Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

my people

We spent the weekend at a big house on the Deschutes River with my family. This is on the other side of the mountain, about three hours from here, in central Oregon.

We had a lot of fun this weekend even though the weather wasn't great (and one of my sisters didn't come). One day we had hail, snow, rain and sunshine. My mom said,"if you don't like the weather wait two minutes." She wasn't exaggerating.

Have we talked about my family before? There's a few of us.

I have -

a sister - she was adopted into our family when she was 12, but I was young enough that I don't have memories without her present. I still forget she's adopted sometimes. She's just my oldest sister. Married, parent to three girls.

a sister - three years older than me. Married, parent to a boy and two girls.

a brother - eighteen months younger than me (or maybe sixteen. I can never remember). Married, parent to a boy.

Then there's me of course. Married, parent to a boy and two girls.

So my parents have four kids and ten grandchildren, with five of those three and under. It's a busy crowd.

And we all get along. Though they may not be happy with the following candid shot:

We all have interesting stories. We've all lived a few years.

My brother is a veteran. He's been to Iraq twice. His stories are not mine to tell, but one night when we stayed up late chatting - my brother, his wife, J, me - I remembered what it was like when he was overseas. Charlotte died while he was over there, so those emotions are blended into the larger picture. 

Every time the phone rang at an odd hour my stomach turned inside out. If I had any artistic skills I could paint a picture of where I was when my dad called to tell me my brother was injured. Minimally injured, but the incident was bad. Others were not okay. That memory is still vivid in my mind.

I think if I called my brother a hero he would brush it off. Laugh. Make a joke. But he sacrificed a lot to serve our country. This weekend I was reminded why my sister named her son after our brother. We admire him.

Our family has seen its share of sorrow. And some days it feels like we have been asked to carry more than most. But in the sorrow we still have each other. When my sister-in-law's mother died we were there for her as best we could. At the funeral we circled around her as if to say, "we'll be your people now." And when Charlotte died three months later they circled around me.

We're not perfect. We do disagree some. But it's nice to have a good relationship with the people I grew up with. Even if they have photographic evidence of that embarrassing high school stage when I was very hardcore (read sarcasm) and a punk (read a little annoying) with purple hair and questionable clothes. I am so glad my teen years occurred before the rise of social media.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

b's thoughts on fireworks

If you ask B about fireworks this is what he'll tell you:

"Bup, the boom!! Wah, wah, wah. Mama mama mama."

Translation: J thought it would be fun to show B tame fireworks to celebrate the birth of our nation, but he missed the bit that said "WITH BANG." So, J lit the firework, there was a big boom, B cried, then I comforted him.

Overall B had a great time visiting J's parents for the 4th, but he's a little wary of booms now (though he still likes the really far away loud fireworks that make Isabel cower in the laundry room).

Eating food at a restaurant!! There's a Burgerville on the way to J's parents house so we stopped for lunch and B got his own hamburger (grass fed!) and a few fries. We would be in so much trouble if we had a Burgerville in town.

Hope your 4th was a good one US dwellers! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

but what will we eat?

We are up to our ears in Hawaii plans here. I'm really excited about going, especially since I get to do amazing things like a nearly three hour long zipline tour (!!).

I am going to be terrified, but it's something I've always wanted to do. I am avoiding the OPEN DOOR helicopter tour. There is no way I would make it through without losing my breakfast, and sanity.

While everyone else has been planning where we will stay and what we will do I've been thinking about food. I'm such a nerd, I made a food itinerary. I like food and I need it on a very regular basis or else no one will want to be friends with me. While looking at popular breakfast spots near our condo I even considered weaning Bennett before the trip so I can eat well renowned pancakes.

Have you been to Maui? (We are staying in Lahaina.) Do you have any restaurant recommendations? Family restaurants mostly, though J and I are going to sneak away for a date night if we can. I am going to seek out local farmer's markets, and we are going to stop at Costco on our way to the condo after we land. Any other ideas? Food or otherwise?

I am really going along for the ride on this one. When we met to talk about plans on Saturday I was like, "the condo looks great! we have rental cars all lined up? great! our flight is when? great! we're going where what day? great!" There is something to be said about along for the ride tourism, though I did select the zipline tour because zipping through the trees on a line in a harness has always seemed like it would be fun. 

We are so blessed to have this opportunity to go to Hawaii. So.blessed. I can't believe it. This is something we've always wanted to do (and were planning on doing for our 10 year anniversary). I am so grateful to J for his hard work and dedication to his job so we can do things like this. And I am grateful to his family for all the work they are doing to make this trip not only possible but full of adventure and relaxation.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I'm back!  We had a great time camping with friends in Florence, Oregon (Jeanette, I thought of your Florence Violet so much this weekend) but it's nice to be home.

Prepare yourself: I took TONS of pictures.

B and his cousins helping us pack.

How B smiles now. We don't know where he learned it.

Helping J put the tent up.

Florence is part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area which stretches close to fifty miles.  You have to see these dunes to understand just how amazing they are.  We climbed to the top of one of the dunes, played in the sand and even went on a dune buggy ride.

Crawling on sand is so hard.

My friend and I had quite the time on our dune buggy ride. We sent the guys off to do something a bit more wild while we hopped on the scenic ride with our kids. We thought it would be slow. It was not. I cannot believe they let me take my ten month old. I strapped him in with me and held on for dear life. B loved it. He laughed and put his hands in the air like he was on a roller coaster.

Fresh water around a tree island in the middle of the dunes.


Yummy roasted apples which we rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

Early morning walk to the lake because someone woke up at 6am.


Bath time.

Stopped for a short hike on the way home.

It was so good to get away.  I really needed it.  One of my favorite moments was holding B and watching the fire until he drifted off to sleep last night. He NEVER holds still when we're out doing something exciting. We wore him out and nearly two hours past his bedtime he settled in for mama cuddles and sleep.


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