Thursday, October 30, 2008

My other half is home.

I am so happy - our little family is complete again. At least for a couple days. :) It was a great day for Andrew to come back, because it was a double celebration: today is the 4-year anniversary of the day we fell in love at a haunted house. (I told you, I'm big on anniversaries and dates.) Oh, the memories of that night...but that's another post for another time.

It is fun to have him home. Although he was in a haze of exhaustion all day and kept falling asleep - like deep, unconscious, unresponsive sleep. I don't blame him. They worked him HARD in the last 11 days - he did over 75 hours of flying in 7 countries. I'm hoping his jet lag goes away tomorrow for our fun Halloween festivities. Tonight we made caramel apples and we're going to watch The Office together. Life is back to normal, and I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know...I get a free YMCA membership.

Actually, it's not for all Americans - just for us military folk. :) Yep, that's right. I am officially a member of the YMCA, and I am beyond excited. I would use the word "stoked," but I hate the way I sound when I say that. I don't know why...that word just doesn't fit me right. Anyway, I'm happy.

This is my first YMCA experience. I have always imagined (forgive me) an "inner city" type feel with a nasty daycare and dark rooms with old equipment. And maybe some of them are like that. But NOT our YMCA. It is a place that will inspire in you a desire to burst into song - even the YMCA song - with no shame at all. It is a beautiful, large, new building with awesome equipment, tons of classes, a great pool, and a daycare where I'm not afraid to drop my kids off to go work out for an hour.

We went there today for a cute Halloween parade they put on. I should have worn workout clothes, because let me tell you WHAT. Although I wasn't "working out" in the normal sense of the word, I broke more of a sweat than I normally do during aerobics. (I know, here I go talking about my sweat again. Sorry, peeps.) I have blisters all over both hands and the inside of my...elbow pits? that place halfway down your arm...from carrying my overweight son in his 200 pound carseat while chasing after Nemo a.k.a. Eva. I have a bloody blister on my right heel. I am exhausted and sore, and there were several moments I literally thought I was going to collapse. you tell me - am I out of shape or overworked? Maybe both.
But it was worth it. I got a free membership, AND I got about a trillion copliments on my darling kids' darling costumes of Nemo and Crush. I was, snobbishly, very grateful that they weren't just the typical princess, monkey, or pumpkin. They stood out, and I loved it. All the kids kept saying to Eva, "Hi, Nemo!!!" And she would just smile cluelessly at them. She has never even seen Nemo - how's that for taking away her free agency. I wanted her to be Nemo, so BAM. There she was with her short, stubby fin and orange fleece hoodie hanging in her eyes. She was a sight to behold. I dare say she was as cute as last year, which I didn't think was possible.

I'll post pictures of this year...eventually.
One reason I am so happy about our newfound YMCA-ness is that they have FREE swimming and gymnastics classes. Truth be told, if I could relive my childhood I would say, "Forget the piano! I want to be an Olympic gymnast!" Therefore, I am, just like every good parent does, planning on living my dream vicariously through my unsuspecting daughter. Little does she know that she is the next Shawn Johnson. The gym at our YMCA is the beginning of my dreams. It has this awesome bouncy floor, all the real gymnastic equipment like balance beams and bars, and padded things everywhere. You could throw your body around in there for hours and never get hurt. Oh, to be 8 years old again. I probably had more fun running up and down the long trampoline on the ground than Eva did.
Andrew comes home tomorrow. I can't put into words how excited I am. The only problem is that I started a HUGE project with the intention of surprising him. BAD IDEA. If you know me, you know that I am by no means a finisher of anything. So, SURPRISE! all the boxes of books are unpacked. And SURPRISE! all the books are sitting on the dining room table with no hope of being hauled upstairs before Andrew walks in the door tomorrow. Welcome home, honey...mind helping me with these books? Sweet, I know. It wouldn't be a big deal if we were normal people and had just a few books. But I am pretty much a book FANATIC. We have - not kidding - at least 300 books. Maybe even 400. I don't know. Hmm, now I'm curious and I want to go count them. Not put them away though. That would be pushing it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes being a stay-at-home-mom ROCKS.

Back in high school and college, I usually woke up to an alarm. The worst was when you accidentally woke up like 15 minutes before the alarm went off, and you knew you wouldn't have time to go back to sleep before you had to get up again. This morning I woke up after having a way weird bad dream. I looked at the clock and instinctively thought, "How much longer to I have to sleep? What do I have to wake up for?" And a smile came to my face as I realized that I didn't have to go anywhere today if I didn't want to. In that moment, I was SO grateful to be a stay-at-home-mom.
Aside from the fact that my kids usually get me up earlier than I would like, my life is awesome. I make my own schedule. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, to a certain degree. I obviously need to take care of important things like changing diapers and doing laundry and stuff, but I have an amazing amount of flexibility.
I know this will change when my kids get older and we start having outside influences, like school and soccer teams, telling us where to be and when. But for today, it's all about us just sitting around reading books all day. My mouth is parched because I spent the last half hour or so pretending to eat plastic ice cream cones. (Eva LOVES her new play food - especially the ice cream!) The most pressing things I have to do today are return library books and go to Walmart because I'm out of eggs. Some days, being a mom is the BEST.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another tale of Sabbath chaos

Are you getting sick of me complaining about Sundays yet? I hope not. Will I ever get used doing this alone? I really hope so. I got to talk to Andrew this morning, which, of course, made me run late. Running late is the quickest, most effective way to stress myself out to the maximum. I HATE BEING LATE. And, like usual, the days I am stressed and behind are the days that I look the ugliest and change my outfit a million times, hence making myself even more late. Today I think I changed 5 times, to be exact. In the end, I threw on my frump dress (which I REALLY need to get rid of because the buttons don't stay closed and I am constantly looking down to see myself revealing my "true colors") and decided jewelry was unnecessary. At least the kids looked cute. Minus Eva's hair - that is still a beast I am learning to tame. Almost as stubborn as Eva herself.
We rush into the church to find that just about every single seat is taken. They had already started (they were singing the opening song) and I had to march all the way to the very front row...only to find that someone's stuff was there. Halfway up the aisle, the woman giving the opening prayer decides to overlook me and my yunguns still scrambling for a seat, and starts praying while I'm walking. I felt irreverent and disruptive already. Then they announced that I am a new RS instructor - YAY!! - and started singing the sacrament song. For some reason, I was embarassed and flustered and all of a sudden I was fighting back tears harder than I ever have. I wanted to break down and cry right there. I felt useless and unwanted. Not that it was everyone else's fault there were no seats left; it was just enough to tip me over the edge. It took me several minutes to get my composure. I just put my face in Eva's hair and tried to think positive thoughts. In the end, it was the man who was singing horribly off-key (and LOUD) behind me that distracted me out of my flurry of emotions. Thankfully, the man I sat next to (it was his sons' seats I stole) was so incredibly helpful and kind. By the way, his two teenage sons have the most beautiful brown skin I have ever seen, and if I was 15 again I would be drooling over them every Sunday. The dad is dark, dark like from Nigeria and very handsome, and the mom is white, so the sons are BEAUTIFUL. Anyway. I ended up taking the kids out halfway because I couldn't handle it. And of course, I found my dear friend Ana Rosa who helped me again, as she always does. Eva has taken to her quite nicely, and it is awesome.
We had a little nursery fiasco again, but I got to go to Relief Society and felt edified and uplifted by the time I left. I am really looking forward to next Sunday when my other half will be back. Church is indescribably easier with him around. And maybe to celebrate, I'll buy myself a new, non-frumpy dress.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Things you should know about me today

1. If a bit of food falls down my shirt, I will pick it out and eat it.

2. I like to put a timer on when I pick up the house. It makes me feel like it's a race, and I am more willing to get it done. Andrew does not understand this.

3. When I get out of the shower in the morning, I don't put any clothes on until after I have blowdried my hair. I figure this minizes sweating. I HATE sweating.

4. I have a thing for owls right now. I love them.

5. I am listening to Christmas music right now. Go to and make a radio station for Brian Setzer Orchestra (Holiday) and you will get some awesome stuff.

6. I am taking a scrapbooking class from Cathy Zielske, my scrapbooking IDOL. We are in week 4 of 12, and I love every minute of it.

7. I watched an OnDemand thing today of Martha Stewart making glittered pumpkins, and I really want to do it now.

8. Speaking of pumpkins...eww. This is almost too gross to share. But I will anyway. I have an awesome display of pumpkins and gourds of all sizes, shapes, and colors out on my mantle in my living room. We bought them from a local farm, and they are beautiful. A couple weeks ago, I bought some avocados with the intention of making guacamole - my favorite. They were still not ripe yet, so I decided to add them to my mantle display until I was ready to use them. Yeah. Today I realized that they were still sitting there MOLDING. There was mold on my mantle. Disgusting. So now I can't have guacamole, I wasted money on expensive avocadoes, and my decorations don't look quite as great to me now because I know they were sitting next to moldy avocadoes.

9. I can't stop eating chocolate-covered raisins right now. They are making me sick, but I just keep eating them as I type. Maybe I'd better stop typing. I think I'll go upstairs and eat some ice cream.

Eva's first haircut

My good friend Elisa cut Eva's hair last Wed. I love how it looks thicker and fuller. Unfortunately, it's still a little wild. But as Andrew said, if it's not wild, it's not Eva.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mrs. Webb in the kitchen with the oven: I killed the bread.

Tonight I have encountered what I believe is a true baking mystery. After waiting almost a full week to pass on the "Boo" I received for Halloween from some kind soul who made delicious cinammon muffins, I decided tonight was the night for me to bake and pass it on. I had been eyeing this recipe for pumpkin bread for a while, so it was time. I followed all the instructions (obviously - I am certainly NOT the type to be expiremental with recipes!) and put the two loaves in the oven for 55 minutes. When I checked the bread with a toothpick, it came out clean. Perfect, I thought. The bread was done. I did as per instructed, let it cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turned it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
During the interim, I got the kids bathed and ready for bed. After tucking them in, I came downstairs. And what should I see but a huge, gaping HOLE in the top of both loaves. Strange. I approached the bread curiously. I look inside the hole and see big puddles of uncooked dough sitting there. I was mad. The outside was already quite cool, but the inside was obviously not hot enough. But I decided to give it a shot (I definitely wasn't giving it away like that) and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Still not done. 5 more minutes. Nope. 2 more minutes. Still doughy. I am, at this point, incredibly frustrated. 5 more minutes. At that point, I decided I was giving up on the bread. I would just eat it myself and scoop out the dough.
So all in all, the stupid things baked for at least 77 minutes and they were still not done. It's not my oven because it's brand new and I had just baked shrimp in it like 30 minutes before starting the bread, so I know the oven works. It can't be anything I did wrong, because I did EXACTLY as I was told in my cookbook. The bread somehow grew a mind of its own and formed some thick crust of cooked bread on the top to cover up it's liquid inside and hide it even from my probing toothpick. It is a mystery. But if you'll excuse me, I have some warm dough to go eat. At least it still smells delicious.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eva is 19 months old today.

This fact has caused me reflection on some of her current personality traits - the dominant one being stubbornness. I thought about this on our little walk around the block this afternoon, and it seemed she read my mind. Because she proceeded to do these funny things that totally demonstrated her personality.
1. She saw that Leighton was in her old pink flowered stroller and at first tried to pull him out, but then wanted to push him in it. Even though she couldn't push it straight, she could barely see over the back of it, and sometimes it would get stuck and she wasn't strong enough to get the wheels back straight, she insisted on doing it.

2. She constantly lags behind. It is SO annoying when I am trying to carry the huge, heavy carseat and try to get her to follow me. It takes forever to get into church on Sunday. And of course, there is someone always there holding the door for like an hour while I try to get her to follow me.
3. She is SO observant. When I'm watching a movie, she will notice things in the background that are so insignificant. Anything she knows the word or sign for, she will spot it ANYWHERE. She always finds tiny specks of food in her cup and won't drink it until we get it out.
4. She LOVES shoes. I love when she says the word - she scrunches up her little lips and says, "Shoooooss." At this point in the walk, she decided to have a seat on the sidewalk and examine her tennis shoes. And she wouldn't get up, of course, until she was good and ready.
5. She is hilarious, and she loves hamming it up. One funny thing she did on the walk that I never want to forget: She started walking up to someone's driveway, and I said, "Eva, please come back. I don't want you going up to other people's houses." At that point, she was almost to the garage. She looked back over her shoulder at me like, "Just try and stop me." Then she walked up to the garage door handle and pretended to take it off and eat it. Then she looked at me smugly like, "I showed you. I just ate the garage door handle," and walked back to the sidewalk like she owned the neighborhood. I tried not to laugh, but it was probably the funniest thing she had done all day - or all week - and I couldn't help myself. What a nut. Leighton gets a kick out of her too.
Here are a few other pictures I took of her on her 19-month birthday. (Yes, I am one of those moms who celebrates the months.)
Her brand new potty chair - she loves it already.
This morning at the little base playgroup we go to, she "made" these hats. I wrote her name and she decorated it. And the other one is for Daddy to see. Obviously.
She kind of looks like J-Lo with that huge brim, doesn't she? Except a billion times cuter.
P.S. Sorry I didn't take the time to edit the pictures. I'm trying to hurry so I can go watch The Office. Just imagine they look good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I have come full circle.

During the almost 20 months that Andrew and I were dating and engaged, I was insane. There was absolutely nothing in the world that could come between me and being with him. It was especially pathetic at the beginning, when I was living in UT and he was in CO. Before I finally just moved up there to be closer to him, we talked on the phone. A LOT. If ever he called, I would race out from wherever I was to talk to him. If I knew he was going to call at a certain time, I made sure that I would be able to have a good, long conversation with him and didn't really schedule anything around that time.
Well, I find myself in that situation again. This morning, I got to talk to my lover for the first time. He is in some country I can't even pronounce or spell. He called during playgroup and I raced into the garage, completely abandoning my children and the other women and kids who were sitting in my living room, to talk to him for his alloted 15 minutes. When the beep came that signaled our time was over, you might as well have just punched me in the face. But he scheduled a time to call me again tonight (which, since he is 13 hours ahead of me in time, was the next morning for him).
And tonight I had Enrichment meeting. I was asked to teach a class on conducting music for the last 20 minutes. I had decided that in order to be home in time for the call, I would need to leave at 8:30pm. It was 8:05pm, and there was nobody making signs that they were hurrying to my class. I thought, "Maybe nobody signed up for it." Which, after my preparation, would have been a bummer. But finally, at 8:10, the Enrichment leader, sensing my anxiety and knowing I had to leave soon, made an announcement to everyone that my husband would be calling from overseas and I had to leave soon, so GET TO CLASS. (The theme was back to school night. So I guess I should have given them all detention for being tardy.) The 6 girls who took pity on me and signed up for the class even though they already knew how to conduct music scurried to my classroom. The lesson was a jumbled mess - not at all how I had planned - because I was so flustered thinking about making it through the door of my house before that phone rang from my honey.
Thankfully, they were all very helpful and understanding. I gathered up my children (Eva was a gem in the nursery - HALLELUJAH!), the cute plate that I painted, my big empty bin (I donated all my old clothes that didn't fit anymore - YAY!), and my two bags and rushed to the car. I had time to put both kids to bed and get a glass of ice water (it was another sweaty evening) before Andrew called.
So I feel like we are dating again. Except we have 2 kids. And we are a LOT farther apart than Colorado and Utah. And there is an annoying beep that tells us when our talking time is up. But I am just so grateful I got to hear his voice twice in one day. It made me all giddy and excited. I really have come full circle.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dear Andrew

Dear Andrew,

I have been making a list of things I wanted to tell you throughout the day. After a very chaotic evening, the list got really long. So now I'm sitting down to write it out for you. If you were here at home, I would tell you all this while we did the dishes together. But, thanks to the terrorists, I will do the dishes alone and type it all out. :)

This morning (and the last couple mornings, actually) I heard Moo start crying at her door. When I went to open it, I couldn't get it open. Ballard was in the way, and she couldn't figure out that in order for me to get in, she needed to move the duck. But when I finally get the door open, I find her with practically everything she treasures clutched in her little hands. Her paci in her mouth, Henry, her cup, and a book gathered in her arms. And then she tries to pick up Ballard too. It is so funny.

While eating breakfast, I put Boy in his bouncer chair. I looked over when he started squealing, and he was swatting at the little rabbit that hung down. He got so excited! I was proud of him - I think he's getting better hand control. As he did that sound he makes (you know, where he sucks in all his breath), Moo started imitating him. And they went back and forth for a minute. It was hilarious.

I went to Marelize's house for a mini-playgroup with her and Melanie. It was SO fun and so nice to just talk. I absolutely love those girls and feel so grateful that we are so close and we're all in the same situation. They are definitely an answer to prayer. The kids did pretty well over there. Eva, of course, wanted to eat puffs when she saw Mattie and Malone doing it. So pretty much ate a whole can of their puffs. I was so embarassed. Marelize made some amazingly delicious quiches, and I brought something called "Nun's Puffs." They turned out well - I think I'll make them for you when you get home. I stayed there right up until 1pm, so when we got home I put Moo straight down for nap. I got my assignments for my Cathy class done. I can't wait to show you all my cute pages. My pictures finally came in the mail yesterday, so I feel more inspired to scrapbook with fresh, recent pictures. I also organized my picture box and got it all categorized like Stacey's book said.

We took an afternoon trip to Walmart (I bet you're sad you missed that!) to get something to make for playgroup in the morning. I didn't feel like baking anything extravagant again since it always goes unnoticed - especially by the kids who eat it. I will make lemon bars out of a box. I also got Moo her own can of puffs and one to replace Marelize's empty can. I don't know what Moo's thing is with puffs - it's like she reverted back to an 8-month old and she loves them. I guess it's healthier than other things she could be snacking on, right?

I called Kim on the way home and talked to her about her love life. I stayed on the phone with her until I got in the house (this will be important in a little bit). I decided to make a pot of soup so I could just reheat it for dinner for the next couple of nights. (I have NO motivation to cook without you. I like cooking, but honestly, it's lame planning for just myself. Even cutting recipes in half I would have crazy leftovers.) It ended up taking a while and I was bugged at myself for starting it right before bath time. Then halfway through the soup I remembered I had a pan of homemade pizza leftover from last night that I needed to eat. So I had some of that, and then threw the last half of it away because it didn't taste that great reheated.

Boy started crying toward the end of the soup. I hurried and finished and then ran upstairs to get them in the tub. Just as I was running the water, the phone rang. I was secretly hoping it would be you, but of course, it wasn't. It was Bro. Smith. He got your message, finally. :) But he is coming over on Thursday to give me a new calling. I hope SO bad it's RS teacher!!! By the time I got off the phone with him and got back in the bathroom, the water was really high and Boy's tub was floating. :) I drained it a little, put them in, and let them play for a while. Leighton was having a ball just kicking and splashing and sqealing at Eva.

Just like you suggested, I got Eva out first, got her dressed, and turned her loose while I got Boy out. I was in the middle of putting on his extra-strength lotion when out of the corner of my eye I saw Eva plunge headfirst into the little tub. (I had drained the water from the big tub but hadn't yet flipped over the baby tub, so of course she fell right in.) I yelled, "Oh, Eva!" and ran over to her. She started crying because she was scared (she was totally fine though - just a little wet), and apparently Leighton got scared because he started FREAKING out. I have never heard him cry like that. He was so scared and doing this high-pitched wail that it made me cry. We were all three in the bathroom crying - it was pathetic. I fished Henry out of the tub water (of course he dove in with her), finished getting Boy dressed, threw Henry in the dryer, took off Moo's wet pajamas, and sat down to feed poor Leighton. About halfway through his bottle, I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to close the garage door because I had been talking to Kim. GREAT. As if I need anything to make me more paranoid. I bolted downstairs, closed it, and checked the van to make sure my precious GPS was still there. It wasn't. Just kidding, it was. ;)

I ran back up the stairs, saying out loud to myself, "My stupidity knows no bounds." I think I might crosstitch that on a pillow, because it's my new motto. I finished feeding Boy, put him down, and got Moo dressed in fresh pajamas. The dryer buzzed and Eva looked at me and said, "Henry!" (You know how she says it like Ena.) I couldn't believe how stinking smart she was that she knew Henry was in the dryer because he was wet, and the faint buzzing sound meant that she could have him back. What a little genius. I was all ready to put her in bed when I smelled a poopy diaper. Her 5th one of the day, I think. Of course. So I changed her, kissed her good night, and came downstairs to my list of a million things to do before playgroup in the morning. But if I don't get it all done, I guess it could be a good thing. Maybe if the house is a mess and the food stinks, nobody will want to come anymore. :)

Well, that was long. But it's all stuff I wanted to remember to tell you, it is. I miss you and can't wait to talk to you...tomorrow, hopefully. If you read this before I talk to you, remember that I have Enrichment and I won't be back until 8:30ish. And don't worry that I won't have anything to tell you after this long epistle. I'm sure more eventful things will take place tomorrow. They always do around here.

I love you a million,

Steph *

P.S. I was brave and checked every closet and corner for a bad guy who may have sneaked in through the garage. Aren't you proud of me? There is nobody in the house but us. But the front door keeps creaking, and it's kind of creeping me out. XO

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Off to save the world

I will tell you this much: nobody will ever attack our country with the intention of stealing our military uniform ideas. That hat wouldn't instill fear in anyone. Except maybe the person who has to wear it.
Posted by Picasa

The Vote

24 years old and my first time to vote. Pathetic, I know. In college I just never got around to finding a voting booth, even though I followed the election closely. So last night when my absentee ballot came in the mail, I decided it was time to exercise my constitutional right to vote. (I wanted to send it in rather than drag the kids to the voting booth with me.) Unfortunately, it didn't fill me with anything other than indifference.
"What's this about voting?" Leighton asks. "Am I a Republican or what?"

My top secret vote was strategically placed inside my "Secrecy Envelope." I felt very mysterious.

This is how Eva voted. She scribbled all over "her copy" of the blank ballot. Amen, sister.
Posted by Picasa

We miss you already, Daddy!

Posted by Picasa

Strength beyond my own

I don't normally make my blog a forum for talking about spritual things, but today I'm going to make an exception. Because seriously, there is a miracle going on right now.

It started last night. After writing my last blog post, I felt like crying. I had only succeeded in bringing to the surface all the feelings I had done so well at hiding, and I was annoyed at myself. I went upstairs and sat on our bed, watching Andrew pack. He disappeared into the bathroom for a minute to get something, and all of a sudden I felt...strong. I can't really explain it. For no reason at all, a woman came into my mind - an ancestor of mine whom I love very much named Amy Sumner Porter. She crossed the plains back in the pioneer days but died shortly after giving birth to twin babies, who also both died. It was like I felt her with me, sharing with me the strength that I know she had in this life. This really isn't translating well into writing, but it really was a very...almost tangible feeling of strength.

Then this morning. After Andrew left, I fell back asleep and dreamed that he had come back home saying the trip was cancelled. I woke up, to Leighton crying, a little disappointed that my dream wasn't real. But again, I just felt this...blanket of strength around me. And it has stayed with me all day.

Church was...chaotic to say the least. I felt like I was a burden to everyone around me because of the way my children - actually, just Eva - acted. I walked into sacrament meeting to find Andrew's name on the program to speak. Apparently, the counselor in the bishopric hadn't gotten Andrew's message that he would be out of town and unable to give his talk. I started panicking a little, thinking that I should just go up and cover for him. I looked around and planned who I would ask to sit with the kids, and then started flipping through the hymnbook for inspiration. Thankfully, the counselor came back and told me not to worry about it - they would get someone else to speak.

Eva decided to throw a royal fit when I took her into nursery. She has always done flawlessly in there, but last week and today she just changed her mind. I was trying to juggle the church bag, the diaper bag, Leighton in his carseat (which weighs at least 3,000 pounds sometimes), so I just left her there screaming bloody murder. Not two minutes later (nursery hadn't even started yet) they brought her back to me. Great. But throughout the whole ordeal, other people were so incredibly helpful. One of my favorite women in the ward, Sis. Pipkin, held Leighton while I taught the lesson. And he fell asleep in her arms, which he never does anymore. She must have the magic touch.

Back here at home, I put the kids down for a nap and have some time to think. And I am amazed at how well I'm doing. But honestly, it's not me. This strength that I have is not coming from inside of me - it's distinctly an outside source. I am so grateful that, at least today, I have all the help I need and more. "Friends on earth and friends above."

This may seem like no big deal to some people. "So what if your husband is gone for 2 weeks?" And that may be true. Even though it's just the first 2 week trip of the twice-a-month-trips-for-the-next-20-years. But to me it IS a big deal. And the Lord knew that. That's why He's helping me so much. "All things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." My thankful, thankful heart.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm in denial.

I have to be. If I wasn't in denial, I would be falling apart.

Andrew is leaving in the morning. At 5:45am, I am officially on my own. I can't put into words how I feel about this. I am so excited for him - he gets to visit 4 countries on this trip alone, and probably see cool things.

We have spent the day preparing for him to leave. We went and bought him a camera (because the scrapbooker in me INSISTED that he take pictures of every place he goes) and a bunch of other stuff. Oh, and he is the best husband ever because he surprised me by replacing our stolen GPS. If I'm going to be lonely, at least I won't be lost and lonely.

We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday, one of our new favorite places. It's especially awesome because of the salad bar selections for Eva - she was in heaven with the craisins, sunflower seeds, peas, oranges, and cheese that we piled on her plate.

But now the day is coming to an end and our last few hours together are here. And tomorrow morning before the sun even comes up, he'll walk out that door, off to travel the world, and leave me. I'm dreading the silence that will follow the sound of the closing door. My empty house and my sleeping children, waiting for me to pull myself together, say a quick prayer, and assume my new role as a husbandless military wife.

I'm going to be fine - I know I will. It's just coming up on the transition that is making me shake in my boots. Except I'm not wearing boots because we have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy. But if I were wearing shoes of any kind, they would be visibly quivering. It's not until I started writing that my anxiety finally came to the surface. So maybe if I stop writing, my anxiety will go away again. I think I'll try that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

We have a winner!

Actually, I couldn't pick just one. So here are the top 5 and the honorable mentions.

1st place - Trevor and Sherry Berrett for their "Bra-Berries and Cream" and "Booble Gum." I couldn't choose my favorite between the two. They had me rolling with laughter - especially their suggestion that we offer free sili-cones with the breast milk ice cream. Congratulations, Berretts! You are the WINNERS!
2nd place - Chanel, with "Titillating Toffee Crunch," and Cindi, with "Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder Berry Bust," tied for second. I also must mention that, as family, they know the history of my own milk production and came up with the clever "Steph's Surprise." I loved that one too.
3rd place - Angie Bell with "Tutti Fruitie Fresh and Nudie."
4th place - Melanie Willis with "Mary Garcia." I just couldn't stop laughing at the idea of printing on the ice cream carton the picture of the woman who provided the milk.
5th place - Chelsey Davis with "Fudge Nipple."

Honorable Mention:
Megan Thorup with "Areola Delight."
Cami (my sister) with "Vanilla Wean."
Andrew (my husband) with "Tit Roof Sundae."

Thanks to everyone who submitted a suggestion. I can't believe how funny my friends are. I guess it just took an intelligent forum like my blog contest to bring out the best in everyone. Maybe I'll do this again sometime.

Oh, and if you are listed on here (winners AND honorable mentions), please email me your address ( to claim your prize.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Contest deadline coming up tomorrow...

The contest ends tomorrow - have your answers in by tomorrow night. You don't know how much I have laughed reading your answers. I don't know how I will be able to pick the best one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today's thoughts

- 1pm is probably my favorite time of day. It's Eva's naptime, and I have about 2 hours to do whatever I want. It's different everyday. Some days I clean, some days I blog and read others' blogs, some days I scrapbook, some days I watch TV and fold laundry. I relish this time in my life when I actually a have an hour or two (depending on Leighton) to do what I want. I know that won't always be so, and I LOVE it.

- It's a great feeling to put dinner in the crockpot in the morning and smell it throughout the day. Not only does it make my house feel good, it makes evenings a breeze.

- I got new curtains in my scrapbook room. They are purple velvet, and they are beautiful. Now I just need to paint the walls a robin's-egg blue and it will be complete. My sanctuary.

- Eva colored on the wall for the first time the other day - with a black crayon. Andrew was pretty mad - especially since I let her have a crayon and didn't notice when she walked away with it. But all is well again, because someone told me about the power of Magic Erasers. You can't even tell there was anything on the wall in the first place. They really are magic!

- I have a big, fat, wooden (bamboo) cutting board that I leave permanently on my kitchen counter next to the sink. Every time I look at it, it makes me feel like a chef. I love it.

- Andrew just found out this afternoon that he leaves on Sunday for his first 2-week trip to Iraq. (It's not a deployment - it's a TDY.) I am a little worried about being alone for that long. He has always been so helpful that I don't know how I'll survive on my own. And who will comfort me in the night when I wake up with bad dreams? Who will I talk to at dinner? Who will make waffles for us on Sunday mornings? I know it's just 2 weeks, but then after that it's 2 more weeks, and then 2 more weeks...this will be our life now. Him being home for only a few days a month. I willingly signed up for this back when I was so in love I couldn't see straight. Not that I am regretting that AT ALL, but I am realizing that this new change - and Andrew's commitment to serving our great country - is going to mean that I am sacrificing alot too. A LOT. Not sacrificing, really...just working way dang hard all by my lonesome. Bathtime, bedtime, breakfast time...all these will be twice as hard without my one and only. Pray for me...I hope I survive.

- Eva is asking me for help in opening the box of fish crackers and reading a story. So I will say just one more thing: I have a really, really great life.

That's my girl.

This morning Andrew had to get out of bed because he heard Eva chattering to herself in the loft. It was 5:10am, and she decided to get up early to expand her mind and further her own education. At least, I assume that was her though process. Because she was sitting by the stairs "reading" one of her library books called "Silly Suzy Goose." Andrew put her back in her bed despite her screams of protest.
When Andrew told me the story this morning, I couldn't stop laughing. She loves books as much as I do. Although at this point in my life, I value precious sleep more than an early-morning reading session. She is certainly my daughter.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 13, 2008

To my dear cousin Charity

Dearest Charity,

I don't know how to contact you. I have searched all over the internet for you, but to no avail. Will you please leave me a comment with your email address so I can write you a letter? I have been thinking of you everyday and wishing that I could talk to you again - it's been so long. I hope you read this soon.


We took a train ride last Saturday with our friends the Willises. Here are a million pictures that I took - we had an awesome time.

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa