Wednesday, March 31, 2010

All you need is love

The Beatles were so wise...

Matt and I had a wee date on Sunday, as little M was feeling under the weather, and didn't go to church with us. After church, we ran a few errands, and had lunch at Rose's Restaurant. Rose's is a lovely diner style restaurant, and it honestly kind of surprised me that the staff wasn't on skates.

The best thing about Rose's though? The sentimental value. This place makes an impossibly delicious 7 layer (SEVEN) raspberry poppyseed cake (now it's only 4 or 5 layers...still ginormous). One taste, and Matt and I knew.

It was our wedding cake.

Fast forward 7 1/2 years, and we're back...eating delicious, greasy comfort food, and saving room for The Cake.

After a few bites, we both happened to lay our forks down...

As I snapped this shot, Matt declares that we should eat it into a heart. I giggled at him, thinking "wow, how cheesy is THAT?" and...well...

What can I say? We're both made of cheese, basically.
That didn't last long...and before you knew it, we were both groaning in bloated happiness...


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Sometimes, having a kid means you get your heart your own child.

Yesterday I was able to take off from work and hang out with miss M. We didn't have any concrete plans for the day, but we'd talked about going to see a movie and inviting a friend of hers along for the fun.

Early in the day I call the friend's mom to see if she can come, only to found ourselves invited to go swimming with their family and several others as well. So we head out, happy as larks, and go to lunch afterward. We'd originally planned to go to a pizza place just down the street, but found that it had closed that location! So we ended up at Red Robin...much later than any of the kids were used to eating. So, it's 1:30pm, and we have 7 starving kids at our table with four adults.
It was basically crisis management until the food arrived.

Once food arrived, things were fine, and we ended up taking M's friend home with us for a short play time before heading to the movie. We have a grand ol' time at the movie, and dance a little the music, laugh, and imagine that we too, are princesses.

Evening is over, time to take M's friend home, we hang out a little and chat with friend's mom, then head out to home for some dinner.

I put M to bed, and as I'm reading her poems from A Light In The Attic (her favorite...kid's got taste!), she interupts me several times to tell me what a bad, bad day she had. She starts listing a litany of affronts to her personage during the day, from which I was not excused. She ends it all with " I HATE today, today was the worst day ever, I HATE it."
She then goes to sleep.

I go to my room, still smarting, and go to sleep too. I end up dreaming a weird, sad, disturbing dream where I fought with my best friend, then come home to find M nowhere in the house where I'd left her (alone, what on earth?), and the door open. The only thing I cared about at that point was that thieves took my tape measure.

I woke up feeling like a horrible person, not even caring about the well-being of my child over a 2 dollar tape measure, and for basically failing to give her an AWESOME day yesterday while we had some time together.

I know I have unrealistic expectations for myself through all aspects of my life, and parenting is no exception.

I'd just like to know, do your kids hurt your feelings too? I feel downright wounded, and silly for feeling so, since she's only 7, and she's my daughter, so in my mind I should be tougher than that.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oh happy Friday

I don't know about you...but sometimes, even Fridays can really suck for me. NOT THIS ONE!!

We had a fun day at work (once in a blue moon, so I treasure that), and it just got better from there.

Forgive me, but these picture essay style posts are too fun, so I'm going to continue for a bit :)

A little back-story: KG, a coworker of mine, recently bought a new car. I know how I felt about my car when it was new, and so when he started parking it out front, where he could see it from his desk, I figured I'd help him out a bit. I now park near him, usually only one space over, or sometimes, I miss the mark and end up straddling two spaces. Today, I decided to see if I could straddle two spaces while NOT making it look accidental. We decided the parking job + sun = photo shoot time...

After leaving work in my hot little ride, I had about an hour before I'd need to pick little M up from a friend's house. So, I headed to a nearby park. I went straight for this:

and sat there with my knitting, braving the wind (much colder than it first felt like it would be...), and soaking up some of this rare thing:

Amazing...we had SUN today! As I was walking back to my car, I noticed the bright clear sun, gave me one of these, which are usually not so substantial in our cloudy, overcast city:

Next to my car was a little overgrowth full of dandelions, blowing in the wind. Between the sun on them, and the wind making them dance, I just had to snap a picture. That's when I noticed my little buddy, braving the cold for his first taste of Spring!

On the way home, I did a fair bit of this, though this series of shots was taken when the car was stopped, thankyouverymuch:

To my surprise, when I got inside our house, I found that I had not one, but TWO packages awaiting me! I hadn't expected either one, so it was a fun mail day for me :) First, I had a box from VocalPoint, a company that gets samples to consumers so we'll try stuff out and talk it up. This was a full sized bottle of a new Pantene shampoo:

I have yet to try it, but I'm sure I'll love it...because I love all Pantene products LOL
The other, was a mysterious package, that was from Got Friends? (Which is a reference to a Ravelry swap I'm in):

The package was heavy, and kind of stiff...I almost thought there was a book in it, but's not big enough for a book, is it?

well, let's peek inside...

Well that sure looks fun, and colorful! So, I pull everything out. I know I'm an adult, all that jazz...but I am NO GOOD at taking my time with presents. Once I'm allowed the reveal of a surprise, I am all over that like white on rice, or green on grass. YOU CANNOT STOP ME!

So, I find THIS note on the light pink tissue wrapped item:

In case you can't read it, it says:
I've been peeking at your queue - it looks like you could really use this! (I hope you don't already have it...)

Well heck, now I HAVE to see what's in there...

Y'all, my secret partner sent me a full on pattern book! it's brand spanking new...and no, I do not have it. I had been considering ordering it from Amazon, but hadn't gotten around to it. GAH! I showed my non-knitting mother in law, and she totally thinks it's cute. I just hope my creations turn out as cute as the ones pictured!

All in all, a lovely package:

A lovely set of "rub ons" for making cards and what not, and that flowered rectangle on the lower right? That's a notebook with an elastic band to keep it closed! She also included a tiny little Mary Engelbreit card (how did you know, partner? we LOVE M.E. in our house...), which let me know that this is NOT the only package!!

Oh secret pal, you spoil me so! I would be happy with just this, it's perfect! Thank you so much, whoever you are. You were the icing to my cake of a Friday :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh my, you Macarena'd my heart

If you've read this blog for any length of time, or know me, you've probably figured out that I'm dizzy in love with Matt, the hubby. What you may not know, is how long I've been drunk in love with him.

This year will mark 8 years of marriage. That's a lot to most people, but this year is FINALLY the year where we've been married longer than we dated. That's right, this couple right here dated for 7 years before our wedding. We were high school sweethearts, on and off through college (that's all me, and another story for another day), and so on.

Since we're high school sweethearts, we have a TON of dirt on each other. Today, due to the lovely randomness of my iPod, a long lost memory was brought back, and I'm here to share it with all of you fine Internet folks.
  • Circa 1996
  • Bad hair, but we haven't realized it yet
  • Evening time at the high school "commons" where dances were held
  • Valentine's Day Sadie Hawkins dance
  • Theme: Pajama Dance (go figure)
Scene:Matt, myself, Rachel (bff to this day), Joel, and a handful of other people who I don't remember; sort of dancing, mostly talking and goofing around in a less crowded area of the dance floor

The Macarena comes on. You know, the one the VP danced to, that has simple hand movements and is stupid and catchy all at once. Well, Rachel and I start busting it out, because

a) we're high schoolers,

b) we're giddy with being at a dance with cute boys, and

c) it's a fun way to goof off and generally not look horrifically stupid.

We tire of dancing along and singing along about halfway through....we're milling around again, and suddenly, out of nowhere, it happens.

Rachel reaches over to Matt, who has moved near the rail of this slightly elevated area, essentially putting himself on display, were anyone looking.

And she pantsed him.

To his knees.

He was able to grab and yank the pj pants back up in time that I don't think hardly anyone saw....but that stands as one of my favorite memories of being with him and my friends. He, of course, had the good nature to laugh it off, even though he wasn't happy she'd done it.

The night was topped off with the two of us dancing to Savage Garden and Sublime, and he sang the Sublime song into my ear!!

Which reminds me of another fond memory that I will share another day...

I tell you, Internet, I married one heck of an amazing man.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wrestling with fear

Last night was the final night of M's wrestling camp. Poor thing, something about wrestling has scared her, and we can't for the life of us figure out what on earth it could be. A wailed 'EVERYTHING!" isn't helpful when we're trying to allay your fears...ha.

So, here's how yesterday went, all times are approximate:

3:40pm: I arrive at M's school, but the tournament isn't scheduled to start until 4pm, so I hang out and knit a little bit in my car before heading in.

3:45pm: I realize I should head in so I can get a good seat for pictures, so off I go.

3:47pm:I come across M's backpack in the middle of the hall, and her water bottle about 10 feet further down the hall...also in the middle. Everyone else's items are against the wall. This doesn't bode well, and my stomach starts doing flips.

3:48pm: I enter the gym, find a few of M's friends sitting on the bleachers, and don't see M among them. They tell me she's over on another part of the bleachers. My eyes scan the crowd, and finally find my sad little M, still in school clothes, alone on the bleachers.

3:49-4:05pm: She spends the majority of this time looking like these kids:

While I did my best not to freak out on her, as she'd promised us that she would finish this out. I at least was able to calm her down, and then Matt finally arrived shortly after she got calm.

4:06-sometime later, I stopped looking at the clock: Matt and I both "reason" with her, weather her pouts, shouts and general fit throwing actions. He reminds her that she'll have the following consequences, if she doesn't do this final tournament as agreed:
  • She will not be allowed to do softball, though she nearly peed herself she was so excited to do it this this spring
  • She will have to pay us back the non-refundable $85 fee for the softball she'd be losing out on
  • Matt would return the cool new skateboard game he bought, never to buy again
  • We would not go out for pizza that night
  • She would not be permitted to participate in after school sports again for a while

The majority of this time was spent with her declaring "I don't CARE!" and Matt trying to convince her that we knew she DID care, and would regret the choice of having to do chores for the next year or more to pay us back (not to mention we really didn't want to have to deal with following through on all those, though we absolutely would if needed).

5:30pmish: We get her back into the gym, near the mat, but sitting on the floor with us. Matt finally convinces M to eat a muffin I"d brought,

sips some water,

and WHOA NELLY, is this the same child? Suddenly she's out on the mat with the kids, like we'd been trying to convince her to do (this is not them, FYI):


6:00pmish (at this point I"m woozy and emotionally exhausted and beyond caring about what time it is): She goes to her coach with a huge grin on her face, and asks to be put in!

6:15pm: She's on the mat! WRESTLING! Everyone's cheering for her! She only scored one point, but had fun. The whole reason for doing it - FUN!

^^ This is WAY more intense than her and her partner were, they were focused on the fun end of knocking each other down :)

7:00pm: the kids get ribbons, medals and t-shirts (everyone got something, M got a 4th place ribbon and awesome t shirt), and we finally disperse for home.

7:30pm: We end up at Flying Pie pizza, stuffing our faces:

8:30pm: We're finally home, M's playing the new skateboarding game with Matt, and we're all smiles

Overall, a very successful night, as far as parenting, perseverance, and bravery are concerned. Small steps lead to big reward:

Felt good to end the day that way. We both told M over and over that not only were we proud of her in general, but we were SO proud that she was SO scared to go out there, and she had the courage to face her fear and just do it. She actually wrestled twice before it was over, and the second time she score 3 points to the other girl's 5! It was a good, close match, and she did a great job getting out of holds and shooting for her opponent's legs.

She's growing up, and while the meltdown was exhausting and horrific for me, I"m so happy to be married to Matt, a man with the patience of a rock, and the ability to talk reason in the most unreasonable of us females in his family. He is the reason she finally took that first step of taking off her shoes and going out on the mat. She took the initiative to ask her coach to put her in! If she'd just been sitting on the mat, they wouldn't have called her, because they made the list of kids earlier in the night.

All we asked was that she TRY - doesn't matter the outcome, but make the attempt to accomplish it. She finally did, and she doesn't regret one bit. Neither do I.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So about last night...

As I posted, I spent approximately an hour yesterday at the gym. Our gym has this cool "women only" area located off the women's locker very few people actually see you work out, etc.

For people who are self-conscious, like me, that's important, and pretty much the only place I do my workout. It's a lovely room, with two walls of windows, one of which faces a pretty garden they've planted next to the building. The other faces the parking lot, and for me offers lots of fun people-watching.

Yesterday was the epitome of such experiences for me.

I'm on the StairMaster thing (Brutal Mistress is the other name for it, I saw it next to the Enter key),

kind of spacing out so I'm not focusing on my legs burning. I notice a movement outside, and focus on it. It's a man I've been halfway watching, because he's been dinking around at his car for the past few minutes. It's a big SUV/truck thing, and he's got the front door and the back door on the driver's side open, and he keeps going back and forth between them, but doesn't appear to be doing anything.

When his movement caught my eye, I looked over in time to see him drop his pants, take them off completely (I was treated to a little butt in man-undies there too), and put his jeans on. He'd obviously been working out, based on his clothing, and there's changing rooms for men and I can't fathom why on earth the parking lot was his choice for changing.

Funnier than this? As his butt became pants-less, a mom and her two kids pulled into a parking spot about 5 spaces down from him. I kept watching back and forth, wondering when the you know what would hit the fan. But...they didn't appear to notice.

I had my own, privately public, peep show at the gym.

And people wonder why the gym draws people in.

A kick in the can't

My little princess came home a week ago from school, bearing the breathless news of "MOM! You'll never guess what I have in my. back.pack. AND I WANT TO DO IT!!!!!"

Well heck, with an intro like that, what mother is going to ignore it and pretend nothing is in the backpack? Probably a mom of children who bring home crazy WWE like flyers, or frogs, or the like. (though, I don't mind frogs, but if we found them on a regular basis in the backpack, I wouldn't jump to check it out after a while)

My child generally doesn't do these things, and for the most part doesn't care what's being sent home in her backpack. I"m sure, once she's older and a note from the teacher or the like starts coming home (we all know girls get into just as much trouble as boys), she'll start caring. But for now, generally no big whoop.

But, with a breathless, screechy, OMGOSH YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS RIGHT NOW voice from the backseat...
It's a thing for WRESTLING and mom I want to do it can I doitprettypleaseireallywanttoanditsoundssofun!!!!

So...we wrote the check and signed her up. This girl has energy to spare and just THRIVES in sports in general. (See: Basketball the last two years running)

Monday, I show up and hang out for the first day of after school wrestling, to make sure I"m not missing out on any important information for parents or anything. Nope, clean, simple program. It's run by the high schoolers, with the head coach overseeing them, and it's SO cute to see these big teenage boys wrangling about 50 grade schoolers in the small wrestling room.

It's also cute to see those little kiddos pulling a half nelson on each other without mercy!

About halfway through, the coaches pull them all to the middle in a circle, and go over the rules. The rules of wrestling at M's school are quite simple:
  1. Take a knee and shut your mouth when your coach is talking
  2. You are not allowed to say "can't" in that room. If you do, you have to do push ups
That's pretty much it - the kids respect each other and the coaches (ah, would that we all still had that respect for each other as adults), and it's a happy, sweaty, loud room to be in during practice.

Yesterday, I worked a little later, M's gramma picked her up from wrestling. This was the plan.
Picking her up early was NOT the plan. The coach called gramma a little after 4 (they start at 3:30) and said M was having a hard day, requested to be picked up, etc.

Ok when I get home, I chat with gramma, and find out that M said "can't", and thus started the downward slope of the day. I"m sure it was a combination of being embarassed that she had to do pushups, that she "got in trouble", and that frustration of not being able to do something that was asked of her.

When I talked to her, she was begging not to go back, that she's "used to going home after school" etc. I told her I understood, but she's going to go back, that she simply had a bad day, and that's OK.

Everyone has bad days, you just give it another shot the next day. At this point, I think she realized that she won't get away with just whining, and I will make her go back in there.

Matt and I have both talked to her about it doesn't matter whether you can actually accomplish what your coaches are asking (highly unlikely on the 3rd day of wrestling), you simply need to TRY. That's all we want, give it a shot, and have some fun. So, today she's going back, and I'm headed over there after work to observe, and make sure she's giving it a good shot today. :)

I'm also a little jealous, wrestling looks like FUN! It takes me back to middle school, the first time I encountered a wrestling room...where it was a gymnastics room if you're a girl, a wrestling room if you were a boy. I was a bit bummed I couldn't sign up for wrestling, but as I was taking gymnastics outside of school, I was looking at it as a chance to show off.

Gotta love 12 year old girls!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Well, ok then

Saturday night, I was destined for a lovely date with my father to the Oregon Ballet Theatre's performance of Mendelsson's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Saturday evening, I was gradually getting ready.

I curled my limp hair.

I put makeup on my blotchy face.

I attempted to style my limp, semi-curly hair. 5 times.

Bobby pins and hairspray rendered it somewhat acceptable, but in no way "WHOA GIRL" like I wanted.

I put on a cute 50's style dress we found this winter.

I zipped it up. I had Matt zip it up. 5 full minutes, grunting and sweating was zipped...and I was gasping for breath.

We acknowledged that little adventure was fun, and undid all that hard work with one unzip.
I didn't have a backup threw together some pants and a silk top.

Neither fit me well, but the top drapes enough to hide the muffin top from the uncomfortably too small pants.

What I would like to know is...WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?

Basically none of my clothes fit all of a sudden. And so...I am now on a mission. I happen to like the clothes I have, and I am NOT happy to be growing....and so action is about to be taken.
  • Food - healthy and small portions. Lots of veggies and fruits, and color
  • Activity - going to the gym daily, even if I have to pay to take M with me for an hour or two.
  • Goal - be happy in my clothes again, and be happy with what I see in the mirror.

also? Hair - listen better shape up. You used to be amazing and pretty much always did what I wanted...I don't know why you've given up on life, but I haven't given up on you, and I WILL kick your butt into gear. Get with the program.

Monday, March 8, 2010

3/8/10 Daily Blessings

  1. Creative urges (amazing release)
  2. My husband (who let me sleep away more than half of Sunday!)
  3. God (who has blessed me with more than I could ever list out)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3/3/10 Daily Blessings

  1. the lovely local coffee shop near my house
  2. a quiet house in the morning
  3. my bed