Monday, March 31, 2008

Destination: Destin (Part I)

The last time we traveled during a spring break was 11 years ago on our honeymoon. We were both in college (on the 10-year plan) when we got married and planned our honeymoon around our spring break. But, we did it this year—we were spring breakers.

When we got Phillip’s school calendar this year, Jeff said he wanted to go away for spring break, he wanted to go some place warm and get away. If you know me, you know I am not a good traveler. This was not always the case. In fact, I blame the nomadic nature of my childhood on my distaste for travel as an adult. We were always traveling when I was growing up.

Now, I see how fortunate I was and am grateful for my parents dragging us here, there and everywhere. And, I want my kids to have that experience too. But for now, I think they are too young to really get anything meaningful out of such trips and it stresses me out too much to even think about making one on the scale we used to make.

We always went to visit my grandparents who wintered in Naples. We went skiing once a year—first in Michigan and later in Colorado. We went to the Caribbean several times. We went to California, more trips to Colorado, New York City, I went to England, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and usually Michigan in the summer to escape the Indiana heat and humidity. We went to Chicago at least three times, maybe four or five times a year. We were always going by plane, train and automobile; but mostly by plane.

Now, I hate planes. I all but refuse to fly. I haven’t been on an airplane since Phillip was one and I cannot see myself getting on one anytime soon, at least not without being medicated. My growing fear of flying is multi-dimensional and based on a mix of fact and fiction—and I fully admit the fiction part is completely irrational, but none the less—it’s there.

So, for now, when we travel, we drive. And, truly with three little kids, I think it is the easiest way for us to travel right now. I need to have that level of control provided by driving. I need to be able to take what I want to take and stop when we want or need to stop. We need a car where ever we go that can hold three car seats (oh, and our stuff). And so it goes. We set out for spring break last week—destination: Destin, Florida.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

11 Years and Still Love'em

Yesterday was our 11th wedding anniversary. And, this year our anniversary was even on a Saturday--just like when we got married. I still love that guy. I of course had no idea where life would take us and it has taken us much further than I could have ever imagined. I love the surprises around each corner, never really being able to even dream of where we are headed. I love the kids we made and the memories we share. He still, most importantly, can make me laugh when I need it most. He reminds me how silly my anxieties really are and reassures me when I lack confidence.

I used to love go watch his hockey games. He looked so cute in his uniform, all sweaty and strong. He still plays even after all these years. He complains about the young guys playing too rough and I remember when he complained about the old guys being babies. Times have changed, but he still looks so cute playing hockey.

And, we made a mini-him who is a great hockey player too. Today was Samuel's last day of the season and we are so proud of him. The second his skates hit the ice, he goes and goes and goes and never stops until its over. He never gives up, he always wants more. He is a natural athlete (see more pictures in the web album).

That is something I have never been--an athlete. I try to explain that in tennis, although it always sounds like I am making excuses. I have never played (for more than a few minutes or beyond a family game in the yard) ball sports. I always wanted to be good at sports--agile and brave, strong and conditioned. It's not me and fortunately my parents never made me feel bad for it.

As different as they all are, we will help each of our kids find something they care enough about to try and try again until they get it right. We will help them all find something that inspires and engages, something that makes them strong in mind, body and spirit. They will be athletes of one kind or another and we will celebrate every step along the way.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Hero

Yes, it is a new entry. No smart comments please and I am not going to make any false promises I cannot keep. Sort of like the time I quit smoking when I was in my early 20s. I kept a package of cigarettes in my freezer for probably five year--just in case. I never swore it off, I never said I was quitting because I feared I couldn't keep the promise. I think now I can admit I quit, with pride.

Anyway...back to life today.

Now, he isn't only a hero at work...he is also a Guitar Hero...

Two weekends ago, he stood in line for us for over an hour (despite the fact he swore he never would) so we could finally get a Wii. We love it, it is so much fun. I made a New Year's resolution to boycott China and we have been trying hard not to buy anything from China (we have done amazingly well--even found Nike shoes not made in China!). But, the Wii was a huge exception.

So everyone in the family has a favorite Wii game. Samuel and Phillip played Lego Star Wars for over an hour together the other day--laughing and really having fun together (rare these days as they are sort of in two totally different places in their lives right now, Sam more buddies around with Andrew). I love tennis and Avatar with Phillip. Samuel loves bowling.

For Jeff, it's Guitar Hero III. The other night after the kids had gone to bed, I was watching tv in the other room and he was working on Slow Ride. He took a break and popped his head in where I was watching tv, he was sweating! So funny, but glad he found something he enjoys, it is always nice to find a diversion for everyday life that you enjoy.