Sunday, April 30, 2017


I've recently learned that you truly can die of a broken heart.

My Grandpa has passed on to be with my Grandma, who we lost just two short months ago. 

Arthur Gordon Getchman
June 24, 1934 — April 21, 2017

My heart feels broken and empty; I hardly know who I am anymore in a world without them.

Grandpa was one of the most amazing men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Always by Grandma's side, they have been a part of my daily life since the day I was born. 

Art R. Getchman, Art G. Getchman, Art K. Getchman, and baby Sarah Getchman.

He was born in Port Townsend, Washington where we continued to spend family holidays for all of my life. 

With Grandpa at the beach in Port Townsend.

As a young adult, he served in the Navy for several years before becoming a student teacher at North Thurston High School, my alma mater. During that time, he served as Vice Principal of North Thurston High School, Principal of Timberline High School, Principal of Nisqually Middle School, and as an administrator at the District Office. His compassion, patience, and sense of humor positively impacted the lives of uncountable students throughout the course of his career.  He received numerous awards, including Teacher of the Year and Middle School Principal of the Year. The effects of his selfless passion and dedication to educating and encouraging the young people of Thurston County can be seen in our community to this day.

Grandpa was active in the Lacey Rotary International chapter for many years, serving as a past President, Paul Harris Fellow, and in 2005 receiving the C. "Dale" Ferrier Vocational Service Award. He loved participating in Rotary events like the annual Duck Dash at Tumwater Falls, one of my very favorites as a child. He served on the Board of Commissioners for the South Bay Fire District from 1979 to 2015, and was very involved in fire department and fire district activities. Grandpa and Grandma were active members of Gull Harbor Lutheran Church, and you would often find Grandpa mowing the church lawn and helping host the annual Sausage Fest. In 2002, Kiwanis International named him the Thurston County Citizen of the year due to his extensive involvement in the community.

Clearly, Art Getchman was an amazing member of the community where he lived and worked. 

But to me, he was just Grandpa.

He loved spending time with family. 

He and Grandma were always at all of our sporting events and activities, and continued to support local sports teams even after we were all grown up. He loved brewing his own beer, fishing, shrimping and crabbing, dancing and singing, and antique cars. He was always taking us for some kind of ride or another. Row boat rides, tractor rides, wagon rides, fishing boat rides where we'd pull crab pots in the Hood Canal, rides in his El Camino or antique Model A Ford where we always fought for a turn in the "rumble seat." He served barbecued meat at family dinners, and sometimes even fish he had caught or pheasant that he had hunted himself... usually with most of the buckshot removed. He always carved the turkey at the beginning of a holiday meal, after saying grace and sometimes telling an off-color joke. 

All of my holidays from now on will have a gaping hole without his presence. 

One of the last times I spent time with him, I'll never forget how he just stood there quietly petting Kiley's sweet little newborn head. As he stroked her lovingly, he quietly explained to me about all the bones in the human skull, and how I needed to be extra careful with her tiny little head. 

I will, Grandpa. I promise.

I'm so thankful that my Grandpa got to be a part of my children's lives, if only for a short while...

After the horrible shock of losing my Grandma, the loss of my Grandpa is almost more than I can bear. Wherever they are, I hope that they're together. I find comfort in the thought that after more than 60 years together, they really did love each other so much that they couldn't live without each other. 

This is a photo of the last time that we were all together. The picture isn't perfect, because families aren't perfect, and people aren't perfect. 

But this man, my Grandpa... I think he just might have been perfect. 

The world is a darker place without his joy, kindness, and sense of humor. I have learned so much from him, and he is an example of the person I hope to become.

Grandpa, I'll miss you so much. It was an honor to know and love you. 

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, Stewart!

Happy Birthday to the love of my life.

Stewart turned 36 today.

We had a quiet day at home with the kids and a little family celebration before nap time.

Times sure have changed... 

Five years ago I planned a huge pub crawl with all of our friends for Stew's birthday. This year he snuck in an early round of golf on Saturday morning with a few buddies while the other wives and I hung out with the kiddos.

Who are we?!

Honestly though, there's nowhere else I would rather be. 

Happy birthday, Stewie. 

I hope this year is filled with more laughter and love than you could ever imagine.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

An Alway Family Easter — 2017

Happy Easter from our two little bunnies!

We celebrated Easter this year at my parents' house, and it turned out to be a super low-key, relaxing weekend — exactly what we needed! My family is big on traditions, and for Easter we have a few that we are intent on passing on to Ryder and Kiley.

We colored Easter eggs.

We made a Bunny Cake.

We gave out Easter baskets.

We had an indoor Easter egg hunt.

I put a mini marshmallow inside each of the plastic eggs and I don't think Ryder could have been more thrilled...

We got dressed up and went to church.

Actually, it was just Nana and Ryder who went to church, but it does continue to be a tradition for some family members.

We had an outdoor Easter egg hunt.

During Ryder's nap, Stew and I the Easter Bunny re-hid all the eggs out in the front yard, and once again Ryder had the time of his life running around looking for them and eating more mini marshmallows. I have a feeling that Easter, with all of it's treats, is going to end up being his favorite holiday, just like his daddy. 

My brother AJ, my sister-in-law Morgan, and their little egg, still cooking...

Not quite old enough for egg hunts yet. Next year will be another story...
Kiley hung out in the yard.

She wasn't quite sure what to think of that big, bright ball up in the sky... she hasn't had much experience with the sun, yet.

Sidewalk Chalk.

For whatever reason, Ryder always seems to receive sidewalk chalk as an Easter present. Just one look of it and chills of fear run over my entire body, so I do not participate in this particular activity. Did you know that Calxophobia, or the fear of chalk, is a real thing? 

After a lovely afternoon hanging around outside with the kids, my mom served an absolutely delicious ham dinner with all the trimmings. 

Although it was just a small group of us this year, it was honestly the most relaxing holiday I can remember having in a long time.

We hope that you had a wonderful Easter as well. 
Now bring on Spring! 

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