Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The curse of the Pacific Northwest

Being from the Pacific Northwest, we love our sunny days.  It is beautiful here, there is no doubt.  Water, mountains, hikes....God's creation.

Being from the Pacific Northwest, on sunny days over 75 and my kids melt.  They get "sooooo hot".  They "can't walk another step".  They get "tiiiiiied" (tired), as Amanda would say.  It really is kinda pathetic, but there are days I understand where they are coming from.

It is a strange dichotomy, because I feel as though being a good mom requires me being outside on a sunny day in the Northwest, no matter the protest on my kids lips.  On the other hand....it is summer, we are tired from running around, staying up late and doing all the summer stuff.  And well, some days I do want to lay inside, in front of the fan, on the floor, doing nothing.  To not be at a park, in the water, on a bike ride, picking berries and not be drying my hands out with the never ending sunscreen application process (my kids are whiter than white).   Today a good friend of mine told me she told her kids they could watch a show on her computer, "but only if you do it outside" and I'm thinking..."you're brilliant."  This is what the Pacific Northwest does to you.  I see the sunshine and I am pushing my kids out the door. 

Now, I am relatively sure the mom who was in front of the fan loving on her kids was a better one than the mom yelling about water squirter rules and confiscating toys left and right from the kids who were forced outside.  But staying inside seems somehow wrong.  Guilt.  Indoor remorse.   It could be a curse of the Pacific Northwest, but I am more inclined to believe it's me trying to be who I am not and trying to make my kids into something they are not. 

We need rest.  Sometimes, the fan is good.  A good book on a cool couch, with the sun coming through the window is okay.  A picnic inside on a blanket, with the light of the day shining on our indoor teacups is lovely.  A little break from sunscreen is healthy (I could do a whole post on my pure hatred of sunscreen application, but I have chosen to not fuel the hatred in writing about it). 

I never really thought much about being from Washington, other than I love it here.  I haven't thought it affected me, but in this, I have noticed I have distinct PNW issues.  However, I am breaking the bondage and I am reconciling myself that I need not take advantage of every sunny day.  Traitorous, though it feels, I believe I will actually be more like the "good mom" I want to be. 


Sunday, August 4, 2013


It's been awhile....
This summer has been running from one adventure to another.  Brief summaries:

Yellowstone road trip highlights include:
the boys becoming Jr. Rangers (Brayden took this very seriously), Amanda's amazing fit at the painted pots being caught on film (seriously, this is the kind of thing you stand in awe of and later say you wish you had caught it...super embarrassing, yes.  However, I think we will laugh at this in years to come - dad's still not there yet) , following a buffalo who wouldn't get off the road for over 45 minutes (apparently "traffic" looks different in Wyoming), visiting Missoula (visiting the ER there, not so much, but the city itself was fine), watching my boys play "chest" as Gavin calls it (chess), the small town parade and fireworks from our balcony, the 15 hour car drive home...though not a highlight, definitely something I am proud the family survived.

Camping at Lake Wenatchee:  with our friends the Eicherts and my family up the road a ways, it was perfect weather, great company and we got to use our brand new tent.  It really was one of the smoothest and relaxing camping trips we've had yet as a family of five.

Bellingham trip to celebrate the 10 year anniversary:  3 nights no kids!  Wahoo!!!!  We ate, we slept and we got to hang out together, just us!!!  So fun.  Great news is that we still have fun together and love to laugh.  Ten years of practicing awesome.

Trip to Seabrook with the family:  My parents rented a house for my sister's and our family.  SO great!  One of those trips that the kids talk about over and over and you look at just knowing they will remember the time...the hammock, the beach, the pool, the putt putt golf, the ice cream, the bumper boats, the smores, the bike rides and the super cool beds built into the walls for each of the kids.  Not to mention, good food, good wine and an amazing family.

And...we're back.  I feel a tad overwhelmed with the e-vites, "back to school" stuff and various projects that seem to be lurking around every corner, but I am ever thankful for the time as a family and the privileges it is to have had so many opportunities this July. 

It has been a challenge to try and remind the kids that they are beyond blessed to have had these chances.  That this isn't a normal summer and they need to be grateful instead of entitled.  I am looking for ways to instill and build this in them.  WOW!  It is hard. 

But still I wouldn't trade it.  I am definitely grateful for the time.  So very blessed.