Thursday, August 21, 2014

At Grandpa & Gretchen's

Well, we are officially in the school routine now. I think Eric is the only one still feeling a little bit off, as he adjusts to teaching blocks this year. The kids already have their internal alarm clocks adjusted and on Wednesday morning, they were both up 15 minutes before my alarm went off.

They are both really enjoying school so far this year, and Eric and I were just remembering how tough the beginning of school was last year for all of us with Cade at Crada. Even a couple of weeks into it, he just didn't seem to like school, and I worried that would always be the case, but he is loving Kindergarten!

On Monday, his teacher called just to tell me how impressed she is with him and what a great reader he is. As a teacher, I think to myself that with the big push on communication the school has this year, she is probably calling every parent. But as a parent, I was very proud of my little boy, especially when she said she asked the class if anyone could read the directions on the board (assuming that they couldn't), and Cade started reading them! If we're honest, I think Eric and I are a little worried that Cade won't be challenged this year and may get bored, but that just means that we have to be a little more diligent at home...and of course, work on the dreaded penmanship!

Kennedy has also had a great start to the school year. Last year, she had a rough couple of days at the beginning, which was mostly due to slippery, new school shoes that caused her to fall in the hallways [insert mom guilt here]. This year, not only is she really excited about her new teacher, but she has already developed a close relationship with one of the new staff kids who is in her class. Her parents also work in the middle school, so they're in close proximity after school, too. After last year when the middle school staff kids were mostly boys, I think she's relieved to have a girl around!

This week has brought gray and rain, but with that has come slightly cooler temperatures, which is nice. I've actually been able to function without air conditioning the majority of the day. But, the rain has prevented me from leaving the house much. Last week, I had plans every single day, but this week any plans that I had were cancelled because of the rain, and as a result I've barely left the house. Not my usual M.O., but it's working for me.

My photography class began this week, so that has been keeping me busy. I'm working on learning manual mode--a task I've attempted independently in the past, but it was too easy to just give up when it got hard. I'm learning a lot, but I'm also learning how much I don't know and am frustrated by my results much of the time. I suppose that's an important part of the learning process, though.

I can promise that while I have been taking pictures daily, you are not going to want to see the 800 pictures of Kennedy's dolls I have taken as I practice exposing for different skin tones in different light! So, instead I'm sharing more pictures from our summer, though they do emphasize another frustration I have with photography--handing off the camera.

After Evan and Jen headed back home, we headed north again. Well, actually, after a long day for me that began with a bridal shower and then a Carlson family party, Kennedy and I headed north for my aunt's birthday party to see my family. It's always hard to split time between families and to try to fit everyone in, so sometimes we have to split up or make tough decisions, always knowing that someone's feelings are going to be hurt.

The following day, Eric and Cade met us at my aunt's house where we were able to get together with more of my family to celebrate my grandpa's birthday. After that, we headed up to my dad's. We spent a lot of time just relaxing. Okay, I spent a lot of time relaxing while everyone else painted the shop and the outbuildings they have on their property.

The kids spent a lot of time running around outside with their cousins--something I'd been dreaming about for months! We ate lots of good food and re-connected with some of my old friends. We celebrated the 4th of July with a crab feast that my dad and Gretchen worked hard for, but I think it was worth it to them! Kennedy spent the evening cracking crab for her brother and grandpa, and they were both in heaven!

We talked about going on a lot of little hikes, but time kept escaping us, so we only ended up going on this one up the Oyster Dome. Strangely, it's less than ten minutes from my dad's house, and yet I had never done this hike. Not so strangely, I was not able to complete it this time.

With an almost 2,000 foot elevation gain in about 3 miles, my 6-month pregnant body wasn't up for the challenge, so after a slow first mile, the girls decided to turn around and get some lunch while the boys continued up. So, Eric took these pictures, and Auto worked better for him on this trip than on the hike he went on a couple of weeks later.

When my dad headed back to Alaska after a short three week overlap, we headed south again, back to Eric's mom's house. This was the last sunset out in farm country, and considering this is really the only place we see the sun set all year long, it made it hard for me to leave. But there was still more summer to be had and eventually I'll get around to posting it. Right now, I have to finish getting ready to head to the Back to School picnic that Cade has been waiting for all week!


  1. I don't blame you for not making it up Oyster Dome! That hike is HARD! :)

    1. I know, right? I heard that Cade got a lot of accolades for making it to the top, so that made me feel better. Even if my 5-year-old made it, and I didn't. ;)


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