Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why I Swim

Last night I read this passage and couldn't get over how well I related to it. Just put my name in wherever you read Riley, and you've taken a step into my world.

"People left a lot of things behind when they went in the water. Their clothes, their stuff, their makeup, their fixed-up hair, their voices, their hearing, their sight--at least as they normally experienced them....Some people lost their individuality in the water, but Riley always felt most herself. Water was supposed to symbolize renewal, she knew, but when Riley swam--pared down, alone, and unreachable--she felt a deeper sense of who she already was....

"The repetitive motion of her limbs was a meditation, the stretch of her muscles a narcotic. She heard her breath and even her heart. She gradually lost the awareness of the few other people in the pool, the activity on the deck, the buzz of the city beyond the glass.

"The regular things couldn't follow you here. You could escape the demands of the world. Even the demands you imposed on yourself seemed to recede and reorient underwater. You couldn't hear and you couldn't talk. Your ears were full, but it was quiet....

"The trouble with swimming was that eventually you had to come out. You had to dry off and put all your stuff back on. You had to become more yourself again, or, in her case, less so. The demands were still there, waiting."

Taken from The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Timing is everything

Last night, while gearing up to install our last wall cabinet, with a thunderstorm as our background music and lighting, Evan made the comment, "Gee, hopefully there won't be a power outage tonight."

I asked, "Should I go get the lantern?"

"No, don't worry about it."

And that's when the lights went out the first time.

Fortunately for us, they came back on a few minutes later and we were able to get some work done. Not enough, though. The lights went out again a little bit later, in the middle of drilling in some more wood strips as support for the cabinet. So instead we ate watermelon and talked about our kids.

Then Evan said, "I am the center of the universe and everthing revolves around me."

And that's when the lights came back on again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Room Sharing

For reasons that I will not bore you with, we decided to put Spencer in Waimea's room and leave Spencer's room as the playroom. On their first night together, when Spencer got into bed, Waimea sat up, looked at him, grinned, then put her hand out and waved, saying, "Hiiiii." Spencer sat up and did the same thing back. A few giggles. Then quiet. Both lied down. Minutes later, Waimea sat up again (my sleep fighter), looked over at Spencer (my sleep embracer), and yelled, "Wake up, wake up." Spencer replied back, annoyingly, "Go to sleep, Waimea!"

We thought it was funny, even if you don't. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Spencer in Finland

Three years ago my father bought a cabin in his homeland of Finland. It's located on an island in the middle of Lake Saimaa, a huge lake that winds in and out of land masses--peninsulas and islands--throughout a majority of Eastern Finland. My parents spend their summers there now, and most of my siblings find there way there for part of the summer. We were there last summer, and Spencer was old enough that he fell in love with the place. My dad begged me all year to let him bring Spencer this year, even though I wouldn't be able to go. So off he went, spending 5 weeks there, with Mummi, Pappa, and all of my siblings. He was in heaven.

Thanks to my brother, Jokke, and my sister, Andrea, I have some pictures of his adventures in wonderland. Get ready for the picture overload:

Helping uncle Jeremy drive the boat, with Jokke making faces:

Helping uncle Eh-eh drive:

Playing on the beach:

Helping put the motor in the water:

Playing with second cousins and aunt Ana:

Playing "Cows" with Uncle Jokke (don't ask; I have no idea).

Lots of fishing:

Playing with my cousin, Marika:

Baseball with my semi-pro Finnish baseball-playing cousin, Janne (Finnish baseball is different--and much better--than American baseball):

My cousin, Jonna, helping him with his technique:

Helping row the boat:

Helping paint and work on upgrading the cabin (he's wearing Mummi's shirt, which is why he looks kind of like a girl):

Second-cousin Pihla:

Uncle Jokke:

Boxing with my uncle, Kossi: