Yep....I'm missing in action.........i've thought about posting but the thoughts don't seem to be during a time i'm near my computer.....i will be back...next moday....i swear!
Fifty pound weights hanging from my arms I move from one room to another looking for the next great place to take a nap. That is how I felt and how I functioned last week: Depressed. Strange to say it out loud especially for me but last week was a steep slide in to a very dark and lonely place. It isn’t a surprise. I suspected that it could happen. In my insightfulness I even predicted it would be somewhere between 9 and 18 months. It was. I’m better now but still not great. March and April are the hardest months of the year for me. Nearly everyone I’ve ever cared about that has passed, passed during those months. They are also the two months of the year that are over-whelmed with birthdays. Sadness and happiness: they are like oil and water. Incredibly beautiful and mesmerizing but can potentially damage they way our machinery runs. In private I always struggle during this time of year. I can remember exactly where and what I was doing each time I learned I’d lost another cherished loved one. To say I’ve found it difficult to be away from my family and friends is an understatement at best. Everything I am and everything I want to be centers around those people. It kills me to miss their birthdays and I suspect is the reason I’ve only managed to send a handful of gifts on time. It is painful. I’m overwhelmed with emotion about my kids missing their family. Every game, every performance is so lonely and emotional. It hurts the kids so deeply that their grandparents, uncle and extended family aren’t here to watch them. Who I am is defined by those very experiences when I was a kid and I struggle with knowing that Jessie and Jake will spend so much of their life with only Jeff and I in the stands watching. How will that affect them? Will they value family as much as I do? Even more overwhelming is that Jessie is four weeks away from being a middle-schooler. The fact that she is growing up isn’t as hard on me as the fact that she is missing such a right of passage with the kids she knows best and still calls her best friends. There will be a slide show. It will have laughing and smiling kids throughout the years growing up together and making memories. Her pictures will be of her alone. She doesn’t have memories made with these kids yet. Will she feel alone that day? Her pictures just won’t fit and it isn’t so much about being different because she is okay with that. It is more about the feeling of floating. No longer belonging in Oregon Oregon
Look at me....I did it! I am sitting here typing this very post on Monday just as promised! Whoo hoo for me!
It has been a very busy week at our house between home renovation projects and kids activities. Our weather has been wonderful and although I could stand for it to be just a bit warmer I'll take every minute of this beautiful sunshine that is turning everything green and causing the trees and flowers to bloom!
Tree's in my yard blooming oh so beaufiul.
Monday brought on our latest big project at the house. From the time we viewed it on our house hunting trip last May we knew there were a few areas that needed some attention. Mind you...they were not in bad shape at all but by doing a few "things" to these rooms they could go from okay to spectacular. Originally our kitchen while functional was very dark and had only one 16 inch wide window about 15 inches above the sink. I referred to it as my trailer park window. It was pointless. It let in no light and certainly because it was so small you couldn't see anything out it. We knew from the beginning if we bought this house it would have to be changed. Originally we planned on going to a 6 ft window however the night before installation we realized we had heating/cooling duct work going smack through the middle of where that window was supposed to go. YIKES! Plan B forced us to go to a much smaller window at 42 inches but still...it is about a million times better than the trailer park window! LOL
A week ago Friday the window were installed (both window are new. There used to be cupboards going from the microwave all the way around the corner up to the sink) and Monday we had work done on our cabinetry. While we would have loved to get all new cupboards we just didn't feel like we could waste the perfectly good ones we had so we compromised and changed the configuration to be more functional and added 4 new pieces. We used to have a pennisula that ran parrallel to the stove and the fridge used to be right next to the stove. The problem was we couldn't open our side by side fridge because of the wall so we switched the fridge and pantry pieces and now we can open the fridge all the way! What a gift! You can't imagine how nice such a little thing is!
Here is the getting started ....I wish I would have taken a picture of the true before so you could see the tiny window and the pennisula!
Now we are just waiting for the granite counter tops to come in...hopefully in a couple of weeks!
Tuesday Jessie had field day at school. It could not have been a more beautiful day for it! Sunny, warm and a light breeze to keep the kids cool while doing their events!
Isn't she pretty???
Thursday Jess had her last Band Concert of the year....They are so GREAT! I can't even believe these kids are beginner students. The music program here is outstanding. We are so lucky :-)
Jess got new ice skates this week. Here are a couple of shots of her at practice!
This is brother...looking cool while watching his big sis practice
talking with the coach.
Have a happy week. I'm looking forward to getting caught up, sunny weather and only 5 more weeks of school! Hello Oregon!
It's nice to see you.
It's the first Monday in the new month. Can you even believe it is May already? Sheesh...where does time go?
It's also the first Monday that I am posting to this blog with hopes that I will post at least once a week on Mondays. Monday's are my stay at home day. I try very hard not to schedule things on Monday's so I can stay home and do laundry, ironing and just general clean up after the weekend. It seemed like a good day to try and commit to blog posts! Things don't always go as planned and occasionally I don't get my Monday chores done so it seems likely that there will be times when I don't post to the blog either, but I'm sure none of you sit around holding your breath for a post anyway so it should all work out fine. Perhaps if I master the once a week posting I can even move up to a second weekly posting say on Fridays when I do a few additional random loads of laundry!
My lack of posting isn't for a lack of things to post about....so here are a few visual updates!
In April, these wonderful friends....friends that mean so very much to me came all the way from Oregon to Michigan for a visit. We had such a great time and I can't even begin to explain how good it felt to have them here and laugh and laugh and laugh with them. I miss you all so much!!!
They brought this sweet little girl along too so she could hang with Jess
A cold and dreary day can't hold us back! Visiting the Tridge in Midland
Playing at Plymouth Park with one of the Midland Water Towers in the background.
The Dow Headquarters...significant because do you recognize the Japanese Flag? It's the white one with red circle in the middle...this is where we were nearly taken in to custody so Liz could get a shot of the Japanese Flag for her daughters who go to a Japense Immersion School. We did not pass through the guarded gates however we took too long getting the perfect shot and were detained by the Dow Chemical Security where we had to give our names, license, etc etc before being released. I can assure you we will NEVER again cross Dow property without being properly authorized to be there! LOL
Next, it was my birthday. Thank you friends for being here to share it with me!
This little sweetie pie is a stray cat we named Sugar and tried to keep. After two weeks we determined that our big bully cat, Tucker was not going to adjust to sharing his home with this sweet little girl so we had to find her a new home. Tucker is happy now and Sugar has been fixed, given her shots and adopted out to a new family with a 3 1/2 year old boy who loves her lots.
Next was a visit from Grandma & Grandpa in honor of Jessie's birthday. We loved having them here and miss them terribly but know we will see them again soon! YEAH
The birthday girls....Grandma's b-day is just 5 days before Jessie's!
Sweet little girls are likely to get "sweet" presents for their birthday!
spoiled spoiled spoiled little sweet birthday girl!
We have had LOTS of Hockey....Jake is on the Northstars Team and is doing GREAT! Go #16
and little miss Jessie has taken up Figure Skating. She is participating in Skills Development right now and LOVES it and I love watching her! Go Jess!
Wow! Sitting here this morning reflecting back on our weekend. We have certainly come a long way and our life is so different from just a year ago. That in it self could be a whole post for another time!
Although I miss Oregon so much and miss all our family and friends there even more I told Jeff last night that I'm really glad we made this move. I was so worried we would have a hard time making friends but over the 7 months we have been here I have been so blessed to meet some really nice ladies and honestly I feel like we've been friends forever! We are all so different but so much a like and their husbands and children are all great too. If you know me, you know that having people over ot our house is not uncommon. We have always loved to entertain be it a small get together or a big party. Last night we had a really great cocktail party at our house and it was so great! Can you believe it? Now you know why I feel blessed. In just 7 months I've become close with enough people to host a party and it was perfect. The kids played together great in the basement and the men and women bonded upstairs over really great food and drink. I couldn't have asked for a better time.
My friends: Annette, Tracy, Me, Carol, Janine, Kim
Although I'm close with all the above ladies, Tracy & Carol are my two closest friends. We do something together every week. Carol (right) was the first person to really reach out to me. We met through the newcomers group. Now Carol has been elected President, Tracy Hospitality Chair and me Treasurer for next year. We will take on our duties in the fall!
Carol being silly! She and her husband are from West Virginia and have the most delicious accent!
She says Toilet....toe-let. It makes me laugh every time I hear it!
Rod & Carol
Bryan & Tracy
Not only did we host a party last night, Jeff even played poker at a neighbors house on Friday night. There were a lot of guys there and he had a great time. Met several people in the extended neighborhood....Jessie has been gone for two nights....spent the night with one friend on Friday and another on Saturday. Everything is good here and it makes me smile!
Once upon a time I thought a blog would be a wonderful thing. Then I moved and I thought it would be a great way to keep friends and family up to speed on what the Anderson's are up to. Unfortunately, I haven't been good at keeping up my blog...so I'm at a crossroads.
To the left: Make a commitment to keep the blog updated at least once a week if not more. Post pictures, tell everyone about our exciting life, etc etc.
To the right: Stop paying the monthly $8.95 because nobody reads your blog anyway.
So you can see my dilemma....left, right.....right, left....which way do I go?..and then it hits me, "go forth and forge your own path right up the middle" and that's where YOU come in dear blog readers....are there enough of you to make it worth my $8.95 a month? Let me know if you read my blog and if you do, is it often? Of course often is relative....I'm sure you would read it more often if I actually ever posted to it, which I will (I swear) if there are more than just my parents, my in-laws, Dawaila and Liz who read it! (Really, I swear, I will...at least once a week, maybe more!)
Looking forward to hearing from you :-)
We are in a Valentine's Day frenzy around here. The sun is shining, it is supposed to get up to 58* today....WOW! and we are all about getting ready for the lovey-ist day of the year. Today in between loads of laundry I'll be thinking of all the fun and healthy snacks I can make for Jake's Valentine's Party. The kids LOVE meat and cheese so I figured heart shape meat and cheese snacks on heart shaped plates. Crackers in heart baskets, some dipped pretzel sticks with pink and red sprinkles, Chocolate dipped strawberries, carrots, celery and cauliflower in red "buckets"...so cute...I'm way over the top!
Jessie is planning a Valentines Day dinner for Jeff and I, so sweet..........she has such a big heart.
And a few weeks ago I made this at a crop I went to at the local scrapbook store:
OH! I FORGOT THE BEST PART OF THE VALENTINE'S FOOD.......RED VELVET CUPCAKES!
Oh my, how does the time fly by so quickly? It seems that is all i ever say especially when it comes to maintaining this blog. So...in a nut shell nothing much is going on but here is what I can share with you for tonight.......
For the first time in SO LONG we actuallly had a no-snow weekend here. It was COLD, maybe a high of 13 or so but NO SNOW...which means we got out of dodge for awhile! Deena (my cousin) sent me a link to a cute store located in Ann Arbor so what more incentive do i need???? We headed out. It was really too cold to enjoy it fully but I'm looking forward to going back in July for an awesome-sounding Art Festival. The greatest thing about AA was that people were out...walking through downtown and that is something that we haven't seen ANYWHERE else here in Michigan. It reminded me of strolling through Eugene or Portland....oh it was great!
A nice shop owner ws telling us that there was a Museum of Natural History at the U of M...so we headed up there for a little museum dwelling....this was the ceiling in an amazingly beautiful rotunda as you entered the museum.
Tonight was a very exciting night for us! jessie had her first BAND CONCERT! It was so wonderful. She was a shining star and the whole band was excellent. Far better than many moons ago when Jeff and i were in 6th grade band! It was a challenge to get good pictures, but here's what we got!
Now, just some random things.....A week or so ago I made homemade Tamales........Oh they were good, but not nearly as good as Doriann's......one of these days I'll be home for another lesson Dor.....be ready!
and of course our days are filled with lots of silly puppy-kitty play or puppy-old dog play (no pic's...sorry)
and a few weeks ago Jeff took the dogs out for there last potty walk of the night...he called for me to come out because there was this spectacular ring around the moon....it was amazing, so much better than the pictures but still great....I called my dad for an explanation and of course he rattled off that it was an ice ring.......go here to learn more.
What a great and crazy trip we had to Oregon!
It seems like water under the bridge now, but it was crazy getting to Oregon. We left on Sunday Dec 21....checked online, checked at the ticket counter, there were no delays....everything a go....
we arrived in Minneapolis.....(one hour later)
ALL FLIGHTS TO PORTLAND, OREGON -------------- CANCELLED.................
ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?
Call the Airline................they can't get us on another flight until TUESDAY.............
ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?
Tears, lots of tears...
Long story short............we bought new tickets on a different airline, flew to San Fransisco and rented a car and drove to Eugene............arriving on Tuesday the 23rd....Two days late.
BUT WE WERE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS AND IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY, EVERY MILE, EVERY EVERYTHING!
Here are the highlights in a nutshell.
Traditional, Beer Cheese Soup on Christmas Eve. It is the first course coming right before Fondue!
When your steak, shrimp or mushroom comes off in the fondue pot, you have to go around and KISS everyone at the table!
Feeding my little "Chunky Monkey"........my cousin's son Curtis
Oh, I love these kids...........I miss them so, so, much---Curtis' big sister, Anna.
Oh my gosh, these girls are CRAZY!
Some of the kids' best buddies at the Skating Rink!
LOVE these BOYS....they are like brothers.......
Good Times with Second Cousins
Gabe, Jake, Jess, Laramie
Our last night was spent in Portland and dinner with Jeff's Cousin Leo and his family....
Jennifer, Gabe and Laramie.
One thing I know for sure after this trip is how lucky we are. We are so incredibly grateful for the friends and family that surround us. We feel so loved and love all of you right back
Wishing you all well in 2009.
All I want for Christmas is..............................
Last Saturday night we bundled up in our winter coats to brave the ICE COLD temperatures and wind in hopes of spending a little time with Santa. We drove on down to the Santa House, a building dedicated for one purpose only and that is to grant the wished of good little boys and girls for a few weeks each year. After Chrismtas it is locked up tight waiting in anticipation for the next Christmas season. They have music, animated displays, trains going all over the building and even SNOW falling every 10 minutes. It was well worth the long wait of 45 minutes outside and another 20 in. Of course by the time we finally got inside, we didn't care how long the line was as it felt so good to be out of the freezing temperatures (it was about 12* I don't know what the windchill factored in at.)
After seeing Santa, we headed down Main Street to Daddy-O's for Deep Fried Pickles, French Fries and Onion Rings! YUMMM