Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moving day

For a number of reasons – among them the fact that my husband, the web developer, knows how to do this sort of thing – we’ve moved my blog. Can I get a “huzzah”?

Huzzah!

Thank you. Audience participation in a blog post can be a little rough, but you’ve performed admirably.

So, the new blog. It has a new name, and that name is Two Blue Buttons. If you would be so kind as to update your links and subscriptions to http://twobluebuttons.com, I would be tremendously grateful. After that, you can join me at the new blog for cake (there’s always cake on my blog, isn’t there?).

The bad man in the tulips

Tulips are kind of a big deal around here. Every spring, we celebrate them with a tulip festival, so you can meander through fields of tulips, take pictures of your kids meandering through fields of tulips and get in the way while other people take pictures of tulips, all while munching on kettle corn. It’s pretty great.

But if you think this sounds silly, think about it for a minute longer: tulips are beautiful, no? In fact, they’re outrageously, vibrantly beautiful. And fields upon fields of them is such a stunning sight that a few neighboring companies offer “Tulip Tours” via helicopter or airplane. But in case you get the idea that you can just wander up and down the rows of flowers, let me warn you: it’s strictly verboten.

I always thought it was because, you know, flowers are fragile and kids playing hide-and-seek among those delicate stems would really bring down the “stunning” factor (and thus, the cost of admission), but, when my dad, step-mom, myself and the girls went to the fields, my dad overheard a mother telling her children an entirely different story:

“Don’t go in the fields, kids,” she said, “because there’s a bad man who lives in there, and he’ll jump out and grab you when you touch the tulips.”

And so those children embarked upon their struggle with a crippling phobia of tulips – beautiful, blood red tulips.

And yes, I realize that those are daffodils.

(On a side note, who gets to name the tulips? And can I please do it, please? My personal favorite was the “Kung Fu” tulip, though it was closely followed by “Ninja.” I didn’t come across a “Chuck Norris” tulip, though that doesn’t mean that it’s not out there. I haven’t given up hope.)

Smells like pre-teen spirit

What is it, anyway? A combination of Fritos, textbooks, Mountain Dew and overall awkwardness? When I went back to my old junior high this weekend to watch my nephew play basketball, the moment I opened the door to the building, it was there: a smell that was distinctly “junior high,” in the same way that the office at work smells like “dentistry” and our car smells like “funk.”

And whatever that smell was, it made those halls immediately familiar. Mrs. Morris’s room is right where it always was; the bathrooms haven’t changed a bit. The kids camped out on the floor, flipping through books and conspiring quietly could have been my classmates – but wait! My classmates are all my size now, with little ones of their own, and we’re due to have our tenth reunion this summer.

If it feels weird to look at Lydia and think about long, long ago, when she was Sarah’s size, it feels even stranger to realize that they’re not the only ones growing up: they may sprout up before our very eyes, but Mitch and I are still growing, at a slower, steadier pace.

Once, I was the one on the gym floor playing. Now, I’m in the bleachers, smelling  that weird smell and wondering if any of my classmates have kids in the game.

God with us

Merry Christmas! As a gift, I give you:

the first photos I have of all four of us together,

(those are our “roller coaster” faces. As in, “What a roller coaster ride this season can be!”),

a sweet moment (Lydia, playing with her new doll house),

and a brief, brief post.

I hope your Christmas was a beautiful one – not too stressful, but not too lonely either, and full of wonder at God’s goodness in sending his Son to live with us. We had a lovely Christmas, and some of it even happened at our house: I hosted Christmas dinner for the first time ever, and I loved having all of my family together in our wee home.

I want to tell you more–about dinner, about our Jesse tree, about the fun ways we found to share Christmas with Lydia–but I don’t think I have time: tea, The Book Thief and naptime are calling. Maybe I’ll write it all down before Christmas rolls around again.

Heaven & Nature Sing

What have I been up to during the last two years? Why, thank you so much for asking. Here’s a crash course:

  • I celebrated my golden birthday, finally. Twenty-six seems ancient when you’re a kid, but I finally turned 26 on the 26th.
  • I read Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead twice during the same pregnancy, and I loved it more the second time.
  • I lost a good friend and named a daughter after her (I know, I mentioned that already, but it bears repeating).
  • I ate my twenty-seventh birthday dinner at Delancey.  Mitch scored some serious husband points for that one.
  • I survived the summer, despite being nine months pregnant in the midst of our brief heat wave.
  • I reached a whole new level of multi-tasking skills: I can now hold a baby, fry bacon and carry on a conversation with my toddler, all while making note of the fact that we’re low on garlic and resolving to add it to the grocery list.
  • We said hello to our daughter and goodbye to Mitch’s granddad in the same week. Oh my.
  • I made amends with my crock pot, and finally figured out how to season my cast iron skillet. Booyah.
  • I had a VBAC! That was way, way more fun than a cesarean.
  • I discovered Hulu and Netflix, which in turn led me to Modern Family and Pushing Daisies.
  • We attended my family reunion in Minnesota, an event heavily populated by little girls under four. We had a great time, tornado warning and all.
  • We planted our first garden ever and from it, we harvested a pumpkin the size of a terrier.
  • I spent a week living in the hospital while my newborn daughter was in the Special Care Nursery. It was heart-rending and exhausting, but that week was also pretty awesome. God taught me so much about endurance and steadfastness that I get weirdly nostalgic when I think about it, even though I don’t miss brushing my teeth in public restrooms and pilfering graham crackers out of the hospital kitchen at 2 am.
  • And, most recently, I bought a Christmas ornament that reads, “Heaven & Nature Sing,” which reminds me every day of why Christmas is so incredible. When Jesus comes back, I can’t wait to hear heaven and nature sing (of course, I will be singing, too).

Over and out

Are you still there?

Taking a hiatus from the land of Internet can do a girl wonders. A girl might discover that all those naptimes spent blogging and reading blogs could be turned into Writing Time, and thus, one might be compelled to start writing a short story for the first time since, well, one began blogging. (Said story might then be sabotaged by a baby who decides that, hey! Napping is for the birds, forcing one to seriously reconsider how to best use the remaining thirty minutes per day during which one is then allowed to SIT DOWN.)

One might gain a certain perspective that motivates one to STOP WRITING IN RIDICULOUS TENSES and return to good old first person.

Clearly, I am avoiding telling you the news: some time away from Internet combined with a significant decrease in the free time I can reasonably expect in a single day combined with some long-standing ambivalence about the virtues of blogging (in my specific case) has led me to the solid conclusion that, um, I’m quitting.

This might be forever. It might be for right now. Who can say? Whatever comes of it, I’m grateful to all of you who have read and commented and borne with my excessive writing pace and/or month-long silences, particularly in the past year. The entries and comments of the first few months after Lydia’s birth are particularly sweet to me, and I thank you so much for participating in/encouraging me through that bleary-eyed, beautiful, chaotic time.

Rest assured that I am still writing – I haven’t quit that – even if I only manage a paragraph or two before bed most nights. The frequency will probably diminish before it picks up again, I’m sure.

I’ll give you a quick glimpse of where we’re at right now before we part ways: the house is wonderful, spacious, full of people most days of the week. We put that big kitchen to work regularly, though the second bedroom is still serving as a storage closet, and we’re still marvelling in the complete gift this place has been. Every third night or so, I pinch Mitch and cry, “Hey, guess what! We’re eating dinner at the dinner table in the kitchen.” Such things, in our history of closet-sized kitchens, had been previously unheard of.

Lydia is more delightful every day, even if she decided a few months ago (somewhat ironically, given my previous post on her long naps) that naps should not exceed 30 minutes, ever. She is that rare, wonderful creature commonly referred to as A Happy Baby, the sort whose cranky days are mild enough that I feel wretched for complaining because I suspect that other mothers would either ridicule me for being a complete lightweight or stare at me in such a bitter, exhausted way that I would be forced, out of shame and respect, to desist. How this happened, I don’t know, but she’s a good egg. I think we’ll keep her.

Thank you, once more, for everything, O Faithful Readers.

Take care,

t

PS – Here’s one for the road.