holey socks...

OK...I have a confession...I wore socks today with giant holes in the heels. I didn't realize it when I put them on. And it made me a little sad...a little depressed. It's not necessarily a bad thing (to wear through your socks). Someone told me I should be proud that I thoroughly used them...a great way to have a positive perspective. I don't remember ever wearing through socks. I keep socks for years. I don't have lots of pairs of socks. They just haven't been a necessity for me. Honestly, I don' tlike them. I just haven't ever worn them that often. To me...it's a reminder that my feet long for flip-flops and to be sockless... And now... I have to start thinking about going to Fred Meyer for socks...which makes me one of those people I blogged about back during the holidays...although without the 50% off sale...hmmmmm....


Christmas 2008 --- I need a do-over.

Kaylee said, "Mom I got great gifts - I loved them all. But Mom, it was the worst Christmas ever." Yep ... she could be right.

Christmas Eve service was wonderful. We took up a whole row with our friends the Condello's and the Prins'. 6 adults, 6 kids. The worship center was pretty full for a 4:00 service. And I was ready. I love Christmas Eve service. I love singing the songs so focused on the miracle gift of Jesus. I love the finale of everyone being invited to come to the platform to sing Hallelujah chorus. I love the messages that direct my heart to the real blessings of the season. Jesus. Forgiveness. Salvation. Do overs. And this year - the best is yet to come. (The service isn't on our website or I would give you a link to listen to it...it was a good one.) Anyway ---- I was focused, grateful, adoring my Savior & my God...

The Condellos came over afterwards for games and fun - plus sandwiches, shrimp, and other yummies!! I was home about 3-5 minutes, when I started to not feel so good. The feeling wouldn't go away...and then...yep...that yucky spit. Let's just say the rest is history. The puke-fest would begin. I was miserable. I don't think I've ever been this sick. I spent a good bit of time upstairs. I didn't get a picture of the kids in their Christmas outfits - and for me...that's ridiculously bad. A sure sign that I was absolutely miserable. Once the Condellos left, we had little Christmas Eve projects - stuff stockings & wrap the last few stuffers, and...put together Noah's new bike. I love to wrap. I love putting stuff out and under the tree. Yeah - that didn't happen. I was miserable. I sat in front of our fireplace begging the warmth of the flame to melt away the agony. While it was a comfort it wasn't enough. I kept apologizing to Steve who wrapped all the presents - stuffed the stockings and assembled the bike. And early enough I was already up in bed. Yeah, I'm hardly ever in bed before Steve - I'm the night owl.

As I've said before, somewhere along this blogging journal...I am unfortunately a recipient of the Armbruster curse --- yes I snore. So, on some unfortunate nights, my husband may end up slumbering on the couch for the last hour or so of his sleep cycle because the symphonic noises he hears are not exactly the sleepy soothing kind. So, when I woke up about 4:30 and realized he wasn't in bed, part of me thought I was snoring - then I thought maybe he was sleeping on the couch to not catch my germs. Then I heard him. Uh, oh. We broke the parent rule. Both parents cannot be sick at the same time. I slowly made my way down the stairs to commisserate in agony with my man - me on the loveseat, him on the couch and we groaned in pain together. Noah was up early ready for Christmas (about 6:30)...and Steve...he went back to bed. The kids were sooooo patient because we had told them that at 7:00 it would be time to open presents... They waited until 7:30. They were great.

Now I don't know how it was in your house growing up, but the "standard" seems to be that parents kinda "stack" the gifts - they say, yeah, you can open this one, wait hold on that one a little bit. Today - we just said - find the one with your name on it and open it. They looked at each other for a moment of "seriously - did mom just say that?" And then they bolted - they knew exactly what they wanted to open. We didn't dictate order or anything. Sure - open whatever you want. And they loved it. Paper covered every inch of the floor and they were thrilled. Once we finished opening gifts, Steve was back in bed. I was asleep on the couch and slowly they began to open and play with everything they got that day. They were fabulous. They were patient. They were entertaining. They were best friends. They were amazing. Steve and I...while bodily present - we were miserable. We couldn't walk. We could barely lift our heads. The Condellos saved the day...again...and brought us Gatorade and crackers and chicken noodle soup. (At dinner time they brought the kids turkey & mashed potatoes). We couldn't even open the door. Poor kids - when they wanted something opened - they would bring me the box and the scissors to cut through all those stupid twist-ties on the back side of kids items...I would fall back asleep and 10 minutes later they'd say Um mom - weren't you going to open that. Oh yeah - I was.

I was reminded all day to pray for John. I had no energy. No stamina. I couldn't move. It was a day. He'd been like that for what - 7 weeks. I was reminded of how I take for granted how amazing my kids are. How I wished I could care for my hubby but couldn't. How I was grateful that I knew God was watching out for me and pleading with him to spare the kids from this yuck. And in the midst of those fleeting thoughts found Him in the midst of misery. There's soooooo much of that day or two I want to do over. But I learned a lot too. I can't give that day back to the kids. I wish I had video of them opening stuff...and being as excited about every single gift in the exact same way - whether a big lego set or a bottle of bubble bath --- they just called out "I love it" and ran to find the next thing. I can't give them a different memory of the day. I can't promise that next year will be different. I can't count the number of times I said I'm sorry to them. I wish I could have been even more focused on Him. I can't take that back either. I am truly grateful for my kids, my friends, my hubby...and for Jesus. Truly truly grateful. I don't always understand the experiences in life...but...I love Him. I trust Him. But man...I'd still like a do-over.

A most embarassing moment...

And no...I don't have video or pics of this one. (well, not of me) In the midst of "Arctic Blast 2008" there was a day mid-week where the snow had tapered and the roads were somewhat clear (don't get me started on how bad the roads were and how there's no gear to clear them --- but I won't really complain - it's fun being stuck at home). Speaking of stuck...

So...the roads cleared up and I decided to bravely head out in the van to the grocery store to pick up a few more things. I'm a Southern girl - haven't spent much time driving on snow - especially like this - so I cautiously headed out. And it really wasn't that bad. Our street was sketchy, but once I really got to a main road, it was pretty good. Slushy towards the middle but good. So...off I go to Fred Meyer (which is the Oregon name for Kroger). I was inside for oh, about 45 minutes, and ended up with a cart full. I check out and head towards the door to find that it's snow pouring again. I'd bet we'd had 2 since I'd entered the store. And as I mentioned streets weren't necessarily great - and parking lots were bad - so I started to push my cart into the parking lot full of slush and 2 more inches of snow on top of that. (Do you really have this mental image - shopping cart wheels heading into slush and snow, about 4-6 inches think...and me pushing the cart? Yeah, you see where this is going)

I get the cart out into the middle of the lanes of traffic that run in front of the store --- and I get stuck. I mean stuck. I'm trying to push and pull my cart - and the more I try to push or pull, the more stuck I get. I mean stuck. I mean really stuck. really really stuck. Ok, enough of that. To make matters worse, there are cars in said parking lot - and they are not wanting to get stuck - instead they have incredibly nutsy drivers who choose to drive past you and around you. Or pull up right next to you and just HONK THEIR HORNS!! Seriously? You can't tell that I'm appalled and embarrassed enough - you have to truly anniliate any semblance of self-esteem I have left to belittle me with honking your horn at me. I look up (literally almost in tears) kind of do the sheepish wave - and move to the front of the cart to pull it through the parking lot (oh - I forgot to mention I'm only 2 parking spaces back in the parking lot - so the end is sooooooo in sight but so far away). I'm going no where. NO WHERE! So here's where the ridiculous becomes absurd. It was 15 minutes before someone finally came alongside me to say - hey, do you need some help! 15 MINUTES!!! Yes, I wrestled with my cart and grocery loot for 15 minutes by myself as car after car passed by, and their drivers honked, glared, sighed, yelled and belittled my very stuck existence and stupidity. Now - once this delightful Good Samaritan helped it only took 2-3 minutes to get my very heavy grocery laden torturous wheeled machine to my van. He pulled the front end while I pushed from the handled side. And most honestly, when it wasn't loaded with groceries it moved much better - and I was able to manuever it to the return cart area much easier than moving it to the van.

To make matters that much more embarrassing - I head back towards our house, by way of the Williams' house -because I had dropped off Steve & the kids to sled with them while I went to the store (reasonable enough). Only I assumed that as I entered the house and encountered my beloved spouse and dear friends that I would find compassion, comraderie in pain & suffering, empathy and support. Um....no. As I share my story the more I say the more laughter erupts from the deepest parts of the bellies of Erik & Steve...and Jeanne-Ann wasn't tooooo far behind (but she wasn't as bad as the boys). I wasn't ready to laugh yet. I couldn't believe it. My man - this one who pledged to love me for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, in sunshine & snow laughed so hard he was crying. And...when he & Erik are together if one starts to laugh the other laughs harder, causing the first to laugh harder and they can't stop. Um, yeah - I needed the "I'm so sorry that happened to you" "That's terrible" "how dare those mean spiteful people drive passed you and honk at you while you sit and try to move in ultimate misery and embarrassment." Nope. Not from this crew. My humiliation only continued... Sigh...oh well. (By the way - thank you Chele for calling in the midst of my ongoing humiliation and telling me honestly and wholeheartedly the things I needed to hear...)

Someday I'll be able to look back and laugh. I'm almost there now...but still not quite. I'm glad I can fuel my husband & friends' entertainment... Next time I'm in that position --- I'll just leave my cart at the curb and drive my car over and unload into the van from there. I know better now. I learned from my mistake, misfortune & humiliation. Better yet - I'll just send Steve out with the list.


Let it snow...let it snow...let it snow...

As I said - we had no idea. It started snowing on Saturday, December 13th. We had snow almost every day through December 25th. One day we had lots of rain, but it was really cold and there was ice on the roads. Another day rain the am, and snow by the late afternoon which brought us over a foot in just a couple of hours...then more steadily over the next couple of hours. At it's height we had 15-18 inches in our yard. Yep - it was soooooo fabulous!

We did lots of night time play! The kids ended up being out of school the whole last scheduled week of classes in December - which meant a 3 week Christmas break. Did we get tired of it? Nope - well, Steve did on a bad driving and snow downpour day - I'll have to tell him to blog about that one and I'll post a link to it when he does... Anyway - night play was a blast. We did snow angels and built snow men. One night we decided to give the kids an early Christmas present and pulled out the sled that they should have gotten as a gift 10 days later...but this snow was a gift and we had no idea how long it was going to stick around. YIPPEE! It was so much fun. Of course the kids thought it was a blast to be out after dark in the snow - staying up late. Drinking hot chocolate! WOO!HOO!! Did I say it was fun?

We spent lots of time at the school playing on the field - climbing the tree - sliding on the slide (oh, I should post that video too) - building an igloo - walking on frozen water patches in the backyard - throwing snowballs...I absolutely loved it all! At it's peak we had about 5-7 inches covered by a layer of ice, covered by another 10-12 inches...the ice was super freaky on the roof, thinking of it falling on someone below. But - the kids loved trying to break off big pieces of it. We built a Pooh & Piglet snow sculpture over at the school - one of the times I didn't have the camera with me...sorry. We loved that we couldn't see our Christmas lights outlining our yard because of the depth of the snow. (or loved the nights when the lights melted the snow away and the lights shone through the snow - way cool). Favorite Noah quotes: "we live in a snowglobe" and "this is the goodest night of my life" Kaylee was just so excited she talked about 2 octaves higher for most of the time... Here are some of my favorite pics. I loved it. Did I say that? It was a blast! Did I say that too? While I don't necessarily love the 3 days being added to the school year --- I'll gladly say - bring some more --- especially like that snow... WOO!HOO!!!

our 2008 Christmas tree...

So...when we decorated the Christmas tree this year (Man we loved our tree...I should tell that story first)...let's start again.

We loved our Christmas tree this year. We were trying to find a "dry" day to go, and Steve had seen a sign just a short ways from our house pointing towards a tree farm (we like cutting down our tree). Anyway - so...the rain stops, things clear and we decide, fairly last minute, to head out to pick up the tree. The Condellos and us hop in cars and head off to a tree farm, literally just 3 or 4 miles from the house (in Michelle measurement standards). Really, it's super close.

We start to head towards the trees, and love the first tree we see. Great color - great shape - just the right height. Well, you can't pick the first tree, right? So we "mark" our tree (no not the way you are thinking...we put a big stick towards the top of it so we'd remember which one it is...). Anyway , we move forward about 2 row and then stop and look at each other and start to chat realizing we've already found our tree why look any further? We totally could have been out there for an hour just looking around. Nope. You could say we took the easy way out --- but I'd say we just scored by finding our family tree right away. So we cut it, carried it, loaded it and brought it home. WOO!HOO!!!

Traditions for tree in our house - we have a home-made tree skirt. Super fancy let me tell ya'. It's a white sheet - wait for it - that we put handprints on each year. So it's kinda cool to watch the kids hands grow. They pick the color paint they want to use, stamp their handprint and then write their names. Next, we alternate between the kids who gets to put the angel on top. And this year couldn't remember whose turn it was...Kaylee was sure it was her turn. Noah was sure it was his. Well sure - who doesn't want to put the angel on top of the tree. So...we resorted to looking at last years pics, and....drum roll please - it was KAYLEE'S turn! She was SOOOOOOO excited. In the midst of decorating the rest of the tree, the kids put our snowflake ornaments close to the window to remind the outside that we wanted to see snow for Christmas...yeah - we had nooooo idea...


Anniversary #18...and a little "lump" and a "snow" delay...

So...December 15th. A big day in Unwin family history and story. The day me and my man got married!!! 1990. Wow! 18 years ago! Are you kidding me? Has it been that long? We're approaching that we've been together nearly half of our lives point. Whoa. Crazy. Unbelievable. Fabulous!

So...we only talked about our anniversary for like a month or more before it came - PF Changs...movie...walk & talk. WOO!HOO!! Simple but that's us...just being together is a good thing. A date. YIPPEE!! So...date night #1, a few days before our anniversary got shifted - strep throat. That's right. Oh do I have pics of this? I don't know. Pics of what you ask? Let me tell you.

Noah had a bit of a month in December. He was acting not quite with it...so I kept him home for two days --- he was sooooo sad to miss school, but he was weak, complaining of a tummy ache, just not himself. So...stay home. 2nd day we went to the doctor with him - not because of being pale or not eating but because he had a huge lump (no not a little lump) a giant lump on his neck. Visible. Lumpy. A little freaky. Off to the doctor we go - our favorite doc wasn't in, but we knew he had to be seen. No other "real" symptoms - no fever, ears & throat clear, nothing - if you call a giant neck lump nothing. He said just keep watching Noah - it was probably just a lymph node infection that will go away, but could take 30 days or more! (WHAT!??!!) So...home we go - ibuprofen, blah, blah, blah. He's feeling more like himself the next day --- still no "other" symptoms - so off to school he goes. By Thursday(6 days later) this giant lump is ginormous (is that a word)...so back to the doctor after school. Long story short...my dear boy - Strep...again!! UGH!! Why didn't I get them to test him before. And...Kaylee is along for the ride...who has a sore throat...guess what --- double. Two sick kids. Poor things. They were great sports, but had to stay home... And since strep is contagious...we didn't want to expose our baby sitter to it...so...postponement of celebrating the best hubby ever. (Note - kids went on antibiotics...Noah's neck swelling went down after about 5 days...)

Let's just go out on Sunday after church. Okey dokey. Only to have the beginning of the winter blast (oh wait - they called it Arctic Blast 08)...north of us was worse (which is where PF Changs is...) and the roads were getting worse. So...postponement #2. Only to have school cancelled the whole next week for weather - to get ridiculously fun amounts of snow over the next 8-9 days...at one point it was 18" deep!!WOO!HOO!! But...when they are cancelling work for Steve's company for a WEEK...yeah, it's not necessarily the best travelling conditions. No offense to the area...but yeah, they don't have the equipment to handle the crazy snow we got...so...postpone some more...

So...fast forward to today...still waiting...there have been all kinds of things that have happened...out of our control...so PF Changs is on hold. But you know what. Regardless...I've got the best man there is. My apologies to all of you out there who are married - my man is the best there is. He is absolutely the best. Absolutely fab. Absolutely mine... I'm so grateful for him. Maybe I need to figure out a way to scan pics so you can see us on our "big day" - big hair, puffy sleeves and all... I love ya' babe! Here's to our do-over!! I'm so glad we're Mr. & Mrs. Steve Unwin!!


OK...I admit it...I'm behind...

Well...December 2008 brought lots of fun...lots of ick too. We had 15-18 inches of snow in our yard and the school playground...so, needless to say we were outside a bunch...the kids were out of school the whole last week they were supposed to have classes in December...so they got a 3 week break! WOW! Then...Christmas, which I usually love, but Steve & I got sick sick sick...ok...this is too bullet point for a girl who is usually way to long winded. Let's do this. I promise here and now to catch up. Here are the topics I will tell you all about...
Anniversary #18
Snow, Snow, Snow
Shopping in the snow...
Christmas 08 - ick!
I love my kids
Christmas - thoughts on my heart
Jennifer's visit
What's up for 2009?

OK...that's enough for now...if/when I think of more...I will put those in too...I promise...I'll get caught up... =)

©2009 Until... | by TNB