Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy 30th

My sister-in-law turns 30 today. In honor of her day, I'd like to point you to her blog. She's a fantastic writer, and has managed to build a charming community of readers that follow her.

Take some time to visit her. Read a while. And I'd encourage you to check back often. She posts with greater regularity than most bloggers I know.

Monday, June 7, 2010

All things go

Chaos. Madness. Insanity. Pandemonium. Strife.

Can you celebrate turmoil? Because that's what work was like today. Yet, I felt strangely calm. And the atmosphere among my coworkers has been eager and optimistic.

I can't disclose the details of what composes our chaos, other then the fact that my workplace has been an environment where change is modus operandi. That isn't a bad thing. It's challenging. It's filled with opportunity. But it's not always easy, or pleasant. And it's rarely simple.

I've had a song stuck in my head all day. Oddly, I've found comfort mentally humming this song to myself as the day progressed.

It's Chicago by Sufjan Stevens. Over and over, I kept hearing those lines: "You came to take us, all things go, all things go. To recreate us, all things grow, all things grow." Sufjan's lyrics have been my source of comfort for the day.

What's been yours?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BBQn'... in the rain

Good day for a surprise birthday party. Bad day for a barbecue.

We were at a friends house this afternoon to celebrate the birthday of one of my wife's best friends. (I'll be nice and not divulge her age) Her son had strung tarps from their porch roof out into the yard to give all the guests a canopy under which we could socialize, and that tarp was soon an essential part of the festivities.

A tad cold. Slightly breezy. And a torrent of water pouring from the sky. We adults (those possessing sanity) remained under the relative dryness of the feeble improvised shelter. The children were not so easily contained.

We don't often let the kids play outside in the rain. They had the time of their lives.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The rub down

Nothing beats a good massage, right?

Bekah promised me an hour-long massage on Valentines Day, and today, she followed through with that commitment. To be honest, I'd forgotten she'd ever made that vow, but she kept her word. It's a four month delay, but good things come to those who wait. And that was a good massage.

However, as much as I tried to crawl into my nothing box to think about nothing while getting rubbed, there was one thought I couldn't escape. They were playing Enya through the house speakers. That reminded me of the massage therapy I had after a bad car accident twelve years ago; that masseuse played nothing but Enya in the office he shared with my chiropractor. The more I pondered that deduction, I could not bring to mind a single massage parlor (that I've been to) that has played anything other than Enya.

That prompted me to pose a question on facebook: Is there an unwritten law in massage therapy that requires all masseuses must play Enya while giving massages?

To which my brother-in-law replied: No, I'm sure it's really written somewhere.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shhh, don't tell my wife

Bekah hates donuts.
Thankfully, the kids take after me.
In honor of a tradition started by the Salvation Army, we indulged in our donuts. Happy National Donut Day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The missing week in the life of Party Nic

Where have I been? Thanks for asking. To be honest this past week’s been a blur but I can tell you that my activities and habitations over the past 10 days have not included writing.

If I had to pick a single week of May where celebration should have been easiest, that last week would have been it. How woefully wrong was I? When you last saw me, my sister-in-law and her husband showed up for our adoption weekend. Then I vanished from the face of the blogosphere.

That whole weekend should have been one big joyous occasion. Should have. I have an inner worry bug inside me that tends to derail my ability to relax and enjoy the moment. That isn’t to say there was no cause for celebration.

We got off to a rocky start. On Saturday (the 22nd) I was overwhelmed with the amount of house and yard work that needed to happen to prepare for adoption party. Dan also had the awesome idea of renting COD: Modern Warfare while they were in town. He and I have previously spent a couple of weekends blitzing through full games, including Left 4 Dead and Gears of War. I was looking forward to some good video game time. Problem one: the only copy that Hastings had in stock was scratched and didn’t work. We made a trip back to Hastings where they buffed the disk in an attempt to make it playable. Problem two: even after buffing, the game still would not load. Another trip to Hastings to get a different game. Most of the games that we wanted were all rented out of stock. He and I spent a half hour surfing game reviews on our iPhones before settling on Borderlands. Problem three: by the time we returned from our Hastings excursion, dinner was served. After dinner I had to go into the office to send out some reports; I spent an hour and a half at work (allowing me to take two days of PTO) and by the time I got home most everyone had gone to bed.

Sunday was a much better day, despite the kids being more on the stir-crazy side of life. Dan and I didn’t get much time to play Borderlands, and the night was devoted to family games. Dan and I challenged our spouses (and their youngest sister) in a game of Battle of the Sexes. After the first couple of rounds, Bekah’s parents were intrigued enough to join the festivities. The guys won.

We planned a bowling trip for Monday as my belated birthday party. The upside: we had Sunset Lanes to ourselves. The downside... There was a lot. The kids lost interest in bowling after the first few frames. I had problems finding a ball that fit my fingers. And Miriam found greater joy watching the kids than in whatever was happening on the lanes. After bowling, Dan treated me out to lunch at Wingstop, then we finally got some time with the Xbox. We spent most of the rest of the day killing bandits and aliens. Monday night was a Battle of the Sexes rematch. The guys won. Again.

Tuesday was adoption day. JJ is now officially and legally a Casey.

Since we were in Spokane for the adoption, we stayed in downtown for the morning. We walked all over Riverfront Park, rode the carousel, and had brunch at Olive Garden (where Zu liked pepper off her breadsticks and JJ stole his grandma’s after-dinner mint). Finally, the day was capped off with JJ’s adoption party.

Wednesday I was back to work; Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were about nothing more than catching up with life. To be completely honest, I’ve blocked out 90% of those three days from my memory. All I know was that I needed to cram four and a half day’s worth work into three days and flirted with the brink of insanity.

Mother Nature tried her best to slaughter my Saturday plans, but I flipped her the figurative middle finger and ventured out to the Kootenai County Farmer’s Market with Christian by my side. This is the first I’ve been to the KootCo market in the six years that we’ve lived here. Christian has been promised a garden the summer that he’s six (which would be next year) and he was eager to tell all of the vendors about it. He asked what all of the different plants were as we walked by the various booths. All of the plants piqued his interest (except tomatoes, he was adamant in his distaste for tomatoes). The lavender lady gave him gardening tips that included talking to plants to help them grow. When we visited Almost Sunny (ran by Sunny and Bent of Bent's Beer Garden), Christian told Bent and Sunny that he was going to have his own garden with carrots and “other stuff.” Bent was so overcome by Christian’s excitement, he blessed us with a generous and unexpected gift of some veggie starts. Now Christian can get some practice before he gets his full garden next year.

We now have a cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage starts sitting in the kitchen window waiting for a clear patch of dirt to be dug into the yard. And Christian spent two hours on Sunday afternoon following the advice of the lavender lady, repeatedly telling his plants, “I want you to grow.” My son isn’t much of a conversationalist. Yet.

Sunday was my day of rest and I indulged in all aspects of resting. Monday was the Day we should all be celebrating: Memorial day. Finally, yesterday marked my fifth anniversary as a blogger. My first blog post appeared on the tubes June 1st 2005. I’m posting a series of celebratory posts on my primary blog this week, and you can read the first two posts HERE and HERE.

Now we’re at today. And I’m exhausted.