Christmas 2013 (Part 2)

December 31, 2013 § 3 Comments


Christmas 2 happened on Saturday and lived up to the hype of Christmas, that’s for sure. Highlights included:

  • Hiram walking into the kitchen the night before we left and saying, “You know mom, GramGrampa have snow up to HERE.”
  • Playing in said snow with Grandma Barrows and Aunt Linda and sledding down the plow pile in the back yard. I personally enjoyed the ride B and I took together and Hiram was relieved that we did not break his sled.
  • The crazy huge blinking-eye doll that Eldyn adopted and took out on a hot chocolate date. I was the server and they had at least 5 cups of cocoa each.
  • Opening present after present from Brad’s generous family and then, when we thought we were done, finding out that GramGrampa still had garbage bag-sized gift bags full of toys left for each kid. It was like a fireworks grand finale – only toys.
  • Eating and eating and eating. Split pea soup, chili, popovers, cookies, candy, hot chocolate with a little somethin’ somethin’,  banana bread, shredded pork, chopped veggies, little red and green fish crackers, nuts, krumkaka and just about everything else in the world. We ate so much, Hiram actually started moderating himself. “I’m going to have just one more kiss, no two. Two and that’s it.”

Stay Tuned for Christmas 2013 (Part 3) coming soon!


Write a Novel: December Update

December 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

Were you worried? I was. But I’m feeling better now that I see my novel status update for December.

December Update

On paper, I made decent progress. Off paper, I’ve got even more to show. If I keep my head down, I’m still on track to finish my religion charter AND publish my story (here) by January 23. AND, my kids had a Merry Christmas despite my severe underestimation of the time required to pull something like that off. (Editor’s note: I am already planning for reduced novel work requirements for December 2014 and probably also June — the month of 2-3 birthday parties, 1 half-birthday party, 1 father’s day BBQ and a week-long family vacation). I like to work hard but I am not insane.

This month, I’m going to finish up the history section of my charter, finish reading a fascinating book about reincarnation, finish my short story draft and ask a few lucky(?) friends for feedback. I’m also finalizing my 2014 goals and am happy to report that they include a lot less research and a lot more writing!!

Christmas 2013 (Part 1)

December 27, 2013 § Leave a comment


Due to 20 the 13th, we have completed just 1 of 3 Christmas celebrations so far (glad you’re feeling better, mama). Despite the postponement of my family’s Christmas Eve party, there’s still SO MUCH fun and happiness to recap. Maybe I’ll do three installments this year. Why not? Take that 2013!

Awesome stuff that happened on Christmas Eve: 

  • Eldyn accidentally chucked a hockey puck at a lady during church
  • Eldyn tried to blow out “Happy Birthday” candles during the “candlelight” portion of the church service
  • Hiram, inspired by the idea of our family starting a band, picked and arranged our version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” which we sang when we dropped off a Christmas Care Package at my parents. Hiram planned the whole thing – mom sings the words, daddy beat boxes, Hiram sings bass and Eldyn holds the lights.
  • Our entire family curated a last-minute Favorite Things Dinner. Eldyn picked a pomegranate and yogurt, Hiram picked swirly rye bread, B picked fancy cheese and I picked sushi and Lefse)
  • Hiram got new pajamas that glow in the dark. I showed him how to use a flashlight to make them glow extra bright.
  • Eldyn got very excited about his new Fire Truck pajamas and came very close to saying the F-word every time he (joyfully) pointed to the picture on the front.
  • Both boys looked adorable and held still for a picture (above)

Even more awesome stuff that happened on Christmas:

  • Weirdly, both boys slept until 7. This must have been their “big” Christmas present to us.
  • We wore our pajamas all day.
  • We all loved our presents and I especially loved seeing what Hiram picked out for us this year. A decorative reindeer for me (to put in my bedroom), a captain hook doll for Eldyn and a new sleeveless running shirt/shorts outfit for daddy.
  • The boys even loved the (potentially lame and definitely not immediately gratifying) rolling duffel-suitcases I gave them.
  • Despite his disappointment over not getting a real drill from Santa, Hiram was still able to help daddy assemble the scooters Santa brought for both boys. Once assembled, these scooters were the main means of transport between the living room and the kitchen.
  • The weather was perfect so after nap time, we put snow pants over our pajamas and went sledding.
  • After sledding, we curled up on the couch to watch Planes, eat from Hiram’s huge bag of popcorn (thanks again, Dottie!) and drink hot chocolate.
  • After eating popcorn and hot chocolate, we ate a huge ham for dinner.
  • After eating a huge ham we ate Christmas cookies.
  • After eating Christmas cookies we crashed into a food/fresh air coma and slept like babies who have been properly sleep trained.

THAT, my friends, is the Joy of Christmas. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3.

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

I guess it’s possible I’ll never be able to stop thinking of and posting this picture at Christmas.

This year, I am struck by the difference between this photo (taken in 2010):

Seeing Santa 2010

And this one taken last week.


My little man is growing up. Hiram’s official wish list:

  • “Cumbrella”
  • Scooter and/or another skateboard
  • A real drill so he can help daddy build a deck next year
  • A trumpet

Eldyn (not pictured) decided that leaving it up to Santa was safer than having to sit on his lap and provide actual input.

Merry Christmas everyone. XOXOX.

Loud and Clear

December 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

Eldyn is still (awesomely) talking with no regard for phonetic accuracy and I’m still working on catching up to Hiram in terms of translation skills. It’s a little like cryptoclue, where P = B, K = T and “dai-nat” means “car snack.”  With these clues, it’s easy to know that “hockey butt” is not a cute pet name for his brother, but instead the name for the black, puck-shaped item that you shoot at the net during a hockey game. I got this.

Most of the time, talking to Eldyn is equal parts stress and euphoria. I absolutely LOVE hearing what he has to say and I LOVE knowing that he’s finally getting to use the words he’s wanted to use since birth. But I hate it when I don’t know what he means. I’m not sure if its my imagination or if he really is giving me the look that corresponds with “I’m trying so hard mom, WHY?”

Here’s one I heard for the first time (unsolicited) this morning though, that I had no trouble translating: “I love you, mama.”

Oh swoon, swoon, SWOON.

Say What: “We’re following.”

December 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hiram and Eldyn can get pretty rowdy in the house. They wrestle and run and laugh and jump. Like puppies. Only more stressful than puppies because they’re both huge and have a general disregard for anything breakable and/or dangerous. I mean, they indulge in this roughhousing while not wearing helmets, mouth guards, nut cups or other protective gear. Am I the only one worried about this?

Anyway. One rule we have is that they can’t chase each other in the house. This became a rule because the two of them were constantly running after each other at full speed  and not even remotely slowing down to make the hairpin turn between the kitchen and the dining room. It was crazy.

The rule has helped a little but last weekend, they were at it again. “No chasing in the house!” Brad said to the backs of their little blond heads as they rounded the corner back into the living room.

“We’re not chasing,” Hiram hollered back, “We’re following.”

Say What? Happy Plus

December 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Ugggh. Since before Thanksgiving, we’ve had a total of just 5 work days when one or the other of the boys didn’t need to stay home sick. Poop, snot, puke, strep, yuck! Along with reduced hours to get stuff done at work, there’s the added work of fending off sickness for the soldiers not yet fallen. Laundry, hand-washingX, scrubbing and more! Plus Christmas. Ha! It feels like we’re barely keeping our heads above water. Which is why this morning I actually heard angels singing at the end of this conversation with Hiram.

Me: (sleeping)

Hiram: (shuffles in and climbs up next to me)

Me: How are you feeling today?

Hiram: Happy, healthy and loved.

Angels: Glory Hallelujah!



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