Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Two apples

Getting out of the house on a Monday morning is no small feat.  Addie left mad at the world because I somehow lost her jog-a-thon envelope that I have never even seen.  Bryson wanted me to read him a lego magazine comic, but of course I didn't have time for that, so he slinked away and said, "That's okay, I'll just look at the pictures for now".  I let him watch Curious George to ease the guilt, just a little.  I could have had time, I thought, if I didn't need to eat, and wipe the counters, and make some coffee.  All in all, we got out of the house by 8:15 after I ransacked three cupboards through piles of papers tucked away during house showing with no sign of that damn jog-a-thon envelope and got Bryson to school by 8:25.  Beds made, laundry in hampers, cushions smoothed, hair cleaned off bathroom surfaces, sinks cleaned, toilets doubled checked for flushing, all just in case someone wants to look at our house to maybe buy it today. 

I got to school and Bryson's teacher asked me if we brought in two apples.  We did not.  Nor was it on my radar.  I asked her if I could bring them in on Wednesdays, she said that by Wednesday they'd be made into applesauce, today was for cutting them up and tasting.  She said I could bring them in after school when I picked him up.  But after school he goes to daycare, and I get home at 6pm at the earliest.  I left and thought about how I could get those apples to her after school.  Call our nanny, call another mom from the class? I ransacked my brain, trying to think if I knew about this at some point or not.  I could imagine a cartoony calendar, one from a month ago. Where was that thing now?  How could I let this happen.  I beat myself up most of the way home to get the apples. 

It's not the end of the world, you know.  

My friend is mourning the loss of her father
My friend is watching three of her kids thrive in health, and one in multiple therapies to regain mobility
My friend is worried that her marriage is hopeless
My friend is trying to understand her son's debilitating anxiety.
My friend is a newly single mother, worried that she cannot do it alone
My friend is pushing through the pain of her foster children.
My friend was in a car accident
My friend is worried about her mom's chemo treatments
My friend is struggling as she watches her daughter not recover well from surgery

I forgot the apples.
I had time to go home and get some and drop them off.
I still got to work on time.
I emailed the jog-a-thon team, new form will go home tomorrow.  
What is my problem then? 

My life with it's little blips each day is okay.  It's better than okay.  Today, I don't have any of those worries that I listed above and people I love have those, and that is a blessing.  Bigger than a blessing.  My day will come with some life shattering worries, I'm sure of it, but today was not that day, and if I pretend that it is, then I am a liar and a thief of my own time and joy.  

I will not let the liar into my head who tells me I am a failure because I forgot to bring some fruit to preschool.  Or that a mad kid over a lost fundraiser form determines my worth.  That my struggles are big or real, in the way that they have the power to take away my victories.  I will not let two bad apples rot away the tree full of good apples.  

I have to proactively work at this thinking.  We all do.  For some reason, it doesn't come naturally, not unless you practice it.  To wake up each day and remember to listen for the Voice of Truth over the lies of the busy and condescending world.  Each day starts anew, you have to remember again and again and again, until you are weary wondering how many times you have to learn the same lesson.  But then, there isn't a better feeling than feeling perceived failure pushing you down, sinking lower…only to remember the brightness of the good truth, and to feel your heart raising up, the fog lifting, the truth about who you are and what matters carrying you high.  

So today started with a feeling of defeat, but then, then I remembered.  

And now my heart soars with gratitude.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

summer of 2014 and the run on story of ours

The summer is coming to an end.  In fact, I sit here on Friday at 5pm, Labor Day weekend in front of me, and I cannot believe 1. The summer is over and 2. All of the awesome stuff we got to do this summer.  

We finished up baseball season and the school year on June 13th, it was both girls first year in Softball and that kept us VERY busy.  Lily had a great coach who gushed on and on about each kid, including mine at her team party, leaving me feeling so grateful for coaches and this one in particular.  A wiffle ball game of parents vs kids ended with LOTS of super fun laughs and some really good new friends.  On the first weekend after school we celebrated Father's Day, and then the kids and I headed out of town  to visit my college roommate in Spokane.  We went to Riverfront park and Silverwood amusement park, but perhaps the biggest highlight for me was just spending a week with my kiddos together with Robin spending a week with her kiddos, doing life together for a few days.  As soon as we arrived home, ran in the twilight run (girls got 1st and 2nd in their age group for the 5K), then bright and early went to the airport the next morning because Grandma & Grandpa Herman and cousin Tyler came for 2 weeks!  Bryson went to a VBS camp the first week, and the kids had an amazing time together. They went to Multnomah Falls, OMSI, berry picking, and to lots of parks in there area.  We did our best to show Tyler a fun Oregon summer experience. Addie had her "tag" Hot Wheels birthday party with some school friends and their families at Cook Park.  We got to celebrate Addie's 7th birthday together before they flew home on the red eye.  

We spend fourth of July weekend at home for the first time in years, watched fireworks at THS and went to a local small town parade.  It was fun, but nothing compared to Shake the Lake, we definitely don't want to miss the 4th at Wallowa Lake again anytime soon.  We received news of a great opportunity and made the decision to put our house on the market because a friend is selling her house in a location that would be perfect for us, she's giving us first dibs.  We did some minor stuff in the yard and around the house to get ready to go on the market, and then headed to the Blue Mountains for the Blanchet family reunion at Red Bridge state park.  The weather was perfect this year and the kids had so much fun with their cousins.  They have developed a super close relationship with my cousin Grace's boys, Colton and Caleb, and they were inseparable all weekend.  Camping keeps getting to be more fun as the kids get older.  It's still a lot of work, but nothing like it has been for the past 9 years! Four of the Herman's headed home, and Lily went to Joseph for two weeks with my mom.  Addie and Bryson had VBS camp while Lily went to Chief Joseph Summer Camp and spent a bunch of time with my friends and their kids.  I loved it for her!  I loved it for me, I went to CJSS when I was a kid and have great memories there, it was so nice to see Lily get a slice of memories of Joseph in the summer.  We had one weekend at home, while our house went on the market, so we stayed out quite a bit.  We went to see Planes 2, had a BBQ with the Ornelas Family, and rode bikes at Summerlake Park.  On Tuesday night we packed up to drive to Joseph.  This would be our kids first time at Chief Joseph Days, and of course we could not WAIT to see Lily.  As soon as we pulled up at about 11pm, she dove into the car to hug us all.  Reunited and it feels so good! 
We went to the Rodeo, played at the lake, the kids were in the Kiddie Parade (got second place as Cat in the Hat and Things 1-2 come to CJD), we had my 20 year HS reunion at Vali's, watched the grand parade, had my 20 year HS reunion at the Joseph City Park with families, and more fun at the Lake.  We drove home on Sunday tired and happy.  No rest though, the girls started soccer camp first thing on Monday morning! 

The first weekend of August Lawrence got a job offer (he had been looking since May for something with more opportunity), and this was a VERY happy way to kick off the month.  We stayed home that weekend and IT WAS SO NICE to have a weekend at home. We found time for a BBQ with our friends the Smith's, which we had been trying to schedule since school got out.  We shopped for Bryson's wedding outfit and a few school clothes, then we went to the Tualatin Crawfish festival and ran into some new good friends on accident, which was awesome.  Then Addie and Lawrence got to go to the Thorns (Portland's professional women's soccer) game, after I got my first church going in all summer!  The kids had 4 straight days of swim lessons from my friend Kim, and it did wonders for each of them.  Addie gained so much confidence and they were all putting their face in the water effortlessly (something that has been a challenge).  Enough of this relaxing stuff, Lawrence had his last day of work on August 8, took off half day, and we were off to go camping.  We were supposed to go camping with the Ornelas Family at RAAB campground, but they had a family medical emergency, so at the last minute we changed plans and went to Swift Forest campground in Washington near Mt. St. Helens with our newish friends the Schlichting Family (they have kids Addie and Bryson's ages and she was my postpartum nurse with Bryson!).  Lawrence borrowed kayaks from a friend and we LOVED this campground and the lake, it was so nice.  Lily paddle boarded on a piece of wood for a long time, it was so much fun.  Bryson and their little boy Paul got to be good friends and they just had so much fun.  On Sunday we packed up and stopped in Hood River to pick up a few forgotten items (somehow we messed up on packing for this long trip) and we got lunch at the Brewery there and then headed over Mount Hood to Central Oregon and Lake Billy Chinook at Cove Palisades State park.  It was so incredible.  The weather wasn't great, too hot, too rainy, too much lightning, but somehow we just had the time of our lives.  We met new friends at the campground across from us, and the dad was from New Jersey, so instant connection, we had a great time with them.  Wednesday we headed back to Portland so we could pick up Julia from Germany at the airport. What a beautiful reunion it was.  Time for another quick and long overdue BBQ with the Jordan family (Addie's BFF).  No rest though because it was time to head down to Mount Angel for the weekend for NannyJenny and Tim's wedding!  #burtonhanneganwedding  The girls were both flower girls and Bryson was the ring bearer and they all looked adorable and did great.  The wedding was at Vanderbeck Valley Farms and the location was to die for.  Really amazing amenities but not so fancy pants, really comfortable and great.  Jenny and Tim looked incredible and happy, such a beautiful bride and all of their wedding party were also fun and great to be around.  We all danced and sweated our pants off and it was a fun family night for all.  The next day was our anniversary and we celebrated by back to school shopping and watching the Glockenspiel.  Monday, Lawrence started a new job, and that week we juggled cars, and got used to him working 2 + hrs later than he ever has, which was an adjustment for us all, and our dinnertime/sports schedules! We all found time for the ALS challenge, and donated to after dumping big buckets of ice water on our 5 heads.  The next weekend it was time for Hood to Coast.  Thursday night we met our team and decorated our vans, and then Friday, time to run.  More stressful packing, but once we got on the road to pick up the rest of our group, all was well.  I was proud of how everyone on our team ran, including myself.  I was nervous and wasn't sure how I would do.  My longest training run was 5 miles, and my shortest of the three legs was 4.55 miles.  But I did it.  I ran at sunset, I ran in the dark, I ran 6.24 miles, then 4.55 miles, then 5.24 miles.  I supported my team, I had no sleep, I had fun doing it all with my husband.  We stayed one extra night at the beach, sort of to celebrate our 12 year anniversary the week before.  We came home to another week of work, swim lessons, and BACK TO SCHOOL night.  Labor day weekend was super relaxed, we had pancakes for dinner as a request for by Julia for her last night, an EARLY morning goodbye on Saturday, then a day of family fun.  Lawr and I went to a tailgate party hosted by friends of ours that was sold at the PSO auction to benefit the school and it was so nice getting to know/reconnecting with a bunch of parents who have kids in both our girls classes.  Josh and Shawna took our kiddos for the night and we enjoyed our first night alone at our house since the night before Addie was born!  We returned the favor and had a fun Sunday with our kids + the Powers kids at Alpenrose.  Monday we had some house showings and went to "no playground park".  You know, since there was no soccer practice on Labor day, might as well go play some soccer.  

One more ice cream sandwich and backyard water fight and we were showered and in bed.  

Back to school tomorrow.  

What was your favorite part of summer?  Everything!