29 04 2012

I’m not going to lie: this post is going to be mostly pictures for my mom. I’m forever promising her pictures, and then ever-failing in my follow-through. So here is a long string of pictures without much narration.

Zack is relaxing on our big ol’ pile of stuff. It takes a lot of gear for five people to eat, sleep, entertain, and clothe five people for three days. Luckily, we were still using the Taj Mahal on wheels at the time, and it’s got some serious cargo space. No bubble needed.

We also met my cousin and her family there, which was so much fun. Camping buddies are the best!

This guy spent the bulk of the time running around looking at drains. I kid you not: the Pacific Ocean spread before us like a picnic blanket, and he dragged me to the parking lot 14 times a day.

“Wish I could be . . . part of your WORLD!” [Cue crashing wave.]

We were back at Cama Beach State Park, this time in a Deluxe Cabin. (Totally worth the extra $15 a night to have a bathroom, by the way.)

The weather was nice the afternoon we got there.

The next day it rained.

A lot.

The whole day.

(We still went to see the drains multiple times.)

The girls painted while the boys played their DSes (which I didn’t take a picture of, for some reason).

We also watched “The Muppets.” (And, yes, it is that good.)

We played lots of games, and went on nature scavenger hunts, and pretended to be cats.

A lot of our time also seemed to be spent eating.

I guess it was all that ocean air, increasing our appetites.

Our pack-up-and-leave day was nice again. The kids were able to explore a little more while I packed up.

Here are all the kids at La Conner. (Not La Push. Sorry, Twilight fans!)

We stopped at a bakery for lunch.

Maybe I should have felt worse about the additions to the front of their display glass than I did, but they were the most expensive sandwiches I’ve ever bought. So I didn’t.

We stopped at Deception Pass and walked across the bridge.

It was very high and the cars were swooshing by on the other side of a tiny cable. I may have scarred Zack for life.

That’s why he refused to be in the family picture with us . . .

Anyway, special thanks to the Thompsons for letting us tag along (Zack said his favorite part was when we were at your house) and for the Washington State Parks Department.

Spring break!


28 04 2012

I have all these great ambitions.

Get back into blogging! Get my book written! Get my projects done! Get my house cleaned!

But I’m finding out that I can’t    do       it.

Not even that I can’t do it *all*, which I know is true, but I am simply having a hard time doing *anything*.

It’s like I’m going-going-going and I think I’m moving forward, but when I look behind me I’m still in the same place.


Someone has stuck a treadmill under me.

So, as my kids are growing up and changing right before my very eyes, I am trying to enjoy them. I’m trying to figure out how to balance the need to’s with the want to’s–which I suppose is what I’ve always done, but lately it’s taken hold of my frontal lobe and won’t let me go.

What I think this means for me is more home. More staying in and playing together instead of driving around in the car to this, that, and the other. Taking time to listen. Finally training my kids on how to do dishes (really looking forward to this one!). Helping them with homework (I am probably the world’s worst homework mom . . .)


To this end, I pruned one of our bushes last week.

Okay, that doesn’t really help with the simplifying bit, but it was funny anyway. Maybe you just had to be there.

Thanks for reading, despite my inconsistent posting. With all this simplifying, I can’t make any promises about consistency in the future, but I’ll do what I can.

Blogging, after all, can be done from your own home.

Two Hands!

19 04 2012

Eden turns ten today.

I have been reading the Betsy-Tacy series with her and Rainbow, and just this past week the girls in the book turned ten. They decided they were ready to fall in love. Luckily, Eden has not demonstrated any leanings toward that yet.

In reading some past journal entries, I noted how Eden felt like ten-years-old was practically grown up. She’d often start sentences with “When I am ten . . . ” My favorite was when she said, “When I am ten, I’m going to like mustard.” (A failed prediction, as it turns out.)

When Eden was five, I wrote this about her: “The other day as we were walking to the bus, she skipped on ahead, bouncing her princess backpack up and down, then she waved to the Culligan man like he was a long-lost brother, spun around the stop sign with one hand, hugged and kissed me enthusiastically, and waved from the window until the bus was out of sight with an ear-to-ear smile on her face. She just had this aura around her, a bubble that screamed to the world: I AM HAPPY! There’s nothing like a kid to help a person enjoy life. (Of course, there’s also nothing like a kid to make you want to run headlong into an oncoming train, but usually those moments are fleeting and rare.) . . . We’ve had fun reading together, and right now she and Zack are doing a reading challenge from the library where if they read twenty minutes a day for twenty days out of a month, they get a free book. The other day, the two of them sat down with me in our big armchair to read after they got home from school. Eden showed me a pink bead she had found on the bus. It was a lot like the beads for scouting except, of course, it was pink. So we were cozily reading away when I heard a quiet whimper from Eden.

“I said, ‘What’s wrong, honey?’ She turned her face toward me, and a big tear rolled down her cheek.

“‘The bead is stuck in my nose.’

“Sure enough, that bead was WAY up her nostril. I had an instant flash of panic, thinking of an emergency room extraction. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to get any purchase on it with our tweezers at home. I don’t think I even said anything at this point, just scrunched up my nose and started snorting, although, because it was a bead, I didn’t honestly think this would do much good. Eden did the same, scrunching and snorting her little nose.

“Suddenly, that bead shot out of her nose like a cannon, ricocheting off of the open Where the Sidewalk Ends in my lap. There was a pregnant pause. Then all three of us busted up laughing.”

She’s graduated from climbing all over the furniture to climbing up trees.

From smashing eggs on the kitchen floor to using them in a more appropriate manner.

From eating dirt every time she went outside to taking goofy self-portraits on my phone.

Happy birthday, my princess! I love your creativity, your kindness, and your hugs. I’m the luckiest mom ever to have a daughter like you.

That’s the Stuff

15 04 2012


I have a slew of blog posts waiting on the docket (Is this a bad time to mention that I actually do have a docket for blog posts? Hint: it’s more like a folder with photos.) but this month has been a crazed mish-mash of celebration and sickness, and this coming week isn’t going to be any better. That isn’t what I’m referring to by the Spam picture, though (which I ruthlessly stole from wikipedia).

Despite my obvious blog neglect, I still had 36 comments that got stuck in my spam filter. (Is this a bad time to mention how much I hate Blogger’s new “Please prove you aren’t a robot” word verification? Hint: it’s a lot.)

When you get more spam comments than actual comments, it means you need to update your blog more often.  (Hint: that was just a personal note for me.)

I like to glance through these, just to see which post has generated the flurry. (Hint: the “Gluten-Free” tab post wins every time.)

Here’s my favorite from the latest batch:

I just wanted to develop a brief note to be able to express gratitude to you for the magnificent tips you are sharing on this website. My long internet research has finally been paid with incredibly good know-how to exchange with my partners. I ‘d assume that many of us website visitors are undeniably fortunate to dwell in a really good website with many wonderful professionals with valuable things. I feel somewhat fortunate to have seen your website page and look forward to many more awesome times reading here. Thank you once more for a lot of things.

Awkward, much?

What always cracks me up is that the addressee is generally a name like, “win the lottery” or “bodybuilding blog” or “Polo Shirts Sale,” which is then followed by a long url. I firmly support a person’s right to try and make money on the Internet, but seriously? Who ever clicks on those? They are so obviously a scam, not to mention the cyber-equivalent of dropping your candy wrapper on someone’s lawn in the hope that it will inspire them to buy it.

(Hint: Not. Going. To. Happen.)

Thanks for visiting this website page–I hope you felt undeniably fortunate to dwell here and read some incredibly good know-how. Come back for more awesome times, and feel free to develop a brief note to express your gratitude for my magnificent tips. (Hint: I can never get enough of those.)

Check My Sweet Ride

1 04 2012

So, for the past eight or nine months, I’ve been driving my sweet Kia van around with this on the side:

It was an extremely idiotic accident involving me and a gate post; I possibly put off fixing it for so long so I could pay penance for my stupidity every time I looked at it.

Penance has been paid, and it is in the shop as I type. My insurance policy covers a car rental, luckily, since it’s already been almost two weeks. Naturally, the van they rented to me is this 2012, automatic everything, double-DVD-playing beauty:

There’s nothing like a little luxury to put the Kia-tasticness into perspective . . . But I still say “no car payment” outranks “Town and Country” every time.