Friday, May 27, 2011

Story of a Couch

Sit down and get comfy. I'm going to tell you the story of our couch.

It started out life in the Runyon home, in Illinois.  When one of the fair daughters left home to seek her fortune in the world, the couch made its way to Indiana, where it reigned supreme for two years.  That is when I gained possession of it, and how it came to be in Nebraska.

This is no ordinary couch.  It is a keeper of dreams, the proud sponsor of a million and two naps.  It is the hostess with the mostest, providing comfort to many overnight guest who have slumbered on its cushions.  It is a healer of childhood ailments - it has seen it all, the digested and undigested, and with the aid of baking soda has born it well.  It is a storyteller, if couches could talk, it would tell a tale of keeping me anchored to the real world as I have spent hours lost in literature.  It is the birthplace of romance, the place of my last first kiss.

And while I do look forward to the day when it isn't the only piece of furniture in my home, I will also be a little sad.  It will truly be the end of an era, the end of something a little magical.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Round Two

Dear Mom and Dad,

How are you?  How is the weather in Michigan?  We have had nice weather during the day, and stormy nights.  The roads are quite dry during the day when I am driving around, so that's nice.  And the rain at night waters all my plants and yard, so I don't have to, and that's nice.

Speaking of my yard, there are a few new things in bloom and I thought you might want to take a peek.  Thanks so much for all the help you give us when you come visit. It is invaluable.

 This little guy came as a surprise. I didn't remember him at all from last year.  He is to the left of the garage in that tiny little area in the front yard.

This is the columbine that popped up all over that Mom encouraged me to save. It is a bright spot of color all over the yard.

 We had fresh chives on our dinner the other night. Yum.

 This is the iris in the sunken garden, I thought Dad would want to see this.

 These are the irises that are by that tree that is center in the backyard.

 This is the rhododendron by the 'playhouse'.

Tiny things are popping up in our garden! Get ready...
 I think I was told last year that these are peonies?

 And look! One of my rose bushes is blooming.  Hello pretty!

 And this is that flower on the mound that I asked you if it was dianthus, I know it isn't but for some reason that's what I kept thinking it was. Anyway, it has bloomed now. Do you know what it is?

And I tried to take a picture of Hanna. Maybe next time.

Love you, have a great weekend. Amy

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fun to Do

Going to the zoo is fun to do!
Devin is a pro-picnic packer.

 Popularity is a funny thing.

 With goats, it is directly proportional to how much food you have in your hand.

Hanna is obsessed with penguins.

Hallie wouldn't get on this giant thing until Hanna did.

Hallie smiles for the camera.

And I figure

if I just keep smiling

we might get a good picture.

Train Ride!


I'd like to make a slight correction to a blog post I wrote a few weeks ago.  In it I stated that a woman spends at least 90% of her time waiting.  Now, as I stated in that post the algorithm used to come to that statistic was based more on emotion rather than logic, but this correction is based solely on factual information.  Namely, the pain in my feet and back.

See they are forcing me to reconsider that statistic, and reminding me that there is something that I spend considerable amount of my time doing.  When I am not waiting for something to happen, I am moving things from one place to another.

You know, moving the food from the grocery cart to the car to the cupboards and fridge to the stove to the table, and then back to the fridge.

Moving the clothes from the rack to the car to a closet to a body to the hamper (floor) to the washing machine to the dryer to the hamper (floor) to the closet.

Moving toys from here, from there, from everywhere, back to where they started.

Moving tiny bodies from this place to that place and back again.

So, to amend my previous statement I'd like to have it now go on record that I think women spend 50% of their time waiting, and 50% of their time moving things around.

What do you feel like you spend all your time doing?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sharp Dressed Man

Look, here's the deal Daniel.  I finally finished these for you.  They will be in the mail first thing tomorrow.  First thing around here means as soon as I get everything else done that I have to do so the three of us can walk out the door. Sometimes that doesn't happen until first thing Tuesday.  Get the picture?

But look here's the deal.  I started trying to make these for you a few weeks ago, but I hit some serious snags with the one on the left.

So look here's the deal.  You're gonna be a sharp dressed man when you wear these, but the thing is you might have grown out of them by now, seeing as how you are a baby and that's what you do best.
Listen up now, cuz here's the deal.  You need to keep eating, so your mom stays calm and doesn't know what is up, but try really hard to not use any of those calories to grow, ok?  Put them all towards, you know, like getting smarter, and growing out your fingernails.  Just don't get any taller, and don't get any wider.  At least until your mom gets this package in the mailbox, which is gonna happen as soon as possible (see above), and then you can start growing again, what do you say?
 Is it a deal?
But seriously, I think you've already grown out of them. So just tell your mom to give them to... some tiny baby she knows.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Barbecue Sauce

I guess I always liked barbecue sauce as much as the next person that has casually dipped a French fry.  I never craved it, or particularly sought it out, but if it was available I would certainly enjoy eating it.

When I first met Devin I had the impression that he would eat anything.  He was in the habit of cooking something to eat for dinner, and then eating the leftovers for lunch the next day.  When we started dating I would sometimes eat lunch with him and I would see these leftovers, and I was always impressed with the variety of his meals.  One day I remember he was eating something that didn't look particularly appetizing to me, and I expressed some admiration that he liked so many different foods.  He looked at me and said, "Well, I don't really like this." And I, in some surprise, said, "Oh. Um, why are you eating it then?" And in humble sincerity he said, "Because it's what I cooked last night."  This is what cemented in my mind the idea that Devin would eat anything put in front of him.

Boy, was I wrong.  Take barbecue sauce for instance. I don't know how long we had been dating before I discovered his aversion to barbecue sauce.  I shrugged it off as merely interesting, and went on with my life. It was not a deal breaker because, as I previously mentioned, I have no deep love affair with the sauce myself.

Then we got married.  And Devin still never wanted barbecue sauce, and I didn't think about it much, at first.  But as we were walking past the barbecue sauce selection at the grocery store yesterday, all the years of pent up, subconsciously hidden longings boiled over and I suddenly lashed out. "Don't you think it's time you tried barbecue sauce again? Maybe you'd like it now. You haven't had it in years."  So, sweet sweet man that he is he let me pick out a bottle of barbecue sauce. I stood in the aisle for a long time deliberating my brand and flavor style.  This would be my first barbecue sauce in years, the one that would sway Devin, and be my daughters introduction to a whole new world of flavor, so I had to be careful.  Did you know that some have coffee listed as an ingredient? That one went back on the shelf in a hurry, don't you worry.

That evening Devin had to go in to the church to get some clerk-y stuff done.  As he was leaving he said, "It would be nice if you could have dinner ready when I got back."  I was desperate to make something with my new barbecue sauce.  So I looked up recipe after recipe trying to find something that would make him fall in love with this delicious All-American sauce.  And I think my brain must have been flying at only half mast or something because I settled on making barbecue meatloaf, and mashed potatoes with barbecue sauce gravy.  This meal plan was problematic for several reasons.
a. Another food that I discovered after marriage that Devin does not particularly like is meatloaf.
b. He does not particularly like mashed potatoes and gravy, either.
c. Devin thought eating barbecue sauce (albeit gravy) on potatoes was incredibly strange.

So basically I was trying to get Devin to like an ingredient by cooking two food items he doesn't like to begin with, and combining them with other ingredients that he thought was strange.  I was off to a great start.

As it turned out, the mashed potatoes and gravy were a big hit. I loved them, he loved them, the babies loved them. Way to go Amy. The meatloaf?  Well it's hard to say exactly what went wrong there. I tried to sum it up after the meal, "It's strange.  It has so little flavor, that I think if you were to eat it with a blind fold on you wouldn't even know that you were eating anything."
Devin summed it up this way, "It has so little flavor, you wouldn't even be able to remember what you had eaten just before the meatloaf."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hard Work

Don't we make hard work look so

well, I couldn't think of a clever word. But we do it. Hard work that is. However we make it look.  Even when we're tired. Which I am right now. Because I need to go to bed. So I can sleep. To have the energy I'll need to work. Hard. Tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Love It.

I love my parents.  I love nachos.  I love ice cream.  I love Peoria.  I love Theo's.

If you ever find yourself in Peoria, IL make sure to find time to stop at a little place called Theo's.  You'll be so happy you did.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Sometimes I get so disheartened by the news, and stories I hear, and the angry faces people make as they drive around in their cars.  I worry about Hallie and Hanna playing in the front yard; who is driving past, and what kind of thoughts do they have as they see my babies running and jumping?  I stress about people they may or may not meet in the future, bullies, drama queens, mean teachers.  What will the older kids that sit in the back of the bus say to them, too low for the bus driver to hear?  Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with this flood of worrying about the people they will meet in their lives, and knowing that I have absolutely no control over how any of those people will treat them.

And then, then something always happens that restores my faith in the human race.  When I am at the peak of my anxiety doldrums, someone somewhere always steps up and reminds me that most of the people in this world are good people. 

In my mailbox today, shining in the sun, was a white, square package.  My heart leaped (leapt?) (was leaping?) within me.  I love white square packages in my mailbox. (Except when they are from Marlboro).  And I just knew that it was from my friend Heather, and I knew that it had baked goodies inside.

You probably don't know my friend Heather, so let me tell you about her.  Heather is curly hair. She is soccer practice and marching band.  She is Logansport, Indiana.  She is a restaurant I will never eat at called the Happy Buddha.  She is the bravely noble Fighting Pickles.  She is a musician, and a finder and sharer of great music.  She is baked goodies in a white square package for no reason other than because she likes to bake, and I sent her a message on facebook saying "please".  Did I say please Heather? I hope so.

Anyway, this is me saying thanks.  Thank you Heather. And thank you to all the good people, and the mostly good people, and the sometimes good people, and the want to be good people, and the considering being good people.

On behalf of my daughters, and the joy of eating baked goodies, Thank You.