Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last I blogged was quite some time ago, so I’ll try to cover a couple highlights...

Christmas: Excellent. Came and went before I had time to blink. I vaguely remember enjoying it. Naturally, the thing that comes after Christmas is my birthday. Sorta.
That was a highlight. Even though I didn’t end up making a cake. I had drawn up a design, figured out a plan and color scheme, and then I thought “I don’t have the energy to first make a giant mess, then clean up a giant mess.” So, I put away anything I had out, and enjoyed not making a cake. Unfortunately, that means I had to also enjoy not getting to eat a cake.
Camera Highlights: Speedlight. SB-700 (Sorry, I won’t spend hundreds more on the SB-900!) So amazing for inside my house. Also... Nikon 50mm f/1.4g AF-SW fixed portrait lens. Absolutely incredible. Worth it. Gathers so much light in miserable lighting conditions as to make you astonished at the results. It also has forced me to learn a lot more in order to utilize it to it’s maximum potential, and that has been a definite benefit.

Seabrook. Or rather, SEABROOK!!! I had someone tell me that I automatically started smiling when I said that word. It was weird to find that it was true. And I couldn’t stop... because it was amazing! Pictures from this grand adventure may be seen here:!i=2384481084&k=WTWHdTD

I had never stayed there before, but a few other members of my family had, with various groups of people. Never our family though. Honestly, I had (before now) been one of the biggest objectors to staying at Seabrook, afraid it would replace the all-important, traditional Sandpiper. Our family has gone there for nigh on forty years, and I am too much anti-change to vote to go there. Now, however, I am considering hoping that seabrook will replace it. I got highly sentimental when we walked down to the Sandpiper one day, because I have thousands of memories there. Huge moments, and minute things have all happened there, and when I see a picture (or stand in front) of that building, memories flash through my mind like I am looking through a photo album. It has been the constant family vacation. Going to california or oregon is fun, but our whole family doesn’t do that anymore. But we do all go to the sandpiper. It’s a pretty big thing, and I’ve loved it. They have no tv, no internet, no phones. The place is literally ON the beach. You go out your room and down the stairs, and you are just about on the sand. You can hear the ocean, and see for miles, and smell the salt air. (or the occasional beached whale. Yes, that happened once. I seem to remember that someone in our family had a jacket that stunk for weeks after that encounter...)
We’ve played countless hands of rummy there, hundreds of rounds of boggle, and who knows how many other games. Endless walks on the beach, and quite a few sandcastles. We have thousands of pictures taken there, and it’s fun to look through the years and see what we did there. Fun to see a picture of a grown up Clark standing in the same place we have a picture of my Grandpa in-- and wearing the same jacket. Have a picture of my parents standing in front of one of the doors the very first year they were dating... Caught my first (and last) clam there... dug by hand by clark and I! I could go on for literally a dozen pages, so I’ll cut line now... and skip back to Seabrook.
We stayed in a beautiful house, with an ocean view, close to the beach access. It was stormy the night we got there, but it was an excellent excuse to be inside and play endless games of Dominion and Settlers of Catan with a new expansion pack... Both those games are intensely addicting, and only a few games of cards were played as a result. The house was lovely, and... (drumroll) I got to have my own room! That was truly a novel experience. Typically, when on Pacific Beach, we are staying at the Sandpiper. I happen to be lowest on the totem pole, and the limited number of rooms means that I have slept on the couch/twin bed thingamajig in the front room. The very front room. Which means that I am awake latest and earliest. It also means that if anyone comes out at all, I hear it. The plus side of that? I wake up, sit up, and am immediately looking at (and hearing the roar of) the ocean. Fabulous, that. However, I’m not sure that single benefit outweighs everything else. Such as lack of sleep! My room at Seabrook was beautiful... and I ended up only spending one night in it. Ironically enough, I ended up staying two of the nights up in the carriage house with rachel and the kiddos. Abigail, as it turns out, can have some pretty severe dreams. Woke up one night and she was traumatized, weeping, and still very much asleep. Tried to wake her up and comfort her, and could barely hold her with how much she was kicking around. Very sad. Thankfully, she didn’t remember a thing the next morning! “Me no has dreams!”
The weather was slightly inclement, but we still took walks on the beach. Clark, Jacob, and I redirected the course of a river! The river was in the way of our walk... So we attempted to build a dam. By the time that afternoon was over, I couldn’t feel too much from my knees down, as the result of slogging about in ice cold january pacific ocean water. Ouch. And yet so much fun... It was a good excuse to come in and change, then go up to the pool. Oops, did I not mention that we had access to a pool? So amazing! There was no one there. I think Clark spent a total of ten hours in the pool over three days. I swam a lap or two. This was the first time I’d been to the ocean in a number of years and not done any swimming or wave diving or at least knee-wading in it!
Seabrook was the most relaxing time I’ve had in quite a while.
We celebrated my birthday there, as well as Hannah’s, who is almost exactly twenty years younger than me, and I guess you could say it was the best birthday ever. Three days with the family make for some good memories. There is something beautiful too, about getting up and being able to relax with your bible and a cup of tea with an ocean and a forest both in view.
Food was fun! Taco salad one night, spaghetti another. Lobster bisque the night we celebrated my birthday... Clark did bacon, eggs, and other stuff for breakfast one morning, while mom and I did crepes suzette for another. Rachel made french toast the last morning. Have I mentioned that food is something I get excited about when we all go somewhere overnight?? :-)
The pictures can give you a more full and accurate description, and may succeed where my thousand words have failed.
They will be in the January 2013 gallery previously linked.

Meghann’s baby is due in about two weeks! Extremely exciting. Therefore, you will also see pictures from two different baby showers. One, hosted by a friend of Meghann’s family, had lovely pink cupcakes and a view of the Narrows Bridge. The other was hosted by us and had lovely pink party favors and a view of.... well, just a neighborhood, actually. But it was lovely. :-) They will be in the February 2013 gallery, which has yet to be put up.