Monthly Archives: May 2006

Memorial Day Weekend 2006

This Memorial Day weekend has been one of the best holidays I can remember having in a long time. We’ve had tons of friends around and we’ve had lots of activities and along with all of that Stephen and I celebrated our eleventh anniversary on Sunday. A few very specific memories contribute to the makeup of what I consider to be a truly memorable weekend so here’s a few memories and thoughts and how it’s all worked out for the better this particular weekend.

I remember a weekend from when I was about four, my mom told me that the next day was a holiday and they didn’t have to go to work. My mom explained that it was a special instance. I don’t know if I asked a lot of questions about why it was that way but I remember her being very specific that it only happened sometimes and wasn’t the new norm for us. I remember thinking to my very young self how much fun a 3-day weekend ought to be for people who go to work all day every day. I was sitting on the back steps to our trailer and my dad was cutting the grass and it was super hot so it had to be either Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend.

Every year we spend a week at Santa Rosa Beach in Florida near Destin. We either go in the spring or Thanksgiving week. It doesn’t matter which week we go, the best part is the first two days I wake up at the beach. Those two days last forever. The time between when I get out of bed until the sun sets seems like it takes about 50 years to transpire. I look forward to that every year.

This weekend has had that quality for me. The we may never get through this day and really that’s ok because it’s been the best day kind of day. On Saturday, Ashley and I met up at the gym to do a truly horrific class. After that torture (but hey I felt better!) we met up with Rachel to go swimming at Rachel’s apartment pool. Eli had a blast. Saturday evening, we had really great pizza for dinner and then Ashley and Jon, Tim, Rachel and Stephen and I had dessert and laughed for hours about the the class that Ashley and I had been to that morning. (Rachel reenacted all the good moves – ask to see her do the jump kick!) When we finally rolled into bed, my sides hurt from all the laughing.

Sunday morning started with a bang as Rachel preached her first sermon at church. She did a fabulous job and we managed between the nerd herd and Jessica’s family, to pack two pews at the 8:30 service. Rachel we’re so proud of all you’ve accomplished! After our nap of the righteous, Jon and Stephen worked on the tree in Jon and Ashley’s backyard. The tree fell on their house during the freak Saturday afternoon monsoon. They did that until it started to rain which canceled our plans to go swimming again. Rachel ended up coming to our house to have dinner and then as Stephen zoomed off to game, she and I watched Memoirs of a Geisha.

This morning Rachel, Ashley and I met up at the gym again. No class for Ashley and me but Rachel did the tortuous step class. The guys finished cleaning up the tree. I jammed through the grocery store (good thing, too, because I hadn’t been in about two weeks) and then raced home to put them away in time to get back to the pool.


We rounded off the weekend by spending all afternoon at the pool. We grilled some dogs and enjoyed the day off. Stephen’s playing Katamari and I’m writing this post. We may read for a bit and then tomorrow go back to our regularly scheduled life.

I hope you had as great a weekend as we did.



Yesterday afternoon after nap I took Eli to get a sandbox. Needless to say, as soon as we got home and he figured out what it was, he immediately demanded I “put the sand inna ladybug!” We stayed outside for almost 2 hours and he never got his feet out of the sand. It promises to be a well spent $30.

See more photos of the great sandbox adventure here.

No Matter How Hard I Hold On, Time Passes Me By

For some time now, we’ve been playing games of peekaboo with Eli. Like a certain fictional beast, Eli believes that if we can’t see him, he can’t see us. At the table I will hide behind a napkin. “Where daddy go?” Eli asks, eyes wide with disbelief at my vanishing act. In the evenings he invites me back to his room, where we play a number of games, including “hide unner my bed!” I can fit under Eli’s crib, but it’s a tight squeeze. Luckily, as long as I put my head under his bed, I’m good. Eli will sometimes crawl out from under his bed, stare at my prone body, my head hidden beneath his crib, and exclaim, “WHERE DADDY GO?”

That’s starting to change, though. The other night Misty came in to watch us play under his crib. “Where’s daddy?” she asked Eli when he crawled out to see her. “Right there!” he exclaimed, pointing at me.

So much about him is changing so quickly. Days slip past, and I don’t think about Eli growing, but then I’ll see a picture of him from a month ago and be shocked at the changes. The other day he pulled out his shapes puzzles, with the square and the circle and the rectangle. For the longest time he’s called one of the shapes a trapa oid. That evening he said, “look, a trapezoid!” and it was all I could do to keep from crying.

This nostalgia is silly and stupid. I want him to change. I’m excited to see what kind of person he’s becoming. I still can’t help it.

Eli tends to drag his hands along my truck. Right now one of his handprints is under the driver’s door handle. I haven’t washed my truck because I’m lazy. But if I ever do, I know I’ll be sad to see that handprint go.

Eli's tiny handprint

New Photos

I’ve added new photos to gallery. New albums are: Peep Game and Visit from Mumsy. Also, new photos added to the album Random Goodies. Click on the Photos link on the left under In the Armory. Enjoy!

Pondering…One-Sided Relationships (or Maybe it’s just Friendship I’m Thinking About)

We’ve all had them. Relationships with people who take more than they give. I’ve even had a few where I really liked the individual, felt like I had a lot in common with them, and still had a hard time staying friends with them because I was responsible for their happiness or their problems or their homework.

I hope that doesn’t come across as whiny, like these are the only people I meet because that’s not true at all. I am surrounded by a veritable herd of friendly friends. I have more friends right now than I have ever had at one time in my life. I’d even go so far as to say that there are more good friends in my life right now than several periods of my life combined. So I am not at all complaining, just contemplating there is still this particular brand of friend out there and why I still feel torn as to what to do with them and why they keep appearing.

Maybe it’s the demographic I currently inhabit. I spend a lot of time with other stay at home moms and sometimes all of us fall into the trap of continuous complaining. When I hear a lot of gripping from another mom sometimes it starts feeling like my responsibility. There is also this artificial feeling that gets going between stay at home moms that makes you think you are better friends than you actually are just because your kids are all the same age. I have fallen into this trap with a few women. I’m currently trying to correct it by actually becoming friends with them.

Maybe it’s because I don’t share myself easily. I feel like I share with people I know but there is that conundrum of how do you get to know someone new without sharing first. I find that with new people I think that they don’t know me very well and so assume that they don’t want to or worse, assume they know me on the basis of a few casual encounters. (Of course, I guess by putting all this out here I’m allowing a few more people to know me better.) Maybe this is because I’ve had a couple of good friends for 15+ years and they have all the shorthand of my personality and history so there is so much about myself that I don’t have to explain or that they just “get” because of all of that history. They know me and maybe this is just what I’m missing with new people.

Maybe this problem is because I think everyone should be my best friend. And really, that’s just not possible. Sure you can have a lot of friends, an even wider circle of acquaintances but actual close friends? How many can one person realistically juggle? I think this is too much pressure on everyone involved. So then how do you catagorize the ones you have? I’ve not yet figured out how to be successful with this.

Maybe it’s because so many of us are just broken. I know most of us are damaged in some way over something in our past. Sometimes we deal with it and go on and sometimes we just can’t get past it. And sometimes even when we are actively trying to get pass this stuff, we still run into it in our relationships. I still occasionally deal with fallout associated with my parents divorce (both in my own marriage and in my interactions with others) and I feel like I have pretty successfully dealt with their separation.

I know this is a very girl thing to contemplate but the real question here for me is what do I do with those one-sided people when I encounter them and how can I not be one myself? There have been periods of my life that I have rather ruthlessly cut this kind of person from my life, either because they took so much that I distanced myself for protection or I recognized what they had the potential to be and ran before they sucked my will to live. I find myself less able to do that now and I’m not sure what that means. I’m lousy at being a martyr so sticking it out for the long haul just to be able to say I’ve done so seems silly and a waste of time to me. But at this point in my life I do feel a certain obligation to people even if it seems we are currently in a one-sided pattern.

I don’t have any pat answers. I don’t have any catchy line to tie back to my thesis to go here. Just know that I am thinking about these things. Maybe you are too. I think we are meant to spend at least some time thinking about how we interact with others and how we impact their lives. I want my impact to be a good one.

Update: Someone just sent me an email and I wanted to add her thoughts here at the end because I didn’t say specifically that this is something I am working on but feel it is true for me as well. “I am trying to not put my expectations of friendship, commitments, and life in general on other people. In other words, I try to remember that not everyone is coming from a perspective like mine. I try to be happy with the response I get from people, however small it is sometimes.”

I Made a Mix Tape

Yesterday at the gym, I was jammin’ along with my ipod and suddenly had a flashback to college. When I was in college, I had several studio art classes that were multiple hours long, much like science labs but with paint and music, so I would always have my walkman. And with the walkman I always had mix tapes. These gems were specially crafted over several hours for my use in class. They usually consisted of upbeat tunes to get me energized for painting and to keep me moving when I got too slow.

I now have a device that is a quarter of the size of my old walkman (and my walkman was pretty small to begin with) and it holds about five times as many songs as the walkman could. I don’t change the music on my ipod much, even though I have the smallest memory ipod available. Maybe it’s because I’m used to listening to the same set of mix tapes, I get a good thing going and I don’t want to mess it up.

I was going to go on to say that my music tastes hadn’t seriously changed since college either but I just looked at the list of artists in my music player and I realize that isn’t true at all. For every one band that I listened to in college there’s probably two new bands in my collection now. (Odd, I didn’t realize that had happened until just now.) Stephen and I have a joke about the carefully crafted pop tune and my love of it. My teen years were filled with listening to pop radio. I know that’s not the cool thing to admit but that’s what I loved then and for the most part still love now. I like to think I’ve gotten slightly more sophisticated at weeding out the bad stuff but as with all things musical, it’s a matter of taste.

I’m not sure what this post was supposed to be about. The love of music? The usefulness of technology? The passage of time? Mostly, I think, I wanted to say that music is important to me. It has always been the soundtrack to what was going on in my life. It has been the comfort and the inspiration for a lot of different things and times in my life. I love that today’s technology allows me to carry it with me so easily. I love that I can still get much more work done while listening to my favorite songs than without them. I like to think that listening to music keeps me young. Or at the very least, it keeps me smiling as I do my grunt work at the gym.

Reading on the Internet

I don’t read much on the internet. I don’t know why exactly. I enjoy reading my friends blogs and I even read some blogs of friends of friends but I don’t read much other stuff. However, Stephen just got me hooked on one of our favorite author’s weblog: John Scalzi. His post from today exactly expresses my feelings on the political system in America today. Way to go John!

Toddler Logic

This morning at breakfast, Eli was sitting at the table, waiting for biscuits to be done. I grabbed a piece of sliced cheddar and ate it. “Daddy!” he said, pointing to his lobster-themed placemat. “I need cheese on my lobster.”

Later he had his round silver compact out. It’s some two inches in diameter, and opens to display two mirrors. In doing so it forms two overlapping circles, one slightly smaller than the other. “Look, it’s a snowman!” he told us.

People Have Been Asking…

How I am. I post a lot about Eli and not much about me. Sneaky child, sucking my will to have my own personal life.

I have been sleepy.

I know, I know that’s not very exciting and not interesting in the least but nevertheless, I have been, recently, very sleepy.

No, internet, this isn’t an ANNOUNCEMENT.

When I am not very sleepy, I am reading Julia Quinn novels. Again, I know, “Ugh, romance novels!” but it’s all the internet friend’s fault. OK, not really but I had to see if they were listening, er, reading.

When I am not doing that I am working on finishing the last of 4 cross-stitch pieces for Eli’s room. I’ll post photos when I’m done with #4.

I’m also casting around for stuff to do this summer. No activities for Eli and me make for very grouchy mommy. So if you have any ideas, that don’t cost much cash and don’t involve us spending too much time in the sun, please pass them along. We’re going today to see what all building a sand box entails.

What I am looking forward to: King Tut. We are going to Chicago at the end of June to see the exhibit. I can’t wait to see the goods and see Eli’s face the first time he sees Sue.

I’ll tell you all more once I wake up from my nap.

Behold! My chin!

There has been such discussion of my chin, and how my chin is now bare, and how the goatee that used to cover my chin is now gone so you can see my chin. I will tease you no longer. Here is my chin!

Look, ma! No beard!

What’s that? You say you can’t really see my beardless chin?


I hope you’re happy now. Thank Geof for the pictures.