Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Slippery Slopes

Once in high school I wrote a 5 page essay on the fact that I hate snow. Everything in that essay was pretty much true, if a bit whiny. From the time I was a little kid, I felt real luke warm on snow, sledding, hot chocolate (I know), and especially - snow clothes. I hate being hot and cold at the same time! It's so... confusing. Am I dry in my snow pants or wet from the melting snow creeping in at the ankles? Am I cold because it's snowing or sweaty because I'm running up and down hills to go sledding in 10 layers of clothes that don't breath? And yes, now that I'm a parent I realize how weird and annoying I probably was as a kid.

All this is to say that we spent last weekend in Leavenworth, in an attempt to have a "snow weekend". There are a number of ironic things about this - the main one (obvi) being that I don't really like snow, and yet I jumped at the chance for this weekend. But my life is officially a parenting cliche in which I am reliving my childhood through my own kid - only I'm trying harder to be more open minded in this attempt. So I got Edie all pumped up for snow and packed a plethora of "snow gear".

The second irony is that it didn't snow; the weather was actually nicer in Leavenworth than Seattle. Most importantly though, we had a really great, relaxing weekend in which I ate my weight in enchiladas, lasagna, waffles, and baked goods. We also had the time to reconnect with old friends that we don't see often enough and made new friends that I hope we'll see again soon.

To back up a step - this snow weekend (formally known as the "Slippery Slopes Ski Club") has been an annual tradition for a group of my college friends for a few years now, but this is the first year Edie has been of an appropriate age to make the weekend more fun instead of less fun, so we were invited along for the 2013 edition of Slippery Slopes. We were a little hesitant about bringing the only kid for a weekend of adult antics, but all for naught. The only real downside to the weekend (aside from the lack of snow) was that 2 of the people I was excited to catch up with couldn't make it at the last minute.

Edie turned on the charm and had everyone clapping for her when she entered a room by the last day. It's ridiculously heartwarming to have adults without children play with, help out, and chat with your kid in such a natural way - it reminds me of how lucky we are - with Edie but also to have the kinds of friends we have.

The drive:
Sleepy time unicorn driving through the pass.
A walk in the surrounding hills.
 The farmhouse:

  A small pile of unmelted snow/ice near the farmhouse.
Tractor driving face:
 Returning from our walk:


This is the photo we will use for Jeff's memoir, "Handsome, Brave and Modest: An Autobiography by Jeff Culver" (self titled)

 Our second hike wherein we disregarded the directions to "KEEP OUT".  Melissa being a rebel (Dan was uneasy).

 Various hiking/walking photos from both days:




 Lest you wonder where my husband was during all these shots of other men carrying my kid around - he woke up early with Edie and took her on a big adventure so I could sleep late, which then resulted in a late morning nap for Jeff while I hiked with the others.




Wherein Jeff wrecks what could have been a charming photo:
Jeff making up for it by looking charming with Edie:

Amanda and Ryan:




 Matt, who had never met Edie before this weekend, playing peekaboo with her through the window. She had a great time with him and after a day and a half mentioned to Jeff that, "Matt looks ... different." Jeff finally realized that Edie had been thinking that this Matt was Darrah's husband Matt and that he had gone through some sort of metamorphosis... Jeff explained that this was a DIFFERENT Matt, which I think resolved some confusion we hadn't realized was there.
Melissa making Dan's birthday cake. And Edie licking the frosting beater (officially winning Melissa a place in her heart).

 Enchilada dinner complete with homemade guacamole and coleslaw.
 Games after Edie was in bed:
 Panoramic from my phone:

Dan looking a little uncomfortable after a particularly "food filled" day:
But he still found room for birthday cake:


 Legos were found in the upstairs game room and brought downstairs. Note the lack of children in this photo. Adult men love Legos.

Butterflies and Bees


This one's for you D. Apparently Edie learned some sort of trick in ballet class for learning how to plie and turn-out by pretending that she's letting butterflies through her knees (plie with turn-out) and then closes her knees to keep the bees from getting through to learn turn-in/parallel. Or at least this is my best guess? See for yourself:
video

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To my friends

I just got home from a birthday dinner for Amy. There was a table seated behind ours with 5 women in their 60's and we joked that it was us in 30 years. I feel very lucky to have the friends I have - I forget sometimes that it's rare to have this family of women that I count on, and who also rely on me. We are all so different from one another and yet I don't know what we would do without each other. Ladies, this is for you (and you too, CatRat), I love you all and badly want for you to get what you need. But also what you want; because you deserve it.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Letters

For Christmas I asked Jeff if we could write each other love letters instead of buying gifts. I wrote my letter in November but then when Christmas rolled around, never gave it to him. In my defense, he didn't present me with a letter either. The season was merry, but hectic and more about Edie than us. Maybe it was really meant to be a Valentine's letter.

11-27-12


Dear Jeffrey,

I kept thinking about what to get you for Christmas, and maybe Edie’s sucked the creativity out of me, but the only ideas I have are the same ones I have every year – shoes? A sweater? A weekend to Portland? I’m assuming that you have the same problem with me, and I thought to myself that more than anything what I’d love from you is to get a love letter. Like the kind you used to send me every day when you lived in St Louis. And yes, I realize that was a super long time ago, but wouldn’t it be nice if we still wrote each other letters? I miss it. I think sometimes my impatience and your prudence make thoughtful conversation in-person difficult for us; I’m always in a hurry to get to the point and you mull things over so long that we’re never in the same place at the same time. Maybe things were better when circumstances afforded you the chance to write your thoughts down and I was forced to think before opening my mouth and instead put pen to paper.

Anyways, all this is to say that I still love you very much. After 18 years, you are still the one I want sleeping in my bed each night. The day to day drudgery of parenting and making a living can bring out the worst in me, but when I boil it all down to its essence, you are the big love of my life. I still remember when you were a freshman in college and told me that you’d been talking with some of your friends in the dorms and one of them asked how you would define Love. I didn’t have an immediate answer, but I asked what YOUR answer had been to the question and you replied rather matter of factly, “Knowing that you want to grow old with someone.” 

And here we are, 19 years later, growing old together.

I’m typing this while I fly over the Midwest – on my way to Charleston for work. There’s turbulence and I’m nervous like I always am. I wish you were here to squeeze my hand and humor me. As we took off at 6am, the sun was starting to rise and the entire sky was a brilliant red. I pretended you were sitting next to me and appreciated it for you. It really was beautiful. I would love for us to resume our traveling ways soon; especially now that Edie is getting a little older. I know how lucky I am to still be in love with my husband after all this time when I think about all the places I still want to go with you.

This is a challenging (and rewarding) phase of our life together, but we have many more phases still to look forward to.  Edie will be old enough to travel with us one day and we’ll take her to Spain and eat croquettas with her cousin Luna and Javi’s family. She’ll go to sleep-away camp for a week and we’ll travel to Beunes Aires, rent a little apartment and eat steaks every night for dinner. Fingers crossed, we’ll send her to the college of her dreams and resume a quiet life where we eat dinner in front of the TV, watch marathons of our favorite old movies and sleep until 10am every weekend.  We’ll Skype with her every week and marvel at what a thoughtful and funny young woman we’ve raised – she’ll go her own way and choose her own path and it will be the best and hardest thing we ever did together.

I should probably go now. Typing that made me miss you and Edie even though I just kissed you goodbye this morning and had my “second” goodbye with Edie at 1:30am.when she said she’d had a “hard dream” and wanted me to “keep her safe” with a back rub over her green blanket cape.

I love you,
Jill

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Best Laid Plans

I should be writing this post from Los Angeles. We should be getting ready to go to Disneyland tomorrow.

But on Tuesday afternoon Edie's daycare called to say that she had taken a 2 hour nap and was now complaining of being cold. I picked her up early and within the hour, she had a fever of 104. She slept fitfully that night, burning up despite the Ibuprofen and Tylenol. I woke up the next morning with a dramatic cough. Edie's fever turned into a regular, old, nasty cold and my cough graduated into a night spent shivering and sweating in the bed. Long story short - we had to cancel our LA trip with less than 24 hours notice. At the time, I was too sick to really be legitimately disappointed. I don't normally get hit this hard with illness but this cold is NOT messing around. 4 days later and I'm still barely functioning and Edie woke up from her afternoon nap today with a raging ear infection. So. Yeah. Things are pretty fucking awesome at our house right now. Jeff's sleeping on the couch to try and avoid catching the plague, but I fear that soon enough I'll be tending to a sick husband and a still miserable kid.

I'm feeling jealous of people who can take a paid sick day at a regular office job. I'm feeling jealous of people who don't have children and can just lay in bed all day when they are sick. I'm feeling pissed that Edie only wants to watch shitty cartoon movies instead of the first season of Girls. I'm super cranked that I don't have a personal assistant to come clean my house. But mostly, I'm sad that we aren't in California.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Christmas Eve

Photos from Christmas Eve Day. We made cookies on the 23rd, left them out for Santa and blatantly lied to our kid and said Santa was coming twice - once that night to our house and again to Grandma and Grandpa's house the next night. This lie will probably not work next year. 

The next morning on the 24th, we had my family over to our house for a big brunch and lots of presents.