Sunday, January 31, 2016

My girlfriends and a few other things...

Back in December, the last of my BFF's turned 40. We decided this meant we needed a getaway. We really would have liked to have gone on a 10-day cruise to Mexico, but one night at the Embassy Suites in Bellevue over MLK weekend in January had to suffice.

We started after work on a Friday and stopped for dinner at a new favorite place near the outlet mall. While we were there, our wise and all-knowing math teacher among us informed us that high school students told her that if you put salt on your arm and then ice, you can burn yourself. Silly teenagers! Why do they know these things? Why do they try these things? 

So yes, then we my oldest friend had to try it. I'm sad to say, we encouraged the behavior. I couldn't believe I was around such rebels. They are such bad influences on me.

Would you look at that? It does leave a burn!

Our conversations in the car went something like this... "When I was in high school I did this..." Followed by laughter. And then the next friend said, "When I was in high school I did this..." and so on. With more laughter. Until it was my turn. And I said, "None of you would have been friends with me in high school!" LOTS more laughter.

After those confessions, thankfully, we all still like each other. Well, at least, I still like all of them.

At the hotel, we made the birthday girl wear the birthday hat. Too bad we forgot about it until then, or we could have made her wear it at the restaurant. That's what happens when we are all over 40, I guess. 

And then it happened. My weekend of rebellion began...

My oldest friend, yes, the one who put salt & ice on her arm, brought those. I have not consumed alcohol in at least 3 years. I don't like it and it makes me sleepy. I figured, "Hey - this doesn't really taste like alcohol and being sleepy in a hotel (since I can hardly ever sleep in a hotel) doesn't sound so bad. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I am apparently allergic to something in Mike's Strawberry Margaritas. Probably the red dye. My tongue swelled up. I couldn't breathe, and when I did sleep, I snored. Heavens. I DO NOT snore. I even texted my friend Tami, with whom I have spent dozens of nights in hotels or cabins due to our leading WA State GEMS together for 5 years, and she confirmed, she has never heard me snore. Ed hasn't either, but he apparently can't be trusted. :P

So, lesson learned. Don't ever trust your friends. They will make you a rebel.

On Saturday, after lingering over our free breakfast and coffee for hours, we went to Ikea. I had become such a rebel by this time that I went the wrong way down a one-way alley in a parking lot just to get a parking space. If I had gotten a ticket, I would have made my friends pay for it. They made me do it.

After Ikea came The Cheesecake Factory and Nordstrom Rack before we reluctantly began our drive home. It was a weekend literally FULL of laughter, friendship, coffee, and food. I wonder when we can go again?

A few other details from January...

My amaryllis (gift from a student) actually bloomed and was beautiful! I've never had such a nice one before!

Sarah got new cute, collegiate glasses. She loves them. She looks too old. Thankfully we bought them while she was still 17, because they were lots cheaper than if she had been 18!

And for those of you wondering, she is still working on the college decision. She is waiting for financial aid packages and scholarships to come through. It will be March at the earliest.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Early January

 On New Year's Eve Eve, we had game night with our friends that are practically family. They have 5 kids and we have known them for about 20 years. I never would have imagined that we would have the privilege of continuing to live within 10 miles of each other all these years later. Their kids are our kids' "cousins". Family night with them is the best.  

We rang in the new year with more friends that are practically family - our Life Group members (minus one family)! It was a great night - our kids got to hold bottle rockets and sparklers - and no one burned off their hand or anything, so I considered the evening a success!

We played some silly games, and the top six were good sports and wore my Happy New Year headbands from 2006!!

Over a year ago we had 20th anniversary pictures taken and I finally got around to creating a collage and putting it into one of the old windows that my dad had. I love it so much!

Apparently some little girls were getting very bored during Christmas break and braiding hair takes lots of time...

Sarah was my TA this semester and last Friday was her last day since this was exam week and her schedule changes next week. The kids made her a big card and she got to read the a book to end her time with them. She was great and we all miss her!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Eagles 2016

Often during Christmas break we take a drive and go looking for eagles. Personally I hadn't gone for a few years  for various reasons. We had heard that this year was a good year for eagles because the Skagit eagles were all on the Nooksack river because the Coho salmon run was low on the Skagit. So, along with the regular Nooksack eagles, there were also Skagit eagles. We did not see the 300+ that some people saw a week or so ago, but we definitely saw a lot and it was a beautiful morning!

I was pretty gaga over the frost flowers and ice crystals...I had never seen such a thing! The above two pictures were taken on Bethany's iPhone! 

One of the trees where we saw about 80 eagles. We stayed there a long time. The longer we looked, the more eagles we spotted.

Based on Ed's position in the above picture, I think I'm about to get hit by a snowball...

More eagles in these trees.

The whole area we went to first was very Narnia-esque.

Our second location, near the river, yielded no snow, more people, but beautiful eagles and scenery, none-the-less.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My mini me

Okay, so I wasn't *that* blond anymore by the time I was 9 1/2, but I had that wispy hair and that love of all things traditional...just like Elise apparently does.

She had her final elementary school program and looked adorable, sang her heart out, played her recorder magnificently, and even teared up at the end...just like her mama.

I could barely see her through most of the program, except for between some people's heads through my zoom lens, but she was completely in to it and is, as you can see, completely enamored by her beloved music teacher. She will miss Mrs. Dean!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

So...I found more pictures...

Apparently I haven’t taken pictures off the big camera in a while…because I found a bunch more of things I have already blogged…but they’re really good pictures and they’re good memories…so I just *had* to blog them. Above, another sweet picture of my girl in her pretty pink dress. 

And some really fun pictures from our tree decorating evening…

Sarah took ballet for one session when she was little…and she loved it and we thought she would become a famous ballerina, so I bought her this ballerina ornament that year. And now, even though she did not become a famous ballerina, nor does she wish she had, it’s still one of her favorite ornaments and she always begs me to let her put it on the downstairs tree, even though it doesn’t match. This year I let her. Know why? Yep. ‘Cause she’s going to college. If she asked me almost anything right now (& for the next 6 months) I would probably say yes. Almost anything.

The Peace on Earth globe ornament was Bethany’s this year…she loved it. Below is Sarah’s from this year…a girl running through the finish line. We are excited for track!

That’s me, as I watched our growing girls decorating the tree with very little help from me, realizing that next year will be different. I know, I know, I say that a lot, I’m just still trying to wrap my head around it. At any rate, I love that Ed knew what was in my head and came to give me a hug, and I love that Sarah noticed and took our picture. 

Above – yeah, who knows, but it was really funny to watch.

It was a fun night.