Friday, June 28, 2013

"Sprinklers. That's the same as Amy."

It just about killed me last Friday when we drove straight through Salt Lake without stopping on our way to Idaho. I have been desperately homesick for the past few weeks...I miss living by my family, I miss our old ward, I miss going to the Salt Lake Temple, and I very much miss our house and how much like HOME it was to us. Our short time in Albuquerque has not really felt like home, since we've only lived here to get ready to move again. Chris and I are working on making sure that doesn't happen in Atlanta, too.

It's a good thing that we planned a Salt Lake stop on our way home.

We had dinner, played outside, and met baby Hannah for the first time. Even though it was short, it was a good visit.

We had planned to stay the night, but we ended up leaving around 9:00 to drive back to Albuquerque. We were ready to just be done with our trip, and it seemed easier to just leave than to figure out where everyone was going to sleep. Our drive went surprisingly well considering how little sleep Chris and I were going on. We traded off driving more often than usual, but the drive took about an hour less since we didn't have to stop hardly at all. The girls don't need nearly as many bathroom breaks when they're asleep the whole time.

And that concludes our most recent trip up north, which I've taken as many days to blog as we did for the actual trip. Coming soon: the kids and I go to Tucson for an informal high school reunion. Coming after that: our mega trip of the decade. And after that: our epic trek east.

Fingers crossed we survive the rest of the summer.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Worth the Wait

It has been 11 years and 10 days since the first time I met Christopher in Alaska. It has been 10 years, 10 months, and 9 days since I first set foot in Aberdeen, Idaho. And it wasn't until last Saturday that I finally went to the boat dock for the very first time.

That may not seem significant, but I have spent those 11 years hearing about the boat dock nearly every single time I've gone to Aberdeen. There have been attempts here and there to get out for an evening or a bbq or even just a drive by, but they were always postponed or cancelled or just didn't happen for one reason or another. There were times that Chris went without me for some sort of service project or as an excuse to hang out with Michael for a while without the kids around or some such, but I never made it.

Finally, after Chris's reunion on Saturday night, we took the chance to escape out for my first visit. (Thank you, Craig, Janet, Brenda, and Gavin for watching our kids just a bit longer to make this adventure possible.)

We arrived at sunset and I happened to have my "real" camera with me. It was lovely. Lucky for us, it also happened to be the night before the supermoon of 2013-full moon when it is the closest it gets to the earth during the year.

See? Worth the wait for this to be my introduction to an Aberdeen landmark.

The pelicans were pretty cool, too.

It sounds a little corny to be excited about the boat dock, but it has been a long time coming! I loved that it was just Chris and I alone out there, even if it was just a few minutes. It was the perfect end to a very, very good day.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Class of 2013!

To perpetuate the cliche...It is weird to think that it's only been ten years since Chris and I each graduated from high school, him from Aberdeen and me from Olympus (though I still lay more claim with Marysville-Pilchuck). It still seems like the 90s were only a couple of years ago. But then when I consider that we are married, we have both graduated from college, we have owned (and sold) our first home, and we have three kids, then it is weird to think that it's ONLY been ten years since we graduated from high school.

Whichever kind of weird it is, 10 years is still worth celebrating.

It was wisely agreed that Aberdeen High School's Class of 2003 10 year Reunion should take place the same weekend as Aberdeen Days, which made our long drive very much worth it and greatly improved general reunion attendance.

The festivities began with a meet-up at the park for all the graduates with kids. I was pleasantly surprised at the few people I did manage to recognize, and Chris enjoyed visiting with several people he hasn't seen in, you guessed it, 10 years.

As senior class president, Chris has long anticipated being in charge of organizing and running the reunions. Lucky for us, one of the other class officers largely took on this responsibility with minor assistance from Chris along the way. Works for us! She planned just one game for the kids at the park, and then we all had ice cream and played.

Later that evening was the more official piece, the actual reunion. We met in the commons area at the high school for dinner and a few catching-up questionnaires.

It was amusing to find out which graduates had set which records--Chris won two prizes. One, he had traveled the farthest to attend the reunion. Prize: an Idaho postcard and a genuine Idaho potato. Two, he had the most kids (we lost for oldest child by only two months). Prize: an energy drink and a box of condoms. Ha.

Someone managed to dig up an old yearbook and put out some packets of things the seniors were quoted on in their last year of their public education. Here are a few of Christopher's comments:

To my underclassmen, I will leave... 
Solutions manual for calculus, typed speech questions, and passwords for administrator access to grades

All I wanted for Christmas in second grade... 
Dear Santa Claus, I want a magnet set for Christmas if you can. I will make a list of toys, a remoet control car, and video any one of them, and two sets of dice. from Christopher Wampler

Favorite school lunch... 

I wish I hadn't learned... 
Mr Mower "had fun making babies"

In five years I plan to be... 
Finished with college, own my own business, making $200,000 a year

I took the chance to go through the halls of the school with Chris and took pictures of the senior class that were on the wall. Each year, the class paints a picture of all the students on the wall. Chris is on the very top row, fifth in...third in that chunk of three guys with blond hair. (There was no angle where I could take a picture without that glare.)

And the official school pictures of senior year. Chris is on the bottom row, third in.

He looks just like he did when I fell in love with him the first time...well, you know, other than the fuzziness of the picture taken of a picture hanging on a wall a foot above my head.

Chris's brother David actually graduated with this class, even though he is two years older. Unfortunately, he had to work on Saturday and didn't make it to the reunion. You were missed, David! Several people asked how he was doing and mentioned that they'd hoped to see him there. His picture is just to the right of Chris. Shaya did come up for a part of Aberdeen Days, even though David couldn't make it. I just never got any picture proof.

All told, there were 18 out of 57 class graduates present. Congratulations, Class of 2003!

And congratulations to us. I count this as my 10-year reunion, too, since I won't be attending one for Oly or MP.

P.S. I'm wearing my new pearls!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stuff and Things and Hearts of Romaine

Do you ever have one of those days where everything you do is fun and everything goes just how you want it to and everything is perfect because you decided it would be?

That was my Saturday--Hello, Aberdeen Days!

(Sidenote: I kept seeing signs and t-shirts saying Aberdeen DAZE instead of Aberdeen Days...I understand the cute/fun factor of the play on words, but I won't bring myself to do it. I want to acknowledge, however, that I know I'm not following city protocol there and I want to confess that it is 100% intentional. Just so you know.)

Activity #1: Breakfast in the Park

I'm pretty sure this is the epitome of Aberdeen Days. This is why I always want to come. Standing in the freezing wind in the middle of June, waiting in a line that sometimes gets so long as to leave the park and wind around the corner, and eating cold pancakes and undercooked hash browns with ever-so-slightly lukewarm chocolate milk. No sarcasm intended--this really is my absolute favorite event.

It's just too bad I didn't take any pictures...

Activity #2: Play in the Park after Breakfast

Activity #3: Visit the Antiques Museum and hope no one catches your 3-year-old and almost-2-year-old climbing on the exhibits

Activity #4: Obstacle Course
The National Guard had a bounce house-style obstacle course going for the kids. I was highly impressed with how well Audrey and Megan both did, especially with the rope climb at the very beginning.

I also enjoyed watching Christopher and Brenda race through. It might have been closer if Chris didn't weigh a good 70 lbs more than Brenda which totally "weighted" the race in his favor.

Activity #5: Ping Pong Ball Drop

Now this is probably the epitome of small-town America celebrations. A crop duster flying low over Main Street and dropping something like 1,000 ping pong balls into the street for everyone to catch. Good times, good times.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

There it is!

I believe Craig even caught one with a prize instead of just an advertisement--two lollipops from the drug store.

Activity #6: Parade!

Janet has never failed to lead us to the absolute perfect spot for the Aberdeen annual parade--right across the street from the elementary school playground.

It's right at the beginning of the parade when everyone is throwing huge handfuls of candy because they don't feel like they're running out yet, and most of the crowd is all on Main Street. (I'm crossing my fingers that few enough people in Aberdeen, aside from Wampler-types, read my blog for our prime spot to be ruined...)

We can watch the parade, collect loads of candy, then still have time to walk to Main Street and watch it again. Told you it was perfect.

Activity #7: Sidewalk Sales

Again, no pictures. I wanted to include this, though, because I followed Janet's example and bought myself a set of real freshwater pearls. Necklace, bracelet, and earrings. That is one of the major, major highlights of my weekend. Happy sigh.

Activity #8: Fish Fry

To be honest, I have never once attended the Aberdeen Days Fish Fry. I don't like fish, which is usually my go-to reason to not pay for the one and only event that costs anything. I probably actually would have gone this year, though, if it weren't for the actually reason we were in Aberdeen--Activity #9.

I did have the foresight, however, to send my camera with Janet so the event would still be documented for blog inclusion.

photobombed by Gavin!

Makes me hungry just looking at the pictures...even if I don't want the fish.

There appeared to have been some more park-playing at this point. I just wanted to take this opportunity to comment on how apparently difficult it is to get a picture of Ivan playing...most of them look something like this. Ha.

I'm not actually even sure if that last picture is Ivan or Ben...either way, Charlotte's pictures came out just a bit better.

Activity #9: 

This is the reason we came to Aberdeen. This is the reason we left at midnight and drove for nearly 13 hours to get to Idaho. This is the reason why this blog post exists, because without the reunion, we would not have made it to Aberdeen Days.

And this particular reason gets its own blog post tomorrow. I know, I know, the suspense is killing you.

Activity #10: Visiting the Boat Dock

Activity #11: Games

Talk about exhausted. Chris and I were both lagging from our night drive from New Mexico to Idaho, and we had been going going going all day long. But I'm pretty sure it's either a sin or a felony to stay at the home of Craig and Janet Wampler and not play games at every possibly available moment, even if it means you'll be late for one activity or another. Please rewind this post and mentally add Skip-Bo, Five Crowns, and Qwitch in the momentary down times spread throughout the day.

Happy Aberdeen Days! 
And here's to many more in years to come.