Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Promise

Every February it starts...my longing for Spring.  This winter has been so mild, so little rain by comparison to most years...yet it's still the same.  I watch for and grab onto little glimpses of the promise of spring. 

The other day, while out for a lunch time walk I found this little gem of a promise:

And then one Sunday after lunch with our family I saw this beauty poking it's lovely face out from behind the bush:

It makes my heart sing!  It truly brings me joy!  It reminds me that YES spring is coming....and sooner rather than later! 

Yesterday it was a gorgeously sunny day...which I was enjoying from my office window.  An adorable, thoughtful, loving man walked in with these cheerful faces in hand:

And this Card to accompany them:

And the inside of the card looks like this:

And it says:  "Despite our little differences, we are meant for each other."

And he wrote:
"Jeanne - I thought the yellow would brighten your month end :) 
The Card?  Well, it reminded me of us and made me smile. 
I SO love you!  Timothy"

Timothy - The lovely yellow flowers do indeed brighten my month end!  I love them!  But more than that YOU brighten my life!  Thank you for loving me so much!  I SO love you too!  J.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


It's like someone has pushed the pause button...and life...mid sentence...is frozen.  And if you looked at this freeze frame of it...you would wonder...what are they doing in there?  Our faces contorted into strained unnatural looks, and you can't tell what is going on.  Is it good or bad?  No one is moving forward or backward....we're just stagnant.  It seems we are waiting for someone to push the button and life will resume right where it left off. 

No accomplishing, no doing, like the same water running over and over the fountain, life is just going, just going through the motions.  Over and over we wake, ready and work.  We come home, eat and bed, only to wake, ready and work again.  The gravity of responsibility threatens like dark storm clouds.

There are many goals, projects, and tasks...none getting the attention they deserve and need.  We read, watch, dream, and hope instead.  We choose different paths, plans, and activities, only to reflect and wonder why we didn't...fill in the blank?  Do we really want those things....that we dream of and hope for?  We ask ourselves...what keeps us from doing what we know we should do if that is the destination that we really want, and long for?  Exhaustion, lack of energy or focus, confusion, feeling stifled, not knowing where to begin, the need to take the first step...etc each owning a part of our indecision, our stand still. 

While it may seem that it's pointless, life moves on.  Babies are born, old friends die.  This IS life...the act of breathing in and out, talking, looking forward, and harkening back.  Laying together on the bed, one reading the other tapping on the keys of a laptop.  The every day. It's not the extraordinary things that make up life, but the every day things.  Life isn't on hold or frozen...this is it...now. It's so true what Lucy Maud Montgomery said in Anne of Avonlea "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." 

Perfect sandwiches in your lunch made by your beloved, laughing over being teased in email, the skin of the top of your foot touching the leg of the one you love, the smell of vanilla candles, the turn of two sets of eyes toward one another at the  hearing of something shockingly funny, the connection of sitting close, dinner that was prepared several weeks ago and frozen, tucked away for a night just like tonight, the sound of frogs in the distance dancing in the window, laughing and a little one laughing with you...."like pearls slipping off a string." 

No, life isn't paused or frozen.  Indeed it moves forward, vibrantly, actively passing one moment after the other.  We are highly aware that "The days are long, but the years are short" - G. Rubin.  And so we consciously push the button ourselves.  We are awake and present.  We reach out and grab each one of those pearls and cherish them...even the painful, disappointing ones because often it's that kind that heightens our awareness, that bring things into microscopic clarity.  And so as we watch the moments pass we neatly file those pearls away in the back of our hearts, perhaps to take out on another day, but we excitedly wait with anticipation the coming of another moment and all the potential it has in it...giving each as much meaning as is possible.  It's time for sleep...because tomorrow I need to wake, ready and work...the very things of life!  J.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Grandparents Valentine

As Valentine's Day approached we began to discuss what we wanted to do.  Usually we go get dinner and a movie.  This year that just sounded like a mad rush...out with all the others trying to do the same.  So...it all started with an idea...what if we had the house to ourselves?  Nah!  We could never pull that off...could we?!?  Hannah and Esther were going to dinner and a movie with friends(a sort of single awareness day celebration.)  Joe was working.  In a moment of realization...it all became clear.  We might...just...do it!  We very selfishly generously offered our services to babysit the baby so Peter and Daphne could go out to dinner and a movie.  :-D  GENIUS!!!

Once the plans were laid...Timothy and I began making plans of our own.  Timothy then told everyone...DON'T COME HOME BEFORE 10:00.  :-D 

The evening started with Pandora playing love songs, while we fed the baby.  We both sat there with her.  "Banana" Grandpa said...as he handed a piece to Eva.  She said something as she handed it to off to Grandma who handed it back to Eva, who took a bite and handed what was left to Grandpa.  We enjoyed every one of those 30 minutes.  She laughed, and ate, and tried to fit her too big cup into the cup hole on her tray.  She very specifically chose what she would and wouldn't eat...and like wonderful grandparents we were absolutely permissive. 

After dinner we cleaned her up and then the real fun began.  We danced to a little Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.  "Heaven, I'm in Heaven"  and boy were we!  Can't you just hear that rich gutteral voice sing it.

"And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak"

"And I seem to find the happiness I seek"

"When we're out together dancing cheek to cheek!"

Then Grandma took Eva upstairs and gave her a bath, while Grandpa started our dinner.  We got her all cleaned up and put her in her new jammies that say LOVE on the chest.  Then we read her new book about chickens.  She was so interested in the whole thing.  Then it was time for Missy to say goodnight.  She was pooped so quick kisses and she was almost immediately asleep.  Not one peep.

Then I rushed in and freshened up, and put on a dress, some lipstick, and a flower in my hair.  We had the oil lamp and candles lighting the table as we ate a delicious dinner of Rib Eye steaks, with yummy scallops, and steamed asparagus and sweet potatoes with a loaf of sweet dark rye bread(everything was perfectly cooked!  I'm SO blessed!)  We basked in the time, talking only about how wonderful it was to be home alone together. 

He asked me to dance and we spent the next 45 minutes dancing in our candlelit livingroom...and it truly did feel like we were the only two people in the world!  When we were tired we flopped into our chair where we quietly talked and listened to one love song after the other...until just as we were nearing 9:45 one of OUR songs began to play(Amazed by Lonestar) Thank you Pandora - you were perfect all evening!  We danced this one last song.  SUCH a sweet evening!  Hand in hand we went to the kitchen to clean up. 

One after the other the kids came home...breaking the spell of the evening.  Real life crept back in as we sat in our chair watching Biggest Loser.  We kept squeezing each other's hands, or catching the other's eye...clearly holding onto the sweetness as long as we could.  In fact I've held off in blogging about it because we were still cherishing that time.  Boy did we need it!

Here is one last sweet pic of our precious Little Miss...I saved the best one for last:

I love you Timothy! J.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Multnomah Falls 01/27/12

Timothy, Hannah and I took a trip to Multnomah Falls a few weeks ago. 

Hannah took most of these pics with my $20 Goodwill point and click. It doesn't zoom anymore,
but it's not too bad I'd say...especially for $20.

It was a beautiful day, but when we were there the sun had not yet come over the hill, so it was chilly,
In fact icy on the trail...We nearly fell a number of times.

This is a pic from the foot bridge looking down the 2nd half of the falls:

We walked the trail that goes to the top of the falls:

You can't really tell exactly how steep it is from these pictures.

But let me assure you it was STEEP!  We had to stop and suck air
take some pictures of the view several times.

Hannah encouraged us with
"No matter how slow we go we are still lapping everyone on the couch!"
(I couldn't find who said that...but they were smart!)
One of the young twenty-something couples who had passed us many switchbacks before
Met us on the crest and patted me on the back and said
"You made it!"  I whooped and hollared "That's right!  We made it! Whoo Hoo!"
The crest of the falls:

This picture gives a better perspective of the elevation at the top: 620 feet.
That is the parking lot, and viewing point where we took the first pictures.

The thrill of making it to the top!
Of pushing through the desire to give up and turn around
Was glorious!
My heart was pounding so fast and hard!
I felt really alive!

It was an exhilirating hike, but so fun with 2 of my favorite people in the world!

I love you Timothy and Hannah!   J.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The View from Hisey Peak - 020612

The View from Hisey Peak has a double meaning...of course it is meant to be a view into our lives, but also, we have a spectacular, dramatic view of the Snohomish River valley, and the Cascade Mountains.  The other morning we got quite a show.  It was foggy in the valley, and as the sun was rising, suddenly the wind picked up and these pictures were taken over a 4 minute period.  SO cool to watch as the fog shapes, reshapes and reshapes over and over!  J.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fun News!

Our dear friend and fellow blogger Lisa over at Happy in Dole Valley awarded our little blog with the Versatile Blogger Award!  Whoo Hoo!  Thank you Lisa!!!  We are so honored. 

There are 3 rules to be followed:
1: Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post!
2: Share seven random things about yourself.
3: Nominate 5 other bloggers and let them know about it.

7 Random things about us:
1:  We love a good laugh...even at our own expense. 
2:  We like to have sunset picnics at the beach...even during the winter...wrapped in coats and blankets.
3:  We email/text/call each other back and forth many times throughout the day.
4:  It's true what they say...opposites attract.  We are absolute opposites in many ways.  He likes rare meat, I like mine well done.  He is a packrat, I am a purger.  I like a steaming hot shower, he likes his to be barely warm etc. 
5:  We like bright colors...our livingroom has one wall that is bright orange, and our bedroom is painted a very cheerful "macaroni and cheese" yellow.
6:  We would rather keep our broken down "snuggle lounger"(a 2 person recliner) than to replace it with two chairs.  We haven't found another like it.  We don't want to sit apart.  As a result we still have our beat up, scratched up, stained, no longer reclining, screwed together chair.  We spend many evenings curled up in it...his arm around me while I sleep with my cheek on his chest. 
7:  We have a family party every Sunday evening.  We have yummy dinner, dessert, and family.  It's our favorite time of the week.

We would like to bestow this prestigious award to the following bloggers:
Amy over at: Cheese Curds in Fargo
Laura over at: laura living aloud
Becca over at: Just Us
Peggy over at:  The Rambling of this Bear
Anna over at:  Laurel in Oblivion
We thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs!  You are funny, thought provoking and creative!  Keep up the great work!

Thank you again Lisa!  This has been fun!  J.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Driver's License Pics or Mugshots?!?

Timothy and I renewed our driver's licenses yesterday afternoon. 
Mine expired in December
(yes I've driven with an expired license a few times...can you say procrastination?)

Timothy's looks pretty good I think...all things considered:

Mine however...well it is the worst license pic I have EVER had! 
Hannah says it looks like a mugshot...I think she's right!
Check it out:

They make you take your glasses off, and the guy was behind this big monitor and machine. 
I couldn't see or hear him...so I wasn't prepared for the flash.  Too funny!
Oh well...I can get it changed in 10 years.   J.

Monday, February 6, 2012

30. Wear a real flower lei in Hawaii

We have booked our 25th anniversary trip to Hawaii - We will be going to Kauai for 10 days in August!  We are SO excited.  Dreaming, planning, and anticipating!  LOVE IT! 

We hope to see this:


And this:

And we want to try this:

And this:

Even though we know it will probably look like this:

Our plan is to drive something like this:

And go on a trip on one of these:

And dress like this:

 Even though we know it may end up looking more like this:

Mostly we want to do a LOT of this:


And this:

 Even though we know it will really look a LOT more like this(Thankfully!):

We are thrilled, and can't wait to see, learn, and experience new and exciting things...as well as cross a few things off my list!  Is it August yet?!? J.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Quickie

Last night we went to a movie with our friend Peggy.  We got a late start because both Timothy and I worked late.  Sadly we had to sit in the 3rd row...with all the teenagers.  There were about 15 or so of them all there together and they talked loudly throughout the previews.  Once the movie started they continued.  So I said VERY loudly  BE QUIET!  They whispered for a while and got louder and louder.  There was one girl...you know the one...flirting with all the boys, talking like she could've been an 80's valley girl:  "No WAY!  Like really?  SO funny!"  puke!  Finally I leaned over Peggy and Shushed her very loudly and said:  "We are trying to watch the movie!"  And she said in this rude tone:  "We know!"  I said:  "So shut up!"  Finally Timothy(and several others) went out to get an usher.  As they were being made to leave the girl was glaring.  I couldn't help myself and I said:  "Next time...shut up when you're told to!"  And she just looked at me like 'how dare you tattle on us!'  I started out thinking...man we have gotten SO old...and was left thinking NO!  Darn it!  This isn't a case of us being grumpy old folk..this was teenagers behaving selfishly.  I wish I could speak to their parents!  Crazy!  J.