Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I said "yes" to Nepal

Brad is currently in Nepal. He's hiking. For 3 1/2 weeks. When I reveal these details (no, it's not humanitarian and yes, he's there for almost a month) jaws tend to drop a bit. Brad said to me one night "My friends are in awe of you that you are letting me do this".  I told him "My friends are in awe of me to for letting you do this!" as I laughed. Even after being married for 13 years it still strikes me as odd.  This notion that even as an adult we are in a place where we need permission to do certain things. I get it. I'm not saying that it's not valid. It just feels strange when you think about it. My kids say that they can't wait to grow up so that they can do whatever they want. That's not always the case though.

Brad has always watched shows about Mt. Everest. He hiked the Appalachian Trail when he younger and made a couple of attempts at long hikes as an adult. I know that when he is in the woods and hiking he finds a kind of peace that is hard for him to find elsewhere. (Personally I'm able find that kind of peace on a massage table!) When he told me almost a year ago that hiking the Annapurna circuit in Nepal is something that he hoped to do in 2014 I asked the usual questions.  Is it safe, how much does it cost, how long? I thought about it for a minute and then said "Okay". He looked at me skeptically. "Really? I didn't think it would be that easy." I didn't think it would be either. Granted, it's not a foreign concept for Brad to be gone for long periods. When he was in grad school he spent about 8 out of 16 months in Maryland and West Virginia, although he typically came home on the weekends. That was also 4 years and 1 kid ago. But the kids are older now and life is a little easier in terms of the physical labor of kids!

I've been trying to figure out why it was so easy for me to agree for him to go. I can't really come up with a solid answer other than it just felt like the right thing to do. He encouraged me to go to Uganda last year when I faltered about the difficulty of arranging childcare. I knew it was a life long dream of his to see the Himalayas. Marriage is a work in progress. Sometimes you have to put in more work to make progress. I guess I agreed to work a little more knowing all that he would get out of a trip like this and what the gesture could do for our marriage. It was on opportunity for me to "fill his bucket". I know that Brad's realistic enough to not ask for something this "big" very often and he has expressed his gratitude and appreciation almost daily. It felt well worth the sacrifice to help him achieve a bucket list item.

**Post note: This was obviously started a little while ago and I'm just now finishing it up! Brad came home a little early because he missed the girls and me a lot. Once he saw the Himalayas and finished his trek it felt like it was time to come home. I'm glad that he got what he needed. My time was fairly easy actually with lots of good girlfriend time! One week after Brad went through the Thorung La pass there was a a freak blizzard that killed many trekkers. There is almost never precipitation this time of year on the trail. It's scary to know that had his days been off by just a bit... I'm praying for those hikers and their families.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The downside of Disney's Frozen on Ice

A few months ago I saw tickets for Disney's Frozen on Ice go on sale. Even Sierra loved the movie and they have watched it countless times in the car and we have listened to the CD to death (possibly my death!). Brad suggested that it might be a good "girls night" so I talked my sweet friend Lisa into joining us! I'm not gonna lie... it was pretty awesome! Great skating, cool effects, happy kids. What's not to love?

And this. This is why I love Lisa!

Very cool monster effects

Beautiful costumes

Don't deny it... You just started singing "Let it go"!

Cadence catching "snow" as it fell into the audience.  
We later discovered that it was actually bubbles. 

And this... what can make one happier than Olaf?

Except a particularly adorable 5 year old who loves Olaf!

And this sweet smile (I'm not neglecting Sierra, sadly she just stopped hamming it up for the camera a few years ago)

A little smile from her

Unfortunately though, while all of this kids looked like this:

I was sitting next to them feeling like this:

Why?  Because these days are numbered. And going fast. So, so very fast.  I feel like it was just last year that we took Sierra to go see Dora when she was two years old. I don't even think that she understood exactly what was happening on stage but when everyone else clapped you'd have thought Sierra just watched her favorite Olympian take the gold! She was so freaking excited! I swear, we did that just last year. Then last month we brought Cadence home from China as she toddled around with her big, beautiful cleft smile. Yet somehow this morning she hopped out of my car with her oversize back pack and walked right into kindergarten. It. Makes. My. Heart. Ache. 

Don't get me wrong. Brad and I already talk about the trips that we will take and the things that we will do in 13 years when the last one heads off to college. However, I'm already getting a strong taste of teenage-hood. And I have to admit that I kind of prefer a preschooler meltdown to it. I know, I know, there are lots of good things about the kiddos growing up. And that's what we brought them here to do, right? To guide them through this world, hopefully get some of it right and send them out on their way to be good, kind, contributing members of society.  I just want it to slow down a little bit. Maybe a lot. I want to know that someone will always be there to excitedly throw her arms around my neck when I get home. I want to have a little one to cuddle in my lap when I read a book. I want sweet, homemade cards with hearts all over it "just because". I want it all for a little longer than it's going to last. It's almost enough to think about having another. We did actually start the paperwork for a second adoption this past winter. Then reality smacked us in the face when we realized that most days we barely keep our heads above water with three. So, we stopped. I think what I realized is that I don't necessarily want another child, I just want more time with the ones I've already got. 

So instead of lamenting I'm going to try and be more intentional with my time with my girls. While there are certainly days when I count the minutes til bedtime (and I won't pretend like I shouldn't ever feel that way) these days are flying by. It's time to put more focus in the right places.