Saturday, June 3, 2017

"And Most Of All, We'd Like To Thank Our Parents, Without Whom None Of Us Would Be Here..."

 Man, I love graduations. All that hope and nostalgia. Chapters ending and beginning. Pages turning. Doors and windows. I love the Pomp and Circumstance, the earnestness, the speeches, the long lists of names followed by uproarious cheering from various sections of the gym - and that part at the end where everyone exhales together and the kids all throw their caps in the air. Yeah. That part's the best.

Today, I attended the graduation ceremony for the Forest Grove High School class of 2017. I knew 6 graduating seniors today, so I did a lot of whooping and hollering and weeping and cheering and waving and clapping and fuzzy-long-distance-photo taking. It was so great.

Ruby gave a fantastic speech!

I couldn't track down everyone for photos after, but I caught a few.

Ellie and Ruby!!

Congratulations to Ruby, Ellie, Helen, Lily, Mira, Hiram, and ALL of the Vikings who graduated today! And thank you Nancy, Bob and family for inviting me to sit with you during the ceremony. What a day!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It Is Too Much. Let Me Sum Up

 May is kicking my butt, guys. A lot of great stuff - some not so great stuff. Here's the run down:

At the end of April, we celebrated my darling James's 39th birthday! I've rhapsodized over this man so many times, but it bears repeating what a thrill it is to know that the fella I lucked onto at 22 really is the one and only one for me. He's a partner in every way. He's a phenomenal dad. I love him so.

He was out of town on his actual birthday, so the kids and I spent the week decorating the house and getting surprises and presents ready for him. The J-bird and Miss V pooled their money to get him something really special...which they put in the bottom of a gift bag under some socks and underwear (family joke). He loved it.

After that, my good friend, Robert and I put on a benefit concert we'd been working on. It was something we'd been mulling over for a while, and it really turned out well. We raised a good amount of money for two great local organizations, and we felt pretty great about the music we made.

(photo from Kristy Haines)

After THAT, my parents came to visit from Kansas!! We had so much fun. They hadn't been out this way in a few years, so it was great to show them all the changes we've made to the house and to spend time with them in the place we love so much. We took them to some of our favorite places, introduced (or re-introduced) them to a lot of our people, and just enjoyed their company so much.

My children's choir performed in church. Twice.

My pastor wrote a book, and I organized a book release party for her.

Unfortunately, my little J-bird has had a rough go of it lately. Two weeks ago, he slammed his finger in the car door. He did a pretty thorough job of destroying it, breaking the bone and destroying the nail and nail bed. The whole thing required surgery to repair.

Just when things were calming down, and he'd finished up the course of antibiotics prescribed in the ER (because it was an open fracture), his lips and tongue swelled up suddenly and alarmingly, and we ended up back in the ER. As it turns out, my sweet boy is allergic to amoxicillin. He's spent the last five days covered in hives and taking medicine around the clock to try to calm them down. NO FUN.

On the bright side, his finger is healing! He got a cool, new, smaller splint, and he's in great spirits. Things are looking up.

 We even got to go on his class field trip - a nice, muddy hike out at Stub Stewart State Park.

Miss V, on the other hand, is having a wonderful month! She's winding up her first year in school. She received a friendship bracelet from a buddy at school today. She loves science and math and art, and she currently thinks fart jokes are the funniest thing ever. *sigh* Oh, to be seven.

Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I also turned 39. I don't usually make a huge deal about my birthday. James, on the other hand, makes me feel special no matter what, and he always, unfailingly makes my birthday really nice. This year was no exception. His theme for the gifts he bought me was wonderful.  For a major bonus this year, my friend, Kristy made me an entire birthday day in Portland. We had bacon and whiskey and listened to records and played was so sweet and personal and kind - just like her. Then, to top it all off, I got to meet Amy on my way home for supper. It was a great day, and I really needed the break!!

So, you know, it's been a heckuva month. Birthdays, a concert, two trips to the ER, a surgery, a scary allergic reaction, a wonderful visit from family, time with friends, very little sleep...

And here we are. Still rolling along. Hoping June is a little less intense.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coffee Table Change-up

 I've had the same coffee table in my living room for the last twelve years. It's a perfectly beautiful coffee table, and I like it just fine. There are even two matching side tables, which are also perfectly beautiful. I'm just bored, bored, bored with them. I've been slowly, but surely changing the look of my living room over the last few years, and "perfectly beautiful" doesn't really fit anymore. Also, I just wanted a change. The first big pieces to go were the side tables. I replaced them with funky pieces that I scrounged and fixed up or that my friend, Amy found when she was working at the ReStore. Then, a beat up old table showed up (also at the ReStore), and I decided it was going to be the one for me.

Here's the one I've had forever:

And here's the one I bought.

Storage is at a premium in my house, and this one has drawers and a hinged compartment in the top. Sweet!

It was in rough shape, but that was fine with me. I planned to alter it anyway, and I wanted to change the top completely, so I started sanding it down. As the thick stain came off the sides, I liked the way it looked, half sanded, so I took a chance and left it that way.  In person, it looks like an old, beat up shop cabinet. I sanded the top down completely, painted some chevron stripes on (I know they're "out" now, but I like what I like), sanded that down, added some natural stain and poly over the top, and that was done. I took the flower backs off the drawer pulls to simplify those, and I added casters to the bottom, so it's easier to move.

It fits perfectly in the room, and it looks great with the new paint on the walls. I'm happy with the change.

Now to sell the old ones and clear out some space! Spring is here, and I'm the mood to purge and clean!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Oh Heavens, She's Seven

 My sweet Miss V turns 7 on the 9th, so we partied down today with her buddies. She's enamored with all things rainbow and unicorn these days, so that was the theme. For anyone who wasn't down with unicorns, we had knight-themed things. The kids donned unicorn headbands or knight helms, crayoned up some coloring sheets, discovered their unicorn (or knight) names and wore them around on nametags. We played Pin the Horn on the Unicorn, we beat the life out of a unicorn pinata, and then we ate rainbow snacks (cupcakes, sprinkle dipped marshmallows, rainbow fruit kebabs, and juice boxes), before Miss V opened gifts. We tried some charades, and then all the kids took their noise and energy outside and ran around until their parents came to collect them. It was a loud, funny, crazy, hysterical good time. Miss V was thrilled.

You know how "they" say that the days are long, but the years are short when you're raising children? I know it's a cliche, but it's true. Sometimes I worry that if I take my eyes off her for a second, I'll look back, and she'll be 20 years old. So I'll just keep watching and enjoying the show.

Happy birthday, baby. I love you more than the sun in the sky, deeper than the sea and further than the birds can fly.
And I always will.