Saturday, December 19, 2009

peace and quiet (and lonely)

It's the biggest storm in 10 years or more for Virginia and I'm snowed in - alone! Well, Grace is with me, and these two crazy dogs, so not totally alone. Jared will be stuck at the hospital until Monday morning - his 35 minute drive took 3 hours last night in the snow. He is sleeping in a hotel room today and tomorrow (working nights). He said the National Guard is picking up doctors who can't make it in. The kids had sleepovers planned to celebrate the Christmas break so Gwen is snowed in with my parents and the boys are snowed in with a favorite aunt & uncle in Charlottesville. And me - well, I'm wrapping presents and cleaning house and shoveling snow. The peace and quiet is nice, but I want to go play in the snow with my kids!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Mormon Christmas from the Tonight Show

This is about as bizarre as Orrin Hatch's Hanukkah song. A bit sad that Weinberg only knows Mormons from what he finds on the internet but The Mormon Tapper Choir is not a bad idea...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This is worth sharing. More ideas, videos, & stories here.

How to Have a More Worshipful Christmas
  • Politely decline requests that will take you away from family.
  • Play more Christmas music.
  • Donate gently used items to a thrift store.
  • Go Christmas caroling.
  • Avoid "mad rush" shopping times.
  • Say thank you as often as possible.
  • Schedule a night to help another person or family.
  • Call someone you normally wouldn't to wish him or her a Merry Christmas.
  • Delegate some holiday preparations to children or other family members.
  • Trim the gift list.
  • Simplify a traditional activity.
  • Find quiet time to pray.
  • Write down great memories as they happen.
  • Set and stick to a holiday budget.
  • Forgive a grudge.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Big guy woke up on his birthday certain that he could jump farther and run faster. He asked me all morning if I thought he grew during the night. He LOVED his birthday and it was so fun to make his day special because he was so excited about all of it.

If you don't know Ryan well, you are missing out. He is, in a word: HAPPY. He loves dinosaurs, cheetahs, his big brother and anything his big brother likes. He's cheerful and helpful and really just a great kid. I'm such a lucky mom. I really have the best kids, I just wish they'd quit growing up.

Ry with his dragon cake (found great cakes and easy directions here).


Just in case you've done something stupid lately:

Last Thursday I had to help with a dinner at church, Gwen had a chorus concert at school and the stars aligned and Jared was home. I also was giving my dear 92 year old neighbor a ride to the dinner. I had tried to get things settled at home so that Jared's evening would not be too chaotic, but despite my best efforts it was crazy when it came to for me to leave. Grace was hungry and fussy, the boys were being loud and crazy, and dinner wasn't finished yet. So as I ran out the door and jumped in the van I said little prayer for Jared that things would calm down. I hate leaving when things are chaotic and I could tell he was a little stressed about taking everyone to the concert. I picked up my neighbor, we had a lovely drive to the church and then Jared called my cell.

"Um, did you know that you took the van?" Meaning he was at home with a 2 door hatchback Ford Focus, 4 kids, no carseats and a concert to get to...


Never to be defeated, Jared left Grace in the hands of Noah and Ryan while he drove Gwen to the concert (the school is just a few blocks away - still not sure that would have been MY first solution, but who am I to be giving suggestions at this point?) came back home and put Grace in the backpack and hiked to the school with the boys. Then they all walked home after the concert.

He was already laughing about it when I made it home.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby Blues

She is one today. Grace has been exactly what her name implies - a tender mercy sent to our family during a doozy of a year. She is the calm and peace that we've needed. She has a great smile (just 2 bottom teeth) and gives the sweetest snuggles. Recently she unrolls all the toilet paper and plays in the trash can. She is running and climbing steps and opening cabinets and making friends with the dogs (she fed Bella one of Gwen's socks yesterday). She just brought me an ornament from the tree - in case I thought she was really playing with toys in the front room. She may be spoiled rotten, but who could say no to those eyes? Evidently, not me.

Happy Birthday Gracie.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Old House

Our house was built in 1918. As I was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner I wondered about the other Thanksgiving dinners this house has seen. I wonder about the other families who have eaten in this dining room, how many pies and turkeys have been cooked in this kitchen and who washed all the dishes afterwards? Home is an intimate place and I feel a connection with the souls who inhabited this spot before we came to be here.

I wonder how many babies have learned to walk on these floors? How many slammed doors and hurtful words have been said? How many "I'm home" announcements? Who else has cried themselves to sleep in these rooms? How many good books read within these walls? Who else has tried to scrub the black spot on the floor that won't come off? How many slumber parties held on these floors? How many birthday parties? Where did they put the Christmas tree? How many good-byes said from the front porch? How many games of ball played in the yard? How many "time-outs" given? Who else has hit their head going up and down the steps? Who else has known joy and love and disappointment and hurt within these walls?

Someone else will come and take over where we will leave off and add a new dimension to this old house. New struggles, new paint colors, new voices and sleeping habits. For all the hassle of owning an old house, I love the make believe stories I tell myself about other mothers who once stood where I am standing washing poop out of yet another onesie.