Friday, January 30, 2009

Facebook Newbie

I joined Facebook yesterday. Kind of as an experiment. To see what all the fuss was about. I'd been invited through email numerous times but had always resisted. So when Lilian went down for a nap yesterday afternoon I sat down at the computer... Dang! It's so huge it's almost overwhelming! All 4 of my sisters are there. A good 50% of my cousins. Aunts and Uncles too. And that's before I even got into all the highschool and college friends. Plus all the neighborhoods we've ever lived in during our marriage. Oh my. I've had to force myself to get up and clean the kitchen, ask the kids how school went, make Lilian some lunch. I'm hoping that after a few days the novelty will wear off and life will get back to normal with just average checking and maintenance of my profile. I'm new at this so to you more seasoned facebookers: is it possible? Or does there go life as I know it?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pianos, Books and Technology

We have "his and hers" pianos now. Did I tell you that already? Ever since we bought the Yamaha Baby Grand piano...Bryan has been hugely interested in musical theory and re-learning how to play. He has spent HOURS and HOURS on the computer researching and practicing intervals, notes and scales. He claims that yesterday morning when his phone rang, waking him up from a dead sleep, the first thing that popped into his consciousness was not the fact that someone was trying to get a hold of him but the interval pattern in the song/ring. He has been frustrated, though, that he couldn't play the piano as much as he'd like because much of his free time was when the kids were asleep. And in order to keep them that way playing the piano after 9:30 or so just wasn't an option. So he started looking into keyboards and digital pianos. Something he could attach headphones to and play till 2:00 in the morning if he wanted. (Which he has done now more than once.) His research led him to a Yamaha Clavinova 405 which now sits in our living room opposite the baby grand. And he spends hours on it. Daily. His fingers are sore from playing so much. He is SO excited about the things he is learning, the improvements he is making in playing, and the amazing things this piano can do. He says that this piano is more than just a's more like a symphony box. It really is seriously awesome. But I prefer my baby grand. Maybe I'm old fashioned. Maybe I'm a romantic but I LOVE my piano. I love that I can see inside to all the tiny little pieces of wood and metal that make the piano have the sound that it does. I love the craftsmanship behind it. I love that I own and play an instrument that has been around for hundreds of years. And that the piano that I own, if taken care of, could potentially last another hundred years. It's not going to go out of style or out of date when technology changes.

I've realized that I'm the same way about books. I LOVE to read. Love, love, love it. And so you would think that I'd be really excited about all these new, fancy ways you can read a book. I can listen on my ipod, I can download a book to my computer, I can put books on the Kindle from Amazon. But none of those things actually allow you to hold a book in your hand. The smell, the feel, being able to turn pages, the weight in my hands, the overall look of the book. These things....once again, maybe because I'm old fashioned or a romantic...I love. It scares me to death when some forward thinker proudly announces that someday in the not too distant future all books will be accessed electronically and we won't have need for libraries or bookshelves.

All of this makes me sound like a technophobe, I'm sure. Honestly, I'm not against technology. I can't live without my computer. I listen to my ipod everyday and I'm totally in love with my sweet, new, shiny cell phone. I'm sure that I will also enjoy countless hours of playing Bryan's new digital piano. But, oh! There are just some things that I'm not sure you can improve on. And I just hope that many of these electronic "upgrades" that are supposed to make your life easier can exist side by side in harmony with the tried and true.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday: Little monkeys

May 2007. Silly, cute kiddos hanging over the railing....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sick Boy

Brandon came home from school today claiming he didn't feel very good. A reading from the thermometer indicated a fever of 100.8 and he quickly fell asleep in the love sac. A few hours later Brandon made his way upstairs with concerns that maybe he was going to throw up and headed to the bathroom. A little while later, when no vomiting sounds had been heard, I went back to check on Brandon and found him sound asleep like this:

And then, of course, my mind got busy trying to tally how many days it had been since I had last cleaned that toilet......

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Proud to be an American

I watched President Obama take his oath of office yesterday and listened to his speech. Here are some things that jumped out at me.

"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends-hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism-these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history."

"For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate."

"...firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

"...why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."

It was a GOOD speech. I saw many in the audience wiping away tears and at first, I thought they were just silly. Yes, it's a great speech. Yes, this is a historic moment with the first black president. I get that. I appreciate that. But c'mon! And then towards the end I started getting the chills and found myself dangerously close to tears as well. I know President Obama and I don't see eye to eye on everything. But I like him. I really do. I really hope he can do some good for this country. I think he can.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

If You Are Looking For A Good Laugh...

I went to see this play last night at Hale Centre Theatre with my Mom, sister Melissa and her friend Linda. We all have season tickets together. And lucky me, I also ended up unexpectedly sitting next to two friends from my old neighborhood as well. I laughed and laughed and laughed. My cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. It's such a funny show. And the cast is just phenomenal. If you get a chance, I highly recommend this show.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I took Lilian up to Kiddie Kandids today to try and get some better shots of her. Preferably something with some sort of smile. I figured that Kiddie Kandids might be better with little toddlers and was probably used to doing all sorts of silly and crazy things to get them to smile. Lilian was still not at all happy about the prospect of getting more pictures taken. About 10 minutes into it I was ready to quit and settle for the other non-smile shots we already had. But the photographer assured me that everything would be fine, to just let Lilian play for a bit and get comfortable with her. I think we played for a good 20 minutes...with toys and also various chairs and props that caught Lilian's attention....before getting even a single shot. And the shots she did get were just of Lilian playing...a random glance up with a smile that she was able to catch. I don't know how she did it. But I now have some sweet, SMILING pictures of my girl.

Favorite Photo Friday: Happy Baby

September 2007. A picture of my happy, sweet Lilian baby. Who isn't much of a baby anymore. She runs, not walks, everywhere she goes and she's FAST! She talks constantly and, amazingly enough, I can usually understand her. (You should hear her say "Mickey Mouse," it's SO funny.) She sings "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" well enough that people can tell what she is singing...on pitch and everything. She's a little monkey, climbing on everything. She's old enough to throw a decent tantrum when she's annoyed. She'll yank on my arm good and hard and say, "Mommy, come on!" when she wants me to go somewhere with her. We've been rearranging rooms and furniture lately with the arrival of new bedroom sets for the older girls. Lilian has been inheriting some things and all of the sudden her room looks more like a little girl room instead of a baby nursery. She's growing up. How did that happen so quickly?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy 38th Anniversary!

Today is January 15th. It's the 38th wedding anniversary of Bryan's parents. I want to say how much I love and admire them. How I couldn't ask for better in-laws. How thankful I am to them for raising such an amazing son. And how grateful I am for their wonderful many things, definitely, but specifically in their relationship. In watching them there is no doubt that they have a beautiful marriage...based on respect, friendship, service, sacrifice, humor, and love.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Portraits For The Wall

Couldn't for the life of me get Lilian to smile. And that green bit in the corner of her picture? That's me. She wouldn't let me get further away from her than that. She wasn't grumpy or tired, really. Just nervous. And why is it that she always has a bruise on her head when we get pictures taken? She had one in that exact same spot last time. You'd think it was permanent or something.
It was a spur of the moment decision to have Bryan jump into a shot with the kids. Does he look like a single Dad? :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday: Brave Girl!

Many of you know of my feelings in regard to snakes. I hate them. I. HATE. Them. With a passion. Spiders? No problem. Mice? Whatever. But snakes? My worst fear. The first time I took my kids to the zoo we didn't go near the snake house. The next time, I waited outside while Bryan took them through. The time after that, I waited inside but didn't walk around. And the time after that...I walked through with the kids but kept my eyes to the floor. Now, I can walk through, look and even point them out to the kids but I get a pretty good case of the heebie jeebies. See? I'm making progress...really, I am! One year, on our way out of the main gates there was a zoo keeper holding a boa constrictor for people to see up close. Julianne was fascinated. She walked right up and began to pet it like it was a dog or something. I was stunned! And strangely, I found myself ready to burst with pride that she had the courage to do something like that....something that I certainly wouldn't be able to do. Funny enough, for her, I don't think it was an act of courage, just curiosity. So whenever I see this picture I'm torn... part pride in remembrance and part "Ewww" from looking at a picture of a snake. Luckily, having my sweet daughter in the picture as well lessens the ewww factor a bit. October 2000.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Women of Steel

I just finished registering for a triathlon today. It's in May. As it is a triathlon, we're talking swimming, biking, and running. I don't even own a bike. Yet. Am I crazy? Maybe I am. But I am also really excited. I watched many of my neighbors train for this event last year and decided to join them for this year's event when they emailed me the info a few days ago.
Years ago I had a friend who was training for a marathon because, he said, everyone had "Run a Marathon" as a lifetime goal that they someday wanted to achieve. I laughed. I had NO desire to do a marathon or anything even remotely like it. But I'm finding myself coming around to his way of thinking. Maybe it's the neighborhood I live in. Maybe it's the fact that I'm getting older and want to prove that I really can still do something like this. Well, whatever it is, I'm officially registered. No turning back now! Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Delivery Truck=EXCITEMENT

RC Willey truck is making a stop at our house sometime in the next week and a half. The girls are VERY excited. Rebekah fell in love with the modern looking, light wood set. Julianne adored the more traditional, dark wood set. Maybe the excitement of having their own bedroom furniture will help them to keep their rooms clean?

LATER MONDAY NIGHT: Rebekah's bedroom set arrived today. It was the floor model of a style they didn't have in stock anymore so we got a really good deal on it. But because it was the floor model it was delivered already put together instead of in pieces. The delivery guys thought this was great, that they'd be in and out lickety split. Ah, no. They couldn't get the bed through the door in that tight hallway downstairs. They actually had to take it completely apart, get it through the door and put it back together again. Poor guys...I think they were here a full hour. But Rebekah was jumping up and down for glee when she got home and spent much of the evening organizing all her stuff. Rebekah and Julianne had always shared a room until we moved to this house a little over a year ago. They were thrilled to have their own space but less than excited about the fact that they had to split up all the furniture and "stuff" that they had been sharing for the past 9 or so years. We took the bunk beds apart so they each had their own bed. Julianne got the dresser, Rebekah got the get the idea. So getting them their own bedroom sets has been on the "to do" list for awhile. We had thought to use their birthdays this year as a good time to go furniture shopping but great holiday deals dragged us to RC Willey a bit earlier than planned. Julianne's new room should arrive in a week and a half or so. She's anxious.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Discouraging Morning

I was doing sit-ups yesterday. Trying valiantly to start the new year off on the right foot. Lilian was downstairs with me. She'd been nibbling on a piece of chocolate. Sweet thing, she decided to share with Mommy...just like Mommy does with her. So she stood next to me and stuffed chocolate in my mouth every time my head came up. Sigh. A good personal trainer she is not.

I was in the bathroom straightening Rebekah's hair when Bryan walked MY jeans. I had left them on the floor in the bedroom the night before. I don't know if he originally thought they were his (because he leaves his jeans on the floor Every-Single-Night and I usually don't) or if he thought it would be funny. He did have a big smile on his face. But funny? No. My jeans, my SKINNY jeans were loose on him. In my defense I must state that Bryan, of course, has never been pregnant. 4 times. Widened hips and left-over jelly belly have no place on his body. Nor, if we're really being fair, does he have lack of will power when it comes to eating treats. Sigh. I always thought that size 6 was pretty darn respectable. But still. No woman really wants to see her husband looking skinnier in her jeans than she does, right?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I have a new favorite candy bar. Lindt Excellence Intense Orange...Dark. Oh my. It is scrumptious. I've discovered this past Christmas season that I prefer dark chocolate. I'm rather pleased about that because, as far as chocolate goes, isn't dark supposed to be somewhat more healthy for you than milk chocolate? I'm a big fan of chocolate oranges....dark ones, especially....but you can only find them at Christmas time. So I'm quite excited to have been introduced to this orange chocolate candy bar that I can get year round! Or maybe that's a bad thing. Anyhow, thanks to my father-in-law, who knows of my fondness for chocolate, for insisting I try it. And thank you for reading my silliness about my chocolate cravings. Now you can see why running on the treadmill more consistently is one of my New Years resolutions.....