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

worth at least a thousand words

Monday, November 23, 2015

Without further ado, Jack's kindergarten photo:


Of course, I think it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I also think about how, when he left the house, his hair was neatly combed and the plaid shirt was buttoned.  

But that's life, isn't it?  He's almost six.  When he goes out into the world, to *his* world of kindergarten, his hair gets rumpled and he unbuttons his shirt because he's living his life.  He's playing, learning, moving, and growing.  

And so, this picture is perfect, rumples, wrinkles, and all.  Because THIS is Jack.  

Hope your school pictures are the best ever, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

eleven hundred and six

Friday, November 20, 2015

Jack and I spent some quality afternoon time together earlier this week.  We got him a much-needed (and very hip) haircut and then stopped by Soup Peddler to see what we might find delicious for dinner.

We ended up eating a super early dinner there, because Jack was adamant about having a grilled cheese sandwich IMMEDIATELY.  I respect the urgency with which we sometimes need a grilled cheese, you know? (I also wasn't going to argue because they had mulligatawny that day.  SCORE!)

He was a little pensive.  Apparently, when you are almost six, you get pensive.  A few weeks ago, it was about the devastating fact that he IS NOT YET SIX.  This was a cataclysm.  I had the unfortunate responsibility to explain that we cannot fix that.  We just have to tough it out, day by day, until the glorious sixth year begins.




We were also pensive about Nutella this morning.  Jack is allowed to have "chocolate toast," (aka, wheat toast with Nutella) one morning a week.  He had it on Monday.  He knew it.  Durel knew it.  I knew it.  

He demanded chocolate toast.  He whined.  He pointed to the pantry emphatically.  He went to the pantry and handed me the Nutella.  (I put it back, but on the top shelf, with the booze.  Touche.)  

Sometimes, you have to stay strong.  We stayed strong.  We hoped that the five bites of Cheerios he grudgingly ate would hold him over until morning snack time.

The struggle is real, you know?




Really though, the pensive moods are pretty quick and infrequent.  They are vastly overshadowed by the ten gazillion things that we are REALLY PSYCHED about.  These things include:  kindergarten, soccer, Sawyer, Star Wars, the new beanbag chairs that Durel bought, chocolate toast (it's really important, you guys), learning to read, and math. 



For instance, this happened:  

Jack:  Mom.  What's 900 + 200?

Me:    Eleven hundred.

Jack:  Nooooo!  That's not a real number!  Ha ha ha!

Me:   Right, OK.  900 + 200 equals one thousand, one hundred.  But sometimes, you can also call that number eleven hundred.  It's like a nickname for one thousand one hundred.

Jack:   [eyes wide; mind blown]  Oh...



Three days later, every picture Jack drew at home was of eleven hundred.  The pictures are folded up like secret notes from middle school, taped with washi tape, and solemnly handed to their intended recipients.

Eleven hundred, you guys. 

Hope the clouds pass quickly and the realizations are momentous.

Talk soon,

Heather

decade

Monday, November 16, 2015

Love is being *this* happy in a windy ass parking structure in Oklahoma City.

Ten years ago, two kids hopped into a silver Jetta and zoomed away from the DC Beltway.  They headed straight back to Austin.  They didn't pass Go, but they did pass a few Stuckey's and a LOT of Cracker Barrels.  

(I maintain:  Cracker Barrel is a fantastic place to stop and go to the bathroom on a road trip.  The restrooms are clean.  They are always in the same place, straight back through the "nostalgic goodies" from the door.  You can get an iced tea to go (sweet or unsweet, thankyouverymuch) and you don't have to stop and eat a Grampy's Breakfast.  But you can.  Up to you.)

Durel and I have decided that I can never get Botox because it will
inhibit my ability to make crazy expressions ALL THE TIME.
I'm a little bit disappointed, but whatever.
Also, this was taken at our amazing engagement party
 held on the DC rooftop of my dear Kristina's apartment building.  

Those kids were named Heather and Durel and they were gonna get married.

*     *     *     *     *

Today's Heather and Durel live in the suburbs, have two human kids and two furry kids, and go to bed earlier than they ever have.  I can't speak for Durel, but I've had bunion surgery and may or may not have Tums in my nightstand.  I have lawyered for a double digit number of years.  We are legit adults now.

We look back at those kids and think, "Damn."  

Young Heather and Durel were unencumbered by hangovers and fear of the unknown and guilt about debt and any thoughts whatsoever about 401(k)s.  I mean, they got their taxes filed and didn't run out of gas regularly (though I've come close more than I care to admit), but you know.  They were...kids.

*     *     *     *     *



On October 22, 2005, young Heather and Durel locked it down with one hundred-ish of their family and best friends watching.  I cried, as I knew I would.  (I'm a crier.)  When I got dressed, I had tucked a Kleenex into my cleavage, "just in case," and as I teared up I realized that I couldn't reach into my cleavage to get it in front of one hundred of our nearest and dearest.  Fat lotta good that Kleenex did me, standing in the oak trees before sunset.


Durel could read my mind then, as he still can now.  He saw the tears coming and saw a thought cross my mind and promptly get nixed.  He smiled a little and reached into his pocket, only to hand me a pressed handkerchief.  

We also look back at those kids and think, "Damn right."



Thanks for the decade, D.  The next ones will be even greater.  I know it.

Hope your big decisions are good for many, many decades.

Talk soon,
Heather

lasagna and salad

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

When I was a senior in college, I wrote an honors thesis to complete my major in English.  My thesis was one hundred pages long and filled with enthusiastic interpretations of several schools of literary theory.  My argument, as it were, was that the literary theory of feminism must make room for Romantic notions of subjectivity and self, even as it attempted not to due to its frequent alliance with postmodernism.

Phew.  

It's not as embarrassing to read snippets of that thesis now as it probably should be.  I did a good job for an idealistic poet who was trying not to freeze to death in Lewiston, Maine.  And my premise is kind of cute.  I was arguing for The Self.  Take all your theories and be damned if you don't value The Self.  Theory doesn't necessarily work that way, but I tossed in some Baudrillard and some simulacra and argued it with my bad self.

*     *     *     *     *

A few months ago, I took a hard look at my life.  I was in the car, in bumper to bumper rush hour morning traffic, as I was every morning.  I had dropped my amazing boys off at daycare and would be, yet again, late to work.  Austin's population growth had made my commute downtown take about two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening.

My back ached.  I should do yoga.  But when?  I should meditate.  Sigh.  Yeah, right.

My case load at work was more than full.  I was literally juggling cases.  Part of me loved the adrenaline.  (Lawyers love adrenaline, even if they say they don't.)

I hadn't packed my lunch.  I had already driven through the Coffee Bean for More Coffee.  I would buy lunch later.  It probably wouldn't be that healthy.  

I had no idea what we were having for dinner.

My lovely parents moved from Maryland to a retirement community in Austin about 6 years ago.  About three years ago, Durel and I moved to the same part of town so that we could be right down the street.  Mom and Dad's house is 3.1 miles from ours -- a 5K.  

I hadn't seen my parents in a week.  

*     *    *     *     *

I'm taking a break from the practice of law.  I am CEO of our household.  I am in charge of knowing what color Jack's class wears every Wednesday.  I am in charge of costumes for Nursery Rhyme Parade day.   I am in charge of home repairs, vet appointments, dog grooming, grocery shopping, dry cleaning, flu shots, runny noses, meal planning, meal preparation, appliance repair, exterminator appointments, and about one zillion other things.

I am also present in the lives of my children.

I am also present in the lives of my parents.

I am also present in my own life.  Which is pretty rad now, in the wake of my scary ass health experience, which makes me value my time here, and with these people, more than ever.

Apparently, I'm still making arguments for The Self.  

*     *     *     *     *

Hope you know what you're having for dinner.  We are having lasagna and salad.

Talk soon,

Heather


my village

Sunday, October 18, 2015

As I mentioned a few days ago, I have been recovering from an emergency surgery for the past 2 weeks.  Everything about this experience has been challenging.

Physically, getting over a surgery stinks big time.  Regrowing blood from lots of blood loss is more exhausting than I can describe.

For me, though, the biggest challenge is always asking for help.  I am really, really bad at asking for help.  (I didn't even join a study group in law school.  I was all, Nah.  I'll just LEARN ALL THE THINGS by myself.)

And so, the experience of this emergency and the surgery and the recovery is being defined, at least to me, by the help we've asked for, the help that has been provided, and the easy love that we've received from our village.

My dear dad drove me to the emergency room so that we didn't send our children into years of therapy by making them watch an ambulance cart Mommy away.

Andy just happened to be in town from Pennsylvania for work.  So, of course, he came to our house and watched the kids so that Durel could jet to the hospital to see me before surgery.  Oh, and he didn't just hang out with Jack.  He taught him to play chess. 

 

Cristy dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Albuquerque a few hours after I got home from the hospital.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, and kept us going for those first days home.



Jenny dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Delaware the day after Cristy departed.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, made sure I napped enough, and kept us going for the next days home.

Liz brought me a delicious lunch and freezer-friendly dinner, even though she's 9 months pregnant and I should be making her dinners, not the other way around.



Jen and Trevor knew, before Durel and I even realized it, that the best gift for us may be quiet time. And so, they whisked Jack off to the pumpkin patch with their family on a balmy Texas afternoon.  (Durel, Sawyer, and I promptly slept the entire time our little dynamo was gone.  I mean, has anyone had a five year old boy wear a Fitbit?  I would love to know how many steps that kid gets in.  My guess is like 40,000 a day.)

Megan brought me coffee and donuts and changed poopy diapers when I couldn't lift Sawyer and the rest of my boys were on the soccer fields.

I am so lucky.  To be alive.   (This was a life-threatening event.)  To have these friends (and everyone else that I didn't specifically mention, thank you).  To have this family.  To have safe and accessible health care. (I didn't say affordable.  Ambulance rides cost a grand a pop, by the way.  HEYOO, deductible.)  

I'm about to turn 40.  A friend asked me how I felt about it.  I told her that I think it's fantastic.  I get to be 40.  And I'm lucky for that, too.

Hope someone lifts you up today.

Talk soon,
Heather

steps

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sawyer is walking.  Huzzah!

When he feels like it, that is.



Jack is in an after-school running club called the Stallion Stampede.  The kids' miles are tallied annually and also linked with their membership to Marathon Kids, an AMAZING local charity that just received funding from Nike and is going BIG TIME!

He's pretty fast.

video


As for me, I am on the mend.  Roughly two weeks ago, I underwent emergency surgery to repair a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, which happened despite the fact that my tubes were tied.  That's both rare and dangerous.  The good news is that I'm on the road to recovery. 

Hope you step toward a goal today.

Talk soon,
Heather

oh say can you see

Friday, September 11, 2015

Last night, my parents came over for dinner.  We had a great time.  We ordered Chinese.  Jack, in his inimitable style, ate seaweed and cucumber salad, shu mai, and a crab rangoon.  We chatted and laughed, caught up on life, and enjoyed one another's company.

Jack finished his dinner before the rest of us and went to play in the living room until the (dreaded) announcement of bedtime.  

Shortly thereafter, I saw something in the living room catch Durel's eye.  I turned to look.

The football game was beginning.  The national anthem was being performed.  Jack had stopped his play to stand quietly with his hand on his heart and listen.

Oh my God.

I hopped up and joined him without saying a word.

Durel wasn't far behind.  We stood, together, hands over our hearts.

I was filled with pride and gratitude.

Hope you feel pride and gratitude today.

Talk soon,
Heather

the state of the sawyer

Thursday, August 13, 2015

With all the buzz about kinder in these parts, it's important to remember the other little dude who amazes and delights us on the daily.  We are 17 months into life as a family of four, and there is no way our family would be complete without the mellow cuteness of Sawyer.

For Sawyer, a perfect day would be spent eating three or four breakfasts, unplugging some things, playing with electrical sockets, getting stuck in tight corners, two or three lunches, crawling up the stairs, beating on the dogs like drums, crawling into any kitchen cabinets he could get into.  And you know, anything else that came up and seemed interesting.

Sawyer has little interest in walking.  He walks on his knees, fully upright, carrying things, huge grin on his face.  His little knees are red and calloused.  He cares not.


Apparently, you don't need to be on your feet to rock a splash day.

Sawyer loves the dogs.  And they love him right back.


Let me be clear:  Pablo spent the first two + years of Jack's life in the backyard because he found it stressful and infuriating in equal parts to have a small dictator in the house.  Sawyer's mellow demeanor and Pablo's increasing maturity seem to gel well together.

Sawyer loves Jack.  Sawyer's first wish each day is to wake Jack up by crawling on him while he pretends to sleep.  Sometimes, he'll even fart on Jack's head.  Sawyer's delight at playing with Jack means that he will tolerate "wrestling," even when it makes Mom nervous.

Sawyer's love of Jack means that he will even do hard time with him just to be close.


Hell.  He'll even bring a dinosaur.  Just in case time out requires a bronchiosaurus.

Hope somebody has your back today, and doesn't even have gas.

Talk soon,
Heather

the one where chickens are mentioned a lot

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back in the day, I was a big 10,000 Maniacs fan.  Laura Werther and I went to see them at the University of Delaware when we were in high school.  Natalie Merchant *spoke to me* you guys.

I am incapable of mentioning the University of Delaware without giving a proper shout out to their mascot, the Fightin' Blue Hen, known locally as the Ass Kickin' Chicken.

These are days you'll remember.

*     *     *     *     * 

In some sort of frantic emotional preparation for Jack starting kindergarten in LIKE TWO WEEKS, he and I have had a few "Mommy and Jack Days."  

We had one on Friday.  It was pretty rad.


We took coffee and breakfast to Grammy and Pop.  Jack waited patiently while we discussed the previous evening's Republican primary debate.  (Ah, so much to talk about.)  He then regaled us with stories of the solar system, which were accurate, detailed, and articulate -- and promptly blew my parents' minds.

We went to the movies and reclined our posh seats and had yummy lunch.  We saw "Shaun the Sheep," which was funny and adorable.  Jack like the burping part the best.






Then, you guys.  We went back to school shopping.  In the grand Davies tradition, we went to the Gap.  OH, how I have memories of our annual pilgrimage to the retail bastion that is Christiana Mall.  (It is also in Delaware, home of tax-free shopping and aforementioned ass kickin' chickens.)  

I had a totally trippy parent moment as I indoctrinated Jack into his preppy legacy.  


 
Clearly, indoctrination suits him.


We rounded out the day with a treat.  I attempted to pitch to Jack his first hot fudge sundae, thinking that this would be a fitting milestone in a day of big moments.  He eyed me skeptically.

Jack:     What's a hot fudge sundae?
Me:       It's a big dish of ice cream, with hot chocolate sauce on top, and whipped cream, and nuts, and a cherry!
Jack:     I just want ice cream.
Me:       Well, do you want chocolate sauce on it?
Jack:     Yes!
Me:       Do you want a cherry on it?
Jack:     Yes!
Me:       So...you sort of do want a hot fudge sundae?
Jack:     No!
Me:       So...you don't want the whipped cream and the nuts?
Jack:     No way.
Me:       Right.  

Hope your day is free of nuts and has the appropriate amount of chickens.

Talk soon,
Heather

love wins

Friday, June 26, 2015

Apparently, five years old is when you start contemplating marriage.

Jack has informed Durel and I that he will be marrying his friend, Caitlyn.  We are great with this.  Caitlyn is smart and pretty.  We are good friends with her parents.  This is a solid choice.

And there's no stress.  I mean,we don't even have to start planning the wedding for like 20 years.

*     *     *     *     *

We have explained to Jack that the person you marry is the person that you love.  We've also told him that marriage is for grown-ups who want to spend their whole lives together and make a family.

We have explained that sometimes that means boys marry boys and girls marry girls.  Love is what matters.

I am so proud that the Supreme Court made this the unequivocal truth today.


Hope you feel one step closer to real equality today.

Talk soon,
Heather

shot with iPhone pre-K

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I hung onto my old iPhone "just in case."

On paper, I did that so I would have a backup phone in case of catastrophe.

In reality, I did that so Jack could play games on it sometimes.  (Including very critical times, like road trips to New Orleans.)

Jack is good with an iPhone.  He's been using iPads at school since he was 2 1/2.  That is both awesome and totally insane to me.

But, before I get all Margaret Mead up in here, my point:

I backed up the old iPhone last night, just because I never do that stuff and even if it's my "just in case" phone, I'm supposed to do that, right?

My computer obligingly asked what I would like to do with the 212 photos on the phone.

Huh?

Jack is a budding photographer.  

"Batter on Fire[place]"

"Treat Feet"
(Editor's Note:  Pablo is 11.  He jumps like five feet into the air for treats.  It's amazing.)

"Petting Station" 
"Self Portrait:  Hoping for Dessert" 
"Still Life with Feet; Two Species"
Hope you share someone's perspective today.

Talk soon,
Heather

for the love of baseball

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I can't pretend to like sports.  

Durel and I have been married almost ten years and my favorite part of football season is game day cooking courtesy of Pinterest.

So, I also can't pretend to feel a pang as Jack develops what I assume will be a life-long love of the Houston Astros.

Do I have several Baltimore Orioles t-shirts waiting in Jack's closet for him to grow into?  Yes.  That, I can do.  I can accessorize my feelings about my Maryland heritage.

*     *      *     *     *  

Durel, Uncle Dustin, and Jack went to Jack's first Astros game recently.  They had dude time and pizza.  They wore their shirts.  They took their pictures.  They bought their Legos(?).  

Quote from Jack the other day:  "I like to pull my shorts up, and they have to be above the knee."
Alllllrighty, then.





A good time was had by all.  Including the Lego company.

Hope you invest in a little kid's love of baseball today.

Talk soon,
Heather

summer jam session

Monday, June 8, 2015

Durel and I were pretty self-congratulatory when we bought Jack a drum set.  (And gave it to him six weeks before Christmas, I might add.)

Our smugness was kind of short-lived, though.  Jack doesn't play the drums much.  Durel likes to bang out a little "Paradise City" every now and then.  

I don't have much rhythm.  I can't even spell rhythm.  I had to spell check it.

In a plot twist we didn't exactly foresee, Sawyer loves the drums.  

Jack likes the drums WHEN Sawyer likes the drums.  The grass is always greener, y'all.
Also:  Note Sawyer's LET'S ROCK face.

In another plot twist we didn't exactly foresee, I'm taking a break from lawdogging to be SuperMom, SuperDaughter, and SuperMe.

And so, our summer jam session will involve drumming.  And berry picking.  And visits to local farms.  And museums.  And libraries.  I'm working on a list.  (Some things will never change.)

Hope you get to party on today.

Talk soon,
Heather

the bowling gene

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I am a perfectionist.

I am also the world's worst bowler.

I'm not being self-deprecating to be cute or ironic.  I am really bad.

I'm actually OK with this.  Surprising, for a perfectionist.  But I find that when you bowl like once a year, you can stink it up with impunity.

*     *     *     *     *

Durel has also accepted how bad I am at bowling, though he marvels at the sheer crappiness of my game.  He's pretty good.  He's just really athletic, so he's good at stuff.

I switch things up by going from the left gutter to the right.  Every now and then, I get a freak strike. It's like when the really drunk person at the bar sinks the eight ball.  Just the universe playing a little joke on you.  

*     *     *     *     *

Jack appears to have inherited Durel's bowling gene, not mine.  This is good news.

We bowled the other day with one of Jack's buddies.  Team Bernard represented well, no thanks to me.

Universal Truth:  The shoes are a lot of the fun.

Sneaking up on it, as we do.

Go, bowling ball!  Be free! 
A spare!

It's like Uptown Funk meets bowling alley.

Hope you get a spare in the game of life today.

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

Monday, November 23, 2015

worth at least a thousand words

Without further ado, Jack's kindergarten photo:


Of course, I think it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I also think about how, when he left the house, his hair was neatly combed and the plaid shirt was buttoned.  

But that's life, isn't it?  He's almost six.  When he goes out into the world, to *his* world of kindergarten, his hair gets rumpled and he unbuttons his shirt because he's living his life.  He's playing, learning, moving, and growing.  

And so, this picture is perfect, rumples, wrinkles, and all.  Because THIS is Jack.  

Hope your school pictures are the best ever, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, November 20, 2015

eleven hundred and six

Jack and I spent some quality afternoon time together earlier this week.  We got him a much-needed (and very hip) haircut and then stopped by Soup Peddler to see what we might find delicious for dinner.

We ended up eating a super early dinner there, because Jack was adamant about having a grilled cheese sandwich IMMEDIATELY.  I respect the urgency with which we sometimes need a grilled cheese, you know? (I also wasn't going to argue because they had mulligatawny that day.  SCORE!)

He was a little pensive.  Apparently, when you are almost six, you get pensive.  A few weeks ago, it was about the devastating fact that he IS NOT YET SIX.  This was a cataclysm.  I had the unfortunate responsibility to explain that we cannot fix that.  We just have to tough it out, day by day, until the glorious sixth year begins.




We were also pensive about Nutella this morning.  Jack is allowed to have "chocolate toast," (aka, wheat toast with Nutella) one morning a week.  He had it on Monday.  He knew it.  Durel knew it.  I knew it.  

He demanded chocolate toast.  He whined.  He pointed to the pantry emphatically.  He went to the pantry and handed me the Nutella.  (I put it back, but on the top shelf, with the booze.  Touche.)  

Sometimes, you have to stay strong.  We stayed strong.  We hoped that the five bites of Cheerios he grudgingly ate would hold him over until morning snack time.

The struggle is real, you know?




Really though, the pensive moods are pretty quick and infrequent.  They are vastly overshadowed by the ten gazillion things that we are REALLY PSYCHED about.  These things include:  kindergarten, soccer, Sawyer, Star Wars, the new beanbag chairs that Durel bought, chocolate toast (it's really important, you guys), learning to read, and math. 



For instance, this happened:  

Jack:  Mom.  What's 900 + 200?

Me:    Eleven hundred.

Jack:  Nooooo!  That's not a real number!  Ha ha ha!

Me:   Right, OK.  900 + 200 equals one thousand, one hundred.  But sometimes, you can also call that number eleven hundred.  It's like a nickname for one thousand one hundred.

Jack:   [eyes wide; mind blown]  Oh...



Three days later, every picture Jack drew at home was of eleven hundred.  The pictures are folded up like secret notes from middle school, taped with washi tape, and solemnly handed to their intended recipients.

Eleven hundred, you guys. 

Hope the clouds pass quickly and the realizations are momentous.

Talk soon,

Heather

Monday, November 16, 2015

decade

Love is being *this* happy in a windy ass parking structure in Oklahoma City.

Ten years ago, two kids hopped into a silver Jetta and zoomed away from the DC Beltway.  They headed straight back to Austin.  They didn't pass Go, but they did pass a few Stuckey's and a LOT of Cracker Barrels.  

(I maintain:  Cracker Barrel is a fantastic place to stop and go to the bathroom on a road trip.  The restrooms are clean.  They are always in the same place, straight back through the "nostalgic goodies" from the door.  You can get an iced tea to go (sweet or unsweet, thankyouverymuch) and you don't have to stop and eat a Grampy's Breakfast.  But you can.  Up to you.)

Durel and I have decided that I can never get Botox because it will
inhibit my ability to make crazy expressions ALL THE TIME.
I'm a little bit disappointed, but whatever.
Also, this was taken at our amazing engagement party
 held on the DC rooftop of my dear Kristina's apartment building.  

Those kids were named Heather and Durel and they were gonna get married.

*     *     *     *     *

Today's Heather and Durel live in the suburbs, have two human kids and two furry kids, and go to bed earlier than they ever have.  I can't speak for Durel, but I've had bunion surgery and may or may not have Tums in my nightstand.  I have lawyered for a double digit number of years.  We are legit adults now.

We look back at those kids and think, "Damn."  

Young Heather and Durel were unencumbered by hangovers and fear of the unknown and guilt about debt and any thoughts whatsoever about 401(k)s.  I mean, they got their taxes filed and didn't run out of gas regularly (though I've come close more than I care to admit), but you know.  They were...kids.

*     *     *     *     *



On October 22, 2005, young Heather and Durel locked it down with one hundred-ish of their family and best friends watching.  I cried, as I knew I would.  (I'm a crier.)  When I got dressed, I had tucked a Kleenex into my cleavage, "just in case," and as I teared up I realized that I couldn't reach into my cleavage to get it in front of one hundred of our nearest and dearest.  Fat lotta good that Kleenex did me, standing in the oak trees before sunset.


Durel could read my mind then, as he still can now.  He saw the tears coming and saw a thought cross my mind and promptly get nixed.  He smiled a little and reached into his pocket, only to hand me a pressed handkerchief.  

We also look back at those kids and think, "Damn right."



Thanks for the decade, D.  The next ones will be even greater.  I know it.

Hope your big decisions are good for many, many decades.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

lasagna and salad

When I was a senior in college, I wrote an honors thesis to complete my major in English.  My thesis was one hundred pages long and filled with enthusiastic interpretations of several schools of literary theory.  My argument, as it were, was that the literary theory of feminism must make room for Romantic notions of subjectivity and self, even as it attempted not to due to its frequent alliance with postmodernism.

Phew.  

It's not as embarrassing to read snippets of that thesis now as it probably should be.  I did a good job for an idealistic poet who was trying not to freeze to death in Lewiston, Maine.  And my premise is kind of cute.  I was arguing for The Self.  Take all your theories and be damned if you don't value The Self.  Theory doesn't necessarily work that way, but I tossed in some Baudrillard and some simulacra and argued it with my bad self.

*     *     *     *     *

A few months ago, I took a hard look at my life.  I was in the car, in bumper to bumper rush hour morning traffic, as I was every morning.  I had dropped my amazing boys off at daycare and would be, yet again, late to work.  Austin's population growth had made my commute downtown take about two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening.

My back ached.  I should do yoga.  But when?  I should meditate.  Sigh.  Yeah, right.

My case load at work was more than full.  I was literally juggling cases.  Part of me loved the adrenaline.  (Lawyers love adrenaline, even if they say they don't.)

I hadn't packed my lunch.  I had already driven through the Coffee Bean for More Coffee.  I would buy lunch later.  It probably wouldn't be that healthy.  

I had no idea what we were having for dinner.

My lovely parents moved from Maryland to a retirement community in Austin about 6 years ago.  About three years ago, Durel and I moved to the same part of town so that we could be right down the street.  Mom and Dad's house is 3.1 miles from ours -- a 5K.  

I hadn't seen my parents in a week.  

*     *    *     *     *

I'm taking a break from the practice of law.  I am CEO of our household.  I am in charge of knowing what color Jack's class wears every Wednesday.  I am in charge of costumes for Nursery Rhyme Parade day.   I am in charge of home repairs, vet appointments, dog grooming, grocery shopping, dry cleaning, flu shots, runny noses, meal planning, meal preparation, appliance repair, exterminator appointments, and about one zillion other things.

I am also present in the lives of my children.

I am also present in the lives of my parents.

I am also present in my own life.  Which is pretty rad now, in the wake of my scary ass health experience, which makes me value my time here, and with these people, more than ever.

Apparently, I'm still making arguments for The Self.  

*     *     *     *     *

Hope you know what you're having for dinner.  We are having lasagna and salad.

Talk soon,

Heather


Sunday, October 18, 2015

my village

As I mentioned a few days ago, I have been recovering from an emergency surgery for the past 2 weeks.  Everything about this experience has been challenging.

Physically, getting over a surgery stinks big time.  Regrowing blood from lots of blood loss is more exhausting than I can describe.

For me, though, the biggest challenge is always asking for help.  I am really, really bad at asking for help.  (I didn't even join a study group in law school.  I was all, Nah.  I'll just LEARN ALL THE THINGS by myself.)

And so, the experience of this emergency and the surgery and the recovery is being defined, at least to me, by the help we've asked for, the help that has been provided, and the easy love that we've received from our village.

My dear dad drove me to the emergency room so that we didn't send our children into years of therapy by making them watch an ambulance cart Mommy away.

Andy just happened to be in town from Pennsylvania for work.  So, of course, he came to our house and watched the kids so that Durel could jet to the hospital to see me before surgery.  Oh, and he didn't just hang out with Jack.  He taught him to play chess. 

 

Cristy dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Albuquerque a few hours after I got home from the hospital.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, and kept us going for those first days home.



Jenny dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Delaware the day after Cristy departed.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, made sure I napped enough, and kept us going for the next days home.

Liz brought me a delicious lunch and freezer-friendly dinner, even though she's 9 months pregnant and I should be making her dinners, not the other way around.



Jen and Trevor knew, before Durel and I even realized it, that the best gift for us may be quiet time. And so, they whisked Jack off to the pumpkin patch with their family on a balmy Texas afternoon.  (Durel, Sawyer, and I promptly slept the entire time our little dynamo was gone.  I mean, has anyone had a five year old boy wear a Fitbit?  I would love to know how many steps that kid gets in.  My guess is like 40,000 a day.)

Megan brought me coffee and donuts and changed poopy diapers when I couldn't lift Sawyer and the rest of my boys were on the soccer fields.

I am so lucky.  To be alive.   (This was a life-threatening event.)  To have these friends (and everyone else that I didn't specifically mention, thank you).  To have this family.  To have safe and accessible health care. (I didn't say affordable.  Ambulance rides cost a grand a pop, by the way.  HEYOO, deductible.)  

I'm about to turn 40.  A friend asked me how I felt about it.  I told her that I think it's fantastic.  I get to be 40.  And I'm lucky for that, too.

Hope someone lifts you up today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

steps

Sawyer is walking.  Huzzah!

When he feels like it, that is.



Jack is in an after-school running club called the Stallion Stampede.  The kids' miles are tallied annually and also linked with their membership to Marathon Kids, an AMAZING local charity that just received funding from Nike and is going BIG TIME!

He's pretty fast.

video


As for me, I am on the mend.  Roughly two weeks ago, I underwent emergency surgery to repair a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, which happened despite the fact that my tubes were tied.  That's both rare and dangerous.  The good news is that I'm on the road to recovery. 

Hope you step toward a goal today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, September 11, 2015

oh say can you see

Last night, my parents came over for dinner.  We had a great time.  We ordered Chinese.  Jack, in his inimitable style, ate seaweed and cucumber salad, shu mai, and a crab rangoon.  We chatted and laughed, caught up on life, and enjoyed one another's company.

Jack finished his dinner before the rest of us and went to play in the living room until the (dreaded) announcement of bedtime.  

Shortly thereafter, I saw something in the living room catch Durel's eye.  I turned to look.

The football game was beginning.  The national anthem was being performed.  Jack had stopped his play to stand quietly with his hand on his heart and listen.

Oh my God.

I hopped up and joined him without saying a word.

Durel wasn't far behind.  We stood, together, hands over our hearts.

I was filled with pride and gratitude.

Hope you feel pride and gratitude today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, August 13, 2015

the state of the sawyer

With all the buzz about kinder in these parts, it's important to remember the other little dude who amazes and delights us on the daily.  We are 17 months into life as a family of four, and there is no way our family would be complete without the mellow cuteness of Sawyer.

For Sawyer, a perfect day would be spent eating three or four breakfasts, unplugging some things, playing with electrical sockets, getting stuck in tight corners, two or three lunches, crawling up the stairs, beating on the dogs like drums, crawling into any kitchen cabinets he could get into.  And you know, anything else that came up and seemed interesting.

Sawyer has little interest in walking.  He walks on his knees, fully upright, carrying things, huge grin on his face.  His little knees are red and calloused.  He cares not.


Apparently, you don't need to be on your feet to rock a splash day.

Sawyer loves the dogs.  And they love him right back.


Let me be clear:  Pablo spent the first two + years of Jack's life in the backyard because he found it stressful and infuriating in equal parts to have a small dictator in the house.  Sawyer's mellow demeanor and Pablo's increasing maturity seem to gel well together.

Sawyer loves Jack.  Sawyer's first wish each day is to wake Jack up by crawling on him while he pretends to sleep.  Sometimes, he'll even fart on Jack's head.  Sawyer's delight at playing with Jack means that he will tolerate "wrestling," even when it makes Mom nervous.

Sawyer's love of Jack means that he will even do hard time with him just to be close.


Hell.  He'll even bring a dinosaur.  Just in case time out requires a bronchiosaurus.

Hope somebody has your back today, and doesn't even have gas.

Talk soon,
Heather

Sunday, August 9, 2015

the one where chickens are mentioned a lot

Back in the day, I was a big 10,000 Maniacs fan.  Laura Werther and I went to see them at the University of Delaware when we were in high school.  Natalie Merchant *spoke to me* you guys.

I am incapable of mentioning the University of Delaware without giving a proper shout out to their mascot, the Fightin' Blue Hen, known locally as the Ass Kickin' Chicken.

These are days you'll remember.

*     *     *     *     * 

In some sort of frantic emotional preparation for Jack starting kindergarten in LIKE TWO WEEKS, he and I have had a few "Mommy and Jack Days."  

We had one on Friday.  It was pretty rad.


We took coffee and breakfast to Grammy and Pop.  Jack waited patiently while we discussed the previous evening's Republican primary debate.  (Ah, so much to talk about.)  He then regaled us with stories of the solar system, which were accurate, detailed, and articulate -- and promptly blew my parents' minds.

We went to the movies and reclined our posh seats and had yummy lunch.  We saw "Shaun the Sheep," which was funny and adorable.  Jack like the burping part the best.






Then, you guys.  We went back to school shopping.  In the grand Davies tradition, we went to the Gap.  OH, how I have memories of our annual pilgrimage to the retail bastion that is Christiana Mall.  (It is also in Delaware, home of tax-free shopping and aforementioned ass kickin' chickens.)  

I had a totally trippy parent moment as I indoctrinated Jack into his preppy legacy.  


 
Clearly, indoctrination suits him.


We rounded out the day with a treat.  I attempted to pitch to Jack his first hot fudge sundae, thinking that this would be a fitting milestone in a day of big moments.  He eyed me skeptically.

Jack:     What's a hot fudge sundae?
Me:       It's a big dish of ice cream, with hot chocolate sauce on top, and whipped cream, and nuts, and a cherry!
Jack:     I just want ice cream.
Me:       Well, do you want chocolate sauce on it?
Jack:     Yes!
Me:       Do you want a cherry on it?
Jack:     Yes!
Me:       So...you sort of do want a hot fudge sundae?
Jack:     No!
Me:       So...you don't want the whipped cream and the nuts?
Jack:     No way.
Me:       Right.  

Hope your day is free of nuts and has the appropriate amount of chickens.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, June 26, 2015

love wins

Apparently, five years old is when you start contemplating marriage.

Jack has informed Durel and I that he will be marrying his friend, Caitlyn.  We are great with this.  Caitlyn is smart and pretty.  We are good friends with her parents.  This is a solid choice.

And there's no stress.  I mean,we don't even have to start planning the wedding for like 20 years.

*     *     *     *     *

We have explained to Jack that the person you marry is the person that you love.  We've also told him that marriage is for grown-ups who want to spend their whole lives together and make a family.

We have explained that sometimes that means boys marry boys and girls marry girls.  Love is what matters.

I am so proud that the Supreme Court made this the unequivocal truth today.


Hope you feel one step closer to real equality today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

shot with iPhone pre-K

I hung onto my old iPhone "just in case."

On paper, I did that so I would have a backup phone in case of catastrophe.

In reality, I did that so Jack could play games on it sometimes.  (Including very critical times, like road trips to New Orleans.)

Jack is good with an iPhone.  He's been using iPads at school since he was 2 1/2.  That is both awesome and totally insane to me.

But, before I get all Margaret Mead up in here, my point:

I backed up the old iPhone last night, just because I never do that stuff and even if it's my "just in case" phone, I'm supposed to do that, right?

My computer obligingly asked what I would like to do with the 212 photos on the phone.

Huh?

Jack is a budding photographer.  

"Batter on Fire[place]"

"Treat Feet"
(Editor's Note:  Pablo is 11.  He jumps like five feet into the air for treats.  It's amazing.)

"Petting Station" 
"Self Portrait:  Hoping for Dessert" 
"Still Life with Feet; Two Species"
Hope you share someone's perspective today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Saturday, June 13, 2015

for the love of baseball

I can't pretend to like sports.  

Durel and I have been married almost ten years and my favorite part of football season is game day cooking courtesy of Pinterest.

So, I also can't pretend to feel a pang as Jack develops what I assume will be a life-long love of the Houston Astros.

Do I have several Baltimore Orioles t-shirts waiting in Jack's closet for him to grow into?  Yes.  That, I can do.  I can accessorize my feelings about my Maryland heritage.

*     *      *     *     *  

Durel, Uncle Dustin, and Jack went to Jack's first Astros game recently.  They had dude time and pizza.  They wore their shirts.  They took their pictures.  They bought their Legos(?).  

Quote from Jack the other day:  "I like to pull my shorts up, and they have to be above the knee."
Alllllrighty, then.





A good time was had by all.  Including the Lego company.

Hope you invest in a little kid's love of baseball today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, June 8, 2015

summer jam session

Durel and I were pretty self-congratulatory when we bought Jack a drum set.  (And gave it to him six weeks before Christmas, I might add.)

Our smugness was kind of short-lived, though.  Jack doesn't play the drums much.  Durel likes to bang out a little "Paradise City" every now and then.  

I don't have much rhythm.  I can't even spell rhythm.  I had to spell check it.

In a plot twist we didn't exactly foresee, Sawyer loves the drums.  

Jack likes the drums WHEN Sawyer likes the drums.  The grass is always greener, y'all.
Also:  Note Sawyer's LET'S ROCK face.

In another plot twist we didn't exactly foresee, I'm taking a break from lawdogging to be SuperMom, SuperDaughter, and SuperMe.

And so, our summer jam session will involve drumming.  And berry picking.  And visits to local farms.  And museums.  And libraries.  I'm working on a list.  (Some things will never change.)

Hope you get to party on today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the bowling gene

I am a perfectionist.

I am also the world's worst bowler.

I'm not being self-deprecating to be cute or ironic.  I am really bad.

I'm actually OK with this.  Surprising, for a perfectionist.  But I find that when you bowl like once a year, you can stink it up with impunity.

*     *     *     *     *

Durel has also accepted how bad I am at bowling, though he marvels at the sheer crappiness of my game.  He's pretty good.  He's just really athletic, so he's good at stuff.

I switch things up by going from the left gutter to the right.  Every now and then, I get a freak strike. It's like when the really drunk person at the bar sinks the eight ball.  Just the universe playing a little joke on you.  

*     *     *     *     *

Jack appears to have inherited Durel's bowling gene, not mine.  This is good news.

We bowled the other day with one of Jack's buddies.  Team Bernard represented well, no thanks to me.

Universal Truth:  The shoes are a lot of the fun.

Sneaking up on it, as we do.

Go, bowling ball!  Be free! 
A spare!

It's like Uptown Funk meets bowling alley.

Hope you get a spare in the game of life today.

Talk soon,
Heather
 
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