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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Santa Barbara Weekend

We spent this past weekend up in Santa Barbara for Ryan's biology department annual retreat. We stayed at the Hotel Mar Monte, across the street from the ocean and walking distance to State Street.

My sister, Nicole, and her two boys came down to visit us on Saturday for the afternoon. So while Ryan practiced his talk, we went for a walk with the boys along the beach. It was really fun for Dylan to see his cousins and I enjoyed visiting with my sister.

Then this morning before we headed back home, we took Dylan to ride on the antique carousel - an original built back in circa 1915-1917!

On Saturday while walking along State Street, we came across this anti-war protest/demonstration. And in a state of silliness, I decided to pretend to be a part of the group, but without the flowers in my hair and flowing skirt, I just couldn't pull it off.
Don't you like the woman with her mouth covered by peace and heart stickers?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fire Update

Many of you may have heard the name Rancho Bernardo on the news the last 48 hours. If you know us well enough you know that this is where my family lives and where I went to high school. RB has lost at least 540 homes to the fires, and one of the worst happened in my Aunt's neighborhood. Her house was spared but the two houses next to her, and the house behind her, were burnt to the ground. My Aunt was on ABC World News with Charles Gibson last night, as he was in San Diego covering the fires (she was given 5 minutes to see if her home was standing and grab essentials and he asked her if he could come along for an interview). My parents and grandparents are home from evacuation as of now, and the fires seem to be going elsewhere from Rancho Bernardo.

We still have some friends who are evacuated and whose homes are in danger, as many of the fires are still uncontrolled. Please keep them in your prayers.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Countless Places

Today on his way to work, Ryan walked down the street where the accident happened this past Saturday. He told me about how creepy it was to revisit that corner, how sad it made him feel. And how if you knew what had happened, you could still see the stained pavement from the blood. Wondering how many spots like that there are out there that we step over everyday, not knowing the history of what lies around us. The countless places where the authorities attempt to wash away what remains obvious to only those who were there. And how we'll never forget. Never.

They say that things like this come in threes. I guess they do.
I went to work this morning and plugged along through my day. That is, until lunch when I talked to another OT (occupational therapist) who also attempted to save someone's life this weekend, her neighbor who suffered from a fatal heart attack on Sunday. When she first came and told me what happened, I thought she was joking. She wasn't.

And to add to the stress in our lives, as if this past weekend wasn't enough to sustain our adrenaline for a while, Ryan's family has been evacuated down in San Diego with the recent Witch Fire. His Aunt Nancy's home is in the middle of one of the hardest hit neighborhoods, where homes on her street and behind her house have been confirmed as destroyed. And Ryan's parents have their dog stuck at the kennel in the mountains that we are worried about. Obviously our computers, TV, and phone calls tonight are all tuned into the news surrounding that fire and our loved ones.

Please keep them in your prayers!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007


I don't know where to begin.
It's happened again.
Today I found myself in a place I wish upon no other.
Again I was standing over a man's body, watching him slowly die. But this time I reached out and performed CPR.
Again I looked across the street from where I stood to see my husband and son looking back at me, and longing to have not had to cross into the ugliness of the accident alone - but glad they were safe on the other side.
This time the accident was less of an 'accident', as the man took his own life. The forensics determined that he most likely jumped from the building. I saw a prescription bottle of pills in a bag the officer was holding when I went back to ask if the man lived. He didn't.
My thoughts are scattered. Bits and pieces of the afternoon flashing back. A hug from Ryan yields me thinking about how the man's ribs felt under my palms as I performed the CPR. Seeing Ryan's feet makes me think of the man's bare foot slowly loosing more and more color in front of me. The sound of Dylan's cry makes me think about how alone this man felt that he made that final jump today. Holding Dylan in my arms reminds me how precious and fragile life truly is. My own fears about death and dying make me wonder how anyone could reach the point of wanting to end their own life - especially in such a violent way.
And it makes no sense to me.
It won't.
Not in this lifetime I'm certain.
But something my mom said to me tonight on the phone really helped. I wanted to know why God would have put me there at that moment. To be there and have the courage to reach out to try and save that man, to learn that he died anyways. To go through these feelings of helplessness again. And she responded by telling me that "we look at our lives and see the back of a tapestry - knotted and ugly and disordered. But God weaves it together and only He can see the front - a beautiful and perfect picture, absent of the knots and disorder and confusion. A perfect picture that we won't see in this lifetime, but oneday will and it will all make sense." I'm thankful for those words. It helps me to put my confusion in perspective. To help me let go of my helplessness. To remember that I only could do my best and that I am not in charge of the rest.
And as I write now about this experience to try and find some kind of outlet, some kind of peace, I know it won't come today. And it won't come on Monday when I have to go to my recertification course at work for CPR (ironic that this all happened just two days before a class that I take only once every two years and just studied for last week!) But I pray that it will come soon and I can let some of this go - somehow.

p.s. Thank you Kathy for being here for our family once again. And thank you for your kind and encouraging words tonight.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Off to the Premiere!

My friend Serena's husband, Doug, has his short film premiere tonight and we have been cordially invited. I'm so excited about going and supporting them and meeting the cast and crew of this awesome film. The film is about journey within a journey into the main character's dark past and to the crossroads of a life-changing decision.
Now what to wear!?!?!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stop! Turkey time!

This week something got into me, making me want to explore Turkey-themed crafts with my little artist.

On Sunday I traced Dylan's handprints on some drawing paper and let him 'color' on them. Then I cut them out and pasted them on some bright green paper for contrast. Dylan was mighty proud of our creation.
Then tonight I got inspired to try out this little craft and recruited Ryan to cut out all our shapes and traced little footprints and handprints. It was quite a feat to actually glue the project together at the end, as Dylan was so excited about it that he kept crawling on me and making it near impossible to finish. But it turned out cute, if I do say so myself. And who would have thought a daycare/work day would end with a successful craft-time as a family.
Now all we need is some Fall weather to go with our fall crafts!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekend in Pictures

Dylan woke up Sunday morning feeling crummy and with an upset stomach (yeah, his first throw-up incident - which broke my heart). So we stayed home from church and decided to take the day at a slower pace, heading off to our favorite family weekend spot for a walk. Yup, it was another glorious afternoon at the Huntington Gardens!

Blooming cacti (photo by Ryan)
Fall colors in the desert garden section! (photo by Briana)
Pausing to take in the beauty-ful-ness around us.
Learning to throw his 'bouncy ball'
Later we went over to have dinner with our friends Cassi and Josh that we knew back in St. Louis (and who have recently moved back to California, living only about 10 minutes from us again!) What a treat!
After an evening with Dylan (quite a change from our pre-child visits years ago), we teased them that we may not hear from them for a while, as they'll need to recover from the blur of a two year old in their home, bouncing off the walls and feeding off the energy of their very energetic dog! We've missed them and are glad to live in the same city again!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

New Pictures

I (Ryan) have been very busy the last couple months. I've neglected to take a lot of pictures recently, but I'll be getting back into it. Here's some from the past week or so.

Kathy bought Dylan all these clothes recently. Thanks to her!!

Before tantrum...

...and after

Imagical Photos

I took Dylan to a place nearby after our workout class a couple weeks ago and had a photo sitting done and now a couple of the pictures from the sitting are on the photographer's website. Go check them out. The pictures he's in is the fifth one down on the left-most column and then the second one down in the second column. He's wearing orange if that helps.
His mood wasn't the best for the sitting we had on that day, so we are planning to try again next week and see what pictures we get from that. I know taking pictures of toddlers is hard, but I'm so thankful for this opportunity to get some special pictures of Dylan to frame and hopefully capture him at this fun stage!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nand-ma and Papa

For those of you who know, my mom had surgery on her jaw this month for a tumor, which needed to be removed and biopsied. Thankfully the results of the biopsy were favorable and all looks good (except for significant post-op pain and numbness).

The upside of all her appointments down here in LA was that her and my dad came to visit us enroute back home and we got a day or so each time they did to soak up some time with them.

Dylan enjoyed soaking up some quality time with them too!
And I finally got the chance to take them to see the Huntington Gardens, which is one of my favorite places in LA. Thanks mom and dad for coming with me to share this little LA treasure with you!

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