Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I hope you’re having a lovely December and that no matter what stage you are in your preparation craziness, you are taking time to enjoy the special magic that comes with the holiday season.  I am feeling so happy, and blessed this year to have some many amazing people who love and support me.  I was talking to Lucas last night about how much he adores his grandfathers.  Really, truly, loves and respects them with all his heart and soul.  I was reminded of so many things in this conversation.  I reflected on my own grandfather, and how Lucas would have enjoyed him so much, and it’s a shame that he never got to really know him.  I thought about my own relationships, and like so many people during these days of Christmas and family, I am missing so many people who aren’t here, or who I’ve just simply lost touch with (some of you even get an email from me every week!)  And mostly, Lucas reminded me that you truly do get what you put into a relationship.  And it’s hard to be best friends with everyone, to have meaningful relationships with a multitude, but the ones you do make special, truly are.  So no matter how you are spending your December, please know, that you are truly special to so many people and take time hug those who you so have the good fortune to see. 

I’m not really sure where I left off last week.  Monday, I got to have lunch with Fred and Jay, which a total delight.  And it was a company celebration day, so we had donuts and lattes in the morning.  That same evening, I went to Diana’s made fudge.   On Tuesday, it did NOT snow.   Wednesday was the launch of the new comic book I’ve been working on, so we had a launch party at a local Comic Book store for a signing and what not.   Pretty sure I caught one of my co-workers doodling inside one of the comics, but that’s what I get for giving artists a marker and asking them to sit still for two hours. 

We’ve been trying to get me “educated” enough to watch the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, so on Wednesday, we were final ready.  Only, by the time I got home, Zach was hanging out with friends.  Lucas also wanted to watch it, but didn’t think he could stay up long enough for Zach & Co. to finish their game. 

Lucas: Zach….. You know how you like mornings?
Zach: Uh… not especially.
Me: and Doctor Who?
Zach: What?
Lucas: We’re gonna watch the 50th episode at 6:30 AM tomorrow. Good night!

And we did.  Despite all reason.  J 

On Friday, I was invited to go to the Harebrained Schemes Holiday party at K1 Go Karting place.  I had high hopes, but was very disappointed to find that as soon as I put the mask and helmet on, I got hella claustrophobic. I was able crack a small space to enable easier breathing, but overall, I didn’t have any need to win the race.  Some other guests got much more into the competitive nature of the race – including Nate and Zach who got *too* competitive to the point where everyone watching looked at Dawne and said, “I wouldn’t want to go home with those two.”  Lucky us!  After the KI portion of the evening, we all went to see the 2nd Hobbit movie.  Dawne and I hadn’t seen the first Hobbit, but Jordan did a synapsis of the three hour move in two sentences and we were good to go.  

The next morning, the plan had been for half the fam to go up to Steven’s Pass to go skiing, and then I was going to meet everyone on Sunday at Leavenworth with the pups.  However, the fam woke up beaten and bruised from the “fun” they had the night before on the track and couldn’t even consider a day at the slopes.  Instead, we all piled into the car and went straight to Leavenworth.  Oh wait! Before we did that, we sold the mini-quarter pipe that had been sitting in the garage.  Thanks Craigslist!

On our way up, we stopped at Safeway.
Dawne: We better pick up a magazine for the long trip.
Clerk: Oh! Where are you going?
Dawne: Leavenworth.
Clerk (calculating that it was only about a two hour drive from that point.): Where are you from?
Dawne: Bellevue.
Me: For us, that’s a serious road trip.  We’ve packed snacks and juice boxes to go to Renton (a 20 min drive.)

We stopped on our way to let the pups run around in the snow which was nice.  Now, last year, when the fam went to Leavenworth, they met up accidentally with Rach and Anders, who got engaged on that same day.  Naturally, when we saw them again this year, we all presented them cards to celebrate “Our” anniversary. :P  We tried to run into them, but Leavenworth was packed, like could hardly walk, packed.  Some people thought it was because of the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, but we all know the real reason, “Switchmas.”  I movie currently available on Netflix about a little Jewish boy that ends up in Christmas Town, AKA, Leavenworth.  I don’t want to ruin the soon to be classic for you, so I’ll leave it at that. Unless you do want it ruined, in which case here’s the trailer:

And… on Sunday, I finished Christmas shopping, did laundry, packed, and wrapped to a point where I was feeling gosh darn good with myself by the time Monday morning rolled around.  J

I hope are feeling great about your upcoming holidays! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mailing Stuff is Hard

Update 12/2 - 12/8

I put my Christmas cards in the mail Monday morning, and only made a couple of mess ups.  I am always weirdly excited about sending holiday cards.  Part of this is because I get to take pictures of Percy, partly because I get to watch Love Actually, and partly because I think sending things in the mail is just super fun.  Let me rephrase.  The idea of people receiving things in the mail is super fun, the part where we write addresses, stamp things, and then go to the post office, not as much fun.  There have been years where I made the cards. And there were years that I made the cards and then never put them in the mail.  This year, I bought cards, and then they arrived in two different sizes.  One size was perfect, the other was too small to hold my pictures.  Also, I couldn't decide on which picture, so I sent three which meant no matter what there was going to be extra postage.  Anyway, I ended up having to put the little cards into big envelopes, and it totally looked ghetto, and I'm sorry for the batch of you that got those cards.  Know that I could have just sent the little card alone, but then you'd be denied the cuteness that is my pup, and I can't do that to you during the holiday season.   As I said, mail is not my forte so not only did Pam get two cards, Julie and Kathi might never get theirs because sending anything to Germany is hard.  While writing out the cards, I asked Becky what her address was, and she started looking for her address labels to tell me.  I did the only logical thing. 

First, Laina has an 8ft tall glittery painting of Gene Simmons.  We received this text from her last week. Finally hanging Gene. We have a mattress on the stairs and I told Mo I have already dialed 911 and just need to hit send. I asked Mo if he would have to go back to Afghanistan if he broke his arm. Sort of made me want to remove the mattress from the stairs....

How did this get in there?

On Wednesday, I went to see Jimmy Fallon.  I was supposed to go with Laina, but she and Mo weren't willing to leave their love nest, so Becky joined.  When we got there, I though, "I'm not sure I can handle two hours of Jimmy Fallon."  I was so very pleasantly surprised to find that he was just hosting the evening and we got to listen to some seriously amusing comedians including Julian McCullough, Nate Bargatze, Nick Thune & Seth Herzog.

Zach tried to find us something to watch on TV. 
Zach: I thought this said unpopular shows and I thought they made a category for us!!
Sad but true.  We ended up watching Doctor Who. Zach told me I couldn't watch this particular show from the beginning because I didn't have time to catch up on 50 years.  I conceded, and just told him I had to at least get a feel for it so that my first watching wasn't the anniversary season.   We came to an agreement.   We have cherry picked the episodes (all Matt Smith) so that I would be prepared for the 50th anniversary episode... which I think we'll be watching tonight!

On Friday evening, I went down to the brown house to take a shower and get ready for bed.  It felt a little chilly, so I checked if the heat was on, and was surprised to see that the temperature was 45 degrees in the house.  I figured I could tough it out though, and climbed into bed.  After about an hour of shivering, whilst I tried to convince my body to get up and go up to the yellow house, I finally fell asleep.  Turns out, three large windows were taken out to make space for sliding glass windows.  That would explain the temperature drop, I guess. 

Lucas: You know what is a great song?
Me: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
Lucas: No, three blind mice by classical.

On Saturday, I went over to Pam’s and took pictures of the adorable snuggle bug that is Lucy.  Percy also got to play for a bit, which he super enjoyed.  Although, I don’t think Pam appreciated all of the fun “tricks” that he taught Lucy, like walking along the top of the couch or running behind the TV and other furniture.  We just love to help!

Later the same day, I met up with Elan, Kelly, D, J & L for the Urban Craft Uprising, followed by a coffee chat.  And on Sunday, I went over to Raymond’s for bit, and did some other stuff I can’t remember… and a little bit of Doctor Who and then the week was all done!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turkey for 44 to Go, Please.

Nala and Percy got groomed on Tuesday.  Percy looked awesome, but Nala, who has naturally curly hair, was kind of a poof ball.  Dawne usually blow dries her hair straight, but I guess we forgot to tell the guys at PetCo about that.  Days later, people were asking us if Nala was pregnant again.  Good thing Nala (at least) isn't vain.  Although, she didn’t seem too happy about the impromptu photo shoot that I included her in.

Text convo with my co-worker.
Tyler: Somebody stole your car and was driving like an old lady outta crossroads.
Me: I think that was me. I just got back from getting T-Day craft supplies.  We have to entertain 45 people.
Tyler: And clearly puzzles and Popsicle turkeys are the best route.  Imagine how epic Popsicle stick Indians would be!
Me: Maybe next year.
Tyler: But Michaels is still open!
Me: Oh, I have the popcicle sticks.  What kind of house do you think I live in!?  It's just not on the itinerary.
Tyler: YET!

Wednesday evening, Nater came home from Chicago, and we headed to Red Robin for dinner.
Nate: Good to see nothing has changed in the kitchen.
Lucas: What are you talking about? The glasses are bigger and now the menu looks like the Cheesecake Factory. 

When we got home, the power was out at the brown house, which meant we still had power in the yellow house so that tables could be set and I could get mac and cheese and sweet potatoes made.  Unfortunately, after we went to bed, the yellow house power went out as well.   Jordan tried moving foods to other locations to keep them cold.  When we awoke, the power was restored, but the turkey was all rotted out.  Jordan ran over to get two frozen turkeys, and we worked to get those defrosted and cooked in time. 

Jordan (after putting the Turkey's in the oven): You need to call Becky's husband Jared.
Me (worried about the turkey): Sure, why?
Jordan: He need to come change the clocks in here.

For lunch we ran over to McDonalds where Jordan asked the clerk if he could get turkey for 44 to go.  She was not amused.

At one point, Percy jumped up on the kitchen chair so that he could be a part of the action and also take a little snoozer.  Lucas, however, wanted to sit in this seat, so he began to spin the chair as fast as possible, until finally, Percy decided to vacate the seat.
Lucas: See, it was his own choice.

We had 44 people for Thanksgiving, and it was lovely.  I thought it was the easiest and most enjoyable one yet.  I got to sit at an awesome table with dear people, and I had zero stress.  We must be getting better at this. :)

Me: I don't know if anyone has mentioned, but we have a tradition in this house that the newbie has to say grace.
Newbie (AKA Sarah, girlfriend of guest.): There is nothing I would want to do less, than to say grace.
Jordan: Oh that's okay, you can sing it instead!

Newbie did NOT say grace, breaking the long standing tradition of putting our guests on the spot.  What a disappoint.

We played games over dessert, and got a surprise appearance from Diana and Jason.

Jason (referring to his pregnant wife): Did you see the Turkey that's ready to pop over there?
Jeff: I'm terribly uncomfortable right now. 
Jason: We're totally ready for game day!
Jeff: You know that there won't be a little button that pops out when it's fully cooked right?

Diana: I can't wait to have this kid so I can put my feet up and relax.
Me: Um... I'm not sure if that's how babies work.
Diana: I take that back.  She can stay in this neat packaging for as long as she needs.

After showing folks this adorable gallery of pictures of puppy and baby naps:

Nater: Shame the baby is so ugly.

The next morning, we were listening to some Christmas music, when a Peter, Paul and Mary song came on.
Dawne: This sounds depressing.
Me: You hold your tongue! This is Peter, Paul and Mary! Besides, they're talking about the birth of Christ.
Lucas: Was whatshisface the mid-wife in that situation?
Me: Do you mean, Joseph?
Lucas: Yeah! That guy.  But seriously, he was the only one around right?

Over breakfast at IHop, we were talking about movies.
Lucas: You know what movie was a ride?
Me: Mama Mia?
Lucas: Yes! That was as intense as Alien. 
I think Nate is still shaking his head over this comment.

Last week, after the Ugly Sweater Run, my co-worker Ryan, sympathized with Lucas' knee injury telling him that he too did the same thing to his knees, and they never really recovered.  He did offer some suggestions to ease the pain, but said he hadn't found a solution yet.  A week later...

Lucas: Have you ever feared that you might never to run again?
Me: Not really, though, I was a little worried when I hurt my ankle.
Lucas: Me neither, until I met your friend Ryan.
Nater: Actually, for me, that's a hope, not a fear.

Friday, I made homemade split pea soup, watched some terrible Netflix movies, and then celebrated the Sabbath with the fam followed by some Spades? With D, J & N.  On Saturday, Becky and Diana came over to write out Christmas cards.  It was just a coincidence that while the fam went to celebrate Hanukkah, I was sending cards with Jesus on the front of them.   This year, I couldn't decide on just one picture of Percy, so I sent three.  This required additional postage, but it was totally worth it.  Here's a couple of ones that I didn't send:

On Sunday, we went to our monthly brunch which was being held at Laina and Mo's house.  Laina had just received a shiny new engagement ring, and was showing it off to everyone.

Nate: I've never been so tempted to lift something off someone's finger.
Laina: You've just received an automatic invite to every event we ever have here.

Laina was purposely picking up things just so that you could see the ring.  Including this text

"Watching Mo play soccer."

Later that evening, we went to see Frozen with the whole fam, as Zach finally got some time off of work. 
Nate: I want to see a Disney ad budget.
Zach: In quarters. On my front porch.

The movie was a delight, though, I've been told that I am partial to the Disney Princess movies.  Just a lil bit.  :P

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

5K of Cheer!

Okay, so this actually happened this morning, but I’m sharing anyway.  J

My parents sent Dawne and the fam two cards, one for Thanksgiving and one for Hanukkah.

Dawne: They are so good to me.
Me: Aww, that’s so sweet of them to send you those… I didn’t get one.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been super negative and depressed.  I finally decided that it must be the medication that I started taking a couple of weeks ago.  When I told my co-worker, he looked up the medication.
Ryan: The side effects include depression but it doesn’t say anything about negativity or being a b*tch, so I think that might just be you.

Either way, I’m feeling a lot better. J

Let’s see, on Thursday, I did NOT going to the Xbox One launch party, b/c I was still on that medication, and didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer. On Friday, we celebrated the Sabbath, and then played Ticket to Ride for the first time.   I lost, and I had fun.  Weird.   Although, people have been telling me that Tsuro is like Ticket to Ride, and b/c I had never played I would just nod politely.  Now, I realize, that they were all on crack. 

On Saturday, I got some shopping done, watched some films, edited some college essays, all before heading over to a party at my boss’s house.   I didn’t stay out too late though, because I had to get up and do something awesome on Sunday. 

The Ugly Sweater Run

My Co-worker bought a shirt on the site that the Ugly Sweater Run recommended.  He thought it was a festive reindeer sweater, despite the “Threesome” title.  When he realized what he had planned on wearing (for photos to be sent to his grandmother), he was thoroughly embarrassed – especially because he got a matching sweater for his pup.   He wore it anyway. 

This run was for Toys for Tots, and was the main reason that I signed up.  The other reasons were that it was not a timed run, walking/jogging was encouraged, instead of Gatorade at the stops, there was hot cocoa, and you got free beer at the end of the race.  Pretty awesome.  Never-the-less, I almost completely forgot about the Toys for Tots part of the day and made Jordan turn the car around at the last minute.  We managed to pull out two huge bags of brand new games and toys out of our house in under 5 minutes.  Go Team!

Lucas: That Bellevue Academy looks more like a Costco than a school.  Like they are selling the kids wholesale.
Dawne: I can’t think of anything worse than keeping kids in big cardboard boxes.
Me: What are you talking about? Kids love hanging out in cardboard boxes!

Me: Oh man! I just looked right into the sun.
Lucas: Ouch! I had to do it after you.

We came home, hot tubbed, showered and then headed back out to Laina and Mo’s open house. Laina and Mo bought a house and then, the very next day after signing the paperwork, Mo was shipped out to Afghanistan.  He’s on a two week leave now, and upon entering his house for the first time (he’s been gone since June), he started leaving his stuff all over to annoy Laina.  I asked him how much he had packed for the trip and he told me, “I have a small bag that contains two pairs of underwear, two shirts, and a pair of pants, my iPad and The Thursday War (a Halo Novel).”  All the essentials!

When I came home, this little guy was on the dining room table waiting for me.  Such a little Stich. 

I hope you have a wonderful holiday tomorrow!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Update 11/11 - 11/18

There's nothing like having a good old fashioned religious conversation to get ready for the holidays!  Lucas kicked off the discussion.
Lucas: So Jews don't believe that Jesus was the Messiah.
Zach: Yes, Jews believe that he existed, we just don't believe he was the Messiah.
Lucas: What's it called when he's supposed to come back?
Me: The second coming?
Lucas: So if the Messiah shows up... then what?
Zach: Look, it's a two strike system and Christians already used one of their strikes.
Me: Or, we were SAVED!

Several days later we had a similar conversation about Heaven, and it ended about the same way. 

We've been jumping into the swing of the holiday movies, and are only days away from the holiday Pandora stations (really, I'm just waiting for the first gift that I wrap, though, I think I'll need it sooner.) 

Dr. Rach and her co-workers are participating in "Planksgiving."  Yes, every day, they all collectively plank and then increase the length of said planking throughout the month.  I salute their efforts, and am Thankful that my company is not enforcing this same exercise.

On Friday, we celebrated the one, the only, Shana Dueux.  Over some delicious food, wine and cake, we were taught by the lovely Nikki to paint.  There were two tables - my table was very into directions.  The other table was not.  This table also yelled to me several times "That needs to go into the Monday email!" but I didn't hear ANY of the incredibly hilarious, but mostly likely inappropriate, quips.  I did see Jen get up and do this, but I can't offer an explanation. 

Here was the final results of our creative efforts:

On Saturday, I had a tremendous headache, so I couldn't bring myself to go out.  I did however, watch a lot of Bomb Girls.  On Sunday, I got to go to Tyler and Amy's baby shower.  I have a pretty standard present that I like to give at baby showers, but that idea got completely thrown out the window when I saw that my favorite books we're on their registry.

It's also getting a little chilly out, so it was about time for Percy to try on his Sea Shepherd hoodie:

I also forgot to tell you that another one of the college app questions I heard from Lucas.
If you could cook something for the college admission board, what would you make?
Lucas: A seasonal slice of pumpkin pie with some hot lemonade.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Shana'll Punch You Out

Finally catching up, here is the update from 11/4-11/11.  Can you feel my relief from there?

This week was actually kind of rough, but mostly because I am an emotional being who doesn't like change.  So, I think I'll just skip that and run head first into the funny bits.  We went to IHOP for dinner, and on our way home this was the conversation I heard.

Lucas:  The Rolling Stones don't feel Bristish to me.  They feel American.
Zach: Haven't you ever heard of the British Invasion... Of 1812
Lucas: Rolling Stones are too good to be British.
Zach: The Beatles are British.
Lucas: Yeah, but they don't have the balls, I mean the rhythm.
Zach: Are you saying that the Beatles weren't very good at music?

Me: On Sunday, I'm going to go to Becky's Shabam class.
Dawne: I'll go, but I don't have very good rhythm.
Lucas: Seriously.  We were in Disney the other day, and she was clapping along on the off beat.
Dawne: I guess when I gave birth to you, you took all of my rhythm.
Lucas: I don't think that's how genetics work.
Dawne: I guess this is why I was so bad at trapeze.  It's hard to jump at the right time to catch the other person.
Lucas: Yeah, basically all you need is to not have the exact opposite rhythm.

Lucas, and consequently, the whole house was grounded this weekend to work on college applications.  

Lucas: I'm on house arrest.
Jordan from HK: Do your ankles chafe?

We decided the best course of action was to watch not-so-good/non-distracting movies all day.  One of these was the 2 1/2 + hour movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

Lucas: This is taking a long time to load it's like they could have mailed it to us.

Lucas: Heh a woman driver that's ridiculous.

Lucas: When does this take place?
Me: 1908.
Lucas: I didn't think they had sound back then.
Zach: They had sound back then, just not recorded sound.

We also started watching some Christmas films.

Zach: There can't be a Christmas movie without an eviction notice.

We stopped to make ourselves lunch, at which time Lucas continued to complain about the weekend plans.
Lucas: How come you didn't get into any schools, Zach?
Zach: I must have got in somewhere, I went to three colleges.

Lucas: Did you know that the most dangerous part of the house is the kitchen? I learned that from Tom and Jerry.

After the essays, there are also some hefty questionnaires.  A couple of Lucas answer's amused me. 

What is your guilty pleasure?
I don't have anything to prove.  Although some less, open-minded individuals might mock my love of Pauly Shore.

What is your most prized possession?
My "Gleaming the Cube" movie poster.

If you could be any animal, what would it be?
A Koala bear, as they too are picky eaters.  They go as far as licking each leaf to make sure it is edible.  

What is a talent you wish you possessed?
I wish I could talk or watch anything to do with the Apollo missions without tearing up. 

On Sunday, Shane and Cathy hosted the monthly brunch.  It was lovely, as always, even if there were some tears and Dawne ended up going home with a migraine.  We got caught up with everyone, which was grrreat! 

Matty:  Now that I'm working at home I have house plants for co-workers. I talk to them and water them, sometimes they die, sometimes I cry, but there are good days too.

Because 2 year old Fynn was talking about Nala, I asked him if he also remembered Percy.  He kinda just stared at me, which you know, is cool.  But then ten minutes later, he was telling everyone, "Percy is a dog." Yes, he is Fynn!

Last week, Shana took Dr. Rach's ticket for the sounders game.  Dr. Rach has tickets in an area that is normally very calm, where people sit and enjoy the game.  Not when Shana went though.  That day, there were a bunch of rowdy people in front of her, arguing an cursing and such.  Then, two guys in back of her started yelling and cursing, so she got up and told them to be quiet, that it wasn't their fight.  At which point, the one guy threw his full beer in her face.  Without thinking, and in perfect boxing form, she did a quick jabbing punch to his face.  While blood started to trickle down from his nose, his friend extended his half full beer in apology and surrender.  Shana declined the beverage. 

The rest of Sunday was pretty chill as Dawne was recovering, and Lucas had essays and projects to do.  We watched another Christmas film, and then I had dash to Gold's Gym where Becky was to teach her first Shebam class, and boy was she ready to dance!