Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sullivan can now...

... hold my hand all the way. Like full-on adult-style whole-palm hand-holding.

My baby is all grown up.

Not really, but the evolution from single finger to a couple fingers to the newly full-palm makes me in this moment want to pop a baby out.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pictures been a bit lacking

So, here goes! A few good ones from the summer!

Scott and I in San Fran... in front of the curviest road.
Sullivan in the back yard, chillin like a villain, and doing what he likes best: snacking.

Playing on Grandma's age-old piano. Classic photo!

Look at these two studs!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

After a little lecture...

I was giving Jackson an explanation (a preferred term to "lecture"... read: THE SAME THING) about sibling love. Sullivan and Jackson fought like cats and dogs today, which is rather unusual. And I am hoping it is not the beginning of a wave of sibling aggravation. So, in an effort to leave an impression, I took Jackson aside and calmly went on and on about tone of voice and how to resolve conflict maturely and the depth of a brother relationship and how to be a role model to Sullivan in how one chooses to treat the other (p.s. he's FOUR).

At the end he said, sort of to no one, "I just wish I could be like you guys."

I waited awhile and then asked, "What do ya mean, buddy?"

"I just wish I could be like you and Daddy. Adults. Because being an adult is just better."

Thinking that the kids was making some serious connections...that he was totally with me on the pains of that sometimes rocky ascent into well-adjusted adulthood... wanting to realize the reward of being there NOW...

I gotta say, I was feeling a bit proud of him (read: myself) that he was taking all of my wise feedback to heart.

Next comment: "Yeah, like adults get to sleep in bigger beds."


Swallowing my pride that I ever thought he was getting the point: "Yeah, big beds are cool, pal."

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's 9:50 and I gave myself until 10.

So 10 is when I'm going to close up shop and head to bed, but **for once** I have my emails caught up on and I even indulged and did some facebook surfing.

With these few more minutes, I mindlessly typed in my blog address to give it a glance. How pathetic that I've not given it two thoughts in the past several months! I think my poor audience has given up on me. I'm still gonna enter randomly from time to time, though. It has been too dear of a therapy for me to put it to rest entirely...

Wanted to report in that last weekend I found myself flying to Dallas, TX for my 1st grade friend, Rachel Jacob's, father's funeral. Rachel and I began our friendship at age 6. She is one of the most head-strong and driven people I know. We like each other because we are so opposite from one another in so many ways and yet connect on this deep, reflective level.

Anyway, when I learned Rachel's father had passed away (ironically, of pancreatic cancer, which is how I lost Dad too), all of these memories of my childhood flashed before me... we spent a TON of time at each other's houses for extended periods in our elementary years. And I've never had a friend quite as loyal as she.

I treasured my time in TX for those few days. I was Rachel's little puppy dog, following her around and doing my best to offer some love during a tough time. Funerals are just so incredible. I know this sounds weird - especially with some rather difficult ones in my personal experience to weather - but I love funerals. It brings out the absolute best in people. For a glimpse of time, you catch a feeling of the sacredness of life and of relationship with others. When folks are clinging on to each other a second longer than normal and are temporarily forgetting every other mindless (but necessary) detail of life in order to bring the BIG STUFF of life to the forefront, it's a wonderful thing. I want it to last longer than an hour. But then we go on ticking and everyone around us goes on ticking... until someone else stops ticking and we remember again.

Thanks, Rachel, for being my friend for 26 years. Thanks, Mitchell Jacobs, for all those drives back and forth to and fro our homes! You will be missed.

Oops! It's 10:04. I'm really living on the edge tonight.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Here they are!

Boys at start, prepared to cheer on DAD!
Scott finishes his swim, thumbs up to his fans

I couldn't get any bike pics, but this is him exiting the transition zone and now starting his 5k.


The stud and his boys :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

There are lots of great pictures from today (but none are uploading properly at the moment). Scott got his butt out of bed at the crack of dawn and competed in his first triathlon of the season. He's such a stud. He rocked out the swim/bike/run with a great time and an exhausted little body. The boys and I were there, of course, as his #1 fans. We drove separately and I got gas on the way home. Guess who was sweating his tail off mowing the lawn when I pulled up the driveway? The triathlon-competing, supposed-to-be-his-day-of-being-given-to, compulsively productive SCOTT ARTHUR! Was a .25 mile swim, 10 mile bike, and 5 k run NOT enough for him before noon? Ha!

Last story here... today was my first Father's Day without Dad, of course. I went on a nice long run yesterday morning and got to spend some time with him. I did lots of reminiscing about my dad and what he means to me (and cried a bit - by now I should know that crying + running does not make for air). Then, this morning, when I am rushing like it's my JOB to make it to the triathlon on time (of course, I didn't allow enough minutes for parking or for getting a good spot in the crowd (by "crowd," I mean the Rochester version of a crowd!)), I pulled a John Johnson parking job; the lot was totally filled, so I just mozied right up to one of the curbs between rows. A TOTAL makeshift spot. As I so often do, I was talking to myself in the act... I couldn't help but give a little giggle after I heard myself say, "Now kids... I'm gonna park in a bit of a weird way, not quite the normal spot to park in. You know who taught me this? You know who used to do this ALL the time? PAPA JOHN!" When I turned to check out their silent response, they were both too busy stuffing their mouths with cashews and ritz crackers out of their snack cups (did I mention we didn't have time for a sufficient breakfast???) to give two flips about where and why we parked where we did. Ahh, ONE DAY, Dad. ONE DAY they will understand all you taught me!

Aunt Jo, master of arts and crafts

When I was a young girl, going to Aunt Jo's (and Uncle Darrell's) for the weekend (or week, in the summer!) meant arts and craft projects galore. I remember a hot glue gun being plugged in at all hours of the night and day and lots of buttons, beads, barrettes, dried flowers, silk flowers, pressed flowers...

It was heaven.

A couple weeks ago, Aunt Jo and Cousin Stacia visited from where they now live, Florida. All of the memories of my creative projects with Aunt Jo flooded back to me as I watched her mystically unveil project after project from her guest bedroom (come to find out, they had packed a whole separate piece of luggage of crafting goodies!). All for Jackson and Sullivan to be dazzled by! They have been arts-and-crafts deprived, I fear. So they were ripping and roaring at this new-found fun! Although I failed to get any good shots of actual PEOPLE, I did take several photos of the results of their labors. THANKS, AJ and STACIA!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Chapter Closed

Today was my last day teaching mathematics to kids grade 7-12 for awhile.

Winter 2004: Half year, 9th grade at Brush High School (Cleveland, OH)
2004/05: 7th grade at Shaker Heights Middle School (Cleveland, OH)
2005/06: 10th-11th grade at Olentangy Liberty High School, Algebra II & Honors Alg. II (Col, OH)
2006/07: 9th-11th grade at Olentangy Liberty High School, Algebra I and Honors Algebra II (Co, OH)
2007/08: off
2008/09 - 2009/10 - 2010/11: 6th grade students at Kellogg Middle School (Rochester, MN) - PART time, 2 - 3 classes each year.

What a ride!

I'm taking a break from teaching, partly because my teaching license here in MN was temporary and I didn't take the opportunity/ invest the money in the coursework and clinical hours to update it (expires NOW!). The other part of my reasoning is personal; I believe I am ready to be single-focused for a period: on my kids and my family life. The child care coordination and details wrapped around making the morning schedule successful became pretty exhausting. I look forward to a more simple start to my days next year but will most DEFINITELY miss this element of my life I feel so passionately about.

Young adults: I love you so very much and I beg you to find ways to have contact with me in a more informal way... church youth group chaperoneing? individual math tutoring? youth life coaching? Find me, YOUTH OF AMERICA! I will miss you greatly until then!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Letter to the weather

Dear Weather/Mother Nature/God/Higher Power,

I am needing sunshine. I am needing to put away the scarves and gloves. I am needing to not be wind-burnt. I am needing to plant some seeds and watch them grow. I am needing some outdoor play entertainment for my little ones. I am needing to run without my heavy duty under armor turtle neck and leggings gear on.

Please oblige.

Lovingly & somewhat patiently,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Neighborhood Progressive Easter Egg Hunt
Jackson's green egg

Sullivan's (cracked) pink egg

Boys RUNNING down a hill (one of their FAVORITE pastimes). Two seconds later there were major grass stains to tend to!


Cloud-gazing with one of the most cuddly two-year-olds on this planet!

I rest my case... ALWAYS kissing!

We opted this year to have a relaxed, laidback, leisurely immediate-family Easter weekend. No big plans. No big occasions. Just us'ens. I was a touch nervous I'd regret not having a local family adopt us (like last year). Although that scenerio is beautiful too, I am happy to say that we Arthurs know how to have fun all by ourselves! As you can see from above, we decorated easter eggs, planned and enjoyed a neighborhood progressive easter egg hunt (4 back yards and 8 kids!), enjoyed a really nice early worship service, dug into baskets loaded with goodies, and went to the local nature center and hiked/biked amongst the budding trees (stopping occasionally to blow bubbles and look at the clowds!). Finally (DRUM ROLL!), we are preparing, as I type, a delicious all-out Easter meal to be enjoyed tonight.

What I have taken away from this Easter: that life and love will ALWAYS defeat darkness and evil!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Minnesota Easter Egg Hunts

When you live in Minnesota, flowers aren't necessarily blooming and eggs are not necessarily hatching around Easter time (maybe by fourth of July!!!). That said, Easter Egg Hunts look like this: We all pile on our tired winter wear (this past Saturday, gloves and hats were even necessary... a pathetic 35 degrees!), bolt out of our cars once the organizer has spread out the eggs in an open space (note: there is no "hunt" about it), pick them up with our stiff fingers as fast as we can, then bolt back to our cars. Ha! The whole thing lasted maybe 10 minutes. :)
Jackson is now a pro! He got to stand on the "doesn't-need-assistance" (aka BIG BOY) side of the field when it began
Sulivan, meanwhile, didn't get the whole thing as so chose to continue with his snack mix in the red bowl. I've got to hand it to him, he never ONCE complained about his cold fingers!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


We are in an eye-rubbing phase at the moment. Seems like J is always messing with his eyes... even when he's smiling and posing for a picture. We are seeing an opthomologist next week to look into it. Scott's comment: "The only thing that could possibly make Jackson cuter will be Jackson with glasses." I suppose I bias-ly agree!
OK, you must know that Sullivan smiles A LOT. He's a very lovey and smiley guy. But I swear to you, I cannot find but a handful of pictures of Sullivan accomplishing the following two tasks at the same time: 1) LOOKing at the camera and 2) SMILING. I was so happy to catch this one day, albeit filled with marker and snot. I am just noticing how his eyes sort of droop at the corners at this stage. Cute!

Sullivan's journal entry today

It is common knowledge that I am a journaler... LOVE it. I have too many, I know. One for mom, one for each of the three kids, now one for dad. I go in spells. And, I sheepishly admit that Sullivan's journal contains far fewer entries than did Jackson's when Jackson was two yrs and three weeks old. But, what ya gonna do? So - onto today's entry: Title: Top 5 things Sullivan would take if he were forced to be a recluse on a island 1) Shoes (multiple pair, if they could still be considered a single item) - he begs to have them put on, even indoors. He has particular ones he likes better than others and moans when we disagree with his choices and actually try to match his shoes with his outfit. When he had his tubes put in his ears, he was - understandably - nervous about the whole thing. So, he was edgy and clingy as we waited in the prep room. But when the nurse tried putting him in those infamous hospital slipper socks... IT WAS OVER. He lost it. So, back on his favorite tennis shoes went. It was a reasonable cave, and one the hospital personel were willing to work with. Off he went down the hall on that hospital bed stripped down to a gown and his tennis shoes. I will never forget that image! 2) Toothpaste. The kid wants to brush his teeth on the hour... on the minute, if we'd let him. I'm not sure what the max amount of flouride a kid is supposed to stay under per day, but I feel we most certainly exceed it with Sullivan. I dread when we go near the bathroom, because it marks the beginning of a few-minute ordeal every time. Goes like this: Sullivan finds his toothbrush and the paste in his toothbrush basket (maybe I ought to hide it ??). He then thrusts them in my direction with his favorite one syllable grunt. I explain to him that it is not time to brush his teeth and to put his items away. He proceeds to suck on the toothpaste dispenser, hoping some remnants of the sweet-tasting bubble gum flavor will grant his tastebuds satisfaction. He could stay in there for a few hours, just sucking the thing. 3) His blanket. Oh, the dang thing is a MUST for any comfort. We had two at one time (small little square lovies), but then a trip to the zoo marked the end of one of them. It was a sad day, because I have increased my anxiety about ending up desperately blanketless by 50%. 4) Fruit snacks. I mean, really. Who doesn't love them? They are potty-training bribery for Jackson. But I got lazy about sneaking them to J when he landed a #1 or #2 in the camode and before long it was a joint reward. When Jackson did his thing, Sullivan was granted a fruit snack too. Now that he knows their source, he just stands with one hand up, rocking back and forth (and grunting with the aforementioned grunt, of course) with his eyes dead set on the stinkin glass container. As I type this entry, I am begining to realize that hiding out of view might be the solution to all of my grunting problems??? Anyway, fruit snacks are now Van's reward for finishing dinner. He gets his that way. Funny how he will NOT partake in any of the rich, chocolaty favorite of J, Scott, or me. He's a candy/sweeties kind of guy, not a chocolate kind of guy. 5) His brother. Anyone who has ever had a big brother must have identified with the infatuating Sullivan has for Jackson at one point or another. So cute. I don't know exactly how to capture the adoration so I will remember it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our house today

Our little abode will be undergoing a major face lift in coming weeks: painting the body, trim, door, and installing new shutters. Can't wait!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sullivan turns 2!!!

You might be wondering if there's truly snow in the background. The answer is YES. And we got a slew more on Wednesday!
Sullivan turned 2 on March 20th. We kept it a low-key affair: just us family hanging at the house with Gma Lynette in town too! It became even MORE low-key when the home-cooked meal I had planned went ary and I declared, moments before supper-time, that we'd be having pizza instead.

At least the cake was yummy!

Fun "parking garage" from Mama and Dada. It's a hit!
Fun T-ball set from Aunt Jo and Uncle D. As you can tell, he's all about it. Ready to take it outside soon!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Promise to self

I will start blogging, I will start blogging, I will start blogging.

I so love it. And yet it has definitely been on the back burner as of late.


Here's the recent conclusion I've drawn about life...

We humans all have chronic cases of amnesia.

It's so true. I feel like I go through stuff. I learn. I evolve. I become enlightened in certain areas.

Wait a couple years, or maybe a couple months... and I land on my tail again looking for the same answers or conclusions I've already found/drawn! I LEARNED THAT LESSON ALREADY, LADY! Why can't I REMEMBER? Why can't I apply all the wisdom I've already attained?!

Huh? huh? huh? (Does anyone else think of Ellen's voice from Finding Nemo's "Dori" ?)

Actually, good insert Tricia. We're all DORIs! We all have short term memory loss when we face tough stuff. It's like recreating the wheel, even though we're in the year 2011 and the neandrothal version of ourselves ALREADY DISCOVERED the wheel.

What makes me go on this tangent? I will tell you.


Buy one, write in it, then read it later. It's my memory for my amnesia-riddled self. When I'm stuck, I will reread. Then, I remember I was stuck before - in ironically similar scenerios. The formulas for success, the lessons learned, the answers to my troubles are all found in my JOURNALS! Hip Hip Hooray!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A year in a blink! 2010 Highlights.

As one would imagine, the first picture of 201o - in the dead of a MN winter - involves snow. This is the first snowperson our family has constructed and is proud of. If I remember correctly, Jackson deemed her "Linda."
SSullivan turns one and hosts a pajama party to celebrate the occasion.
Easter this year is celebrated with our dear friends, the Lindloffs. Pictures here are the two boys of that family, Truman and Cameron, along with our boys!Jackson turns 3 and gets the biggest present of his lifetime: a bicycle! Jackson's first carousel ride - at the Columbus Zoo (thanks, Gma!)Sullivan's first haircut - FEARLESSSullivan's first pony ride - FEARLESS (Jackson was given the option to get in the saddle first and declined) Jackson's first fireworks display on the 4th of July - at Indian Lake in OH enjoying the Arthur Famiyl ReunionScott undertakes three triathlons this summer: here he is with partner in crime (or shall I say "wetsuit"), Troy Lindloff. This was in Bemidji, further north in MN.W hosted our first annual adult-only goofy summer Olympic party. Wish we got more action shots: the costumes and bocci/badminton/croquet/water balloon competion were hilarious.Sullivan's first ice cream cone. He hated it, as you can tell. :)Tricia runs the Chicago marathon 10/10/10. This is her pictured minutes before the race begins waiting in a - can you guess? - port a pot line. "TRISH" on shirt to encourage spectators to cheer her on by name!Dad becomes ill at the end of August and the Arthurs, along with Dad, Nancye, and Nancye's children & families, make it a priority to enjoy a vacation with him in Hilton Head, SC (Oct). It was great quality time.Kids enjoy their monkey and frog costumes.Dad, very proud of his pumpkin carving, shows off the results. (NOTE: pie pumpkins grouped together grown from the Arthur vegetable garden!)One of my personal favorite moments of the year. Dipping our buckeyes (peanut butter balls, for KY folk) in chocolate. (notice the cute aprons, thanks Gma and Becky!) Blizzard hits MN mid December. 18 inches. Shoveling at all before the 30 hour period of solid snowfall was over seemed like raking leaves when the trees are still half-full: POINTLESS. Fortunately, we looked miserable enough when we finally DID get out there to envoke pity from a snow-blowing neighbor. Thank goodness for neighbors with snow removal toys :) Here's Sullivan, eating it up (for about 7 minutes). Wish I had more photos of the accumulation!

And in closing, we spent a second Christmas in Sarasota, FL, where my aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandparents reside. Great times had by all. Here, our family took a little mini trip to the beach... quite a contrast to my previous description!