Saturday, June 29, 2013

Seattle Mariners vs Chicago Cubs

What a surreal experience to be at a game of a team my four oldest children are named after versus my hometown team.  What mattered the most though is that we had an awesome time!  Our seats were awesome!  They were in the Hit it Here Cafe which allows you to sit and eat during the game (the food was very yummy, we even had sushi).  Plus we were in the front row and had a spectacular view!
America's pastime became my happy time as our smiles grew bigger as the night grew longer.

Thinking back to how we got here, I have to thank my sister-in-law for coming up with the idea months ago and buying tickets for my brother-in-law's birthday.
It all worked out perfect and even ended up being the first time for fireworks in Safeco field, which were a huge bonus after the exciting Mariners win in the 10th inning.  It's nights like this that I live for.  Laughing and joking with Savannah and Sam and just spending time together with no distractions.

Side note:  I think that the situation with the kids has really caused me to appreciate nights like this and the memories made.  When I look back on this wonderful night, it will for sure bring a smile to my heart.      

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dinner and a movie.

Have you ever needed a break and you didn't realize it until after you received it? That's how I felt tonight at dinner.  It wasn't planned, just last minute because of a meeting with our real estate agent and the fact that most our house is packed in boxes.  So after I took a shower (it had been a couple days and my hair was in a perma bun on top of my head) and a trip to the house, we went to the Ram and had a yummy dinner and actual conversation. Just looking across the table at Savannah and Sam made me smile.  I just love that they're here!  Plus, Max was awesome and entertained himself by eating a massive bowl of Clam Chowder (that I think was originally Savannah's.) This may all sound simple, but the end result was a relaxed momma who was able to spend quality time with my littles and my honey.  

Afterword, at Savannah's request, we watched The Call and I'm not so relaxed anymore. (That was a scary movie, of which I really don't watch anymore and now I remember why.) Although I have to admit, the junk food binge and snuggle time with Savannah and Sam made the terrible nightmares I'm about to have all worth it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Monsters University

Happy Blog:  I am happy to say, going to the movies to see Monsters University with Max today wasn't so bad, he actually surprised us all in how well he did.  We contemplated bringing him all the way up to the point when we got to the theater.  In previous experiences he hadn't wanted to sit very long and liked to explore the isles, under the seats, ect... But he was so cute last night when he heard us talking about him going or not, he told us he would be good and sit in his seat.  So in the end, we decided to give it a try and with the help of a booster seat, pop-corn and treats he sat most of the movie (Which was great by the way!)  When he did start to venture out of his space, I reminded him that he made a promise to be good and surprisingly, he sat.  On our way out of the movies I asked Savannah, Sam and Brayden how they thought he did and didn't let them respond with anything but positive remarks.  True, he wasn't perfect, but he was perfect for being two.

Side blog:  Today I really wanted to write a bitch blog about how I am over packing and getting ready to move. (Instead I tried to write a happy Monster movie blog that will soon turn into a Monster Mom blog.) I don't want to seem ungrateful for the fact that we have amazing renters moving into this house (they actually helped us move our washer/dryer out tonight) and hopefully next Tuesday the 2nd we'll sign on our new home and get the keys on the 3rd.  Never mind the fact that there is no carpet yet and several other things to finish on the house which is making us nervous... but they promise to have it complete, so I digress.  I feel like I have been pregnant with a house, going each day (sometimes twice) to watch the building process from the foundation up, fretting over rain (literally sweeping it off the floors), cleaning every nook and cranny before they drywalled (probably unnecessary, do you know how dirty drywalling is?!?)  But my big mistake was starting to pack our current house weeks ago to the point that now I am super burnt out.  I had the hope that it would allow me more time with Savannah and Sam (and maybe it did, we did make it to the movies today and all the way to Forks on Monday.)  The truth is, I just want to be moved and done... but then I don't, because that means it's closer to the day when Savannah and Sam leave.  See, I'm a mess.  I can't even organize a proper blog in my head.  But as I scrubbed my laundry room floor tonight (which actually made me happy to see something dirty, become clean and thank you Savannah for helping) I tried to think of my blog topic.  I have made this 30 day commitment, which at this moment I don't know when it's over... but with the insanity in my life and my house(s) and trying to spend time with the kids, I'm not sure what will transpire blog-wise.  We will see.  Until then, I must go to sleep, another busy day tomorrow, so good night and sweet dreams.
P.S. Don't let the monsters scare you.     

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hike for Love.

I took this of Savannah hiking in the trees.
There is currently a virtual race on Facebook called a Run for the White House for Childhood Cancer.  I have blogged about it previously, but wanted to bring light to it again tonight, because as I was running this evening, I realized just how much it has become a daily part of my life, even affecting the choices I make.  
A good Samaritan took a picture of all four of us.
This was the case yesterday when instead of heading home, we decided to stay and hike down to one more beach in our spontaneous visit to far Northeastern Washington.  I had found out that in order to get to this particular beach, we had to hike almost a mile through rain forest.  Part of the reason behind my stopping is because I did the math and I knew with all three of us hiking (Max was in a pack on my back), it would add at least four and half miles to our total for the day.  With my oldest two here and having to pack my house for our hopeful move next week, I have not been able to get as many miles in and that has bothered me.  (I joked today that I need to get a pedometer because of how much I'm on my feet and making trips up and down the stairs.)

Sam hiked out to this rock!  He loved it!
 So we decided on the hike and I am so glad we did, the forest was gorgeous and the beach was stunning.  I remember walking through the waves with Savannah and telling her about the virtual walk and it being the deciding factor for doing this hike instead of heading home.  We both stopped and said a little prayer for the little ones we are running/walking/hiking/biking for.  With them as my inspiration, they gave me the gift of an unforgettable memory.

Sam took this of Savannah, Max and I.  He's kissing my cheek!
It is often said to not let the suffering of a child (or anyone for the matter) to be done in vain.  Instead, hold them in your heart as a reminder to not take life for granted and that each day is precious.  My experience at the ocean also taught me to cherish the moments where life surprises you and pauses for a moment of pure joy.  Thank you Brian for being a beacon to so many in your quest to help bring light to the tragedy of Childhood Cancer.  This hike is in honor of you, your son and all the little ones battling cancer.       

Savannah capturing a bit of the sea and sand to remember the day.

Monday, June 24, 2013

We went searching for Vampires and found Paradise.

A perfect day, that is what today was.  On a whim, after a suggestion from Sam, we decided to drive to Forks to go see the Vampires.  We literally planned the trip moments before bed last night, woke up and Savannah, Sam, Max and I were on our way.

It is a long trip with no ideal direct root, but with gorgeous scenery none the less.  Truth be told, we loved it!  On the way up, we stopped at some random beach on the Sound and had a picnic and played with the crabs.  Then off to Forks we went to find the Vampires.  They were illusive, but we were able to see some houses, buildings and cars from the Twilight movies and books.  We didn't really have a plan and had never been up to this part of Washington, so we were totally winging it (with the help of the Visitor's center in Forks.)  

After Forks, we headed to LaPush beach, also in the movie.  It was gorgeous and we all had a blast playing in the sand and water.  It was getting late, but we decided to throw caution to the wind and stopped at another beach nearby.  This one required an almost mile hike through the rain forest down to the water.  The whole experience was breathtaking and unforgettable.  The whole day was filled with  "moments" I won't forget, but the last beach was just pure paradise.  The drastic nature of the way land had been carved by the sea was spectacular.  After exploring a bit we were contemplating on leaving, but I decided that we should go barefoot again and explore the beach a little more. This allowed us to play in the water and explore the wonder of sea-life-filled tide pools.  However, I think truthfully, we all just wanted the magic of the day to last just a little bit longer.   

I think Max said it best when out of the blue he declared, "I like this place."   Savannah, Sam and I agreed.  It was an awesome adventure and a new memory of a day exploring uncharted territory. On the way home we went a little different route and found ourselves diving along The Crescent Lake in the Olympic Mountains.  As Sam said, it seemed to go on forever and was a beautiful deep blue.  It almost looked fake with how the hills hit the water and the clouds hung between both.  Just another unexpected visual treat to finalize our day.

All in all,  I think I fell even more in love with Washington and all it has to offer today and I am so grateful that Savannah and Sam were here to share it with me.  Today was another example of when we allowed ourselves to stop doing and instead, just be.

Side note:  I am off to bed, a wee bit tired after quite a day, but promise to post more pictures tomorrow.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Instagram her life.

My teenage daughter is introducing me into the whole new budding culture of "self-ees"(pictures taken of yourself) and "likes" on Instagram.  She has lessoned me on when you post, how many in a day and how to tell if a picture is "likable" or not.  What are the most popular pictures?  Not artistic shots or landscaping like her ol' mom posts, but pictures of yourself.

Yesterday I took this picture after hanging out at Meeker Days, in a little park on our way to the car.  My beautiful little girl all grown up.  I didn't know how I felt about her putting her picture onto the web to be liked or not.  However, after seeing some of the completely inappropriate pictures that her fellow classmates were posting, I was grateful for what she chose to share. 

Last night she asked me if I would take some pictures of her all dressed up and I was more than happy to. After all, it's not often that your child willingly lets you photograph them.  I'm used to trying to wrangle Max for a picture, which is like trying to keep a wave upon the sand.  However I am still a little unsure about the fact that people are basically voting on how pretty my daughter is.  To me she is this beaming sunshine who is truly one of a kind, she's my love, my life and perfect in every way.  She deserves a million likes as far as I'm concerned.  I don't want her to ever view herself one way or another based on peer "likes."  None the less, while I have to accept this is the culture she is growing up in, I do find some comfort that she is choosing photos her mom not only approves of, but actually took.   



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Photo representation

Today was a busy day filled with soccer games, Meeker days (where Max taught us the absolute joy of a simple free, but crazy train ride), law mowing, errands and a night hanging outside.  With the help of friends, stress melted away and a full moon brought relaxation.

I took this photograph of my oldest daughter after a requested photo shoot this evening.  I love how she is just letting go and enjoying the moment.  I am going to take this lesson to heart.  

Good night and sweet dreams...  

Friday, June 21, 2013

You own a piece of my heart and I love you no matter what.

Having six kids in our family, means having six personalities, six different behaviors, ways of dealing with emotions and seeing the world.  However, the bottom line is, you love each one the same and no matter what.

Today when I had to send Sage and Saxton on a plane it tore at my heart.  Savannah and Sam did their best to keep my spirits up and it definitely helped to have them there instead of being alone.  However, one child never fills the space of another.  You literally have a portion of your heart designated for each of your babies and when they're away from you, you feel an emptiness.

Max staring at his sister's plane.
Parenting is hard, I'd argue it's probably the most difficult thing to undertake.  You are not only trying to raise these little people to make good choices, treat others with decency, do well in school, ect... you also love them, so you battle with how to handle each of them and their little dispositions separately in a loving and fair way.  To top it all off, I have a unique situation with custody of all five of my older children.  The fact that they are going back and forth and dealing with different families, rules and separation from siblings is very difficult on them for sure.  And while Max lives with my hubby and I full time, he also is affected because he has to deal with his beloved older siblings coming and going, which is hard on him.  Today he talked and talked about Sage and Saxton and where they were, the airplane they went on and when they are coming home.  He misses them just like I do.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to make sure they know I love them, no matter what, no matter where they are, what they are doing... I love them.

Good night to all my littles, I love you to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Between the Raindrops

Between the Raindrops

My sister Colleen actually had this as her wedding song and we were listening it on the way home from Seattle tonight.  Considering the weather the last few days and my feelings as I write this blog, I felt this title was appropriate.  

If you consider the symbolism of moving "between the raindrops" that is how I have felt these last few days and hours of having my four oldest together.  It went way to fast and almost as if it was just a  moment.  The last three summers I have been blessed to have more time, but it just wasn't in the cards this summer.  Unfortunately I had less than a week and for that I am truly sorry.  However, I did my best to enjoy the time and have a couple of days (Sunday and today) where we spent most of the day out and about.  

The other symbolism behind this song is that the last two days we had raindrop moments.  Yesterday it started to just downpour.  Savannah was so funny, not quite used to our swift moving torrential coastal rains.  At one point Savannah, Max and I were running around in the rain and then all stood under an umbrella.  We just stayed there in the curb letting the rain run between our toes, every once in a while Max would puddle jump and even chased his sister around the cul-de-sac.  I loved it.  Stopping time for the rain.

Today, after a bit of a late start, we headed to Seattle to the Pacific Science Center.  After finding parking a few blocks away we walked through a few parks and by the city park water fountain.  Although we had a fun day enjoying the laser show, an IMax movie about planes and just playing around; one of the kids favorite things was the fountain. No matter the weather, we enjoyed it both on the way to and from the PSC.  However on the way out, we stayed for awhile and even as the rain came down I had fun just photographing my littles enjoying themselves, playing and running "between the raindrops."  Life is crazy, busy and full of just doing, but as I heard somewhere, you also have to just be.  I feel like this week happily I was given a few of these moments, including the one that Jerry photographed. Nonetheless, it's only appropriate that we are all a bit wet in the picture that he took, because sadly as we know, eventually luck and time run out and the rain finally reaches us.    


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There goes my heart.

I just dropped off Sage and Saxton for their last day of school.  After asking for a picture, Sage, embarrassed, said no, but Saxton turned and grinned.  She was holding her little yearbook filled with sweet words about my smiley girl.  I grabbed another quick shot as they were walking to their class lines and the words to the song, "There goes my heart," popped in my head.  I teared up as I thought of how much they've grown.  I love you both so much and I'm so proud of how well you did in school this year and all you've accomplished.  Sage was in African drumming on Mondays, band on Tuesday and Friday mornings before school, choir on Thursdays, student council on Wednesdays and safety patrol.  Little Saxton was able to also join choir this year and went to enrichment on Mondays and helped tutor in her classroom.  Good job girls!!!  Your mommy loves you!!!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Four am and wide awake.

I haven't been able to sleep.  It's almost like having a new baby and that adrenaline that you feel in those first days.  Yesterday morning I woke up at four and actually went and crawled in bed with Savannah (Sam is in a twin bed, she has always won the queen.)  I have just missed them so much and knowing they are here makes each morning feel like Christmas.  But just like Christmas, this too shall end and on Friday, Sage and Saxton head to Indiana to their dad's and I will be left with that empty feeling again.  So today (when I was laying in bed wide awake at 4, again,) I had the idea to all go to Saxton's class for lunch and surprise her.  (Saxton has a summer birthday and never is able to celebrate during school.)  So after we got home from walking the girls to school, we made a Safeway run and bought birthday cup cakes (made special for her at the request of my hubby).   All five of her siblings were there (Sage was even able to come to her room) and she was able to show them off.  It was very sweet (no pun intended) and God bless her teacher who let me and my brood invade his space.

The rest of the day the kids just hung out and after dinner we met their Aunt, Uncle and Cousin at the house to show them it's progress and then came back to our current house for desert.  Even with one child short, the house was still fill buzz with all the kiddos running around.  But I loved it.  The noise reminds me they're here.  (As does the laundry, which has been going pretty much non stop.  It may sound nuts, but it makes me happy to have all the reminders of a full house, which I know soon enough will start to empty.)

Yesterday I was driving in the car with all of them and the reality of having all of my babies in the same place was so overwhelming.  Just the simple act of having them all together, it didn't matter what we were doing, it just felt so wonderful.  Last night I attempted to capture this by taking pictures of all six of them.  (It was one of my last opportunities where I had all six together.)  This was quite humorous and successful in the fact that they all agreed to sit still in the same place for more than sixty seconds.  We bribed Max with Chocolate, tried to include Puppy and then realized that was another complication.  It was quite the undertaking.  I guess that's the joy of taking your own photos, if it doesn't work out, you're not out any money.  For me, they don't have to be perfect, I just love that all their little faces, even if just for a moment, are together.

Silly faces!

Sill faces.  Saxton thought I said serious faces.

Savannah trying to tell Puppy to go to dad.

Puppy comes to mom instead.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Love captured in a photo

      I am going to allow my photography speak for me for this blog.  I hadn’t planned to take pictures of the girls, we had stopped by our new house to check it’s progress and we were just about to leave.  The girls were coming up the road and I quickly grabbed my camera to catch them laughing.  Ironically those photos didn’t really turn out, however I had them go play in the field next to our house and they made my job easy.  The pictures aren’t perfect, nor professional by any means, but to me they are priceless.  To witness all three of my daughters laughing and just being silly was a heartwarming sight.  These few precious days together are going to be gone in a blink, so I am very grateful for the love captured forever in a photo.