Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding Pics

Here we are, all dressed up and ready to party!

My sis reads the scripture passage

My brother in law, the Music Man

What my sons were doing while my friends recited their vows

My parents are all smiles, dining with the grandkids at the reception

Uncle J, Aunt L, and my littlest niece just 2 months old

K the bride dances with her daddy

How we celebrated most of the reception: outside!  So we tried to take a photo on the rare occasion all 4 of us dressed up.  How do you think it went?

No, you are not a mountain goat!

Whew, that was close! 

Three out of four smiles is pretty good, don't you think?

Hey, there, photographer!

Bro, that guy with the camera makes me nervous

Even if it were straight, still it's not The One.  You know, The Christmas Card photo you try to get all year? 

This is more like it!  Way more fun!

Me and the beautiful bride

Giving K high fives goodbye.
Attending a wedding with two toddlers is something that everyone should do once in their lifetime.  I can check it off the list now!  Great fun was had by all, especially when it was time to eat cake - if you look closely, you can probably see it all over our clothes (which reminds me I need to take some things out of the washer)!  Congratulations and best wishes, K and J!  We love you!
The Newlyweds


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

I repeated this to myself as I fell asleep last night.  Because my heart was heavy with my own thoughts and troubles, I tried to convince myself that it's not that bad (because it's not) that life is good (because it is) and that lots of people are having a tougher time than I am (because they are).

As I thought of a person I know who's divorcing, a friend whose mom is battling cancer for the third time, a relative who's recovering from a poorly performed medical procedure, a lady in the checkout who is worried the MN government will shut down and keep her from buying food for her two grandchildren, I felt even worse!

He is the God of all comfort and only His word can bring the peace and comfort our hearts need, whether we are weary, heartbroken, worried, ill, or frightened, He is peace.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Inception Flight

I recently saw the mind-boggling movie "Inception."  Thanks to Netflix, I am only a few months behind on recent releases, rather than years.  Normally I choose romantic comedies, because they are harmless and brainless and I don't lie awake thinking about who did what or killed whom or have nightmares that someone's after me, but Hubs convinced me that I would like this one, so I put it in the queue. 

He was right!  I won't spoil the ending if you haven't seen it, but you have to understand the concept a bit to understand how yesterday I was living in "Inception."  You see, in the movie, Leonardo DeCaprio's character is hired to plant an idea into someone's brain during his sleep through a dream.  But in order to do it, he must create a dream-within-a-dream, which is dangerous, but this is SUCH a difficult case, he must create a THIRD level, a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream, and if things don't go exactly right, (and when do they ever?), he could fall into this dream (which is bad, of course, with people trying to kill him) and NEVER GET OUT but also NEVER DIE.  Sounds awful, right?
That was us with two toddlers trying to fly standby out of Charlotte, NC yesterday.  We had a fantastic time at the wedding (which I'll write about later) and kissed everyone goodbye Sunday morning.  The boys ate the cheese out of the bagel sandwich I gave them for breakfast in the backseat, and tore up the bagels, throwing the shards all over the back of the car.  N didn't want to play with any of the 7 toys we had with us for the whole weekend, so we had to pull off on a ramp and take the DVD player out of the trunk.  Thank goodness for "Finding Nemo!"  They still like Baby Einstien but those only last 24 minutes!  The ride just from the cabin to the airport was 2 hours!  Then we had to make a rest stop, then fill up the car and clean out the bagel shards, then return the car, ride the shuttle to the airport, stand in line to check our bags (oh, MSP, how we love your skycap service!!!), go through security (thank God for small miracles like the "family with strollers" line) wait at our gate, miss the first flight because there was only ONE open seat on it, eat overpriced Wendy's for lunch, watch "The Wiggles," re-read all of the children's books packed in our diaper bag, re-pack the diaper bag and Thomas the Train backbacks in preparation for being separated on the next flight (as in, he takes one boy to MSP and I wait in NC for the next flight with the other), only to miss the second flight because there was again only ONE seat (see, the second level of the dream within a dream-it's getting dangerous now!).  We pause the movie here to re-evaluate our options and use the restrooms and do a diaper change.  Someone's in the "family" restroom, so we have to take turns.  Instead of one trip to the family restroom, it takes 4 trips.  

We're sinking quickly into the third dream-within-dream which could keep us in pergatory forever.  We decide to purchase zed fare tickets on US Airways to fly from NC to DTW and there try to catch a DTW to MSP flight.  Hubs leaves the boys and I near near one of the 3 electrical outlets in the 10th largest airport in America so we can watch "Baby Einstein" and eat gummy bears while he leaves security to buy tickets at the gate where he decides to ditch our bags because otherwise it will take too long and we'll miss the flight before he retreives, re-checks, gets charged for them, and makes it back through security to get us.  Thank God, again, for small miracles!  N fell asleep watching Baby Einstein and M was content to eat 100 gummy bears during the movie. 

N sleeps through walking to the gate, Hubs lifting him out of the umbrella stroller, carrying him, the carseat, and a backpack onto the plane, me holding him while hubs attaches the carseat, buckling him back into the carseat, then the rest of the flight to DTW!!  This is a best miracle of the day, a sign that God IS with us and that we will one day awaken from this inception dream.  M falls asleep before takeoff, and for the first flight since they were 8 months old, we have a peaceful flight.

Upon landing at DTW, we disembark, waiting in the jetbridge for a small eternity for our strollers because once we leave the jetbridge, we CANNOT come back for them, so I hold a screaming M's hand in a very hot jetbridge while  passengers file past, staring at our little bedraggled family.  Finally an employee asks if we're waiting for strollers.  I smiled, but gave him the stink eye, while M cried and played "limp fish," trying to throw his body on the filthy jetway.  He brought the stroller that belonged to the little sleeping infant's family first.  I decided to let M keep crying.  He was just vocalising what I could not say, and that employee could just listen to it since he decided to stand there staring at us for many many minutes.  YOU contributed to this by delaying our strollers, my stink eye said, although I'm sure it was misinterpretd as something else.

We're not done.  We are in the US Airways terminal, so we have to take a bus, which the guys loved and charmed the busdriver and tried pressing all her buttons while we loaded our lighter load of junk onto the bus.  M tried talking to a fellow passenger who told him, "You're on the bus of doom," and I laughed - seriously threw my head back and guffawed right out loud!  What else could we do at this point?

Then we have to wait in line because the self-check in kiosks are down (is anyone surprised here?) and go through security again.  I'd complain, but the boys are champs when it comes to this.  They are very obedient and like to watch all the activity.  We have to check with the agent because there are just two flights left (it's 7pm by this time and literally the 11th hour of traveling) to MSP.  The computer system says they're both full.  We decided not to risk missing two more flights and shucking out more money to stay in a hotel and book ourselves on the flight to MBS (Michigan).

Mother-in-law doesn't quite understand what has transpired, since Hubs is again buckling the carseat into the airplane as he asks her to pick us up in hour, we're spending the night at your house, the door is closing goodbye, but she's happy she gets to see her grandsons.

I'll spare you the details of a less than helpful flight attendant who gave me the stink eye as I allowed N to tear out every page of Sky magazine since she took away all my bags full of treats and toys because we were in the bulkhead and they had to be stowed but there was no stowage overhead since we were the last ones on the plane and please keep the window open according to flight regulations, so No No, N, you can't play with the windows, only the Sky magazine.

I finally woke up from my dream within a dream around 8 am Eastern time, at my mother in law's house.  I'm not home and I don't have any clean clothes for myself or my husband, but there is coffee brewing and one spare outfit for the boys in their bag. 

At least our life isn't boring. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sweet Insantiy of Toddlerhood

The prisoners are back in their bedtime cells (cribs) and we've not had any more escape attempts.  I am not so naive as to think that this was a one time only incident and am prepared to convert the cribs to toddler beds soon.  I need my honey and some time to make the conversion happen, neither of which I'll have until next week.  So I'm holding my breath and hoping for the best. 

I've been a stay at home mom for two years and haven't even thought about my teaching license the entire time, but this week I participated in SORLA, a professional-development program for educators.  In Minnesota we need 125 professional hours every 5 years to renew our licenses, so you can guess I'm a little behind!  (I earned just 12 this week.)  It was so nice to spend three mornings back in the classroom having real conversation with professional adults about education!  Most days I don't miss the classroom, but after the harrowing sleeplessness and teething pervading our household, and having spent a few hours at school this week, I know that there is a part of me that does miss it.  It reminds me of that Bon Jovi song, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone...."

SORLA reminded me, of all things, that I am proud to be a teacher.  Right now my days are filled with cozy coupes, gummy vitamins, liquid ibuprofen, singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and bathing, dressing, and feeding mac and cheese to two very squirmy and active little boys.  I'm always exhausted, always covered in sand, chalk, snot, or lunch, wearing my uniform of jeans and t-shirt topped with a ponytail, thinking, this is never going to end! 

I try to enjoy it because today I can see the truth: it WILL end, it is already ending, and little boyhood will soon come to a bittersweet end.  I can see it now: my two little fellas boarding the school bus with their superhero backpacks and me backing down the driveway with a coiffed 'do, stylish slacks and shiny flats, all of us on our way to school.  And all the way there, I'll be remembering the sweet insanity of toddlerhood. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Good Days Than Not

That's how I'm surviving this week.  Unfortunately (for you, readers) I haven't had time to write on the good days, when my best writing (in my opinion) seems to be done.  It's NOW that I have time, after two of the roughest days I've had with the fellas, on a single-mom-rain-all-day-Saturday-and-worst-of-all-my-son-figured-out-how-to-climb-out-of-his-crib-oh-my-gosh-I-need-a-glass-of-wine night that I have time to post.  Since, of course, I'm having technical difficulties with the Nikon, which I've been slowly but surely teaching myself (okay, I can't find the stupid USB cord), I uploaded the Handycam photos, and I am reminded that yes, there are more good days than bad.  It's just that the good days go so fast and the not-so-good-ones are so slow.  So unendingly slow.  Here's what I found on my Handycam tonight: a bunch of good days from the last two weeks.  So bottoms up and praise the Lord if your good days outnumber the bad not so good! 

(Sigh.) They're out of order and sideways to boot.  At least they're uploaded.  On Tuesday, a friend (good) exchanged the dead dino desktop (bad) for a new(ish-everything is relative!) tower (good!) and I'm still teaching myself how to use Picasa for my photo uploads (good?)  See...a 3/1 ratio!  Them's good odds! :)
Me and Harmon Killebrew celebrate 9 years of marriage on Wednesday!  I mean, Hubs and I saw a Twins game and posed with goofy statues at Target Field.

The fellas meet T.C. bear, the Twins' mascot at MOA Toddler Tuesdays.  N was NOT diggin' it!

N cools off on a 100 degree day last week.

The best my hat ever looked!  On M

They're diggin' hats so much, they wear flowerpots when I'm not looking! 

N and I try out a a digger at Central Park

Aunt L and M sharing a picnic lunch last week

More picnic pics, me and N

Aunt L snaps a shot of me snapping her!

Coolin' off by the shark pool with ice cream (and a dirty diaper, we'll soon learn!)

Cheers to summer!  N and Aunt L

M likes to read his birthday cards on a string

Pan Bagnet, the French tuna fish sandwich I made for the MVMOM gathering.  So delicious! (It was a great party, but the pics are on the Nikon of course, for a different post.)

Our first Target Field Twins game on our 9th anniversary.  I tried to surprise him, but he found the tickets weeks ago!  He was still happy, though!

So there ya have it.  They say you remember 50% of what you hear, 90% of what you write down, and 100% of what you teach.  That's why I try my darndest to write the good stuff.  Because it's what I want to remember.  Have a great weekend, my friend! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Way Back Wednesday, Nine Years Ago Today

Nine years ago, my life changed for the better.  I married my soul mate, my best friend, the love of my life, and my List.  I'll confess, I once made a list of all the things I was looking for in my future spouse.  Miracle of miracles, I met him!  And he was - and still is - good looking to boot!  (I didn't put "handsome" on my list - I was afraid of asking for too much!)  Thank goodness, he asked for my hand and we were wed on a beautiful June afternoon.  The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone for our big day.  Much like the weather here in MN today, but warmer!

Because our wedding took place in 2002, before the age of everyone having a digital camera ( and only George Jetson had one in his phone!) we have few digitalized photos. Here's one of my favorites: we were leaving the church, heading toward our waiting Lincoln Towncar. Guests were tossing rose petals at us as we walked (if I could find the CD, there is actually a photo of me picking a petal out the top of my dress immediately after this one!)  Our best man and matron of honor (because my little sis married 6 months before I did, she was a "MATRON!") drove us to Dow Gardens where I'd always wanted my wedding photos to be taken.

(20 minutes later) Okay, I dug up the CD made by a friend and found a couple more.  They're awfully blurry, but I assume he wasn't using his flash to respect our hired photographer.  Let's see if I can upload a couple:

exchanging our vows

rose petal goes down the top...

I discover it down there

and fish it out!

Hubs' cousin L, holding a rose petal bag, who just graduated last week.  Look how little she was!

My dear friend K, who stood in my wedding and marries in two weeks.  Can't wait to see her!

Pink gerbera of my favorites.

The Kiss

My parents and siblings - they look Good!
What a great day!  I just love looking at the old photos, especially these never-before-seen-online-rose-petal-down-the-top-ones!  But enough reminiscing - tonight we're celebrating by actually hiring a babysitter and going out on a date!  So I'd better go finish my chores so I can go out.  Thank you friends and family, for standing by us all these 9 wonderful years.  And thank you, Handsome Hubs, for loving me through thick and thin. :)