Vote Early, Vote Often

What are the odds I’ll win a two-night stay to Sunriver, one of my family’s favorite places to vacation in Oregon? A picture I posted on Instagram has been entered into a contest and if the photo I took, which was reposted on Sunriver’s account, gets the most likes during the month of July, I win! Sounds simple, right?
I’ve been watching the number of likes creep up on a photo posted today of a beverage with the pool in the background. My picture is so much better, in my not so humble opinion. In my picture, my 4-year-old is conquering his fear of the new waterslide at The Cove in Sunriver Resort’s newly redesigned pool area.
So, would you do me a favor, and like this photo on Instagram? I’ll love you forever.
Thanks in advance!

A Mixed Bag

Today I finished a big project at work, a project that involved skills I didn’t learn in either of my graduate degrees programs and a project of which I’m extremely proud. 

The husband had a very rough day at work and after being up since 5, was exhausted when he got home, and after scarfing down the food I had just made, had to rush off to a meeting at church. 

The boys barely ate any supper and instead mostly just giggled at each other. Junior had a brief break from the cranial band he just started wearing and Future President sat by the open window, enjoying a gentle breeze that has yet to cool down the house below 80. 

I hate summer. 

On Saturday morning I got to visit with a friend I’ve known for over 20 years. Our kids hit it off. In the afternoon we got to go swimming, which was amazing. Then a few hours later Aaron threw up and was running a fever. We packed up for an overnight at my parents’ blissfully cool house. 

Sunday afternoon one of my best friends and I got to visit for a few short hours; this is the type of visit that’s good for the soul because she just gets me – our husbands are similar, we care passionately about our careers and we’ve reached the stage in our lives that talking about money and job advancement doesn’t feel pretend; it’s real, we’re living enjoyable and complicated lives. 

Last night we all tossed and turned in the hot house. The baby woke up at least 4 times. When I checked on him this morning, he was sleeping on his stomach! He’s been going to physical therapy because he is delayed in his gross and fine motor skills, and it’s starting to pay off! 

For a few glorious months, I was seeing a D.O. who specializes in spinal manipulation. I finally was pain free! Then my insurance benefits changed and they stopped covering spinal manipulation. I just started seeing a new physical therapist and she taught me a few exercises to relieve the intense pain in my head, jaw, neck and back. 

This weekend I’m flying to California for a girls’ weekend (baby’s coming too). I’m looking forward to it so much but I’m holding my breath because I’m certain something will go wrong and I won’t be able to go. But I need this trip! 

Life’s been a real mixed bag lately. But I’m trying to focus on the positives: Future President has been extremely helpful around the house by cleaning up toys, clothes and dishes; the baby finally has his helmet to fix his flat head; I’ve been blessed with great friends; and I know the sweet relief of lying on the floor with my arm raised about my head, finally feeling the blood flow into my muscles taking the pain away. 

When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Yesterday was an important day in the history of the church I belong to: delegates at the General Conference voted whether or not regional divisions could decide the issue of women’s ordination at the individual division level. The vote was no.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Five years ago I would have taken this as a sign it was time to finally revoke my church membership as I don’t want to belong to a corporate entity that marginalizes women. But now I have kids, and things are different.

If I didn’t have kids, I would unlikely be attending church at all. But I want them to have a place to learn about God, because while my own beliefs are still shaky, I want them to have the chance to learn about a higher power with a child-like innocence. I like that they have a weekly place to go to talk about loving and helping others and loving God.

It also makes a huge difference that the church I attend is full of good people who accept diverse views and employs a woman who serves in a pastoral role. She is up on the pulpit as much as the men. We have women elders and deacons. If I didn’t attend such a progressive church, this vote would also make my church membership a bigger question.

Last night I was crying as I told my husband that if it wasn’t for this local church and the people in it, I would not continue to be a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist church. My church is the one who welcomes a gay couple and their children with a baby shower and baby dedication. My church is the one that welcome you no matter what you wear: come as you are, jeans and converse shoes; high heels and pearls! My church is the one that serves coffee and donuts. I am thankful for my local church and the friends in it who make me feel like I could show up with my coffee in hand, in whatever I was wearing, and I would be welcomed with open arms. I wish I could say this was true for every SDA church I’ve attended; while it’s not, I am counting my blessings that I have a local church family that loves me, despite my disagreements about doctrine.

Beach Day!

It’s been too darn hot here in the Pacific Northwest. We aren’t accustomed to sweating well into the night and waking up just as hot. To beat the heat this weekend, I took the boys to the beach. It’s a secret beach near Tillamook that’s never crowded. Parking can sometimes be an issue but when you have kids that wake up with the sun, it’s not a problem.  

 It was wonderfully cool when we arrived, so baby stayed in his pajamas and handmade sweater for a while. I tried to keep him out of the sand, but he was too fast and highly entertained by his brother, who singlehandedly coated the beach blanket in sand within one minute of spreading it out. 

Auntie A came with us and she and Future President managed to get joyfully soaked by the freezing ocean water. Thankfully by then the sun was out and provided some warmth.   

After a few hours at the beach, we took the cranky, tired baby and his endlessly energetic brother to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I didn’t take any pictures there because 1) I was too busy enjoying ice cream and cheese; and 2) it was more crowded than the D.C. metro at 5 p.m. Seriously, don’t visit on a holiday weekend if you hate crowds. 

Our drive home was awfully slow – only 10mph in some spots – but both boys slept almost the whole way home. When we arrived home, it was over 80 degrees inside and I immediately wanted to go back to the beach.  

The Most Heartbreaking Comedy

Amazon Prime is currently streaming a hilarious and very NSFW comedy called Catastrophe. It’s hilarious and very raunchy. It’s also very touching.

Episode 4, though, made me cry and cry and cry. Sharon gets the news that based on genetic testing, there is a 1 in 25 chance that her baby has Down Syndrome. I was transported back to last year, when I had genetic testing, when all my husband and I could do was cry and ask ourselves hard questions.

And then we got good news, again and again, and could breathe again. Watching this episode, I re-lived all of those ups and downs all over again. But I couldn’t look away. It was a thoughtful, funny and spot-on examination of this extremely fraught time in a pregnant woman’s life. Bravo, Catastrophe. I can’t wait for Season 2.

The Four of Us

When my husband and I were first married, I didn’t know if I wanted kids. He always did and his wish was for two sons. 

One day, soon after I turned 30, I woke up and had baby fever. It was bad. I remember crying in the middle of Starbucks because I wanted a baby so badly but the timing wasn’t right. (I laugh at this now. When is the timing ever right?!?) 

When I was pregnant with our first, we went to our 20 week ultrasound, convinced we were having a girl. I already had her name picked out, Eleanor Grace. The ultrasound tech told us it was a boy. I started crying. My husband was overjoyed. 

I got pregnant again and we had some testing done that revealed the gender at 13 weeks: another boy. I called my husband at work to tell him. He sighed a huge sigh of relief. Two boys. His dream come true. 

I love my husband very much. I thought I knew how much until I saw him with his sons. Now that love has multiplied. He is adored. He has more patience with them than I do. He gets down on the floor to play without being asked. He tells stories and prays every night with them. He actually watches Cars and Cars 2 over and over and over again with Future President and together they can recite the dialogue. 

A tremendous lawyer by day and an awesome dad all the time, I am blessed to call him my husband.  


A Lighting Predicament

I’ve never paid much attention to lighting fixtures, switches, outlets and other mundane things around the house like the color of kitchen cabinets and dining room floors. And yet here I am, suddenly called to make decisions about the type of flush mount ceiling lights, kitchen pendants, the dining room chandelier, and the color of walls.

(#firstworldproblems is the alternative title to this post!)

When I walk into a room, I either like it or don’t, but I can’t really tell you why. There’s not an ounce of interior design skill buried inside me. So I’m scouring Pinterest and lighting sites to figure out what I like and what I don’t. I don’t like a lot of the options out there, and when I find something I really, really like, it’s usually not within our budget limitations. If I had time, I would look at home design magazines and then find budget-friendly options based on pretty pictures. I don’t really have time to do that, so my default has been, “I like the model home. Just do that.” The model home in our new neighborhood is gorgeous. I love everything about it except the carpet…and the flush mount ceiling lights.

I once read that the default flush mount ceiling lights look like boobs, and ever since then, I can’t look at one without thinking it. The flush mount ceiling lights in the model home are pretty…but they are pretty boobs. I think I’ve found some good alternatives though. Maybe I’m not completely hopeless in picking out lights.