Monday, June 30, 2008

blown away

I've been swept up in homework - packing, cleaning, repairing - and making notes on how to do it better next time around. (I'm sure to have more to say on that later.)

I've been moved by the kindness of others: Offering help in the heat and tools and taking my kids while I have been preoccupied. My life is full of generosity. It fuels me.

And then, a storm moved in last night, lightening and thunder shaking the house just as Greg finished painting for the day. We cleaned up and went out to celebrate our anniversary, gone for a few short hours.

It was nearly dark when we pulled in around 10, but I could tell something was wrong with the top of our maple tree. Then I saw all the limbs down in our yard.

rushing wind

At least the house is intact.

I'm off to work again, while my parents have the kids and Greg is out of town. I'm going to purposely ignore my laptop because imagine what I could accomplish, on my own, if I get to it.

So, I'm off. I'll be seeing you again soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

home is where the heart is

Mama, courtesy of Zack Milton
Zack took this a few years ago. The chair has moved since, but it really is my cozy spot.

I read here, write here. I have slept in that chair; nursed colicky babies here. The kids used to snuggle there together, two peas in a pod. The three of us still melt in a book, smashed together, although now my kids are becoming all elbows and knees, I need ElastiGirl arms to pull it off.

old school

My heart grows restless, when the sun creeps out for a few months in the northwest. I'm apt to pack a lunch, paper and a mountain of books and head to old parks, where my kids play on playground equipment deemed just too dangerous for today's fragile youth.

(I'm boxing up so we can 'stage' our house and saying good-bye to the other loves in my home: the big trees that dance all winter, a view of Mt. St. Helens from my front yard. Blackberry bushes. I packing my bookshelves today. And then I am off to the pool to watch my merkids splash and chase away the relocation blues on the hottest day of the year.)

Thanks, Mrs. G, for hosting our open houses today. You're a peach.

here comes the bride

I was a bad bride. There. I said it. I wasn't a nasty Bridezilla, making too many demands. I just didn't get the wedding thing so much.

I wanted to be married.

{Here's a little math for you: I'm not a planner + I'm no-nonsense + I was young and dippy + big events make me nervous = mute and tense jerk Lisa. Not a great combination.}

I even suggested eloping, to prevent my impending nervous breakdown save my family some dough, but we went ahead and had a real wedding, along the Applegate River in Southern Oregon.
Yep, that's Uncle Cam, Greg & Brent

I hear a lot of folks poo-poo outdoor weddings and they have their troubles - too much squinting, wind, getting dressed in a tent - but we didn't have tons of options. Greg's dad was working in India at the time and we sandwiched our special day between his family's llama shows when he was back in town for three weeks. Still, I love this park. It's just a mile or so from where my in-laws live now and I like to wonder down there, even in the winter.
The kiss

We tried to light a unity candle, just as a breeze picked up and I grimaced as the lighter's flame did the hokey pokey through my fingers. Immediately after the ceremony, we wrapped my hand in ice and I proceeded to hug our guests in the receiving line, cold water dripping down their backs.

wedding dance
Dancing. It's how I knew he was the one for me.

Everything else I could say makes it sound like a flop: My sister-in-law, Nikki, had the stomach flu and had to excuse herself midway through the vows to hurl. Cam had to conquer his fear of speaking in public to give us a proper toast. I caught said virus and gave 'in sickness and in health' brand new meaning. My parents worked so very hard to make it all happen and then I would said dumb things about how hard it was for me. (I was a 23 year old brat, I see that now.)

But take my word for it: It was perfect.

It was just what I needed. I got the man and the family and the life I have today. Oh to be so lucky.

Greg called me from his hotel room last night, out of town, to ask me how our anniversary was faring this year. Pretty glum, from both accounts. I took the kids to the new Sonic and he worked until late.

We said goodnight and I tucked the kids in. Won't be long and we'll make up for it. Bermuda. Moving and less nights apart.

I fell into a deep calm sleep, the best I've had in weeks.

Thanks Dad for scanning the pictures for me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

happy anniversary. I love you.


On the beach, in Cabo, 14 years ago. Loved you then, I love you now and wish you were here.

[If it's Wednesday, it's Wordless.]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

packing and wolves and memes

Three days have passed and what have I been up to? Racing around Oaks Park with Lexi's Girl Scout troop - they deserve their own post, somedaaayyyy - and supervising my hubby high on Stu's ladder, as he paints and doing home improvements with my parents all in preparation for the big Move.

[And writing run-on sentences.]

While my kids and blogs live in semi-neglect, Ms. Bad Mom has given me an out today. A meme! A timely meme! Thank heavens.

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

I selected A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs. It's what I'm reading before I pass out each night. (I love the cover; I wish my computer woes were over and blogger would let me put it on this post, but the Internet Grudge continues.) It is proving to be my least favorite of his books. Something is missing. The following passage is when his Mom, the crazy one from Running with Scissors, drags a used dollhouse home for her son.

Here we go:

My mother said, "Her girls are grown now, it was just sitting in the
garage like trash. It seemed like a shame."

She clutched her car keys and walked inside.

My father said, "Oh boy, it's hot out here," and walked inside, too.

Do you need a little blog inspiration? Please join the fun. It's an all play.

Friday, June 20, 2008

rendered silent by my dummy computer (don't repeat Aunt Sissy)

Just this week, I was leaving a pithy little comment on a blog when my computer froze. After I rebooted, I noticed that instead of my typical msn heading, I was suddenly in some google screen. But it looked a little funny.

I guess someone had 'hijacked my url'. I say that with some borrowed confidence. I really don't know much about phishing, but I do know to call my husband when the Computer Hates Me.

We thought it was resolved, and it is better. But some blogs seem to no longer exist according to the Laptop Formerly Adored by Me. I click to comment and Blogger says no no no.

I still think you exist, no matter what this screen tells me. And I think you are pretty. I will comment again when the Internet Gods deem me worthy.

(Summer is officially here. I started the longest day of the year sneezing at 4:30 when I heard Greg having an asthma attack on his way out the door. Pollen much? Still, I can't complain. The sun is back and we have painting plans for Sunday. We will be ushered into the good home owners' circle. I hear there are dancing unicorns within the circle. Maybe moonbeams and lollies too. I can almost hear the applause.)

*My two year old nephew, Caden, has taken to the word 'dummy'. It is a handy word afterall. Sweet sweet boy, I get to say it - it comes with my mortgage and is better than the other choice words that come to mind. But you. Don't say it. You'll get me busted with your Mama.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday night, take two

I started to write this post last night then I realized the kids were doing stunts in the front yard and they were waiting to put on a show. Lexi did a walkover - spurred on by some stinky remark my Grandma made to her - and I nearly passed out because. Um. You need a spotter. My suggestion hurt her feelings, and I nearly had to channel Katydidnot, red hair and all and tell you my head did indeed explode.

She wasn't injured. All is well. I'm just up to my eyeballs in projects. I went on my last field trip yesterday and Wednesday is the last hurrah at our school. I'm buying waterproof mascara. That's all I'm saying.

So, what I wanted to say last night: I own too many pairs of adidas sweats. It's true. I often run around town with no makeup on. But oh how I love the fashion and makeup from the forties. I'm a sucker for a good red lipstick and a stylish hat.

I even tolerate the implausible plot line in Pearl Harbor so I can fawn over Kate Beckinsale's wardrobe.

So, when I arrived at the USO show Saturday, I had to stop myself from being the creepy 'old' mom, telling the teenagers in Lexi's choir group they just look so darn purdy.

uso show, 7
And they sounded fabulous.

uso show, 9
Look at my own personal Rosie the Riveter. (Lexi's on the left.) Aren't they darling?

We packed the aviation museum. My Grandma even seemed to have fun, and why not? It's her music, her time and my heart softened, watching her mouth all the words.

(The orchestra that accompanied the girls was made up of seniors. Seniors that kicked butt.)

I want to tell you more. I want to, I do. But I am starting to ramble and my time is up.

[Crazed mother closes her laptop and runs this way and that and thanks God school is almost over...]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

happy father's day

Happy father's day to my two favorite guys. You make our worlds go round.

me and dad
This is one of my favorite pictures, taken in 1971 at the Isaacsons' pond across the street from my parents' house. Yep, that's my Dad - look at how young he was - and me, when I was 5 months old.

first day
And this is my guy; the kids' hero in Disneyland last April. ox

Friday, June 13, 2008

I conquer technology* and the sun makes an appearance

You mean all I had to do was complain about the weather and out my incompetent home ownership ways for the sun would come out in the afternoon? Well, let me show you my computer room...heh.
The sun did come out about the time the bus rolled up and we raced straight to the park. The kids rode their scooters and marched around the wetlands directly behind this structure, catching tadpoles and filling their shoes with muck.

I walked the swampy perimeter, listening to the wind move through the reeds. My kids love being in the mud; country living would suit them - especially Lexi - just fine.

It's how I grew up. I spent countless hours alone with my thoughts, pretending I was the new girl in My Side of the Mountain, foraging for myself on the back of our 2 acres.

I think my family needs Greg to have a shorter commute, and we'll need lots of community when we move, so we will stay 'in town'. I was just discussing this with one of my favorite people over coffee just that morning.

But I can't deny I reconsidered briefly while I watched the kids stumble through the grass, mud slushed up their shins, begging for just a few more minutes in the quiet.

*I had to utilize the FAQs at T-mobile to upload the picture from my phone. I'm so ashamed, and completely unhip when it comes to texting. *sigh*

Thursday, June 12, 2008

you'll be tempted to mock or how we still haven't finished painting our house

Not a day has passed since we began painting LAST NOVEMBER, that I haven't thought about finishing this project.And our neighbors love us.

We aren't experiencing a heatwave.

My trees are soaked; the house too.

I'm rethinking swimming lessons at our favorite outside pool in t-minus 11 days. At least until we get into July and winter finally ceases.

Could I wrangle up VBS at this late date? Maybe we could build an ark and float to Eugene...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008



What a world it would be if all cocktails came with an orchid...
(Yes, I plucked it right off his mai tai.)
Sober, good fun? Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, June 09, 2008

moody much

Mrs. G hit it on the head: A lot of us fatigued. Tired. On the edge. This was supposed to represent my current mood, which rolls up and down like a hot summer day at Magic Mountain. It's hard to read - too small - but I guess you get the idea.

I'll be humming along fine, packing and undoing my near hoarding ways, and then Bam! Boohoo! Or I'm having a delightful time in the rain with my kids at their school carnival and then Shazam! I'm in the shower at 10:04 pm, sobbing because I am going to miss my friends tre-mend-ously when I go.

I'm fine during dinner on the town; exhausted the next day.

I guess this is just life, right now. Emotional and tired and writing lame posts, while I wait for school to get out.

I'm so ready.

Friday, June 06, 2008

atta boy

Greg has worked hard all year. Gets up at 4 am. Doesn't complain.

(You know I would. I always feel guilty when he kisses me goodbye and I tumble back to sleep.)

Now, a treat:

He made the Achievers club - an annual company vacation - and we are headed to Bermuda this August.

So, congratulations honey. Well done. And thank you.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

hobbit feet


I came across these last night, while I was cleaning out my closet. This was my meager attempt at constructing furry feet for Halloween years ago, when Zack was Frodo.

(I see you judging our utter geekitude.)

I'm better today. I'm giving a) snuggling on the couch with both kids after school while watching a rotten (my take) movie they loved and b) writing yesterday's post, credit.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

rough day

He studies the calendar and adores the clock.

There is no 'around' or 'about' in his world. He has been needling me, interrogating me over our plans as the school year rounds out.

I swear I can hear his mind going through the paces, forming a circle that makes him feel whole and secure.

And I want him to be safe and sound in his body and his soul, but these questions wear me down. I answer and write things on the calendar, to ease his anxiety, but he doesn't let up.

I don't know how to parent him through these quirks, these obsessions. (I have plenty of neurotic behaviors, but this need to control an itinerary is not one of them.)

So, he begins the day, hounding me. Greg is long gone, motoring down the road at 4:30 and I feel like I did when they were just babies. Like such an amateur.

Why can't I fix this incessant need to discuss times, dates, plans?

I have a sneaking suspicion that if moving has got me a little unhinged - Ms. Spontaneous - the blank canvas next month must really be bothering him.

I apologize for being snappy. I am sad right now; some weeks are just harder than others.

The bus pulls away and the sob comes and I promise myself that I will figure out a way to get Zack through this move.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

oh for goodness sake

Now that I've taken down the man, I'm ready to hip hop over into a happier place, where bunnies frolic. Or at least I'm ready to point out a few things this week that have made my wee little cup runneth over:

  1. The elderly gentleman, wearing a dapper hat and mossy green sweater, carrying a humongous bouquet out of Trader Joe's. Wonder who he gave them to...
  2. Lexi's first attempt at the javelin, which was less than stellar. Yet, she chuckled about it. What a gift it is, to laugh at yourself when you try something new.
  3. Blogs. Bloggers. Don't like the word itself - it's dopey - but knowing this community will be here no matter where I go makes me feel brave and adventurous. (You will be here, right? I'm fragile.)
  4. Standing in the 'is it November?' rain this morning, waiting for the library to open with some pudgy little preschoolers in raincoats and their proud Grandmas. (Does that pink and brown number come in my size, half-pint?)
  5. Meeting Greg at a locally owned pizza joint last night, after the track meet. Tired. Soaked. HUNGRY. (I had to shake Zack off my arm. Methinks he thought it was a breadstick.) Happy.

What about you? How's your school's ending, schedule-crunching, summer's almost here soul? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I'm really not in such a bad mood, but...

I will have to be brief. Rant and run. But I can't stop thinking about an interaction I had this morning at the school.

I was just finishing up the task at hand when a staff member needed help doing some rather easy, but administrative type of stuff for the track meet today. The stuff nobody wants to do, but must be done for things to run smoothly.

At first it looked like another parent had it covered and I was ready to jet. Then I heard him explain that he frankly isn't very good with details and someone else should do it. No really. Please, take it away from me.

Ok, he didn't say that, but this is what I heard in his tone:

Now, I don't mind doing mind-numbing work sometimes. I don't mind lending a hand. I appreciate seeing working parents volunteering, because I know firsthand how difficult it can be.

But please, drop the complimentary 'I bet you are good at this' crap next time. Drop that grin. (Good thing you didn't pat my head too.) I'm not buying it.

I know a lame excuse when I hear it.

(Wait. Have you been talking to my kids?)