Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick Takes: The Way Up North Edition

Seven snippets of life right now.
  1. This is my last weekend of flying to Relay Summits on the calendar. 
    It's a bittersweet feeling as I love Summit training season: meeting hundreds of volunteers and staff, designing general sessions over the summer and delivering them at the Leadership Summits in the fall, being part of others' journeys as they celebrate, remember and fight back, and getting fired up to Relay for the upcoming season in 2012. At the same time, I love knowing when the traveling season is coming to an end because I really do love being at home.  Five years ago, I never would have said that.  I loved being on the road.  But with an awesome husband and two sweet Wee Skis -- coming home after a Summit is the best feeling.  "Mommy!  You're home!"
  2. My mom and dad have been an awesome blessing.
    Thomas loves the time he gets with BearBear and BearBearMom, and I know that he is having a good time.  He prays for them every day and as my mom said last night, "He is so sweet, and a very brave boy."  She tucked him in last night and he asked, "Cuddle me, Grandma?"  He has played at the park, on the beach, shopping, eating out, playing, watching sports, and chasing the dogs.  He's also had a great time the last two weeks as he's spent a few hours at Mike and Kristine's -- playing with Avila while Max slept. I'm really grateful to you all - thank you!
  3. Cuddle time.
    This has been a sweet by-product of travel.  Thomas had grown out of the cuddle stage entirely, and now he asks to cuddle.  It's a combination of having a baby brother who sleeps in a bassinet in our room + my travel. I'll admit, I have a great fondness for the time spent with him when he's wanting to cuddle.  I need to soak this up because I realize it's a season, and it too, will pass.
  4. One-on-one time with John Paul.
    The adventures this summer and fall have given me a chance to really get to know John Paul on his own -- as his own sweet little Wee Ski -- instead of simply 2.0.  We've been able to bond through lots of time in the air (18 flights, so far!) and wearing him nonstop while we're gone.  He is blessed with a number of Relay aunties and uncles who are angels and usually goes through a bit of withdrawal when we get home and Thomas isn't quite as sweet as his aunties and uncles. Jonathan has loved the one-on-one time with Thomas -- last weekend, they went to Wolfhaven and to the train station to watch for trains, and played a lot.  I love driving under the train tracks on Rainier Road, seeing a train and hearing, "Wow!  Papa made that just for me!"
  5. We flew into Anchorage, Alaska last night.
    We began Relaying in July in Florida, visited Phoenix in August, Seattle and Denver in September for Staff trainings, New Mexico and Alaska this month, and Portland next month. I'll be honest -- the walk to dinner last night in the chilly Alaskan air was a great contrast to the muggy 100°+ weather in Florida and 107° dry heat in Phoenix!  Isn't the hotel beautiful (above)?  This is an incredible place to Relay!  Linda, John Paul and I had dinner last night at a tasty local spot and feasted on king crab, scallops, prawns, halibut, and apple dumplings.  Excited for the Summit kickoff this afternoon for the event chairs and team D chairs, and the full Summit tomorrow with the Alaskan committee members.  Those organizing the Summit have been amazing -- kind, hospitable, and genuinely love to Relay.  Love being welcomed into the fold!
  6. This child has GROWN.
    It's amazing the difference in size since the Nationwide Summit in Florida...he was still wearing newborn onesies and was tiny on my arm.  He's sleeping away in a six-month sleeper now, and has the sweetest little roly-poly cheeks.  I love that. 
  7. Excited to be at home and fully caught up with the summer + early fall Finian Road season.  This fall and early winter shooting schedule is crazy busy.  I sent a number of projects to print for clients in the past few days before I left, and I will love coming home to boxes on the porch from UPS with beautiful, completed designs that are ready to go!  It's been a number of early mornings beginning at 5 and working until the boys get up, and then working like mad while they are asleep in the early afternoon.  Finding a bit more order + balance in the process, loving that as John Paul grows and we are all settling into our new groove.
Keep us in your prayers for a great weekend, with no snafus (I'm talking about you, brand new Dell laptop to replace the first that failed), and safe travels home tomorrow night.  One last thing I love about Summits?  I'm always staying in the same hotel as the Summit -- so I don't need to drive a half hour to an hour to get anywhere!  Need to be somewhere at 8:30?  I can leave at 8:27.  That never happens on the farm!  :)

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