Every direction!

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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.
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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.

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