Thursday, October 30, 2008

By the Numbers

Today I am 27. I have (a few strands of) grey hair, "extra" around the middle, crow's feet around my eyes. I'm now the age Bill was when we met (I was 19). How scandalous was that? I'm still surprised my parent's didn't object at the thought of me dating someone so much older than me. In all this, I pray that God gives me many more years, even though in 50 years I probably won't look the same as I do now, but I hope I'll still be able to run and be active! Hopefully Caley, Amelia and any other children we may have will give us lots of grandchildren!! I get giddy when Caley says, "When I a mommy, I can (blank)" because I think "Yay! Grandchildren!!" I to the actual reason I started writing this post.

In 27 years, I've...

1. been sister to one person, my brother David.
2. had two beautiful little girls who light up my life.
3. been stung by a bee three times, but I can only remember the time I got stung below my left eye at kickball as a kindergartner.
4. driven four cars (primary vehicle) since I was 16-Peugeot, white Volvo from Roger, Jeep Cherokee, blue Volvo (airport car!). Thanks MOM and DAD!
5. lived in five states- Illinois, Washington D.C., Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington.
6. been married six years, and we were married on July sixth.
7. taken nearly seven months thinking of all the things for this list (actually it was four months, but it felt like seven)!
8. been in People Magazine for "Kindergarten Cop" at age eight.
9. become sister-in-law to 9 others (so far!)- Erin, Todd, Rachel, Jason, Matt, Becky, Heather, Darwin, and Adam.
10. taken my friend Jon to the Sadie Hawkins dance in tenth grade. He had a mohawk. It was purple. But it was still really fun!
11. become auntie to eleven little kids, all under 5, with another on the way in December!
12. known my high school best friend, Jennie, for twelve years-a lot has changed since Mr. Landwehr's math class in 9th grade!
13. believed in Santa Claus until I was thirteen. NO JOKE.
14. accepted Jesus at age fourteen.
15. lived in my hometown of Astoria for fifteen years, 1986-2001.
16. hit a parked car a month after I turned sixteen, in the Peugeot.
17. scored my first soccer goal at age seventeen, after having played soccer for at least twelve years.
18. worked as an ODOT litter patrol team member at age eighteen, a job usually reserved for convicts.
19. voted for the first time at age nineteen in the 2000 presidential election (it was a week after my birthday).
20. married Bill at age twenty.
21. had my first drink, a Black Opal, at twenty-one with my friend Ann at Finn MacCool's on the Ave. It's still my favorite drink.
22. become great friends with a Japanese woman Kyoko, when I was twenty-two. She and I did bible study and always saw the same guy at Tully's. Hi Tully's guy!
23. said "see you later" at twenty-three to my Grandpa Bob when he died and went to be with Jesus.
24. graduated from the UW M.Ed. program at age twenty-four, something that was a buttload of work!
25. celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday in the Mukilteo house. It feels good to know we'll probably be here for a while.
26. celebrated my twenty-sixth birthday with friends at Oliver's Twist in Seattle. It was so fun! I had a "Vesper." (Okay, a few Vespers!)
27. had twenty-seven birthdays. Bet you didn't see that one coming! It's sad that it took me 3 months to think of.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I knew this day would come...

Anyone who knows Caley knows that she comes with a yellow blankie. She takes it most everywhere and up until a few months ago I had to pry it away from her to even wash it. Today Amelia wanted to bring her purple blanket Uncle Adam gave her for Christmas with her after her nap and carried it around all afternoon.  

Look mom, my blankie just like Caley!

P.S. Isn't her hair cute?! I think she looks like Boo from Monsters Inc.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Feeling Nostalgic

I was thumbing through boxes of old stuff and found my posters from the Natural Helpers retreats in high school. Natural Helpers was a club which equipped "natural leaders and helpers" in the school to better respond to problems students faced. At Astoria High School it started when I was a sophomore and at one point I was the president. So nonetheless it was a big part of my high school experience. But remember that my high school was only like 600 students, so I had pretty good odds. The best part of the club was going on the retreats to learn "skills" for helping our peers. They were good things to learn,  but the best part was having a whole weekend to goof off with my friends (at one point my best friend Jennie and my boyfriend Andy were at the retreats too). 

So anyway, at the fall retreat there would always be a poster for everyone to sign for everyone else. Kids would write "yearbook" stuff like, "You're rad, see you at school!" and "You're awesome and such a sweetie!" But there were a few that resonated with me reading it now, 10 years later. One of the comments was from Courtney Guenther. 

Courtney and I sort of grew up together and weren't great friends through high school, but part of me thinks that we could have been. She was an awesome Christian. She was very open about her faith and unafraid to stand for Jesus. She was part of our morning prayer group that met every morning at 745ish in the hall by the cafeteria. I remember meeting for prayer every day and being scared because it was around the time Kip Kinkel went crazy and shot his parents and kids at his high school, and the Columbine shooting in Colorado. It scared me to stand in the hall and pray because I was afraid that someone would shoot me because I was a Christian. I remember praying for God to give me strength. Anyway, Courtney was in that group. We were also in Port City Singers, the choir that students had to audition for. That was another class that was so fun. I learned a lot about music, but mostly it was another place to goof off with my friends. (Jennie was in that class too, which just shows we goofed off a lot together in high school under the guise of being "good students"!) 

Courtney went to Hope International University after high school. I was home for Christmas that year (2001) and spent the night at Gina's house, another good friend at the time. Her dad was the vice principal of Astoria High. He got a call about Courtney being in a car accident. We found out that she had been in an accident on Hwy 101 and hit some black ice, hit a guard rail and died. 

I was crushed. 

For such a young, beautiful, faithful woman to have died so suddenly...I couldn't comprehend it. It made for a bittersweet Christmas. Occasionally I have these days where I think about her and feel sad. I feel sad for what might have been, she was such a wonderful person with such a strong spirit and passion for Jesus. Then I remember, she's with Jesus. No doubt about it in my mind. She's so much better off that me who's still here on Earth. I try to remember that all the wonderful things in my life that God has given me (Bill, the girls, my family) are tiny compared to the infinite power and glory of Jesus. 

Courtney's the lucky one. Not that I sit at home all day wishing my life were over...I deeply enjoy where God has placed me right now and I pray that he gives me a long life. But I know that there's something so much better waiting for me. I'm not sad for Courtney, just sad that she's not here right now, and that's a little selfish of me. 

That's me and Courtney on the left in the top picture (apologies to Kami in the bottom picture, this was the best one I camera's a little confusing to me, maybe I'm just "technologically challenged).

Pumpkins take three

Today we visited Carleton Farm in Snohomish with our playgroup (and other) friends. This is the third year we've gone and it was so much fun. Caley had a blast running through the pumpkin patch and sliding down the tube slide. Amelia walked a bit and tried to sit on a pumpkin. I hope this becomes a yearly tradition for us as the kids get older. 
I remember going to the local pumpkin patch as a kindergartner with Mrs. Boyd's class. We all visited Mr. Wilmer's farm in the country and got to bring a pumpkin home. It was fun growing up in a small town because many of the kids I went to kindergarten stayed my friends through high school. We've all dispersed now but it's fun to keep in touch through Myspace, Facebook, and trips to Astoria. It feels good to be able to say, I've known these people since I was 5. Andrew, Valerie, Steven, Kirk, Katie, Meghan, and others. I hope Caley and Amelia have similar memories when she's my age and by God's grace her friends from today will still be her friends 20 years from now.

Caley and her gal pals Lenora and Fiona. Caley's the oldest, but shortest. Not a surprise when your parents are Addie and Bill. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Don't waste your life

Listen to what John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, has to say:
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A break from real life

This weekend my women's group took a little trip to a friend's cabin in Baring, Wa. It was only an hour's drive east and we were only there for about 20 hours but it was a wonderful break to relax, hang out, and laugh (a lot!) with great friends! Bill was very nice to take half of Friday off and watch the girls, including getting up with Amelia during the night. Thank you lovely! Here's a little picture of the weekend.

We also made a Jack-O-Lantern! Caley designed it herself and named it "Noelle's girl (Lenora)."

Craft time!

Today Nana and Grampa Gerlach visited briefly and Caley made a leaf wreath! Craft time is fun! This is one activity we'll be doing again soon. Thanks Nana!

Why a black man is voting for McCain/Palin...

I can't seem to figure out how to post the videos on this blog, but I wanted to note a post on Mommy Life that is pretty awesome.
Check THIS out!