Monday, June 29, 2009


Could tomorrow really be the last day of June?!

For us, it marks a half-way point of sorts. The kids head back to daycare and I back to work at the beginning of August. One month of summer down, one to go.

June went so fast!
  • The Hubs and I celebrated eight great years of marriage.
  • Our B spent mornings for three weeks in a summer Spanish class held at an elementary school in our district.
  • We spent last week going to Bible School each night.
  • We made it downtown to the Omaha Children's Museum.
  • We also made three Monday morning trips to her own school's open library. (We've been on a non-fiction kick this summer, reading up on South Dakota, reptiles, amphibians, knights, rockets, and anything with wheels.)
  • We've logged many hours on various local playgrounds.
  • We have enjoyed summer services at our church on Sunday mornings.
  • We've been happy to watch B play baseball this summer for the first time, spending two hours a week going to one practice and one game each.
  • We also had fun going to swim lessons at the Y each Sunday afternoon.
  • We celebrated the parents-in-law' 40th wedding anniversary with the Hubs' family.

It's been a whirring, blurry ride. I can't wait for July!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Black Hills

Soon we'll be heading out to South Dakota. We're planning a trip with another family. There will be four adults and five kids, ages 5 and under. It's sure to be interesting, keeping them all entertained and also of equal importance, well-rested.

We're planning to see the major sites of the area:

*Wall Drug
*Reptile Gardens
*Mt. Rushmore
*Crazy Horse
*Custer State Park
*Hill City

I'd love to hear from anyone who's also been there. Anything that we've just got to do? Anything we might be forgetting?

Let me know. I'm so excited to go, I just don't want to miss anything!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Deep Thoughts from the Back Seat

We were driving home after dropping off B at summer school. It's a quick drive, less than 10 minutes. My little guy was doing some deep thinking in the back seat, apparently.

"Mommy, I don't want to go back in your tummy."

I tell him, "No sweetie, you don't have to go back in once you are born."

"There's germs in that tummy. I don't want to go back in there."

A minute of quiet, he must be processing...

"It was dark in there and I wanted out. That was not the fun part. The fun part was the gettin' out."


He's been amazed lately, looking the picture of my belly when I was pregnant with him. He asks me often if there is another baby in there now. (No, there is not!)

The miracle of it all hits me just then, again, that he started with just one egg. That he was in the dark of my womb.

That he is here now, growing to be the man that he will some day be.

In his blue eyes, I see my eyes. In his expression, I see his dad. I never imagined feeling this way about someone. The words are hard to find, to express quite what it all means to me.

It's good to be three.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Day for Dads

Happy Father's Day, J!
We love you so. The kids and I are so lucky to be a part of your family.
And to my own dad. I.Love.You.

Dad & me ~ September 1978

And to my dad's dad. My dear grandfather. What a joy to be part of a family that includes a long line of fantastic fathers. Dads and dads and dads who took care of their families, taught their children to succeed and came home every night to the families who have loved them.

Happy Father's Day!
And thank you for being who you are. Each a unique individual. Each a man worthy of our honor.


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evilbut rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NIV)


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Little of Both

I may need to order this tshirt.

I find the cycle of my efficiency frustrating. Last Monday, I was so on top of things. Staying busy, getting the house in order, keeping the kids engaged and happy. This week, meh.

Doesn't help that I seem to have ended up with what one may call a summer cold. Sniffles, energy zapped, head stuffed. Not feeling terribly horrible, but feeling like I need naps. Note the intentional plural form.

I wish I could wiggle my nose and the piles would right themselves. Mail would be filed. Dishes would be done. Laundry ditto. Doesn't help that my washing machine is currently stalled and I have a four-hour window (FOUR!) today to wait on the repairman.

The weather is very springy, which is great except for the times we want summer!

I have two evening meeting commitments this week, which feels very unsummery.

Oh, I can't even handle how pitiful this is sounding.

Let's start over.

I had a terrific weekend! The kids and I are enjoying our extra time together this summer and I can't wait for the upcoming family vacation to the Black Hills! Vacation Bible School is next week and it's going to be so much fun! We have so many things to be excited and grateful for, I just can't get a grip on all of the fantasticness!!! I want to go running down the street screaming with excitement about how awesome summer is and how much fun we are having!!!!!!!! (All mostly true, in sharp contrast to my crap-tastic mood. Fake it till you make it, I say.)



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Still Five for Now

She's suddenly so tall, My B.

A first grader now, she's taking a summer class to learn Spanish. Yesterday I dropped her off and she was so brave. I was worried, since it's a different school than her neighborhood school. Would she be upset? Would she cry when I left? Nope.

When I picked her up, she told me about the day and what she'd learned and then said she'd felt a little nervous when I dropped her off. You wouldn't have known it, she was so cool.

Today when I picked her up, we played on the playground for a bit. I was amazed, watching her long legs run around, doing things that school-agers do. Look mom, look how high I can climb. Look mom, I can reach this bar if I jump.


Suddenly my baby girl is this lanky, smart girl. Someone I can picture taking trips with. Someone that I plan to drag to musical theatre. Someone who has taken my heart and wrapped it right around her own.

My B.
I can't believe it's you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Camera-Free Weekend

We were on our way to the circus. Our kids' FIRST trip to the circus. And Ah! I didn't have my camera. We were already too far from home to turn back, so I had to get over it. The upside was that I decided to be brave and didn't take anything in with me. Hubs had keys and his wallet. For once in my life, I had no purse, no bag, nothing. It was a strange feeling that I could definitely get used to! I realized that my bag is a bit like a security blanket. But I digress...

When we got there, the kids were just so excited to be downtown among the tall buildings. They ran into the Qwest Center, every sight exciting them more. We went to see the animals before going up to the arena. The kids got to walk around and see the elephants, zebras, horses, and tigers. Very cool.

Then we went down to the main floor where the show would be. There was an interactive pre-show where the clowns were putting on little sideshows. The kids also got to try on costumes (a camera would've been nice at that point!) which was one of their favorite parts.

By the time the show started, we hadn't been in our seats for more than ten minutes. That part was really nice, no waiting. The show was really great, lots of music, stunts, and sights. The kids stayed entertained the entire time, aside from our littly guy's obsession with us not buying him a light. We opted for sno cones in an elephant since we have quite a collection of twirling lights. This did not sit well with him! We made it through though and it was a really great night. I'd say our B was the perfect age. She was young enough to be really amazed with all of the illusions, but old enough to pay attention to what was going on.

B's favorite part was when one of the "mean" clowns got cut in half. I liked when two girls got shot from a double cannon. M liked the cannons too and also trying on the Ring Master's coat before the show. Hubs liked the elephants best. There was something for everyone!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer In Omaha

Today is my kids' last day at their daycare until August. I'm picking them up at noon. I've spent this week wrapping up my school year and preparing myself for the summer ahead. I was to get my haircut this morning, one last errand on my own. Unfortunately, my stylist's child is sick, so that's not happening. The nice part is the 5 hours I've got now all on my own.

I told Hubs this morning I feel like all I do is LAUNDRY. I want so much for this summer to be about more than that. Now that our little guy is three and house broken, I feel more confident to take them out and do more.

I made a calendar similar to what I use at school for the program I coordinate. I put all of our plans on it and also put in outings that I want to take. I picked a day and we will hopefully stick to them. I added in days that I want to do a science experiment or craft also. Not every day is planned out, but I want to make sure that we take advantage of all that the city has to offer. And it offers a lot!

I'm a big believer in unstructured time for kids and just letting their minds wander. There will be plenty of that. I just want to mix in some other activities as well. It's balance that I seek.

Last year, we spent a lot more time at home. Our little guy was just two and I was recovering from the most challenging year I had ever had. We clocked a lot of couch time during all of the rainy days and when the sun did shine, we ventured only as far as our back yard. That was fine at the time, but I'm ready for more now!

Here's what I have so far that we are definitely going to go and do this summer:

Throw in B's first year of baseball every Saturday, B's summer Spanish class, swimming lessons on Sundays for both kids, Vacation Bible School the last week in June, and a trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota over the 4th of July weekend, and we've got a jam packed summer of fun!

I realize that as the kids get older, their own activities and friends will fill their time. I want to take advantage of the fact that they are all mine this summer and that we can spend it discovering new places together. Our break ends up being 8 weeks when all is said and done and this year each week will hold a new adventure.

What do you have planned for the summer?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Not-So-Little People

In an effort to clear some space in this house, I took four of our Little People sets to our daycare (which is also where we go to church) this morning. Good-bye to the house, castle, airport, and horse barn.

I loved all of those little princesses, the dragon, and the horsedrawn carriage that went with the castle.
My B bought the Little People dollhouse at ToysRUs with her two binkies. She handed them to the cashier to pay for it (as I snuck him my debit card). I will always remember that's how she gave up her binkies.

It was hard for me to give these things away. Harder for me than my kids, I think. They thought it was a great idea to give them to their daycare. B even mentioned how much more they would be played with.

I think the emotional attachment is more with their little toddlerhoods, which have faded. My little M will start preschool in August. My B will be in first grade.

I did keep the airplane, school bus, and Noah's Ark. We will also always have the manger scene to get out a Christmas. Hey, a mama has to do this in baby steps!

When I left church this morning, my M and his little friends were playing with the toys in a whole new way. Having so much fun, using their imaginations and playing together (as much as two and three year olds play together!). He was so proud to say that the toys were some he shared from home.

I know the toys will get played with and loved ten times over. So much more than sitting in the cupboard in my house. Still, it's just another chapter we are passing through, watching these children grow so fast!

How fun it is, to play in a Little People town!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

When I Said I Do

I was out of school, working for the state in disability service coordination. I had an apartment in Lincoln, he had just finished his last season of football at Kearney. I was 23, he was days from his 23rd birthday. We saw each other on the weekends and had toyed with the idea of marriage. He would be finishing school in the spring and looking for a teaching job. We had always had a long distance relationship and knew that we wanted to be together, in the same town, and build our future together.

I met him at his parents' in Omaha on December 8th, 2000 and we went to AMC to see Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He acted a little funny about his coat in the theater, wanting to keep it in his seat when I offered to throw it in the empty seat next to me. I didn't think much of it at the time.

After the movie we went to Barnes & Noble for hot chocolate. We were standing in line to pay and he told me to stick my hand in his coat pocket. I obliged and felt a ring box. My face must have lit up, I can still feel the beaming smile. He asked me if he should do it right there, and I said NO! We walked to the car, this sense of anticipation hanging over us. He opened my car door and as I climbed in, he got down on one knee right in the parking lot. I can't remember exactly what he said because I was floating, flying. I said Yes! And we were engaged. He had bought me the ring that I admired the one time we went shopping. The ring that he told me there was no way he could buy. The round diamond set in platinum that became the symbol of his commitment to me.

We were married six months later in my hometown. My mother was a wonderful wedding planner, asking my opinion and then taking care of the arrangements. I told her I wanted it to seem like a garden. No balloons. No lace. No tulle. She listened and put together a beautiful wedding in the modest church where I grew up. We rented the Eagles Club in a neighboring town and had a party to remember. It was so much fun!

What I remember most is how proud I felt that this wonderful guy would love me. Marry me.

He is a poet. An athlete. Strong and loyal. Funny. Smart. He was everything I ever wanted and independent and hard headed enough to keep it interesting. It's never dull and I never wanted it to be.

Eight years ago today we said I do and every year I am more grateful that we did.

I love you, Hubs.