Golden Hour Hill Hike

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Yesterday we went for a golden hour hill hike. You probably think we do this all the time but we don’t. Payam and I have gone on exactly two hikes together, four if you are counting other years. Does the camping count? Maybe.  But we plan to change our hiking deficit. We love hiking! Maybe we’ll even go every other day. I don’t want to talk crazy or anything but it could be cool.

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Payam is training to go on a really big adventure hike with his brother in September. They are hiking Mount Lassen together and camping. I’m really excited for him but it’s not going to be easy. I think he’ll be fine. His brother is super aware of his recent neck surgery and other limitations. I just hope they come back talking to each other. I’m teasing but you know how long hikes with siblings can go…

I love hikes because I am driven by photography. I love taking pictures. If there is a photo opportunity I’ll go to great lengths to get there. I’ll hike miles and put up with sweat and bugs and whatever… I love making photos. It’s like painting paintings with your eyes. My family rolls their eyes at me. They think I am not enjoying the moment but I disagree! I am enjoying it even more! If I wasn’t photographing then I’d be water coloring and I don’t even care if I never show anyone. Of course showing everyone is a huge oxytocin hit so I would share if I had the chance. BUT I still would photograph or paint even if my pictures stayed hidden from everyone but me. I say this because my journals are full of photos and drawings that no one but me has ever seen. Whatever. Maybe I am looking guilty just by protesting too much. I’ll just shrug it off. To each their own, right?

If it makes you happy and it gets you outdoors then it’s a win.

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Payam is so serious about this hike coming up that he even bought himself some walking poles. The kids made fun of him but he really likes them. I think they are more psychological than actual help but I can’t really say. I tried them and I couldn’t tell that they were helping me pull myself with my arm strength. But then I’m a pear-shaped girl who has ALL of her strength in her massive thighs and hardly any in my arms. Payam is obviously built way differently than me. I just dig that he’s into it. Buying gear is always a fun part of committing to a sport.

I remember when I bought myself $90 running shoes once. They were the most expensive shoes I had ever bought at that time, this was back in the 90’s. I felt so guilty buying them that I ran with them every other day for an entire year. I was in the BEST shape that year. So if you think about it, $90 for a year is a pretty good investment. Maybe we should all go out and buy ourselves $90 shoes! Of course buying gear doesn’t always do the trick though. I’ve seen many a $1000 treadmills holding up laundry. Not me of course but you know who you are.

I digress! Let’s get back to our pretty hike:

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Aren’t these the prettiest colors? Late summer gold against clear blue skies and just a potato chip of a moon in the distance… Swoon! And then there is just a smidge of Joon’s red shirt. This would make a great painting. Maybe someday. I have so many things I’d like to paint. I just hope I get them done before my hands are riddled with arthritis. And sadly, even as I type this I can feel it creeping into my fingers. This is the heartbreak of getting older. Is there a cure for arthritis?

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Every year I make a calendar for the grandparents and us of random pictures we’ve taken all year. We didn’t have an August picture so I forced the fandamily to squish together for a group selfie. I’m not loving my massive face prominently in the middle but them’s the breaks when you are the one holding the phone. I’ll make it a collage and be sure to make that photo extra small. Maybe I’m just not used to myself without bangs. Have you ever seen such low eyebrows? My face is so weird. Good thing nobody else cares as much as I do!

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And then there are these cuties.

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And this one. Long legs forever! Long shadows are clearly helping my case.

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You can just hear her, “Come on Mom! Not everything is a photo moment.” And then I say,

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Yes, it is!

 

High School Here She Comes

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It’s been hard to write lately for obvious reasons.

In the meantime, however, Bug graduated from middle school and we had a covid-style white-privilege non-graduation. What does that mean?  We bought some balloons and did a photoshoot in the park. Basic, I know. But it was something sweet to do to remember this time and provide me with some photos to make our annual family calendar. This is how I work.

I wasn’t going to put anything up about it here, us being so freakishly white and privileged but then I remembered that probably only about 100 people read this blog… It’s not about you, Little Hoo and all that. (inside joke)

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This blog is my scrapbook for Bug and these years are fleeting. I want to remember every moment like I remembered every moment when she was a baby. Remember her walking on the beach? Remember my new mom voice trying to teach her how to roll over…? I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and wonder at this ever-changing role I have as her mom. It’s so different now.  I have a lot of long moments to myself where I miss being that young mom. All those years that I struggled to work with her interrupting me constantly and hanging on my arm that uses my mouse. Those long nights of sleeplessness and stress worrying about money… I still wake up stressed but now it’s about new and different things.

Bug doesn’t need me much anymore other than to buy food, drive her places or give her money. And and even though it makes me a little bit sad when she doesn’t want to bake with me or take a walk to the beach, it’s a good thing. She’s growing independent. She’s on her way to adulthood. We have a long ways to go but she’s hitting all the milestones and I don’t have to stress about them like I did her first milestones. Remember that? Remember worrying about how many words they said by what age and whether or not she was walking on time and potty-training on time, and sleeping by herself on time??? Oh man. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to stop stressing out so hard.

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So that’s what I’m trying to do now. Stop stressing so hard. She’s going to be a reasonable adult. She’s going to make stupid mistakes. She’s going to make great choices and not so great choices and she’s going to be okay. My job is to just keep on loving her as I have since her first moments of life.

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This kid. She’s smart. She’s also a smartass. She’s self-driven. She’s talking to way too many boys on her discord channel while she plays Minecraft with a headset on. They mostly talk about Minecraft and make stupid jokes. All day long with the stupid jokes. My life is a walking meme these days and I’m Karen except she doesn’t need to call me Karen because I was blessed with the name, Brenda, which is just as bad if not worse.

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Every once in a while we have a moment and I feel just as close as I felt when she was that scared second grader who had so much anxiety she couldn’t go to school without dry-heaving. I don’t miss those days. They were so hard.  The worry circles. The asking the same question over and over and over no matter how creatively I answered.  But she got through them and now she is really strong. She is so strong she keeps her emotions inside which is something I’ve never really learned to do. She says it’s the product of being a child of a worry-wart. I’m really trying not to be a worry-wart but I come by it naturally.

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So happy 8th Grade Graduation, Bug! You are beautiful and amazing and you are part of a big piece of history that we will all look back on and talk about. We’ll always remember the graduation that got high-jacked by Covid and the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests. I have no idea what is coming next but I expect great things.