We went on a short trip to the Oregon coast this past weekend. We camped at an Oregon State Park called Bullard's Beach State Park. These were very well maintained campsite with full hook-ups, hot showers, and each site was very private. Here are a few pictures from our trip:
Ern's 34th birthday is July 27th. He loves making water fountains. So, as my gift to him, he is making a fountain. Here are some nearly finished photos of his new creation. He designed it, found the pot, and did all the work. To him, this was much more fun for him than looking online at a fountain someone else made and buying it. I told him he should go into business. :)
Today I have awoken to cool, foggy weather. We live 100+ miles from the ocean here in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California. It's also July 13th, which is very unusual for this time of year.
When Natalie was 2 or 3, Ernie's mom came and stayed with us for a couple of weeks to watch Natalie. She is from Crescent City, which is the last city on California coast before you enter Oregon. It is nearly foggy, rainy, and cool all year there, so when she comes down here during the summer months, the hot weather is usually a bit of a shock for her. Well, while she was staying with us for those 2 weeks, we had a day exactly like this morning. It was foggy, cool, and smelled like the ocean air.
I don't mind it, but Natalie has swim lessons today, so she will probably be freezing!
On the 4th of July, we went with April, Joel, and Mae to a lake not far from us called Sugar Pine Reservoir. Natalie went fishing with Ern for the first time, and now I believe she is hooked. Ern likes to catch and release, as he just loves the act of fishing. They didn't catch anything, but they had fun, and that's all that matters.
Today marks the first day of my 8 days break from work. Since my sister April has had the baby, I've come to a realization that work is not as important as I used to make it out to be. I think I've also realized that having my mom and dad has also created a different mindset for me.
April and I have always said how much we love our parents, but I'm not sure they understand just how much. My mom is such a creative and loving person. She truly is one of my best friends. April and my mom are the first two women I think of when I want to go and do something fun and exciting. The first two women I will share information with. I get excited any time when I think about doing any kind of activity with either (or both) of them.
Ernie is my first male best friend. His personality is so much like me in so many ways. We are both very neat and organized people. One day a few years ago, he made the comment to me that crumbs on the counter after making a sandwich or a piece of toast, bothered him. I too, have my quirks. He puts the silverware all in one tray in the dishwasher, and I would prefer him to separate it out so all the pieces get clean. Our daughter has inherited the creativity from both my mom and Ernie's dad, both of which are both artists. She loves to sing, draw, dance, but all by herself (dancing and singing specifically). She also loves to collect. She has collections of bottle caps, collections of feathers, collections of acorns, collections of rocks, and collections of shells. We try to limit her "collections" and encourage her to focus on those that are most important to her.
My dad is my hero. He was instrumental in restoring a Studebaker firetruck for the Georgetown, CA fire department. One year, he drove the fire truck in the parade after it was completely restored. April and I teared up and began crying with pride for our dad when he drove by. I think Ernie has many of the same characteristics as my dad. He has a dry sense of humor (which you can sometimes take, and sometimes not take). Many of his personality traits are like my dad's. So for me, it is probably true when you hear the saying "the daughter's marry those that are most like their father".
One year in high school, April and I were riding with my dad in his dark cherry red VW baja bug on a road by our high school. We turned right onto a road off the local two lane highway and passed a lady in a car that had a big gold retriever-type dog sitting in the front passenger seat. Out of the silence of the car my dad says,"boy, that lady's boyfriend is a real dog." April and I sit there, realizing that his joke was dry and kind of silly, but start cracking up because the statement broke the silence in the car. We kept replaying the sound of his voice in our heads, over and over and couldn't help but laugh.
My parents have always been there for us no matter what. They provided us with probably the most normal, loving childhood, anyone could ask for. I am so grateful to this day to have both of them as parents.