Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Halleluia - Last Day of January

Thank goodness it's finally here - the end of the longest month of the year!!! We've had snow, cold, fog, rain, name it. I think we had one or maybe two days of sunshine in the whole month. Since I don't get to retire somewhere warm, I may be satisfied with an annual trip in January to somewhere that I don't have to wear a parka! February usually zips by with Valentine's Day, Whit and Travis's birthdays and fewer days. By March spring is just around the corner and I am pretty sure I will make it. Summer is the best time of the whole year for me and I enjoy the wonderful colors of fall. Then it starts all over again.....

Next winter I have a trip to Maui to look forward to. We are planning a big celebration with Gail and Roch Biever and Bob and Debbie Schmid. I will be turning 50 and Keith and I will have our 30th anniversary. Gail is turning 40 and they're having their 20th. Bob and Deb will celebrate their 15th. No kids for this trip and we'll go in the middle of whale season (Jan. or Feb.). Is it too early to start a countdown?!

I'm keeping busy with moving my craft room to Whit's former room and moving the last of her stuff to the basement. This is not a one day project, but the millions (okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration) of trips up and down the stairs should be good for burning a few of those Christmas calories!

One good thing about winter in Spokane is Gonzaga basketball. Everyone watches, everyone talks about it, it's almost like belonging to a giant fan club. Our family enjoys watching the games together, disecting the plays, and poking fun at the referees (Keith generally does not participate in this part). And every year we always have that glimmer of hope that we will finally make it to the Elite Eight again. That won't be happening this year most likely, but it was sure fun when we beat North Carolina - the #3 in the nation!

Well, time to put dinner together for whoever Alex might bring through the door. Brittney often eats with us and assorted guys drop in from time to time. I will miss that next year!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Almost Empty Nesters....

Today I sat down with my son as he submitted his first college application to Seattle Pacific University. We have a couple more to go, but SPU is now his first choice. He's going to apply for a music scholarship as they have those for students who are not necessarily majoring in music. All those years of drum lessons may pay off a little! Not sure he will get accepted there as his academics are not what Whitney's were, but it's worth a shot. I hear it's easier for guys to get in as it's a 70-30 ratio of girls over guys. His other choices are Central Washington and Whitworth.

As I did this with him today, I was so blessed by being able to talk about his goals, his faith, his dreams. Boys tend to not share those as openly as girls. I knew Whitney's goals for her life from the time she was about ten! Just recently Alex was able to focus on the fact that he wants to be a teacher and that he has some gifts and skills that will be useful in that arena. He talked about his beliefs and how that has shaped his choices over the years. All those prayers have worked! He thinks being on a Christian campus would be great and is ready to engage in all the activities that will help him mature emotionally and spiritually. WOW!

He also wants to be on the same side of the state as Brittney. He says they plan to try to stay together even though they won't be together every day. He'd like to be able to take in some of her soccer games and see her on the weekends she is not playing. She will be a busy girl! It cracks me up how much she is like Whitney. We'd be happy if they ended up together, but that's down the road a bit. They both want to get through school (YEA! For awhile I wasn't sure Alex would want more school!)

As for being an empty nester, I HATE the idea! Even though Alex is in and out a lot, it won't be the same having him across the state. Everyone tells me I will get used to it, but that I won't necessarily like it for awhile. Thank goodness Whit and Travis have settled here. We don't see them tons, either, but it's great to have the option if we want to. Is it selfish to hope that Alex ends up here, too? There goes retiring somewhere warm - guess it's worth the sacrifice!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I hope no one interpreted my last blog entry as a rant in any way - not intended as such. Merely observations on my part and things that I learned along the way. I realize that some friends and family who didn't attend the wedding were dying to be there but had perfectly good reasons why they couldn't. I certainly will not hold anyone to a higher standard than I would want them to hold me. Some responses of people surprised me. Some people seemingly didn't desire to be invited who were, some wanted to be invited that weren't. Some couldn't attend but sent lovely cards and/or gifts or personal notes to Whitney and Travis. I respect that completely. Some didn't RSVP and showed up, some RSVP'd and didn't. I was most surprised by the complete lack of acknowledgement by some. I guess what I learned was that there is no way to get it quite right no matter how good your intentions. Someone will get their feelings hurt and perhaps there is no way to avoid that. Again, my point: weddings are someplace you can burn bridges easily. Beware!

I think I may be having my January-winter-wanting-to-be-in-Maui blues. I've been feeling sorry for myself that there are still three months of winter to go and I'm already sick of snow and cold and bad roads. I don't want to go out at all. I could really get into just staying in my sweats all day and never leaving the house. All I want to do is sleep and eat, but that doesn't bode well with my New Year's Resolution to work out more and eat less. I took down all the Christmas stuff today. It's nice to have the living room back, but it also reminds me that it's so long till spring. I need to start a project!

So it's back to work tomorrow. Mostly that's a fine thing. Most of the time I like working at my church. Some days I wish I didn't see or hear or know things that I do. I see the best and worst in people and sometimes it makes me not want to go to church on Sunday, but I know people aren't perfect and it's not about them. I just wish sometimes we all looked a little more like Christ and less like fallen humanity.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Gotta love the coast!

Just returned from five days at the glorious Oregon Coast. Great weather, great friends, great food (always lots of food!). We got a chance to get to know Brittney better and like her more than ever. She was a trooper the whole time and is still coming 'round so we must not have scared her off. It will be sad when the house is sold and we have to find somewhere else for our getaways. We have MANY happy memories at the Schmid beach house.

I've been trying to figure out how relationships get so off track sometimes. If I could figure out why people think the wierd way they think it might help. There are just certain things that people do or say or don't do that I would not even FATHOM thinking or saying or doing or NOT doing! But most of all, I think things go unsaid way too often. I really don't have room in my life for friends or family who don't think it's worth the time or effort to talk about things that matter. I can't fix what I don't know about, so therefore, I will NOT waste my time worrying what others MIGHT be thinking but are unwilling to say.

And now on another subject, I have learned a few things this year while involved in the wedding planning process. There are more than I can list here, but here are a few big ones:

1. You can easily burn bridges with weddings. You can burn them by not going, by making lame excuses, by inviting or not inviting. And the burning is NOT quickly forgotten. The wedding hosts DO remember if you are there or not and so do the bride and groom. It's one of the biggest events in the life of a family and if you miss it, your lack of presence is noted. If you can't attend, it's good to at least send a card or a note or SOME acknowledgment of the event. If it's a family member, there needs to be a darn good reason why you're not there or at least sending a card or gift or warm wishes of SOME KIND! I may not have felt this way before putting on a wedding, so thought others should know before they get there. I will make every effort to attend all weddings I am invited to or at least let the inviters know how much I appreciate being invited and that I am aware how much the day means to them. Life lesson learned....

2. You can put on a great party that everyone loves without spending a fortune. It has everything to do with personal touches, personal greetings, and a bride and groom that have fun and stay for the party. And it doesn't have to be perfect for everyone to enjoy it. But bottom line, it's a reflection of the people getting married. Don't be critical if it's not the way you would do it. If it's what they like, that's the way it should be, even if you are the one writing the checks. Then when the day comes and it's everything they dreamed of, you know it's right.

3. It's really fun to put it all together and it's kind of sad when it's all over. Things are different - good different, fine different, but different all the same and there is a weird sense of loss for awhile. I think the cure for this might be grandchildren.

4. Spend lots on pictures - they last a lifetime and beyond.

Well, these are some pretty random thoughts, but I guess that's what having a blog is all about. One of these days I will get some pics on here so it's more interesting just in case anyone cares to read....