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.

Backyard Oasis

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Our backyard oasis is a work in progress. That said, right now it’s pretty awesome. Yesterday I spent my entire day out on the porch. Mostly because the sun was alluring and I know that in a few days, I have to go back to work. So while soaking up a little sun, under my sun sail, I decided to finish a project I have been itching to complete.

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Somehow water got under our “waterproof” table covering, consequently, the finish flakes off and some is the boards swelled a bit. So I sanded and stain and oil treated and polyurethane sealed our table. Between coats, I worded on my current crochet project. All while enjoying this lovely day in my backyard oasis!

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Our new Cherry tree and my tint yellow pear tomato plant. It’s the only veggie that I’m going to invest in this year.

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I planted these strawberry plants last year, but I wasn’t sure if they would come back in a box. Well, they did and they look even better than when I planted them!

Speak friend, and enter!

We have been working hard to spruce up the landscaping this spring. It helped that three bushes in the front yard died over winter. My green thumbs never seem good enough to maintain landscapes in the first year. In Wisconsin our Appleton house had Junipers planted all over, everyone of them died after the first winter. Never liked those plants though.

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This arrangement really adds something special to our Elvish sign that we made when we first moved to Oregon. I love the spike and the color!!!

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We replaced the dead bushes with small Rhododendron plants that we are hoping will grow and mature over time. Their splash of color has been a welcomed addition this spring! It really makes our old fairy tale places sign look awesome!

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I bought Easter Lilies this year as my Mom did for years and my Dad before that. I plan to plant it in the front garden. Maybe after years, I will have a sea of Lilies every spring!

I haven’t taken a new pic yet, but we also bought a new Cherry tree that is cross pollinated with four different varieties. I don’t think we will see fruit this year, but I’m pretty excited for the years to come!

Just Felt like Running

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I pretty much look like hell after a run, but check it out, I’m smiling!

I took this after my 5K on Tuesday. Today I ran 4.5 miles which doesn’t sound as cool as a 5K, but is almost a mile and a half more. My Tuesday run felt a whole lot better. Today I wanted to stop at 3.1, like really bad. I didn’t though, so victory. My training plan also wanted me to run this at a pace of 17:30-18:30. There was a moment before I started this plan in which I didn’t think I could do this, but on Tuesday I ran my 5K at an average pace of 17:40.

My pace doesn’t matter that much to me, but it makes me feel like I’m making some progress. What is really important to me is that I’m out moving. Being a little bit healthier, getting some me time, clearing my head, all that crap :)

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New app, new possibilities

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Obviously the blog hasn’t been updated regularly. There are two reasons for this:

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1: Squarespace, my web hosting service, made sharing with apps like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media nearly impossible (& certainly not easy as it was)

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2: The Squarespace blog app no longer accessed my photos, which make all the blogs worth reading. Right?

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So if I wanted to make a post, I had to email or transfer my photos to my computer, then write the blog on either my computer or the app, then add the photos to the blog on the computer only, then copy and paste a completed and posted link to all of my media accounts individually. Such a pain, who has time for that?

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So, Squarespace just released this new blogging app, so I’m going to give it a try!

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Hiatus

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So much happened this fall that I fell out of the habit and ran out of time to update the blog. We had several visitors including Aunt Amy, Tina, and Grandma K. Jon and I coached Taylor and Liv’s FIRST Lego League team where we competed in the Into Orbit challenge. We enjoyed some social visits including a cookie exchange, a road trip to California, and Jon did a 10K. We celebrated Halloween, Christmas, New Years, and 5 Birthdays. There were tears, laughs, and fits of joy.

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Today, though, marks one of my annual days of soul food and mourning, self pity, all that stuff. It’s a day that I dread all year, and one that just sits in the back of my mind as the worst day of my life. So here begins my annual obligatory blog post about my amazing Mom who I lost too soon.

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Last year on this day, I decided that I had to forgive myself for whatever guilt I harbored related to her demise. That is not to say that I don’t still miss her like crazy, cry, and wish she were here everyday., but I don’t spend my quiet moments silently agonizing about what I could, should, or would have done if I had any inkling that her health was in as much peril as it was. 2018 was definitely a better year than 2017, but I feel like loosing my Mom has been the lowest place in my life. So I feel like there was no other way to go but up.

In 2018 I finally sat for my certification exam in Maternal Neonatal Nursing. Achieving this certification was a big deal for my confidence in what I do. It validates that knowledge that I use in my practice every day. I feel really good about my work, and given all the things that complicate my world, this gives me a little place of peace. At work I have accepted new challenges that are helping me grow professionally and also help our department. Not surprisingly, my favorite role is precepting new hires. The charge role presents new challenges every day, but it also grows my confidence while allowing me to support my coworkers too.

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I made extra effort in 2018 to cultivate and grow my personal friendships. I think that my personal relationships, in general, have never been better. I’m so grateful to the friends I have made here in Portland, and those back in Wisconsin, all who are so supportive of me regardless. I have always been good at recognizing that it’s not about the quantity of time spent, but the quality of that time spent. I know that our family obligations often keep us from putting more effort into our friendships, so this year, I just made a strong commitment to putting a little more effort. I really appreciate my friendships more and more with every passing year.

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Our family is really settling in, and the kids have some new special relationships too. Taylor has made a friend that he invited over for our Halloween party and stayed a night. Liv has several new friends, and Ava and Wes spend a lot of their time down the block at the neighbor’s house. We added our amazing pooches in 2018, and everybody loves having them in the family.

So on the second anniversary of my Mom’s passing, I’m really trying to be thankful for the gifts around us. I miss her, and I feel angry that she isn’t here to see how much the kids are growing and maturing, to share in my successes and those of my siblings, to get married and enjoy her retirement.