Thursday, July 25, 2013

Double Digits!!


The Big 1-0!!  I started writing letters to you when you turned six and can't believe it has already been 4 years.  I am so incredibly blessed to be your Mom! 

We had a hard time deciding on a birthday party idea until I saw this post on the 36th Avenue blog about an Art Birthday.  You are a natural artist and I knew you would just love it. 

It took us a while be we decided on the cupcake design from the Social Artworking website and then we found the matching decorations at Party City - Score!

You love to decorate and made this awesome sign with your sister.  You are a natural born party planner!!

Not to mention a natural born beauty!!

The girls arrived and we got to work.  I gave everyone the same colors and decorations but it was amazing to see how each masterpiece came to life a little bit differently. 

I loved listening in to the conversations too - the laughing and gabbing was so sweet!

You have always created without abandon.  You can turn an ordinary thing into something beautiful.  It is a gift you have and I hope you can always use it. 
 I think this was one of the best Birthday Parties you have ever had (not just because you little sister was away)!!

Did you know that the friendships you are making now could last forever?  I love this picture of you and Bay!

I always love that you are so close to your Daddy.  There is nothing that will replace him in your life - He is so proud of you too!!

So, happy 10th birthday my Little Bean.   Never stop spinning and singing and dancing! 
 Love, Mom

Why you ask?

I am working my way back through June and July.  A lot has happened in just two short months.  Mainly the HUGE decision to move back to the Damp part of the country - Washington. 

Why, most people ask? 
  • Did Justin get a job transfer?
  • Is your family there?
  • Do you know ANYONE there?
  • Can't stand the heat?
  • Did you know it rains a lot there?
  • How can you stand the gray!!
Mostly, I just shrug my shoulders and say we like it there.  Maybe that is a weird reason to move but it true.   But, then due to the constant questioning I started to doubt myself.  Was I totally sure it was the right move?  So at the end of June (with our house already on the market) we took a trip there. 

The girls were super- troopers getting up at 4:30 in the morning for our early flight.   I think they are a little delusional here!

Clue #1 this was a good idea: Mt. Rainer out our window.  It is just a breathtaking sight.  How can you not believe in something bigger when you see this mountain?

Clue #2 this was a good idea: Four-seater bike ride on Alki Beach.  Perfect summer weather and knowing that all this glorious water is so close!

Clue #3 this was a good idea: Again.. AHHHmazing view but not just that.  The energy of the city is contagious.  You just want to be part of it and DO something. 

Clue #4 this was a good idea:  Threw this one in for the Girls.  It counts on their list - and lets face it, they need to be happy too!

Clue #5 this was a good idea:  Look at this man!  He is in heaven on earth.  I can not (and I won't) deny him that if I can help it.  I know he would do the same for me.  It's love in its simplest form and it's the best feeling ever.

 Clue #6 that this was a good idea:  Laying on a blanket on the 4th of July with sweatshirts is my kind of good.  I like wearing jeans and closed toed shoes and seeing big enormous trees.  I like the green.

So, no I guess there still isn't a REAL reason but sometimes in life you just have to put on the jumpsuit and go for it!  Hopefully - it sticks!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Be Bold - Love you Grandma

When I was a little girl the woman terrified me.  She was loud and larger than life.  She had things to do and we stayed out of her way.  Occasionally she would find me across the room and call me by name.  When I would look up she would be pointing at me with her long finger and then tell me to “come”.   She would have something special in mind, always.  It would be something she just remembered she was going to show me or a hidden treasure she would pull out of her junk drawer.  She was fascinating.

We would fight because I was 10 and she was so stubborn.  I locked myself into her bathroom one visit because she wouldn’t apologize to me.  She never did.  My Dad ended up persuading me to leave the room and I wanted to store bitterness in my heart.  But somehow I ended up at the counter in the kitchen.  Tired and pissed she made me cinnamon toast that tasted so good it could have come from heaven.  It was her peace offering and we made up just by eating.  That was her way.

At sixteen I flew by myself to Michigan and stayed with my grandparents.  I was caught up in moving to another state and figuring out who my friends were and how to get along with my Mom.  My grandma and I stayed up talking until 4:00 in the morning.  She listened to me for hours and I knew I was no longer just a kid in her eyes.  She really saw me. That night we became friends. 

It is common knowledge that I am not medically inclined.  So at the age of 20 faced with the news I had to have my wisdom teeth removed my Grandma took me in.  She fluffed my pillows; she iced me down, and wrapped me up.  She gave me my meds on time and checked on me and checked on me.  I realized that if you wanted to have Arlene’s undivided attention then get sick and soak it all in.  But then get well soon – because she can tell if you’re faking.

I knew when my Grandma hated something or someone.  Everyone did.  She was horrible at hiding her immediate thoughts and I don’t think she was born with a filter.  So when I was 23 and brought home the love of my life I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be.  Turns out I made a good choice because Grandma and Justin hit it off.   She loved him so much and remembered things about him.  She went out of her way to make him smile and feel like part of our family.  She was genuinely happy for us and the family we made.

When I was 30 we picked up and moved to Washington.  It was a bold move and one I did out of just pure courage.  I was knee deep in being a Mom, trying to cook good meals, keep a nice house, and run a business.   Without fail every Thursday afternoon my phone would ring and it was Grandma.  She would say “Hello” in that voice of hers and everything would just feel right.  I could hear her light her cigarette so I would settle in.  We would chat about cleaning products and baking bread.  She would tell me about a new book by my favorite author.  It was hard to say good-bye then. 

It is even harder to say good-bye now. 

I often wrestle with how to have it all.  To be a wife, a mother, have a career.  My Grandma did all those things and she is living proof that life is complicated and messy.  There is loss and tragedy and hurt but there is also much beauty in laughter and in the Everyday.  She really lived and in the end I believe she considered it all Good.