Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stroll With Me

Tonight I tried to take the pictures off of Devin's computer and put them on my computer.  He doesn't like to have pictures taking up space on his work computer.  I put 200 or so pictures on a CD, then tried to put them on my computer.  Only 87 of them loaded.  The others it said were not in a format compatible with my computer.

Does anyone understand why that might be? As far as I can tell, they are all .jpg, and they were all working on his computer, and I think they were all taken on the same camera even.  Why would some come over, and not others?  Any thoughts on what I could do to get them all?

At least I got a few pictures.  Enjoy a little stroll through memory lane with me, if you'd like.

 A white peacock at the zoo.  And no, that's not one of my girls. That is my friend's daughter.

Bald eagles!  Cool!

 Baby Goat!  Do you think we'll really get one in the spring?  I am crossing my fingers...

 Heather on her blessing day.  She had crazy hair even then!

 The pretty shoes a lady in our ward made for her.  Nice.

 Cousin Jill painted Hallie's toenails when she was visiting.  Thanks for the pedicure Jill!


 1st Day Home From Hospital.  Baby Burrito.

 LOVE the look on Jill's face.  CLASSIC.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

PICTURES of stuff.

Once, Devin went to China.  His trip happened to be the same weekend as my brother's birthday.  And then, wouldn't you know, his wife had the baby and they were going to bless him that same weekend!

How could I not go?  Once I overlooked the fact that it would take me two days to drive there, and two days to drive back, with a four year old, a two year old, and a six month old, the whole thing seemed really exciting and fun!

and now, PICTURES.

 It is really flat between Nebraska and Michigan. Really, really flat.  You probably knew that?

Wouldn't it be fun to drive that car?

One time the girls were being really quiet, and I turned around to see what they were doing (sleeping?!) and this is what I saw.  I don't know why.

And then there was a helicopter.

I love family get togethers, don't you?  
Yes, my brother is taking a picture of me taking a picture.  

Welcome to the family, William!

Passing the love of soccer on to the next generation.

Is it just me, or are my parents just the cutest?  SO cute, amiright?

 My grandpa dared the drive back with me.  Thanks Grandpa! You're a champ and a hero.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Growing Up

You know when you're young, and you think you'll be young forever and ever and ever?  And it is sort of fun to be young, because you are so beautiful, fresh and innocent that you practically sparkle, but then it is sort of a drag because adults get to do all the really cool stuff?

And then you go to high school, and you feel like you've hit the big leagues, hanging with the big dogs, like your life is big time now baby?  And then you graduate from high school and you're really strutting around because boy oh boy, you're going to college! You're moving out on your own, maybe even with super cool roommates.  You are going to do your own grocery shopping (oreos and chicken nuggets), and your own laundry (maybe).

And then, quite suddenly, you find yourself graduating from college, getting married, having children, watching those children grow up up up! and the next thing you know, you are only a few months away from having 30 candles on your cake, and you find yourself thinking,

The world finally recognizes me as an adult, I have all the trappings of an adult life, but... when does adultness sink in, when does maturity bury itself in my bones? You know, when do all of the common sense and logical based decision making skills become second nature?

Because to be honest, I find myself still

thinking popcorn and ice cream makes a good dinner.

wishing my mom was here when I am sick.

wanting to wear my pajamas all day, some days.

laughing while running in the rain.

hanging my own artwork on the fridge when I draw a pretty picture.

forgetting to put my socks in the dirty hamper.

Granted, most days I button myself up, stiffen my upper lip, and say "No! No! No!" to myself and my children like a robot.  I'm such a good Mom.

But my dirty little secret is that sometimes, sometimes I give in to the tiny child inside me and say, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Don't tell my mother, ok?

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Day I Sprinted

The girls and I went to the mall today.  We were stopped every five minutes by people who wanted to talk to my girls, tell them how pretty they are, how well behaved, how sweet.  Or they wanted to stop me and tell me that I look just like they did when they were young moms, or how brave I am to go out with my kids but how I must be a good mom because they are all such nice girls.

That's the reception I am used to.  And obviously, it makes me feel good.  Obviously, right?

We were hanging out at the play area.  I made one small choice.  The consequence of that choice was that a lady standing nearby criticized me severely in a biting tone.

I collected my girls and we quickly left, I was working to fight back tears.  I would like to think that I am normally confident enough that I can take criticism, digest it, and value it for what it is worth.  This lady's words hit me in the face like a swarm of angry hornets and it stung all day.  Because she was right.  If Devin, or my mom, or my dad, or any of my friends had been there they might have said the same thing.  I hope they would have said it in a nicer voice, but they would probably have agreed with her.

I struggled to be a mom for the rest of the day.  I don't know if it was a sudden attack of postpartum brought on by her words, but I kept thinking, "She's right. You don't deserve these girls.  Who do you think you are, that you can be their mom?  You really are no good at this."

When Devin got home from work I was ready in my shorts and running shoes.  I handed him the baby, her arms reaching out towards me as I walked out the door.  I ran one mile, slowly, and I kept thinking, "I should just quit.  I'm no good at running either.  What's the point of it all anyway?"

Something inside me kept making me take one step, then another, until finally Shakira came on the playlist.  I'm sure my neighbors were thinking "What does she put in her kool-aid?" because man, that hip-shaker can really make you move.  Then that song ended, and I started slumping down again.

This time, instead of slowing down and stopping, I told myself that I was going to run, full out, leaving nothing behind.  I was going to burst a lung or die trying. 

Two unexpected things happened.   The first, I didn't know I could run that fast.  If my track or soccer coach had known, it might have been a game changer.  The second unexpected thing was that I found myself screaming at that unknown lady at the mall in my head.  "You don't know me, lady.  I am a good mom.  I'm sorry you caught me at a bad moment, but I am a good mom."

I reached my goal point and began walking.  And crying.  I walked it off, picked a new point in the distance, and did the whole thing again.  "You Don't Know Me, Lady." I yelled at her in my head as my feet pounded the sidewalk.

A third time, "YOU. DON'T. KNOW. ME."  I ended right at my mailbox, went in to my house, and collapsed on the floor, crying and sweating, and sort of laughing too.

Hanna was very concerned.    "Did you fall down?" "Did you just step on something?"  "Did you run over a car, Mommy?" These were the actual questions she asked me.

We ate dinner, had family night, and made cookies.  Right now I am feeling humbled, grateful, tired, and ready to be a better mother tomorrow.

So thanks, strange lady at the mall today, for pointing out my weaknesses.  Maybe next time you could use a nicer tone of voice?  Just a little suggestion for you

And thanks, Shakira, for helping me keep it real.

And thanks, beautiful family, for thinking I do a pretty good job even when I have days like today.

Thanks world, and let's hear it for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


You know I love naps. 

Love isn't really strong enough of a word.

Revere?  Adore?  VENERATE.

Yes, oh yes.  Naps.

You can see I've taught my children well.

Well, I'm still working on this one.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On A Bike Ride

We went on a walk today.  Actually, I went on a walk.  Hallie was riding her bike, and Hanna and Heather were sitting back, cruising along double-stroller style.  The sun was shining, giving the earth one of its last few warm embraces before winter comes and blankets us with heavy snow.  Hallie was pedaling furiously in front of me, her feet and her mouth going a mile a minute.  The wind rushing past swooped her words away from me, and I could not pick out any distinct words.  I listened then to the steady rush rush of her voice, watched her tan little legs hurrying up and down, up and down, her slim back postured up so straight and tall.  She talked on and on, the wind carrying her voice up up and away to where only angels could hear.  My ears missed her words, but my heart caught the meaning in her voice.

Enjoy this moment, Mama.  You may have a million more moments like this one, every day feeling exactly the same, but sooner than you know I will go to kindergarten, quickly followed by Hanna and Heather, and sooner even after that we will all leave for college.  Enjoy this moment, Mama.

Don't blink, Mama.  I might look the same every morning when you are picking out my outfit and helping me get dressed, but sooner than you know I will outgrow all of these clothes and be buying my own, with my own money.  Sooner than you know I will store my clothes in a dresser, in a bedroom, in a house far, far from yours.  Don't blink, Mama.

But if you have to close your eyes, Mama, make sure to do it when you are snuggled tight against a small warm body.  Close your eyes and put them right on the cushion of my cheek, let my warm breath tickle you, let my soft snores be the white noise in your dreams.  Don't close your eyes, Mama.  But if you do, snuggle me.

Memorize it, Mama.  No matter how hard you try, you cannot keep Heather's two teeth smile, Hanna's hilarious statements and wild dancing, or Hallie's deep and penetrating, and oh so innocent questions about everything.  You cannot keep it, Mama, not in your hands, or your arms, so store it in your heart.  Memorize it all, Mama.

I could not catch most of the words Hallie said to me, as she biked in front of me on our walk today.  But at one point, she braked - a brand new skill she's learned - and turned around.  Smiling wide, she said, "Don't you think so, Mama?"

Yes, Hallie. I think so.  Every time.  Always.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ramblings and Musings

I've been struggling with some ADD type thinking difficulties, combined with extreme forgetfulness, in addition to exhaustion, on top of a morose-like almost depression type mindset.  All of which made me realize that I needed to have my TSH levels checked again.  Bingo.  I just got back from the pharmacy, and am hopefully on the way to feeling better again.

I've had so many things flashing through my mind but they don't stick in long enough for me to formulate an entire blog post, but they are beating me down - almost as though my thoughts don't feel like they have been fully appreciated, fully thought about, until I have written them down.  Here's to you, Thoughts.

Hanna has been making me laugh lately.  She will suddenly yell, "Don't be an elephant-dan!" And we all try really hard to not be "elephant dans", as if any of us know what that is.

Right now I am typing this blog post on the left half of my screen, the right hand open to iTunes, which is playing a Sesame Street Podcast.  That is because Hanna has had a lot to drink in the past few minutes, and we're at three accidents today already, and Sesame Street Podcast is the easiest way to keep her on the potty long enough to actually go.  Reading stories works too, but my computer has more lasting power than my voice does.  So, Ernie and Elmo it is.  Take that, iPhone.

I finished quilting Heather's quilt.  I am sort of ridiculously pleased with how it turned out.  Pictures someday, if I think of it.

Oh, how's this for news.  We've had the Aspen for two weeks now.  Except for the three days it was in the shop last week. Oh, and that it has been in the shop for two days again this week.  Yeah, so that's great.  There's some engine trouble.  We were so frustrated that we were thinking of just taking it in and asking for our money back, but... then I talked to my sister, and thought about it some, and decided that in life, you never know when stuff is going to happen, like engine trouble. And right now they are paying for everything.  And they give me a car to drive around while they work on mine. So, that's a pretty sweet deal.  As long as they actually fix it this time.  I took some pictures of the car they loaned me (both times, same car).  I'll post them, someday.

In a few weeks I am running with some friends of mine in the Market to Market Relay.  Basically we run from Omaha to Lincoln (83 miles or so I think) taking turns. I think my portion ends up being a total of something over 9 miles.  Wish me luck.  Cross your fingers.  And pray for me, too. Thanks.

My mom sent me some things in the mail today that I had left at her house when I was there last.  In addition, she sent me some chocolate.  I wanted to say four things about this. Let's see if I remember them all. Here goes.
1. I really, really, really love my mom.
2. I was planning on going on a crazy chocolate spree while I was at the drug store picking up my prescription, because, well, do I really need a reason to go on a crazy chocolate spree? But she saved me from that.  How do moms know when we need to be saved from inferior chocolate?
3. The chocolate from Aldi really is the best chocolate.  It just is. Don't fight me on this.
4. The first one I opened was a rich dark chocolate, and I wasn't sure if Hallie and Hanna had ever had dark chocolate before, so I didn't know if they would like it. (I hated it as a child, I thought it was a sick imposter of the real thing. Ha, ha, right?)  I asked Hallie what she thought and she said, "This chocolate makes me need milk Mommy."

When I was at the doctor's office waiting to hear the results of my blood test,  Heather was approached, talked to, smiled at, and generally admired by Every Single Person who walked in to the waiting room.  Part of it is the hair.  Part of it is her two toothed smile that she flashes at anyone who looks so much as a mile in her direction. Part of it is the baby tiger purring, little motor running sound that she makes.  I actually had someone ask me if they could take a picture of her.  So if you need someone to lighten up a doctor's office waiting room, I'm willing to rent her out.*

I still wonder about that woman who sent me the check.  And about Joseph's show at Jasper's.  And who the other Amy Rose is.  Life is full of mysteries, am I right?

Have any of you heard of three minute fiction, sponsered by NPR?  How fun is that?!  And since I'm a total nerd who kind of misses doing homework, Devin gave me the assignment to write one.  Working on it!  (Alisha, Heather, Alison, who's with me?)

And, to finish off this crazy rambling post of nothing would you like some pictures?  Yes, let's do pictures. Let's see what I can scrounge up.

 Sometimes we go camping. And we have friends come for a campfire dinner. 

 Practicing for when we have our own goat. Oh, did I not tell you about that yet?

*I am not at all willing to rent her out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In The Mail

Some of you may recall that I get strange mail sometimes, in particular from the Marlboro Man.   We are pen pals, I suppose, although the relationship is shockingly one sided to be honest.  Most recently he has sent me the opportunity to Win! A Trip!  to the Bahamas! Scratch Here!  But I couldn't help but think that it would be terribly awkward if I won, and then requested a "No Smoking" room on their dime.

I also think it is sad that Devin is the one that gets all the mail from Mitt Romney's campaign, all the letters starting with phrases like, "We're writing to you because you have shown yourself to be a strong supporter of the Republican Party and..." when Devin walks around murmuring how he'd like to declare himself an Independent because everyone is ridiculous anyway and I'm the loyal Republican around here, but have I ever gotten noticed? No.  Am I the one that is on all the email mailing lists for my local government leaders? Yes. Have I sent them emails when I wanted them to know my position on different legislations? Yes.  Do I get mail thanking me for being a strong supporter of our party? No.

The Marlboro Man, yes. Mitt Romney, no.  Ah, well.

And now I'm all in a turmoil because of the latest mail mystery around here.  It all started as I was walking past our mail collecting area on Sunday.  Something in the pile caught my eye, I stopped for a closer look.  There was a check on top of the pile, which is nothing unusual except I wasn't expecting any personal checks for Devin or I, so I picked it up for further investigation.  It was from a woman I have never heard of, and the pay-to line was left BLANK.  Strange.  I pulled out the envelope that had clearly come with it, there was no letter, but it was addressed to me.  It had my name in bold black ink, with my address.  The same name as on the check was on the return address.  I asked Devin where it had come from.  He said he had found Hallie opening it and that was all he knew.  I never carried it in from the mailbox, and neither had he.  How did it get into our house?

But really, more importantly, who is this woman and why does she think she owes me money?  I looked at the check again, and on the line where you write the purpose for the money, she had written, "Joseph's Show at Jasper's".  At this point I thought the curiosity would eat me alive.

I tried to look her up in the phone book and I even googled her trying to find her phone number to call and explain that she must have somehow gotten the wrong Amy Rose, and did she want me to tear up this check or what?  But I could not find her phone number anywhere.  Admittedly, google searches are not my strong point.

Her address was on the check and the envelope, so I resolved to take it to her personally the next day and apologize for being the wrong Amy Rose.  It took me two halves of forever to find her place, and when I did - disappointment. There was no one home.  So I hastily wrote her a note, and left the note and check shoved halfway into her door so it wouldn't blow away in the wind.

It has been a couple of days, and in the middle of doing the dishes I'll find myself wondering who the real Amy Rose is.  Or I will be folding tiny pairs of pants and think, "I wonder how Joseph's show went, at Jasper's?" 

But most of all, more than anything, I hope that she finds the real Amy Rose, because she honestly believes that she has paid off that debt, and Amy Rose clearly hasn't been paid, and I hope that can be resolved.  That worry is enough to make me itch to drive over there and just make sure it has all been sorted out.  On a scale of creepy to jail-time-creepy, where would that put me?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Story About A Peacock

I keep thinking that I want to write in my blog.  I sit down at my computer, and I stare at the screen.  I stare at the little piles of notes, and bills, and m&m wrappers scattered on my desk.  I stare at my fingernails that need to be filed and repainted.  I have stories I want to tell, pictures I want to show, and general and exciting news to share, but my brain is so liquid right now that thoughts just float around like lost ice cubes, and when I try to grab for them I realize they have already melted away. 

That said, I am determined to try and tell you the Story Of The Peacock.  If it doesn't make any sense, if you feel bewildered after reading, just let me know and when my brain takes on some semblance of functionality again I'll try to rewrite it. 

Maybe I'll just keep it simple.

My grandpa was visiting us.

Devin took the day off of work.

We went to the zoo.

We walked around, enjoying the nice day, seeing the animals, and spending time together.

We stopped to eat our lunch.  A simple lunch, peanut and butter sandwiches and various crackers and cookies.

A few picnic tables away, a family was being harassed by an overeager peacock.  We watched, mildly amused at this bold blue bird.

It eventually gave up on that family, and came over to check out what was on our menu.

 He said "hello, good afternoon" to Grandpa.  "That's a fine looking sandwich you have there." 

 He wandered around the table, over to where Hanna was sitting with her own sandwich and applesauce.  "Hey cutie.  How tight is your grip on that sandwich there, anyway?" He suavely asked.

Seeing he was getting nowhere with Grandpa or Hanna he continued his way around the table.  He inched closer and closer to Hallie.  She seemed a likely bet.

Such a good bet in fact, that he jumped up on the bench and got in her face.  I say, there was a peacock.  In. Her. Face.

You'd think I'd have a picture of that, but

fast as you can say "whatjusthappenedthere'sapeacockinmydaughter'sfaceIthinkitwantshersandwich" Devin had jumped out of his own seat, ran around the table, and kicked that bold blue bird square in the chest knocking him back off the bench.  She's daddy's little girl see.

Now you might think that after getting kicked off the table the peacock would leave us alone, but no. He came back again once or twice and I had to stomp after him, shooing and shouting.

Crazy peacock.

And that's my Story About A Peacock.  Every word is true.  Except Devin would prefer if instead of using the word "kick" I used "push". 

"I pushed the peacock with my foot" he tells me, because apparently that is so different from kicking.

When in fact I think that is the definition of kicking.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It Finally Happened

I wasn't going to be held back this time.  I had been thwarted over and over by this and that and a hundred little nothings that all add up to a day gone by and I still hadn't managed to go.

Yesterday, I stood a little taller and said enough was enough.  I was going to lace up my running shoes, strap my babies into the jogging stroller, and see the world!

But first I had to wait until everyone was awake from naps, and everyone had gone potty, and everyone was wearing pants, and Hallie had her running shoes on because, well, I don't have a triple jogging stroller you know?

It is incredible how long it takes four people to get ready so one person can go for a run.  When I started the process the skies were blue, the sun was shining, little birdies were chirping from their lofty branches.  As I began putting on the final pair of shoes however, I noted the sky had dimmed.  Undaunted, I pressed forward.  This thing would happen!

As we walked toward the door to go outside, I thought maybe I heard some faint rumblings.  Probably just the garbage truck down the street, I reassured myself.  We're doing this, and we're doing it now! 

I opened the garage door and maneuvered the jogging stroller into position.  The ominous gurgling from the sky made undeniable threats, but I was not afraid.  There was only one little tiny patch of dark clouds, and I have lost all faith in rain.  I don't think water actually falls from the sky anymore.

Off we go, the air hot and heavy with suppressed moisture.  We made it half a mile from home or so, Hallie jogging along behind me, periodically saying, "Mommy my legs are thirsty.  Where's the water?"  As I handed her the water bottle I thought, "Well, it's not coming from the sky I know that much,"

Then I felt it, you know, the one drop right on my scalp.  Then another on my arm.  And then, the heavens unleashed their fury and we were caught in a torrential downpour, all the rivers and lakes and oceans descending on us at once in a wildly ferocious dance.  I gave Hallie the umbrella I had brought for her, and opened mine so Heather and Hanna were as covered as I could make them.  We pressed on.  It was refreshing, it was exciting, it was a exhilerating.

Then it began to hurt.  Looking around, I saw that the raindrops had suddenly become little hard white balls.  And my first thought was, "Finally! My life is like a movie!"  I wanted to jump, and sing, and shout, and dance.  I wanted to laugh and laugh because what else can you do when you are half a mile away when the hail starts and you have a soaking wet 4 year old, and a 2 year old who was sobbing in the stroller because it was all a little too much for her, and a 6 month old who whimpered when pieces of hail got through the defenses and hit her on the arm?

I picked up Hallie and trudged on.  I, the person that lives inside me, my very inner personal self, was loving every second of this experience.  The mother me was not so happy.  "You knew it was going to rain and you came out here anyway!"  "Your babies are crying!"  "Hanna was sick and you brought her out into this! She could get pneumonia!"  "What were you thinking?" "Hail?!"*

And still I wanted to laugh, because what else can you do?  By the time we got back home both the hail and the ran had stopped, and the temperature rapidly returned to hotter than hot, so we sat in the sun, where we could visibly see the water evaporating off of our bodies.

Here's to adventure!

My running buddy!!

       Can you see the rainbow?
 I don't really understand how there can be hail, on a day that reached 100 degrees. Anyone know?

*Hail really does hurt.