Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Good: The Bad: The Ugly

Tales from our week in Seattle
Travelogues can be quite boring, especially if you are not the one traveling. I am hoping to spice ours up a bit. My main goal is to preserve our lives in as honest a way as possible....Happy times mixed with sad times, peppered with some real ugliness. I didn't capture much of the ugliness in my photos, so if you really want to hear about the bad and the ugly, you will have to read the commentary.


The GOOD: We were all well behaved and saw a beautiful lightning storm through Snoqualmie Pass.

The BAD: We endured the last.....I promise, the last....Please, let it be the last.....dinner at a fast food restaurant.

THE UGLY: My attitude while we again (my devout blog readers will recall the horrific snowstorm drive of '07' last December) had to go through a horrible storm (rain can be as bad as snow) the last 60 miles of the trip.

MONDAY: August 18th

THE GOOD: Swimming in the hotel for two hours; Going to the Zoo for 5 hours; the kids allowing me to take 1000 pictures of them at the zoo. Coming back to the hotel to beds made and fresh towels.

THE BAD: Navigating around 500 summer-camp kids with 5 adult supervisors; getting lost on the way to the zoo; finding the giraffe petting coral was closed because of rain (my question is, "Is it really ever open?)

THE UGLY: Me yelling at Ansel for wanting me to carry him everywhere.....He is almost 5 years old for crying out loud....don't you think he should be walking on his own? Yes, that is pretty much what I yelled at him.

THE GOOD: Swimming in the hotel for 2 hours: Shopping at Trader Joes and eating exotic fruits(please please please come to Spokane, Trader Joes. I love you Trader Joes. I will never love another grocery store as much as you.): Finding a playground with a zip-line: Going to the Science Center for 4 hours: Corey taking the kids to the Music and Science Fiction Museum for Two Hours while I go for a walk at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Listening to a great park bench folk singer. Eating at the Cheesecake Factory.
THE BAD: Paying for parking wherever we go; Watching an IMAX movie on the eruption of Mt St. Helens that left me a little sick for the rest of the day; Fighting 500 summer-camp kids in matching t-shirts with 5 adult supervisors.
THE UGLY: Me yelling at the kids to please stay together because there are too many people here to keep track of you going in different directions. And don't put your fingers in your mouth after you touch something! Do you know how many germs there are in these science museums?:Seeing a police officer hiding behind some rocks, smoking pot.

THE GOOD: Getting up early and getting to the Aquarium right when it opens, hoping it won't be too crowded. Going on a one hour boat tour of Elliot Harbor. Visiting the Curio shop, where you can find sharks in a bottle, sheep with three heads, shrivelled up people and all sorts of crazy stuff; Swimming for 2 hours; Eating at a Japanese Restaurant and actually having the kids LIKE it.
THE BAD: Still having to navigate around 500 kids in matching t-shirts with 5 adult supervisors. (Where are these kids coming from and where are all the supervisors?); Ansel leaning over the edge of the tour boat enough to give me and several other concerned tourists anxiety attacks; Ansel still insists on putting his mouth on everything(note above photo of him kissing the seal)
THE UGLY; Our hair is turning really really green from all the swimming in the hotel pool; There are so many people on the streets here asking for money. I have such a hard time dealing with this situation. I find myself teetering on being completely numb to them or crying myself to sleep with thoughts of them. Emmy, in so many words, declares that she may be homeless one day.

THURSDAY, August 21st
THE GOOD: Spending the day with cousin Marika and her kids; Visiting the Chittenden Salmon Fish Ladder; Finding the Troll under the bridge; Spending hours at Discovery Park . NO SUMMERCAMP KIDS. Letting the kids run and play without fretting for their lives. Lighthouses are like breathmints for my soul. Making little people out of driftwood. Watching an Amazing Sunset. Eating at Thai Tom's
THE BAD: Having to call the police after witnessing a car burglary (the police were probably still high); Saying good-bye to Savanna and Emmy for two days. Getting lost a few times.
THE UGLY: Ansel whining all night because he couldn't go with the girls. His whining is not attractive at all.

Friday, August 22

THE GOOD: Finding a great thrift store; Going to the beach; Spending a beautiful day with Ansel because he loves the beach and completely forgot about all the whining last night; Picking big fat juicy blackberries; Walking around downtown into the late evening.

THE BAD: Walking around for two hours looking for somewhere non-touristy, a hole in the wall sort of place, with ambience and good food......Ending up at a touristy sea-food restaurant with inedible least we had a nice view of the water.....too bad we could smell the bathroom from our table.

THE UGLY: The rest of my pictures from this trip due to the fact that I forgot my camera battery charger at home and had to buy a fuji cardboard camera. I wonder if you can tell when the photos got ugly.

Thai Tom's Menu's

Saturday, August 23

THE GOOD: Spending the day with Corey; Renting a Canoe and Paddling around the marshes of Lake Washington: Eating again at Thai Tom's; Relaxing at the International Fountain at the Seattle Center: Happening upon a Tibetan Festival; Seeing how much fun Ansel has at the Children's Museum. Ansel dancing at the summer outdoor concert under the Space Needle;

THE BAD: Corey remembering how much he hates big cities; The summer outdoor concert under the Space Needle was excruciatingly awful (The name of the angry girl band was Miss Led....what did we expect?); Driving to Olympia to pick up the girls and hearing them cry about leaving; Departing at 10:00pm and Arriving home at 4:00 am.

THE UGLY: Corey and I fighting over absolutely nothing all morning, until I tell him that we just need to get in the Canoe and then everything will be fine. It is. Canoeing can solve many of my wierd problems; Miss Led's pink hair; Drinking a diet coke at 3:00 am to stay awake while driving is not a pretty sight.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Our Two week Stay-cation

We were actually home for two consecutive weeks this summer. When my sister asked how her summer had been so far, Savanna replied, "It's been fun, but we have gone on too many vacations." Too many vacations? Too many vacations? I am still continually shocked that my children are not carbon copies of myself and actually have opinions of their own. Admittedly, I regrettably have more than once lectured them for not wanting exactly what I want or would have loved to have as a kid. The temptation to tie them in a roller coaster until they exclaim that they are having a great time has more than once crossed the devilish side of my mind. The words 'Too Many' and 'Vacations' don't belong in the same sentence....according to me. I have the jimmy legs and fight feeling antsy when I am home. I can't wait until our next traveling adventure . But I don't think that my motives are as pure as "wanting to see the world." After little introspection, I recognize that I am somewhat guilty of wanting to escape my home responsibilities. A little juvenile, I know. But I will explore that theory later in a more serious post......when I am stuck at home. I truly am happy that the kids like to be home. And after these past two weeks, I was reminded that adventures can be found in your own backyard.

While we were in Utah, lonely Corey hunted down a bow and arrow set. He called some farm and feed stores and after missing the target several times, finally hit the bulls eye and found someone who would deliver just 5 big hay bales to our front door. We now have our own Archery Range.
Handling a 20 pound bow seemed to come naturally to Savanna. She really didn't need much coaching at all and was soon teaching her friends the 'ways of the bow'.
Ansel does need a bit of coaching.....and a bit of arm strength.

One of us earned an Archery Merit Badge. It wasn't me. I don't remember that ever being offered in Girl Scouts. I did get a "making pretty things with feathers" patch.

My sister and her family came to see us for a few days. Ansel and Sonora were happy just being together and really didn't want any of us adults bothering them.

A five minute walk brings us to pond inhabited by about 10,000 frogs. All you have to do is put your hand in the water and if you can hold on to the squirmy little things, you will have caught yourself a frog. Say hi to the frog and then release and watch him swim away. Unless you squeeze a little too hard. Watch him sink to the bottom of the pond. Say he is sleeping. But you know better.
EMMY Is a patient frog catcher and waits for them to come to her

An unsuspecting frog
Savanna is a more pro-active frog catcher and scurries around the pond catching as many as she can.

Ansel is the less-gentle frog catcher
The kids also used their home time having funerals for the animals that have perished on our homeland. So far this consists of a pet fish and a bird that flew into our clean clean window.(And some frogs...sshhhh).


The kids have also found some time to just be silly. I know it is important to just have home time. I am sure that there is truth to the George Edward Moore quote, "A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." We definitely have found a lot of what we need right at home these past few weeks. But now we are off to Seattle.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy 4,380th day Anniversary

4,380 is an astoundingly more impressive number than 12. In honor of our 12th Anniversary, I am going to list 4,380 things that I love about Corey.
1. His super-power is efficiency
2. He puts up with my super-power of inefficiency
3. I have Never known anyone who works harder and can still relax
4. He always has a passion and a hobby and is never bored
5. A started project always becomes a completed project
6. He calls me before he leaves work to see if I need anything picked up
7. He grocery shops as much as I do
8. He blogs about frogs
9. gives the kids art lessons
10. He still loves Lego's

11. I am thrilled that he has put on a little weight since we've been married. I really had no idea that he was that skinny.
12. I am thrilled that he doesn't care that I have put on a little weight since we've been married.
13. He is aware when his closet stinks
14. Can cook killer pancakes and scrambled eggs
15. He irons his own clothes
16. Loves the outdoors as much as I do
17. He laughs out loud when watching television
18. He doesn't snore
19. He is building his own bike and still playing with Lego's
20. He is quick to acknowledge his failures

21. He makes most of the phone calls that I hate to make

22. He has not worn a tuxedo since our wedding day

23. We like the same television shows

24. He calls me for no reason.

25. He bikes to work

26. He likes farmer's markets

27. Conducts family bike washes

28. Plans out the future so I don't have to

29. He buys hummingbird feeders

30. He embraces his feminine side whilst still projecting masculinity

31. He proposed to me in my favorite field

32. He never wakes up angry

33. He makes me feel safe

34. He wants to make the world a better place and actualizes practical applications in order to do so.

35. He likes to go to the bookstore

36. His weakness is ice cream and cookies and will over-indulge. I find this irresistible.

37. He checks my tire-pressure every time I go for a bike ride.

38. He mopped the garage

39. Home is his favorite place to be

40. He has strong opinions and is usually not too obnoxious when vocalizing said opinions.

41. He is idealistic and realistic at the same time.

42. He has written me poetry

43. He has great organizational skills (this is starting to reek a bit like a letter of recommendation)

44. We first bonded and still bond over salt and vinegar potato chips

45. I knew I would marry him the minute I saw him

46. He is constantly exploring better and new opportunities in his and our life.

47. He gives freedom to the bugs trapped in the house

48. He is very understanding and helpful when I don't feel like making dinner.

49. He designed and made our wedding gift thank you cards.

50. He has been relatively patient with my obnoxiously big family

51. He took me backpacking in Yosemite for our honeymoon
52. He brought watercolors and paper on our honeymoon
53. He did all the cooking on our honeymoon
54. He had an all night job during medical school
55. I like it when he doesn't shave
56. He bought hay bales for our archery range
57. He once dressed up for Halloween (Napoleon Dynamite)
58. He rarely says anythings about my disaster of a closet...and I know it bugs him
59. He makes the kids Valentine's Day Cards
60. He eats ice-cream right out of the box

61. He is a morning of us needs to be

62. He likes wildflowers

63. He likes some really really dumb movies

64. We passionately dislike the same things

65. I am confident that he will buy me a kayak some day.

66. He has really great teeth and I think that this genetic strength has been passed on to the kids.

67. He is hardly ever sick.

68. He is left-handed

69. He lets me read at night and will go to sleep with the light on

70. He understands why I will never let him read at night with the light on...Double standards are sometimes ok.

71. He plans family backpacking trips and bought backpacking gear for the girls.

72. He never lets things stay broken

73. He can reach things that are really high

74. He doesn't mind when I make fun of him

75. He will fold laundry while he watches t.v.

76. He buys tickets for events months in advance

77. He has lovely spurts of nostalgia

78. He is not set in his ways and is constantly evolving

79. He sings along even though he is way off key

80. He notices little things

81. He is very forgiving

82. He thinks inside, outside, and on the box. He is a thinker

83. He hates wearing ties

84. He can make me laugh really hard

85. He talks to inanimate objects

86. He can sneeze louder than anyone else

87. He gets lonely when we are gone

88. He likes his job

89. He is extremely honest.....sometimes brutally a good way.

90. I know that his family is the most important thing in his life

91. He is more handsome now that he was when we got married

92. He almost never tickles me

93. He takes the kids on all-day outings

94. He picks up the pieces beautifully every time I fall apart

95. He thinks some of my wierdness is kind of cute

96. Just because

97. Just because

98. Just because

99. He is truly sorry that he forgot our anniversary this year

100. He won't be disappointed in me for falling short in my original goal of 4,380 and only listing 100 things that I love about him.