  They paved the path and moved aside some of the traditional concepts of what a family looks like.   They set the example, some of it on purpose and some of it by the twist of fate, but always with open hearts and open minds.

Perfect families do exist.  They are inclusive and made through marriage, divorce, birth, death, adoptions, same-sex parenting, inter-racial marriage, step-parenting, etc.  I discovered this as I observed my DGG sisters build their own families and support other traditional and non-traditional families.

I’m fortunate to have had these extraordinary sisters growing up ahead of me.  Though it was unconscious, it made the path I took to create my family comfortable.  Almost every day there are challenges or rough patches to conquer.  Many because we took the non-traditional route.  However, most are just because we are a modern family in a fast-paced world.  Just like everybody else.