Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wrapping up 2014 and looking out toward 2015

This year I turned 50 and it's really true that time seems to speed up as you get older!

2014 started out with my youngest returning home from a year studying in Argentina and the adjustment of having someone living with me again.  Once home, she finished the second half of her Sr. year of high school.  Since we only live four houses away, many of her friends would come by often.

The first day of Jr. year we started off with a back to school breakfast and I hosted again this year without her with the promise of doing it again the first day of second semester.

February marked my 50th birthday.  I rented a big house on the Oregon Coast and invited some of my closest friends.  The plan was that Jodi and I would go a day early to get oriented and to have some alone time before the party.  Then weather happened!  We were supposed to go out to the coast on Thursday morning, but my intuition had me checking the weather on Wednesday evening.  Good thing!  A major snow storm was coming in that night.  If we waited until the morning, we would get stuck in the valley.  Luckily, the owner of the house was fine with us coming that night and Jodi agreed (because it was my birthday!).

That's Jodi on the frozen beach on Thursday.  I couldn't believe there was snow in Lincoln City!  We were completely snowed in!  AND my friends were completely snowed OUT. :-(

But, we were in a beautiful house a few blocks from the beach and had enough food for eight people.  There were movies, a big jetted soaking tub, games, and Soul Collage supplies.  And at least my worst case scenario of Jodi being stuck in Eugene and me being stuck in Corvallis didn't materialize!

The coast thawed out on the weekend and on Sunday, it was sunny and warm for my birthday.

Late morning of my birthday I knew it was time to go pick up my glass float.  Somehow I knew where it would be and we pretty much just walked right to it.  Yeah, we meandered a bit looking here and there, but I had seen its location every time I thought about finding it and there it was!  (See it above, just forward and to the right of the charred logs?)  And there it is on the right on the kitchen counter.

While it wasn't the 50th birthday celebration I had planned, it was pretty awesome.  I got to spend a wonderful long weekend on the coast with my sweetheart!  We adjusted our dinner reservations to two and still went to April's at Nye Beach.  We still went to the glass blowing studio - I'd wanted to do that for YEARS!  With the found float and the float I blew myself, I came home with two lovely keepsakes.

Mid-February we welcomed an exchange student from Egypt to our home.  Nardeen stayed with us for about a month and a half while her host parents traveled out of the country and then came back to finish her year in the states with us.

Toward the end of February I started working on the UUFC Fall Women's Retreat as the co-chair.  I was also co-chairing the Services Auction that happened at the end of April.

And in mid-April Jodi developed a tooth infection which has turned into an eight-month long ordeal with emergency room dates, stay in dates, meditation dates, and Dr. visit dates.

At the end of May Steffi turned 18 and had me plan a really fun scavenger hunt party:

Steffi’s Great 18th Birthday Scavenger Hunt

Each item is worth 10 points.  Bonuses are 5 points.  

Upload each item to facebook, tagging Stephanie - #steffiis18 and #

Be respectful, lawful, and safe.  And most of all have fun!  You must be at Cirello’s Pizza (9th and Circle) at 5:30.

  • Start a Conga line in a grocery store.
  • Your entire team’s reflection in something other than a mirror
  • Learn to Swing Dance from a stranger.
  • Ride a bus from one stop to the next.  Extra points if you get the other passengers to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” with you!
  • Sing an elderly couple a love song
  • Busk on a street corner, bonus to the team who scores the most bank
  • Interact with a statue
  • Each team member hugging a stranger
  • Your entire team on a slide (one in front of the other)
  • “I can’t believe we all fit in here!” - extra points for the most creative
  • Help a stranger fold clothes in a laundromat
  • Deliver a meal to a stranger in a restaurant
  • Entire team photographed in mid-air jumping
  • Find someone whose name starts with the letter “T” and have them sign your elbow
  • Get a picture of someone on your team helping someone (mowing a lawn, carrying groceries, etc. - folding laundry doesn’t count!)
  • Be the display mannequins in a store
  • Take a Pedicab 5 blocks - be sure to pay your driver!
  • Act out something on a sign (sign must be in the picture)
  • Get a police officer to sing the Barney Song (I love you…)
  • Ask a stranger to marry you.  Extra points if the stranger says “yes”
  • Get a stranger to let you bowl for them during their game.  Extra points for a strike!
  • An unknown couple telling the story of how they met
  • Have three strangers tell you a funny joke.  Extra points if it’s a little kid telling a kid joke.
  • Run a relay race through an intersection’s worth of crosswalks (obey all traffic and walk/don’t walk signs).  Extra points if you can get bystanders to cheer.
  • Get a photo of all team members having a good night’s sleep. This can be in a store, in a park, on a train… Extra points for creativity.
  • Find a stranger who can juggle 3+ objects and take their picture with all three items in mid air.  Extra points if your team has a go.
  • Draw a funny picture and hang it on a public bulletin board
  • Take a team selfie on five different benches
  • Your entire team sitting with an unknown family at a restaurant - bonus points for each person with rabbit ears
  • Pole dance on a street sign
  • Teach an aerobics class at the riverfront for at least ten minutes.  Extra points for each person not on your team participating.
  • Take your picture in a Porta-Potty
  • Ask a stranger for a taste of their food
  • Go green!  Entire team hugging a tree - bonus to the team hugging the biggest tree
  • Write the names of everyone on your team in sidewalk chalk on the river walk.  Creativity bonus!
  • Get a pizza tossing lesson at Cirellos at 5:30

June was high school graduation for Steffi and Nardeen. (Pictured are Nardeen, Norah, and Steffi on their way to the ceremony.)  Along with volunteering at the all-night party.

It was a busy summer for Steffi and in August I took her GS troop to NYC for their last trip.  What a GREAT city!  I found an Air BnB on the upper west side - halfway between Central Park and Riverside Park for only $1,000 for the whole week!

I got to do a little travel with doTERRA as well, once to a resort near Park City, UT for a leadership retreat and also to Salt Lake City for the best convention so far!  This company is so impressive.  The quality of the oils, the way they source, their compassion, their stewardship of their supply, their ethics, their integrity.  It's all just impressive.

At the end of September my committee and I put on the best women's retreat!  It really went well.  Our minister did the main program and it really came off great.  And even though Jodi was scheduled to work, she managed to be there for it!

The best moment of the year was just last week when I asked Jodi to marry me!  Imagine - two 50 year old women finding each other in this crazy world!  And in person no less.

And in looking forward to 2015 - It'll be all about The Galavan!  A 170' Sprinter that will be a home on wheels as soon as I can make it so!  There'll be lots on our new blog about that.