Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just me and G

Circumstances this past weekend made it so that for a couple of days it was just me and the G man. I would say that the two of us had some great quality time together but really any time with Gabe is quality time. Seriously. My twelve year old son is probably one of the most positive and upbeat people I know. He is generally always happy. Even when he takes off for a 15 mile bike ride with the scouts only to discover a mile in that he has a flat tire. A flat tire that went beyond the basic repairs. For hours he pedaled twice as hard with half the progress. He came home a little discouraged with shaky legs but not beaten down-ready to go again. I would have cried. Ask him how his day was, his killer soccer practice went, or the outcome of a service project for someone's Eagle project and the answer is always the same; "Great!" Or I get this response a lot: "That was so much fun!" Not only is Gabe happy and positive but he is genuinely NICE. All the time. He thinks of others. He looks out for others. He hates it when anyone is sad. His prayers are filled with requests for others. I attended parent/teacher conferences the other night. Of the 3 teachers that I talked to that night, each mentioned something about Gabe needing to tone down the friendly chatter. I pursed my lips and tried to look a little concerned but inside I was thinking, "good for you, buddy. Be their friend. Chat."
Saturday morning Gabe decided that he wanted to make pancakes for the two of us. He was determined to get the 'flip' down. Even after this one got stuck to the wall.

Friday, September 24, 2010

(post edit: Labor Day! Not Memorial Day. Thanks, mom)

This year's Memorial Day weekend was probably my favorite ever. And I started out pouting. We had made arrangements to have the family condo in Park City. The whole family had assured me their schedules were cleared and they were excited to go. Since I was already in Park City for Swiss Days, I waited for the family to arrive Friday evening -excited to have my whole crew together again. And then...one by one my kids discovered they had other (better) plans. I was bugged. And hurt. That night I was joined by Jordan and Gabe. We had planned on meeting up with friends and I worried that they, too, were going to be disappointed in our small numbers. But then I received a little perspective from the wise council of my friend who turned out to be experiencing a similar scenario on her end. "I've decided that I'm going have a fabulous weekend and carry out all of my plans with whomever decides wants to join me." So instead of wallowing, I decided to join her in her attitude. And wouldn't you know it...the rest of the family decided to join us as well.

We gathered with friends, breakfasted on the patio, rode bikes (down the mountain and rode the bus back up the mountain-it was perfect!), we swam and played tennis and attended the art market and the sheep dog calling competition and played a rousing game of "Guess Who" with friends..all the while Radman kids trickled in...until late Saturday night we were once again a unit. Complete. And my heart swelled with love and contentment as I witnessed my family loving each other and loving being together. I loved seeing a teenage brother confiding in his older sister, chivalrous acts from my sons with doors held open and compliments given, hours of tennis played with dad and brothers and sisters and the sharing of sleeping space and secrets each night.

Recently a friend shared this quote by Elder Marlin K. Jensen:
Sometimes after an enjoyable family home evening, or during a fervent family prayer or when our entire family is at the dinner table on Sunday evening eating waffles and engaging in lively, good-natured conversation, I quietly say too myself, "If heaven is nothing more than this, it will be good enough for me!"

As I looked around that weekend, that is exactly how I felt. It was like experiencing a little slice of Heaven. As lovely as that weekend was, I know that my kids are growing up and gaining their independence from us-their parents. That is exactly as it should be. If you've read any of my posts, you are probably aware that I am a little possessive of my time with my family. I want them with me. With any one of my children gone, it changes the dynamics in the home dramatically. The noise and excitement level drops with each exit, and I am left to contemplate my purpose in the silence remaining. It is a process. I am learning. And part of that learning process is allowing my kids to learn on their own-sans me. But be aware...I plan on savoring every minute in between.

We woke up to a hot air balloon launch right outside of our condo.

My favorite season starts now in Park City. The cool mountain air, the colors...ahhh...I was in heaven.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can't get my fill of Jill

Jill is the youngest in a family of four girls. That means there has got to be a little drama and a lot of cute clothes. Jill is the best of both worlds. Since Kelli (my sis) had to work, she let me borrow Jill for a little "pick-me-up." This is a sample portion of my entertainment:

Lori to Jill: Who is the nicest in your family?
Jill: Dad. And Mom.
Lori: Who has the most friends in your family?
Jill: Me
Lori: Who has the cutest clothes?
Jill: (incredulous that I would even need to ask): ME!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Because I really liked my yard this year

Three years ago we redid our landscaping. With cute little plants and flowers. There was still so much space between them that I imagined all I would ever be doing was weeding. Jason Lowe (master landscaper) assured me they would grow and eventually fill in all of that extra space. Last year they were a little bit bigger. I was still skeptical. This summer they exploded into full, beautiful plants. They have exposed their true, glorious identity- and I am in love. I love the colors, the fragrances, the textures and even the sounds. Every morning, hundred of bees congregate on the purple clover. At least once a day, hummingbirds hover by the honeysuckle. The scented geraniums cause me to breathe deeply. Our patio has become our "extra family room" that eases so much of the congestion in the kitchen as we are outside every chance we get.

In an attempt at keeping things real I will say that rarely a day has gone by that I don't have dirt under my fingernails. Every time I am outside (even walking from the garage to the house) my eye is subconsciously scanning the ground for weeds, flowers in need of deadheading, and watering issues. And as vigilant as I think I am, I am amazed that there always seems to be some giant weed(s) mocking my naive belief that I "finally got them all." And all of those sweet little critters-the squirrels, the hummingbirds, the ducks in the creek, the vast varieties of birds (including owls) have recently (at least in my mind) been joined by fat, ugly, beady- eyed rats. It's almost enough to make me want to start over. Come back little owls. Come on over neighborhood kitties. Come join us for a snack in my beautiful yard.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Happy Ending

We had a couple of hours before our flight left on our last day in New York. Walking out of hotel room that morning, we discovered a street fair setting up. It was the perfect happy ending to our trip.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It must be Love

The text read, "clear your calendar from Friday night to Sunday night. I want to take you away for your birthday." *sigh* Is that sweet or what? I know I'm going to disappoint a lot of people when I tell you that my first reaction was not one of excitement and enthusiasm but something more like this:
"This weekend? Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea what we have going on this weekend? Gabe has not one but two soccer games and a soccer party, it is our turn to put up flags for September 11th, Christian is playing a tennis match and has Homecoming and we are in charge of the neighborhood Walk and Talk. We can't possibly be gone. Who am I going to get to cover the myriad of carpools and events?"
I am happy to report that my sweet husband never knew of my evil thoughts because I pulled myself together as I thought about the implications of my reaction and my decision. How often does my husband do something like this? (Rarely. O.K. never) Is there ever a good weekend to be gone?(no) And the clincher.. was that I have been praying for an opportunity to feel closer to my husband. Certainly there has been no animosity or hard feelings between us. It's more a lack of opportunity due to time and distance and...let's be honest... technology. "They" say the definition of an idiot is someone who does the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result. I regret to admit that for the past long while in my quest for better communication with my husband I qualified perfectly. Lucky for me, the Lord heard my prayers and blessed me with two good friends whose patience and example have pricked my conscience and opened my eyes. I may still be squinting somewhat, but I can definitely see better. As it turns out, the mote I thought was in my eye was really a beam and the responsibility and opportunity falls to me to make a change. This trip only helped to solidify my resolve. It was a sweet, sweet birthday for me.
And the location of our getaway? Let's just say we had a BALL!!

THE 2010 U.S. OPEN
Have you ever seen the show, Monk? About an obsessive compulsive detective? One of his quirks is that he has to count everything to make sure that they are in even numbers. This guy was the real deal. He was counting the tennis balls on this airplane. No kidding.

The slogan for this years Open was "It must be Love." Fitting, I thought.

Don't hate me, but we had tickets to the semi-finals. Nadal and Youzhny and Federer and Djokovic

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Bliss

He arranged a surprise weekend getaway for just the two of us. And well..I guess you could say it was just...bliss.

more later...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

These Hands..

...are made for picking. Blackberries. Doesn't look like much in that bowl? You try navigating the angry, thorny arms of a blackberry bush!
These days those 16 year old hands are also made for driving...and doing push ups and wielding a tennis racquet and using a pencil to navigate math problems and taking out the trash and giving his dad a dead leg and texting a cute girl and tossing blackberries at his mom while she calls out directions for
his hands to fight the thorns.