Friday, June 28, 2013

His Dream, My Nightmare

For years Brandon and I have vacationed in the same small mountain town. We first went there for a bike race and decided to go back for a week long vacation. What would we do in this town?  It was actually the perfect place for us; Brandon could bike ride, I could read, we could go on hikes together. And it had a couple of yummy restaurants. All in all we were always so happy to be here.  We used to take hikes before we had kids and talk about the hypothetical kids we might have one day.  Then we brought our boys to this town and they also fell in love.

Every time we make the drive over the mountain pass, Brandon would mention how he would love to ride his bike over the mountains. I would always reply with, "when the boys are 18".  This year we celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss and decided it was time to head back over, this time without kids. It had been 5 years since we last came to visit without the boys.  And, this time, I told Brandon he could ride his bike.

The days leading up the trip, I have to admit I had a hard time sleeping. I wouldn't lie awake picturing terrible things happening to Brandon, but I would wake up each night with my mind racing.  I have a deep fear of heights, plus watching cars race down the mountain and picturing Brandon on his little bike, was kind of nerve-racking.  But the day finally arrived. And with it rain. Lots of rain.

Brandon did say if it was raining when we hit the starting point, he would not ride.  Part of me was hopeful it would rain. The rest of me just wanted this over with.  My job was to drive support. To meet Brandon at prearranged stopping points with extra water and snacks.  He thought it would take 4-5 hours. I could just imagine how thrilling my drive was going to be. Drive, stop, wait, drive, stop, wait, and so on.

Brandon gave me vague descriptions of where to stop. All I heard was, not on the left side of the road, not at overlooks, and not more then 10-15 miles.  Seemed easy enough. Except I missed the first meeting place. I was looking for a campground sign, but I needed to be looking for a resort sign. Minor details but it meant I drove an extra 20 miles before I finally realized I had indeed gone to far.  No cell service meant I couldn't just park and text Brandon where I was. I drove back to what I thought was a prominent parking place and pulled off. I figured he couldn't miss a bright red car with an equally bright orange bike on top.  And he didn't. But he was a little worried when he finally rode up.  Missing the first rendezvous point meant Brandon was envisioning me attacked by some crazy mountain man.  Nope, just lost.

From then on I stopped every 5 miles in an easy to see pull out. And then I waited. Once I took a nap, but mostly I read. And ate Pringles and drank Dr. Pepper. Because it was kind of lonely just sitting in the car waiting to see Brandon appear, only to drive off again.

But 4 hours later I waited for Brandon with the camera rolling. And there he was, hot, sweaty, and tired, but he did it.  60 miles, 7, 680 feet elevation gain later, and he was done. Dream come true for Brandon. And my nightmare of worry and terror was over.

At dinner that night Brandon mentioned taking our boys on the ride one day.  Then he paused and said,  "Maybe not, it was kind of intense."

Happy Anniversary, Babe.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Finishing Strong

For years I've been in a small group with this woman whose life I feel I am mirroring.   At the end of each school year she talks about encouraging her three sons to  'finish strong'.  She is so excited for school to be ending, for getting her boys back, and for no more homework! As a former teacher I was always slightly skeptical of how excited she was for school to end. Until this year. I have been counting down the days until my boys were finally out of school.

Being a new school this year I was unprepared for the amount of events that happened the final week. Between field day, final field trips, year end parties, and last day send offs, I was at school every single day.  And I kept repeating to myself and my boys, "just finish strong".

And finish we did. But maybe not as strong as I had hoped. I had plans for a special last day breakfast, a secret note tucked into lunches, thoughtful teacher gifts with hand written notes.  And then we woke up at 7:20.  Yes, 7:20. When we need to leave for school at 7:50.  No special breakfast, no little notes in lunch boxes, in fact no lunch boxes at all. The only thing special was the boys were able to buy lunch since I was too late to even make lunch.  We made it to drop off on time and with only a few tears.  It wasn't quite the morning I had planned, but I'll take it.

Micah's Kindergarten Teacher
Jack's First Grade Teacher

Here's to summer finally being here!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jack's Plan

Memorial Day weekend once again found us in Seaside for our annual trip. This was our 11th year there, which seems insane. I remember talking with my sisters years ago about what would this trip look like when my oldest nephew was in high school. Well, now we know, we are still going, we are still having fun, just in a different way.  But that is not the point of this post.

One of the changes we did make this  year was to stay at a place with no pool. Not having a pool is quite upsetting so we had to find an alternate plan.  Little did we know Seaside had an amazing community pool.  No more freezing swims, the pool was almost like taking a bath. Albeit with 50 strangers, but whatever.

On the way to the pool one day I saw a church for sale. I am always a little sad when I see a church building that is no longer in use.  On the little country road my grandparents live on, stands a little white church. I remember going to services there, hearing my grandpa preach, being baptized there, watching my sister get married.  But with all things change happens, and for this little church that meant closing for good. And becoming someones house. I am sure they think it is cool that they live in an old church, but every time we drive by, I still feel a little sad.

So as we drove by this church I said, "Look a church for sale"

And Jack says, "We should by it"

I was so happy, in my mind I was thinking what a sweet, caring, godly boy Jack was.

And then he said: "And then we could tear it down"


Here is his plan:
We could tear down the church and then build a bank. That way all the money in the bank would be ours. And then we could rob the bank, but we wouldn't go to jail because the bank and the money are ours.

I guess that's a creative idea, and he obviously understands not wanting to go to jail, unlike his brother, but still.  While I was picturing buying the church and building a community, Jack was planning to become a wealthy business man who has a slight criminal side.

At least he's thinking.