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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nearly a week has come and gone since the big day – our 10th Wedding Anniversary. And I feel like I may finally be coming down from the high. We had such a perfect, perfect time. The actual day – Thursday – was a ‘normal’(ish) day but I felt like everything that went on was so symbolic of what our life has become in these last ten years. I had dear friends over for lunch – Molly and Erin – (we have the most incredible friends and they’ve been so supportive through the years). As usual I did laundry and dishes (not exciting, but also a major activity in my life as mom of three). I took care of kiddos (a daily requirement and blessing – most of the time). Dad stopped by to pick up his belt sander (this is symbolic in that we’re blessed to live near my parents and can use them for stuff like belt sanders and free childcare)! I got our grass cut (we have a house with a yard…we’re living the dream, man! No picket fence though). We had an extra yummy dinner of grilled steak (thanks to Katherine who sent some after her visit in May). And then we ALL took the boys to swim lessons so I could see their progress – they’re doing great! Zach is especially proud that he’s perfect the “whale spray” – putting water in your mouth and spraying it into the air. This is extra credit and NOT something that his teacher has taught him. What a talent! I couldn’t believe how far Matthew’s come. I watched in awe as he did the crawl struck across the pool. Amazing!

Friday, I took the kiddos up to my parents where Kayliana finally had to give up her hipster baby mullet. Mom gave her a trim and while I thought I’d be sad to see her longish hair go, I think her hair cut is SO cute and will be much better for the growing-out process. Kayli and I left the boys so that they could go to Port Ludlow for the weekend. She and I returned home so that I could beautify for my hot date (and boy was he hot)! Jason & Julia survived babysitting Kayli for the first time though Julia was AWFULLY eager to have a glass of wine with me when we returned. (Welcome to my world, Julia)! We had an INCREDIBLE dinner at the Melting Pot. The hostess greeted us with a “Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Martin” and a gift card for our next visit! (Oh yeah, they know what they’re doing). We also were surprised with glasses of champagne when our chocolate fondue arrived at the end of an exquisite meal. I kept reminding us that the Melting Pot is a marathon, not a sprint, and we needed to pace ourselves through the cheese fondue, salad course, boullion fondue…so that we had room for the MAIN course – the chocolate at the end. It was AMAZING. And I will say that we sat there reminiscing over the last ten years – the highs and the lows and what we hope the next ten years brings. Do you know what we want?! BOREDOM. We want to just be a ‘boring ‘ol family with three kids’. Because kids, themselves, are not boring….so we’re good with just “regular” life – no cancer, no hospital visits, no drama – I realize that this is possibly unrealistic, but whatever. It’s our wish!

Saturday, we played games, worked on a puzzle, ate delicious food, and just relaxed. Our babysitter arrived at 6 and we went to Newcastle Golf Club for happy hour – food and drinks. Then we went to Seattle for an Improv Comedy show. The show wasn’t the best we’d ever seen but, let’s face it, we hadn’t been to one in about, mmm, ten years, so we were just happy to be there!

Sunday, we went to church, came home and made brunch, played more games (Mike got me Ticket to Ride as one of my letters in my daily “Happy 10th Anniversary” notes/gifts. It’s super fun! We also played Dominion – another fun strategy game – both games tend to make me fairly cranky though as Mike nearly always wins). We went for a walk, even did some laundry and made a light dinner (after all that eating that’s all we could/should do) and eagerly awaited the arrival of our boys.

All around it was a perfect anniversary weekend – the best combination of relaxing and being lazy but also doing fun things to celebrate.

In other news: Kayliana says DaDaDa all the time now. She charmed the pants off the pediatrician at her nine month check-up yesterday – giving herself kisses on the mirror (Kayli, not the doctor…the nurse wasn’t so thrilled with this as she then had to clean the mirror) and giggling like crazy while jumping on the examination table’s paper cover. Kayli was sporting a bit of a shiner for her check-up (of course). She’d pulled a small table on top of herself the night before. Seriously – I can’t look away for a minute! She’s already had her first bloody nose (hitting the coffee talbe) and black eye. I think we’re done with injuries for a while…or for ever.

Only two weeks over summer vacation left! I have mixed feelings about this – I’m ready for routine and school (some aspects of it) but also not ready for summer to be done. We’re packing a TON into the last few days though – I’m driving up to Bellingham for Rachel’s book launch party (woohoo!!) from Thursday-Friday. We have two big neighborhood get-together/dinners. We have a couple of beach days planned and a trip to the zoo to fit in. We have staycation with the clan (Jason & Rebecca and gang) and then celebrating Veronica’s Baptism. And then, it’s Meet and Greet at school and First Day here we come…oh, and then it’s Matthew’s birthday and Labor Day weekend! Wowza!

Friday, August 05, 2011

I find myself quite prone to moments of reminiscing lately. And for good reason – a couple of rather significant dates are upon us. A year ago today, August 5th, marks the day that I was taken on one of the lowest-low/highest-high rollercoaster rides of my life. Within two hours I went from utter disbelief, grief and despair to uncontrollable sobs of joy and feelings of exhausted relief. We found out that Mia – Kayliana’s birth mom – had NOT picked us as her number one family. I could NOT for the life of me wrap my mind around this. I knew what our social worker Joy was telling me. I understood the pointless words attempting to comfort me – “It just wasn’t meant to be…you’ll find the perfect baby for you, I promise…this just wasn’t the one…” – but they made no sense. I remember feeling and saying over and over, “But it just felt so right. How could it feel SO right? I prayed and prayed and I SWEAR this was it. It felt like The One. How can it not be us when I just KNEW that it would be?!”

Then, a couple hours later, my cellphone rang again telling me that it was Joy calling. How appropriate; it WAS joy calling! Mia’s number one family had backed out (which hardly EVER happens) and Mia was thrilled that we were now (by default) her choice. (Joy assured me, Mia had been torn between the two of us families until the very end; she really was genuinely excited and relieved. We were meant to be her family.)

I know things don’t always turn out that way. We don’t always get our fairy tale ending. Life isn’t supposed to be like that. Most of the time when it happens that way (especially when it happens that way for others around me), I can’t really understand it – how can things happen so seemingly easily for other people? Why can’t it be that way for me? But, as most of us know, it’s the cloudy, rainy days that help us appreciate the sunny blue skies all the more.

The other date is next Thursday, August 11th when Mike and I will celebrate another joyous (yet RIDICULOUSLY stressful and emotional day) – our Tenth Wedding Anniversary! Here’s the Ah-Ha moment that I’ve had: Without fail ALL of my BEST days have also been at times my worst days and I think I finally get it.

OK, actually, no I don’t. I’ve sat here for the last five minutes looking at that “and I think I finally get it” trying to figure out what it is that I ‘finally get’ and then wondering why the heck I’m lying to my own face. I don’t get it. I don’t understand why our wedding day couldn’t be a near flawless joy-filled event. I can’t comprehend why we never got to enjoy being Newlyweds because of going through the suckiness of Chemo and Radiation. And since we’re heading down the pity party road: Why were none of my pregnancies/births ‘sorta’ normal?? (I know there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ pregnancy). I’m trying – for ten years now – to learn from Mike’s example: to accept that I don’t always understand why things happen. Don’t question. (But that whole “Why do bad things happen to good people?” thing is KINDA totally lame). Just trust. And I do trust that through all of the ups and downs, everything that has happened – the good and the bad – has gotten us to where we are right now. It’s gotten me to a place where I strive to live in the moment (though I often fall short), to appreciate all good that does come our way (though I still tend to be a big whiny baby). It’s helped me recognize what’s important in life (but I do still love shoes too much!) I KNOW just how very blessed we are to have what we have – a house, an income, amazingly supportive family and friends, three healthy amazing children, and an incredibly strong, loving marriage.

Today, August 5th, I’m thinking back to a year ago when, in the end, our prayers were answered. We KNEW that someday our daughter would be home with us. And she is. She is so, completely our daughter; she is such a miracle.

And on August 11th, I will be celebrating that ten years ago what needed to happen, happened. I married my best friend and I’m the luckiest woman in the world.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

We spent an AWESOME weekend “camping” in my parents’ new Port Ludlow beach house. They haven’t moved in yet, so we had fun breaking the place in for them. The boys LOVED the beach (we watched a bald eagle standing about 20 yards away from us eating a fish and Mike showed the boys a couple of live sand dollars), getting to go to the beach club pool (as always), a deer visited the front yard for about 20 minutes, we saw a coyote on the drive home one night, and Kayliana loved all the open space to roam (and cover in drool and happy spit bubbles).