what's the 100,000 anniversary gift?

Civic and I hit a milestone.

I cried. He wagged his muffler. It was a beautiful moment on The Boulevard.

We hit 100,000 miles.
Like I said, I cried. I cannot be more specific or real here. I honestly cried on the side of the road.

It was just a really big moment for Me and Civic. I'm not sure what kind of relationship you have with your car, but Me and Civic are super tight. We've been through a lot together.

And now you get to walk down memory lane.
Settle in.
My blog. My rules. My choices.

Civic came into my life at approximately 11 a.m. on August 14th, 2001. I was 18, He was 16 (miles). It was meant to be. PK got him for me and the surprise was that Civic was an automatic. After careful thought and consideration, PK decided NOT to teach me to drive a manual. Which I still to this day believe to be the greatest decision The Father ever made. I mean, really, me and a clutch? I don't think so.

Eight days after getting Civic, we were backed into. Horrible. My first accident. Our first accident. Apparently, bright red is more of a bull's eye and R is for Race not Reverse.

It was traumatic. We're still not over it.

Two month's later, Civic and I were driving to Bellingham to visit my big brudder with a backseat full of Dorm Girls and a next door neighbor named Chuck. We hit 1,000 miles. It was a banner moment.

I love Civic.
You may have noticed that Civic is both his brand and name. Naming has never been my strong suit. Based on the naming of Civic, I'm assuming Baby 2053 will either be named Baby or 2053. It's a toss up at this point.

Civic was sort of The College Car. It went everywhere with everyone even though it was a 2-door and even though a garbage bag was filled every time people needed to get in. That's just how I roll.

I grew up in this car.
I fell in love with this car.
I fell in love going on dates with this car.

I love that this car has been backed into or rear ended three times. Seriously, bull's eye.
I love that my dorm neighbor Chuck was the first person non-Susie ever allowed to drive Civic (at 18, I believed the Pilot's License had merit. At 27, I know better).
I love that there is still a mustard stain on the roof from Jamie circa 2005.
I love that there is a permanent ring of dried coke in the cup holder.

I love that this car is so me. You could pick it out of a line up.
Every year I ask my new students to guess the color of my car. 6 years running and red has always been the first guess. Told ya, just like me.

So, yes. I cried when we hit 100,000 miles because it's been an amazing 100,000 from 18 to 27.

And then I cried again when it got to 100, 016 miles because that was officially 100,000 miles from the time PK decided I was better off in an automatic than a manual.

Me and Civic.
Peas and Carrots.

And since I know Civic is not the most inventive name (see paragraph 10), I'd love to know your car's name (for example, Cheryl's Jeep (R.I.P) was Eileen, while Emy's first car's name is blog inappropriate so she may not comment). Please to share.

worrying like this will really age me.

The truth is, I'm not getting any younger. It's not my birthday, it's not my anything, it's that I'm not the youngest anymore and I'm not dealing with that too well. Aging, like most everything else, is not something I do gracefully.

When I was in high school, I was Team Captain as a sophomore. When I was in college, I was an assistant editor of the college newspaper at 18 and editor-in-chief at 20. When I started teaching, I was 22.

I'm used to being young for my age. Does that make sense? Young for my position, I think that would be a better way to do it.

I'm not the youngest anymore.

I know this because my friend traded in her Jetta for a Mini Van.
I know this because for the first time EVER I was called "Grandma" by a student [I respond to Mom as quickly as I respond to Mrs. Allison. Grandma? Not so much.]
I know this because 1/4th of the teaching staff at my school is younger than me now.

Chuck, on the other hand, is very much the youngest at work.
I'm insanely jealous.
And he's the youngest by 20, 30 years in most cases. Ah, the life he leads.

It was at his work that the discussion about that high pitched "for young'ins only" ringtone came about. You know that one, right? It got a lot of press a year or so ago. Suppose-ably, the over 25 crowd can't hear it. It's real popular with the high schoolers. All the boys in Sioux City are using it (that was family joke. A PK shout out. Move it along, people...).

Any-who, Chuckles still rides that Polar Express and can actually still hear the sound.

He asked me if I could.
"Try it," he said in such a nonchalant manner that I firmly believe he knew the rabbit hole of introspection, terror, and gerascophobia (that's the fear of aging to you lay persons) that this would send me down and was kind of enjoying himself.

That's when the panic started.
He can. What if I can't? Is this going to be that whole "at one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years past it fell silent for all of them." Who knew Van Allsburg was actually talking about an ultrasonic ring tone? I'd always assumed the book was about Santa.

Sweating came next. I had to unzip the front of my footy pajamas (yep) and get the cool air flowing. Then the heart started racing. Then the shaking commenced.

The term hot mess came to mind.

I google reconned to find the tone whilst simultaneously having an age related meltdown and pondering mortality and the shelf life of Sherbet ice cream (how many freezer burn crystals are too many crystals?).

I found it.

It then took me another 5 minutes to actually start the thing.
I basically had to make peace with myself that it was OK.
Someday, I definitely won't hear the sound. So what if it's today.

I tried.
I did it.

I could hear it!

Really, I'm already having enough age related issues not being the youngest or newest anymore. This was the last thing I needed. I'm trying to remember all the things I learn from my friends, family, and colleagues who are older than me, wiser than me, and far better than me, and hoping that maybe I'll get to that level of divinity someday.

I doubt I'll ever be any sort of divine or gracious or wise like them. Heck, I'm just happy I can hear an annoying buzz. Life. Complete.

Now the question is, can you???

Here's the tone: You can hear it on the left side -- it says it's a download, but it's not. They lie.

Is it really the thought that counts?

I really hope it's the thought that counts.
But really, let's be honest here, the thought doesn't always work as a sole gift.

I can't really tell people what I wished for them, what I thought of getting them, it doesn't actually work like that. Life would be so much cheaper if it did.

But (because I am s-m-r-t) I'm not thinking that giving wishes and thoughts is going to go over too well on, say, Christmas. I just don't see Shelley being insanely thrilled with opening an empty box from me and hearing all the things I thought about getting her, but didn't. It really wouldn't be the same as the perfect silver Nordstrom box filled will Brass Plum treasures that I leave for her each year.

So, no, the thought doesn't really count all of the time.

But dang, I kinda hope it is. Because I made a mess tonight with a loving gesture and I really hope the thought counts on this one. After all, I did try. And I could wrap up the disaster if I needed to, so it wouldn't be a completely empty box.

The point. The point. Awe, here it is.

Chuck and I are knees deep in a little project.
I always call them little projects. I have yet to find this allusive little project, but someday...some.day. The little project du jour (hmmm, that sounds good, I'll have that) is making a chalkboard. Long story, I'll explain later this week when it's complete and fabulous, but for right now, you need to know that it's been a long day of sanding to get ready for said complete and fabulous chalkboard.

Long. Long. Long day of sanding. For this "little project", Chuck hand sanded for about an hour (have you ever done that? Try it. It'll give you a new appreciation for something, what, I don't know, but something). That hand sanding did not go well and it basically stunk. He left for an hour to find a solution, bought an electric hand sander thingy (technical term), and upped the anty on that bad boy of a wall. Four and a half hours of meticulous sanding later and he had the wall smooth. Like buttah.

I felt a bit bad like I always do during projects where my role gets dwindled down to "look pretty" and even that didn't go so well today (I made a life choice to not shower. We weren't going out. Waste of soap and makeup if you ask me.).

I felt bad about today's step in our not-so-little project. There he was, sweating, ear plugs, stressing to make it perfect. There I was, not really doing much of anything to help the cause so I decided to be nice.

I'd make him a cake.
It's the thought that counts, after all. It'd make him feel loved and appreciated.

I went for chocolate. Split it into two 9" rounds which I've done about a million times. I waited for them to cool -- just like Fe taught me to. Patience, she said, it's a virtue. I started to whip up my beloved butter cream frosting and Chuck started pacing in the kitchen.

That's about the last thing that went right.

Once they cooled completely, the cakes didn't want to leave their pie pan homes, despite the amazing greasing job I'd done to prepare them to leave their metal nests. After lots of hoping and praying, I got cake number one onto the cake stand. He looked fine. An almost perfect little base -- he'd do. I started to frost the top. It got a little crumbly and a little frosting mixed with crumbs (which I find to be as vulgar as bread crumbs in the butter dish), but I was fine with it. It was just the middle. No cause for alarm.


As I lifted out cake number two, it started to crack. Not a full crack, just the start. I figured it was nothing a little vitamin Butter Cream couldn't fix.


By this time, I'm crying.
Not sadness crying. I'm laughing crying. Calamity Jane baked a cake. I can say with all assurance that in my 17 years of baking a cake without adult supervision that this is (without a doubt) the worst thing I have every created.

Bar. None.

It just kept getting worse and worse. Every touch, every smooth of frosting, more disaster. Finally, I called it.

Chuck said if it tasted half as good as it looked then we'd all be in for a real treat.

He said he was worried about ruining it by taking a bite.

He still did bite.
He still said it tasted good.
I still can't believe it. I definitely saw it going a little differently.

I really hope this isn't the beginning of a loss of my baking skills. I really hope it's the thought that counts on this one. And I really hope Chuck sees it as a thank you and not the empty Christmas box that it kind of feels like.

she's here.

Dania finally had her baby.

Paisley Addison
8 lbs on the dot. 20 inches.
10 fingers, 10 toes, lots of hair.

And here is the best/worst part.
Paisley was born September 13th, which (if you didn't already know off the top of your head) is also Bella Swan's birthday. I know, right? So exciting. And also, so sad. Mainly because we knew it was Bella's birthday and were not upset, disturbed, or embarrassed with this. We were thrilled. Oh. It's definitely gone too far.

That's all beside the point.
The important point is that she's here. Finally.
Labor for Dania started on a Friday and ended at 2:24 a.m. on a Monday, so we stress finally.

The biggest problem with being born on a Monday and living 100 miles away from your friends is that it takes 6 days for them to make it over the mountains to see you. Poor planning on Dania's part. I mean, really?

But we made it, finally.
We held her.

This is Aunt Jessica.

This is Aunt Emy.

This is Aunt Susie.
We'll have to settle for telling Paisley that I held her and changed her. And put her in a tutu when her parents weren't looking.

We got to hear the Birth Story.
Dania is a very animated story teller.

Jeff was a bit exhausted. I kind of died for him using the Boppie as a pillow. It just screams "new dad". Screams. It.

Oh and thank goodness she was in the onesy we special made for the occasion or that could have been real awkward.

We were touched that Paisley would remember to wear it for us.
(side note: the only reason that onesy says Sue is because we ran out of S's. It's also why Jess has only one S. Don't think this makes it ok to call me Sue just because Paisley can. This is not an open invitation.)

We spent the whole day with the new little family. It's never been that big a deal having Jeff and Dania live so far away, but now it is. We're a little in love with that little peanut and can't believe she's 100 miles and weeks from seeing away.

So, here's our little Paisley. First baby in the group.
6 days new. And a lovely little soul.

They were exhausted.
They were groggy.
But they were so happy, it was contagious.

But not that contagious.

everything else in between.

Just a little ditty about the rest of our summer, mostly pictures I want to show you and short stories I want to share. Remember? I'm a giver. And by giver, I mean taker. Really, I'm taking time out of your life for so little.

Basically, everything in this post falls into one of two categories: things that couldn't hack it in their own post OR things that happened during my three-week-temper-tantrum where I stopped blogging and almost lost all my friends (not because of the meltdown, but because of the not blogging -- I write so they have something to do at work, true story).

Here goes nothing.

Right after school ended, we went back to The Trampoline Place (also known as Skyhigh Sports, but really, my name is so much more descriptive). The cousins were in town and we promised a trip back to that place. It went so well the time before, why not?

Here's why not. I'm old. I mean, relatively, no. But compared to 15 year old Mark, yes. Apparently, I had used up my only "go trampolining without repercussions" life allotment.

I successfully did many, many flips (you may remember my struggles from last time or not, because why?), but after a while, I wasn't feeling so right. Turns out, I channel Dorothy when I flip and click my heals together. Repeatedly. Over and over. Again and again.

This was my ankle.
I managed to keep that parting gift from mid June to mid August. Every time I put on my heels this summer, it was a little beacon of warning: you aren't that young anymore.

Next story.
Chuck has been dying to try paragliding. Dying. DYING. And what's more, the guy's a little obsessive about it. He knows all about it. The places around here. The launch sites. The "who's who" in the paragliding world: Pacific Northwest version. Drives me crazy.

So he goes hiking one afternoon. Heads up the traditional paragliding trail because he wants to "watch". I kid you not. Watch people paragliding. Oh, yeah, my idea of a good time.

Anywhoozie, while he's up there he overhears a group of newbies being coached on their first jump. They take off and the instructor sees Chuck peeping on them. So, he asked Chuck if he wants to ride down.

And Chuck did it.
He jumped off a mountain strapped to a complete stranger.

Who does this?

I'm going to say it again as it went.
"Do you want to jump off this mountain with me?"

Look how happy he is.

Off a mountain.
With a stranger.

In Chuck's defense (which I so rarely come to), he recognized the instructor from the "who's who" of paragliding. The man is such a legend the trail they were standing on that day is actually named after him. So there. It still doesn't change the jump off a cliff issue much.

And now, a few more pictures and captions.

Lucy and I had Baby's Big Beach day in July. We did a jail break from child prison and headed to the water. And for the record, I will never take a baby to the beach again whilst trying to take pictures with a brand new camera. That was a whole lot of juggling and never again.

She was fabulous though. Even as a bucket head.

Just as a recommendation from Me and My Friends.

Make the Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls. They were so major.

I love a good butter moment, and this did not disappoint. Do you see the butter oozing out? They were ridiculous. And fabulous.

Please make them.
(yes, we are all wearing pearls. When you bake, you wear pearls.)

Oh and finally, I thought you'd like to know that I embraced my inner "Ship's Wheel" on this year's rafting trip.

Rafting trip was a huge success.

Huge sucess.

Dania was mostly the huge part of it. What? I love her. And that little baby came into the world on Monday -- she's a whole lotta precious and we're heading over the mountains to meet her on Saturday. We're busting.

Last thing, Chuck would like to know if this picture makes him look skinny.
Please weigh in on that (pun so intended it's not even funny).

There, that's it. We're done.
R.I.P Summer 2010.
(double fist bump peace sign)

how we did.

May seems like a lifetime ago. I'm pretty sure it was. How are months starting to seem like years, but years only seem like days? Confused? Good. That's how I like you.

May was when Chuck and I sat around and made our summer goals. We shared some of them with you (here), because we thought (emphasis, thought) that this would help them get accomplished. Not to point fingers, but you did nothing to help out.

Here's the list just for a quick refresh.
1. Go to a Horse Race Show.
2. Go to The Court House Show.
3. Grow something edible.
4. Marry Rob Pattinson.
5. Remodel the Kitchen.
6. Visit Josh.
7. NOT Fixing the Fence
8. Garage sit way more often.
9. Go on a boat (subsequently saying "I'm on a boat").
10. Organize the garage.

Now that summer 2010 may officially R.I.P., it's time to recap the successes, the failures, and the everything in between.

Here goes.

1. We went to the Horse Race Show.

It was fantastic. This was such a WIN. A fail because of the hat situation (or lack there of) but a win, nonetheless. We actually did something. This is huge for us. [I wrote all about the horse race show here, so I don't feel very inclined to rehash it all again -- wow. I have an attitude tonight. I should delete that sentence and rewrite it nicer, but looky looky, I'm not).

2. We did not go to a Court House.

The problem with Court House Viewing is that this is a weekDAY event. Evidently, court doesn't meet on Sundays, even though I said please which Fe taught me would always work, but apparently doesn't. Basically, Court House Viewing will require Chuck to use a day of vacation to participate in. We will do this, eventually, but it wasn't worth a vacation day in the summer. I'm over it, Chuck's not. He's obsessed. He says this just got moved to the top of the "Lifetime" list. Ok. Whatevs.

3. I did not grow something edible.

Here's the deal. So I may not have grown something edible, but I did grow flowers this year. And by grow, I mean kept them alive. Last year, I planted in May and by, well, later in May, they looked like this:

This year, I worked so hard to keep my babies pruned, loved, and watered (evidently this is an important step and one that I was missing previously) that they're still lookin' good.

So, I know it's not a garden.
Or something impressive like Dahlias.
But I kept them alive.
I don't think you appreciate what I did here.
This was huge for me.

4. Marry Rob Pattinson.

Working on it.
I'm pretty sure seeing Eclipse three times in 10 days is a start.
We're practically engaged.
(btdub, my stomach fluttered when I found this picture on my hard drive. issues...)

5. Nope, we didn't remodel the Kitchen.

We had a change of plans here. The kitchen still needs a remodel (I mean, I love 1990s oak and white tile counters as much as the next girl...), but it's been back burnered for a few months in favor of redesigning the family room. We've redecorated, we're almost done, we're waiting for the new TV to be delivered and the chalk board paint to cure. TV will be here Wednesday. Painting this weekend. We'll call this a coming attraction.

6. Visit Josh.

We thought we'd need to go to Missoula to see our beloved friend Josh (Chuck's college roommate who lived with us for the first three months of our marriage. Have I never told you that?). Anywho, Josh came to visit us. Lots.

We saw him for Paul's bachelor party.
He jumped out of an airplane with Chuck to celebrate Paul getting married.
Boys. Seriously.

He came to Paul's reception in July.
I love him.

I miss him.

He's the best.

He's also single.
He's going to kill me for that.

And he came to Paul and Chuck's mini-break holiday to Chelan.

We got so much face time with Josh this summer.
It made us so happy.

7. We did NOT fix the fence.

Such a big WIN. That baby isn't going anywhere.
That was easy.
(here, read this, it'll explain why)

8. Increase garage sitting ten-fold.

I did. A ridiculous amount.
There's no pictures, because it was just me. Nearly everyday. Picture this: Me. Sweet Tea. And Wuthering Heights (I decided to educated myself this summer).

I also made Kyle, Maggie, Libby, Jessica, other Maggie, Eric and Jeffrey all garage sit with me at some point in the summer. I'd say forcing seven of my friends to sit with me makes this such a huge win. I'm always looking for Garage Sitting converts.

9. Go Boating.

Chuck did. With Paul and Josh.
I'm glad I didn't, because I can only imagine how Chuck ran the joke "I'm on a boat" into the ground. Oh, so. glad. I. missed. that.

10. Organize the garage.
Not gonna lie.

It's worse.
I had cleaned it. It got better. Then Chuck made it worse.
Bus. Throw. He's under it. I'm fine with it. I did all I could do.

It would be a lie to say that this sums up our summer.
Not even close.
I think, that I may have accidentally kept a lot of our summer from you because I wasn't speaking to you for 3 weeks when I had my summer-melt-down-hiatus-I'm-not-blogging-tantrum.

I'll recount the best of the summer (the other parts) tomorrow.
I'm sure you're just dying to know.

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