Jun 11, 2017

Today, I asked Eli to bring me one of the laundry baskets from my bathroom.
A few seconds later I heard the pitter-patter of something making its way down the stairs.  I looked over and found a white laundry basket settled at the base of the staircase.
"Eli.  I intended for you to bring down the white laundry basket WITH the laundry in it".
He said "you just said laundry basket, not the basket and the clothes that were in it".

This.
This is what I'm working with here.

Jun 10, 2017

Recently a student from the Department of Defense school at Ramstein Air Force base gained attention for an amazing accomplishment.  He was accepted at three of the U.S. service academies and a handful of other highly competitive Ivy league or prestigious universities.  Getting accepted to one is a huge task, all three is crazy.  I read the article about him and was quite impressed by his accomplishment, however the only detail I remember from the article was an excerpt from his Harvard application essay.  He is an "Air Force Brat" and lived most of his life overseas. In the essay he wrote about a paradox in his life: "the curse of being a stranger everywhere, and the blessing of being a stranger nowhere”.
I was so moved by this one short description that so appropriately describes the social aspect of military life.  A stranger to everyone and no-one.  Home is everywhere and nowhere.  
Somewhere in the past month between being sick, recovering, supporting baseball players, and cleaning my car out, Matt reached his one year milestone of working at that smiley-face company.  One whole year.  Unfortunately, it went by completely unnoticed and without any appropriate celebration. Matt was actually out of town on the date and then by the time he got back, it was old news.  However, it is a big milestone for our family.
We are finding our place.  Those words "we are currently stationed at ..." have left our vocabulary.  We are not here because the Army told us to be, we are living in the green, rainy bliss of the Eastside of Seattle by choice and by God's provision.  My local Target is nestled in the valley between two mountains (they are tiny mountains but they have mountain in their name so it must be true).  I walk out of that store and see those mountains, or fill up at the gas station and see the sunset over the lake, or walk through the halls at Eli's school and catch a glimpse of the hang-gliders launching from the mountain that raises above his school football field and catch my breath... I LIVE HERE.
Last weekend I was in California for my sister-in-law's baby shower and skipped on over to my family's church for a prayer service.  At one point the pastor told everyone to pray for the church.  Within seconds my mind flipped to my church in Sammamish.  And later he asked us to pray for our schools, and "my" students that I work with at Eli's school flashed before my eyes.  Lastly, he told us to pray for our city, and the words Issaquah and Snoqualmie came to my lips.
Am I finally home?
We have known for years that we wanted to retire here in Washington but this move to the Eastside presented a lot of challenges.  Half of my heart was still in Olympia.  I wasn't fully ready to accept this city as my new home.  There are dozens of cities that we could live in that provide reasonable commutes for Matt, and we constantly question which would be best for us.  Over the past few weeks we have started seriously thinking about how we want to move forward in the coming year with regards to buying and selling homes.  So many things are pointing to us staying right here on the Eastside, along the I-90 corridor.
Who knows how long it will be for, but right now, there is no place that feels more like Home.

Jun 9, 2017

I did not succumb to the great illness of 2017.
It was pointed out to me that my last post on here alluded to the fact that I may not pull through, however I did fully recover and returned to the land of the living.
My apologies to those who were waiting for an invitation to my memorial service.
I'm alive and I'm doing quite well!

It is Friday, so that is a good thing, and my vehicle is clean.
This is a big deal.
Every year baseball season threatens to completely destroy my vehicle. This baseball season was the rainiest season since that time Noah's mockers were trying to launch their Drought League at the same time that God rained down his fury in the great flood. This made things particularly rough for my poor truck-van.  After one particularly ridiculous game we threw the easy-up awning and all the umbrellas, raincoats, and other gear in the cargo area, and by the time we got home an actual lake formed in the back from all the water dripping off the gear.  It was rough.  Between muddy feet, turf beads, and random acts of snack spillage, the vehicle looked 6 years old instead of 6 months.  Today the sun was shining (for a few minutes) and I took advantage of the moment to pull out all the Washington Floormats (rubber ones built to catch all the water), vacuum TWICE, and then cleanse all the plastic and leather surfaces.  I'm so pleased to announce, it appears the Toyota beat Baseball this season!  I am victorious.

Today is also a fabulous day because G is making dinner.  This isn't a new thing.  He typically makes dinner three times a week.  I am particularly excited about him cooking tonight because he is using one of our HelloFresh meals.  I wish I were getting paid by the afore mentioned company to tell you how pleased I am with it, but I'm not.  I'm sharing this good news for free. Hello Fresh is a grocery delivery program that has revolutionized my life.  We pick three meals for four people and have them delivered on Mondays.  Each meal comes with almost everything you need to cook it and fabulous instructions that include pictures.  If you are still stumped, you can log on to their app and watch little videos.  It is true that if you break down the per person cost for the delivery it is dramatically more expensive than if I went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients, however, the cost is totally worth it for me because: Gabe cooks all the Hello Fresh meals and we try new recipes every time which broadens our palates.  It is a win for everyone except our bank account.  I am so happy that I don't have to worry about meals 3 days a week and I'm raising a dude that will be confident in the kitchen.

Lastly, today is a good day because we are a mere 7 days from the end of the school year and my kids have rocked it.  There were days, oh there were DAYS, but in the end they have pulled it all together and Team H is almost ready to pack away another school year.

We are blessed in the good times and bad, today just happens to be a good one.


Apr 14, 2017

Fallen Ill

I have fallen ill.
I spent Sunday recovering from a traumatic pasta event from the day before and by Monday morning my stomach was happy again, but I was in full swing chest cold mode.
Not the way I wanted to spend Spring Break.
I have had more naps, cups of tea with honey, sleepless nights, and pure fogginess in the past 5 days than my entire life up to now.  I think, but then again I'm hopped up on meds and I don't know if my math skills are sharp.
It isn't a snotty nose, stuffed up cold, it is a my chest feels like its being sat on by an elephant cold.  At one point last night while I lay on the couch coughing violently I was sure I had lung cancer or black lung.  I sifted through 40 years of memories trying to recall if I had ever been exposed to coal dust or other carcinogens that might cause a sudden onset of broken lungs.
This morning I pulled myself out of bed or off the couch, I can't remember where I was, and rallied enough energy to take the Toyota in for its first check up.  Following that, I was feeling enough of a burst of energy that I went to the nail salon to repair the disaster that appeared on my 3 week old manicure.
Around 1pm, that is ONE O'CLOCK in the afternoon, I got a text from my oldest child asking where I was.  To which I replied "you just now realized I was missing?".  And he in turn replied with "I just figured you were still sleeping".
That is the kind of week it has been.  If I am not hacking and coughing on the couch, I'm passed out in bed, or at a baseball game.  This morning was the first time I wasn't doing any of the three.  Instead I was doing my best not to infect all those poor people at Toyota service center or the nail salon with this toxic lung thing I have going on.
On my way home from my adventures I stopped by my local grocery store to find some more drugs.  I decided that my issues are not getting better because I am using a generic form of Musinex instead of the real deal.  So today I bought all brand name, high potency drugs, and more tea, and I was looking for that vapor rub stuff that my mom used to put on my chest but I couldn't find it.  I think it is probably illegal now, because the truth is, the only reason why that stuff worked is because your chest flesh was smoldering and so you forgot that you couldn't breathe properly.  It is probably for the best that I couldn't find it because on the way home from the store I got in such a coughing fit that my nose started bleeding.  A sensitive nose mixed with that jar of menthal-magic is probably not a good combination.

PEOPLE, do you understand how bad it must be when you cough so hard your nose bleeds?

The family is taking great care of me, the boys are obviously "letting me sleep" and Matt is making sure I don't concoct some toxic mixture of theraflu and fake musinex.