Sunday, June 19, 2016

June Travels: Part 2

We spent two day at home this week. Long enough for Pryce to create a couple of new paintings. This is one that she sketched out at home. She'd envisioned the colors that she would use and since we were due to hit the road, she brought the supplies along. It's a good thing that she is a mobile artist. 

We drove to Omaha on Friday and had lunch with Leah. We packed the vehicle and away we went. 

Since it is REALLY hot, I am reminding myself how GOOD it feels, as compared with how much I froze this past winter. We made it to Columbia, MO around 1 am. 

There were grand plans of taking the kids to the Arch. Due to construction, we opted for the drive-by, snapped a few pictures and called it good. Most of the day was spent driving (THANK YOU, LEAH)! I read and did as much homework as my brain could handle. I ended up getting car sick (thought I was over that) but apparently not. 

Pryce and Leah listening to Mulan and Lilo and Stitch songs. (UGH! ) It is seriously NOT my style of music, but it is adorable hearing Pryce bellar out the tunes. 

I've never driven past St. Louis so it was fun to see new country. I've flown to Nashville, but this was the first time driving. I did enjoy the many bridges and crossing the rivers. I am also loving the trees!

Downtown Nashville is pretty cool. Every big city has its one vibe. I love to walk around and and experience how a city looks and feels. Boston is still one of my all time favorites. We didn't do much walking last night. It was late and we were all pretty road weary so our destination was the Melting Pot for supper. We were very happy (and surprised) to find one here, Pryce was excited as the chocolate fondu is her FAVORITE!

While Pake is not a cheese fan, he TORE UP the salmon! 

The shrimp and teriyaki steak were DELICIOUS. I'm not a huge fan of sweets, but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed dipping the strawberry and pineapple chunks in the snickers fondue. Oh.My.Goodness. I also felt like I needed a wagon to cart my stomach home. 

We headed back to the hotel and I worked on homework until about midnight. I'm keeping ridiculous hours (for me) these days. My goal last spring was to be in bed my 9:30 and up at 5am. I'm way off the mark these days, part of why I really appreciate summer time. 

The kids will spend Father's Day with their Dad. Leah and I will likely go hiking. We move into our Air B N B later today. I'm really looking forward to having a bit of downtime there, beside the Cumberland River. If I have to do homework, at least I can do it by a body of water! 

Parker begins competing tomorrow! I'm so excited for him. What a cool opportunity to experience. GO TEAM NEBRASKA!!!! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Recap, Pack up and Reload

I'm home for the first time this week. It's been a whirlwind and I'm loving it, except for the graduate class and walking pneumonia. There's no time for me to be down so...... I have two days to realign.

Here's a quick recap:

*Left last Wednesday for an AWESOME Spa day and Lumineers Concert with muh bestie.
*Hopped a plane and headed for Seattle. Hopped on another plane bound for Walla Walla.
*Enjoyed a FANTASTIC, FUN time with the soon-to-be Mrs. Buyssee and her Bride Tribe.
*Took in Walla Walla Wineries.
*Enjoyed an extra two hours circling over Denver, waiting out a storm.
*Drove home. (Leah drove, I studied).
*Slept for 4 hours.
*Went to Urgent Care and got meds that didn't work.
*Drove to Valentine to swoop up Pake.
*Drove to Omaha.
*Spent all day Tuesday at UNMC. Literally the entire day, starting at 7:45am and walking out of the hospital at 4:45pm

*Will spend today getting unpacking, repacking, doing laundry, cleaning out a nasty fridge, spending as much time as possible with my kiddos and squeezing in mega amounts of homework and hopefully be in bed before midnight (that would be a record!)

Pake's condition is stable. The MRI showed slight expansion of two tumors, nothing to be panicked about. He may have an additional tumor in his hand. This isn't all that abnormal, but it is unexpected and pretty strange for NF2. It doesn't hurt and it is not causing any neurological problems. He will go in for another check in three months. This will be his/our path for the rest of his life. He will always be tied to hospital. This is a disease and it is not curable. The plan is to stay ahead of tumor growth and to keep him functioning at as high a rate as possible.

It is a super shitty hand that he's been dealt but there's no other choice than to accept it. We don't know how things will go. We pray that the tumors are slow growing and that he can maintain his ability to hear. In the mean time, we will be "formally" learning sign language. Pake decided it would be a good idea to invent his own signs, so we spent about four hours in training with him! (I didn't get snake.... I thought it was a dolphin. I need more practice!) Pake opted for the cross hearing aids. This option is far less evasive than having another surgery for an implant. I don't blame him, he's been through A LOT. After saying for months that he doesn't want to have any devices, I think he changed his mind yesterday during the trial. For the first time in a year, he was able to hear what was being said on the left side and he didn't have to crank his head to the right. A big grin spread across his face and tears came to our eyes. Hearing is a precious gift. 

Since there's no way to know what lies ahead, our plan is to live full on, full out and enjoy everyday to the max. Pake's condition is a reminder to be grateful for EVERY moment, even if that moment is filled with tears and uncertainty. Tears dry eventually and usually this mischievous smile takes over.....

So this is the Air B n B we are hanging out at this week! (hahahahah) It's a pretty cute little spot. I love the flowers and the porch. Too bad the owner didn't have any coffee for us (I'll be leaving a note about that one). 

I do hope her washing machine is in working order because that baby is about to get a workout. 

As I came in last night and plopped my backpack on the floor, I realized how much I've lightened my load. I still have a long way to go in terms of downsizing and release, but WOW, coming home to a house that is more clutter free and less filled with "stuff" was definitely supportive. It made me glad that I spent the first few days in June getting this place in order. My only hope is that we can keep it looking that way while we are here. That is always the challenge! For those of you clearing, releasing and downsizing your spaces, I highly recommend working your asses off for as long as it takes to get to that point and then leaving for a week! You'll feel like you are walking into a new home AND you'll easily see the results of your efforts. I think this has to be one of the best ways to see progress in action.  

Alright, I'm rolling up my sleeves and preparing to dive into to the mile long list of things that have to get done before I leave again. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm stressed (well graduate classes always stress me out) but the traveling doesn't. It's very therapeutic for my soul. This is one of the things that I've always wanted to do. I appreciate having a place to call home but there's a pull to being on the go that I just can't get out of my system. I'm not trying to either, I'm just going with it. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

June Travels: Part 1

I found this fun hat in January. I was missing summer and sunshine. I had the image of wearing a sundress and this fun hat. However, the reality is that I do not own a sundress and even if I did, I have a high suspicion no one would see it because I'm a chronic sweatshirt wearer, I just don't like being cold. The hat won though. It's my new travel accessory.

We took in the deliciousness that is the Melting Pot. Oh my, oh myyyyyyyyyy, SO GOOD!

My PIC, as Pryce refers to Leah (Partner in Crime!) After having her esophagus repaired a week ago, she was ready to dive in to some solid food! (She owned it like a BOSS!)


After a spa day and amazing supper, what more could a girl want......?????

How about her favorite group, "The Lumineers" at Red Rocks. Oh and front row too, how does it get even better than that?

Walking in to the concert. What an amazing atmosphere! 

Best seats in the house!

Concert shirt, definitely happy to advertise for them!

This was an absolutely AMAZING show. I can say this is THE BEST concert I've ever seen. Still blown away by this experience. Confetti coming out of the ceiling made me feel like I was in a fairytale, it was gorgeous!

As usual, I have a project going on....... I work hard to focus on the task at hand and be fully experiencing the present moment. That said I sometimes I do have to multitask. This time I am attempting to complete a final class for the Master's Degree. I'm taking it during one of the busiest (and most fun) moths of the year. I am home for just a few days here and there. Thank goodness for wifi, it's come in handy. I knocked out forum questions and quizzes in two different airports. The homework is continual but "it is only for a month." I have a countdown going on.

Flying into Seattle. What a view! I love it here.

The backyard of our Air B n B... This house is gorgeous and HUGE. Holy Wow, I almost need a map to find my way around. The decor is so fun and the conversation and laughter happening here is truly therapeutic for my heart and soul.

And just for fun..... we had some fun with Snap Chat filters. No, I'm not on Snap Chat and I don't see myself using that app anytime soon. That said, we got some fun pics of the Bride-To-Be. (They will likely not be showing up on my blog!) I will say that the statue outside has probably never had as much attention as it did yesterday evening, I'm still laughing at the creativity minds at work in this space. 

I realized as I was selecting pictures to share that this is the first time I've ever had this kind of a girl's weekend. Don't get me wrong, I have a great time wherever I go, no matter if I'm hopping a plane to explore a new city, playing golf or spend time with my kids. Hanging out with fellow females in a new (beautiful) place, laughing, relaxing and not having any agenda really feels good. I am usually so busy and on the go that I don't take time to just BE. My mind is always working and so I find I have to work hard just to relax....  Right now, having a mind that won't shut off is probably a good trait to have, as I am needing to dig deep for some maja study motivation. I have so many ideas, projects and experiences that I am ready to bring in! 

I certainly feel that I am at a crossroads. Already June is making me look at life from a totally different viewpoint. There's been some hugely unexpected shifts and I'm still processing them. I have no idea how this month will turn out, it's so very, very different than I thought it would be back in January. At some point, I'll pause to ponder all that's come through. Right now I'm taking a deep breath and just observing. I think that is the best I can do in the midst of so much changing happening around me. It's good that I'm moving fast right now because "a moving target is harder to hit." 

Pink Cup. Planners. 5:2 Weekly Review

Light Me Up: This week's inspiration is an adorable cup I snagged after we hiked Rocky Mountain National Park. The Aspen and Evergreen ...