journey: stop 1

Since we have been married, our journey away from our homeland has led us to many towns. Each home and location has had new and different things to adjust to (+ and -). I write about them so as to not forget the little details I still recall in my fast fading memory. As with all things, the further time passes, the more nostalgia brings to light less of the negative and surfaces more of the pleasant. It will try to record both because they make up the entirety of the experience. Today I will write about the first home away from home- August 1999.


Mike got into a management development program that relocated us to New York. We were so excited for his new salary, we felt it was well beyond our wildest dreams at that stage of our lives. Then he went apartment hunting and reality crashed on our heads. We lived comfortably in Arizona with a $500 per month rent payment that included one bedroom, a laundry facility, maybe even a gym, two covered parking spots and a couple of pools. Rent in New York would BEGIN around $1100- $1500 for a one bedroom, and even that *low* price was hard to come by. That was the start of the high cost of living reality of our new lives. And that never included a gym or a pool, almost never a parking spot.

We moved to Long Beach, Long Island and landed at E Broadway and Lincoln Blvd. It was a beach town, however, I had a hard time locating a skate/ surf shop for some reason. The grocery store was filled with old people and the strip malls off the main street seemed dated and empty. It turned out Long Beach (during the non-summer months) is a retirement community filled with many nursing homes. Most of the people living there settled their weary bones in for the final years of their lives while we were just beginning ours.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that we would be living 2 short blocks from the beach. I actually fell out of bed and went running on the boardwalk, essentially my back yard. It seemed odd for such a cute town to be empty considering how peaceful, beautiful, and accessible the beach was. It felt like our little secret hideaway home no one knew about. It didn't matter that the dishwasher only held 7 dishes or that the ceilings were an inch above our heads. That the washer and dryer was outside behind another home (mostly because Mike did laundry in the snowy winter). Or that the closet molded out our sleeping bags and board bags. It didn't matter that our little space was 1 of 4 apartments carved out of what was once a huge house. It was our first home in our introductory New York experience.


I remember it took me a while to find a job and it caused us some concern. Bills were going to be huge, the train and subway alone was over $200 a month! I even applied for jobs at Blockbuster and Pier One Imports because we needed me to generate income fast. I got a job at a fancy mall in Long Island for Clinique as a make-up artist. I sucked at that job. The manager kept yelling at me to wear more lipstick each hour. I was so thrilled when I finally got a bank job in the city. Mostly so I could do something I thought I might be better at, but also to have the company pay for my education and to see more of this city that terrified me.

I remember I sat on the (wrong) train with sweaty palms on my way to the interview. The train was empty and I was worried it wasn't the right job for me and that I would get lost or mugged in the city trying to find the building. I finally found a ticket puncher and he pointed out the correct train, I hopped on right as it was closing its doors. I remember exactly what I wore and the purse I was holding. I remember saying a silent prayer so I could get this job so we could have enough money to live in New York and give this place a fair shot. Even though so much of me wanted to run back home to what was familiar.


I remember the only good dinners I knew how to make from scratch were chicken noodle soup and turkey chili. We ate them both every week in the winter. And nachos for lunch every Sunday while we watched t.v. after church. I wrote a little about what Sundays were like here.

I remember how strange it was that our bathroom towels never seemed to dry.

I remember taking surf lessons in the ice cold water, even with a wetsuit on it was impossibly cold. I was secretly happy there was a sea lice outbreak so I had a legitimate reason to not go in the water for a while.

I remember us going on a nightmare snowboarding trip up north with the Wheelers (our first friends that were there from AZ, too, for the same reason). It was negative 20 degrees that day. I did one run and felt like I had shattered my knee caps. It was ice, like trying to cut an edge on a metal table. It wasn't worth the hassle and cost of going. I knew we wouldn't be back. I cried in the lodge and threw my boots across the floor at the fire place. I knew it was the end of a hobby I loved for a long, long while. I didn't know then that NY in and of itself was its own hobby waiting for us to explore.

I remember once I stopped being a big baby, I dried my tears and had lunch with my husband and friends. Mike took off his waterproof overalls and had on these sweatpants that were super thin and somewhat fitted. I was sitting across from him as he stood up at the table to take off his coat. In my mind I thought of doing something that seemed funny in my head, but I didn't actually realize I was acting on the thought. In the middle of a busy lodge I reached out and grabbed his package. I don't know why. The best part is he totally stood there like it was no big deal. Hey getting your junk grabbed in public is totally normal, we do this all the time. Anybody else wanna piece of me?


I remember this is where we lived when we made the all-night drive in December to Washington, D.C. to go to the temple and be sealed for time and eternity. I remember feeling like my heart opened up a new chamber and my love for him expanded beyond what was humanly possible. It was like love on steroids. Only spiritual. Ergh! There are not proper words to explain the change that occured.


I remember the green hill on the way to Pergament (home improvement store) that reminded me of the teletubbies. I wrote about grocery shopping here.. The Clam House that was closed until summer. The Palace, the retirement home across the street and how there would be sirens going in the middle of the night that sounded like a dj was at a turntable (woooo wopwopwop wooooo wop WOP wowoWOP). It's since been torn down and seems luxury condos have been put up.

On weekdays we literally left for work before the sun came up and got home after it went down. It took both of us about 1 hour and 45 minutes one way to get to work. Young people didn't live there because it was too far from where life was happening. Long Beach was a town for the young people to crash in the summer, not live in. We set our sights on Brooklyn. It would save us a lot of money to shave the train tickets off our budget by just taking the subway and cut the commute time a ton. We wanted to enjoy life more, have some spending money, and get into the city for FUN more often.

Next stop: Park Slope 18th Avenue and 21st Street.

*note to self: find a scanner to add paper photos of these memories



It's rather fitting that today I packed our very first box that will end up in our very first home in a matter of weeks. It's darling that it is a box full of toys for the two children we have. It's quaint this is the 9 year mark of the first night we (ahem) got freak diddly doo. BOW CHICKA BOW BOW.

It's even better that the box is one that previously contained adult briefs. The kind grown-ups pee in (shout out to friend Tara with the generous hook-ups via work). I have another 50 of those left before I start on the plain browns. I can't wait to have our AZ friends scan the boxes they put down so I can turn and whisper it's Mike, he has some urinary problems, he doesn't like to talk about it much. Then I will walk behind him and crinkle plastic bags in my pocket each time he takes a step.

Happy Anniversary, my love. Did you ever dream I would be so romantic?




photos circa dec. 2006

....So I finally called this character they say teaches kids to skateboard. He is sponsored by an East Bay skate shop and a few miscellaneous low-key skate brands. I have been referred to him by a few people and find it may be the only chance to hook a brother up, er I mean son, with a decent lesson before we leave. I can only offer valuable input on what to wear, the kind of board to get, and how to put a helmet on. From there I pretty much suck and eat concrete.
Although I can ollie! In the grass. Holding on to something.

Zane has expressed interest and seems to have balance, but who knows how it will actually go. If last summer's soccer attempt is any indication of how it's going to go, then I am pretty sure he will kick the guy in the shins and run away.

The best part: the guy's name is Peter Danzig. But I decided we are going to call him Glenn Danzig. And we are going to show up each wearing a Misfits T-shirt. And he is going to have to be alright with it.

I think it would be really cool to hang out with my oldest son in this skate park by our house with our boards before we leave California. And if it doesn't work out that way, I am happy to bring toy trucks and roll them around in the bowl. I am going to miss this place. All of it.


rainbow connection

There is a bakery near my home. It's a little shop connected to several locations my errands lead me towards many days of the week. I accidentally discovered that by 9:15 am their cookies are coming FRESH out of the oven. It is also the time a large group of elderly men congregate for morning coffee.

Outside of California mornings, I have not seen so many packs of elderly folk gather to walk, get coffee, and just be together. It always makes me smile to see and reminds me of the importance of friendship. I wonder which are alone when they go home; how many have lost their spouses. I wonder how much these gatherings mean to each individual. I wonder how happy those are that return to their wives and speak of the funny story Earl shared about his dog and that crazy squirrel that keeps visiting their yard. I always wish I could pull up a chair and grab a hot chocolate and just listen and laugh with them. To hear about what their lives are like and feel the enjoyment of life emanate from them. Hear their words of wisdom like a treasure. Watch their expressions change with stories about their lives of yesteryear. I love that they are always so happy.

I am normally, however, rushing to get something between a list of errands and trying to juggle kids when I cross their path. The baby sometimes cries to get out of the stroller while Zane tries to play with the scalding hot water near the coffee station or climbs up on the counter bumping into people in line. I envy their lack or schedule, their free hands, their peaceful and calm dispositions. I welcome their warmth as several pause to steal a smile from the baby and remind me with their soft words that these boys grow up too fast and to enjoy them. To take good care of them. That they are special. I like how things seem to stand still while I am in the bakery and life takes the shape for those few moments of something very fleeting, yet wholesome. I liked his post today about how he had the chance as a kid to be part of that circle; it was fun to read this morning.


tiger, spatula, rattle, soft block, and rubber ducky

what should we do for the family picture this week? scans room for inspiration. nothing comes to mind.

evan crawls in with a duck in his mouth.

alright, then, everyone grab a toy off the floor and take a seat on the couch. do what evan's doing. BEEP! click.


I wasn’t sure how they would pull it off, but they did it. Another Indiana Jones movie that is awesome. They didn’t try to make Harrison Ford young and the humor in the script embraced the fact that he has aged. And it worked. Yes, he is slower, but still just as witty and clever as the younger years. The template they use for these movies and pieces of viewer expectation were a success! I laughed, I held my breath, I cringed at the right parts they wanted me to react to. All around good times, I would go again in the theater to see this one. It’s the only way to go for an Indy film. And it’s going to make for another great new ride at Disneyland, I hope.


happy spot

My happy spot in a day is when I am not doing any work. I am not cleaning or feeding anyone. I am on the floor playing with my kids (or outside hanging out with them). There is no reason I shouldn't make time for this every day at least once. So I came up with a solution.

I wrote down on a sheet of paper all the 15-20 minute activities I could think of. Bubbles, play-doh, dance party, candyland, painting, chase, tag, etc. I cut them out into slips of paper and put them into a box with a lid. We will do one of these things (at least) daily. Either I choose at random or Zane picks one out of the box. I have about 30 activities in there and am aware of its presence in my kitchen each morning, which was the point of the plan. Check.

I also created a posterboard calender just for Zane. He has been rather confused about the new traveling schedule his father has started. We put big yellow stars on the days Mike will be home and also filled in his activites on the other days (preschool, church, play dates, etc). It will be helpful for him to learn yesterday was not 'last year' and keep me on track with talking about communicating our schedule often.

My next move is a quick and dirty list of each kids' developmental targets for this stage of their lives and post them in a place I can view each day so I can make more time available to focus on them. I have a house to pack up and I don't want them to get lost in the mix of change this summer. Although I like to post about how awesome I think I am, this is more in the spirit of keeping myself accountable for all the things I am responsible for and pushing the most important to the top of the list.


cluster notes

I read about this cool indoor skydiving place called ifly from my friend Heidi. I took Mike there to fly. It was seriously the most fun I have had in a long time, I was more excited to see all these strangers (+Mike) fly than all of them combined, actually doing it.

My favorite moments:
This bearded dude that couldn't get up initially. And Zane's face pressed against the window watching him have trouble getting up off the ground. He had a hard time controlling his body (as expected for people whom have not been skydiving before). And then the bearded dude making a face like a roaring lion at Zane once he was flying as their faces were both pressed against the glass. I think Zane might have peed his pants. I laughed so hard think I did, too.
Mike pretended like he was totally bored, but on the inside I believe he was giddy like a schoolgirl. They take turns going one at a time for a couple minutes and cycle through the whole group a couple times. He was the only one in his group to spin and also got the highest. My favorite was when his foot kicked the helper dude in the face, but he had not idea he had done it. The other favorite was this really awkward and super tall dude (sorry no pics of him). He was so uncertain of what to do (that would so be me) that his body was out of control. His arms were too stiff and his legs and feet were all over the place. Then I noticed he had on work shoes. To fly. Would you sky dive with work shoes? It's not like he just got off work and decided to stop by, you have to make your appointment weeks in advance and it was a weekend. And it's not like they were fancy like he was trying to be stylish, they were like payless workshoes with a hard bottom to them. He could have really hurt someone going in there with work shoes on. What was he thinking? Well, he made it even more entertaining to observe.

It was also awesome to see the helper dudes that worked there between groups show off. It was like seeing The Matrix live, they walked around on the walls sideways, zoomed up to the top (which seemed like it went 3 stories high) and back down at lightening speed. Mike liked the guys that did leaps like fairies the best and spun in mid-air like ballerinas.


It's never a good idea to put the baby down for a nap when he doesn't have a shirt on. Trying to slip my arm from under his body during the sneak-out is like giving the back of his neck an Indian Burn. Of course he is going to wake up upon transition.


I enjoyed watching the H&M employee pass me on his walk to work while I gingerly sipped my jamba juice while nursing the baby and doing my best to verbally restrain Zane. Hey that would be a cool band name: Verbally Restain Zane. It has an Eric's Trip feel to it. So he walks frozen and seems to have carefully molded his hair into this attempt at being messy on purpose in a gothic/ metrosexual way. And then there was this bag situated with the strap across his chest and tote part immovable at his hip. And then the trademark converse, perfectly clean and purchased no sooner than last week. He was trying so hard for a look, but wasn't quite sure what it should be, but dammit it landed him this great job at H&M so now he has to try and replicate it every day. All I could imagine was him chanting in his head as he walked by with the most upright posture of all pedestrians: "I must walk stiff so as to not upset my hair".


running man

Mike, he runs a lot. He trains like a sonofabeach and is the most chipper person I have ever met at 5am about every single day of the year. I love how he has been up for hours, running, and arrives home ready to carry on a full conversation with me during this hour before the birds are chirping. Even though I grunt and throw things at him, it's just my special way of really saying I am impressed at his dedication.

Many marathons are out of town so we don't always get to cheer him on. Recently he ran up and down and up and down a mountain. He took a camera with him and posted amazing photos of it here.

This is what we were doing while he was running:Evan helping with ideas on where to put the sign we made.

I used peanut butter from my sandwich to make the edges stick to the bar so it wouldn't be a taco sign.
This is what he looked like after a crazy mountain marathon:
Women runners in other wards have heard about him, they call him legendary. It makes me smile. Because they don't even know the half of it. Or what a stallion he is between the sheets. Oops did I just write that?


true. that.

My sister and I were discussing a talk given by a church leader, Elder M. Russell Ballard (click here to read it). Women all over the place smile when it comes up in conversation. It's about motherhood. It's about keeping it real. It's about the basics I bet a lot of us are doing even if we wish and want to be catching stars for these kids of ours every night. Sometimes remembering the basics might be more important.

It's a nice refresh for me to read it today and feel good about the priorities in my life. Especially as we adjust as a family to a new schedule with Mike traveling. As we each have an abundance of what the other is deficient in each weekday (me: alone time / him: kid time). I am determined in our roles as parents to keep working at being united, achieving family peace as often as possible, and having fun. I know we each wish to share what we have an abundance of with the other so we can balance each others' needs, but for now we cannot. It has to be enough to simply know we would trade moments of the day with each other if we could.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the talk and my thoughts:

"...I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood."

I love the feeling of agreeing with this.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family."

That's easy to forget, isn't it? It's hard to be around people who think their way is the one perfect way. I hope to not be that person now or ever. Even with each of my own children, I hope I remember they might need different parenting as their needs and personalities will vary.

"What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

"I am impressed by countless mothers who have learned how important it is to focus on the things that can only be done in a particular season of life. "

He isn't going to let me hold his hand when we run errands and snuggle him while we read books forever, is he?

"There are moments of great joy and incredible fulfillment,"...

Today Zane thanked me when I put a band-aid on his ouchie with the most pleasant and thoughtful voice I have heard in weeks. As if I sewed his arm back on. It was a moment I wish I could bottle up.

..." but there are also moments of a sense of inadequacy, monotony, and frustration. Mothers may feel they receive little or no appreciation for the choice they have made. Sometimes even husbands seem to have no idea of the demands upon their wives."

Evan screams like he is on fire each time I lay his sleeping body into his crib during the day. Zero naps this week, unless they are in my arms. Zero. Another moment, less favored.

Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: “........And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”(Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).

I think I want to put this quote above the door to remember when I am coming and going from one thing to the next.

..." find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children."

This is something I am normally pretty good at. I am working on getting a drumming instructor in AZ and a babysitter so can have some 'me' time even with Mike traveling. I know 1-2 hours a week is about all I can do once the house is settled. That was my routine in NY and it worked well. We are all going to need for me to be replenished.

people are strange

I have a friend who always wanted to have her picture taken in a cemetary with her wedding dress on. While it's odd, I totally want to photograph her in this setting and get smoke machines and make it look awesome. I love that she has this random vision.

I always wanted to have a really short bob hairdo and to dye it electric blue. Not forever, just for a little while.

I was thinking recently how awesome it would be to wear full-on clown make-up and Bozo hair for a day. Not the shiny make-up you get at Walgreens, but a professional job where you can't see my real eye brows through it. It would be a happy face clown deal with a super exaggerated smile. And I would wear my regular clothing and run normal housewife errands. I would pretend like everything was totally normal. Like the Coneheads. I would be Clownhead trying my best to blend into society.

I would grocery shop and other moms would look at me and smile. They would think they are smiling in response to my smile, but really I would not be smiling at all. It would be great.

The best part would be that I would totally pretend to be embarrassed if someone tried to talk about it. I would look at the ground, pull up a shoulder in shyness refusing eye contact. "Um yeah, I am a clown. Can I get my dry cleaning now?" Then I would leave really fast after the transaction was completed.

It would be fun to see if me acting normal about it would cause other people to pretend it's completely normal.

I think the first place I would go would be Nordstrom's to get Zane shoes. I freaking hate that place. People tend to take themselves too seriously there. But for some reason it's where I can find cool Vans the quickest and easiest in proximity to where we live. Will you bring the hidden video?


Upon discussing my idea with Mike he thought it would be funny for someone to start up clown porn. We are guessing it's never been done. What is our deal with talking about porn so much in this household? Bozo Does Dallas. Bozos Go Wild. Triple D Clowns on Spring Break!


note to self: you are awesome

I enjoy reading Andrea's Superhero Journal, especially when she has some thought to chew on. She recently wrote of a cafe that offers a question a day for diners to ponder, answer internally or out loud to lunch mates: What is awesome about you? How great would it be to start the day giving yourself a pat on the back for your own awesomeness? I think it's a healthy dose of good idea. I spend plenty of words around here talking about ways I am working on bettering myself, it's time for a note to me about the awesome part of myself. I invite you do the same.......

It's killer how much I love food and enjoy eating.

It's also pretty cool that I can laugh at myself.

I love that I can make a fool of myself in public just to have fun with the kids or make someone laugh.
I like that I am curvy.
I am glad I am compassionate and able to communicate well much of the time.

I like that I am not competative or care muchly about Those Joneses next door.

Changing poopy diapers (my own kids that is) doesn't really sick me out.
I like my blue eyes.
I can make friends easily. That comes in handy when I move a lot.
I like that I am a such a tomboy at heart.
I like that I generally give you the benefit of the doubt upon first impression. It takes a lot for me to decide to not like someone.
I like that I am honest.
It's good that I love thoroughly and passionately and entirely.
I enjoy that I can make a good mess and not stress about it (i.e. kids+paint).
I can be direct. Making people read between lines seems like such a waste of everyone's time.
I like that I pray a lot. When I am happy, mad, frustrated, confused, worried, etc.
I like to think I am pretty cool, that is by my own coolness standards I create in my own world. I like that my own definition is sufficient, I don't need to check anyone else's list.
I like that I am genuine. I couldn't be fake even if I wanted to try.
I like that I can take a chance at tossing the routine on occasion if it means fun for all.
I like that I try new things I am curious about even if they are intimidating to me (moving, drumming, surfing, NOT drugs just say no).
I like that I have the loudest laugh in the movie theater when we see a comedy.
I am glad I understand the demands of a career and the hours it takes to maintain one well.
I am happy people think to email or call me when they have something personal they want to say and know I won't repeat it. I feel honored to be trusted, I like that part of who I am.
I like that I have worked hard over the years to not be judgemental; I keep working it out of me, it's so not becoming and I want it completely gone away. I like that I recognize this part of me each time it creeps up and keep working at it.
It's awesome of me to help when I know I am able to, but also able to say no when it's truly a hardship for me or my family. I like that I have come a long way learning that balance and self-check and have gotten a lot better at it.
I like that being outside is important to me.

I like that I generally could care less how other people choose to raise their kids or spend their money. It doesn't really affect me and my life.
It's fun to me that I love sweets.

I love that I have a creative way of seeing things, solving things, and explaining things.
I like that I am a careful mom. That I am comfy doing what I think is best even when it may appear to be different than the group norm.

I love that I believe in miracles.
I like me.



Yesterday I woke up grumpy. Ginchy, unruly, unreasonably grumpy. I scowled Zane to preschool and barely budged a comfort when he didn't want to stay. I thought to myself how he is probably the lucky son to be able to take a break from The Mommy Grouch.

Evan refused a nap. I wrestled his milk-filled tummy into the jogger and hurried a walk past the nosey neighbor's room with a view. This would not be a morning I could fake a smile to her.

I passed the men in bright orange vests. "Good morning! Sorry about the dust!" I almost tripped on his joyful disposition. You are spending the day wacking the town's weeds along a cannel, what are you so happy about? That's the sort of ugly grumpy I was. But his cheerful smile burned into my head and I couldn't shake it. I couldn't shake the guilt that I had no good reason to be grumpy. China had the earthquake. Not us. I couldn't place the words into my head to get the good going. All were rejected.

I refused to jog even though I was dressed for it and the slight breeze was calling for my sweat. No. I won't. Because I don't feel like it. walkstompwalkstompwalkstomp.
I turn the front wheel into the entrance of the rose garden. Even though my rotten attitude was rolling its eyes. I did it for Evan, because he needed me to be a better mommy this particular day. I opened my mouth and softness came out as I told him about the blue dragonfly that fluttered in front of him. It was there on purpose, to make me get over myself. To make me enjoy this treasure of a day and tell this little guy about it with the pleasant he deserves.

The sticks and twigs taunted us in spring with the ground sprouting little tulips and dainty blossoms. Those were dust compared to the brilliant colors and height of this rose garden. I had never seen it in full bloom before. Endless bushels of pedals varied in colors that line up in perfect rows of hue the way you would select shades of paint. It was the same brilliance in my gut I had when I watched the fire works over the city sitting outside just across the Hudson River.
Just as my ice caps of emotion began to slightly melt I got a call from him. It's was if I devoured a 2 pound box of the best chocolate. He knew exactly what I needed, I couldn't have given instructions to match this needed dose so well.

I gathered Zane from preschool at the prescribed time, fed them a well paced lunch at home, and spend the rest of the afternoon outside at the park and garden. Smiling. Living. Enjoying. Kindness. Finally letting myself be the happy. I have every reason to be. Some people detox by eating different foods and drinks. I detox by ridding my cabin fever and going outside for a day. I woke up this morning like a cleaning and happy child-tending machine (with a heart, unlike those cold robots anonymous dislikes).


his favorite buddy

I have a blog [called Dear Zane & Evan] where I write about and to my boys. I often post pictures, talk about lessons they/ we are working through, track my parenting thoughts, sometimes vent frustrating moments, and often write about proud times I don't want to forget to document. It's a diary for my boys about their life growing up with a mother and father learning to be the best parents they can be.

It doesn't have a large readership, probably 50 people at most on a given day. The older my kids get, the heavier my heart fills with thoughts and lessons to write about, the more I lean towards figuring out the kind of parent I want to be and boys I want to raise. This may or may not vary from the decisions of my readers. Either way, it makes me stop and think about the things I type and how it will be taken from the perspective of the adults reading it; even though my intended readership is the older version of my children. I want to write more freely to them, not limit personal thoughts and experiences, keep it true and keep it going in the direction I intended when I started it.

For these reasons is it no longer public. Only Mike and I will be invited to write and read these thoughts. It's our ongoing diary to our kids that I will one day edit and publish it for them. Then it will be up to them as to whom they would like to share it with.


Often they are lengthy, boring posts many may not even read. It's the photos that may be missed. No worries, I will post them here or on my sidebar flickr account and add captions to keep you updated.


regard it, freeze it, jar it

I have been thinking lately about how much I love robots. If I was held up at gunpoint and forced to get a tattoo RIGHT NOW it would be of a robot. Probably this image on my son's favorite shirt. Despite the fact that he is not smiling like it is his favorite shirt, believe me when I tell you he is thrilled on the inside.

Our friend Doctor Ben Blair wrote a perfect essay about Robots some time ago, read it here. My two favorite parts:

1) Probably the best feature about the electric Grandma is that she can pour juice out of her finger.

2)Robots can be found all over the world, but most everyone in the world is not a robot.

My friend Stephanie made a robot cake once, here is her photo of it:

This below is Evan's first robot shirt. I like how they are robot brothers and the older bro is like 'hey this is how robots wave hello, little buddy'. It's a good thing the shirt is long sleeved. He will wear it all the time in Arizona, probably every day.

I once found robot soap.

We often dance as a family like robots.
Keep your ears peeled for my mix tape to robots on the sidebar.

Here are robot earrings. They make me happy.



So we got the house, the one we prefer the most!! Which really was a long process of looking at too many variations of cabinets, stucco, and beige all over the valley (it's really referred to as 'the valley of the sun' and a lot of people have cacti in their yards) . We landed with a spec home we were both smitten with. From this experience I have learned some things and I imagine many more still to come with each next step. The first thing I have learned is that I hope to never have a foreclosure. There are far too many out there. Looking on MLS and then walking through those that were taken by a bank was an erie feeling. It was like being in a western, actual tumble weeds would roll past my feet on some properties. And then someone would fall shot dead! from a balcony with spurs on his boots into a pool with green water and Swamp Thing living inside of it. Maybe it was more sci fi.


Things I forgot about living in Arizona:

1) lip balm left in the car melts

2) any cold beverage is no longer cold after the first drink

3) if you are out in the bright sun for a while and go inside, the room is black as if you are blind. you have to stand in one place for about 3 minutes to let your eyes adjust.

4) i get instant excema under my arms

5) ceiling fans dry out your sandwich bread

6) ceiling fans and shade is really the only way it's possible to live here

7) favorite street name: killardy. poor ardy. i wonder if he knows about this street and who he is. I wonder what he did to make someone so mad. So don't get in a fight with your wife the day before she makes a final decision on what to name that street!