Monday, June 30, 2008


What a busy weekend, but we have had a great time with family. Several bon voyage moments, as those around us are sending us off with love and well wishes.

Saturday my mom came up to visit - a chance to see us before we go, and to spend time with Catherine to help make the transition easier for both of them. Catherine is so lucky to be have her Grandma Trudy take care of her for part of the time while we'll be gone, and we can't be more grateful.

That afternoon we went to a wedding reception for a very good friend of ours (congrats again, Mr & Mrs Cook!), and then my mom and I got to do some girl-time shopping. That evening a few family came over and we had a litle BBQ. Catherine got to play in the kiddie pool for a bit because it was HOT! Time hanging out in the shade in the early evening was what we needed to cool down.

And even better was when Jen, Phil and Toby came home. They had just returned from an extremely long trip for Phil's nephew's funeral. After being emotionally and physically exhausted, it was so great to help them chill out and take some stress off their minds.

My sister and her beau Jason came over early Sunday morning and we had a nice little brunch. It was a little stressful after a while when we were all trying to get ready for our concert in Seattle that afternoon. Keys missing, kids crying, people coming and going, forgetting music - arrgghh!!!!

The concert itself was great, musically speaking. Otherwise, it was totally miserable. It was 95 degrees outside and we were singing in a big stone church that lacked any kind of air circulation - that meant that it was about 120 degrees where we were standing, trying desperately to keep our intonation in check and preventing ourselves from passing out. I've never been so close to passing out in performance in my entire singing career. And thank you to our director who kept saying "OK, one more" at the end. Uggh! ;) Well, in all seriousness I need to mention how fabulous our director was in protecting us - he cut out much of the second half and let us where what we could to be as cool as possible. No one passed out, and all in all it went well.

But wait - there's more! I wasn't kidding when I said it was a long weekend...

After the concert we all headed back to our place again. We got to spend some great time with my dad, and my sis and her beau were there again, along with Jen Phil and Toby. Watching Catherine and Toby together is always immensly entertaining!

Also thanks to my dad for bringing us our first ever air conditioner! I was really hoping that it would work right away, but we still had to suffer through muggy heat indoors - trying to sleep was near impossible.

And after all that... here we are at our departure week. Today is my last day going into work, so I'll have the next two days to finish packing and spend more time with Catherine. And then off we go!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Quick update, number style:

Days until Europe departure: 11
Hours until plane leaves SeaTac: 244
Total hours we'll be away from Catherine: 270
Weight loss to date (in lbs): 28
Hair cut off in inches: approximately 6
Items on my to do list this week: 25
Mariners record this season: 26-49
Times Catherine has skinned her knee in the last week: 3

Friday, June 20, 2008

If you believe in prayer...

... say a prayer please for my in-law family. Our brother-in-law Phil received word last night that his nephew was killed in a motorcycle accident yesterday. Prayers for peace and strength for their whole family is really needed at this time.

And if you don't believe in prayer, a few happy or comforting thoughts their way will be appreciated as well.

And to my sister who just recently bought a motorcycle - expect a couple of concerned looks or lectures thrown your way. I love you and I'm very afraid of getting the same news. Just to give you a heads up, hun.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Things to do in the next 16 days:

Have you wondered what we're up to, specifically in preparation for our Europe trip? To ease your curiosity, here's a list of the things that I need to do in the next 16 days:

- Find a power of attorney form, complete it, sign it, have it notarized (for authorizing medical care of Catherine while we're gone - just in case)
- Call bank to alert them of our international travel so they don't freeze our money for our "protection"
- Call medical insurance to verify coverage overseas
- Learn how to say "where's the toilet?" and "one beer please" in French, German, and Czech (minimally - try to learn more!)
- Confirm that we can use our cell phones overseas and how much it will cost us (will it cost us one arm, or an arm and a leg?)
- Fix the zipper on my carry-on bag
- Receive orders placed at work for larger luggage piece and travel accessories
- Buy the above items at last minute if they don't come in on time
- Shop for last of needed items
- Finalize packing lists
- Make copies of our itinerary, plane tickets, medical insurance card, credit cards, passports, and contact information to keep one copy with us and one copy at home
- Actually receive plane tickets (oh the joys of traveling with a touring company and not have control over details)
- Confirm our transport to/from airport (actually Jen is doing this - yeah!)
- Make final payment for tour (can't forget that!)
- Finish putting together details of the places that we're visiting for reference
- Finish putting together details (instructions, itinerary, etc) for my mom, Stephen's mom, and friend Patty who will be taking care of Catherine while we're gone
- Make sure that everyone listed above has house keys and car seats
- Somehow figure out how to emotionally deal with leaving my child so far for so long (I haven't figured that out yet)
- Stock home with necessary items before we leave
- Do whatever is needed to leave a clean home
Not to mention...
- 2 more rehearsals and
- 2 concerts in the week prior to us leaving
- other family gatherings the weekend before we leave

I'm actually relieved to see that this list is much shorter than it was last week. Whew! Except now I keep adding to it. Argh!!! It never ends!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pictures from Father's Day

See, I told you I had proof that I was golfing!

The celebrated dads, getting ready to get out on the course.
Do you see the little red flag on the other side of the sand trap? Yeah, I did not even try this shot!
I l.o.v.e. this shot! Pure Catherine - all character. This was her being happy when we were singing "Old Macdonald".

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day weekend

Stephen and I had a weekend full of fun. My aim was to make sure he got to do the things that he loves with the people he loves. If he ended the weekend feeling appreciated for the wonderful husband and father that he is, then I did my job.

Saturday was our date night. We went to the driving range for a quick golf lesson (you'll learn why soon), a Mexican dinner, and a movie (FYI - Incredible Hulk - awesome!). It was such a fun time. Our romantic time is not always spent swooning over each other. It's fun - joking, teasing, laughing - it's our friend time. We're sitting in the theater next to each other, and during the previews I exclaim to him "dude - did you see that?". Yes, I referred to my husband as "dude". That's when you know you're married to your best friend.

Sunday morning, Catherine and I went to get coffee for him and woke him up with the coffee and his father's day presents. We met a bunch of friends for breakfast, including a very good friend of ours that is going to be a dad in less than a month. Being able to wish him happy father's day for the first time was very sweet.

And then the fab four (me, Stephen, Jen and Phil) went golfing. No, not miniature golf - real golf. Tiger Woods style golf. Well, none of us are as good as Tiger. But still. Yes, I can actually swing a golf club. And sometimes I can even hit the ball. Who knew? You don't believe me? I have proof... I'll have to post pictures up later once they fix whatever is broken for loading pictures. =(

After golfing, we picked up the kids, grandma Theresa and her beau Roland, and went to a favorite dinner spot, Rock Pasta. The fun part was after the food was done and the kids were getting extremely restless. Jen, in all her motherhood wisdom, sprung into song. Catherine lit up when we all started singing "Old MacDonald", and after each verse said "more, more!" It was a great end to a wonderful night.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Flash forward

I just realized that in exactly ONE MONTH, Stephen and I will be sitting at a romantic riverside cafe in Vienna having dinner together and toasting each other for a lovely three years being married.


I'm not excited or anything...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

World of comprehension

The most recent huge development that I've noticed with Catherine is her comprehension. It seems to have skyrocketed overnight. She recognizes so many objects and can connect the words with them. I almost cried with pride when we were reading a book together and I asked "where's the teddy bear?" And she pointed to the teddy bear. What? When did this happen? I turned the page. "Where's the apple?" She pointed to the apple. Over and over again.

She recognizes animals and will make the sign for them - if she can't say the word. She can say "dog" so when she sees a dog she'll sometimes say it.

When she was playing with her toys the other night, she picked up a big bouncy ball, deliberately pointed to it and said "ball". Then she peeked up at me, and I said "that's right honey - ball!" Her smile beamed ear to ear. So funny. And so amazing.

OK, so you may think that it's such a small thing. So the kid points to a dog and says "dog" - big deal, right? Maybe you don't see that - maybe you see the significance. If you're a parent, you really get it. It's such a matter of pride. And such a sense of accomplishment. You think "did I really impart wisdom on this little one?" There's nothing better in the world.

Another game is the body part naming game. "Where's your ear?" She points to her ear. "Where's your nose?" She points to my nose. "Silly - that's mommy's nose! Where's your nose?" She points to her nose. Our favorite is "where's your tummy?" because she lifts up her shirt and points to her tummy - and then she gets TICKLED! She giggles like mad and we do it all over again. She can be so much FUN!