Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Monday, we found out that Elton, our "Seattle parent", passed away suddenly. So, in the midst of our sadness, we spent the week getting ready for our long trek to Tacoma for the funeral. Thursday night, after work, we dropped off the dogs at the pet hotel, and began our long drive to Spokane. We got in at 1:30am PST and were so glad to see Tancie, Lauren, and A. Becca...and especially glad to see a bed! (On the left, Noah digs in Aunt Lauren's purse and finds some fun toys; on the right, Team Eddy smiles, although they are both--in a sense--post call).

Friday morning, we headed over to Sacred Heart to catch up with Amy, who was post call. We had lunch and then Team Eddy and us hopped in the car for a drive to Tacoma. We made it as far as North Bend, where we met up with Mom, and finished our drive to Tacoma. We met up with the gang (Grandma and Papa, Lola, Aunt Rissa, Aunt Becca, the Montana Altmillers) at a hotel there.
Funerals are a bittersweet experience. We mourned the loss of a gentle "dad" figure in our lives. My mom did a great job sharing a few memories of Elton at the funeral, which made us all miss him more. At the same time, I really enjoyed our weekend, spending so much time with all the family members I don't usually get to see. I guess an unexpected death makes you take notice and realize that, yes, as cliche as it sounds, life is short, so you need to do what is important now. For me, that meant being present and enjoying my family.
(Photos from left: Mom hugs a naked Noah, Mercy hugs a cranky Noah, Amy visits with Elaina, Elton's sister, Kevin holds Clayton and Noah, and Elizabeth looks at the back door).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


There's nothing like a surprise to lift your mood and add a little excitement to your life. I came home from work today and was greeted with a few surprises.

Someone had planted flowers on our front porch

Basil, my favorite herb, had been planted in the garden

My master's diploma arrived

Unfortunately, not all of the surprises were pleasant. I was also greeted with:

Two dogs who got bored and took it out on a poor, defenseless throw pillow. (You walk 'em, you give 'em bones to chew on, you put their food in a ball so they have to work for do everything the books tell you to and they still go for the throw pillow!).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Home sweet home

I'm jumping on the YouTube bandwagon and thought I'd post a video of our home, so you can see all of the progress we've made. I apologize for the choppy, Blair-witch-ish filming technique!
Thanks to Kevin and his multiple video postings for inspiration.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

making progress...

After taking my boards, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and now I am free to spend my energy elsewhere, such as the ever-continuing project of working on our house.

This weekend we:
1. finished staining/finishing our end tables.
2. started staining the coffee table.
3. unpacked everything in our office (no more boxes to walk around)!
4. hung pictures on the walls.
5. washed, folded, and put away 3 loads of laundry.
6. organized the garage.
7. bought more sprinklers to remedy the dead spots on the lawn.
8. Joe fixed a clogged garbage disposal.
9. dried out our basement carpet after we found a leak (hopefully it's just from overwatering the lawn...we'll see).
10. get a head start on cooking for the week.

And, we still found time to:
1. have a date night with 2 movies on the couch.
2. take a nap. (Gotta love naps!)
3. go to the Farmers' Market for some fresh fruits and veggies.
4. have Theresa, her dad, and sister over for brunch after Mass.

Hopefully, next weekend will include more fun things and less work things, but I have to feel good about the progress we made. Once I clean, I'll post some pictures of our labors. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

AANP certification

Today I made the trek down to Lindon, UT to take my NP boards. I think they went well, but in my hurry to get out of that testing center and back on the road to Idaho, I apparently missed my unofficial results. I should know in a couple of weeks whether I passed or not.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fun in the sun

I've been keeping busy between work and studying for my NP boards (which are on Wednesday), so we decided to take some down time and join my office mates at Ririe reservoir for some fun in the sun. (Sorry, no pictures). It was nice to get to visit with my coworkers outside of the office and meet their families. We swam a little and then played on Chris's (the physician assistant) boat, where Joe and I both tried slalom water-skiing. I was able to get up, but couldn't keep my balance once I was up. Still...after not water-skiing for 10 years and never slaloming, I felt pretty satisfied with my efforts.

After some sun, we headed back home to put in some study hours and bathe our very dirty dogs. Getting ready for the week ahead...

Puppy love

Team Eddy pulled into town last Sunday for a quick visit. Noah wasn't sure about the cogs at first, but soon, he was fast friends with Doc,

hugging him, napping with him, and hanging out in the dog bed. (Still not too sure about Schatzi's kisses though). We enjoyed our visit: Joe and Kevin went shooting; Amy, Noah, the cogs, and I went to feed the ducks; we survived Idaho Falls' exorbitant celebration of the Fourth; and Kevin ran with the cogs every day he was here. We wish they lived closer.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Curb appeal

Our front yard had turned into a weed-fest. Actually, someone saw it from a distance and said, "Oh, are you growing a vegetable garden?" because the weeds were so high. The front flower bed was the best looking, but it lacked pizzazz.

So, Saturday, I weeded, Joe put in an above ground sprinkler system, and we both spread out bark and planted some peppers and tomatoes along the side of the house (you can't have them in the back with our digging dogs). The pictures are a little dark (it was a long project), but hope you get the idea. The new red bark really adds some color to the front and it's nice to not have to drag the hose around every day!