Friday, December 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I am sorry to announce that my Mom passed away early this morning...about 2:55am on Sunday 8/29/10.
Kurt, Kelsey and I went camping this weekend with our China Travel Group. We were having a great time in the woods...it was incredible, beautiful 100 foot tall pines, cool nights and mornings and hot afternoons...we had only gone for the weekend...
The kids were having a fabulous time, running from tent to tent...the adults had the best time as well...it was fun catching up with everyone.
I was telling some of the people in our group how sick Mom was and on Friday Janet called me to say that the hospital let her know it would be "soon" but not this weekend. She asked specifically because she knew we were camping and Jimmy had planned to visit next weekend...but the hospital was pretty positive that it wouldn't happen this weekend.
Still I had planned to see her on Friday before we left, but we left late and I rationalized that we could stop on Sunday on the way home. In hindsight I alternately beat myself up over not seeing her that last time and then I say "well when i saw her she spoke a few words to me and called me by my name" which she hadn't done in a few months.. I don't know if I could have stood seeing her so close to the end...
Sat night/Sunday morning I slept fitfully (as I usually do when I am not in my own bed) plus we were in a tent and Kicky Mc Kickenstein (aka Kelsey) was tossing and turning in our little tent. I did dream that one of the members of our travel group knocked on our tent and told me Mom had died...and that I had cried because I didn't get to see her...and then I stopped dreaming this.
About 7am, Kurt woke up and said he was going for coffee (we were "tent camping" not wildnerness camping, btw) and when he came back he asked me if I left my phone in the car...whcih I had...he said my phone was beeping and he looked and the call was from Janet...
Of course I knew at minute he asked me about the phone that my Mom must have died...so I called at 7:30 and my sister cried as she told me. For weeks I had tried to think how that moment would feel...grief or relief? what would my first emotion be? I was a little scared to think that it would be relief...even though the last year was so freakin' bad for everyone.
I am grateful that my first emotion was grief...I sobbed quietly (because my daughter was sleeping inches from me) and then I pulled it together and asked her some specifics...and made sure she was okay (I'm the big sister, that's my job) and I apologized for not being there for her because she went to the hospital to see Mom after she passed.
Kelsey woke a few minutes later and I told her Mema went to heaven...this was a pretty abstract concept for her, so she hugged me and then went to play with her friends...I was glad that she was distracted so I could pull myself together...
We were about 2 hours from my sister's so we packed our campsite fairly quickly, told the families what happened and left to go to her house...we had some decisions to make and the dreadful calls to handle...
So Mom died on 8/29, we waked her on 8/31 and interred her next to our Dad on 9/1, which was my 50th birthday...for the first time in my whole life my Mom wasn't there to wish me happy birthday...it hurt....
Mom, I hope you are happily reunited with Daddy and Nanny (my Grandmother) in Heaven...this brings me a little comfort...but three weeks later (as I am really writing this) I cannot bring myself to go to Church....
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Welcome to The Secret Recipe for a Hoppe Family! I'm JoAnn, Wife, Mom, Non Profit Manager (no, I won't ask you for a donation - today :) and a lover and reader of blogs.
I saw this post on Pensieve Robin's and thought it looked like fun, so I decided to play along.
A bit about me...while I am a working Mom, I am very home centric and am deeply in love with creating a lovely and welcoming home. I love to spend time with friends (mine or my daughter's) and family and enjoy a good party! I also love gardening, cooking and baking.
I came to be a Mom a bit late in the party of life - through adoption (my daughter is from China and we adopted her at 9 months old). She is 5 now and the light of our lives. My DH (aka The Trophy Husband) and I have been married over 13 years now. Life is definately interesting with the cast of characters I've surrounded myself with and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
I invite you to delve into my archives and learn a bit more about me and my family...I love comments that are thoughtful and respectful and I always try hard to be hospitable! Enjoy your stay @ Casa de Hoppe :)
While we were in ChangSha, we had two guides, Helen, who traveled with us throughout the country, and Leung, who was strictly in ChangSha. Leung is a young, handsome and very sweet man and Kelsey was immediately taken with him...in fact our baby girl flirted shamelessly with him and he with her!
But my memory today is about his voice...Leung loved to sing while we traveled throughout the city/country. We were in ChangSha about 7 days - which was too long for a city that isn't particularly touristy. And it was end March-early April...still a bit cold in ChangSha. I know I longed to go onto Guangzhou and experience that warm tropical air that awaited us and then finally get home and begin our lives as a family, but it was also really cool to be completely and totally out of touch with everything/everyone familiar. But I was a bit homesick and I think others were as well.
I'll never forget Leung singing John Denver's "Take me Home Country Roads" I cannot sing that song even 4 years later without choking up because I remember how powerful his voice was and the feeling of homesickness that overtook me...how I longed to be home and start our lives in NJ as a family! Singing that song with my daughter nestled either in her carried on her Daddy's chest or in my arms is such a sweet memory.
Kelsey probably didn't get a chance to sleep much in the orphanage. As a result, she slept a great deal (I presume longer than a 9 month old would normally) in her carrier, stroller, in the bus...she always took the opportunity to have a long nap...and was a pretty good sleeper for us overnight as well. I'm thankful that she either trusted us enough to fall asleep with us looking out for her.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Enjoy the photos of my favorite subject taken with my new toy!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Well, except for a quick shower this evening, I am all set to begin my new job tomorrow.
I need and want to work, but today was extremely bittersweet - and more bitter than sweet.
I will miss being the Mommy I've been able to be to my daughter. Being home with her for almost 10 months and being completely available to her has been such a gift. When I lost my job, she was 3.5 and now she's 4.5. She's so much fun and walks a fine line between being a baby girl and being a big girl. She would argue that she's not a baby, but she still likes to be dressed by me and the hugs and snuggles are the best in the world. I don't want this to end...really I don't. That being said, some of the happiest moments of my days have been when I've dropped her off at school and gone to DD for coffee or gone shopping - but the luxury and freedom I've had has been such an incredible gift.
Also, the opportunity to do things, like organize my home, care for my Mom and just sit and think have been invaluable.
I'd like to thank my husband for being so supportive of me during my time "off." The layoff couldn't' have come at a worse time financially and he never gave me crap about pursuing the non profit work. I think he also liked the fact that I cooked and cleaned and took most of the childcare duties and when he was able to pitch in, he did it without being guilted and enjoyed himself.
Tomorrow I march into the ARC with a new planner, a packed lunch, photos of my beautiful girl and a smile. I am excited to begin this new position, knowing that the best part of me appreciates all the gifts I have.
Oh...Kelsey's first comment to me when I told her I was going back to work was "YAY, DISNEY!" (I told her ASA I go back to work we begin saving for her trip to the Happiest Place on Earth! ;) (yep, she has her priorities straight)
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Two months, three interviews and lots of nervous energy later, I was offered the position of Financial Development Manager of the American Red Cross in Princeton.
I was hoping to have solidified my job before the holidays, but all along I thought this was "the job" and just waited patiently (yeah, right) for them to realize it too.
I start my new career on Wed. and I am really excited about it.
Other good news in the family....
1) Mom is recovering from her latest bout of pneumonia and complications and is getting back to her own self
2) Kelsey got her first report card last week and was recommended to attend Kindergarten. She will attend Kindergarten at her private school that she currently attends. We are thrilled and proud!
Perhaps 2010 WILL be a better year for our family :)