Thank you for staying. (Probably Part 1)

This brilliant young woman….has the words

hannah brencher.


I have stood on countless amounts of stages and delivered a talk called “Stay.”

The talk is broken up into three sections. Stay Hungry. Stay Small. Stay Here.

I never had an issue with being hungry. I have been hungry for my whole entire existence. I was always the girl who wanted to be used. The girl who wanted to be chosen. I wanted to serve God if it meant he would give me things to do. I remember wanting that before I even had a relationship with God. I remember high school parties. The room spinning. The drunkenness. Me in the corner, just thinking, “God, am I an accident for wanting to do so much and make such a difference when no one else seems to care?”

I never had an issue with being small. I have never puffed myself up to be big. I’ve honestly never believed…

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The Irrelevant MOM

Yesterday I was filled with so many emotions–it’s interesting that I saw
John Hamm on a Sesame St. clip demonstrating emotions for Murray the muppet: guilt, frustration,awe.
I pass through these emotions on a daily basis John Hamm
but yesterday was different. It began with an ad Erin posted on Facebook for a job involving being on your feet over a hundred hours weekly,having degrees in finance, home economics, and psychology to name a few. It was for the position of “moms”. What was priceless was the reactions of the applicants…no pay..forget it! ad here
But it IS the thing in this life of which I am the most proud.So this picture that I came across when I looked through the wedding file it says it all to me. My middle brilliant, cerebral, handsome, caring, careful, ambitious, about to be a dad guy demonstrating his love for his bride; my beautiful, strong yet fragile, talented,ingenious, fearless, perfect best friend of a daughter;and my first born:entertainer from the start, empathetic, bright, driven, articulate, idealistic,  humorous, songman..are all here in a candid shot. These three incredible humans are my life’s work. And that is complete. I have finished
my masterpieces. I guess the final strokes, chiseled touches,were applied on their graduation days from UNCSA, Ga Tech and  Vanderbilt. But wait maybe it was on this wedding day when we gave Tim to Kate to have and to hold from that day forward —foot massages would now be hers. Maybe it was after Erin lay crumpled on her bed in a heap worn down by the rigors of job hunting and overstimulated by staring at the computer screen when she returned home to roost. Maybe it was on one of those days that I get a call from #1 son and he says Mom I just don’t know….I’m not sure…and I say you’ve got this Kyle!
So maybe I’m not done..maybe mom is a forever job..maybe I’m a forever mom.
Although I feel these young people are independent and and thriving I still answer to that call and to that “title”that should require degrees in finance and psychology and home economics because it does challenge me in all those areas just as


did the physical when it took shear willpower to stay the course when they were all babies and toddlers.
To stay the course 24×7 until such time as I could look upon a scene like the one in the pic and say Yes siree those are our kids and we done good!

Perhaps that is the root of my recent malaise that I feel done, not needed IRRELEVANT. That’s the word that filters through my head occasionally. I feel extraneous,immaterial,impertinent, not important to the current situation….because it’s true in regard to my mothering. I am not needed as a Mom anymore The job is done!
But I’ve been looking at that as a negative and starting today it’s a good thing! I’m actually taking advice from a brilliant young author, Hannah Brencher who I’ve been following for a few years now. She begs a young woman to be done with the word ” victim” (in her case). And now I am done with the label Irrelevant that I have given to myself. I’m okay without it. “I’m not destructive or a wrecking ball, I don’t need that word to keep me safe, sane, or tame”. As Hannah advises.
I might be better than okay when I throw out that word.
I am awake today and I realize how I was looking for a name, a handle to keep me from living my authentic life– a full life. I’ve got to break the chains through which I have manacled myself to keep me small and irrelevant, because they are just paper chains….so that’s it ….I made a paper chain link and I broke free of it…these hands can move mountains now! Hannah Brencher

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The Changing Face of a Family

Celebrating Erin’s graduation!!!

So just a bit of a hiatus to let life happen.. haha— a while has passed since I last blogged. I even had to change the profile to reflect the fact that I no longer have any college children. Erin graduated from Vanderbilt in May and Tim received his Masters in Electrical Engineering from GA Tech the week before Erin. We did all get together in Nashville for the graduation and had the MOST AMAZING time with Kyle, Tim and his fiance Kate, Russell and Erin’s girlfriend-Gina.

The wonderful thing about Nashville that really struck me on that visit was the incredible amount of talent that surrounds one there. I mean we walk into a little joint on Broadway at 2:00 p.m. and a female vocalist and an amazing guitarist are working through a set of beautiful tunes… It was lovely and totally random and unexpected for us.   The other very cool thing was that the”extended family” now includes some pretty stout talent in the music department. Gina is an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and vocalist, and Kate also is a gifted singer, I am sure I have spoken of Kyle’s talents and Tim and Erin both play the guitar to certain degrees. I am always dumbstruck by the fact that I have less than no musical ability BUT I do know what’s good and pleasing and one night we just had to go the  karaoke route in Printers Alley in Nashville. I want to tell you –I cannot remember what we paid– but man was it excellent and well worth the little cover charge. The place was a little dive called Lonnie’s gotta get in there–we had so much fun and BONUS I got to hear Kate sing beautifully and then Kyle sing which always makes me smile! We had a blast.

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UNCSA Graduation

The University Of North Carolina School of the Arts held Graduation on May 29th, 2010 and to quote a local newspaper in Winston-Salem: “The Oscar for graduation Goes to UNCSA” here’s a bit of that article:——

Almost 200 students graduated yesterday from the arts college in a production befitting their performance education. They wore cocktail dresses with combat boots, three-piece suits, jeans and T-shirts.

No pomp and circumstance here.

Instead, there was a keynote speech from legendary director Peter Bogdanovich, who did impressions of Orson Welles, Jimmy Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock rather than spout the usual graduation-day advice.

Even the presentation of diplomas was a performance: Chancellor John Mauceri asked for the diplomas, sprinkling confetti in the air. Then, a bunch of balloons rose from the orchestra at the Stevens Center, carrying a cardboard cutout of a house. A man with a white beard and dark-rimmed glasses — looking spot-on like the main character from Disney-Pixar’s Oscar-winning Up, — climbed up after the balloons. Then the orchestra floor rose, bringing tables with cardboard boxes filled with the students’ diplomas.

The white-bearded man was Rick Miller, the dean of university programs at UNCSA. To hoots and applause, Miller removed the glasses and pulled on an academic robe, preparing to call out the names of the graduates.

They received degrees ranging from bachelors to masters, in disciplines ranging from music to acting to design.——

It was fabulous-definitely THE MOST fun I have ever had at a graduation. I knew that I would be entertained -it is a performing arts school after all… but I did not know that I would be thoroughly engaged and delighted to be a part of the audience. Bogdanovich was witty and current and I hung on every word… Fabulous. I am trying to remember where my pictures are and will insert them as soon as I can.

The rest of the weekend was just as entertaining as hubby and I had the opportunity to meet Kyle’s gal pal’s parents from France. They are delightful. We spent one evening at her place drinking  champagne and freshly made mojitos and eating foie gras that her stepdad had made and brought with them.

We lingered for quite a few hours and joked and found a way to communicate even though we do not share the same language. The funniest part of the evening was Russ explaining baseball to Jean Louis using his laptop which was tuned to MLB and the Red Sox. Recently I read that the French-although they often indulge in very rich foods-do not gain weight like we do because they often eat communally and spend a long time at a meal. Which was exactly what we did that evening. It was so much fun. Her folks are lovely!

It was a work weekend though as we went into high gear to pack Kyle up and place most of his possessions in storage since he was heading to France for almost a month the very next day. We buzzed through his house-which was actually behind his landlords house- one of those “servants quarters” type of deals–in  a few hours.  Great space it has been perfect for Kyle.

Kyle is a wonderful cook and has a very well stocked kitchen-packing it up took quite a while… I think there were 5 different kinds of espresso! We did get it done and cleaned and readied for the next occupant who is a friend of Kyle’s.

Russ and I said goodbye to Winston-Salem for now–figuring we might not end up back there at all or at least for a while… great town though we have enjoyed getting to know it.

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Graduation Day

William Nuti

The Georgia Tech graduation took place in the Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Saturday at 3:00 for the College of Engineering.  There were approximately 1050 graduates in attendance and the stadium was filled with parents, family and friends. The place was buzzzing with excitement.. pun intended!

William Nuti the CEO of NCR gave the commencement speech which mixed a heavy dose of the reality of the times with encouragement that these graduates are fully prepared to enter into the future. He quoted newapaper headlines filled with doom and gloom that actually were taken from the 70’s to make the point that we have weathered tough times in the past and will once again shoulder on and succeed. It was at the same time depressing and uplifting. I was fully engaged almost 90% of the time when my back did not feel the twinges of sitting on backless stadium seats.. note to self -for the Master’s Ceremony next year nab a seat with a back.

It was really cool to find myself seated directly behind a family of a young man with whom Tim and Kyle played soccer in the 5th grade. Andrew was graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering- we hadn’t seen them in many years-however my ability to recall faces came in very handy-and I simply leaned down and asked Ann if in fact her children had played with the Y as youngsters. Her reply… “I am so glad you spoke up because I was wondering where I knew you from” Ha Ha… we then shared many comments throughout the afternoon and raved about how very proud we are of our sons. Small world huh.

After the ceremony and pictures and weaving our way back to the car we dined at Gordon Biersch and enjoyed a great evening. Tim’s roommate is newly engaged and there was a party at Brio’s to celebrate – I begged off though because the day had just wiped me out.. now that is rare. I have never been known to turn down an invite to party.. I think hubby was grateful that I was the tired one for once…

It was an amazing day -I did not struggle once to keep my emotions from getting the better of me. The pride I feel for Tim and all of his many accomplishments just feels natural and doesn’t overwhelm me. Great day and Great Job Tim!

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Tim gets ready to Graduate from GA Tech

On Friday I drove in to meet Tim to attend “lunch with the president of Ga Tech… ” Very Cool. This was held at the Student Success Center appropriately enough and was held to honor those braniac students who will graduate at the top of their programs. There have been quite of few of these award ceremonies and  honors this month for the students and parents and friends to attend. This one was pretty slick. The SSC is in a building adjacent to Bobby Dodd Stadium. So we had a view of the Jumbotron -upon which each name of the braniac students could be viewed for a good coupla minutes with their major-if you got onto you knees and looked out of the window… It really was pretty cool-to see Tim’s name up  on the screen-I tried to get a picture of it with his phone–hopefully he will send it to me to include here at some point… See what’s so cool is Tim doesn’t often bring attention to himself-he is the quietest and most cerebral of the three Goog children. So whenever I have the opportunity to toot his horn –believe me I do. I told everyone I saw on Friday how very proud of Tim I am and how very bright he is-in fact  The President of Georgia Tech-Dr. Peterson let the luncheon crowd know that only either 27 or 37 students in the entire graduating class  had 4.0 throughout their four years at Tech… Wow.. sorry I cannot remember if it was 27 or 37 obvioulsy Tim doesn’t get his math skills from me…. That is amazing… and my Timmy is one of an elite few… 

The students were asked to speak a bit about their futures and then recount some memorable moments at Tech. There were some interesting stories-taking a latet night dip in the President’s pool…., throwing lighted pumpkins off a building on campus….,standing waiting for the bus and meeting up with student who complained about the same class and then becoming great friends with them… Tim recalled the pride he felt when the track team he competed with finished in 2nd place in the ACC!!

So today at 3:00 Erin, hubby and I will attend the graduation ceremony at the Coliseum and I will do my level best NOT to become overly emotional.  I will NOT stop bragging about Tim’s accomplishments so far at Tech because I am just so damn proud of him. He will be continuing on this summer at Tech to receive his Masters in Electrical Engineering and will be a GRA(graduate research assistant) thanks to Texas Instrument! He has been focusing his study on analog circuitry for the past six months or so and TI has been assisting him in that effort… Yeah! Good things come to those who work hard.

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May 2010

The month of May 2010 will be “legendary” for the “Googs” and I therefore have decided to chronicle our many adventures and accomplishments  in this blog dedicated to the happenings of my very talented and wonderful family.  This month will find us in Atlanta for Tim’s graduation from Georgia Tech where he will receive a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

Next we head to Winston-Salem for Kyle’s girlfriends Master’s Recital in the violoncello, when we get the opportunity to meet her mother and stepdad from France. Her parents do not speak English at all and although Russ has been to France, he and I do not speak French.

The following weekend we head to Nashville to move my daughter Erin who goes to Vanderbilt… she will be moving out of the dorms and into a house with a buddy for the summer semester.

Then we head back up to Winston-Salem for the graduation ceremony at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where Kyle will be receiving his Masters in Vocal Arts where he specialized in Opera. So I promise to let everyone know who we are and why I felt you might be interested… throughout the month and in the coming months as the children venture out into the world and Russ and I tread water on the home front.

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