Monday, September 24, 2012

Alaska and Seattle Vacation--Abridged Version

Kyle and I moved up our Alaska trip of a lifetime by about a decade, thanks to my oldest and dearest friend who decided Alaska is her idea of a destination wedding and an Aunt and Uncle who live in Sitka, Alaska. Following is the extremely condensed selection of photo highlights from our vacation. We are now trying to figure out how we can afford $4,000 of airfare for all four of us to be in Sitka for Christmas in 2013.

Prior to boarding the ferry from Sitka to Juneau 9/14/12
Landscape of Alaska between Sitka and Juneau 9/14/12
Chapel at Shrine of Saint Therese, Juneau 9/15/12
Labyrinth and Chapel peninsula, Juneau 9/15/12
Introducing Tim and Jennifer Haag 9/15/12
 Mama bear and two cubs, Mendenhall Glacier Park 9/16/12
 Iceberg formation, Mendenhall Glacier Park 9/16/12
 Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls 9/16/12
 Raindrops 9/16/12
 Sunset from Harbor Mountain, Sitka 9/17/12
 Sunset from Harbor Mountain, Sitka 9/17/12
 A view from Uncle Don's fishing vessel, Sitka 9/18/12
 Tlinget Totem Pole, Totem Park, Sitka 9/19/12
 Mt Edgecumbe, Sitka 9/20/12
 Gift Shop Alley, Juneau 9/21/12
 View from the Edgewater Hotel room, Seattle 9/22/12
 Pike Street Market, Seattle 9/22/12
 Pike Street Market, Seattle 9/22/12
 Pike Street Market, Seattle 9/22/12
 Boats--Dale Chihuly Exhibit, Seattle 9/22/12
 Chandeliers--Dale Chihuly Exhibit, Seattle 9/22/12
 Space Needle and Flower Vine--Dale Chihuly Exhibit, Seattle 9/22/12
 Sailboat in Elliott Bay, Seattle 9/22/12
Skyline from Elliott Bay, Seattle 9/22/12

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The dream that could almost be real

Apparently, it was a dreamy night last night. I noticed a facebook friend posted a blog post about his almost sleepless night. I slept really well and had many dreams. Some made me sad and left wanting more, one in particular made me roll my eyes and chuckle. This is what remained as I reconstructed the dream aloud:

My in-laws were house-sitting prior to leaving on a trip to London. My mother-in-law called us once they got to London and left a voicemail saying, "Hi, we are in London, but wanted to let you know that it seems we accidentally set our friends' house on fire. We called 911, but couldn't stay because we didn't want to miss our flight. Just wanted to let you know. Talk to you later. Love ya. Bye!"

After relaying this to Kyle this morning, I laughed and said, "Part of me wouldn't put it past your mom to do exactly that. She's so set in her ways." Kyle piqued an eyebrow, paused and said, "You're probably right."

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Have Mail

Cate is continuing to send me her in-school writing exercises via google docs. Since I've been in Utah for work this week, it was especially nice to receive the two recent projects today.

By Catherine Marie Jensen

Poems hide.....
in the touch of my soft and fluffy sky
blue pillow I sleep on every night.
in the taste of chicken Rice-a-roni hot dish, with the tasty rice and chicken.
in the sight of my little fairy friends that come to show me their little magic spells.
in the smell of freshly baked Pillsbury cookies, soft and chewy cookies.
in the sound of the little birds singing in the beautiful spring weather.


By Catherine Marie Jensen

Pretty red roses.
Beautiful forget-me-nots.
Colorful flowers.

Dainty pink roses.
Wonderful yellow daisies.
Beautiful flowers.

Say bye-bye flowers,
Yell hello fall and winter.
Wonderful colors.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"What is Love" by Catherine Marie Jensen

Cate is using Google docs as part of her media curriculum.  Every once in a while, she has an assignment that she needs to save and send to someone.  I am her recipient of such projects.  This one came today.  What a delightful thing to read...

What is Love?

Catherine Marie Jensen

Love is a great feeling. You feel like you just want to dance in the clouds. You wish you could have love when you want it, when you need it and when you feel lonely. Love is as big as your imagination. Love is better then chocolate cake with chocolate syrup and whip cream on top. Most of all, I love my love as if it is something important.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Evening at Home

Now that I'm so far removed from any sort of single life (did I even have one?) it's nice how an evening at home like tonight can be better than an evening out.

We have had dinner; the dishes are washed, wiped and put away. Max is downstairs with Kyle, and I just finished sitting alongside Cate as she did her homework.

Cate's homework this evening was a worksheet on fractions along with word work and 30 minutes of reading. Kyle and I are a tag team duo when it comes to reviewing her work; Kyle is on math detail, I am on writing detail. The word work exercise today was to take five of her spelling words and break them down into smaller words--think 'Boggle.' So in this case, one word was 'president.' One goes with: rip, dent, is, sip, rip, end, pen, rent, side, ripe, rest, tender, drip, ripe, etc. I can't contain myself. I watch her write down two-, three-, some four-letter words and then I go into charades or fill-in-the-blank questions to get her to figure other words out. I have to wonder how much 'help' a parent should give their child to complete their homework to the best of their ability. What value or lesson am I giving her when she's basically writing down the words I come up with that she figured out through my clues?

While I was sitting with Cate at the dining room table, Kyle came upstairs to tell us Max was reading a Calvin and Hobbes book out loud and came across the strip where Calvin wanted to pretend to be two-dimensional. Max paused for a quick moment, then said, 'but Calvin already is two-dimensional; he's in a book!' What a smart, yet literal goofball.

So while Max is reading and having profound thoughts, Kyle works on laundry. The washing machine's rhythmic 'whirr-whirr-whirr' sound is making its way upstairs and it's almost enough to put me to sleep. Every once in a while I can hear little Max chattering away.

Cate has settled down for her reading time. Yesterday, I bought a couple of books for her--a simple biography of Anne Frank for a book report that needed to be done, and "The Diary of a Young Girl." For whatever reason, Cate has already loaned out "The Diary of a Young Girl" to one of her classmates. While I'm fine with Cate loaning out one of her books, I'd certainly rather she wait until she's read it first. So instead of reading her new book, she is re-reading a fairy book that is two grades below her level. I guess I should just be glad she's reading quietly on her own.

Max will eventually be sent upstairs to go to bed. He'll hop up onto where I'm sitting, cuddle into my arms and practically purr. His hands are cold from being in the basement which surprises me a little. I could let him fall asleep in my lap, but then I wouldn't get anything else done. So I have taken to slowly counting to ten. Once I get to ten, he is ready to take my hand, go to his room and get tucked in. I will remember to grab Kyle's ipod and play the Rio soundtrack for him. After a kiss on his forehead, he turns over and burrows further under blankets and will soon be fast asleep. He has a night light that's never on and he likes the door closed.

After the second time Cate comes out of her room telling me she forgot to do something, she will finally stay in her room for the rest of the night. Her ipod will be hooked up to her speaker and I will be able to clearly hear the songs from 20 feet away in the living room. I have no idea how she can fall asleep when the music is that loud. She still prefers her door to be left open a little and a night light dimly illuminates one corner of her room.

The kids are now in bed. It's nice and quiet. The washer has done whirr-whirr-whirring one load and now it's the dryer's turn to tumble. Since I've been sitting here typing away, I've noticed I'm chilled. Time to get a blanket. I don't have anything in particular to do this evening and it's rare to find something interesting enough on TV for me to tune in for, so I'll grab the new biography of Queen Elizabeth II and flip a page or two. Kyle's got some TV program on downstairs and he'll continue to move the laundry. Hopefully, my work email will be quiet for a while and I'll learn how 'Lilibet' comes to meet and marry Philip.

Eventually, I won't be able to keep my eyelids open anymore and I'll fall asleep on the loveseat. Kyle will peek in and chuckle to himself as I'm snoring and drooling away. He'll lean over and ask me if I'd rather stay on the loveseat or go down to bed. Depending on how coherent I am, I will likely end up stumbling my way downstairs and slink right into bed. The next morning, I'll vaguely remember how I got there, but hopefully I'll have slept so soundly that I will wake up remembering my dreams, which is always a pleasant way to start out a new day.

Ahh, and then the cycle repeats again in some way, shape or form...

I write this because I'm often too preoccupied with other thoughts in my head that I truly don't slow down and remain in the moment.  The mental list of things to do, things I've put off doing, things I wish I could do, worries of the day / week / month / life can easily derail any momentum I might have and pull me down and away from the people who love me most.  But when I took a step back to just 'be' and account for how just an evening at home can be fulfilling for the soul, it made me thankful for what a lucky girl I truly am.  I hope everyone can take a moment to just 'be' and be thankful for the simple and good things that happen in our lives today.  In this moment.  Now.