Owning Mundane Errands

We went to run errands.

I’m still learning about my new old phone. I am the proud owner of an iphone 4 that was Chris’s 5 years ago, and then Eric’s.  So I’m learning how to use it.  Today I learned that I don’t want to email pictures within the gmail program on the phone.  They turn out awful.  You’ll see what I mean as you read on.  So I had to do some playing around with them just to make them kinda fit to put on the blog.  I owned it.  The day, the camera, the bad pictures.  We must adapt, roll with it, be flexible.

So today I needed to run errands.  Just Ye Olde Boring Mundane Errands in Bellingham.  But I had all 3 of my kids home at the same time, which is a rarity, so we all went together. And having my kids with me makes it a thing.  An event.  An Adventure.

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First, I made homemade iced lattes for everyone.

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(look at how dead our poor grass is.) And head for Costco.  Adrienne and I start the Costco shopping, whilst the boys hit Office Depot:

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I’m sure the Home Depot people had no idea what was going on.

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Then we ran into an old friend at Costco!  (we actually saw 3 friends, but I only made one of them take a picture with me).  Kim and I have known each other since before there was Dylan, but we don’t see each other very often.  Fun to run into her. She showed me a cool list-making app I can get for my phone….

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and after we bought groceries, we had lunch.

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…and then pushed our load to the car.  We are SO dramatic.

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Then we headed to the bead store to pick up some pendants so I can make some Seahawks necklaces.

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And we found beads that the boys wanted made into necklaces, which I was more than happy to oblige.  Aren’t the skulls cool?

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After the bead store, we go to Michaels for yarn that wasn’t there.

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…so we had to go to Joann’s

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where we found fun people to play with

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After that, our errands were done and we were on our way home when we realized we needed baby kisses. So we stopped at Nicole’s who had no idea we were coming and found us like this at her door–

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We each held and smooched on cute baby and his sweet mama.

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We arrived home, unloaded 1200 pounds of groceries and called our adventure a good day.

And we didn’t forget Eric–I bought his favorite:

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A day of mundane errands became a Grand Adventure because we chose to enjoy each other and Own It.

Whatever you’re doing today, Own It.

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Two Weeks Already

Can you believe it’s been two weeks since this little dude was born?  The weeks before the birth always seem to slow to a crawl, and then after the baby comes, those first couple weeks blur by no matter how hard we try to slow them down.

It took entire week for me to recover from the “jet lag” that being up all night caused.  A week before I didn’t need a nap till 3 p.m. after several mornings of being back in bed by 930 a.m.  I did pilates. I walked on the treadmill.  I weeded the front flowerbed.  And Adrienne and I met Eric in town for dinner and movie.

It’s crazy the difference in my health from day to day.  Crazy I say.

Enough of that.  That’s not why you’re here.  You’re here to see pictures of a cute baby. I shall not disappoint you. So, as Eric and Adrienne watch Pirates of the Caribbean (her favorite next to Jurassic Park), I have put together a little blog post for you full of Cute Baby Pictures.

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You deserve a couple pics from the hospital I didn’t post last time.  Last time was all about sweetness and the miracle of life.  Today is all about the reality that is us.  Here’s Papa in all his goofy glory while I was trying to get “Sweet 1st Grandpa and Jude Pictures” in the hospital. This is what I was dealing with:

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As you can see by Jude’s face, he wasn’t terribly impressed with his first moments with his Grandfather.  But he’ll learn.  Eric will teach him all the goofy faces and how not to look normal for pictures.  Or Darren.  Neither of them can look normal for pictures.  That’s what we love about them.

Then Chris and Amanda came to meet Jude.

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And we played a little cards…

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…while Jude had Daddy time.  See that face?  Jude will come by it honestly.

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And Chris introduced Eric to a new game…we now have “New Game Syndrome” as we call it at our house.  The air has that New Game smell.  (Some of you know exactly what I mean.)

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I snuggled with Jude.

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And then Jude slept in the cradle.  This is the cradle that was built for me when I was expecting Nicole.  Each of our babies slept in it.  Now grandbabies will sleep here.

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I’m off to run errands with all 3 kids today and Owning my Day means it’s a party.   Celebrate everything.  Even running errands with your kids.   I hope you’re having a lovely day.  Own It.

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Jude Charles Wright

I don’t even know where to begin.

Jude was born: 4:10 p.m.

7 lbs. 4 oz.

20 inches tall

on Tuesday, July 7th,

not moving, not breathing, gray…they whisked him away for a couple hours.  And we waited.  Nicole waited.  We waited for them to bring him back and say that he was going to be okay.

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And when Darren was finally able to bring him back to her this happened…

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..and later, when we could hold him, this….

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…big strong 18 yr old uncle, all sweet and gentle

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and his auntie that can’t wait till he’s old to play video games…

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…and Dylan, so obviously delighted.

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By 730 the next evening, Jude was home.  And then we got to love all over him…

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Welcome to the world, precious boy.  We are so glad you’re here.

You are so very loved.

Own the Day.

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They’re My Favorite

The house is quiet.  Summertime at my house means after Eric leaves for work at 7, I don’t see anyone till close to noon.  Teenagers and college students have close personal relationships with sleep.  I’m debating my day–whether to make scones and heat the house up on a day when the temps in my house will hover around 87 degrees, I really want to drive into town and buy yarn for a baby blanket for a friend that’s due in September, maybe stopping by and having lunch with Eric….so many choices, so little energy.

Today I want to tell you about a weekend we spent in Port Orchard hanging out with Chris and Amanda. They’re my favorite.

(And, because I know people will misunderstand me, let me be clear: They are ALL my favorite.   All the kids are favorite.  And they know it.  And they know what I mean when I say one is my favorite today.)

This weekend, we went to stay with Chris and Amanda; they were my favorite.  Both favorite.

They live in Port Orchard now, (after moving back from their 2 years in Arizona), which is on the same side of the water as Port Townsend.  It’s not urban like the Seattle side. It’s much quieter and slower and beautiful. They live on a gorgeous piece of property in the woods.

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In the 25 years we’ve been in the PNW, Eric and I have never explored Port Orchard or Bremerton.  Look at this spectacular view of Seattle from across the water!!!  Do you see the Space Needle?

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We drove to Bremerton next.  Amanda and I had found a Naval Museum online that we wanted to explore, so we parked and walked.  Look at my people! Aren’t they beautiful?

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The Puget Sound Navy Museum is fantastic.  If you get a chance, do it. Go there. It’s completely free, updated with interactive computer things, interesting exhibits.  You feel like you’re on a ship.  And it’s in a cool old building with lovely people to answer your questions.

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The exhibit that drew us there was the history of the connection of tattoos with the Navy called,”Skin Deep: The Nautical Roots of Tattoo Culture” .

There were 3 different themes to the exhibit:  Nautical Roots of Tattoo Culture, Tattoo Culture in War from the Civil War through WWII, and Renowned Sailors in Tattoo Culture.

They had lots of artifacts on display including an antique tattoo kit estimated to be from the 1920s and an interactive display where you can sit in a vintage chair and select a Sailor tattoo to be projected on your arm.   I tried to get a picture of that, but it was too dark in there, so I grabbed one off the internet so you could see:

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(photo credit: kitsapsun.com)

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“A sailor without a tattoo is like a ship without grog: not seaworthy.”

~~19th century New York City Tattooist Samuel O’ Reilly

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(photo credit: pugetsoundnavymuseum.org)

Of course, we also goofed around on the displays.

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We headed back to the car and ate our picnic lunch.  Then we headed to Kitsap Humane Society so Chris and Amanda could look at the dogs, not really planning on adopting, just wanting to look and dream a little….

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…..and then they met Maddie and before we knew it we were doggy grandparents!  It was such a special thing to be there when Maddie first became part of the family.

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A lovely visit with our favorite people.  We stayed 2 nights and then headed north and took the Port Townsend ferry back.  I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the area with them.

Time to drop some chicken in the crock and make those scones while it’s still cool enough.

Own the Day!

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Crafting with Littles

This is the 3rd time I’ve crafted with these particular Littles and today they had some friends join us. And we rocked it.

Back in the days before chronic fatigue and headaches, this is who I was.  Cutting, pasting, painting, gluing, sticking, folding, messing….and if I can do all that with Little People, well, that would just make my day.  I don’t get too much opportunity to craft with Littles these days, so I’m especially happy that this happened:

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Our fun included painting egg carton caterpillars.

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Adrienne and Nicole (who is expecting her own Little next week), helped out.

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We decorated and made paper summery lanterns.

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And they ate dirt cups and worms.

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Look at the cuteness; I can hardly stand it. Notice how she is holding her arms out? If you look close, you’ll see she has “wings” scotch-taped to her arms.  She was flying earlier.

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Here you can see the lanterns all finished and they also made giant glasses of lemonade from construction paper, with lemon slices and ice cubes and giant straws.

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This Little impressed us all with his crawling skills so much I had to get down on my belly and join him.  (My own crawling skills aren’t quite as impressive.)

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And here we are after being creative together. Don’t we look happy?

A huge Thank You to their mamas, Sarah, and Jen, for sharing them with me.  It was a lovely fun time.  Your children are sweet, happy, cheerful, creative people–(it’s hard to believe I’ve known their daddies since they were not much older than this), a joy to spend time with.

And now I have *got* to go figure out what we’re having for dinner tonight.

Own the Day!

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A Baby Shower for Nicoley

Good morning! I need to get a move on.  It’s nearly 10 a.m. and all I’ve done is feed the dogs, empty the dishwasher and exercise. I may be slow, but I’m steady.  (A tugboat moving large loads slowly.) Today I’m  prepping to spend some time with 4 Littles doing summery crafts this Wednesday.  I’m so excited about it I could burst.

But 1st, here are some pictures of the Harry Potter baby shower we had for Nicole a couple weeks ago. What a fun time we had getting all set up, creating potions, welcoming friends, and showering Nicole with love and laughter.

I know basically nothing about Harry Potter, having never read the books or seen a movie.  It’s just not my genre. Now if we’d thrown her a Star Trek or Disneyland shower, I’d have been golden.

The sum of my Harry Potter knowledge:

Harry is the main dude.  He is a wizard, I think.  He wears the goofiest glasses ever. He needs a better haircut; that bowl look is totally out of style.  He flies around.  There are castles.  There’s a bad guy with a long white beard.  I think there’s an owl.

So I did lots of pinteresting and talking with Amanda (a huge Harry Potter fan) and came up with some cute things, I must say.  We couldn’t have done it without Amanda cheering me on.

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Amanda created this photo booth that was one of the highlights of the day.  Isn’t it fantastic?

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…and Nicole’s friend, Kat, brought a bunch of bottles with cool weird things in them, and there were old keys with wings hanging from the trees….

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And we made sure that every single thing there was something Nicole could eat.  With all her allergies, she rarely goes anywhere and can “just eat” whatever she wants.  This was her day.  Everything was safe.

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Everyone had a lovely time and Nicole enjoyed it all immensely.  Now we are just waiting for Jude to get here–we’re about 10 days from his due date.  Nicole (and Chris, too) were both actually born ON their due dates, so I totally think Jude should follow suit.  Or be born this Thursday on Papa Eric’s birthday.

I’ve got my “hospital bag” packed and ready to go, though Jude will be born at home.  Knitting, magazine, chocolate….Gramma Midge is ready, Jude!  Time to come and meet everyone!

Off to finalize crafts…

Own the Day!

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A Crazy Beautiful Broken Life

It’s a crazy beautiful broken life.

I’m having one of those days.  One of those days when I have to remind myself that chronic fatigue means being fatigued chronically.  It means being utterly completely exhausted to my bones for no reason other than this is the way it is. It’s more than tired. It’s having no energy.  It’s being weak and shaky and achy. It’s feeling heavy like someone draped a huge sopping wet sleeping bag over my shoulders and I’m trying to run a marathon. It’s scraping myself together just to stumble out of bed.  It’s sitting on the couch watching HGTV and cruising pinterest for cute ideas for the grandbaby that’s coming soon.  It’s being so utterly tired my brain is slow and foggy and takes a long time to process so that everything I think is physical effort. Nothing is routine, everything is effort.

I need to make soup.  First, get the crockpot out, fill it with water and spices.  Sit on the couch and think of what to add to that pot to make it “soup”.  After some time, get up, add frozen corn.

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Then, be so tired all I want is to sleep so I can pull out of the fog, but I can’t really sleep, so I doze restlessly, wake to the dog barking, feel worse than before. It takes a lot of work to make my brain think about doing school with Adrienne.  We get through it, ever slowly, one tiny step at a time.

 I hobble in to put the laundry in the dryer.  It’s a tired, weak, shaky day, but we need clean clothes.

 I’ve resolved in my heart, as much as possible, to press in to the tired and be happy.  Be happy in this moment, in this day.  This day is a beautiful gift, even if that gift doesn’t look like how I want it to look. I find happy things to look at and think about and I get texts from My Sweetie from work, checking on how I’m doing.  He can’t fix it, but he can remind me I’m loved.

At some point I realize that soup probably needs more than just corn.  I take a deep breath, get up slowly and head to the garage fridge for the carrots.  I retrieve the 10 lb bag I bought at Costco and wonder why in the world I bought this freakin’ heavy bag of carrots.  I get some chopped and dropped in the pot. Some time later, I realize I probably need more than soup and saltines on the table and silently curse whoever invented the need for “side dishes”. I put rice in the steamer.  And that’s it.  That’s dinner.

Some days I can’t even get that done.  But today I was able to make dinner for my family. Not because I couldn’t just sit and let them make their own, (believe me that happens) but because I like feeding them.

And no, I didn’t “do” anything today.  Nothing that anyone would count as doing something.  I corrected a math paper.  I threw in a load of laundry.  I “made soup” (cooks all over are groaning at my definition of making soup).  I did not clean anything.  I did not sit at my table and create anything.  I did not curl my hair or slather make up on my face.

I’m just too stinkin’ tired to do anything more than sit here.  But I “am” sitting.  I’m vertical rather than horizontal and that’s something.  I loved my people today.  I prayed for my peeps and talked with one of my boys and lit a fire under another to Own His Day.  I smiled and laughed and enjoyed breathing and being alive while my joints ache and my head pounds.

It’s a crazy, beautiful, broken life.  Own it.

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