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…are some of the things that make life’s memories. One thing I am grateful for that I think enhances our family is all of our shared meal times. Generally, we eat together in the evening. If possible, we will sit together in the morning for breakfast if our schedule allows it. We talk and learn about each other. We urge Meadow to eat faster and to not talk quite so much. We bond. These are times that I deeply appreciate, and hope to continue for a long time to come.

When I was growing up, I don’t really remember sharing mealtimes with my family.  My dad always worked so early, I never saw him in the morning. My mom often worked late, so I wouldn’t see her until later in the evening. In high school, I could easily go for weeks with only seeing my mother or father in passing. I would skip breakfast, run to school, eat dinner at work (Taco del Mar!), and get home after both my parents were in bed. I don’t remember how our mealtimes were shared before high school, but I don’t have many memories of shared meals at the table. That was more for special occasions, or if we ate at a restaurant.

I have found that our mealtimes with Meadow have evolved into something I am very happy with. We say grace and eat as a family most every night. We talk about our days. We make jokes. We do not turn on the TV.

This is so valuable to me, and is a new tradition for me as well. I always thought it was a little odd when my friends’ families would have a family dinner. ‘How do you have the time?’ I always wondered.

This is something worth making the time for, in my opinion. Study after study has supported the value of family mealtimes and its positive effect on children and families. I hope to continue this little tradition for as long as possible.

This weekend was fun and busy. I was solo parenting, as Dustin went on a camping kayak trip (lucky!) with his dad and brother. (sideline – they had a great time!).

Meadow and I had a busy Saturday! Really, it was non-stop. I usually try not to overbook, and always leave room for a nap. Not this time! We bravely accepted invitations to three events, turned down one, and thankfully Meadow didn’t want to go to her soccer class in the morning. I feel guilty for letting her skip out, having washed her uniform the night before and already having paid for the class. However, knowing that the rest of our day was going to be so busy and my dealing with a cold, I felt that missing this extra activity that Meadow isn’t thrilled about anyway was okay to do.

Our first activity was a Mary Kay party! I had never gone to one and when my coworker invited me, I thought, “why not?” I usually avoid these sale parties like the plague, but I was in need (need? yea right) of some new makeup and looked forward to the promise of playing with new products with some nice ladies from work. The hostess of the party was very thoughtful and provided Meadow and another 5-year old girl with puzzles, stickers, lip gloss, and played with them while the mommies got all made up. Meadow was so well-behaved, I felt very proud. Several times she came to me and asked to sit on my lap. I let her, and she listened to the Mary Kay lady’s spiel with the rest of us, and curiously looked around at all the makeup. That’s my girlie-girl!

It came time to leave, so I placed my order for some eyeliner (amethyst! fun!) and lipstick and we left to our next planned event.

We headed to Parkwood Elementary for my friend’s daughter’s end of school year celebration. We got there in time to see her third grade class doing their performance (but just missed the potlatch and the FREE SALMON. Doh!). I guess that throughout the entire school year they studied Northwest Coast Indians and their culture. They did stories, art projects, role playing, and even carved a real totem pole! Each of the students took turns at the microphone for a little speech. Sequoia did a great job! After that, we walked to the garden area where the Haida man that helped them carve the totem pole talked and talked (I think this guy could have rambled for hours) for the dedication of the pole. It really is neat they did this project. The kids used real woodcarving implements and hewed a tree with bark to a real totem pole. What a great sense of accomplishment for them!

Now it was time to go to our next event. At this time, Meadow’s eyes wanted to close while riding in the car seat. It was nap time. But, onward! We had her friend from school’s birthday party to attend! We drove to Denny Park where the outdoor party took place. It was so cold this June Saturday that I could literally see my breath. Did I mention I had a cold? We all stood around outside and listened to a neat story teller, did cake, pizza, and running around. Finally, we could leave! Brr!

Now, off to my parents house, hair trigger temper girl in tow. Meadow was exhausted at this time, but mostly doing great. I could tell she was dangerously past nap time by her enormous dramatic response to anything that frustrated her. She would settle back down pretty easily though. (Thanks for babysitting, mom & dad!).

Now up to Lynnwood for Sex and the City! I met a couple of girlfriends and enjoyed a couple girly cocktails before the movie. It was so great! I loved it! It was so nice to live in the world of Carrie Bradshaw for more than two hours. I have to say my two complaints – Samantha’s wardrobe. Ew! It’s not the 80s! And Charlotte seemed too animated and cartooney. But still great. Wonderful. LOVED IT!

Sunday was a bit more dull, but great. I was able to sleep in for the first time in months (and I needed it after being sick all week). I then had time to clean the house (as in mop, dust, vacuum – things I seldom have time to do thoroughly) and weed my garden. Yay!

All in all, busy, but good. Now, Monday, and the opportunity for the cycle to begin again.