Sunday, January 30, 2011

Other stuff that isn't sad

We had a busy week this past week, but it wasn't all sad and tears and memories.

We did celebrate the birthday of one very excited brand new four year old.


One of us was sporting a black eye.


We fought with swords and shields, but not without protective head gear.


We watched and slept through basketball games. Oh why can't those dumb wolverines win a game!


Little Chickie got a whole diet coke all to himself. ("Coke, mama.  Ice." he said.  Who can resist that?)


We made "whoopsie" pies with out the whoopie. Maybe next time I make them they'll work but last night, not so much.  They tasted good - like brownies covered in cold hot fudge, but there was no fluff and definitely no whoopie.


We also built bears, ate yummy steak pizza, played computer games, watched movies, hid behind the couch when "wild kratts" came on tv, went for walks in the sunshine, rolled down hills, ran around, yelled at airplanes, found out that fireflies are carnivorous and Canadian geese are not in fact Canadian, drove too slow and enjoyed each others company.  It really was a good week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's all about love....


I would be a very ungrateful grand-daughter today if I didn't share some of my thoughts about my grandma's funeral. This has been such an overwhelming and powerful week for me. I am so full of love and faith. I am awed and amazed. I wish every person I know could have been with me today to experience the power and legacy and impact of my dear grandma. She was more amazing than I ever realized.

Today was so special. Last night driving to the viewing, I told Ross that I had the kind of stomach ache that I'd only had three times every in my life. Twice, the day each of my boys was born, the day of my Grandma P's funeral and now, with my Grandma Huber. The viewing last night was overwhelming. Literally hundreds of people came to pay their respect to my grandma, grandpa, and my mom and her siblings. It was awesome to watch the reunions, the tears, the hugs, and the love that was present. My mom has reminded me so much of my grandma these last few days - taking care of the details, being strong, doing what has to be done, knowing everyone by name and making them feel important. I hope one day to be able to keep that legacy alive.


I am so thankful for my Aunts Karen and LeeAnn, my dad's dear sisters, who both hugged me and loved me made me cry tears of joy for their support and love. My friend Ann's parents who also made me cry - they loved my grandma. For my friend Makayla who did a last minute project for me so well, drove all over the valley on my behalf and dropped it off at my house early this morning. For my dear and life-long friend Codi who sent me such a sweet note in the mail today. It is wonderful to be surrounded by so much love. I'm a lucky girl.

Sitting on the third row today, in the chapel I spent my childhood Sunday's in, I was so at peace. The words my Aunt Cindy and my sister (oh I love my sister!) shared about my grandma were perfect. They couldn't have been more perfect. My grandma was awesome and they spoke of her in a manner that was full of wonder and awe, love and gratitude, humor and sincerity and generosity of spirit, body and mind. I knew that my Grandma was a wonderful person, but today, feeling her spirit sitting with me, protecting me, and loving me from heaven proved what I'd always thought. She was the best, most genuine lady around and every single person who ever had the opportunity to get to know her walked away with a buoyed spirit.




A week ago today, the boys and I visited my grandma.  We talked, we laughed and when it was time to leave we gave her hugs and kisses and told her how much we loved her.  That silly little Chick of mine even gave her two hugs and a kiss on the lips.  He must have known something was up.  It never crossed my mind last Thursday that this Thursday I'd be saying goodbye to her least forever in this life.

During this past week, I've wondered a lot about heaven. I've questioned my beliefs a bit wondering if I really will get to see my grandma's again. If there really is eternity. If I really believe everything I've been taught. And you know what?! After today I have no doubt that what I believe is true. That the lessons I've been taught in 32 years of church are right. I realized today that I have to believe it. That my faith must be strong because I'm desperate to have the opportunity to spend some more time with the people that I love. And I know that right now, grandma is working in heaven preparing the biggest party for all of us.

I am so sad.  Sad for my mom, my boys, mostly for my grandpa.  He's alone now.  He and my grandma were childhood friends - married two months shy of 60 years.  And guess what...if my grandpa can be sad and move forward then so can I.  So can we...all 54 of us in the family.

Today was really special.



Monday, January 24, 2011

Still Sad

Cute boys.
(Sitting in the best chair in grandma's house)

Today, the boys and I headed to my grandma's house.  I had a framed picture of my grandma that I wanted to leave for my grandpa.

A few weeks ago, my sister gave me one of her keys to the back door.  At first, I couldn't get it to work and I thought, "Why would grandma change the locks?"

Then I remembered grandma wasn't here.

The boys and I got in the house and I had to stop myself from calling upstairs for her.

I had to find a picture for the viewing at her house.  I found it in the dining room.  The boys were so good. They were respectful and calm.  Because I was there alone, I walked up to my grandma's bedroom.  I felt her presence in every corner of that room.  In the pink carpet, the pink walls, the pink bedding.

My grandpa made the bed this morning, like he's done every day for the last year.  He did a really good job.  Hospital corners just like grandma liked.  Did your grandma teach you to make a bed with the sheets folded in hospital corners?  Mine did.  All the prettiest pillows were on my grandma's side and so were a couple of stuffed animals.  I just stood in the center of the bedroom and soaked it all in.  Her shoes, her clothes, her crutch, her jewelry, her pills still on the shelf, her pink lipstick on the dresser.

Why do tears have to be so salty?  The only time I cried today was standing in her room (and right now, but pretend that it was only once today.).  I didn't dare touch anything. I just stood there and cried.

Then it was time to go.  I spent my life growing up in that house and while my mom and her siblings were with my grandpa making funeral arrangements, I couldn't last 10 minutes in there without HER there.

It will get easier.  I know it will.  I pray it will.  But holy cow, it's really hard today.

You know what's funny though?  I spent the afternoon at my moms because her home is a gathering place, just like my grandmas.  As the night started to wear on us, my sister left - she took my brother to the library.  Ross came and we swapped cars so he could take the boys home while I ran a quick errand to find something new to wear to the funeral.

I was wandering through the Kohl's by my moms house, looking for the perfect pink sweater.  I felt someone walk up behind me - it was my sister and my sweet little Miss Molly.

"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"looking for something pink," I replied.

We had a brief conversation about sweaters, and whether you wear the new thing you buy to the viewing, the funeral, or both.  She then said to me, "Mom and Willie are here, too.  There in the men's department trying on suits."

I said my goodbyes to my sister and walked across the store to menswear.

I stood with my mom while my brother tried on slacks.

Then my sister came back into the store.  She left, and came back to find us and give me some pictures.  Isn't it funny how we all have this need to be together?  And, that we all have exactly the same idea, at the same time (to go shopping - just like my grandma would have been doing).

We were all standing in front of the men's dressing room.

Talking about the day.  It's been such a long day.

We all want to look our best and be our best for my grandma.  We know she'll be watching.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

48 months


Today at 8:30 am I became the mother of a 4 year old. This will be a weekend that we will not soon forget. One full of joy and excitement and sadness and tears. Elliott is a lucky little boy though - because for his birthdays, forevermore, he will be able to relish in the joy of his Great Grandma and the love she had for him.

My dear, sweet, smart, funny, crazy little boy I am at a loss of words. I love you so much. You are one of the best things in my life and I look forward to all the minutes we get to spend together.

You are such a smart, energetic and friendly little fart. You love so many people, do your best to share your toys and your time, and are so happy to be alive every single day.


I often times find myself watching you in amazement. I am amazed at your patience, your temper, your concentration, your vocabulary, your ability to love. You never deny me a hug, let me call you goofy names, and I'll never grow tired of singing you primary songs at night while you drift to sleep.

You are charismatic and a born leader. You take such good care of your brother and little Miss Molly. Your friends, teachers, and the adults in your life are wrapped around your little fingers. The kids in your preschool class flock to you when you enter the room - so excited to hear what you have to say about living life, the Kratt brothers, unfurling wings, and your theories about basketball.


You love dragons and cars and sports, and books. You love adventures, and science projects, going to the grocery store and running Saturday errands in dads truck. You are the best dancer I know, my sous chef in the kitchen and my personal sidekick at Target. You are a good bowler, basketball shooter, and in a few weeks will be, I'm sure, a great soccer player.

Like your mama, you wear your heart on your sleeve and have plenty of emotion coursing through your veins. Also like your mama, when the movie gets scary, you hide behind a chair; when the decision doesn't go the way you think it should you pout; and when you want it now!, you don't take no for an answer.


The last year has been an adventure for you in growing up. You are smarter, skinnier, taller, wiser, and more vibrant than ever before. Dad always says that your stubborn nature will serve you well as you grow up and he's probably right. It's very safe to say that there isn't another kid like you in the whole world and lucky for me, you're mine. All mine.

I love you, baby boy. Even if you don't like it when I call you my baby boy.

Happy Birthday Elliott!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Broken Heart


Life is hard some times. Really, Really crappy hard. So hard that the only thing your brain and your body knows how to do is cry, and you cry so deeply for so long that the tears dry up. Then, you think, "okay. I'm going to be okay." And then you hear a song on the radio, or see your mom, or your sweet little baby boy who turns four years old tomorrow and you start to cry all over again.

Today, my grandma died and my heart is broken. It happened suddenly and unexpectedly. Telling her goodbye in the hospital today was terrifying and so peaceful at the same time. You see, my grandma always told me that the two of us shared a soul. Sometimes, she could read my mind. She'd stop me before the sentence even came out of my mouth and say, "Annie, don't you dare..." Always, she loved me no matter what hair brained idea I'd come up with. And today, when I squeezed her hand as hard as I could praying that she would squeeze it back, a sense of calm came over me. She was protecting me and telling me that it would be okay. That she was okay. That I would be okay.

I grew up with my grandma. She was my mom, my advocate, my teacher, my chauffeur, my Slurpee accomplice, my private swimming pool provider and one of my best friends. I ate countless bags of chips in her TV room sneaking MTV when she wasn't looking and confided in her things that I probably didn't even tell my mom.

As a little girl I looked forward to Sunday night visits to grandma's house. I would strategically place myself on the floor in front of her chair in desperate hopes that she would start to comb her fingers through my hair. Oh how lucky I felt.

She rescued me the day someone threw gum in my hair when I was a sophomore in high school and gave me a big hug before she chopped off all my bangs to get the gum out. She taught me the importance of putting others before myself, taking care of your family, and that sometimes, it's okay to curse at the moon if you need to.
She taught me to love Disneyland and adventure, the value of a good book and an the joy of an ice cold diet coke any time of day. She taught me to work hard, roll up my sleeves and dig in to get what I want. She showed me how to stand up for my beliefs, to be brave and bold, and that when an official makes a bad call in a game to scream my guts out.

She taught me to be proud of who I am. To be strong. Today I'm not being strong. But guess what, telling your 4 year old after his awesome fun birthday party that Great Grandma died is so hard. That sweet boy listened to me, said Okay, and later asked his dad when Grandma would get to come back from heaven....

If only it were that easy. As if it were really like a trip to Disneyland.

Oh Grandma.

I love you!  Sorry I'm being such a boob.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Goofy is as goofy does

Yesterday in the bathtub my sweet and coo coo baby started blowing on the water. It took me a minute to figure out what he was doing. It finally dawned on me that he thought the ester was hot so he was blowing to cool it off. I asked him if he thought the water was too hot and he said, "uh huh. Hot!"

Elliott gas always had a pretty sophisticate vocabulary for a little kid. Growing up in a world of adults can do that to you. His new favorite word: unfurrled. Like, the Draco (some strange animal he's learned about) unfurls it's wings before it jumps from the tree.

He's also obsessed with "spern" whales right now. You and I know them as sperm whales, some of the largest in the ocean but he insists it's spern. I've given ip trying to argue.

and finally, we were on a "nap" drive last week. On of those drives where we were not stopping until both boys were asleep and I has a cherry diet coke safely in hand. Our regular route takes us through a pretty rural area- with lots of animals. The Chick was communicating through grunts, as is his norm. I didn't know what he was seeing or what he wanted. I said, "Chick, mama doesn't undertand grunts. What do you see?". He pauses for a moment and then whinnied like a horse. He just wanted to make sure I saw all the pretty horses too.

Smart boys

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Enough Already!


It's that time of year! Time for my yearly rant about organized sports. I'm sure that if I trolled through over 5 years of archives I (and you if you've got nothing better to do) could find a dozen or so posts about bad officials and poor sportsmanship. Here is your "sports builds character" post for 2011.

My brother plays basketball. He is on a team with some very talented kids. For the most part, they are good students (honors classes and honor roll), mind their own business, and play hard. Granted, they're kids so there is a lot of lack of concentration, whining at officials on occasion, and the like, but find me a sports field where that doesn't happen.

My brother plays in all three games, two days a week. That's 6 games and 12 hours of very physical basketball if you're keeping track at home. He plays hard. He plays defense well. He isn't the scoring machine he'd like to be but my goodness, legs get tired, knees stop bending, and sometimes even when you know you should stay on your feet, you jump and foul.

The school my brother plays for has a "reputation" and often times, it isn't a good one. Regardless of the fact that these are good kids with good hearts, when it comes time to walk onto the court, or the field, there is a stigma present. As a teacher at the same school years ago, I never believed it. I thought, "These kids are just full of it - it's an excuse". But now, having sat through 2 months of basketball games I hate to say that I think those kids are right.

When the "brown" school plays the "white" school, the fouls are out of balance. The calls go in the favor of the other team and our kids get the crap generally knocked out of them. Lots of teams get "homered" on the court, and we joke about the opponent paying off the officials before the game starts, but what if in some sort of respect it's true.

What if there really is still prejudice out there? What if there are men and women who really want these kids to lose because of how they look? The thought absolutely sickens me, especially this week. On Monday, as most probably were just grateful for the day off, we were supposed to be honoring the memory of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement in America. Something that changed the face of our nation - and the nations of the world forever. The idea of equality isn't new, but by golly it sure took a lot of fighting to create a sense of it across this nation over 40 years ago. You would think that the legacy of Dr. King, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Rosa Parks, and many others would live on and inspire others to do better, to be kind, to grant the benefit of the doubt.

But, when a group of students in the stands is taunting another student on the court, from an opposing school making fun of his name, his origin, his history; that goes to far. Where were the adults to tell that group of students to shut up and cut the crap? Why didn't the officials give the kid hanging on the rim for the other team a technical foul? Was it because he was white and the kid that got dunked on wasn't?

Maybe I'm off my rocker. Maybe I'm full of crap. After all, I wasn't even at the varsity game. I'm just going off of what I saw in the two previous games and what my mom and sister told me happened. Honestly, I'm glad I wasn't there. It would have made me too angry.

Somethings got to give though. There is a lot to be said for judging someone by the content of their character - something that I don't think happens as often as it should and is supposed to.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm getting too old for this kind of stuff

Generally speaking, I'm in bed and close to sleep by 9:30 at night.

I "exercise" by riding my stationary bike in the basement while watching hoarders about 30 minutes a day, if i can steal the time.

I plan meals in 7-10 day stretches.

I am a super nerd.

On Saturday night my sister (and her husband), brother and I went to a concert.  I stood for hours.  My feet fell asleep and got all tingly.

I cheered.  I danced.  I sang a long.  I tripped and almost fell flat on my face.

My brother was my date.  Sort of.  He did stand by me and took his hands out of his pockets to clap and cheer a couple of times.

I drove.  We had such a great time in the car.  I love hanging out with my siblings.

Who did we see?  Guster, of course.

Guster 4
(Photo courtesy of Open Eye on Flickr)

It was great fun.  They played for nearly two hours.  They sang some of my favorites.  I've been trying to figure out how many times my sister and I have seen Guster in concert.  8, 9, 10 times maybe?  They never disappoint and are always entertaining.

I got home at 12:03 am on Sunday morning.  The Chick greeted me with screaming and crying as I came in the house so I stayed up with him until nearly 1 am.

I'm still tired.

And so boring. But, I love this song. And, I love Guster.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Squirt:: 20 months


Hi Chick. Welcome to 20 months. What should we do to celebrate? How about get sick? Okay. Sounds good.

You've been to the doctor twice in three days. You have "asthma exacerbation". What does that mean? I'm not really certain but the doctor said that basically, the cold that you got on Friday has gotten into your lungs/bronchial and has left you in a constant state of attack. It's very mild, and you're wheezing but you get the inhaler every four hours until the cough goes away and have a new medication, a preventative drug, to try and help you out so that when you get sick, it isn't all drama and emergency runs to the primary children's instacare.


I'm so sorry that you are sick. Minus a pretty testy disposition however, and raccoon eyes because of total exhaustion, you really are doing pretty well. Grandma and I were talking last week at the ball game about how lovable you are. We love your brother, but let's face it he's to smart for his own good and sometimes gets on our nerves. You however, are just a sweet, cuddly, ball of goo. You'll sit on laps, give kisses and loves, and are just all around adorable. Grandma Huber, every time she sees you, says that you are the cutest kid in the entire world.

I agree.

That doesn't however excuse your occasional naughty behavior. You've got a hankerin' to throw and hit. Granted, there isn't much force behind any of it, and the windup is pretty darn cute, but last week you threw a flashlight at me and got me in the chin. The bruise has turned yellow (thank heavens for good make-up) and I still have a welt. You did survive one of your first time outs though - being tossed into the crib for a few minutes until I could regain my composure didn't kill you.


Just in the last two weeks, you've really made some great strides in becoming a big boy. You tell me when you need your diaper changed, you no longer sit on your booster chair at the table, and you've started talking. Not a lot mind you, but communication is getting so much easier. It's almost like you are a parrot - copying and mimicking everything we say. You do however, have some favorite new words.

Buzz (like Buzz and Woody)
Oh no!
drink (comes out dink)

And you've even started to put words together like, "up, mama", "ball mama", "dink, mama". It's very impressive. I love that we can talk to each other. Just last week Elliott was still asleep and you and I were eating breakfast at the table. It was just one of those "ah ha" moments for me...I was sitting with my baby at the table but suddenly you weren't a baby anymore. You were this big kid having a conversation with me while eating your pop tart. It was pretty cool.


Oh baby boy, you are so smart and cute and fun to be around.  You love to color and draw and sing and run and dance.  You love being alive and part of the family.  We all love you so much. All 29 pounds of you.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Turning into my mother


It's not a bad thing. Really, it isn't.

Last night, I was getting ready to go to a church meeting. I brushed my teeth. I washed my face. As I started to reapply my make-up, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and watched my hands. I was putting my make-up on the same way my mom does.

Then one boy wandered into the bathroom and made himself at home. Then the other. Just like when I was a kid and my sister and I managed to find a seat on the toilet and bathtub rim to watch my mom. The boys were watching me.

I got dressed in the shirt and sweater my mom gave me for Christmas. Something that is my style, but also very much hers.

While I was sitting, waiting to go to the meeting I was browsing the Internet - trying to learn something new, before I left the house for the night.

Just like my mom.

Monday, January 03, 2011

3 days in...


I slipped on the landing of my stairs on New Year's Day and hurt my ankle a bit.  I just wasn't paying much attention and my ankles sometimes forget their jobs.

Yesterday, post shower, just wearing my slip and a shirt, while biting a hang nail, I also wasn't paying attention and I fell down all 12 steps from upstairs to down.  It was probably pretty comical if it hadn't have been happening to me.  I flew in the air like a cartoon cat, landed with a thud, broke a stair, and slid all the way down to the landing that tripped me up two days before.  My left butt cheek is bruised down through my thigh, I have carpet burn on my upper left arm, my right wrist and hand hurts and I might have broken my back.

Also, just for the record: the brakes in my car aren't working well, my furnace isn't keeping the house warm, the house is a mess, the husband worked all weekend, and might be sleeping at the office all week long.  And, I sort of made a pact with myself to lay off the sugar a bit this week and after exercising this morning I went straight for the left over chocolate frosting in the fridge.

Grrrrr.  Why do I do that?

Yes, 2011, you're getting off to an awesome start.

Anyone have a little blowup donut I can sit on?


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