Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mass Picture Dump, aka (no time to blog catch up but lots to show)

what we have here is; a failure to communicate. well sort of. i basically have ABOUT a month of photos from my iphone some of which are blog worthy, some of which are not. i have neither the time nor the energy to blog about all the wonderful events of the month and we are going out of town this weekend so i need to do this so i can breath and leave with only a million and one other things to do when i get back.

so here goes, these are the days of our lives.

Sean proclaims, 'show mom your superhero pose!' and nobody does it but him. Also, do not fear, my kids are not homeless. They just chose their own outfits and we failed to brush our hair this day.

the winner is!

a pose with our finished christmas tree

a much needed girls weekend in seattle with two of my besties

the beautiful newport bridge

beer flights at rogue brewery makes for a happy dude

alex watches the sea lions

all i can say here is this photo single handedly explains their individual personalities

ian (aka popeye) makes for a memorable family photo

nanna & poppop pose with the kids


ian doesn't buy my, 'pilgrims totally ate nutella and toast' bit.

dog and pooch spoon on the couch

pooch judges mom's thanksgiving week wine habit

love him when he's sleeping and relatively unable to injure himself

ian experiments with his sense of style and fails. as does mom's housekeeping duties. pay no attention to the background.

nola and alex running towards pinkalicious!

mommy daughter picture pose before the show

alex and mommy pose before pinkalicious. in true fashion, ian kills it with an epic photo bomb.

A chicken party with frozen turkey legs, barking feet, and a side of thankfulness

i offered to host our family thanksgiving this year. that meant 17 mouths to feed. i'm not gonna lie, hosting dinners for any number is a lot of work. hosting for the most important food day of the year is stressful! there is so much pressure around the food. there is no tree to 'oooh and awww' about and no gifts to make up for dry turkey and lumpy gravy.

i was happy to do it, and actually enjoy getting the house ready and setting the table. it was potluck, which helped so i was responsible for the guest of honor 'franklin the turkey' and my famous stuffing. well, i think it's famous anyway. the kids and i named the turkey franklin because he was deserving of a name. when you stand in line for a bird, practically throw out your back getting him into the cart and bathe him like a child in your sink, he needs a name. am i right?

tuesday night before the big day, i said farewell to work and took wednesday off. as i was leaving the building, saying my 'goodbye's' and 'happy thanksgivings', i may or may not have asked someone when i should take my turkey out of the freezer.

who knew this would create such an uproar.

'WHAT!?!' the woman answered. 'YOUR TURKEY IS IN THE FREEZER STILL?' she went on, 'OH MY, IT TAKES ATLEAST 5 DAYS IN THE FRIDGE TO THAW', and after she said these words, i panicked, 'YOU'RE SCREWED'.

It was two days before thanksgiving and it was already ruined. FAIL.

i drove directly to costco to hopefully stand in another long turkey line and save franklin for christmas but the turkey cooler was empty. there were a few scattered 9 pound organic dudes floating around in there but 9 pounds was not gonna cut it.

turns out, with a lot of time and effort you can thaw a turkey in 24 hours. thanks to google and the internets franklin was in for several cool water baths and would live in my kitchen sink for awhile.

on the day of, fingers crossed i spread open his little turkey legs and pulled out the still frozen innards, threw him into the oven a little early and prayed a little. after putting franklin in the baker, we called sean's family out east. it's always bitter sweet on these holidays to live so far from his family. when sean's mom said, 'happy thanksgiving!' to ian, he replied with, 'no, it's a chicken party'. we laughed and after hanging up the phone were sad that they weren't coming to our chicken party or that we weren't at theirs.

after 7 hours in the kitchen that morning, and when my feet started barking at me (even before the guests even arrived) i leaned up against the sink remembering how easy holidays used to be when all i had to do was come downstairs. happily saying, 'when's dinner gonna be ready mom' only to find her leaning up against the sink, eyes closed, praying the turkey turns out. then, i thanked god for giving me family, and so many of them to spend the holidays with. then i proceeded to be thankful for the food i was allowed to buy, the roof over my head to hold these people, the husband who feverishly moved tables and chairs in 4 different arrangements, and for my two kids who made everything harder and take longer. and let's not forget the bottle of wine i tapped into before i was even dressed.

i didn't manage to get many pictures of the event. none of the tables and they looked lovely (if I do say so myself). i didn't get a picture where we all stood around and passed a thankful jar, reading the notes that we all wrote, and I didn't even get a picture of the bird. well, all of it anyway. you can find parts of it in the two photos i did manage to capture. here are my two turkey's eating both of the turkey legs.

my darling husband who is always so great about helping cleanup tossed the 'thankful notes' so I can't write most of them out as i wished. but, the overall theme was an abundance of thanks for family, new beginnings, and strength of people and support. they were annonymous thoughts as we passed them around but there was no mistaking who the following belonged to.

'i'm thankful for my school' - alex

'i'm thankful for my bed' -caden

'i'm thankful for my whole family' -ian

'i'm thankful for mooris, my bink, (and a whole long list of named stuffed toys and blankets) - gage

Grandma JoAnne

i think it's when your older that you really start to appreciate your parents and your grandparents for what they brought to your life. as a parent now, i'm starting to see how that delay in appreciation can be problematic as i look at my 4 and 6 year old with pleading eyes to please acknowledge all that i do for them. i imagine that this get's harder still as they enter their demonstrative teenage years where (from what i hear and personal experience) can leave parents scratching their heads and wondering, 'why did we do this to ourselves?'

multiple times in a week i'm compelled to call my mom and apologize for one thing or another, or to thank her for the immense patience and guidance she gave me. oftentimes I do, to which she laughs and asks what happened.

there is another woman in my life who from the day i was born (as I was her first grandchild) gave all she had to this new endeavor of her life. her and my grandfather never failed to make myself, my sisters and my two cousins feel loved. i think it's something special when you look back and ask yourself, 'what did this person do for me that stood out the most' and the answer be not of monetary value or a tangible object. now, let me not confuse you, there was a lot of that. whether it be the contribution to my education, a trip to disney world and washington dc, the multiple camping excursions, or bailing me out of credit card debt after college with a low interest re-payment plan.

what these two people gave me most of all, was time. memories of berry picking in their backyard, reading books, and taking walks. i have fond memories of my grandparents in black butte where we spent a week each summer. my grandfather had a story he'd tell that ended with a loud hoot that would send us all laughing. he'd teach us how to play poker and every year brought a giant jar of coins for the cousins to split. my grandmother could be found sitting by the edge of the pool at their beach condo for HOURS as we swam with this patience i am now mustering as my kids want to do the same. always with a good and gracious attitude, all because she loved us.

my grandfather passed away a few years ago and what has been left in this family is both a giant hole as we miss his presence dearly as well as this huge bucket of fond memories. my kids still talk dearly of my grandfather and mention him always in the long list of people they love at bedtime. my grandmother who despite her loss continues to show great love, and strength to this family and although i don't always have the time to tell her or show her, i am in such incredible awe of her.

in november (i'm behind here), i hosted a birthday party in her honor. we had a theme this year encouraging everyone to dress up. due to it's proximity to halloween, the party was a hit and my grandma was so pleased. the kids and i made a homemade birthday sign. this was important to me, and important to teach my kids that the giving of time is one of life's true virtues. we took great care in designing each letter as i told them all of my favorite memories of grandma joanne.

i don't really have words to express how proud i am to have this woman as my grandmother. an experienced author of a parenting book , who also runs a parent support center here locally, who still takes her daily walk, frequents weekly poker nights, sings in her church choir and still has the energy for her 4 great grandchildren. HAPPY BIRTHDAY and i love you.