Thursday, January 31, 2008

Connection made

Glassy-eyed Jackson with potatoes on his mouth

I don't know about you, but a scene from a movie in my education as a kid (I'm guessing they showed it in elementary school?) has really stuck with me. It's the Helen Keller movie, where her tutor (was it "Anne?"), after about an hour and a half (movie time) of failed attempts, FINALLY triumphs in getting Helen to connect W-A-T-E-R, signed out, with that fluid gushing from the outdoor water pump. The movie brilliantly builds to that climactic moment... and I remember feeling such happiness for Helen and such pride for her teacher. Like, YEAH, she's come out of the darkness into the light. A transformation was made. A beautiful one.

Scale that down a bagillion knotches and that's how I felt yesterday. My son, darling and smiley though he is, was really struggling with the hand-to-mouth concept. Now, I PROMISED myself I wouldn't be that anal, competitive mom - but you have to wonder if your kid is behind the 8 ball when you've been practicing with him for two weeks on a) picking up those small cherio-like "puffs" (by Gerber) with any degree of acuracy (it's quite an adjustment to go from huge cups and rings and books to something requiring more concentrated precision) and b) once actually getting it in his hand, realizing that HE has the power to transport that little morsal of yumminess to his own mouth - and mastery is still far away. After 3 minutes of shuffling the little puffy things like hockey pucks on his tray, he finally would clasp onto one (based ENTIRELY on luck), forget that he even had it in the palm of his hand, and move on to the next casualty. That was week 1. Week 2 involved a major graduation: he would realize that it was IN his hand (PROGRESS). But - recognizing the treat and knowing its flavor from ME feeding him them - his response was to just sit there, one hand in the air holding the puff and his mouth wide open, staring at it like, "Come to Daddy, little puff. I'm ready.... well come on, get in my mouth, why don't ya. Stupid puff. I don't have patience for you. I'm gonna get me a new and improved puff." And the process would start all over again. I even modeled, by hand- feeding myself with puffs, but he'd just smile his charming smile, as if to say, "Yep, I sure do love you Mommy. Adults must have special puffs that know how to get into Mommy's mouth. Did I mention that I love you, Mommy?"

So I finally resolved my frustration by thinking that it just takes time. After all, being a baby is something I haven't done for 28 years. You gotta give them time to understand the universe.

That's about the time when Sophia visited Tuesday. I talked with her mom about the puffs and Sophia hadn't tried them yet. So, on a whim, I decided to throw a couple on her tray while Jackson and I were committing to our daily intructional puff session. In perfect form, she used an exceptional pincher technique to gain control of one, then proceeded to bring it straight to her mouth, pop it right in there, and munch on it like puff-eating was an activity she could do in her sleep. I about fell over.

But yesterday, YESTERDAY, was my "Anne" (is that it? I should google to find out) moment. No, Jackson didn't start signing, "T-H-E R-E-A-S-O-N I D-O-N-T F-E-E-D M-Y-S-E-L-F T-H-E-S-E S-T-U-P-I-D T-H-I-N-G-S I-S B-E-C-A-U-S-E T-H-E-Y-R-E G-R-O-S-S, N-O-T B-E-C-A-U-S-E I-M S-L-O-W, M-O-M!" In reality, the puffs are still a struggle, but we made one major connection about hand to mouth. Jackson loves this mesh thingy that can be filled with bananas or anything mushy. He sucks away all those yummy juices. And yesterday was when he decided HE was in charge of the thing. HE BROUGHT IT TO HIS MOUTH! Ahh, sweet Jesus, he GOT it! It just made me think about that gushing water and Helen's gleeful smile... a break-through, for sure. See for yourself.

Gotta go now, another puff lesson is next.

And now for a couple shots at Sears, where we had just finished getting our pics taken. That hat was the MAIN cause for the pics. I just LOVE this look! Gma Lynette bought it for him.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eli Stone

I know Scott and I always talk about our movie star buddy. And I know it appears as though we just spout off to sound cool - like knowing someone who has acted with Jennifer Garner and whose face will soon be connected with a soon-to-be-popular TV drama has the power to make one "cool."

In actuality, Sam Jaeger is just such a spirit-filled, life-loving, value-keeping dude, that we believe it to be a shame for him not to see his dream come true...SO the more people we can get to follow him, the faster that dream will evolve.

Tune in this Thursday (TOMORROW) to "Eli Stone," on after "Lost." His role is co-worker of the lead. Tomorrow night is the pilot show. The below site has a mini clip advertising the show:

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Better Week

Toward the end of last week, I was SOOO out of sorts. Thursday and Friday I awoke feeling like the world is pooohey. Isn't it weird how your head can control your thinking which controls you attitude which colors your outlook which explains your mood which makes the difference between hearing the birds chirping in the morning and humming along merrily with them or hearing the birds chirp in the morning and wanting to shoot each one dead. (I agree that was one ridicuously long run-on).

So Thursday and Friday were shoot-the-birds-dead kind of days. I always try to reflect upon the why's for such a horrible not-Tricia spell (I call it "out of sorts." Mom had a similar description: "The Blahs." Scott discusses it as being "in a funk."). #1 It was terribly grey weather on Thursday (but then again, it has a tendency to do that Nov - March in Ohio). #2 Jackson and I didn't have our regularly scheduled play date with Sophia on Thursday, providing a large chunk of available time which quickly transformed into BOREDOM, thereby setting me in a tailspin of cabin fever, doubting whether I was cut out to stay at home full-time. I got in the car JUST TO DRIVE AROUND. That's bad. #3 I am really beginning to miss the idea of living in a city where my family lives. Scott's family is nearby, but I miss counsin's b-ball games, a quick bite to eat after Sunday church... just the comfort of having family nearby. And I recently came to the realization that Scott and I will most likely not make a home out of Louisville, KY, where I was born and raised - and where the remaining key players of my family live (with the exception of the Hills in FL). Not only that, but it could be that Scott and I are not the type to stay settled in ANY one city, meaning the roots I am used to may not the be kind I am able to grow in my adult life. Letting go of the type of childhood I guess I always expected my children to have is a HUGE mourning process. And all of this is layered upon the reality that my mom is not with me and my brother is out of the scene - making my family feel even more tiny, remote, and distant. So my head was working all of that out. #4 I was PMSing, meaning my emotions were doing whatever they damn-well pleased withOUT asking my permission before they ravaged my insides. #5 I hated that van that day. In my random cure-the-boredom tour, I realized just how icky I felt in it. #6 Whether a combination of all of the above, or just specifically this last one... I was just plain sad. The nothing-seems-good-or-fun-or-worthwhile kind of sad. Maybe even depressed. And I wondered on Thurs/Fri if this was it - this was the beginning of "The Crack." I wondered in my depression those couple days, if all the grief of the past year was finally beginning the slow and painful chipping away process - threatening to crumble all that is healthy and whole in my being. I can only say this now that I realize it truly was a short term "out of sorts" spell, but I was really worried about myself. In fact, when Scott came home from work on Thurs, I said right when he walked in the door, "I need to let you know that I cannot be held responsible tonight for anything I say or do." Because I felt THAT out of synch. And the fact that I woke up Friday morning, after a good night's sleep, feeling like I couldn't shake off that cloud storm was even more concerning (usually a solid slumber is always a remedy to icky moods).

I cannot say exactly what chrysalis took place over the course of Friday to make me return to my Tricia-ness. But thank GOD it did. I still cannot identify whether GRIEF is where this all stemmed from (VAN = Duncan / FAMILY LONGING = Mom), meaning there could likely be many more a gloomy day in my future as the grief continues to cycle. OR if it had more to do with Winter blues, which I have a history of experiencing. OR, after three great weeks of a quality rhythm of normalcy in 2008, I am finally internalizing the changed identity of "Stay at home Mom." That, in and of itself, sends lots of women screaming for their "old" lives in moments of insanity.

Whatever it was, I am glad to say that I am humming with the birds again.

Couple shots from the weekend:
No grey this day!!! Sun shining against the already-glowing face of Jackson
Daddy was behind me (the photographer) and what a happy guy Jackson is when he has as handsome a face as Daddy's to look at!

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

Although easily confused with a nasty weather pattern in a meteorological report, the reality of the below picture is a topographical picture of my child's head. Yes, it is safe to say that he has adopted a "cow lick" (what a gruesome name for this delicate feature) in back. Ain't it cute?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saab Snobs

We decided to trade in our Town and Country. It served us well but was quite honestly an unnecessary vehicle for our current lifestyle. We batted around the idea of retaining ownership so that it will accomodate our family as it grows. But, seriously, do I need my mini van days to begin NOW? Chances are, I will eventually own one again - if we are blessed with more children - but I didn't feel compelled to make 28 years of age the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the gas-guzzler.

So, goodbye big car. Hello small one. Scott and I were like two little kids in a candy store at Carmax yesterday. We had it narrowed down to a practical Hyundai Sonata or a snappy, hip little Saab. The intention is for this new purchase to be my (OK, Jackson's too) car until Scott's VW dies. Then it will be Scott's for the rest of its hopefully long-lived life. We are drive-cars-into-the-ground kind of people.

Saab won. We were guided by desire on this decision. 99% of the time we discern based on practicality. This Saab represents the 1% we head down the Desire path. Now we can't make a decision like that for another 15 years. This Saab better be good.

We'll be getting it in a couple weeks because the color we liked is out of state.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Diane's Bday and more of that cute boy

Grandma Diane's Bday was Sat. We celebrated in style with a double chocolate cake (topped with a portion of the candles she lived all these years to deserve!!). Jackson eyeballed the cake heavily, but we hogged it all ourselves (plus, he had just filled up on lima beans and other yummy alternatives!).
I absolutely love this photo, because it is the image we get when we first walk into his nursery every morning... in his crib all grins, ready to explore more life. What a wonderful approach (wish we all had it!)

We had a LONG afternoon playtime in the bouncy seat thingy. Picture #1 is towards the end of about 30 minutes of heavy-duty bouncing. I'm surprised Jackson didn't hurl with all the up and downing he was doing. As you can see, he resigned to the laid back position when his Tigger-ness wore off. Picture #2 here is a sweet expression... most importantly, it captured a good eye shot: What do you think, green or blue?

Jackson and I attended a Martin Luther King Jr. service Monday in Worthington. He was such a trooper as his mommy sat all teary eyed listening to the gospel music and then shed more tears getting all caught up in the personal memoir (reenacted BEAUTIFULLY) of Sojourner Truth, a New York slave. I'm such a sap about that holiday. Not only is MLK such a hero to me, but I swear there's black blood running through my veins, cuz I got SOUL, yall. There Jackson and I were, seated on the last pew of the church where the service was held. We appeared to be a very conservative white family. But when that gospel got goin, you better believe I was the first to start the clappin (or maybe the 20th or so... the black choir's congregation members up front beat me to it). I almost yelled "Sing It!!! Amen, Yall" but decided not to overindulge.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mom and son going it alone

Scott is visiting friends out of town tonight, so Jackson-man and his mother are fending for themselves. Since Jackson is currently in dream-land, I guess that means that I am fending for myself. And what have I chosen to do with my time, you might ask? Embarrassingly enough, I just finished a WAY-late thank you note to my OBGYN, thanking her for... uh... DELIVERING my babies. Yes, that was 7 1/2 months ago. But, as I wrote in the note, I am clinging to the hope that the event of delivering babies might be put in the same category as the event of weddings: proper etiquette states you are allowed a full year afterwards to provide the appropriate gifts/cards.

Anyway, in so many words, I wrote, "Thanks for providing me the greatest miracle of my life so far." Like a card is good enough to express that. But what else is there, a membership to the Fruit of the Month club? I recently sent a thank you letter to Duncan's doctors too. It's so odd to bring closure to the medical professionals who have given care to Jackson (and especially) Duncan...

I want to bake them cookies. I want to know their families. I want to let them know how much their role in Duncan and our lives altered us forever. I know that what they did was a job. But they didn't make it feel that way to us. In the letter I mailed Dr. G, Dr, Cheatham, Dr. Cua and Becky Corbitt (all surgeons, cardiologists, and family care personnel), I wrote, "Matters of the heart (literally) are more than medical; they’ve been personal to us." And so, among other reasons, this is why I have taken so long to try to find "the perfect" words for thank you's. I finally gave up (on "perfect" in general!) and went with basic words to communicate the obvious.

I'll tell you something else weird about the change of being a mom (besides giving up on "perfect" - wait, as was clear by my ragamuffin clothes and pony tail choice of hair style BEFORE babies, was I ever that much into perfect? Guess not):

WORRYING ABOUT MY HUSBAND'S SAFETY. I've always had the abundance mentality... the glass-is-half-full outlook... the optimistic way of seeing the world. It will always work out. Everyone always gets where they're going safely. And nobody bad in the world would ever hurt anybody... Some people call it "naivety." I call it... Oh, alright... "naivety." I've known this about myself for quite some time and, although "naive" comes with it a tad bit of a negative connotation, I've chosen to stick with it. It's gotten me this far. Why neglect this charming feature now!?

That is, UNTIL I HAVE A BABY AT HOME and his father is a few minutes late from work, without explanation. Or I call his father's cell during a rain storm when I know he's on the road and he doesn't pick up. Or when his father is on a road trip like the one tonight in a VW Jetta that has seen better days. Don't worry, I refuse to give in to the temptation to be an incessant worrier. But whereas before Scott was just "my husband" (the "care factor" was kinda low with that title alone... just teasing, I prefer to think of it as "worry factor"), he is now "my husband"
and "my child's father" as well. Geez. That means I am no longer just Scott's wife, but I am also his child's mother. These dual roles have kicked a large portion of that naive, carefree, non-worrying chick in me right out of me!

I still choose to be carefree, but carefully (oxymoron?). There's a lot more Scott and I are caring for these days and whose care is relied upon. Whew. I'm worn out thinking about it. I'm gonna read brainlessly now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bathing Babe

Can you see the matching slippers too?

Thank you, Molly, for this fantastic frog robe set. Jackson, in Mom-and-Dad-style, seamlessly transferred from bath to robe a couple nights ago (couldn't've been last night, because HEAVEN FORBID I WASH MY CHILD DAILY!!! What is my problem with baths, anyway? My kid is gonna be the one who is made fun of in school because he looks like that Charlie Brown character being followed by a dust cloud). Anyway, ain't it cute?

Have I mentioned that Jackson has a toother? (Yes, we are that annoying family that is going to use nicknames and stupid phrases for things. Scott has been known to hold up the Sunday morning charade of getting ready for church with, "I'll be ready in a sec, I just need to go brush my toothers." He's 30 years old. 30 YEARS OLD! And, in our house, taking a shower is "Shaking a Tower." It goes on and on.) But - back to the point - Mr. Jackson is cutting his first "toother." And I think the second one is on the way. In general, I would say Jackson is a pretty good looking feller... fortunate for him, he seems to have escaped some of his parents' worst physical features. It seems unfair to be that cute and perfect (doting Mom much?) But I now know where justice presents itself: the orthodontist bills to come. I don't know much about baby teeth and how they compare to the placement of the permanent kind, but whew... that one single tooth is coming in all kinds of crooked.

Last night Scott and I had a work-related dinner "date" and Jackson-man stayed behind with Grandpa Ricci and Grandma Diane. Here are a couple Grandfather-Grandchild bonding moments:

(Looking at TV) "You're great and all Grandpa, but I'm interested primarily in the Primary"

"OK, OK. I'm with ya now."

Another of those barnyard animals - the rooster looks strung out. Perhaps because his feather have been saturated with Jackson-saliva.

"Maybe if I pose like a beach babe and smile charmingly, she'll dig me then"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cleveland Rocks

We spent Sat-Sun in the dear cities of Shaker and Cleveland Heights in Cleveland. Blast from the past. As our Town and Country cruised up 71 North toward our old stomping grounds, it brought back a feeling of "home." We learned great lessons about ourselves and about our relationship there (remember, Cleveland was where I landed right after Namibia, Africa - and where Scott proposed to me several months thereafter).

And beloved friends who have grown us in so many ways are there: John Zitzner and the rest of the Ecity gang, John and Deanne Lentz, Clover Beal, the Forest Hill community. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by that love. And to thank those who have so dearly served us in prayer and flowers and cards these past months.

Like a goof, I completely forgot my camera. So no visuals to detail our weekend adventure.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tuesdays and Thursdays OK

I was very eager for this week to start. Not only does Sophia add a bit more structure to my rather loose stay-at-home schedule, I also was very excited about Jackson becoming more socialized. Both are happening. And it is good. Day 1, Tuesday, with Sophia brought back a lot of interesting memories and thoughts about life with two. Juggling Jackson and she definitely made me think of Duncan, and that I would be doing the juggling with Jackson and he if he was here. My "doubles" all came back out from their hiding places - the extra car seat, the extra space saving chair... probably most emotional was bringing the twin stroller to life again. It has been hibernating in the garage. And when I saw them both in it at the ripe old age of 7 months and all the new developments that have happened since the nearly 5 month mark of Duncan's death, my thought was, "It would be so cool to parent twins at this age. Wish he was here."

Sophia still is the apple of Jackson's eye. He is just SO into her. I'm trying to teach him how to play "the game" of flirtation, but he is pretty direct about his affection. Meanwhile, Sophia either plays hard to get or simply does not care about boys. The latter is how I spent much of my younger years, so I don't blame her.

The other structure offered me this week is my work-out regiment with KK. She and I are now both members of this way-cool and way-cheap gym in Clintonville called "Planet Fitness" - it's near Weiland's Market on Indianola. We have committed to meeting there on M-W-F mornings at 6:15am. 6:15 AM!!! I hadn't seen that time of the morning voluntarily since teaching. So we run on the boring tread mills, but talk girl talk the whole time, making it bareable.

So, as I said in my New Years blog, my goals were to commit to being physically active, a good mom, and spiritually devoted. The second on the list is a work in progress every day. And the third is getting to a good place. Many are aware of the recent "dilemma" in my spirituality... involving mainly a general skepticism about some of the tenants of my Christian background. This skepticism is NOT related to the "crud" of circumstances in 2007... it is really more a manifestation of many thoughts that have drifted in and out of concern along my path. Now that I am not consumed by full-time teaching or any other drama to prevent me from being present with myself, all of these "hang-ups" with Christianity have moved from the back burner to the front one. But don't worry, I am still a follower of Jesus. I just want to commit a lot of time in my devotion to God - WITHOUT necessarily sticking to the belief system generally taught by the Christian church. And I want to dig in to the core of some of my "issues" to sincerely ask myself if they are valid.

Sooooo.... with that incredibly long introduction, here's what I do: During the morning nap (if all goes well!) I have two devotion books that I read (yes, they are Christian in nature and most of the time I am right with the author, but sometimes I raise a skeptical eyebrow). Then I read from the Bible. Then I read a bit from a book about world religions. Then I sit in silence. Then, if I'm feeling the vibe to, I pray with words. This is enough for now, but soon I intend on reading much more - from a guide book about how to meditate to "The Gnostic Gospel" to "The Case for Christ," which outlines how a non-believer became a believer, to "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis.

OK... so I didn't plan on divulging my "Dilemma" openly at this particular juncture. But - you know how I am with words - I just kept rambling. I feel it necessary to state, in closing, that me and God are so incredibly connected. God and me are cool - always have been. It's my understanding of the Bible and salvation that always get me in a whirlwind. So I am committing the time now in my life (and a perfect time it is without the pressures of work) to investigate further. I pray every day that God honors this investigation.

Below are some awesome pictures of our day together. How bout Jackson and Sophia going for the same toy?

The Lahman's gave Jackson this great toy barn filled with "bite-size" animals. Jackson sucks on them like popsicles. The poor little farm critters don't stand a chance.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Liz Gilbert

My book club was assigned to read "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert for the month of December. Boy, was I hooked. I just love her writing style - authentic, smart, and funny.

On the same day recently, I got two emails - one of the gals from the book club emailed saying she heard word that a movie would be made of the book starring Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert (can't wait for that one!) and one from Becky including a link to her website.

Thought I'd share it here:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Here's the pair

Lunch time!

Our walk was fabulous... are the hats cool or what?

Sophia got along famously with Jackson today. Jackson just stared adoringly at his new playmate, while Sophia was more primarily concerned with Lilly the cat. I hope this isn't any sign of Jackson's luck with the ladies. Poor guy got no love. Ha.

Monday, January 7, 2008

There's that bear again

Jackson is 7 months old. I repeat, Jackson is 7 months old. Here he is in his glory with that bear again. For the first time, I can safely say he's outgrown the little guy.

In other news, how bout this weather? I don't know what the high was today, but it felt in the low 60's. We took a stroll outside and, heading up the hill near the Park of Roses, I confess that I even got a little sweaty. Ha! In January! Without a coat! Nice.

In more other news, our basement project is officially completed. The old part of our basement has been my worst enemy since the day we moved in. There were items so deeply buried beneath other misplaced items that I worried they had become fossilized. But, thankfully, all was restored in the exscavation. Dad purchased shelves as part of our Christmas gift, so it felt SO cleansing to sort. Look at that organization!

This below picture's caption in one word is "satisfaction."

Take a look at that massive freezer... this is the one the EAT girls gifted us!

In yet still MORE other news, I'd like to tell you a little about Sophia. Sophia lives down the street from us and is the same age as Jackson, to the day. I have agreed to take on a nannying position two days a week here in our house watching Sophia. She and Jackson, I can already tell, have similar demanors, and I think they will get along great. we are excited for Jackson to get some socialization AND for us to get a small side income. Win Win.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas, Round 3

Scott's Dad, Ricci, and his wife, Diane, are such good sports. They are so incredibly unparticular when it comes to celebrating holidays. Their feeling is that as long as we get to be together, on one end or the other of a particular holiday, they are happy. And for all of you who have a bagillion people to please over the holidays, you can understand how grateful we are for this flexibility.

We were able to make our way to their home, Dresden, last Saturday. And in a relaxed way, we dined for lunch, talked politics, talked religion, and opened gifts. Jackson's favorites are his new Cleveland Cavs basketball (Ricci and Diane's gift to each other was the Cavs Christmas Day game in Cleveland - how great!) and his Ohio State bear. They are gearing Jackson UP in Ohio sports paraphernalia!

On a side note, is it clear that I was in blogger-withdrawal? In one single day, I have posted 4 entries.

Goodbye 2007. Hello 2008.

I hate New Years. I'll just come right out and say it. I do not like driving on a night when the most favored activity is drinking one's brains out. I do not enjoy blowing an entire month of my teacher's salary on some over-rated dinner/party. I do not like champagne (bummer). And, quite frankly, I do not like the pressure to make this one night the most entertaining and fun-filled than any other night of the year (it's usually disappointing anyway). I don't mean to sound like a party-pooper, but we all know it's hard to live up to.

Ready for the better part of this blog entry?!?

THIS YEAR WAS DIFFERENT... I had a blast. Scott and I started the New Years celebration with the goal of connecting our two friends, KK and Phil. Phil lives in LA and had plans to be in Ohio for the holiday. So we invited both of them to our home to have a quiet, peaceful evening filled with games and food. Then, my enthusiastic husband (in fact, Phil recently described Scott has having an infectious unbridled enthusiasm... I think he's right on) spontaneously transformed this quiet evening into an all-out PARTY by eviting our friendship circle. So we had a total of 20 people, coming and going, in our small little Clintonville home the night of the 31st. And that's not counting the darling little munchkins who got along quite well with the loud event (thank you Ellie, Jacob, and Avery). Meanwhile, our hard-sleeping son didn't make a peep upstairs. EVEN DURING THE KARAOKE. And I mean, it was a MEAN game of karaoke. A side of some folks came out that I would just as soon keep in a very dark corner of my consciousness. It got loud. It got competitive. It got funny.

Phil with Jackson - he's a hands-on kinda man. Not only did he give Jackson love, he was spreading cream cheese on pastries (in preparation for the party) and placing fudge on platters with the best of them! This pic was taken before the party.
How bout this guy? I told you karaoke was a little hairy. Especially for Adam, the clown.
Scott's good-buddy friends, John, Jeremy, and Rob.
Michelle and Sara with darling Avery, who is 1 year and almost 4 months. She was a trooper through the night.
So it was good for my soul to say goodbye to 2007. I guess I thank the habit we humans have for calendaring time, because there definitely IS something distinctly healthy about closing a chapter with a specific event. All this talk about "closure" ... it really is important.

As mentioned in a previous blog, I found that Christmas was all about Mom - her memory, her traditions, her legacy all were definitely present with me during that holiday. I felt the pain of the first holiday without her physically there.

But New Years was all about Duncan... standing in front of the sink loading the dishwasher at about 12:45am, I thought about him. He was born in 2007 and died in 2007. 2007 was HIS year.

So on with life! I have prepared myself for a peaceful January. My priorities are as follows: organize my home, develop a routine involving heavy amounts of exercise and spiritual devotion, be a Mom, and FIGURE OUT WHAT IN THE HECK I AM GOING TO DO COME SPRING (to teach or not to teach? to work part time or not to work part time?). Wish me luck.


I need to take the time to go back in time to the Sunday before Christmas, the 23rd. Becky, dear Becky, is always full of mystery. She has a habit of thinking in advanced (I should try that some time) and making fun plans of which other involved members are unaware. She has a knack for "kidnapping" her husband, for instance, telling him what to wear/pack and whisking him away to some fun adventure.

That's why, when Becky called me several weeks ago to reserve the 23rd evening from about 3:30pm on, I knew I was in for a treat. We were instructed to have water boiling. I, the member of the family that rarely anticipates ANYTHING, was cool with just NOT knowing anything and waiting for whatever fun was in store for us that evening. Scott had a couple ideas of which involved pasta (the only reason a man would boil water, of course).

So knocks came on our front door. Upon opening it, we were presented with an incredibly gifted crew of carolers and an incredibly warm fuzzy feeling. The gang sang a few carols and then entered for fellowship, cider, hot chocolate, and scrumptious appetizers. IT WAS AN ANGEL PARTY! Becky, the Queen Bee Angel, had been strategizing how to gather the folks who had participated in Operation Keep-Tricia-Sane through the bed rest and babies-up-all-night stages of my motherhood. So her strategy came to fruition that night.

Scott and I were so in awe at the gesture. We have felt so served by these people, and here they were serving us AGAIN! I am kicking myself for not getting a better picture of the whole group. But, I assure you, it was a powerhouse of a collection of people.

Disciplined Laziness

Us TRYING to follow the plot of the movie with cuty-patootee distracting us (and no, I do not mean Lilly, who is just as lazily spending her New Years in the pic!)

It takes disciplined laziness to conquer the commitment of watching all 5 existing Harry Potter movies in two days' time. Scott and I rose to this level of laziness on the 1st and 2nd days of 2008. While some are recommitting to an active lifestyle (I'm sure the gyms were full), we did not leave the house.

We have made it a tradition since marrying to choose New Years Day as a day to catch up on classic movie trilogies and series. So Year 1 was Lord of the Rings, Year 2 was The Godfather, Year 3 was X-Men, and now Harry Potter. We calculated a total of 12 hours in front of the TV following Harry Potter's adventures. Needless to say, our commitment spilled into a second day. Wow, it was hard work.