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05-08-2003 @ 6:29 p.m.
Family Portraits

A bit of a dry spell, eh?

I haven't been all that busy, just not terribly communicative. We had the whole family in town on Saturday for family portraits. And it was a pretty fun experience, actually. We did them at Grandma's place. The facility where she lives has these little alcoves with murals on the wall so we used one for a backdrop. It was supposed to be outside in a park but the rain prevented that. Maybe next time. Grandma looked beautiful. Cheri put makeup on her and curled her hair. Most of the time, Grandma looks like just an old person. She doesn't style her hair at all--just brushes it--and doesn't wear makeup. I was looking through photo albums of Grandma from years ago and she never did much with her hair when she was younger, either. But when it's curled and styled and she has makeup and eyebrows, she looks like a different person. It's hard to remember the person she was before her mind started going. When she was strong and capable and independent. She has always been so independent--she lived alone for more than 20 years and took care of everything. She's a tomboy from way back--some of my favorite pictures of her are the ones where she's wearing hip waders and holding a line of big fish she caught. It's so hard to remember that strong, competent person when she hands me a stack of mail from 1996 and wants me to figure out what to do with it like it's new mail.

The photographer was really great. When I was talking to him about being an amateur photographer myself, he enlisted my help to make sure that everyone's hands were properly placed, hair adjusted nicely, shirts and sweaters smoothed down, people arranged well. It was fun. He even consulted me a few times to look through the view finder to see if I liked the composition. It was nice and it made me more anxious than ever to get going photography-wise. I need to earn money from watching the baby and teaching Kmusik so I can acquire the equipment I need, starting with a new camera or two and lighting. All in due time, of course, but I really want to do it.

After the portraits, we went to a restaurant to celebrate Dad's 68th birthday. He looks pretty good for a 68 year old widower. Amy says he wants to get married again. He doesn't have anyone in mind, yet, but he's decided that he wants to be married again so he's getting in shape to start dating again. I think that's really great. I'd like him to be married, too. It's kind of weird to think of having a stepmom, though. Then again, it could be really great. Joey'd have a grandma-type person nearby and I'd *really* like that for her.

Amy and I spent the day together yesterday. We had lunch with Brittany and compared babies. Brit's baby was born 4 days after Amy's and he's 9.5 lbs. Amy's baby is almost 17 lbs. It was amazing to see the size difference--you'd think my nephew was four months old to look at the two of them together. After lunch, we did some scrapbooking, but we didn't get as much done as I'd hoped for. The baby was very hungry and wakeful all day so one of the other of us was holding him all day, it seemed. That's ok--it was fun to hang with him. We gave him a bath in the kitchen sink and he loved it. I haven't bathed a baby in a long time--I remember it being one of my favorite things about Joey's babyhood.

Cheri is going to go to the beach with us in 10 days. It just turned out that she'd be on this side of the mountains that weekend so I invited her along. She's pretty excited about it, too. I hope she has fun. I'll have both my sisters and my dearest friends all in one place at the same time--I won't know how to stand it. All that love in one place--I may just explode!

Amy was concerned that her beloved might forget about Mother's Day because he's going on a big fishing trip until Saturday so after she left, I called her husband to make sure he'd seen a calendar lately. I was afraid he might be offended but instead, he was grateful that I'd called because he wanted to enlist my help in choosing something for her. I picked out a beautiful marcasite necklace and matching bracelet for her. She loves marcasite and has been admiring a few pieces for a long time so I knew it would be the right thing. I think she'll be pleasantly surprised when she gets her gift. And the dept. store where we got it had a 50% sale so she really scored.

I'm arranging a getaway for Ed and some of his friends. I go to the beach all the time and he is so good about not complaining so I decided to set something up for him. I found a great cabin in Sunr1ver that sleeps 5. There are 29 tennis courts, 2 Olympic-sized pools, a golf course, 38 miles of bike trails, easy bike rental, and then if you leave the resort area, there are thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails to be explored. It's a great area for outdoor recreation. There's also rafting and whitewater rafting if they're so inclined. I'm excited for him to go--I think it will be great fun. They get a third night free in the cabin if they want it. I think Ed will take advantage of it--might as well, since it's free and he has plenty of time off available to him.

Well, I'd better go. I need to get Joey out of the tub and ready to watch Surviv0r. It's her favorite night of the week.

Ciao...

--L

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