The first week of June was a "week off" for me in terms of watching Whitley as Travis, Stephanie, and Whitely were with Travis sister's family in Sunriver. So, when I saw this week approaching in my calendar, I did my best to fill it with activities that were less Whitley-friendly while I could.
First up, on Monday, I went for a hike with Jonna (Mikayla's BFF, Kenday's mom). So long overdue. I love that gal and I love our conversations. What I didn't love was my face turning bright red after the trek up the Ridgeline Trail (maybe, just maybe, I was trying to prove something with my pace as I was running with a 2-time Boston Marathoner!). Ugh, despite every attempt I made over the next 5 hours, by dinner time the tell-tale migraine-style headache had hit in force. REALLY? THIS is how I'm gonna spend my week off? Yup - at least until seeing Mom the next afternoon. It's been a really bad stretch lately - just about every week for three weeks of a couple days lost to this. So defeating. Fortunately, I've been good since Wednesday on. Thank You, Lord - and I am definitely praying my body will stay stabilized for more extended periods from here on out.
Thankfully, I was feeling great by the time I got to see Christi at Bello. Time for the blonder highlights to emerge for summer. Always a "happy place" for me.
This picture was taken that Wednesday morning. I posted it on Instagram/Facebook to show the reality of our life now with a driver. In this case, we were at Starbucks. I was surprised with just how much reaction I got in Social Media - I think its a shocker for all these folks who've known our kids since they were so little to see my son looking so much older - and especially driving. He's been doing great though - the smiles were very genuine on both of our faces.
Marist High School didn't get the memo that I was looking for a week off either. Homework still happened and this was the last week of normal classes - with three days of finals next week. Friday was the last day for any missing assignments to be turned in - and let's just say, "things hit the fan" between Brayden and I regarding his status in his classes. I can't tell you how much pain it inflicts upon me emotionally to pick up a kid that is grinning merrily at me at school and to crash his mood with harsh words of "Step it up" and all the lectures necessary for him to be called out to get to where a kid of his academic capabilities should be. Painful and hard, and exactly the sort of stuff that every parent can relate to when it comes to tough times. SO many folks have it harder with the teenage angst and struggles, so I can't say our life and family have it incredibly hard, but it still doesn't stop the tears falling from my eyes at the challenges of getting our "otter" to a point of success in a college prep high school.
Moving on to brighter subjects - this pic was sent to me via text from Ashley (left) and Alesha (right) after they'd received the last of the care packages I'd drop off for here and now during the school year. They were the roommates from Trinity I'd been "assigned" to encourage (in terms of an older support person) and they are both amazing ladies. Included in their bags of snacks were luggage tags. Ashley is headed on vacation trek into Europe this summer and Alesha is headed to steady abroad in Argentina for five weeks. Exciting stuff! They asked if we could meet up for lunch next week before they leave, so I'm looking forward to that.
On Thursday, I met up with Alysha Hastings. As I had to nix the original plan to go for a hike (due to heat and her schedule) we went with "Plan B" to dine al fresco for lunch. We were right on the bike path and a pair of Ducks flew down to greet us. Of course, if it's an animal encounter, I have to stop everything and take a picture. It's a running joke between Alysha and I that I'm "NatureADHD". =)
While I loved our dining environment, poor Alysha was struggling. She, along with about a quarter of the population (at least that's how it seems) is suffering from major allergy issues. Our grass pollen count this last week has been (literally) off the charts in Eugene - in fact, we are #1 in the nation for this problem. Alysha was sniffling throughout the meal. Poor thing. I'm affected a little bit, and definitely take everything I can to prevent any congestion that could trigger a headache- but definitely not the allergy sufferer that so many of my friends and acquaintances are.
I snapped this shot Thursday night. With us leaving for the Metolius Cabin for the weekend, I thought it would only be right to give Sydney a bath so she'd be a little cleaner when cuddling with Cully who was going to stay at our house over the weekend. That's definitely the look that says, "Don't you dare tell me to get off this couch after traumatizing me with a bath!"
Finally, on Friday, I got to hang out with these three beauties - Elsie, Christi, and Kaela (in town for a wedding). We went to a local restaurant for lunch and then hung out at the house for a while just catching up.
I have to admit, I find it hard to concentrate on any sort of dialogue going on when this little girl is within two feet of me doing this. I had brought out Whitley's old exersaucer and Elsie was DELIGHTED!!!
It was wonderful hanging out with these ladies talking everything from camping, to sleep training, to wedding ideas. I am blessed with some pretty awesome friends in my life.