Monday, December 7, 2009

A reason for Brad (one of many)

We have a fireplace in our apartment. The real kind requiring real wooden logs as opposed to the fake kind that never actually burn.

And so today when our apartment was freezing, I decided to use the fireplace by filling it with our our junk mail. (Free fuel. Sweet.)

My plan was working perfectly until our smoke alarm went off and I stepped back from the fireplace to see smoke against the ceiling.

I. Panicked. I am not good in a crisis. I imagined fire trucks coming, a crowd gathering, and the issuing of a hefty fine for all the trouble.

I called Brad.

He could have lectured. He could have been angry.

He laughed. And then he told me how to open the flue.

An hour later he came home and Febreezed the place.

I really love that guy. And. I need him. Apparently.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why it might be hard to make new friends

Last night some of our friends from Carlsbad came to visit. We went to the mall to play in the children's play area. Before entering, I stopped Grace and Gwen (Grace's friend) and I said, "We have to take off our shoes before we go inside."

Gwen turned to Grace. "Why do we have to take off our shoes?" She asked.

"Because those are the rules," Grace replied.

Gwen was skeptical. She pointed. "But *those* kids have shoes on."

Grace bent down, unlatching her first shoe. "*That's* because they chose to follow Satan."

Monday, November 16, 2009

It is done.

And it will be nice to be with my family.
But I'll sure miss these people.
They are Kate, Jonathan, and Patrick. Patrick. My boss. He's the one who said at least once a day, "You can always get a new family. How would you find another job?"
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Try to ignore my chubbiness. A year at a desk will do that to you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Bedtime Prayer, brought to you by Grace

dear henlee father

thank thee for the food.

[LONG pause]

i'm dreaming with my eyes closed

i'm dreaming and i'm saying a prayer

and there's... a monkey...?

and he's in a box...

and he's trying to get out of the box...

and... i love my school very very very much.

room j is so so so so fun.

SO fun.

amen.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Universe, can we be friends now?

Last weekend I drove to visit Brad in Lubbock. Alone. It was hard to leave the girls since I see so little of them as it is. But I missed Brad. A lot. And 12 hours of driving in only two days with two little girls in the car just felt overwhelming. (Finding bathrooms every two hours and holding one daughter while helping the other onto the toilet, for example, is more than I was emotionally ready to deal with on that particular weekend.) So, I packed the car and took off.

I stopped once. It was for gas. And I left my car running while filling up since the alternator is troubled and sometimes the car won't start. I didn't want to have to ask a stranger for a jump. It was much easier to risk a static fire and blowing up the gas station instead.

Brad and I had a wonderful time. I really like him. He makes me laugh. 

And then the next day I packed up and headed home. In the middle of the day. Because I get sleepy and apparently drunk driving is a problem for highways in the middle of nowhere. Thought I would avoid problems.

Until I hit a deer. 

To be fair, I think it should really be blamed on him. The deer. I mean, he saw me. He saw me long enough to hesitate, actually bound away momentarily, and then decide, "Yeah, I'm going for it!" 

I saw him long enough to slow down from 70 mph to 40.

And then I passed slowly enough to watch him flip 6 feet in the air and land on the side of the road. When I turned around to find him, he was gone. 

I felt sick. I'm pretty sure I fatally injured that deer. 

Surprisingly, I thought nothing of my car. Until I thought to myself, "How am I not finding it? Shouldn't there be blood or antlers or tire marks or something?" So, I got out of the car, looked around the area, turned... 

and my hood was just completely crumpled.

I made it home fine. But remember the fritzy alternator? And although my hood is crumpled enough to see underneath, I can't actually open it. You know, to jump it.

Guess whose mom is driving her to work and picking her up everyday?

Add that to apartment rental problems (and wicked expensive apartments!), drama at work, an unusually grumpy and obstinate Grace, an unsleeping Claire, and an absent (temporarily) husband. And that would be why I'm a little nuts. and tired.
 
But writing this made me laugh. And that makes me feel betterish. How about you? Anything you can make funny and laugh about?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Autumn. My favorite.

When my mom suggested it, I just couldn't pass up the promise of a gorgeous day at the Dallas Arboretum. Swine Flu can give you cabin fever. My fever has been gone for two days, so I'm not contagious. But I'm not feeling perfect yet either (as witnessed by the dear bush who discreetly received the lunch my shrunken stomach rejected).
After a week with my girls, I'm looking forward to being their full-time Mom again. Have I mentioned that exciting news? We girls are finally going to be living with Daddy again while he works on his Masters. And I get to stay HOME!!!! I feel like weeping in relief whenever I think of it.
Below are some of the fun pics we took at the pumpkin-clad tree park. (Thank you, Grandma Janna for the darling t-shirts!)
We basked in the sun, and Grace rolled down the hillside.

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Pretend this was meant to be slightly out of focus.


Just look at that face.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oink

Turns out that it's not always just a cough and sore throat.

Turns out when you're the first person at your very large company's in-house clinic to be tested positive for swine flu they call corporate in Virginia and initiate a campus-wide emergency protocol.

Turns out that wearing a face mask out to your car makes you feel like a bio-terrorist.

In case you had ever wondered.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Made in China

This is the warning sign on a miniature merry-go-round that Grace and Claire ride at our local Peter Piper's Pizza:
In case you needed further evidence that spell checker is not enough.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Road Trip

We Nevilles have taken a ridiculous number of road trips this year. Mostly between Texas and New Mexico. We see a lot of interesting and beautiful and nasty [see giant dead wild pig] things. We drive through little one-horse towns, and I think to myself, "Who decided to come to the middle of nowhere and build a town? And why did all these other people follow them?"
Take a look at the ancient gas station pictured above, for example. You should know that the door to this building is locked and the interior is full of junk. There are maybe five other dilapidated buildings in the area (and it's difficult to determine whether they're in use). Every time I pass I think: Who is paying the electricity bill on that vending machine? I wonder if I could get a soda out of it.
Keeps me up at night, people.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two.

Claire is two. And although she is cuddly and adorable, I hate the getting older. Birthdays should be mourned. Another year gone! I get all soggy inside just thinking about it.

But even if I do lament a year that takes her closer to independence, I only do it because I love being around her. And so I take the chance to remember Claire at two:
  1. My children are not early talkers. I might even call them late. But at 22 months, Claire's little speech alarm in her brain informed her that it was time to talk, and her vocabulary exploded. Suddenly she can say half of anything. She generally cuts off the first several sounds. Or the last several sounds. Or she changes them. And she mostly avoids consonants. Where Grace added them, Claire deletes them. Thank you becomes "Tah oo," Signing Time becomes "i ee ime," Daddy becomes "Da eee," Grace becomes "Athe." Which brings me to another point.
  2. She has a darling lisp.
  3. She is a tease. She pretends to sleep so she can wake up and laugh when she sees she has successfully startled you.
  4. Her hair is strawberry blond, feathery and soft, and she will sit still while I (or "Gama Bet-thee") comb it into pigtails or descending ponytails.
  5. She is a self-entertainer. She enjoys a variety of self-motivated activities. Like shoveling spoonfuls from the sugar bin into her mouth. Or coating the hardwood floor in a nice thick layer of Head and Shoulders. Or brushing the carpet with half a tube of toothpaste. She has no trouble staying busy.
  6. She loves her daddy. And misses him since he's been gone. Every night we gather each other for family prayer, and every night just as I'm beginning, she shakes my shoulder and forcefully cries, "Daddy! Daddy prayer!" as if we forgot to get him.
  7. She loves counting. She counts to three alone. When led by a grown-up, her counting goes like this: "[Claire, say, one], un, [two], doo, [three], thee, [four], foa, [five], bithe, [six], nine, [seven], nine, [eight], nine, [nine], nine... You could say she has a favorite number.
Two came so fast. I hope this next year is longer.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

BYU Crushes Sooners (take that, BCS!)

I dread BYU away games. I went to the TCU game last year, and I actually had to start listening to my iPod during the game because I was so stressed out.

So, tonight, as we headed to the new Cowboys stadium to watch the game, I counted on losing pretty horribly. And once I got into the stadium, I realized that we would lose and I would also be deaf afterwards. The stadium was FULL of OU fans. And we were surrounded by them. And they were very loud. And the stadium is enclosed.

But I must say that I turned the tables when BYU started pulling through. Single-handedly, I might add. I was hollering like a banshee. Brad and Reo (a friend of ours) sat, clapped, and looked at me like I was a lunatic.

And I guess I am. I was so excited to be at a winning away game, and screamed enough to prove it.

I have to also say that the OU fans, although heavy drinkers, are also a friendly crowd. We passed at least 5 OU fans on our way out who shook or hands or high-fived us or congratulated us and said, "Good job, you deserve it."

What a great game.




Thursday, September 3, 2009

What's Really Going On

My sister-in-law (who I would link to, but her blog is private) has this cute side-bar on her blog titled "Top 5 New Things Going on With Us." I love it. Because that's really why I visit blogs. I want to know what's going on. 

That is also why I hate Facebook. It tells me nothing about anyone's life. All it does is show me that my friends have a lot of other friends. Ones that I don't seem to know. This fact is especially apparent on my Friends' birthdays when all the people they've ever "friended" visit their wall and type, simply, "Happy Birthday!"

I want to type, "Happy Birthday, and who are all these other strange people typing on your wall? How come I don't know them? Does that mean that there's other stuff going on in your life that I don't know about now? And if so, what exactly is the stuff going on that I don't know about?" 

I would probably get defriended.

So I just don't visit Facebook. I blog watch. 

Which, actually, now... sounds kind of... creepy... I'd rather keep --in touch-- with old friends by silently visiting their blogs than actually communicating with them. 

Okay. Well. Anyway, if you're weird like me and just want a quick overview of your friends' lives without having to ask, here are the top five things going on with us:

1. Brad has started school in Lubbock. I am still working in Dallas. He makes me laugh hysterically on the weekends when he comes home, and I cry every time he leaves. It's ridiculous and unsustainable. I don't know how army wives do it.

2. Claire just turned 2 on Monday. We told her "Happy Birthday," and then she started singing herself the Birthday song in her adorable lispy voice. But we didn't have cake or presents. Not yet. We just can't party without Daddy. We're celebrating on Sunday instead.

3. Grace started preschool today. Four days after the official first day. She couldn't go on the first day because she hadn't been to a doctor in over a year, and was missing five immunizations. Count them. FIVE. She got them all at once and didn't even whimper. I, however, was pretty much a wreck because what kind of mother forgets to take their kid to the doctor so they can make it to the first day of school? A bad one, that's what kind.

4. After a whole three weeks of attempting to be really good and healthy, I started eating ice cream again. A lot of it. It happened when Brad went to Lubbock. You could call me an emotional eater.

5. My mother is Superwoman. Not exactly news. But she has outdone herself lately. She prepares the house for several guests, unpacks boxes from storage, attends stake Relief Society meetings, chauffeurs children, maintains a Saint's portion of patience with my obstinate daughters, makes gourmet dinners, cleans up piles of sugar (and puddles of shampoo) that Claire has dumped (or smeared) over her hardwood floors, and sits down at the end of the day to crochet dishcloths. That's all in a single day, people. 

Five things. Short and sweet. What are your top five things?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My longest post ever. In inches.

I warned you in advance.

We have been busy. And not because I'm working (although I am, very hard) or because I'm pregnant (which I am not, sadly), but because we have Finally. Finished. Our house.

I'm out of breath just thinking about it.

It's been a project two years in the making. And to be honest, it's not completely finished. I mean, most of the doors have to be painted, and we have doorknobs to install, but for my own mental health, I shall say, the work is done.

It started in 2007.

Before we even moved in to the house in Carlsbad, Brad and his mom and his dad scraped our popcorn ceilings, and painted the disgusting fireplace, and painted the bedrooms... which made things not so scary when I finally saw it.

I was six months pregnant with Claire. And I was nesting. Hard core. I have pictures to prove it. Lots of them. You get to see them. This is where you cheer.


I really wanted to paint that house soon. Like, the next week. Brad told me that I needed to start sanding down parts of the walls where the texture was too thick.


So, I did.

And I found wet spots.

That turned out to be mold.

In the laundry room.
Under the bathroom sink.
In both showers.
[This is from the hall bathroom looking through the wall into the master bathroom.]


Ew.

We replaced studs. Drywall. We green-boarded/hardi-backed/redguarded EVERYTHING in those bathrooms. It could rain in there. Everyday. It would be safe.


So we didn't get to paint that week.

Then we ripped out the utility carpet (this nasty brown, thin, yucky stuff) in the hallway. It was in the whole house. But we started with the hallway. And then we tore up three layers of linoleum tile in the kitchen. It required a machine. (Believe me. I am a cheapskate. I tried REALLY hard to rip that stuff off by hand.)
See? That's Brad. He's practically horizontal.

And then my special, ultra-fun job was to use a cat's paw to tear out all the baseboard and carpet tacks in that HUGE area to prep the house for tile.


And then we tiled the hallway, bathrooms, and kitchen.
[I did that whole big long row all by myself. My very big pregnant self.]


And then Brad installed awesome shelves in our closets. Because we didn't have dressers and we were still living out of suitcases.


And then, the week before Claire was blessed, the Nevilles helped us rip out nasty utility carpet in the living room/dining room, and we tiled in there.


And then conference weekend, Brad poured the slab between our house and the garage to begin our addition for an entryway/study nook.


And then Brad framed, and stuccoed, and roofed (mostly with his dad, although my dad, and my brothers helped on the roof), and he electrified the addition, and drywalled, and mudded, and...


...then we decided to move.


So we worked like crazy people and with my brother Jay's help we: installed new windows, mudded some more, textured, installed lighting fixtures, installed base, puttied the nail holes in the base (my job), taped every cranny for painting prep (again, my fun, exclusive responsibility) painted (finally) the walls three different colors (midnight blue, pea green, and periwinkle--all Brad's choices) before I finally went to the paint store with him and we settled on a lovely beige (which he thinks is too pink, but it's better than purple).


And then we moved to Dallas and friends rented our house.


And then they moved out, and we painted the base and we installed some six panel doors, and we ripped out all the rest of the nasty utility carpet in the bedrooms and installed beautiful carpet, and put in new front and back doors, and painted the outside of the house (the orange color was all Brad), and landscaped, and installed exterior light fixtures, and ALMOST put in the closet doors. We'll do that next time.


Whew.


And now our friends will move back in. Because they decided to move back to Carlsbad. And we decided not to sell our house. Because who can just sell something that has asked for so much sweat and blood?


Below are some before and after pics for your viewing pleasure. (You're going to have to click on each picture to get the full effect. And in some cases, to see the "after.")



Fireplace, Dining Room/Living Room:


Kitchen, from Dining Area:

Living/Dining Area, Hallway, Kitchen:
Original Entry, New entry, garage door, study nook:
Hall Bathroom:


Master Bed and Bath:
Bedroom #2 (Bedroom #3 is similar... pretend I put in a picture)
Laundry area/Back door:
Congratulations to us! Right?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

We do not watch TLC. Promise.

I got a call last weekend while I was with Brad in Carlsbad painting the trim in our house. [About that house: it's old, not new, we've owned it two years, lived in it for one, we're selling it, and I'm sad about it. Hmph.]

It was my little sister Karlee. She started, "Elise, you'll never guess what Grace and Claire were playing a minute ago."

It's true. I never would have guessed.

I'll spare you the details.

It involved a blanket, a baby doll, and Grace coaching, "Okay, Claire! Give birth! Give birth!"

I. am. in. trouble.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Caretaker

I didn't have any pets growing up. Although we went through occasional bouts of begging, my parents never seriously considered getting us even a fish. (No use even thinking about a dog.) We were taught to appreciate wildlife from a distance--specifically from behind the fence at the zoo. 

Not Brad.

So when my parents accidentally acquired an albino lizard, Brad was designated its temporary caretaker. (I don't know how you accidentally acquire an exotic reptile. Leave it to my parents.) 

At the time, it lived in this.

This was apparently unsuitable.

So Brad produced a temporary terrarium from a giant Rubbermaid bin, tile, rocks, bricks, and a pseudo-heat lamp.

He bought--and caught--live grasshoppers for the lizard's eating pleasure.

He even took it on walks. 

(Okay. They weren't strictly walks. Brad just set the lizard out in the grass and let him run around. But the mental image of Brad walking a leashed lizard is so much more amusing.)

I am thinking about this now because Brad is gone, taking care of our house. 

And I am feeling like a sunshine-less, grasshopper-less lizard. I am missing him taking care of me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

False Advertising.

Do these look the same to you?


Friday, July 10, 2009

To the person who stole my phone...

I'll give you 200 bucks if you'll give it back. (Which is more than it'll go for on ebay, by the way.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stunned Still

Few things shock me into wondering silence like lightening.

One of those few things is fireworks.

And last Saturday it just so happened that God and man collaborated to brighten the sky.

Most of the guests at the Volpato's 4th of July party ran for cover.

I couldn't follow them inside. Although the earth rumbled, I was stuck. Glued to the ground. Looking up.

Claire rested on my hip.

We watched until we were drenched.



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stochasticity

Does anybody listen to RadioLab? Well, you should. It's the best. Last week's segment discussed randomness.

Which is pretty random.

Because last weekend Brad and I went to a movie theater we'd never been to before to see Transformers in a nearly sold-out room, and almost had to sit apart until a nice group of "kids" scooted over for us. ["Kids" is in quotes because I think they were probably no younger than me. But they looked young. And they seemed careless and free. Which means that can't possibly be adults.]

And they started chatting with us. Which doesn't happen to me very often.

And. They were from Carlsbad, NM. My favorite town. Population: 30,000. Distance from movie theater in question: over 500 miles.

We caught up on the local gossip as if we were old friends.

Random, no?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things I Learned Today at the Movie Theater

  1. Up is not a children's movie. When the kids are not bored, they are terrified.
  2. I am an emotional wreck, apparently. In the first five minutes of the movie I was already dripping tears. I couldn't even control the weeping when I tried to explain the ending to Brad on the way home. 
  3. My children are incapable [still] of behaving in public. Grace does not comprehend the concept of whispering. She is obscenely loud. And Claire thinks the bald man in front of us needs his head patted. And both of them think it's a lot more fun to run circles around the theater than to watch the screen. [Which is how they ended up in time-out at the mall.]
  4. My children are easily lost. Grace's favorite activity is to wriggle her hand free from Daddy's grip and to sprint in the opposite direction.
  5. Claire needs a lot of sleep. And when she doesn't get it, she should not be allowed out of the house. In the unfortunate event that she engages in sleep-deprived-out-of-house-ness, she does unthinkably naughty things. Like ripping mommy's blouse open while mommy is carrying her out of the mall.
An educational day, I think.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Artist

It's Grace. I'm not sure how it happened. It must be a Neville thing, because I am not in the least bit artistic.

The other day I came home from work to find a big smiley face posted the door to welcome me back. How thoughtful.

And then I found this on the counter:

I'm not an artist, but I've had to interpret several pieces. And I would say that Grace loves her home. 

Wouldn't you?

*She would like me to add that the pen scribbles are Claire's contribution.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Solicitation

We've returned from Utah. We are now home. I have many good stories to tell. But, also very little time.

So, here's a quickie.

The house is a mess. This is because my mom is out of town. She is apparently the only one who cleans around here.

So, in her absence, I was attempting to tidy, and insisted on Grace's assistance. She was not compliant. She refused for several reasons, including the fact that her legs were too tired.

Finally, she went to her room.

After pausing long enough between washing dishes to realize that she had disappeared and that I was no longer arguing with anyone, I called to her.

"Grace? What are you doing? You're supposed to be helping me clean!"

"MO-OM. I'm JUST STRESSHling."

"Oh. Um, what does stresshling mean?"

"It MEANS someone who doesn't WANT to clean their room. It MEANS someone who doesn't want to do ANYTHING."

Huh. Totally stumped for a minute.

Time for a new tactic.

"Claire, would you please pick up these toys?"

Claire, of course, happily consented, toddling her little pidgeon-toed self around the room picking up toys. [I love the ridiculously-cute-and-helpful stage. It's my favorite.]

I congratulated her. Quite loudly. I kind of yelled, actually. And then I explained what I was rewarding her with. In loud detail.

Grace snuck out a few moments later and grabbed several plates for setting the table.

If you have any motivational tools for your children that do not include the exploitation of one child to motivate another, please share. I have obviously exhausted my limited resources of creativity.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Traveling Zoo

I'm in the car. In the passenger seat. Brad is driving [as always], and Grace, Claire, Karlee are spread out on the seats. There's a lizard hiding somewhere in here too. He (or she, I guess) is meant for a cousin we will see on the other side of this ridiculously long road trip. I have heard, though, that lizards are skittish. And if this one does not have a particularly strong constitution, Claire's rhythmic, ear-piercing screams may already have scared him to death.

Lucky.

Is it wrong to give your children Dramamine?

We stopped in our hometown of Carlsbad last night. We have good friends here who always let us stay with them. During our eight hour stop, Brad snuck to our house and picked up his turtles. He didn't tell me until we'd started off this morning that they are in boxes in the back. Occassionally they start to scratch and Karlee demands of Brad how he can be so sure that they won't scratch through and eat her.

I'm ready to arrive.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reasons Not To Work (Part Two)

I took last Tuesday off for an extra long Memorial weekend. And it became the first time I'd spent 4 days in a row with my children since Christmas.

Yesterday, after getting back to the working grind, and having an unusually rough commute home, I ate a late dinner and got Grace ready for bed. 

As we knelt together, she said, "I love my Mommy. I want her to stay home forever. Amen."

Me too, honey. I'm working on it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just Can't Get Enough






I need to get professional photos of these girls sometime. 

But still--aren't they cute?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Perspective

I never wanted to be a Nursery worker. I thought of it as the ward's black hole. Announcements don't get to those Nursery people sometimes. And when they start missing Enrichment meetings, the rest of the ward starts to wonder if they're still active.

I didn't ever see Nursery as particularly spiritually uplifting or mentally engaging, either. At least not for the leaders. They seemed to constantly be breaking up fights, wiping noses, and singing songs to staring and/or distracted little children.

I substituted. And I made thank-you gifts for the Nursery workers. 

But I kept my distance.

And then I was called as a counselor in our ward's Primary Presidency. I was completely, ridiculously, out of my element.

I'll write a detailed list of my failures in that capacity later. There are many.

But I found myself very comfortable in the nursery. And I liked the extra time with Claire. And so whenever they needed extra help, I volunteered. 

I found myself longing for the Nursery.

Today our Presidency was released. And I got a new calling.

I'm a Nursery Worker.

Today my Bishop asked my mom how I felt about the calling. She said, "Well, you know, about three times this week she's randomly said, 'I just can't tell you how excited I am right now about my new calling!'"

It's true. I'm elated.

Weird.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reasons Not To Work (Part One)

Morning good-bye-ing is becoming more difficult. It's not getting easier, as I would have expected. Most mornings the girls follow me out to the car--still in pajamas, Claire with bits of oatmeal stuck in her hair. I call to my mom and Brad and then march my daughters back to the porch so they won't chase my car up the street (as they have occasionally done).

And now Grace has also taken to calling me at about 5:00pm. She asks if I've left the office yet. And she stays on the line until she sees my car in the driveway.

Mostly she says very little. She just holds the phone to her ear while she goes about her business around the house.

Yesterday she asked, "Mom! Are you bouncing?!" Bouncing? I was confused.

"What, Grace?" Bad question. When I say that, Grace tends to think I'm deaf.

"MOOMM!! ARE YOU BOUNCING?!!!?"

"Well, no Grace, I'm not bouncing."

"Well, don't you feel the phone bouncing?"

If only phones were so advanced that I could feel her bouncing it. Then she could have felt me hugging her back.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Stress and Boredom

Yesterday, Brad insisted I had a small patch of white hair in the back of my head. I didn't believe him. I'm 26 for Pete's sake. So I sat very still while he pulled out a strand as proof.

I was incredulous. I grabbed the hair and carefully examined. The bottom half was brown, but the piece coming from my scalp was stark white. I laughed at the contrast and the surprise. Brad pointed to the place the colors met and said, "And...that's where you started working."

Maybe so.

Working at a mindless job can create a lot of problems. Like white hair, evidently. And lack of family time. And tiredness. And a complete lack of creativity.

The last is the main reason for my rare posts. I think of little else but office politics, excel spreadsheets, phonecalls, emails, and... sleep. Oh, how I long for sleep as I stare blankly at a screen while entering numbers.

And so, you see, I have nothing to write about. I have, in fact, fallen asleep twice while blogging.

I bore even myself. Speaking of which...

Is that you snoring?

Night, night.

More later.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tied Down

I know you're wondering where I've been. 

Well. It's complicated. 

But basically, I've been on the receiving end of this:



Metaphorically speaking. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

Grace's prayer tonight went something like this:

"Heavenly Father,

Please bless me to set the table.

Please bless Karlee to set it tomorrow.

I am sad because she set the table today.

Thank Thee for Mommy

and Daddy

and Jesus.

Thank Thee for the Leaves

and the trees.

And please bless our trees to grow.

Amen."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I've never considered myself very emotional. I probably cry 3-4 times a year. But compared to my husband, I'm a bawling boob.

Brad shed his last tear the first time he saw Old Yeller die, which must have been over 15 years ago. Hasn't cried since.

Until last night.

We were watching the following Dr. Pepper commercial:


Then it was over. And Brad quipped, "I might be getting choked up."

The thought of him getting emotional over the Cheers song was, frankly, hilarious.

I laughed. And I turned toward him in time to see a little pool of saltwater resting in his crow's feet.

Leaving our friends in Carlsbad is obviously taking its toll. That, or the hydrocodone easing his toothache is also disabling his stoicism.

Maybe both.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Fort that Brad Built.

It was last week. I came home from late from work and found the girls like this:

and this:
and this.
And this is how they are all day (nearly). 

I love their sweet daddy.