I have thoroughly enjoyed this space over the past few years and the connections it has brought into my life.
But for now, I think it's time to say goodbye.
It has served its purpose.
I have nothing left to say.
It's the end of the story.
Thank you to those who have visited and left comments.
You are near and dear to my heart.
Perhaps someday the story might continue in a different time and place.
Autumn is here. It's my favorite season. I anxiously begin anticipating it's arrival about the end of July when I'm just tired of the long, sunny, hot days. And let me tell you, we got a really great long and hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest this year. But yes, I was ready for fall and cool days and sweater weather and shorter days way back in July.
It's funny. Now that I think about it the only change I really love and eagerly anticipate is the change of seasons. If I had to rank the seasons I look forward to most - autumn, winter, spring and lastly, summer. But I really do look forward to them all. I get tired of the hot sunny days in the summer, and the rain and cold in the winter, and spring - well, I don't seem to tire of spring.
Today is the second day of fall quarter at Clark College. I signed-up for one, two credit online only class. Times have changed, I know, but I'm really not so sure about this online learning thing. I am certain there are benefits to it (I don't have to find a sitter and drive all the way into downtown Vancouver for class, I can do my work whenever I please and in my PJs...) But I went to college in the early mid 90s. We sat in class. We tried like hell to stay awake in early morning classes. We ran into friends on campus. We met new friends in new classes. And we actually got to interact and learn from one another, not just a textbook and a professor. Does that make me sound old?...Maybe I am old. Forty and going to college...
And on this second day of the quarter I'm already questioning whether I really should be taking a class. I'm the queen bee of second guessing. Will I be able to do the work? (Yes. Yes you will, Andrea.) Do I want to do the work? (Umm...today - no, not really. This week - no, not really.) I guess lazy has gotten the best of me as of late. That's what being home and not working or going to school for almost seven years will do to you. But I have three assignments due by Sunday...
I've been in a photography slump. Again. What's new, right?... But an idea came to me today. A little project for October. I'll tell you more about it soon enough. ;)
Our hardwood floors are installed!! yahoo!! Eric and a friend of his from work worked their butts off and got it done in just three weekends. We have some work to do on the trim now, but the floors are in! And that nasty, gross carpet. GONE. We are using scraps of it as area rugs for now - don't want to scratch those new floors. The floor is defintely colder than the carpet! And we've had a few good laughs watching Sammy negotiate the new floors when she gets all excited when dad gets home. She's a slip-sliding mess. But it's funny.
Have you heard this song by Avicii?... Kinda catchy, I think.
Oh and this one. I love The Barenaked Ladies. Glad to hear them on the radio again!
I suppose that's all for now. Enjoy the week, friends!
We are in the long process of installing our own hardwood floors.
Well, let me say Eric and a friend of his from work are in the long process. But they are both engineers, so best leave it to the pros, right?...
Anyway, I've dreamed of new hardwoods for years now. Years. And they are finally here in boxes all over the house. Strand bamboo. A lovely shade that's not too dark and not too light. Just perfect.
We've been in this house ten years now. The white carpet hasn't been "white" for years...after eight years of Maggie, and almost two years of Sammy, and the pets the previous owners had, and two messy adults and one messy child... No, the carpets are a lovely shade of dirty now.
And let me tell you - it's glorious to see it go. I can almost hear the choirs singing...
Sammy is pretty happy about this new flooring as well.
She gave it a good "test drive" yesterday when the sun was streaming in the front door windows, and that new hardwood flooring got nice and toasty...
I think she's just as pleased with it as the rest of us.
And I think you'll be seeing plenty more photos of Sammy and Max in the sun. :)
He had a good day.
And that's all this mom was hoping for, really.
He didn't really want his picture taken but I told him he wouldn't get to play with my ipad if he didn't let me take a few pics. That seemed to work, but the fake "cheese" smile is evident.
Notice those two missing upper teeth. :)
We still have the issue of actually eating the lunch he brings to school to work on, but I think he'll figure that one out fairly quickly. ;)
I remember holding him as a baby and toddler and thinking I that "all day, everyday" school days were SO far away...and they'd never get here soon enough for this exhausted mom who day-dreamed of a reprieve from the non-stopness that is motherhood. But now here they are...
And just like that I'm back to days alone with the dog and no job - just like when I left work and went on bedrest five weeks before having Maxwell.
Different dog, but we'll keep each other company just the same.
I'm just happy this dude above is back in school and getting to see his friends on a regular basis.
And unlike last year, this mom did not shed a tear.
He's a happy kiddo - no need for tears.
I thought I'd share 40 things about me since I turned 40 back at the end of June. Some you've heard before I am sure.
1. I like my margaritas on the rocks with a lot of salt.
2. I used to play the clarinet, the flute and the piano. And I used to sing in my church choir. And I went to band camp.
3. A few of my favorite CDs: Tapestry - Carole King, Lead Me On - Amy Grant, Greatest Hits Vols 1 - James Taylor, anything Alison Krauss and anything John Mayer and anything David Wilcox.
4. I don't like big change. AT. ALL.
5. The best birthday gift I've ever received was getting to have lunch on my actual birthday with my best friend, Stacey, while she was in the midst of fighting a battle with melanoma. I got to see her one last time before she died two months later. I don't think any gift I ever receive will top that.
6. I was a campus tour guide at the University of Washington. It was fun! Though it fills me with a crazy amount of anxiety to think of doing that now.
7. I think some people are good at their hobby and some are given a true gift. How it all pans out - I don't know. But I hope someday I discover that I have a true gift for something.
8. Being laid-off twice was a bit of a blessing in disguise. I don't take any job overly serious anymore. I mean I'm still a hard worker, but I don't let work own me. Too many people let work own and define them. It's kinda sad. I know that I'm just a wheel in the cog of the big machine. It's given me a healthy perspective on work and what really matters in life. Work may make you think you're big stuff and they can't live without you, but they can. Believe me, they can replace you in a heartbeat.
9. If I could go back to any one of my past jobs, I'd choose to go back to my very first job out of college - Program Coordinator for the University of Washington School of Medicine's Continuing Medical Education Department (now there's a mouthful!) If I was still there, I'd likely be Director by now.
10. My favorite holiday is the Fourth of July, which is also my brother's birthday. :) Second favorite is Halloween - mostly because I love fall.
11. I used to love the Christmas season until I worked retail. Retail killed the holidays for me.
12. If I could live anywhere in the world I'd move right on back to lovely Kirkland or Redmond, Washington.
13. If I could go back to school (and money/school loans was no issues) I'd get my Pharm.D.
14. I'd do Botox and get a little filler done in a heartbeat. Apparently I'm getting vain in my old age.
15. One thing about parenthood that drives me bonkers is the inability to have a conversation with my husband or pretty much any other adult without being interrupted by Max a million times. Bonkers!!
16. I think it's important for every person to find that one thing they do solely for him or her self. That thing that makes you feel just like you. Not as mom or wife or sister or friend or worker, but as you. Without that one thing that fills you you'll always have a little empty spot in your life, regardless of all the other things you do.
17. As I've gotten older my faith in all things has slowly disintegrated. There's not much left - little bits and pieces in crumbs, in my hands. I'm trying to hold on to them. But at this point it would be far easier to brush the crumbs off and move on. I always thought my faith would grow as I did, but it hasn't. My faith has slowly crumbled.
18. I believe there are two types of friends that come into our life - the ones that are forever, sister friends, and the ones that teach you something about yourself and your life and then move on.
19. I could live on guac and chips in the summertime. Heck! Anytime!
20. One of the best pieces of advice a friend ever gave me: when trying to make a decision, do whatever is going to be harder to do. At first it doesn't sound like it makes much sense, but in the end it really does. I think we spend a lot of time taking the easy way out, so-to-speak. Sometimes the good stuff in life takes a crap-load of hard work and some pain and suffering. Of course, I'm still working on this one. It isn't easy.
21. I'm recorded on vinyl along with the rest of the Rose Hill Junior High band.
22. One of the greatest and simplest gifts you can give anyone you care about in life is your time and a listening ear. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. All any of us wants is to be heard.
23. I love the fall and rain and clouds and wind. I love a good stormy day.
24. I'm an excessive worrier, dweller on the past, and ruminator.
25. I care far too much what other people think of me. Way too much. I have to remind myself to just let it all go sometimes. The real, true loving people in my life will always come find me. The rest can just fall away - and that's okay.
26. I love real mail - cards, hand-written letters, packages.
27. I love my dog, Sammy Sue, and could sit cuddled on the couch with her for a very long time. She has the softest ears - like velvet.
28. I'm an introvert through and through, to the core.
29. Some things that you experience in life just permanently change you. They happen and then there's the "before the event" you and the "after the event" you. And no matter how much you might try - you can't go back to the "before the event" you.
30. Motherhood is by far the hardest job I have and will ever have.
31. I pretty much worry that I'm failing as a mother everyday.
32. Max is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Nothing will ever top having him.
33. I cry a lot more now that I'm getting older. Maybe it's hormones...
34. I clean when I'm angry or feeling guilty. It's like doing penance or something.
35. I swear the most when I drive. I wouldn't say I have road rage, but bad drivers annoy the heck out of me.
36. If you asked me to name one thing I'm really awesome at I'd say school/college.
37. I'm not sure what my life would look like if photography wasn't part of it.
38. If I could make a decent living doing it, I'd be a graphic designer.
39. Making chit-chat with people I don't know at parties fills me with crazy amounts of anxiety. I really kind of dread doing it. Oh, let's just be honest - I kinda of hate it.
40. If I had to describe my life in two words I would say, "Lucky me."
I took a month off from this space.
I turned the big FOUR-ZERO back at the end of June...
We went to visit relatives in Colorado in early July...
And I just took some time to take care of me...
But I'm back.
More Colorado photos to come.
Eric picked Maggie long before we ever met, and Maggie was crazy and always had to be around other people. Always. She was glued to someone. Anyone who'd let her tag along.
But this Sammy girl...
It puzzled me for months.
She'd come snuggle on the couch for a few minutes and then hop off and wander away.
I'd eventually get up and find her, wondering where the heck she went - wondering why she would just get up and leave my company. (Okay, yeah, I was kinda taking it a tiny bit personally...crazy dog owner, I know.)
And I'd always find her laying around in the living room, or on the living room couch, or happily hanging out in her kennel in Eric's office.
Perfectly content to be alone.
One night this week she went to bed with Max but when he got up to come into our room (yep, still working that problem) Sammy got out and happily camped-out and slept the rest of the night on the couch downstairs. Maggie would have been whining outside our door all night long if she hadn't been able to go to bed with her favorite person - dad.
Yep, the extrovert "dad" chose the extrovert dog, Maggie.
And this highly introverted "mom" chose this introvert dog, Sammy Sue.