Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sea Isle City, NJ


Over the long weekend, Rand and I (and the kids of course) got to go to the shore for the first time. Thanks to a friend of a friend we got a serious hook-up and a 2-night stay at someones beach house, just a block from the beach. It. Was. Awesome! It's been a while since the kiddos have been to the beach. Westport, WA, Summer 2006 was probably the last time. I'm sure Wyatt doesn't remember and Brendan only remembers a bit. They were excited and a little nervous about what the beach would hold. Mostly, we talked about sharks all the way there.


For Rand and I, it was our very first look at the Atlantic Ocean. I grew up in a West Coast State and spent most of my Spring vacations with my family on the Oregon Coast. Rand and I went to college in L.A. and spent our entire college experience exploring Southern California beaches. I've known nothing else as far as beaches go, except for a 3 month adventure in Hawaii and 3 months in the Philippines. Those beaches almost didn't even feel real to me. I didn't think much about the comparison because there wasn't any. Those were tropical islands. My beaches at home were the "real" beaches.
Enter East Coast beach experience:

SOO, all that to say that this weekend was trippy for me to be standing on a beach on the EAST coast. I guess I didn't realise how much I used "the beach" (on the West) as my point of reference. The ocean (W), Mt. Rainier (E...most of the time), Canada (N) and California (S). That's how I always knew where I was. Staring out at the Atlantic Ocean....besides knowing the sun would never be setting on that great big ocean....just thinking about Europe on the other side...or that South was actually to my right....felt soooo weird.

This, my friends, is EAST.................................................And this, is looking towards home, WEST.


Rand and I went for a walk on the boardwalk one night around sunset. It was so bizarre. I kept finding myself wanting to look toward the sunset and realizing it wasn't that great of a view...and then back to the ocean...and something just seemed missing. I was looking for all that color to be on the water...for the hot, firey sun, melting into the cold blue ocean. Not so much. The ocean just slowly faded away without much color at all and it was almost as if the sun was running from it in the opposite direction.



In defense of the beautiful East Coast....the mornings on the beach were magical. The ocean was practically alive with sparkly color. Intense, bright, excitement all over the surface of the water. It was definitely a different feeling than a West Coast morning on the beach.





The kids were a fury of excitement the entire time. The water was cold, just like in Washington. Once you were numb, it was quite enjoyable. The air was warm on Sunday and Monday so the boys spent a lot of time playing in the ocean. Brendan, Mr. No Fear, grabbed a board and hit the waves without an ounce of hesitation. Wyatt followed suit, like he does. It was hilarious when Wyatt realized the water was salty. I'm surprised he didn't gag and throw up (that's what he does).
*Side note about barf: Wyatt recently barfed up his entire (non digested) hot dog into the bath tub the other day because he saw snot come out of Brendan's nose. It took 5 min. for him to stop throwing up. I could write a book about Wyatt and his gag reflex!

So we had a lot of fun. I found myself quite grateful that God has given me opportunities to do new things....to expand my horizons (even when the sun doesn't set where I think it should). Often, throughout the weekend, I found myself saying, "We're in New Jersey. NEW JERSEY!!!!" I just never thought I would be here. I mean, why would I? Yet here I am. Exploring new places.
Jersey Shore. Check!





















This is for Uncle Bubba! (fishing at sunset. pretty anti-climactic don't you think?)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bikes

Behind our house is a bunch of garages. Basically it is a small storage facility business owned by our landlords. It's not too much trouble for us to have people accessing their "junk" in their garages every once in a while, but I would say it is the biggest downfall to this house. However, the large paved area in the back is AWESOME for bike riding. The road in the front is rather busy, so I am grateful for the huge amount of space we can use in the back for all sorts of things. Yesterday, Wyatt decided he was ready to try NO training wheels. He did great, but one little wobble and he was ready for them to be back on. (So different from Brendan who was determined as all get out to ride a two wheeler and conquered the task in just a few tries before he was 4). With the training wheels off yesterday, Brendan decided that Wyatt's bike was going to act as his "trick" bike. Always taking things to the next level, that Brennie!
video
Good job, Wyatt!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Little More Spring

We've been busy, and sick and trying to enjoy the great weather! Jojee has gone and Grandpa Mike has come and it feels like deep spring/early summer is in full swing!
We've had a string of colds (not me....yet!) but with Rand's eye and then 2 hacking, fevery, drippy kids I'm ready for some disinfecting and health.

**side note** did anyone else just notice the ridiculous amount of 's'-'ing' words I just used? 'spring', 'swing', 'string'? I'm leaving them. :)

The baby birds are almost full grown and are hopping around the shrub now. They aren't flying yet, but I suppose they will be off in no time!

I'm into cloth napkins right now and have been making a bunch for our summer picnicking. Actually they are by accident and came as the result of a big mess up on another project. Oh well. I like them and I enjoy looking at the cute fabric on a regular basis. I really need to make more because I am having a hard time wiping dirty fingers with them. I'm sure I'll like them more once we've broken them in.


Here's the babies, hoping I was there to feed them.


Hooray! Grandpa Mike is here. We have literally been counting down for something like 50 days.


Here's Rand. Feeling great by the way. Eyeball quite close to healed!


See? Wyatt's still not 100%. Poor thing. He's still keepin' up with the best of them though.



Remember when I was staring at this and dreaming?


This morning I was basking in this:

I've been thinking about that picture a lot lately as I lay in my hammock enjoying the warm breeze and the sound of birds and leaves and looking at the amazing colors. What a difference. What a difference time makes. In this case time equals life and color and noise. As time marches on it will be another season of bareness and lack of color and silence.

It's amazing to me that these are taken from the same place. A slightly different angle of the camera, but the same trees nonetheless. The same sky. Just on the cusp of summer, I have a hard time believing that by the end of summer I will actually welcome the change. But I always do. Something about the natural beat of the Earth...the rhythm God designed into the universe...keeps me anxiously anticipating the future. Even when the future holds unknowns and even barrenness. But right now I am enjoying this. Crisp blue mornings just before the heat of the day. Restful shade under perfectly situated tress. The ticks are slightly spoiling it for me and I am about to poison my yard (which I do not like doing) just to eliminate some of them. STILL, I am enjoying the now. Friends, family, little boys, little dogs, neighbors, bbqs, baby birds, picnic tables, cloth napkins. Spring.

Anyone else enjoying Spring as much as me??!?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Parade

Saturday was the end of the Dogwood Festival. Yesterday afternoon we went to the last big event....the Dogwood parade! I will say, this parade was a lot better than the Christmas Parade we went to in December. The kids took home a whole bag full of candy yesterday and the parade lasted at least an hour and a half (compared to the 10mins we watched in December!)





The best part, for us, might have been the MUMMERS!!! True Philadelphia culture...so I'm told. They were pretty cool. Several different groups came by.





And last, but not least...THE DOGWOOD QUEEN (and her court)!