Monday, June 15, 2015

Camping in LaPine

I planned out our summer several months ago. Assessing our "free" weekends and deciding which ones we wanted to devote to camping. So we officially kicked off our summer on the very first weekend after school got out with a camping trip to LaPine State Park. For added company and fun we asked Joe's sister (and her husband and 7 kids) and his parents to come along. The weather was warm during the day and freezing at night. We hiked, we biked, and some even kayaked. We visited Oregon's largest Ponderosa Pine and marveled at its wonder. We chatted around the campfire, relaxed in the hammocks and watched the kids create their own much needed adventures. Then less than 48 hours after arriving we were packing up and heading back home. Awaiting the next big summer adventure...

Things I learned on this camping trip:
- after our debut erection of the new tent last year, our start to finish time greatly improved on this round and there was no bickering involved!
- sleeping in a tent when it's 37 degrees outside might be bordering on insane
- my daughter still has no sense of direction and I am in constant fear of losing her
- cousins make the best of friends
- campfires are always better with wine
- it can take 4 adults to figure out how to get a pickup truck unstuck from a shoulder of soft gravel
- when a truck is stuck with the passenger side facing downhill, said passenger will likely fall out when opening the door
- there is nothing like pulling my sweet baby into my sleeping bag at 5 AM and having her fall back asleep snuggled into my arms

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Adult Siblings

The relationships we've developed as adult siblings are priceless. The ability to reminisce and look back on our childhoods and think "hey, we survived that together!" and the bond that formed when I realized they are now truly some of the most important people in my life are so incredible. I look at the three of us and I see us as babies, my sister and I so unsure of a baby brother. I see us as toddlers, as children, as teenagers, hating each other, annoyed by each other, laughing with each other and knowing we'd all do anything for each other. I love them both fiercely and my life wouldn't be the same without them. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Happy 60th Mom

My brother, my sister and I asked our mom months ago what she wanted for her 60th birthday. Whatever she wanted we could surely come together to get it for her. These milestone birthdays are huge! But what she wanted wouldn't cost us any money. Just a little planning. 

She wanted a photo of her with all 8 of her grandchildren. And at first thought this seems easy and doable. Until we realized that it would have to happen during Shawna's graduation weekend or it would be nearly impossible. My visits to Grass Valley are few and far between, so having us all together with our kids and our mom happens on a rare occasion. And there's the fact that once you get them all together, with ages ranging from 14 months to 17 years it's like herding cats trying to get them all to focus at once. But with a little help from my brother (making silly faces and calling out their names from behind me) and an amazing digital camera, I just kept clicking away hoping for at least one good one out of the bunch. One good shot worthy of framing for her to hang on her wall. 

I think we nailed it... Happy Birthday Mama... 

Shawna Graduates

She was there with me when I graduated from the same high school. Seventeen years ago. My sweet baby niece. She was Violet's age when I brought Joe home for spring break our freshman year of college to meet my family. At the age of 5, she was the flower girl in my wedding. When I was pregnant with Brendan she laid her hands on my belly, giggling as he kicked and I said wistfully to my mom "when this baby inside me is her age, she'll be 18 and graduating from high school..." and then all of a sudden that day was here. I'm so incredibly proud of this milestone in her life. She has great potential and I pray that she finds it and runs with it.

You can do amazing things sweet beautiful girl. I pray that you find your wings and fly...