• This is Halloween

    10.30.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    We had our annual Halloween event. We feel lucky because for years we were so alone on Halloween. We found ourselves driving long distances to trick or treat in neighborhoods where we knew people, where there were sidewalks… Where there was community. When we first moved up here we tried to join people, but it never seemed to work out! It was hard to meet up in the neighborhoods and find the right houses to trick or treat at. But last night I looked around at all of the people who we invited and who came over to trick or treat, eat chili, drink spirits and, eventually, trade candy with one another and I felt a sense of completion. Of community. I felt a sense of belonging that has been absent for a long time.

    We headed out around 5:30 with our horde of older children who RUN from house to house! They were all business as they dashed from one door to the next, and by 7:30 they were all sated and tuckered out, ready to head back to the house to chill out. My favorite part of the evening was definitely the after party. The kids laid around on the floor trading candy, adults imbibed and handed out treats to trick or treaters and we shared conversation until almost midnight. It felt almost Christmasy to me! :)

    Happy Halloween, indeed! I’m already excited for next year!

    For the record, I was miss Piggy last week and Olivia this week, Bradley was Mario, Jude was Luigi, Gigi was Aurora (from Maleficent) and my mom and dad were, simply, awesome! :)

  • Older and Older

    10.29.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    Mamas have birthdays too, it seems, and this past Wednesday I had mine. It followed late-night-conference-night, so to say I was a little worn out is an understatement! Bradley took the kids to skate night on the Tuesday night while I was conferencing and Jude fell down hard enough to break his arm. On my birthday our boys headed to the doctor to get a cast on and stopped by with lunch and roses on their way home. While I don’t want my boyo to have a broken bone, I also loved the benefit of a midday kiss from his little sweet mouth! (His break is a minor one, more of a crack right at his wrist and he only has to wear the splint for four weeks, but he does take the award for the only broken bone in our family!)
    After work I got lots of kisses and meal out at Veggie Grill. We came home to the best coconut cake in the world that I’ve waited over a year to make and eat, lots of snuggles, lots of love and the best bed ever. I mean, it’s always the best bed, but it’s worth noting, sometimes, how much I love my bed. LOL! Next month we will finish off my celebration with a Jordan Knight concert… A great way to turn 41!

    I was pretty sad that I didn’t make my personal weight goal of weighing in at under 200 by my birthday (I’m just chilling, forever, at 201.4) but I’m placating myself with the knowledge that at least I’m no longer obese! That is the best gift ever.
    If you want to follow my life as a big (weight) loser, go here: http://www.tamarashazam.com

  • 11

    10.20.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    Guinevere turned 11 this year. The funny thing is that I remember so much about being 11. 11 was when my memory turned on and life became a lot more concrete. Memory and life begins now as it’s starting to get recorded in sharpie instead of the revisionist version that’s all cloudy and foggy when you’re 10 and under. It’s strange to consider how old she is all of the sudden! She becoming a little woman, in her heart and everywhere else! She has grown three inches since the beginning of the school year!

    Guinevere was pretty solidly set on hosting her first-ever, boy-girl birthday party when our Papa Bear found a screaming deal online for another opportunity to use our Disney passes for her birthday. Of course, she jumped at the chance and our hearts sighed with relief that, at least for one more year, we could pretend she’s not almost a fully-grown person. Disneyland allowed her to let her little girl out and it was there that she dressed in her Belle dress, wore her Ariel shirt and dressed in rainbows and unicorns. We held her hand, carried her on our hip, let her sit on our laps and babied her like she was still little… Silly, but it was lovely to be our little family wandering the park with joy and whimsy in our hearts like not so long ago.

    We returned late at night on her birthday, then, two weeks later, she had a small sleepover with her friends. They giggled all night about boys, the upcoming skate night and sang as loud as they could to all their favorite songs. It was noisy and raucous; they were in heaven.

    It’s funny how I love to remember her when she was little, but the reality is that I just like HER. Any age she has been has been a wonderful adventure: from the times when she was toddler aged and we had to ‘Sing-ho, for the life of a bear’ to march her out of the park like Christopher Robin or as the girl who asks boys to skate with her during the couples only portion of skate night, I just think she is a neat kid. I LIKE her. I’m not sure why that surprises me so much, that this person I’ve raised and have been talking to and playing with for 11 years is rapidly turning into one of my very best friends, but it pleases me to no end. I’m loving who she has been and who she is becoming. Lately Bradley and I will be talking and there she is, contributing to our family inside jokes, creating her own and participating in adult conversations with important and relevant remarks. I ADORE her. Can I say it enough?

    Gigi grew up a lot this year. She established herself, at last, at her school. Her teacher was connected, artistic and full of love and appreciation for her fourth graders. Guinevere was loved from all sides and it was like fertilizer on her. I watched her grow into herself, becoming confident and secure with herself, for her desires and within her relationships. She made a solid group of good friends who all claim the term ‘adorkable’ applies to them as they like to obsess over Jack Skellington, my Little Pony and superheroes. While she has new friends, she still says that Jude is her best friend and she is his. She embraced running and started working out regularly, declaring that her goals in life are now to be a writer and personal trainer. She fell in love with the Twilight series and realized she loves romance novels as well as Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. Barbie still plays an active role in her imaginative world, but when she is not imagining their lives, she loves to play Animal Crossing, Minecraft and Tomagatchi Life on her electronic devices. She is a bright star, still, a hard worker in and out of school, receiving high marks and praise from anyone who gets to work with her. She is amazing.

    October has been busy, as it seems to be as time marches on, and I never made time to sit down and acknowledge her shift from a 10 to an 11, but it’s never to late to celebrate her. Happy birthday to my favorite little woman in existence. To the coolest girl I know. To the kindest, most funny, smartest, most artistic 11 year old I know. My heart lives on through her and I believe that I couldn’t have made a better vessel.

  • Celebrate Schools 5K

    10.04.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    Today we ran in a 5K that supports the school district I work in. You wouldn’t think it would be all that festive and fun to run a school district run, but you would be surprised. There are few runs that I can think of where I would know that many people. The whole time I’m running, I’m also greeting friends, former students and present ones too! I cried as I greeted some of my dearest, former, in-building colleagues. I hadn’t realized I missed them so! Today I spent the bulk of my run with Jude and a current student, while Bradley ran with our Gigi. We followed the event up with our traditional shopping adventure. It was a very good day!


  • 12

    09.27.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    Our nephew, Luke, turned 12 recently and asked for the best birthday gift- for our whole family to get together like we used to, before Mom and Dad moved to Idaho. Miracle against miracles, we did it and 100% of the Hansen clan got together. If was a fun day!





Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.