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dump, literally and metaphorically speaking

i'm so on the fence about continuing the blog or letting it go. however, it's been the only place since the book where i keep track of what's going on in our lives and writing things down. the book - and surrounding life circumstances at the time - burned me out. my printer stopped playing nice with my computer and hasn't worked since, so i stopped scrapping at home. we moved, none of my stuff has gotten officially unpacked and made usable, so i lack the desire to dig through paper. and the ongoing, underlying theme here is "my stuff comes last," but without the blog, the kids' stories would be forgotten.

metaphorically, that's the underlying theme of my life right now: my stuff comes last. and it's time for some changes.

at my age (39 years, four months, 18 days), i'm finally ready to say "i'm done" with people who don't care. i've tried my entire life to find friends, to nurture relationships, to find people who care about spending time with me, and i'm officially done. the dead weight will be cut.

the emotional burden of trying for 39 years to find people who give a shit about me is taking its toll, and i'm done. i wash my hands of those people with whom i have tried  and failed to ignite any spark of giving a damn.

my life is small, but busy. and i understand that others have lives that are also busy. however, i am always willing to work out a time - regardless of how brief - to spend with those i enjoy and want in my life. the time has come, though, to erase the names in my book who do not choose to give that time to me. a person can try only so much, you know? either people want you in their life or they don't, and it has become abundantly clear that i have more people who feel the latter for me and my family.

so be it.

i'm done.

and hopefully this weight and soul-sucking "what the hell am i doing wrong?!" that i've been feeling for weeks months years will go away and i can just go about living my life with the small little group who have chosen me. and if that's literally just my husband and children (while they have no choice because they are under 18) then okay. at least they are fun.

i am who i am. like it or, apparently, don't. i am a grown up and will no longer be someone i'm not in order to sustain a relationship based on needing to be that person. and relationships that are gone because i'm no longer playing a game are relationships i no longer want and need in my life.

i've come to accept that some people have active, loyal circles of friends and family who choose to do things together and be with each other, and some don't. and so we will be our own island, having our own fun and making our memories together, and we will be enough. marc and i have talked often about how our role seems to be that of "give," and everyone around us is in the "take" position. one-sided relationships are unsustainable, and without anyone in our lives who "give" to and are supportive of us, we're tapped out. we can't always be the ones to call and try to make plans and stay in touch.

which is fine. we're busy anyway, and the coming months won't let up, either.

and what have we done over the past month, when i've updated absolutely nothing?

well, we got some snow.

and marc's parents came to visit and went to the kids' school carnival.

and came to henry's last band concert, after which we exited the school into even more snow.

and we took them to a great authentic ecuadorian restaurant in minneapolis.

and then we had to say goodbye, about which harper was not thrilled.

but she eventually came to terms with it.

and then we had more snow.

so i used some of the 5,348 antique blue canning jars that i got from my grandma and brought spring indoors.

and then it snowed a little more just to spite me.

club swim season started up again.

and it finally became nice enough outside for harp and her friends to race and jump and enjoy springtime while waiting for the school bus.

then the weather changed again and now we can't seem to get out of the 50s or away from the rain.

but harp finally has a big Big Girl bike and rides it regardless of weather.

and henry test drove a teen cross fit class to see if adding some dry land work of his own might be good for the summer.

and there were field trips and play dates and other things.

and less than two weeks until summer vacation.

but we have big plans for the summer, and i kinda can't wait to get started. especially with less burden and frustration and sadness on my heart. looking forward to trying peace in my life for a change ... assuming i can really make it stick.

letting go is the hardest part, isn't it?

puerto rico, part 8,394

(is she ever going to be done with spring break?!)

i had hopes that spring would arrive in minnesota and i could move on to lovelier things. but as it stands, it's snowing. right now. outside. on may 3. holding on to spring break helps dampen the urge to curl into the fetal position under a blanket and sleep until june.

but this is it. i promise. last bit of spring break. and, as i said a month ago earlier: i saved the nerdy for last.

there were a handful of things we wanted to do while we were in puerto rico, and for several reasons we ended up not doing any of them. however, the one thing we DID do was check out the arecibo observatory.

now, geeks and nerds and sci fi fans may recognize arecibo from the movie "contact" with jodie foster.

being a family of geeks, nerds, and sci fi fans, being on the same island as arecibo and having the ability to go see it was a no-brainer.

we rented a car and drove an hour to arecibo, then another half an hour up into the hills to get to the observatory. the higher up and farther away from the highway we went, the more marc said it reminded him of ecuador. especially when we had to slow down for roosters to cross the road.

but after lots of tight turns and potholes and near misses with oncoming trucks, we finally saw our first glimpse of the observatory.

and our little geek-nerd-sci fi hearts went pitter pat.

we parked and had to walk up a steep hill to get to the actual building. along the way were these amazing art pieces of the planets ...

we paid admission then spent the next hour or so reading all of the information about the radio telescope, astronomy, astrophysics, physics, meterology, and other sciences that i bet would have made much more sense to us in high school and college. but the kids dug it, and henry reverted into mr experiment mode like he always does in museums and science centers.

we checked out a scale model of the telescope and read about how it worked, then watched a 20 minute movie in spanish about the history of the telescope (i caught about every 14th word ... harper was, shall we say, "a little bored") ...

and then it was time.

and our nerd-geek-sci fi hearts beat faster still.

as the nerdiest-geekiest-sci fiest member of our group, marc needed a moment alone with the telescope.

once we'd had our fill ... and then stuck around to listen to the tour guide ... and then had more of our fill, the kids were ready to check out the gift shop. two electromagnetic knickknacks later, it was time to go. except it was raining. so we decided to wait it out before trekking back down that steep hill. once the rain slowed to a sprinkle, we headed out. only to get caught two minutes later in a downpour.

we waited in a shelter for several minutes before deciding the rain wasn't going to stop. so we made a run for the next shelter.

after waiting there a few more minutes - soaked and shivering - we said, "screw it" and walked the rest of the way down to the car.

the drive back to the highway was made more interesting by the flooding roads and floating roosters, but we survived. and harper promptly passed out for the remainder of the trip.

it was a great day, and we capped it - and the week - off with an amazing steak and popovers as big as our heads at the ritz carlton down the beach.

the next morning, we packed up and said goodbye to our vacation. we were ready to be home, but so grateful for the amazing week together.

... however ...

marc thought the kids would want to spend our last day in puerto rico swimming and soaking in a final day of sun and beach, so he'd booked our return flight for 4:30. but they didn't want to swim. they wanted to lay in bed and watch cartoon network.


so ...

finally it was time to go.

we were flying a different carrier home than on the trip down, and marc didn't have any status with this airline and was told that the plane was full and the four of us would be sitting separated in different parts of the plane. that wasn't going to work. (i've told you about how fun harper can be? imagine being a total stranger on a four-hour flight with that sitting next to you. i would have allegedly felt really badly about putting someone through that.) so marc made friends with a ticket agent when we checked in, discovered the plane was not, in fact, full, and got us seats in the row just behind first class. tons of leg room. again, it was me and the kids ... and marc across the aisle. (i always get stuck with that job.) but we had some wiggle room. and a bathroom with a broken door was literally right in front of us, so i had fun watching a parade of people get stuck in the bathroom.

when marc changed our seats before leaving puerto rico, he opted to pay a little extra to get us all in first class for the trip from charlotte to minneapolis. settling into those leather seats at 9 p.m. after a long week, and a longer day, for a four hour flight was heaven.

but then harper went into "it's late and i'm tired and i just want to be home" mode.

and started to ask if we were ever going to take off.

and the minute we did, every light in first class went off and everyone fell asleep. including my child who never sleeps anywhere.

and she slept the whole way home.

(and i was the lone pain in the butt passenger who kept her light on and read the whole time. not sure where harper gets the "doesn't sleep" thing ...)

and getting home was so, so good.

and with that, spring break - finally - comes to a close.