Sunday, June 20, 2010

Camping 2010

These feet hiked 13 miles over 3 days while camping in Eastern Washington!

Hiking in Frenchman's Coulee.

Z and his classmates.

Z and some friends watching fish in the pond.

I was at the end of the line as we hiked through Dry Falls. Yes, I had to wear a jacket in June!

Z enjoyed hiking up to the top of Steamboat Rock.

Z and I were listening as our guide (A fellow parent who is a scientist) describes how the huge Ice Age flood carved-out this area of Eastern Washington.

We hiked through this small area to view the carved-out area of Frenchman's Coulee. (I am in the brown hat and blue t-shirt.)

My view from inside the crevice.

Our campsite was located in Dry Falls State Park

Dry Falls Lake

It is amazing to look back at there pictures and know we climbed all over these rocks!

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Come Along On Our Trip To CO 2010

Stucco and I were going back and forth about taking a trip because airfare was so inexpensive. I said, "Hawaii!" But Stucco was more reasonable and suggested we take a trip to Colorado (since we hadn't visited since we moved away 3 and a half years ago.) We had the best time ever! It is amazing to have such good people in our lives. The best reason to visit was Mersie's good news that she has been cancer-free for 4 years now!! We all had a great time celebrating. We went to Tonya, Chris, Mason and Lily's for a pizza party and Band Hero/Rock Band with everyone on Friday night. Then on Saturday it was coffee in the morning with Mer and Darci at Peet's. We visited Mark's beautiful grave together too. On Saturday evening we had dinner at The Tyson's and poker night at Andy and Mer's with everyone. Sunday was shopping for the girls and chillin' out for the boys. Stucco and I made dinner for everyone on Sunday night and it was home to Seattle Monday. All in all we couldn't really had a better trip. Love to all!

(Mer and Andy) Simply put, they are family to us. It is difficult to be separated from them by so many miles. Love you and miss you every day!

A and Z enjoying the snow. It snowed the entire time we were there!

The Boyos (O. and Pants's twins) Accomplished musicians at such a young age!

("Duck") Stucco has known him for almost longer than he can remember. I've had the privilege of knowing him over 20 years. He lives in Denver, but hopefully he will decide to make his way to here and very soon call Seattle his home.

(Me and Darci) We were invited over to Darci and the girls's home for dinner on Saturday night before we played poker at Andy and Mer's. It was our first visit since Mark passed away. Their home is still so warm and inviting. Mark's presence can still be felt in the love his family shows to all who enter. We love you and miss you!

"Jenna Jenna Bo Benna" (Darci and Mark's daughter) She's still the same sweetie pie we've known since she was a tiny baby!

A. and Cydney (Darci and Mark's other daughter) We love you Cyd!

(A. and Pants) This picture gives you the sense of how much Alia has grown since we left Colorado. She was the same height as Pants when we left! Don't let Nancy Pants's height fool you! She may be small but she's mighty :) Pants is probably the smartest woman I have ever met. I truly admire her for many other reasons though, and miss her every day.

(Tonya and Chris) It was so great to see them after so long! I've known Tonya for more than 14 years, and she has been one of my truest friends in every sense of the word. Miss you :(

(O.) At the poker table on Saturday night. This is the good man who shared his Guinness with me.

A got to visit with Catie (her best friend from grade school)

Mersie and Me in our matching shirts and hats. (We both adore tie-dyed shirts!)

Our amazing girls (A and Marissa- Andy and Mer's daughter) They wore their matching pajamas we had purchased on our shopping trip earlier in the day.

Our sweet godson Mason (Tonya and Chris's son) He is still such a delight to be around!

Christopher (Andy and Mer's oldest son) He is one of the nicest, intelligent boys we know!

Wonderful Charlie (Andy and Mer's son)

While the adults played poker upstairs, our children played poker downstairs as well!

Me with Lily Marie (Tonya and Chris's daughter) She's even more adorable than she looks!

One of my favorite pics that I took. Mason and Z hugging goodbye. *sniff*

We stopped by Pants and O's to say "hi" to Sam (one of our favorite dog friends) and Grace O'Malley (a favorite cat friend.) I tried to fit him in my purse, but alas, he was too big!

We left with mixed feelings. We were so glad to be going home to Seattle, but we were already missing everyone in CO.

The sun literally emerged from behind the clouds right before we boarded our plane to leave Colorado!

We had a beautiful view of Mt. Baker right before we landed at home in Seattle. If you look closely in the distance, you can see Mt. Rainier. We flew over Mt. Baker and the Skagit Valley, then turned south towards Seattle.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eagle Viewing in the Skagit Valley

Z and I just returned from hiking and "camping" in the Skagit River Valley of WA. We saw some of the most beautiful countryside in our gorgeous state. It is almost a rite of passage to view bald eagles here in January, and since Z's class is called the Eagle Clan at Pathfinder, it's only logical that they be part of this very special opportunity to view nature at its finest. We saw a total of 10 bald eagles, including a pair who were "chattering" at each other. Yesterday we hiked up hill on an old logging road, to see stunning scenery of the mountains surrounding the area (near Mt. Baker.) We went on a hike this morning along the Skagit River. It was amazing to spend this time with Z. I'll never forget it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Workin' At It

When you've been heavy your whole adult life, it becomes very challenging to try to lose weight to avoid obesity related health issues. I had some digestive problems in May and June of this year, and I was tired of looking and feeling heavy like I was, so I decided to make a few changes to see where they took me. I became a vegetarian and have followed a low-fat, low-sugar plan. I dropped 12 lbs very quickly and it felt great! Then the next week I only lost a pound. I was just relieved I didn't gain! I have slowly taken-off 58 lbs since June. I look and feel much better.

People are so kind when they comment! They make sincere remarks about what a great job I am doing, and smile and nod when I say how difficult it is. But they have no idea! Skinny people can't begin to fathom how hard it is for a big person to lose weight. To think about every morsel of food I put in my mouth is mentally exhausting. The exercise is physically exhausting. This has been the biggest personal challenge I've undertaken thus far in my life.

I still have a long way to go to my goal weight. Just like addicts every where I take it "one day at a time." I have this fear that I won't have the strength to keep it going, but then someone will say, "Wow! You look great!" Or I look at my children and think about what kind of example I want to set for them. Then I smile and think to myself, "You can do it!"

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Visit With Poppy

We had such a nice time having Poppy here in Seattle with us. Thank you for making the day so wonderfully special.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009


In my life, it's such a strange time for me right now. I feel happy with my life, but also have a strange sense of deja vu. My daughter is the same age I was when my mother took her life away. In a few days, I am going to be my mother's age when she died.

The air has the same crisp, cool breeze and startling harshness of the bright sun from that day, as we near the change of seasons. This change in the weather has always thrown me for a loop. Every year it trips my memory. I do welcome the change to cool weather, but it recalls unpleasant times. Just for a week or so, then I go on, and I'm fine.

This year the memories are lingering and giving me such a feeling of panic and foreboding. I am smothering my children with kisses and hugs. Relishing the time I have with them. Feeling like it could end any moment from a car accident, kidnapping or other tragic world event. I made Z. practice walking home from his new bus stop over and over again, so he wouldn't get lost. I was making him crazy. I wish I could just be a "cool, laid-back" kind of mom who lets her kids discover new freedoms gracefully. Anxiety disorder and PTSD are a bitch.

I believe the anniversary of 9/11, school starting for the kids, and A. and I being the same ages my mother and I were on that fateful day, have all come together to create these feelings of sadness, loss and anxiety. They too shall pass. The winter rain will be here soon to wash away the fall and drive away the crowds. I look forward to beach combing on the empty beaches with my family in tow, looking for that perfect shell or rock.

I feel fortunate to have such a wonderful, supportive, loving husband and friends to help me through these difficult times. Thank you, thank you friends! You know who you are. Stucco, you are my world. I love you!

Thursday, August 06, 2009


We just returned from a trip to the ER with A. She was babysitting for an adorable 5 year old, when she decided to go to the local park to play with her. She attempted a maneuver that she used to do with ease (slipping down through two monkey bars with her whole body.) She didn't squeeze through quite as gracefully as she used to, and smacked her head on one of the monkey bars. She saw stars, felt nauseous and sleepy immediately. Does she stop playing and go get help? No! She kept playing, finished babysitting and came home. When I arrived home an hour later, she told me about the episode. Being the anxiety ridden mother that I am, I drove her immediately to the ER. Two hours later, we were on our way home with a diagnosis of mild concussion with a small area in the back of her head that had to be glued shut. I'll have to wake her a few times tonight, but aside from that I will rest easier knowing she's really okay!

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