Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Brain Purge

Once again, the blog gets the photo remains as I am knee deep in the midst of a "must use previously unseen photos" scrapbooking contest entry.

We had Grace's family birthday party at a local park this weekend after the 90 degree forecast sent me into a tizzy about fitting all of those people inside the house and hoping the air conditioner didn't explode. First, parties at the park are awesome and I may never have a party at my house again. I don't know what it is that makes the park swing/slide/running space better than the swing/slide/running space at home but it is better nonetheless. Next, Grace had an outrageously good birthday this year - an embarassment of riches actually. It is a good thing that she is a child who will actually enjoy and play with every single thing and wear every single item of clothing (both of which milestones she accomplished before the end of the weekend.) If there is anything I can say definitively about our Gracie, it is that she is a child who really knows how to play.

My brother is moving to Alaska. In almost every regard I think this is awesome news. I am sad that we never made it to New Mexico to visit his earth ship. (That is the kind of house that he lives in, it's a real designation, I swear. He has lived completely off the grid since he graduated from college.) I hope that if he ends up marrying his long-time girlfriend, they will return to Taos for the wedding and we can go then. As I said, I am mostly thrilled that he is moving to Alaska where he got hired for his dream job thanks to the efforts of one of his best friends. So why is it that I had a nightmare on Saturday about his impending move? I woke absolutely broken hearted that he was moving so far away.

Yesterday we went to Kennywood Park for Justin's company picnic. It is the first time we've gone together as a family. It will be remembered in my scrapbooks as one of the best days ever. Something magical happens to my children when they walk through the gates at an amusement park. They cease whining. They cease bickering. They are filled with wonder and delight and pure happiness. When we tell them at the beginning of the day that they will be able to pick one sweet treat before we go home, they listen and don't nag all day asking for something from every stand we pass. I thought before that this was the Disney effect but it's clearly just the amusement park effect. My favorite memory of the day... Grace picked the Whip It as her favorite ride. She rode it five times, throwing her arms in the air and squealing with glee every single time her car "whipped." Her joy was so infectious that she had the male teenage ride attendant laughing out loud. Bystanders watching their own children on the ride were laughing along with her. It's the kind of memory that deserves one of those "priceless" commercials.

And finally, an update on my endeavor to get in shape. This is week 5 of the effort and I have faithfully made it to the gym about four times every week. I can't say I am seeing a lot of progress on the scale (although that improved a little bit last week) but I am seeing progress in other ways - as in, the size of my tummy is visibly decreasing and a smaller pants size is in the near future. I don't like exercising any more than I did when I started this thing but I am finally in a place where I can start to see it as a permanent lifestyle change.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You can measure the chaos factor of my life

by how often I update this blog. I'm just not sure which is the precipitating chaotic factor - posting a lot (i.e. meaning I'm on the computer a lot) or life events.

My favorite cat has taken to curling up on my lap when I use the computer in the morning. He will be 13 years old this October so it's probably not surprising that he's decided to become a lap cat in his dodderage. For now though, I'm going to blame the chaos and my lack of ability to get things back under control on him. Because how can I do anything else when there is a soft warm cat purring on my lap?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Letterboxing misadventures

I have been totally caught up in work craziness over the last two weeks and rather than having the kids enjoy summer in our yard, they have been cooped up at daycare. In a way it felt like today was the first day of summer vacation all over again so I decided that we would go letterboxing.

Our previous attempts have been mixed. We found the first box with no problem but then missed the trail on the way out and ended up hiking several extra miles. Justin and the kids had no success at finding the second box on our list. We started the day with a mission to find 2 new boxes and another attempt at the one we couldn't find before.

The first two on our list were at Bushy Run Battlefield and the directions were simple. But... no box. We continued on to the second and found it with no trouble. We returned to the area of the first and searched. And searched and searched. We searched so hard that we eventually stumbled onto someone else's hidden geocache. There was not a leaf nor a daddy long legs left undisturbed by the time we gave up. This is when we should have given up for good.

We drove back to a park closer to our house to look for the last box. The directions were deliberately vague. Of course we took the wrong trail. What I didn't know was that we took the Heart Attack Hill trail. (Incidentally, why does every park in our town seem to have a Heart Attack Hill trail?) When we finished that trail, we took another wrong trail. Two hours later we stumbled back to the starting place, no box, sore feet, tired, thirsty and hungry.

But I bet the kids will sleep well tonight. And it was a fun adventure to share for the last day that my Gracie will be 4 years old.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I really really need to order new pictures

because I'm getting tired of scrapping fall and Christmas photos!

I'm about halfway through the edits for the next batch. But I have to be in the right mood to edit photos and that mood doesn't come around often.

And come to think of it, I haven't been taking many photos lately either. I'd better try to fix that today.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sometimes life just catches up with you

in so many ways. I told Justin last night that I felt like I was flattened by a steamroller over the last few days. But he made everything better. He's good at that.