Tuesday, July 19, 2011

some especially superb days of my life.

 I spent 12 days with my sister and her family. It was a lot of things, but mostly, so good.

They are some of my favorite people in the world, and staying with them was probably the only way I could keep from missing the rest of my family too violently while they were singing and witnessing and eating and being beautiful in Poland.

{by the way, quick warning: this is gonna be a picture-heavy post. and even though I've already done a couple posts about being at Johanna's house, (here and here), there's gonna be another one. I do apologize. : ) }

My soul sister, Beka, lives just across the field (she's my sister's husband's little sister... in case that was never communicated. yeah, it's a little confusing. but we were best friends before the whole relationship between our siblings happened, about five years ago. in fact, we schemed it. and...we were the kind of schemers that were totally caught off-guard when it actually happened.)

Anyways. Being there meant lots of overdue hanging-out-time with Beka, too, which resulted in awesome things like a five-color manicure, two sleepovers under the stars, and ganging up on spring-cleaning with Johanna (yes, in July--we're cool like that), fueled by Disney music.

That place is My Other Place. And they are My Other People. I was there so long that I really started to feel like it was home. Now that I'm home, I'm getting confused in our kitchen and waiting for baby noises.

Johanna is one of the most chill, patient, respectable people I know. She's a gorgeous lady, a great wife, and a truly amazing mother. I hope I'm half as calm and long-suffering of a mother as she is when I grow up. : )

It was awesome to have such a long time to spend with Katie, to listen to her constant hilarious comments and take pictures of her ridiculous cuteness.

She has such a good papa. I have going-on-three sisters-in-law, but John is my only brother-in-law, and he's sure a good one.

Beka, Katie, and I

Katie and her Uncle Paul

They have sunsets there. I'm increasingly bitter that because of our little valley, we not only miss out on the majority of the sunset every night, but the delicious evening light disappears much too early.

Oh, yes, they definitely have sunsets.

The wind is stronger, the grass is drier, and the world is quieter down there. The stars are brighter than any I've seen, and the only sounds at night are the creeper bull-frogs and the excitable neighbor dogs.

The best papas, when their princess says "I want to fly!" just make it happen.

Victoria. I love her. She's abrupt and grabby and talkative and when she's not crying, can always be counted on for a huge grin. 

I love how they are such sisters, even though they're tiny. Johanna says "Katie, make Toria laugh!" and Katie will fake-laugh right in her face. Invariably, Victoria starts giggling.

things that happened:

I got the itch to make (and eat) chocolate cake while I was there, and I ended up making two three-layer devil's food cakes. I do like cake.

We went rafting on the erratic, sometimes-very-deep, sometimes-scraping-on-the-rocks-kind-of-shallow creek on a tiny inflatable raft. It was one of those things that got pretty terrible, as in, please let me just die right now, but then once it's over and I'm eating hot chicken with my hands, it's definitely a good experience.

It was sunny and peaceful and I hung my legs off the side and people happily (mostly) jumped/fell into the water but then it got dark and the stupid bridge was nowhere to be found. Beka's lips turned blue (like, actually blue) and the Mountain Dew ran out. We all started to die from hypothermia and starvation and having to go to the bathroom really, really bad.

But we made it back without drowning or puncturing the raft too severely on any rocks (hard to avoid 'em in the dark) and Johanna, who had to stay home with the babies, had the most amazing chicken waiting for us. I ate it SO fast and then drank much-too-hot tea and ate ice cream simultaneously. That hot shower was the best hot shower of all time. Good day. : )

Beka's mom took us "grocery shopping", which turned out to be dinner at McMenamins, getting my first-ever pedicure, eating a lot of gelato, drooling over purses at Dressbarn, and then breezing through one grocery store. : ) Not being told that all that would be happening, I was camera-less, so Beka's mom took a picture with my iPhone.

I haven't even painted my toes for probably over a year, so it was all very exciting. : ) Plus this color of pink just makes me crazy happy. Amazing how nail polish can make every day just way more beautiful.

We went bowling, and I won a game. The significance of this must be understood in the context of the fact that I'm bad at, like, everything that I ever do with Beka and her family. I can't swim, I can't blow bubbles, and I'm terrible at most any sport involving a catching a ball. I can't even whistle.

Victoria and Uncle Adam

Ice cream = good.

Gah, I love her.

I administered not-so-very wanted hairdo's, lots of chocolate cake, band-aids on boo-boos, and clothes, even when she was not a fan (aka ran around the house declaring "no! I want to be naked!")

We watched Mulan (twice) and I got emotional right along with Mushu. "My baby's all grown up and saving China!" I thought the exact same thing about Bethany as I weepily looked at the just. plain. perfection. of Peter and Miwaza's pictures from Poland. Except, in this case it was "my baby's all grown up and saving Poland." More on that in the next post. : )

Sometimes I get panicky--"she's growing up without me!" So it was awesome to have such a long time with her. But now it makes me miss her more.

Life is so good. 


  1. Aw, such great pics, girlie!! So fun! Glad you had such a good time over there!

    Ooh, and you got one of your bucket list wishes fulfilled - painting every nail a different color. Nice job!! ;)

    Love you!

  2. Aww i cant wait until my niece gets bigger :)

  3. amazing pictures! those little girls are way too cute :)

  4. way too awesome post! way too awesome pictures!
    what cute little girls...oh, you sound like me, i am so bad at catching and throwing balls. and i definitely can't whistle.

  5. Amazing, amazing post. I couldn't stop laughing after seeing your niece's static hair. Really. She's so cute, precious, and funny.
    We should have a club for the people who just can't catch and throw balls. 'Cause I know a whole LOT of people would be joining that club. ;)
    Thanks for such a wonderful post!


  6. My "Other Place" and my "Other People"! I really love that! Great pictures, and your niece is so cute!

  7. What a sweet post! Your niece and all that adorable hair static...the photo of that sleeping angel...wow, you have some precious children in your life.

    Also, I too suck very badly at bowling...and whistling. Good for you for kicking some booty and winning a game! =)

  8. I'm new at this and everything, but thing pictures you took are great!!!

  9. The pictures are so cute! Don't worry, I stink at whistling and bowling and catching balls. This post made me ridiculously happy. :D

  10. Aw, it looks like you had a wonderful time! Such a sweet post... not to mention gorgeous photos. :) You've got talent!

  11. Awesome post!! And the kids are *so cute*!!!! So beautiful. And don't worry, girlie, you're not the only one. Ever since I became too old to have bumpers, I've never scored past 50 in a game of bowling. *sigh* Sad, isn't it?
    Glad you had fun :))
    -Jocee <3

  12. Oh. My. I love it. ♥ Sounds like you had a great time. :) Won a bowling game????WOW!!! Never before have I accomplished that feat. And your People are absolutely adorable.
    xo Simi ♥

  13. Wow! Sounds like you had fun! Victoria and Katie are sooooo incredibly cute it's crazy!! :) xx

  14. aw those are such cute pictures! I really enjoyed this post :)


  15. It looks like you had a beautiful time - I love all the photos.

  16. Wonderful pictures! Looks like you had an amazing time. :) Katie and Toria remind me of my sister and I when we were little. :)
    "No, I want to be naked!" Priceless.


  17. you have such an eye for picture taking, love that little girls fly away hair...My Indy gets that too!

  18. Oh my, your photos are just gorgeous! What a lovely visit. :)


  19. Such great pictures, sounds like you have a great family.

  20. Ah, how wonderful those glorious moments with family are. So Beka is your brother-in-law's sister? How awesome is that! Hehe...love the way you gals had planned out your sister marrying her brother and then it happening. Isn't it great when something you're like "hey, it would be cool is such-and-such happened..." and then it really does? Love those moments. So that makes you sister with your soul sister! Awesome. Btw, you're nieces are so. cute. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Oh man, those hair static pictures are to-die-for-perfect!

  22. I always love on little children when I see them at the grocery store especially since I'm the youngest...
    I can't wait until I meet my little step niece...hopefully that will be before she grows up from the cute age of 3...

  23. these pictures are amazing, you can tell what things are important to you. thanks for sharing your talent!

  24. Your relatives (and friends) are absolutely adorable. I love it! Glad you enjoyed your time with them!

  25. Such wonderful pictures! Looks like you had a crazy-great time with your family! Can't wait to hear more!!!

  26. I CAN'T WHISTLE EITHER! I get really weird looks when I tell people that, but it's the truth. I think my mouth is just shaped differently, it's impossible for me to whistle. The end.

    Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, it looks like you had a perfectly lovely time. The pictures were awesome, as usual. :)

  27. btw, I will definitely come and visit you when I finally get round to my tour de amercia!!

  28. These pictures are so beautiful! You definitely have a eye and talent for capturing the everyday things and making them beautiful.

  29. such amazing pictures!!!!!! those kids are BEAUTIFUL. keep up the good photography work!


  30. I know this may seem silly, but I totally screamed when I read your comment on my blog post about my bucket list. I've admired you and your amazing blog. So, just so ya know, your comment made my day. :) I hope, maybe you'll visit again soon...

  31. What an adorable little blog! This is my first time reading it and I must say I am in love. What adorable little girls and what breathtaking photos:)

  32. I'm curious-- how does Johanna say her name? Is is "Joe-hannah" or "Joe-hON-uh"? My name is spelled J-o-h-a-n-n-a but said "Joe-hON-uh". :) I mainly go by "Jo" as a nickname.


    Proverbs 16:3

  33. You have very cute neices! :) What a fun memory makin' trip! lovely pics.

  34. These are all such beautiful pictures! :)

  35. I do love to whistle as I walk down the hallway at school. I'm sorry you can't!
    And every time I see pictures of Beka, the word I always think of first is "bright-eyed". She is definitely photogenic!
    Oh, and your nieces are precious. I won't be an aunt for a very long time...*sigh*


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