Okee-dokee people. You're all going to need to check out this handy little chart. Memorize it.
Note: It's rated PG-16, Tay. Sorry. Better luck next year.
Because it's been freezing over here all day! SNOW IN TEXAS!!!!!! How 'bout them apples?
So I guess that's one big fat check mark in the "Christmas 2009 Rules" column.
Though, I just found out the Pee-Yay'ers will get Sam and K, too. Ugh! Are you kidding me?! I missed them last year due to the big Nor'Easter that blew through and canceled their flight:( Lame! But next week I will have Zach and Ty, and that is something to make the Pee-Yay'ers drool indeed. Eat your heart out, people!
Also too? I wrapped the Christmas Eve presents today and remembered why I love the Kilgore Family Christmas Tradition Book. The number one rule is that only family gifts are wrapped. Santa brings everything in it's au naturale state. And that is a good thing. Because I hate wrapping with a fiery, fiery passion.
Also, also too? Today I was thinking of Dad's old robe. He had the best black velour robe with orange'ish stripes. He would come out Christmas morning looking like he'd only gotten about an hour of sleep (which is probably accurate) wearing that robe. You knew when you saw that robe that it was CHRISTMAS! Dad, why did you let Chrysta talk you into a new robe, huh??
I am so thrilled for you that you are spending this blessed holiday wrapped in the warmth of one another's company. It makes the cockles of my heart fuzzy and gooey to know how you will laugh, sing, and watch Twilight together. To know that tomorrow evening you will lounge at 6 Mine Rd. on carpet that should be pink in a room that should have pink Charlie-brown-esque wallpaper on it and eat non-nut products...well, my JOY knows no bounds.
But here's the deal. I don't want to hear about it! At least, I don't want to hear about it until AFTER it's all over and done with. If Deb and Sara show up in matching side ponys - I don't want to know. If Lylla appears in a yellow jumpsuit singing fish songs with Taylor - I don't want to know. If Bird's ear holes have gotten even bigger and she's tattooier - I don't want to know.
So, you know. Have fun. Smush your faces together for facebook profile shots (don't forget the gang signs). Paint each others fingernails. Walk around Candy Lane together. Pick up some breakfast at the Pantry. Heck, have pillow fights and sing Pat Benatar into hairbrushes for all I care! I'm sooooo over it.
(and probably Christy, Chrysta and Nicole if they're being honest)
P.S. Merry Christmas. I probably should have said that first.
This is the kids and Cousin Brandon on the tramp at Grape Grandma's house. They were abusing Brandon, per the usual. I'm only putting this up because Brandon likes to be "talked about on the internet." B - you are awesome. Danielle was busy helping with Thanksgiving dinner or something...
This little girl just turned two. And she's REEEEEEALLY good at being 2.
(Don't you love the boots with this outfit? We love hand-me-downs from our fashionable friends!)
Chase and a few guys from Elder's Quorum (or their wives, I should say) made these Christmas goodie plates for some people at church. After he was done he said, "You know what's funny, though? When people see these they're going to say, 'Boy, Anna worked hard!'" And he was right. When I dropped these off someone did say that! I corrected her, though! Anyone who KNOWS me knows the crafty/cutesy genes went straight to Lylla and Chrysta. I got nothin'.
OK, clearly Sophie is over-represented here, but how could I resist? This picture shows all of her sides perfectly. High heels, cellie, baby and Superman Hat. Nevermind that she's missing clothes. I had just dumped her in the sink after spilling milkshake everywhere. This is how I found her after I finished cleaning up the kitchen. I guess she thought, "Hey. I should get dressed. This should do it."
Bonus points to those who recognize the title of this blog!
So I have this little sign on my mantle. It's red and glittery and says, "Peace." And sometimes, in the middle of my whirlwind days of husband, kids, home, church, gym, PTA, shopping, Christmas partying, VT'ing, friending, cookie exchanging, etc....well that sign is downright confusing.
"What peace?!" I chuckle to myself as I whip through the house grabbing shoes, coats, kids and plates of cookies. "Where is that lovely, glowey holidayness that is supposed to be infusing my every waking moment during the month of December?"
And then, when I sit down to read my scriptures or listen to inspired words from our leaders, or just put on some good old Mormon Tabernacle Choir, that's when my spirit remembers.
The only peace of this season, in fact, the only true peace in this life comes from one source. There is no way to buy it, you can't create it with scrapbook paper and mod podge, and you won't find it at Walmart. (What?! I thought you could find everything at Walmart!!! GASP!) The peace that lasts, the peace that is meaningful can only come through believing in our Savior, whose birth I am celebrating this season.
I know His condescension to Earth was and is for my behalf. I know that through His humble upbringing and ministry He is able to understand me completely. As he suffered the pains of Gethsemane and the cross, He descended below all of us for the purpose of lifting us. The King of Kings left His heavenly home and came to an imperfect world to offer us a better way.
The Prince of Peace, he is called. And that He is. I hope you are all able to enjoy peace this season (whatever and whomever you celebrate), and throughout the coming year.
Thursday was a busy, busy day. I appreciated that. I was excited ALL DAY and it would have made it horrible if I'd been watching the clock.
So around 7PM I headed out to meet up with my girls. And can I just take a minute and say that for me, the whole Twilight business is really about MY GIRLS. It's all bonding all the time when we're talking Twilight. Jen, Kathleen, Mama R and I have all loved doing this together. I'm so glad I caved and read these books.
So yeah, 7PM, dinner with my lay-days. We hit up Jason's Deli in our "Edward Prefers Brunettes" t-shirts. Mom and Abby are blond and if I had thought about it I would have made them "Emmett Prefers Blondes" t-shirts. Next time, chicas. At dinner I swear I was so excited that I ate super fast and gave myself a wicked case of indigestion.
After dinner we hit the theater at 8:30 where we met up with more people. Chase and Eric joined us as well as BFF Steph and a few of Jeni's girlfriends. We proceeded to stand/sit in line (me subjecting everyone to my griping about my indigestion - sorry!) until 10PM when they let us into the theater. We couldn't really tell how far back in line we were, so Jen starts literally BOOKING IT into the theater. Partly to be funny, but I think partly because we weren't sure if we'd get good seats. But it wasn't necessary. We got awesome seats all together. We were a large group so there was some worry we'd have to break up. Though, Chase and Eric did choose to sit by themselves apart from our group. I'm not sure what they were accomplishing with that. It just looked questionable. And for those who know Chase, yes. He did bring his laptop so he could stare at spreadsheets all night long. That's my monkey man. Boatloads of FUN AND NON STOP ROMANCE! OOOOOHHHHHH!! Ladies, he's taken.
Two hours of girl talk later the lights went dark and a lot of screaming commenced. And after 45 minutes of trailers I think they finally decided to start showing the freaking movie.
I know I said it would require a TI-82 to figure out how many times I would see this movie. I was wrong. It's going to require something more sophisticated. A complex set of algorithms and a couple spreadsheets at least.
There was less cheese, more muscles, better action, less blue tint to everything, and (somewhat) less awkwardness. Bella may have even smiled. And I don't think I saw her bite her lip once. NOT EVEN ONCE! The werewolves were fantastical, Edward was swoon city. Jessica Stanley made every scene she was in, per the usual. Rosalie was actually drop-dead (pun intended) gorgeous! Chris Weitz did a phenomenal job, overall.
My only gripe? Not enough of this guy. Sad face!
See why he's my favorite???? Good gracious!
And now! The crazy!
And, I had to tag this on. It's hilarious.
But if I'm the one so obsessed, why do you keep checking my blog?
Emmett, you're going to have to stop calling me. Listen, I'm a happily married woman! With children! I know, I know. You find me beautiful, alluring, and incredibly intelligent. Yes, the word sexy isn't strong enough to describe me. I get it. But, you know, there's got to be someone else out there for you. Other fish in the sea and whatnot.
So hang in there, kid. I have a feeling things are going to turn out for you in the end. Somehow.
You'll want to revisit it. And don't forget it next time. I'm sick of always having to remind you of things! What am I, your mother?!
And just so you know that I'm not ACTUALLY spending all my time on the Internet, you should know that my house looks amazing right now, Miles is on the mend, my carpets are freshly steam cleaned and I had the most delicious breakfast involving spinach and tomatoes. So there.
Enough of my justifications! Just go here!
...and when you're done you can go here and check out the latest on the New Moon Saga. I swear I've never seen that website before today. Stop judging me!
The week has finally arrived and 12 year-old Anna (12 YOA) is beyond excited. To celebrate 12 YOA will spend some time doing things like, watching countless clips online when I should be steam-cleaning the carpet - because, let's face it, no 12 year-old steam cleans carpets; going to Jen's house tonight to watch a couple MTV New Moon specials; making a customized New Moon t-shirt; making said t-shirt at my Twilight Watching Party on Wednesday night with a boatload of friends (side note, will be serving "Blood Red Velvet Cupcakes" for Team Edward and "Puppy Chow" for Team Jacob); wearing a clock around my neck Flava-Flave style on Thursday so I know exactly how much time is left until 12:02 AM.
12YOA is going to have a good week, it seems.
Though, 29-For-8-More-Weeks-And-Cherishing-Every-One-Of-Them Anna is going to have to step in occasionally to do things. But I'm going to try to keep it to a minimum.
Also too? Saw THIS guy on Saturday night, which made my heart happy.
I used this clip for a few reasons: 1. You get to see how funny he is when he plays live. He's freakin' hilarious. 2. you get to see his sparkly red guitar strap, which I was admiring during the show. And 3. because he played this on Saturday and it's one of my absolute faves. If you've never heard of Rufus, well now you have and you should consider yourself accountable for this priceless knowledge.
Cool story from the concert: It was held at Bass Performance Hall, which is one of these places where rich, old people get season tickets and attend everything. So it was fun to have so many of them in the audience for this particular event. Rufus may or may not have been what they were expecting. So anyway, one of these rich, front-row-seat season ticket holders happened to make her way to the upper galleries where we poor (read: normal) people were sitting. I guess her husband decided not to attend the event and she had a ticket to give out. She saw a teenage kid in skinny jeans and chuck taylors sitting by himself and offered the ticket to him. I watched with complete envy when he disappeared with her, only to have my envy escalate into green-eyed monster jealousy when I saw him re-appear with her. She was LITERALLY front row, center. Like, 5 feet away from Rufus when he was standing with his guitar. In the end, though, I decided this kid definitely deserved it. I mean, if you're a big enough fan that you're willing to come to a concert completely by yourself, you deserve to be hangin' with the sugar-momma in the front row. That's all I'm sayin'. Cheers to THAT kid.
Dear Scott, Jerry, Karl, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Jimmy, Uncle Randy, Uncle Mike,
I love you. And today I want to say thank you. Thank you for believing in this gorgeous, amazing country enough to want to defend it. Thank you for believing in our constitution and freedoms enough to want to defend them. Thank you for putting yourself on the line time and time again so that I can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors. It is no small task to serve in the armed forces. Leaving behind loved ones to go fight in a war or conflict simply because your country is requesting it of you is nothing short of heroic. Though, it is cool that some of you can literally fly. Let's be honest here.
To the wives of the above (Christy, Sara, Chrysta, Mom, et. al),
Maybe a bigger thank you? It's hard to decide who deserves it the most. The men who put their lives in harms way or the women who bravely stand aside and let them do what they feel is their duty. The women who manage to keep house and home together so that when The Soldier returns he has a soft place to fall. I've been blessed to watch some of you through these days, weeks, months and years of deployments. I've seen as you've come through them with grace and, most astonishingly, a deeper conviction of the rightness of your partner's path. The days are certainly not easy, and the nights are absolutely harder. The questions from children, the tears of goodbyes. You bear it all because YOU BELIEVE. You believe in your spouses' ability to effect real change in the lives of others. The sacrifice you make is equal in greatness, and I just don't think you will ever receive enough thanks.
To the Armed Forces at Large,
Thank you. I don't know you and you don't know me. But we have this great country in common. And when I see you in the airport I have to hold myself back from hugging you, my gratitude is so overwhelming. And, you know, that would probably be awkward for everyone. But really, if I could send each you a pan of brownies (and I make REALLY good brownies) I would do it. Because you deserve it.
In my home we really believe in super heroes. Some wear capes, and some just happen to wear Camo.
Edited to add: You can see some great pics of my military family at my SIL Christy's (aka SUPER TROOPER MOM) blog here. She's got my bros, bro-in-law and dad. All current or former military.
We trick-or-treated for a full 90 minutes. Sophie walked every stinkin' step of the way. And I'll be honest and say that I was kinda hoping she was going to get bored/tired/distracted by candy after the first couple of houses so that I could just take her back to the house. But no. Sophie wanted to prove her mettle and she would SHRIEK every time I tried to pick her up. She was SO tired but just wouldn't give up. By the end she was struggling to walk up the ramp parts of the sidewalk (you know, where it slopes up from the street), her legs were so tired! But would she let me hold her? Nope. Her little pumpkin got so full because people were letting her grab as much candy as she wanted. We had to keep emptying it out because it was too heavy for her to lift. She screamed every time we emptied it and kept screaming until more candy was put back in it. By the end of the night she was a MONSTER. (how fitting) She would walk up to a house and people would duck down so she could pick the candy she wanted and she would literally SCOWL IN THEIR FACE and belligerently grab as much candy as she wanted. It was both hilarious and horrendous.
As for the boys, they are seasoned trick-or-treaters. They rocked the neighborhood. At one point Miles did embarrass us by looking at the proffered candy bowl and saying, "Um no. I don't like that." And then staring at the man as if waiting for him to go find something else he would like. That was pleasant. Miles also wanted to stay at the door talking to everyone. I literally had to pull him away from almost every door. He's just a friendly kid...
And now we have 20 tons of candy. I've been trying to convince Chase to let me donate it to Operation Gratitude, but he's not buying it. He has some pretty incredible willpower and can limit himself to a specific number of candy pieces per day. I, on the other hand, have no such willpower. For me it's a simple math equation. Me + Giant Bags of Halloween Candy = Gaining Forty Pounds in Two Weeks. So I'm going to keep working on him...I'll let you know how it goes.
So last week I hit the road for a girl's weekend in Washington DC with a good friend from my college days, Pittsburgh Sara. This was a totally unprecedented trip. Usually if I'm spending a night away from my children I come home with another child. On the whole, I'd say this was 8ooo times better than staying in a hospital for four nights.
I don't have pictures (I left the camera here so Chase could capture every moment of my absence). I'll just tell you that it was a lovely experience. My parents came down to see me (I grew up mainly in central PA, about 2.5 hours away from DC) and we visited the International Spy Museum and ate in Chinatown. That first day I kept feeling this weird sense of disconnect whenever I would look into my purse and not find wipes, diapers and action figures. Or when we got back to PSara's house at 7 and I didn't have to immediately start dashing around putting people in tubbies and getting jammies out. It was an odd sensation to say the least. But I soaked it in and just enjoyed it.
During my trip we also did Georgetown (complete with Georgetown Cupcakes which is the kind of place where people stand in line out the door and down the street IN THE RAIN. It's that good.), sushi, my lil sis Bird came down, we vegged in front of the TV, shared new favorite music, girl talked until the wee hours, and rolled over and went back to sleep every morning after waking up excruciatingly early just because that's what my body is trained to do. It. Was. Great.
I DID come home to find five staples in Miles' head. The story is that Cameron and Miles were fighting on Great Grandma's trampoline (after spending the night on it) and Cameron swung a backpack at Miles' head not thinking about the filled-to-the-brim metal water bottle in it. So he split Miles' head wide open (I do have pictures of that below...don't scroll down if you don't like gore). Chase managed to pack them all up and rush to Urgent Care. And AFTER that he managed to get them all home, tubbied and off to Church on time for him to speak. And apparently it was a great, not-to-be-missed talk...
Anyway, I just happened to have a friend, Michelle, who ALSO had a girl's weekend right before mine. Her husband, Jedd, had this to say about the business of Daddy Daycare. It made me laugh so I figured I should share. I did change their son's name for privacy purposes. But I kept it natural so you shouldn't be able to tell.
"As both Michelle and Anna skipped town recently to visit girlfriends/sisters and "recharge their batteries," I thought I'd make a few observations.
First, I'm all for some "me" time like that, as taught in the Book of Mormon and by Oprah. You need some time away from your loving families, especially your loving children (the nightly cries of "where's my mommy?" and "why won't mommy come home?" were no trouble -- really. They didn't last long at our home, as I kept forgetting to feed the kids so their energy levels were low and they quickly fell asleep.)
Anna, you missed a great talk by Chase. I think I even heard our ward's resident general authority emeritus say he learned something new from the talk, which is really saying something for a GA. (Too bad for you it was one of those singular, "too special to repeat" talks). Also, I understand the well-stapled gash in Miles' head was caused by innocent roughhousing and will NOT result in any visit from CPS. Chase said the Police Dept. assured him of this. Oh, and Miles' adorable venture up to the podium during Chase's talk was handled expertly by Chase--he didn't miss a beat. Everything was totally under control at all times.
Silly things happen while moms are away -- like My Child With XY Chromosomes almost lighting the house on fire, the kids "accidentally" watching Curious George 15 times in a row, Cheerios becoming a new food group, screaming about lunches that are "not how mommy makes them!", playing outside during lightning storms -- it's all very quaint, kind of how Tarzan might have experienced life in his early years. I worry that thoughts of things like this going on while you're away will weigh on your minds, perhaps cause you to feel a tinge of guilt. Don't let that happen!
My point? You need to take MORE trips and worry less about what is going on at home. Put that cell phone away, relax, watch "Pride & Prejudice" 67 times ("Jedd, see how he looks at her!?"). Because Chase and I already prepaid for a weeks' worth of babysitting at Going Bonkers for the next time this happens (that's the place with padded walls, right?).
But please come back. On the earlier flight if possible."
Thanks for that, Jedd.
Staples in the head below...Don't scroll if you can't handle it.
Today I embark on a girly weekend with my friend Pittsburgh Sara. Who doesn't live in Pittsburgh. So anyone trying to stalk me in either Pittsburgh or Chi-town this weekend is straight outta luck. THAT"S why I kept the CHI-TOWN reference in my blog. Confuse the stalkers!
Anywho, I'm looking forward to my little vacay but have to admit I'm kinda sad. This morning Chase went in to grab Sophers out of bed and she only wanted mommy. Like, I had to go in there and get her. She wasn't budging for anyone but the REAL THING. So that made me sad right away because I don't want to think of her starting off each day for the next couple of days sad at the world because I had to go off and be selfish.
But, really, it's going to be great for all of us, right? Because come Monday night guess who is going to get the Daddy Treatment (ie. children screaming like you're the beatles when you walk through the door - Chase gets this every. day. must be nice to have your own personal fan club. i wouldn't know.). Yeah, that's right. ME! I'm already picturing the frantic screaming when they pick me up curbside at the airport that shall not be named.
Doesn't matter who you are, this advice is for you! I would add my testimony that when we dedicate our time, efforts, thoughts and all our strength to the Lord something miraculous happens; we are blessed with abilities beyond our own. It's something that must be experienced to fully understand. When we turn our will over to the Lord - giving back that tiny part that is truly ours to give, for all other blessings are His already - He blesses us beyond our capacity to receive. For this, and so many other reasons, I love the Lord.
I stole that line from a clip I saw online. Some chick in her 30's was interviewing Chaske Spencer(? that's his name, right?), who plays Sam The Werewolf in New Moon...I thought it was humorous.
Anyway, here's a cool rundown with clips from each song on the New Moon soundtrack. Also too, I've included Entertainment Weekly's review of the soundtrack. Oct. 20 will be a good day for me.
"After the success of the first installment, music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas (Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy) gets her pick of the alt litter here, with each contributing original, previously unreleased material: From the opening chords of Death Cab for Cutie’s dusky guitar rapture ”Meet Me on the Equinox” to the spooky robot-ennui of Thom Yorke’s ”Hearing Damage” and Grizzly Bear’s gorgeous folk-pop pastoral ”Slow Life,” New Moon rarely falters. A peacocking remix of Muse’s shamelessly operatic ”I Belong to You” becomes a Bowie-esque glam-rock stomper. In its wake, Bon Iver and St. Vincent quietly unfurl ”Rosyln,” a duet of hushed, almost church-like beauty.
Moon (due in stores Oct. 20) yields several happy revelations from its lower-marquee names: Nordic songstress Lykke Li’s nearly a cappella ”Possibility” is a lovely little Swedish snowflake, and jokey rockers OK Go achieve an impressive sort of Flaming Lips-y quirk-gravitas on the sprawling, cinematic ”Shooting the Moon.” Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s acoustic campfire lament ”Done All Wrong” segues seamlessly into the jaunty, Strokes-ian guitar fuzz of Hurricane Bells’ ”Monsters.” Think of New Moon as a sort of survey course in new-now-next rock: a mixtape with teeth. A"
So I have this friend. She's basically awesome. So one day this friend (let's call her Stephanie Bean) shows up to my house with a little pink bag and says, "I don't care if you like it. I just had to make it for you."
When I opened the bag I found this:
Yes, that WOULD be an Edward fan shirt with blood dripping from the heart. I literally almost fell over when I opened it and then starting laughing really loudly. Like, make-the-kids-stare-in-panic loud. This shirt is fanfreakingtastic. Will I wear it to the mall? Probably not. But that's beside the point. The point is she gets me. She loves me and she gets me. It's like I said, "Hey Steph. How much do you love me?" And she said, "This shirt much." I mean, she cut out the little letters and blood drops and sewed them individually. That's love, folks.
The best part of this shirt was Steph's explanation of how the shirt came to be. She said she was just laying in bed one night and it came to her, in detail, exactly how she should make this shirt. I mean, it's not quite the same as hitting your head on the toilet and coming up with a flux capacitor, but considering it's a Meyer-based shirt it probably makes sense.
Just to prove that my dad really does believe in the power of a good lecture (and that I get my sense of humor from him and mom equally), I have to share the following email we got from my dad after he read my last blog.
"Chase, congratulations on your lecture complete with flow chart as seen on Anna's blog. A couple of suggestions:
The numbering system will not only enable rapid recall of the lecture material when needed, but when one of your children requires repeated re-issues of the same lecture (as Anna did) you will eventually be able to simply ask them to reflect on the required lecture by referring to its number and save both of you a lot of time.
You are becoming a very efficient father. That's a good thing. Keep up the good work."
And it should be duly noted that Chase's reply to this email was, "Thanks for the "Pat" on the back."
I can't tell anymore where he ends and I begin.
At Cameron's school they use the stop light system for behavior. When you're being good you're on "green." Misbehaving gets you moved to "yellow." Continue on and you're on "red." Cameron has been on green every day of his school career thus far - we're so proud. But today as I arrived to pick him up he rushed out to me with a very serious look on his face and blurted, "I'm on yellow. I had to move my clip to yellow." He was riddled with pure guilt...I just said, "uh oh" and looked to his teacher for some explanation. She said that Cam had been pretty sassy with his P.E. teacher.
After getting in the car I immediately called Chase for a consultation. Cam wasn't sharing details, claiming he "forgot" what had happened. I couldn't decide if he needed a time-out, if he needed a firm talking to or what. So Chase just said to wait and let him deal with it. Fine by me!
So I had to run out and finish up some errands this evening and I arrive home to this:
As you can see, Cameron was talking to Tristen and the coach asked him to stop talking. Cameron didn't stop talking and missed out on getting a sticker. He was mad so he told the coach he was never coming back to P.E. and never coming back to school. The coach's "feelings were hurt" (I'm sure he's at home nursing a pint of Ben and Jerry's right now), and thus we see how Cameron landed on yellow.
Sometimes I just LOVE being married to a CPA.
I have about 4.6 bajillion things on my "to-do" list right now. At the top of the list?
1. Procrastinate by blogging even though you jolly-well know better.
So. Some thoughts.
Tonight as I sat in Parent Teacher night listening to my son's kindergarten teacher there was one thing that stuck out to me:
At our elementary school there are designated "days" when you wear specific t-shirts. I think this is probably pretty commonplace. Fridays are "Spirit days" and you wear the school shirt. The first Monday of the month is "USA DAY!" and you're encouraged to wear red, white, and blue or something patriotic.
But what I'm really excited for? Like, really, really, super-duper, crazy excited for?
Every other Monday is "College Day!" Kids get to wear the school shirt where mom and dad went to school. That's right, once a month or so I'll get to advertise Pitt Pride to the world as I send little Camstar to school. Yee-haw. I mean, I practically have my own travelling Oakland Zoo in the van already, right?
Leaving the school tonight I couldn't wait to run home and pick out a new Pitt shirt for my eldest. And in so doing I faced that old rush of feelings as I typed www.pitt.edu into the browser. Oh, man. I really loved Pitt. I mean, REALLY loved Pitt. When Chase was getting ready to enter recruiting interviews in his senior year we very seriously considered Pittsburgh because I have such lovely feelings about the place. I mean, Oakland is a filthy hole, but I just can't help myself. There's just too much to love.
For instance, how could I forget the place that (most likely) gave me heart disease? Or the best breakfast ever known to man? Or those days when I sat at the bottom of the Cathedral waiting for approximately four hours to get an elevator to the 30th floor for class? Or hanging out in Heinz chapel to study (is that sacrilegious?) because it was so amazingly peaceful? Or being lost in Hillman Library because it's enormous and I want to read everything in it? Then there's that super weird date I went on between finals one time and the guy tried to impress me by telling me that he once brought a knife to school...in kindergarten. And I faked a final and left (ooh, look at the time!). Or the fact that I could take the bus anywhere, anytime. Or the greasy vendors set up on all the corners. Or the amazing parks and botanical gardens just minutes from my urban campus. The incredible architecture. Working for this guy and figuring out just how parties/people get elected (fill the potholes, get the votes). Pittsburgh-Sara, Jeanne, Melissa, Eileen, Kiersten and the entire Oakland Ward. The South Oakland Icon. My mom interrupting my upstairs neighbor/elders quorum president in the middle of his shower to help her hang curtains in the apartment that she didn't really approve of me living in all by myself but went along with because she's supportive like that. Sodas on the sofa - heck, just the fact that every student apartment had a nasty sofa on the front porch. Lugging groceries home from Giant Eagle. Learning the proper pronunciation of the word Steelers. Living in my dorm and then moving to 221 Coltart Ave, 15213 (you have to check it out on google maps so you can actually see it...it's the one on the right side. It's special to say the least). Sitting in my first honest-to-goodness journalism class and listening as my instructor (Marylynne Pitz, who just wrote this piece) called her editor on the morning of September 11 and whispered "Do they think it was Osama Bin Laden?". Returning home that afternoon to find frantic messages from my sister who was only getting news that a plane had gone down in Pittsburgh.
So many memories.
I could go on.
But you want to know what's funny? My attendance at Pitt is something of an anomaly in my family. In fact, it's a point of ridicule with my Nittany Lion siblings. They go on and on about Joe Pa and his amazing ability to coach while in a state of cryogenic freeze; and how Penn State is so forward-thinking because they actually allow cows to enroll; and some professors come straight to class from their organic farms and blah, blah, blah. And you know, hey. That's great. Good for them.
But in that great debate of culture vs. agriculture, you know where my loyalties lie.
p.s. I should be banned from blogging. The length of my posts and my inability to edit myself in any way is getting slightly out of hand. All apologies.
So here are the shots of Cam last Monday at his first day of school. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of Cameron yesterday on his first sick day from school. He was irate that I dared keep him home from his beloved kindergarten. So irate, in fact, that at lunch he glared at me coldly and said, "If you don't let me go to school tomorrow I'm going to leave and go to Nana's. SHE'LL let me go to school."
So yeah, first day.
Getting out of the car. Because it's important to catch EVERY MOMENT, right? Cameron will never again get out of daddy's car on the first day of his entire school career. I'm glad I have photographic evidence.
The first thing you do when you arrive is head to the cafeteria and get in the line for your grade. We walked in and saw all those kids sitting there, the room humming with noise and activity. I looked down at Cam and saw his ghostly white face get even ghostlier. But he stayed strong. He walked to the back of the line and sat down. We stood to the side trying to find that balance between being close enough to make him feel safe and hovering.
Once the bell rings a teacher comes to take the kindergarten line to their classes. Again, we walked down the hallway trying to give the kid his space. As we got closer to his classroom Cam looked around and then made a grab for daddy's hand. This is the point where I very nearly burst into tears.
Okay, so we had our camera with us but we had memory card issues. That's why I only came home with pictures of the jumps and karaoke. Here are a few more that I've stolen from my SIL Sara.
If you didn't know it, my husband is part fish. At our last reunion in Colorado he earned his reputation (with my family, anyway...his family knows all about his amphibious tendencies) by immersing himself - for no good reason - in the icy, mountain stream that ran behind our condos. This year he maintained his rep by never letting any body of water pass him by. The man is loco for liquid.
Ober Gatlinburg was awesome. Particularly the Alpine Slide. If you've never done one, you should! Just maybe not the one in Winter Park, CO. My sis, Lyss, lost her hide on that Alpine Slide.
All of us. How we normally look.The sibs. I'll admit I don't love pics like this now...only because our family feels "naked" without the spouses. I prefer pics with my Siblings-in-law who are so awesome they make me want to start a fan club...
33 people in my family. 33 reasons why being a Kilgore is basically better than being almost anything else...Just sayin'. And our t-shirts? That's a skull and cross banjos logo. Yeah, I know. We're that cool.
Hanging with my main man, B. We'relikethis.