From the two girls who love you more than anyone else in the world:
We hope you know—especially today—how grateful we are to share this life with you.
|(photo by the lovely J. Lanae)|
I copied the internet. I made a 30 before 30 list.
And, boy, did I cross things off that list. I did 30 for-real push-ups in a row, bound a photo book for my baby, wrote a love song for my husband, and was well on my way to planning a scuba-diving trip and learning a nerdy amount of Latin verbs.
But last month—I threw out the list.
I'll tell you why. I read an article that I've thought about probably every day for a month now. I let myself imagine: What would life look like if I nixed my list and went with just ONE goal? What would that goal be?
|And I'm not saying here what it is until it's finished. But you can guess...|
Starting week three of being unemployed.
I didn't know what to do with myself today. I've applied for dozens of jobs, and I'm sure a fitting position will open for me soon. But it was weird. I couldn't relax, or do things that I wanted to do, because I felt like I needed to get a job. But a job isn't something you can just reach out and grab. You have to wait for it. I have a hard time waiting.
I felt like a waste of space.
Then I read this Thomas Jefferson quote (I keep a Jefferson quote blog):
"I have sometimes asked myself whether my country is the better for my having lived at all? I do not know that it is. I have been the instrument of doing the following things; but they would have been done by others; some of them, perhaps a little better."
"The Declaration of Independence."If it's ok for Jefferson to feel like a waste of space, then it's ok for me to have blah days as well
"I proposed the demolition of the church establishment, and the freedom of religion."
"The act prohibiting the importation of slaves."
I found my shoe. In the garbage. Thanks Claire.
Claire loves shoes now. She'll walk around in our shoes. She has learned how to say it and sign it.
She's also been saying and signing "daddy" for a few months now. Kathy thought she heard Claire say "mommy" today.
"You hear that," Kathy said, "I think she she said mommy!"
Claire said it again, gesturing toward a magnet on the fridge. A magnet of Ron Paul.
It kind of sounded like mommy.
This is the only picture from our tiny roadtrip last weekend, and it wasn't technically taken until we got home:
I usually save politics for my other blog. But this one was too good not to share:
It hit home with me, because I voted for Obama in 2008. I thought he would bring the troops home, shut down Guantanamo, and stop wire-tapping us.
When Claire drank from the toilet, it made me wonder: when was the last time I cleaned the toilet? Also, whose kid is that?
I know this girl who just does things.
What things? Like, anything you can think of. And when I hear about her newest project, I look around and think, Can you do that?
You can, apparently. Although I usually don't. Here's what she cooked up recently: The Billboard Poetry Project.
Yesterday was our 4th anniversary. We ate at Pizzeria 712 (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). The food tasted like exactly what I wanted to eat, and left me feeling like I'd eaten the equivalent of a salad made of rainbows, because I felt so healthy afterwards. And they treated us like guests, honored guests. When we got home, Kathy sang me a corny love song she wrote on the guitar.
Today Kathy woke at 5:30am, got ready, and left. I told her it felt like the middle of the night. She's spending the weekend at a work conference.
We don't spend nights apart often. The last time I recall was a few years ago, when she went to Chicago to write.
Today I stayed home and took care of the baby. When Kathy called in the afternoon, I hadn't yet showered, and I told her that I felt like I hadn't gotten anything done. When she called this evening, I had showered, but still had not gotten anything done. I hadn't wasted my day, but I had spent the majority of it watching baby girl.
Kathy has a wonderful way of telling me I'm not worthless. And the way she says it, I believe it.
Kathy had a boyfriend in high school. I think we've now been married longer than they dated. And Kathy wasn't my first girlfriend.
But she feels like my first love. And I'm sure she'd feel the same. We had feelings when we dated our firsts, and heartache. But it wasn't as real as what we have now. It feels like a corny line from The Princess Bride. But what could this be called if not true love?
Before any of you start swooning and envying the wonderful thing Kathy and I have going, I'll give you a little bit of perspective.
I didn't date anyone until after my mission (mostly because I was awkward, but I told myself I was following the prophet). That's the equivalent of binding someone's feet to their butt for the first two decades of their life, and then untying them just in time to run the Boston marathon.
My college girlfriends could tell you stories that you would think they had made up.
I'll tell you one now.
My first girlfriend left for a study abroad. We had dated for a semester, and she would be gone for a semester. We emailed each other. I tended to notice how often she mentioned other boys. I was insecure enough back then that I let it get to me. So I broke up with her. You know. Over email.
Email is wonderful, but it is inadequate at clearly expressing the whole range of human emotions. And I guess it's a really jerky way to dump someone.
So a few phone calls, and many tears later (mostly mine), I found myself on the phone with my mom. Now, I don't know how she talked me into letting her do what she did.
My mom thinks I'm wonderful. I think I'm pretty wonderful too. She couldn't believe that someone would be so rude to me. Getting email dumped aside, you'd have to be an idiot to let me go. There are many fish in the sea. But I'm a like a magic narwhal, not a stinky fish. So when my mom asked if she could call my ex. I gave her the number.
I can only imagine how that conversation went down. My ex called me about twenty minutes later. By the tone of her voice, I got the impression that she thought I was mentally disturbed.
"You had your mom call me? Your mom?"
"More let than had."
So that was awkward.
Did you know BYU offers free therapy to students? Yeah. I'm really glad I discovered that before I met Kathy. Turns out I had a few crinkles to smooth out before I was perfect. Regardless of what my mother thinks.
You need to know something before I tell this story:
Our little girl loves dogs. LOVES dogs. Doggy was her first word. And almost her first ASL sign. When we're outside, she'll spot a dog from a mile away and wave her arms and shout.
We go on a walk pretty much every day. Baby girl rides in the stroller on the way out. And she's not much of a baby anymore because she walks and pushes the stroller on the way back.
On one particular return trip this week, she was exploring every interesting little thing on the sidewalk—when she saw an ant.
She dropped to her knees and tried to touch it, but he was pretty speedy. She kept following the ant with her finger, trying to touch it. She looked up at me. She looked back at the ant. And she whispered, "Doggy."
It sounds like such a simple mix-up. And it is. She has neither the experience nor the language to name the ant correctly. But it was more than that. When she said doggy, she sounded so reverent, or in love. I just don't look at ants the same anymore.
I also don't look at strawberries the same. They make the perfect party hats...
Amano is awesome. We pay our farmers two, three, even four times Fair Trade. That way, we get the best beans, and our farmers are able to stay in business and keep producing the best beans.
We have won awards nationally and internationally. We make the best chocolate the U.S. has ever made.
Our bars taste like lemons, blackberries, nuts, marshmallows, grapefruit, and bergamot; but we add no flavors. The cocoa beans flavor our bars. We preserve those flavors by using single-origin beans.
People generally have strong feelings about Provo.
I've never seen anyone shrug and say, "Provo. Meh. Whatevs." Unless, of course, it's too small a town for them to have heard of before.
There are people who grew up here with some pretty amazing Provo pride. Others moved here for college and have opinions connected to their grades or how many dates they got. Others have never lived here, but know the stereotypes and roll their eyes. And more—some love, some hate.
I can see where they're all coming from. I hated Provo the first time I lived here. And I was a little nervous to move back.
But put me down as one who loves Provo. Loves it.
|Our baby says out loud who's her favorite parent every day: "Daddy."|
|I made the baby write her own birthday thank-you notes.|
Kathy put together a lovely brunch for our moms this year. She gave each mom a bouquet of chocolate-dipped strawberries (she's amazing). I told everyone that today Kathy cleaned the house and slaved in the kitchen, so it was just like any other day. I almost got booed out of the room.
|She's signing that we're "losers" because we haven't given her a nap.|
Claire started walking (with some assistance). SWEET
Baby girl and I got sick last week (simultaneously gross and wonderful: baby girl barfed everywhere and then just wanted to snuggle in my lap while I watched tv).
The stomach flu messed with our sleep schedule. Baby girl's back to waking up every two hours—just like a newborn. How on Earth did we function back then? I get up in the morning with a thrumming head and burning eyes. And everything that Christopher does while he's getting ready for work is SO LOUD. He says I have a mom hangover.
Which is fine. I so expected lack of sleep to be part of parenthood that I even wrote an essay about insomnia and mothers while I was pregnant (during which I discovered an incurable form of insomnia that's only made worse by sleeping pills, for real).
A lot of other things have happened around here—I had a birthday, we went snowshoeing for Valentine's Day, Christopher downloaded every free book he's ever wanted onto his new Kindle—and maybe I'll blog about them. But right now, I'll leave you with a picture of the cutest girl I've ever met and then I'm going to bed early. It's the best plan on a day you go to get your hair cut and fall asleep while your hair is being shampooed.
The used book section of the Sugar House DI is amazing. But wait a week or two for the books to be replenished, because we bought everything.
While we were there, a lady in a pink cowboy hat threw into the garbage half of the writings of every great western thinker since Socrates, because one book in the beautiful series had a little water damage. She said she was afraid that black mold had spread to the other books. I told her that black mold is black, and visible, and cannot be conjured into existence by someone in a pink hat who is scared of books [paraphrased]. She stopped at Milton.
Left Field Stand Up Comedy has some shows in SLC next weekend. It's my buddy Bryson's team of comics. I've heard some of them in the past, and they're worth your bucks if you like to laugh at stuff.
You guys heard of the hobo with a golden voice? Kathy and I watched these videos, and cried happy tears.