Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Thankful's

Everywhere you look people are doing lists of things that they are thankful for this time of year. Isn't it great to see people focusing on the good instead of airing their grievances publicly? I won't kid myself in thinking that I have the stamina to post something every day, as others have, but I would like to compile my personal list of things that make my world go round. We'll see how far I get, but I'm aiming for my top 20.

1. Numero Uno on my list has to be my hubby extroardinaire... Wade. People often comment on how great we are together. Of course I tend to agree but let me tell you why. It's because we've stared all the hard and crappy in the face and figured it out together. Every single obstacle we over come makes us stand that much higher above the crowd. I don't call my girlfriends, we don't run to mommy, we don't drag each other through the mud, we figure it out together. He is my rock, my soul mate, my lover, my best friend, my partner, the ying to my yang, my everything. This year is our 21st and I can't wait to see what we'll be doing on our 42nd!

2. Music. Seems silly I know but music is where I go when I need my mood altered or supported. I have always found great comfort in music. Life would be empty without it. Here's one of my favorites Kid Rock at a recent concert. Yes, even Kid has valuable things to say when you need him to. Ever heard his song 'F***ing 40'? That song got me through the last year. 

3. Friends. I have so many great friends that I love spending time with. Wade once told me that I have so many different groups of girlfriends that If I had one GNO (girls night out) with each group once a month, he would never see me! If you don't have a great group of girlfriends to laugh with, cry with, travel with, share happinesses and sorrows with, then you are truly missing out on one of god's greatest creations.

4. Travel. Does anything clear the head and make life seem worth living quite like a good trip? I shall travel until the day I die. Until my wheelchair, glaucoma meds, and insulin pump become just too cumbersome. Even then I'll probably hire someone (his name shall be Raul) to take me anyways!

5. Home. This humble little abode we have chosen to spend so many of our years in. It's not big enough, it has so many flaws, it needs more closet space, bathrooms are way too small, it needs a third car garage, the list is endless. We love it anyways. Its the place we have brought 2 baby boys home to. It's the place where siblings have had to move in when their lives are troubled. It's hosted numerous parties and gatherings. It lives and breathes around us and reminds us what family is. What in life is perfect and without flaws? We tried to get rid of it once and were quickly reminded that we are not in charge, and this is where we are meant to be.

6. My sister. Oh how I miss my sister. Nothing hurts quite like watching sisters be together on a regular basis because that's just what life is to them! Lucky ducks. My time with my sister is so few and far between. Because of that though, we make the very most of it. We don't take anything for granted. I will always consider my sister a little bright spot in my world, ready to embrace me.

7. It is so rare in this world to have parents that are still married. I'm one of the lucky ones. I am also lucky to live so close to them. Impromptu lunches brought to work by my Dad. Frequent shopping trips with my Mom. The school just called and someone's sick while I'm stuck at work, Mom to the rescue. Or maybe I made too many cookies and need to unload some on them. These are the moments that make living close to my parents fun.

8. (because he was born on the 8th)  I am thankful to have an eldest son that is such a good example as Luke is. He is smart, kind, hard working, silly when I make him be, thoughtful, level headed, and clean when I make him be. He gets great grades, has a job, pays his own bills, and has big plans for his future already in motion. My favorite thing about Luke is the little things he does, like bring me home a Frappe from McDonald's just because. (and no he doesn't ask me to reimburse him!)

9. You know how you have that one child that you butt heads with so bad they make you crazy? Then the next day you are best friends spending precious moments together? That's my Jake. A wise person once told me that we are like that because he is so much like me. I had to swallow my pride and admit they were right. This stubborn, opinionated, won't back down kid is just like me. He is also loyal, kind, hilarious, smart, the life of the party, and so many other things that I'm proud of. I can't wait to meet the Jake of 16. He's gonna be awesome!

10. My brothers. They are polar opposites.
 Justin is the nurturing, good old boy, generous, hard working type. He's been known to send a text first thing in the morning telling me he loves me and to have a good day. He welcomes everyone into his world, and puts a drink and some food in their hands. Once you know Justin, you are a part of his circle.
Josh is Type A (like me), stylish, thoughtful, creative, energetic. He will work on a gift for someone for months. He will obsess about details and not accept anything less than perfection. Josh has had plenty of obstacles in his world. I have no doubt he will traverse them successfully. He's a Reece... it's in our blood to overcome.
(I just realized I am the perfect combination of my brothers!)

11. My silly, goofy, introspective, intelligent, full of energy Zac. This kid is like adrenaline bottled up. He's the only kid I know who yells at people in his sleep. He has also been known to have light saber fights and wage wars with turtles in his sleep. Must be an interesting world he slips in to. Zac has had to overcome a lot in his little life. Bowel problems, learning difficulties, as well as a temper that comes naturally with the youngest of 3 boys. Don't think for one second you can push this kid around though. He is so determined to succeed I have no doubt life will be good to him.

That's all for today... stay tuned

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Here we go again Utes!

Our annual Ute away game trip was to Corvallis, OR a few weeks ago. We have always wanted to travel the Oregon-Washington coastline and this game was the perfect excuse! We began our trip in Portland, OR. That day we ate at a food cart in downtown Portland

Went to the famous Voo Doo Doughnuts for a maple bacon delicacy

went to Multnomah Falls and did a tiny bit of hiking

Absolutely fell in love with the moss lined trees. I could walk among them all day!

That night we picked our first spot to stay, a lodge type hotel called Heathman Lodge. We thought it was very timely to stay in a lodge while it was pouring rain outside. If it wasn't for the Mary Kay Convention being held there, it probably would have been quiet and quaint. Too many pink Cadillac's threw off the ambiance a bit. Oh well.

The next day was game day. We were about an hour north of Corvallis so we asked the locals how to spend the day. They said that we must travel 99W, otherwise known as 99 Wine Rd because it was 30 miles of wineries on both sides. Who knew? That's the great thing about traveling, you never know what you're going to learn about an area. The Willamette Valley is what we had stumbled on and since that trip I have run across several wines that come from there. We stopped at 4 or 5 wineries and did tastings. It was a beautiful area and so photogenic.

Off to the game we go! The town of Corvallis is a pure college town. It's a decent sized city, but they live and breathe for their Beaver football. There were several parking lots dedicated to tailgating, college kids crawling out of every bar and pub, Beaver signs lining every business window, and Beaver gear available for purchase everywhere! Love college football towns and the spirit and fun to be had in them. The game was drizzly and a disappointing loss but we always manage to have fun!

After the game that night we drove to the coast of Oregon to a little place called Newport. We stayed the night at the first hotel we spotted, a boring chain Holiday Inn. Didn't know what was there because we drove in so late, but we woke up to a little jewel of a town, with a darling marina area just waiting to be explored.

We spent the rest of that day driving the coast at our pace. No predetermined destinations, no planned reservations, just drive and stop when we want. A few of our favorites...

Yaquina State Park

Depoe Bay

Lincoln City

Tillamook Cheese & Ice Cream Factory ( I know we're nerds, but we were actually really hungry and needed to stretch our legs)

Oswald State Park (I still can't get over how beautiful this coastline was. It was well worth the 1300 miles we put on our rental car)

and finally Cannon Beach where we bedded down at the lovely Surfsand Resort

After a walk on the beach, a lovely dinner, and falling asleep to the sound of waves through our patio doors we were blissfully happy. It was a hard decision leaving the next morning. We actually considered finishing our stay right where we were. But the travel bug in me pushed us out the door and further north.

We drove a lot of miles that day trying to reach Seattle. We saw a lot of this...

And tons of this...

Oh and oodles of this...

And stopped in Olympia for kick a** pizza at a place Siri recommended called Old School Pizzeria. It was da bomb!

But we finally made it to Seattle. First stop... Pikes Place Market

And a quick visit to the first ever Starbucks for a take home mug

Dinner that night was at the one place I had to eat before we went home. 'The Crab Pot'... the place where they bib you, give you a mallet, and dump your steamed seafood in the middle of your table! Carnal...

We spent that night at the Sheraton in downtown Seattle. Wade and I joked on the way home that we covered all our bases in lodgings. A cabin, a chain hotel, a beach cottage, and a giant downtown highrise. The only thing missing was a little tent camping!

We didn't have a lot of time on our last day before having to head back towards Portland to catch our flight. We opted to do a quick tour of Safeco Field... Home of the Seattle Mariners. It was pretty dang cool. We learned a lot and saw some really cool things.


A last parting glance at the Seattle skyline and we were off towards home.

Another great trip with my hubs. Where will we jinx the team next year? Only time will tell.