Monday, March 19, 2018

Ellis Island Day

Oliven did NOT enjoy Ellis Island day. He thought it would be more fun and less boring. I don't know why. I doubt very much that coming to America was fun. Exciting, yes, but entertaining, doubtful. It was a great way to experience a little bit what the people may have gone through on their way to America. I was an immigration officer and had to question people who were "out of line" before sending them back to the end of the line. So mean. The kids sure were adorable.

1 year anniversary

The one year anniversary of Grandma Gretchen's death has come and gone. It has been a really rough year for me emotionally (and physically). I miss her all the time. I really think going down to visit grandpa was really good for me. I feel like I am handling things better. I started seeing someone to talk everything out and hopefully that will help me figure things out. She says I have lots of childhood trauma. Nobody is surprised there. March 7th, 2017 will forever be a day that a wonderful woman left this world. Thanks for being you Grandma. You will live on in me. xoxo


Vander went on a special 4th grade trip to really learn about the gold rush. They panned for gold, set up camp, made corn bread and shelter. It was a great experience for him. He didn't love it cause his cabin mates were very loud and out of control. I don't know many details because he didn't give them to me, but it was his first real overnighter. (He spent the night at Jack's house afterwards, but was not real impressed). I think he was frustrated by kids not listening. Go figure.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

My visit to San Diego

   I asked Grandpa David over Thanksgiving what I could do that would help him. I asked him if I could send him money for groceries and if it would help if I came down for a few days. He said that both of those things would be helpful. I sent him a gift card to Walmart (where he said he buys his groceries) and he tried to give it back to me and said that he would not accept them. Uhhhh...too bad Justin already pre-bought some. I'm not sure what we will do with those. Grandpa said that if I send them to him, he will send them right back to me. Justin, my very supportive husband, worked from home so that I could fly down and spend some time with my grandpa helping him in anyway that he wanted or needed help. He wanted me to go through the filing cabinets in her office and toss all the old travel brochures and organize the rest so that it could be consolidated and easy to find what was needed. He had me take posters off the walls. My grandma has a lot of stuff. Everywhere...every nook and cranny is chock full of items that she treasured. I spent two full days in the office and still didn't get through all of the paperwork. I did my best. I wore myself and grandpa out.
  He also had me organize her jewelry for him so he can get it appraised. I was able to get one of her rings that always reminds me of her so that I can wear it like I wear the wedding ring of my parents. Grandma lost her wedding ring, so I can't wear that one. This amethyst is the one that Grandma always wear that when I picture her hands, that is the ring that is on them. Wearing her ring will keep her always close to my heart.
  It was so nice to get to spend time with Grandpa. He is such an amazing man. He is strong, super healthy for his age, supportive, loving, kind, honest, and the best grandpa ever. I couldn't be more grateful for him. On the day I flew down and the day I flew home Grandpa came over to Uncle Ken and Aunt Karen's house. It was comfortable, and we got to relax and just spend time together.
  Aunt Karen hosted taco night, which was delicious. Kelly, Ed, Kyle, and Dawn joined us for the evening. It was delightful. The next night Karen did make your own pizza night and Nicole Whiteing joined us. I miss her. We always have so much fun together! It was a joy spending time with her. My last night there Karen and Uncle Ken treated us to sushi. Grandpa tried eel for the first time.
  The Olympics were on while I was in San Diego and we got to watch some figure skating. I love staying at Uncle Ken and Aunt Karen's house. It is just such a nice, comfortable environment. Uncle Ken and I did some meal planning to get him a little healthier. We also got his treadmill up and running so that he can get some exercise in his life. I hope he follows through.
  On my way down I freaked out and was completely hysterical because I still miss grandma so much. How was I going to help grandpa when all those emotions were still so raw for me? (I even went to see a mental health professional at kaiser who told me that I was more depressed than I thought and that I needed more help than he could give me - I have a follow-up appointment soon). The flight attendant had to ask if I was okay to fly. It turned out just fine. I only broke down a couple of times. Same with grandpa. It was really nice being in her house. The smells, the sounds, the sights, the atmosphere and reading all her notes in her handwriting. I went out in the backyard, which was her happy place, to commune with her. She is all around me, in me, always.
  I am so glad I went and so thankful for my family.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Vander's band concert

Vander had his second band concert. The 1st one was at school during the day. This one was at night with 3 other schools. He may not love band (though I do think he likes it), but he is doing a pretty good job learning the recorder. I am really proud of him.

Girls Weekend

I had such a blast going with Raina, Heidi, Jennie, Amelia, Erin, and a few other ladies to an airbnb and spending the weekend chatting, playing games, going to wineries, and just having fun. We went to 5 wineries on the Saturday, which was probably about 2 too many for me. I just really enjoyed all the ladies and the party van with lots of dancing. Mostly me dancing, but it sure was fun.

Colb and Alex come out for Justin's birthday

Colb and Alex joined us for the weekend. We played games all day Saturday, while the boys played with their grandparents. I won 3 of the 4 games-that never happens. Justin won the other one. Then Sunday we went to "The Great Tchaikovsky". I loved was a one man act all about Tchaikovsky's life including much of his music. Hershey Felder signed the c.d. we bought of his Irving Berlin show. He talked to Oliven and told him to practice his piano playing. Vander was not impressed. Both boys had a hard time sitting still for 2 hours straight. It was a really nice weekend, and it was super cool of Alex and Colb to fly down and celebrate Justin. :)