Love

About Time: A Birthday Letter

Dear Tom,

So yesterday, I was driving around town . . . running errands . . . and this song came on.  Coldplay's Clocks.  And I got thinking about clocks.  And time.  And your birthday.  And I got to wondering just how many of your birthdays we've celebrated together.

So I counted them up.

Today makes 39.

We started out with your 21st.  It was December 20, 1979, and I picked you up at Stapleton International Airport in Denver.  You were a senior at Boise State; I was a junior at the University of Wyoming.  And we had a whole month together for semester break.

Remember that one?  I gave you a giant afghan I had crocheted!  (And we still have it.) 

Back then, we looked like this . . . 

Scan

Turns out . . . there have been 38 more of your birthdays together, counting today.

We've celebrated your birthday with parties.  We've celebrated quietly at home.  We've had birthday breakfasts and birthday lunches and birthday dinners.  One year, we were getting ready to move and packed a few boxes on your birthday.  And you were only days away from defending your PhD thesis on another birthday.  There was the now-famous "Chocolate Vesuvius Incident" on your birthday in 1995.  We've celebrated your birthday on vacation while skiing in Steamboat Springs.  And we celebrated your birthday in Akumal, Mexico once.  

IMG_6640

That's a lot of celebrating your birthday together! 

Time.

It flies. It marches on.  It waits for no man.

IMG_0207

I couldn't really imagine all these birthdays-to-come unrolling before us back in the airport parking lot in 1979.  Yet . . . here we are.  Thirty-eight birthdays later.

Happy birthday, Tom.  

I love every minute I get to spend with you!

XO,
Me

 

 


Meeting My Goal

My daughter, Erin, has always been . . . her own self.  Unique; imaginative; smart and creative.  And totally out-of-the-box from the get-go.  It's been fun - and always a bit of an adventure - to watch her grow up; to watch her unfold.  

When she went off to college, she met her match in Keith.  The two of them just . . . fit together from the start.  And it's been a delight to watch them grow and unfold  . . . together.

IMG_9473

No one would ever use the word "conventional" to describe either Erin or Keith.  They do things their own way!  Always have; always will.

So when it came time to plan their wedding, I knew we'd have fun with it.  As the mother-of-the-bride, my biggest goal was to make sure Erin and Keith had a wedding day that was perfect . . . for them.  That their wedding turned out be just what they wanted -- even if it was a bit out-of-the-box; a day that would make them happy.

Wedding-37

Sometimes, they embraced tradition.  (Tom walked Erin down the aisle, for example.)

Wedding-34

And sometimes, they did not.  (They had a cake as part of their "dessert buffet" -- but no "wedding cake" and no cake cutting ceremony.)

Wedding-49

The wedding was small and intimate, with a venue only blocks from the beach.

Wedding-97

There were games to play and costumes to try on.  A friend performed a poem (poetry-slam style) that she wrote just for Erin and Keith (so powerful and moving that there was not a dry eye among the women at my table).

Wedding-125

There was jazz and some spontaneous dancing and cornhole match-ups and even an appearance by Party Duck (because friends can surprise and delight).

Wedding-98

But mostly, there was love and joy.

Wedding-24

I feel like I met my goal:  The day was lovely and relaxed and fun . . . just the way Erin and Keith wanted it to be!

==========

(And - just because I'm sure you're all dying to know - I wore the silver sparkle shoes!)  (Both of them.)

Wedding-76

 

 

 

 

 


Dispatch from Wedding Central

Just a quick little check-in to let you know that I'm climbing aboard the Wedding Crazy Train today.  

Houseguests.

Last-minute details and decisions.*

A transportation schedule that looks something like a battle strategy.

(You know.)

IMG_9300

But mostly . . . so much love in my heart.

I'll be back next Tuesday to tell you all about it.

==========

* I still haven't made a final decision about my shoes.  Maybe I'll wear one of each???


Well, Now. Wasn't That Fun?

The weather forecast here yesterday called for heavy cloud cover.  But, once again, the weather forecast turned out to be . . . WRONG!

We had some clouds, sure.  But all afternoon we had clear eclipse viewing!

IMG_9126

What a spectacle!

My dad nabbed an approved pair of eclipse glasses just days before the eclipse -- and he was more than willing to share.  So we gathered in the backyard for a little eclipse party.

We tried a bit of everything when it came to watching the eclipse (because Science).

The humble colander (complete with requisite dog hair)

IMG_9113

The tricky binoculars (with modification).

IMG_9124

Old-school pinhole box camera (thanks Amazon Prime).

IMG_9114 2

Everything worked -- but nothing was quite as awesome as watching with the eclipse glasses!

Here is my very favorite photo from yesterday . . . 

IMG_9125

(Makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it!)

It was a great afternoon.  So much fun!

IMG_9129

And . . . speaking of amazing spectacles . . .

Anniversary2

Today is our anniversary.  36 years.  And all of them sunny!

 


A Date With . . . SCIENCE

Last night, Tom took me to the 75th anniversary celebration of the Kalamazoo chapter of the American Chemical Society.  

IMG_4370

Yeah.  I didn't do so well on the trivia challenge.  But they had wine, so I was good!

The celebration was held at the Kalamazoo AirZoo - a unique and popular aviation museum here in town.  I was excited to go . . . because I have never actually been to the AirZoo.  (I know.  It's one of those wonderful community treasures that you send visitors to all the time . . . but never quite make it there yourself.)  Tom has been there; my dad has been there; my kids have been there.  But me?  Not until last night.  

IMG_4378

It was a great venue for an event like this.  Guests could take in the museum, get a drink, and then gather for the dinner and presentations.

IMG_1116

There are tasteful "rides" for kids, full motion flight simulators, and something called 4D Missions Theater.  (These last two came with the caveat that you might want to try them before dinner.  Yeah . . . no thanks; think I'll just skip those. . .)

IMG_4377

There are really cool interactive "experiences" throughout the museum -- hands-on activities to explain flight concepts like air flow, lift, and circuitry.

IMG_4375

IMG_4374

And let's just say this . . . once a science-nerd, always a science-nerd!

IMG_4372

Tom had fun exploring (playing?) at all the interactive stations -- but he especially loved launching rockets.

The big feature of the evening (and the topic of the guest speaker) was the SR-71B Blackbird (U-2 spy plane).  This is the plane that Gary Powers was flying when he was shot down in Soviet airspace back in 1960.

IMG_4379

So . . . what did the AirZoo and the presentation about the spy plane have to do with chemistry?  Why . . . I can't really tell you.  Because it wasn't really clear that it DID have to do with chemistry!  It was just a fun, celebratory evening for science nerds!  (And the people who love them.)

Plus . . . swag!

IMG_4381

Now we have commemorative, his-and-hers pint glasses to remember our date with science!

Have a great weekend.

 

 


Hearts and Words

IMG_4094

“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.”
                                                                            — Helen Keller

IMG_4095

“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
                                                            — Leo Buscaglia

IMG_4093

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
                                                            — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fill the world with love.
Happy Valentine's Day!


Roll With It, Baby

Today is a special day . . . because this guy?

IMG_1809

Birthday Boy!

And because every birthday needs a soundtrack, here's my song for Tom . . . on his 58th birthday.

You see, this year . . . well.  It hasn't been an easy one.  In fact, this year ranks right up there with some of the crappiest years of our 37 years together.  In fact, I'd place this year in the #1 spot of our Top Five Most Challenging Years Ever list.

There was 1993.  That was a frustrating year.

And 1999.  Lots of growing pains.

2003 was particularly nasty.  But only for a few very intense months.

2008.  Yeah.  That one was bad, too.  

But 2016?  Total shit storm.

But we're getting through it.  Because that's what we do!  We hold each other up.  We light each other's path.  We shoulder on.  We head up north.  We go to the gym.  Basically, we . . . 

Roll with it, baby.
Hang on and roll with it, baby.

IMG_1728

Get on through it, roll with it, baby
Luck'll come and then slip away,
you've gotta move,
bring it back to stay

You just roll with it, baby,
come on and just roll with it, baby
You and me, roll with it, baby,
hang on and just roll with it, baby

IMG_2241

So, happy birthday, dear Tom!  

No matter what life brings us in the coming year, I know we'll roll with it.  

Because that's what we do.

 


It's Showtime!

It's no secret that Tom and I like to go to the movies -- and especially at Oscar time.  We usually try to see all the movies nominated for Best Picture, and for most of the other "big" nomination categories, too.  In fact, it's kind of our Annual Movie Mission.

Since today is the day the Oscar nominations are announced, I thought you might like to hear how our particular "mission" got its start.

Let's go back . . . WAY back . . . to 1979. . . 

K and T circa 1979

Two college kids.

Dating.

Always looking for something to do.

(And, as Tom reminded me last night, there's only so much drinking and dancing you can do in one week.)

We went to the movies.

Like . . . ALL the movies.

Every. Single. One.

And when it was time for the Academy Awards in the spring of 1980 (because they weren't called "The Oscars" back then), I watched -- and discovered with delight -- that I had seen every nominated movie!

The Best Picture nominees that year (just for some perspective)?

Oscar_posters_79

All_That_Jazz

Apocalypse_Now_poster

Breaking_away

Norma_rae_ver2

 (The big winner that year?  Kramer vs. Kramer.)

(It was also the year that featured Manhattan, Being There, The Rose, The China Syndrome, The Black Stallion, . . . and Justice for All, and The Muppet Movie.)

We discovered . . . it was so much more fun to watch the Academy Awards when you'd seen the movies, and cared about who won.

It stuck.

Although there were plenty of years (when the kids were little, for example) that we didn't see ANY of the nominated movies, we do enjoy the challenge . . . of seeing ALL the movies.

It's showtime, folks!