My 52: Week 13

Freeze-out Lake has become one of my favorite places. The snow geese and tundra swans were supposed to be in by the thousands, so we headed out to see them last week. Unfortunately, we arrived while they were all out having dinner, so there were very few birds on the lake. It was worth the drive, though. It was raining and blowing when we left, but by the time we arrived at the lake, it was sunny and beautiful. The sunset was pretty amazing, too. It was a beautiful evening to be at the lake. 

Time Marches On

I caught a glimpse of Catheryn on the ride home today, and I’m not exactly sure what it was about her, but I got a pain in my gut as I realized just how fast my kids are growing up. I am so grateful to be blessed with such wonderful little beings. So grateful that I get to watch these little ones grow up. So grateful that they call me Mom.  

 

The Coundown Begins…

…or continues, however you want to look at it.

We are slowly approaching the end of the school year. As a craft today, Catheryn made a chain to count down the remaining days. As of today, we have 48 days left.

After cutting out all of her strips, Catheryn stapled them together into a colorful chain.

We hung up her artwork and tomorrow we will be able to remove the first link! (Notice how Rob slept through the whole thing…)

Vacation Remembered

For our Honeymoon, Rob and I drove over to Long Beach, Washington. We stayed at a sweet little Bed and Breakfast, flew our kites on the beach, rocked the Skee Ball machine’s in the local arcade and mastered the game of Cribbage. We had such a wonderful time, that when we were ready for our first family vacation, we couldn’t think of a better place to take the kids. The twins were about 18 months and William was three, and it was time to go!

On our way to Long Beach, we stopped in Seattle to visit  Woodland Park Zoo. Unfortunately, on the day we decided to visit, none of the animals felt like making an appearance. Since we weren’t seeing any animals,we decided to head into the hands-on building. Sadly, we never even made it in the door. In the stroller parking area, William grabbed onto the handle of another stroller. He was at just the right angle to tip it over, allowing their cooler lid to fall off and their grapes to go rolling in a million different directions. While Rob and I were picking up their grapes, we were trying to decide what to do with them. We had no idea who the stroller belonged to, so should we throw their grapes away, leaving them to wonder what happened to them? Or should we put them back into their cooler, only for them to eat dirty grapes? We were trying to decide what to do when Rob stood up and smashed his head on an open window. Wounded and defeated, we gathered our belongings and left before we could cause any further damage. (I have no idea what we ended up doing with the grapes…)

We were pretty excited to leave Seattle, convinced that the second leg of our journey was bound to be better than the first. It couldn’t possibly be worse… could it?

We arrived at the campground and set up our tent. And then it rained. And rained. And rained some more.

It rained when we went to the beach. It rained while the kids cried all night in the tent. Kids are crazy cranky when they are cold and wet, and parents aren’t much better. In our desperate attempt to warm them up, the kids ended up spending a lot of time buckled in their car seats with the van’s heat running.

Maybe the second leg could be as bad as the first. Perhaps even worse.

Our first big family trip was pretty much the worst vacation in the history of vacations. 

As painful as it was at the time, we are now able to look back on it and laugh. We laugh about just how horrible it really was. We laugh about the grapes. We laugh about the rain. We laugh about it all.

And while our family vacations have gotten considerably better since that first one back in 2006, we’re still not brave enough to head back to the zoo in Seattle just yet. I have a feeling we are still on wanted posters…

Flashback

I didn’t have the easiest time in high school. Oh sure, I did fine with the academic side. I wasn’t a brilliant student by any means, but I did well enough to make it apparent that I was at least trying. No, for me, the painful part was socializing. I have never been very good with people, I never seem to know what to say. I fall into the group of social misfits.  

While I managed to get by most of the time, I absolutely dreaded group work. Partner work was tolerable when we were paired up, but when we had to pick our own partners, well, that was another story.

So imagine my horror when, earlier today, I had to deliver a package to a fifth grade teacher, and just as I rounded the corner into her classroom, she said the three little words I feared the most:

“Pick a partner.”  

And there in her doorway, my heart froze in my chest and the lump in my throat was so large I almost couldn’t breathe. For a split second, I was in high school all over again. I quickly reminded myself that she wasn’t talking to me, but I still couldn’t leave her room quite quick enough.

16 years after graduation, those three little words still haunt me. I used to think I had outgrown that silliness, but apparently those fears are so deep down, they will always be a part of me.

I guess there are some things that don’t get better with age…