45 years


Today is a great celebration for my mother and father-in-law. They have been married for 45 years. I have only known them for 16 of those years, but I know that I am extremely blessed for having known them and marrying into their family.

These two have traveled the world together, raised two amazing kids, who are now some of the most compassionate and loving people I know, helped countless people in need, opened their home to many, and supported their immediate and extended family. They have many accomplishments, some of which I know, and many I”m sure I don’t even know about.

I respect them greatly, not only for who they are as individuals, but for what they have done together. They are a great example of marriage, requiring endless amounts of love, sacrifice, and support.

Happy anniversary Charles and Jo. We love you!

Flu shots and the $30 virus

I think it goes without saying that this winter has been a rough season for health all around. I haven’t come across anyone who’s been spared. When I felt a cold coming on a few days before Christmas, I had hopes of scaring it off with drinking lots of Airborne. That usually does the trick. However, it was not to be this time.

The sickness in our house lingered much longer than any one of us would have liked. Everyone seemed better…nope, up popped a fever. Okay, we’re all finally back to norm…nope, another one was puking. It all started on Christmas Eve…

I won’t go into it, but every single person in our household decided to have two rounds of sickness. We had one trip to a walk-in clinic, a day spent in the ER, two rounds of antibiotics, and a $30 trip to the pediatrician to hear “it’s a virus. drink lots of fluids and get lots of rest”. I love paying $30 to hear those words. I should have known. Dang viruses.

Some other words I did not appreciate hearing upon my arrival to triage in the ER were “did you get a flu shot?”

Do I look like I got a flu shot? The room is spinning, I can’t sit up in my chair and I may or may not throw up all over you in about 2 seconds. 

“No.” The only word I could get out.

This compassionate gentleman led me to a room, gave me instructions to get into a gown and on the bed. As he was leaving, he just couldn’t help himself. “Well, you probably have the flu.”

Well, I probably don’t care about a flu diagnosis from a guy who has Medical Assistant on his badge. Get someone in here who’s gone to school longer than 6 months and can put me out of my misery!!

I chose to keep my thoughts to myself and let my dear husband help me follow the judgmental medical assistant’s instructions. And there I laid, closing my eyes to keep the room from spinning, waiting for those IV fluids to make me feel new.

My diagnosis was finally given, a nasty ear infection which affected my inner ear, which made me dizzy, which made me nauseous, which eventually led to dehydration. I thought that ear infections were reserved for toddlers, but I guess they’re mostly for toddlers and an occasional lucky 38 year old woman like myself.

After a few hours and several medications I walked out feeling slightly better and refrained from yelling down the hall to the MA who misdiagnosed me, “It’s an ear infection, not the flu, so take that Mr. Flu Shot Guy!” I wasn’t feeling that good.

Here’s to brighter days when not one person wakes up saying, “I just don’t feel so good.”


Judah has been taking gymnastics for about a year and a half now. He tried soccer, thought about karate, took a few sessions of swim lessons and then settled on gymnastics; an obvious conclusion. What started out as a simple interest in tumbling around on some mats has turned into an obsession with climbing/pulling up/jumping on anything he comes in contact with.

His first competition took place in December and was a brand new experience, not only for Judah, but for the rest of us in this family who hardly watch sports, let alone compete in them. We had no idea what to expect. I may be new to the gymnastics scene, but I’m guessing the best way to prepare for your first meet does NOT look like this:

1. Attend jr high Christmas event the night before competition and eat as many desserts and candy as possible.

2. Stay up until 10:30pm.

3. Wake up early to attend sister’s Christmas dance performance.

4. Eat Christmas cookies at sister’s dance performance at 9:30am.

5. Fall into a dead sleep on way to gymnastics meet, not dressed in uniform.

6. Be jolted awake by siblings, walk into gym and get whisked away by volunteer to find team (take detour to bathroom to change into uniform. Oops)

Yes, this was a whole new world to us. Fascinating, exhausting, exciting; at least that’s how I felt. After an almost 2 hour warm-up time, the competition was beginning. Judah started out on P Bars (that’s what us gymnastics folks call them), parallel bars, for all you amateurs. We waited to see what number the judges flipped through on their little score cards. 9.6. What?! He’s on his way to the Olympics, obviously. I was so proud.

He moved on to each event; vault, high bar, pommel horse, floor and rings. It wasn’t until his third event that we noticed small black boxes hanging on the wall with some red numbers and names on them. Well, wouldn’t you know. Those boxes were displaying the gymnast’s name, number and score for each event. Brilliant! Right around this same time, I saw lots of parents writing things down on the program; the same program I paid a dollar for, against my better judgement. Turns out, some of these crazy parents actually write down their kid’s scores on each event and keep track of their overall score, or AA (that’s all-around for us smarty-pants gym parents.)

I was learning all sorts of new things, one of them being we knew next to nothing about being parents of a gymnast. Judah, on the other hand, was all business. Even though this was new to him, he followed his coach’s lead and confidently finished all of his events.

The gym that was hosting the meet was slightly disorganized and once everyone had finished their events, tallying up the scores seemed to take forever. Next, we had to sit through a raffle. Don’t get me started. Brutal. Andy suggested we leave. “This is going to take forever,” were his exact words.

“I want to go, believe me, but this is his first meet and we should probably stay, at least for his team’s sake.” I said, as they were reading off the 200th raffle item.

At last, the time had come to give out the medals. We’re not talking just gold, silver, and bronze. They started with 15th place. You heard me right. 15th. I’m not sure what color this medal is. Aluminum? Brass? They began reading off the names and the gymnast would walk forward, accept his medal and stand in his place. Once they got to 6th place, they called out one of Judah’s teammates. Good for him. He got a medal! When it came to 4th place, they called a tie between Judah’s other teammate and another kid.

This meant that both of Judah’s teammates placed and got medals, and Judah would go home with nothing. That didn’t seem to make sense, since I thought Judah’s scores were pretty good. But this was all new to me and I really had no idea how all the other kids were doing.

3rd place was read. 2nd place was read. Then I was sad. Poor Judah. His first competition, his teammates both get medals and he will go home with nothing. He’s going to be so bummed.

“…and the first place, gold medal goes to…from Cascade Elite…Judah Hirschman!”

WHAT??!! Did I really just hear that right? Andy and I looked at each other in shock, screaming, cheering, clapping; basically going nuts. And there was Judah, stepping up on the block, leaning down to get his medal, all business. He glanced over at us with a little smile. It was almost as if it wasn’t a huge surprise to him.

The rest of the night was spent celebrating, calling family, re-living the moment with Judah, and then the poor guy crashing from exhaustion.

We had no idea what that whole day would bring. We told him to do his best, and that he did. On that day, his best was the gold. I’m sure that won’t always be the case, but I do know one thing. Any judgements that I have passed on “crazy sports parents” who scream and yell and act way over-the-top at their kids’ sporting events: My apologies. I now get it.

Like I said, all business.

Christmas Adventures

Three weeks have gone. I was hoping to write all about our Christmas adventures before it was officially next year. Well, following in my usual blogging-slacker tradition, I present you with 2012 Christmas Recap in 2013. 

This Christmas was insane. Insane fun. Insane busy. Insane food. Insane sick. Insane messy. All of it, insane. My brother and his family came to stay with us (from Tennessee). On Christmas Eve we had 15 people sleeping here and 19 on Christmas Day. I wish the whole family was represented. We missed Jeremy, Natalie, and Evangeline. Family count is 24, soon to be 25 in April. Sheesh! Our activities included, but weren’t limited to:

4 Christmas performances at church

Ice skating

Riding the Monorail

Baking Christmas cookies


3 Christmas celebrations

Several doses of Nyquil

Getting a quarter of the way through White Christmas

Chinese food

Dollar Store gifts


So there you have it. I’m still working on recovering from it all. Still finding left behind items. Looking forward to a new year of great memories and breaking resolutions within the first week!

Josie and Opal make cookies

Trip to the candy store

Ben & boys. Chinese food. Christmas Eve tradition.

Karaoke with cousins

New Years Eve and Doritos

Our fancy New Year’s Eve feast (totally worth the 3 hours spent in the kitchen) We were pretty pleased with ourselves.

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