Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

When the Cat’s Away

Steven has been traveling frequently – I think I’ve counted 13 days/nights without him in the last 3 weeks – which makes it increasingly difficult and less motivating to clean, cook and keep normal routine. Getting out the door in the morning is harder than ever. It’s not like Wes and I have been lazy, though; in fact, we’ve been plenty busy:

12809601_10103279786348868_651774396093999713_nCatching up with friends and family. A few weeks ago, we met Rachel for dinner and then brought her back home to hang out for several hours. Wesley so desperately wanted to have a pajama party and was disappointed that she didn’t think to bring some to change into.

And at least twice in the last month, we’ve met the Reynolds clan at the mall food court because the indoor playground is like the kids’ mecca. Wes loves to play hard with B & J, and Julia and I get to hang out while kids are entertained.

I’m including FaceTime chats in this category because there’s been a lot of that recently, too – with friends far away, birthday greetings to cousins and giggles from Wes’ bed to Daddy’s hotel room before lights out.

Being crafty. Move over, Octonauts! Wes now requests to watch Amazon Prime’s Creative Galaxy on repeat. When we’re sick of TV, we get out crafts supplies to make our own projects. It’s great that he understands basic terminology (“that’s called action painting!”) and finds freedom in artistic expression. He usually adds commentary when painting or gluing something together. “This is a chocolate tornado that used to be a tree, and I changed my mind about this thunderstorm – it’s actually a white, fluffy cloud.”

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“Isn’t this SO COOL?! Daddy’s gonna love it.”

Finishing projects. It took me 20 hours, but I’m finally at a stopping point in the Family Room. Over the last handful of weekends, I painted the trim, crown molding and walls to match the entry and foyer. Whew.

Making music. Wes keeps finding random, small instruments I’ve collected: jaw harp, harmonica, recorder. And he wants to learn how to play them all. He actually has pretty good rhythm for guitar/ukulele strumming, and he doesn’t hammer piano keys like many kids do. We like to make our own “garage band” in the Living Room. And if we’re not playing instruments, he likes to pop in old cassette tapes of mine and my sister’s that were left at the house by my parents.

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Snuggling and lounging. Yes, lots. Especially on weekends without Daddy. It’s fun to rent a RedBox movie or find one on Netflix and share a blanket together. The dogs, Jake and Lucy, are professional snugglers. They’re the best at keeping us company (especially me at night).

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Reading. We keep visiting the library and bookstore to add to our collection. Our current favorites on rotation are Officer Buckle and Gloria, The Kissing Hand, George and Martha, Caps for Sale, Mary Alice Operator Number 9 and Tikki Tikki Tembo. Sometimes when it’s just the two of us at home, we’ll read more than our normal 3-books-before-bedtime because why not?

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When Wes goes to bed, I read until an atypical hour and kick myself in the morning for staying up so late.

Playing. Dance parties, board games, being outdoors. On Saturday we invited my parents to join us for an Easter egg hunt at Broad Ripple Park. Though the weather was bad and the “hunt” turned into picking eggs from a large tub, it was still a perfect time. Once we went to see Zootopia for an extra special treat. Speaking of treats, it’s best to partake in ice cream as much as possible.

While we do know how to entertain ourselves, these little “mice” are always anxious to welcome Steven home from his travels.

Posted: March 21st, 2016
Categories: Leah
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Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I’ve been enjoying small comforts of home and friendship these last few weeks. Sometimes the value of loved ones is forgotten, especially when so focused on internal struggles. I know that I haven’t been the best friend to many of my own this year, so I’m consciously making an effort to reconnect with those who love us regardless of our absence.

First off – here’s this year’s Christmas card! I know that I didn’t get it into everyone’s hands that I typically do; please accept my apologies if you didn’t receive a paper version. Pretty proud of my design of our instagram accounts.

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Spending a large amount of quality time with many of our closest friends and family members in the last month has been a source of healing and renewed strength. Truly, it began around Thanksgiving-time, when our friends and godson came to stay with us for several days. Time with them jump-started the season of gathering with loved ones.

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

Cookie baking and decorating with my BFF Rachel. We baked Christmas cookies once when we were in high school – in fact, we made a music video about it – and I don’t know why we’ve waited so long to do it again. Once inseparable, we now live two very independent lives, and we find that we miss each other too much too often. Time together is one of the best things in this life.

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Visiting downtown lights, Potbelly dinner and MORE cookie decorating with the Reynolds family was another favorite evening. I love this family – their friendship now extends into a second generation, and it’s wonderful to see our kids enjoy each other so well.

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Friends Thanksgiving/Christmas with our friends from college has been going strong for more than 10 years. While we don’t see them often, I look forward to this time of year to catch up and strengthen our friendships even though we live miles apart.

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The days leading up to Christmas were fabulously warm – 60 degrees and higher! Wes and I went to the park, played outside and even raked leaves. Crazy.

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We were offered complimentary seats to an Indiana Pacers game in the Varsity Club, including a buffet dinner with a front-row seat to the game! While there we ran into Tyson, and Wes just about exploded from excitement. To top it off, “Hickory” Boomer and Santa both came to visit.

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Christmas with family members is always busy, but I feel like the kids are getting old enough to grasp the season of giving and love. It’s been fun to watch my nieces and nephews love on each other, play with each other and anticipate seeing each other again. It wasn’t all about the presents, you know? And time with my sister is getting harder and harder to “schedule,” so I love hanging out and goofing off with her during times like these. It’s the best. I even got a chance to properly catch up with many of my cousins I haven’t seen in a while – we used to be so close, and I’ve often felt disconnected.

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The whole Shattuck clan                                  Dad and the boys play with circuits
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          Shattuck cousins  |   Wes & my grandpa exchange gifts      |        Sisters

Earlier this week, Sarah and Levon invited us to take Santa back to the North Pole via the Polar Bear Express Train. The boys were ecstatic about the train – more so than seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus! Sarah is one of the most thoughtful people I know, so generous. Levon and Wes are great playmates and it’s yet another reminder of how precious friendships are to me.

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There’s no photo evidence, but visited with several old friends who were in town (from Alaska!) and/or visiting my parents (to check out the new condo). There’s something especially comforting about friends who grew up with you. I regret that I wasn’t able to see life-long friend, Megan, who’s due to be a mom in January, as we had planned for earlier in the month, but I DID get to see her parents who were in town this week (almost as good), and I’ll go down to visit once baby girl arrives.

And one night, Steven made a pot of mussels for recently engaged friends Muhammad and Kylie. That’s like, the ultimate demonstration of affection. He’s perfected his recipe and loves hosting, so you might expect an invite sometime soon.

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Though it looks like we’ve been busy, we have had our fair share of staycation – LEGOs, trains, Octonauts and Mario for several days in a row. Steven badly hurt his back last week, so we have taken it easy overall this holiday season. The “forced” time inside and together has been a form of healing in itself. Lots of snuggles, pjs, baking and snacking over here in our new-old house. I’m pretty sure I’ve read 5 books this past month. It’s been fantastic.

As yucky as 2015 seemed most of the time, there have been wonderful reminders of comfort and joy – especially these last few weeks. We’re ready for you, 2016.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with Wesley’s latest obsession: singing Christmas carols over and over and over again into his camera-voice recorder…

Posted: January 1st, 2016
Categories: Leah
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