Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For It is Better To Marry...

I recently came across a copy of our wedding invite. It was a pleasant surprise because I haven't seen it for a while. I love the pictures we chose and that Greg did the artwork for it. But more than those things, I kind of really love the Bible verse we chose:

1st Corinthians 7:8 (last chunk):
...For it is better to marry than to burn with lust.

It was supposed to be kind of a joke.

Not that we *weren't* burning...we almost eloped. But we controlled ourselves because we simply couldn't do that to our parents.

But we just couldn't bring ourselves to be yet one more couple that did, "I have found the one my soul loves" or the love chapter (1st Corinthians 13) either.

We thought about doing something totally bizarre--something that didn't have anything to do with weddings (such as the bear-mauling-children passage). But we figured that would leave people scratching their heads.

So, true to our nature, we made a joke and nobody laughed.


No one ever said a thing about our verse--not even our parents. This has left us wondering for the past 6 years if our beloved friends and family actually took us seriously. Or WORSE, thought we were preaching at them.

Honestly, when we inscribed, "It is better to marry than to burn with lust", we were just making a little comment about the lustier side of our relationship. And we thought it was funny.

But apparently, it wasn't.


We just can't win.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Epiphany #120494--School Music Performances (really aren't all that and a bag of chips)

Seriously--this just dawned on me today. I just NOW realized I'm guilty of not really hugely looking forward to Sam's Christmas program on the 17th. I mean, it's going to be cute and all, but I'm not jumping up and down with excitement.

All through childhood, I thought we elementary and Jr. high school students were WONDERFUL performers--that we had so much talent, my parents just couldn't wait until they could get on down to the Niles Theater to listen to me playing, "The Gremlin Rag" and hear me sing "Voices that Care" along with my other classmates.

I really truly thought my parents *liked* the music we were singing. In my mind, my parents and all the others, were knocking each other down like a mob at Walmart on Black Friday or a U2 concert just to get in. And even if I couldn't find them out there in the audience, I knew they were there-- listening--so very enraptured by the gloriousness of our abilities, wishing we would never stop playing, never stop singing. We were astoundingly gifted.

Now I know better.

There is a definite pride in seeing your child on stage, giving it their all--or, in other cases, seeing your child on stage with his arms crossed and a beligerent look on his face--refusing to do the hand motions.

However, I now understand my parents didn't come to enjoy my music, but they came to enjoy seeing me doing something besides whining at how bored I was or fighting with my sister over toilet paper (it happened more often than I'd like to admit--don't ask).

They came because they love me.

But when there are 7 grades performing and each grade is doing 2 songs, that means you have to sit through 12 other songs you couldn't really care less about. That's a lot of sitting with a bunch of other parents. You're in a hot, cramped, "cozy" box of a room, when where you really want to be is back at home, smooching on the couch during the commercial breaks of the latest episode of Heroes.

School concerts were a sacrifice of love on my parents' part.

I had no idea.

I'm sure there were moments when my parents wanted to flake out on me and say, "Can we just sit this one out, pleeeeeease?" But they never did. They were always faithful to do their very best to be there.

And not only did they come to see me, but I was always dressed to the hilt too! Red dresses, itchy wooly tights, headbands--lots of photos were taken, and I always felt very loved and special and important--even when I tried three different instruents only to drop band all together. Even when I got a detention for not clapping. Even when I forgot to wash black nylons for my choir uniform and you had to go to the Toggery just before closing to get them for me--you always gave so much.

Thanks Mom and Dad for letting me think you were were crazy about "Chim-a-ring-ring-Chong" (yes.. this song really does exist) and for coming to my concerts and for encouraging me so very much. It means even more, now that I have kids of my own.

You guys are pretty fabulous, you know that? I love you.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Disrupting Cultural Mores

I often wish life were not so boring and normal. I'm wondering if I'm not alone in this.

Sometimes I have the urge to hug random people--like the checkout lady at the grocery store. I mean, really. How fun would that be? Just going around the counter and hugging the checkout person just because you could? Would she hug back? Would she consider it a nice gesture? Or would she press the red button behind the counter and have security take me away? (Gender changes the answers to these questions a lot, I'm sure).

Kind of on the opposite side of the spectrum from hugging-- when I was in 11th grade, Matt Busby donned a Jason mask from the Halloween movies and stood outside staring into the high school social-hall during our Rock-a-thon. He nearly gave my hyped-up, Red Bulled self a heart attack. And Jeran screamed and Josanna threatened to go out and chase him down and beat him up. I don't remember anyone else's reactions, but the moment was pretty priceless.

My friends Becs, Jodee, April and I did the "Do you like beans?" survey from Animaniacs at a high school youth conference in Portland. That was fun.

Sometimes I eat pasta for breakfast. I'm rebellious, I know.

Sometimes I eat breakfast for dinner too. Now that's just CRAZY.

Once my roomate Theresa and I got Krispy Kreme and drove around Biola offering Campus safety police people donuts. That was fun too.

Speaking of police officers, comedian Paula Poundstone asked, "What if when a cop pulled you over and stuck his big face in your window--what if you just touched him on the nose?" I would LOVE to do that!

Most of the time, though, I just blend in and fade into the background. Most of the time, I start and stop when I should, speak at appropriate volumes and make small talk.

I'm wondering if life should be a little less sane and a little more like the movie "Elf". Should there be more harmless, silly fun going on? Because we really do only have one life to live.

But then again, maybe we have these social regulations to keep us aware of when things are not quite right.

Maybe it's about finding the right balance between the two. I don't know. But right now, I'd give anything for a little insanity.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Whatever, Weather People

People have been talking about how cold it is on facebook today. A lot.

It was supposed to snow last night here in Yucaipa and it didn't. Instead it just froze and killed a bunch of our plants.

I always feel so disappointed in weather people when they are wrong. And notice how they never acknowledge their mistakes? There are never any apologies, no issuing of retractions. For once, I'd like to see, "We would like to say how sorry we are for our recent incorrect prediction of the weather. It will probably happen again, and we are SO sorry for that too." Yes. That would make me feel much better.

Instead, they just go along their merry little way, pretending like they never said anything at all. You can almost hear the innocent whistling and see the eye avoidance.

I bet there really are no "real" weather people at all. It's probably some 3rd grade class in Kentucky taught by a really sweet old lady named Mrs. Johnson.

Mrs. Johnson: "What do you think the weather in Yucaipa California will be like tomorrow, Sally?"

Sally: It's gonna snow!

Mrs. Johnson: Alright--I'll email that to Google.

I'd bet ABC's "Doppler 7000" is the 6-year-old son of the weather man. And THAT KID is the one who is really talking into the weather man's earpiece.

I'll admit--I like to pretend I know what it's going to do weather-wise, though. Last night, I said it felt like it was going to snow. And Greg believed me because I grew up where it snows. Don't tell him, but I really had no idea what I was talking about. I mean.. it was cold and cloudy and raining off and on. But that was about all I knew.

Maybe I should be a weather woman.

Monday, December 07, 2009


I'm pretty agoraphobic. I don't know if this is an actual "clinical" problem, or if it has more to do with having to drag my children through pushy, loud, smelly, crazy crowds. I'm thinking it's more of the latter (though I do have some pretty neurotic issues with people "breathing my air"). And as much as I love store windows at Christmas, and Christmas lights and music, I hate the marked-up prices and insanity of the rest of it.

So, this year I decided in order to keep Christmas a little more sane, I'll I'd have to do was do all of my Christmas shopping online. I ordered mostly from Amazon because they have superdeals once in a while and free shipping. And it worked out marvelously, I might add.

But then, I started getting the stuff--GINORMOUS boxes with one small item in them (we'll be saving some of the boxes to send stuff to Alturas in). At least there have been no styrofoam peanuts.

And then there was the scary-dark-wrapping-cloud hanging out over my head that wouldn't go away. So yesterday I wrapped like a woman possessed and now I am mostly done with it.

But then I realized... I have two weeks! Two weeks to keep the kids from UN-wrapping the presents and the cat from destroying the tree and to keep Greg from accidentally finding out what he's getting via email.

I'm realizing that I kind of probably had it a bit backwards... that instead of rushing to get the shopping done, I should have been rushing to celebrate Jesus's birth. We haven't really talked about Him being the reason why we do Christmas at all with our kiddos and we really should be doing more of that.

So tonight, I resolve to sit down with the kids and read the Christmas story--to open the advent calendar doors we've missed (all of them) and to try to have a better attitude about it all.

When I was a child, I had the faith of a child. But now I guess I have to be a little more intentional about it. And it's not just for my own spirit's sake, but for my Childrens' too.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Only Blogging From Here On Out

I am leaving facebook on Tuesday, December 8. I am hoping to be blogging more in its place.

Just FYI

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Sycamore

In the place that is my own place, whose earth
I am shaped in and must bear, there is an old tree growing,
a great sycamore that is a wondrous healer of itself.
Fences have been tied to it, nails driven into it,
hacks and whittles cut in it, the lightning has burned it.
There is no year it has flourished in
that has not harmed it. There is a hollow in it
that is its death, though its living brims whitely
at the lip of the darkness and flows outward.
Over all its scars has come the seamless white
of the bark. It bears the gnarls of its history
healed over. It has risen to a strange perfection
in the warp and bending of its long growth.
It has gathered all accidents into its purpose.
It has become the intention and radiance of its dark fate.
It is a fact, sublime, mystical and unassailable.
In all the country there is no other like it.
I recognize in it a principle, an indwelling
the same as itself, and greater, that I would be ruled by.
I see that it stands in its place and feeds upon it,
and is fed upon, and is native, and maker.

-Wendell Berry

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Second Adolescence/Thoughts On My Ten-Year-Reunion

When I started middle school, I was in Mrs. Clark's 6th grade class. I remember sitting there at my desk on the first day, and Mrs. Clark (one of the best teachers EVER, by the way) cracked some joke that made us all "LOL". I was shocked because we all sounded so very OLD. There was a deepness to our laugh that hadn't been there in Mrs. Franklin's class the previous year. I can only assume it must have been due to some of the boy's voices going from falsetto to tenor or something, but I definitely felt like we were growing up.

And here I am, 15-or-so years later wondering what our laughs will sound like at the ten-year reunion. And then I realize, will this ten-year-reunion thing finally make me feel like an adult? Seeing all of the people I grew up with--grown up?

Some people told me marriage would make me feel like a grown-up. Others told me it would be having children. Still others told me it would be some life change or disaster.

I'm not feeling like an adult yet. And I am wondering if it is because I am no longer around the people I was around when I was growing up. I have nothing to gauge my development against anymore. Maybe?

I don't really view myself as an adult at all. I feel as though I'm constantly hitting walls when it comes to the whole mentally aging aspect of life. Maybe it's the fact that in spite of everything we *have* been through (cancer, joblessness, homelessness, other illness, etc), I am stil mostly enjoying life. I love being married to my husband and having kids and having our own house. I have definitely done my share of hand-wringing and am definitely noticing signs of worry wrinkles appearing on my forehead. But I still feel often more giddy than dour. And I thought adulthood would be all about feeling constantly frustrated with life.

I am not trying to say I live in constant cloud-9. I am far from it, in fact. It's just that life is so full of moments of, well, playful, silly immaturity. Water fights with the kids in the back yard. Tickle fights with Greg. Playing on facebook. Staying up late and still feeling sort of like I've gotten away with something forbidden.

But then again, the last three times I've bought alcohol, I haven't gotten carded. And other people's kids actually listen to me when I tell them what to do (my own don't, but that's to be expected). And I do the dishes without people asking me to. What the heck?

About a year ago, I signed up for a subscription to Nylon magazine because I thought it would have good recommendations for new musicians I'd never heard of, and I liked the fasion a lot. After a few issues, I asked Greg what he thought of the magazine, and he said, "it seems pretty high school". And then I realized.. yeah, it does. So I cancelled the subscription. I was embarrassed because, sheesh, I am TWENTY-SEVEN after all.

And I keep finding myself shopping in the juniors section and being surprised when, oh-my-gosh, the clothes like, totally don't fit me like they used to.

I almost bought myself a Smurfette t-shirt the other day and thought, "Wait. Is this *appropriate*?"

I feel like I am going through a second adolescence--an awkward age where things aren't ever quite ever what they should be. It's all very Alice in Wonderland-ish, and disconcerting.

Maybe I'm overthinking this. Maybe I should just do whatever comes/feels natural. It's just that I'm somewhere in between two worlds. I know I'm not young anymore, but I know I'm not all that old, either. Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just some sort of developmentally challenged permanent teenager? I want to act my age, but I am not sure what that age is.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Some of you already may know (or know of) this family. If not, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I didn't know Monica, but it sounds like she was an extraordinary person. I wish I had known about her sooner, so I could have thanked her for being such an inspiration to so many--myself included. Pray for her little boy and husband as they are going through a devastatingly difficult time right now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Not an April Fool's Joke, But Still...

So, as some of you already know, Greg and I took a tour of Europe in 2004. If you are actually considering going to Europe, I highly recommend *not* using a bus tour, unless it's through a private family-owned compay. What we wanted was to spend some time in a few select cities. The most practical way to do this (according to our Travel Agent) was to use a bus tour. So, we took the Globus "Grand European Tour".

We were packed on a bus of 30+ people, didn't like too many of them, and were rushed around in "get to the end as quickly as possible" fasion. I feel we could have spent *much* more time in some of the places we visited, but most of them were briefly introduced over the course of one day. It was exhausting.

There were, however, some highlights to the trip. One of my favorite memories is of a man who was part of our group. He insisted on sitting in the back of the bus the whole trip, watching episodes of Futurama on his mini-dvd player. He went by the name, "Prince Joseph of Australia".

Seriously. This guy spent the duration of the tour trying to convince everyone on our bus that he was of "Australian royal descent", but was living in the city of La Jolla, running an (extremely successful--according to him) antiques business.

According to his story, he had been exiled from the country by his older brother (who's name we never could get from him). He was forced to live by himself in the US (horror) and was never to go back to Australia unless his brother died.

To be really honest, I was a little afraid of Prince Joseph at first. I really couldn't figure out his motive. Why on earth would this guy be doing this? I knew Australia had no royalty outside of the queen of England. Elizabeth I, and then parliment, right? There are no princes of Australia. Was he some sort of wacked-out terrorist or something?

But then I saw how some of the ladies on the bus tour actually FELL for his story. I mean, he actually had BUSINESS CARDS that read, "His Royal Highness, Prince Joseph of Australia." We nick-named his group of women "Prince Joseph's Harem" because they were so very enamored. The ladies followed him around like he was the cool kid on the playground. And he ate it up big time. The more questions that were asked of him, the more elaborate his story grew. I loved watching the husbands of the ladies rolling their eyes and shaking their heads as their wives squealed in delight over Prince Joseph's wonderful tales of Australian high life. I don't know if they really did believe him, or just wanted to.Funny thing was, he had zero Australian accent. We asked him about that once, and he told us he had to use an American accent to protect his identity.

At one point during the trip, Greg and I found a big, gaudy, fake-gold necklace just outside of the bus. I immediately recognized it to be "Joey's" (what we were supposed to call him when we were off the bus--for the sake of secrecy). But since we were in one of our "on our own" moments, we weren't able to return it to him. Later that day, when we got back on the bus, we gave it to our tour guide Doris. Doris asked if anyone was missing it. His royal highness got all excited and said, "Oh, Yay! Now I can call Paris Hilton back and tell her it's been found!" Even if Paris Hilton had known "Joseph of Australia", I don't really know what she would have been able to do about his missing necklace in Europe.

The trip passed relatively uneventfully and Joseph never did kill any of us. It is funny how much of an impression he left, though--the annoyance combined with amusement. Greg and I speak of him often. I wonder if he reserved his act for European tours, if he actually does run an antiques business, if he really even does live in La Jolla. Who the guy really is, we'll probably never know.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Creepy Facial Hair and Where Does the Diet Begin

-- As most of you already know, Greg sports a nearly-constant goatee. I occassionally will make him shave it off for the sake of kissability. When it gets to a certain length, it's kind of like making out with a hairbrush with lips. I have difficulty in enjoying our, er, "us time" when it gets to this point. So I will beg and plead that he trim the cactus living on his face, and he is usually pretty sweet and compliant about it all. HOWEVER--Greg takes great joy in getting my goat (no pun intended) by shaving with *creativity*. Oh, I wish I had a picture. Greg will shave. But due to his love of performing, he will shave in STAGES. Each stage leads to less goatee and more creepiness. He loves to take on various personas depending on what his goatee looks like (farmer, horny pepe le pew-like man-person, Boris from Rocky and Bullwinkle, etc). It usually takes him about 45 minutes to get the job done because of this. And with every "stage" of shavedness, he will come out of the bathroom to show me the latest shape/accent combo. For some reason, I find his creepy facial hair super-disturbing and usually run away in terror. Of course, this leads to him chasing me around the house, using his accent, and it's all very married and wonderful and I love it even though I'm annoyed. Eventually he does shave it all, but not without some major nagging on my part. Do all men do this? Or is it just a Greg thing? Ren Faire is next week. We are taking my sister's family for the first time. I am very excited, but I have a feeling the latest goatee will be coming along with us, whether I like it or not.

--10-year-reunion is less than 5 months away and I have got to lose some of this baby weight, or I'm just going to feel self-conscious the whole time I'm there. One of my favorite movies ever is "Grosse Point Blank". In it, Joan Cusack's character talks about her 10-year reunion. She says, "Yes I did [go to my 10-year-reunion]. It was just as if everyone had swelled."


Funny thing is, I never gave weight a thought then. I ate pretty much whatever I wanted and stayed as skinny as I wanted to be. This lasted through college. Darned metabolism. Seriously. It's like once you get married and have babies, your body says, "Okay, you've procreated. You can be fat now." The kiddos are worth it, but man! It is a lot of work getting rid of all this extra poundage. I am having serious issues getting started.

Anybody up for being a diet-fitness partner with me?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


One of Emily Dickinson's best loved poems is called, "Hope"

The first couple of lines say, "Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches on the soul..."

When I envision that feathered thing, I have recently been picturing Big Bird. I used to picture a nightingale.

Greg and I have talked about this. We have decided there are two kinds of hope... there is a worldly hope, and then there is Eternal hope. Eternal hope is the only kind that ever feels real to me. My hope for eternity is full of joy and contentment and it feels *light* and good because I know my eternity is taken care of. Jesus is my hope for Eternity, and I know I get to be in Heaven with Him someday. This is good!

But worldly hope depends on circumstances, and whether God decides to give us a 'yes' or a 'no'. Unfortunately, I cannot say for sure where that will lead. So, we cannot really know what will happen. My hope in this life feels shakey and unstable.

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness
All other ground is sinking sand"

Since Greg got his layoff, I've been battling with worldly hope--the sinking sand kind. Hope feels heavy these days. I don't want to rely on hope alone because hope has nothing to do with outcome any more than worry or anger. I can feel hopeful, but that is not going to mean that the hope will lead to anything. Hope is a feeling--an emotion. You can want something to death and never actually get it.

But for some reason, I keep on hoping! Why do I need to hope? Why is there this intrinsic part of me that hopes beyond all hope that Greg will have his job next year and we will not be stuck moving back in with one of our parents' homes? Why do I hope that we will be able to stay in this house without having to take on menial jobs, go on welfare, and put our children in daycare?

And then that worldy hope is actually almost synonymous with worry. And we are outright commanded not to worry.

Maybe I'll call it hopry.

One of the hardest parts of being a Christian has been coming to the point in my life where you realize your life is not about you, but it's about God doing stuff through you. How I RESPOND when God dishes out Job- (the person Job in the Bible... not talking about occupation/careers, here) -like moments is the true mark of my character. And to me, it's just plain HARD to keep on trucking--to keep the faith--to continue living like a believer when the world feels so weighty. I need to be okay with whatever might come my way, because it's the only way I'll make it through, faith-in-tact. I'm trying, and I believe that God is working even when I can't feel it.

But even if Greg gets his job back, I'm sure I'll still find things to hopry about.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I don't have a favorite color. I don't have a favorite movie. I don't have a favorite song or play or brand of mayonnaise. Oh, well, maybe I do have a favorite brand of mayonnaise (Best Foods-- Nobody DOESN'T like Best Foods).

I hate being asked "What's your favorite..." because I usually like lots of things all at once. Does this make me indecisive?

I only have one favorite person; Gregory. But that's about as far as my favorites go, where people are concerned.

So here I am, thinking of writing about current likes and/or dislikes. I'm thinking I might update you on them every once-in-a-while.

For example, I currently am enjoying the music of Ingrid Michaelson. I discovered her on Grey's Anatomy. My husband hates her. But this makes me glad because he has introduced me to so many musicians and bands, it's kind of refreshing to like somebody all by myself.

I am also enjoying discovering blogs of people I don't know.

I am really figuring out that I have a distaste for online abbrevations. Well, wait. I can handle "btw" for some reason. But LOL makes me furious like Mr. Furious in Mystery Men. And don't even get me started on OMG or WTF.

I have a girl crush on the character of Liz Lemon on 30 Rock. We have 210 satellite channels, but I never watch tv. We just watch shows on instant viewing in netflix. LOVE the Instaview. But back to Liz. She's a dork and messy and real and weird and wonderful and I love her. I've never seen an SNL episode with Tina Fey in it, but I like 30 Rock. A lot.

I don't like any of the characters in Heroes. They are all just too pigeon-holed into these very specific roles, and the actors can't flex within those roles very well. I used to like Hiro, but he gets on my nerves now. But I still can't stop watching it, and get all joyful and call Greg whenever Netflix adds another episode to their instant viewing list.

I don't like the fact that I'm in the last part of my 20s. As I move along this little time-line of mine, things seem to be picking up momentum. I just can't believe Sam is already almost 4 and Aunica is turning one next weekend. Ay yi yi. (Is that how you spell Ay yi yi?)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beautiful, Brave Little Man

This morning, Sam proved himself to be quite the awesome little helper.

In a previous note, I have mentioned what an ordeal it is for me to get the boy to school on time. This morning was no different. I got the kids dressed and ready to go. Sam ate his breakfast, we put on his shoes and went out to the car. I buckled Aunica in first.

IMPORTANT: I lifted Sam to get into his carseat while holding my keys. Unknowingly, I must have pressed the auto-lock button on my keychain.

As usual, I threw my keys into the driver's seat, then buckled Sam in, closed his door, and went to open mine. It was locked.

"That's odd," I thought, and so I tried again. Nope.

"Okay, that's weird," So I tried the other doors. Nope.

What I had done started to come into focus.


So, the dense person living in my head told me to try *all* the doors, just in case the ever-faithful auto-lock decided to be unfaithful today. None of them opened. Not even the trunk. Then the dense person told me to try them again. Nope. On the second time around, Sam grinned out his tinted back-seat window and yelled, "Hi, Mommy!"

I tried to not panic. "Think Crystal. THINK"Spare key! I ran into the house, hoping to find the single spare Ford key laying around somewhere. Yeah right. Even if the key were attached to something ginormous (snow globe, ruler, toilet seat, shrunken head) gas-station-bathroom-style, I still wouldn't have found it in this mess.

Two empty junk drawers later, I ran back out to the kids in the car. Who should I call? 911? AAA? The general police number in the front of the phone book? How long would they take?

Sam and Aunica sat there, snug in their seat-belts, patiently waiting for me to drive them off to preschoolville. Aunica's cold was causing snot to run down her face, but I could handle that.

What I couldn't handle was the thought of watching both of my children fry to death in our oven of an SUV on the first sunny day in two weeks.


Then it dawned on me. Sam! Sam is smart! Sam is capable! He's a BIG BOY now!

"Sam, sweetie?" I said lovingly through the window. "I have a big job for you to do. Can you help me?"

I don't know if it was the maniacal, crazed, desperate look I probably was exhibiting, or just the fact that Sam is such a great and helpful kid (probably both), but he smiled and nodded yes.

"Sam, mommy left her keys on the front seat, and locked the door, so I need you to get them for me, okay?" Another nod."Can you unbuckle your seatbelt?" He tried the orange button first.

Let me tell you about the orange button. The orange button is so stinkin' hard to push, I've broken nails trying to get my kid out (not that my nails don't usually break easily). It was made for kids to *not* be able to get out of, so obviously this was not going to be easy for my three-year-old son.

Sam tried his very best, though. He did a great job, used both hands and pressed so hard he was getting that whole tremble-with-exertion thing going. I told him to try the top button instead. The top button is a little easier. It's more like a plastic back-pack buckle and he's gotten that un-done before. He couldn't do it, though. So, finally, exasperated, I said, "Can you wiggle out of your seat, then?"

He tried, and it was starting to work. He got his shoulders out.

But then a woman strolled by on her morning walk. She looked concerned. "Hello!" I said cheerily, hoping she wasn't going to offer help or call CPS. What I really wanted to say was, "No, really. I *always* talk to my children through the car window in the morning. It's just one of those things we do." Thankfully she moved on.

Sam was doing great. He'd gotten both arms out and was halfway out of his seat. But he was stuck there. I was getting ready to go call the police when Sam had the brilliant idea of taking off his shoes. As soon as he did that, he was able to wiggle a little bit more. And then, he tried his top buckle again and it worked!

Huzzah! A few grunts later, he was free!

"Okay, Sam, I need you to get my keys. They're on the seat".

I was prepared to instruct Sam on not pressing the panic button on my keychain, and to press the button that had the unlocked lock picture instead of the locked lock picture.

Instead, Sam reached over and pressed the unlock button on the door of the car. Smart little cookie!

And I opened the door and HUGGED that boy like there was no tomorrow. Because, for a while there, it felt like there wouldn't be.

Oh, I love Sam so.

(PS. Aunica was fascinated by this whole experience, and never cried. I'm very thankful because that just might have sent me over the edge)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Okay.. it's been a while, I know

Mmmmm.. dinosaur! Tasty!


Digging for gold

Practicing for Sillouette shots

Aunica's first swing experience