Graduation and life lessons…..

We have a graduate! This week Peter graduated from kindergarten (again). I felt like a bit of a cheat letting him go through the ceremony again. But this time he is moving up to 1st grade! The Peter who graduated this year has come such a long way from the Peter that graduated last year. I am so excited to see where he is a year from now! Here is he is with K teacher Mrs. Mohr.

Waving good-bye to Kindergarten with Mrs. Mohr......Peter was awarded "The Most Improved Student" award this year! - June 2014

Waving good-bye to Kindergarten with Mrs. Mohr……Peter was awarded “The Most Improved Student” award this year! – June 2014

Peter will start summer school tutoring next week – so 3 hrs a week for three weeks – not a huge amount of time, but I am hoping to sit in and learn what we should keep up with so he is ready for next school year. I am so excited that he will be tutored by his Special Ed teacher Mrs. Wyeno as I know he will learn a lot in a short time. Mrs. Wyeno and her team have done such a great job with Peter this year. In honor of this, I nominated her for an award through the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association – and she was selected! The timing was perfect as we were able to give her the award on the same day we celebrated Peter’s birthday. Here is Peter with Mrs. Wyeno.

Loving Mrs. Wyeno! - June 2014

Loving Mrs. Wyeno! – June 2014

The family is almost complete for the summer! It has been crazy leading into the summer ….and not sure I have recovered yet. I had a couple of business trips leading into a trip to Peru. Since I am in the process of updating my bucket list….things come on and off…..I was so excited on a trip to San Francisco to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. I know, sounds dorky, but it was amazing! The night view from the bridge to the city was breathtaking! This is my favorite photo, but it does not do the view justice.

San Francisco @ night from the Golden Gate Bridge - May 2014

San Francisco @ night from the Golden Gate Bridge – May 2014

After getting back from San Francisco, I popped up to Ft. Collins to pick up Alexandra and bring her home – yay! I still remember the day that she moved into the dorms….there were all these young, strong, super-friendly college boys to help carry stuff in. Guess what? They are NOT there when you move out! Knowing that most students leave with more than they arrived with, I would really think they need to staff up at move out time. After the work out of loading up the van, we were on our way home. So glad to have my baby girl home! Isn’t she so cute?!

With my baby girl, all packed up, and going home! - May 2014

With my baby girl, all packed up, and going home! – May 2014

The next morning I boarded a plane (again) and did the trek down to Lima, Peru. It was a very busy week – cleaning, packing, packing, packing, more packing, shipping, and then packing some more. Busy but very productive! All work and no fun? Nah! Was thrilled to see some friends, get some outside time with my dad, a few runs along the coast with amazing views of the ocean, and my morning Starbucks frap WITH an alfajor! Can’t beat that!

 

Frap, alfajor and soaking in the ocean breeze.....doesn't get much better! - May 2014

Frap, alfajor and soaking in the ocean breeze…..doesn’t get much better! – May 2014

I spent hours, and hours, and hours going through old pictures that were in boxes. I didn’t even touch the ones that were in albums. Those are being shipped to to Colorado, and we can tackle them later. I think I went through thousands of pictures! It was fun to see the memories captured from times past – these were some of my favorites!

 

With Roger @ our beach house in Ancon - circa 1974.

With Roger @ our beach house in Ancon – circa 1974.

@ 1 month old hanging out in the incubator - party with the premies! - May 1970

@ 1 month old hanging out in the incubator – party with the premies! – May 1970

JPII - will remember that moment for ever!

JPII – will remember that moment for ever!

Look what I got for Christmas! A unhappy-Rog-the-podge doll! - Christmas 1971

Look what I got for Christmas! A unhappy-Rog-the-podge doll! – Christmas 1971

Mr. & Mrs. Alan Mortimer - September 1967

Mr. & Mrs. Alan Mortimer – September 1967

Though this process I learned a few things…..

  1. We can take hundreds of pictures of a single event, but it takes only a single picture to bring back hundreds of memories. The photographs we take record the memories in that moment, and we use them to share our immediate history with friends and family. But as time passes those artistic shots of trees, beaches, monuments, and so on lose their meaning. It is the photographs with loved ones that we will continue to look at over and over again. Now, given the fact that I have near 30,000 digital photos on my computer and hundreds if not more printed but not recorded – reality hit me hard! I need to get those memories recorded before they are forgotten, but I can do it with just a few shots with loved ones and not the hundreds of shots for each event as I used to. Now to get started!
  2. Like photographs, over our lifetime we accumulate so much. To paraphrase Madonna from the 80’s – we really do live in a material world! In all honesty, what we accumulate for the most part is for us and for that moment in time. The Halloween decorations that come out once a year, the growing number of knick-knacks on shelves, the papers, magazines, clippings that we save because we don’t want to throw them out ‘just in case’. I would trade all my material goods for just one more day with my mom. It is time to remember where material items really fall in the priority of life. Some items will be passed down generation to generation, but so much more loses it’s value when the person enjoying them is no longer with us. Like photographs, it is only a few items that hold big stories!
  3. I have told my kids for years that people will forget the things you did and the things you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. I still believe this to be true. But what I have learned is that what we say about ourselves influences how we will be remembered. This may sound so silly, but for as long as I can remember my mother complained about her weight. On good days she would reference herself as “pleasantly plump” and easy to cuddle with. The further back I go in memories, the younger my mother looks, but always pleasantly plump. As I went through the photographs I was amazed to see just how slender she was and for so many years. I remembered her the way she described herself, not the way she looked. I am so aware of how self-deprecating I am in front of my kids, and hope that I can turn the tide so they will remember me as I would like to be remembered and not through my lenses of self criticism.

There you go – those are the wisdoms I graduated with this week!

This time tomorrow our Colorado Springs based (or semi-based) family will be complete! My dad is flying up tonight – and we are all so excited to start the summer with him. I hope he remembers to bring his Energizer batteries because these kids have big dreams!

xoxo

Catherine

 

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