Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fun Things That Happened This Year...

Top photo - Jamey got to surf in El Salvador with some of our
 Cal Poly students over Spring Break
Second photo - It snowed....A morning in February at our house
Third - Jason and Gretchen got to go to an Oakland A's game - and they won!
Bottom photo - Gracey up on top, cheering the AHS Greyhounds into the 4th quarter

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

So next week, Jamey and I are heading to San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary.  We do this almost every year, because it is our favorite city.  It has many things that we both like - fog and eclectic coffee houses for me, antique electric rail cars and raw seafood cups for Jamey.  Really old-fashioned hardware stores, architectural antique centers, amazing Chinese food, NO DRIVING (I seem to have taken up a semi-permanent residence in my truck, for all of the hours I spend in it.  Safe and efficient public transportation ROCKS!!), staying in a nice hotel so I can watch ESPN in bed....Hooray!  I can't wait!  
Jamey and I have now been married for 20 years.  Unbelievable!  I didn't think I was old enough to have been married for that long.  Last night we went to our first wedding of the season (when you work with college students, you go to a lot of weddings) - it was at a winery in Paso Robles; very beautiful setting, wonderful ceremony, great couple, awesome dinner (bbq tri-tip, of course - what else on the Central Coast?).  And as Jamey and I listened to the couple and their friends, and chatted with our friends at our table, we realized.....well, what we realized is that we were such immature babies when we got married!  We both remember feeling so mature at the time (I was almost 23, so I was no child bride, or anything), but looking back, we realize what children we were.  Doing 'life' together makes you grow up, I suppose.
Now we have a child in Drivers' Ed (I for one cannot WAIT until she can drive herself to all of the places she needs to go) and a child eagerly awaiting his promotion into junior high.  And Jamey and I still like hanging out with each other!  Wow.  When I think about my marriage, the same thought runs through my mind that runs through it when I think about my kids, my friends, my family, and my home, and that is: "God has been really, really, really nice to me!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Really Ugly

At our house, we are being reminded lately that life is fragile, mostly but not always wonderful, sometimes difficult, and occasionally downright stinky.  Some good things have happened - Grace made the varsity cheer team, Jason and I went to an Oakland A's game (and they won), our yard looks beautiful and slightly unruly, and we had an alumni event over the weekend that allowed us to see and catch up with many former students and friends.  The chickens are laying eggs again, and Max actually caught 3 gophers and laid them in the grass where we would be sure to see, much to Jamey's delight.  
But, as we know but don't always really have to think about, life isn't all good - it is also difficult.  A friend left a note for his wife explaining why we was leaving her (and his two absolutely beautiful children.  A note.  Coward.  But that's another story....).  An amazing boy who graduated from Atascadero High School last year recently died of leukemia.  Sad.  Hard.  But at the same time, our very wise daughter noted, "We are bummed because we miss him, but it's hard not to be happy for him, too" (he had been battling leukemia on and off for 12 years, since age 7).  He was a pretty spectacular human being and it was humbling to be around him (check out and click on "Clayton McDonald" for more information about his life).  On a very much smaller and way less important scale, there are always worries about Grace's knee, Max's limp, when our cars will need major fixing (Camry - 250,000 miles and still going strong....), Jason's little league team's hitting slump, my allergies, etc.
Of course, right before all of these difficult things happened, I was working on a Bible study and ran across the phrase "If _________happens, God is still God."  We were supposed to fill in the blank with the worst things we could think of.  The point is, and I have to remind myself every day, that God is always God, even when things stink, and even when I don't see Him at work.  He always listens and hears, always loves, and is always at work, even (perhaps most of all) quietly behind the scenes.  This is what we need to remember when life is less-than-beautiful.