Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bitter Sweet

I wrote a blog post once about selling my babies' changing table. You really must read it first so you can understand what I'm talking about. Read it HERE.

Okay, so now you understand a bit about my attachment to things...things that hold dear memories for me. The changing table was hard. And then there are the baby clothes...I still get a little sweaty when I remember giving them away. I sometimes wonder if I could get them back. It's bad.

It's not a materialistic's not that I want the items but it's the memories those items bring back to me.

So, good news! The rental house sold!! Very, very, VERY good news. And yet, here I am feeling a bit sad and weepy that I can no longer walk through that house. You see, that house is special to me. Not special as a piece of real estate but the feeling the house gives me. It's like a warm hug when I walk in the door.

We moved into that house when Tuba was an only child. A lot has changed in our lives since then. We built our family in that house. I have such sweet memories of bringing each baby home to that house. Playing with toddlers in that yard. Sledding with kids down that driveway. Making countless meals in that kitchen. Snuggling my favorite people in front of the fire. Plus, dozens of holidays and celebrations under that roof.

Over the 10 years we lived there Cam and I did everything we could to make the home ours. We painted every room in the house....except the laundry room. We removed wall paper from three rooms. We replaced all the windows and the furnace. We changed all the windows coverings. We put new floors in five of the rooms. We had the cabinets refaced and the outside of the house painted We had the bathrooms tiled and updated. We purchased new appliances and changed the railing to bring it up to code. We made every piece of that house ours. The house reflected us.

It's hard to say goodbye. But, good bye house. I'll always be thankful for you. So many good memories.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

High School Happenings

Tuba is having a great year! I never dreamed that his senior year would be so magical. We are so happy that he is getting to experience such fun things at school. Tuba is participating in the Leadership class this semester. He is REALLY enjoying it. The kids have embraced him and he is excited any time you ask him about the class. This week I received this email from the Leadership teacher. I've taken out Tuba's name and inserted "Tuba". :) 

I’m Shelly, Tuba's leadership teacher.  I’m emailing you to let you know what an absolute joy it is to have Tuba in leadership class.  Today was a special day for us as a class – especially for Tuba’s classmates. 

I’m going to do my best to set the scene (I wish I had recorded it so I could just send you a video of the “magic” that happened today:

One of the things that we have just started as a class is something called the “40 Day Character Dare Challenge”.  Each day I give the students a “Character Dare”.  Yesterday was our first day and the dare was “kindness”.  Students are challenged to be intentional with each dare; they can complete their dare at school, at home (both), etc.; they have to complete their dare by the next day.  Today, at the start of class we took a few minutes to share out; we went around the room and kids offered to share what they did for their “Day 1 Kindness Dare”.  Thing like: “I complimented a stranger.”  “I asked someone I don’t normally talk to how their day was going.”  Etc.

Anne prompted me ahead of time that Tuba had something he wanted to share with the class so after a few kids had shared – it was Tuba’s turn.  As soon as all eyes went on him – he got super shy (expected – and Anne was right there to help him).  However, Molly one of his classmates jumped in to help him gain his confidence.  The other students were offering words of encouragement and clapping for him.  With this, he had a huge smile on his face and quickly regained his confidence.  Once he began to play his compliments on the iPad/notebook – our hearts melted.  To hear Tuba’s thoughts about us as a class, and as individuals brought tears to our eyes.

Today was a monumental day for my leadership class.  Today, Tuba taught his classmates about character and kindness in a way that only comes organically.  When Tuba first joined leadership class – I was thrilled at the experience that being in leadership would/could bring to him.  However, bigger than that is what Tuba is bringing to the class and how his presence is developing his classmates’ leadership skills.

I can’t tell you how great it is to have Tuba as a part of the leadership program!


Wow!! I am so happy the teacher shared this with me. Tuba has taught us so much. His joy, gentleness, faith, goofy sense of humor, and love for others is inspiring. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Valentine's 2014

Oh how I love Valentine's Day! Love XOXO!

We of course had our annual PJ Dinner Party. But first I must start at the beginning of the day. My love for VDay began when I was in grade school. The hand decorated shoes box turned card holder is one of my fondest memories. White lace doilies, paste (we had no glue sticks in the 70's), glitter, stickers, and hand cut hearts made it just perfect! Those classroom parties were the best! 

And guess what?! I think I had five children so that I could relive those parties TO THE MAX!! So fun! I attended the Kindergarten Valentine party at 9:45. George got to be a guest at the party too. I love the Love Bug head bands the K kids made. Adorable. George is sporting a candy necklace. Posh!

The K Room Mom is Ms. Pinterest! The party was so cute with every detail the Valentine theme. Oh my goodness it was so pretty.

Fruit cups with mini umbrellas. I love those little paper umbrellas!!

On to Moses's party after a quick lunch at home. The 2nd grade class was having a fancy tea party! The boys escorted the girls to their seats. I cropped this pic of Moses so that the girl's face isn't showing.....I don't have her parents permission to post her photo. The tables were set with real china tea cups and tea pots. The children all used good manners and even did "pinky up" while drinking their tea. It was a very fun party! Oh and Sis and Liam attended this party too. What lucky kids!

Then back home it was time to get my own table decorations done. I bought each of the kids a box of Sees Candy. Each box had all the favorites. It was really fun to hand pick the candies for each box. New tradition!

I didn't take any pictures of our dinner. It was so yummy I was too busy eating it! We had gourmet burgers with Gorgonzola cheese, oven fries and veggies with dip. Dessert was chocolate pudding with whip cream....and candy.

Keeping our tradition alive we all donned our "Valentine" PJ's....any red and/or pink PJ's will do. I love this tradition! I'm thinking of adopting it for all holidays. *Cam is now smirking because Christmas and Thanksgiving are the only days of the year that I actually wear real clothes to dinner* I say be comfortable....especially if you are the cook! I know my husband doesn't believe me that I DO actually get clothes....each day. I DO!! I just really like PJ pants around the house. 

I was so happy at the end of the day when putting Sis to bed. She kept exclaiming "This is the BEST day EVER!!". And it was! Favorite holiday!

Monday, February 10, 2014


My sweet dog Kali has been having seizures. Our veterinarian agreed that it's time to put her on medication. I was at Costco picking up Kali's medication when I was struck by the feeling of being extremely privileged. Here I was getting seizure medication for my dog when many people in the world cannot afford or even do not have access to this same drug.

As I stood waiting to pay I felt....embarrassed...or sheepish...or guilty. It's an unfair world we live in. I think it's a good thing to feel that. It's important to recognize that fact.  When I sit in my uncomfortableness and really think about what I am feeling, I am humbled.

Thankfulness comes out of this discomfort. I am thankful for what I have. I am humbled by it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


When my alarm goes off each weekday morning Cam has already left for work. Cam gets up about an hour earlier than I do. He's out the door between 5:30-5:45. 

At the end of last summer I decided that to make mornings run not run late...I would get up with Cam each day. It would be great! I envisioned and planned for us to drink hot drinks (coffee for him and black tea for me) together. In my plan I had us making a delicious breakfast together and then eating it while we quietly talked about our upcoming day. 

I was rearing to go. My plan was great. I was pumped. The first day I stumbled out of bed when Cam did. I wobbled to the living room and waited for the water to boil. As we drank our drinks I began chatting with Cam who was reading the newspaper. He mumbled a few replies to my commentary but didn't offer up any conversation of his own. Hmpf....not exactly as I had planned. 

I went off to the kitchen to make veggie omelets. Cam had said he wanted to eat more veggies and I thought this would be a good way to make that happen. I cooked alone but hoped that once I presented Cam with his delicious breakfast that we would visit over our meals. Cam took his food into the living room and continued to read the paper. Hmpf....not even close to what I planned. 

Cam did kiss me goodbye. That part was good. I did also have lots of extra time. I made the kids lunches and took a shower before any kid was awake. My morning went smoother and we were on time. That was all good. 

The next morning I got up with Cam again. I was determined to have the morning I had planned...the morning I wanted....Cam and I and breakfast and conversation. Hmpf.....the second day was a repeat of the first. 

This might seem like a story of complaints about my husband. Oh, I was hurt and I was complaining plenty in my own head. Why didn't he appreciate me? Why didn't he want to spend time with me? I cooked that nice breakfast!

But, then I realized that what Cam wanted...what he needs is to have a quiet morning alone. It doesn't have any thing to do with me, really. I talked myself down from the ledge of self pity. Cam has a very busy, very intense job. Not to mention our household is....ditto....on the busy and loud. Cam's morning is the only time of the day when he is alone...and everybody needs that. 

So I abandoned my super early mornings and grand plans. 

Now when I get up I'm thankful for the extra sleep I got. I love to come downstairs and be enveloped in the smell of fresh coffee and toast. I love that smell. I love to see Cam's empty coffee mug and his breakfast plate. It reminds me that Cam has just been there. I think of him reading the paper. I think of him soaking in the silence. It gives me pause and reminds me to be aware of what other people need. 


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