Bridge of the Headless Horseman

Bridge of the Headless Horseman

Gigi's Journal - NYC and the Kentucky Schmidts

Celebrating Gigi's Birthday! 
That's the Statue of Liberty in the background.

Aunt B and Ollie

Corny Lane, Oliper and Lemon!

Uncle Mike, Coco Bean, Gigi, Tunkie, Oliper, Lemon, Corny and Aunt B.

Lemon and Gigi.

King Kong and Tunkie.

Gigi's Journal - March 19, 2013

Day 13 - What's the Hardest Part of Growing Up?

I'd like to be funny right now and say,  "I'll let you know when I grow up!"  But the truth is that is not the first answer to come to my thoughts.  

The hardest part of growing up?  Realizing your parents were right and you would soon be repeating all the wise advice you once thought was unnecessary advice.  "No cookie before dinner."  "You can't spend the night at her house!"  And other seemingly unimportant advice that turned out to be for the child's protection and safety.  Who knew?!?

Gigi's Journal - March 18, 2013

Back on Track!  The children and their babies have all gone home and now I'm back to the 30 Things List!

Day 12 - Describe a Typical Day in Your Life.

As a midwife, there is no such thing as a "typical" day.  That's the beauty of this call - every day has the possibility of amazing things!

That being said, I will tell you there are a few things in my typical day I do not wish to miss - 2 cups of coffee in the morning, talking to at least one of my children or lately my grandson.  Oliver has been calling me on the phone for several months now.  He calls and asks things like, "Gigi, you hear me???"  Reminds me that he is at his new house in New York and other seemingly unimportant things.  To me, these are the best moments of my day.  Just a couple of weeks ago he FaceTimed me.  This is something we do just about every night.  This time, I assumed, was as any other time.  Once the call was connected, he got so excited!  "Daddy!  Mommy!  Gigi is on the computer!!!!"  So happy that he did this himself.

So, to you it may appear my life is a bit boring - 2 cups of coffee and sitting around waiting for spontaneous phone calls and video chats from small children.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Gigi's Journal - March 6, 2013

30 Things - Day 11

Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

1.  On the top of my list, number one pet peeve:  when people make one word out of the words "a lot". That's right, number one - alot.  See the red squiggle line underneath the non-word, alot?  Yes?  That's because it's not aword.  Get it?  aword? alot?  alittle?  So, next time you write a story and want to use those words, remember they are words not word.  Thank you.

2.  I almost hate to say this one out loud.  Okay, here it goes, beard trimmings left in the bathroom sink. There, I said it!

3.  This is hard.  I'm usually the author of pet peeves not the recipient of them.  I could list 20 or more that I am responsible for.  I seriously need help with this but fear I will open a can of worms if Ray reads this.  So, we shall say I have one, maybe two, pet peeves and leave it at that.

Gigi's Journal - March 5, 2013

30 Things - Day 10

Describe your most embarrassing moment.

I'm trying so hard to figure out an embarrassing moment and can only come up with other people's moments.   That's really embarrassing :-)

Gigi's Journal - March 4, 2013

Day Nine of 30 Things

List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

1.  My Mother - She has instilled in me my love for family.  The sacrifices she made for us when we were growing up had a profound affect on me.  

2.  My Father - He's hands down one of the most intelligent and incredibly fun people I've ever known.  I learned how to have fun and enjoy life from him.

3.  My Grandmother Meadows - She exuded a love for God and Family without having to say one word.  She walked out her faith by giving her self to others, without complaint.

4.  My Grandmother Gallagher - I could always count on her for comfort and consistency.  Her home was always welcoming.  The dolls, the bears, the food.  

5.  Dr. Rob Helmer - my employer and my friend.  He was like a big brother to me.  His influence in my life was perhaps the most profound of any in my adult life.  He help me learned self confidence.  I was timid, unsure and last self esteem.  He taught me that I could fly an airplane.  I went on to become a pilot because of him.

6.  Ray Schmidt - who chose to love me more than life itself and by doing so showed me unconditional love.  

7.  Christopher Schmidt - my first born influenced me to be the best mom that a 19 year old could be.  Who was born hilarious and taught me to laugh at life.

8.  Michael Schmidt - influenced me to become a midwife.  His birth changed me forever.

9.  Rebecca Schmidt - I believe we have a mutual influence on each other when it comes to music.   I have influenced her and she has broadened my musical influences.

10.  Jeffrey Schmidt - influences me to be kindhearted.  He has the biggest heart and truly cares for others.  I've watched him mature in the last couple of years and my heart in full.

Gigi's Journal - March 3, 2013

Day Eight of 30 Things My Children and Grandchildren should know about Me.

What are 5 passions you have?

1.  Genealogy!!!  Thanks to this list activity I've embarked on, I have received 3 requests for help with folks family history.  LOVE IT!

2.  Documenting our family with photography.  Know just enough to be dangerous.  I love being able to look back on photos from family members long ago and reminiscing about days gone by.  I want my children to be able to go back one day and relive those days.

3.  Helping families during the childbearing year.   Love watching families grow!

4.  Music - love listening to it, playing it, writing it, going to shows.

5.  Of course I will round this one out with FAMILY!  Remember - mountain commune?  Family!

Gigi's Journal - March 2, 2013

30 Things My Children and Grandchildren should Know about Me.

Day 7 - What is your dream job and why?

First, I honestly think I have the dream job.  Helping women and families through the amazing journey of parenthood.  So, what would be that alternate dream job?

Well, I've had lots of dream jobs.  Let me sound this out and narrow it down.

I used to think owning a pug farm would be awesome.  We would have a hundred pugs and play with them all day.  Saying things like, "Do you wanna <fill in the blank>???"  We'd watch them tilt their heads in anticipation of whatever it was we asked.  Pugs frolicking through green, flowery fields and snorting in delight.  And then four pugs came to live with us while their "parents" got settled in their new homes.  I love those pugs but they squashed my idea of that dream job.

How about activity director at a retirement community?  My first job was a volunteer at a nursing home.  Played cards and board games with the elderly, listened to their stories and brought them snacks.  My grandmother used to help out with the elderly.  It could work.  And then I got to thinking, yikes, it won't be long until I'll be elderly.  Can the elderly help the elderly???

The obviously choice for those who know me would be professional genealogist.  I have been doing genealogy since I was 13 years old.  My family tree has almost 12,000 people in it.  I'm running out of family to add!  So, I have expanded and have researched a few other families.  It's honestly as much fun to research those as it is to research mine own!  Ever wanted to know if there were skeletons in your family closet?  Have your heard stories about Uncle Jim and his bizarre behavior and wanted the facts? How about the stories you heard about your great great grandfather being an American Indian?  Is it true???  Contact me and I will have it figured out in no time.  Please???

Gigi's Journal - March 1, 2013

Day 6 of 30 Things I Want my Children and Grandchildren to Know About Me

If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?

I first have to say that this question was not worded correctly.  Any of us has the ability to wish or hope for anything we want.   I believe the author of the list meant to say - If you could have three wishes granted ...  So, I will answer the question as if I found a genie in a bottle and he granted me three wishes.  I bet you're wishing I didn't go into all of this detail about the question!

Wish #1 - Anyone who knows me knows this has to be at the top of the list!  I wish my family (children, grandchildren, parents and siblings) lived on a mountaintop in Tennessee.  A self-sufficient family commune.  Far enough from each other to enjoy alone time but close enough to be there in a flash.

Wish #2 - I wish I could give wish #3 to someone who would wish for something more valuable for mankind.  Not the stereotypical "Peace on Earth", "lots of money" or "more wishes".  I know hardly anyone reads this blog but if I gave you wish #3 what would you wish for?

Gigi's Journal - February 28, 2013

Day Five of 30 Things my Children and Grandchildren should know about Me.

What are the five things that make you most happy right now?

1.  My relationship with Ray.  Hard to imagine life without him though for the last few weeks I have been experiencing that.  He's been working out of town.  Definitely appreciate all the things he does when he's home.  Which reminds me, I forgot to take out the trash on Tuesday.  Blast!

2.  My relationship with our children.  Each of them is unique and perfect in their own way.  Gifted and talented, loving and kind.  The investment that Ray and I made/make in their lives has paid off exponentially.  More valuable than gold, silver or precious gems.

3.  The relationship with our grandchildren.  Oliver's multiple daily phone calls are the highlight of my day.  Hearing his voice, "Gigi???   You hear me, Gigi???"  Or the Girls learning to talk to Gigi and Papa on the phone - getting so big.  Fisher turns one next week and soon he will be saying Gigi!  I love being a Gigi and it was worth all the pain, fatigue, sacrifice and joy of parenthood.  Next week all our grandchildren will be together in one place and we will get to be with them.

4.  I am happy when I hear my Mom and Dad's voice.   When I get time to sit and talk to them.

5.  Surfing the internet and looking through census records, birth and death records, cemeteries - anything genealogy.

I'm going to add two things that make you most frustrated now:
1.  Beau - the male chocolate lab
2.  Cassie - the female chocolate lab
Stay tuned - their may be a Cassie Cam come early summer.  <sigh>

Gig's Journal - February 27, 2013

Day Four of 30 Things I want my Children and Grandchildren to Know about Me

List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

1.  You were created with a purpose and a future - don't lose hope.
2.  You are not fat.
3.  Girls can be mean.  Don't put too much stock in the things they say to you.
4.  You don't have to do what everyone else is doing to be accepted.
5.  Spelling Algebra is important but you really need to learn it.  Not that you will ever use it but so you can teach your children.
6.  Take time to talk to the elders in your family.  Ask them about their lives.  One day you will want to know and they won't be around to ask.
7.  Continue to ice skate.  Just because you have been told you have "weak ankles" doesn't mean you have to quit.
8.  Write more.
9.  Stop smoking now.  Don't wait until you have to.
10.  Life is worth living.  Enjoy it.

Gigi's Journal -February 26, 2013

Day Three of 30 Things My Children & Grandchildren Should Know About Me

Describe Your Relationship With Your Spouse

I cannot adequately describe my current relationship without starting from the beginning.  I remember meeting Ray in 1972 when I was 13.  The first memory I have, the moment I "knew" he was the one for me, was the end of the school year.  He was on crutches in front of my house and I was walking home from the bus stop.  We met earlier in the school year but I don't remember any of that.  It was a simple conversation:  Ray:  Is your brother home?  Me:  I don't know, I'm just getting home from school."  At that moment, in that seemingly benign conversation - I knew he was the one for me.

When Ray and my brother moved to Florida in September 1976 I was a Senior in high school.  I followed one month after graduating from high school.  I loaded all my belongings onto an AMTRAK train and followed my heart.

A year later, 1978, Ray and I married.  It was a simple wedding.  A few things made it memorable - my Dad originally wasn't able to leave the DC area so we made plans for my brother to walk me down the aisle.  Since my brother was Ray's best friend, Ray needed to find another stand in for Best Man.  He chose Fred.  Well, fortunately, my Dad was able to be there.  Fred missed the wedding and Steve took on the Best Man role (as we originally planned).  Another important thing was Ray's Uncle (like a brother) came to Florida to attend the wedding.  Memorable.

Fast forward many years of more ups than downs, more highs than lows and the ability to take the lows and make them work for us.  I have to credit Ray with being the most important factor in the strength of our marriage.  It took the first 8 years of figuring it all out with 3 children.  Then sometime in that 8th year (8 is the number of new beginning) Ray had an epiphany.  No announcement, no date to signify this decision, just one day he decided to live his life to make me happy.  So, for the last 27 years to this day, I have to honestly say I am the lucky one.  I have been loved unconditionally and intensely by the man of my youth.  Though some days I wonder what he gets out of it I remind myself that our marriage was made long before either of us could comprehend what marriage meant.  We work to make it successful.  The children we have had are our reminder to make it work.  The benefit of all our efforts can be found in four very small children, who are watching closely the relationships of those around them for examples.

Gigi's Journal - February 25, 2013

Day Two of Thirty Things

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears

1.  Spiders.  I do not like spiders.  At all.
I'm not sure how I developed this fear.  In 1997, in an attempt to overcome this fear, I got a "pet" spider.  A juvenile black widow.  She lived in a mason jar that I kept upside down.  Her web was in the top and I would open the bottom to feed her.  She lived for 9 months.  Yeah, still don't like spiders.

2.  Being in water over my head.
Especially in the ocean.  When I was about five I can remember being caught in an under toe and a big wave crashing over my head and pushing me into the sand.  Scary.

3.  Heights
In an effort to conquer this fear, I've learned to fly, gone to the top of the Empire State Building, 30 Rock, the Stratosphere in Vegas and the edge of the Grand Canyon.  I scream like a little girl when riding the ferris wheel.  While I am fearful of heights there is a confidence I get every time I put myself in that situation.  Not sure where it developed though.

Gigi's Journal - February 24, 2013

I have been given a challenge.  Normally I would just ignore this kind of thing but as soon as I read it I knew it was for me to do.  Thankful for friends who know me well!  So here goes nothing.  My first day of 30 Things my Children and Grandchildren Should Know About Me.

Day One - List 20 Random Facts About Myself (in no particular order)

1.  I am a licensed pilot.

2.  My first job was at Manor Care Nursing Home.  I was a volunteer and basically got to play cards and board games with the elderly.

3.  I took six years of French and much to my teacher's dismay refused to quit and take Spanish.

4.  I struggled with an eating disorder (anorexia) as a teenager.

5.  I love helping others especially when they don't know I'm helping them.

6.  I am a semi-professional genealogist.  If you sit too long with me and I get wind that you are ever so slightly interested in your heritage, I will have your family tree mapped out in no time.  True story, and strangers are not exempt.

7.  I prefer white gold to yellow gold.  I have as long as I can remember.

8.  My first concert was in November 1974 - Elton John.  Kiki Dee was the opener.

9.  I don't like to read books.  I'd much rather watch a movie.

10. I've had three heart attacks and no heart disease.

11.  I have been playing guitar and piano since I was 10 years old.  I failed miserably when taking lessons.  Left to my own I became proficient.  Turns out that's a family trait :-)

12.  I'm not fashion savvy and I'm okay with that.  (I realize that may surprise many of you - haha)  God gave me a girly-girl instead.

13.  I love to watch pro football and "my" team is the Redskins.

14.  Our second son was named after MVP of the 1980 World Series.

15.   I was a member of the National Honor Society the same year I missed 55 days of school.

16.  I had my appendix removed in 1999.

17.  I knew who I would marry when I first met him.   He wouldn't get the memo until 5 years later.

18.  I lost a baby between Michael and Rebecca.

19.  I won a contest between me and my Mother in 1972.  Who could grow their nails out the longest in one month.  My prize - Alice Cooper album.

20.  I like to write - songs, stories, poetry - I like to write.