...that it is important to make a gauge swatch when knitting? I never thought so before, but I just ripped out the sweater I started and half finished on the plane. Hours of work unraveled in minutes. Urgh!
...the Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats?
...Napolean gave his Empress a beautiful diamond necklace upon the birth of their first child? (Um, hello? Audrey took 36 hours to be born! My friend Ann told her husband she was expected a little blue box in the bassinet when they got home from the hospital. Smart girl.)
...that this is made of quartz?
...diamonds come in yellow, blue, pink, and even red?
...the Washington Monument is 555 feet tall and made of marble?
...it took us 26 paces to walk each side of the Washington Monument--104 to go the whole way round?
...it gets really hot in Washington, D.C., in the summer?
We went to the Natural History Museum today and then walked down to the Washington Monument and then here, where, and everywhere to get back to the hotel.
We are in Washington, DC for the next little while. Toben has been working with DCLA, an evangelism training event for students. This weekend is the DC part, so we all came along for fun. Toben's mostly working, but did take a walk with us to the White House earlier this afternoon. And we all had dinner together (more in a minute).
I love being in a big city. It always reminds me of living in Paris after we graduated from college. I get a crick in my neck from looking up at the buildings so much! I love that all of the old buildings are engraved with their names, so you can say, "Look! It's the Treasury" or "Hey! There's the Department of the Interior."
Toben left us at the White House and the girls and I found a shady spot at the Ellipse (a circle-shaped grass park) in front of the White House. The kids ran around (so much for being soooo tired and unable to walk any further!) and then we sat and worked on our travel journals. I love seeing the kinds of things the girls want to include. Audrey made a list of all the things she'd do if she were president, and Emma drew a wonderful picture of a cherry tree in bloom.
Tonight we met my Aunt Judy for dinner near the National Cathedral. My dad just happened to be in town so he came too. I've not spent much time with Aunt Judy in my lifetime, but I really like her and think we could be great friends. Her schedule is kind of packed while we're here, but I'm hoping we can get together again to hang out. She's part of this great artists' co-op called The Torpedo Factory. I'm excited to go check it out--online for sure, and maybe even in person.
After dinner, we went to the National Cathedral. Judy sings in the Cathedral Choral Society and they were rehearsing for a concert on Saturday. So we wandered around and listened for a while. I would love to go to a big church like this; we may have to see about going to a service on Sunday.
Tomorrow I think we're off to the American History Museum to see Dorothy's ruby slippers...
Arriving at the American Girls Place: Lauren and Molly, Emma and Nellie, Jen and Samantha, Audrey and Kirsten. (We met four other girls and three other moms there.)
Lunch at the cafe--with special seats for the dolls too! The napkin rings were pony holders to bring home.
Dessert--and flowers to keep for our hair.
Then it was time to shop and see all the neat stuff. Both Terri and I decided that even though we're not the target audience, we'd like to start collecting dolls for ourselves too. (Josephina's telescope really works and Samantha's ice cream maker really makes ice cream!)
We saw the show and bought the CD so we can sing along. Plus the CD has all the dialog from the show too.
At the end of the day, the girls decided they'd all done pretty well! One girl walking by said, "I wish I had a mom like theirs!" And another girl said, "Look at all of the stuff they got, Mom!" Her mother quickly pointed out how many girls there were to merit so many bags.
We did pretty well. We'd decided beforehand that the girls could each get a new doll (Jess for Audrey and Samantha for Emma). They've been saving up for a long time and were able to buy the dolls themselves. So except for a couple of little things I bought for the girls (Coconut the dog for Audrey and Licorice the cat for Emma) we stuck to what we said we'd do.
My mother always told me to make a good list and stick to it when grocery shopping so you don't go over budget. It works pretty well for the American Girl Place too!
We spent the day at the American Girl Place that recently opened in LA. Wow! It was wonderful. There were eight girls and five moms; we ate lunch at the cafe, saw the show, and shopped till we dropped.
(And got stuck in yukky LA traffic--17.1 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes.)
We had so much fun, but I am worn out and definitely ready for bed. More tomorrow--and pictures to boot...
P.S. Think we sold our house!
I'm working my way through the Newberry Medal winners. The Newberry Medal is "presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published during the preceding year." My library has a bookmark with all the winners listed, so I'm checking them off as I go.
This afternoon we ran to the library to return some books and I picked up three new books. I read The Midwife's Apprentice this afternoon (written by Karen Cushman, won the Newberry Medal in 1996).
I'm a big fan of midwifery, having had a midwife for the birth of both of my girls. I surprised most of the people who know me by going to a midwife, but I had some friends who had had their babies at home with a midwife and their experiences encouraged me to consider a midwife when I found out I was pregnant.
I loved my appointments--they lasted at least an hour and we spent lots of time just hanging out and talking about babies, delivery, life, love, pregnancy, and a host of other things. By the time I was ready to deliver, Jeanie knew me so well, knew Toben so well, and knew us as a couple so well that I felt completely safe and at ease. Having a midwife (and her apprentices) is like having a bunch of motherly women care for you and do everything in their power to make you feel safe, comfortable, and loved.
Despite all that, Audrey ended up being born in the hospital. After about 30 hours of labor we were getting nowhere fast. I was exhausted and discouraged and was afraid that I would be too worn out to deliver. I had some drugs, got some sleep, and she was born after 36 hours of labor. It was the right decision for us, but I regretted that she wasn't born at home like we'd planned.
Emma was born at home--in just 8 hours. Being at home, having a shorter labor, and no drugs hurt a lot less than my previous labor. (I found the drugs made me feel slightly out of control, like my body wasn't really mine.) She was born at 8 p.m., everyone was gone by 10 p.m., and we all snuggled into bed--a family of four. It was wonderful.
I've often thought it would be fun to be a midwife--or a midwife's apprentice. To love on women and care for them and encourage them during such a wonderful stage of life. (Can you tell I loved being pregnant?)
All that's to say, The Midwife's Apprentice was another great read.
I read a great book today--Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson. It was written in 1980 and won the Newberry Medal.
I was drawn to it because of the title. Having spent this spring studying The Patriarchs with Beth Moore, Jacob and Esau and their story is pretty familiar. This book is about twin sisters--the older who feels like she lives in her younger sister's shadow. It takes place on a small island on the Chesapeake Bay and the writing matches the setting beautifully.
Here's a quote that I loved:
But I had never caused my parents "a minute's worry." Didn't they know that worry proves you care? Didn't they realize that I needed their worry to assure myself that I was worth something?
If you've not read it, go get a copy.
...my brain would be rotting. (Something I tell the girls when they watch too much TV!) Because after packing boxes this morning, I have sat on the couch almost all afternoon and watched television. Okay, so I did knit on my current project and therefore I was somewhat productive.
What Not to Wear was on TLC all afternoon. What is it about makeover shows that I just love so much? Some of the transformations this afternoon were amazing--the women were hardly recognizable afterward because they looked so much better. I think it would be such fun to go through that process. Of course, I don't think I'm a fashion disaster and would be sad to throw away all of my current clothes, but I think it would be fun to learn what would look best on me. And to have someone teach me to do makeup would be fun. (I'm pretty low maintenance and don't usually wear lots of makeup. I'd love to learn to do something really fun and dramatic!)
And of course I love Stacy's hair. Why did I cut my hair short instead of cutting it like hers? It was totally long enough. Oh well, it'll grow.
Audrey and I did make Frozen S'mores today. Yum...time for dessert!
Graham cracker halves
Chocolate ice cream, softened
Spread half of the graham cracker halves with marshmallow creme. Top with another graham cracker half spread with chocolate ice cream. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets and freeze until hard.
Tonight is one of those nights when I don't know what to write about. So here are some random thoughts...
We had our first showing today. Haven't heard any feedback yet.
We took Daisy in the car with us when we had to get out of the house for the showing and she didn't throw up on me. (She hates the car.) We took her to the mall and got the kids frozen bananas and watched people.
We finished redoing the kitchen ceiling today. Can't believe we waited this long--it makes the kitchen look HUGE. (The ceiling had a dropped grid filled with those plastic sheets to cover the long flourescent lights mounted to the lovely high ceiling.)
The school the kids have gone to while we've lived in San Diego is going through massive changes and the lower school principal has resigned. I'm stunned. And I'm thinking that if we weren't moving, we might have to seriously consider whether we'd go back to the school.
I reread Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today--and I'd completely forgotten (if you haven't read the book and don't want to know the ending, skip this part) that Dumbledore died at the end. How could I have forgotten that? I must not have been paying attention when I read it last summer. And now I'm really ready for the next book.
I started packing today--and boxes are neatly stacked in the garage. I packed the china, the coat closet, a bunch of books, and a bunch of stuff from my craft cupboards in the garage. I think I'll pack my tea cup collection tomorrow and the crystal--and whatever else I can think of that we won't be using for a while.
M*A*S*H is on--Henry died last night and Frank is in command. Honeycutt has just arrived and I'm going to go say prayers with the girls, grab my knitting, and watch M*A*S*H for the next hour or so.
Oh I had such good intentions to pack up all the china and crystal today. And to pack up the coat closet and several other things that we're not using and won't really need until fall or winter. But instead I sat in my comfy chair and reread a Harry Potter book. It was much nicer to escape to Hogwarts than to think about all the things to be done.
I have friends who read all kinds of "important" books. Not me. I do read to learn new things, but mostly I love to read to escape to another time and place... (Truth be told, I love trashy romance novels--cotton candy books. I really try to avoid them for the most part--just like real cotton candy. It's fun every once in a while, but you can't really live on it and it's not really good for you!)
The sign went up in the yard today and I'm expecting to have to clear out some tomorrow for showings. I've instituted a new rule--everyone up, dressed, fed, hair done, house clean by 9 a.m. That way we won't have to scramble if the phone rings. We'll see how it goes in the morning!
Phew! I've made it to 100. So in honor of that here's what I have about 100 of...
1. Buttons--in a big, glass jar just like my mom's button jar
2. Children's books
3. Adult books (even though I think I prefer reading the children's books)
4. Knitting needles--my mom bought me a wonderful needle holder filled with vintage needles and I'm pretty sure I have at least 50 pairs of needles--thus 100 individual ones!
5. Scraps of fabric in my stash--but not for long; I have to sort through my fabric stash tomorrow
6. Knick-knacks--from little sheep figures and wooden eggs to rooster figures and glass medicine bottles I love having little "treasures" everywhere you look
7. Photographs--yep, I can see 48 from right where I'm sitting!
8. Yarn skeins/balls--I bought more today; they squish when you pack them and really don't weigh very much!
9. Straws--in all kinds of bright colors from IKEA; so fun to drink Coke from!
10. Happy memories!
Things I have a lot of, but not quite 100...
1. Tea cups
2. Vintage aprons
3. Nail polish
4. Vintage cards/postcards
5. Spools of thread
6. Boxes--how could we move and not have lots and lots of boxes?
7. Smurfs--remember them?
8. Christmas decorations
10. Charms on my bracelet--I think I'm up to 55
Things I don't have and am very glad I don't...
1. Precious Moments figurines
2. A job other than being a stay-at-home mom
Things I don't have, but wish I did...
1. A complete set of vintage Trixie Belden hardbacks
2. Beadboard in my living room (well, my new living room, wherever that may be)
3. A beautiful singing voice
We spent the day at the San Diego County Fair. Audrey's Brownie troop raised the flags this morning, and then we saw goats, milked a cow, watched pigs race, found Audrey's artwork, looked at hobby collections, were amazed by high-diving pirates, ate roasted corn on the cob, and generally had a ball.
I love the fair.
We don't do rides--we never have and the girls know we just don't and so they don't complain (too much!). Instead, we spend lots of time looking at animals and gardens and knitted things and wandering through the exhibition halls.
Last year we bought the most amazing markers that change colors, erase, and are fantastic for secret messages. This year, we bought a set of nail polish pens with fine tips for all kinds of nail art. There are ten different colors and when we run out of polish, we can refill them with our own polish. (That helped me get over the price and decide they were worth it!) We're pretty girly around here and love to paint our fingers and toes. I usually use a toothpick to make flowers and ladybugs and stars and stripes--these are going to work so much better.
I'm definitely seeing pumpkins and turkeys and Christmas trees and snowflakes and Valentine hearts and more ladybugs and butterflies and flowers in our future. Probably some puppy dog prints and happy faces too. What fun!
I could have spent lots more time wandering around, but by 2 o'clock we all had sore, tired feet and were ready to come home and get out of the sun. As soon as my nails dry--had to try out the markers for French tips--I'm off to bed.
Hmm...I'm getting up there and need to start thinking of something for my 100th post. Hmm...
I'm cleaning the oven with some "fume free" cleaner and the fumes are making my head feel funny, so if this doesn't make any sense, I'm going to go with the oven cleaner fumes as an excuse.
Bought many, many moving boxes today and came up with a list for what to pack and when. This week's going to be the china, games, movies, and maybe some winter clothes. And we'll have a sign in the yard by the end of the week, an open house on Sunday, and oh my, we're really moving soon.
I spent the morning painting interior doors, dining room window trim, and wondering why we've waited until we're moving to do these kinds of projects. Next house, I'm doing what I want to do right away. Definitely.
Here's me (with my mouth wide open) and my sister and my dad, circa 1977-ish. We're on a sailboat, probably sailing from Long Beach to Catalina. I have hazy sorts of memories from this day.
We also went sailing in the Bahamas the summer before the fifth grade. That trip I remember very clearly.
Just before that vacation, we drove from Colorado to Alabama and stopped mid-afternoon each day to swim in hotel pools and learn to float for long periods of time in case we fell off the boat and had to wait for it to come back around to pick us up. We learned to float a couple of ways, but the one I remember is the dead man's float.
We also dived for room keys (remember when hotels actually had keys?) and practiced snorkeling and tried to tread water like Dad. He just moves his arms back and forth very slowly and kicks every once in a while. I (still) madly kick my arms and legs like I'm having some sort of a fit in order not to go under.
Dad taught Audrey to swim last summer at the lake and I was reminded of all those afternoons in the pool with him. She wouldn't even get a drop of water on her face before the trip, but Dad had her jumping off the side of the pool and swimming with her face in the water by the end of the week.
Thanks for being such a great dad and papa. I love you!
In between cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, running to Goodwill, and having lunch at Chick-Fil-A, we played airplane in the backyard. I think if I did this everyday I would have the most amazingly sculpted legs!
Just look at my beautiful kids. Do you ever just look at your kids with totally new eyes, completely amazed at how incredible they are? Something about the end of school makes me realize how much they've grown and changed and learned in the past year. Time goes so fast and it makes me want to pay closer attention each moment, instead of just cruising through my days without really noticing all the wonderful things that make each of them special and unqiue and such a priceless gift. (Okay, so there were some cliches in there, but cliches are cliches because they are true! And I've been a little blue lately and I'm feeling just a little bit sappy. Can you tell?)
We went to get manicures and pedicures first thing with Terri and her girls to celebrate the beginning of summer. Pretty toes make me feel like summer.
Two different moving companies came today to bid on our move to Colorado. It was rather eye-opening. When we moved to California from Colorado almost three years ago, Toben's company paid for the move and I don't recall ever knowing any of the details.
First, moving is expensive.
Second, despite downsizing when we moved here, then getting rid of LOTS more stuff, we still own a lot of stuff. Fourteen thousand pounds of stuff, to be exact.
I worked through this pile of ironing the other day and watched several episodes of Little House on the Prairie while getting it done.
If you haven't seen Little House on the Prairie for a while, the show begins with a covered wagon at the top of a hill. A covered wagon pulled by two horses and holding everything the Ingalls family owned, and with room for five people to boot. (It's on the Hallmark channel for a couple of hours everyday if you need a refresher!)
How did they do it? Of course they didn't own hundreds of books. They didn't own a superbly comfortable, most wonderful king-size bed in the world like we do. They didn't have everyday dishes for twelve, china for ten, and a box of dishes just for the Christmas season. They didn't own couches, or a dining room table, kitchen table, two desks, or a lawn mower.
As I recall they owned Pa's fiddle, a change or two of clothes for each person, Jack the dog, an iron spider for cooking, a tin plate and cup for each person, Ma's school books, an oil lamp, and a family Bible. Laura and Mary each had a doll, and Ma only owned one knick knack--the china shepherdess. (Somehow I think Ma must have had some sort of a fabric and yarn stash, because...well...who doesn't?!)
Somehow I can't imagine it, though it does sound so wonderfully simple and appealing. So I walk through the house, looking for what else I can donate or get rid of, and I just don't know where to start. I've already culled the obvious stuff--where to go next?
And then I remind myself of something I say a lot: that choosing a simple life isn't always easy. That some of the choices are hard. And so I think the Christmas dishes may need to go, and perhaps some more books. But not until tomorrow...
...to my pity party (or at least to come and wash windows with me). Getting the house ready to sell means that every time I turn around I notice something else that needs to be done. Washing windows, touching up paint, removing spider webs from the eaves...you name it.
It's not really all that bad, I suppose, but I haven't been feeling well (Toben had a touch of stomach flu last week and I think I caught the tail end of it yesterday afternoon) and everything always seems a million times worse when your head is pounding and your tummy hurts.
But I've had a bagel for dinner and think I'm on the mend--and I even spent several hours cleaning this afternoon in preparation for our realtor to come and take pictures tomorrow.
On that note, I think I've found a new girl job in our family--doing all the work to get the house ready to sell. I'm not really bitter about it; I do kind of see it as my job since it involves most of the chores I usually do--just more intense and all at once.
I think I'm feeling a little blue too because I've spent lots of time this week with friends and I'm sad to think of leaving them. I'm trying to keep a smile on for Audrey, who has suddenly decided she's not moving with us. She's worried about making new friends and not knowing anyone at her new school. I've been praying that God would pick a special friend for her--someone to reach out to her and introduce her to other girls and to make her feel right at home.
What a day! I spent just about the whole day with Audrey at school for her end of the year party. It was loads of fun, but I'm tired! We stopped by Borders before having dinner with some friends for a birthday (Happy Birthday, Dave!) and I got a bunch of new magazines. So as much as I'd love to write something witty and clever, I'm off to wash my face, brush my teeth, take out my contacts, get on my new cowgirl and Indian princess jammies, and get into bed.
Wade, Kristen, and Ava left early this morning to catch their plane back to Denver. So far, I've only found one thing that they forgot--Ava's pink vest. (I'll mail it, Kristen.) The airline didn't even hassle them for filling their suitcases with rocks from the beach, putting them over the 50 pound limit!
I made huge bran muffins with tons of raisins for breakfast after they left. (Yes, I ate the two missing ones!)
Then we put Emma's room back together. She's very happy to be tucked into her bed again after giving up her room for guests.
The garage first thing this morning.
Audrey and Emma watched cartoons while I worked on cleaning out the garage and started the first of many, many loads of laundry.
The garage just before lunch and just after one trip to Goodwill.
Audrey and Emma having a Happy Meal picnic in the back yard. (I took the picture through the screen because they were getting along so nicely that I didn't want to mess it up!)
The garage by early afternoon and once more packing up the back of the Expedition for Goodwill.
Audrey and I also went through all of her clothes, trying things on and putting things that no longer fit into Emma's closet. It feels so good to sort through things and cross jobs off the list. (I made a huge moving list today and assigned dates to all of my tasks. Have I mentioned before how much I love to make lists?)
The girls are in bed--clean and ready for the last week of school. The car is even back in the garage tonight. Phew!
Here's the recipe for my bran muffins--actually, it's one of my mother's recipes. You keep the batter in the fridge and just bake as many as you want. I love hot muffins, right out of the oven and slathered with Brummel & Brown. Mmm...
Bran Muffins (Refrigerator Mix)
Cream well: 1/2 cup shortening, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1 tsp. salt
Beat in: 2 eggs, 2 cups milk, 1 cup boiling water
Add: 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 3 cups bran buds cereal
Then add: 2 cups raisins, dates, dried fruit, nuts, or a combination of such.
Makes 3 quarts...countless muffins. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
Bake in greased muffin tins for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
The purge has begun. I'm determined to get rid of stuff before we move.
I cleaned out my closet, my shoes, and my bookcases today. And I sorted through my many cookbooks. I'm ready for a Goodwill run tomorrow! I still need to sort through the wardrobe filled with all of my shorts and sweaters and tank tops--maybe tomorrow. And then there's all my crafting stuff--always hard to cull through.
Luckily I've done some major purging of toys over the past year as we've moved the girls from two rooms into one and then back into two again. With the kids, I think it's mostly a matter of sorting through clothes. Poor Audrey doesn't really have many clothes since she wears a uniform to school, so I'll actually have to add to her closet! (The school we're applying to in Denver doesn't wear uniforms.) I went through kids books and movies last week, so that's done.
I need to sort through kitchen gadgets too. I own things like dehydrators and ice cream makers and snack sandwich makers and smoothie makers and tortilla makers--stuff I don't use very often, but like to have anyway. But some of it hasn't been used since we moved into this house almost three years ago, so it's time to get tough and get rid of it.
In a weird sort of way, I'm actually excited to get rid of stuff. I look at some of it and wonder, What was I thinking when I bought this? It makes me want to never go to the mall again! I used to have this compulsion to buy things just because they were on a good sale--but I've gotten over it, I think, and got rid of most of it before we moved to California. I'm hoping that this purge will get rid of the last of it!
In one week, we'll have just finished our first day of summer vacation. I'll have to start thinking of something fun to celebrate--other than Emma's graduation from pre-k and the barbeque following. Maybe we'll wait to celebrate on Saturday; I should probably ask the girls what they want to do.
We are taking a quick summer vacation before we move at the end of July. Toben has business in DC the first week of July, so we're all headed east across the country. I'm excited to go to all the Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, and so on--and most of those things are free, which will be good considering the moving estimates I've been getting lately. We're also going to go to Pennsylvania to visit some of Toben's family at the end of our trip. I've only been once before and am excited to go back to Amish country with the girls. (Toben's family is not Amish, but they live near the Big Valley if I've got my geography correct.)
I'm thinking that instead of taking toys and such along, we're each going to create a travel scrapbook of sorts to record our trip. I've bought a bunch of stickers and little markers, and will dig through my craft supplies for glue sticks, scissors, and the like. I have two old digital cameras that I'll set up for the girls, and with some watercolors and colored pencils I think we can come up with something fun. We'll collect maps and museum brochures, and cut them up to paste in our books.
I haven't come up with the right format for our books--I can't decide if I need blank pages that will go in a book (good for kids who make mistakes) or if I should get blank, wire bound journals and then just rip out the extra pages at the end of the trip. I'm leaning toward the journal/photo albums. We'll be gone for about 12 days, so a small journal would have plenty of pages for each day of the trip. I figure we can find a Target or Longs or something and go print out our pictures at the end of each day and include those too.
Totally switching subjects now...
I finished the last batch of edits for my book today. So I think I'm really done. Steffany (my editor) and I emailed back and forth a bunch today--more than we have in the past--and discovered that we are definitely kindred spirits. We "chatted" about how much we love Anne (of Green Gables) and our favorite parts of all the books in the series. Isn't it fun to find a friend out of the blue?
It's been fun to spend so much time with my sister this week. Her husband has been in training classes and when he's not in class, he and Toben have been playing lots of golf--so Kristen and I have spent most of this week together.
We are typical of most sisters, I suppose. We went through phases of hating each other, followed quickly by loving each other. Well, we always loved each other--we just didn't always like each other!
As adults I think we get along really well--even though there are definitely those things we don't really "get" about the other. The details of how we live our lives and approach things are pretty different, but underneath it all we're headed in the same direction and toward the same goal. We just take different routes. (Theirs usually involves camping; ours not so much!) It feels like we've made a lot of progress together because we can acknowledge our differences without it being such a big deal or getting defensive.
This afternoon Kristen did a photoshoot for Terri's family. I'm just amazed that Kristen can see things in a way that I can't. We can look at the same thing, click the button at the same time, and her photo just captures something special that mine doesn't. I don't know how to put my finger on it exactly. It's more than the fact that she has fancy equipment with names that don't mean anything to me--watching her take pictures is just watching someone do something they were made to do. I suppose that's one reasons I know for sure that she's so good; she makes it look easy and effortless.
Kristen also took some pictures of Terri and me. They turned out great--and I'm so glad we thought of doing them. I realize that I don't have pictures of all of my friends here--I think I need to make sure I get some taken...
Every day it becomes a little more real that we're moving away. We signed a contract with a realtor last night to get the house on the market, which feels like the "no turning back" point to me. I am excited about a new house and a new beginning, but every day I feel sad about leaving.
We went down to La Jolla today and saw the seals. "This might be the last time," I think. Yesterday we went to IKEA, and I thought, "This might be the last time." Oh, I know we'll be back so it won't really be the last time, but it kind of feels like it.
And then I think about all the little things I'm going to miss:
Trader Joes popsicles
incredible Mexcian food
my hydrangea that is blooming so huge right now
the orange trees blossoming in the back yard
the hot tub I got Toben for his birthday last year
my favorite little shops in Solana Beach's Design District
walking down the 101 in Encinitas
my little fern grotto around the fish pond
my favorite knit shop
...and so many other seemingly small things that added all together seem huge
And I can't even begin to think about the people I'll miss, because then I'll just lose it.
We've decided to move back to Colorado at the end of July. We've been living here in San Diego for almost three years and we absolutely love it. In fact, we just recently decided we'd say no to a job because we wanted to stay here.
Toben's job is changing to only part-time, so we need to go. We're going to move to Denver, where my sister and her family, and my parents live. We've not lived in Denver before, but know the city pretty well having lived in Colorado Springs on and off for years.
The good news is that Toben will be working from home, and only 20 hours a week--and we can live at the same level we live here because housing is so much cheaper. I'm excited to have him home all the time and for him to be able to pursue some other interests with so much free time.
My head is spinning a little--all of this happened within about a three-day period last week and there are so many details to moving. It's been good to have Kristen here because it's kept me occupied. I do feel good about the move--as hard as it is to leave such wonderful, dear friends--and am a little surprised by how un-worried I am. It's not like me not to obsess and worry and try to control every little detail. I must be growing up... :)
Gotta go put the kids to bed; we're expecting a realtor in a few minutes to talk about getting our house on the market (first step to doing anything else and making plans).
We headed to the beach today for a picnic while Toben and Wade played golf at Torrey Pines. It was kind of overcast earlier today, so the beach was pretty much empty--just the way I like it.
Ava scooted around (leaving a trail in the sand like a snail), Audrey built castles, Emma played in the water, Kristen took pictures. It was wonderful.
We ate yummy dinner outside and the kids have all gone to bed, so the house is nice and quiet. Kristen and I are going to watch a movie while the guys clean clubs, but first I'm off for a bowl of ice cream.
P.S. The carpet finally came today and it looks terrific!
We had our Sunday dinner this afternoon outside under the big ficus tree. (We ate breakfast outside this morning too--eggs, bacon, waffles, and biscuits. Mmmm...)
We ate pot roast and oven roasted potatoes (I could live on these alone!) and steamed vegetables. And we drank fresh lemonade that Kristen and the girls squeezed this morning (from lemons off my tree!). Note the umbrella and flamingo straws!
Emma ate four or five helpings of roast and her muscles are getting stronger by the minute from all that protein.
And now to change subjects entirely...
I wore french braids today after being inspired at the beauty school the other day. We took our Brownie troop to the beauty school for hair and nails after school on Friday (have I already blogged about this? I'm getting old and I can't remember things, so if I have, just ignore me!) to celebrate the end of the year. It was so much fun! The girls got elaborate, amazing hairdos and beautiful nail polish and had a ball. One of the girls got her hair braided like this, so I decided to copy it--especially since it's been hot and I didn't want to point the blow dryer at my head for 20 minutes this morning.
...today was walking on the beach this morning watching the girls collect rocks and seashells and carrying my niece, Ava, in her baby sling while she slept. Add in my husband, my sister and her husband, and a trip to Pannikin after for breakfast, and it just doesn't get much better. (If only Mom and Dad were here too!)
Kristen took lots of wonderful pictures, but I can't get my computer to talk to her camera. I guess I've learned that just because she's an amazing photographer I shouldn't leave my camera at home!
Definitely pictures tomorrow.
When my sister was little, her favorite thing in the world was her Humpty Dumpty. She loved him so much and so well that he's in tatters--completely beyond repair.
So when I found this pattern in a craft book at the library (and I returned it today and forgot to note the title, oops!, something about fairy tale dolls) I knew I had to make it. I had some old pillow cases and sheets laying around that worked perfectly. I love reusing sheets, towels, and pillow cases to make other fun stuff.
And since Kristen is a little too old to carry Humpty around by his arm everywhere she goes (well, I suppose she could, but people might look at her funny!), I decided he's really for Ava.
He's waiting in their room and they should be arriving any minute now... Yippee!
I don't really remember this picture being taken. I was just about exactly two years old, and we were in Hawaii on vacation. It must have been a good vacation, because my sister came along nine months later if the story I remember is correct!
I do have snapshot kinds of memories starting with my mom being pregnant with Kristen. After that there are some short movie kinds of memories from preschool, and then it's pretty much a full-length feature film from Christmas of first grade on.
Most of my childhood memories are so happy and fun--I hope those are the kinds of memories Audrey and Emma remember when they grow up too.
If nothing else, they'll remember ponytails, because this is how we've all been wearing our hair lately!