What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Keeping It Real

On our first anniversary, Emmett and I stayed overnight at a hotel and ate at a fancy French restaurant.  There were thoughtful cards, presents, candles and possibly even flowers.

For our fourteenth anniversary,
I fed the children scrambled eggs, leftover noodles and frozen peas for dinner
before shoving them - gently - into the minivan
(one crying)
to take them to church
where we left them for 90 minutes
while we escaped to the oasis of Olive Garden.
No cards.
No flowers.
I wore jeans and a T-shirt.


But we talked and we laughed and we had a great waitress and we ate a meal that I didn't cook.

It was a good date. 

Yay for fourteen years!

Here's hoping for a weekend getaway when we hit fifteen.  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

14 Years. Wow.

Fourteen years ago today, this happened:

The most important piece of paper I ever signed.  


Emmett and I have journeyed together from the north side of Chicago to the west side, from an apartment to an old house to a new house, from Chicago to far south Texas, with brief and precious stops in Hawaii and Mississippi.  We've welcomed a sweet dog and three beautiful children into our family. 

There have been churches and job changes and grad school and family troubles and grief and delight and major life stuff -- so much in the last fourteen years -- that a list wouldn't do them justice.

I'm not the same girl I was when we signed that paper.  And he's not the same guy.  We love each other better now.  God has carried us through a lot.

He's the best partner I could ever have.  I am beyond glad that we are on the same team.

Happy Anniversary, Emmett!  I love you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Pool Party

What's a girl to do? 

... when she's just arrived at home after a Thanksgiving spent with family?
... when she's spent 7 hours in a car, for 2 days in a row?
... when she's been in cold (ha!) Mississippi for days and has finally returned to warm weather? 

Give a pool party and concert of course!

Corrie drew a big swimming pool on our driveway, put on her swimsuit and rocked out to her version of Barbie's songs from "The Princess and the Pop Star."

Dad was the main audience.  (Although he managed to split his attention between the singing swimmer and throwing a ball back and forth with Evan).

 Corrie's stage by the front door.  :)  Note the star disco light.  I couldn't get a great picture, but it definitely evoked "nightclub."

Corrie thoughtfully gave Ben a floatie so he could be in the swimming pool.

I love her imagination and enthusiasm.  She's quite a character.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Show Off!

I'm enjoying this phase of life with Ben.  He's in that fun stage where he's learning cute things, and - if he's in a good mood - he'll perform.  He's a charmer anyway, and when he breaks out a wave or a high five or does pat-a-cake, people melt. 

What can I say?  I have an adorable kid. 

Actually, I have three of them!  But the older two don't perform on command.  :) 

We've been singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" at least 20 times a day for the last few weeks, and he's figured out several of the aforementioned body parts.  I forgot to ask him to point to his ears. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Uh oh.

Mom, did you see that I can open the cabinet?  Did ya?  Did ya?  And did you notice that I can pull out the remote controls and video game stuff?  How cool is that?

Yay, me!  You'll never be able to leave me alone in the living room again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A List

I have been a blogging slacker lately.  Here are some moments that I want to remember:

1.  Ben is such a good eater!  I left him in the church nursery for a MOPS & POPS date night, and told the workers that he could eat the pizza that they ordered for the kids (plus I brought a large helping of applesauce and some cooked carrots).  When I came back, the workers were amazed:  he ate TWO full pieces of cheese pizza, ALL the applesauce, and half the carrots.

2.  Corrie got a little upset with her friends at the park today.  They didn't want to play the game that she wanted to play.  She walked away and sat by the swings with her head buried in her knees.  I walked over to see what had happened.  She explained, and I suggested that she try to take turns suggesting games to play.  With a serious, wounded expression, she replied "But Mom ... they are ripping my heart out."  She's only FOUR.  What will FOURTEEN be like?

3.  Corrie loves sidewalk chalk lately.

4.  Corrie also has a great sense of style.  Here she is (with waffle and lunchbox in hand) before school on Monday:

6.  Evan finished his soccer season on Saturday.  He's all about defense.  The next sport he wants to play is football.  I'm not so sure about that.

7.  A word of advice:  Do not rub your nose after making The Pioneer Woman's bacon-wrapped jalapenos.  If you do rub your nose - with jalapeno heat on your hands - I suggest coating the nose with a generous helping of plain yogurt to sooth the burn.  Thankfully, I have no pictures of this remedy in action.

8.  I would also say that putting one's nose in a bowl of milk to take away the sting might sound effective, but it. is. NOT.

9.  Ben stood up (with assistance) for EIGHT seconds on Monday!  Woo hoo!  Here are some (non-standing) pictures of Ben trying to escape the house:

10.  I feel like there should be ten items on this list.  How about another photo?  Here's Evan's costume for the school vocabulary parade.  I totally forgot about it until late Sunday night, so this was a quick Monday morning creation.  Please don't judge me.  :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

How a Super Flexible Baby Sits Up

After a week of silence, I am back on the blog.  Did you miss me?

What have we been up to?  I had a MOPS fundraiser on Saturday that consumed me for several days … I’m still trying to wrap up everything from the Community Market.  Evan had soccer, Corrie had ballet, and Ben started PT at a local therapy center.  Emmett’s been working hard.

I was looking through pictures and videos on the camera and I found a recent video of Ben that I haven't shared.  Check this out - and watch how he swings his legs around to sit up:

Ben has just started physical therapy again - after a 4 month hiatus - because Early Intervention lost their PT and I couldn't find a therapist locally that would accept private insurance.  (There are probably several therapy centers that do accept private insurance, but I was busy and easily discouraged, so I made several calls, got grumpy and quit trying for a while).

During those 4 months, Ben learned to army crawl and sit up and get back down on his own.  Yay, buddy!

However, he totally sits up the wrong way.  The therapist is teaching Ben to keep his legs together and push himself up from the side.  Wearing hip helpers encourages this.  One of our new therapists (we have a new OT as well) commented that Ben would learn how to do things, but he would figure out how to do them the easy way, so we have to make sure we help him learn the right way.

I would post a video of Ben learning to sit up with the hip helpers on, but right now that involves a lot of complaining.  :)

Even if he's not moving right, he's enjoying his new freedom of movement.  And so am I!  He loves to get into things.  Paper:

The media cabinet:

And his daddy's backpack:

Note the hip helpers in that last picture.

Ben is growing up!  We're so proud of how he is learning and growing.