Monday, November 12, 2012

The Three-Year Transition

OK, so I know several of you still follow both Casey's blog and my blog, and for your concern, care and curiousity over these several years, I thank you.  If you have already read Casey's blog, you know that we severed the final legal tie, beyond the children, last week.  It has been three years this month that we ended our marriage, or, to be really clear, that I declared I could no longer stay in the relationship.  Finally we are no longer on any joint loans, credit cards, insurance, auto, and now, the house. Casey is no longer on the title of our former home and the house has been rented to a couple with children.  I pay child support and am very involved with the kids, but the last of the "couple" things are through.  This really is best for each of us, our new partners  (who are really only "new" in comparison with our very long-term relationship) and our journey into our separate futures.  Still, it has sometimes been hard.

People tell me it is always difficult to let go of dreams and goals, and indeed, it has been. Marriage was both a dream and a goal - the goal of staying together forever, raising our childen in a two-parent household with not even a whisper of divorce - the whole "happily, ever-after"  package.  Fully moving out of our old house and knowing that someone else will soon be living there certainly brought back the pain of a failed marriage, of letting down Casey, myself, and the kids,  and wondering what could have been done differently.  We knew that once the kids were born, we'd have to make an effort to nourish our relationship. We talked about it...but the reality was, it was hard to do, hard to find babysitters we trusted, hard to have the energy for each other, hard to not get caught up in our own view of things, hard to let go of the bitterness of past hurts, and in the end, we did not do it.  Certainly, there was more to it than that, but that was a piece.  We had very different dreams, and saw the world differently. She likes the world  in black and white, and I revel in the world of grays.  She's a home-body and I love to travel.  She likes clocks and schedules and I live more free-form. Many differences....but also commonalities.....the things that brought us together, kept us together for years, and the things that still make us good parents together.  We still do that together very well, and I am very appreciative of that. 

Now what? Now I hope I have learned some worthwhile lessons as I build a relationship with Vicki.  I can more clearly see my old patterns now, of times I would shut down, or react rather than really communicating, and now, I stop myself and try something new.  Vicki and I are both learning together to recognize and break the unhealthy patterns of old relationships and replace them with ones that lead to growth and understanding.  We've done pretty well, so far, and I know I am motivated by not ever wanting to hurt those I love, and myself, again through failing in a relationship.  I truly believe Vicki and I are a good match for each other, but if there comes a time our relationship ends, we are both determined that it will not be because we did not learn the lessons from our past.  We are both highly aware that it takes two people to mess up a relationship and two people to keep it healthy.  We are on the road to good health!

Why did I feel the need to write this post? Maybe because this blog started when I started law school - when the future looked much different, when we were still a relatively happy couple with two young children and our lives ahead of us, and now, the last formality of that is gone. Maybe because although law school was not the cause of our breakup, it was a catalyst, and somehow, those who started following my track through law school maybe also deserve to get a glimpse into the aftermath, and the recovery.

Life is good now. Sure, there is still guilt and sadness sometimes.  I don't get to tuck my kids into bed every night and see them every morning. I don't get to be part of their daily routine, other than a phone call every night. I see them twice a week and every other weekend, but that certainly was not the original dream.  I don't get to wear the badge of honor of being married to one woman my whole life and know we'd someday celebrate our 50-year-anniversary.  I broke a sacred vow.  All of that sucks. 

The present is very good - Vicki loves me unconditionally and I feel that love every day. I love her and am aware of making sure she feels that love in ways that matter to her.  We enjoy time with the kids, and with each other. We have a beautiful home, good jobs, and the world is open to us - to travel, to learn new things, to experience life.  Vicki and I knew each other in high school. There is no way we could have been together back then, or really, almost any time before we found each other again.  Maybe we each had to learn certain things about ourselves and the world before we could be together.  Maybe it was always meant to be - and it just took a long time for us to get there.  I like to think we were meant to be together and that this time I have found my "happily ever-after." I hope the same for Casey. I truly do.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Carpal Tunnel Surgery #2

Thursday I go in for carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand. Last year, about this time, it was my right hand. It all started in my early 20's when I worked at fish processing in Alaska the summer before my final year of college.  I guess considering it took 20+ years to get bad enough to do something about, that's not so bad.  I have been fortunate to rarely have pain, only numbness.  Last year's surgery went very well and I have been pleased with the results.  My surgeon retired, so this hand will be done by a different doctor.  Hopefully, the results will be equal to or better than the last surgery.

I am right-handed, so I expect that the non-then-limited use of my left hand will not be nearly as difficult as the right hand was.  I have already been visualizing my days and thinking of the ways that I use my left hand. It is probably no surprise that it gets used a lot. Just imagine simple things like getting dressed or cooking a meal withone one of your hands.  Tricky, right? 

Truthfully, I am not very concerned.  Vicki took excellent care of me last year - helping me whenever needed - and trying to get me not to push myself too hard. She is wonderful!  I am only planning on taking Friday and Monday off of work. I'll see how it goes after that. If I am careful, I can still do my job with one hand - much of my job is done on the computer, or in meetings. I really don't want to use vacation time recovering. I should look into short-term disability, shouldn't I?  Hmmmm........

Anyway, last year we went to Bremerton for my recovery. Figured since I had to use vacation time, we should visit someplace pretty - took a ferry there and back, stayed in a place with a nice view, had some great meals.  This year, we have decided to enjoy some downtime at home.  I can sleep in my own bed, have lots of icepacks handy, and still have a beautiful view.  Not a bad recovery plan. :)

Friday, October 05, 2012

Life is Good :)

The summer flew by and in some ways it hardly seems possible it is already fall!  I have been wondering if I should just shut this blog down since I write so infrequently, but I just never know when the blog bug might hit again!  It seems for a number of us formerly frequent bloggers, short updates on Facebook have taken over some of the communication we used to do on our blog.  I know I really still enjoy opening up a friend's blog and reading in depth about what is going on in her life, so maybe I should also be more willing to share myself.  :)

For those who have been following my life for a long time - here is the family update:

Kids are doing great in their new schools!  Kelton recently got his results from the state standardized tests he took at the end of last year (4th grade) - and he is (was then) reading at the end of 8th grade level, and doing 6th grade math.  I am so proud of him! Kaylen is doing very well in school and has taken up soccer this season.  She is a natural athlete and has caught onto the game very quickly!  It is fun going to see her play every Saturday! Each Saturday varies as to who all is cheering her on, but it has been various combinations of Vicki, me, Kelton, Casey, Stephanie and her son, Andrew (who usually has his own games).  Casey and I both almost have all of our stuff out of the old house, and into our new homes.  Since the market is so bad right now, I plan to rent it out, and hope to get renters in by November, if at all possible.  It will be good to get that done and in the hands of a property management company.  I am ready to really move forward in my new life in a new home with Vicki and the kids, and I know Casey is, too.  We all only live about 5 minutes from each other now, which is great!

Vicki and I are mostly unpacked other than some boxes in the garage, but have not started decorating, hanging pictures, that sort of thing yet.  Putting holes in freshly painted walls seems so.....daunting what if I don't like it there once I put it up?  I know, silly stuff, and ultimately, no one is really concerned that it hasn't been done yet.  Vicki and I are enjoying our time together, both alone, and with the kids.  We focus a lot more on enjoying life than what the house looks like, aside from really loving the space and the park-like setting we are fortunate enough to live in.  Our days are filled with working, reading, spending time on our iPads, going to movies, going to soccer games, finding food for us and the kids - a challenge finding acceptable options for us all sometimes, and recently - tai chi.  Vicki and I have started both tai chi and tai chi cane.  I have only been to one class, and can say I definitely felt very energized and loose when it was over.  The kids have expressed interest in karate and Vicki found what looks like a good school. She has two black belts in different karate forms, and knows what to look for. Kelton took karate a couple years back, but they really pushed hard,  classes were two days per week, and they were always wanting us to purchase more gear so he could participate in whatever new thing was being taught. If he missed a class, he fell behind.  Apparently good schools do not operate that way.  If the kids continue their interest, we'll probably get them signed up to try it out, as long as Casey has no objections.  I think there is a lot to be learned from martial arts, even if it is not something I pursued myself.

Life feels pretty good right now.  All of us love the new house and are falling into new routines. The pool is no longer a recreational option, so we'll have to find other activities, especially to do with the kids as an alternate to iPad games and TV, as we get into the cooler months.  I am taking CLE's (Continue Legal Education classes) online, mostly via MP3 recordings that I listen to on my way to and from work.  Vicki is taking classes via iTunesU.  We're both focusing on getting up and moving more. After two and a half years of being together in vacation mode - too much eating out, lots of play time, exploring Portland, and such - we are starting to pursue individual interests again, developing some shared pursuits, and are generally working on getting our minds and bodies healthy.  Yup - life is good!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to work to rest!

I cannot believe how little time I had to post blogs or even write in my personal journal while we were on our cross-country excursion. We saw so many awe-inspiring sights and a lot of good ol' Americana. All in all the trip was way better than I thought it would be. The down-side is that we came home exhausted, then left on a family beach trip to spend time with my nephew's family. They only visit from Texas every few years, so we could not back out of the trip. Again, much fun was had, but I am not sure when I was ever so tired, including the weeks of studying for the bar exam. Maybe getting into the routine of going back to work and having a regular bedtime will will eventually even things out. This weekend we do not have the kids, so are looking forward to sleeping in, and lots of naps! Maybe I will even have a chance to write about our trip!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Day 4 - Here we come!

We are having a great trip - filled with amazing sights I never even thoughts to want to see, things I hoped to someday see, and typical travel hassles.

Yesterday's highlights were The Indiana Dunes National Park - suggested by my mom in a phone call to let her know we were in the state she grew up in. We waded into Lake Michigan, my first Great Lake. I had no idea the lakes were so big it would feel almost like being at an ocean beach.

Yesterday we finally made it into Chicago and had the hands-down best pizza of our lives. Thank you to Lou Malnati's deep dish "Lou's Classic." It was just sausage, fresh roma tomatoes and cheese - perfect in its simplicity. What we did not expect, aside from the perfect, not at all soggy crust, was that the sausage was in a layer - like a very thin meatloaf. I have never seen such a thing. It doesn't sound that appetizing, but it was - mild, but flavorful and not greasy.

We then visited the Skydeck at Willis Tower, which is the old Sears Tower. It is arguably still the tallest building in the world, and definitely in the US. It towers 103 floors above the streets, and there is a cool plexiglass-like platform you can walk out onto to feel like you are walking out into nothing. Not that scary - but cool. Amazing views, and a fun experience.

We are both feeling sleep-deprived and hassled - Vicki's work people are still bugging her, even though she is on vacation, and we found out the bank messed up a bill so have been on the phone about that all morning. Ugh.

Today - the Dells Wisconsin for a boat ride through beautiful scenery - we hope. Temps near 100 degrees today. We'll have to see how we are feeling by the time we get there.

It is an adventure - and I love that Vicki is willing to stop wherever, seeing the sights, letting me take pictures, and she even bought me a new telephoto lens for better range at these amazing sights!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Our Journey Begins

Whenever appropriate, and I have time and Internet service (more of a challenge than we anticipated, as is cell coverage due to storms knocking out towers), I will cut and paste sections from my travel journal here.

Saturday June 30

07:16 AM
(Actual local time is 8:16 but no wi-fi so iPad not updated.)

The adventure begins! I arrived in DC around 1:00 am last night/this morning. Vicki and I had a nice reunion after having been apart for over a week. She flew out last week in order to deal with her things that have been in storage and to get her quarterly work trip done. This trip to take her car and her small tree home represents the true end of our two plus years of living in limbo.

12:12 AM

We are in or near Breezewood, Pennsylvania in a Days Inn that has seen better days. Oh, well. It is cool and reasonably clean, and most importantly, there was a vacancy. Apparently last night a tornado came through the area leaving many without power, and flooding all the nearby hotels. The temps have been near 100 degrees, so living without power would be really bad. The first motel we tried had no vacancies and they explained we probably would not find any for quite a radius. Fortunately, we were heading a different direction than most, and came upon this place. We got here just in time, there has been a steady stream of arrivals with stories similar to ours.

Today was a long, tiring day, but there were good parts. The sight-seeing for the day was a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. We got a private tour of the Women In Service Memorial because it was closed for an event, but since Vicki served, we were escorted through anyway. That was great! We also saw John F. Kennedy's Eternal Flame and a changing of the guard ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The precision was impressive, especially considering the 100 degree heat

The grounds are massive, impressive and beautiful. The endless rows of graves are hard to fathom. I did notice that it was more difficult to feel the sense of all it stood for than the more focussed Civil War places I have seen. Maybe because the cemetery covers so much more than just one war.

We were there for about 2 1/2 hours, which did not seem horrible, but I was hot and ready to go by the time we'd seen what we really wanted to see. I ended up with possibly a touch of sun poisoning - really bad headache, flushed, and then we could not find easily accessible food that sounded good. Finally lots of ice water, half a burger and a shake at Red Robin's helped. Actually, made me feel more sick for a while, then as the day got cooler and I could just sit while Vicki drove, I started feeling better.

We only drove about 100 miles today We did do a lot of little things and running around:
● Drove by The Pentagon - several times
● Drove around the memorial sections of DC - always exciting to me!
● Drove by the Air Force Memorial Sculpture. We think it may be the 9-11 memorial, but will have to look it up.
● We not only drove around DC, but were in four states - Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
● Bought a new GPS because Vicki's old one had its cord broken by someone other than us and it was too old to find a replacement. We are enjoying the new one though!
● Wandered though the Crystal City Shops, which are underground, so Vicki could show me where she often walks when she comes to work in DC.
● Vicki had to work briefly this morning - two short conference calls, and is trying to work tonight, but the internet is too spotty to provide a good connection. It is 12:30am and I think she finally got on and may be getting done what needs to be done.

Tomorrow, the destination is Chicago.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pre-Trip Trip

Today is the day I fly to DC, and tomorrow we begin our journey back across the US. I am excited and looking forward to whatever may come our way. 

On the home front, we are still only partially unpacked, some rooms look good, the big living room has no furniture, but there is a big area rug plus a couple of drums and guitars (a Fender electric and a baby Taylor, not a PRS) set up to make the room look friendly.  Boxes are scattered here and there, but enough is unpacked that it is very livable. I have to wonder how long it will be until all things are really put away.  Maybe if we each tackle one thing per night for a couple weeks, we will be in good shape!

OK, in about 10 minutes I catch the Max to the airport, then off to Chicago, and a connecting flight to DC.   I plan to blog and put up photos along the way, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Loving Our New Home

I love our new home.  It is so hard to believe it was for sale for almost a year.  It seems it was just waiting for us to come along.  It is perfect for us - both the house and the property feel so good.  We are told that the main reason people gave for not wanting it was that the kitchen had not been updated since it was built in 1992.  OK, it may not have stainless steel appliances and  granite countertops houston / seattle / portland / wherever, but it is in very nice shape, and maybe someday we will add granite. We already added a stainless steel refrigerator, because the previous owners took their with them, so, we are already part-way there.

The kids got to pick out the paint colors for their rooms, and they turned out so good! They both love their rooms, and already seem so much more settled in and happy than at our last place, which was already an improvement over the tiny apartment we had before that.  More room means less being in each other's space, I guess.  We are all happy and grateful for our new home!

Three Days to Go!

What a busy couple of weeks! Just yesterday Vicki was finally able to pack all of her belongings that have been in two storage units in Virginia into one storage container that will soon be bound for our new home.  That is a huge relief for her, and nearly the last step into moving her life to the Pacific Northwest.  The truly final step will be the drive out that we will begin together this Saturday.  I fly out to DC on Friday. On Saturday we will visit with some friends, and then start driving her car out to its new home with us.  It should be an adventure!

Along the way we will stop at some major tourist attractions, probably some minor ones, pick up a few souvenirs for us and the kids, but hopefully nothing large enough that we will need a premier mount once we get it home!  We have been so busy we have not even planned the trip or the route yet. Yikes!

We will hope our luck with "winging it" holds!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

View from Home

This was the sunset from our driveway last night.  Gorgeous, right?  Vicki and I are both feeling so fortunate to be able to live in such a beautiful setting.  We completed our move from city living in Portland to country living about 35 minutes away. It is a world of difference....quiet, peaceful, life-affirming.  We both loved city living - until we didn't anymore.  Two years was enough of the traffic, the noise, the people.  I will still go into the city every week day to work, and we are an easy drive away to go to Powell's Books, restaurants, funky shopping, Spidi
acccessories, whatever Portlandy thing we might crave. 

The kids love the house and the property! Last night they unpacked their boxes and arranged their rooms, which look great! Granted, they need furniture, but at least they each have their own room, with their own stuff surrounding them, and for now, that seems to make them happy.  Yes, life is good. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sharing Photos

OK, so I found some photos to share. Thank you to those of you who keep asking.  :)  It is fun to share our life with friends and family.

Our engagement rings.  The Alexandrite stone is one we both love! Here it looked purple, as it did earlier at my desk. Now the light has changed enough that glancing down at my finger shows a deep sapphire color.
I love this ring!

Here are some photos from the VA appraisal of what will hopefully soon be our new home!

Front of sits on a hill so is a big difficult to get a non-distorted angle in a picture.

Back of house.

My favorite room!

The pool that is barely visible is an above-ground pool, and is ours. :)  We asked current owners to either tear it down or fix it up. They are fixing it up. We figure it is a sign we need to take up swimming and get in shape.  We have let our "celebrating a new relationship" ways add too much weight and not enough exercise!

The next big adventure that I will hopefully post about as it happens will be our cross-country drive to bring Vicki's Prius out here.  That should happen the first week of July. Stay-tuned!

Life Keeps Rolling Along!

Wow...I cannot believe how long it has been since I posted.  I guess like so many others, when life is good and busy, there is far less time and interest in posting. Still, this blog was such a part of my life for so many years, I am not sure that I want to give it up. Perhaps, in time, it will shift into something new and serve a new purpose. I don't know.

Let's see...I note that I had promised pictures and info about "the ring." I tried to get a few good photos but have not had the best of luck. Let me go back on my phone and see if there are any postworthy.  The rings, which match, are white gold with a gorgeous Alexandrite stone.....This is the most beautiful gem I have ever seen and just recently learned about it. Depending on the light, one would swear it was a sapphire, or a ruby, or an emerald, or some unnamed turquoise-colored gem.  The color literally changes depending on the light. Right now, at my desk, it is a deep purple with a few blue highlight.  Eventually, we will probably have custom work done to put the stones into a more complex settings for the acually wedding rings.  For now, these are wonderful, and it is nice to have as a symbol of our love.

What else? We put in a bid and lost one house, but that was the Universe watching out for us! The next week, or so, we looked at an even better house with better property that had been on the market long enough that the owners were quite eager to sell and had dropped the price considerably from where they started.  In fact, they dropped it right into our price range! We may close as early as next week!  It is a beautiful 4-bedroom house on 2 acres very close to where the kids will be living.  Again...I don't have much in the way of pictures, but I will dig around through what I have and see what might be postworthy.

We have both been going through lots of old paperwork, trying to clear up old and forgotten credit cards, universal life insurance vs term life insurance policies, and all the financial paperwork that seems to come with adulthood. Sometimes it is so much to think about! 

Vicki and I have been living in what in many ways has been a state of limbo for over two years....knowing we were moving forward, living in temporary places, most of her belongings in storage, and after a while, that stress starts taking a toll.  We have both grown tired of it and are so ready to settle in to "our" life. Now, if all goes as planned by mid-July, all of her belongings will be in our new house, her beloved Prius will be parked in the garage ready to assist in my daily commute to work, the kids will each have their own room, and Vicki her own office, and we can begin building a life in what hopefully will be our happy, stable home for many, many years to come!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Big News!

I suspect many of my readers are also Facebook friends, so this will not be "new" news for some of you, goes:

Vicki and I are getting married!

Briefly, here are the basiscs. I asked her last Saturday. She said, "yes."  We have not decided upon any details like time, place, date, size - anything - other than that both kids will be in the wedding. They are very excited about it - both the wedding, and making Vicki a permanent part of the family.  For the "rock" fans - I did not buy an engagement ring - I gave her a beautiful aquamarine pendant - the birthstone of our relationship - so we could select rings together. 

We found the PERFECT engagement rings for us, and a large center-diamond is not involved. They are on order and being sized. Stay-tuned for details and pictures. :)  I am very excited to soon be able to wear a visible token of our love and commitment.

As I thought about writing this post, I considered that it may be odd for some, the announcement of an engagement after the break-up of my last marriage a bit over two-years ago. Consider it proof that life and love continues and hope always remains.  As mutual friends will know, Casey and I have both moved forward with new people in our lives, and I think we both want the other to be happy and the kids to feel loved and secure.  We still have some entanglements, aside from the kids, that need to be worked out over the next several months. I suspect that is always true after the disolution of a long-term relationship, and am confident all will work out as it should.  

Soon, we will begin looking for a house - one that we can call our own. We are tired of renting and the timing is great for buyers.  It will be good for Vicki to have her own dedicated office, the kids their own separate rooms, and space for us all to garden and enjoy the outdoors.   Lots of exciting changes on the horizon, and I am excited about the journey Vicki and I are undertaking together.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just Saying Hi

I see I have been quite remiss in updating my blog! It has been a busy time - but then - when isn't busy, right?  We've all had some form of cold, and I am now on about week 4 - and the third week of a sore throat. The consulting nurse told me I probably have the 4-6 week virus going around.  Ugh. So tired of it!  The kids seem to have had it, gotten better, and are getting it again.  Lovely time of year! 

Kaylen's 7th birthday party was this Saturday. We had a big party at the community room in my mom's apartment complex - family and friends were invited. She had a Barbie theme - with pink streamers and lots of balloons thrown in for good measure. They even watched a Barbie movie in the "theatre room" after playing Pin-the-Tail-On-the-Donkey (comeplete with being able to decorate your own tail), smashing a pinata and playing some video games on an old style arcade machine. There was food, wine and brownies - safe to say "something for everyone." I think a good time was had by all - and especially my little 7-year-old!

Let's see....what else is new? Ah - Vicki is going to Tanzania next week for work.  That's kinda fun - but I will miss her.  She is hoping to get out to Zanzibar on her free time! :) 

I am learning more about my new camera and am excited to actually get outside to take some shots once we get a break from the rain. Lots to learn, which is fun. 

Guess I best get back to work! Hope you have all been having a great start to 2012!

Monday, January 30, 2012


This weekend we went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. We go a couple times a year.  We all get a kick out of the hands-on science stuff. I did not take a ton of pictures because I did during the trip there last summer. This time I figured I would just enjoy the action and not worry about photos, but here are a couple I did take.

(Kelton in the back in black - Vicki next to him in black - Kaylen in purple - don't know other girl in photo.)

A good time was had by all!

Party Planning

Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of work that must go into planning a child's birthday party? Kaylen is turning 7 on February 10th - and we shopped this weekend for decorations and finalized the theme, decorations, guest list...etc.   It was a lot just to figure out where to have it - the kids' house with Casey, our Portland house (temporary, so our furniture for guests is sparse), a restaurant, or - the ultimate winner - the community room in the complex where my mom lives.  There is the decor to figure out - which is everywhere, until you are actually shopping for the theme of choice - which is Barbie this year.  It took trips to two different Walmarts and a Target to get what we have so far - which is most everything except the last minute food and balloons.  Of course, we have to remember stuff from the house too, since it it going to be in a party room - so must bring the knife, an ice cream scoop, paper towels in case of spills, tape for putting up pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and a step stool for hanging up the longed-after-and-finally-agreed-upon pinata. 

We have things to make the kids happy - but what about the adults - who will be bored to tears?  I figure I will supply some wine and a  veggie tray, there's a pool table, and then they are on their own!  If they get bored, they will end up being sent over to my mom's apartment where they will be put to work packing boxes because she will be moving to a different apartment in the same complex the next weekend!  So family members - beware - and look entertained!

Grateful for Technology

Isn't it amazing how technology has truly changed our lives? That seems like such an obvious and overused statement that it is practically cliche, but cliches become such for a reason.  Looking around our house this weekend, you likely would have seen an adult doing work on a full-size computer, another checking email on a smartphone, and both kids with iPads propped on their lap playing games. This wasn't the entire scene, or an all day scene, but typical nonetheless.  (We actually spent most of the day Saturday at OMSI - our local hands-on science museum.) 

This morning a friend was telling me that his boyfriend is a composer and I asked what he composed on - expecting he would say a piano or guitar. He actually composes on a computer program that simulates many instruments.  How handy to be able to grab the laptops, head to the coffee shop, park, school, or a friend's house, and have everything you need right there - no bulky instruments required! 

Vicki and I have discovered that the iPads have changed the way we do so much - especially her! Her whole life is almost paperless now.  She has found checkbook programs for us to share, dayplanners and timekeepers for work, notetaking programs that replace both a notepad and paper, and Word-like word processing apps.  Need a receipt for tax purposes? Open the approprate app - snap a photo - and presto! - saved for tax time.  In a computer smaller than some of my tablets of paper at work, I now have productivity apps, games, Facebook, Gmail, news, magazines and more - plus - being a Apple product, I don't worry about the kids downloading viruses when they are searching for games. The iPad truly is remarkable - and the netbook before that, and the laptop before that, and the desktop computer before that......

Friday, January 20, 2012

Relaxing Reunion Ahead!

Vicki comes home tonight, after 2 VERY long weeks away, packing up, donating and storing her Virginia possessions, settling the house sale, and dealing with the last-minute ex drama.  I suppose for such a huge life transition, drama was to be expected. Besides her ex causing drama, Vicki nearly threw out her back, so had to stay down for a few days, she caught a 12-hour bug, and just had so much stuff to deal with, she barely slept for those two weeks.  It was hard not being able to be with her to help, but I suppose the transition was something she needed to do on her own, and having me there with her ex would not have worked out well at all. 

I feel fortunate that we have the whole weekend ahead to catch up, both with each other, and on sleep.  We have no real plans and no place we have to be. I sense a weekend of Kindle reading, iPad play, surfing the net for everything from camera lessons to youtube downloaders and naps!  Maybe we'll get ambitious and go see a movie. We'd both like to see "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Neither of us read the book, though, and I just heard from a friend that the movie is confusing. Of course, this same friend did not like "Inception," so I am thinking we have different taste in movies.

Anyway, I am certainly looking forward to this weekend! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Future Thunder Cheerleader :)

Here is a video from Kaylen's Cheer Clinic group - all first-graders. This was the parent's showcase after they'd spent 3+ hours learning and practicing.  On Tuesday night, they will perform at half-time for the Mountain View Boys' Varsity Basketball Game.  Go Thunder!

Here's a couple still shots, in case the video does not play:

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Very Sad News and Very Happy News

Happy New Year Everyone!  May 2012 be more amazing than we can even dream!

Vicki, the kids and I had a fun New Year's Eve. Kaylen and I played Barbies while Vicki and Kelton built a Star Wars model he'd gotten for Christmas.  We all played some Lego games collected over the past year. We baked cookies, watched TV, and finally rang in the New Year with horns, poppers, screams and party hats.  The kids were begging to be allowed to stay up until 5:00.....they had both crashed by 1:15. :) 

The next morning was not as much fun - at all.  I got the text from Casey that something was very wrong with Jordan, our 14-year-old dalmatian.  His front legs were no longer supporting him, he was falling, and was in pain. He'd had ongoing problems with his back legs, and had always relied on serious "upper body" strength to pull himself up onto beds, the couch, and the floor. He's had other health problems, but never seemed to be in much, if any, pain, so this was the sign we'd been waiting for in his very long, and good life.  It was sad to see him go, but we could not let him suffer. He left this world on January 1st, 2012.  He was so loved and is already missed by us all.  The kids made posters to help express their grief and preserve his memory.  This would be a great place to post them.....but I didn't take a picture of them. I guess I should.

Now, in a 180 degree turn, we have great news: 
Vicki sold her house in Virginia - and it closes next Friday!  We've been waiting since Friday to see what the house inspection would turn up, and just an hour or so ago we got the good news....enough was found to drop the price a bit more, but not enough to end the deal for anyone! This is a huge relief for both of more step forward into our life together, as she ends what were still huge obligations in Virginia. 

So, reminds me of the "Facts of Life" theme song...."You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life...."

Happy New Year!