Saturday, April 28, 2007

In the spotlight

Hallmark Central is sending out more birthday love today...(and hoping we have the day right!!)

This one you have to guess but here are your hints:
1. She can fix cars better than her husband (most husbands, probably!)
2. She recently gave away 10 inches of her beautiful blonde hair
3. Her dad is a pilot and her father in law is a "remote" pilot
4. She helps deliver babies
5. She throws awesome birthday parties and gives awesome birthday gifts (like quadrunners)
6. She can sew, sing and be crafty, but is also an athlete and sports enthusiast
7. Her maiden name is a kind of bird, well, fowl
8. She grew up in a town about the size of Boron
9. She recently returned from Hawaii
10. She has four children and plans for four more. (Or not.)

Happy Birthday Sandee- We are thinking of you today!!!
(Please see the nilssonnutfactory blog to learn more about this amazing chica and her fabulous family!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Our garden of Eden

We can't get enough of the Huntington Library and the beautiful gardens surrounding it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Eight years, half a table!

Dear reader,

I hope you will take a minute to appreciate with me this lovely half table. It may not seem significant at first glance, but look again. This humble piece of furniture in our kitchen actually illustrates the key to successful marriage. I don't speak of great food, candlelight dinners, or spontaneous makeout sessions in the kitchen (although all of those would no doubt contribute greatly...)

I speak of the art of compromise. And this table is the epitome of compromise. Wife wanted a table in this spot; husband did not. With no third vote to tip the balance (I've already addressed that problem on this blog) we had to rely on IKEA's brilliance to rescue our gridlock. Half a table. It was the perfect solution. This is just one of many compromises over the years, and we are proud of them all.

Tomorrow we celebrate our anniversary. We are amazed by our years of life together, the additional people on the planet that have come as a result of them, and the fact that two people plus eight years can equal five people, half a table, and a bazillion memories to cherish.

Here's to our eight years, Love. I am grateful for them all, and look forward to a lifetime more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


You are invited to my Unspectacular Party!!

You will receive no invitation in the mail, let alone a cute or clever one. I will not clean my house before you show up, and the food I serve will be from recipes I can't seem to nail. (If I cook at all...maybe I'll have my party on a Tuesday--dollar day for Chicken McNuggets.) Don't wear anything new or cute, and you'll really be in trouble if it's stylish. If you'd like to bring a dish to share, feel free to bring something bland, burned, or otherwise flopped. Our activities will not be creative or productive and the entertainment will be boring. But really, how can you pass up an opportunity to feel a little more spectacular knowing we all have a little bit of un-spectacular to share with each other!

Here is why I am hosting this party: Within one hour yesterday I cut my finger slicing bread, found my laptop covered in blue marker, discovered pools of runny poop all over the play room, and sent my daughter to a birthday party in a levi skirt stained with berry juice from our morning field trip to the strawberry patch, carrying a present in an old wedding gift bag (keep in mind, I've been married 8 years) stuffed with streamers since I couldn't find the tissue paper. None of this is an exaggeration, unfortunately, so I'm really a great candidate for the hostess position.

But events in Blacksburg, VA yesterday kept my own pitiful day in perspective, reminding me to count my blessings, and be thankful for each moment I'm given. I will humbly take the unspectacular over the incomprehensible, grateful to be planning parties instead of funerals. My heart goes out to those families, as I sign off to take care of my own.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Lucky 13

On October 12th, in the year of the Rat, Adam was many things: a spunky, energetic toddler, a full-sentence speaking whiz, an eagle perched on a blue velvet couch, and a dog with tube sock ears. But one thing he was not (and could not be until I entered the scene the following morning) was a sibling. While my entrance into the world gave him big brother status, his status of big brother made my entrance into the world an exciting ride from the start. Eighteen months to the day apart, we were a team from the beginning. Because we share lucky thirteen birthdays, for his birthday today I share thirteen reasons we are lucky.

1. Not everyone has a little sister with a perfect superman curl on her forehead to cut off with scissors while she is sleeping.
2. Not everyone has a brother who will cut off that perfect superman curl, so that thirty years later, she can pull out a crumpled envelope, saved lovingly over the years, to find inside a small curl of hair that perfectly matches her own daughter’s sweet, young golden brown locks.

3. Not everyone has a little sister who will willingly assist in the grand theft of Fruit Stripe from the grocery store, only to have to return and pay for it when mom discovers two small children squatted low in the back seat of the car chomping large wads of fruity paradise.
4. Not everyone has a brother who will laugh with her at the memory of her first and only theft in life because he was there, just as he was there for every other “first” along the way.

5. Not everyone has a little sister to co-pilot the voyage of a blue Volkswagen Beetle that crushed our beloved tricycle in its path down the driveway.
6. Not everyone has a brother who includes her in such high adventures-- from car wrecks to streaking to outsmarting babysitters, from fields to gullies to horses and ATCs, from mountains and lakes to rock climbing and concerts, from camping and caves to countries and continents that still await…

7. Not everyone has a brother who gives mohawks to her Barbies, then hangs them from nooses for a ransom.
8. Not everyone has a sister who actually thinks this is funny, and tells her six-year-old son (decades later) to consult with Uncle Adam on how to ‘play Barbies’ the man way.

9. Not everyone has a brother who will stay up late into the night almost every single night (through all of HS and some of college too) to talk about anything, everything, and nothing, just because we are friends.
10. Not everyone has a sister who for the rest of her life will remember being night owls together and wonder how she could have had a better friend for all those years.

11. Not everyone has a brother who started playing guitar one day, and never stopped.
12. Not everyone has a sister who knows her brother excels in anything he sets his mind to.

13. Not everyone has a brother who writes her poems on her birthday, tells her he’s proud of who she is, compliments her, thanks her, understands her, and calls her his parallel universe. And that, my friends, is not just luck. It is love, and I am grateful for it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's a mom's world afterall

Hi. My name's Cairo. I can't exactly speak my thoughts, but I have them alright. And if you are reading this right now, you get a rare glimpse into them. I've been studying this lady in my life called ma-ma for 16 months now, and I've decided she has really got the life. Here are just a few of the fun things she gets to do every day. Just wait till you hear!

1. Push dirt around the kitchen floor with a bright yellow stick.

2. Operate a loud piece of machinery that sucks up anything in its path.

3. Use burning hot objects that cook food, curl hair, and straighten clothes.

4. Put clothes in a machine that spins them around and around with bubbles everywhere! There's a lot of cool buttons she gets to push, and when the clothes are done, they go in another fun machine. This one you're not gonna believe! They go in wet, and come out warm and dry. How does THAT happen? The best part is when she gets to dump them all over the couch and fold them into really cool piles that she does not want knocked over for some reason. Then she stacks them in this huge basket in a balancing act I can hardly resist--to redistribute until they go back into the cool machine again. Awesome!

5. She also gets to spray colorful liquids all over anything she wants. Blue on the windows, yellow on the counters, purple on the table, orange in the bathrooms. She's got a regular rainbow of spray bottles crammed in the cupboards. Problem is they're all too high for me to get to. That stinks like worms.

6. One of the best things is she gets to eat when she wants and what she wants. No one tells her she can't have a cupcake. No one tells her she has to eat little sliced up pieces of carrots and hot dogs. I think she must be the Queen of this world.

7. One of the wierdest things is when she paints her face. She has lots of fun colors and tools to paint with. When I tried a few of them myself, she just laughed at me, and moved the paint holder far away from me. No one laughs at her for putting things on her eyes and cheeks and lips. Maybe she's the President.

8. She also puts dishes, pans, and silverware into another cool machine that I haven't quite figured out yet. Sometimes she lets me help a little, but she has this thing against me grabbing the knives, which are by FAR the most interesting thing in there. She is one strict lady, I tell ya. Maybe she's a captain.

9. She gets to type on what she calls a computer, and let me tell you how fascinating that thing is. There's 109 buttons to push on the keyboard, (and she doesn't even let me push one!) There's also a mouse to play with, but it's kind of wierd compared to the other mice I've seen. I knock it off the desk whenever I can, but it never runs away or plays with me. The computer has a screen that features anything from pictures to music to games... like anything you could possibly ever want. When I grow up I'm going to have a computer, and I'm going to let MY baby play with it.

10. So that's a lot of cool things my mama gets to do. But my very favorite in all the world is when she holds me, cuddles me, squeezes me, and loves me. She seems to like this alot. That's the one thing I think we see eye to eye on. I'm pretty cute and squishy, so it must be pretty fun to lift me high in the air, bounce me, twirl me, tickle me, sing to me, and take me with her everywhere she goes. All day. Everyday. That must be the highlight of her job.

Maybe you'll hear from me again sometime, but like I said, I'm not supposed to use this computer, and if someone finds out I snuck onto it, my mommy might lose her job. I would NOT want that, and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't either. She has the coolest job I can imagine.

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fools

When I was born into my family, I was born into a world where April Fool's day is not just a time for cute fibs and jokes, it is a twenty four hour period where deceit becomes an art form, pranks are monumental, trusting anyone is playing with fire, and trumping an attempt at fooling you by fooling someone bigger and better is winning the family's highest level of respect.

It is a day to be on your guard at all times, while masterminding a plot to fool someone else who is also on his or her guard at all times. It is no small task, and not to be taken lightly. We have all been the fool at some point, but we have also had our moments of glory, and year after year, we keep coming back for more.

Our collection of "got ya's" through the years includes such claims to fame as broken bones, bikes, windows, and hearts; crimes, arrests, police officers, and police stations; fines, penalties, lotteries and bombs; crashed cars, stolen cars; hi-jacked cars, and no cars; Canadian officials, NY transfers, Paris temples, and South African coups; old boyfriends, new girlfriends, lost wedding rings and keys; injuries, illness, pregnancies, and prowlers...and that is just the beginning.

Four a.m. is not too early and eleven p.m. is not too late. Any play is fair play, as long as you do play. You snooze, you lose; no prank, you tank. Promising to love, cherish and obey April Fool's day is in our marriage contracts, and our spouses have not let us down. Our children are also learning the trade as they too have been born into a world where April Fool's day is second only to Christmas, and if Santa came down the chimney wearing yellow, he would probably get an extra cookie.

Now quit reading and start plotting. Only 364 days to go...