Archive for the 'Random Thoughts' Category

Hearing Her Voice

My husband and I have done trips without Claire in the past. The grandparents have graciously dropped everything in their (albeit retired) lives and come to stay with her, handling school and activities in our absence. The longest trip we took was 2-weeks in Hawaii. Every day, we’d call and talk to her. Correction: Every day, we’d call and they’d MAKE her talk to us. She didn’t really miss us. Not really.

I’ll never forget the day we raced around the island (we’d gone exploring in the boonies) to reach a spot where we had cell service so that we could call her for bedtime, and we stood on tippy toe, holding the phone just right to have enough bars, and she didn’t even really want to talk to us. 😀

This week, Claire has been in Outdoor Lab, and I haven’t missed her. Not really. I know she’s in great hands, and she needs this time to stretch her wings. I’ve relished my new schedule. The lack of early morning alarms means I don’t have as many stellar sunrise photos, but I’ve adjusted. 😉

What I realized today is that I miss hearing her voice. I can’t wait to hear about all her adventures. I’m glad she’s been cut off from us, but I’m starting to feel the tug on my heart.

What a great experience this has been. (…and I don’t even have the details yet!)

😀 ♥

Just another sunrise

…ho hum.

So boring.

*yawn*

😉

Early Morning Hikes

Well, good morning to you, too!

Before school started for the year, Claire asked me if it would be possible to get in our morning hikes before school. More than anything, this is what she said she was going to miss when school started. (This summer, we’d started a habit of hiking in the mornings, and we both love it.)

I wasn’t sure how this would go with our morning routine, but we decided to give it a go. It’s been amazing. We’ve worked it out to where we walk down to the lake and around to a certain spot and then back. It’s about a mile roundtrip, which is just a perfect way to get the day started. It helps us re-center and works as a great attitude adjustment. It’s empowering, invigorating, and we’re not so harried in the mornings because of it.

Perfection!

Sunrise Collage from 8.22.17

Selfie with Supergirl! (picture taking today.)

General Blog Housekeeping

This summer has not only been about hiking and relaxing, it’s been about updating things on the website, too!

If you look back at April, you’ll see a post I just added about Claire’s Art Show Piece.

Another post is from our trip to Tucson for Spring Break in March!

 

 

Knowing what I know is coming

Normally, I love Facebook’s “on this day” feature. I love looking at posts from over the years and the reminders of fun adventures, full-on belly laughs, and milestones. Today, though, knowing what I know is coming makes me sad. It’s reminding me of pictures and fun times we had with my mom last year, on this day, the day before my sister’s world came crashing down, the day before we lost our nephew Trenton, the day before I got the most horrible call ever.

…A call I still can’t think about without crying.

Look! There we are with Grandma at the railroad and mine! Look! There we are with Grandma on our hike!

Look! Look at our happy faces! There we are! …And we have no idea what is about to happen.

Look.
Maybe I don’t want to look.
Maybe I should.
I don’t know.
…and that’s okay.

Time marches on with an audacity that breaks my heart, but thankfully it does so whether we want it to or not, because right now, my heart can’t be trusted to make those decisions.

A Simple Solution

A couple days ago, I posted this picture on Instagram with this question:

How do YOU deal with this design without going completely crazy. Asking for a friend... #shiftyglance

How do YOU deal with this design without going completely crazy. Asking for a friend… #shiftyglance

As I found out, I wasn’t alone. Other have struggled with this cap design, too. While pondering this goopy mess last night, it hit me. I had a CRAZY idea, and tried it, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner:

You just screw the cap off and bypass the goop completely!

You just screw the cap off and bypass the goop completely!

(By the way, I always clip the bottom of the toothpaste tube. Figuring out that step eons ago was the first step back from the edge for me…)

I would tell you how much calmness this simple solution has brought into my life, but you’d probably laugh at me, so I’ll keep that to myself. 😉

Grief

We’re home from the hardest trip we’ve ever had to make. It was a whirlwind trip, and all of the days are a blur. What day is today? Thursday?

As you may know, my nephew was killed in a car accident, and we made an emergency trip back to Iowa. Grandma was out here with us (on her WONDERFUL vacation!) when this happened, so we did what we could to get moving in a different direction. We got her back to the airport a day earlier than anticipated, and then we started our own 11+ hour roadtrip.

Sunday afternoon, for almost 4 hours, we greeted over 400 people, most of which waited 1.5 hours in line to cry with us. (If you were there in person, thank you. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.) I didn’t think it was possible to cry so hard for so long, and yet the tears still come. Sunday night was spent out at my sister’s reminiscing and laughing at old stories, even though our hearts were broken.

I thought Sunday was the hardest day, until Monday got here. I’ve heard estimates of 500 people at the funeral service, but we were so overcome with grief to even fathom a guess. The procession to Our Silent City in Kellogg was long, and the reverence paid to our procession line, by everyone stopping along the highway was amazing. The internment, followed by the balloons lifting on the breeze? No words.

The luncheon was another place to reconnect with people I’d not seen in years. If there’s a silver lining it’s that I got to see SO MANY PEOPLE, AND my favorite Great Aunt who is just shy of 102! Yes, really. She doesn’t look a day over 80 if you ask me.

Thank you to everyone who has shown support to my sister’s family and to all of us. Our lives will never be the same, but time has a way of marching forward whether or not we’re ready.

The High School added Trenton's Football Jersey number (52) to the statue out front. This is a shot of it during the day.

The High School added Trenton’s Football Jersey number (52) to the statue out front. This is a shot of it during the day.

And this is a shot of the memorial at night, with the red lights.

And this is a shot of the memorial at night, with the red lights.

This has hit Claire pretty hard. She added clover and peonies to the roses from the casket. She thought Trenton would get a kick out of that.

This has hit Claire pretty hard. She added clover and peonies to the roses from the casket. She thought Trenton would get a kick out of that.

We placed this flowers here in honor of Trenton. This dirt road continues from the gravel intersection where the accident happened.

These flowers were at the funeral, and we placed them here in honor of Trenton. This dirt road continues from the gravel intersection where the accident happened, and you can see the sunset. Hours upon hours of my childhood were spent here, and it’s with great sadness that we returned.

Note: Because I have my own child’s grief to help manage, we were able to do some “fun” things while on this impromptu trip. Over the next few days, I’ll be posting pictures. In the meantime, you can see a sneak peek here: ThisJoAnn on Instagram.

The Pothole Saga

Photo from 4.22.16

Photo from 4.22.16

“Hey, we gotta do somethin’ about the pothole at the Post Office.”
“Nah, there’s no rush. It’s been handled.”

Photo from 5.20.16

Photo from 5.20.16

“It’s been a few weeks. Have you done anything with that pothole at the Post Office?”
“Yep. The flag in the pylon kept falling over, so we taped it.”
“Good work!”

Edited to add: They fixed the pothole at the end of May! Now where are we going to go swimming?! 😉

Spring Selfie

April is almost over, and May is just around the corner! This is a busy time at school, etc., so, posting will be light!

Selfies 4.22.16

Stay tuned for more adventures!

From Shoe Chef to Sous Chef

When Claire was really little (3, I think?) she’d get so excited to help Daddy in the kitchen. (I do the cooking during the week, and he loves to cook on the weekends.) One time, she said, “Momma! Daddy said I get to be the SHOE CHEF!” I’ll never forget that moment. Tonight, the Sous Chef and Chef were hard at work for tonight’s meal. To her, this is just the way things are supposed to be. I love it.

She doesn't even need to stand on a chair to cut things anymore! *sniffle*

She doesn’t even need to stand on a chair to cut things anymore! *sniffle*

…OSHA is happy about that. 😀