Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Extraordinary Year

Looking back on 2008, it seems almost unfathomable all that has transpired. When we rang in the new year, Ben was living in San Francisco and now one year later we're married and in Seattle.

The year started off with traveling adventures to St. Louis and then the six-week trek around western Europe. Those trips were amazing and changed our course together--i.e. if you can spend six weeks of 24/7 togetherness carrying a heavy backpack, lost, tired and smelly, and still find each other appealing, than the sky's the limit. 

The summer was full of wedding planning, a lot of running, and preparing to leave our beloved Portland for the Emerald City. Truthfully everything after September 21st (the move date) is a blur filled with new jobs, the realization I am a student again and have to be self-motivated, to the wedding and everything else in between. We are still mourning the loss of Pablo, yet with the circle of life were blessed with little angels (Emily & Luke, Cameron).

In the last few days of 2008, I am enjoying my freedom and sleeping in, while Ben works tirelessly at his new job. It doesn't seem fair, and I do feel guilty, but as he keeps reminding me, everything will change come Monday so I better enjoy it. And so I am.

We hope the new year brings everyone happiness, joy, love and lots of laughter. See you in 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh How Fast Things Can Change

Two weekends ago on Saturday evening (December 13) it started to snow. As excited as I was when I saw the first few flakes, I was worried about Katie and Mark driving to Seattle for the Jingle Bell Run the next day, and whether or not the race would be canceled. Katie assured me that the Jingle Bell organizers would not cancel the race ("no matter what"), so we watched the snowflakes accumulate knowing that tomorrow we would be running "no matter what."

At 6:15 a.m. the alarm went off and the four of us (Ben to work; KT, Mark and I to the race) headed out the front door and walked downtown in the freezing (24 degrees) weather. To make a long story short, I fell, we thought the race started at 8 a.m. and were downright flabbergasted when at 7:15 a.m.we realized in the "Arctic Blast" that we had to make ourselves warm until 9 a.m. when the race really started. Mark was so excited, since this was his first race, and we traveled from booth to booth gathering free stuff (coffee, blinking lights, handwarmers, chapstick) and then resided in the mall until it was race time.

We ran carefully through the icy streets (making sure to not run over any elves, santas, reindeer, penguins or gingerbreadmen...we apparently missed the dressing up memo), and then faster through the tunnel where the ground was safe and a spontaneous chorus of Jingle Bells broke out. After the race we walked home, enjoying the cold weather, feeling like true Northwesterners (no weather will stop us) and went home to eat pancakes hoping it would snow more (once KT and Mark made it safely to Tacoma).

Oh how fast things change...

It is now 1.5 weeks later and I hate the snow and cold weather. HATE IT! I actually went outside yesterday and shouted two words I never thought I'd say: "STOP SNOWING!" Growing up in Longview, or the Northwest in general, we typically do not see snow, so when it falls, we normally rejoice at it's beauty, the rare chance to have a "snowday" from school and work and bundle up in our jammies and just enjoy the silence it brings.

Not anymore.

It won't stop. It won't allow us to leave the house (I feel like I'm on lockdown), nor will it allow anyone else to travel. Friends are stuck in New York and California. Family are stuck in Portland and Seattle and the snow is threatening to keep us apart for Christmas. Granted, everyone is safe, with electricity, running water and lots of food, but every night I pray for rain. Whoever thought people in Longview, Portland or Seattle would want rain...

Oh how fast things change.

Merry Christmas wherever you might be.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Student's Wish

Dear paper fairy,

Please come over and finish my papers that are due next week. They are already started, but since I am suffering from either severe lack of motivation or writer's block, or just anxiety about making these papers ridiculously perfect and trying to salvage my grades that have indeed suffered this quarter due to multiple external forces (i.e. a move, wedding, etc.) I can't seem to finish them.

Okay, okay, you're busy...fine. Do you think that when you are swooping down to help another floundering student you could hit the kid across from me at the table in the library with your magic club (wand...whatever) on the head so that he'll turn his terrible, and I mean terrible, and super loud music down that is blasting through his headphones and causing me to have to put on my headphones just to drown him out? I know I'm from Longview, and enjoy my fair share of country music...but that is just bad. And in my arsenal? That's right it's the Christmas with the Rat Pack CD, take that! Because it's the only thing I have downloaded on my laptop besides the Charlie Brown Christmas which is coming up next. Christmas joy coming at you all day long. I hope he pukes on my early December joyfulness (well at least when I'm not doing papers).

Of course, it's not half as annoying as the girl last week who was popping her gum while doing her math homework. I appreciate you stepping in and sprinkling some magic paper fairy dust over her head so that she fell asleep. Drool is better than popping. 

Yes, I will now get back to my paper. I'll still be here in a few hours and the next couple of days though if you change your mind.

Under pressure (and loves and hugs),

The student