Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The plot next door is empty and one of the trees has an eagle nest so we often see them hunting near our deck. 

Not a bad neighborhood.  The neighbors are pretty awesome.  (haven't stopped by with a plate brownies yet though.. . . maybe that is my Minnesota showing. )

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"Pin" Away

James came home from school with a "surprise" for me.  He burst in the door and threw down his backpack to dig out what was the  best. surprise. ever.

I thought maybe it was an advanced Mother's day present but no. . . . it was another of his extreme crafting projects.

You Pinterest users might want to take note. 

It's a Y.   

Let me tell you the directions as best I understand them:

1. Cut a line halfway down a strip of paper

2. Pull it apart.

Feel free to email if you need further clarification and I'll get you in touch with the artist in residence. 

God, I love this kid*

*When I picked James up yesterday, his teacher also commented on his craft-- and confirmed that indeed, this was an original creation and not a class project.   Pretty neat. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Bennie Experience

My college celebrates 100 years of educating women this year.  This particular weekend is the celebration gala, and sadly I won't be in attendance.   Although I am disappointed to miss the event, I have had Bennies on the mind lately so I thought I would use my tiny platform to talk about my Bennie experience. 

Right before moving, my uncle, Paul, found a copy of a speech I had given at a donor event in the spring of my senior year.  My god-parents came to the event and had saved the speech all these years.  Although my writing has changed a bit during the years since this event and my perspective even more. . . . I thought I would post it as a way to honor my experience with CSB and in hopes that any Bennies or Bennie-minded folk out there might consider a gift to the college-- an institution that did so much for me.

By some standards, I would consider my college experience to be ordinary; I had my late night papers where five am rolled around and I saw the first light of dawn,  I had my heart to heart conversations with my floor mates and I felt the rush of walking out of a test that was well prepared for.  This is what the ordinary college experience is.    However, the ordinary for St. Ben's goes far and above the expected.   The gifts that the College of Saint Benedict have given me shaped who I am as a woman now.   The ordinary that St. Ben's offers is filled with sacred interactions, moments of beauty and the graceful growth of girls into women.   I feel honored to have the opportunity to thank you for the extraordinary gift you have given me and the rest of the student body. 
It is in the daily ordinary acts of love that I can best demonstrate to you how CSB aids in the personal development of women, and how blessed we are for your generosity.  I came to St. Ben's to be around women.  My mother passed away when I was fifteen and since I have had an increased appreciation for the way women interact.  The women of St. Ben's have taught me and pushed me to grow.  Again, the growth process can be quite ordinary but what I can share from my St. Ben's experience is far from.
Sister Janice Wedl more than anyone has embodied the St. Ben's experience for me.  In the fall of my sophomore year on any old day I was running and stopped at McGlynns for water and a snack.  On the way out of the atrium,  a sister stopped me-- Sr. Janice.  She attempted to sell me a plant from the sisters' annual plant sale.  I politely refused stating that it wouldn't work out well for the plant.  Domestic ability have never been a personal strength and I didn't want the plant to bear the weight of my inabilities.  She tried a few more approaches and when I explained that I really wasn't capable of caring for another living thing nor did I have the meager three dollars to purchase it, she took a small plant in a blue pot and handed it to me-- saying 'take this, water it and you will be be fine.'   The plant had one leaf barely peaking above the soil and I again tried to refuse it-- she looked me straight in the eye, smiled me and firmly told me that it wasn't polite to refuse a gift.  Sr. Janice doesn't remember meeting me at the plant sale-- a memory I have held throughout my college career- yet, just an ordinary part of her daily routine.
Thankfully, she does remember how she became a constant in my life.   I contacted her while on senate about planning a new event-- a 'Bennie' day during homecoming.   Sr. Janice is the head of the Benedictine Friends mentor program and I wanted to combine the opening event for the mentor program with the first ever 'Bennie Day.'  Thankfully, she agreed.  At the event, she came up, tapped me on the shoulder and said that 'we girls' should hang out more often.  I smiled and said yes. . . she then asked me if I had a Benedictine friend and I said that I didn't; adding that I didn't really have time for one.  In true Janice style- she didn't take no for an answer and the next week I got a postcard in the mail from Texas-- where Sr. Janice was apparently on vacation.  The friendship has grown since and in so many ways was a mother or grandmother figure for me during college.
She once hugged me and slipped ten dollars in my pocket.  It's not unusual to find a special pencil or some stickers in my campus mailbox. She has brought groceries to my house for my roommates and I. She took me out for margaritas on her last birthday.  Recently she even called to tell me that after a funeral of a friend that she picked out some things that she thought I might need after graduation-- plates, silverware, a microwave and a few pairs of socks.  I told her that she reminded me of my grandmother and now Grandma Janice jokes about the possibilities of grandchildren while living a celibate life.  
Grandma Janice gave me a plant once and taught me more about beauty and personal growth than I could have ever learned in a classroom.
1 Corinthians 3 states "So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but it is God who gives the growth for we are God's co-workers."  Just as the plant in the blue pot had the ability to grow under the right circumstances, I too have been mentored by many grace-filled people in such ordinarily beautiful ways. That is the root of the St. Ben's experience.  
There are many examples of how the ordinary day to day actions foster women's growth.  My college experience is in a reality a series of the simple interactions that were laced with meaning for me-- many of whom are in this room.  Sr. Emmanuel who had me over for dinner last week and asked me what it meant to be Catholic and catholic and didn't let me out of the conversation until I stumbled out of my own circular argument.  President Mary Lyons who once came to a senate meeting unannounced to talk about the raw nature of women's leadership, Kolleen Kellom who invited me to come to Christmas Eve mass with her family at St. John's, Babs Koch who asked me mid-lunch how my prayer life was going, Anne Ford Nelson who taught me how to shake hands in a more powerful way.   These women may not even remember these conversations, but that only exemplifies how the extraordinary can occur in the ordinary-- simple acts that reinforce the community's ability to foster women's growth.  I have been asked if I chose CSB as a way to seek out women's role models and I don't know how to answer that accurately-- yes, I am attracted to strong women, but as a student at St. Ben's I have never had to seek them out intentionally.  The community itself has provided ample opportunity to learn from the ordinary acts of extraordinary women.   Thank you for your part in making this institution more than a place of classrooms and curriculum---for me it was much, much more. 
As a way of post-script, I think it's important to note a few things as to how my perspective has changed over the years.  As I read the above I have the natural cringe that happens anytime you read something you wrote as a young'un and although the sentiments remain true, the complexity has increased.   Three things come to mind:

Joan sent me a picture of the plant after I posted this.  Growing strong since 2000.
  1. My relationship with Janice grew in the years after I graduated.  My favorite memory was the many Easters we spent together at the monastery with her and her friends playing cards at 9:00am after day-break mass.  She passed away three years ago but I am glad to say that she met infant James and proudly declared him a great grandson.  I still have the plant-- and 15 years later, its enormous. Joan-- you are still watering it right?
  2. Students in my situation* generally don't make it through college.   I didn't have a FAFSA to file which meant I wasn't eligible to apply for government grants or loans and my entire family contribution during college was the $20 that my dad gave me when he dropped me off on day one.  There were several times where I thought I would have to leave and I remember sitting in the financial aid office while they helped me come up with a game plan-- including borrowing a college car to go down to St. Paul get a copy of my birth certificate so that I could apply for private loans,  initial help with getting on medicaid so that I'd have health insurance and a bridge loan to help me pay my first month of rent after I graduated from college. These 'services' aren't needed by all students but the humanity they showed me meant the difference between me getting an education or not.** St. Ben's fought for my future even when I didn't have a lot of fight left.
  3. As a senior, I wrote about the women leaders I found at St.Ben's.  The group that is entirely absent is the friendships that I made while I was there.  As a student I was focused and determined, fearful and dare I say that lead me to be a little prickly--- my Bennie friends taught me a lesson that I never anticipated-- community.   I thought every task was Dana vs Goliath and they helped me learn to take help and give help in return.   I have so many wonderful Bennies (and a few Johnnies) in my life to this day that I get a little emotional writing about it.   They are the ones who stay with your kids when you need to go to the doctor,  let you borrow a car when you don't have one****send flowers when the 'sense' you are down, offer a couch when you are in-between housing,  help you set up your new apartment at 3am when you leave a bad relationship and cheer you on no matter what is going on in life.  In all the struggles college and after, I learned that I didn't have to do it alone and I am a better friend in return for it.  These are my sisters  (and brothers). 
Everyone has a different Bennie experience****-- which is what makes that place so special- and why I give today to the future Bennie.   I wish I could join the gala tomorrow-- but maybe I'll wear something special like pearls, yoga pants and a Bennie sweatshirt while I raise a mocktail in your honor. Congrats to the college-- here's to the next generation.

*I don't talk much here about my family life prior to college, and I won't go into a lot of detail now either. I was an non-traditional student who came from a seemingly very traditional background.   My dad believed in true independence once you graduate from highschool-- I haven't spent a night at home since I left nor did he visit during the four years of college.   We aren't close now-- for a variety of reasons but I have come to peace with his parenting choices during this time. Grief does a lot of funny things to people and as I have aged, I am more and more empathetic about where he was at that time of his life.

**I did have a reasonable degree of grit and street smarts at this point in my life but no amount of waitressing was going to cover the jump between where I was (my spending budget was $100 a semester including my new insurance!) and where I needed to be in order to be a college student.  CSB invested in my future and made the necessary moons align so that I could be who I am today.  No amount of thanks is enough.

***I didn't have a car until I was 24.  Long live the Saturn!

****This is my rare personal post. 

Happy Fasika

This is a little late- but I wanted to wish everyone a happy Easter.  We celebrated by making an Ethiopian meal for our new friends here in Ketchikan-- complete with home-made Injera.   This was our first attempt and once we have it down, hopefully I can share some tips here.  

For those of you unfamiliar with Ethiopian food, it's primarily a variety of stews served family style on a spongy, sour pancake that you break off and use as a utensil.  The spongy pancake is called Injera and it's made with a grain called Teff (tef) and when made correctly adopts it's sour flavor after having fermented for several days.* We ended up using a recipe that was a hybrid of Teff, other flours and yeast-- it wasn't perfect but it was close-enough.

Easter (Fasika) is a big holiday in Ethiopia and we were so glad to host some friends for the celebration. 

*Naturally, we didn't do that--  we ordered whole tef instead of tef flour and were short on time because we were using a coffee grinder to turn it into flour, 2 tablespoons at a time.  Classic. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Overheard (Nearly)

Driving the other day, I put on a more adult station* on Pandora.  James from the very last row of the minivan:

James: What is this song about?
Me: Love
James: What?**
James: What?
Me: She LOVES someone.
James: What?
Me: L-O-V-E (My voice can not get any louder.)  LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE!!

James: Ohhhhh,  mittens.  She likes mittens?***

Me:  Yeah.

Sometimes, we miss. . . Ahh,  adventures in the land of the hard of hearing.

*Adult, as in music produced by someone other than Disney or Raffi.
**Channel your grandfather for this interpretation.
***I am thinking he thought I said gloves.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rounding Third

I recently had my 28 week OB appointment and am pleased to announce that I am officially in my third trimester and baby and I are both healthy.   I have some additional good news-- my "aggressive handwashing"* plan is paying off.  I am still showing that I have not caught Fifth's yet.  This is awesome news because-- I am now carrying an almost 29 weeker and even if I were to get it, the baby is in a much better place with every week that passes.   I am going to do one more screen to make sure that I haven't caught it but for now we are passing around high fives.**  Thanks for all the kind words-- not fun to re-visit the peri-natal viral crap again.

I won't make this long since no one really wants to hear a preggo complain about their new body, but I am excited about a recent breakthrough.

Each pregnancy has been an experience in management of acid reflux (a condition I never had before pregnancy and thought you were only vulnerable to if your diet consisted solely of chili fries).  Although it's fun to OD on Tums and OTC medications, puking on demand is not a parlor trick I was looking to cultivate.

I recently cut out caffeine from my diet entirely and although I spent almost a week feeling like I was hit by a semi, I am finding my reflux manageable for the first time in any pregnancy.   I wasn't a crazy caffeine addict (ahem, Matt) but I did have a small cup of coffee each and everyday for the last 20 years.   It feels pretty powerful to be free from that sort of vice for the first time ever.  I am preggo, hear me roar.

I don't have a good solution for the drowsiness I feel every day around 3pm*** but since life is a little slower around these parts, I can often sneak away for a little siesta.  I am hoping that it will pass eventually--but that could just be pregnancy as well- which God willing, will also pass.  :) ****

All else is well on our front-- more to write about later!

*Their words, not mine. 
**Purell immediately after.
***I blame Oprah.  After my mom passed, I found great comfort in Oprah's show and would frequently nap after school with Oprah on in the background.  It's weird, but years later (and after I cut the cable cord), I still use the code word Oprah's On as a way to indicate that I will be sneaking away for a late afternoon nap.
****Even though this isn't my first rodeo-- it is the first time I realized that the second trimester is actually much longer than the first or third trimester.  Huh. Who knew?   Fuzzy math.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nate Berkus, Watch Out!

We have a new visitor planning a trip to our house-- the Easter Bunny!  It's good to turn our attention a bit as we are still  obsessed fixated thoughtful about the Leprechaun-- or as I like to think of him, the one that got away.

Last week, James came home from school fired up to tell me about a craft he made.  Now--one thing you need to know about James, he rarely gets excited about craft time and often boycotts holding a marker or pen.   Most kids his age are working on writing,  we are hoping that the tech revolution continues so that we can enroll him in typing lessons-- because this kid wants no part of a crayon.

If James is excited about a project, I get a little fluttery to see what my sweet Picasso has created. Expectations aren't super high as I didn't birth the next generation design star but I am encouraged nonetheless.

So when James took out his backpack and carefully handed me a piece of green computer paper that he had torn in half, I was a little confused.  I turned it over looking for the "creation."  But nope, just a blank piece of torn paper.

James:  "Do you love it?"
Me: "Yeaaaaah."
James: "I made it."
Me:  "I seeeeeeee. . . What is it?"
James:  "It's a leprechaun blanket.  You know in case, he gets cold when he visits us." 

Naturally, the little guy might want to be tucked in.  Everybody loves a blankie.

We are turning our attention now-- in fact, Easter Bunny has a pink egg waiting for him.  (You know, in case he gets hungry.)  The mythical creatures in this house will get nothing but five-star hospitality.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Little Lady

They grow up so fast (Knuckle bite, dab eye).

Deirdre enjoying her first salon experience.  I have cut her hair a couple times at home but I thought it might be good to have a pro look at it and even it out from time to time.

Now, if only she would lessen the restraining order she has on the hairbrush that dictates that the brush can't come within a 20 foot radius of her head.*

*Also, it'd be great if she'd stop using sticky food as a proxy for hair products. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ketchikan FAQ

I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and write about Ketchikan itself so on this beautiful sunny day I thought I would take a couple minutes from the deck to write something.*

Where did Ketchikan get it's name?
It's believed to come from the Tlingit words "Kitschk-Hin" meaning spread wings of a prostrate eagle.
How can I get to Ketchikan?
Ketchikan is an island, the only way to get here is by boat or plane.
What is the Totem Pole symbolism?
Native tribes use totem poles to tell stories, celebrate events and pay tribute to family members or leaders.  Ketchikan has the largest collection of totems anywhere in the world, with more than 80 poles throughout the area.

What is the population of Ketchikan
Around 13,000 in the greater Ketchikan area.
What are the major industries?
Fishing and Tourism.
How large is Ketchikan relative to other Alaskan cities?
It's the sixth largest.  (Behind Anchorage, Fairbanks, Matanuska-Susitna, Kenai and Juneau)
Are groceries more expensive?
Yes, bananas are around one dollar a pound and milk is in the mid $4 range. These are our staples.  There are sales so we have started to shop at different stores for different items.  It's do-able.
What is the average annual temperature?
42 degress, with an average summer temperature of 55 and an average winter temperature of 31. 
What is the average rain fall per year and how often does it rain?
13 Feet is average rainfall with an average participation on 228 days.
What is the elevation in Ketchikan?
0 (Sea Level).
What is the name of the island Ketchikan sits on?
Revillagigedo is approximately 35 miles wide by 55 miles long
What is the time zone?
Alaska has it's own time zone-- one hour past pacific (three hours behind central time).
What is the average day light?
In the summer 17.5 hours, in the winter 7 hours of daylight.
How large is the Tongass National Forest?
Approximately 17 million acres including the Ketchikan area and reaching as far north as Yakutat Bay. 
What about this salmon fishing I've heard so much about?
There are five species o salmon found in Ketchikan. King, Coho, Humpie, Sockeye and Chum.  Salmon runs vary by species but generally June- September are a sure bet.  The largest salmon ever caught in Alaska was 126 lbs.
What other fishing is available?
Halibut, Rockfish, Red Snapper,  and a variety of Trout. The largest halibut caught in Alaska was 533 lbs. 
What other marine life is in Ketchikan?
Orcas, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Sea Lions, Seals, Porpoise, Octopus and Starfish (and others)
What's the number one reason to visit Ketchikan?
Free place to stay with fresh towels, babies to cuddle and sparkling conversation offered by your host**

* I picked up a bunch of tourism brochures so will be borrowing from the good people at the travel bureau for some of this!
**Cooking is a little spotty, but there are lovely restaurants in the area. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Why I Get Nothing Done As a Stay At Home Mom

Yesterday I made a flippant comment about moons aligning. . . . it was a pointed comment about me wanting to attend a favorite work out class-- regardless, I was excited for this little opportunity and even put on CLEAN yoga pants for this thrilling adventure in the life of Dana Fitzpatrick.

Well, friends.  Let's just say-- don't get arrogant with the fates.

I have written before that life in Ketchikan has been more deliberate, a little slower and certainly more logistically challenging than I imagined.  What I failed to mention is that shit just seems to go wrong more often than it should.

This isn't a Ketchikan thing-- probably more of a Dana thing* but that's neither here nor there.

Let me tell you about how my afternoon went:** 

I have been feeling a little groggy this week and the weather was supporting this mood.  When the sun was shining bright this morning I got excited about all sorts of excitement- including wearing sunglasses and grooving in the car as I ran errands.

When I say grooving, I am not talking about Raffi or Disney Pandora-- I mean straight up cheesy crap- John Hiatt, John Melencamp, John Fogerty or any other crazy John- shit I could dig up.  I was seriously in the mood for a little sun and some me-time.

I had big plans-- getting water, going to the grocery store and hitting up Body Pump.  These aren't sexy plans- but it's the best I can do right now.

All was well, until I got a call while at Safeway saying there was an 'accident' at the pre-school.

One of our kids (anonymous naturally but it's not rocket science.) had an accident.  This kid had been constipated for over a week and we had started to get a little aggressive with the treatments-- pear juice, raisins, ground flax-seed and even miralax.  If you had peered into my grocery cart, you would have found suppositories because it was time for the big guns.

Of course, I made the very intelligent decision last week to stop carrying extra clothes for this kid since we haven't had an accident in over a year and I had started to think about how to fit the unique needs of four kids into one diaper bag.  Naturally this kid could handle the graduation out of the bag.

Except he couldn't- because although he was seriously backed up,  he was also full of fiber and laxatives.  Insert obvious predicament.  This kid is at day care with no bottom half clothing to wear and Body Pump is in 15. 

I quickly checked out and started a quick trip to Walmart which is the closest place to get clothes for a little guy.  I imagined a very sad and possibly embarrassed little boy so I picked out some clothes that I thought were coolish including Star Wars undies and hauled ass back to the day care-- all said, this took 45 minutes to get from one store to the other and to the day care.  All the time this kid is nakey and I am feeling pretty oafish for taking his back- up clothes away last week.

Once I arrived at the center the situation was better than I anticipated-- we were thrilled with the arrival of Star Wars undies and didn't seem incredibly phased about hanging out nakey in a bathroom for 45 minutes.  In fact, we were eager to tell us all the dynamics and descriptors of  the poo-lacapyse.   The other two sucked in a variety of different ways but I was glad there didn't seem to be any permanent damage done to the psyche of this kid.  Daisy is wearing different clothes than she came in-- but I am dealing with poo and two crying, so this flies under the radar as to what actually happened.  I take two bags of dirty clothes, three whiny kids and load back into the mini-van. 

So onward home we go, no moons aligning for Body Pump.  I get home after listening to Daisy and James battle back and forth over the volume of Disney Pandora-- Louder, turn it down, louder, turn it down.  We arrive home-- sun still shining, but my attitude a little more "partly-sunny."

Once home, we find that Osa has decided to empty our trash onto the kitchen floor for the third time this week-- only this time it's almost entirely diapers and coffee grounds.  I spend 20 minutes cleaning this up-- and think, well heck if I am going to be cleaning up in the kitchen- how about I make some risotto since I'll be right there to stir it.  Lemonade man, lemonade.

Risotto made, kitchen cleaned I am thinking positive things-- until dinner, when Daisy throws an absolute hissy-fit about how she doesn't want dinner, she wants to watch Frozen.  James decides to borrow her phrase of  "I don't wanna" to see if it will be as effective.  I ignore them and step over Daisy's rolling back and forth as I think happy thoughts.  I will win this war if it kills me.

In the meantime, Simon,  our consummate cup surfer moves over to James' big boy cup (no lid) and takes a big gulp and sneezes at the exact same time and spews milk all over himself and the plates of the other kids-thus ruining the awesome risotto.

Everyone's crying at this point- wet Simon, Daisy who's still rolling back and forth over the fact that I. Am. Making. Her. Eat. Food. *** and James who is literally crying over spilled milk.

And I paid for this awesomeness.  Four should be a walk in the park.

*According to Facebook ads,  I can get a t-shirt that proves you won''t understand.
**But first, two things to note. 1) This involves over-sharing on a couple fronts.  Either stop reading or have faith that we are saving plenty for future therapy for all members of the Fitz family.  2.) I paid for day care to go to my exciting class-- so not only did life not happen that way-- I paid a hefty hourly rate to NOT have fun.
*** How dare I try to feed her. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Want to Live in a HoTowel

We are back!

Deirdre's thoughts on security lines.  No TSA Fastpass for her.
We had a wonderful time catching up with family and investing in our little family.  We spent the last half of our trip in Orlando-- mostly because of it's abundance of zero depth pools.   We did do a couple disney-esque type things--we rode the monorail and went to Downtown Disney but mostly we hung by the pool and played with a bucket.   Sexy life I lead.

We stayed at two hotels-- the Nickelodeon Suites and Disney's Caribbean Beach Hotel.

Sibling Love Fest
We liked both places but found that the Caribbean Beach hotel was more our speed and had incredible customer service to boot.   Nickelodeon did have a kitchenette which allowed us to make a lot of our own snacks and meals which was awesome from an expense perspective as well as the craziness of eating out with three kids. Thumbs up there---  However, it was a little chaotic and geared toward older kids.  My littles were afraid of the characters so they didn't enjoy that aspect as much and James has a new fear of slime.  Slime is a big deal at Nickelodeon. 

The N/A beverages came with worms!  Cheers.
We have stayed at the Caribbean Beach Hotel before and I have to say that it's got everything we need: small water slides for the kids, playgrounds, hammocks and a kids movie shown poolside every evening.

The rooms at either hotel are pretty average as they are both classified as value hotels-- however, once you toss some wet swimsuits on the floor and smash a few crackers in the bed-- everything is kind of "value" isn't it? (The overall ambiance of the Disney grounds is a sizeable step up from the Nick hotel)

As a follow up to my last post, I would like the my handful of readers to know that I made several Target trips in our time 'down south'-- one of those for new underwear-thank you James.    James was so excited about helping me move up a size that I am now the proud owner of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle boy shorts in a size that is appropriate for my current body but I won't print here.   Oh, sad.  Maybe I'll go have some celery.**
Bowling-- one of our kids fave activities.
We are now back into the routine and I am exploring Ketchikan 2.0.  New eyes,  new energy and new routines.  James started swim lessons and was the only kid to come out of the pool with a dry head.   However, he did show me all the beautiful rings that he picked up with his foot.   Daisy and Simon are loving their new day care schedule and I am slaying paperwork, taxes and an IEP update like a beast. *** 

I have started working out again and although I am not sure if I have the bladder control to go for a jog, I  did find my endorphins were in a happy place after twenty minutes on an eliptical-- and my toe which doesn't  look quite right is for the most part functional.**** I found a body pump class that I am going to go to tomorrow night.  Moons are aligning y'all.

*On our final flight back, James commented that he wasn't so sure about coming back to the cabin when we could live in a HoTowel.
** Code word: ice-cream
***More to come on my beastdom in my next post.
****I know you are all sitting on the edge of your seat for my dramatic toe updates-- so this will be the last.  I will be opting out of any sort of "this little piggy" activity for the next six months.-- with the exception of an almost nightly foot rub by my sweet husband who is expressing pregnancy empathy by rubbing my feet and nine toes.  Funny side story-- the other day James asked Matt to rub his feet.  No idea where that came from. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Things are marching along (surprisingly) happily on our end.  After my near jump off a cliff moment,  we have seen some steady improvements in the murphy's law department.  We closed on our condo (only a tiny amount of paperwork remaining), I started doing a little consulting work (happy distractions) and we are on a much needed vacation!

Matt's grandfather turned 100 and all his family came to Florida to celebrate.  It was a fantastic celebration for everyone and it was great seeing our family.     Happy Birthday Pop!  The flight was pretty long* so we decided to extend our trip to include a few family days. 

More than anything,  it's been nice to take a break from the paperwork and logistics that have governed the last few months so that we can focus in on the family.  In an odd way too, I feel better prepared to head back to Ketchikan- especially since the to-do list isn't nearly as daunting as it has been over the last couple months.  In the meantime,  we are going to soak up some sun, enjoy the pool (especially Simon our little water-frog) and have some fun!  

I thought you might enjoy some quotes from our little family this trip--- we are finding our family life quite the comedy hour.

Cautious James on our possibilities for evening entertainment:  "I would like to eat pizza but I will say 'no thank you to the Ninja Turtles. ' You know, actually I would like pizza without the Ninja Turtles.  (pause)  That means No."

James in the bathroom with me**:  "Mom, I think your underwear is too small.  Looks like you are growing up!"

Deirdre in response to the question 'What was that?': "I tooted.  Like Daddy. "

*Like travel to Europe long. But no beignets. 

**God knows there is no sacred space.