Sunday, February 26, 2012

Coloring in the Kitchen

This girl is really delightful!  I wish I could capture all the spunk and life she has in a picture...but I can't.  I can't even seem to capture many of the fun moments.  But here is one very small moment- Adele coloring while I cook...With her pants on backwards!  Love Her, Love Her, Love Her !!!(Even if she did throw up all over the place today- twice...and that is saying something because I HATE the smell of throw-up)!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Angel Dresses

If you haven't read the book "The Hiding Place" you should.  It's a great book and a few of us friends just read it.  I think we all agreed it was inspiring.  To go through such a dark thing as the Holocaust and come out of faithful and strong is amazing.  Could I be so strong?  Could I stay faithful?  Honestly I hope I never have to find out...however I believe it was easier for her to remain faithful and strong because she had such a strong foundation going in.  I hope my foundation is never tested the way hers was, but I would like to take any opportunity I can to build my foundation.

In an effort to look beyond our own lives and personal trials we decided to do a service project at our girls night.  I feel very blessed to be acquainted with "sisters" that are so willing to use their time for good, to reach outside themselves, to enjoy service and to be such great examples of love.

We made "Angel Dresses" together.  They are tiny little dresses that are put on babies that are born to early and do not survive.  The babies are cleaned and put in the dresses for Mothers to hold them in.  Then they can take the dresses home and have something tangible to remember their babies.  It was a bitter sweet project (we wanted to make them but hope there are few chances for them to be used), but we all liked feeling like we might in a very small way send our love to someone going through a hard time.

I think they turned out so well.  Thanks for a great night!

Monday, February 20, 2012

D.C. trip

I survived my flights there and then it was time for some fun.  Stephanie surprised me with play tickets.  We saw two gentleman of Verona (it's an awful picture but proof we were there).  It's not one of Shakespeare's greatest but was still fun.

 We ate SO much all weekend.  We kicked off the binge eating with milkshakes!

 We filled up lots of time with the kids.  It was great seeing Natalia and Seina. Seina (does that have one N or two?) was so mellow.  Natalia was a little spunkier!  She and Adele are destined to be partners in crime!
 We went to a movie together one night (Thanks Hector for babysitting). 
 Titus got pretty sick while we were there which was delightful! 

Lucky me I got to crash Valentine's and Steph's birthday. Valentine's was fun.  I got to offer a small bit of assistance on Steph's project for Hector and I ate TONS of their chocolate covered strawberries.  Steph's birthday we went out for treats together (I told you I ate a lot...I came home and told Tyler I wasn't going to eat a single treat for a month as penance). 
It was a quick trip but so fun and so good seeing everyone.  I feel so blessed to have the family I do.  I love the time I get to spend with all of them. 

By the time the return home trip rolled around Titus was a mess.  He had one of those colds you can't hide.  Anyone that looked at him knew he was sick.  He was like a living germ.  I cleaned him up best I could before the flights.  The second flight was dark and I had gotten him into a restless sleep.  When we landed and the lights came on I looked at him and he was All crusted over.  It was nasty, his eyes were glued shut, he had crusted boogers all over his face, he looked red and swollen.  I quickly put him in the front carrier and rushed off the plane.  People tried to tell me that he was such a good traveler.  I didn't even turn  him towards them.  As soon as I got off the plane he threw up all over me- one of the nasty smelly throw ups.  I didn't even clean it up.  I rushed for the pick up place and rather than greeting Tyler with "warm embraces" he was greeted with "help me with this kids".  It seems like flying with kids is always an adventure! 

It was fun getting away and fun getting back to my other kids and Tyler.  I can't believe how much I miss them when I am gone!  Thanks Steph and Hector for a great weekend and thanks Mom and Dad for helping with my kids. From the sounds of it Tyler and the kids did great without me.  They were sick here too.  They stills managed to have lots of fun and make great memories. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I flew to DC to visit my sister.  I took Titus with me (he is still very attached).  We were dreading the flights there.  The first flight went smooth enough, then we had a brief layover and Titus was starting to get burnt out with traveling going into our second flight.  We had assigned seats so my fingers were crossed I would not end up with a "baby hater". 

Turns out I was assigned a seat next to a hero (literally).  Our flight was filled with soldiers about to ship off to war.  The pilot welcomed them and everyone clapped!

The lady that sat next to me was AMAZING.  We talked for nearly all four hours.  We talked about war and life and Titus.  She held him and played with him.  He was obsessed with the flag on her sleeve.  She didn't deny being nervous about being away for so long, but she didn't seem to be sad to go at all.  She had kids in the military as well.  I asked her if that made her nervous (the idea of my kids being in the army scares me).  She said "no" and that she would be afraid if they were doing drugs or living recklessly but that she would never be scared as long they were doing good things that they believed in.  I could go on and on about the conversation we shared- it left an impression on me.  I felt grateful for where I live (sometimes it's easy to see only it's flaws) and I felt very grateful to the people that have and are keeping it safe.  I also was reminded that us back home need to do our part to keep this country great, it's the least we can do to honor the sacrifices others are making on our behalf.

 At the end of the flight, this good woman said that Titus could have the flag from her uniform (when they go over seas they switch to a camouflage colored flag).  She said Titus was the reason they did it all. And that she would think of him if she ever needed to be reminded.  And I will think of her when I see a flag or hear about heroes.  I told her I would give her a medal for all her help on the plane with Titus if there was such a thing!

I don't know if we will ever meet again (in this life at least).  But it was a great few hours.  I am truly thankful for the people that have and continue to made this country great- I hope that even though I am not a soldier in a uniform that I can still be a citizen willing to make the sacrifices necessary to keep this country great. 

I loved having watching someone enjoy Titus (don't get me wrong we all enjoy him but he was singled out this trip and that was special). I love when my life intersects with others and connections are made.  Airplane rides seem to be the perfect setting for this.  If only I could say all my flights went so well....!!!

Secret Cupid and Valentine's Day

I was gone on Valentine's day this year so we did an early celebration!  One night we picked names and did my little store where they spent their "love bucks" and bought gifts for each other.  Rather than be secret cupids for a whole week this year we did it for one day.  The kids cracked me up again.  They thought they were so sneaky.  Garret had me and he would come up and say "look at that" point then shove something into my pocket.  He even put "love Garret" on some of the pictures he made me.  He was so surprised when I knew he was my cupid.  Adele had Spencer and she would go put something on his bed then say "go look on your bed".  He had no idea who had him!  Spencer had Tyler and he actually thought pretty hard about where to put things.  It was lots of fun. We also enjoyed pink heart shaped pancakes and pink milk!

 On the actual Valentine's Day my Mom made sugar cookies with them and Garret enjoyed his Valentine's party at school. (Thanks Jen for taking pictures).  He was very sweet and saved the Valentine's to show me when I got back.  He loved them all but the one from Naomi the girl in the pictures he says he will keep forever!

It was different being apart for Valentine's but we all found ways to show love to each other.  I love celebrating our love but mostly I love that it is there all year round.  Happy Valentine's 2012!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Waiting Place

We love Dr. Seuss around here. Not only are his books fun but they are full of wisdom!  And we find we relate to them very well.  If you have never read "Oh, the places you'll go" you should.  It's great.  The book is about life and it's ups and downs and stops along the way.  One of the dreaded stops is...

"The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go

or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting around for a Yes or a No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting."

We are waiting right now...for our house to sell, for jobs to call, for a path to feel right!  In the book they leave that place and we will too!  While we are "waiting" we try to do all we can to be ready for our next stop, we also do our best to enjoy the things around us, namely the four little munchkins running around our house. So here are a few things we have been doing-

We don't have a bathtub, so the boys shower and I use the big sink for Titus and sometimes Adele.  Garret thought it looked like fun so he took a "sinkie" one night!

 Speaking of Garret- he is doing great.  He is growing up and full of energy and life.  He is loud and rambunctious but when I go volunteer at his class I am always shocked, he is so quite.  He is even a little bit shy.  It was his turn to bring something for show and tell the other day.  He thought and thought of what to bring.  He thought of bringing Grandpa, a star fish from Mexico, a boat from Buffalo but he ended up really wanting to bring the willow tree that Tyler gave me when he was born.  During his special week at school he also had to fill out a questionnaire.  He answered lots of questions but the funniest one to me was "What are Three wishes you have"  he wrote 1. See a Volcano 2. Go to Texas and 3. Climb the Highest Mountain. 

We have one kitten left.  He is getting big and we are starting to relax and trust that he will be around a while.  A few days ago we went to feed him and he was gone.  The kids looked for him all day.  When Tyler got home after a long day we told him Tiger was gone.  Then a friend he had carpooled with called and said an orange kitten had been around there house all day.  So Tyler went to go rescue him.  But when he went out to get in the car Tiger was there.  That darn cat caught a ride early in the morning rode ten miles, waited there all day then came back home under the car again.  I think he may only have a few lives left after that ride.

Sometimes I catch a small case of cabin fever and just need to get out.  One such day we headed to the park for a quick swinging.  It was cold so we didn't last long our littlest man loved the swing until he got too cold!

 Then Tyler tucked him in and warmed him up.  We love this park because it is close and has "real" swings for the kids.  Trust me I have been on them and it really feels like your feet might touch the clouds.  The scariest thing is how high Tyler pushes Adele.  She is a daredevil and yells "higher" over and over til Tyler gives in and up she goes.  I cringe and yet love watching her face.
 Adele is doing great.  She is still stubborn and spunky but I think she has mellowed out a bit.  She is always singing and telling stories.  One night last week she snuck into our bed in the middle of the night.  I woke up later and was all wet.  The little stinker wet our bed.  She has been banished (we will see how long that last).  She really is fun to have around.  She can hold her own with the boys and pretty much runs the show.  We have been having some battle of wills lately.  I know if I can outlast her for a few rounds it will pay off in the end.  So far so good but I think she might take me through a few more rounds then the boys ever did at this age!

We caught a nasty case of pink eye and it has spread from one kid to the next.  Titus had it worst but is on the mend.  It was very sad for a few days.  I would look at him and his eyes would be stuck closed again.  He stayed good natured through it all and my fingers are crossed that within the next couple days we won't be able to find any signs of it.

We have had several house showings.  Some of them went really well...people liked the house but were waiting for theirs to sell or they liked it but it was the first house they had seen so they wanted to look a little more.  We are still feeling optimistic about getting out of the house.  If it sells we will have an easier time deciding what to do next. 

Spencer has been trying to earn the title of best listener (there is no real title), he is usually the first to jump up and do what is asked.  He is a sweet kid!  I keep telling him to stay little, he says he will try but I know he is going to disobey on that one!  Garret can't wait for him to grow so they can ride the bus together.  He said "some kids don't sit by their brothers on the bus but I will always sit by Spencer".  They are such great friends (most of the time).

I am convinced that the friends I have met here are all "kindred" spirits.  They are truly good people that care about one another.  I feel so grateful I have been able to get to know them and spend time with them and grow from them.  I hope that they all get to grow old together like we always talk about.  They have been a blessing in my life.  Tyler has also felt so much love from the friends he has made.  As soon as people found out about the bump in the road we are at so many people have emailed and called and offered advice and support.  We are thankful for the friends we have here and spread across the map.

Tyler keeps busy looking for jobs, learning about dental practices and exciting things like that- but you can't do that ALL the time so I get to have him around a little extra right now.  If we do ever buy a practice I think we will make a great team.  We love being together and working and sharing things together. 

Since we have no choice but to be in the "waiting place" at least I get to be there with such great people!

Friday, February 3, 2012

"I didn't keep my boxes"

Warning- This post will contain:
*Too much information
*Evidence that shows how far from perfect I am
*News on our future

First a brief synopsis of the last 8 months-

Tyler's residency ends.  We still haven't closed on the practice we were trying to buy.  We are unemployed and paying on student loans.  We decide to take the safe, predictable job.  We move to Olympia.  We rent a house.  We instantly make great friends.  Love living by family.  Love Garret's school.  We decide that we can make the job work and let go of the idea of buying a practice.  We look at houses just for fun.  Find a forclosure that fits the house we have always dreamed about.  We decide since it fell in our laps to buy.  We are excited.  We move in.  We build shelves and spend ever waking minute working on the house.  It starts to feel like a home.  We spend our nights sitting on the couch talking about how we are going to grow old here.  Tyler starts getting fewer hours at work.  We start to think about if this is really going to work for the long term.  We want it to so we don't have to uproot ourselves again, but realize it's not what we thought we were getting into.  We hash it out night after night.  We are unsettled inside and unsure what to do.  The snow hits.  Tyler doesn't work for 6 days in a row.  We have no power.  We spend each day thinking about how much we wish he were working.  We are forced during the week to make some decisions.  We realize (for lots of reasons) this is not where we should stay for the long haul.

The last two months and especially the snow week were some of the hardest times we have had.  We were torn between wanting to stay for good reasons and wanting to leave for good reasons.  I felt angry about having to move again.  I felt frustrated that after years of living on nothing we were back to that again.  I was sad that switching jobs meant selling "our" house and letting go of the image I had of us having a place to grow old in.  Tyler felt discouraged that he wasn't giving me the things I wanted and burdened by decisions.  We were both upset (not so much with each other as with the situation).  One night we were talking and I said "I liked the plans I had and they were good things" I vented about it.  Tyler said "I liked your plans too, except how you wanted to paint Adele's room" (he was trying to lighten the mood).  For whatever reason that was the straw that broke the camels back.  I burst into tears and with great enthusiasm I said "It doesn't matter anyway, I'll never have a room to decorate for her" then I kicked the walker that happened to be in front of me (this is very out of character for me).  My foot was black and blue for a week and every time I walked I was humbled.

I assume if you are reading this you know us pretty well.  You know we have a great marriage.  With 100% sincerity I can say it's the best I could have ever dreamed of.  After the foot kicking incident I woke up and escaped my slump.  We talked like we always have in the past and reminded ourselves what was really important.  We realized all the frustration we felt was not intended for each other.  We are back on the same page.  It does not mean I won't cry when the house sells (I didn't even keep my boxes).  It doesn't mean I don't feel anxious as we send out applications across the country and try to decide on the future.  I am scared to make another move.  We tried taking the easy predictable job before and it didn't turn out well....or did it.  We made some great friends here and have loved our time here.  Maybe it was only meant to be an interlude.  I just don't know!

We listed our house this week.  I am back to keeping it clean all the time in hopes someone will want to look at it.  I spend my nights looking up jobs, in hopes we won't be unemployed again (and watching Dr Quinn when I just need a break- see another confession). We are in that place we didn't want to be again.  I guess we didn't learn what we were suppose to!  The hardest part for me is that when my mind is so occupied with the future I have a harder time living in the present.  I adore my kids so much I don't want to waste this time looking at jobs I want to be playing with them and enjoying these moments with them.  It feels like most of Titus's life has been spent moving from one place to another.  Feel free to throw a prayer our way that we can find out niche soon so I can enjoy what matters most even if it is not in the house of our dreams.

As you can see 2012 is going to be another adventure for us.  I am determined to see it as that!  I know that we are truly blessed and I would not trade our family or experiences for any others.  I am grateful for the good people we have met with each move.  It's been a ride already and we are only getting going.

Thank you for allowing me to vent!