Sunday, November 4, 2012

10 amazing memories from a not-so-distant past

I'm defining my "not-so-distant past" for Monday Listicles as the past six years, since my youngest son, Nicholas, was born. While writing this post (fun!), this song kept going through my head:



September 4, 2006
1. My bonus baby: I was 41, still nursing my 2-1/2-year-old once a day. We were SO done...as in had-an-appointment-with-the-urologist-but-hadn't-yet-got-there done. Yet our little Nicholas was determined to be. After all the infertility we had, both before Chris and after Chris (including four miscarriages), how could we view this extreme surprise as anything but a blessing? Now it's hard to imagine that he almost never was part of our family (even if we are the oldest kindergarten parents in the school!).

2. First blog post...March 8, 2007. I was inspired to start blogging by posting my "top reads" lists, which I create every year as part of our Christmas letter. For the first three years I wrote about books, parenting, travel, politics, culture, feminism, etc. Then I decided to branch off the books. In 2010 I started a separate book blog, Marie's Book Garden, but I still write monthly summaries of what I'm reading on this main blog, Every Day Is a Miracle. Blogging has been a wonderful creative outlet for me, a way to express my thoughts about life, and even sometimes a great way to vent about difficult events in my life.

Rockefeller Center, 2007
3. First big trip with three kids: We visited Mike's brother and his family in New York City in April 2007, when Nicholas was just 7 months old. As usual, we subwayed it all over town but realized yet again what a pain it can be to lug a stroller up escalators and several flights of stairs. The kids had a wonderful time with their cousins, and New York is always great fun!


Mike's mum with all her grandchildren
 (minus Nicholas, who had crawled off)




With our dear friends Sue and Gareth from Japan
4. Spending Christmas in England with Mike's extended family: We visited England for Christmas and New Year's in 2007/2008, and sadly, that was the last time we visited! Mike's brother and wife and family (who had moved from New York back to Sydney, Australia) joined us and we had the full English family Christmas. Although our trip had its share of the holiday travel hassles, we enjoyed the traditional English traditions and loved catching up with friends from Japan, who have opened a bed and breakfast in the Cotswolds called Lowerfield Farm (now ranked as one of the best in England!). We saw a raunchy British panto, went on walks, ate pheasant for New Year, and had dinner with one of Mike's friends from Oxford. Altogether, two weeks was not long enough and we weren't able to see most of our friends and family because of the time of year and short duration of our trip.

5. Mike becoming a U.S. citizen: After 18 years of living in the U.S., he finally decided to take the plunge in 2008. He's way more politically informed and educated than I am (and I'm more informed than most Americans), and it was so sad that he couldn't vote. He was no longer able to vote in the United Kingdom since he'd been living abroad for so long (that's how they do things). He'd been living vicariously through my ballots for years, and it was very exciting for him to be able to vote in both the presidential primary and the general election, especially such an exciting one! And of course, seeing President Barack Obama be elected as president of the U.S. was an amazing memory!! Here's a list I wrote for my sons on election day 2008, explaining why I voted for him--and did again by mail last week. It's fascinating to look back on that post now, four years later.

Family leaving Holden, 2011
6. Going off the grid at Holden Village: I have so amazing memories from our family's regular trips up to Holden Village above Lake Chelan. We began going regularly with various people from our church every 2 years in around 2005, and have continued to do so until 2011. In 2012 we spent 10 days there for the first time, because the village will be closed for a few years while they remediate the Superfund site mine next to the village. We will miss it!!

My parents' 50th celebration, July 2011
7. Special anniversaries: We celebrated our 20-year anniversary in San Francisco in 2010 and our 25 years of knowing each other in January 2012. My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary in July 2011. We are so blessed by the love of family!

Kieran in the Hullabaloo
8. Feeling proud of our performing children: I don't know where they get their courage. All three of our kids seem to be drawn to the spotlight...from Kieran getting the first part he auditioned for and playing the lead in a play for 25 performances in 5 weeks and now working hard as a member of Kids Company Northwest...to Chris getting a part in Jesuit's high school musical...and Nicholas making his debut as an Oompa Loompa and a dog this summer at Holden Village...

Our last trip to Hawaii, 2008
9. Spending time together as a family, especially on vacation: Whether it's traveling to New York, Vancouver Island, Hawaii, Florida, Toronto, Seattle, Boise, or the Oregon coast, many of my most treasured memories are from just hanging out with my family on vacation. These will probably be my children's most cherished childhood memories, too. We haven't taken any big vacations recently because of paying for private school, and I really miss traveling farther away.

After signing his agent contract
10. Mike getting an agent! In January of this year, Mike got an agent after writing for 22 years. (Granted he wasn't looking during all those years.) When he had offers from two agents, it was a wonderful vote of confidence for him. No book contract yet, and his agent's in New York so he hasn't heard anything for awhile, but we are ever hopeful!

Thanks to Stasha at http://www.northwestmommy.com/ for organizing Monday Listicles. Check out some other great lists!

20 comments:

  1. Your list is so full of great news! The baby, citizenship, the agent...so happy for you all!

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  2. Chalk full of spectacular moments and memories!! What an exciting family you have!

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  3. You have some major milestone memories! I had my youngest at 40 so I know how old you feel at the school!

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    1. Nice to know others can relate to being an "older mother." :)

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  4. What a wonderful list of memories. Congrats on so many happy years together!

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  5. I feel like I just had a marathon girlfriend chat session with you. So many great memories.

    I'm so glad you introduced me to your book blog and I bookmarked that English Bed and Breakfast.

    Ellen

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    1. Those marathon girlfriend chats are the best!! I just love your blog and lists as well, and it does feel that we learn things about each other that even some of our close friends don't always know.

      You must check out the B and B when you go to England. My friends are some of the most wonderful, hospitable people I know!

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  6. How exciting! What wonderful memories. Family vacations, special anniversaries are great things to remember and treasure forever!

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    1. Thanks, Emily. Yes--makes me realize I need to take more family vacations, because they offer the best memories!

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  7. What wonderful memories...and even more impressive to me...you remember them all!!! :D

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    1. Thanks...I read memoirs and wonder how people can remember such mundane details about their childhoods. That's where I am really lacking!!

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  8. What a great list with amazing memories! I can't wait for family vacations, When the boys are older! Congrats on getting an agent!

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. Family vacations are the best!!!

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  9. You all are such happy people. WIth all the challenges, your life is a wonderful one. I bet Mike is dancing the happy dance again this morning ;)

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    1. Thanks, Stasha. Yes, we are all dancing the happy dance!! We drank a bottle of champagne last night, celebrating!!

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  10. What a wonderful list of happy memories. Vacations and agents and anniversaries - great fun!

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    1. Thanks Kim...yes, makes me want to plan another vacation right NOW!

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