Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cute Kids

Ahh, the beauty of those 'brand new'. Boston, Cass, Bridget and Daniel's sweet Jason, Ben and Shannon's Cohen, and their newest treasure, Ruby.

Last Weekend Part 2

The most wonderful part of last weekend was Trav's stepdad's baptism. Eric is just the sweetest guy you'll meet. I'd like to compare him to Crush, the turtle from Finding Nemo, but I don't think that captures the depth of his personality. He's so giving, accepting, and easy-going. You never hear him whining or complaining. He 'just keeps swimming' and he's truly a fabulous father. You gotta love a dad whose scope of musical interests is wide enough to not only love the classics, but keeps up with all the new greats.

Eric made the decision to get baptized and we're all just so thrilled. We love you!

Last Weekend Part 1

A few months ago my brother and I were discussing our schedules and he said, "Man, you guys are the busiest young people!" I guess it's pretty true. We're always moving. I'm amazed at Trav's endless energy. Speaking of Trav...congrats to him for passing his final CPA exam. That's hot.

Last weekend Char was in town with her awesome husband, Brady. The kids took to him immediately. He's going to be a great dad (hint hint!). Char's going to be a great mom, too. Love that girl and how effortlessly we pick up right where we left off.

My mom and her dear friend, Betty (Bettywoman) also came to town. We've known Betty forever, so it was fun and easy having them at the Greenhouse (what we'd name our house if it was a hotel, and sometimes we wish it were!).

Grandma Yeates also was in town. Fun fun! She's great fun and such a good looking granny, sporting trendy jeans, strappy shoes, and a sports car.

My mom sort of started this tradition when she visits: she rents a hotel room and invites us all down to invade the hotel pool. We stuffed our faces with pizza and enjoyed endless cookies supplied by our Bridge.

Where 5 p.m. Finds Us

On any given weekday at around 5 p.m., the kids and I are out front doing our thang: Boston is climbing a tree or in his 'treehouse', Cass is dragging out every bike, stroller, and wheely toy out of the garage and into the road; they're spraying the dog with the hose or taunting her with handfuls of dog food, painting with sidewalk chalk, or playing in the car.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Those of you who know my mom know how awesome she is. She's spunky, caring, motivated, determined, persistent, gracious, and amazingly fun. One of the things I love most about her is the love she has for her children.

She has taught me to be a better mom by providing an example of how to be involved with my kids' lives and to respect and understand their individual needs. I appreciate the sacrifices she made so that she could be at home for us every day when we came home from school. There were many days that she was actually at my school, busy fulfilling PTA duties, bringing treats for class parties, or cheering me on in my extra-curriculars.

I could go on and on about the millions of things I love about her, but mostly, this Mother's Day, I'm grateful for the way she taught me to respect myself, because it has affected every (good!) decision I have made.

Thanks, Mom for all the fun and joy you bring to our lives. What's life without laughter, anyway?!

In closing, I shall provide an example of just one source of recent laughter: My mom loves to get massages. A few months ago on a visit up here in Utah, she and Bridget went to get massages. Apparently there must have been some smoke alarms that were set off, because firemen were bustling through the building and checking on each of the patrons. My mom, mid-massage, was happily chatting away with the masseuse, completely unaware—until she turned her head—why there was a scare. Apparently, her purse was sitting too close to the candle on a nearby countertop and had caught fire. She took care of the situation immediately, but the true 'mom' part of this story is how she remedied it. She ran down to our local fabric store, but a glittery red heart patch, and glue-gunned that bad dog right over the burn spot on the purse. Add clever and scrappy to her list of admirable attributes! Love you, Mom!

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Name Is Earl

So you know how some days you're so stuck in your own brain? I've been thinking a lot lately about me: long hours, crazy kidlets, the muffin top of fat hanging over my pants that I so need to work out.

Today Bridget kindly offered to watch Boston and Cassidy for an hour. Ahh, what to do with an hour all to myself? Brace yourselves, this is big: I went grocery shopping. I randomly, however, chose to go to this ghetto-fabulous grocery store called Reams. In addition to nicely-priced groceries, you can pick up other necessities such as Wrangler jeans, Dickies coveralls, cowboy boots, and horse gear (located in the back next to the bakery). I was on the phone with Charlotte discussing our days and the humorously random merchandise.

In the baking aisle, an old man looked to me for assistance in finding gelatin packets. Apparently, when dissolved in juice, gelatin can ward off the pains of arthritis.

Curious. But as we get to talking, I'm starting to wonder if God is trying to send me a message. Earl, who twice said, "I'm a seaman" is almost 90 and pretty darn sharp. He told me about the 4 wars he fought for our country as a navey helmsman and his wife Vera who died a few years ago. He told me a term, "didimaw" that soldiers used to say in the Vietnam War, meaning something along the lines of pressing foward and getting the job done.

Really, though, the conversation was both hilarious and endearing. He told me to be a good mom because that was my respect and an honorable duty. I'm sure I'm not accurately conveying the tone of this whole thing, but I was touched.

Earl asked me if I believed in a spirit world. Yes, of course. He said, "I know it exists. I know it. Vera lets me know every day. She's always ringing my phone or knocking on my door." I told him she probably wanted to make sure he knew she was there so he didn't go picking up on other women at the Cracker Barrel.

As we left, he said, "Didimaw. Let's yack again soon." I told him that'd be great, but to not ring my phone or knock on my door a few years from now. He laughed and promised he wouldn't.

So tonight I'm feeling extremely grateful to do what I do, and especially to be an American.