Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer Begins

It's been such a cold, damp spring, it's hard to believe that summer has officially begun! Memorial Day weekend is over, school is ending tomorrow, and the weather is warming up finally. We headed over to Assateague Island for Memorial Day weekend, a two year in a row annual tradition for us.

We pulled the kids out of school a bit early, and headed out. Luckily, we really didn't hit any traffic, and we got to our camping spot around 5 p.m. Now that the boys are older, they can help a lot more, so Stoehr and Kohler set up the tent, while the other two helped me unload the car. They couldn't wait to hit the beach, so once everything was set up, we headed up the boardwalk to the ocean. The nice thing about camping at the National Park is that the beach is pretty much empty. In the distance to the left and right you can see crowds where the public parking lots are, but where we are it's usually just a few families. Stoehr and Kohler built a roaring fire right away and we had s'mores. Yum!

Building bonfires on the beach is definitely our favorite thing to do there, and we had another one on Saturday. We love it so much I even plan meals around it, trying to think of menus we can cook over the fire! Saturday we kayaked for a few hours, then spent the remainder of the day back at the beach. Sunday, back at the beach again. This may be our only time at the beach this summer, so we made the most of it! We decided to head home late Sunday night so we could sleep in our beds one night, so I went back to camp to pack up. When I got there, the herd of horses had invaded our camp. I was by the car arranging things in the trunk, and put a Target bag full of garbage down by my feet. Well it must have looked tempting to the horses because they came right up and grabbed it away! They shook out the potato chip crumbs all over the grass, then one particularly bold horse reached in the trunk and grabbed out a bag of bagels! He managed to eat one before I got it away from him.

The boys thought that was the funniest thing ever! One horse got his nose stuck in the Capri Sun box which served him right!

Once we were finally packed up, we headed over to Ocean City and met up with the Hutsons. We went to the beach with them then went back to their house for pizza and the hot tub. Great end to the weekend! We got home around midnight, but were very happy to be clean and in our own beds.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What a beautiful weekend! It's been a very rainy, cold spring, but today was amazing. Cool, sunny, and breezy--great day to go to the zoo! We got to the Baltimore zoo around 11 a.m. and stayed until closing at 4 p.m. Not as many animals as I've seen there before. It is an older zoo, so perhaps they are remodeling, but the boys still enjoyed it. There are two main sections: the children's zoo, and the African plains. Had to take a few photos:

I just got my new 10-22mm lens, so I brought it along to try out:

I like the wide view, but I have to get used to how it also makes things look farther away. Can't wait to use it in Yellowstone though!

After the zoo, we headed over to Camden yards for an Orioles game, where they were playing the Nationals. We met Stoehr's best friend and his son there as they were in town for the weekend. Kaden is a big O's fan, and Kieran likes the Nat's, so they both dressed in their team jerseys to cheer on their teams:

I used the wide angle lens again to take in a full view of the stadium, and us in our seats. Could never have done that with my 50mm!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Things I don't do that I should . . .

1. floss
2. wear sunscreen
3. iron
4. exercise
5. walk the dog
6. weed the garden
7. vacuum under the beds
8. scrapbook
9. read
10. write thank-you notes

Friday, May 16, 2008

Saying Goodbye

John Mark at his high school graduation, May, 1986.

An old friend of mine died this last week. John Mark Arechiga was one of my first crushes in elementary school. He and his family moved to Battle Ground, WA around 1982 and our families quickly become great friends. Along with a couple other families, we spent many weekends together, going for hikes, playing games on Sat. night, and just hanging out. John Mark was a great guy, very smart and friendly to everyone. After high school, my family moved away and we lost touch over the years (although our parents still kept in contact).

So it was quite a shock to hear that he passed away last Saturday, May 10. John Mark had always loved dirt bikes, even as a kid. I remember riding them in the woods around his house when we were young, but he apparently got even more into motorcycles as he grew up. It was his life, his business, and his hobby, and even his wife was a racer. John Mark died during a practice run when his bike wiped out. More information can be found here:

From all the comments and messages I have read about him, it sounds like he was just as well liked, smart, and respected as an adult as when he was in high school. He will be missed, and my thoughts are with his family.

Here is how I remember him:

Family vacation at Rosario Beach, Anacortes, WA, probably 1982.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Why is it so hard to keep up a blog? I certainly don't seem to have any trouble reading other blogs! So why is it so hard to update mine? I have a love/hate relationship with writing that seems to get in my way. I love the idea of writing and I love reading other people's beautiful or funny writing, but I have a mental block when it comes to my own writing. It's not that I can't do it, I just don't seem to enjoy it. But oh I wish I did!

I have a terrible memory. I have a hard time remembering what my boys' baby and toddler years were like (and they're only eight, ten, and 12), so forget about me remembering my own childhood! When I read blogs where mothers write letters to their children every month, or even once a year on their birthdays, I have such deep regrets that I didn't do the same. Every now and then I will see or hear or smell something that brings back a memory of those precious, fleeting years, but I don't remember the ordinary day-to-dayness of it all. What we did each day, what I fed them, our schedule, the little moments. And this is the stuff I want to remember! I did jot down the occasional funny saying, and thank god I take photos! At least we have a visual reminder. But not the stories, and those are so important.

Can I do better? I don't know. It's never too late to start. Years from now, I'll be glad I started at this point, because some day these memories will be gone too. My boys have amazing memories. They remember details: who was there, who did what, what they ate, who said what. But they will eventually forget too.

My middle boy keeps a journal. Every night he faithfully writes his entry. And it's amazing! He will be so happy to have it some day. I plan to add photos and publish it on Blurb for him as a surprise. Over the years I have kept a journal on and off (mostly off). I have one from elementary school, one from my college year in Europe, and one from the year I graduated college. I love to look back and see what I was doing 20 or 25 years ago today. And someday my son can do the same. Will he become a writer? I don't know. He says he doesn't love journaling, he justs wants to remember. How can he be so wise at such a young age?

Flickr Favorites

1. calling all polaroids, 2. Koyo with Kanji Bokeh, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. “If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.”, 8. Nature Is A Beautiful Thing., 9. Lambent Lady !!, 10. Untitled, 11. ...Lost..., 12. Flying into the sunset, 13. Untitled, 14. Untitled, 15. Untitled, 16. day 161 : 365 may 2, 17. Untitled, 18. 24, dia dels trons... acaba la festa, 19. Untitled, 20. Vintage, 21. School Master's House, 22. Next Chapter, 23. Untitled, 24. Day 181, 25. meteor shower, 26. first taste of rain..............., 27. When the Chips are Down, 28. Reflections, 29. before, 30. day 153 : project 365 april 24, 31. Untitled, 32. beside the Tokiwa Lake, 33. All Your Flashbulb Are Belong To Us, 34. studio, 35. LEAP, 36. Oh, lonesome me