Four days of celebration for the forty-four trips I’ve taken around the sun. I’m grateful to have spent the time enjoying activities I love with people who love me all year long.
One of our traditions around the holidays are to watch the Garfield and Charlie Brown holiday cartoons. All of the Garfields have fun stories and songs and the Charlie Browns are, well, good grief.
But at least the Peanuts gang inspired me to illustrate my family in Charles Schulz’s style for our Christmas card. For a simple and iconic style, finding the features that distinguishes each of us was a fun challenge.
As big fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I grew up reading Spider-Man comics, we took our first opportunity to see OMSI’s latest featured exhibit. It covered a lot of the history of Marvel as a comic book company before becoming the movie and television juggernaut that it is now.
After we got the Quest 2 VR headset and started playing Beat Saber, I found YouTube videos of gamers who not only played it like a dance, but inserted themselves into the virtual reality game. What amazed me more was the software required to do so was available for free.
As Jack continued to train for a marathon, we invited Jake to ride along behind him as we made a goat-shaped loop around East Portland.
After my first sabbatical, Vernier changed the benefit so that employees receive a four-week sabbatical after seven years of employment. The timing was advantageous since my second sabbatical came sooner than the first, which came after ten years.
I was eligible for my second sabbatical last year, but since we were navigating a global pandemic, I deferred it for a year. I’m still amazed at how fast time went by from my first sabbatical that I arrived at my second sabbatical; and now, at the end of my second sabbatical.
So, what did I do for six weeks?
You make us smile every day. We love it when you climb up your bridge and come up to get a view of the living room. Your fur is so soft and your nose is always looking for a treat in our hands.
You’re a clever one. When we hand you a stalk of millet, you skip past all of the seeds and bite off the stem so you can grab the full cluster before we can take it away.
You are a gift from God and the most adorable little fluff ever, You wink and lick your lips and squeak, melting the hearts of all who see. Whenever you eat banana no one can keep the awws in as you devour the sweet treat.
Thank you for the joy you’ve given me band I hope you enjoyed your birthday cake (you better because I spent 10 minutes on it).
We’ve been thrilled that Violet joined her middle school choir. The love of music is something Jenni and I hope to pass to our kids. So we were proud when Violet surprised us with a solo during the final song.
For the kids’ spring break, we planned a day trip up to Seattle and revisit several 10th birthday locations. For Kadie’s 10th birthday, we explored the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass. And for Bruce’s 10th birthday, we enjoyed Olympia’s Hands On Children Museum.
Bruce loved sharing the dry ice fountain with his sisters. We met up with Jenni’s uncle Todd, who lives in Olympia. The kids were disappointed that the sock skating station was no longer there, but we did discover a bench xylophone.
Then we trekked north to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass before riding the elevator up the Space Needle.
Since it had been nearly five years since Kadie and I were last here, I had flashbacks to the trip as we walked through familiar sculptures and sights. I’m grateful for the special trips I get to take my kids when they turned ten.
The Space Needle got some upgrades in the form of glass barriers at the top to reduce wind and provide clearer views. And, they added a glass floor that rotated.
We visited Jenni’s college classmate Paul and his wife Jennifer for dinner before driving home.
I enjoyed created new memories with the entire family while reminiscing the trips I took with Kadie and Bruce prior.