Monday, July 28, 2008

Matt's Done

Matt's done, Matt's done!! Last Thursday he finished the bar exam. Now we just have to wait until October to get the results. Kind of lame but then again, when you write two and a half days worth of essays it's going to take a while to grade. In the mean time we are excited to not have him studying at night and on weekends. We're hoping to be able to get out and start exploring the beauty of the Wenatchee valley, take road trips and be more social. Wahoo!! Wahoo!!

I'll let you know how the results fare.

My trip to Spotsylvania County

Last week I had the great fortune of being able to go to Virginia to visit my brother's family. My sister-in-law Natalie is recovering from major surgery so I got to "play mom/ fun aunt". It was really fun because I almost never see the grand-babes over on that coast since they only get to come to the West for bi-annual family reunions. So what did I do?

I took the three youngest to Funland. They had two rules 1. No crying and 2. Stick together. I am happy to say that they did great, despite more Madalyn face planting and hurting her poor little nose. Here's Madalyn, Brenner and Caitrin posing for me during put put.
I also went to the 3D version of "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Here's me, Caitrin, Madalyn, Conner, Brenner and Parker posing in our ultra cool 3D glasses.
I Supervised fabulous bubble baths.

I spent tons of time in their pool. Which I just have to say thank heavens for pools in Virginia. There's nothing more refreshing on a hot muggy day than jumping in a just cool enough pool and having your body say "aaaaaaaah".

The last day before I left I took the oldest three, Caitrin, Conner and Parker to King's Dominion. Virginia's local amusement park. They were given the same rules, no crying and stick together. Parker decided to add in rule #3 - no dying. Very appropriate.
My two favorite memories of the day were 1. almost throwing up on poor Conner. We went on a Tuesday when there are no lines. This is great for seeing everything in the park and more but bad for my stomach. No good when I go from ride to ride with no opportunity in the middle to let my tum tum return to some sort of normalcy. The kids were really nice and didn't make fun of me at all. They seemed content to go on the Scooby Doo ride which their 3-year old brother goes on and pretty much call it a day. Super Champs!!

My other favorite memory of the day came on the ride home when I took everyone to Dairy Queen before having to drop Conner off at his Basketball Camp. We killed time by taking our ice cream cones to the van to finish watching a DVD. The car was just as hot as the outside and poor Caitrin's cone started falling over. I would have dumped the cone and bemoaned my fate but not Caitrin. As she was being banished to the outside she handed her cone to Conner with strict instructions not to eat it while she ate the top portion in her hands. Her face was covered in vanilla ice cream, not to mention her hands, shoes and legs which caught the droppings. One of the few times in my life when I really really wished I had a camera.

So that's it. The week before I spent a week visiting friends and family and working in Oregon and then I met Matt in Seattle and drove to Eastern Oregon to hang out with his family. Now I'm home and excited to get back to a normal sleep schedule. I'm getting old.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Funny thing happened on the train

Yesterday I took a bus from Wenatchee to Seattle and then a train from Seattle to Portland. On the train, I ended up sitting across from a couple from Australia. Actually he is from Oregon, but has been living in Australia for 35 years where he met and married his Australian wife. This is all inconsequential information, but I felt like I should be completely accurate. Anyway, they were a fabulous couple who made the train ride a lot more fun. They told me about their two children. One of which is dating a girl, Sarah, who is "lovely". They kept saying that over and over again as if they were trying to convince themselves of it. You could totally tell that although they admired their son for his commitment and loyalty to his girlfriend Sarah, who is a lovely girl, they were secretly hoping that he would end up with the neighbor girl and life long best friend, Purdy. Odd name, but you know, they're Australian. Foreigners always have odd names. The best part about it is that her last name is Skerry, pronounced scary. So yes, they have a daughter named Purdy Skerry. I guess her father is an eccentric genius who wanted to make sure that no one forgot his one and only daughter. Where was her mother, I asked, when the naming was done? After all, that's what mothers are for, to protect their babies from the random whims of their fathers. The couple said that although not as much as her husband, she is eccentric in her own right. So there you have it, poor Purdy is left with an odd name crushing on the neighbor boy who is dating Sarah, a lovely girl.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm soooo grateful

I am a grateful girl and this is why.

The power of prayer. The older I get the bigger fan I am. Nothing calms me down quicker or brings me more comfort and peace.

My fabulous husband. I'm not sure I believe in soul mates per se but I can't help but believe that there is no one better for me than him.

Really cheap power bills. See previous post. But let me just say $17!! Wahoo!

Getting to see my family and friends in the next couple of weeks. I'm going to be in Portland this week and Virginia the next. Matt is oh so sad to see me go but he'll be studying to take the bar at the end of the month anyway, so I'm not missing out on a lot of action here.

My new jobs. I love the flexibility they give me to work as much or as little as I want in a given week and for once be able to plan my work around my life and not the other way around.

My ward's playgroups. I love that I have been able to feel so integrated so much quicker than ever before because someone invited and I accepted.

The amazing families who have invite Matt and I over for dinner. I haven't really cooked a Sunday dinner since we got here. Speaking of which, we got invited over to different houses Friday and Saturday for dinner and we had another couple over for dinner on Sunday and Matt did so well playing with the kids and being super social. I was so proud of him!!!

The sure knowledge that we are supposed to be here and that the outpouring of love from our ward is the hand of God in action.

Feeling good about buying a house but not feeling rushed into it.

Learning about the beauty of putting blue cheese or Gorgonzola (doesn't really matter as long as it's got bite) on steak. It's revolutionized the way Matt and I think about grilling. Thank you 4th of July family!!

I could go on but I won't. Please be assured that I am doing well!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Panic Attacks

First, let me say that my mother is not to read this post.

Okay, so it's way late and I meant to be in bed an hour ago but while trying to doze off I had a panic attack and I had all these emotions going through my head that needed to come out before I'd be able to sleep. This is probably best left to my journal, but I'm hoping that by writing it for others to read something even more therapeutic might come of it. Sorry. Full disclosure - a virtue and a vice all wrapped into one.

I'm not prone to worrying. That is better left to Matt. I have designated him as the worrier of our family. But that said, do you ever fear your parent's death? I do. Not my dad. My dad, I am convinced, will live forever. My mother, on the other hand, has MS, 3 types of arthritis and spurs in her neck which will force her into traction every day for possibly the rest of her life. I have periodic panic attacks where I am convinced she will die within the year. I realize that it's because of panic attacks such as these my mother is reticent to tell us children anything of her current and new ailments. She's already been near death on many occasions that weren't publicized to the family until weeks or months after the fact. Something that has irritated us immensely.

Other than that though my mother is perfect in my eyes. She might not be so to others, but that's the beauty of mothers isn't it? What is perfect for one child would be unendurable for another. But my mother is perfect. She's brave, bold, crazy talented, visionary, funny, and humble. She's constantly learning and growing and striving to be the best mother and grandmother the world has ever seen. I love and adore her and simply can't imagine my life or the life of my future children without her. I read once that bringing out your worst fears into the open helps to see them for the irrational thoughts they are. I am hoping this is what this post will do to me.

What are your worst fears? Does anyone else have panic attacks?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Favorite

Okay, I have a new favorite thing about Wenatchee apart from all the free fruit I've been stockpiling. Matt and I have been using our air conditioning a lot these days because 1. it's wicked hot here, and 2. we can. I've never had air conditioning before. But after a couple of days Matt got really worried about how often it was on and we started having to compromise our usage. Today we got our bill - the moment of truth. I was a little nervous. I opened it to find a whopping $17 bill. $17!!! It's the most excited I've been in weeks!!! We had dinner at a friend's house tonight and they said that Wenatchee has the cheapest power in the NW, let's face it, probably in the world. Wahoo!! Wahoo!! So that's it. I was excited and I wanted to share the good news!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cherry Pie #2

Okay, someone seemed interested in either my cherry pie or seeing a picture of me. Not a great picture of either, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. So here's me AND my pie. I'm happy to say that although it's not as pretty as the picture I found on the internet, it was very good. Fresh pie cherries make for a fool-proof pie. Wahoo!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Buying Houses . . . Maybe (2)

So just talking about buying a house makes me super nervous. I don't understand how people get excited about this. It just seems like such a life altering decision. Did any of you feel like you were signing away your life not to mention the lives of any unborn children you may ever have? If you did, how did you get over it? And how did you decide on which house you eventually bought? Really, I'm frought with worry about this and I don't worry about much. Any words of wisdom and experience would be super helpful and appreciated.

Buying Houses . . .Maybe

Mother - this is for you. I think we are ready to begin looking for a house to buy. At least we're meeting with bankers on Thursday to look at our loan options. After a series of very unfortunate experiences with property management companies Matthew is DONE, in every sense of the word, with renting. So he is eager to move out and into our own place as soon as our lease ends. So we are keeping our eyes open for cute houses at even cuter prices. Hopefully the Lord says yes this time. Last time we thought we were ready He said no. Wish us luck.

We have Friends

Or at least people who invite us over to their houses for dinner. It's been crazy. We've been here for five weeks and have been over to three families' houses for dinner with another invitation for this Friday's 4th celebration. I love it, but what's even greater is that Matt keeps talking about how we need to reciprocate and have them over. I've never seen him so social. In fact he's the one who's gotten to be friends with half the families to get us invited in the first place.

Both of us are simply flabbergasted at the response we've had in this ward. It reminds me of moving back to Oregon. I was still single and, honestly, hadn't dated much since turning 16. But for some reason I started getting asked out right and left. I was averaging a date a week. CRAZY!!! My roommate Hilary kept remarking about how popular I was and I had to keep telling her that this was so very abnormal. I had never got this much dating attention from members of the opposite sex. I was always the "friend" never the "love interest". I ended up having a lot of fun that year especially since it culminated in my meeting the LOVE OF MY LIFE!!

I feel the same way now. It's been fun and kind of spooky (is that the right word?) at the same time. Hopefully it means the transition will continue to go as smoothly as it's already gone. We are so blessed. Wenatchee is really the place we need to be.