Saturday, July 10, 2010

"Women's Retreat 2010"

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of going home...oh, I love it when that happens! The American Cancers Society's Relay for Life was taking place on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday Brian and Tess had us all over to the ranch for a BBQ on their fabulous new patio. All of this was great b/c it made it easy to justify making a trip home.

Normally, I live life looking forward to the next trip home but it's always hard to leave. (Everytime. When will this get easier?!) This time, however, the best part was when it came time to leave. Mom, Tess, Sydni, and Kolt drove me...not to the bus station, not the train station, not to the airport...but all the way back to my house in Vancouver! :) They stayed Monday-Thursday; it was so much fun having them.

Us girls had a joke that this was our "Women's Retreat." Although judging by Tessa's...let's just call them "experiences," and my mom's lack of ability to let her busy hands be still and just chill, I'm not sure either of them found it the least bit relaxing. Nonetheless, we look back fondly at our women's retreat with smiles on our faces, a few inside jokes, and new creations (pics to follow) hanging in our homes. Sorry Kolt, no offense, we do remember you're a boy and we're glad you were along for the ride...but we're still going to call it our women's retreat.

The following is a summary of our lovely time together...let's let the pics help tell the story...

We were all a bit anxious abt how the ride south would go down. Surprisingly, it went quite well. Towards the end things got a bit shaky, Kolt got hungry, Sydni got tired but all in all...pretty good. I think we all have a new appreciation for the DVD player and Sydni's love for the John Deere DVD. At one point in the movie, everytime, she insists that the tractor puttin' across the screen is being driven by "BRI!" ...never fails to supply a good laugh. :)

I love Sydni's jaw-dropped, glassy expression as she watches her movie.

And then there's Kolt, why so wide-eyed, little buddy?!

Sydni enjoyed rediscovering all the good things in Auntie Meg's toy chest.

She emptied the box and surrounded Kolt with all the contents. She then stood back and proudly admired her handiwork. (As if, in her head, she saw Kolt just a-playin' away with all her toys!)

One day we decided to get crafty. When finding JoAnn's proved to be such a challenge on top of all the other craziness one of us (myself) almost gave up...but we stuck it out and here's what we did with our supplies...

Why yes, of course, there was coffee involved. You don't actually think we'd ask Tess to put her crafty pants on without first allowing her an iced coffee, do you?! ;)

Mmm, that's my good-lookin' mama! Doesn't she look great...even before she's done her hair for the day?!

We enjoyed our little wreath-making party outside because it was SUNNY!

Beige flowers


mustard blossoms


burlap & felt get pretty!


inspirational fabric

Here's an irresistible pic of Kolt. Isn't he dreamy?

Next on our list of activities was making ice cream. I gave Brian this ice cream maker for his birthday and we'd been waiting for Sydni's visit to break it out of the box.

Can you tell who just woke up?

On Wednesday night, knowing that my loves would be leaving the following morning, we decided it was of utmost importance that we document this event. ...turned out quite comical...

"Women's Retreat 2010"

A few more cuties that just needed includin' ...

Quotes worth remembering...

Mom to Brian...

"Don't always be honest."

I don't remember what we were talking abt but this sure made us laugh. :)

Picture Sydni, knees bent, leaning forward, looking far

off down my dead end street as she exclaimed,

"I see you, night wind!"

"You got the sun, Nani?"

as the suns goes behind a cloud and Sydni get the shivers.

And I saved the best for last...

"Is that the sex cat?!

...that IS gross!!!"

Don't judge, people. Just be thankful, like we are,
that our Little Bean has no idea what she's saying. :)

Packin' Up...

Sydni's ready to go but the girl behind the camera isn't so ready for Sydni to leave. Still there are always good things to focus on like how great Sydni looks in her new "Luke shorts" and the fact that she'll be rocking them all the way home. (They're so cute, Amy!)

(I can't figure out what happened with the layout of this post. How did it get so out of control? If you made it all the way to the end, then I thank you for muddling through. :)
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Heat Wave Handled

By noon today I couldn't bear the heat knowing that there was an AC unit stowed away in the garage. I talked to Brian on the phone and mentioned casually that maybe I would just reinstall it. I said "maybe" because I didn't know if I'd be able to figure it out or even lift it, at that. I could hear the doubt in his voice as he said, "I dunno, it's pretty heavy." I decided I'd better put on an old shirt because I remembered the outdoor portion being pret-ty nasty dirty and I like to avoid getting my stomach blackened by someone else's old dirt. I've already OD'd on cold showers, wouldn't want a legit reason to waste more water. (Yes, there you have it, I've spent the last 24 hrs. in a bikini. You might also if you'd done all you could think of and your house remained at 88 degrees inside...especially when you're used to temperatures requiring fluffy slippers!)
So I trekked out to the garage even though I don't like it out there. (It's super smelly, gross, and kind of mysterious aka it gives me the eebie geebies.) I walked straight up to that bugger, bent down and with much confidence gave it a big heft.


"Mind over matter, Megan; lift w/ your legs not with your back." On the phone I'd made a joke to Brian abt calling him if I found myself pinned beneath it and still able to reach my phone. Suddenly the funny in that joke was gone. "Oh no," I thought, "what if that really does happen?!" But no worries, people, my 3rd try really was a charm! I staggered out of the garage, under the carport, struggled with the backdoor but somehow managed, and even made it all the way through the house w/o so much as a rest. You know that feeling when, say, you're moving a piece of furniture and uncontrollable laughter bubbles up unexpectantly from within you? Suddenly you can't quit laughing even though you're not sure what's funny. And there it goes, your strength melts away like muscles turning to mush. Truthfully, I didn't allow myself a rest because I feared the laughs would dominate and I'd be left without enough energy to muster a 4th attempt at picking it up.
So there we were, myself, Finn (my ever-so-intent supervisor), and Mr. AC (hopefully about to save the day.) I don't really know how it all worked out but we now have AC and I didn't even have to recruit the neighbor man!

I sent Brian a picture text and told him that I was either very, very strong or very, very hot!
I don't much fancy the way it looks but boy, does it ever serve a purpose...a purpose that keeps me sane, keeps my clothes on, and makes me smile! :]

PS Don't mind my pictureless picture frame...I'm workin' on determining which of my pics is brilliant enough to be enlarged to such a degree.
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The Joys of a Heat Wave and an Old House

Before reading on, this is my disclaimer. I l_o_v_e the sun. I can't stand it when people complain abt the rain and then say it's too hot when the sun fiiiiiiinally shows its sweet, sweet face. If after reading this you think that's what I've done, you've misunderstood. I hope this weather sticks around, I think it's great. Now, read on...
So in case you hadn't noticed, (haha, biggest sarcasm sign ever) it is HOT(!!!!!!!!!!) these days!

The real problemo: this poor lil house o' mine doesn't know what to do with it. It's horrible. The heat's great, the temperature of the house, almost an emergency. In fact, it makes a person (and her hubs, and her dog) feel ill, but it's still cooler than being outside so atleast there's some relief to speak of.
After growing up "Mom style," I thought that any house, in the Northwest atleast, could be remedied by flinging windows open and allowing crisp, cool air to seep in all night long. You'd go to bed toasty but with a slight breeze on your skin and "Wa-La!" wake up in a cool bedroom ready to bring on a new day.

False! This house is incapable. It insists on soaking up heat at a rate that could be impressive if it weren't so uncomfortable. And the windows, oh the windows! They're totally disfunctional. (Now Brian, I'm not complaining, I remember it was all me that wanted an old house...I'm simply stating the "thrills" that come with it. ;) There are a total of three windows that have fully functional screens, the rest are nowhere to be found or ripped so wide a raccoon could fit through. And we do have a coon family in the neighborhood, so that's a real concern. There is one window that holds itself up, the rest when opened require a spare paint can, a picture frame...etc to keep from sliding squeekily back down into closed position. If I'd known that my momma's method wouldn't prove trusty in this crazy little house of mine, I would have never asked the hubs to help me take out the window AC unit despite how trashy it looked AND how much of the outdoors came indoors through the cracks surrounding it.
I have today off so I told Brian that by the time he gets home I might seriously need him to help me escape! Perhaps Costco and/or Walmart could do a sufficient job of cooling me down?

Today, in addition to all the so-called "normal" things, I plan to do the following....
---I'll go everywhere with my much-loved Iced Venti, double-walled Sbux Tumbler filled to the rim with ice and topped off with water. Hopefully it'll be my aid in kicking those dreadful heat headaches that are known to occur when temperatures near 100 degrees.
---I'll do anything to get my pupperz to drink, yesterday it was a feat. Fortunately, in the wonderful world of dogs, there are always ice cubes to fall back on. Not only does Finn consider them THE greatest toy, but it gets some liquid in that little, panting mouth.
---This afternoon, when the rays are at their peak, I'll lay out for as long as is bearable. Judging by yesterday afternoon, it won't be much to speak of. It doesn't take long for this head to get dizzy, and stomach woozy before I find myself stumbling back into the less-hot house.
---Tonight, I can be found in the aforementioned stores with a particular focus on browsing the freezer section.

Hope all is well with each of you.
Enjoy this heat but don't overheat ...
...even if it means that you, too, must escape to the freezer section for an hour or two!

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Our first Camping Trip

Whoa, I am so behind. Almost a month ago Brian turned 22. To celebrate I surprised him with a camping trip on the Oregon Coast. I booked it all by my lonesome! (I was a bit proud b/c that's always been his role in our relationship...But I did it!) He got off work on Friday and came home to me in the kitchen packing 2 big ice chests. He concluded, "Either we're camping or we're staying in a hotel and you don't want to spend anything on food." I laughed, what else is there to do?!
Just days before we decided to eat dinner in the backyard. Upon stepping out the backdoor I remembered I'd already packed our two chairs in the truck for the weekend surprise. I quickly exclaimed, "I don't want to eat outside anymore!" Brian looked at me confused and I practically yelled, "It's really cold!" (It wasn't cold at all. ;) The next night while sitting in the living room Brian looked out the window and following a moment of confused silence he said, "Why are the chairs in my truck?!" Uh-oh. I was sure he had me figured out but judging by his ice chest comment on Friday I decided to hang on to the thread of what may still be a surprise. It wasn't until we had driven through Portland and were obviously headed toward the beach that I told Brian where our final destination was. We spent Friday and Saturday night at Nehalem Bay State Park.
Back in the dating days we'd already begun talking about camping together. While we were engaged Brian received several camping related gifts. His parents gave him a tent and two matching sleeping bags and I gave him an air mattress. (He's unable to truly rough it on the ground. He claims it makes him sore for weeks [yes, plural!] to follow. Psh, silly guy!) We couldn't wait to use all this stuff someday and this trip, our first camping trip together, gave us the opportunity...we loved fiiiiiiiinally getting to break them in!
Of course, Finn was along for the ride. He thought it was the life, spending all day outside doing nothing but playing with us and eating camping food, the best kind there is. The three of us fell asleep each night huddled together (it was CHILLY!) inside our tent and sleeping bags, and on top of our huge air mattress listening to the waves crash against the beach. It was grand, everything we'd looked forward to. :)
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