Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We have just returned from beautiful North Central Idaho for the every-two-years (what is that, bi-annual?) Golightly Family Reunion. Big fun. My husband is from a tribe that has remained remarkably close knit despite time and distance doing that thing that they do to families these days. His grandfather was one of eight children, and I do believe that all of his living siblings (as well as Darrell, my husband's grandfather) were in attendance. In all, I think we counted 60 peeps. From Darrell, the oldest at 88, to Sweet William, at 9 months old.

Will gets “youngest” honors only in the absence of the newest baby Evan who was born just a few weeks ago. And only by a hair as he has a second cousin Cameron who was born a day before him. Cameron is also about to become a big brother – you can do the math on that one because I’m too scared to think about it. So the title of youngest is something held briefly in our ever expanding clan. Hopefully you get to hang on to the oldest title for a bit longer.

Sweet William giggled and cooed and smiled at his kinfolk in that way that makes everyone remark about what an easy baby he is. (So true, thank you Jesus!) And Sweet Pea. Well, Sweet Pea was in kid heaven. Complete with a never ending game of kick the can. It made me nostalgic and wishing for fire flies. I've never seen a fire fly, mind you. But it seems like memories of running through the alfalfa at dusk with all your cousins around you should come complete with fire flies. Doesn’t it?

It was absolutely mind-boggling to me that she is not one of the babies anymore. That we are not “the kids”, or even the newlyweds. At one point we were watching an old home movie of my Father-In-Law’s generation playing football in the very same yard in which we were standing. They were teenagers and younger. With summer sun bleached hair and tan backs. Every face on the screen resembled a face running around in the yard, and for me, who has never looked like anyone in my own family, to see my children in those faces was eerie and fascinating. My SIL, Scarlett and I joked about watching home videos in 30 years. But even while we laughed the proposition rather took my breath away.

Which is not to say that the generation ahead of mine hasn’t aged well. There was a lot of waterskiing and cliff jumping being done by the grandfathers and it was nothing to sniff at. And those Golightly women are beauties. No arguing that. Mr. G has a great aunt who looks like a picture in a magazine every time I see her.

I took my camera and didn’t take a single picture. Too much baby wrestling. But I am anxious to see everyone else’s, and to post a few shots of Sweet Pea riding horses. Along with the tale of “How I Discovered I am Afraid of Horses.” Until then, there are 84,000 piles of laundry with my name on them.

And for random photo Tuesday, I offer up this little gem taken at the last Golightly Family Reunion in 2006. Time flies!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Remember how I said that summer was about to kick into full gear? I hope when you see the dust and cobwebs accumulating here you picture me outside enjoying the sunshine. :)

But I did steal a little time yesterday to work on a crafty project. And in the process learned a new photoshop trick. My G-Maffia sister in the bond, Angela at Mom-E-Memoirs, gets a gold star for pointing me in the right direction via her blog. Angela got the step by step photoshop instructions from the blog of a super talented lady, Jessica Sprague. I'm not going to re-key them, because it seems like Jessica should get all the proper credit. But if you want to make your photos pop too, check out these Photoshop and Photoshop Elements friendly instructions at the Sprague Lab Blog

Here is my before photo - taken in July of 2006 at Pike's Market in Seattle. I have always liked this photo, so how cool that I get to make it better!!



And here is my after photo - it was so easy to make this more vibrant!


Woohoo! I'm one step closer to overcoming my Photoshop ignorance. Thanks for the link Ang!

And here's a little peek at my crafty project...It's going to be an ABC book for Sweet Pea. I wanted to have it done for her birthday but stalled after only getting 9 letters done. It's back on top of my artsy priority list now.







~Clover

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For Random Photo Tuesday I am posting yet another picture of my adorable children. (You know you love it.) I'm actually going to print these really big and frame them in their University of Idaho themed room at the cabin. So hopefully these files won't be so huge that it takes 10 minutes for my blog to load...

I tried a technique I read about on the HP Graphic Arts Portal to give these photos kind of a grunge effect. Basically I just totally distored the light and shadows and then added some monochrome noise. I kind of "inked" the edges last night too, but didn't like how it looked so I took it off the picture of Will. Might try again, might take it off both photos...if anyone has an opinion on that let me know.

Go Vandals!





~Clover

Monday, July 14, 2008

Heeellloooo Monday.

Well. Maybe, as it is 4:52, I should be saying "Sooooo Looooong Monday." But since the day didn't exactly fly by for me, that doesn't seem appropriate.

I need a little mental stretch after a day of tedious spreadsheet work. And a lemon slush from Sonic. Oh Sonic, how I hate to love thee. Or love to hate thee. Or something. Mmmm. A lemon slush and a chili cheese dog. Yeah...

I think I'm on day two of a hard earned hangover. Previously mentioned wedding = beautiful, which turned into fun, which afterpartied into I-am-too-old-for-this. But a good solid hangover once a year or so is good for reminding you that you really still CAN party like its 1999, and yet you really shouldn't. Right? Mr. G. says I had a LOT of fun. And promises that I didn't act like an idiot. So I say my 5 star hangover was well worth it.

My tedious spreadsheet work did result in a little gem worthy of some bloggushing. I love photography, but I am not particularly versed in it. So before today I was not familiar with Magnum Photos or the collective of photographers that contribute to this elite group. But you know what GI Joe would say. Knowing is half the battle. And I am better for knowing. So I share.

The above link will take you to the Magnum in Motion project, where images are edited with sound and sometimes video to create short documentaries/photo essays. They are in turn beautiful and gripping and sad. I was especially touched by the piece titled Alaska: An Unveiled Secret by Alex Majolie. It is about the survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic Priests in the 1960's - 1980's. Which is a topic I like to torture myself with reading about as previously demonstrated. It's not a story that has a Disney ending. But I think the story needs to be told again and again. And the photography is, of course, amazing.

Tomorrow it won't be Monday anymore!
~Clover

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The summer is officially in full tilt mode for us. I feel like we came to the game a little late, so y'all are probably way ahead of me. We just got the boat in the water last weekend. Last night was our first Wednesday dinner on the lake. And we haven't even been to the beach at the cabin yet. But never fear. The calendar is filling up with plenty of opportunities for fun.

This weekend is a wedding of a former work colleague of mine, who just happens to be one of Mr. G's fraternity brothers. (Viva la Delta Chi!) I'm desperately trying to get a sitter so I can stay late enough to eat cake and dance like an idiot. Woo!

Then next week my friend CooLisa and her rockstar husband (who's nickname, thanks to the wild and crazy MizJMac, is not suitable for my PG-13 blog) are bringing their family to our place in the mountains for a long weekend. I'm so very excited about this, as they are exceptionally fun and wonderful people. And their sweet children adore and entertain my kids. Plus, for some reason, their kids think I'm like super interesting and cool. Which is kind of awesome. They will be here in town the whole next week visiting family, so I'm sneakily trying to occupy more of their time. Or not so sneakily inviting myself along on their family time. I'll let you know how that works out. This will be a dry run for our 4 family vacation extravaganza to Mexico in November. Which I am, understandably, so excited about I can barely even utter the words Puerto Vallarta without getting all weepy. Heh. Did I mention we're taking a Nanny with us? Ooohhh. I can feel the waterworks coming...

Ahem. Soooo...

The following weekend is a family reunion at Mr. G's family's ranch in North Central Idaho. The cousins are positively vibrating with excitement over a whole weekend together at Gigi and Papa's house. And thanks to Cafe Press our requisite reunion wear is going to be cool. (OMG, I am ADDICTED to making things for Cafe Press. Just so you know. If you need a t-shirt, I'm your girl.) Check these I made for the people who happen to be at the family reunion by marriage, not blood:



Awesomeness.

And THEN - can you beeeelieeeve it? More fun! More excitement! And then the first weekend in August is a leetle girl weekend at our cabin. I'm going away OVERNIGHT. I feel like I'm having my first ever slumber party. I'm going to venture to guess that the vast majority of the readership of this blog already knew about this. Since like half of you are coming. If the rest of you want to come too let me know. The only rules are no boys, no kids. So far it's just local girls, plus Miss Beege who is driving from Washington. It should be low key. Relaxing. Heavenly. I'm planning to lie on the beach, lie on the couch, lie around the deck, eat a lot, drink some good wine, watch chick flicks, and laugh until I can't breathe. Um. Yeah. Wonderful.

And then after that I have jury duty. Buzzkill.

But then in September I fly to Spokane for a wine weekend with my girls CLisa and Wiwwa. The weekend itself should be fabulous. But right now the best part is that until just a few days ago Mr. G thought we were going to Napa Valley, California. Heh. We're driving to Yakima, Washington. So, you know. Not quite.

Of course, I made some wine weekend gear for our little group at Cafe Press:





And then it's almost October and Sweet William will be one year old. How did that happen?

I heart summer. Every crazy, hectic, sun kissed second of it.

~Clover, who (shhhhh...) has a tan!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I am having a Very. Weird. Morning.

So weird.

It started out normal enough. But then on my way to the gym I hit a deer. As in, with my car. A block from my house. In the middle of a city**. On a Tuesday morning.

**Ok, maybe not the middle of the city. And, Ok. Smallish city. But STILL. Not exactly Bambi habitat.

I am vacillating between "Oh no! That poor deer!" and "WTF??? Don't we have an AGREEMENT with the deer? Aren't they supposed to be in the mountains right now?"

The deer, for those of you who are concerned for her well being, ran away and hopped a fence. So, I'm sure she's probably got an injury. Maybe a bad bruise on her back leg. But I don't think it was life threatening.

My car, however. You know, the car that just had $2k worth of work done on the front end because I had my first ever car accident. That car. Big dent. Big huge hoof shaped dent. (The deer sort of kicked the car.) And oddly enough, a bunch of deer hair all over the hood...

Rar.

And then, post Gym I stopped at Kinkos, and all the employees were huddled in a corner passing a hat around trying to collect $50. Because, are you ready? They somehow were in possession of a tazer. And one of the Fed Ex drivers said he would let them tazer him for $50.

Seriously. Weird. Morning.

And in honor of that weirdness, here is a random photo.

This is my grandparents, my dad, and my aunt Kathy. Taken at Christmas, 1945.


Monday, July 07, 2008

I was just eating lunch with Mr. G at a little tavern by our office. We were sitting outside on their sidewalk patio when this guy who was waiting for the bus came and stood about 2 feet from us and then proceeded to smoke a cigarette. I am never particularly interested in sharing someone’s cigarette with them. But for some reason, today, I was totally repulsed by the whole thing. Maybe because it’s hot. Maybe because I was eating lunch. I dunno. But it was G.R.O.S.S. and I was waving my napkin about trying to fan the smoke out of my face and getting more and more irritated by the second. If I had paid more attention I would know if Mr. G was embarrassed to be seen with me making a big fuss like that. But I was too busy ranting about how smoking in public should be banned altogether and mentally chastising the guy with the cigarette.

And that’s when it occurred to me. The last few days have been all about the universe reminding me that I am solidly in the Mom years. In my 20’s I wouldn’t have liked the cigarette in my face. But I wouldn’t have been all drama-prohibition about it. I mean…get a few beers in me and I would have been asking him for one. So, you know, what goes around comes around.

Seconds later I realized that the two beautiful teen aged girls who just passed by us on the sidewalk were none other than two girls I used to baby sit. When they were, you know, BABIES.

The other day I was making a breakfast casserole - at 11:30 on a Saturday night no less - when I ran out of eggs. I had to run to the nearest gas station convenience store for eggs. At the register the guy in line behind me said, "So are you making midnight omlettes or going egging?" And for like 30 seconds I thought he meant dying Easter Eggs.

And then yesterday I had this actual conversation in my head while surveying the other patrons in line with me at the sandwich place:

“Self, it’s funny that you don’t know where Moorehead College is. There are always so many people wearing t-shirts from there. It must be near here. Or a really big school. It seems like there are a lot of Alumni from Moorehead.”

Pause.

Pause.

Wait for it…

Pause.

“OH! Heh. That’s funny.”

I’m not sure that I was ever cool. Not effortlessly anyway. I’m certainly not socially incompetent. But cool? Eh. Probably not. But lately I am the antitheses of cool. In our new car I keep the satellite radio on Radio Disney, even when my kids aren’t in the car. Mr. G’s list of stations either make my head hurt, or make my ears bleed, or make me terrified to raise teenagers. I swear to God I heard a song the other day that started out like a really nice love song about how the singer wasn’t like all those other guys. He was going to treat his girl right, respect her, be faithful, etc. And in the part of the song that “features” someone else - in this case someone who sounded drunk - it went on to describe his favorite pair of her see thru panties. Wha? I mean, I’m not going to tell a girl she can’t have some see thru panties. But it seems to me like a song about a wholesome, respectful, long-term relationship would wax poetically about something other than skankwear.

SEE. I’m such a MOM. I say things like, “Oh my goodness!” And, “What a nice young man.” And “Please be a listener and make good choices.” (I say that last one a lot, in fact.) I drink lemonade without any booze in it on Saturday nights. I always have Kleenex in my purse. I bring things like homemade pasta salad to BBQ’s instead of a bag of Doritos. I prefer flats. I have mom hair. And I actually need the underwire in my underwire bra.

This is SO weird to me. I'm not sure I'm Ok with it.

~Clover

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

This is going to sound kind of crazy, given that I haven't posted here in a week. But I'm contrubuting on another blog! I mentioned it a couple weeks ago, it's called >The Kitchen Mirror. It's a food blog that several of my girlfriends are posting to. I added my first post today, with recipies from the brunch I hosted on Sunday to celebrate Sweet William's Baptism. So check it out! :)

And since it's Tuesday...

A family picture. This is Mr. G's side of the family.


Sweet Pea getting her hair cut short.





Sweet William about to take off crawling...I think it will happen any day now.


Note the return of the pink galoshes. She thought she should wear them to run in the sprinkler.

~Clover