Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

May 10, 2009

I can’t wait to see you just two weeks from tomorrow!Mother's_Day


Road Trip 2007 Flashback #1

March 26, 2009

So this week I decided I was going to take the opportunity to recap some memories from my cross-country road trip to Seattle, because my brother is currently making the same trip. 

But before I even had time to do another post, I found out that he is arriving tonight!?  Apparently our approaches differ when it comes to the cross-country road trip. 

My brother and uncle seem to be taking the very male “power through it” approach – they left yesterday early afternoon and drove in shifts through the night.  I’m sure they’re also calculating their gas mileage and discussing whether they’re making good time along the way.  And eating beef jerky…or something. 

My road trip with my mom, on the other hand, included things like books on tape, “the license plate game”, leisurely dinners, and every national park and tourist attraction within even remote distance of I-90 on the way out here…and lots of Diet Coke.  (And I would have taken another week if I could have!) 

Verbatim text exchange with my mom today:
   Bob and Jack are 100 miles west of billings mt.
Me:   they have gone a long way!!!
Mom: Yes they’re serious about arriving for the beer festival 🙂

(There is a beer festival at the Seattle Center on Saturday.  I vaguely remembered hearing about it, but my brother and uncle found it on their own, and they are pumped.)

On that note – I give you the touristy kitsch of central South Dakota: 


Mitchell Corn Palace (South Dakota) – It’s more like a gymnasium covered in corn husks.  You cannot make this stuff up.


Yes, that sign says population three hundred and ninety.


A tiny roadside “strip mall”


Wall Drug.  I don’t think I can even accurately explain this place…not so much a drugstore but a cheesy, touristy empire.

After we passed through the touristy stuff, we started getting into the true west and the mountains.  I’ll post more of that pretty soon, though probably after my brother arrives….

but here’s a preview with another picture from Badlands National Park (that’s my mom in the middle):



Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the West Coast

March 25, 2009

Per his facebook status (and a text from my mom), I now have OFFICIAL confirmation that my brother is on his way to Seattle. 

Thinking about him packing up the car and heading west has me reminiscing about my drive over Labor Day weekend 2007, when my job transferred me from Cincinnati to Seattle.  I picked up my mom in Chicago and off we went for a 6-day, 2000-ish mile road trip that stands in my mind as one of my all-time favorite experiences.

I felt so many things at the time, but especially excitement.  Moving brings so many mixed emotions – the unknown, the sadness of leaving people and familiarity behind – but also the overwhelming possibilites held by someplace new.  Because Seattle was about as far away as I could get within the US (and because I barely knew anyone there), the whole thing felt pretty significant to me – and a few days on the road was a great way to take it all in.

Sure enough, this move has already meant a lot in my life, and I’m sure I don’t even know the half of it yet…. 

(Also, I can’t remember another time in my life when I was able to spend so much time one-on-one with my mom.  With three siblings, it just doesn’t usually work that way!)

So – this week, while Jack is on his way, it only feels right to post a few flashbacks to 2007!  Let the reminiscing begin…


(Badlands National Park, South Dakota)

I’ve always loved this picture because it captures the feeling of being the only car on the open road (which was the case at certain points of the trip).  Even though it’s some random car in the picture, it actually does look like my car!

Attack of the Jack

March 21, 2009

My brother Jack is one of my very favorite people in the world.  (Me, and everyone else who knows him!) 

And I am very fortunate that this Tuesday, Jack will be packing up his black Jeep Cherokee with all of his wordly possessions and driving it cross-country to move to Seattle! dsc00637My brother, the only way I ever imagine him – wearing his famed Mr. Bubble shirt.  And his military ish haircut.

Sometimes things happen in funny ways.  When I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, I didn’t even know that Jack moving here was a possibility.  I can’t wait to share a city with him.

(When he called me at work awhile ago and told me the news, I literally started sort of dancing around in between the cubicles.  It’s a good thing my co-workers are used to me.)  

I’m still pinching myself!  Jack, Seattle will not know how it got on before you…

Jack and Erin, 2006:dsc00643

Jack and Erin, 1985:naples85_4(Sorry, Jack, I had to…this one’s CLASSIC!)

Postcard memory from my dad (1991)

February 11, 2009

Two days ago, I was going through a box in my office closet looking for some old photos (actually, to fill out a “Memories” facebook meme, but that’s not important). 

To get to those boxes in my office closet, I had to take apart my shoe shelves and move them.  Not a good layout, but also not important.

What is important is that in the process of looking for a photo, I found something very special to me – this postcard that my dad sent me when I was 9 years old:



I thought I had lost it during my move to Seattle.  I was thrilled but also a little teary when I saw this poking out from under a pile in the box. 

It’s the single piece of written communication from my dad to me that have in my possession today, and it really helps me remember him.  I love everything about it – the “your” vs. “you’re,” the block handwriting (which I wouldn’t remember if it weren’t for this postcard), the postmark date, the cracks in the paper.   It’s one of my single most special possessions. 

And THAT is why I still carefully go through piles before I get rid of anything.  I can’t bring myself to apply the “if you don’t know what’s in that box, and you haven’t needed to go into it in over a year, then you probably don’t need anything inside that box” rule.  You never know.

I love it when long weekends actually feel long.

January 19, 2009

This weekend (which is so not over yet….love 3-day weekends!) has been a really great, balanced mix – one of family, friends, exercise, sleep, good food/drinks…and the list goes on.  

January is a bit of a weird month for me because I’m not traveling AT ALL.  Could this be a sign for a more low-key 2009? 

Probably not, because I’m in the middle of planning several trips already, but none of them happen to be in January.  I’m trying to enjoy this lull while it lasts, knowing that my wanderlust will be kicking in soon.

Weekend highlights (not in any particular order)

– Thank you, Seattle sun, for coming back out and giving us a blue sky for the first time in a few months (and temperatures nowhere near as cold as the Midwest).  I wish I took pictures. 

– My mom was in town from Chicago.   We had some much-needed quality mother/daughter time.  It was a blast, as always!

– If you ever get the chance to eat sushi with my mom, reinforce that it’s best NOT to cut the roll pieces in half to try to fit them in your mouth more easily.  (She may need some reminding.  It was her first time.)

– Even without having seen the other female performances, I can see why Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe for Revolutionary Road.  Intense.  And worth seeing.

– I feel bad for the couple who had to share an 8-person table at Serious Pie with 4 of my friends, my mom, and me on Saturday night.  The restaurant is tiny, so apparently they fill all seats.  We were pretty loud (and kept talking to them).  Hopefully they weren’t hoping for a quiet date!

– Seattle coffee loves Obama.


– This weekend brought not just one, but two familiar faces in from out of town.  One of my college friends was in town from Dallas (visiting her family here), so it was great to catch up with her tonight.

– I’ve been to four hot yoga classes since Tuesday.  My mom came on Thursday and Saturday out of her own free will.  She did great!  And I am doing better than I expected with that particular resolution. 

– Tomorrow should be a good time to research Whistler accomodations (the next trip I’m planning – a last-minute-ish trip for a group of 10 or so to ski over Presidents’ weekend – my fourth time there!).  Whistler has become one of my favorite places since I’ve moved to the Northwest, so I’m sure there will be much more to come on that particular destination.