Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Miss Gail's First Jamboree

You guys. Miss Gail had her first gymnastics jamboree on Sunday and it was ADORABLE!  
Because of the limited number of seating, and not being able to bring HD & JP into the gym with us, we opted to leave them at home and pay them each ONE dollar for good behavior. It worked. We left them with dad's phone and they didn't call us at all (or answer when we called and text). The spent their hour alone playing Legos and watching football. Proud day!
 We were "those" parents that arrived to the gym almost first just to ensure we had good seats. We selected ones in the opposite corner so we could have an unblocked view of the entire floor. Miss Gail was SO EXCITED! However...
 When her class got up to show off their skills, she remained seated and the show went on. It wasn't until everyone went that I realized she wasn't going to go, so I jumped out of my seat, ran over to the coach and made a big to-do announcing from across the gym after getting her coach's attention that "she hasn't gone yet! She missed her turn!" 
 So lucky mom and dad were able to watch her show off her skills without the other kids getting right in my camera view. And the entire gym was focused on her and her alone. If that didn't get her nerves going more...
 She was so so cute on the balance beam, making sure to make eye contact and smile at us. Heart melted!
 Miss Gail was also one of the few that could hop up onto the bar without assistance. Yay her!
 When she heard there was going to be a medal at the end, she was sold on gymnastics. Fast forward to Sunday morning, when they called her name to go up to receive her participation medal, she sprinted to the front and climbed up to the 1st place platform. 

 She was so excited!
Seriously, can she get any cuter?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

God Has This

As I was painting away again today, I was thinking of all the things I should and need to blog about. There's the laundry room that Perry has been working so hard on for the last several weeks/months, and then there is my bathroom/bedroom project I've been dragging out. Most recently, aside from house projects, we had HD's birthday party. How is he already 9?! I say that every year. I know. But I'm already halfway through raising him. I will not cry. I will not cry...

I've also had a lot on my mind lately. We're hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, and it will be my first time hosting this holiday. Excitedly nervous. I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing and going to do with work. Working the night shift has a lot of perks, but it also has a lot cons too, so I'm trying to sort through all that. I have some unresolved and resurfaced past trauma I'm trying to work through alone and it's caused a little bit of a strain on my communication and connection with Perry. HD finished up OT earlier this week so I've got insurance on the brain, as we're STILL trying to figure out if all his sessions will be covered. Talk about expensive. I've just got a lot going on in my head and then I'm tired on top of it all.

I got into my car tonight to head to work and I was thinking about how long it had been since we had been to church. Ever since I started working over night, we stopped going because by the time I got home at 7:30, I needed sleep, and 45 minutes wasn't enough to cut it. Powering through lead to me falling asleep during service and having HD elbow me with a stern reprimand so everyone could hear. There's no winning. I want to go, but work... I left for work with God on the brain. I just felt unsettled as I backed out.

I have a led foot when it comes to driving. I'll admit that. I reigned it in when I pulled out onto the main road and came to a stop light where a Sheriff was waiting for the light to change. I followed him down the road several miles and onto the interstate where he kept me going the speed limit for several exits. Had I left for work only 30 seconds sooner, I wouldn't have had to wait at the stop light and I wouldn't have been driving at a slower pace for several miles. I would have missed the whole thing.

I had a little bit of a late start getting off to work, because crawling out of bed at 10pm is so hard when there is a 7 year old snuggling next to you. It is so so hard people. Even with my late start, I was going to make it on time. I watched the clock carefully. And then it happened.

Just one mile before my exit, I witnessed a car side swipe into a semi-truck on the interstate going 75 mph. At least I think that's what happened. Maybe they both just got too close to the centerline. I don't know. My heart sank and my throat was in my stomach. Because it was dark out, I couldn't see much. The sparks from the metal on the car grinding against the metal on the truck seem to last forever and then the car was up off the ground with the passenger side lifted high. I don't believe it flipped. Somehow the car managed to stay upright after slamming back down on the payment before running off the road.

I pulled off to the shoulder immediately as I tried to avoid the glass and bits shattered all over and called 911. I wanted to jump out of my car and run to help but I had no idea what I was going to be getting myself into. By the time I got off the phone, the semi- driver, who had pulled over 100-yards down the road, was at my vehicle and rushing over to the car.

I was hesitant to cross the road to get to the car. What if the person was seriously injured? I am not trained in anything medical related and would have no idea what to do. I can't imagine I'd have fainted at the sight of blood, but there's always that possibility. I was relieved when I spotted the semi- driver and the car driver walking towards me. No blood, no gore. Just a shaken young guy. While the semi- driver went to put up his triangles, I had the young guy warm up in my car, thankful he was uninjured and my car was semi-clean. I just wanted to take him home.

If I would have left any sooner,  I would have missed it but I believe God put me there at the perfect time. No one else stopped. That young guy would have been freezing by the time the police arrived, and they only arrived as soon as they did because I called. The semi-driver was hyper-focused on getting off the road and making sure the other vehicle was okay. I have been in a horrific accident before and while I don't remember anything after hitting my head on the ceiling of the car, I was told there was a lady that sat with me for quite sometime while the ambulances were on their way. Now it was my turn to play that role.

I hope I made him feel less anxious in that moment. That everything was going to be okay. Looking back, I wish I could have done more. I wish I wasn't on my way to work so I could have just taken him to his aunt's house where he was headed. I gave him the blanket out of the back of my car after he was questioned by the officer and left standing outside to freeze. And then I hugged him. Not any of that side-hug business, but really just hugged him and held him tight. It broke my heart to hear him start crying as the adrenaline started to wear off. By that point the officer decided to take the rest of the investigation off the interstate and down to the gas station. He took my info and sent me on my way, but I just wanted to stay with young Brycen.

Often as I'm driving, I think to myself, what would I do if I witnessed an accident? Would I run to help? Keep driving? I guess I'm a moral support kind of person. But I wish I would have helped more. Called 911 as I was going to the vehicle but it was dark out and I needed my phone to be my flashlight before I navigated the dark unknown.  I wish I would have at least given my phone number to him so I could help more if he needed anything. His world was turned upside down and I just wish I could have helped more.

I can't recall any specific moments right now, but I know this wasn't the first time I had an unsettling feeling about something that later just proved God was there the whole time saying, "I've got this and I've got you." I know Thanksgiving will be fine and I'll be able to put my past back into my past. Our medical insurance will get figured out and my genetic testing in January will be fine and if it isn't, I'll still be fine because God has this worked out already.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Autumn Festivities

I always dread Halloween. For one, I don't like masked people. Mascots are a huge no for me, so naturally, Halloween is not a favorite of mine. Secondly, I don't like having to stress about what the kids are going to dress up as.

This year however, Halloween has come and went without much stress to be had. Miss Gail didn't care what she was going to be, and ended up dressing up as something different at every opportunity she had. HD was the easy one. He wanted to be a StormTrooper. There was no amount of convincing him otherwise. Because I wasn't buying a costume or putting together a costume for Miss Gail, I felt I could justify buying him his beloved StormTrooper costume.

JP on the other hand, came with a problem we might never know what caused. He was all in to be a cop and utilize HD's costume from last year. When it came time to put it on, there were so many tears. From what I gathered, he could see his chest when he put the top on, not realizing he had to wear clothes under his costume. I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get him to put a shirt on under it, to no avail. When we eventually managed to leave the house for our first event, he reluctantly wore his dark blue cop pants, a long sleeved black shirt, and HD's batman mask from a couple years back. Of course the rest of the batman costume was no where to be found. He wonders why I wanted him to try his costume on a few days prior...

When we did make it out of the house to go to the school's Trunk or Treat, I had two very eager, but calm children and one not-so-happy batman. We weren't planning on going to the event, but the kids realized half an hour before it started there was going to be candy there. By the time we actually got to the school, there was only half an hour left, and most of the candy had been given out already. Regardless, they acted like they had never been trick-or-treating before. When we walked up to the parking lot, I literally had to push them up to the first car. Nerves anyone?
Things to note about this picture: This is Miss Gail's back-up princess dress. We got the first one soaking wet while do facials that afternoon. Her shirt is on backwards, but she insists it isn't. We would have been smiling but we had just seen Moana and the boys told her it wasn't the real one. She wanted to meet her but I heard her speaking Spanish, so I'm not sure how that interaction would have went. HD is convinced Storm Troopers never take their helmets off. Even to eat.

 The next morning HD, Miss Gail, and I walked down to the preschool for their Autumn Party. I love how Miss Gail walked around holding up her pant legs! JP stayed home because "I don't need more candy." I think he was still grumbling from the night before.
 We couldn't have had a more perfect day last Saturday. It was gorgeous out! HD wore his mask for most of the walk, and walked just like a Storm Trooper.
 We were one of the first ones to arrive, and again, their nerves were through the roof. The gym had about 10 games set-up and they wanted nothing to do with them. They would have rather I let them stand in the middle of the gym than play any of the games. I did manage to drag them around the gym to try out all the games before heading outside to the bouncey house and other activities.
 I think their favorite game was the cake walk. They would walk around on number while music played and stop on a number when the music stopped playing. If your number was drawn, you'd get a prize from the dessert table. Miss Gail chose a plate of cookies and cupcakes, where as HD chose a large piece of carrot cake. "It's my choice mom."
I love autumn so much. I love how leaves can bring so much joy! And just look at all the colors! Such a beautiful walk home!
 
 Finally we made it to Halloween where we had a Storm Trooper, a fully dressed and happy Batman, and his sidekick Robin. Batman insisted he get a picture with just his sidekick. He is so sweet to her. I love the relationship they have. Melts my heart!
When it was go-time, the kids sprinted across the street to Al's house. They stood outside for a little bit while my sister and I watched Al sprint through the house to the kitchen to get candy. After going next door to the other neighbor's home, Miss Gail declared, "This is the best day ever!" We made the loop, finishing at "the scary house" before returning home to empty their buckets. On our way up the drive to the house, Robin and I turned around to see a gingerbread man walking creepily up the road towards us. I have no idea where it came from but I wanted nothing to do with it so I shooed the kids up to the door. Once they knocked, the ladies on the other side started scratching at the door. All three kids were frozen. And then the ghost behind them started to play and swooped down toward them. I'm sure they were ready to turn around. After the fact they decided it was the best house ever! 
 Perry had just got back from work as we dumped out our buckets so he came out with us as we walked down to a few more houses before calling it a night around 7:30, afterall I had to get to bed so I could get a little rest before work.
The one thing I enjoy about working the night shift is the extra snuggles I get from my kids. Usually 2 of the 4 nights I go to bed around 6, I have a child join me around 7:30. In this case, it was my little princess-ninja-turtle-Robin who curled up into bed with me. I recall rolling over away from her, only to have her attempt to be the big spoon, as she draped her arm over me. I never want to her grow up!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lutheran World Relief Quilts + Sewing Lessons

We've lived here for about 8 months now and have yet to have people occupy the house to the west of us. The couple who owned it when we moved to the area were the original owners and were now in their 90s. Because of the stairs and the maintenance needed on the house, they moved to a senior living development.

I happened to be out walking around with Ms. Gail when their estate sale was going on in March. Another of my neighbors happen to be doing the same thing so we met by chance not knowing if either of us were residents of the area or sale go-ers. One thing led to another and we were talking about how excited Ms. Gail was to start preschool school this fall but I hadn't decided where I would take her. She referred me to her church just at the bottom of hill, which was a Lutheran church similar to the preschool she and the boys attended in Missoula.

Fast forward several months and Ms. Gail is now attending (and loving!) preschool there. I dropped her off last Friday and was telling her teacher how much fun she had on her first day when she mentioned the old ladies next door just loved listening to the little kids as they quilted. Of course my ears perked up, quilting? Tell me more!

Every Wednesday ladies from the church meet just down the hall (and share a partitioned wall with the preschool room) to create quilts to donate to those in need. My heart was way excited to hear this because I've been wanting to get back to sewing/quilting again but have become so frustrated with my children at home not leaving my sewing stuff alone that it's not worth the fight right now to work on anything. Wednesday's aren't the ideal day for me to hang around after dropping Ms. Gail off at school due to my work schedule but I've decided I'm going to do my best to make it work - even if I am a zombie.

This past week I dropped Ms. Gail off and wandered down the hall to see what "Old Lady Quilting" is all about. Take a stab at the first three people I met. Linda, Betty, and Doris - my mom's name, mother-in-law's name, and then my grandma's name - ironic? I was low key hoping there was a Carol to be met as that would have been my other grandma's name. Linda toured me around and showed off the storage room filled with the blankets they made as well as the ones in progress, along with all the fabric, sheets, and batting which had been donated.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone had their own job. There is a lady who comes in specifically to cut up fabric that is donated. There was a lady hand sewing scraps of batting together, another set of ladies sorting through and arranging fabric scraps to make quilt tops. (Most of the ladies sew the tops together at home and then bring them in for the rest of the process.) One larger group of ladies worked on tying the quilts together and then the quilts were brought over to my table where I worked with my neighbor (who I met in the spring and then forgot about and re-met) pinning the binding on so Doris could sew it all together. Doris is the oldest one in the group, coming in at about 92 years old and is the only one who sews there at the church.
Currently they have about 70 quilts ready to be shipped out in October. Coming up in the next couple weeks, they will take all the quilts they have completed and put them on the backs of the pews for the entire congregation to see and then box them up and ship them out the following week. They send out shipments twice a year, each time sending between 60-70 quilts.
 All the little old ladies were more than welcoming. It'll take me some time to recall all their names though. By the end of the three hours, I decided it was every thing I expected it to be, not knowing what exactly I expected it to be. Honestly I really enjoyed all the chitter-chatter amongst them. "Oh I just love your jean top! Did you do the embroidery on it?" "Oh thank you! Sharon did this for me a while ago. Isn't it lovely?!" "Oh yes! It's just beautiful!" And you better believe there was a coffee break complete with pound cake right at 10:30a. Not a minute before. It was the best!

I told Ms. Gail about my little adventure next door to her classroom and she was SO SURPRISED when I told her I never went home and that I was listening to them the whole time. For whatever reason, I decided that now would be a good time to start teaching her how to sew as well.

Lesson one did not disappoint! All I had her do was "sew" on the blue line. "Oh mom! Were you saving this machine just for me? I mean I saw you sewing on your machine once and thought that was just great, but now we can have mom and daughter sewing dates!!" She was probably more excited about sewing than she was about getting a cat, which says a lot considering her love of cats.

I'm pretty sure I found myself a new babysitter! Hahaha! Wiggle-wobble wiggle-wobble... She's hooked!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

House Updates: Fire Place is Done!

Remember when I blogged all the time? That was so long ago but now that I have several more projects done around the house, I have a *little* more free time for some leisurely typing. Honestly though, most of my free time is spent cat-napping. I am almost done with my fire place project and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out!
One of the selling points for this house was the fire place. Both Perry and I really wanted a fire place in our new home (as well as a master bathroom!) but it was considered an extra perk if we found one we liked with one. We scored on this place because it not only has a fire place in the living room, but also has one in the basement (and we scored a sweet master bathroom too!) and we used it to the max this past winter and spring. 

I put off painting the fire place for so long because I had no idea what color to paint it. I love all the grey shades but wasn't sure what shade to paint the fire place since I managed to pick out colors for the living room and hallways that are actually more in the brown scheme of greys. Greige I guess? And then the carpet is more of a grey-grey so I was stumped. I finally opted for the same white as the ceiling, knowing I'd have to touch it up every so often.
 My first project for the fire place was painting the front of it. I don't know why I dislike gold so much. Maybe it just clashed so much with the off white color of the fire place. All I knew was that it needed to go. I wasn't sure what kind of paint to use, so I ended up using a high temperature paint from Home Depot. If I recall correctly the only color choice was black. Luckily that's what I was after.
  Just painting that part black made the dirty off-white color of the stones more bearable. I love how it turned out. If I didn't spend so much time taping off the brick, the rest of the fire place would have been painted a lot sooner. Instead I waited several months to tackle the rest of it.
 I didn't realize how dirty looking the fire place was until I painted it white. It's not a white-white, but has the littlest hint of grey in it. Spun Wool. I'm trying to simplify the color scheme in our house so using the left over paint from the ceiling not only prevented an extra trip to the store for a ton more paint samples and agony over the color again, but it also made painting the ceiling border a breeze.
Before decorating the mantle again, I painted it black to match the front piece. I also spent an extra few minutes spray painting the log holder knowing full well it would get nice and scratched up come fall season when it's constantly being restocked with logs. Overall I'm really liking how clean and fresh it looks now that the majority of the painting is done. I still have a little trim work to do but I happy to be able to cross this project off my list. I kind of want to repaint the downstairs one now but I also kind of need to work on our master bathroom first. It's in the "I hate wallpaper removal stage" and looks terrible with half the wall paper off.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cannon Beach + Haystack Rock

Hey you guuuyysss!
The last couple weeks have been a little chaotic around my house as we adjust to having a new roommate as well as school starting back up again. I'm still trying to figure out a good sleeping plan that works with the family but also allows me get enough sleep. I've been a little on edge trying to balance working at night four nights a weeks while still being present with the family. Such a juggling act!

I've been working now for about a month and it's going as good as the night shift can. It goes without say that I was relieved and excited to hear Perry had Labor Day off work because typically that would mean more sleep for me! Instead of sleeping the day away though, I brought up the idea to him about potentially spending the day at the beach. I later asked HD what he wanted to do on his day off school and he thought going to the ocean would be fun. Just like that a trip to the beach was planned for day when temperatures were supposed to reach 100* at home and a pleasant 80* on the beach.

On our first to the coast we went to Astoria and then wandered south a little to Fort Stevens State Park. Loved it! So peaceful! This time we drove southwest to Cannon Beach. Such a cute little town! I wish I had the whole day to wander the town and peek into all the little shops. In case you didn't know though, Cannon Beach is known for its landmark, Haystack Rock. Who recognizes Haystack Rock from one of my favorite movies, "The Goonies"? Hey you guuuyyyysss!
*These pictures were take by HD. He missed the entire back drop in the first set he took. In the second set, he really got into his photographer roll by waving his hand in the direction he wanted us to move. Go this way! No no too far, go back this way! Come closer! *thumbs up* It was really hard to keep my composure while watching his adorableness.*
 
We strolled the beach for a while and enjoyed watching the kids chase the waves. I imagine the beach is usually pretty busy in the summer, but extra busy this time with it being Labor Day. It was almost high tide when we left beach in search of food. Turns out we had strolled nearly a mile...
After much wandering, we stumbled upon a quaint little cafe to stuff our faces called the Season Cafe. They mostly served cold deli sandwiches and hot panini sandwiches but we all left full. I even stepped out of my normal "Ham + Cheese Sandwich" routine and opted for a BLT instead, since I hadn't had one in so so long. Yumm!
Immmediately when we finished up, we raced over to Bruce's Candy Kitchen to pick up some taffy before heading home. While we were there we were able to watch them spin the taffy on their machine. Fresh taffy is my favorite! I may have picked up a large bag of taffy to bring home... The boys also picked out a bag of PopRocks to eat.
I had napped for about half an hour or so on the way to the coast so by the time we were ready to leave around 2pm, I was exhausted. I stayed awake as long as possible but inevitably fell in and out of sleep on the trip home. You know how restful sleeping in a car is...

Aside from my exhaustion, it was nice to be able to get away for an afternoon and just enjoy ourselves. I do have to admit I was slightly irritated that I thought I left my phone at home. I brought my Canon Rebel but some things are easier to do with my phone, like take a video. Luckily I had something to capture our day. HD found my phone as we piled out of the car when we got home. Go figure. It probably fell of my lap during my morning snooze.