Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life

Yesterday we all got back to it. We were ready. I had lunches made, kids were dressed and ready for school/daycare. Only one thing stood in my way from having a great day: I couldn't find my wallet.

I  panicked. I remembered having it when I went on an errand early Sunday. I remember seeing it in the trunk of my car. Maybe I threw it away? Maybe I set it on top of a piece of furniture? Pedar took Casey to school. I was trying to make an 8:30 a.m. doctor appointment and was beginning to think I was going to have to cancel. I didn't have a wallet! Goodness, what was I going to do if I lost it? I was going to have to cancel everything and get a new drivers license. Ugh! I even started to cry a little. I was feeling like my bad luck was back. What the hell was going on with me that I was so unorganized??

Pedar got back home and he started helping me look. He walked into our bedroom with my wallet. I didn't even see him right away, I was too busy punching a pillow. Relief flowed out of me. I was so happy. I kissed him, jumped in my car and made it to my appointment.

*** Tip: Take a moment today to make a copy of everything in your wallet. Lay it out on the copy machine or scan it and keep that copy in a safe place.***

The rest of the day went smoothly. We played hide-n-seek last night and tidied the house a bit. It was a beautiful day. I went to bed feeling happy. I am so grateful for my job, Pedar's job, Casey's awesome school, Erik's fun daycare, our healthcare, our home, our great family, neighbors,co-workers and friends. I love my life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bailey Family Fun

Yesterday my Bailey family celebrated a belated Thanksgiving together at our house. Before everyone arrived we went to Mikey's Tree Lot and got our tree. I decorated most of our house the night before so our house looked like Santa's workshop. I love Christmas!!
Margery helped me put the lights, ribbon and beads on the tree and the kids helped with the ornaments! Thank you, Margery!!
Casey loves our Christmas Tree! He was so happy to see it all together.
Aunt Margery bought all the supplies to make gum-drop trees with the kids! So fun and they all got to take one home! Thank you, Margery!
Erik loved putting ornaments on the tree. This was the first year he was really into helping decorate.
It was a gorgeous day yesterday. The kids were able to play outside for a nice long time before dinner. It was so fun!





These two have so much fun together!

The kids table.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Time to connect

Erik, Ava, Casey and Lola
Erik, Aunt Dagny and Lola
I was reading one of my favorite blogs this morning and she reminded me that people love to brag about being busy. I would add that we like to also talk about how tired we are too. I'm going to try this Holiday season to not immediately answer with the word busy when someone asks me how I've been. Don't get me started on tired. I believe that most of us CHOOSE when we sleep and how much we sleep, so why are we complaining about being tired?? If we have poor habits, whose fault it is that we are tired? Who is choosing to not go to bed earlier? I hope we can focus on why we are together: To connect.


 
We had a fabulous Thanksgiving. Leif, Sierra, Ava and Lola flew into Sacramento on Wednesday morning and stayed till late Friday afternoon. We loved spending time with them and the kids LOVED playing with their cousins. 

 
 


The best part was just reconnecting with Leif and Sierra and the girls. Hearing their voices, seeing them laugh was wonderful. I think the part we miss the most about them living in Portland is the little things; the sound of their laughter, the feel of their hugs, hearing about their day and so much more. 

I am thankful to Leif and Sierra for buying plane tickets and coming to Sacramento. Thank you! We love you.


Monday, November 21, 2011

What are you grateful for?

Today's posting was taken from one of my favorite blogs: Be More with Less.


The Thanksgiving Project – Giving Thanks for the Big Things



Written by Courtney Carver: This is a guest post from Josh Martin of Josh Martin Ink.

I remember lying in my hospital bed in Brampton, Ontario, chatting with my Kenyan-born friend, Timothy, who had come to visit. “If you were in Kenya, you’d probably be dead,” he told me matter-of-factly. That conversation happened over three years ago, shortly after my diagnosis with leukemia and I haven’t forgotten it.


A lot has happened between that conversation and today. Intense chemotherapy, pharmaceuticals by the truckload, a couple month-long hospital stays, blood transfusions, radiation therapy, access to multi-million dollar pieces of equipment, a bone marrow transplant and an army of world-class doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and medical experts at my disposal 24/7.


The result is that I’m alive and well today and completely cancer-free.


I think back to when I volunteered on a Liberian refugee camp in Ghana. I remember stepping out of the way as a man raced down the rutted street toward the camp’s clinic, carrying a sick loved one in a wheelbarrow. I’m haunted by the image of Rebecca, a 13-year-old girl, writhing in pain on a clinic bed; her father looking on with as much agony etched on his own face. “The medicine is there,” he told me. “But I can’t afford it.”

By sheer luck of latitude, I got the chance to get better. Rebecca did not.



When access to healthcare, clean water, food, money and a roof over my head has always been there, it’s easy to take it for granted. I have a lot to be thankful for, living in a country like Canada. My experience with cancer and volunteering in Ghana has helped me realize that.
 So here’s to the big things we often take for granted. Here’s to a refrigerator full of food. Here’s to the electricity that runs that refrigerator. Here’s to clean water being a flick of the faucet away. Here’s to going to bed tonight with a roof over my head (and without the fear of a bomb crashing through it). Here’s to the knowledge that when I dial 911 an ambulance will come get me, not a man with a wheelbarrow.
 And here’s to remembering those of us who aren’t so lucky. And to do our part to share our good fortune in whatever ways we can.


What are you grateful for? Add your items to the Thanksgiving Project — the goal is to have 1,000 items by the end of November.









Crazy in the head

Yesterday Pedar finished a project I have been wanting to finish for awhile now. He made this awesome growth chart out of beautiful pine. He mounted it on the kitchen wall and we marked our heights on it; it is so darn cute.


I love the growth chart. It really looks great in the kitchen. I just don't love our kitchen. It has been over nine years since I painted the cabinets and the walls and created this stencil diamond pattern on the top of the cabinets that I don't really love, but at the time thought it really needed.

After looking at the growth chart and seeing something new in our kitchen, I decided I had to paint. We had a gallon of  khaki/beige paint in the garage, so I opened it up and went for it. Our kitchen is really small, so I had most of the walls done in no time. I needed some help with the darn diamond pattern. Once the kids were put to bed, I turned to Pedar and said, "Could you help me paint over the diamonds on top of the cabinets?"

Pedar said, "Babe, I'm winding down for the night."

I said, "No, you're helping me with the kitchen." And then I called him a name. Not very nice of me. I regret the name calling. I was mad because I know he hates painting, and I had a feeling he didn't want to help me. 

Pedar went to the garage for a few minutes, came back, picked up a paint brush and started helping me. He told me I owed him an apology. I apologized. I also made him laugh by saying the following:

"Just because you can say No to me, doesn't mean you should!"

Pedar finished covering the silly diamond pattern. I was up till about 11:30 on the rest of the kitchen. I have a little bit of clean-up to do later today. I am really happy with the results. I didn't realize how done I was with the pumpkin color until last night.

Some day our kitchen will have new cabinets, countertops and  floor. For now, the paint helps me feel like we are doing something rather than just waiting for that windfall of cash to throw some money at projects.

Thank you, Pedar. Thank you for helping your crazy wife. Thank you for not saying No to me. I love you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brotherly love

Nana and Pop-Pop took Casey and Erik to Apple Hill last week.

"We want apple pie, please!"

Casey got to play "hooky" last week for this special trip with his grandparents. It was pretty cool going to work knowing my boys were going to be having so much fun!
Erik will do WHATEVER Casey does. Oh dear!



Follow the leader


"Got Milk? Got cookies?"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend in Tahoe

We had a terrific weekend in Tahoe. We went with just Pop-Pop Jim. We left Friday morning and came back early Sunday afternoon. Poor Erik came down with a fever on Friday and didn't feel right most of the weekend. He was still sweet though and slept a ton. 
His fever made him feel a bit more weepy than usual. But this was after Casey pushed him into a hole!
I got him smiling again in no time.
Casey loved playing in the tiny bit of snow that was available!
Erik is exactly half of Casey's size. Casey weighs 62 pounds and Erik weighs 31 pounds.
Casey and Pedar had fun rolling huge balls of snow down the mountain behind the house.

I love my guys!

Saturday night, Mike and his friend Erin came over for dinner. Mike was there for bath-time of course! It's been a long time since we've heard the knock on our door at bath-time. We've missed Uncle Mike!!
Hope you all had a terrific weekend and are ready to have a SUPER week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Family pics



Here are some of the pics we took with Wes Bonnefin last weekend. I wish he could make Pedar and I look more rested. Damn, what's up with the baggage under our eyes??!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Feelings, nothing more than feelings...


Last night Casey had an argument with his friend. They were fighting over bracelets (Really? Are these boys or girls? Anyhoo!)


Casey started crying because his friend called him stupid. He wouldn't come to the table and join us at dinner because he didn't want his friend to see him crying. I tried to have them make-up. Casey was too upset. I had to talk him off the ledge. I told him that if I believed everything that people say about me, I would be a wreck. Just because someone calls you a name, it doesn't mean it’s true.


I don't think the boys ever really "talked" it out. Not sure apologies were made either, but they ended up playing well at the end.


Name calling is so easy isn't it? I know kids are not going to be great at communicating feelings, but I am going to try and work on it with my boys.


When you are upset, it is too easy to jump to name calling rather than address the real issue: Why are you upset? What is this about? Don't jump to another issue. Only handle the one that is happening right then and there. Stay on topic. Don't bring up anything else.


When Pedar and I were first married and we would get into an argument, I would not focus on the topic at hand, I would bring up other things I was upset about, and when the argument got really heated, I would say, "I can't talk to you right now!" I would storm off into our bedroom and punish him with silence. I didn't like being upset and I wanted to make-up, but I was too immature to own what I was doing. One day it finally hit me that I just wanted to be happy and I wanted to resolve problems not escalate them. I had to admit to myself that I was going to have to let a lot go in order to fight fair. I was not going to be able to bring up older issues. I had to only focus on the current disagreement and move forward. At some point I realized I was fighting like my Mom had fought with my Dad. You do what you know. My Mom would freeze my Dad out when she was upset with him and I was doing that to Pedar. I hated the cycle of yuckiness. I hated feeling sad and overwhelmed. It sucked the wind right out of my sails.


Pedar and I have learned how to communicate so much better since those early days. We want to be happy, so if one of us needs help or support, we WORK to give that to one another because our goal is for BOTH of us to be happy. I say work because it doesn’t always come naturally for either one of us to think about the other’s needs. I know cleaning the house is never going to come naturally to Pedar, but he knows it’s important to my sanity, so he always says yes when I ask him to help. He also knows I don’t mean put it off until I go crazy.


It’s not easy. Communicating is work. But, just like the guy in the kayak at Tahoe said, “The key to getting good at something is just to do it all the time.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Luck is changing!

I feel a shift in my luck. I feel lighter this week. Pedar got his truck back from the repair shop and that makes me happy.

The boys are at Apple Hill today with Nana and Pop-Pop and I love knowing they are having a great time. It felt like a Saturday as Pedar and I raced out of the house this morning. The boys were in their jammies and Nana was feeding them yummy breakfast and getting them ready for a fun day in the mountains. I LOVE IT!

Yesterday, Mor-Mor and Pop-Pop picked up Erik from his new school so they could see meet his new friends and teacher. I love that they wanted to visit his school and meet his peeps!! My children are so loved. No better way to make me happy than to love on my babies!

Thank you!!! Thank you!! Thank you!!!

Western Health Advantage has a small choir that sings at retirement homes during the Holiday's. I am singing with them this year and it is so fun to be part of a choir again. I am so lucky! I love singing. I love bringing smiles to people.

Here's hoping the full moon and this clover bring you an abundance of good luck today and everyday!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Today is the best day!


My sister Margery told me I needed to STOP talking about my recent bad luck and start only thinking about what I want and what I am grateful for! Thank you, Margery. You are right. I need to STOP thinking and talking about the yucky stuff that has happened and focus only on great people and good things!

 
I am so grateful for love. I am grateful for family. I am grateful for my sweet and funny kids and my super-hunky-hubby that makes me feel loved and appreciated every single day. I am grateful for friends. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for laugher. I am grateful for cute clothes. I am grateful for boot weather!


I love meeting new wonderful people. I love hearing about how people are serving others and making a difference in the world. I love kind people. I love the trees this time of year. I love hot tea. I love soup. I love funny people. I love my new employer and the people I work with.


Here is a great story  Mr. Arun Gandhi, the venerable Mahatma Gandhi's grandson. Taken from Karen Walrond's Chookooloonks blog posting today:


There was once a king who wanted a definition of the word "peace." So he invited all the scholars in his kingdom to give him a definition, but he found each of their definitions unsuitable. Then one day, an Intellectual was visiting his kingdom from another land. The king summoned him to his palace, and asked him for the meaning of "peace."

"I can't tell you," said the Intellectual. "But there is someone who can."


"Who?" asked the king.

"There is a Sage," responded the Intellectual, "who lives in the mountains outside of your kingdom. He is too old to travel, but if you go visit him, he will give you an audience, and the answer you desire."

The next day, the king set out on his journey to go visit the Sage. Once he arrived at the home of the Sage, he asked him, "Please, old man, what is the definition of peace?"


The Sage left and went to a back room, and soon returned. He asked the king to hold out his hand. "Here is your answer," he said, and placed a single grain of wheat in the king's hand.


The king did not want to appear ignorant, so he nodded solemnly and thanked the Sage. Clutching the grain of wheat, he returned to his palace, and placed the grain of wheat in a small gold box. Every day, the king would open the box and stare at the wheat, but try as he might, he couldn't possibly divine the meaning of "peace" from the single grain of wheat.


Months later, the Intellectual returned to the kingdom, and the king again summoned him to his palace. "I visited the Sage," said the king, "and he gave me this." He opened the gold box, and showed the Intellectual the single grain of wheat. "I've been staring at it every day, trying to understand what it means, but I can't. How can this possibly hold the meaning of 'peace'?"


"Ah," said the Intellectual, understanding immediately. "The answer is right there. You see, by putting the grain of wheat in a box and keeping it safe, you have deprived it of interaction with the elements -- sun, wind, rain -- and so the grain remains a simple grain of wheat. Had you however, planted the grain, and allowed it to interact with all of the elements, you might now have a plant, and eventually, an entire field of wheat.


"It is the same with peace. Just because you have peace inside of you doesn't mean that anything good will come of it. Peace is not simply something you hold, it is something that you are required to spread -- allow it to interact with other people, and become a part of them. This is the meaning of peace."

May peace be with you!



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Family pics


A few weekends ago I purchased a Living Social deal for a photography session with Wes Bonnefin. It was $50 for an 8x10 and you receive the disc of all the pictures taken at the one-hour session. We met Wes this afternoon at a golf course in Roseville. It was FREEZING, but the location was gorgeous. I tried to take a few pictures too, but I didn't get as many as I had hoped. I will just have to be patient!
 Wes was absolutely terrific! He is a father of two small children so he knew exactly what to say and do with our boys. He was relaxed and fun. We felt like we made a friend today! He showed me a couple of the pics of the boys and they were so beautiful!! I cannot wait!