gratitude


Family highlights from 2018:

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Great travel visiting both new and familiar places. Cabo Mexico (vacation), Daytona Beach FL (vacation), Washington state (Kara’s family), Pennsylvania (Kara’s family) plus a 24 hour excursion to Baltimore, Kansas (Nick’s family), Arizona in spring and autumn (Nick’s family).

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Renovations to our house, which took the better part of 6 months, though some work is still in progress.  Also the blessing of being able to make it a ‘comfortable’ and enjoyable space for us, for friends, for neighbors, and guests in general.

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Not necessarily a highlight, but honoring the life of Bean, our long-time feline companion who passed in 2018.

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Ivan, when asked what his favorite thing was from this year, responded with ‘camping‘.

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Kara enjoyed having Ivan at a place of more independence. So that meant that she could read more. At last count she read 35 books in categories such as Harry Potter, Health, Marriage, Relationships, Religion etc.

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Bean, our long-time household companion, had deteriorating health over the past 6 months and was put down recently. This blog is our memoir of her.

I (Nicolas) got Bean during a period of life in which I was “lonely” and wanted a friend.  Having grown up loving cats on the farm, a cat was an easy choice. They mostly care for themselves, can be left at home for multiple days, and are not so needy. [Read: I’m not a fan of dogs]. All this was before Kara, so she inherited Bean with our marriage.  😉

As a kitten, Bean would sleep curled up in my arms under the covers and then lay on top of me in the morning, rubbing her whiskers in my face which I swear was to wake me up for food. But even once Kara came along, Bean still continued sleeping at our feet on the bed and then on top of me in the wee hours of the morning. Bean loved her “breakfast” each day – with much excitement for fresh food, she would do a little “dance” in which her tail squiggled and shook while her hind legs danced in place. This type of excitement also existed for the potential to the lick the bowl of any kind of dairy – milk, yogurt, eggnog – or get a piece of cheese. By the way, she could sniff these out from any other room in the house and then come prancing in to beg for some dairy.

Although Bean would sleep about anywhere or on anything the house (especially in boxes), she was also very much a lap cat even with visiting friends and family. And it didn’t matter if we were doing other things like working on a computer or reading or eating or napping…when she wanted lap time, it was her time. Especially when she wanted attention and her “belly rubs”. To get those, she’d lay on her side on our lap, spreading her legs like a hussy, and then use her feet to push against us while we gently stroked her underside. Up until the point that she was done with that and would give us a “playful” bite on the hand to end the belly rub session.

We also enjoyed antagonizing Bean.  Albeit from visits from the dogs (Kona, Maddy, Gretchen, etc.) or young kids or holding her tight or putting her into awkward positions against “her will” just for a funny photo.  But she would quickly recover after a nap, more lap time, and maybe even a treat like catnip.  And many times she was very playful with string, fingers under doors, dart around the house spastically for no apparent reason, and chasing her tail and/or bugs.

If you so choose, enjoy this video filled with some of our favorite photos and video clips of our life with Bean.  It’s lengthy at 17 minutes, but is mostly for our own memories down the road.

Thank you Bean for the 14 years of companionship, laughs, and times of comfort.

So much going on yet today I’m thankful for the chance to sit for a bit with some women talking about life.

Again no picture as we were so busy, but on a friend’s behalf I’m so thankful to see people come around a family to literally pack and move their house in 72 hours. From no boxes to in and out of the uhaul. Crazy but I love watching the community.

I’m trying to be thankful for this journey of motherhood. It’s hard but reading this today helped lighten my mood. “Mother as hero”

Thankful for a new way of cooking. I had a coupon so thought I’d try. Delicious and correctly portioned dinner served quickly

and easily.

I’m so thankful that Ivan loves to play and imagine. Today storm trooper too an adventure outside.

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