Wednesday, January 21, 2009


so i went to elementary school with this guy, david (and middle school and high school.) and either he found me on facebook, or i found him, it doesn't matter. but he messaged me something like, "my old oak park elementary's it been?" wait. what?! i was someone's crush? your crush? get out of town! you must be joking. and then he proceeded to tell me all of these things that he remembers, but i haven't a clue about. and it was so fun to talk to him. and then, since i found him, i found about a dozen other people that i hadn't thought about in decades but it is so fun to have funny 5th grade memories take over my mind and to hear what they are doing now. and it's made me glad that i was a pretty good kid. that i can reconnect with these people and i don't have to be ashamed or embarrassed. (but that may be because i have a terrible memory.) and i'm happy that i have since led a pretty good life. i don't have to say things like, "since i've been released from prison..." or "rehab has been really good for me." i'm happy that facebook has been a pleasant little experience full of smiles and giggles and "remember when", not avoiding questions and people and "i'm sorry about that time..." it's like a mini high school reunion, but over the net, so i get to say "hi" and hear what everyone is doing with their lives but i don't have to buy a new outfit or lose 10 lbs. if you're not on facebook, i highly recommend it. unless you are currently experimenting with drugs or have otherwise made a silly little mess of your life. in which case, i might suggest post-poning facebook while you get your life together and prepare for endless apologies to people you barely remember.

we are all enlisted

blue blankie is missing. and we are not happy about it. we have searched high and low. in baskets. under beds. in drawers. in clean and dirty laundry. under the sink. closets. the backyard. the car. i found $1.13 in change. a few marbles. but no blue blankie. pink blankie was pulled from her lovely little rubbermaid slumber in the garage. and she will do. but she is not blue blankie. i'm surprised at how well the little girl is handling it, though. she only asks for him once, maybe twice throughout the day. and always as she's falling asleep (and first thing in the morning.) but i can see it in her eyes, sometimes, as she's looking at me. like she thinks i have something to do with this, but am too ashamed to admit it. i swear it wasn't me! your daddy was the last one that had it. folded up nicely over his arm as we were leaving church. who knows what happened to it between the hallway and the car. but we will find it. even if i have to make another one myself and wash it 3,000 times until it feels just like the original. so, we need your help. keep your eyes peeled for a blue flannel blanket with orbiting planets on one side and cozy gingham on the other. we are offering a reward of chocolate chip cookies, that may or may not be partially eaten by the time they reach you. (unless it's john paul that finds it, and then his reward will have to be his little girl's complete and total adoration reinstated.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

accents part 2

overheard at our house this week:

zoe: what's that other language that only you and i know?

john paul: ...?

zoe: yeah! southern.

john paul: but it's not really another language. it's english.

zoe: oh. then how come mommy and jakob can't understand it?

daddy: they're weird.

zoe: ooohhh. that makes sense.

Monday, January 12, 2009

our first visitors

nana and grandad + uncle joseph and aunt lauren came to visit over christmas break and it was perfect. just way too short. they were here 4 days (not counting travel days) and 1 day they were all really sick. so that doesn't count. but somehow in the 3 (real) days we got to spend with them, they crammed it all in. the american girl doll store & bistro, making and decorating sugar cookies, babysitting all the monkeys so we could act like adults and go out with joseph and lauren, pf chang's lettuce wraps (that i think about daily), playing in the backyard, making little ones laugh, going to the children's museum and the coolest park, strengthening the bonds of our family. after they had gone, riley was playing in the living room and heard someone at the front door. "dem guys is here!!! dem guys is here!!!" but it was john paul who walked through the door, and she was less than thrilled. i am so lucky to have such great in laws. we love and miss you guys. and uncle "dofus", there are requests to play trains and soccer at your earliest convenience.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

this little piggy stayed home

i want my kids to eat healthy. fruits and vegetables...and a lot of them. i don't think that's too much to ask. but maybe i took it for granted when little bitty zoe lane started eating solid foods. she was completely compliant and willing to eat whatever we gave her. she refused nothing. then jakob came along. and it took a lot more persuading to get that boy to eat anything other than apples, bananas and grapes. and vegetables were tricky, but eventually accepted. then little miss riley grace came and changed everything. i could occasionally pry her dainty little mouth open long enough for the strained peas to touch her tongue. but she was never well pleased. by the time she started to toddle, she basically refused to eat anything that wasn't partially homogenized. so her diet consisted of crackers and pasta and cheese. and it hasn't changed much. when i try to sneak veggies in the sauce or fruit in the yogurt, i get a "dis taste cucky." so i was a little nervous how max would be when he was big enough for real food. he's been pretty good about it. but not in love with it. until now. and that boy can eat. and does eat. everything. he is particularly fond of green beans, carrots, apples, peas, bananas and yogurt. and he grunts constantly for mashed potatoes. and will occasionally lick the tray of the high chair to make sure he got everything. i am so happy. i hope this lasts.

**notice the extended pinky. this reminds me of how bobby used to drink water (or maybe still does. i haven't noticed.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

like my new shoes?

riley does too. they are highly impractical. and pretty much the anti-flip flop, which are comfortable and convenient and can be found on my feet every single day. but every once in a while a girl's gotta have a pair of shoes she can strut in (and by "strut" i mean concentrate and focus with each step so as not to fall) and these little puppies were 90% off at tj maxx. and although i've never been much of a shopper (i can remember sitting in the oldsmobile in the parking lot during my early teens while mom hunted for bargains in richmond gordman's) if i've learned anything from my mother, it's that you should never pay full price. not ever. especially on things that you don't absolutely need. but a part of me does need these. to remind myself i am more than a "mom" wiping noses. and i may have somewhere to go other than the grocery store. and even though i don't have anything to wear with them, for $8 i can wear whatever i want. john paul said, "you haven't gotten a new pair of shoes in 2 years, and this is what you come home with?" i could have a life that involves 4 inch heels with sling backs and peep toes that reveal my freshly painted toe nails. you don't know. the more i think about this, i'm pretty sure i saved the receipt.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

guess who

guess who got straight a's as a doctoral student. guess who's hilarious and fun and started running in the a.m. guess who is a good hubby and a loving and attentive daddy. guess who is a talented teacher and an "extremely desirable candidate". guess who we are so proud of. i'll give you a little hint.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

for those of you (and you know who you are)

who ate jp's salsa and said "even mexicans don't use that much cilantro." i beg to differ. this picture was taken in texas (that's on the border of mexico) at a real deal mexican restaurant, owned and operated by real life born and bred mexicans. so there.

Friday, January 2, 2009

9 years ago today...

we got married. 2 crazy kids who hardly knew each other. 9 years ago plus one day, i was freaking out. and had suggested "postponing" (calling off) the wedding about 3 times. poor john paul. but i had a difficult time seeing myself as someones wife. and it was all too real and way too fast for me. and i was scared. to death. but the next morning i woke up early and felt completely at peace. i quietly got ready in my sister's bathroom and felt like i was somehow gliding. i wasn't giddy. i wasn't hyper. i was just completely content. and ready. to start a new life. with him. and if i could send a secret message to my panicked and nervous self from 9 years ago i would tell her, "you're right to be scared. but it will all be okay. you will be happy. you do not have to lose yourself. you will find your own way, your own style of doing things. and it will all come much easier than you have ever imagined. you will laugh every day. every single day. but your fear is real because sometimes he will be selfish and want to complain, but he'll get over it. and it can get confusing or boring or exhausting. but those moments are rare. because usually it is hilarious and kissy and fun. and you will be amazed how fast the time goes and how happy you are to wake up next to him. and you will hug him in the kitchen and think how crazy it is that you still love him this much. even more. crazy. it's okay. it will be incredible." i wonder if my secret message would scare my single self even more. the reality of it all. but i'm so happy i did this. with him. because we are living happily ever after.