Thijs D // 3.5 years

The last 5 months of my life have really been consumed with two things: work and Thijs. By life – I mean my focus, thoughts and efforts. Pretty much everything else was attended to just enough to maintain. Actually, most things slipped.

The whole work thing is another story for another day.

But Thijs. Thijs is forever.

For the last 5 months my precious boy, my first born, my mini-me, spiraled. It wasn’t constant and not all of it needed ‘fixing,’ but the highs were so high and the lows, the lowest. He had moments of brilliance, followed by moments of self-destruction. There were lots of contributors and triggers to this –less time from me, transition of the people closest to him, new school, new social aspects, churn in the physical aspects of our home.  What to do with him, how to handle him, how to teach him – it was all consuming for Reidar and I – and frankly, we didn’t know what to do.

This month, he met the midway point in his third year. And just like that, another switch was flipped. He was back. The boy, the spirit that I knew so well and missed. Lots of other contributors and trigger for this – time to acclimate in his new home, maturing and developing, warming up to his new caregiver, Indy growing up and interacting with him, Reidar and I making a conscience effort to be present and to PLAY with him. Yeah, we still have a ways to go with him – shit, he’s three and a half! – and he still has his moments. But they are moments, not days or weeks.

For those other mothers struggling – it gets better. Or you get better at it. Or something like that….

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2014

And, I’m back. It took 3 tries before I could remember my password and access my account.

Rather than explain my absence and lament about what contributed to it, I’m moving on. Moving on from a very trying year – perhaps the toughest in my life. I’m excited for what’s ahead – both what I control and that which I can’t.

I move into the new year without a laundry list of ‘do betters’ (or do more, less, etc), instead I’m going to tackle my year with these two by my side: slowing down and simplifying.

I will slow down so that I can be more thoughtful. I will make decisions and take actions with purpose. I will think about needs over wants. I’ll be present.

I appreciate the support that I will need to make these major shifts in my life and the constant attention they’ll need. But it will be worth it.

Here’s to a great 2014 for us all.

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Lifeline

Checking in. Still alive. Only barely.

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Month in Review // July

And, I’m back. Alive. I spent the last month of blog silence, living. This has been the fastest year that I can remember and the summer is a big part of that. Busy, fast, full. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

RVA Girls Weekend: Ok, technically this was the last weekend in June, but hey. After months (years) apart, my girlfriends KP, Shannon and Bethany finally got our collective acts together and met up for a weekend of debauchery. To be fair, Beth has been abroad for the last year+ and between busy lives, schedules and babies, timing just hadn’t lined up. Those excuses could only be tolerated for so long. After a bunch of back and forth over email, we settled on Richmond, VA for a quick, but much-needed, get together. Shannon did a great job re-capping the adventure, including pictures. Even with the stupid travel issues that I experienced (think Planes, Trains and Automobiles), it was the perfect weekend. We lunched, we pooled, we shopped, we saw the sights, we laughed, we bitched, we Instagramed, we partied, we enjoyed a break from everything but ourselves and each other. I always come back from being with this special group of ladies, knowing that the time and effort was SO worth it.

The 4th: My last post was a teaser about our 4th of July celebration. I’ve mentioned before just how much I love this holiday and this year did not disappoint! Between the sun, beach, family, friends and food–we were spoiled. Even if we all had to work the next day.

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can't seem to snap a good one of these two. tough ages to photo

can’t seem to snap a good one of these two. tough ages to photo

thijs loves his cousin marco

thijs loves his cousin marco

mila + indy

mila + indy

uncle alex

uncle alex

perfect end to a perfect celebration

perfect end to a perfect celebration

Stuart Island: Following our 4th of July celebration, and after a quick return to work, we made our way to Stuart Island. Nestled in the San Juan Islands, surrounded by the salt, surf and sun, RT’s parent’s and extended family have settled on “Stuart” as their summer get-away. It’s completely off the grid–solar power, no cell service, accessed by boat only. Side note: nestled=farthest North possible. Basically Canada. Saturday we drove, ferried, shuttled and boated our way to Stuart, meeting our family who had already been there a few days. We were just in time for the Stuart 4th of July activities, which they held on Saturday, as opposed to the actual 4th. Family Olympics and lawn games, a parade. The kids were in heaven. Add a few Bud Lights and the adults were too. Our trip was short but really fun.

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slippin'...

slippin’…

...and slidin'

…and slidin’

jasper

jasper

indy + pap

indy + pap

mackie + thijs

mackie + thijs

the float...

the float…

... the winners

… the winners

Thijs D is #3: The Sunday of our Stuart trip, Thijs celebrated his 3rd birthday. Where did time go? He’s 3 going on 12. I’m still amazed everyday at this kid. He’s articulate, deductive, a lover, woefully uncoordinated, thoughtful. I sit here at a loss for words on how to describe Thijs. Amazed, as I’ve said before. I’m so lucky to be his mom. Because 5 of the 6 the Thompson Cousins,  are born between July 7 and August 31, we held a group birthday party the following weekend. Perfect weather, perfect venue, great family and friends, a bouncy house and carnival games (and recovery from illness, below)–the day and celebration was perfect.

our birthday boy <3

our birthday boy <3

carnival!

carnival!

face painting

face painting

bouncy house

bouncy house

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go fish!

go fish!

'the fish'

‘the fish’

val + indy

val + indy

even the little kids had a chance to jump....

even the little kids had a chance to jump….

...as did the adults

…as did the adults

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birthday boy, chet

birthday boy, chet

summer birthdays: chet, berg and thijs

summer birthdays: chet, berg and thijs

...could rule the world...or eat poop and get sick....

…could rule the world…or eat poop and get sick….

The Plague: Monday after our return from Stuart, I died. I know, not funny, a bit dramatic. But, I did. Or at least I thought that I was dying. For 9 days. It started with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, nausea) then it turned intestinal. I know, TMI. After two days, I needed intervention and medical assistance. After a few more days and a battery of tests, we found out that I had an aggressive bacteria that had lead to raging stomach and intestinal infections. My sister-in-law also came down with the same symptoms two days after I did .  After 9 days of not eating, competing two rounds of antibiotics, having to report the bacteria to the Health Department + CDC (yeah, it was one of those scary bacteria’s) and not really participating in my family life, I was recovered. We’re still unsure what caused it. The night that I came down with it, I had boisterously told my brother-in-law, “with a glass of wine and 15-minutes of uninterrupted time, we (my sister-in-law and I) could probably take over the world.” Should have knocked on wood.

Work, work, work!: It has been all about  ‘work’ for the last two weeks of the month for me, spending a good amount of that time away from home. Between a major training and presentation, with a Global group of colleagues that I rarely see (and very much adore), followed by a trip to the great State of Texas, to visit a customer and spend time with my team based there, I’m exhausted. I’ve hinted (ok, maybe more than hinted) that I’ve been struggling for a while with my work situation. The last two weeks were so rewarding and engaging for me. It reminded me why I stay. Why I put up the bullshit in between.

Reidar jammed in a quick trip to Vegas somewhere in the last month, which definitely added to the “we’re so busy” feelings that we were both having. Mila also travelled a fair amount too. Between the three of us, we were ships passing in the night.

And here we are, a month later, looking down the barrel of another loaded month ahead. Consider yourself caught up on all things Team Thompson.

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IMG_3785_copy

We’ve had the week from hell. I plan to explain all the highs and lows that the last week contained…at some point. For now, I’m breathing a sigh of relief that the week is over, that the worst has (hopefully) passed, and looking back at one of my favorite moments from the last week.

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Instagram Round-up // THE 4th

We had a wonderful holiday yesterday, celebrating with family and friends. I’m excited to share the legit pics sometime next week; seriously, I need something to show for lugging my camera around all day. In the interim, here’s a sneak peak….

 

POLAROID FRAMES

Polaroid template from HANNA MAC.

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Random-Thought Thursday // Cool Sisters + The Beach + Flavr Blue

I’ve mentioned it before but my sister, CK, is really “cool.” Much cooler than I. Scratch that. My sisters are both infinitely cooler than I.

How many 16-year old (girls) choose to not pursue the–in her words–’typical’ summer jobs of tending tables or making coffee? Instead she chose to work in a manufacturing shop, basically making widgets (I’m simplifying, obviously). Per my sister Ruth, this will give her much more (mechanical) engineering experience, which she wants to possibly pursue in college, and further, will teach her how to do the ground-level work so that someday she would own a shop or company of her own. At her age, I didn’t even know that what word “ground-level” was. And…I bussed tables in the summer at the aforementioned restaurant that she didn’t want anything to do with :). Cooler, much cooler.

CK is so cool that she’s almost old news at this point. She has cool friends too. Friends that make music videos and such. Last Fall, she hosted a group at our Beach, THE Beach, where they shot a music video. The Beach is very special to us; it’s where we grew up and holds a huge piece of our heart (and is a big driver of our spirit). So, while the music may not be your taste (personally, I really like it), it sure makes our Beach look cool! Even in the chilly PWN grey.

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Wordless Wednesday // progress

equality%20with%20glitter_1364392902007_393183_ver1_0_640_480

 

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my babies

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Random-Thought Thursday /// New Year’s Revisited

How is it June already?  Actually, how is it mid-June already? How are we half-way through an entire year? How has it been 6 months? What have I gotten done?

At this mid-way point in the year, I wanted to step back and re-visit what I had set out to accomplish–or at least focus on–so many months ago. Sharing this is quite personal but what better motivator than public shaming?! :)

ResolutionsRCT: He may not agree with it (joking!), but my husband and specifically our relationship, is a big focus for me this year.  Relationships always need constant attention and effort, and throwing a set of trolls into the mix can make it that much more  difficult. Children can stretch and strain any relationship. Together we’re focusing on communication–what works, what doesn’t,  how we’re feeling, when we need a break–and making sure that we take time out from the chaos for just the two of us. Stealing moments when we can.

T+I: My kids will always be my priority and I’ll venture to guess, that I’ll constantly have some type of focus or goal around them (or for them).  This year has been particularly tough, in adding another child to the mix and the general highs and lows that come with two kids under the age of three.  There are times when I need to remind myself that the time I have with them is precious and that I need to be present for them–to help them growth and learn.  And, to learn about them. There are other times when all I want is a glass of wine, silence and to check Instagram.

HOME: I love my home but it’s time for something new. We’re focusing on finishing our punch list– updates that we’ve been planning (and DIYing) since we bought the house. We’re up in the air bit in terms of when we’ll put it on the market (or where we’ll go), and until then, we’ll  simply enjoy our home and the enhancements we’ve worked so hard on. We’ll enjoy the last memories in our first home.

ME: I want to be a better friend. I want to make time for my friends and family. To make an effort both in time and physically getting together and to build relationships around me. I also need to focus on myself a bit. Stress is constant but within my home and outside it, I need to find ways to step back and look at the bigger picture. To take care of myself physically, to strive for all around health. Finally, I want to acknowledge how important work is to me. I am a worker. It’s in my genes. I’m not referring just to my “corporate” job, but the work I do outside my 9-5. My day job has been lackluster the last year and while I am trying to stay positive and drive opportunities for myself, I may be at a cross roads and that is hard to admit. Outside that job, I continue to volunteer for the local education association. I want to continue to do meaningful and engaging work, whatever or wherever it is.

104-West: I love my blog. It’s nothing fancy and I admit, the content is crappy at best. But it’s mine. It’s my outlet. This year I want to show more. To post what has been happening in my life, things and topics that are important to me. I strive for perfection in my posts and I simply need to get away from that. It holds me back from really sharing. I know my life isn’t perfect, so why try to have it look like it is? Sharing (and venting) is why I blog. And that is what I need to remember. Even though it’s nothing special, my blog has given me one of the best gifts in the last few years–a way to connect, to learn from others and to forge friendships that would not have existed otherwise. It’s hard for me to reach out from behind the screen, but I’ve tried this year and in all times, am so glad that I have.

M: Very much tied to want to do meaningful work, I want to improve as a (mom-tographer?) photographer. Pictures. Shots. Captured moments. It’s all I think about. Literally. In order to do this, I need to ask for more help, ask for more clients (who would refuse free pics?!), show more of my work and simply, do more. I’ll need to hustle to make it my reality. Yes, it will require more of my time. Time that I don’t have. But if I truly want this, I’ll find a way.

All in all? Eh.
I’m glad to resurrect these and bring focus back to those that need a bit more.

In the spirit of improving upon one of my ‘resolutions’ in the back-half of 2013 (hint: blogging in real-time), here’s a post that wasn’t….what we did LAST NYE:

December 31, 2012 from Nellie Thompson on Vimeo.

pw: NYE

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