A Moment Like This

Class of 2020 will forever be one of the craziest graduation year of the century. This morning was my daughter’s graduation ceremony and I’m still going through the feels. I literally have unshed tears lingering in my eyes all day. From the moment they sang The Star-Spangled Banner until now, my eyes have been wet.

I am happy that the school went ahead with a ceremony. It was very limited to only two guests and everyone was expected to sit six feet apart in the stands. Graduates were seated six feet apart as well on the field.

Less than half the students walked at the ceremony, but it was still a pretty big group. When I graduated high school in the mid-90’s, my class was around 300 students. There were just a little more than 300 at today’s ceremony.

In April, the school decided to cancel the graduation ceremony due to COVID, which totally makes sense. In late May, we threw a small graduation party for daughter at our house just to be able to celebrate her achievement. We separated the guests (mostly family) about an hour apart for safety reasons. It worked out pretty well. We thought we were done and were ready to move on.

The school deciding whether to have a ceremony or not was a whole lot of confusion. At first, they decided it wasn’t going to happen. Then, they said possibly. Then, they said they would. When the decision was made to have one, we couldn’t decide if we wanted to go to it. Initially, we decided we wouldn’t be going because it was too dangerous. Then, when daughter went with her friend to pick up her friend’s walk packet, she decided then that she also wanted to go and picked up her packet as well. So, then we decided we’d go. The last minute decision put stress on husband because he had to ask for time off from work and because it was last minute, sometimes he’s not able to get time off. Daughter really wanted her dad to attend because he helped her a ton through all the ups and downs and homework throughout her four years. She said she’d be really sad if he couldn’t go. Luckily, he was.

The ceremony was organized exceptionally well. I was impressed. However, there was a somber-melancholy feel about the whole event with a light dusting of excitement and hopeful joy. It was a really strange mix of emotions.

Aside from all that, I couldn’t help but to be reminded that my 18-year-old was done with high school and will be starting university this fall. High school was a roller coaster for her and her dad and I. Yet somehow she turned out okay, and for me, that’s good enough. I’m not sure what the next few years will bring, but I hope it won’t be as crazy.

Gardening

I purchased a garden plot earlier in the year in a community garden near my parent’s home to grow some of my favorite vegetables. Now, I’m no gardener so Mom is taking care of it for me. She loves gardening and asked me to buy a plot so she could tend to it. She’s been with this community for awhile now. I’ve been to her garden a couple of times and really liked the place, but since I’ve purchased the plot, I’ve only gone to visit once.

I should go more often.

I asked Mom to plant cucumbers, some melons, Thai peppers, and corn.

Daughter and husband looking real happy. We were on our way to my sister’s housewarming so they didn’t have a choice but to come to the garden.

My cute parents. They are so passionate about gardening. There is no way they can eat all the stuff they grow so at the end of the season, when everything’s ripe, they will donate and sell to the community and relatives.

Mom picked a lot of zucchini’s for me. I’ve already frozen some (the Hmong way) and will be grilling some today to have with grilled salmon.

Community goats. I believe they are used for milk. The man who’s in charge of the garden and the goats said there were three goats but someone stole one of them.

Mom likes to feed the goats the zucchini leaves. I helped throw the leaves over the fence and those leaves have these pokey hairs that prick painfully. I don’t know how my parents can touch those things!

Snow and Breakfast

Happy first day of spring!

This morning, youngest daughter and I took husband to the airport. He is one of the ones who has to work during this crazy time. It’s hard to relax knowing he’s out there and could possibly get sick even though he is taking precautions.

Someone posted on Facebook this game: “For those working from home, tell me something about your kids, but refer to them as your co-workers, your spouse as your CEO, and your pet as your secretary.” Here’s what I wrote:

One co-worker refuses to come to the office. However, she says she’s helping another co-worker with his workload and thinks it’s going to take all year and then some. The other co-worker is in her office, but playing games and chatting on discord. The secretary is sleeping on the job and the CEO is out of town for a week.

Just a little something to ease the mind.

It was sprinkling rain on the drive to and from the airport. The visibility was on the bad side so I missed my exit and ended up taking the long way home…or “the scenic route” as I told daughter. When we reached home it was snowing. It looks pretty bad out there as I type. Made daughter scrambled eggs and myself French toast.

Took a photo of daughter while she was eating. I’ve been watching tutorials by Ali Edwards on capturing every day small moments. When my kids were younger, I did this quite often. Then, they got busy, and I got busy, and forgot how important it was to capture small things once in awhile.

Times like these often help me reflect. I guess it’s just a reminder to slow down and pay attention.

Birthday Girl 2

Last week was pretty crazy with all the news about the Corona Virus. The kids are out of school for two weeks. This week is their spring break but they’re off next week as well. I’m kind of curious as to what the plans are after that. Anyway, hope everyone is staying healthy and being kind to each other.

Birthday girl 2 is my youngest. Her birthday was two days after birthday girl 1. A couple weeks before her birthday, in her rebelliousness, she got a pixie cut. No, she’s not really a rebel, but likes to think she is. She knows she’s very different and it’s her way of saying, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, I’m going to be me.”

I don’t often post photos of her or her activities. Swim isn’t a pretty sport and there’s really nothing to share. It’s all about speed. I did however, scrapbook some of her swim photos from one of the meets. The pages were done quickly so they’re not pretty or anything, but they do allow her form to show. The photos were taken by a professional.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Happy LEAP DAY! Yesterday, I got a tooth pulled and a cavity filled. I was told to take it slow so that’s what I’ve been doing.

Last Friday, the family drove to Albuquerque, NM for daughter’s dance competition. It was about a seven hour drive. We arrived around 11:30pm and all went straight to bed. The competition was on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings. We drove home Monday morning stopping at a pho restaurant for lunch before the seven hour drive back. Here are some photos from the trip.

The Tree

I’m trying to stay up-to-date with December Daily this year. It’s been pretty exciting and I think it’s because I’ve got new gadgets: the new computer, new Selphy printer (my previous one died in August), and new Canon 12×12 printer; and new software. I went for it. Got Photoshop CC. It comes with Lightroom which I am clueless to. Not sure how I’ll find the time to learn it. Photoshop is, for the most part, similar to CS6. There are a few things that are different but I just need to explore. I’m mostly thrown off by the size of the computer screen. I don’t normally fill the whole screen with one app. I section it out, otherwise I’d have to sit pretty far back. With Photoshop, I do fill the screen (which I like), but then it makes the photo I’m editing look tiny. Anyway, I’m not complaining. Just getting used to technology.

We went and got a Christmas tree at Costco this morning. Before that, daughter came home from school for lunch. We got a quick glance of her before we headed out and she headed back to school.

Hope this holiday month is treating you well.

Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Etc.

The family took a one week road trip last week to Grand Canyon National Park. We drove south to New Mexico then headed west to Williams, AZ where we stayed for a couple of nights. We drove an hour out to the Grand Canyons then took the buses along the canyons for the breathtaking scenes.

On the morning of our third day, we headed to Page, Utah where we had hoped to tour Antelope Canyon but they were all booked so we decided to drive across Glen Canyon Dam and check out Lake Powell. We met a friendly French family who were on vacation. We stayed one night in Page then headed out the next morning. Our goal was to go straight to Grand Junction, CO but decided to take a detour to the four corners (where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet). The idea came from our youngest. She was napping when we took the detour. We wanted to surprise her but she heard us talking and woke up to help us with directions because husband’s Google Maps was acting up.

At the Four Corners, one of the Navajo’s selling memorabilia explained that the sellers in the New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah corners were all Navajoes while the sellers in the Colorado corner were Utes. I wanted more history from him but I felt guilty because I didn’t buy anything from him. I did thank him for the bit of information.

Grand Junction was our resting place before the drive home. Husband and I wanted to surprise our oldest by going to an alpaca farm. She had no idea and loved it. We also wanted to pick peaches but it was still too early in the year for the public picking. We ended up buying their stock peaches. We did pick cherries though. Husband picked them because all the cherries were at the very top and he needed a ladder to get up there.

Ouray, Colorado

Last week, the family took a road trip to Ouray, Colorado. It was a six hour drive through winding roads and beautiful mountain views so it didn’t feel very long at all.  The photo below shows us at just shy of three hours from our destination.

Here are some views on our way there.

We stayed at an RV and cabin campsite where we rented a tiny home cabin. It was homey and well cared for.

We stayed in the middle cabin. They called these deluxe cabins because there’s enough room to sleep seven people. There were four of us total so we wouldn’t fit in the smaller cabins, which were a few yards down from ours.

Inside our cabin. The kids slept in the loft. Down past the kitchen is the main bedroom.

This is the living room. We watched a couple of movies on our stay. It wasn’t really mountain living, as you can see.

The backside walks out toward the river which was pretty swollen from the snowfall last month. The black cover thingy with the rock on top is a gas grill. We didn’t get a chance to use it but hope to next time. I enjoyed waking up early and sitting on a chair listening to the rush of the river and birds chirping. It was relaxing and peaceful.

When we first arrived, we ate dinner at a restaurant and then went for a walk along the river. Our oldest was too tired so she stayed in the cabin. The rain sprinkled a bit but didn’t last. That’s my husband and youngest in her rain poncho.

We only went for two nights and three days so we didn’t get to do too much. We spent our day mainly at the hot springs pool. The same evening, there was a music festival in the park next to the pool so we hung out there for a couple of hours. Before the pool and the festival, we had breakfast at the Cafe next to the cabins and RVs. We learned that the owner of the cafe, when he was a kid in the 80’s, got to sit with John Wayne for breakfast every morning while they were filming the original True Grit (yes! it was filmed in Ouray). His mother opened the cafe and ran it until she wasn’t able to and he took over. I had ordered a huervos rancheros and had just started eating when he came by and told us this story. He said the huervos rancheros was John Wayne’s favorite. He was a lucky kid. I’m glad he shared this piece of his life with us.