Family “Funday” Sunday

My sister Erika is in town for one week before she moves to the East Coast for medical school.  She stayed with Nathan and I on Saturday night, and made us a delicious dinner of kielbasa, quinoa salad, corn on the cob, and French bread.  We even ate at the dining room table and had grown up dinner conversation!  How old are we?  It was a very relaxing and fun time.

Today, my parents, Erika, my brother and I all went to the coast for a day of family time.  We had a lot of fun, and surprisingly the weather at the coast ended up nicer than the weather at home.  First up, we hit Agate Beach so that we could all get a look at the dock from Japan (none of us had seen it except Dakota and Nathan).


We got there at just the right time, because shortly after the tide came in and you couldn’t get as close to the dock.  What Nathan failed to mention to me was that it was quite the hike from the day use area to the dock. 



And because I just couldn’t resist posting this last photo . . .


I also forgot that my parents’ idea of a day at the beach involves a lot more walking than mine.  So after that, we walked all the way to the rock that you see in the background of that last picture.  It doesn’t seem that far, but trust me, it is.  If you don’t believe me, ask the blister on my heel.


After we left Agate Beach, we drove through the Nye Beach area and stopped to take a look at the shops there.  We never realized they had shops down there.  There was a great little used book store, and also an Irish pub with outdoor seating that Nathan and I just might check out next time we are in town.




We ended the day in Old Town in Newport for some ice cream (yes, it was actually that warm there today), watching the boats come in.


It was a wonderful day, and so much fun to do something as a family.  Especially since Erika is leaving next week, and we won’t get as many opportunities to see her over the next several years while she is in med school.  We used to do family trips and vacations all the time, and the older we get the harder it is to get everyone in the same place at one time.  We certainly did miss our “Crabby Patty” (aka Jessica) and my better half today, but hopefully they can join us next time!


The Road to Recovery

Today was a very big day in our house.  Nathan finally got the pins out of his toes!  They were originally supposed to come out last week, but x-rays at that time showed that his toes weren’t quite healed enough.  So today was the big day.  He is now pin-less, in a new walking boot, and only using crutches as needed.  Needless to say, he is very excited to finally be moving around a little more and seeing some progress.

This last month has been quite a learning experience, for both of us.  As Nathan put it, he will “never take his toes for granted again”.  (He probably will also listen to his wife when she tells him that hopping on one foot up stairs is not a good idea and certainly will not lead to anything good.  That is, unless you consider face planting to be “good”.)  Obviously the “in sickness” part of our wedding vows came unexpectedly and much earlier than expected.  It was certainly challenging and stressful at times, but I feel like I have grown as wife.  Not only that, my brain cells have gotten smarter!  Thanks to this experience, I now know several new things:

1) It’s a good thing that I am not a nurse.

Because I would really be terrible at it.  I have not had any professional nursing training, so I can’t be sure, but I suspect that good nurses do not repeatedly bump the broken bones (on accident, of course).  Or kick them (also on accident).  Or drop sherbet cups on them (again, an accident).

2) How to connect the sprinkler to the hose.

And where to place it in order to water the lawn.  Also, that the hose is possessed and will spray water all over you when you attempt to turn it off.

3) Where to find painter’s tape at Home Depot.

That would be the second paint aisle. Not the first.  And apparently, it only takes a salesperson one glance to realize that I do not belong in Home Depot.

4)  The secret to Nathan’s homemade pizza.

One part of the secret is the ingredients.  Another part is the process.  And the final part is not overdoing it on the cheese, unless you want to fill your house with smoke and be forced to open all of the windows in ninety degree weather.  Obviously, I learned this the hard way.

5) How to take out the trash.

It seems like this would be fairly obvious and straightforward.  But it turns out, there is a method to the madness!

6) I can cook new things without using recipes!

Ok, fine.  One new thing.  But when you go from cooking two dinners a week to cooking seven dinners a week, you realize that you quickly run out of meal ideas.  Last night, I was feeling creative.  And tired of eating my same old garlic bread with premade Johnny’s Garlic Seasoning.  So I got creative with some butter, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and mozzarella.  And voila!  I had cheesy garlic bread.  EDIBLE cheesy garlic bread.  SUCCESS!!!!

7) It is possible to take back our pop cans in a timely fashion.

Those of you who know us know that our garage is filled with bags, bags, and more bags of cans and water bottles.  My dad got tired of it and “tricked” (Nathan’s words, not mine) Nathan into taking back pop cans one day.  I have never been a fan of returning cans, especially alone.  But with some helpful nagging from my dear old dad, I went alone to take back cans one day.  And guess what?  It wasn’t so bad!  The trick is to go to Costco’s can return, and get there when they open.  Their machines always work (hint, hint, Safeway), and they even have a call button for when the bins get full!  I have made twenty bucks in the last two weeks.  (No matter that I probably still have forty bucks more in the garage).  PROGRESS!

8) My parents rock.

They took Nathan to doctors appointments, ran errands for me, and took back some of my cans.  They even installed a special showerhead in the now non-leaky master shower so that Nathan could take a shower easier without getting his foot wet.  I don’t know what we would have done without them.

9) My husband helps me a lot.

I knew he helped me around the house before.  But I don’t think I fully appreciated how much until he physically couldn’t help me.  He couldn’t kill the spiders, make dinner, carry laundry upstairs, or unload all the groceries from the car.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with what he helps me with.  I will never take his help for granted again!

10) And finally, my husband thinks I am a terrible driver.

See, normally he drives everywhere.  But for the last month, he has been at my mercy.  Apparently my tendency to drift, speed, and not use a blinker scares him.  I believe his exact words were, “You are the worst driver I know.  I never thought I would say it, but you are worse than Erika.”  (I am really not sure who should be more offended, me or Erika.  Erika says me.  But I am not offended.  He will eat his words when I become the next Danica Patrick.  You don’t need blinkers in NASCAR!)

* * *

Yes, the last month was challenging, but I am really grateful that we had this experience.  I think we will appreciate things more, and be better prepared to handle future challenges.  We still have a little ways to go on the path to recovery, but I am looking forward to things slowly getting back to normal!


Fourth Of July Fun

Yes, I know July 4th was nearly a week ago.  As you may have noticed by my lack of blogging, I am a little behind lately.  Besides, my neighbors are still shooting off fireworks.  So if they insist on doing that, I insist on sharing our 4th of July a few days late.

The past several years, the more ambitious members of my family have started a tradition of running a 10K called the Butte to Butte on the morning of July 4th (the less ambitious members of the family, aka my siblings, have always managed to find a reason to stay in bed).  First it was me and my parents, then Nathan joined in.  This year Nathan had to sit out due to all the broken toes, but my Uncle Rob joined the festivities.


For all you non-runners, a 10K is slightly over 6 miles.  The first mile of this race is all uphill, the second mile is downhill, and the last four are flat.

I love doing this run, but I am setting a disturbing pattern of being in worse and worse shape every year when it rolls around.  I don’t think I had run any farther than 4 miles since LAST July 4th!  This year, I ran the 10K in a little less than an hour, and only ten seconds slower than last year.  Not bad, except that I felt about ten times worse this year.  I felt great through four miles, but miles five and six kicked my butt.  As evidenced by this super flattering photo of my finish.


If it looks like I am running about two miles an hour at this point?  That’s because I probably am.  Nothing like pain to motivate me to actually attempt to be in shape next year.

Luckily for mom and dad, they photograph just as great as me.


The upside of this run is that it is a TON of fun, you totally get your money’s worth out of your entry fee (this year they even had barbecued hot dogs at the finish line!), and you get such a good workout that you feel no guilt whatsoever when you stuff your face later on in the day.  The downside is that you have to get up at the crack of dawn, and it hurts to move for several days after.  But that is a small price to pay for enjoying this later in the afternoon:


Ingredients: 3

Minutes to Prepare: 5

A Beautiful, Delicious Dessert: Priceless!

I would give you my secret recipe, but then I’d have to kill you.


The other great thing about July 4th was that summer finally arrived!  We had one glorious day of comfortable weather, and we enjoyed a fun, relaxing barbecue that afternoon with some great people.

Since then, the temperature has skyrocketed and I am contemplating a move to Alaska.  I am also contemplating using Nathan’s crutches to knock some sense into my apparently unemployed neighbors if they don’t stop setting off fireworks on a nightly basis.  Wish me luck!