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Hello readers!

Obviously, this blog has been defunct for a few months while I enjoyed my life as a post graduate with a part-time job and limited responsibilities.

It was fun, but now, in an attempt to start my life as a real adult, I am going to try something completely new!

I am going to spend 9 months in the Republic of Georgia (as in Georgia the country, not the state) teaching English as a second language.

I have started a new blog to document my time there and will continue to leave this one on an indefinite hiatus. I hope you’ll follow me on my journey!

Please check it out: http://georgiawashington.wordpress.com
And follow by e-mail if you so desire!

Thank you for your continued support of Kacie’s Kinship, and the girl behind the blog,

-Kacie Riann

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Hello All!

It has been a busy week for my family:

June 8th, Mom and Dad celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary.

June 9th, I graduated from college.

June 12th, Grandma Loni celebrated her Birthday (I won’t say which one).

And today, June 17th, is Father’s Day! Which is what this particular post is about. (Moms are important too, which is why I wrote a post for Mom last month!)

My Father with me and Jenna in Prague

I used to think Dad was too strict with me and Jenna. I thought he was unfair with curfews and punishment, and would often seek out Mom’s help in convincing him to let me do something or go somewhere that he had already said no to. Now, as I watch the boys grow up, I grit my teeth when they misbehave and gasp constantly as they teeter on the edges of narrow paths and climb heights taller than my head. I understand that my dad was just being protective, the same way I am protective of the boys. I love them so much and just want them to be safe, and Dad wanted the same for me.

The same way life jackets protect them from drowning

As my dad embarks on this new journey with a new set of children, I can’t help but be impressed. I love the boys, but they are defiant, disobedient and downright annoying at times, and it’s not always easy to be around them. Dad has been a father for 40+ years, yet he is still able to find the right balance between sternness and patience, which is amazing to me.

Still smiling after laundry detergent was poured all over the floor just the day before.

So today is a day to celebrate Fathers, and my dad is worth the hubbub. Today we had a pretty low key brunch, and Papa opened a few presents, but mostly we just wanted to give him a break from the daily insanity of being “Dad.” Yet he still couldn’t resist vacuuming.

Papa Dennis reads his adorable card from the boys

So Happy Father’s Day to Papa Dennis, and all the other dads, grandpas, and father figures out there! I hope its amazing!

-Kacie Riann

 

This time, I won’t be making any excuses for being a bad blogger. You’ve heard it all before. This time, I don’t feel guilty because I have achieved what I was breaking my brain to achieve for the last four years: I am a college graduate.

See?

School sort of ate my soul for the last few weeks, with finals and research projects and seminar papers coming in waves. My best friend turned 21 during “dead week” and a family trip to Seattle took up the weekend before finals. I also got a horrible cold that weekend (I blame Jenna) that is still lingering in the form of disgusting mucusy coughs over a week later. So I was thrilled to walk across that stage on Saturday, feeling like all that craziness was worth it.

There I am shaking hands with Bruce Shephard, the President of Western Washington University since 2008 when I started there

The ceremony, as you can imagine, was pretty boring. I spent most of the time giggling with my friends (which I was lucky enough to be able to sit next to since most of my friends are also English majors) and texting Jenna, but it was still cool to be a part of something so grand, especially since I went to such a small high school.

There I am! And to my left are friends Jack and Ari, to my right is my friend Kathryn, and all around me are other amazing folks from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (white tassels)

Jenna in the blue, me in the white

I even took stealth self-photos for Instagram to kill time

After the ceremony, we walk to Old Main, the original building at WWU and drop our ID cards into a time capsule that lives under a brick marked “2012” for all of eternity. Then I had to take about 1000 pictures in Red Square, the epicenter of campus.

With the proud parents

With the sister (Jenna was the first of our family to get a B.A.)

With my dress that nobody got to see under my hideous shapeless gown

After the ceremony we headed home to eat way too many tacos, drink beer, and hug all the friends and relatives that couldn’t go to the ceremony (only 4 tickets per graduate). It was a fairly nice day and I am always a fan of Mom’s homemade Pico de Gallo, so I would call the day an overall success. The boys didn’t get to go to the ceremony, but they were at the party looking adorable as ever because I requested they get haircuts and wear their suits.

Because… just look how cute.

And here’s the whole gang

Now that that’s over, the first thing everyone asks me is, what’s next?

This is hard to answer. I really love my job and my lease isn’t up until August 31st, so I will likely stay here through the summer and work where I am already employed. My goal is to Teach English in Georgia (the country, not the state) for about 9 months, from late September to mid June. I have already started the application process.

But this is how I really feel

Which begs the question: what about the blog?

You can expect semi-regular postings through summer, but if I get accepted into the Georgia program, I will be pushing “pause” on this blog, as I won’t be around the family constantly. However, I will keep a blog documenting my time in Georgia, and starting this one back up as soon as I get home.

Again, thanks for reading, following, commenting and just generally being awesome, and I hope you will all follow me on my journey, whether it takes me to Georgia or keeps me in Bellingham, or something I haven’t even thought of yet.

And congratulations to my fellow graduates!

-Kacie Riann

 

 

 

 

Hello readers,

As I am sure you’re all aware, today is Mother’s Day. I am sad to report that I was unable to get together with my Mom today, due to a long day at work followed by stacks of almost-finals homework. In all honesty, I don’t even really have time to write this blog but I am doing it anyway!

My Mom with a new generation of children

The woman above did an amazing job of raising my sister and I to be good citizens, friends, employees, students, and people. Now, she is starting completely over despite being over 50. A lot of people, upon hearing about our situation, are quick to praise Mom for being such an amazing human being and taking on the responsibility of raising the boys, but she didn’t even see it as an option.

This photo and many others in this post stolen from Jenna’s Facebook

I plan to spend some time with my mother tomorrow, but luckily she had Jenna and the rest of her children to keep her company today. They drove up to Semiahmoo, a beautiful coastal city nearby, and had breakfast and some time in the sun. I wish I could have been there, because the pictures are adorable. I helped the boys with their Mother’s Day shopping, and facilitated their gift and card selections. I was so touched when Jesse picked out a pack of fancy emery boards and said, “You know, because Grandma’s always filing her nails and we’re always picking at ours.” They were actually putting thought into the gifts.

They even got all dressed up for her special day

Mom came by my work this week before I was there and met one of my coworkers. Later, when I asked if she could tell we were related, my coworker said, “She was so personable and kind, and she had the same laugh as you. I could tell instantly that she is an amazing woman.” Truer words have never been spoken of my mom, whose friend circle is almost as big as the state of Washington.

Even Hugo loves her, and he is very picky

I am not a mother, but I know when I become one I will be really good at it, because I had such a shining example.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

-Kacie Riann

 

Playing pretend #1: We’re pretending today is Wednesday

#2: I pretend this plant in my room is real and also that it is a picture frame

#3: Jenna’s boyfriend Ryan let’s Matty pretend he can fly

#4: Hunter pretends to be Batman

#5: The boys pretend they can all fit on the chair together, and also that there isn’t a giant sectional couch a few feet to their left

Pretend games were always my favorite as a kid… it’s nice to see things haven’t changed much.

Happy belated cute Wednesday everyone! Now go play pirate or orphanage or superhero!

-Kacie Riann

 

Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello dear readers,

As I approach midnight on Tuesday evening, I can’t help but feel a bit guilty about my minimal participation on this blog. I never meant for it to be exclusively “Cute Wednesday” and always intended there to be at least one, but preferably two additional posts each week, yet I rarely reach my deadline. Here’s why:

Yesterday, I ordered my cap and gown, AKA the ceremonial robes I will be shrouded in when I become a college graduate in six weeks and stop getting FAFSA checks every few months that will pay my bills. Instead, I will start paying back the tens of thousands of dollars in loans it took for me to wear the cap and gown.

This is where I'll be living in 7 months when my loan grace period is over

Besides stressing about the real world, I also have to MAKE IT to graduation which means I have to make it to my classes and you know, not fail them. So here’s the thing, I have never failed a class in my life and I won’t fail these ones, but in the same vein, Senioritus is REAL and it is draining my motivation faster than the money in my bank account. I can’t get in this homestretch mindset and ignore the maintenance of my GPA.

I just have to apply the same level of focus to school as I do to Mario Kart

Did I mention I have a job? I work slightly-more-than-part-time in between going to class, doing the homework, sleeping and eating. I don’t ever want to sound complainy, because I really really love my job and considering I was hired for a holiday position, I am more than grateful to still be employed there. Besides, in just over a month I will be able to devote my full attention to it, but for the next month I am going to have to forsake a regular sleep schedule to keep up.

I can't believe our Christmas party was 4 months ago! Time has really flown. (And yes, that is Grandma Loni dancing along at the bowling alley)

And of course, there’s the whole family obligation. It takes a lot of time spent with my family to generate material for this blog. I try to see the boys at the very least once a week, and if I can relieve Mom and Dad for a few hours. Recently, that took the form of a long weekend, and I got very very little homework done in that time. Also, we can’t forget about Jenna down in Seattle, which generally requires a full weekend visit.

Riding the infamous monorail in October with Jenna and Jesse

So, consider this a plea for understanding and a sincere apology for letting this blog sink down on my to-do list. I never want it to seem like I’m upset about my life, because I know that I am lucky to have a job, an (almost) college education, and the amazing, if unconventional, family that I have. Right now, I’m just a little overwhelmed with the responsibility that comes along with those privileges.

I imagine that in six weeks time, when I have one less commitment, I will spend more time on this blog and with all of you, my amazing readers.

Thanks for reading,

-Kacie Riann

Hello readers, and welcome to an extra-special and slightly elongated Cute Wednesday post.

This last weekend, for the longest period of time to date, I (with intermittent help from Jenna and my good friend Leslie) got to play parent to all three boys. I have had to take care of them in the past, but usually overnights would have Matty staying with Big Papa and Nana (who finally returned from Arizona just a few days late) and me only responsible for the two older boys. I really had no idea what I was in for.

Like that the back of my car would make me look like a soccer mom

For the most part, the experience was positive. Jenna and I got to be there for a major milestone, Jesse lost his first tooth, and it was really fun (but also incredibly nerve-wracking) to play Tooth Fairy for the first time. Despite the fact that the future of Jesse’s imagination weighed on us, we succeeded in slipping $2 underneath his pillow. I don’t know what the going rate for teeth is these days, but looks like Papa and Grandma will just have to match our original donation.

If you look hard enough, you can see the gap where this tooth came from!

There were also a few moments of brotherly love, which are always a joy to witness. For one, Jesse loves to read, which is about the most I could ask out of any child, and his brothers love listening to him read. On the first night, the three of them spent a good chunk of time curled up on the couch while Jesse read aloud. I thought this would be the tone of the weekend and relaxed in my delusion.

Just look how cute! Too bad it won't last long

The boys slowly started stepping up the insanity, which resulted in a few physical scuffles, multiple trips to time out, naps taken at all the wrong times of day, and an overload of sugar due to a box of Peeps that were stolen from the top of the fridge. The boys tend to feed off of each other, so when one decides it’s time to be a nightmare, the other two follow that lead. Take for example this video, which shows how Matty’s decision to wrestle Jesse gets all three of the boys riled up:

Notice how Hunter was perfectly content to watch TV at first, but then threw himself into the mix after seeing how much fun the other boys were having, and how they were getting the attention of the camera. Still, this was all in good fun. The most major meltdown came from Matty, whoa t 2.5 is at the peak of separation anxiety. He told me at least four times a day “Papa not home. Grandma not home,” as if to remind himself. He was mostly okay with Jenna and I, but when my friend Leslie came over to help, things took a turn for the worse.

Apparently this girl inspires terror and tantrums

I find it worthwhile to mention that Leslie babysits the boys about once a week, so she is no stranger, but they do associate her with the absence of Mom and Dad. The biggest meltdown of all was on Sunday night, when Jenna had to return to Seattle and Leslie came over a few hours before I needed to go to a staff meeting. Matty screamed “Nooooo!” at Leslie, smacked at her, and cried into Jenna’s arms, delaying her departure almost an hour. Then, he proceeded to cry into my arms until he fell asleep at the very inconvenient hour of 5 PM.

At last! Relief...

Naturally, everything turned out fine and Papa and Grandma eventually returned from their much deserved vacation. Let me tell you, I have a new respect for their daily life, it is no picnic! Of course, I love the boys and I love spending time with them, but I was more than happy to return to my bed, sleep in, and do my homework without distractions after this weekend!

Happy hump-day everybody, may your Wednesday be cute!

-Kacie Riann