Monday, January 20, 2014

Laundry list...........

I've been doing a lot of laundry the past couple of days. The good news is it's almost all done. The bad news, of course, is that as soon as I say that I'm a liar because there are the clothes we're wearing, and the towels we're using, and the kitchen towels, and.......well, you know. The laundry is never done.

What I've found is that when all the towels are clean, there is no room in the linen closet for all the towels. Good thing we're usually desperately low on towels - not because we don't have enough, but because my kids enjoy hoarding them on their bathroom floor and in their bathroom laundry basket. And in their rooms. And who knows where else? I wash the towels but only the ones that actually make it to the laundry room. The kids know this, but they will take it to the extreme - not only will they NOT run a load of towels, but they will use up all the beach towels, the hand towels, and probably all the wash clothes before they'll wash a towel for their own use.

When all of my clothes are clean, I run short on hangers. And I have a LOT of hangers. Still, today, I was twelve hangers short and had to raid the kids' closets. Which, unsurprisingly, contain large numbers of empty hangers. We're all hanger hoarders now that everyone does their own laundry. Used to be that I would do all the laundry and I kept a huge stash of hangers in the laundry room. Now, they're a hot commodity.

I also ran a load of miscellaneous clothing that I find randomly on the laundry room floor after the kids "do" their laundry. When I took it out of the dryer, I found that it was mostly just a bunch of random socks. I'm unsure what to do with these since my kids haven't matched their socks in years. They simply don't care if their socks match or not, and in the case of my son, who wears pretty much only white socks, he doesn't care if they are the same type of sock (long, short, brand names don't match). I've had this basket of random socks for YEARS. I'm not kidding - some of these socks would barely fit a toddler. My youngest child is 15 and wears a size 13 shoe. I want to just toss the whole lot of them, but I just know that will be the time I'll find their long-lost partners. So I keep them. And I keep keeping them. What is wrong with me?

I also rather enjoy folding towels. I have no idea why. I don't like folding other clothes and I especially hate hanging clothes, but I love washing, drying and folding towels. Probably because it's so orderly and can be done in a short amount of time. So unlike everything else in my life. Towels are like my little nirvana.

But laundry is a thorn in my side. For one thing, you have to catch the dryer ending its cycle or the clothes end up all wrinkled. I've had baskets of clothes waiting in limbo for a week needing to be put back in the dryer on the "dewrinkle" cycle. Because I do NOT iron. Ever. So, you can imagine how that goes in my house - the cycle seems never-ending because I go into the Great Laundry Fight with the best of intentions but then I get busy or bored or too tired to finish and so the clothes sit wrinkled waiting for another go 'round with the dryer. And on and on.

Laundry - it's a necessary evil and unnecessarily evil.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I am not a football fan........

The last couple of weeks I've actually watched the playoff games. Today, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC championship and now we're going to the Superbowl! Yay! I sort of enjoyed the game, and even more, providing commentary on Facebook, but the truth of the matter is, I'm NOT really a football fan.

It's not that I don't like football. I like it just fine. Sort of. In a non-committal way. Because I'm just not a super fan of anything. Except Shemar Moore, but that's another story (Hello, Chocolate Thunder!). What I AM a fan of is jumping on the bandwagon. As in, I can be a fan for anyone or anything for a limited time. I just can't invest myself in anything for too long or with too much effort. I lack the attention span. 

I'm a lazy fan. I heard some chatter on the interwebs that there should be a "13th man" designation for all the people who jumped on the bandwagon once the Seahawks were winning. Yeah, that's me. I'd wear that shirt proudly. Except I'm not a man, so it would have to say "13th woman." But then, I'd wear it. Because I don't care that much. What I DO care about isn't the game. It's something else.

I care about people coming together to support a common cause. It doesn't have to be a football game. I feel the same way when I'm part of a 5K walk for charity, or celebrating someone's birthday. Just coming together to cheer on someone (or something, or a cause) and to feel the camaraderie - that's pretty cool stuff. I'll buy the t-shirt.

I love that my city is lit up with "12" and blue and green. Who wouldn't want to be a part of something that makes you proud? But I also feel the same way when my kids are in a play at school. I want the whole world to come and see how awesome those kids are. I just like celebration, and pride and a feeling of accomplishment, even if that accomplishment is not mine.

I don't like the trash-talking, the screaming at the TV, the hateful words of competition. I'm not competitive myself, nor have my kids played many sports, and I just don't CARE enough to get all hyped up about it. It's a game. Seriously. I was not sorry when my kids stopped playing sports and I could leave behind all those crazed, screaming parents living vicariously through their kids. I don't hate sports, it's just that they're not for me when it comes to the negative side of things. I just don't care enough and I'm ok with that.

I rarely win anything. I've never won a carnival game, a radio contest, or any major awards (leg lamp anyone?). The stress and anxiety of trying to win is just too much for me. I can get worked up over anything, I don't need the additional stress of competition or needing to be on top. It's not that I wouldn't LIKE to win, but I'm rarely motivated to put forth the effort needed to be a winner.

Does that make me lazy? Uncaring? Unmotivated? Sure, when it comes to sports. But that's because they're not for me. That doesn't mean I won't cheer YOU on, because I want to celebrate your success. I CAN be the biggest fan when I want to be. But when I don't, I don't want the pressure. I won't lose any sleep over who wins the Superbowl, but I'll gloat appropriately if the Seahawks win. For my city. 

And because I'm a fan. Of fun.

Also, where can I buy a confetti cannon?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sick as a.............

Dog? Where did the expression "sick as a dog" come from? Because I've seen my dog barf up an exact rendition of her dog food on the carpet, but I've never done that, even on my sickest days, so what gives? I did a Wikipedia search but it just gave me some gobblygook on some song with the same name.

Anyway. I've been sick.

And it's weird how one minute you're enjoying your grande decaf peppermint mocha from Starbucks and the next you're spending a lot of time getting intimate with your toilet.

And the progression to getting there - well, that's bad too. The overly-full feeling. The stomach cramps. The "I wish I could just throw up and get this over with" feeling that your body will not honor no matter how hard you try. Then, the violence that is a stomach virus.....I'll spare you the details. We all know it's horrific and traumatizing and you see the face of God more than once while you're promising that you'll never, ever eat food again and if you can only be spared one more episode of violence, you'll become a nun, spread world peace, donate half your money to charity...........

Ok, maybe that's just me. But the thing is, I HATE throwing up. Or whatever you choose to call it. My brother and I once made a list of all the euphemisms for vomiting (which sounds like the most "official" term but it's actually "emesis" and I know that because I'm a medical nerd, but whatever). Anyway, I used to say I'd sell my soul to the Devil not to throw up. Of course, that was before I really understood the true price of doing that (and, seriously, unless I'm getting a golden fiddle thrown in with the deal, forget it). Still, I didn't throw up - NOT ONCE - during all of my pregnancies and if I could avoid that, I should be able to avoid it forever, right?

Only, not.

So, after I was super sick I had to sleep for like twenty hours or something. And I kept waking up and I'd watch a little TV or read a little, or check my phone for interesting Facebook updates, and then I'd be surprised with the ease in which I'd fall back to sleep as though I hadn't just slept six straight hours. In the past 36 or so hours, I've had some Gatorade, a piece of toast, two graham crackers and a banana. And that's just fine with me. After your body revolts against food, you must court it again before you're ready for a fully-committed relationship. At this point, the thought of anything beyond the toast stage seems unreliable, but who are we kidding? There's bbq pork in the crock pot and I want it. I'm just scared to eat it.

Then, there's the inevitable questioning everything you've eaten the past day or so, and whether anyone else ate it, and if anyone else has any symptoms, etc. The last thing I ate before being sick was homemade chicken noodle soup. I'm certain everything in it was fresh and free from food-borne bacteria. But my husband threw it out. This is the man who retrieved cans of expired food out of the garbage when I tossed them, insisting they were "still good," the man who eats fish a week after preparing it, the man who just last week was about to use lunchmeat on a pizza he was making when I quickly swooped in and reminded him I could even REMEMBER the last time I bought lunchmeat so he better not take any chances (you're welcome, family, for saving you, once again, from food poisoning!). It only took one night of watching me spew Exorcist-style for him to toss that soup faster than you could say "botulism."

And the thing is, I'll never know what made me sick. Just like all the other times you or I have been sick - it's rare we ever find out the source (save for that one Bunco when someone brought seven layer dip and every single one of us got barfy from it). It just sucks. And makes you love food just a little bit less. (Is this a message, God?) My husband actually had the balls to say my sickness was a "sign" that I should eat better in the new year. He's missing now. Shhh.

The only good things to come of this illness were that I slept more than I have in the past three years, and I lost a few pounds. If you want to look at silver linings and all.

I actually have a theory. I realized that I got sick at this exact same time last year. Granted, last year's "sick" was more flu-like and lasted a few more days, but I almost always get sick around Christmas break. So, my theory is this - I'm bored. When I slow down my frantic pace and have a few days of nothing to do, I get sick. Cabin fever is REAL my friends. It's a legit illness that strikes during school breaks. And the only cure is to stay busy! No boredom! Boredom is deadly! Next year, I'm planning a trip between Christmas and New Year's to ward off any evil sickness that is lurking under the surface, ready to strike with the first sign of cabin fever.

But, just in case, I think I'll also avoid chicken noodle soup. You can never be too cautious.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in 51 pictures at 3 a.m.........

 I didn't send out a Christmas letter this year, mostly because I just ran out of time and it wasn't the best year for us. A lot of things happened this year that tested us. And, as the old adage goes, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, so we're pretty unstoppable at this point. But here, in a random assortment of pictures, is a synopsis of our year. The good stuff. The picture-worthy stuff.

 Harrison was a king in a school play!

Harrison turned 14 and celebrated with a celebrity-themed party. 


 Arlie turned 15 and had a sleepover party - footie pajamas required!

 We spent a weekend in Westport where the kids almost got carried away by the ocean!

We spent a weekend in this cozy cabin at Kayak Point. 


 Took my monkeys to the zoo!

Spent Easter Sunday on Camano Island, soaking up the sun with the grandparents and the kids' dad. 


 Took my beautiful girl's senior pictures!

Went to the tulip festival in Mt. Vernon

Jeff visited Grandpa Vern in San Diego


Hannah went to her senior prom!

 Hannah received recognition for working on the musical "The Wedding Singer"

 Harrison was in another play "Check, Please!"

 Harrison, Arlie and Jeff did the Color Run. 

We went camping at Camp Killoqua. 


 Jeff went on his annual "guys only" camping trip - he's photoshopped into this pic because he had to leave early!

 Hannah graduated!

 Arlie went on her 9th grade cruise. 

 My boy and I went on our first trip together - just us - to Boise for six days!

 Arlie, Jeff and Hannah went to San Diego to visit Grandpa Vern again. 

Hayley went to her first Pride Festival in Seattle with her friends Lynne and Steph.


 We went to the 4th of July parade in Bothell. 

 Jeff ran in the Run of the Mill 5K in Mill Creek and got his picture taken with Bill Iffrig, the runner who was photographed during the Boston Marathon bombings. 

 Hayley turned 20 and got her first tattoo!

 Harrison got a pie in the face at VBS!

 We got a rare picture of the whole family together at the Mill Creek Festival. 

 We went on a hike in the North Creek forest on a very hot day. 

 We enjoyed some music in the park. 

 Jeff and I went to a wedding high on a mountain top in Boise, ID. 

We went to Jackson and Lila's baptism. 


 Hayley moved into her first apartment!

 Hannah celebrated her 18th birthday with many of her Gordon relatives. 

 We went to another pig pickin'!

 We visited our friends, the Kuntz family, at their lake cabin on Lake Coeur d' Alene. 

We went camping at Flowing Lake and did a lot of kayaking. 


 Back to school! Harrison started 9th grade and Arlie went to 10th grade.

 Jeff and I caught a bunch of salmon on the Snohomish River from the kayaks. 

 We adopted two kittens, Benjie and Beau. 

Hayley adopted a kitten, too! Meet Penny. 


 We went to the pumpkin patch!

 Jeff finally finished restoring his 1968 Ford truck!

We had a beautiful fall. 


 We celebrated Thanksgiving in Spokane with the cousins and grandparents. 

We got dressed up for a party. 


 We decked the halls.

 We had a party. 

 We went to see "Oliver!" for my birthday. 

 Harrison played a fortune teller in another play. The highlight was breaking a crystal ball over the villian's head, captured in this picture. 

We all went to the Macklemore/Ryan Lewis concert!

 Christmas morning - Santa came!

We went to Lights of Christmas with friends. 

Tonight, we wrapped up the year with good friends and neighbors. We had good food, entertaining conversation, lots of laughs, and counted down to 2014. We can't wait to see what the new year has in store for us! We're ready. 

Wishing you happiness to fill your heart, love to surround you, hope for new beginnings and peace within. Happy New Year 2014 from our family to yours. Thank you for being a part of our chaos! :)