Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Buddy!!!

Dear Buddy,
Thirteen years ago today your Daddy and I got married. I wanted a baby very very much. It wasn't practical though as we were in college, then when I realized that I had a degree I could do nothing with until I got a Master's degree and a license, I kept going, and kept waiting. It was a difficult time for me, as my heart wanted children, but my mind knew we needed to wait a while longer. When I graduated we were in debt* and I needed to work so I did for five years. During that time we began doing foster care and got dogs, in part, because I ached to have children. Finally, on June 27th, 2006, we welcomed you into the world, we celebrated our ninth anniversary in the hospital with one cute baby Z.

I share this with you because just as I longed for you, you have been very eager for your birthday. A week after your last birthday you began to ask when your next birthday is. You have talked about it on a weekly basis, if not daily for the entire year. Every time we went to a birthday party or ate out and heard that familiar tune, "Happy Birthday to you..." you cried. We were unable to read books to you that referenced birthdays birthdays for fear that it might stir up that eagerness in you for something that was months away. Finally, it was upon us.

Saturday was your last day as a three year old. I savored every moment with you. I got to hold you after you hit your mouth on the desk while you were being silly walking around with a towel over your head. I was so glad your teeth were ok and you only got a bloody lip. I thought a loss of teeth would be the icing on the cake after you cut your own hair the day before, leaving a giant gap in the middle of your bangs. Just in time for your party. You danced, jumped on the bed, we played library and played outside. At lunch as we sat at the table, I decided to ask my soon to be four year old boy a big boy question, just to make conversation.

M- "Who is God?"
Z - "I don't know."
M - "What do you know about God?"
Z - "God is dead." [I'm in shock, have you been reading Nietzche?]
M - "What did you say?"
Z - "God is dead." [now I'm feeling like a bad mom]
M - "What makes you say that?"
Z - "He died on a cross." [huge relief right about now]

I proceeded to talk to you about how Jesus, who is God, did, in fact, die to pay for the sins of Mommy, Daddy, Buddy, and Juju. He died so we don't have to, then He rose again and still lives today. You listened, then asked to play thumb war with me. I obliged and you beat me...again...with the help of your other hand.

After your nap, Daddy took you to the community farm with your sister so I could work on your cake and wrap presents for the big party we had on Sunday. You shared a party with your cousin, Jenna, Aunt Biz and Uncle Andy as you do every year. You got horrible sunburn on your back from playing in the pool and too few sun lotion applications but you had so much fun and slept all the way home.

We hid some of your presents to pull out later, as you got so many toys. They'll be fun on a rainy day. We'll be going through old toys today and giving some away. Today your Daddy is off work and he made you a fort out of giant appliance boxes from our friends at Weaver Appliance. You put on a puppet show for us today out of one of them. The four of us played hide and seek together upstairs, played checkers with Fruit Loops and played with your new toys. You're a four year old now and I'm very proud of the big boy you are. I hope your birthday was all that you had hoped for it to be, I know meeting you has been a dream come true for me.

All my love,

*We still have that stinky loan of mine to pay off, but thankfully it's the last one we have. Hopefully when you're old enough to read this and understand it, we'll be completely out of debt!

P.S. Here's one more video of you and your sister on your last day as a three year old:

Saturday, June 26, 2010


"Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average." -opening line of Prairie Home Companion

We were given two tickets (thanks, Dad and Amy!) to see Garrison Keillor perform his radio show, "Prairie Home Companion" live at Blossom Music Theater last Saturday. We declared it an early anniversary date, my mom cheerfully watched the kiddos for us, and we grabbed Chipotle on our way. Blossom is an outdoor theater, with a giant pavillion then a big hill surrounding it all around that you can picnic on. Years ago, before kids, or foster kids, we sat on the hill with friends and watched Garrison Keillor, but we couldn't hear very much. This time we were front and center, just a few rows back. We got a mini-concert before the show went live on the air. It was great!
We decided you can hear the nuances of genius, Fred Newman, better over the radio than live, but it was neat to see him at work. Surprisingly, he uses a lot of hand gestures.
Ricky Scaggs and his band, Kentucky Thunder played some wonderful
blue grass music that we loved.

Here's what he looks like now:
And you have to love a guy who can get away with wearing an ivory suit, with a pink dress shirt, red tie and red sneakers. Really. By the way, it was blazing hot, or at least felt like it here in Ohio in the 80s and yet, Garrison kept that jacket and tie on the whole time.
We were most impressed at the story time which was toward the end of the show. He literally walked around the stage with no notes or anything and just told us a great story of Lake Wobegon. Even if he had written it or outlined it earlier in the week, it was long enough and good enough to wow us with the fact that it was coming right out of him. Something we never appreciated from listening over the radio.

We so enjoy listening to Prairie Home Companion on NPR, it wouldn't be much of a show without Garrison Keillor, so we'll enjoy it while we can.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Scenes from SLC

What's the Juju girl all dressed for? Well, we took her with us a couple of weekends ago to Utah. She did great on the plane and handled all the transitions wonderfully. Z stayed home with my mom who watched him for us. She's visiting with us for several weeks and my dad is here too for almost two weeks.

The groom was (and is) our dear friend, Matt, from LeTourneau University. He and Ben roomed together for a while at Lambda Alpha Sigma (the aviation society) before we got married. He brought his lovely girlfriend to meet us in October last year and we couldn't help but love her too. You might recall, she's a knitter, and a very good one! I had to get a picture of what she knitted for her flower girl and junior bride's maid to wear for the big day (she made the whole outfit, shoes and all!)
They had the wedding at Matt's house, where they now live happily ever after. They had a cellist play their favorite classical songs, you can see her a little above her at the top of the landing. They wrote their own vows, had communion and special prayers by each of their brothers and only had, I think, 14 people present. We were VERY honored to be among them.
The next day we checked out the sights, ate at an In'N'out Burger, and visited with old friends who live in the SLC area. The newlyweds took off for Switzerland and are back already, they had a great trip, they said.
It was simply beautiful there. I'm afraid, though, we're going to have to stick to Ohio. The dryness did nothing for Juju's hair. As soon as our plane landed in the midwest, her curls sprang back to life and we all sighed with relief.