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April 2008
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June 2008

no updates. sorry.

some of you know what that means. for those of you who don't, it can mean that i haven't written anything in awhile. sorry about that.

i've been stressed out, waiting on news about something life-changing. it sucks when fate and life is in the hands of others.

anyway, we should have more information next week and have a better grasp of what's going on. until then, i'm doing my best to stay preoccupied. tonight i'm scrappin' with some friends, today i'm gonna hang with my family, and every now and then i watch this (because it's totally stuck in my head) and laugh my butt off. so, of course, i'll share. i always share the funny.


is it just me?

or does anyone else cry when the clorox commercial of the little girl who pretends she's a mermaid comes on? maybe it's just because harper wants to be a mermaid when she grows up, but that darn commercial gets me every time. and NO, i am NOT pregnant. heaven forbid.


IMG_8887 so anyway ... how was your memorial day weekend? ours was actually pretty okay. we spent saturday afternoon at the arboretum and it was just perfect! the weather was amazing, every tree in the crabapple section was in full bloom, and the kids were both happy and (mostly) cooperative. it was a great way to spend a day. (wanna see? okay.)

sunday ... i can't totally remember what we did. i know it was hot. and muggy. and we didn't want to do anything. it was a bit of a blah day, but at least it was better than what the people north of us endured, including my dear friend susan. we didn't even get rain.

Bwcookout yesterday was another good one. we cleaned up the house in preparation for some friends coming over for a cook-out. again, the weather was perfect - nice and cool and breezy. seriously, spring in minnesota has been perfect this year! our friends dave & jess are moving to utah today, so last night we had them and our friends ted (who is dave's brother) & heather and their little girl kate over for a last dinner and hang-out while we were all in the same general area. unfortunately, heather had a little too much tequila the night before and was home nursing the mother of all hangovers. but then our neighbor and his fiance agreed to come over for free food, so it was still a party. the kids played and fought, the big people sat around and gabbed, and all was lovely. it was so sad to say good-bye to our friends, but we know what it's like to move away from all family and friends and start off on something new. it's both exciting and scary, and we know they'll be just fine. and there's always email.

now it's tuesday. today is henry's field day at school, so harp and i are headed in there after lunch. time to go make the pb&j, i guess.

15 years ago today, there were those three little words.

today has been a bittersweet day for me. fifteen years ago today was the first time marc said, "i love you." we'd been dating for about two months and things were going swimmingly. i knew it would happen at some point, but the day he chose to say it caught me by surprise. fittingly, the reason he chose this day to tell me sort of set the tone for our relationship: not romantic, not spontaneous, not swept away by emotion and feeling, but instead solid and supportive and genuine.


he chose to tell me those three little words on this day fifteen years ago because on this day fifteen years ago, i heard three other words that stopped my heart:

"kevin passed away."

kevin was one of my best friends, and had been since junior high. when i moved to indiana, it was the end of fourth grade, and making friends in this small community was not easy. they had all been together since kindergarten and didn't take kindly to outsiders. things improved over the summer, as i had girls in the neighborhood with whom i started to hang out and we became friends. once fifth grade started, i was one of them and all was okay. and it was time to decide who i would like. that is a very important decision in fifth grade, when the girls and the boys begin to notice each other and pair up.

a tall boy with dark hair and even darker eyes caught my eye. kevin. he was always nice to me, always polite. my crush was immediate, but i still wasn't comfortable enough in my new surroundings and with my new friends to say anything. so i didn't.

but then sixth grade came, and he played basketball and i became a cheerleader in order to maintain friendships with the girls in my class. (seriously ... me? as a cheerleader? it had to be for a reason bigger than pom poms.) toward the end of the year, kevin approached me at someone's birthday party and we started to talk. about all the stuff that's important to 12-year-olds. and at one point he said, "when i grow up, my kids are gonna be swimmers." and i knew i was in sixth grade love.

a few weeks later, my best friend, alison, had a going-away party at her house. her family was moving to south carolina that summer, and she wanted to say goodbye to all her friends. as darkness came and we all spread out across the yard to play a version of tag, kevin came toward me and motioned toward the shed in our neighbors' yard. standing there in the dark, he said, "i know you like me." i think i might have said, "umma wha ... yeah ..." then kevin gave me the sweetest kiss - my first - and said, "okay. maybe we should go together."

bliss!! a summer of bliss!!

and then junior high came and it all ended. but somehow we were unfazed and unaffected by that summer, because we stayed friends and even became closer. by high school, he was one of the people to whom i was closest and could talk about anything. we even tried to date again, but it was a disaster. (think: pizza that never came, flat tire, late for a movie, running across a muddy field to reach the theater because of the flat tire, returning to the car to find it covered in silly string, driving 30 mph back to my house on a donut wheel, and then awkward conversation for 20 minutes with my mom, who adored kevin, when all the while kevin just wanted to get home and fix his car.) we realized the universe was trying to tell us to not mess with what obviously worked.

after graduation, kevin went to purdue and we dropped out of contact for the year. then that spring i bumped into him at a local store. we talked for awhile at the store, then i invited him back to my dorm to keep talking. he stayed for a couple of hours, we talked about everything - my boyfriend, his girlfriend, i told him i had written about our disastrous date for a comp class and got an A ... he told me he wanted to read it and i promised to mail it. then he left, but before he did we made plans to hang out over the summer.

and that was it. a month later, he was gone.

i was at church on sunday morning, may 23rd, when the pastor announced that another local church was asking for prayers for one of their members who was involved in a car accident overnight. as soon as the pastor said the name of the church, i thought, "kevin." i knew his family attended there. during the prayer, the pastor again mentioned the church and then said kevin's name. i sat numb through the remainder of the service and couldn't wait to bolt and run home to call the hospital to check on his status and see if i could go visit. and the only thing going through my mind was the fact that i'd accidentally opened an umbrella in the house that morning. that fact haunted me for some reason.

marc and i drove to my parents' house immediately following church. he knew kevin was a good friend, so he understood why i was so freaked out. as soon as i walked in the house, i told my mom kevin had been in an accident and i needed to call the hospital to see how he was doing. my mom turned white.

i called parkview and asked if i could get patient information. i said kevin's name and the nurse put me on hold to look it up. she returned to say they didn't have a patient there by that name. i told her that i had just heard at church that he was there. she paused, then asked if i was family or friend. i told her, "great friend," and she paused again. then she said,

"kevin passed away. at 9:30 this morning."

just as the pastor was asking for prayers.

i hung up, walked into the kitchen, told my mom, and fell to the floor in tears.

the rest of the day is a blur. we drove to ohio for my cousin's graduation party, marc stood by me and tried to be supportive, but he truly wasn't sure what to do. he'd never experienced anything like that before. that evening, after returning, i drove marc back to his parents' house. i had met his parents once, maybe twice before this day, so it was all still very new. but when i went inside with marc, his parents asked, innocently, if i knew the boy who was killed that morning. all i could say was yes. and then said that i had to go.

marc walked me out to the car. he was very quiet. and he told me to drive carefully. then he hugged me, kissed the top of my head, and said, "i love you."

i can't even remember if i said it back. there were no bells. no birds singing. no butterflies in my stomach. just gratefulness that he was there for me, and that he cared, and that he stood by me all day - the worst day of my life - and did his best to help, though he was completely unprepared.

the course of our relationship has been just more of the same. i hope, at some point, that there IS a big, sweeping, romantic moment. but i wouldn't trade the years of quiet love for one minute of the passionate, romantic kind. because the quiet kind is what gets you through all the good and the bad and the unimaginable.

so today i'm thinking about my two boys, both completely different, but they would have really liked each other had they met. and it breaks my heart that they never will.

i should update, shouldn't i?

okay. how's this:

so, all year long it's been on the school calendar - may 14: late start. kids to school at 10:35 a.m.

today, we get up, we lounge for awhile, we do what we need to do to get ready but in no particular rush, we leave the house on time, and we arrive at school ... to an empty parking lot.

uh ... where did i mess up?

fortunately, i see a friend at the school entrance and she informs me that there was a change - no more late start. at least i wasn't the only one to miss that tidbit, but come on! you think a reminder could have been sent home!

i go into the office to sign henry in as tardy - so NOT my fault - and ask about the change. the new (ie not as nice) secretary flips the may newsletter open, points to the BOTTOM of page FIVE and says, "didn't you see the calendar change?"

yeah. i'm supposed to wade through five pages of pta notes and other exciting stuff to get to that ONE piece of information that's pertinent to ME. ya think maybe something like that could have been on the FRONT page?!

irritating. seriously.

and that's all i have for you today.


mother's day is the new christmas

for the past couple of years, i've made my mom a calendar of the kids' pictures for christmas. and each year, something seems to keep me from completing it in time for christmas ... and it gets later and later each year.

Cal10

this year, her christmas calendar is, in fact, a mother's day present.

benefit: she now have four months built into the calendar (jan-april) that can buy me some time next year in case i'm again five months late for christmas.

i planned that just right, didn't i?

anyway, this year the calendar is much less "my style" but it was also much less painless. why? i used page maps' side maps to give me no-fuss guidelines for the pages, and used studio calico kits for about half the pages. nice. everything was right at my fingertips. i knew the photo sizes needed, so getting the pix ready was a snap. and the whole calendar was completed in just a handful of hours.

love that.

here - have a gander. unless you are my mom, in which case ... GO AWAY!



brings a smile to my face

i've been getting frustrated lately. with my kids. with my camera. with my lack of enthusiasm for picking up my camera to take pix of my kids. (to clarify ... i'm not frustrated with my kids in general, per se, but with their lack of cooperation with smiling and being cute when i want to take their picture. is that better, marc? ;o) )

but i now feel excited again.

why?

look at this face:

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and at the gorgeousness of baby glow:

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my beloved 20d is starting to show her age and technological shortcomings, and i've been frustrated lately at the fact that she isn't as fast or sharp as she used to be. images come out slightly more underexposed than normal, edges aren't quite as crisp as i would like, and if research is to be believed, i've shot about as many frames as is typically the lifespan of a 20d. i was lamenting to marc about it, and he gave me the go-ahead to upgrade to the 5d. bells rang and angels sang, and then i opted to buy us a deck table and chairs instead. because after three years in this house i so want to finally grill out and eat on the deck before the bugs become unbearable; and marc really likes the teak sets and he never really has an opinion about stuff for the house so i decided to indulge him instead of buying the much-less-expensive and much-more-easily-storable-for-the-nine-months-of-minnesota-winter set that i figured we'd buy.

but that's neither here nor there.

what i'm getting at is today my little canonbelle was good to me. and this sweet little clara girl was good to me, too. and when i uploaded the images into lightroom and started scrolling through, that feeling of "i can DO this!" started to bubble up.

beautiful photos inspire the heck out of me, and if i can occasionally make one, then it's a good day. today was a really good day.

the maternity shoot with rob and sarah turned out beautifully, too, and suddenly harper can't start kindergarten soon enough.


the calm before the storm

here we are again: monday.

the good news is that marc is home for three solid days in a row! (as far as we know ... we're not sure yet if he has to head to chicago thursday morning or wednesday night.) and just in time ... the yard needs to be mown.

we had a good weekend. the weather was lovely, the kids were busy and happy, and marc and i were able to sneak away for what is fast becoming an every-other-week tradition: drop off the kids at child care and then head to crave for a winter roll.

Rszimg_8226let me explain the beauty of the winter roll at crave. it was a seasonal sushi roll, and we happened to discover it just as it was going off the seasonal menu. we were told, once we realized how fabulous it is, that if we come on a night that the main sushi guy is working, all we have to do is ask for it and he'll make it. ever since, marc and i get winter roll cravings about every other day. granted, we don't give into it that often. but every other week seems to hold us over. tuna, salmon, tilapia, avocado, cucumber, sushi rice, and a crunchy crust - panko? tempura flakes? who knows. and i know there are other flavorful components, but i know not nor care not what they are. i just know that it's a little slice of heaven.

anyway, enough about the winter roll. just, if you are in the edina area and plan to eat at the galleria and choose to go to crave, call me. i'll meet you there. and we'll ask if tony's working.

yesterday was productive. henry went to a birthday party for friends of his (triplets! ouch.) at a skating rink for four hours. and during that time, harper was amazingly amused by whatever it was she was doing ... we heard nary a peep out of her the entire time. so we vacuumed the basement, marc cleaned his office, and i worked on my mom's mother's day present.

productivity is a lovely, wonderful thing.

and today is still pretty darn good. i've folded about five loads of laundry, cleaned and reorganized the bathroom, painted harper's fingernails, and have rob & sarah's photos ready to upload for their perusal. and harper's still playing and happy. wow.

somewhere stars are aligning in a magical configuration.

i won't get too used to it, though. june will, to put it mildly, suck. marc will be gone pretty much all month: four days in dallas, four days in boston, a week somewhere for a rhca class, and then, likely, chicago on the days he's "home." we might see him one or two random sundays.

like i said, it will suck. with any luck i can head to indiana with the kids for part of that. and there's rumor marc wants me to go to boston with him ... thinking maybe cape cod by myself for three days?? now that's a nice idea ... three days ... alone ... on cape cod ... with a camera. my arm could be twisted.