Monday, July 29, 2013

If You're Thankful and You Know It....

 Today would have been my Mom's 58th birthday. Wow. Besides doing what I always do - donate to the ALS Evergreen chapter as her birthday gift (donate here), I've spent some time feeling thankful.

After also recently losing my Aunt, it has led me to do a great deal of thinking. Both of these women's passing have led me to want to be a better person. They would NOT want us to be sad or bitter. They would want us to enjoy every day. It has also become clearer and clearer to me people in my life that show me the beauty of their love and support. I try to focus on these things and be thankful. That is what I try to do, and some days I'm much more successful than others. Here are some things I'm grateful for and make me smile.

You can't shake your chocolate milk after it is opened.

Riding in the car is cozy... and comfortable.

We visited our friends' Ted and Jeannie in Spokane last month. Why is this the only picture we got of them (thank you, Elyse)!

I re-lived my glory (college) days.

A DDD (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives). We died over this food. Amazing. That is smoked onion dip for the BBQ chicken quesadilla and the roasted corn pasta salad - delish!

My alma mater.

Didiers frozen yogurt - the memories!

Ted and Jeannie's pretty backyard.

Back at home... just a day of shopping at Ann Taylor... Elyse taking pictures - wearing my shoes!

Thankful. Not even in the red yed, 509 miles and filled up 12 gallons. LOVE this car!

Morning in the office with Mommy. She had to wear these flip flops home (they were given to me by my former staff as an inside-joke).

OJ's beachhouse. Fun in the sun.

Me and my girl. PS: Don't forget - swim diapers don't hold potty. Wet shirt.
Swimming at 8:30 p.m.

Mommy, but I want to wear my hat and socks outside (it was 90 degrees).


I made watermelon mint lemonade for the Fourth. It was fantastic.

Pretending like I know what I'm doing with hair (I don't.)

This preceded the fit of the century. She did not want me holding Erin's new son, Chase. She begged the other Mamas to take him. We left playgroup early that day because she had lost her mind. And she slept for four hours afterward. Somehow, it is still funny and I am still thankful!

Cousins eating popcorn.

And more snacks.

Elyse super-spoiled by Gram-E. Is that whipped cream, Gram-E?! Wow!

Another day together - banana bread makin'.
This is how she likes to go to bed some nights. She wears her owl hat and a baby wears the zebra hat. Whatever works. And it makes us smile. Every time.
Thanks to my spontaneous brother, Elyse and I went up to Seattle for a last-minute trip to Woodland Park Zoo with Jordan and Allison.

Amazingly thankful for this friend. Bill had to work the day of my Aunt Vickie's funeral and couldn't stay for the whole thing. I had literally just been feeling a bit sorry for myself not having Bill there, when OJ called and said she was coming (she lives almost two hours away). She knew I needed a friend and she held my hand during my ugly-cry. I am so fortunate to have a friend that foresees my needs. Hope I can grow to be more like her.

Side Note: Chelsey wanted everyone to wear bright colors. OJ rocked my orange bib necklace!

Elyse taking pictures in a restaurant Friday night in Anacortes.

I didn't even know she took this one. I'm sure this waitress would not appreciate me sharing this with you! Hilarious!

We went to the Premium outlets during Day One of Daddy's ride (ALS Doubleday). Daddy and Aunt Jody rode together and both did awesome!!

Cutie posing in downtown Anacortes.

Day Two was early. We dropped off Daddy and headed back to eat and clean-up so she got to wear her slippers.
The hammock at our B&B was a great spot for post-race relaxing.

Someone wasn't letting Daddy rest very well.

This is kind of a bad picture, but I posted it for a reason. As THANKFUL as I am for the beautiful location with amazing view of Fidalgo Bay, the edge of the property is right there. By edge, I mean CLIFF> I probably pictured Elyse and Libby falling about a million times. I am so thankful Elyse is older as she was very good about staying away from it. Libby on the other hand... Ugh.

OK, without the fall-distractions. Gorgeous, right?

This place was great. It was a bed and breakfast, but you had your own little cabin to yourself. There was a "galley" stocked with food, day and night. Whenever we'd fill up Elyse's sippy cup with milk she thought it was time for her to have another oatmeal raisin cookie from the cookie jar. Admittedly, we usually obliged.

The place was decorated with fun sea-worthy items. It was very cute for a vacation spot on the water.

The bathroom was just to the right. That was probably the only low-point for those middle-of-the-night times. But, really - not so bad. And we didn't have to share it with anyone.

I tried to get Elyse, Libby and "Baby Kitty" peering over the door, but no dice.

More of the inside of our place.
The Berry Barn is always a stop for us. I always get tayberries and we took a bumbleberry pie to our friends' - The O'Donnells. They are dear friends of mine who took me in and loved me like their own when I was at WSU. I have super great memories of them and it was so wonderful to see them. Did I mention I was thankful? (ugh no pictures of them, dang).

Kind of hard not having Ol' Blue at the ride this year. But, the new car held up just fine!

I promise I have not let myself feel sad today - I won't. I've thought of my Mom a million times, but I'm choosing to be thankful. She would want us to be happy. She'd be so proud of Bill riding in her memory. It always feels wonderful to participate in an event on her birthday.
I love you, dearest Mama. Happy Birthday! 

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