• Halloween

    10.31.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Halloween

    When asked what they would like to do for Halloween this year, our kids requested that we lay low.  That we keep our trick or treats in the family this year.  I suppose there is wisdom in that- the years are briskly whipping by.  So fast that even the babies are remarking that it seems like we just started school yesterday.   Instead, Halloween came and went, and with it the potential of Gigi’s last trick or treat.  She knew it, we knew it.  So we did it big this year.

    Jude was Link, from Legend of Zelda, while Gigi wore the costume for Reese, the recycle maiden from her favorite game, animal crossing.  I was a last minute scarecrow for the costume carnival, but on Halloween night we were Pooh B ear and Tigger, just like we used to be when we first became a family.

    But this year we promised them that we would go for as long as it took to wear them out.  We didn’t need to head back to our house or think of anyone else this year.  This year it was all about them.  We started at 5:30 with our direct neighbors, and by 6:30 we had completed our entire street and we’re ready to head into the fun neighborhood where everyone from school trick or treats!  Arriving there was like a Speilburgian fantasy, straight from the 1980’s with kids running like mad through the streets.  It’s terribly fun.  We managed to run into Jude’s “secret crush” and several friends from both kid’s classes.

    After that, both kids said they were tuckered.  But we promised an epic night of begging trick or treating, and by golly they were going to get one!  We headed to the third, and final, neighborhood.  Those people were over trick or treaters, it was 8:00, after all, so they dumped their candy into our kid’s bags and turned off their lights.  We headed home at last to survey the damage, and it’s pretty safe to say that we did epically well.  This was a year for the record books! 

    Update: one week later and most of the candy is still left.  Neither Bradley nor I have eaten any of it and the kids are treating it like a rare, natural resource that is hard to come by.  I suppose that’s true of our house, these days.  😉


  • Twelve

    10.13.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Twelve

      I knew going into this parenthood thing that they were going to get bigger, they were going to get older, smarter, more interesting, funnier, more challenging, and everything, but every once in a while I get gob-smacked in the face with what an amazing ride this is.  That little tiny girl who I carried in my belly for almost a year is nearly as tall as me, now, can do math that is harder than I know how to do and reads books that enjoy…  She’s bright, smart and one of the best people I know, inside and out.  It’s trite and cliche, but so true.  My babies are my greatest blessing, and this girl who I get to share blood with is such a gift. 

     {What 12 year old wouldn’t want a pink wig for her birthday?}

    She really grew up this year.  The change isn’t just physical, because she has grown over three inches, her maturity shows in her interests and humor now, as well.  Shows and movies that seemed wildly inappropriate just a year or two ago are becoming events that she and I enjoy together anymore.  Gigi and I love to snuggle up under a blanket to watch Gilmore Girls, Buffy and movies from my own tweenagerhood.  Romantic comedies are becoming more fun and less awkward, and as Harry Potter grows up and romance enters his world, she is all eyes and ears as she burns through a JK Rowling novel per week since school has started!  She is such a reader!


    I’m still impressed with her kindness and patience.  She and Jude still profess true love for one another, committing to being BFF’s for life.  As their mom, I couldn’t be happier at that prospect!  Outside of her bro, Gigi will aquiesce to a hang out play date with her girls, Sophie and Kaylee, from time to time.  She runs like the wind in her school track team and actually won first place in our most recent 5K!  She is so amazing.

    We feel lucky to have this girl.  All day long I was shocked to realize how old she is, and reflexively, how old we are, too!  The funny thing is that I would never go back at any time.  While I’m not chomping at the bit to see her driving or him going to college, I’m really happy to keep in watching this story.  The story started with our parents, got handed on to us, and now it’s interesting to be setting the next generation aloft.  It’s a marvelous feeling, the pride I feel when I look at them and know that I’m putting my best out into the world.  With the both of them as our representatives for our family, I feel nothing but pride. 

    Indeed, today is her day.  But in the bigger picture, it’s also e day to celebrate the Lj legacy.  This is the day when Bradley and I started our lives in earnest, 12 short years ago.  This is when our greatest work and contribution started.  She is our seed, the one who started our family, and she has grown beautifully, smartly and with a kindness, selflessness and generosity that leaves me in awe.  Happy birthday, baby.  Thank you for picking us, for letting us love and coach you.  You are so loved- SO LOVED.  

    You’ll know what I mean when you have your own kid.❤️ 

  • My Incredible Family

    10.03.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on My Incredible Family

      Today was a red letter day, and I got to spend it with three of the most wonderful people in ever.  We had an early rise and shine sine we had our third annual Celebrate Schools 5K.  The first year we did it, it wasn’t that big of a thing and we weren’t that big of runners.  Over the years the event has grown by leaps and bounds as has my family’s fitness!

    First off, this little runner bean of a girl got FIRST PLACE for her division!  FIRST PLACE!  She’s been training up with her girlfriends for cross country and does a few runs with Bradley and I here and there, and her practice really showed today.  Bradley and I were both SO impressed and had a super proud-parent moment.  That girl.  Will she ever cease to amaze us?

    My foxy husband managed to place 14th in his division.  He focused on running with Gigi until she took off like a shot at the last turn, then he shot off as well, and Jude and I had the good fortune to have them both at the finish line when we crossed.

    Jude’s goal was to run the entire time.  He walked the first 5K two years ago, ran half of it last year, then last spring he allllmost ran the entire color run.  Allllllllmost.  He wanted to run this one.  Jude hit his wall just before we hit the turn around.  He wanted to stop, he had a cramp, he was tired, he was DONE.  But we talked about goals and how good it feels to meet them.  We talked about pride and accomplishment.  Then we came around the bend and started seeing people we knew- and they were waving at us!  At him!  And people who we didn’t know were standing on the side of the road giving fives and cheering people on!  It was he picked up steam to the point where I couldn’t keep up with him as he passed Michael’s, the bus barn and 24 Hour Fitness with alarming speed.  I finally booked it and caught up to him, but he sprinted ahead over the finish line.  I couldn’t have been more proud.

    I went on a self-style biathalon.  I ran an easy 5K this morning with Jude.  We finished in 38 minutes with miles averaging in the 12’s.  We were pretty slow because I knew that at 11:00 I was taking part in the innagural Base2Space climb to the top of the Space Needle to benefit the Fred Hutch Research Foundation.  Yep, after running three miles this morning, I topped it off with climbing 58 flights of stairs in 13 minutes!  It was a euphoric moment, reaching the top with my two girlfriends.  I wrote the names of all the people I know who have passed from cancer, are presently battling cancer or who are people in the cancer community who are related to the people who donated the nearly 600 on my behalf.  I’m pretty proud of my day, my family’s day. 


  • Moments

    09.30.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Moments

    Love reveals itself in the most mundane ways.
    Like when you open your lunch to discover that your husband packed the piece of pizza that you didn’t pick all of the pineapple, olives and (veggie) ham off of last night, leaving him with a naked, used pizza slice.

    Or when you’ve spent the last two hours listening to most of the New Kids on the Block oeuvre and you mention that of all the albums, THIS one is your favorite and he agrees that it is his favorite too.
    Or, better yet, when he picks the NKOTB album up from the library, he previews it and chooses a few songs to point out to you, even though he is not and never has been a fan of these people.

    Or that moment when you notice your favorite, coziest pajamas all laid out on the bed for you when you get home from work.
    Or realizing that, despite the fact that you drive your gas-filled, immaculate car to work almost every day, you haven’t filled the gas tank or washed the car in over two months.

    Or finding notes in your lunch every day that recall favorite moments or share sweet nothings in otherwise separate moments of the day.

    Or figuring out that despite having walked the dog, the boy, worked out on the elliptical, lifted weights and walked the kids back and forth to school several times, he still runs a few miles with you too.
    Or, better yet, he says he prefers to run with you because you go slower and he gets a better fat burn.
    Or when he says you never snore or pass gas in your sleep. And when you do, it’s just a sweet little baby snore or toot, even though the kids rabidly dispute this.

    Or enjoying the picture of the babies that true love created every single day as they hug one another goodbye for the day. That he understands how important it is to be included in this small daily moment is tremendous.
    Or when he lets you watch the entire series of Friends over and over on a loop because it calms you down when you get overly anxious.

    Or how he lets you wake him up in the middle of the night for anything anytime and he never gets mad at you, even when his own insomnia kept him up until just minutes before you woke him.
    Or how he changes his clothes when his outfit clashes with yours.

    Or like when you’re staring at the kids all teary and he comes up and stares at them with you, and together you marvel at these two little people who exist only because you loved one another.
    Or how you never doubt for a moment that he loves you with his entirety every moment of every day because he lives with such resolve in his love for you that you can finally be free and vulnerable and safe with him, the only person, ever.


  • Musical Mother’s Day

    05.10.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Musical Mother’s Day

    I happened to get one song stuck in my head yesterday which lead me down a YouTube rabbit hole of my childhood in music, with my parents as the deejays. It was a good time for music, the seventies and eighties. Mostly because that’s when I was alive and open to the world, but man, I love these songs!

    I knew every word to this song. Every. Word. And I could even do Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand’s pitch to accompany this number. Still can’t sing it without doing that! I hadn’t listened to this song since I was a kid and it instantly took me back to sitting on my shag green rug in my bedroom. It’s amazing how music can awaken so much with it’s background sound suggestions. I’m not terribly ashamed to admit that I cried a little. :)

    I loved this song! Again, I could sing Dolly and Kenny’s voices and did often. Enough so a friend of mine once asked me to sing it at her wedding. I politely declined.

    My mom was a huge Julio Iglesias fan. This was played often in my house, and I often wondered about the greater implication of ‘all the girls’ they’ve ‘loved before, who traveled in and out my door…” Creepers? But still, a sweet song.

    Whenever I heard this song playing it was because my dad was trying to patch a rough spot. Usually it was because he let a swear word out in front of the kids that we weren’t supposed to hear. My dad would slyly slip over to the record player and before we knew it our house would be filled with the sultry sounds of Joe Cocker’s buttery voice.
    (Irony, people.)

    And then there was the summer before my eighth grade year where everyone in my family learned each and every song of Dire Straight’s Money For Nothing album and Whitney Houston’s first album. To be fair, I loved them both and they make me think of a lovely summer in our family boat, cruising Puget Sound, Vancouver Island and Desolation Sound and all the islands around. It was the first summer I ever got hit on by a boy, a trip I will never forget and the accompanying soundtrack is ever in my loop.

    Photo credits go to Hannah Elvrum
    I know what my own kids will share when they are 41 and reminiscing about the music from their parental-chosen, childhood soundtrack. The short list will have The Decemberists, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Death Cab For Cutie, The Vaccines, Monsters and Men and, of course, my latest obsession with New Kids on the Block- all of their songs since they’ve been on repeat in my car for a year or so. But before that we inundated them with the other stuff. Bradley is less defined since he rapidly jumps from band to band, lighting on one or two bands for 2-3 months then moving quickly on.

    We do this to our children and, in a way, it keeps us ever connected to those magical childhood moments as it shows us time and again how it can whisk us away to another time and place. I’m grateful to my own mom and dad for filling our house up with love, laughter and music. Cheers for a Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s hoping the music in your life is filling your family up as well.



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.

A long time ago…