For Instant Birthday Fun: Just Add Bacon

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Happy birthday to my very generous husband, Heath. He spent his birthday with me in Seattle. Then we took the kids to Port of Subs for dinner where they asked for bacon on their sandwiches. Their sandwiches didn’t come with bacon. My wrap did. With green jelly eyes over my bacon, they asked for bacon first and the guy quickly obliged. Why not? Bacon comes to the tune of $1.60 extra!

Feigning innocence, Gwen batted her pretty eyelashes and claimed she didn’t know. She told us we should have stopped her! Right, because there was so much time to read her mind before the words came out and Not Stupid Sandwich Maker quickly shoved another two slices in the microwave. Parker found his own table where he could pout in peace. When I convinced him to join us and that we didn’t need to take up every table in the place, he also said we should have told him! Apparently he has ordered bacon on his sandwich every single time before.

What could we do but laugh. And call him the Bacon Ninja.

Nothing Bundt Cakes closed two minutes before we arrived. We will have to redeem Heath’s free bundtlet tomorrow. We told the kids they ate their cake budget in bacon. Despite their fears, we were joking.

It was nice that Heath had a birthday. The Seattle Aquarium was free, we got a free meal at Red Robin, Gwen gave her dad birthday money that bought a cute crab keychain, we went on a Locks Tour that was awesome!, and tomorrow we will have cake. Not a bad day to turn … 29 again.

Sweet Treat or Something Darker?

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My mom would always get us free samples of fudge when we would go to the state fair or to Gardener Village. Behind the glass was a vast array of bricks in every flavor imaginable. Which one?

If the mood really struck her, she would buy a larger amount of one or two flavors. It always looked so tempting. The smell was heady. The choices so alluring. I would carefully weigh my options and finally decide on one enticing flavor to sample. I have decided the samples are just the right amount of fudge for me. I have never been one for rich, decadent treats.

Fudge is an interesting commodity. How can a few ingredients blended together elicit such excitement in people? Ah but it does!

There is another side to fudge. The side I want to focus on. The naughty word replacement side. This conversation happened in my home recently. It was so random and completely out of the blue. I have been laughing ever since.

Parker: I was in the fifth grade before I realized fudge wasn’t a bad word!
Gavin: Well, the movies make you think it’s a bad word! The kid drops the lug nuts and says really slowly, “Oh f-u-u-u-u-dge!” Then he gets his mouth washed out with soap!
Parker: I remember being in first grade and hearing someone say fudge. I thought (he pantomimes wide eyes with hands clapped over his mouth), you said a bad word!
Gavin: Yeah, I thought they were swearing in those books with the kid named Fudge.
Parker: Me too! Every time I saw Fudge I just skipped over that part in my head. I blame you, Gavin! You were the one who told me it was a bad word! I was in the fifth grade before I figured it out!

Who says older kids don’t still say funny things? Although I’m sure if he thought about it, Parker would blame me. Fudge is rarely in our house. Usually it’s on a plate full of other holiday goodies delivered around Christmas time. My kids never asked and I never said, “Hey, that bite size piece of chocolate that tastes a lot like frosting is actually called fudge. By the way, it’s not a bad word. Or a bad treat if you’re in the mood for it.” It’s okay. I’ve already made peace with the future bill from the shrink.

“Please bless Dad’s eyebrows!”

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No one ever dreams of losing their eyebrows. Sometimes life is unpredictable. You have to roll with the punches.

The anticipated day was cold, gray and rainy. Nothing could dampen the enthusiasm carefully contained in a large cardboard box freshly delivered. Not even the extra time required to find the fuel.

After meticulous searching for wood pellets, we wandered to other parts of the store. An employee asked if we were finding everything all right. Heath asked where the wood pellets were. “Not wood chunks. We need wood pellets for a pizza oven.” The cheerful employee led us directly to the aisle we had just visually scoured many times over for the last quarter hour. There still weren’t any wood pellets.

She was as determined as we were. She searched several store databases to determine that our local Lowe’s no longer stocks such a product. Apparently it wasn’t selling well. A nearby Lowe’s had some though. The price was comparable to what the pizza oven company sells online. We’ll probably try that in the future.

The pizza oven was assembled. One rabbit/hamster food looking bag of pellets was dumped into a new plastic container. The other bag remained sealed.

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A plastic folding table was set up and the oven was heating up nicely on top. An infrared gun confirmed that temperatures had exceeded its ability to read, meaning temps were over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain was pouring. Time to cook!

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Dough was ready to go along with all the toppings. Assembly of the first pizza began. Mouths watered in anticipation.

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Each pie took about one minute to fully cook. This included frequent turning.

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This was the first pie. The following four were equally works of homemade culinary art. Crust was charred to perfection. Vegetables were tender crisp over a landscape of melted cheese, tangy sauce, pepperoni and bacon. Hummina hummina hummina!

For a first attempt with a real, honest to goodness pizza oven, all signs pointed to job well done. Of course there is always a learning curve with every attempt to try something new. The time to cook the pizza had been slashed dramatically. Yet there was still too much time in between making the next pizza. I tried to help but learned that it’s easier to make each one on the metal peel. So we may need a few more metal peels.

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Heath was pleasantly surprised by the amount of pellets required. While they burn quickly and the oven needs to be fed often, we didn’t use nearly as much as he predicted. Good for us for buying 40 lbs. of the stuff. It should last longer than we thought.

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The smoke looked cool and smelled like camping in the woods. If only it wasn’t raining so hard. Our neighbors could have been jealous! For those of you taking note, don’t cook in the rain. It was a large pain in the butt and my newly mopped floors need another mopping.

Heath learned not to touch the front door to the table right after coming out of the fire. Two touches with burn marks later … It’s an old craft table that we only use to eat on while he was on conference calls. The table also has an ancient cup ring. I have scrubbed that thing until the texture on the table has smoothed. The ring still remains. All yellow with mystery and awe.

The other lesson we learned was the most enjoyable. By pizza #5 the flame had died down. Heath thought there was enough heat for that one last pizza. The dough wasn’t crisping up as well. Heath went to the back of the oven and blew as if he could breathe new life into an old flame.

You had to be there for what happened next. Several things happened simultaneously. Imagine if you will an extra dose of smoke billowing to the sky for an impromptu smoke signal (probably something obscene). The front door popped off and back on. To the point that I actually saw air between the door and the oven. But that door snapped back in place perfectly.

In the back, where Heath was, a large and short lived fireball exploded. At the same time there was a loud WHOOOMP sound. Heath said something eloquent like, “Whoa!” My “Woo!” scream came a beat or two later. I shut the sliding door that seemed to be suddenly teeming with curious kids who were not there five seconds before.

That last pie was more blond than the rest. (still tasty) It was sliced and taken to the table. Parker was asked to offer a blessing on the food.

Parker: … and please bless that Dad’s eyebrows will grow back!

When they do, you are welcome to a pizza party at our house.

p.s. No eyebrows were actually harmed in the making of this pizza. If you don’t believe me, just know that Heath has been cursed with thin, blond eyebrows anyway.

The Divinity of Motherhood

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It has been a lovely Mother’s Day. Well, more like a lovely Mother’s Week. On Thursday I went to lunch with my mother in law and my sister in law. We were invited to lunch by the matriarch of the family – Heath’s grandma.

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When our food arrived, I had to be one of those people who snaps a picture before diving in. It all looked so pretty! The ice cream cone dipped in white chocolate and filled with fruit was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I knew Gwen would love it so I took the picture mostly for her! She was sad that she had to go to school instead of join us. The food was delicious, but I admit it got very sweet and rich toward the end. The blueberry scone was yummy and very sweet. The two chocolate squares were very rich. I noticed Dayleen had only taken one bite of each. I sort of regretted eating all of mine!

The retirement community that Grandma lives in puts on parties like this for just about every occasion. Barry had lunch with her for Cinco de Mayo. Dawn is not much of a Mexican food fan. With every party comes pictures. Ours was a three generation picture. Most parties come with entertainment as well. We were serenaded by a lovely singer doing covers of popular jazzy songs from the 50’s and 60’s.

Everyone was given a raffle ticket. In between songs they called out ticket numbers. The prizes were really cute decorations, most of which were homemade by an employee. I was very close on several occasions but never won. Grandma and Dayleen both won on the same round. I was very surprised when Grandma had Dawn give me her prize. Dawn said her mom doesn’t really like dust collectors and she wanted me to have it. I was very excited.

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It’s a sparkly green egg in a nest inside a teacup. Dawn asked if I thought the egg would hatch with a glittery bird. It is the perfect decoration hanging on my bannister.

In the meantime Heath helped his dad paint the ceiling. When they were finished they went out for Mexican. The power was out causing long delays. Come to find out, there was a widespread power outage in our neck of the woods. The middle school principal threatened to cancel after school activities if the power didn’t resume. It came back on in the nick of time. We had no idea any of this was happening. We did some quick grocery shopping and stopped by the school to pick up Gavin from track practice before heading home. I think Parker was happy as a clam to have full reign of the TV and permission to send Gwen out to play with her friends when she came home from school!

On Friday Heath and I went to Aztecca for lunch. He said he wasn’t fully satisfied with the Mexican food he had with his dad. Plus, he wanted to celebrate the two very promising phone interviews he had that morning. This was the second time that the waitress brought our drinks without our even asking for them. I don’t know how we establish that reputation in restaurants but it is nice.

On Saturday Heath’s family came over for our monthly dinner party. Dawn and Barry brought a big chocolate Costco cake that said “Wow.” Actually it said Mom but Dawn insisted it said wow and that the green coming out the top was really some weed or greenery and not an upside down flower. Gwen wasn’t sure what to think! We were celebrating more than just Mother’s Day. Kirk and Heath both have May birthdays and Dawn and Barry were married in May.

Heath wanted to do gifts after dinner. We bought his mom Hidden Figures. She said it was a movie she wanted to see. The Easter Bunny brought it to us and we loved it. Dawn was this close to becoming the first female architect to graduate from BYU. She gave birth to Kirk instead. Barry served his mission during the Martin Luther King, Jr. riots. They both had a strong connection with the story so we had to get it.

Heath also wanted me to open my gifts. The kids had decorated the butcher paper he wrapped my gift in. I made him take pictures but even then I don’t want to get rid of the paper. They had so much fun decorating it. There were even a few Diet Coke bottles drawn for me!

Inside was a beautiful statue of Christ holding a lamb in His arms. Months ago I mentioned that it would be nice to have a statue. Around the same time Heath kept seeing that statue on the cover of a Deseret Book magazine and he knew he had to get it for me. We both find great peace in it. I like to believe the lamb is black and that it’s really me in His arms. I often think of myself as a black sheep. Maybe because I don’t feel like I fit in. I rearranged books on the bookshelf so the statue can fit. It is perfect. I love it.

Gwen made me a paper bag book in school that, I have to say, came out better than the ones I mass produced for Primary last year. It is darling. She mentioned twice that I like Diet Coke. On one page she was upset that the picture was of a mother holding a baby. “You don’t take care of babies!” On that page she said I drink Diet Coke and I clean. Her adamant statement cracks me up. It’s a wonder any of my kids survived to the age they are since I “don’t take care of babies!” Gwen wanted to change the baby into a Diet Coke bottle. I’m really glad she didn’t. Can you imagine? I’m cradling a Diet Coke bottle the size of a baby?

Church was nice although I am tired of being the show on holidays. This has been the case for the last three or four years. There was the one year we went to LEGOLAND and Disneyland over Mother’s Day. That was nice to get a break. I spent all of Sunday School in the kitchen with the Relief Society president and our husbands putting together the biggest snack spread ever. Fruit cups, cookies, brownie bites, and water bottles. I have decided that somehow I was not born with the gene common to women that insists on feeding people!

I was pleasantly surprised that the Primary kids only sang. There were no gifts. Personally, I love that. The men are sweet enough to take over Primary and Young Women’s so all the women can be in Relief Society just one Sunday a year. That should be gift enough, in my opinion. Primary either needs to plan ahead for Mother’s Day gifts or not give them at all. I resented having to leave Relief Society early to finish running Primary and pass out the gifts for the kids to give their mothers.

Parker said he wanted to give me the gift of not fighting but it was hard when Gwen refused to budge on the bench! It was a lot of family togetherness in Sacrament Meeting! The rest of the day I have napped. It’s been wonderful.

I heart my kids and my husband. I love being a wife and mother. To me, I’m just doing what comes naturally. It is humbling to be so honored for what I do every day. One of the speakers today said that motherly traits are the same as traits that Christ Himself exhibited. That is humbling.

District Meet

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Wednesday was the district meet. Every middle school in the district was involved. Only the top contenders were invited to participate. We had front row seats in the bleachers right next to the finish camera. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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Gavin beat his mile time by a few seconds. His 800 time was exactly the same as last week. He said he is invited to the next meet to run the 1600 (or mile). His coach sent an email saying the next meet is even more exclusive. There can only be three students from each grade, gender, and event. I’m not sure if Gavin is still invited to run. I guess we’ll find out.

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I love the smile on his face as he uses the last bit of gas left in the tank to sprint across the finish line. No matter what, this boy loves running.

Business as Usual

About a month ago we were enjoying another General Conference weekend. Being the data nerd he is, Heath decided to do some analysis on #ldsconf tweets. He used his personal computer to run Alteryx and Tableau. I didn’t think much of it. He had fun running the numbers that weekend. I don’t think he did much more with it. It was just for fun.

Since he was using his personal computer he received an emailed invitation to an Alteryx luncheon in Seattle. With everything else on his plate, he promptly forgot about it. His company was never going to send him anyway.

Friday happened. Many people reached out to him about the situation, including an Alteryx vendor he had a good relationship with. A phone meeting between the two of them was set up for Monday (yesterday). The luncheon was brought up and the vendor said it would be good if Heath could make it. He mentioned that to me and I strongly suggested he go. It would be a great networking opportunity. And if it ended up being a complete waste of time, at least it was a free lunch in the city!

Heath dressed in business casual and headed off to the luncheon with printed copies of his resume. He ended up sitting next to one of the founders for an Alteryx partner and important people from other companies. Conversation was good enough that Heath was asked to share his insights during the Q&A period. I guess you never know!

We’re not holding our breath for anything to come of this. He gave his information to people and sent off some emails. It’s out of our hands now. But what if the timing of everything was such that this window was opened when another door shut?

 

Cookie Motivation

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On Sunday we played Pictionary on Heath’s Surface. He hooked it up to the TV and we all took turns drawing. It was a lot of fun.

Later Gavin said he was very hungry for cookies. He kept asking if we could make cookies. Finally Heath told him if he could figure out how to warm up the oven to the correct temperature, without help, we could warm up the pre-made cookie dough we had in the fridge. Parker’s eyes got really big.

Parker: I know how to do it!

Parker was on pins and needles trying to telepathically teach Gavin which buttons to push and in which order. Gavin did figure out how to get the oven to work. I’m impressed because it’s not exactly user friendly! I guess when you’re really motivated, you can figure anything out.

Post-it Notes From Heaven

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It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.
It all works out. Don’t worry. …
The Lord will not forsake us.
He will not forsake us.
If we will put our trust in Him,
if we will pray to Him,
if we will live worthy of His blessings,
He will hear our prayers.
~ President Gordon B. Hinckley

The nightmare has ended. For three long months Heath has had the weight of the world on his shoulders and his job held over his head. We knew it would end this way. Three months of rejection and indifference from sought after job opportunities doesn’t lessen the blow of what we knew would happen.

Termination meant the nightmare was over. He still carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Through it all, we look for the light.

Few things hurt more than watching one’s own child be in pain. Equal to that unbearable situation is watching one’s spouse suffer. Completely fed up with the nightmare of our own lives, I allowed my natural inclinations to take over. I wanted revenge. Although not revenge as much as justice to be served. This is not the first time an employee at this company has taken the fall for a superior political agenda. How could it be happening again? How could HR sit back and let it happen again?

Heath is the most Christ-like person I know. He never faltered. He maintained the utmost level of professionalism and never once gave in. On Monday when I was fed up and angry I walked away from my suggestions to allow Heath to be on a conference call. As I was in the shower and getting myself ready for the day, three songs came to mind.

I didn’t pay attention at first because the first song was Kill Em With Kindness by Selena Gomez. The next two songs were Primary songs with an obvious message of kindness and treating others with respect. By the third song I felt humbled. “Okay,” my mind called out, “I get it.”

I checked my email and saw the Daily Message that day came with this quote.

“[Life’s journey] is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, “No,” the courage to say, “Yes.” Decisions do determine destiny.”

Courage, decisions. I knew I needed to click on the link and read this one. The link pointed to a talk by President Thomas S. Monson in the April 2004 General Conference. As I read, I was reminded of how well Heath had conducted himself while practically being dared to behave otherwise. It does take courage to choose the more difficult right over the easier wrong. It takes courage to be a disciple of Christ.

The next day I struggled with faith. Without my saying anything, Heath kept reminding me that the Lord led us here for a reason. He said over and over that things would work out. Even then I struggled to believe it. I was disappointed that there was no Daily Message that day. As I said in my Sacrament Meeting talk last Sunday, I believe the Lord knows how to reach us and He often reaches me through the things I read. I then went on to talk about what a blessing the Daily Messages have been for me in difficult times.

That afternoon when Heath went to pick up Gavin from track practice, I got an email from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These emails come periodically to members who have made their email available to local leaders. The emails contain links to top stories on the LDS.org homepage. The first link was for a story on faith.

How to Harness the Power of Faith in Your Life

 

Without action, faith doesn’t have the power to change a single individual, let alone the world. Faith is more than belief. It is more than wishing. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explains how you can develop the kind of faith that can change your life and the lives of those around you.

I clicked on the link and remembered reading this First Presidency message in the April 2017 Ensign. I felt the Spirit testify to me that the Lord was aware of me and my family’s situation. It was just the Post-it note I needed.

My stress and anxiety were through the roof on Wednesday. I could not figure out why. By Thursday I was calm as a summer breeze. Heath and I knew that Friday was the day. I found my thoughts wandering all day. For the first time in a long time, my thoughts weren’t obsessively centered on Heath and the nightmare of his job. Any time he brought up the fact that he would be inevitably let go the next day, I felt completely calm.

It’s interesting for me to realize just how anxious I naturally am. Yet in those moments that would bring out stressful reactions in anybody, I feel peace and calm. It’s a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. Those feelings are not my own. They definitely come from a higher power.

Heath had gone to the temple when he was in Minneapolis the week prior. The whole week I was less concerned about the crazy things that I worry about when he’s out of town. I was more concerned about his mental well being. He was in Minneapolis meeting face to face with people he has a hard time keeping the smile in his voice for when he talks on the phone with them. I pray for him to get through phone calls. Now for an entire week he was going to have to meet with these people in person. My prayers were frequent and fervent. I prayed he could feel peace in the temple.

Going to the temple was the best thing he could have done. He felt such peace along with an unshakable feeling that things would be okay. That feeling stayed with him all through last week even as he knew he was working toward his own execution. I admit I was jealous. I prayed to feel that same peace and assurance.

It’s taken time. My anger over the frustration of the situation has finally fizzled. My mind has been on a continuous loop of the tender mercies from Monday and Tuesday. Replaying those blessings is how I got through the week and especially the desire to scream on Friday after all was said and done.

Throughout all of this Heath’s team has been praying for him. Many many candles were lit on his behalf, and continue to be lit, by a loving wife of one of Heath’s colleagues. Even the guy who “took” his job has been praying. To the point that his kids asked who Heath was. He explained the situation and they have been praying for Heath ever since.

On Thursday and Friday Heath refereed basketball games all evening. He loves doing this but felt a sense of responsibility to share his talents in this way. Church basketball games begin and end with prayer. The men who prayed had no idea what our situation was. They thanked the Lord for the referees and asked for blessings to be upon them and their families.

Yesterday Heath was outside dealing with weeds. The neighbor across the street came over and asked about our backyard. Heath took him back there and had to admit that we’re stuck for now. We can’t afford to do much more at this point in time. The neighbor was very sympathetic to the situation.

Neighbor: Are you guys believers?
Heath: Yes, we’re Mormon and we are Christian.
Neighbor: So you know the Lord is in charge and that things happen for a reason. I will be praying for you.

It is humbling for me. I know Heath is a great guy. I know he has a lot to offer and that he did a great job despite what the termination would suggest. Having so many people reach out to him to say so is helpful for him. The unsolicited prayers are extra special. We have been fasting and praying about this for months. The answer has always been that things will work out. I had forgotten that recently. Maybe just maybe things will be all right. We sure have a lot of people who believe in us. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ believe in us too.

PR’ing in the Sun

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Nothing beats a sunny day in Seattle. Colors are so vibrant. Sunshine on the skin feels warm like a hug. Wally Weatherman had predicted two days in a row of sunshine with warmer temperatures. We wasted no time in pulling out the shorts. Yay for track meets in the sun!

The day started out gray. As dark as the angry sky was we never saw any rain. Temperatures were in the upper 50’s. Where was the forecasted sun? It finally graced us with its presence shortly before I had to pick up kids for the track meet. Temperatures quickly climbed 10 more degrees. Blue skies seemed to smile. It was going to be an amazing meet.

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Gavin was totally in his element. He beat his mile time again in 5:37. He was thrilled.

In between races he joined several other teammates in taking shoes off to wander stocking footed in the turf. It was the perfect day for a meet. We happily sat along the fence in our camping chairs, sipping soda and eating Lindor chocolates before they melted. The sun beat down on us and I could not have felt more content.

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The 800 was no exception.

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We were screaming for him to sprint and leave his guts on the track. He beat his time again. He finished in 2:37.

Grandma rewarded him with Skittles. When Garrett was running for school, she asked if he would run faster for a cute girl, chocolate, or if a dog was chasing him. He said chocolate. When asked the same question, Gavin said the cute girl! We tried to find a cute girl last week but she was so embarrassed she almost couldn’t speak. Eventually she told us she had to leave but she wished Gavin good luck. Skittles are his favorite kind of candy so Grandma just gets those. It works just as well as random cute but self-conscious high school girls.

We had dinner at the Olive Garden where Gavin downed two large glasses of raspberry lemonade and several glasses of water. He was so grateful every time the waiter refilled the water that I think it made the waiter’s day!

The sun came out to play again today. Highs were in the mid 70’s. We were very grateful for our heat pump and its ability to cool the air. Some of our neighbors are still waiting for their new air conditioners to be turned on.

Wally Weatherman predicted thunderstorms for the late afternoon. I was sitting outside enjoying the sun and a Diet Coke when the clouds eventually rolled in. There was a noticeable difference in temperature. It was still warm and really nice to be sitting out there but the warm hug of the sun was definitely gone. Thunder has been rumbling ever since. I love the variety of weather here!

Using the Force

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Star Wars Day has come again. Gwen asked me if I could do her hair like Rey. I had to look up the post from last year so I could remember how to do it.

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It doesn’t look too bad. Gwen was super excited of course. Rey hair with a Little Mermaid t-shirt. Sounds about right! Gavin didn’t realize it was Star Wars Day. He was wearing a storm trooper shirt. It shows about a dozen different storm troopers with a different emotion under each one. It’s funny because you can’t see the emotions under the helmet.

Gavin stopped wearing that shirt for about a year. Parker was more than happy to take it over. Out of nowhere Gavin started wearing it again. He pulled it on this morning and then laughed when he realized how perfectly it went with the unofficial holiday. Parker was a little bummed that he had already worn his How to Draw Darth Vader t-shirt this week. Oh well. What can you do? My kids are so funny with how they geek out over May 4th.

Today has been the most beautiful day of the year. The sun is shining and temperatures are in the mid 70’s. The kids were super excited to wear shorts to school again. Yesterday was a nice day for the meet. Temperatures topped out in the upper 60’s. It felt plenty warm though and it was simply amazing. Heath is right, nothing beats a sunny day in Seattle. They are the most gorgeous days ever.

Heath and I stepped outside onto our front porch to say goodbye to the boys this morning. We went out again to say goodbye to Gwen. It was warm and a little muggy with the increased humidity. I told Heath that it felt like Girls Camp after a rainstorm. He just laughed. Apparently living in nature is still new to me.

When we were ready to go back inside we noticed a bunch of beauty bark had been scattered in the back corner of the porch. It looked messy and we could not understand why our kids would even do something like that. Then we looked up.

On top of one of the porch posts was a bird’s nest. The birds had made the mess. Probably as recently as yesterday. We were kind of annoyed. Birds constantly built nests in the rafters over the front door in our California house. No more! We were going to put a stop to this. Given how fresh the nest was, we were pretty sure there were no eggs in the nest.

Heath got a broom and knocked the nest down. We definitely need a leaf blower because it’s too hard to sweep on the exposed aggregate. The porch rails get in the way too making it impossible to effectively clean up the mess.

The birds are cute little tiny things. They were not pleased with our destruction. Luckily there were no eggs. Still, they yelled and swore at us in angry chittery chirps while they flew back and forth. Sorry guys. Find a new home! There are plenty of trees to build a nest in. Just don’t do it at our house. More angry chittering.

I don’t know what those birds were thinking anyway. The bug terminators already sprayed earlier this week. Maybe the dead bug carcasses littering the perimeter of our house looked like easy meals for the bird family. Call me mean but I don’t want to share my home with bugs or birds. So get lost creatures!

May the 4th be with you. May your hair pay homage to Star Wars princesses. And may you use the force to evict birds who are attempting to get free room and board on your porch.