Thursday, January 27, 2011

parting ways

This is the replacement car Nate has driven for much longer than we thought it would even last (since 2007 if you can believe it!).

Thanks to Nate's smarts and his unwillingness to throw out any twisty-ties, the bumper has remained affixed to the car since our last year in St. Louis with those industrial-strength twisty-ties you pry off of children's toys on Christmas morning.

This old thing would speed him to and from the hospital for countless emergencies. It was ugly, wussy, and somewhat clanky. But evidently those qualities in a car don't really matter much when the car can get the job done.

The week before Thanksgiving, this car met its end. A hose blew out and squirted oil all over the engine. The engine fried. The car was dead.

My favorite part of the story is that this occurred on his way to the O. R. There was a very good chance that his patient he was going to operate on passed him standing on the side of the road next to his twisty-tie car with plumes of white smoke emanating from the engine. You'd never think of your surgeon in that situation.

Well think again, because it just might be!
Goodbye car. Thanks for the memories!
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

super supper shuffle

I have remarkably vivid memories of the Bears 1985 Superbowl win. Remarkable, because its me and I'm really not a super football fan. I paid attention when my brother would play and I sometimes pay attention to BYU, but that's really it.

But this was DIFFERENT. We actually left church early to be sure we were home in time to watch it. A certain Brother K used to wear a small earphone and would listen to key games, you could tell who was winning by watching his facial expressions. But Brother K's expressions would not do for this game.

We hurried home, changed into our comfy Bear-cheering clothes. We got down and grooved to The Superbowl Shuffle. And then my mom made what we now believe to be the key to the Bear's success: Super Nacho Supper.

We could not believe that this actually qualified as dinner. It was as if there had been a major shift in the cosmos (obviously there was, as the Bears won 46-10 and yahoo sports has now named the '85 Bears as the best team in NFL history).

And so now, dear readers, I share it with you.
(Mom has appropriately enhanced its name... )

Super Bowl Nacho Supper

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. Taco mix
1-cup water
1 cup bean dip
2 tbsp green chilies
2 cups shredded lettuce
3 medium tomatoes
tortilla chips
1 cup guacamole
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar, grated

Brown meat and drain. Add seasoning and water, simmer 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, spread bean dip to cover bottom of 14” pizza pan. Sprinkle with cheeses, top with meat, sprinkle with chilies. Broil 5-7 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Around edge, arrange a border of lettuce, tomatoes, and chips. Place mound of guacamole and sour cream in center.

Let's Go Bears!

Please note the Bears won the Superbowl when I was Grace's age.
Also of note, as I write this my kids are singing the Superbowl Shuffle in the backyard.
Its the circle of life, people, the circle of life.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

the silent night of a motley crew

An Evening Quite Extraordinary
cast: Grace, Tyler, Jack, Charlie, Jimmy, Jenna, Zac, Hank
Crew assembles:
Angel, Mary, Joseph, Wise Guy 1, Shepherd, Wise Guy 2, Wise Guy 3
Joseph and Mary finally reach their destination. Mary is posed to recieve the gift of her son. Joseph looks on with great anticipation.
They cradle the new child and are protected by a most sincere shepherd.
The shepherd decided he had other things to do. No worries though, as the heroic Wise Guys (Super J, a fireman, and of course Spiderman) appear. Please note that Wise Guy 3 even solves the problem of lack of sheep.
Wise Guy 2 then takes over sheep duties.
The angel looks on with her halo of a hot pink feather boa.
Our Christmas Eve was awesome. I hope yours was too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

today is a new day

So from what I can gather, all four people mentioned in my last post are doing better. I'm usually not clued in to The Big Plan from above, so I just continue to pray everyone will find peace and comfort and the strength to heal.

Moving on, it was date night at our house tonight (sometimes has to be on a school night when Daddy is on-call on the weekend - so awesome). Here's how it went down - Nate and Grace went to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This has been much talked about and anticipated for quite sometime. She had no idea it was going to be tonight (because, really we pieced it together while she was at school today via short-lived cell phone calls) and she was thrilled.

Jimmy at first was sad he wasn't going in the theater too, but then saw the Jimmy Johns next door. So his date with Mommy was at JJ's. And according to Jimmy, Jimmy Johns makes his tummy happy because he is always hungry for sandwiches and chips and Jimmy Johns has real good sandwiches and chips. I would say next to apple juice and white yogurt (vanilla yoplait for those of you not in the know), sandwiches are Jimmy's favorite foods. They of course have to be very plain sandwiches, and that my friends is why he always chooses a Slim 4 (turkey and bread).

To illustrate his love for sandwiches here is a little tale:
Once he was in big trouble for saying naughty words to me (naughty words he picked up from various other little boys who will remain nameless at this time). As things were sorted out and an apology given, Nate suggested that Jimmy say something nice to me. He contemplated for a minute and then very sincerely said to me, "Eat a sandwich." Because to him, that is one of the nicest things anybody could ever do.

So to all of you I say, Eat a Sandwich.
Good night.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Today there are four people I care about who find themselves in the hospital. (To relieve any stress associated with the previous statement, no one pictured above is in any hospital that I know of except of course Nate, but truth be told he is actually in a surgery center this morning so I would say that doesn't count).

My Grandma TicTac (as my friend from high school used to refer to her as) is in the hospital once again. This is the third time in about two months. I live far away from her now and I can't just buzz up I-55 and see her. Another gal I know is in the hospital here, she's recovering from a cancer-related procedure. And then of course there are two guys in St. Louis, both of whom we know so very well. One needs a kidney transplant, the other is donating his kidney.

So today I pray every one involved in these situations will be blessed with peace and strength to heal and overcome. I pray their medical care will be more than exquisite. And I pray their families will find the power to cope and stay strong.

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Friday, January 14, 2011


Its the weekend!!!

We have games to play,

Battles to be won,

And drama to behold.
Thank Goodness its Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

sunny and high in the low 70s

On my second birthday there was a major blizzard that hit my hometown. Really it disabled the town. No one came to my party. My grandparents toughed it out and managed to arrive in the afternoon by taking the subway all morning. They probably had to stay weeks in our flat recooperating from the across-town trip.

Luckily I had a brand-new play kitchen that entertained them during those days as we all waited for the snow to melt.

Today I have a hard time believing it is my brithday. The sun is warm, the palm trees swaying in the light breeze. The cactus look happy. And I have been test-riding bikes. I'd say mid-thirties is going to be wicked-awesome.

ps the above pictures were taken about a month ago in Flagstaff where they actually do get a lot of snow regulary every winter

pss Nate is sick for probably the first time in our married life. He has Strep. A word to the wise, when you go and see you doctor and find out that he or she is sick and decided to not stick around for their afternoon clinic like he did yesterday, please be grateful he or she will not be trying to provide quality medical care to you through an infectious disease mask, and please do not storm off and threaten to take your business elsewhere.

psss In light of what's been going on here, my birthday will now be stretched out at least through this weekend if not until the end of the month

pssss For this first time in my multiple decade span, I bought a birthday cake for myself. I've never thought to do this before. When Nate's been oncall or captured by the hospital during past birthdays I've either made one myself or gone without. This is a much better road to take. Guess it has taken me this many years to figure it out!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

my visit to the pediatric specialist, this time

I spent the better part of an hour this morning waiting with Grace to see her Ophthalmologist. I really don't mind waiting 20 minutes, 30 is fine too. But over an hour. Wow. And of course it is like this every time. It was the same way with Jimmy's Orthopedic surgeon. Whew.

My nerves bundle up into little clumps every time I enter the parking garage of a children's hospital. I'm so glad our little situations are just that - little and situations - not huge and life threatening. However, I'm always worried about what the doctor may say. We spent years (about 7) patching Grace's eye. This was the "conservative" approach. They would say, 'let's patch for just a little bit longer,' and then at the next visit, 'she's so close, we'll patch some more,' or my favorite 'she's actually slipped a little, we need to patch a bit more this time.'

At the time we had no idea there was another route to go. And not to try and unsuccessfully toot our own horns over here, but we were in position to know there was another route to go. It wasn't until we moved to San Diego (and had a change of doctors) before we found out how slow we had been moving along. Surgery was recommended, and we decided to go for it (with a second opinion) once we moved here. It was successful. We all lived. And Grace's eyes seemed to do exactly what they were supposed to do.

Until Christmas morning. That's when we discovered they were not doing what they were supposed to be doing. And for the record, that isn't the best time to find out you have a non-urgent problem. If you've got a medical emergency on Christmas morning there are people there to take care of you; if you've got a non-urgent problem, well not so much! It took many, many days to get in to see our guy. Many, many days is too many for me.

As we pulled off the freeway, the nerve bundles begin to clump. I can tell this is happening because I put a force-smile on and answer every question Grace has (she has many, by the way) in a positive, yet tense, fashion. I cling to the steering wheel as we turn to drive through every level of the garage (we had to go all the way up this time) and I remind myself that breathing is better than the alternative. I also remind myself that whatever happens we'll deal with it. Whatever it is, it will be fine.

We sit in the waiting room. The Lion King is on (never one of my favorites). Grace loves it and the time passes quickly for her. I flip through magazines, send random texts to Nate (those always amuse me, but that discussion is for another time). I get in some serious people watching. And finally, it is our turn.

We are hurried back into the exam room. Grace chitters and chatters non-stop. She tells me fascinating facts from a 2006 almanac she checked out at the library. We discuss
Roman mythology. I am grateful we are finally back, grateful I cannot hear "The Circle of Life" song playing during the credits, and grateful I can't overhear various mothers in the waiting room discussing their personal problems.

The doctor rushes in. He looks at her, at the three pairs of glasses I brought (if we need to wait for new ones to come in, I want to know if any of these are better than none during our wait time), and then he rushes out. In the two minutes he is out of the room, Nate magically appears. Once the doctor returns, within 5 minutes he determines that everything with her eyes is JUST FINE and that further corrective surgery is NOT required. All we need is to get new glasses, ones that aren't as strong. Turns out we need some that aren't as strong as any pair we've ever had.

I am stunned. I am breathing. Everything is okay. Everything is more than okay.

I'm still stunned.

Friday, January 7, 2011

the elves

There was little doubt on the children's part that the Christmas Elves would find us this year.

I'm not sure what one does to ensure a place on the Christmas Elves' exclusive list, but we somehow manage to be on it every year. See, they bring you brand-spankin' new pajamas. For real. Right to your front door. It is amazing.

Sometimes new pjs on Christmas are kind of dull (especially when you realize that this is your one and only gift you get to open on Christmas Eve), but when you get new Christmas pajamas straight from the North Pole, well that's just a whole new ball of wax!

(feather boa not included, it just happened to look awesome)
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

some might think I'm getting old

Next week I will officially become old (by some people's standards). When newly acquainted contemporaries learn of my age (or soon-to-be age) they are astounded (must be my young vibe I give off all the time). Its really quite funny.

This year I want two things (well, three really if you count another trip to Hawaii, but I know that won't happen next week, so I'll keep it at two):

1. Dinner out with only grown-ups
2. This:

I can't remember the last time I owned one. And I know Nate will insist on a helmet. I suppose mid-thirties is an excellent time to revert back to childhood, right? And as they say, you never forget how to ride a bike. We shall see, people, we shall see.