Archive for March 2011

Pictures From “Eva Las Vegas!”

At the airport waiting to go through security.

I’m both happy and relieved to report that none of my fears about traveling to Las Vegas became reality!

We just got home and George is already on his way back to Westport where they are going to finish up hauling in the rest of the crab pots, make one final delivery, and bring the boat home. I can’t believe the stamina and energy G maintains on a regular basis.

We are both so happy that our first family vacation (with all four of us) went perfectly. The kids were great on the airplanes and in the airports, we all had a blast with the Schile relatives, and there was nothing like waking up to sunshine and pools lined with palm trees every morning.

I am so incredibly proud of our little ones. Eva and Vincent walked everywhere, kept smiles on their precious faces, thanked all the cab drivers for the rides, and were the absolute best travelers and vacation participants I could have hoped for.

I plan to write more on my thoughts about Vegas later, but I wanted to get these pictures up and give a shout-out to G for all his hard work and to all the cousins for a fabulous time!!

Dad sending a last minute text while the kids are amazed by the flight attendant opening an overhead bin.

In our first taxi on the way to get something to eat.

75 degrees and Vincent insists on wearing his sweatshirt from Homer, Alaska.

At the Rain Forest restaurant inside the MGM.

Waiting for the canal ride at the Venetian. This time it’s 80 degrees and Vincent insists on wearing his sweatshirt from Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

My babies and me.

At the Wynn before a show. Thanks for a great first family vacation, G!



Here We Go, Ready Or Not

Eva holding her cousin, Baby Autumn.


G made it home after hauling in 300 of 500 Dungeness crab pots. He’ll pick up the next two hundred pots after our trip to Las Vegas.

This will be the first time I’ve been on a plane in five years. The last time we flew, Eva was ten months old and it was mainly a trip to see G’s family in Florida and Arkansas.

On that particular trip, we did make a stop in Nashville and Memphis, which was awesome. We haven’t been anywhere on a plane since then, though. Vincent joined our family shortly afterwards and G’s fishing schedule became more hectic.

Today, Eva and I took a time out from a busy time of packing, cleaning, and other preparations to have a girls’ only lunch with my sis, niece, and mom. It was the perfect antidote to my pre-vacation nerves and we all had a wonderful afternoon!

So…here we go. Bags are mostly packed, house is mostly clean, and I am mostly ready to go. Oh, boy.

“Eva Las Vegas”

It was my lifelong goal to never go to Las Vegas. (Am I even spelling Las Vegas correctly?) I’ve  just never had any interest in going to Sin City. Hey, don’t get me wrong; I’m no angel. Everyone knows that! I like to have a drink and a good time as much as–and usually more than–anyone else.

But my “party” stops at 7 p.m. and I love being in bed reading by 9:30 p.m. at the latest. I don’t gamble. I don’t go to night clubs. I have panic attacks and quick sensory overload. I’ve never seen “The Hangover.” I don’t like crowds or piped-in air. “The Strip” sounds kind of eerie. And did I mention I hate airplanes?

So you can imagine how excited I am to be boarding a plane to Vegas this week. YIKES! We are going because George’s cousin, a national forensic expert, is speaking at a conference and asked all the cousins to fly in for a cousins’ reunion.

I’m totally down with the reunion and I’m excited to see everyone! G has the most awesome cousins around. They are fun, hip, real, friendly, accepting, smart, and not at all judgmental. I can’t wait to go bowling, sit by the pool, order frozen cocktails, and have a wonderful time with everyone.

And yes, we are bringing the kids; we are all staying at a hotel rated one of the most kid-friendly in Vegas. I could not survive four nights without my little ones. I would miss them terribly and not have a good time without them. Plus, I figure I will only be able to handle about as much “Vegas” as the children so we should do just fine together.

George, on the other hand, has free reign to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants!  He is coming off a great Dungeness crab season and will only have a few weeks until he goes to Alaska for the blackcod and halibut season, so I want him to have a great time while he can. Like me, he’s never been to Vegas. He is excited to try his luck at the casinos and stay up late without obligation or worry. I’m happy that he will have this chance to hang out with his family and experience Las Vegas the way he’d like to. (Well, not exactly the way he’d like to, lol!)

In fact, it was George who (loudly) started singing “Eva Las Vegas” to the tune of “Viva Las Vegas” throughout the house the last time he was home!

Maybe it will be okay. Two high school friends will coincidentally be in Vegas at the same time and we hope to meet up at some point. My little family will all be together, which isn’t that common. We’ll get to see most of G’s cousins, plus one of his sisters and her husband who live across the country from us. The kids can’t wait to ride the airplane. And with any luck, the weather will be good, the pool warm, and the frozen cocktails delicious. :)

One Year Ago Today (Plinky Prompt)

Absolutely none of my blog readers will be interested in this post, but I decided to take part in this Plinky prompt because I couldn’t resist. I happen to have my desk calendars saved for the past few years in a filing cabinet, so I was curious to see what I did on March 16 both last year and in some of the years earlier. Here’s exactly what I wrote in my calendars on those days:

One year ago, March 16, 2010: Teach 9:30 a.m. Jazzercise

March 16, 2004: Kennel pick up. Toby 6:15. Home. Story.

March 16, 2005: FILE. Fred Meyers/QFC. Larson’s.

March 16, 2006: Sandy.

March 16, 2007: Linens ‘n things. Meeting 5:30 p.m. Jazzercise.

Truly hilarious. I can’t help but wonder what happened during March 16 during 2008 and 2009, as I couldn’t find those calendars.

Today’s calendar simply read “preschool.” I suppose I keep writing “preschool” so I don’t somehow forget that Eva has preschool on MWF the way she has every week for the past six months. I could have also added “Boot camp. Groceries.”

And finally today…George left with the flat bed and trailer to start hauling in the crab pots out on the coast while the weather is decent. I won’t see him for a little bit now until the gear is in and we take our mini vacation at the end of the month. Until then, I’ll continue writing “Jazzercise. Boot camp. Preschool. Groceries” in my calendar.

I might add as well that I feel extremely fortunate to have such everyday normal activities and obligations on which to follow through during the week. I can’t stop thinking about the “events” in Japan or how quickly and disastrously things can change or be destroyed.

Always mindful of the blessings of normalcy and business as usual. Always.

Powered by Plinky



Thanks for the Memories, Dungeness Crab Season 2010-11!

Portrait of a Dungeness crab (Cancer magister)...

Thanks for a great season, Dungies!

One of the most fun things I discovered recently was how to create a cool and custom banner for your Facebook page. At you can make a banner using your own photos, or their quotes, or your own quotes, their colors, your colors…whatever you want. You can also create a custom background. How awesome is that?? I’ve had a ton of fun playing around with various designs. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about or see this long ago!

I know it’s been over a week since I posted a new blog entry, and that is a direct violation of the WordPress “post a week” challenge I undertook at the beginning of the year. I figure I’m allowed one or two misses. Among researching kindergartens, arranging care for two big and special-needs dogs during our forthcoming vacations, shuttling little ones to and from activities, G wrapping up the Dungeness crab season, and me attending and teaching Jazzercise classes and taking boot camp several times per week, I’ve been exhausted!

G came home to visit during last week’s coastal storm. When G is home, our household moves at a much quicker (or as G might say, more “efficient”) pace. It’s the captain in him. Alone, the kids and I do try to take things as easy as possible because we are preserving stamina and endurance for the long days and nights…or weeks…or months.. when Dad isn’t around. But when G gets home, watch out! Hustle!

When G left to go back to Westport this past weekend, I declared it jammies-and-sweats-we-aren’t-going-anywhere-Saturday for the children and me.

We enjoyed a nice, quiet, obligation-free day. We didn’t leave the house one time but stayed home dressed in comfort, lounging on couches and overstuffed chairs and eating popcorn for lunch. It was just what we needed!

George and the guys have had a tremendous crab season. I’m so proud of and happy for them. And I believe they are starting to wrap it up now and will soon get ready for the Alaska halibut and black cod season. The first inkling I had that the crab season was ending was our household Costco list; bleach was listed in G’s handwriting. I knew what that meant! Time for all the buoys and 500 pots to come back up from the deep to be cleaned, stacked, and put away. Then, G will have about four weeks at home with us before heading north for the next several months.

Here are a couple of Plinky writing prompts I thought would be fun to answer.

1.  Sunrise or Sunset?

Sunset. I can’t stand getting up early. I don’t like it at all. I do love the relaxation that accompanies day’s end, though. I feel calm and at ease, tucked inside my house with my family. I’ve felt lucky to live by the water for most of the last ten years and I love watching the sunsets over the bay. A glass of wine, a sunset, a bath for the kids, knowing we did the day together and can now cuddle and relax is my favorite.

2.  Do You Feel Younger or Older Than You Really Are?

I feel younger than I am. G would also add that I act younger than I really am. I can’t lie. It’s true. :-)

3.  If You Were a Professor, What Subject Would You Teach?

I would teach English literature or creative writing. When both kids are in elementary school I fully intend on getting my Master’s in creative writing. Even if I am the oldest lady in the program!

Commercial Dungeness Crab Photo Gallery is Up!

F/V Vis Dungeness Crab photos are up!! Check them out here. Mostly featured in the pictures is Bryan, Brett, Brandon, Steve…and one or two of George.

Thanks to the most awesome professional photographer of commercial fishing photos around, David Hills!

Here’s a small preview of what you’ll find when you view the gallery:

Jen’s Friday Favorites

Favorites of the Week:

1. That it’s finally March. I am so relieved that we are only about three weeks until spring. We made it through the dreary fall and winter months, and now we can move on. The fall and winter months never used to bother me back in the day when all I’d do is curl up with a book and read the seasons away. However…the non-stop packing up of children and hauling groceries and dealing with muddy dogs in the rain, wind, and muck for months on end is not my favorite.

2. The approaching end of the crab season. It’s been an incredible season all the way around and we’re thrilled and grateful for that, but I’ll be glad when it’s over. Then the kids and I will get George mostly to ourselves for an entire month before he goes up to Alaska for the halibut and black cod season.

3.  Jazzercise and Boot Camp. LOVING the newly released Jazzercise routines! Also loving the boot camp one of our instructors put together. It’s an eight-week camp and we just wrapped up week five. I love the combination of the two workouts. In fact, this week I ended up working out eight times in five days; five days of Jazzercise, three of those days including boot camp immediately following Jazzercise.

4. The Magicsuit from Victoria’s Secret. Why all the Jazzercise and boot camp? We’ve got our first full-fledged all-out family vacation in almost four years coming up in April. We’re going to Hawaii for two full weeks and I’ve been concerned about suits. My sister, Cassandra, sent me the link to the Magicsuit. It does everything I wanted and needed; shows off the good, hides the bad. Worth every penny! See picture and link below.

5. The Shorebreak Dress from Athleta. Similar to the Magicsuit in that it is multi-purpose and shows off the good while camouflaging the not-so-good. Picture and link also included below!

6.  George coming home for a visit this past week. G is always my “favorite”. He and his crew are TOUGH. And I mean tough. They fish where nobody else goes. They are super strong mentally and physically, and I don’t think you could find many to match them for tenacity anywhere. Congrats to G on an unbelievable season at sea, and a thank you for being so helpful, funny, and loving when he visits home! Love you, man!


The Magicsuit from Victoria's Secret really is magic!

Swim and shop in one dress from Athleta!