Monday, October 15, 2012

Scaredy Cat

Growing up, I was always the kid who was too afraid.  Too afraid to jump off the high dive, too afraid to ride my bike to the shaved ice shack.  I couldn’t help it!  I didn’t want this scarlet letter.  There really was no doubt about it - I was a scaredy cat.

When Jake was born, I remember thinking, “Jacob will be brave.  Jacob will be bold.  The curse of the scaredy cat ends with me!”  And so I’ve endeavored to give Jake a more exciting childhood than I had.  We could climb higher on the playground equipment than we were comfortable with.  Jump into swimming pools that seem rather deep, actually, now that we get a good look at them.  Oh yes, there would be adventure.  Adventure indeed.

In all honesty though, the kid’s made it easy on me.

So with this adventurous spirit, off our little clan went to a local geological attraction, Craters of the Moon National Park.  This trip was right up Jake’s alley - he is absolutely crazy about rocks.  Rarely do we go anywhere and not come back with at least one rock.  It’s gotten to the point where I find myself eye balling rocks when I’m by myself because I think Jake might like the shape of it.  The collection has grown so large that it’s overflowed the egg carton containers in which they originally resided and can now be found on my desk at work, on top of our refrigerator, on the bathroom countertop, on the window sill...  You get the idea.  For weeks before we’d talked about what kind of rocks we would see.  Words like pahoehoe and spatter cone were thrown around in our house with abandon.  We were as good as geologists when we piled into our car Saturday morning and headed off.

The drive was picture perfect and we made great time.  I was grateful for the modern miracle that is cruise control.  We arrived just in time to take a quick stroll around the visitor’s center and have some sandwiches before our cave walk started.  Ranger Gray led us through a winding trail of ups and downs that taught us all about life, in all it’s shapes and sizes, in the Park.  At last though, the moment had arrived!  She led us down into Indian Caves and we began exploring.  Jake put his head lamp to good use and investigated the cave’s nooks and crannies.  Our little spelunker lead the charge and ventured into lava tubes and onto piles of boulders, fallen from the ceiling.  When we emerged into the sun, it was decided we’d spent enough time underground.  Next stop:  Inferno Cinder Cone!  Standing approximately 10,000 feet tall (Or thereabouts.  It felt that tall on the walk up.), Inferno Cinder Cone is a steep hill of rocky debris that collects around a volcanic vent.  We enjoyed some seriously breath-taking panoramas, nearly took flight because of the wind and took some memorable photos.

Our last stop was the visitor’s center where Jake was sworn in as an official Craters of the Moon Lunar Ranger.  He took a solemn oath to take care of Craters of the Moon and other special places on the Earth, to always listen to his parents, pick up his toys and eat his vegetables.  He accepted his patch and donned the honorary astronaut’s helmet with well-deserved pride.  With that, we were back on our way home.

Adventure is a funny thing.  To one person, base-diving is a cheap thrill that gradually becomes mundane.  To another, all it takes to get the heart rate going is an afternoon drive and a day trip.  Whatever flavor adventure you choose, just make sure you adventure with people you love.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Memorial Day
I walked by some iris's a couple of weeks ago and had a sudden intense wave of emotion.  For as long as I can remember Memorial Day meant cleaning my Grandmother's grave and after my Grandfather passed, his as well.  It also meant bringing iris's and other flowers from our garden to decorate the graves.  This is why I had an intense wave of grief wash over me when I walked by some iris's the other day.  I guess I will forever associate them with this time of year and with grieving the relationship I will never have with my Grandparents.

 This Memorial Day was the first one since Adam's grandfather passed away in the fall.  We hiked up the huge hill at the Veteran's Cemetery to visit the Scattering Garden and found his marker on the hill.
I wish for their relationship to always be this simple.
Moose being patriotic

Monday, May 28, 2012

three things i learned about life while playing mini golf

My dad started playing golf about a year ago.  Ever since, he's been very gingerly and very patiently trying to coax me out onto the course with him.  Two weeks ago I decided to give it a shot.  We hit a bucket of balls than joined his brother from my first round of golf.  I found it mind-numbingly frustrating really enjoyable!  When we got home, Jake was abuzz with questions and put out that he was left at behind.  And so it was decided that at the very next opportunity we would go play a game of golf that was more up Jake's alley - mini golf!

Now, dear reader, you might be thinking - "How are deep and meaningful life lessons to be learned from a game of mini golf?"  A fair question, I'll give you that.  And, I admit, it might be a stretch.  But I've been accused in the past of being a thoughtful person - sometimes too thoughtful.  As in, "Adam, there's no way a sane person would think about X," or "How in the world did you put Y and Z together to get that?"  To that, I unabashedly say:  No comment.  

What follows are some thoughts I had about life as I watched my son play a game of miniature golf.

1.  Slow.  Down.

You will never sink a putt you rush.

"Life moves pretty fast.  If
you don't stop to look
around once and awhile, you
 could miss it."  - The Great
Sage, Ferris Bueller
If I had a nickel for every time I heard one of my parents or Jetta or whoever tell me to slow down I could buy a pretty good steak dinner.  I've always had trouble taking my time.  But as I watched my dad line up his shots (he actually got a hole in one) I saw the very picture of a methodical golfer.  And as I watched him, I thought, "Adam, why are you in such a hurry?"  I don't want to get all sappy and "Life's a journey, not a destination" on everyone.  But what I will say is this:  Over the past 24 months I have learned that living your life for "It'll be better when..." or "Once XYZ happens, then things will be better." will leave you strung along and ultimately, unsatisfied.

2.  Wait for everyone in your party.
This one goes hand in hand with #1, but applies to a group of people, not just yourself.  The old adage "People, not things." is applicable here.   While it may seem like a good idea to rush ahead and get to the next exciting hole, there are people you're playing with that haven't finished the one you're on.  Give them time to plan their shot, take a few practice swings.  They might get the yips (a technical golf term I learned from my father) and have to have a little talk with themselves.  Who knows, maybe the hole that's around the corner will be the one you have trouble on.  The point is, let's make sure we all play this game together.  I promise, it's more fun that way.

3.  Have a good time.

The mini golf course we played on had, every couple of holes or so, a little spin wheel that, when spun, would land on a hole challenge.  Silly things like, "Make your next putt with your eyes closed," or "Bowl your next putt."  Variety is the spice of life, right?

So when I say have a good time I don't mean this in the "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." kind of way.  That's inconsiderate.  That's thoughtless.  What I mean is allow yourself to be silly.  We spend so much of our life acting like adults (whatever that means) that when presented with an opportunity to let our hair down and be playful we balk more often than not.  But c'mon, who cares.  Everyone is hereby given permission to have a good time.

"Whoohoo!" - Jake
"Whoohoo!" - JAK
"Whoohoo!" - ABK

-- abk

Monday, May 21, 2012

What we've been busy doing!

 I have never filled out so much paperwork.  Divulged so much personal information about very intimate issues to people I don't really know.  I have never wanted to put something off so much and felt so bad about it. 
But, we did it.  We really did it!

Check it out:

Please feel free to share with anyone you know. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scenes from a stroller

 I have worked on being really consistent with my morning walk through this winter.  Jake has generally been a good sport about sitting in his stroller (especially when I let him play angry birds on my phone)  I was cleaning up my phone the other day and found these:


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My little man is 3

Last week was Jake's 3rd birthday.  We started the day out with Mickey Mouse shaped blueberry pancakes.  And a game of Batman (where Jake wears his batman costume and throws batarangs at bad guys!)  Then we went to the Children's Toy Store for an hour to just play and pick out a birthday toy. 
Jake's pick, He loved the space gun but quickly decided it was a little "tinky" (stinky)
 We played all day with a break for a nap (thank goodness he hasn't rebelled against naptime yet).

We ended the day much like we started it, with Mickey Mouse shaped blueberry pancakes complete with a donut birthday treat. 
I will admit it was an emotional rollercoaster of a day for me.  There is something so final about turning 3.  Truly not a baby anymore.  I don't know where my baby has gone, but I am so grateful this new little man is in my life.  He is creative, compassionate, brave, tender-hearted, funny, and curious. 
(sorry couldn't figure out how to rotate this video, also forgive the coughing we are working on getting all better around here)
After being catered to all day and a glass of chocolate milk AND strawberry milk at dinner he was pretty wound up and took forever to go to sleep.  I wanted to make sure that he knows just how special he is and how much he is loved.

How do you deal with your baby growing up?