Wednesday, December 31, 2014

From the archives of Facebook

Cleaning up some of the digital bits and pieces of 2014.   I realize I take a lot of pictures with my phone and post them directly on to Facebook.  Also, silly little ideas and remarks that the kids say, I share on Facebook.   And yet, this neglected blog is really a more orderly and timeless way for me to journal these tidbits of our lives.  

So here you go.   Reruns of the Facebook variety...
For starters, I enjoy posting some random "Happiness is" remarks.
Here's some of my favorites from 2014.

9.20.2014:   Happiness is spending time with friends, completing a 5k that benefits the symphony.
Next year won't you join in our crazy fun?

7.19.2014:   Happiness is a happy hour within walking distance from home   Thanks to MB K, whom we have voted as having the best deck in all of PV, if just for the view of the setting sun on a cool summer evening! 

10.29.2014:   Happiness is a Fall Break where the weather is as nice, if not nicer than many Spring Breaks.
*we ended up staying in town for almost all of Fall Break.   Lots of catching up to do with home chores and dentist appointments.   But Hubby managed to visit the high country and was treated to some spectacular colors up near Ouray, Colorado. 

12.12.2014:   Happiness is hearing the neighbor kids and their classmates fill the hallway with Christmas carols.  
Yes!  In today's always politically correct world, I was thrilled to hear real christmas songs, with religious messages and all being sung right outside my office!  

Many of my Happiness remarks have included some reference to fitness, friendship, and often a little bit of both.

10.18.2014:   Happiness is a morning walk with friends, destination the local coffee club where we meet up with several other friends.   Bonus:   plenty of crunch leaves to stomp through.   Yes, I am rather child-like in the pleasure I take when crunching through the leaves 
*in the interest of full blog disclosure, this picture was actually NOT taken that morning, but instead sometime in December.   However, the location remains our favorite coffee shop (where yes, everyone does know our name) and many of the ladies in this picture are part of our routine gathering of friends for Coffee Club.  

12.20.2014:   Happiness is December 20th, getting in my 4 mile walk with my friend, SR, and only needing a "light" sweatshirt to stay warm.

9.29.2014:   Happiness is having a walking friend who doesn't let a little rain keep us from our plans to exercise.   Instead she offered up "let's go to the gym".

7.26.2014:   Happiness is getting a letter from your doctor "no evidence of cancer noted on your recent mammogram".  #Mamawouldbeproud

714.2014:   Happiness is catching the mist of the sprinklers on my morning walk.  Instant cool down.

And that is about when my burst of fitness started.   You see, on the day after my first born turned 17 (7/5), I stepped on the scale.   And what to my surprise (not really, I could see in the mirror where my weight had gone), I realized I was clocking in at pretty much what I weighted when I brought that newborn home 17 years ago.   17 years is a bit too long to refer to weight gain as "baby fat".    

So, with the help of this wonderful person, we've taken on a journey of fitness.  We've both got a milestone birthday coming up this next year, and it is time we put our health first and foremost on our plate of projects.  .
*another blog confession, this photo is circa 2009

  Our go-to standard is a loop through the neighborhood.   Right around 4 miles with some serious hills built into it.   This fall, we've added in some other exercises and taken our adventure into the gym.
Yes, I've spent a lot of time at this place.
Trails Rec Center;  our local fitness center.   Yes, it is as pretty inside as outside.

All that stuff they say about exercising making you feel better?
Yeah, it appears to be true...

From my happy place...we move on to the funny things the Things say.
You may recall, that was the initial purpose of this blog:   remembering the moments of our daily life that are funny and worth remembering.

But since 2005, not only have the Things changed (many of their remarks are of the PG-13 variety and would likely embarrass them if I shared too much online) but also technology has shifted so that sharing via a blog is not necessarily the easiest/most convenient fashion.

Facebook is where it all seems to happen.     But things are hard to find later on using facebook.   The funny stuff gets buried in the quizzes we all take (for the record, my Disney Dwarf personality?  Happy.  Big surprise, eh?) and the game requests (Candy Crush?  Invented by the devil himself).  

So, here are a couple of my favorites from 2014...

  • 12.24.2014:    Thing One remarked  "I don't know who to side with.   The woman who gave birth to me or the man who controls my internet access".    Yes, my son that is indeed quite the dilemma.
  • 10.24.2014:   I commented:   "Exploding toilets and projectile vomiting.  Come on, you know you are jealous.   All I can say is I survived".  
  • 9.11.2014:    I shared these pictures, noting "From spectator to participant in 10 short years"

  • A dilemma for mom to sort out, on 9.9.2014, Captain Obvious (aka Thing Two) forgot his viola at home, had to borrow his friend's as they had chair auditions only to learn that he made first chair in the 9th grade orchestra.   Wring his neck or high five his success?
     Proud teacher from middle school, came to hear the boys perform for the first time in the HS orchestra. 

  • 9.7.2014:   From the "other people have a way with words files" fellow blogger and friend Colleen reminded us all to heed the words of Dr. Seuss.   "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened".  

 The coffee coven gathered this time for a more somber occasion as we supported our favorite Waspina, TZ, during the loss of her sister.   It still amazes me the gifts God has blessed me in terms of my "coffee club".  All I did was agree to meet these wonderful women for a cup of coffee after we dropped our kids off at school.   That was almost 9 years ago, and here we are friends forever!  

Yikes:   this catching up on the blog is hard work...I think I've about exhausted my ability to sift and sort through the maze that is Facebook.
So, I'll wrap up this catch all blog update with a final photo.   
Pretty sassy looking thing if I do say so myself.

And to think she's run out of things to say?  
*at least for now...

Until Next Year....

Catching Up: November edition

Dear Blog,

Just as the Things had some explaining to do to Santa, I fear I have some explaining to do to you.   I have neglected you greatly.   It's been months since I've logged in, wasn't even sure I remembered the password.  

So, where do I start?   BUSTED, I know.   You see where I snuck in and entered a few of my missing gratitude challenges.   I'll have to re-evaluate that tradition next year as it was incredibly difficult to find the time and match it up with creative inspiration.   The entries I did complete, were fun, but towards the end it did become more chore like.   As it was, as soon as Thanksgiving week arrived, well, there ya go....I even failed on the challenge I gave to some of my friends to share via face book.  They completed it, me not so much.

So, yes, where were we....
For starters, Thing 2 and Hubby drove over the river, and via the toll road to retrieve Grandpa from the airport.  Yep, he'd flown into town for the holiday weekend.

Joining us was Auntie Terri and Miss Donna (or sometimes referred to as Pepsi Donna because she's a Pepsi drinker compared to the usual beverages of a holiday meal)

And the gang is all here (minus Hubby who was kind enough to take the picture

 As you can see, a good time was had by all!   What a pleasant treat to see Thing 1 join us at the table.   Now granted, his turkey consisted of the chocolate turkey from Sees and he had several slabs of bacon and tried to call it good but hey. he joined in the celebration and conversation so I will try  not to sweat the little details.
 Speaking of sweating the details:   this year, we graduated to using an electric carving knife.   OMG:   what took us so long to join the crowd of a carefree turkey carving.    And folks, that was the biggest 12 pound turkey I've ever cooked.   The Safeway turkeys arrived without the poundage listed, and since they price them based on pounds, I swear the manager was telling them to ring 'em all up at the 12 pound price.    We feasted on that bird and had lots of left overs.
Just as we've turned over the keys to teach Thing Two to drive, we also let him have a go at carving the family bird.   For the record, he's doing well with mastering both these grown up tasks. 

I hope everyone saved room for dessert

We had the traditional homemade pie...and 
tried our hand at a homemade pumpkin-toffee cheesecake.
   In a word?  YUM!

 We spent the rest of our visit with Grandpa, enjoying the symphony
*Thanks for the treat Grandpa!
Playing a game of monopoly
Better keep an eye on the banker, we suspect he was embezzling...
Grandpa needed a bit of a refresher course from youngest grandson 
And here Grandpa discovers we play the "South Park" edition, with lots of potty references...
And yes, we all enjoyed Grandpa's reaction when he discovered the utilities all had a poop inspired name

So as you can see, old trusty Blog, I have indeed neglected you, but it was not done intentionally.   I just got caught up in the joy of spending time with my family and friends. 
Until next time... 
Martha  the remorseful blogger

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gratitude Day 23: Travel leaves you speechless and then turns you into a story teller (author unknown)

We've been busy starting to talk and plan about our summer travels for 2015.   The Things are much larger these days but with their increasing size, comes some maturity and we think they are ready for a grand adventure.   Details to follow....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gratitude Day 22: Relax

Relax:   to rest-release and unwind.

Hey, isn't that what the weekends are for?   Oh sure, I should be working on a boat load of chores.   But instead, this is what I found myself doing...
Way more fun than scrubbing toilets, right?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gratitude Day 21: Scent

It has been said that scent is one of the most powerful memory triggers we have.   As I am busy this weekend preparing the house for hosting Thanksgiving, I am reminded of this memory.   Nothing smells sweeter than recalling the smells that came from Grandma Irene's kitchen.

Here sits a proud Thing One holding onto a treasured cookie from his grandma.   Never mind he didn't eat it (he's a picky one when it comes to sweets).   Just seeing these two treasures together makes me grateful for the few visits we were able to make to see Grandma before she passed away.

But alas, as the saying goes, daylight's wasting.   If I have any hope of being ready for company I best get this show on the road.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gratitude Day 20: Routine

Wake up and smell the routine!

for 185 days each year, this is where I spend most of my day.   
Today happens to be pay-day!   
Now that's a routine I wish came around more than just once a month.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gratitude Challenge day 19: New

Each New day brings a new adventure

Is this Thing 1 or Thing 2 coming home from the hospital?   It's hard to say without going back and checking their baby books.  (yes, luckily they each have completed baby books, no second baby forgotten syndrome going on in this house).

I reflect on this photo and I am reminded how overwhelming those early days of a newborn were.   The crying, the confusion and that's just from the parents.   (giggle giggle).

But now some 15-17 years later (again, not sure which newborn I'm looking at), the days are still filled with new adventures for them and for us as parents.   We continue to learn and grow, and that indeed is something to be grateful for!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gratitude Day 18: Change

Gotta love the simple wisdom of Mary Engelbreit!
*although I wish I had been able to find this quote on one of her prettier illustrations, but this one seemed to be the easiest on the eyes

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gratitude Day 17: Work

Work:   Ok I have blogged about my job here enough that most days it is safe to say I like my job.   But then there are those occasional days where this sentiment sums it all up nicely.

Today?   Was indeed one.of.those.days!

*Details will NOT follow, why rehash a no-good, horrible, awful day.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gratitude Day 16: Comfort

Comfort:   you've got comfort food, comfort clothing, but for me, I find the most comfort in my kitchen, and when you add a full serving of some of the best girlfriends a friend could ever ask for?
Well, HELLO gratitude!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gratitude Day 15: Nature

Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature.   It will nurture your mind, body and soul.  (author unknown)

*photo from a trip to Phoenix in late 2009, early 2010.   The Things look so tiny, don't they?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gratitude Day 14: Nostalgia

'Nuff Said....

Gratitude Day 13: Taste


Yesterday was a great reminder...of this important lesson

A student, using social media, blurted out something thoughtless and threatening.   It resulted in a building filled with law enforcement, first ensuring our safety, and later following through on locating this person.   Nothing out there is anonymous.

Throughout the day, as friends texted me curious questions, I was grateful that I had inside information, working within the school that my Things attend.   I knew that my kids were safe.   I knew that the administrative staff was making this situation their top priority for the day.   And yet, I also knew that the information I had access to, could not be shared with others.

Yeah, that is the downside of being in the neighborhood school...having access to information that I just can't share with my friends and neighbors.   

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gratitude Day 12: Seasons


19 Years ago...we said I do...
On a beautiful Fall Day in San Franscico...

Moving forward through our seasons as a married couple...

Adding Things to the Equation...

And knowing that if I had to do it all again..
I would still say I Do!

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gratitude Day 11: Art


Every Artist was first an amateur...
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we pause to thank our veterans today, I'm reflecting on my career in nursing..

And yes, when I first started I was but an amateur...
And yet..for an amateur, I had some wonderful opportunities come my way!

Thank you to all those who continue to answer the call 
to serve in our nation's military.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gratitude Day 10: Kindness

Just a drop of kindness can make a big difference in someone's life
(author unknown)

*sometimes this is a difficult pearl of wisdom to implement, especially when your job involves tending to the aches and pains of some 2500 students and the staff.  

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Gratitude: 7-8-9: Attire, Friendship, Home

This weekend I took a little road trip to attend the state conference for school nurses.
It was fun to get away from the routine of my daily life 
and being able to spend it learning a thing along the way, just made things all that better.

Completing a challenge on the road proved a little more challenging but here it goes...

Day 7:  Attire
Day 8:  Friendship
*I enjoyed a lovely dinner Saturday night with my forever friend, V.  She happens to live just down the road from where my conference was being held.

 We met in college and had a shared experience of losing our moms to cancer soon after we each graduated.   That alone had the makings to cement our friendship.   Along the way we've waxed and waned in how often we spend time together (jobs and family responsibilities sometimes result in friends drifting apart just given the time constraints of our every day life).  Despite how long it has been since I've seen her,  I know that V. and her unconditional love and support are always just a phone call away.     
Day 9:   Home*
"What I love most about my home is who I share it with"  (author unknown)

After a few days away, it was indeed so sweet to return to the old homestead
*archived photo from Hubby's big adventure to Alaska in 2013

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Day 6: Details

Plainly stated, a simple truth