31 December 2013


sticky note

December 2013

MAYA: “Mom, wasn’t Albert Einstein like the first person to walk on the moon?”
COLE: “No, I think his name was Harry Johnson or something.”

Mmm hmm. I wrote down their conversation a few days ago on a sticky note, and I’ve been holding onto it ever since. 

I want to remember it, because late one evening very soon -- hours past his bedtime -- Cole (8) will call out from his bedroom loft in a voice quite large for our little house, “Mom, did you know Albert Einstein conceived the theory of relativity and Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon?!” 

Maya (9) -- also still awake -- will peer up and over the pages of the second book she’s read that day and retort, “Obviously, Cole. Who cares?” Like clockwork will follow her litany of nightly inquiries: “Mom, who’s taking us to school in the morning? What time will we be leaving? Can we leave early because… In my lunch the day after tomorrow, will you please pack… Did you remember…” 

“Maya, go start a company,” Paul (39), reclined on a too-short-red-couch and clad in his signature hoodie and plaid pajamas, will interrupt without looking up from the screen of his phone. And across the room, wrapped in a blanket with a spacer heater at my feet -- sinking into the recesses of my old, oversized chair -- I (35, no 36… wait, I’m 37?!) will sigh and look up from my own book. The fire in the wood stove will burn. Big Mama (our Christmas tree) will glow. Orange (our Island County Fair goldfish who died and came back to life -- long story) will splash about in his bowl. And with one accord, Paul and I will cry out: “GO TO BED!!”

Sooner or later, our kiddos will settle to sleep. And in the years that quickly follow, we will fondly recall the good ole days when Cole and Maya slept in lofts, Paul and I sank in saggy couches around a fireplace and our children still wondered anything aloud without Googling it first. The details of those days will likely blur into those of the next; eventually, they will fade.
I remember being perplexed by oldies radio when I was a kid. What is the point? I wondered. But 14 years into the 21st Century, clutching my landline, hardback books and the US Postal Service for dear life, I’m dragging my feet and resisting change. I continue to send out a letter on red paper each December in this age of instant connection, and I think I get it. 

It’s not so much the years to which I’m clinging, but these moments captured on sticky notes. As time turns, schedules swell, pants shrink and kiddos grow, I’m accepting(ish) but also grieving a crucial truth to this story we are living: what once was is no longer and what is won’t always be so... SO, I write and take note and reflect and give thanks. And I hope that one day, long after you’ve tossed this letter, I will happen upon it filed away in a box somewhere. I’ll dust it off, smile and gratefully, I’ll remember. 

Sending love to you and yours this December,
Abi, Paul, Maya and Cole.

23 November 2013

game day

22 November 2013

31 October 2013


This October, I overheard the adorable, midday musings of my eight-year old: "Hey Maya, who do you think is more powerful, Anakin Skywalker or a Genie?"

Happy Halloween!

30 September 2013

23 September 2013

last day

On an overcast afternoon three months ago, Paul, the kids and I snuggled on the comfy couch at DBBC with notepads, pens, a laptop and an agreement that "no idea is a bad idea." We brainstormed our second annual summer to-do list... and now it's September?!

On the heels of twelve glorious weeks of sunshine, fall was in the air today.  The clouds hung a little lower, the air was a bit cooler, we received a winter's supply of kindling and had soup for dinner. 

Tonight, the last of the photos have been downloaded and uploaded(!!). The swimsuits, beach towels and tents have been packed away for the season, and my beloveds are tucked away for the evening. Autumn has arrived, and it's time to file our list away. But before then, we remember...

What we’d like to do this summer – 6/24/13

 Movie at the Clyde*
 Choochokham Arts Festival
 University Village
 Visit with Uncle Tolu and Auntie Fofo
 Paint Escape*
 Do Nothing
 No Screen Day (Cole, Maya and Momma)
 Movie Marathon*
 Cash Flow for Kids
 Purchase and Play a New Board Game*
 Complete Summer Reading – Maya
 Complete Summer Reading – Cole
 Complete reAWAKENING curriculum – Abi
 Purchase two properties – Paul
 Alderwood Mall*
 Purchase Cole’s Baby Book
 Complete Cole’s Baby Book
 Family date with Mulcahys
 Family date with Laymans
 Family date with Murphys
 Play date with Mikenna – Maya
 Play date with Zoe – Maya
 Play date with Ryder M – Cole
 Play date with Elias – Cole
 Play date with Parsells
 Play date with Serena
 Date with Maya
 Date with Cole
 Date with Paul
 Get a Pedicure (gave myself one)
 Get a Massage
 Visit an Art Gallery
 Supang Soccer Camp ( 6/24 – 6/28)
 Watch Freeland Firework Show (7/3)
 Maxwelton Fourth of July Parade (7/4)
 Paul’s Firework Extravaganza! (7/4)
 Coyote Camp – Cole (7/8 – 7/12)
 VBS (7/15-7/19)
 Lakeside Bible Camp – Maya (7/21-7/27)
 Marimba Camp (7/29 – 8/9)
 Island County Fair (8/13 – 8/18)
 Walk with Tohnia – Abi
 Visit Mr. Slater
 Rollerblading at Greenlake
 Try a new Seattle Restaurant
 Host Wellington Parent Potluck
 Invite friends over for a potluck/camp fire
 Paddleboard and/or Kayak (Cranberry Lake, Deception Pass?)
 Lake Chelan Camping Trip… yay! (9/3 – 9/6)
 Purchase a Beach Bag
 Purchase Real Beach Towels/Blanket
 Purchase New Kids’ Bath Towels
 Museum of Flight*
 Visit with a Grandparent
o Grandma Karen
o Grandma Abiose
o Grandpa Dick and Ms. Marlene
o Grandpa and Grandma Sade
 Family Date with Gardiners
 Spend time with Uncle David
 Family Road Trip to Coeur D’Helene, ID
 Visit the Mannings
 Visit a Water Park (Silverwood /Wild Waves)
 Washington State Fair
 African American History Museum*
 Pool
 Swim Lessons
 Family Dinner at UBGCC
 Purchase New Soccer Gear
 Family Sushi Dinner
 Dinner at the Space Needle/Observation Deck**
 Ride the DUCK!!!
 Walk On Date to Ivar’s
 Get a New Laptop – Abi
 Finish Danny Champion of the World*
 Blue Fox Drive Inn
 Sister Act – Paul and Abi (8/20 – 8/25)
 Purchase Space Heaters for DBBC
 Purchase a Tent
 Compile our Camping Supply List
 Summer Clothes/Shoe Shopping
 School Supply Shopping
 School Clothes Shopping
 Family Dance Marathon
 Discovery Park/ Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
 Seattle Underground Tour
 Purchase Summer Math Workbooks
 Get Dental Insurance/Switch Health Insurance
 Family Dentist Visit
 Make Homemade Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt
 Kids’ First Root Beer Floats
 Pick Berries (Mid July – Mid Aug; Crescent Harbor – 360.679.4210)
 Cascadian Farms
 Forsake something on this list in the name of friendship
 Forsake something on this list in the name of family
 New Mirror for Maya
 Do something nice for someone I don’t know
o Abi
o Paul
o Maya
o Cole
 Helium Balloon Letter Release
 Family Swim – FOR REAL
 Garden Maintenance
 Beautify the Yoga Deck Area
 Fern Maintenance
 Purchase Adirondack Chairs
 Campfire
 Kiddo Campout
 Ballet – Abi
 Wall Climbing
 Volunteer Project
 Build a Fort
 Boeing Tour*
 Concert in the Park
 Get a Bike – Abi
 Ride a Bike
 Visit all five Whidbey Libraries*
o Oak Harbor
o Coupeville
o Freeland
o Langley
o Clinton
 Visit the Gum Wall
 Oak Bowl*
 Moonraker Books
 Eat a Donut
 Go for a Hike
 Island Shakespeare Festival
 Renew our Discover Pass
 Picnic at Perego Lake (bottom of Ebey Rd and Hill Rd)
 SeaFaire
 Whidbey Island Highland Games (August 10)
 Whidbey Island Music Festival
 Whidbey Island Race Week (July 14-19)
 Clean out Personal Files
 Clean out the Studio
 Replace Ballet Slippers
 Visit Oak Harbor Waterslide Park
 Detail Ruby
 Purchase a new DS game(s) 
 Get knives sharpened
 Send Graduation/Wedding Gifts
o Jared
o Natalie
o Tim and Ashley
o Hannah and George
 Stay at Double Bluff Beach Club
 Summer Scrapbooks
 Walk… a lot!
 Swim… even more.
 Go to a concert -- Bruno Mars
 Date with Schoenbachlers
 San Juan Islands
 Family Date with the Morgans
 Go to the spa -- Olympus Spa
 Read, read, read
 Family Date with the Chapmans
 Host Breezy, Ryan and family
 Visit with Nonna Donna
 We got a boat!
 Crab Feed
 Pig Roast
 Go Fishing (we caught 8 salmon!!)
 Celebrate Grandma Karen's Birthday in person
 Watch Fireworks from the Ferry
 Camp-o-rama 

Yesterday, to celebrate solidarity, to commemorate the official end of a marvelous summer and to gratefully step forward into a new season, we marked one last item** off our list and went to a delicious dinner in Seattle.

22 September 2013

full moon rising

first day





Labor Day weekend we slept in a field overlooking the Sound at our first Camp-o-rama -- a Whidbey family tradition that's been going on for decades.

Complete with three-legged races, gunny sack races (yeah, I just learned what a gunny sack is; see below), tug-o-war... 

forts on the beach, a bonfire, s'mores, camp songs, a potluck...

 (What's that, you ask? Oh, Seth bought a prize pig at the Island County Fair a few weeks earlier, dug a hole in the ground, then he roasted it -- the pig that is. I'm serious.)

  Paul brought corn for 100, then he flew a kite. 

We'll definitely be back next September.