Monday, June 28, 2010

I keep losing track of the days....

Which is what generally happens to me when the kids are out of school and I'm not on a regulated work schedule.

There have been ups and there have been downs. I suppose that's life on this planet. I won't bore you will all of the mundane details.

I was feeling the nudge to write yesterday...just a tiny flicker of what I used to feel. It's been a while since I've written too awful much.

On Thursday night last week I had two old friends over for dinner. It was Kathy's mom Sally and Kathy's sister, Sherrie.

Kathy was my bestest friend when we were fourteen. She was murdered when we were both that age.... Something like that leaves a huge hole in you as an adolescent. I think as you grow older it comes back to you in moments you don't expect.

At any rate, the dinner was wonderful. Spending time with Sally and Sherrie was sweet. Sally brought a book when she came--a scrapbook. There were baby pictures of Kathy, toddler pictures, home taken pictures all the way up to when her last pictures were taken and posted in newspapers. Newspaper articles with her pictures and official notes from the men working on her case. I slowly turned each page and recalled my time in a dusty Thurston County Sheriff's office a few years ago. I had boxes and boxes of evidence from the trial, and boxes of pictures. Pictures I now wish I'd never seen. I shook off those dark days and closed Sally's scrapbook.

Having them here was sweet...and sad. We've kept in touch all these years. Lost each other, found each other again. We've all lived our lives in the past 36 years...married, had children, some now have grandchildren. Moved away, moved back. Loved, loved and lost...our hair is slowly turning gray, our bodies slowing down. We shared our stories with each other, with Kathy sitting quietly in the back of our minds.

I wonder...how many children would she have now? Would I be able to tease her about her gray hair or the wrinkles around her eyes? I hope we'd be able to laugh about that old couch in her garage that used to be OUR hangout. The black light and the fun. I wish I could connect with her on Facebook, or text her a funny message.

But I can't. William Cosden Jr. made sure of that when he took her life. I'm thankful he's in prison and can't hurt anymore girls.

But I sure wish I could talk to Kathy one more time too...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alpaca Amor

And there was lots of it on Monday night. See?



For Family Hone Evening on Monday night we went up to my friend Elise's on Camano Island. They have an Alpaca farm with about sixty of these fuzzy adorable creatures. Plus, there were baby alpacas! This, of course, increases the cute factor by a gazillion percent. See?



See?



They live on 20 acres and we took a delightful sweat-inducing romp down through the fields.



And back again...



The rest of my pictures will be in a fun little slide show because there are so many. If you're reading this on FB, you won't be able to see it, you'll have to go directly to my blog. We had a wonderful time, the girls LOVED it and now Lance wants to become an Alpaca farmer. Thanks Elise and Chris!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Gift of the Cuddle

I've cuddled my baby girl today...as much as she would allow. The time between cuddles is getting few and far between. Eleven year-olds don't take too kindly to cuddle requests. I did manage to cuddle with her while I was sitting on our bed this afternoon, but I knew it wouldn't last long. She doesn't fit in my arms as she once did. It makes me sad. It's the same pattern I've followed with my three older children. Fewer and fewer hugs and cuddles until finally I realize....they've stopped altogether.

Sometimes my mommy's heart aches to hold my babies. It's very nearly a physical need. I think back to the newborn and toddler days. There were the constant holdings, changings, wipings, cleanings, feedings, burpings and the sheer joy of being in such close physical contact with sweet angels from heaven. Late night feedings and early morning rockings.

I miss that time of life.

Today as I held my youngest angel, I found myself gently swaying, rocking back and forth as I did for so many years. Smiling, I recalled times when I was out shopping and would suddenly realize I'd been standing looking at some produce, rocking back and forth without a baby in sight. It became such a habit.

The loving ties that are built by such close proximity, the caring and the giving and joy of tiny smiles and baby giggles isn't something to be taken lightly. It's a gift. I was the grateful recipient of such gifts four times over.

Perhaps it's the sad news this week of a dear friend with stage four breast cancer and another recurrence of bone cancer for another sweet friend that has caused me to wax a bit melancholy.

Life is a gift to be treasured and we never know when that gift will be taken back. I'm so thankful for the love---the abundant love that I have experienced with my husband and my children.

But I still miss the cuddles.

Monday, June 14, 2010

End of the Line....

For home schooling that is. Alli will finish up her 8th grade this week and then in September she's moving on to high school.


:::whimper:::

Naw, just kidding. About the whimpering I mean. I've gone through two high schoolers and lived to tell the tale, so I'm sure this will be smooth sailing for me.

::whimper::

It's been a long time since updates. I've been busy. Ok, I've been lazy. Really, the two things are nearly interchangeable. I think. Or not. Your mileage may vary.

School, and my job, is over this Friday. Ashley will suddenly become a sixth grader. She's already got the Sixth Grader 'Tude, so she's set. Speaking of Ashley, a few weeks ago we had some appointments with her pt/ot at Childrens.






She got a new hand brace to keep her thumb out of her fist and then another one was ordered that is softer and easier to wear over long periods of time. She actually asked for these braces, so that's a plus.

We also discovered that due to her leg length discrepancy, (which is getting worse all the time) she's getting a case of scoliosis and we have to do soemthing. And by something I mean it might be something quite invasive and something I'd rather not think about but I have to.

There are a few ways we can go with this... we can break the growth plate in her good leg and hope her affected side catches up. We can wait and do that leg lengthening thing with the screws and the twisting and all the fun of having metal hooked up to your leg bones. What she needs right now is a foot/ankle/leg brace but she's quite reluctant to do that again. She's worn them since she was an infant and she finally said a huge NO to them two years ago. We'll be seeing her orthopedist at Children's this week to further discuss our options.

Ah the fun. The joy! The excitement.

There has been something wonderful happen in our family though. LANCE IS WORKING DAYS NOW!!!

Ahem. Let me say that in another way. I am NO LONGER A SINGLE PARENT AT NIGHT!!
I'm a little excited about this and for good reason. It's been years and years. Most of our married life in fact, that he's been working second shift. I love having him home for dinner with the kids and for all the school/church stuff that goes on. He's not thrilled with getting up so early in the mornings and I can't blame him. But it's oh sooooo good to have him home with us.

In fact we went to the waterfront for family home evening the other night.



The two oldest were working so they couldn't come, but still it was a wonderful time. We had dinner at Ivar's and fed the seagulls. You can't eat outside and not throw them french fries. I think it's a city law or something. Plus, those little feathered monsters get loud when you don't feed them.

Life is good.