Month: February 2018
Has it really reached that time in our lives where Danny and I are edging toward being empty nesters? It can’t possibly be. Our youngest – the twins, are 15 so we still have a short time, but I experienced a dose of empty nest life the last couple of weeks, and it was so different from what I’m used to.
So, here’s what’s been going on….Jude and Mycah flew to New York.
Jude is an amazing writer/illustrator and has been writing children books over the last couple of years, and attended a children’s book conference in New York. Mycah went along as her support, cheerleader and best friend. Jude learned so much and came away feeling very encouraged with great insight, tools and direction.
We are so excited for her. I’ll ask her for permission to write a couple of her stories on the blog for everyone to see how talented I believe she is! While in NY, the girls have spent some time with their cousin, Miriam, who flew out for a few days to join them, as well as our sweet friend, Hannah, who is there visiting her sister. We know her from sailing. Miriam, Jude and Mycah spent some time in the Africa exhibit at the museum – feeling at home among the animals from their roots!
It has been so fun to FaceTime them and listen to their exciting adventures. I told them about a few places to check out, like Zabars…a store full of delicious foods from everywhere.
Jude, who is the roast chicken addict, was so happy to find rotisserie chicken to take back to their hotel room. They ate hot dogs from a vendor, NY cheesecake, the best bagels, pizza, visited the Statue of Liberty, rode the subway and explored Central Park, went thrift shopping which is a favorite of theirs, and have frozen their little butts off the entire time. Mycah’s Christmas gift to Jude this year was Broadway tickets to Lion King, and they loved it so much. I received texts from them at intermission telling me they just have to go to Africa now. They’ve always wanted to, but now they’re even more driven.
Tomorrow mycah will return here to Idaho, and Jude will continue on to Florida. It will be a tough separation for them because they are pretty much inseparable. In fact they have already been on the phone with me plotting and planning when and where they can meet up next.
In Florida, Jude will take her STCW and Powerboat 2 courses, which will be great experiences for her to learn and grow from. They will open doors for working on yachts and following her dreams of life on the water. Later on this year she will travel to Alaska to work on fishing boats for a season.
Once Mycah returns she will be heading to see the Northern Lights in Canada for a week or so with a friend. She is loving being able to check things off her bucket list that I haven’t checked off mine yet…like going to Broadway and seeing the Northern lights. She loves to rub it in my face! After her Canada trip she will return to Bali for about 6 weeks to do her Yoga Instructor Training and all this while, she’s continuing to finish up her senior year of high school. She has been so excited for this for a long time now, and is so passionate about yoga. She’s amazing at it and we have no doubt she will be a fantastic instructor.
During this time, Aidan and Emma have been having a blast and a half with our friends in Montana.
They have been sledding, hot tubbing, playing games, watching movies, doing school work, eating and sleeping nonstop. We love Keith and Renee and their kids so much and look forward to many many more adventures with them in the future. You can watch their sailing videos on Youtube at Sailing Zatara. I’ll be meeting them to get the twins back today, and can’t wait to see them.
While all this has been going on, Kjira and I have been having a blast hanging out together in between her work schedule. We took an oil painting class together, and decided we’d best stick to sketching. Our paintings were supposed to look like the three on the easel in the front of the class, but didn’t quite make it!
She did hers in Green and I did mine in Burgundy. We had a good laugh and enjoyed the time together!
We’ve also watched movies, eaten yummy food, had a blast at an Escape Room, had long talks and laughs and even picked out a new man in her life for her. She named him Prince but has not kissed him yet. He is a Cuban Tree Frog.
As many of you know, frogs and especially toads are my least favorite thing on the planet, and I am working very hard to embrace the fact that I now have one as a family member. I even held it for a little while and admired his cute little toe pads. Are you proud of me Mom?
I’ve also been busy taking care of some medical issues… A couple of days ago I had hernia repair surgery.
The hernia was caused by being nicked in a previous surgery, and has continued to grown larger. When we shipwrecked and salvaged belongings across the reef for 10 days in French Polynesia, I think I probably ripped that baby wide open and have had the company of a cute little bulge on my belly for the last few months. Dr Chamberlain here in Idaho Falls did a great job sewing me back together. My heart appointment for my pacemaker went well and all is as it should be there. I have 5 – 7 years left on my battery. I got some answers on some other blacking out issues I have, which was very interesting, and on Monday I have an appointment with the spine surgeon to discuss the bulging disks I have in my back. So, all is well and I feel great and am grateful for good insurance due to Danny’s hard work, and also for knowledgeable doctors. I won’t book our return tickets home to Bali until after my appointment on Monday.
All this time, Danny, who is usually gone on work trips when I am home, has been home almost this entire time. He’s been spending his days relaxing on the beach in 80 degree weather, reading, dining, doing some online training and he did have about a week long ugly battle with salmonella poisoning to deal with. I wish I’d been there to help him. He flew to the jet in Beijing yesterday and will be flying the owner to Australia and New Zealand over the next couple of weeks.
So, there it is. It’s been busy. Just as soon as I feel like I’m adjusting to the cold, I freeze to death, but life is good and I’m grateful for it.
After leaving our sweet friends in Montana, we were all so excited to see Hunter, Nonna and Zailyn! Our journey was as always, full of laughs, conversation and beautiful memories made. Danny and I had met Zailyn right after she was born, but Jude, Mycah and the twins had never met her. I made sure they all understood that I was going to be the first to get to hold her!!!
It was so sweet to watch the creatures with their beautiful little niece. Mycah started to cry when she held her and mentioned how absolutely perfect she is.
Hunter was amazed at how much Aidan had grown in the last 18 month. Not much longer and Hunter (who is 6’3) will no longer be the tallest of them all.
I love the way these creatures love each other. As a mother, I can’t think of a greater gift.
We spent every day playing with our beautiful little Angel, who took to us immediately.
She painted with Aunt Jude….
played the guitar with Dad and Aunt Mycah…
It was such a treat to listen to Hunter and Mycah sing and play together. I’m not sure Heavens choirs could deliver anything sweeter.
Aunt Emma drover Zailyn around at the laundromat,
Uncle Aidan taught her how to hi-five…
and Aunt Kjira played and cuddled and carried and loved.
Uncle Jonathan had to work and couldn’t make it. We had so much fun helping Nonna and Hunter prepare for Zailyns first birthday party. Nonna had already done so much and we just help with last minute details. We made some trips into town for supplies – never missing an opportunity for love and laughs.
Hunter and Aidan relaxed a bit and played games once in a while and while eating ice cream we watched movies and played with baby Z in the evenings.
The birthday party was mermaid themed – since Zailyn is the newest little mermaid, so Kjira used her amazing art skills and whipped up some posters for games.
We made an octopus veggie tray,
Cookie clams, which became Zailyns friends. She would motion for me to take her over to the fridge so we could peek in and see if they were asleep yet. Crazy little critters never did go to sleep, keeping their eyes open all the way to digestion!
We made dolphin yoghurt cups,
Starfish rice cookie treats,
Seaweed grape skewers,
and Hunter and Nonna ordered her a beautiful cake.
Emma kept with Hawaiian tradition and made Zailyn a beautiful flower lei.
She of course looked gorgeous in it!
The party was a great success!
Hunter and Nonna are amazing parents. The spend so much time playing with and loving Zailyn,
and balance it beautifully with disciplining her well and allow yours truly to spoil her to my hearts content!
We kissed our Angel,
and cuddled her for 10 days! Though no amount of time in the world would be enough.
When it came time to say ‘see you later’, none of us were very happy.
Getting a serious photo of the creatures was practically impossible.
Ok maybe literally impossible.
Ya. It just doesn’t work!
Goof ball! How can Danny and I be so blessed?
We love our beautiful little family so much.
The Creatures and I have decided that as far as living on land goes…Montana has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
On our way to Nebraska, we took a detour and visited our sailing friends (s/v Zatara) at their beautiful cabin.
They met us at the base of the mountain since our 2WD rental truck was too gutless to make it, and as soon as they exited their vehicles we all embraced with giant hugs! It was so good to see them. The Creatures had so much catching up to do and spent every second laughing/chatting/playing together.
We bundled up in borrowed snow clothes and loaded up on snow mobiles and made our way to ‘The Bowl’ – a fantastic place to sled.
Aidan, Jack and Finn were really brave on ski scooters.
Keith was an absolute (skilled) maniac on the snowmobile.
And everyone enjoyed tubing and sledding for a couple of days while Renee and I took way too many photos,
until they were so sore from crashing,
and wet and cold – ready for the hot tub!
What an amazing group of boat kids, who care so much about each other!
The hot tub felt so good!!!
The best part of it all was just being together.
There’s something magical about being with the Zatara crew. Maybe it’s Keith’s delicious cooking….
or maybe it’s that we all have sailing in common with shared time on the water together and love laughing and playing as one big goofy family…
I think it’s all of it! Our kids get along so well, Renee is an amazing BFF and who can’t love Keith! He reminds me so much of Danny – a little boy in a big mans body! It was tough to say good bye to them when it was time to leave, but we all knew that we’d meet up somewhere in the not too distant future again. The morning that Keith drove us down to our truck, was gorgeous with fresh falling snow.
Our next adventure would take us on an 850 mile road trip to visit Hunter, Nonna and sweet baby Zailyn, and we were so excited!!!