Monday, November 24, 2008

November 4th

I have never been so nervous and excited about an election. I feel proud to be American for the first time ( a big deal since moving from Hungary). Tears streamed down my face as Obama gave his acceptance speech and history was made. I helped make a difference. I voted for change.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just Snoozin'

I was a Petco yesterday to pick up some food for Tugboat and as usual, I checked out the other critters for sale. The mice always make me laugh, but yesterday this rat was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. It's sleeping upright with its little cheeks wedged between the wall and the water bottle. So cute.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Dead starfish on pier 70

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In Contemplation of My Upcoming Birthday

So, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the speed at which my life is propelling forward. In the middle of the afternoon when I'm whiped out from watching the kids it seems to be dragging, not propelling... anyway, back to my point. I will be 29 soon. Very soon, and I keep forgeting how old I am. I keep thinking I'm 27. The fact that this will be the last year in my 20's is sobering. I can't relate to being in my 30's and frankly, I don't really want to. I'm starting to see those little lines around my eyes and forehead. I find myself spending long minutes at drug stores staring at the wide aray of wrinkle creams and wonder salves. I'm overwhelmed,so I rarely actually buy anything and then feel guilty I'm not using enough of "it".
What I really mean to write about however is the heavy sense I feel to make this year important, stand out, and make up for all the directionlessness that I've faced this past decade. I need to enter my 30's on the right foot, feeling that I did what I could in my 20's and I have at least made an effort to really carve out something for myself.
My problem is I'm such a dreamer. This trait is adorable in a child, but downright confusing in an adult looking for a career. I want to be a Sea World whale trainer. I want to be a travel agent, but only the kind that actually gets to travel and check out the new destinations. I want to work in an AIDS orphanage in Africa ( as far as I can tell, I have no excuse for not doing this one). I want to be a cake decorator for Charm City Cakes. I want to have my own sea creatures kids clothes company. (I'm just learning to sew). I want to be a children's book author.
Regular careers I find downright boring. I have a deep sense that I need to do something big, which only adds to my dilema. Caleb has grandiose dreams and maybe that's where I get it from. Or maybe it's just that I feel that I've taken so freakin' long to figure things out that it had better be good.
So what am I doing to achieve at least one of these goals?
I am writing childen's stories while the kids that I watch take naps. So far I have "The Crabby Coconut Crab" and "Oh, Ferrydiddle Doodle". I also have "The Discovery of Starhoffs and the First of the Adventures of Thor" unfinished since 2005.
The plan is to write at least two stories a week and eventually publish the best ones. My heros are Shel Silversteen and Dr. Seus - though I'm not writing anything that rhymes. With so many of my friends having kids and the many years my family ( including Caleb) have encourged me to write I'm finally doing it. Nothing fancy or serious. Just silly stories that let me have fun and still be creative. However, I want to rock at this. I want my books to be read by kids everywhere. I have resources to get my books illustrated and I can always begin by self publishing.
So, this 29th year I'm tossing caution, laziness, and uncommitedness to the wind. I want to have a pile of delightful, silly books by my side and be on my way to touching little kids hearts and funny bones everywhere.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blessed Day

Our dear, dear friends Kathleen and Brett Walker had their little baby, Elanor, three weeks ago today. I have never been so elated for someone. This baby has been eagerly awaited. Kathleen and Brett had a miscarriage a little over a year ago, and now the mourning has been turned to joy. Kathleen was in labor for 24 hours, she's so strong! and then ended up having a c-section. I can't wait to meet this little girl! I was beaming for days after we found out and got this picture.

Shootin' Skeet

Lake Superior

The Cabin on Bootjack

Caleb's first family home. His dad built this cabin and they lived here until Caleb was two and a half. He was potty trained in the outhouse here. It's still standing - I saw it!

Creme brule in the works

Caleb and his mom making rich custardy french dessert

Caleb's Folk's House

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Happy '08

I hope you all had as blessed a Christmas and New Year as Caleb and I did. We traveled far, far away to the snowy wonderland of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a real family Christmas. I always love going to his family home. It is so different from how I grew up in the city, moving a lot, not feeling connected to my family home anymore. His folks still live in the same house Caleb grew up in since he was almost three years old. It feels like a retreat from our hectic life. Caleb's mom has sled dogs and their house is set on twenty acres of wooded land. Caleb and I got married in their back field four and a half years ago. We spent ten days with his family - our family. We did a lot of cooking and sitting around the wood stove just talking. We haven't been together like that in over three years. Caleb's sister's Micheala and Abigail were with us too and we played cards, went snowmobiling and created elaborate dinners and desserts. Actually Caleb caught the cooking bug. He never cooks. Seriously. He occasionaly makes steak, but that's about it. Well, he got it into his brain that he wanted to make fancy French desserts. So, he made creme brule, two different recipes for flan, homemade caramel sauce, and eggs benedict. We had so many eggs - I think we went through eight dozen eggs in ten days. We had cookies and cakes and quishes, and waffles, and poached eggs and egg nog. I am happy to say Caleb is still cooking now that we are back in Providence. Also, one does get sick of so much rich food, though this is the first we've experience that! It felt like we needed to detox.
We also went snowshoeing and shot skeet. I'm not a very good shot, but it was so much fun! I found out that I love snowmobiling. I think that if I lived up there I would have my own snowmobile and it would be like my wintertime moped. The snowsuit and huge helmet and facewarmer mask thing I wore looked really hot. Ha.
I made a wooden spoon at Caleb's dad's wood shop. His dad is a master woodworker and his shop is right on their property. I've never worked with wood before and it is really cool. The spoon is beautiful and I'm giving it to my brother Matt as a belated birthday present. (Matt I hope you aren't reading this or I blew the surprize). Caleb made some amaizing spoons to and his dad, made each of the girls a recipe box. I love it.
I should mention the dogs. At any given time there were at least six to nine dogs in the house. We all have dogs and then there are the sled dogs, several of which rotate between the dog yard and the house. The chaos of it was kind of delightful, very furry and often loud. Sled dogs are beautiful wild looking creatures (Alaskan Huskies) and I wanted to take one home. Caleb said we couldn't, but I came this close ----- to taking Memphis. I think it would be good for Tugboat to have a buddy. There was also one cat, who I didn't even know they had until I was in the pantry grabbing a soda from the mini fridge and heard meowing above my head. I looked up and right at eye level was a big, grey and black tabby cat sitting on the pantry shelf next to the mac and cheese. Awesome.
On New Year's eve we went up to the cabin Caleb's dad built and Caleb lived in until he was two and a half. Some of you may have heard that he was potty trained in an outhouse. Well, it's true, I saw that outhouse - it's still there. The land ( over 250? acres) is now owned by someone else, but very little has changed. It is a special place that Caleb still misses and I know his folks regret ever selling it. It's called Bootjack. To get to the property one must drive for a long while down a wooded country road and then park at the bottom of a hill and hike 1/2 mile uphill through the snow to the cabin. It feels far from everything and perfect. However, when I think of Caleb's mom up there as a newlywed, having to hike up and down that hill eventually with two kids in a tobogan tied to her waist, the rosy picture becomes a little more realistic. When she was pregnant with Caleb's sister Abigail, she had to ride a snowmobile down the hill, at night after her water broke, through a snowstorm. Little Caleb was up front holding the flashlight so they could see. They snowmobiled and then had to walk though thigh-high snow to the snowplow that barely made it to their road. Eventually the three of them made it to an ambulance. Craziness! When I think of stories like this it truly puts my struggles in a new light. My life is so easy compared to that. So that's the stock my husband comes from. No wonder he's such a hard worker and has such a good sense of humor.
Really the best things about our time in the U.P. were the rest and rejuvination and priceless family time that we all had. I feel like a new person coming back to Providence. I have a more positive outlook and I'm ready to take on this next semester. I'm trying to enroll in a sewing class and get more involved in our church. I'm planning on running a half-marathon in May with Caleb's mom and sister Abigail. Having real time with Caleb has been so important too. I really missed my husband this last semester. We are going to work harder on finding time for eachother. So happy New Year to all. I miss you, my friends, but I'm so thankfull I have you.