on firm kisses and unlikely comparisons

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Durel and I were talking the other evening about how, even at our ripe old ages, our parents still kiss us firmly on the heads.  

My family has always been pretty affectionate, so I never thought about it.  Durel's family is less demonstrative, so he did.

Here is my operating theory:  No matter how old you get, you are still your parents' baby.  And they will kiss your head firmly, forever.  Because it's in their parental DNA.  They've been kissing you like that since you were born and there simply is no good reason to stop.

*     *     *     *     *  

So, Jack is huge now.  He has seen the first Harry Potter movie and asks me repeatedly when he can go to wizarding school.  (I see Harry Potter themed parties in our future.)  He will play Quidditch, of course.  He anticipates being in Gryffendor, but Durel and I are quick to posit the virtues of Slytherin.  (Seriously.  Slytherin is cool.  It's how you use your power that makes the difference, n'est pas?)

He's big on cocoa, also.  So, imagine the kismet that occurred when one of the items on his monthly homework calendar was to "drink a cup of hot chocolate and use your five senses to describe it."

We got to work, and here's what we learned.  

Me:      OK, Jack.  Let's use your eyes.  What does your cocoa look like?

Jack:    Clear vomit.

Me:      ...Oh!  Uh...OK.

Jack:     You know what I mean. It's all bubbly.

Me:       Rrrrright.  How about your nose?  How does your cocoa smell?

Jack:     (sniffs)  Chocolate!

Me:       Great.  What about touch?  How does it feel?

Jack:     (unceremoniously sticks finger into hot cocoa)  Oh!  LIKE FIRE!

Me:      Wow.  OK.  How does it sound?

Jack:     (looks at me as if I'm a bit daft)  Like bubbles popping.

Me:      OK, most important one!  Let's taste it!

Anyway, that was a successful (and enlightening) exercise.  Here are a few shots of Jack at his best lately. I took them in between stealing every opportunity to kiss him firmly on the head.

As we do.

Holding a baby kangaroo at his friend Addie's amazeballs birthday party.

We big puffy heart love Menchies. 
He stole my sandwich at Panera.

He also ate about half of my pho.  I swear, I feed him.

Hope kisses are firm and vomit is only theoretical in your world today.

Talk soon,
Heather


the one about pie. and wine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Christmas is an Olympic event to me.

I train for it.  I plan for it.  I make multiple lists.  I mutter over cookbooks weeks in advance.  I dance in my car to Christmas music in November.  Early November.

I'm into it.

Normally, December 23rd (or Christmas Eve EVE, as I call it in my head), is Baking Day.  If I have the great (biannual) luck of being with my sister, Jenny, we listen to the Pogues and the Waitresses and bake cookies and spike our coffee with Kahlua.  

If not, I bake pies all day.  I usually end up with a 1:1 person to pie ratio.  Not because everyone eats a whole pie, but because I want to make several kinds of pie, and why make just one?  Everyone has to taste it, you know.  And of course, my family requires at least three pumpkin pies.  So. I make a lot of pies.

This year, Durel had a great (yet revolutionary) idea.  He suggested that we go to Fredericksburg with PapaDu, Uncle Dustin, Aunt Geri to breathe Hill Country air and drink wine.  (Frederickburg is a Texas German town a little more than an hour away.  It has cuteness and vineyards in abundance.)

I told him that was a great idea.

My brain was freaking out about OHMAGERD THE PIEZZZZZZZZZZZ.  But I told that inner voice to shut up.  And off we went.

I'm also not good at admitting I'm wrong.  But you can guess where this is going.

Durel was right.  It was a perfect (balmy) day and an amazing way to spend it.

Exploring.




I love these people.  So much.

Getting artsy.

My beautiful sister in law.

Moving.

Maxing and relaxing.

Guess what?  I still made pie.  

Hope your Christmas involved the magic of new ideas.

Talk soon,
Heather

the bearded man cometh

Sunday, December 13, 2015



We are getting our holiday on over here.  

I would like to say that I'm more prepared this year than I normally am.  I would like to say I can make a perfect cheese souffle.  I would like to say I've run a marathon.  I would like to say a lot of things.

None of these things are true.

But.  But!  Here's what I can say:  I am not stressed out about it.  This is a new and different take on "Heather Less Than Two Weeks Before Christmas."  I can also say that I  learned to make totally bad ass Pad Thai recently.  I can also say that my (brave and supportive) friend Elizabeth has agreed to run a half marathon with me this spring.  

These things are true, and they're lovely.

Jack needed to make a banner for school, depicting our family's holiday traditions.  He promptly demanded to pose for pictures with the dogs.  (And his Santa hat.)

He looks 12 here and it's freaking me out.


As far as I could tell, his sense of our traditions involves: Christmas pajamas, Christmas tree decorating, Advent calendar doing, and dog loving.  

These things are true, and they're lovely.

Hope you're doing your best Bedford Falls, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

the relativity of time (in a car)

Monday, December 7, 2015

My senior year of college, I had a car on campus.  Granted, it was one of my Dad's fleet, so it was ginormous and kind of slow.  Also?  I was damn glad to have it.

The drive from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Lewiston, Maine is 500 miles.  I averaged a ten hour journey, what with my Diet Coke habit and bladder size.  With typical 20-something exuberance, I thought it was all great fun.  

In typical East Coast fashion, I went through at least part of 8 separate states:  Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.  (I mention this because it would take me ten hours to drive to El Paso from Austin and I'd still be in Texas.)

I marvel at my parents' trust in me and confidence that I would make the drive safely.  I am a safe driver; this is true.  I was surrounded by massive amounts of steel; this is also true.  However, I am their youngest child!  And this was before cell phones!  Ugh.  I clearly have some lessons to learn.  I literally walk Jack to school every morning and watch him walk through the doors and into the cafeteria before I walk away.  (Today, I watched him walk through the cafeteria line and purchase a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos to have later for snack.  You're busted, kid.)

Anyway, I also marvel at my younger self's ability to drive 500 miles and like, not be dead tired when I got there.  I probably unloaded the car and then went to a party.  Oh, college.

In startling contrast to these good old days on the road to Bates, we drove to New Orleans for Thanksgiving this year.  

I learned a lot during this time on the road, which can be summarized thusly:

1.  I am not as young as I used to be.  
2.  Jack and Sawyer are not as old as I used to be (in those college driving days).  
3.  Eleven hours in the car with two children is *about* eight hours too many for it to go well.

Here are the highlights.


After years of visiting Durel's parents in Katy, our bladders and internal clocks are set like Greenwich Mean Time to stop at Hruska's in Ellinger, Texas.  So, obviously, we did.

That was a good choice, as it always is.


Sawyer had his first kolache -- ham and cheese.  Despite the bright morning light bisecting his face, he was enthusiastic about the entire experience.

Jack knows his way around a kolache, which means he was able to overlook their dazzling array and instead, hone in on a cinnamon bun as big as his head.  You can't say no to that.  Well, you can, but we were trying to stave off tantrums for another four hours, at least.


A few hours later, we stopped at Cracker Barrel.  Despite my stubborn support of Cracker Barrel, our experience was, at best, underwhelming.  There were some cute moments, though.




There are not pictures of the low points of the drive.  Trust me, there were low points.  Durel and I were a little punchy as we neared our destination.

And then, just as Cracker Barrel had disappointed us, the liquor laws of Louisiana did not.


Eleven hours and 44 ounces of daiquiri later, we were there.  (Oh Lord no, we didn't finish them.  But it was nice knowing that we *could have* if we'd wanted to.)

Hope your holiday journey has its own rewards.  Also, hope you get to mention bladders twice today and feel really good about it.

Talk soon,
Heather

the lyrics we remember

Friday, December 4, 2015

Jack has inherited my deeply rooted love of Christmas.

Yes, I know that all almost six year olds freaking love Christmas.  It's a temporal wonderland of cookies, special pajamas, staying up late, and Buddy the Elf -- all of which culminates in a visit from Santa and PRESENTS, GLORIOUS PRESENTS!

I get it.

But...I also love Christmas with my whole preppy, sappy, traditional heart.  I know the words to the "real" Christmas carols (Good King Wenceslas, natch).  There is magic in Christmas.  This, I know.

Apparently, Jack knows it, too.  He told me that the purpose of the (magnificent) Christmas tree skirt lovingly embroidered by Aunt Kiki was to "protect the floor from the magic in the presents."  

I'm not sure what would happen if magic hit my floor, but if it's reminiscent of Saturday Night Fever, thank goodness for the tree skirt.

These deep thoughts came out the other night when we put up the tree.


Of course, to balance out what I believe to be Jack's old soul, he also burst out with this other timeless carol:

Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg
The BatMobile lost its wheel and the Joker did ballet, HEY!
Thank goodness he's keeping it real.

Hope you remember the best lyrics this season.

Talk soon,
Heather

Saturday, January 16, 2016

on firm kisses and unlikely comparisons

Durel and I were talking the other evening about how, even at our ripe old ages, our parents still kiss us firmly on the heads.  

My family has always been pretty affectionate, so I never thought about it.  Durel's family is less demonstrative, so he did.

Here is my operating theory:  No matter how old you get, you are still your parents' baby.  And they will kiss your head firmly, forever.  Because it's in their parental DNA.  They've been kissing you like that since you were born and there simply is no good reason to stop.

*     *     *     *     *  

So, Jack is huge now.  He has seen the first Harry Potter movie and asks me repeatedly when he can go to wizarding school.  (I see Harry Potter themed parties in our future.)  He will play Quidditch, of course.  He anticipates being in Gryffendor, but Durel and I are quick to posit the virtues of Slytherin.  (Seriously.  Slytherin is cool.  It's how you use your power that makes the difference, n'est pas?)

He's big on cocoa, also.  So, imagine the kismet that occurred when one of the items on his monthly homework calendar was to "drink a cup of hot chocolate and use your five senses to describe it."

We got to work, and here's what we learned.  

Me:      OK, Jack.  Let's use your eyes.  What does your cocoa look like?

Jack:    Clear vomit.

Me:      ...Oh!  Uh...OK.

Jack:     You know what I mean. It's all bubbly.

Me:       Rrrrright.  How about your nose?  How does your cocoa smell?

Jack:     (sniffs)  Chocolate!

Me:       Great.  What about touch?  How does it feel?

Jack:     (unceremoniously sticks finger into hot cocoa)  Oh!  LIKE FIRE!

Me:      Wow.  OK.  How does it sound?

Jack:     (looks at me as if I'm a bit daft)  Like bubbles popping.

Me:      OK, most important one!  Let's taste it!

Anyway, that was a successful (and enlightening) exercise.  Here are a few shots of Jack at his best lately. I took them in between stealing every opportunity to kiss him firmly on the head.

As we do.

Holding a baby kangaroo at his friend Addie's amazeballs birthday party.

We big puffy heart love Menchies. 
He stole my sandwich at Panera.

He also ate about half of my pho.  I swear, I feed him.

Hope kisses are firm and vomit is only theoretical in your world today.

Talk soon,
Heather


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

the one about pie. and wine.

Christmas is an Olympic event to me.

I train for it.  I plan for it.  I make multiple lists.  I mutter over cookbooks weeks in advance.  I dance in my car to Christmas music in November.  Early November.

I'm into it.

Normally, December 23rd (or Christmas Eve EVE, as I call it in my head), is Baking Day.  If I have the great (biannual) luck of being with my sister, Jenny, we listen to the Pogues and the Waitresses and bake cookies and spike our coffee with Kahlua.  

If not, I bake pies all day.  I usually end up with a 1:1 person to pie ratio.  Not because everyone eats a whole pie, but because I want to make several kinds of pie, and why make just one?  Everyone has to taste it, you know.  And of course, my family requires at least three pumpkin pies.  So. I make a lot of pies.

This year, Durel had a great (yet revolutionary) idea.  He suggested that we go to Fredericksburg with PapaDu, Uncle Dustin, Aunt Geri to breathe Hill Country air and drink wine.  (Frederickburg is a Texas German town a little more than an hour away.  It has cuteness and vineyards in abundance.)

I told him that was a great idea.

My brain was freaking out about OHMAGERD THE PIEZZZZZZZZZZZ.  But I told that inner voice to shut up.  And off we went.

I'm also not good at admitting I'm wrong.  But you can guess where this is going.

Durel was right.  It was a perfect (balmy) day and an amazing way to spend it.

Exploring.




I love these people.  So much.

Getting artsy.

My beautiful sister in law.

Moving.

Maxing and relaxing.

Guess what?  I still made pie.  

Hope your Christmas involved the magic of new ideas.

Talk soon,
Heather

Sunday, December 13, 2015

the bearded man cometh



We are getting our holiday on over here.  

I would like to say that I'm more prepared this year than I normally am.  I would like to say I can make a perfect cheese souffle.  I would like to say I've run a marathon.  I would like to say a lot of things.

None of these things are true.

But.  But!  Here's what I can say:  I am not stressed out about it.  This is a new and different take on "Heather Less Than Two Weeks Before Christmas."  I can also say that I  learned to make totally bad ass Pad Thai recently.  I can also say that my (brave and supportive) friend Elizabeth has agreed to run a half marathon with me this spring.  

These things are true, and they're lovely.

Jack needed to make a banner for school, depicting our family's holiday traditions.  He promptly demanded to pose for pictures with the dogs.  (And his Santa hat.)

He looks 12 here and it's freaking me out.


As far as I could tell, his sense of our traditions involves: Christmas pajamas, Christmas tree decorating, Advent calendar doing, and dog loving.  

These things are true, and they're lovely.

Hope you're doing your best Bedford Falls, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, December 7, 2015

the relativity of time (in a car)

My senior year of college, I had a car on campus.  Granted, it was one of my Dad's fleet, so it was ginormous and kind of slow.  Also?  I was damn glad to have it.

The drive from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Lewiston, Maine is 500 miles.  I averaged a ten hour journey, what with my Diet Coke habit and bladder size.  With typical 20-something exuberance, I thought it was all great fun.  

In typical East Coast fashion, I went through at least part of 8 separate states:  Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.  (I mention this because it would take me ten hours to drive to El Paso from Austin and I'd still be in Texas.)

I marvel at my parents' trust in me and confidence that I would make the drive safely.  I am a safe driver; this is true.  I was surrounded by massive amounts of steel; this is also true.  However, I am their youngest child!  And this was before cell phones!  Ugh.  I clearly have some lessons to learn.  I literally walk Jack to school every morning and watch him walk through the doors and into the cafeteria before I walk away.  (Today, I watched him walk through the cafeteria line and purchase a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos to have later for snack.  You're busted, kid.)

Anyway, I also marvel at my younger self's ability to drive 500 miles and like, not be dead tired when I got there.  I probably unloaded the car and then went to a party.  Oh, college.

In startling contrast to these good old days on the road to Bates, we drove to New Orleans for Thanksgiving this year.  

I learned a lot during this time on the road, which can be summarized thusly:

1.  I am not as young as I used to be.  
2.  Jack and Sawyer are not as old as I used to be (in those college driving days).  
3.  Eleven hours in the car with two children is *about* eight hours too many for it to go well.

Here are the highlights.


After years of visiting Durel's parents in Katy, our bladders and internal clocks are set like Greenwich Mean Time to stop at Hruska's in Ellinger, Texas.  So, obviously, we did.

That was a good choice, as it always is.


Sawyer had his first kolache -- ham and cheese.  Despite the bright morning light bisecting his face, he was enthusiastic about the entire experience.

Jack knows his way around a kolache, which means he was able to overlook their dazzling array and instead, hone in on a cinnamon bun as big as his head.  You can't say no to that.  Well, you can, but we were trying to stave off tantrums for another four hours, at least.


A few hours later, we stopped at Cracker Barrel.  Despite my stubborn support of Cracker Barrel, our experience was, at best, underwhelming.  There were some cute moments, though.




There are not pictures of the low points of the drive.  Trust me, there were low points.  Durel and I were a little punchy as we neared our destination.

And then, just as Cracker Barrel had disappointed us, the liquor laws of Louisiana did not.


Eleven hours and 44 ounces of daiquiri later, we were there.  (Oh Lord no, we didn't finish them.  But it was nice knowing that we *could have* if we'd wanted to.)

Hope your holiday journey has its own rewards.  Also, hope you get to mention bladders twice today and feel really good about it.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, December 4, 2015

the lyrics we remember

Jack has inherited my deeply rooted love of Christmas.

Yes, I know that all almost six year olds freaking love Christmas.  It's a temporal wonderland of cookies, special pajamas, staying up late, and Buddy the Elf -- all of which culminates in a visit from Santa and PRESENTS, GLORIOUS PRESENTS!

I get it.

But...I also love Christmas with my whole preppy, sappy, traditional heart.  I know the words to the "real" Christmas carols (Good King Wenceslas, natch).  There is magic in Christmas.  This, I know.

Apparently, Jack knows it, too.  He told me that the purpose of the (magnificent) Christmas tree skirt lovingly embroidered by Aunt Kiki was to "protect the floor from the magic in the presents."  

I'm not sure what would happen if magic hit my floor, but if it's reminiscent of Saturday Night Fever, thank goodness for the tree skirt.

These deep thoughts came out the other night when we put up the tree.


Of course, to balance out what I believe to be Jack's old soul, he also burst out with this other timeless carol:

Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg
The BatMobile lost its wheel and the Joker did ballet, HEY!
Thank goodness he's keeping it real.

Hope you remember the best lyrics this season.

Talk soon,
Heather

 
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