Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Barefoot in a Field of Broken Glass

Sunday Doodle for July 27, 2014

I guess there’s a Part Two to the moving drama. I really don’t want to get into it, due to pure exhaustion, but there is something to be said for closure. 

Still, I don’t feel there is closure yet. We’re still in the thick of it. There is still a vast field of broken glass. What's on the other side looks promising, but we're still barefoot in this field.

Anyway, so I guess I need to continue where I left off from the previous entry. 

That particular Tuesday (July 22nd?) after two nights of sleeping on the floor of the Queen Creek house, I put Mikelle, Alexander and Zoey (the parrot) in the white truck and headed towards Wickenburg.

First of all, there was junk (more boxes and stuff) in the back of the truck. I thought it was secured, but the top of my jewelry armoire flew open not long after we left. Chris did previously secure the drawers and sides, but he forgot about the top. At first I thought I lost my high school class ring when everything flew out of the top. I did lose some things (turned out, my ring wasn't one of them…whew!), but I think the worst of it is a new necklace I bought a couple of weeks ago. That was one of the things that flew out. The top of the armoire is not even the spot where that necklace should have been, so it's my fault I guess for not having it in the proper “necklace spot” that was all secured and safe.

If anyone wants to try to find it (yeah, right!) head to northbound Ellsworth Loop just before the Queen Creek Wash and Post Office. There was nowhere to pull off when it happened and it was a high traffic part of the day. Plus, it was 112 degrees and the truck was threatening to overheat even sitting just for mere moments at traffic lights.  There was no way to pull off and look for what could have flown out.

Anyway, so I stopped at the QT right there and attempted to secure the top, but as I drove further, I saw that was all wobbly in the back. I knew it wouldn’t make it on the trip. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I didn’t want to turn back and return to the house (there was some sort of “defeat” in my mind if I went back…). Therefore, I texted everyone that would possibly be nearby to see if anyone who happened to be on Ellsworth or very close, could obtain the armoire from me, throw it in the their backseat (seriously, at that point, throwing it would have been just fine by me) and drop it off by the front door of the Queen Creek house and be on their way. No one was at the house as Chris and Christian were trying to get a new car.  

Yes, the new car. I’ll get to that in a moment.

Let’s just say I found a solution to the jewelry armoire disaster, and I was free of it before too long. It did make its way to Wickenburg eventually where I did discover my class ring was okay. That was my biggest concern as far as the armoire disaster was concerned.

So what about the new car? Well, I thought Chris and Christian would get it and drive it to Wickenburg that night. Well, they made the deal, but it was 9pm before they were finished.  Chris was not about to drive to Wickenburg from East Mesa (where he was) due to the exhaustion of everything, so he and Christian would be on the floor in the Queen Creek house for another night.  That also meant Chris would, yes, miss another day at work. I was stressed about this. He didn’t seem to be as concerned. 

As for the new car, in order to obtain the car we wanted, we had to wait two days as we wanted a standard transmission and the available one had to be brought over from another location. The salesmen were confused by us wanting a standard. I don’t understand why. Standards are the best! We love driving stick-shift. The white truck is a standard, and I feel like a real wuss driving automatics. Now I just have to be careful with my speeding. I tend to drive faster with a standard transmission.

Chris and Christian ended up driving a loaner back to Wickenburg the next day, and the day after that, I drove back out there and traded it for the new car with the standard transmission (the loaner was a new car, and thanks to us, it already had 200 miles on it...) Then I went back to the Queen Creek house for a few hours and worked while the other two kids complained about it.

However, I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to Tuesday, where I was still trying to get to Wickenburg (sans jewelry armoire) with a back bed full of crap in a truck that was being cranky with overheating.

Alexander was not having our little jaunt. Even though the A/C worked, it only worked in a minimal way, and it was easy to still feel uncomfortable. By Goodyear, he was upset and it was time to feed the kids and take a break. But I had the parrot too. Where could we go? Oh well. I didn’t care. We walked right into the Arby’s in Goodyear with the bird. And Alexander’s shoes had vanished. I saw them when we left, but they were nowhere to be found when it was time to get out and eat. We tried to keep Barefoot Buggy Bug in the booth, but if anyone knows anything about Alexander, it’s clear that was a useless prospect! Keep him anchored in a single location? Ha! So basically, we were reining White Trash Supreme. That’s not exactly how I want to be Queen, but I was that evening.

It’s kind of a blur after that, as even though picking up the new car a couple of days later went okay, there was so much work to still be done at the Queen Creek house. 

I am feeling so overwhelmed. In fact, as I write this, we go back Thursday. We were there yesterday.

Oh My Holy…Yesterday. 

I don’t even want to talk about it. It’s just more of the same. We went in two cars, and Chris didn’t even return here (here being the new residence) until after midnight. And then he turned around and went to work this morning. 

The candle is being burned at both ends.

Thursday 7/24 in Mesa, AZ

I did get back into the drawing a little bit. My Sunday Doodle is posted above, and I’m trying to work on my Zodiac designs for hopefully Threadless submissions. It’s going slow, however, due to the moving saga that keeps on going through the field of broken glass.

And it goes without saying, the heat isn’t helping.

Until next time…

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Moving with Murphy's Law

Well, here we are in Wickenburg. To say the move has been an adventure is an understatement.
And I’m not talking about the kind of adventure that fluffy stupid G-rated annoying Disney Channel sit-coms have. This adventure has been a cross between National Lampoon’s “Moving During a Hellish Phoenix Summer” and “The Hangover”.

Where to begin? I’m not sure.

I do not know how to make this entry come off as if I’m not complaining. I really do have a more positive attitude than a negative one about this. However, I do need to vent and just tell it like it is. If that sounds like I’m complaining, well, too bad.

Months ago, I began the process of organizing and packing. But you wouldn’t know it. You’d think we woke up early one morning just a week ago and decided to move.

It didn’t matter that we bought a used trailer weeks ago and moved boxes to the rental home and to our storage shed on our land about four times before the main move.

It didn’t matter that I sold off countless items and made multiple Goodwill and Deseret Industries donations drop-offs. It didn’t matter that I filled trash exponentially and purged so many items.

Oh no. It was as if none of that had taken place.

Let’s just say that we moved a week ago, but the Queen Creek (original house) still has work to be done and things to be moved out of it.  We’ve been back there twice this week and we go back on Monday.

I can easily point fingers at my husband and children and become angry at their lack of cleaning and organizing. I do admit I am the neurotic organizer and cleaner and the other four individuals in my household do not hold my high Queen-like standards. I get it. But Chris has made up for some of it in giving up multiple Saturdays to build the storage shed on our land in Wickenburg, and due to working in the heat, taking the kids to Wet n’ Wild waterpark afterwards as an incentive. He didn’t have to do  what it took to accomplish all that.

Chris also has this thing called a job that makes our home and quality of life possible.

Therefore, most of my frustration lies with the offspring. Alexander is three. There is not much I can do there but be so ever thankful for the angels in my life who gladly would take him off my hands for a few hours and keep him happy while the crazy organizing and packing took place at home. My friend Billie has had him multiple times. She barely moved back to Queen Creek just in time for me to move away. :-(

See? My sense of humor isn't completely gone.
The other two kids are more of my gripe. Thing One and Thing Two really do need to step it up. Delegating certain responsibilities to them completely failed and now we’re dealing with the items and work they did not do.

I get it. They’re kids. They're not me - a neurotic 30-something adult. But they really did drop the ball.

This is hard for them. I know that. New town. New school. No friends. It's still a hot typical Phoenix crap summer. I get it. But seriously, kids move all over the world and multiple times. Look at military kids! I am willing to bet that some of them help out just a tad more no matter how much they hate it.

Can I trade those kids for mine? At least until this move is 100% complete?

Okay, back to the timeline of moving sh- I mean, adventure.

Anyway, so we moved the big stuff in the big U-haul a week ago. We found that the nice tall white shelves I had in our previous office were too tall for the rental. Yes, the rental has very low ceilings. Seven-foot ceilings, I believe. So the white shelves are now in storage. I’m not sure how to put the office space together now, but that’s a minor annoyance.

The rental home is along the Hassayampa River Preserve, and it’s an older home. So while that means huge trees and abundant shade (which is awesome), it also means bugs. I knew this.

The kids, on the other hand, react to the bugs as if it’s some kind of epidemic Arachnophobia epidemic.
Maybe it’s my Generation X mantra of not growing up in the cushy 21st Century Suburbia like they have, and I remember bugs when I grew up in Laveen until I was eleven, but these kids really do need to chill out. The bugs aren’t that bad.  I’ve seen bad. Geez. Just go back to four years of Girls Camp at Kamp Kenyon near Prescott, and you’ll see a real bug problem.

This isn’t it.

We just need to deal with it. We already bug-bombed the house, and we do need a bug zapper for one of the entry ways. That can be done. I don’t need to hear the kids whine about it until it is.

What the kids do not know yet is the owners previously imported non-venomous snakes onto the property so they would take care of rattlesnakes and their prey (rats and gophers, etc). Because they brought these non-venomous snakes into the property and they’ve been well established, rattlesnakes are not a problem.

But there are snakes. The good snakes. But to many people, no snake is a good snake. At least the kids haven’t run into any of them yet. We need to have Snake Education Night talk with the kids and show them pictures of what these good snakes look like.

Anyway, last Saturday night, I realized something. In all the moving chaos, I had forgotten all of our meds at the Queen Creek house. Sure, that meant my meds, but I could function for a day or so if needed. The alarming issue was Christian’s meds. Let’s just say, he needs them first thing in the morning – every morning.

Therefore, Sunday morning, we put the kids and animals (our terminally ill Doxie and Zoey, our parrot) back in the car and headed back to Queen Creek. Our other dog was still at the Queen Creek house being taken care of by a friend.

Well, we barely made it 20 miles out of Wickenburg into Surprise when our tire went kaput. Oh, it was 110 degrees outside. Let me also add that because it was a Sunday, NO tire places were open. So there we were. Hot. Full car. Crap tire. No way to get it fixed.

I didn’t want to play the family card, but it was needed. My cousin Lori's husband runs a Discount Tire in Laveen. I messaged them and told them our plight with some choice sentence enhancers. I assume they were hanging out at their house relaxing on a Sunday afternoon enjoying their A/C when they received my distress signal. 
This is what Awesome Looks Like
Jason, her husband, was willing to come up and open his store for us. There are angels among us! I need to call the Vatican and recommend him for Sainthood (see right).

But we had to get there first. Laveen is 30 miles from Surprise. So we had to plan our route where we could stop every three or four miles to put air in that tire. I think it took over an hour to get there. I didn’t keep track. Let’s just say it took awhile. And may I add Christian still didn’t have his medication yet and we weren’t exactly on a ride at Disneyland. The kids and animals were not enjoying the fun.

We finally arrived at Jason’s Discount Tire and wow, check out our tire (left). We’re lucky it held any pressure at all every time we stopped to put air in it.

So Jason was awesome and he helped us. That should have been it, right?


Heading from Laveen to Queen Creek (I don't think we even made it to Tempe yet), the AT and engine light came on. 
Our Transmission. Again. 
Our Mazda 5’s Transmission has been a piece of crap – starting from our Grand Canyon trip a year ago (so our car was stuck in Flagstaff for three weeks last summer...remember?) and then again in October. Our Extended Warranty had been exhausted due to the transmission, and what happened? It started up its crap again just minutes after we solved the tire problem.

Jason said he thought he saw a dark cloud follow us out of the parking lot. The least it could have done was rained or something to cool us off. But no, it was just going to curse us with more crap.

We were able to get the car back to the Queen Creek house (pretty much by ignoring the light and the car appeared to drive okay), but we were pretty much stuck there until we figured out what to do about the car. Our white truck was at the Queen Creek house, so I could have turned around and took 2 of the 3 kids back to Wickenburg, but we planned to be at the Queen Creek house all of Monday anyway and there was work to be done there.

Chris took the Mazda in the next day, and oh, I had a root canal to finish. My root canal was supposed to be finished a few weeks earlier just before Independence Day, but in that particular appointment, my tooth created a lot of problems and the doctor finally decided to inject me with antibiotics and let it sit for a couple of weeks, as the tooth had become very angry. He to numb me close to seven times in that appointment, so waiting a couple of weeks for the tooth to chill out was best. 

That sounds awful in all this mess – to get drilled on, but I knew about it ahead of time. It wasn't a nice surprise like forgetting medications, jacked up tires or crappy transmissions. If anything, the root canal was a needed break away from the move and car drama. Isn’t that awful? A root canal was the solace?

Well, it was.

Sadly, I hadn’t even left the Endodontics office when Chris called with the car diagnosis.  He had been trying to text me during the appointment asking if I could talk. That wasn’t possible. Plus, I just knew it was going to be bad news. I didn't know that because I was being a negative fatalist, but because I know the car. It’s a piece of crap.

In the waiting room I finally called him, and feeling numb and cranky, I was informed it would have been close to $1000 to get the transmission fixed. With no more extended warranty, that was very bad news. And why fix it when it obviously was a lemon of a transmission? It had been fixed tons of times before!

We were at a stalemate.

That was pretty much the point where being stressed was pushed over the edge into a completely new type of chaos. Because of the car situation, Chris would not be going back to the work the following day as originally planned, and we were sleeping on the floor in Queen Creek in sleeping bags.

We were aware that in order to obtain a new car, our construction loan (that is currently in the hands of the bank as we were waiting for their go-ahead so we start building the damn house) would be screwed up. I pictured us remaining in the tiny rental home indefinitely with the end of our hopes to building this new home. I felt like everything was collapsing around us. Should we just move back to the small Queen Creek house and say “forget it all”?! That was one of the things discussed.

Crying, yelling, and other methods of coping commenced.

One of my friends who works in the banking industry (poor guy) assured me that the construction loan should still be fine. He said the loan should not be hindered by car purchase. He said most brokers scare the mess out of you because you're changing you debt to income ratio, but as long as we don't exceed the lenders guidelines we should be fine.

I went a little nuts (okay, a lot nuts) on Tuesday waiting for Chris to get the answers from the banks to determine what we needed to do to make sure our construction loan wouldn’t be messed up if we got a new car.

This is good place to stop, because just the journey back to Wickenburg (because there are beds in Wickenburg, not sleeping bags on the floor…) Tuesday evening in the white truck with Mikelle, Alexander and the bird (while Chris and Christian stayed behind for the car buying adventure) and more stuff loaded in the back, is like the second half of this huge ridiculous epic chronicle of crazy. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exhaustion in the Trenches

It shouldn't be a surprise that the exhaustion and emotional trepidation has been front and center this week. And because life is what happens while we're making other plans, other sources of exhaustion and emotional trepidation do not want to patiently wait until this move is over. They're part of the circus as well. 

Super X-man
I told Chris that it would be nice if someone around here had superpowers. 

Well, someone does. Alexander. 

In this case, his infinite energy and superpowers aren't exactly helpful.
I don't even have time to be writing this entry, but after a night of RLS attacks and lack of sleep because of it, my energy is severely lacking more than usual. I scheduled a massage tonight to initially help with the tension and stress, but now it's clearly for help with the RLS. Therefore, I don't feel too guilty now for the "me time" massage in all this craziness. I need sleep! 

I'm also grateful for my friend Melissa and her daughter who stopped by out of the blue yesterday and said they had an hour and wanted to use it to help me pack. That was awesome considering when they rang the doorbell, Alexander was literally crawling on my body demanding my full attention and therefore depleting any progress to be made other than the objective he had in mind (Chris and the other two were making a Wickenburg run with the trailer).

I was nice and gave them stuff in the linen closet to pack, as well as my summer art class supplies that had made their home in the laundry room. If I was mean, I would have had them deal with Mikelle's room or some not so pleasant items from other parts of the house that I've also been avoiding. However, I'm not mean to sweet angels who show up out of the blue to help like that.

As for the waterworks - yeah, they hit yesterday. I knew it was bound to happen. People are posting on a neighborhood community page (that I was checking due to other matters) about teachers their kids have received for 5th grade at Queen Creek Middle School. Christian won't be headed there of course and even worse, not continuing in the district's awesome Gifted program and the other resources that has that has made things so wonderful. I found myself tearing up just reading comments on teachers and their kids being in a friend's class or not in a friend's class. 

Some of the free items. Bench was not included.
Then, there was the matter of someone in the neighborhood taking my black park bench thinking it was part of the free items I offered and posted. I was careful to list the items that were available (stroller, cute girls' butterfly sleeping bag, annoying decorative signs that I thought were not annoying at one time, two easels, etc etc). 

Well, someone thought the bench was part of the offerings and it was gone. 

Sure, in my exhaustion I could have just shrugged my shoulders and thought "one less thing to move". But no. I painted that bench last Fall to make Halloween decor look better, and I like that bench. Plus, it's needed on the porch of the rental home in Wickenburg. 

I got right to work on the community board where I  initially offered the items as asked that the bench be returned. I said there would be no online shaming (that is such a prevalent fad these days) or questions asked. 

Still, I figured it would most likely be a lost cause. 

I didn't expect the gentlemen who took it to post on there some hours later that it was him and it was an honest mistake and he was bringing it back right away. If it was me, and I had taken it (mistakenly thinking it was up for grabs), I would have returned it in the dead of night! And I most likely wouldn't have indicated that it was me. I would have left a note with it that said "Sorry. Thought it was available...Peace..."

But he brought it right back. So then of course, I feel guilty because he was so nice about it. Clearly that means I'll worry and feel guilty no matter what. :sigh: Still though - it's the kind of community and neighborly unity that this situation demonstrated that contributes to the many reasons that it is hard to leave. 

Well, instead of figuring out a way to end this entry, I'll just get back to work.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Eight-Legged Metaphors

This was going to be a quick post for two pieces that hold something in common, yet they mean different metaphors. But I doubt it'll be as short as I first envisioned.

Oh well. I'll just dive right into it. I finished my Octopus piece (left). 

I don't know what to call it. 

Under Pressure? Suffocated? Overwhelmed? 

I don't know. Any title ideas will be much appreciated. Send them my way if you have them.

The pressure is manageable, actually. Now that Chris is off for the week as we accomplish more with this move, it should go okay. 

The big stuff (beds, piano, kitchen table, armoires, etc) with the big U-hail truck will be commence this weekend.

The other artwork with the Octopus metaphor is today's Sunday Doodle. If it had a title, it would be something along the lines of Good friends and humor. Essential to life.

Or something like that.

I managed to get through church today without officially crying, though I did get a bit choked up during my talk, as did Chris during his talk. But it was all good. And it was a good hair day and I wore my favorite heels. Hey, any little bit of superficial good luck helps in these otherwise difficult and emotional situations, right?

Hopefully the only Octopuses this week are the ones that are stuck to our faces.  

But even if it's the other ones, that's okay too.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Today is a NEW Day...

This week has been challenging, and the duties involving this move are simply the foundation of it. On top of that foundation is more humidity (which makes my already over-active sweat glands run on high), and managing three children with their own ideas. I don't want to come off as whiny. It's just the way it's been this week.  I have been especially grateful for the thunderstorms and rain (except for the dogs barking every time there was a thunder boom all night long...we all could have done without that). Monsoon storms of previous summers have felt more disappointing, so at least the increased humidity did pay off the way it was supposed to. So far this Monsoon Season has delivered rain and storms at least twice and it's barely July. :-)

Yesterday, after a running a couple of errands that ended with the final 5 miles or so being filled with Alexander throwing a tantrum about his two siblings singing along to a song he didn't want them to sing along to, I went straight to my bedroom for a mental quarantine (after I cranked the AC down to 72). A few minutes later I sent Christian a text to his iPod:

Me: "Please unload the dishwasher"
Christian: "K, but why did you text me when your room is a few feet away?"
Me: "I will not come out."

That sums it up. I also took an hour to start this project. I was hoping to capture an overwhelming feeling of being surrounded by so much and I hope the ocotopus arms communicate the feeling of suffocation. This isn't finished yet, but I was actually amazed that I was able to complete this much in one sitting.

Yesterday was also clouded with sadness.  It appears our 12 year old Dachshund, Simon, will have to be put down before we move next week. He has a malignant tumor in his mouth and they've tested to see if it's spread to his lymph-nodes, which I'm pretty sure it has, just by feeling his neck. I'm sure they'll call me with the results today or tomorrow.

I've been able to "numb" myself from getting too upset, due to all the other things. But this is not going to be easy.   It's also sad, because even though the rental house itself is small, the land its on is not small and it would be great for Simon to run around and chase critters - just like the land where our new house will be built. I'm sad that he wouldn't be able to run with his "hunting instinct" ways as he has in this house the couple of times we had mice. I'm grateful my friend Dawn offered to go with me when I took Simon to the vet yesterday.  That's another reason moving is pulling on my heart strings. Friends I'm going to miss.

BUT...as Chicken Little said, "Today is a new day..."

While I was looking through photos to find a picture with Simon in it, I found this picture that I thought was lost in an old file. It was artwork I completed for a mother who sadly lost her three children in an accident. I didn't know her, but I felt compelled to do "something" as such a tragedy leaves us feeling so helpless. I sent the artwork off to her 2 1/2 years ago and I hoped it helped, even though nothing can fill the hole that losing such precious babies so sudden can leave. Running into this photo puts things in perspective again for me. I wanted to hide from my three kids yesterday, but I was able to reappear (eventually) and hug them. 

Here's to a new day...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Doodle to Kick Off July...as we "Move" the Blessings Forward...

Sunday Doodle with Positive Inspirations
This is an abbreviated post for the July 6th Sunday Doodle. and this will be a busy week ahead as more packing and work pertaining to the move is commenced. 

Chris and I also speak this upcoming Sunday. Some may think it's just "one more thing" we don't need on our plate right now with all the craziness of the move, but I am actually delighted to speak. First of all, it'll be our last Sunday there, so if I/we screw it up, we won't have to be back to face anyone again.

But seriously, the theme of talks is loosely on "recognizing blessings in our lives" which is quite apropos for this move. As much as this move is a whirlwind of emotions and stress, and yes sadness for what we are leaving behind, it's a blessing. Chris will be home an hour sooner each day (and he can sleep an hour later in the mornings) and eventually we'll have a larger home with more breathing space (within a year...pretty please!).  

I know I've mentioned this before, so forgive me for bringing it up again. When Chris was unemployed over and over over the space of almost four years, we would have welcomed the stress of a move like this with open arms, as opposed to where we were back then and the uncertainty we faced.

Of course it's easy to forget the bad times that were so much worse and grumble at the trials we now face. And they are there - don't get me wrong. My biggest trepidation is leaving loved ones and familiarity and of course, the wonderful resources and team for Christian with Queen Creek Unified School District. However, if we look back with perspective and see how far we've come, we need to have faith of the blessings in our lives as we begin this new chapter.
"Dr. Who" iPhone 4 Case still available! $10

There is not much of an art update at this time, due to the moving fun. On a whim, I did post these iPhone 5 (and one iPhone 4) case on my own FB wall the other night hoping to sell them for a low price. Within minutes, my friend Robyn bought all three of iPhone 5 cases. Sure, the blessing could be the extra pocket money, and that is nice, but I see it for something much larger - friends who are helping others and the relationships (even if just online due to far away locales) we share taking a peak into each others' lives. 

That's there long after the transaction is made.

That alone is a huge blessing.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Commotion on the Emotion Ocean

Another cheesy title. But I'm trying to keep the humor going, even if it's cheesy. 

We're now in the final stages of making this move happen. 

Our final Fourth of July living in Queen Creek was celebrated yesterday by taking the kids to see Muppets: Most Wanted at the cheap theater. Chris and I saw it on our own months ago at the regular theater...lol...when there were no interruptions or drama about holding popcorn or a parent embarrassing a certain teenage person with comments during the previews. 

After the movie was the annual Fourth of July party at Chris's cousin Brandon's in San Tan Valley. It's such a treat to see family and even though it'll be a drive to continue the tradition next year, it's certainly worth it. 
However, it isn't without its stress (if my alluding to the movie stress didn't already communicate that). Huge family gatherings with fireworks and people of all ages running around makes for a frustrating evening with a 10yo with ADHD who is most likely high functioning Aspergers and has sensory issues. I'm not throwing Christian under the bus, nor am I making excuses for him. I'm just acknowledging as a parent that there are extra challenges.  

July 4, 2014 Hug in Motion. Alexander moving lightning fast to hug a pretty girl (his cousin Selina).
Above is a picture of Alexander (who already ditched his shoes apparently) moving so fast to hug a pretty girl (his cousin Selina), that we could barely see him. 

And sorry to follow up with the picture of me that needed  filtering edits. Regardless, I managed to steal a picture with Alexander.  Of course my hair is so thin, I look bald when it's pulled up and/or pulled back.

Pre-school Graduation
Anyway, back to the "Emotion Ocean", as I continue the photo/office organizing so I don't move one mess to the next place to still be a mess.  Here are some chronological but otherwise random flashback photos for a Saturday. Besides, I skipped a few of the official flashback/throwback/wayback official "days" due to all the fun to be had in this transitional and busy time, so it's just going to have to be now. 

Christmas Eve 1993
I have always loved this picture (above). And I remember walking by my grandparents (waving at them) when I graduated from pre-school.  Therefore, I guess that was the Class of 1980 if you want to get technical. This was back when my grandfather would attend these events more often. As time went on, he would remain at home. :-( I'm not concentrating on the times he stayed behind. I'm loving the memories that a photo like this brings back and the smile on his face. 

Also pertaining to those same Grandparents, here I am (left) with with my two cousins (and my sister Kariann - her eyes and nostrils, especially) Lori and Shauri on Christmas Eve 1993. I was 18 and Kariann was 9.  Those Christmas Eve's celebrated at Grandma and Grandpa's is what made Christmas feel like Christmas.  I miss those days. 

Next is a Henrichsen family photo from October 2001, at Nana's (Chris's mother) funeral. Pictured is Chris's dad (far left) and Chris and his sisters and spouses and children. At the time, Mikelle was the youngest grandchild on the Henrichsen side. Chris is holding her - she's 14 months. Six more grandchildren would follow in the next nine years. 

Now Alexander is the youngest on the Henrichsen side, and that's where it'll stay.  Alexander's middle name is Layne, named after his uncle Gary whose middle name is Layne (second from left, next to Chris's dad), because Gary would sadly pass away May 2010.
Henrichsen Family October 2001

June 2006 - SW Colorado
Above is Mikelle when she was about 2 months away from turning 6 years old. This is a beautiful viewpoint along the highway between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. I also have a picture of both kids looking at the view. I'll have to share it in a subsequent entry. I also wanted to use this picture because of the few friends that have been able to spend this holiday weekend up in such mountain (or beach) destinations with cooler temperatures. Some posted their views on Facebook, and I could just feel the air. Of course the best place to be is a destination with both mountain and beach views: The Oregon Coast. One more year for that fun little summer trip!

The next photo is one of my favorite family photos, taken November 2006. Mikelle was 6 and Christian was 2 1/2+.
November 2006
Age 3 - Fall or Winter 2007
I came upon a few cute cards with pictures. This one is from what I think was Christian's Sunbeam class at church. The kids were told to make goofy faces for the photo. Christian's just cracks me up. I also love his green tractor sweater. I hope it still fits Alexander this Fall/Winter. I should have brought it out for Alexander last Fall/Winter! Grrrrr! I forgot all about the awesome green tractor sweater.

This next one is from pre-school about a year and half later.

Mothers Day Card - 2009 - Age 5

Last is an adorable picture of Mikelle and Alexander (or Alexander and Mikelle, depending on which way you want to look at it). This was taken Mothers Day 2011. Alexander was 5 1/2 months and Mikelle was 11 1/2+. 

Yes, the topsy turvy way of looking at that adorable picture is another way of describing the plethora of emotions. 

Topsy turvy. 

Until next time...