Thursday, June 26, 2003

I hope Willy (my brother--#1 of 5) doesn't mind if I post his response to that earlier entry about the CD. He's a good brother and pal and man, we wish there were better jobs in Montana so he could be a chemical engineer HERE instead of Death Valley (well, Palm Desert, CA--close enough).

Maj,

That was cool, I read the bit about the CD and memories from our youth. I never missed being young, in Tucson, close to the ones I love like I do right now. I think it is a combination of realizing that we are getting old, passing through the young adult stage, and being so damn far away from each other. I have these thoughts in the back of my mind that tell me to just drop it all and go someplace that will make me happy. But, I think anyplace could make me happy as long as I was not so isolated. I know everything happens for a reason, to accomplish something in the Lord's big plan for each of us, but that does not make it any easier to bear. I want to move to Pocatello where we can be between you and Jill and next to Dad.

If it weren’t for my little family here with me, I would not be here at all. Home is where the heart is, unfortunately my heart is in more than one place; wherever my wife and children are, Tucson, Pocatello, Montana, Utah (and a little in MO with mom).

Thank you for being such a good communicator. You seem to hold the family so close together even when we are so far apart, a skill that I just never refined. Perhaps I am more the kind of person that keeps the family from blowing up when we are really close together, a peacemaker maybe? At least I like to think that…[that's true--mom mever yells at Willy; he could always calm her down!]

I am glad you wrote that, and glad that it somehow touched me, (weird feeling like this at work). My day has not been the greatest, so I am that much more grateful.


Thanks, I love and miss you sooooo bad.

Wally Toledo

I am listening to a CD that my little brother made for me. It’s called “Up Hill Both Ways Barefoot in the Snow—music from our youth.” It totally reminds me of him and it’s a lot of stuff I haven’t listened to in ages. I was sitting here doing my computer stuff when “Six Different Ways” by the Cure came on. All of the sudden I got these butterflies in my belly as if I were 16 again and driving in the car with my brother with the music cranked. Then “Debaser” by the Pixies and “Laid” by James—ahhh. It’s amazing what music can access in one’s brain. It’s also amazing what my brain decided to lock away in my memory and that the only key to that file cabinet is music.

I wouldn’t be a teenager again for a million bucks, but it’s fun to feel excited about life once in a while, even if it’s just a memory triggered by a song.

(Halfpipes. The I-19 frontage road in Sahuarita in the Jetta with the windows down. Dry ice bombs. Saturday night dances. Kissing each other’s friends. Big Gulps. Postcards from Paradise.)

"I wish you were here...but I was always a wish away."--the Wonderstuff

Monday, June 23, 2003

Jill and family finally got here at lunchtime on Friday. We all went to the Pickle Barrel Sandwich shop for lunch and walked home in the warm rain. Sadly, that rain would soon turn cold and ruin our weekend plans. After lunch, Rich worked and we napped and relaxed at home. We had planned to go up to Pine Creek and camp, but the weather changed our minds and we had a cook out at Sacajawea Park and let the girls play instead. Rich's sister Angie joined us with her family and we got home just before the heavy, cold rains began. We bathed the girls and snuggled up and enjoyed eachother's company.

Saturday we also had to change plans due to the weather. Rich and Drew were going to take the girls swimming while Jill and I helped out at the Young Women's carwash (fundraiser for camp)--both activities were rained out. So we went out to Rosa's Pizza for lunch and drove down the valley to Chico Hot Springs so the girls could still swim. They were so cute swimming around on their little floaty toys. Addie loved walking around in the 2-ft. part and blowing bubbles. She didn't even mind going under water! I am so glad she's not afraid of water--we'll have much more fun this summer that way!

After swimming (around 3:30) we came back to town and began preparing for Rich's birthday luau at is parents' house. We planned it there because their yard is so beautiful, but we had to have it inside because of the rain. It turned out really fun anyway. We ate delicious marinated chicken and ribs, rice and chili, fruit salad, panipopo (coconut milk rolls), and cake. Rich got lots of fun gifts (like new clothes, "18 things for the guy born on the 18th," babysitting coupons, gift certificates for dinners and movies, and camping stuff) and we had fun with our guests (Blatters, Carters, missionaries, Mike Melin, Petersens and Parents). It got late, so we took the girls home to bed and played board games and Yahtzee in to the wee hours--Jill is still the Yahtzee Nazi-- she even beat Mike!

The Petersens left Sunday morning when we left for church--*sigh*! We miss them a lot, but we had a nice quiet, rainy Sunday with a nice long nap and a youth fireside in the evening. We watched Amelie again (Rich's first time watching it) and loved it. Happy weekend. I feel exceedingly grateful for my family--both immediate and extended--and count myself blessed and lucky to be free from the tension and other issues that plague so many families and marriages. All my childhood and youth, I prayed that my home would be a refuge from the world, and so far it has been just that and I thank my lucky stars (and God) for that!

If you didn't get pix of this weekend but want some, just email me.

Friday, June 20, 2003

G'Mornin!

We expected Aunt Jill (my sister), Uncle Drew, Cousin Ally and Cousin Isabelle to be sleeping in Addie's room when we woke up this morning, but Jill calleda t 130 am and told us they had missed fork in the I-15 and had gone an hour toward Burley, Idaho instead of straight north through Idaho Falls. They decided to just sleep in Idaho Falls and drive up (3 1/2 hours) this morning. I think Addie and I are going to the wading pool while we wait.

Addie cracked us up last night with a new word (which I am sure she picked up at my mom's house--her kids say it all the time). Rich changed her diaper and she kept saying, "Awww, gross! Gross!" It was so funny because she's just so little and we didn't teach her that. Then she used it again this morning when she smelled Daddy's breath--"Gross Daddy." It'll be interesting having her commentary on everything now. Also, she forgot how to say "yes" on our trip. Now she only says "No", even when we know she means yes ("Do you want a cookie?" --"No."/ "Do you want to play with Grandma?"--"No."/ "Do you want me to get you out of bed?"--"No."). She's a kook.

More later.

Oh--PS!!! The YW campout was fun, as was Rich's whole birthday. He got a new baby niece as a birthday present! Mark (his brother) and Elena (Mark's wife) had a baby girl in the evening of June 18th--7lbs. 6 oz., 21 1/2" long, named Liana. How cool is that? They are in Texas, so it will be a while before we get to see the little tootsie (which is too bad--Mark and Elena were at the hospital when Addie was born and we'd like to have returned the favor :)).

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Denver Airport=black hole

Life just got crazy busy. I've got a Young Womens' campout on Wed. (the 14-16 yr-olds) which is Rich's bday, planning mtg tonight, my cool sister Jill and her family arriving late Thursday night, a church activity at Pine Creek Friday that Rich is in charge of, a Young Women's fundraiser car wash on Saturday, and Rich's big birthday luau on Saturday night. And I still have to unpack our 4 big person-sized bags that arrived last night from United Airlines flight who-the-heck-knows!

A few updates/corrections to previous entries: the luggage and camera that I lost on my way to St. Louis were returned the next day. The camera thing really restored my faith in humanity. At least a little.

My cousin's baby is Ryley, not Riley. Just like my daughter is Addie, not Addy (I wanted Adi, since it's short for Adeline, but then everyone would have pronounced a long A).

The people-issues I mentioned blew up and were resolved. And no, they were not with my husband or family. I actually don't fight with my husband because he is an angel straight from heaven and patiently puts up with all my antics. Our relationship is a happy, calm place in my life, which is something I thougt one could only DREAM of...

Okay. I must needs get on with my preparatios for the rest of the week. Farewell!

Monday, June 16, 2003

Melting in Middle America

I am apologizing profusely for not writing during our trip to St. Louis (mom has Juno, so--well, you know what that means). SOME of our trip pix made it out to family; most did not, and I don't think any got out to friends.

Here's the breakdown of activities:
May 29: arrive in St. Louis in time for dinner; one suitcase and one $1200 digital camera MISSING! (don't sleep well)
May 30: prepare for sister Amy's graduation from Timberland HS at Lindenwood University; attend said ceremony in sweltering auditorium with my mom, Mark and their family plus my sister Sara, broinlaw Rob, nephew Raef, nephews Cody and Tyler, and Addie.
May 31: Stepdad Mark's company picnic at Six Flags; ride rides, take pix, and chase kids all day (There were fun rides that Addie could ride all by herself! It was so dang cute!)
June 1: Amy moved to Michigan with Rob and Sara and Mark left on a week-long business trip at 6am; Mom and kids sick and exhausted from trip to Six Flags; I'm exhausted from Addie screaming between 2am and 5 am because she's cutting molars and she misses her daddy; we miss church but end up having a pretty nice day at home.
June 2: Shop-a-rama with mom; we hit a cool second-hand kids' store and Costco, then set about organizing mom's plethora of crafting supplies (which have been cluttering up her otherwise luxurious and beautiful master suite for 11 months). This becomes a 3-4 day project with lovely results. At FHE, my nephews Cody and Ty teach a parable I taught them and we have Primary Song all-request hour.
June 3: Our first venture to the St. Louis Zoo, which was just splendid! It's free to get in (although lots of attractions cost money) and it's very wild and natural and fun. The kids loved the animals--they got to feed nectar to lorikeets, pet and brush goats, ride a tube slide that goes through the sea otter tank, and watch the penguins and puffins and hippos swim in their tanks, too (eye-to-eye underwater through the glass). They also rode a beautiful "conservation carousel" and a cute little train that encircles the zoo
June 4: House Projects (mom's room);
June 5: House Projects; Cardinals' baseball game (Cards spanked the Blue Jays, by the way--no hits until 8th inning and I ate the spiciest bratwurst ever--ugh!)
June 6: I can't remember what we did this day
June 7: Picked up Rich from Airport at 11am; lunched at Fazoli's; worked on the backyard as a family that night
June 8: church at 830am; picnic and zoo (again--we had to take Rich and his good camera); Addie has a ball with her daddy there! ; Addie starts running a high fever and having diarrhea--later we figure its probably a combo of teething and a bug that runs through the whole family over the next week.
June 9: Work on house (Rich building in basement; mom and I put up a pool for the kids on the deck); swam; had another sing-along fest for FHE and played Pictionary with Magnadoodles with mom, Rich, Cody, and Ty after little ones went to bed; Addie slightly sick.
June 10: Worked on house (Rich building in basement, me painting furniture in basement)
June 11: Worked on basement in the morning, took Rich to the airport in the afternoon (he flew to Rochester, NY to photograph a wedding on Thursday in Palmyra, then up to Montreal for the reception and a tour on Friday and Saturday); went to Old Navy with mom to get Rich's birthday giftie.
June 12: Hung out with mom; scan a bunch of old family photos to save for genealogy purposes; lunch at Hardee's and play at Lake St. Louis Park; shopping with brother Mike; scrap book and make cards for Father's Day.
June 13: Play with kids all morning, clean house, make books with mom, work on genealogy photos some more; breakfast for dinner; games with Cody and Ty; TV with mom (Gregory Peck died--so sad--I stayed up and watched his Biography on A&E 11pm-12am)
June 14: Laundry and Packing and cleaning up our mess; Addie feeling better but worn out (so we stay home to nap and pack while Mom and Mark took the other kids to see Finding Nemo); shop with mom; tacos for dinner; TV and manicures with mom; brother Mike came home from Youth Conference and we chill for a while and eat Trix at 11pm.
June 15: Fathers' day! Church at 830; picked up Rich form Montreal at 10am; Baja Tacos for lunch with Father's day gifts and cake; nap; pack; say goodbyes; mom drive to airport at 4pm for 540 flight that turns into a 610 flight that might not connect in Denver with our flight to Bozeman; we make our Bozeman flight by the skin of our teeth, only to arrive without our FOUR HUGE pieces of checked luggage (!); the flight was nice and Addie was good, but she totally peed all over me on the plane (we had run out of diapers, so I used a swim diapers--for future reference, they don't catch pee--just the floaty stuff)-I am just glad to be back and glad Rich was there to help; arrive at our home sweet home at 11 pm and have a joyfully dreamy night's sleep in our huge comfy super king bed with fresh sheets; Addie sleeps well, too--ahh! Who cares about lost luggage when you're home safe after a long trip!?! (well, we do, a little--still waiting for it to get here--it HAS arrived in Bozeman).

Top 4 things about being home:
1. Cool, DRY air
2. Huge comfy bed
3. The Sound of Silence (ahhhhh)
4. Livingston ROCKS--summer came while we were gone and it's mighty loverly!

Bottom 4 things:
1. Missing Mom
2. Not seeing the house projects finished
3. Not having any clothes to wear
4. Not having a free zoo

So there you have it. If you got the email of pictures, they should all make sense now ! :)

PS: Rich had a great time in Palmyra and Montreal and stayed with my friend Heidi's family in Seneca Falls (I am so jealous!) The pix are FAB!

PPS: the luggage arrived at 4pm today and just about gave the delivery guy a heart attack carrying it up. Better him than us, I guess.

FAMILY LETTER 01.14.18

Dear Loved Ones,                                                      This has been a very typical January week. We are well into the w...