Monday, February 19, 2007

Why Am I Here?

I've been meaning to address this for awhile, so I'll give it a go now.

Not too long ago, I found out that I had, apparently, offended someone in my family by some of my comments here. That was certainly not my intention, and I did send a long e-mail trying to explain things. I feel the need to do so here a bit too.

I started this little blog here solely as a means to communicate with my friends and family after our move. After we arrived in our new home, I sent a mass e-mail to just about everyone I knew with all of our new contact info, and this site address. In response, my niece and a few friends got back to me to let me know they'd other stopped by or to say hello, glad we got here okay. I knew my mom was reading, because we talk on the phone. The rest of my family, except for one aunt (who unfortunately was the offended party), never got back to me. No e-mail, no phone call, no nothing. Oh, sorry, received one of those totally un-personal Christmas card/newsletters from one cousin.

In the meantime, I started making more imaginary friends - other bloggers whose sites I stopped by to read, and who would return the favor and read what I had to say. I have had more contact with many of these people who I have never met (and, for the most part, probably never will meet) than with most of my actual real extended "family" in the last, oh, 5 years. I know more about these people's lives, and they probably know more about mine, than most of my family. Abby, Karrie, Alison, the Stuntmother, Thordora, Amanda, Amanda, Jill, Ann, April ... and whoever I'm probably forgetting have felt like more of a family to me in the past year than most of my real family.

(And rather than list off the exclusions to the generalization about my family, because I'm afraid I'd forget someone, just know that if I believe you to be reading this, you're not included in that generalization. K?)

So, at some point, when I really didn't feel like the family was reading this at all, or that most of them even gave a crap about what I was doing or whether or not we made it to Texas safely, I figured it was time to say what I wanted, and not worry about who I offended. Because if they're not even going to read it, not going to return my e-mails or phone calls, not going to invite me - when I still lived close enough - to Thanksgiving or Christmas or birthdays - then really, why should I care?

Then I realized that there are members of my family who I do still care about, and who do still care about me. Maybe in the past they didn't show it well, didn't understand what was really going on and therefore judged my actions too severely, or have never been able to adequately express their feeligns about things, but they do care, and I do too.

I know, to some of that family, some of this will have been offensive, and for that I apologize, but at the same time, this needed to be said. This is my little piece of the Internet, and I have used it to say what I feel about things, and to be honest I needed to say what I said here. However, this is also my opportunity to say that in the future, I will not use this as my forum to say what I feel about everything. I am not the kind of person who can say half-truths, or hedge my words to avoid offense when it is something I feel strongly about, so if it is something I feel may be offensive to someone I care about, I'll refrain from saying it here. And if we are all honest, everything is offensive to someone.

Judy's Journeys was the title of a book I had as a little girl, and why I chose the name of this blog. This blog is part of my journey, but for now it might get a little less controversial (as if it ever was, really) and slightly more boring (if that is possible). Keep coming back for updates on the family, on the beauty of South Texas, on the wild ride of being married to a writer, but I'll keep my harsher opinions to myself, or at least away from here.

Moving On Up

I finally had to upgrade to the new blogger. I resisted for so long because I knew I wouldn't have time to play around with it and get it just right. And I was right. I've spent the morning with Guthrie in the chair with me, while Turner was napping, trying to get everything just right, and I don't like it. The new blogger is okay, but I don't like my template, so I'll probably change it later. But for now, this works. If anything looks weird or isn't working right, let me know. If I lost a link to you in the switch, let me know that too.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


What did I get for Valentine's Day?

A heart-shaped tray of sushi, wine, Roquefort cheese, and an apple. (Eric gave it to me and said, "Because you're the apple of my eye." He's a writer. He could have done better than that. ;)

It was perfect. Although, honestly, not a big fan of white wine, but it did go well with the sushi.

Guthrie and I made no-bake cookies (they're all gone already), and I tried to put on something nice so I wouldn't feel like a total bum. And the kids slept well for the early part of the night so we could actually have some time together.

All in all, a great V-Day. Darn near perfect. 5 years, and life is beautiful, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Guthrie sneaking into the sushi:

I didn't know he was taking my picture.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

5 years ago today

Ah, yes, Eric and I were legally married on Valentine's Day, 2002. 5 years ago today.

The short-but-sweet backstory? We wanted both of our girls to be in the ceremony, but couldn't make it work out to have everybody together in Missouri at the same time. So we decided to have our ceremony in Texas, but then couldn't work out the logistics of getting the marriage license, and all the other details. The solution: get legally married in Missouri, then go to Texas and we could have our ceremony however we wanted it without worrying about the legal parts. And if we were going to do it, well, why not go full cheese and do it on V-Day?

It was a Thursday morning. We both had to work. We got to the court house bright and early, with my mom as my witness and a philosophy professor and friend, Joseph Lewandwoski, as Eric's witness. Susan Steinberg, an English professor and writer, took the pictures. Afterward, we both went to work - I at the Revenue office at CMSU, and Eric to teach his classes there. My co-workers had brought in a cake and decorated my desk with hearts and cupids - it was very sweet. We both wore what we had worn on our first date. Maybe I'll have that dress on when Eric gets home from work, or would that be lame? I still love the dress.

And our "honeymoon" was a weekend in .... Omaha. Hey, what can we say, when you live in mid-Missouri, there just aren't that many places to drive for a short weekend. Omaha was nice though, and I'd like to go back.


Saying our vows

Happy Newlyweds

Outside the Johnson County Courthouse, where we got married. (Also where I got divorced, but hey, who's counting?)

On top of Old Drum, a local legend, the statue of the famous dog by the Courthouse

The rings

The kiss. This is one of my favorite pictures ever

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Anna Nicole

I've found myself more upset by the passing of Anna Nicole Smith than I ever would have thought I would be. I haven't been able to put it into words, or figure out exactly why.

I think Alimum has said a lot of what I wanted to say, and said it much better than I probably could have. Go read what she has to say on the subject.

And remember that regardless of what you thought of her, she left behind a precious little 5 month old baby girl. Let's hope she gets some semblance of a normal, healthy life.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oh, the 80s

What's your score?

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Day in the Life

Totally stolen from Karrie.

5:50 a.m. : Guthrie is awake next to me, and reaching around my stomach to try to play with my mole. Try to stop him. Try to tell him to go back to sleep. Finally wake Eric up, ask him to get up with Guthrie for a little while. Eric asks how long, I beg for half an hour. Roll over, get comfy, realize I have to pee. Get up, pee, come back to find Turner awake.

6:06 a.m. : Open bedroom door, ask Eric to take Turner, and to please get me up at 6:45. Roll onto stomach, pull covers over head, sleep.

6:48 a.m. : Awaken to the sound of Turner wailing in the living room. Get up, go to Turner, he wants to nurse. Sit half awake and nurse Turner.

6:55 a.m.: Use bathroom, brush teeth.

7:00 a.m.: Go to kitchen. See pile of dishes in sink, since dishwasher is broken. Try to start making hot cereal, realize pans are all dirty. Start washing dishes. Get distracted by Guthrie trying to help. Turn off water, sit on futon, "read" newspaper.

7:20 a.m.: Remember laundry in washing machine from Friday night which never got put in dryer. Start washing machine to re-wash load.

7:27 a.m.: Guthrie starts asking for "may I please have some ice cream." Say no, repeatedly. While changing Turner's diaper, hear Guthrie pulling his stool into kitchen and see him come running into living room with ice cream carton and spoon. Throw hands into the air and give up.

7:40 a.m.: Second attempt at washing dishes. Eat two giant bites of ice cream, then go to garage to put carton in deep freeze. Guthrie follows. While locking deep freeze, ignore Guthrie's cries for his ice cream back.

7:43 a.m.: More dishes, with more help. Pan is now clean - put water on for hot cereal. Fight with Guthrie for control of water. Turner standing holding onto pants leg.

7:55 a.m.: Hot cereal is finished. Sit down and try to eat. Share with Turner and Guthrie. Stick bowl in sink with hot water.

8:00 a.m.: Eric asks, "Did you sleep in your clothes?" Realize I did, in fact, sleep in the jeans and tank top I was wearing last night. Give him a look.

8:10 a.m.: Decide to finally make the beans I've had sitting and waiting for a week. Ask Eric for tips on how to make beans in crock pot. Start beans. Crumble in some bacon. Cut and saute onions, while intermittently bouncing Turner and making funny faces at him.

8:30 a.m.: Remember to throw laundry in dryer, and put more in washer.

8:40 a.m.: Eric leaves for work.

8:50 a.m.: Check e-mail, check Babycenter, leave pointless comments.

9:00 a.m.: Change diapers. Nurse Turner. He doesn't want to take his nap.

9:10 a.m.: Wash more dishes, glare at broken dishwasher.

9:13 a.m.: Threaten to take away Guthrie's kitchen toys if he doesn't pick them up. Threat almost works - he starts. Finish picking up toys. Find clothes for boys.

9:20 a.m.: Use bathroom, with assistance from two small boys. Stop fights. Repeatedly state, "Don't knock over your brother. Leave the door open."

9:30 a.m.: Check weather forecast for what to wear. Dress. Try to put on makeup. Comfort Turner, who was scared by the baby in the mirror. Nurse again. Still doesn't want a nap.

9:42 a.m.: Check e-mail, blogs. Remind Guthrie not to knock over his brother. Take away three trains which Guthrie is using as weapons. Get boys dressed for library.

10:13 a.m.: Leave for library and story hour. Realize I'm still starved. Grab handful of almonds and water bottle.

10:20 a.m.: arrive at library, let Guthrie go play, start picking out books.

10:30-11:10 a.m.: Story hour. Today, this consisted of Guthrie sitting quietly with the other kids and listening to the stories (and not participating the in the "active parts" like jumping up and down) and me sitting and holding Turner and trying to keep him occupied with my keys. Then, the craft - making necklaces. Guthrie scribbled a few lines on the "charms" (a duck and a frog) and then started stringing the cut straws. Turner started crying. He wanted to nurse, but then he didn't. Latch on, latch off. I'm trying to help Guthrie. Trying to tie the ribbon while not losing beads while not dropping Turner while not letting Turner start wailing to the heavens. We only finished one necklace, and brought the other home.

11:25 a.m.: Home. Lie down with Turner to nurse him back to sleep, then get up, fix Guthrie some lunch (cut turkey, bowl of yogurt, and a plum) and nuke me a quesadilla (spicy refried beans, tomatoes, cheese, turkey, bacon, jalapenos, and yogurt). Change out the laundry, start new load. Eat lunch with Guthrie. Take vitamins. Begin washing dishes. Finish half of what's in the sink.

12:00 p.m.: Turner crawls into living room, crying. Nurse for 2 minutes. Then, boys play, I check e-mail. Look longingly at bottle of wine. Mailman rings bell - two boxes from a friend of Eric's.

12:17 p.m.: Trying to finish dishes. Turner starts screaming uncontrollably, for no apparent reason. Must be held.

1:02 p.m.: Back in the van, on the way to the park.

1:15-2:00 p.m.: Park. Guthrie chases a couple older kids. They all seem to be having fun, until Guthrie comes running to me, near tears. He says, "Mommy, I'm not dead. I'm not dead, Mommy." I go with him to where the other kids are, and reassure him that he is not dead. The older boy says, "Why can't you go away? Go play somewhere else. We don't want to play with you." I use every bit of restraint I have not to knock the little boy out with my thermos, and then tell Guthrie the other kids are being mean, and we can go play somewhere else. Guthrie still insists on playing with those kids, so I tell him we have to go. The mean boy says, "I'm not being mean." I tell him he was little once, and wanted to play with the older kids, too, and that's all Guthrie wants. The boys assures me he didn't want to play with older kids. I have to practically drag Guthrie away, screaming.

2:15 p.m.: At Target, with screaming Guthrie. Return pants that didn't fit, get a few groceries, and Guthrie a train to make up for the mean kids. (What can I say? I'm weak) Turner screams through the half of the store that Guthrie doesn't.

3:15 p.m.: Home. Nurse Turner to sleep. I think I hear my name being called. Oh, I do. It's the bottle of Cabernet. I tell it to wait patiently.

3:30 p.m. Guthrie playing with trains, mom checking on beans and eating yogurt. I must call my mom.

3:40 p.m.: Begin making cornbread to go with beans. Guthrie wants to help. Spill cornmeal on floor. Guthrie cracks the eggs - most goes into the bowl. Eric walks in the door, announces "Mitch (his brother) will be at your mom's (to pick up Eric's VW) in about 20 minutes - call her." Frustration starts to set in.

3:50 p.m.: Cornbread goes in the oven. Throw garlic, tomatoes and cilantro in beans.

3:52 p.m.: Call Mom.

3:54 p.m.: Turner crying. Pick him up, while balancing phone against shoulder.

3:58 p.m.: Mitch arrives at Mom's, hang up phone.

4:15 p.m.: Take out cornbread, turn off beans. Pour in bowls and serve. Give Turner his first beans. Realize that giving our Turner, who can't seem to sleep through farting, beans is probably a very, very bad idea.

4:40 p.m.: Call Mom back, check on situation. All is well.

5:00 p.m.: Stare at growing stack of dirty dishes. Cuss at broken dishwasher. Nurse Turner. Play with boys. Check e-mail.

6:15 p.m.: As Eric is walking out the door, get a request to call friends back home to assist Mitch in moving the Bug. Make note. Guthrie begs for ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. I remember why I don't keep ice cream in the house. Give in, and give it back to him. He eats half the carton. I plan to finish it after he's in bed.

6:45 p.m.: Wrestle boys into clean diapers, PJs, and into bedroom. Read stories. Comfort Guthrie and find solution to "the Lorax," which breaks his heart. Show him the beginning of the story, when the trees were still there. Nurse Turner. Repeatedly.

8:15 p.m.: Boys sleeping. Caress wine bottle. Finish ice cream.

8:30 p.m.: Turner awake - nurse. Sit in front of computer.

9:52 p.m.: Eric home. Put Turner back in bed, open wine bottle, pour glass. Aaaah!

10:35 p.m: Get IM from Samantha. Talk to her. She made the math contest again. AWESOME!!!! And - I'll be there on that day, hopefully. Oh - Turner's awake. He must fart. Stays awake. *sigh*

11:00 p.m.: Samantha goes to bed, Turner is still awake.

12:00 a.m.: Turner finally sleeping, go to bed.

And of course, that's only what I remembered to write down. Add in about a dozen diaper changes, snacks given, a few more times nursing, lots of train track building, saving the littler one from big brother's "help," and hair generally being pulled out. Because we Stay-At-Home-Moms sit around watching TV and eating bon bons all day. :P

Saturday, February 03, 2007

More sad news

We received word this morning that our friend, writer, veterinarian, and one of the all around best men either of us has ever known, Donn Irving Blevins has passed away. He will be greatly missed. I can not imagine Warrensburg without him.

He did not live to see his book, ESCAPE INTO THE SEA And Other Stories, in print. I think this is what has made me more sad than anything.

The world just lost one of its great men.