Saturday, August 31, 2013

august: at home

i like to blog tell stories with lots & lots of pictures, if i hadn't already made that clear.  there are those moments, where pictures can do all the telling, without my words jumbled in.  this is one of those moments.

glorious summertime.

the end.

Friday, August 30, 2013

and sometimes life is REALLY hard.

invasive lobular carcinoma.  that's the kind of cancer that his rudely moved in on my mom's left side.  the audacity, really!  so, we've had some weeks of waiting, and oddly enough, it's been quietly in the back of my mind.  but, with surgery next week, i'm starting to feel the rise of panic in my chest.  sleepless nights.  staring into space.  even now, trying to rattle off the thoughts in my head have me at a loss for clarity.  life is hard; have i said that enough in 2013?!

we talk about this cancer shizz as if it's just every day news.  this is happening and then that, and we need to get such and such but not before blah happens.  then i fall into bed at night, and i can't believe this is actually our new reality.

surgery is scheduled for wednesday and should last 6-8 hours - that's a work day!  she'll stay the night in the hospital, and from there, it's couch city for about a month.  medicine pumps, dressings & drains, long snoozes, movies and gossip magazines, eating in bed, pedicures... i plan to pay her back for my bed rest stint!  ...hardly.

after the paragraphs above, i had to press save and put mac to sleep for a bit.  sitting here this morning, i'm grieving for a girlfriend that lost her brother AND her husband in a plane crash.  just last night.  in fact, while our family was together, laughing it up at the fair, making memories, she had likely heard that their plane was missing.  her loved ones inside.

names were released this morning.  my heart bends for her and her sweet little boy.  losing a sibling is unimaginable.  losing a spouse is something ben and i morbidly talk about often no, i wanna go first - no, i'm first! ok, fine, let's go at the same time.  but, our banter back and forth is said with smiles and long, dreamy gazes into each other's eyes.

i'm feeling huge amounts of sadness and pain for their families.  her brother was a new father, her husband, also a father and dearly loved son.  lynn is close friend's with his mother.  this just hits all sides.

so as we're preparing for my mother's surgery, it's just surgery.  she has cancer, but she's not gone.  kinda puts things in perspective.  i've been walking around in a daze, stunned that this surgery is upon us, and now, something really tragic is in front of us.

life is so unfair, at times.  this is why it's so important to be kind to each other.  favorite recent quote:

"let us be kind, one to another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle."   
- ian mclaren

Thursday, August 29, 2013

tess, 5 months

oh, how can this be?!  5 months have passed already.  i'm saying this a lot sooner than i thought i would, but i think because she's so dang happy and smiley, it's been easy to forget our rough start.  every day, i'm so thankful for her presence.

{i need to add, my mom made the striped shirt she's wearing above... for me, in 1980.}

during those foggy and frazzled weeks, my herbalist told me:  your hard times will likely be harder, but your sweet times will most definitely be sweeter.  her wise words fill me with appreciation and giddiness because it's the truth!  there really isn't much that upsets her these days, besides the normal feed-me, change-me, and ok, please-walk-around-with-me type situations.  she's pretty dang sweet.  so sweet the big sibs can't stop smooching her (ok, me too) throughout our days.

gosh, i love her.  and him.

her eyes are slowly changing; brown filling the center, spilling gray to the outsides.  she's ready for a haircut.  she doesn't like peaches but loves green beans.  she's a drooly, drooly mess.  her eyelashes are long and enviable.  and this month, she found her toes!      


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

hatcher pass, blueberries

supposedly, in mid-july, my mother heard the blueberries were out and ready for picking.  well, by the time we got our act together to drive up to hatcher pass, we missed them - the blueberries were mostly gone.  we found a handful, if that.  

watching to kids trudge through the tall shrubs, playing chase and helping each other (and gramma) - it was all worth it.  we had such a great time.  despite the overcast afternoon and the nip of autumn air, we got out and got back before the rain fell.

wonderful memories made with my wonderful people.
dylan thinks she's so funny.
tess' first big hike - she did awesome!
 totally tough alaskan chick!


 3 generations!
i see some corey in my son's eyes.
 jack thinks he's funny, too - mocking his sis.
 the big haul!
 whatta funny face, tess!

'til next year...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

first day of school

wow.  we're here.  we made it.  jb at school.  real school.


it's a little surreal, but boy, is it time.  the kid is ready, has been ready, i've been more than ready.

we've had a rough couple of months.  i think with jb and dyl spending every moment together, there's been more fighting, teasing, tattling and whining than what - i dunno - i guess my cup runneth over!  jack, too!

to kick-off the year, jb's school hosted a back-to-school picnic.  a few days later was kindergarten roll-in, where they take two kiddos at a time, let them see the classrooms, play with the toys, get comfortable, really, and then perform a few "tests" to see where each child is at; fine & gross motor, physical movements and then asking them some simple questions.  i was busy filling out a packet of papers, but i couldn't help but listen when they asked who lived at home.  ummm, dada and mama, duey, baby tess, beanie.  and do you have any pets?  ummm, no.  but we do have a bulldog named beanie.  she's white and has polkadots.  she sleeps a lot.  so cute.  i can only imagine all the answers they get to that question.

roll-in day
i'm eager to see how much closer his head is to that sign at the end of the year...

the following week, we found out which class jb ended up in (there are 3 kindergarten classes) and on wednesday was kindergarten orientation.  we were able to visit his room, see his cubby and play with some of the toys.  jb went straight for the wooden blocks, building towers and ramps.  then, he found the wooden pieces & marbles.  fun!  the dude loves to build!
had to include a picture of myself.  
i hope to have reduced fine lines by end of year... here's to wishful thinking!

the very next day was the actual first day of school.  and because i was taking jackie to all the prior events, ben was the one to bring him on this day.  i wanted to be sad about it, but we had many visits together.  if i had been thinking, i would have taken pictures the night before.  or maybe after his first day.  

my jackie.  
not too much of a morning person.
(note to self: include this picture in the senior slideshow and/or yearbook)
these two.  
peas in a pod!
ok, finally some smiles!

dylan.  we changed schools and started her in a more rigid program.  she was so excited, especially since learning we knew a friend in her class!  she is currently going two days a week, but as i type this out, i'm having second thoughts.  jackie was planning to ride the bus, giving me a little breathing room between drop-off times, but he has since changed his mind.  i'm fine with driving him, but here are my dilemmas:  they both start at the same time, 8:30; she's done at 11:30; he's done an hour later.  doesn't give me much time at home, and today, after being in my rig half the morning, waking tess twice, ugh, i'm already over it!  i'm feeling bad about pulling her, but she is only three and a half.  i think next year, when he's in school all day, i could justify the busy morning if i had a quiet afternoon to look forward to...

ben called me after he left a very comfortable jackie.  he said as soon as the kiddos put their bags away, slipped on their inside shoes and washed their hands, they got to work cutting veggies.
thursday, soup day!  

all the kiddos had their own cutting board with veggie cutter.  super-cute.  after a few minutes, jb told him:  dad, GO!  piece of cake, right?!  well...

i assumed the second day, he'd tell me to drop him off a block away!  ha!  well, it was a little more serious.  as much as i was excited that he was going to school, i was feeling guilty.  on this day, it hit me.  seeing his fears, his uneasiness, it tugged at my heart.  tears welled in his eyes as he looked up at me, quietly pleading with me to stay.  

i had tess in my arms, dyl's arms wrapped around my leg, jackie's arms around my neck!  i stayed composed as he was unraveling, but he held it together during the coat hang up, the shoe changing, the lunchbox station.  he made it to the circle rug, and i waved as i slipped out the door - but not before seeing him drop his head into his hands.  

i couldn't stop the tears as i walked down the long hallway.  i think what really got me was the line of mothers, walking in almost perfectly spaced fashioned, down the hallway and up the stairs.  alone.  no little 5-6 year old buddies with them.  it hit home:  

this little dude is now a kindergartener!
and, he's ready.

zoo & a work party

the owner of ben's company is a pretty smart man.  toward the end of the party, i wandered over to thank him for having such a fun gathering - to have a company party, at the zoo of all places, with a plethora of kid-focused games including prizes, i mean, huge hit for my family, in particular.  he replied that he thought it was better than doing a holiday party where the focus is around an open bar.  ha!  and to be honest, it wasn't just the kiddos that had a great time.

 super-serious face painting.
 red spider & web for jb and a pink dinosaur for dyl.
the sun & flowers were an afterthought.
 so many games!  
plinko was their favorite.

dyl & caleb.  currently, he works with ben, and also, he is living in the studio while his house is being built.  dylan tells me daily that "i like caweb" and she includes him in her prayers and thoughts at night, along with our old friend sean.  we're gonna have to watch this one - three and a half, and she's always boy-crazy.  caleb is mid-20s and not at all interested in kids, practically his words exactly.  slowly but surely, she's breaking him...


super-fun party!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

hatcher pass, gold mint trail

the first of august, and we're still playing in the mountains - or rather, we're still playing in the mountains with NO rain!  i really can't stress how incredibly-super-awesome and wonderfully-fantastic this summer has been.  i may not even complain of the wind storms this winter!  ok, remind me of that statement in another month or two...

we had some friends along for this hike.  soon-to-be-neighbor friends, in fact.  avery & jack were in gymnastics together, and dylan & lincoln are about a year apart and get along like lifelong friends.  and bonus for me; it's great making friends with other stay-at-home mamas.  gramma d & tess tagged along too - no woman left behind.

more hatcher pass adventures.  gold mint trail this time.  flat trails to walk, tall trees to climb, bridges to toss in rocks & sticks, wildflowers for me to capture, snoozing babe to admire.

 the miebs' and the craig's breed some power horses!

for some, even the best of times can end in sadness...
...but tomorrow brings the promise of a fresh start.

more {dry!} august adventures to come...