Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My weekend

The kids and I spent a lovely Friday night and Saturday in Sedona, compliments of the lovely Alice DeWitt and her family. They have access to all kinds of cool vacation spots, and were kind enough to invite us to visit beautiful Oak Creek Canyon with them last weekend. Thank you, Alice!

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sedona scenery -- it doesn't get much better, anywhere -- and the company was fantastic: Sarah and Mark, Alice and Jay, and my long-lost cousin Karalee and her husband, not to mention a whole array of playmates for the children.

Sarah took these great pictures of Isaac. I love them!

I so need to get some mad photog skills and a camera that captures colors this vividly. Marveloso.

I had a strange twisted ankle episode while we were at the Creek. I twisted it, it hurt, then it didn't hurt for 4 hours, then I got in the car to drive home and it hurt like the dickens, then I picked Steve up at the airport and I couldn't walk around the car, then I went home and called everyone I know looking to borrow some crutches because I could not put any kind of pressure on my foot, then I cried, then I took some Advil, then I went to sleep, then I woke up and it didn't hurt and now it hasn't hurt since. Hmmm. I'm very happy about that part.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Read these blogs

Sarah -- I have a sister. She is beautiful and kind. She never wanted to have a blog, but now she has one. And she didn't tell anyone about it, even me. Her blog shall not be on the down-low much longer, for her brilliance will attract readers from far and wide. Be one of the first.

Nancy -- Steve has a sister. She and I are a lot alike in ways that aren't initially apparent. While she is fast becoming the consummate poster child for domesticity-- and I am, well, not-- we are similar in our middle-childishness: we share interest in other people, leadership styles, our respective abilities to make and keep friends, and the inclination to worry. Nancy is a great sister-in-law.

Amy -- Amy is one of those people who is enormously talented at being everybody's best friend. She and I met freshman year in college, where we spent hours upon hours inventing elaborate and engaging methods of procrastination. She is outrageously funny, kindhearted, disciplined (when she's not procrastinating), smart, and loveable. She is, for sure, an as-long-as-we-both-shall-live kind of friend.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Zhu he, Abby and Jamie!

Welcome to the world, sweet baby Pearl!
We can't wait to meet you.

Meet my dress

Now. Yea or nay?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

This post might frustrate those of you who like pictures

In Chicago, I spent a very long time in H&M, poring over the racks and racks and racks of bogo sale items. I tried on a ton of things, and eventually settled on 4 things for myself: a long, striped brown sweater with tie belt; a very simple but cute black corduroy skirt; black linen pants that fit me nicely and are seen below in the fun mirror photo; and a funkyfunky gray dress that I may or may not ever wear. All of this cost me $35.

I wish to discuss the dress.

I could run and take a picture of it, and upload it so you would all know what I'm talking about, and I may still do that at some point, but for the purposes of this discussion, exercise your imagination with me. The dress is one large gray crocheted doily, shaped like a tent, with fitted three-quarter-length sleeves. I think it is so cool and retro. Do you have a visual? Good. Now, clearly, if I wear this dress to church, all the old ladies--and many of the young--will think I'm off my rocker. I am sure to get strange looks and maybe even some comments. Should I wear it anyway, or should I keep it in my closet until next Halloween when I can dress up like a Relief Society tablecloth, holding a bouquet of silk flowers and a framed picture of the temple? Because believe me, the costume would be believable.

{If I end up not having the chutzpah to wear the dress, I'm going to give it to Abby, because she could pull it off, fo shizzle.}

Friday, July 20, 2007

We're back

The longer I go without blogging anything substantial, the easier it is to go longer without blogging anything substantial.

Last week seemed to be the week my entire family entered into various philosophical and/or religious debates with guys I knew/dated in high school turned theologians. When I posted the link to the thread a few posts ago, I was maybe secretly crying out for moral support, a plea for rescue me!, if you will. It was nice that my homeboys Steve, Neil, Ryan, and Sarah rose to the occasion. Austin and Abby and Amy had some nice contributions as well. I think all of the above are really, really smart. The other parties in the discussion were quite passionate about the subject matter, and I learned quite a bit from the exchange.

This week was the week I went on vacation, and oh, did I! A quick trip to the glorious mecca of San Diego with my husband and kids and mother was a little, um, noisy is the word that comes to mind. But we managed to have a great time, and it's always nice to have my mom around to help with the kids. The zoo was our primary destination, not counting stopping by my grandpa's house. Pandas, polar bears, gorillas, takins (my new favorite animal) -- all fantastic.

Then we came home just long enough to strew all the dirty clothes on the floor throughout every room, repack, and head to the airport. Norah and I flew out with Steve to Chicago for some work he had to do there. Steve's sisters Becky and Nancy were most gracious to take our boys for us for four days. Thank you, thank you! We had a great time. At least Norah and I did. For Steve, it was mostly just work. Tell me again why it is that Steve sometimes gets stressed about work. Work isn't stressful! Work means free hotel rooms, lots of leisure time in a fabulous big city, chi-chi weekend getaways every so often, holiday parties, steady paychecks. . . .Work is the best! Oh wait. {As I write that, I'm realizing that I rather sound like one of the always-big-busted always-big-diamonded Scottsdale women I was just observing and talking about with Steve over dinner tonight. For the record, I'm not big-busted, I'm not big-diamonded, I'm not from Scottsdale -- not that there's anything wrong with any of these things, per se -- and I'm really not a brat.}

In Chicago, I did lots of walking, lots of shopping, I learned a lot about the city's architecture on an architecture boat tour. I slept in, I took naps, I bonded with Norah bigtime. I ate good food, I slept through the Harry Potter movie, like I knew I would. We had a good time.

Which brings me to tonight. Steve took me on a nice date to a restaurant where we observed the Scottsdale women in great abundance. Then he took the boys to a Harry Potter party at Borders. I seem to have forgotten how to rotate pictures effectively, but you may get the idea that we had a couple of Harrys, a dementor, and one fine looking Batman with a lightning bolt on his forehead representing our HP-loving household.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Your advice needed!

I was born in Illinois, but was just informed by my mother that when we lived there, we were too poor to drive to Chicago. Thus, I've never been.

I'm going to Chicago for the first time on Monday and haven't the foggiest what I should see and do whilst there.

Any suggestions would be most welcome and appreciated.

With love from San Diego, Emily

Friday, July 13, 2007

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; or, see? I can quote Romans 1:16 too

I'm going on vacation. If anyone wants something fun to read while I'm gone, go here and read the comments to see how many Baptists who are praying for my soul I've managed to accrue.

Monday, July 09, 2007

We'll spend our Christmas playing wizard chess

It's been kind of a long and whiney and disappointing day. I sat down at the computer with the aim to wander aimlessly, hoping to find something to put me in a good mood.

I found it. I'm totally hooked on ". . .Cho Chang, what have I done. . ."

Thanks, Pepper, for the introduction to my new favorite band. (Sort of kidding, sort of not.)

Thursday, July 05, 2007


We stayed busy today running errands and enjoying other establishments' air conditioning {See Footnote 1}.

Aaron had lots to say about where our day went because we were gone so long and did so many things. "Wow, we sure wasted the whole day." "Dad, we had a short day today!" He couldn't quite figure out the right wordage to explain that it was morning, then we had lunch and Scouts at our house, then we were gone, then we came home and the afternoon PBSkids shows were already over and Daddy was already coming home from work.

Under normal circumstances, I would be highly reluctant to venture out with all four children to an appointment, then to get work done on the car (i.e., lots of waiting). However, today I was feeling brave and thought the five of us could get through it without any major meltdowns on any of our parts {See Footnote 2}. As it turned out, the children were WONDERFUL! I got three lovely and sincere compliments from three people this afternoon about how great my kids were behaving. This is not something to be taken for granted! We get compliments here and there on the kids' good behavior. Sometimes it is well-deserved, sometimes it is spoken right before someone starts fighting or whining and the compliment-giver knows he has spoken too soon. We also have had our fair share of dirty looks {See Footnote 3}, looks of pity, rude comments, and heaping helpings of "you've sure got your hands full, don't you?"

So today I was especially pleased with each of the children for being at the top of his/her game. Here's how it all went down:

Dentist -- It's like going to a birthday party! Movies, treehouse, toys, other kids, pictures taken (of their teeth), praise galore, sunglasses, bubblegum flavor, treasure box, goody bag, balloons, stickers, and pencils. The afternoon is off to a good start. {See Footnote 4}

Gas station -- Hot, hot, hot while Mommy pumps the gas, but I more than made up for it by running inside and buying a 64 ouncer of root beer and Sprite mixed together. All the soda they could drink! No one could complain that he didn't get his favorite kind of soda. And then -- ta-da!-- a trip through the car wash. Always fun.

Dealership -- Knowing we were in for a long wait for an oil change, I immediately headed straight for the vending machine and offered each boy his very own treat. No sharing necessary, and a very good investment of $2.25 on my part. Can you match the child to what he chose to eat? Peanut butter crackers! Skittles! Shortbread sandwich cookies with frosting! (What are those called again?) Then, the remaining hour and ten minutes was filled with scrounging the popcorn maker for every last piece of popped popcorn, water from the water cooler, watching Wimbledon on the big tv, lots of trips to the bathroom, coloring pages, nursing on the floor in the bathroom {See Footnote 5}, reading about Simba and Kiara and Kovu and the attempted usurpation of Pride Land, talking to the adoring Polish lady next to us {See Footnote 6}, and playing peek-a-boo with the lady just behind us {See Footnote 7}.

We made it through the long afternoon of errands. And with compliments to boot! Every outing should be this fortuitous.

Footnote 1 -- For the record, 113, 116, whatever the highs are this week--it's hot. However, I stand by my long-held assertion that hotter than hot is not as hellish as colder than cold. The heat does make me grumpy and irrational, yes, but it's doable.
Footnote 2 -- Note: meltdown + Phoenix in July = goes without saying, in a literal sense. I'm talking figuratively here, stay with me.
Footnote 3 -- Many of these dirty looks have been real, but some of them I probably imagined while saucily silently challenging old people in Scottsdale to comment on the obnoxious noises coming from my children so I could indignantly retort about how I'm sure their children never made noises, and what would you have me do, put duct tape over their mouths? I secretly like to get in fights with strangers who might mutter under their breaths about me or my children. Or throw up their hands at me while driving in the car. But I digress.
Footnote 4 -- "If all my patients were as good as your children, my job would be very easy."
Footnote 5 -- Ew.
Footnote 6 -- "Such well-mannered children you have."
Footnote 7 -- "Your boys have been wonderful this whole time."