Tuesday, December 28, 2010

If she’s 26 years and 6 months, there must be a wedding dress!

Last night we were all just chillin’ when somehow the subject of wedding dresses came up.  With two 20-something young women in the house and shows like Say Yes to the Dress on TV, this is not all that unusual -- not that anyone in our family is even close to getting married… but that doesn’t stop them from offering opinions about weddings – and wedding attire.  I think this whole shenanigans started with Elisabeth’s assertion that “There is NO WAY anyone these days would ever wear a dress like your wedding dress!”  

To which I, of course, answered, “What’s wrong with my wedding dress?  I love my wedding dress!”

At which point eyes rolled.  Of course.

At which point I invited Elisabeth to see the dress for herself.  “No really – go get the dress!  It’s in the garage on the freezer, in a box…”

At which point, more eyes rolled.  (Actually, the same eyes rolled. Again.)

She laughed and headed downstairs, as if all she had to do was hold up my wedding dress and I’d see how out of style it actually is.

(Duh – it’s completely out of style NOW.  It has sleeves, furgodsake.  And an actual neckline!  Eeeewwww!)

The box was opened, the dress unwrapped, and before we knew it, this was happening…


“I STILL love it,” I insisted.  (And I do – especially on her!)  “That’s good, mom!  You should love it!”

And then we had a full-fledged fashion show, complete with a few doozer facial expressions –some from Elisabeth (which reiterate Elisabeth’s feelings about the dress, and which made me love the dress – and her – all the more) and some from Tom who must have found it odd to see his “little girl” in her mother’s wedding dress.

(So I’m interspersing the photos of Elisabeth with photos of me on my wedding day.) 


Tom and Carol wedding B


Tom and Carol wedding E


Tom and Carol wedding C

As much as we were all enjoying this, Elisabeth was adamant that this meant nothing because she really is, in her own words, a bit “freaked out about the thought of marriage.” 

Gee, can you tell?




It was only after all the shenanigans were over that we realized that Elisabeth is now the exact same age – 26 years and 6 months – as I was when Tom and I got married! 

How crazy is that?!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Vacation has officially begun!


(There – a blog post like I used to do ‘em, pre-Facebook days!)

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Friday, December 17, 2010

This letter was just sent to United Airlines’ Customer Service office



My daughter Katherine was given a trip to Hawaii on United Airlines for her birthday.  It was this trip that motivated her through a difficult quarter at the University of Washington.  (The United locator for her ticket is XXXXX and the ticket number is 1234567890.) The itinerary provided to my daughter was somewhat complicated, taking her from Seattle to Vancouver, BC, CANADA (and therein lies the problem), to San Francisco, and finally to Honolulu. 

She was provided the itinerary, but there was no explanation as to why she was being flown OUT of the country in order to remain IN the country, and there was certainly no mention of a passport requirement for this (basically superfluous) leg of the trip.  The evening before the trip, Katherine was able to print a boarding pass for the last two legs of her trip, but not for the initial leg of her trip -- although no reason was given as to why. 

When we arrived at the airport, she was told that she would not be allowed on the flight since she didn't have a passport.  (Her enhanced drivers license, which is used to cross the Canadian border by car was apparently not acceptable.)

As you can probably imagine, being turned away and not allowed on the flight was EXTREMELY upsetting to Katherine.  To make matters worse, we were told that no money would be refunded as it is apparently the passenger's responsibility to know which travel documents are required for any trip.  This is certainly understandable if the intent had been to travel to Canada... or even if she/we had made the itinerary, but this was an itinerary approved by United (via Cheaptickets) in order to get Katherine from Seattle to Hawaii -- both origination and destination within the US border.  To turn her away at the counter, when she had no desire or intent to leave the country, because she didn't possess a passport (and had never been warned that one would be required) was very, very distressing!

Enter United Airlines's absolute STAR ticket agent and provider of customer service, Eugenia Ernst -- who I have already complimented via your online feedback form; she is now referred to as Katherine's Hawaiian Guardian Angel (as she comes from Hawaii, which was Kat's destination).  Eugenia, bless her heart, stood by us and worked hard to find a solution to Katherine's circumstance.  Ultimately, she found the last seat on flights to Portland and LAX and then on to Honolulu. The initial flight would be leaving in a few minutes... did we want it?  It would entail a change fee of $150.  Any parent reading this will know that the ONLY answer to that question was "Yes."  I paid the change fee with my Visa, Eugenia walked Kat to the front of the security line, and she was off.

TRIP SAVED!  $150 lost.

I would like to request a refund of my $150 on the grounds that an itinerary flying out of the country in order to keep a passenger in the country should have never been approved by United Airlines.  And even if it were approved, there should have been warnings in big, bold print on all communication, warning Katherine that even though she wouldn't be leaving the Vancouver airport, but would only be walking (presumably) across the isle to go from one United flight to another, she would need a passport.  There was no such warning on ANY of the correspondence sent to her.

I hope that you will take a serious look at Katherine's situation and take steps to prevent this from happening to other passengers.  Had she not been able to get to Hawaii, her entire holiday season would have been ruined.  (Thanks again, Eugenia Ernst!)

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 123-456-7890 or to reply to this e-mail. 

Thanks you very much for your kind consideration.


So, what do you predict their reply will be?  Guesses?

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flying above the Napali Coast

This is the video that Tom shot last month over Kauai, put to Jack Johnson’s If I Could. I think this will be our go-to stress-reducer around here!

(Just had to make sure to post it on my blog, now that I added some music…)

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

If only their love maps had been stronger, this could have been prevented!

Since working at The Gottman Institute, I have a whole new perspective on relationships and keeping them strong.  I would have loved this video before I worked at TGI, but I have a whole new level of appreciation for it now.

Had this guy known his wife better – had he really understood her inner world (that is, had their love maps been stronger), he would have known that getting her a dual bag vacuum cleaner for their anniversary wouldn’t go over well and he could have stayed out of the dog house.  (“You dual bag!”)

I am still giggling!  Kudos to JC Penny for thinking outside the box and making great use of social media in their marketing!

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Newsflash! 7–8 foot Christmas trees are $39.99 at Costco!

But there’s a caveat. You can’t see what you’re buying until you get it home and unveil it.  We were feeling adventurous this morning (and in a hurry because it’s the last weekend the girls are here before heading to Hawaii) so we decided to take the chance – especially because Costco guarantees the trees to be full and nicely shaped.  We bought the tress from these nice guys:


Once Tom cut a slice off the trunk, we brought the mystery tree inside…


…propped it up…


…and unveiled it!

Our mystery tree!

So Costco was right – it IS full and nicely shaped!  What a deal, eh?

We put on the lights and silver balls…


…and then our tree was all ready for decorations!

“Oh, I love the candy cane one!”

Boo waits all year for his tree to come back into the house – or at least that’s probably the way he sees it!



Happy holidays! 

Next event: baking cookies!

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Our holiday collage

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Fun at Home

It is Thanksgiving. We are happy. We are happy on Thanksgiving.

Our friends are coming to visit. We are ready for our friends’ visit.


We wait for our friends.



Our friends arrive.  We are happy.  We remember playing with our friends when we were all very young. Now we are grown.


Our friends bring food.  Our friends bring good food.


Father cooks.  Father cooks a Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing.  Everyone loves father’s stuffing!


More friends arrive. Jeremy makes Elisabeth laugh. 


Elisabeth abuses Boo.  It’s not funny.


Friend, friends, and more friends.  We are thankful for our friends.





We are silly with our friends. 




Kat has a special talent.  Kat shares her special, silly talent with her friends and family.  Go Kat, go!

Our house is noisy with joyful other sounds, too.

We try to pose for a family portrait.  Oh dear.  It looks like we won’t have a holiday portrait.  Mother is sad.


Father and brother are busy carving turkey and making gravy.  Men who cook are special!


The food is ready.  Come and eat food, family and friends! 


Guten Appetite! 


Happy Thanksgiving!


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