Wahclella Falls

We took the kids on a hike. A bit more than 2 miles round trip. We posed in front of a lovely waterfall.

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Ava and Wes played in the water, tossed stones, and enjoyed watching the early leaves fall from the trees high above.

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Tay found a walking stick and climbed about before settling on a huge rock to rest.

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Us girls took a selfie while the boys climbed up for a higher view.

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This is what happens when I ask Ava to smile.

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And when she decides to listen….

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It was all going swimmingly, sure Wes complained a little about his tired legs and painting rocks when we get home. Liv and Tay were bored at the falls, and Ava wasn’t pleased that Taylor wouldn’t let her use his stick, but mostly everyone was pleasant. Jon and I even enjoyed several minutes of us simply being in a calm place where the kids were coexisting peacefully.

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Obviously this couldn’t last. All the way back to the car Wes complained about being hungry and tired and how he couldn’t carry his rocks. Right up to the point when his foot slipped and he fell feet first off the edge of cliff.

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He had been bending over to pick up sones and shoving them in his pockets. I knew he wasn’t being very careful, and just a few seconds before he slipped I had a feeling that I should be close to him. I actually had a thought of him slipping and a flash of what I would do. Then suddenly there I was screaming for Jon as I clung on to him. He was scared and shocked and understandably upset. All the rest of the way back Jon held his hand as we reassured him that everything was okay.

But it’s really not okay. In a moment of pure panic I saved my child from falling 20-30 feet down a rocky cliff. The what if’s are in my head big time. It reminds me how fragile life is and how easily this great adventure might have become my worst nightmare.

Maybe I should resolve never to have any more “dangerous” adventures, but I don’t think that is the best thing for any of us. Discovery is a huge part of life, and living involves an inherent amount of danger, right?

Still, Mother Nature, RESPECT! My heart is still pounding!

To my Dad at 80

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Dear Dad,

Today is your 80th birthday. Even though you’ve been gone for so long, I miss you like it was just yesterday. If you were here, there is so much I would share with you.

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Every day I regret that you never met Ava and Wes. Ava is a spit fire, I think she would have been your favorite. I can picture you in my most vivid imagination tapping her in her opposite shoulder, tickling her, and teasing her. She looks just like me, but got all Amy’s sass ;)

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Wes would have worried you, he worries us all. Still his contagious laughter and giggle would have swept you up. I can see you out in a boat trying to fish, but having no luck because Wes and Ava cannot be quiet.

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On the boat, Taylor is your man. Yup, “man”, I said. At 13 now, he has really grown into his own. He is tall (at least for us Massey’s) and only just beginning to grow. His voice has changed and his upper lip is covered in a fine peach fuzz. Taylor is quiet. He soaks in his surroundings and contemplates quietly in his time. I know how worried you were for him back when he was 1 and still quite sick. But all of that is past now. He likes to help us around the house, especially if it involves power tools.

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I don't think Liv would surprise you too much. She works hard, does so well in school and loves to draw. She is funny and smart. You would believe that she was ever that tiny baby you met!

At 80, I would have preferred so much more for you here with us. Of course now there are so many of your loved ones with you on the other side. It seems selfish to wish you were still here. Yet I do.

Here is to being in a better place, even if it’s away from us.

Much love,

J

Ode to Dad

Happy Fathers Day to the best father in this house!!!!

First photo as a Dad

First photo as a Dad

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There were so many more photos that illustrate what an amazing Dad you are, but I had to narrow it down to a few. None of these illustrate all the other hats you wear, thanks for being the best partner, plumber, grocer, launderer, spouse, father (etc) ever!

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We love you to then ends of the world and back!

Warm woolen blankets

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Every now and then I let myself get back to the basics of my being and do something pretty much for me. I’ve been collecting years of pins on Pinterest and allowed myself to spend both time and money to learn a new to me crochet technique. I must say that I am over the moon happy with the final product.

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This basket weave technique uses a huge hook, size Q, and was really cool to see it work. I also used a fancy wool yarn that I’ve never worked with before. It was kind of pricy at around $100 after new hook and 18 skeins of yarn (17 of which I found on Amazon for 50% off…). But I enjoyed making it, and it’s a really cool effect. So I would do it again.

The pattern I used is here.

10K

Goals are good. I started running again about two months ago. My goal, just to get out and do something. Maybe …. feel like I could run a 5K again without too much thought. This was a big deal for me. The day my Mom died I lost my will to do nearly everything. I have kids, some who really couldn’t understand what happened to Grandma (One who still doesn’t). So getting all broken was never an option. I went through all the motions, but numb to everything. On the first anniversary of her death, I had an honest out loud conversation with her, with myself, and gave myself permission to move on. No more tears, no more fog, no more numbing pain. Time to take bake my life because I am alive. No more reason needed right?

This was fine and good, except that I didn’t even realize how much I had let go of. I stopped thinking about my mom every moment, I stopped rethinking her last two months, last week, last day. I didn’t even know to look for other broken stuff.

When we moved I had to accept a night shift position. I had to figure out where to get the kids follow up care, how to navigate a whole world of new terrain… including where to buy clothes and groceries… so much required my attention and time. I didn’t have any more to worry about my own physical body. I ran a few times in the first couple months and when we moved to the second house, we joined a gym. Initially I went a lot, but warmer weather noticed me outdoors and I got out of the routine. I can’t even remember why I stopped running outdoors, probably an injury and figuring out how to do it with my schedule. Probably so many things.

They don’t matter anymore. I have a plan now, I have been doing it for 2 months (and injured myself too) and I’m running a 10K in June. I’m not trying to do it fast, I’m just going to run it and finish- for me.