Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Fab Four Escape Again!

If my cousins-in-laws or husband hasn't joke about my obsession yet, let me be the first to tell you....I'm a huge country music fan! I didn't realize I had an issue until I came to the conclusion that I harbored deep regret about not getting tickets to Keith Urban when he came to Seattle in March. John arranged a surprise trip to Seattle, with Thomas staying home with Grandpa and Grandma, in what he told me was a trip down to do some shopping. Now, that was exciting enough, but picking up Brad and Erica was an added bonus to the trip. No baby worries, no time constraints, no schedule to keep. As we wandered the shops and talked about dinner, I thought about Thomas, and then had to remind myself that it wouldn't be the great escape if I spent my time worrying about him missing me and obsessing on my not being there with him. Brad mentioned at dinner that we should take the time to walk over to his new work building, and although I glanced at my watch and noticed it was nearing 8pm, and we still had the drive back home, I didn't say anything, preferring to let John call the shots of this surprise date. He didn't seem too concerned about the time, so I pushed back any worry and went along for the walk downtown. As we neared the Paramount, I could see the marqee flashing, and with a sickening feeling in my stomach, realized that tonight, of all nights, was Keith's performance. I felt so sad that instead of walking into that theater we were walking passed it into Brad's building. To add salt to the open wound, there were hordes of well dressed women milling around, laughing and all very eager as they made their way to the theater. We mixed in with the crowd, and I then was forced to point out to the group that tonight was the night. Brad said, "Who is Keith Urban?" I don't know if Erica said anything. John made some comment, like, "oh, yeah, that's right" although I'm probably just making that up. As we walked towards the Paramount, Brad led us towards the front doors, and I said something to John, joking that we could still buy the scalper tickets on the corner. At that point, John turned to me and said that he couldn't keep it a secret any longer, and as Brad walked us through the side entrance, John finally came clean and told me that Brad had arranged to use his work tickets for this show and that we were actually going to this concert. Okayyy!!! I'll admit right here that I started to cry. I wish I could blame it on pregnancy hormones, but although I was still carrying a little extra weight, I can't blame this one on Thomas too. It was pure and complete shock, joy and happiness, let me tell you. I was absolutely floored that John would do this for me...the perfect surprise on a perfectly orchestrated surprise day. I will always remember that day and night as my "Cinderella Day".

On our way out, our newly converted Urban fans decided that we'd have to do it again, which led beautifully into our plans to see Keith when he returned in September to the Gorge.

But, I'm rushing ahead....

Now, in total rebellion, Erica and I decided to go downtown to see Dierks Bentley perform at the Showbox . Oh, to have a partner in crime experiencing the same wishes that I am at exactly the right time. Erica and I decided that although this is the last thing we should have been planning to do, we really wanted to do it, so we were going to make it work. The trip downtown was not without it's moments, as childcare issues with the girls lost us some valuable girl/shopping time, but we finally made it down, spent some quick time at Pacific Place, grabbed a not so goumet bite to eat, then scrambled to get to the right street without getting robbed, kidnapped or raped on the way. Stood in line for 30 minutes to get my special meet and greet tickets, then shoved our way up to the front of the stage. It was a LONG night. We lasted through an exhausting hour of waiting, then 45 sweltering, heatstroke minutes for Hanna McEuen, then another 40 minutes of stage setup before Dierks finally made it on stage. By then it was so stifling hot that we felt we were going to pass out and Erica had to move towards the back to get some room and some air. I was soaking wet with sweat and thought at one point that if I didn't get water, I too would be one of those you hear about at these clubs that pass out and have to be hauled out by medics.

The show was way better than I thought it would be, so it was well worth my effort, although I have yet to talk to Erica about whether she'd do it again, too. I won a contest, so afterwards, I had to wait to get in line to meet Dierks, and that was one of the more interesting moments in my life. I really just wanted to see the whole process, and don't like signatures, and think they're quite silly, but knowing that I wanted to meet him and say hi, I also knew he was expecting to sign something, so I took a picture of Thomas watching his video, and he signed that. Very cool, indeed.

The Great Escape II- Keith Urban at The Gorge!

Throughout the summer, it was almost all we talked about when we were all together, except for maybe the upcoming Portland marathon. We arranged childcare, with my parents coming into Bellingham to keep Thomas, and Erica's sister watching the girls in Leavenworth. John and I met up with our concert buds in Leavenworth, toured the Culberson ranch on the river, prayed through the rain showers that followed us through Cashmere, and enjoyed Erica's first McDonald's experience in bustling Quincy before taking our $20 dollar Express parking ticket to the show. We met up with Josh Berg and his sister Summer, amazingly in our same row of parking, and although I spent 45 dollars on a sign for the boys, I forgot it in the car and spent about 5 minutes wanting to fling myself into the river in despair. Oh well, he didn't read the sign anyway, so I'm glad my pout didn't last long. So not worth it to pout!

Going into the concert we had mixed feelings about comparing this concert with a perfect Paramount show, but it was so worth our efforts. We had a blast, and would recommend ANYONE going to see his show. Fabulous! The rain stayed away, the night was warm and beautiful and to complete our night, we got out of the parking lot within 15 minutes, when we've heard it can take upwards of 2 hours to get out in the main parking lot. We spent the night courtesy of Brad and Erica at Erica's mother's cabins on the river in Leavenworth, which was so great of them to do. Slept in.....until 7:30am!!! And the best part of the morning was sitting at Starbuck and the bookstore without a toddler to keep track of. Almost like paradise!!!

Three great concerts! Only more to come! So begins my concert obsession!!!

Thursday with Tommy!

On Thursdays, Tommy spends most of his day with his grandma and grandpa. He gets an hour more with them when I teach my late afternoon classes, like today. It's hard to leave home, but a lot easier knowing that Thomas is having such a good time. The more he stays with them, the more at peace I am, and although my heart aches to be with him and do all our fun daily routine stuff together, I know that he is enjoying his day to the fullest. Today, Grandma reports that, as usual, he had a great day, and although the wind was howling and the rain was pouring, I came home to find Grandpa and Thomas playing outside and having a good time. There was floor wrestling, lots of stories, and I'm sure their fair share of songs, chats and trains. When I got home, Thomas had dinner then quickly indicated he wanted more time outside, so we headed up to the school playground to enjoy a blustery swing time! When I push Thomas higher, Thomas calls out high, and when I call out ready, Thomas calls out weh-wree! John had a short run tonight, so he got home a little before 7. More time upstairs playing and wrestling, and then bedtime. Another great day, even with the start of the rainy season!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today we spent a lot of time wandering around the neighborhood pushing Thomas's new (old, rustic and very authentic) wheelbarrow, or as Thomas affectionately calls his "wee-wee". His plastic one just wasn't good enough, so grandpa found one that looks almost identical to the big one on the property. It seems to me that Thomas thinks our whole neighborhood is his "yard" and I'm having to teach him the rules of the road earlier than I thought, as we're wandering the streets, up and down, all over the place. He knows which streets he wants to go on, where he wants to go and how to get there, too. There is no fooling him, either, as I tried to coax him back down our main street to get him home before dark, and he was having none of it. Cried and carried on to the point that a neighbor actually came out to see if I needed help. Ofcourse I stood my ground with was dark and we needed to get home....and Thomas alternately cried in my arms while I tried to also carry this wheelbarrow home by my teeth, (no, but almost) and tried to somehow get his wheelbarrow pointed in the direction he wanted that was not home.

His little personality is blooming, and although he knows the word no (he says it nu-nu) he rarely uses it when it's not appropriate. It's nice to be able to have him tell us what he wants, and most of the time it's easy to figure out. He loves to try new words, play with flashcards, go outside at night to look for stars and the moon, and would spend hours on the computer with his grandpa and daddy or on the lawn mower or in the wheelbarrow. On our way to the Seahawks game the other day, Jock Jams came on the radio and we looked back to find Thomas waving his fist to the beat and flashing us the biggest smile ever! He loves his grandpa, (bahba) which is also the sound he uses for apple) and sometimes I think he'd choose him over me, unless he was really, really sick. Thomas goes around and says his name all day long, and it's so adorable to see Thomas run circles around the house when Grandpa shows up. He point to Lo-lu's house, which is his name for Lauren, and recently figured out he liked the sound of "Matt" said with much emphasis. We go on long walks together and I'm in trouble if I forget to stop to look at and pick the "debbies" or berries as we call them. He knows exactly where they are, too. It will be a sad day when there are no more blackberries to pick through our neighborhood. Today he walked us up to the Firs property and over to Jenny's house to play and swing. Afterwards, while it began to rain, we went down to Fairhaven to play at one of my favorite stores, Wild Blueberries, and then down to the fish bus to buy Thomas fish and chips for dinner. Thomas wasn't too much into my quick jaunt into the flower shack or Fairhaven Runners, but I thought I deserved the time after chasing him around the toy store. It's hard to see the evenings turn dark so quickly, and with darkness comes more thoughts on how to keep his little mind and body entertained. John came home late from work, and found us in the shop playing with the tools and then out for another walk in the dark and rain. I'm sure this is one of many nightly rain walks to come. What an amazing little boy to enjoy the rain with, though. I never thought walking in the dark, in the rain, could be so much fun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Serious Thomas posing on his lawn!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Thomas! It was late in the evening and Thomas was contemplating having to go in for dinner. I look at this shot and wonder how I was ever so blessed to have such a wonderful little boy. I can't stop looking at him sometimes, and can just stare at him for what seems like hours. This is a rare shot, though, and is probably why I love to look at it. It is rare that Thomas is not grinning, laughing, or smiling that full teeth grin of his!

Welcome To Thomas's Adventures and Our Life Together

Hi there,

This will be a new adventure for me as I'm not much good trying new computer skills. My goal is to have a written story of our days with Thomas, as we find that each day brings on new and exciting adventures and fun times. I also hope to remember each and every day as Thomas continues to grow and change like I'd never have imagined. If you are reading this, we hope you enjoy our moments, however mundane and simple they may be. Our journey as parents has been filled with wonder, fear, and amazing joy and happiness. We pray that your days are filled with the Lord's many blessing, as we too are so blessed!