Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My apologies for the blog hiatus.

I’d like to say I’ve been on some grand adventure, circling the world via a combination of kayak, snowmobile, and hang glider. Really, I’ve just been circling my house, the kids’ schools and the greater Fairfax area via a combination of an 11 year-old Subaru Outback and a minivan that I still cannot park on the first try, after 2 ½ years of practice. I’d love to brag about how I’ve been so busy keeping all of my ducks in a row, maintaining an organized household where to-do lists are checked off regularly, nothing and no one is ever late, and my blood pressure is set to ‘chill.’

In reality, I’ve somehow managed to skip the tracks for the past two months, careening toward the chaos that ensues at the end of the school year. A general indication of my state of being--the calendar in the kids’ toy room is still showing April, and hangs on the wall above a fish tank that hasn’t had any residents for quite some time. Casey proudly wore his school spirit t-shirt to school today (tomorrow is Spirit Day), and this morning I presented a serious road hazard by driving from the garden center to Marley’s school while carefully planting stalks of bamboo into little pots between my knees, complete with pea gravel and water, so that she could give her teachers a bit of ‘lucky bamboo’ on her last day of preschool. In an effort to ease some of the craziness, I’ve opted to shirk volunteer duties for the kids’ end-of-year parties and field days. I just can’t do it all, so I made a pact with my inner over-achiever to do none of it this time around. Instead, I’m enjoying good, hard work-outs at the gym, burying my nose in books any second I can escape from the madness, and slowly working on plans for keeping the kids busy enough but not insanely entertained for the summer.

I’ve also planned and booked a solitary getaway for myself, which has been long overdue. I’ve got some things in my brain that have rattled around forever, and I could use a little space to sort out what’s worth my mental energies and what is headed for the cerebral circular file. In trying to figure out the best venue for brain-sorting of this type, I bounced around between a million ideas—maybe an orphanage in Costa Rica for a week of voluntourism? A trip to New Mexico to stay in an old hacienda? A writing retreat in Maine? After a lot of soul-searching (and a lot of kayak.com searching) I found what I hope will be an awesome escape. In a couple weeks, I’ll be spending a three-day weekend at an ashram, doing yoga, meditating, chanting, eating vegetarian meals, and generally “getting my ‘om’ on.” I realize that posting this is a bit like flying my freak flag and pushes my kook factor a little higher in some of your minds, but I’m okay with that. I don’t know anyone out there who couldn’t benefit from a weekend without distraction to work through some of your ‘stuff.’ Maybe some of you find that at the beach, in the mountains, or in the depths of Nordstrom Rack. I’m hoping to find it at the
ashram. Or maybe this will happen:

After a ridiculous amount of procrastination, I finally spent 2 ½ hours clearing photos off of flash cards, organizing pictures files on my computer, and backing everything up in a hundred places. Here are some of the good ones that were stuck in digital photo purgatory for the past weeks and months:

Mother's Day in Old Town--we visited Gadsby's (where we got married), took the kids to Hard Times for chili, hung out at the water front, and finished with ice cream

Dave and I took a day off from our real lives to go for a 5 hour hike. We conquered Old Rag Mountain, and enjoyed some of ever-illusive and greatly-coveted uninterrupted conversation time.

We built raised flower beds and planted ourselves a nice little garden this year. Here are a few pics from the construction in April, and recent pics of our progress. We harvested our first hot pepper last week and added it to our tilapia fajitas. Mmmmm:

One night last week, the boys brought out a pile of beach towels and two 10-pound dumbbells. When asked what they were doing they said, "Practicing Tai Chi, Mom." And here I thought they were arming themselves for one of their usual brotherly brawls. Silly mommy.

They also made their own version of the TV show "Destroy Build Destroy" which involved taking apart car seats and Ikea chairs, taping/bungee cording them to various wheeled objects, and riding them down the slide. I know parents have different opinions on such things--sure we were probably 75% likely to need an emergency room trip, but there's something to be said for letting kids channel their creative (and destructive) energy, right?

Last week started some of the end-of-year school events; Casey's kindergarten performance (where he showed some serious skillz on the triangle) and Marley's beach day (where she proudly modeled the lastest in Target swimwear)

Keller's skillfully-designed and created catamaran took first place at his Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta over the weekend. He and Dave did their homework, chose a winning design, and then Keller did what he is best at--blew hot air! The past eight years of continually making ridiculous screeching/screaming/hooting/howling noises have led to some pretty well-developed lungs, apparently ;)Casey made his own boat, too, and they had a very short-lived race against each other at the end. And yes, Casey was shirtless in a public place. Again.

Next up for us? Dave and the boys are camping this weekend, the boys will finish school next week, and then we'll launch into the much-anticipated (and slightly-feared) craziness of SUMMER!