Monday, September 29, 2008

I live vicariously...

That's right, I live vicariously through my cool friends since my life is so uneventful. I wish Lisa had her own blog to post this on but since she hasn't buckled yet to peer pressure-mostly from me-I feel obligated to let the blogging world know about her run in with none other than McDreamy....

Not only is he gorgeous, he's also nice and unassuming. I so envy Lisa's career and incredible talents as a PR professional. At least she's still my friend and willing to email me pictures of her great adventures--and let me post them for the world to see. Thanks for sharing, Lis. Can't wait till you start your own blog!...He really is handsome...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Air Force Football

I love football. I've loved football for many, many years. Here's a shout out to my all-time favorite player, David Chrzanowski, #22 for NFA 1984-86.

Norwich Free Academy campus, a high school near mine that actually had a football team.

Jake gave up on football while I was away at Education Week. I like to think that if I were here I could've talked him out of quiting, but the truth is he never really loved it. Too bad because I would be a football mom to be reckoned with...not unlike an Alaskan hockey mom, really.

Rachel really enjoying the game.

Saturday we attended the AFA game against the U of U. It was fun and Utah won, 30-23. I really am comfortable rooting against Utah in any setting so it was a bit disappointing to see Air Force lose. We can't wait to go to the BYU game where we will have to cheer BYU on to another major win! Go Cougars. (We'll leave Rachel home for that one.)

Rachel slept through the last half of the game, and it was LOUD.

One thing I absolutely love about this place (Colorado Springs) is the overwhelming patriotism. With the Air Force Academy, NORAD, and Fort Carson all right here, there's no shame in shedding a tear during the national anthem. Whenever we have the opportunity to go to a game I get all puffed up and proud just being in the presence of such devoted servicemen and women. I'm so happy to raise my kids in a place where country does indeed come first.

A beautiful day at a football game and another proud day to be American.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wisdom Gained the Hard Way

It's been eight weeks, eleven trips into the office, two surgeries, 60 darvocet, 60 oxycodone, 362 advil, more than 20 days on antibiotics, over 300 fl oz of listerine, a worn out irrigator, many hours with a hot pad and so many sleepless hours that I can't believe it's finally over. My mouth is nearly completely healed from my wisdom teeth nightmare. I will never be back to see this man again for my own teeth, I sincerely hope!

He looks like a nice enough guy but I have cursed his name many times. The truth is I missed going to a formal "gala" because I didn't feel up to it and I was afraid he might be there and I might lose control and spit on him in front of everyone. Oooh, he is a sadistic person...poking and prodding at me where it hurt the most. People think pathologists are a strange bunch but they are much nicer than these oral surgeon least autopsies are on dead people.

Some things I learned through all this: never assume that the complications happen only to other people; insist on getting a priesthood blessing anytime you feel like you need one; don't rely on your super-tough-guy-husband to be sympathetic or overly concerned; let yourself recover without feeling guilty that you are not functioning at 100%-I probably would have recovered more quickly had I listened to my body better and not tried to be so "tough"...

Here's to good health and really appreciating it. And also to preschool days that are not spent at the oral surgeon's office! Woohoo, I'm a liberated woman.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last of Summer Highlights for 2008

There are a few things I failed to write about that should not be forgotten from our great summer.

First is our garden. Dave put in a raised bed system hugging the side of our house that actually grew a bunch of beautiful plants and kept the deer out. I'm afraid we did have some bunnies eating our bounty though. Let's just say that our "Max and Ruby" did not fair very well once Rachel found them and pointed them out to Dave. (Did you know Ben got a BB gun for Christmas? Well, he did.) Thanks to them we have absolutely no peppers at all. Who knew rabbits like peppers so well?

We are still waiting for our tomatoes to ripen but it will be a huge crop if they manage to ripen before they freeze. This is a tough climate in which to garden! Thanks for all the hard work boys.

Next would be our visit from Papa Mertz and Grandma Bertha. They were here right after my dreaded wisdom teeth fiasco and so I was a terrible hostess but it was so nice to have their help and company. Next time I promise not to have any surgeries scheduled!

Thirdly, we had Anson come for a visit. Jake and Anson have been good buddies since third grade and Jake has visited his house each time we return to Utah. This time it was Anson's chance to visit here. It was so fun to have him. Thanks for spending some of your precious summer vacation with us! Before he left we were able to go the Flying W Ranch for dinner with his family. It's a great place to bring visitors. Come visit and we'll take you too.

Ben, Anson, Jake

At Flying W Ranch

Lastly, this summer Dave learned to do a frontside air at the Castle Rock skatepark. He's been quite obsessed actually. I'm so glad he is passionate about something that makes him so happy and keeps him in shape (he dropped down to 164 pounds!).

As a young girl of 16, I wished that I would marry a skateboarder. I now laugh about that. Be careful what you wish for! Who would've guessed that I would lose every Saturday morning and many, many days off to the skatepark? He's amazing by anyone's standards. People stand around to watch him at the skatepark because he's so good. Strangers even ask to take his picture while skating.

I love that guy. I'm so lucky that his mid-life crisis will likely involve a new board rather than a Porsche. He hasn't had a major injury this summer either, which of course is miraculous in addition to being a highlight. Thanks for making me smile!

Jake took all these photos today. Dave bribed him to get up early and accompany him to Castle Rock this morning with the promise of McDonald's breakfast. Nice photos, Jake.

A couple other things that I don't want to forget include the fact that Ben slept in Jake's room every night this summer and they called it a sleepover every night. And "the list" they made of activities to do all summer. When we were here and didn't have company, they got out the list and threw darts at the dartboard to decide what to do that day. Each item had a number that corresponded to the activity and the darts would land near a number to help them choose an activity. Too cute and soooo like Jake. Also, we went to Focus on the Family with Rachel for playgroup and the boys performed on the stage. This probably won't happen for much longer. They're growing up fast but not totally grown up yet. What a happy, fun-filled summer!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Book Club

I love Book Club. I love to read, and according to my sassy twelve-year-old, it's my only real hobby. But the truth is I also love to eat dessert; Book Club provides an outlet for both of my hobbies, be they real or not.

Seriously though, we have the best desserts at our meetings. Last month Kim E. made the most amazing panna cotta, Laura has served unforgettable fruit pizza, Suzy whips up lots of homemade treats including pie, Annee has been known to wow us with the Oreo ice cream cake creation as well as the angel food raspberry luscious cake, Lynn made meringues with raspberry sauce that were low-cal in addition to being delicious. The list goes on and on.

I usually chicken out and buy something because the pressure is too much, but tonight I bit the bullet and made a new recipe that I've been wanting to try for ages. It was delicious and I was grateful to have an excuse to make something out of the ordinary. I guess after three years of reading and eating and confiding in each other I felt like I could make something new and try it out on them. They'd probably all still like me even if it had turned out poorly. This Chocolate Harvest Cake was really yummy. If you want the recipe, leave a comment and I will email it to you.

Happy reading and bon appetit!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This and That

Well, Becky, here it goes. What you will find in my church bag this week:

  • EFY flier to copy for YW

  • Old notebook for kids to draw in

  • Empty package of mini M&M's

  • Empty package of trail mix

  • Five sheets of scratch paper colored on by kids

  • "Water WOW" doodle book with Disney princesses and water-filled paintbrush

  • Partial package of Pip-Squeak markers that are mostly dried out

  • 24 Crayons

  • YW binder

  • Sketchbook with my YW lesson in it

  • Full-sized Quad

  • Invitation to General Women's Conference

  • Strawberry Shortcake notebook

  • Empty barf bag(you never know when you might need it)

  • Post-it note pad

  • Dirty napkin

  • A rock (?!)

  • Church keys

  • Mini kleenex pack

  • Two pens--make that 3 pens

  • One mechanical pencil

  • Travel-size bottle of Advil

  • "Monumints" from the Statue of Liberty

  • Three Benadryl-D

  • Pack of gum

  • One highlighter

  • Two hairbands

  • Tithing slip receipt

  • Ice Breakers Energy mints (they have caffeine in them! It's taking me forever to use them up. I didn't realize I was buying caffeine mints at the time I bought them. Is it bad to carry them with me at church?)

I thought this would not be fair because I had just emptied out my bag to take to Education Week. The truth is, it is usually much worse. I suppose two weeks is enough to bring it back up to speed as a Mom's catchall.

The thing I love the most about my church bag is it's color. Dave bought it for me for Easter this year. It's to carry my laptop when I travel. I don't travel very often so I use it for church. I don't think I would have picked out that color for myself, but I love it!

Post what's in your church bag, if you dare.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rachel's First Day of Preschool

She did it. Today Rachel went to preschool for the first time. She was very excited and she didn't cry at all. I was afraid she might since she told me she would cry if Ruby and Jane were not there. I think she finally realizes that they have moved but she still holds out hope that they'll be all the places we want them to be...don't we all in our own way? Either that or she simply knows how to stress me out. Probably a little of both.

Ms. Shanda and Ms. Bertha were very kind and kept her busy the whole three hours. She made bracelets, played, had snack, colored, cut, glued, and basically "worked hard" (according to her own assessment) the whole time. Yay, Rachel. We're so happy and proud.
Ben had the day off for a teacher work day so he got to be there for drop-off and pick-up. One mom was crying at drop-off and Ben will never forget it. He thought that was a bit too dramatic. I understand the tears though...I'm not feeling it this year, but maybe in two years for kindergarten. We'll see.