Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a very tahoe vacation (boats, birthdays and bears)

Up until july 6th it had been just over four years since I had last seen my brother, and more than five years since I had seen my sister in law and my nephews.

For a few years we talked about us going out to VA for a week at the beach or them coming out here for a week in Tahoe and this January we finally decided to go for it-to rent a house in Tahoe and they would fly out here.  And on July 6th, I drove to Tahoe as fast as I could to see all four of them.

My nephew Ryan is 7 (almost 8), he was born one week after Red and I were married and was a 2 year old the last time I saw him. My nephew Evan is 5 and the last time I saw him he was a blob in a car seat.

It was really great to see them all!  Im really grateful that they were able to fly out here all the way from VA-no easy feat-two kids and two stops!  Getting to Reno isnt the simplest thing to do.

We rented a great spot in Dollar Point, we had a hot tub and were within walking distance to the pool.  The week started off slow and then just like that it was over.

We happened to have several groups of friends nearby as well as Red's aunt, uncle and cousin with whom we spent a lot of time.  It was so nice to be with them as they never get to see my brother and we love hearing old stories about our parents.

We boated, beached, rafted, swam, ate great food, played whiffle ball, hot tubbed, worried about bears, did puzzles, watched movies, shared stories, laughed, drank lots and just had a blast. Avery did well-we celebrated her 6th birthday there which was perfect.  We had an ice cream cake and she got to swim all day.  Nolan got bold and took off his vest in the pool and pretty much learned to swim.  He also followed his nephews like a puppy and they did their best to ignore him.  It was very cute.

One day Nolan came in and said nonchalantly: I saw a bear. And his cousins were all "prove it", "no way" and we asked Nolan: what color was it-he said black.  We asked: what was it doing-he said just crawling. we all said thats nice.

About 20 minutes later I hear my brother calling for us to come look at the bear in the yard next door.  Red was collecting whiffle balls that had gone over the fence and was this close to walking up on that bear.  yikes.  So Nolan had proven what he had seen.  His cousins thought that was pretty cool.

I think the trip will be a wonderful memory for the kids-I know it will be for me.
A few takeaways:
my brother and I are a LOT alike. (we are both control freaks although he is much worse!)
you dont need that many groceries.
dont trust directions on your iphone or you might end up in Reno.
running is nearly impossible in that altitude.
Altitude also makes you forget how to talk and drop things.
my sister in law gets a wonderful potty mouth with some alcohol in her (which I love).
there are no good radio stations in tahoe city.
it is a really cool thing to hear "aunt erica" and "uncle red".


...most importantly...
I will not wait another 4 or 5 years to see those four again!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

it's not the party, it's the people.

So I've been busy.  And have at least 3 really deep and interesting posts to write-but the deeper the post, the more I procrastinate. So for now a little bit about the very successful, very fun fundraiser for Katie's Clinic for Rett syndrome Red and I put together on Monday the 20th.  If you are my facebook friend, you are probably saying "enough already with cocktails for katies!" stuff! but I have to put it down in writing how amazing it was.

A very good friend of ours introduced us to a great bar in the city called Reed & Greenough in April. He recently became an investor in the bar and wanted to show it to us and some other friends.  It was just my kind of place.  I couldn't really explain what it was about this place-but it just had a good vibe-great decor-fun cocktails.  About a month later I asked our very good friend if he thought they might let us do a fundraiser there.  Within 30 minutes he had emailed the manager and had copied me-he lovingly explained out situation and how much he cared about our family and Avery and that was it.  I was put in touch with Joe, the manager and he immediately agreed to let us have a party there and would give us a generous portion of the drinks sale for the evening.  We met with Joe about a week prior to the event to go over logistics and Red and I just fell in love with the guy.  The bar staff was so friendly to us-and Joe even made a store run when I asked if they had basil for my new favorite drink.  He was so generous and genuine.  And the night of the event-he was again so generous with his time and efforts.  He worked the door for crying out loud. And made sure there was basil behind the bar.

I got a caterer, live music and then the raffle items and silent auction items just rolled in.  I couldnt believe it.  I set up a website to sell tickets and watched as they were snatched up two by two.  We had about 85 people show up.  Mainly our closest friends and family, several rett parents, some clinic staff and some friends of friends.  We are so grateful to everyone that showed up.  It was a monday night and it started at 5pm, in the city.  We know that many of you had to make some serious sacrifices to be there and we can't tell you how much it meant to us to see the support we have all in one place.

It was the best night.  I wasnt stressed-I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time. I had lots of help from amazing family members and friends.  I love it when people just step up and get things done. The music was amazing (, the drinks were fantastic and made by a wonderful bar staff.   We sold a ton of raffle tickets and our auction items got a lot of action. We made $5000 for katies clinic. I was really pumped.

I got a ton of compliments on the evening-that night and in the days following.  But I really dont feel like I did a thing.  Sure I coordinated some things-but the people that showed up, that donated items, that bought raffle tickets, that bid on auction items, that brought their friends, that took pictures for free, that sold raffle tickets like crazy,  that ordered drinks, that helped me set up and clean up-those are the ones that deserve all the recognition.  It's not the party, it's the people. We felt the love big time.

 Rett parents all around!

 thats Joe-he is good people.

 look at all that love!

 my heroes.  they started it all!

ahhh, great friends!!