Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Few Last Words

It’s not like I’m dying. I’m moving. Still, there is so much to say and just not enough time or energy to record it all, so here are a few last words from me – the Washington me – that are really not important at all, but are less to think about with my present flimsy brain.

Oh wait, how could I say this isn’t important? Hello, they are important (and don’t you girls let anyone tell you otherwise). Here are many of the friends I served in YW’s with (yah, a bunch of us are pregnant in this pic). We went to Applebee’s last night. (Jennifer, sorry you were taking the photo and not in it). I love how close you get to people when you serve with them. Thanks for planning it Alexa! (Marzee!! Where oh where were you!!??).

Now, on to the actual move. The very most painful thing about this move for Mike has been what I have done in packing so many of these boxes. If you can’t tell what unpardonable sin I have committed I won’t tell you, but it is pretty funny to see Mike looking at them, shaking his head and saying, “Fragile. This side up.” And then shaking his head some more.

Speaking of Mike. We were talking about tonight and I mentioned going to get my mom from the airport. He then said, “OK, and I’ll just be here getting things all cleaned up.” Then we both looked at each other and laughed and laughed like he had said the funniest thing a person could say. That Mike. He’s the worst. If nothing else, for making me like him so much in all of his . . . worstness. (What!! Spell check doesn’t recognize that word? Impossible.)

And, look what Goldie made! This is still totally related to my “moving” talk because my kids are awful and terrible lately because I give them so little attention as I am ever so busy cleaning and packing. But, isn’t it cute that Goldie went off all by her lonesome (even as she grumbled to Daisy, “I don’t like crafts” – because Daisy adores them and Goldie doesn’t like to let Daisy think she agrees with her too much on any given topic) and made this bird? It even has a beak and “two toes” for crying out loud!

Lastly, Goldie adores puzzles. We have like a million. They take up loads of space and the boxes always manage to get all broken so pieces fall out. So, look what I up and did as I packed. Ahhh, so much more room in the puzzle box. I had no idea how innovative and clever I could be. Really, I will probably be picked up by some show on how to organize your home now. I’m sure people have been miserable for years – unsure of how to better save space with all of their puzzles.

Alright, you will not hear from WA Nancy again. Next time you hear from me I will be a new different Nancy. I wonder if it will be a better or worse me. Oh how exciting for us all to wait and see. . . .

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Goodbyes

We came here after spending a month on St. Simon's Island, GA (well, six months for Mike). Although it was extremely muggy and there were loads of mosquitoes, I fell desperately in love with the place. Really. It just pained me it was so gorgeous. It was a beauty that was completely foreign to me. There were trees everywhere. I kid you not. EVERYWHERE. Any place that would have been a vacant lot elsewhere was just filled with towering trees. They were packed thickly and sort of made me feel like I was in Last of the Mohicans. There were these giant prehistoric looking fern type of plants and Spanish moss dripping off of the trees. There were these crazy vines that wove all around the trees and dipped down low enough that my kids could swing on them, but they never made any sense to me because they were woody. They looked like they should be tree themselves not curly, bending, swinging vines!

Anyway, we then moved to the Pacific Northwest. It was of course beautiful, but it wasn't that unfamiliar beauty -- I'd seen similar stuff camping and in the Uintahs. Plus, we came at the beginning of the wet and dreary months of gray rain. There were Fall leaves on the ground, but they weren't crunchy like they should be, they were soggy. I'm afraid that because of those things I didn't give this place the credit it deserved.

My oldest brother, Mark, came to visit a year or so ago. He has lived all over the world and commented that he didn't know how I could make the drive through places like Tremonten, etc. up here and not realize how gorgeous it is. Now, I must mention as a side note that Mike loves dry, yellow, sage brushy plains and hills. I know, strange. Maybe it is because he can picture rounding up cattle in such a scene, but it has made me feel guilty for only appreciating one type of God's beauty here on this earth (the lush and green kind).

My brother was right though, and I think I have truly come to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. To give you a tiny sample, I took you all with me on my morning run today (via my camera). This is the usual loop I make from my house. It was early morning which meant the shadows were all wrong for pictures -- ultra bright glaring sun in some spots and dark shadows in others, but if you just picture things about 300 times prettier than the pictures you will see why I am sad to leave this place (and how foolish I was in not giving it all the beauty credit it deserved initially!).

I wouldn't feel right about starting this loop with out introducing you to these two fellas. They are my first sight upon leaving the neighborhood and they have been my most consistent vicious barking friends. Today though (when I stopped to take their picture) they merely looked a little disappointed. I think they are feeling blue that I won't be giving them something to bark at anymore.
This is the road up above my house and then heading back down towards town. There is a whole lot of pretty and green.
Over there is the Wildlife Refuge. It has nice trails and I'd like to run there, but it is forbidden. I'm not sure how fast you are allowed to walk, but I guess running is too scary for all the wildlife.
Gee Creek Watershed. I don't know what "watershed" means, but that is what the sign reads both of the two times I cross Gee Creek.
And here is me! Yes, I really was taking you with me running!

Umm, let's pause the run for a minute and fast forward to after the run. I'd like to be beautiful "au naturel" (sp?), but really, notice that I look 100 times better with makeup than with out. Sad.
Back to the run. After leaving all the trees, I get to run along our cute little stretch of downtown.
Yah, that's what it looks like -- a drinking fountain. But how perfect is that right about half way through my run!
On the right is the road you drive into our neighborhood and on the left is the nice foot path I run into our neighborhood.
See why I said I find it difficult not to stop and eat blackberries when I am supposed to be running?

This is a shed off to the side of the foot path up to our neighborhood. It actually gives me the creeps.

Another barking dog who will miss me terribly I'm sure.
The pathway that runs in front of our neighborhood and connects to Abram's park (where various soccer, baseball games, etc. are played). It was further down this path that I saw Zebra cat . . . and I can't help but look for him every time I run here.
And finally the path back up to my neighborhood. Lest you've all been too jealous about all the lush green and trees, you should note that I live in a normal new subdivision that is pretty void of large trees. In fact as much as I've loved having a new home, I have been pining (no pun intended) for a house with some "old growth" mature trees and bushes.
Back to my own little home. See, no big huge trees.

And as long as we've done the whole run, I may as well add this picture of what is waiting at home. Some crazy kids with McKayla. McKayla lives through the backyard and comes twice a week to tend so I can run. Throw in Saturdays with Mike here and that is three. While I'd love to do more, I never know what to do with all my kids, so having my little McKayla through the back yard for a few consistent run days is another thing I'll miss.


Goldie: Mom, can I carry Penny down the stairs?

Me: No Honey, if you fell it would crack both of your heads right open.

Goldie: And one of Penny's heads.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Penny's Mouth

I love Penny. I love her crazy shaped mouth and little teeth. Mike looked at this picture and told me her mouth was "eye shaped." Yes, eye shaped. I love my crazy little eye shaped baby's mouth.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

But I want to be a genius!!

In yesterday’s post I made reference to The Chinese Water Torture. (Side note to Jana: I don’t know why or how Troy was able to drop water in your eye, but he had it all wrong. My brother taught us that your head was put in such a position that it couldn’t move. Then a small but consistent drop of water would be allowed to land in the exact same spot on your forehead for hours – perhaps you are placed under a leaky faucet? - until, presumably, you go insane. I don’t know if the Chinese have ever used such a torture, but if they have, I must say – horrible though it may be – I would have to choose it over most other tortures).

So, back to what I was saying: Yesterday I referred to The Chinese Water Torture . . . only I called it The Chinese Water “Torcher.” Huh? What is that word? Like a hot hot thing? A torcher? Sigh. Mike fixed it for me – very carefully of course so as to in no way insinuate that I am anything but brilliant. But man, I might be not so bright after all. That makes me mad. It isn’t usually spelling so much, but look at my posts. Have you ever seen such awful haphazard punctuation, etc. in your life? I like to write with . . . ummm . . . animation? Something. Anyway, that is tricky to punctuate and you would have to wake up pretty early in the morning to pull one over on the old “writing like a crazy person talking.” I mean, when do I really legitimately use all of these: -- and these: . . . and when I end something crazy in parenthesis that ends a sentence but doesn’t end the sentence I was writing do I use a period in the parenthesis? What if my sentence ends when the parenthesis do? Can I really just throw commas in anytime I feel like a little pause? I know Kimberly and Gayle are probably shaking their heads in an “It’s hopeless, Nancy.” sort of way (did I punctuate that wrong?) What about that? Ahhh! Because they know the answers and one answer would be to not write like a rambling maniac, I guess. Sigh again. I don’t want to seem stupid. I need a Harbrace Manual. Only, Mike was trying to help me figure out how to punctuate some awful sentence once by looking online at information and as far as we could tell, there were no circumstances when such a sentence ever should exist to punctuate. Anyway, this is the worst. Now you will all begin paying close attention to my mistakes. I need a post editor. Anyone up for the job? That way I can appear brilliant with out having to actually be brilliant! And really, that is good enough for me because I don't really care if I'm a genius so long as people think I am. Appearances are always my utmost priority.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


My kids tell me a lot of jokes. Most of them don’t make an ounce of sense and occasionally, when I have been forced to participate in an excessive amount of knock knock jokes, I must admit, I’ve wondered if The Chinese Water Torture would offer a similar experience. It occurred to me awhile back that I have never met a kid who didn’t love to tell a good joke (or a bad joke – not bad like inappropriate, bad like . . . not funny), and perhaps it is simply that joke telling is an important developmental milestone every child must reach. So, I am, at least, happy to know my children are developing properly and reaching all necessary stages of life, but I am extra happy that one of them is now old enough to tell me real jokes. Today Abe asked me this:

Abe: A man went on a trip on Friday. He stayed for two days and then returned on Friday. How is that possible?
Me: I don’t know.
Abe: Friday was his horse!

Since I have never been capable of recalling good jokes (the only one I can ever consistently bring to mind is Q: What do you call a dog with no legs? A: It doesn’t matter, he still won’t come), I think I will now put Abe in charge of teaching his sisters a thing or two.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Sooner or later, all my kids decide that whatever blanket has most consistently been in their crib is their special blanky. I don’t know how some kids avoid this attachment (maybe their parents rotate their blankets more?), but I don’t mind, I like them loving a little blanket so much. I even still have my blanky from when I was little. Occasionally, if my kids are extra sad, scared, or needy; and their own special blankets won’t quite cut it, they request mine for an added comfort boost. I tell them it is all covered in my love. I know that sounds cheesy, but they like it, and, I’m pretty sure it is anyway.

So that is why I thought it was so cute, when I went to get Penny from her nap yesterday, that she held up her blanket as if to say, “This is coming too, Mom.” She was so happy to have it downstairs with us and kept putting it over her head and draping it as best she could about herself. It looks like child number four now has a special blanky too.

P.S. It is fun to have kids a little older because they really think that everything Penny does is just as entertaining and great as I do.

Oh my goodness, and I almost forgot! I'm sure you are all wondering where this magical photo came from when I have no camera! Well, I do have a camera! A new, better camera!! You will all cry if I tell you how I got it because it is too nice, but I will tell you anyway. Two people who love us got sad to think of me having no camera my last few weeks here and so they bought us one! Yes, I know, unbelievable. I have been carrying it around not unlike how my kids carry their blankies around the past three days. Here are a few pics from yesterday. Why do my kids seem so . . . I don't know . . . confused or unfriendly or angry about me taking their pictures as they try to water our garden?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Fascinating Medical Records

The clinic that I have been going to for the past few years just forwarded me a copy of my medical records so I can take them with me when we move. They are, of course, marked “confidential.” Does that mean that I should not be disclosing information to all of you readers? I don’t know, but looking through them has been interesting for me. A few things bring back sad memories – there is something rather stark and cold about the medical lingo describing events that were very difficult and personal for me. Other things I have found simply interesting or even rather amusing. Here are a few comments from different areas of my paperwork (followed by the thoughts I had when reading them):

1. (From my recent ultrasound): “The fetal anatomy including cerebral ventricle, 4 chamber heart, stomach, kidneys, bladder are unremarkable.” I assume this is good – that it means they appear normal and there is nothing to note, but “unremarkable”? What a word! Amazing. Spectacular. Miraculous. Remarkable! Those seem like more appropriate words!

2. (From my visit to a dermatologist in the clinic for severe eczema last pregnancy): “The patient is in good general health and denies other skin problems.” Does this mean that perhaps I was not telling the truth? That perhaps I did have other skin problems but chose to deny them?

3. (From the same dermatology exam – I can’t read this one with out chuckling away to myself): “In general, this is a well nourished, pleasant, fair-complected female, average frame, moderate dermatolheliosis.” Well, that is nice. I mean, it does say “pleasant” and “fair complected” (which my spell check doesn’t recognize as a word). Of course, I think of my “complexion” as my face and “fair” as beautiful . . . when I’m sure he was merely stating that my skin color is very far from tan. Still, nice to know that I appear “well nourished.”

4. (Same exam – it turns out dermatology records can be quite entertaining): “The patient is alert, oriented . . . . The examination was remarkable for the following findings . . . ." (It then lists some of my skin conditions). I’m glad to know I appeared alert and oriented. I so rarely do. And, there is that word again, “remarkable.” Obviously it is used differently in the medical world, but it seems odd that my rashy skin would be a case for using the word "remarkable" while the miracle of my baby’s creation wouldn’t warrant it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Mike

Tomorrow (Aug. 13th) is Mike’s 32nd birthday. I think he was born on a Friday the 13th . . . so there is probably something spooky about him I have yet to discover. We met a little before his birthday ten years ago. We were on a blind date . . . only we were not each other’s date. No, I was on a date with one of his best friend’s younger brothers, and he was on a date with my friend -- his best friend’s cousin.

I, being the good girl that I was, didn’t think much about Mike on the date because he was not my date for goodness sakes! Luckily, he was less scrupulous and thought a fair amount about me. When he returned from the date, he told his parents about his predicament. His father, bless his heart, told Mike that all is fair in love and war. He then pulled out an old poem by Sir Walter Scott entitled Lochinvar. It recounts the story of a gallant man who returns home to find his true love about to marry another, so he simply goes to the wedding feast and takes her away on his horse. With that type of encouragement Mike felt free to go ahead and call me. I'm very happy that I got to marry my own Lochinvar.

Here we are back when we were young and innocent and knew nothing about mortgages, long work hours, broken washing machines, sick babies, etc.
Before we even knew anything in the world about him: Or could have dreamt of her:Or imagined her:Or even guessed about her: And here we are now, none too worse for the wear.It was about 20 degrees on our wedding day, but while others were shivering in coats for our pictures, I was completely oblivious to the cold. Really, I kept laughing that everyone was so cold, and it has never been easier to smile for pictures.

My dad has said that Mike is "good to the bone" and that he is one of the most thoughtful people he has ever met. It is true. I could make lists and lists of the thoughtful things he has done for me. I won't, but I was remembering today how on one of his birthdays (shortly after I'd had Goldie), I got us a babysitter and Mike insisted that we should spend our time shopping for me. I'm not joking. He knew I was wanting a few new things because I was in that post baby stage and he insisted that would be the funnest way to spend his birthday -- buying me stuff. A few days after Mike first left to GA (where he would be for six months), I kind of freaked out because I hadn't thought about how a marriage really works a country apart and suddenly thought it would be impossible. That very afternoon pizza was delivered for lunch for me and the kids along with flowers (from my far far away husband) -- somehow that little thing made me feel like yes, we were still a husband and wife and he was still very aware of our little family. Anyway, Happy Birthday to my husband. I love you. You are my very very favorite thing -- as you well know. (And, I couldn't resist one last picture of us from when I went to visit in GA).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Abe's future fame

This is the last shot that was taken on our camera before it broke. Tell me, can there be any further doubt about who is to blame? (What kind of a mother would blame her poor innocent child? Still, look at him. Would you trust him to hold your camera?).

Speaking of Abe, today he mentioned three things he would like to be famous for:
1- Being able to talk to animals. Well, he maybe could be famous for that. We've all watched that dog whisperer guy who knows what every dog seems to be saying.
2- Flying to Pluto. That is impressively far, but his fame might be somewhat marred by the fact that Pluto has been downgraded from its planet status. It just doesn't hold the same appeal or demand the same respect anymore.
3- Discovering a new island with flying monkeys on it. Hmmm. Perhaps it is time to show him The Wizard of Oz -- you know, just to make sure he knows what flying monkeys are really all about.
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