Monday, August 17, 2009

Our trip

The plane had three seats in a row. Judah took the window. I took the middle. I was prepared to warn the person who would take the empty seat, the person I already felt sorry for, "he's usually good on flights, so hopefully you won't be too bothered."
When he sat down, I was leaned over helping Judah with his seat belt. I saw Jude look around me with a teasing smile. Then Jude hid while smiling and peaking, begging the man to play.
I turned and saw the man sitting next to me; instant relief. Completely normal with abnormally warm energy. Judah instantly LOVED him.
When I read a book, Judah insisted that I "show him" the funny parts. Judah would laugh hysterically (I mean, the turkey had his shoe on his HEAD) and the man would laugh at Judah laughing. The nice man seemed to enjoy Judah more than humor him (I DO have mommy goggles, but I still think I'm fairly perceptive). They interacted for an hour. Judah laughed at all of his jokes wholeheartedly. It was the happiest flight I've ever seen.

But, looking back there were some warning signs.
The nice man sitting next to me was holding a small book of inspirational quotes. It was called something like "God's Little Instructional Manual for Men." I noticed that he would get full eyes and open the book and read a few random pages. Close the book and then look at Judah, who was waiting patiently for him to finish so that he could show him his hysterical book or extremely cool car.
I remember thinking that he must be a minister. Or something "holy." His energy was so pure.

He asked if I had been to LA before. I told him that LA was my home.
He said it was his first time. He had always wanted to go to California. To see the Redwoods meeting the coast. I told him he should see them. One of the most beautiful sights.
He told me he wouldn't on this trip.
"My daughter committed suicide. I am going for the vigil and to identify the body...and to search for answers."
Before I could respond, he continued, "I am just so grateful that I sat next to you and your son today. I haven't smiled for days. I didn't know I could. Your son lit my heart. You will never know what he has given me."
He showed me pictures of his daughter, the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Exactly my age.
I'll always remember that flight and the nicest man I've ever met. Judah's good friend.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Camping 2009

Judah and I have been on the move during the last week. Many special memories were created. Here are a few pics from our first family camping trip (with friends we love dearly):

Our secluded site

the hive we shared it with

the group (which included a 5, 3, 2, 1 year old, and infant!)

and 3 patient puppies

and baby love

and more baby love

and fun

and beautiful trees and hikes

and magical views

and the most amazing, intriguing...

jaw dropping, shocking, squeal-inducing sight the forest has to offer...

a lizard.

We all loved our camping trip. Can't wait for next year.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Judah's FIRST camping trip!

Judah has been to the forest lots of times, the Mammoth cabin twice and is an avid hiker. I can't believe we haven't been before, but we are leaving today for our first tent camping trip!

Here's one last photo of our trip to Europe:

As you can probably tell, Judah and I are both big train fans!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Perfect Day in Prague...

A few weeks ago, Judah and I danced and played on the main square in Prague. It was one of the highlights of my life so far. It's hard to put into words what made this particular day so extraordinary, but I never want to forget it. Here are a few pictures of our fun:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More on Siblings

We were sitting side-by-side, getting our makeup done (practice for doing wedding makeup in Thailand next summer) when the makeup artist asked her first question,

"What's your skin care regimen?"
I panicked.
I knew the truth would displease her. I like to please. And we had just met.
I started to stammer and stall for time.
I decided a confused look was best.

My sister saw my panic and saved me. We both knew it was best that the makeup artist understood who she was dealing with up front.

She blurted the truth, "Sometimes a bar of soap in the Irish Spring?"
I laughed and was grateful for her honesty.

The next question was even trickier.
"Have you always been close?"
I paused and slowly said, "Yes?" with question obvious in my voice.
Nicole looked at me like I lied.
I backed up the statement.
"We shared a room. We were close in proximity."

I realize that even though she lives in Thailand and we no longer have proximity on our side, we ARE close.
Judah would be lucky to have that when he's 33.

Mammoth Pictures

Monday, August 3, 2009


Tommy and I love Mammoth during the summer. We have gone every summer for the last 10 years. It's magic. Regardless of how excited we are to go, the beauty and experience always surpasses our expectations. Part of the goodness is how little we do when we are up there. We can EASILY walk (too short to describe as a hike) to a few gorgeous lakes. Judah loves to run on the shore and chase birds. We love watching him. We cook simple meals and sit on the deck soaking in the amazing view. That's it. Really. We nap when Judah naps. No Internet. No TV. Perfection.
I always think that Mammoth comes at the perfect time of year for us. That time when we NEED quality family time, to clear our heads, enjoy ourselves and just laugh. It's the time when we spend an hour discussing things like which characters on Gilligan's Island should have coupled up and why (we figured it ALL out, if you have any questions, please let me know). You know, the important stuff in life.
Despite our busy matchmaking schedule, we also have time to reflect and plan.
When we were driving home, I looked at Tommy and realized that I didn't have any questions left. It's the first time, in a very long time, I didn't. It's a good thing.