Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cuatro de Julio

It seems like the Fourth is always a "let-down" holiday. I have such high hopes for a fun, patriotic Summer day and it ends up being lame with nothing going on. Fuel that with a non-existent Fourth last year because (as it turns out) the Brits don't celebrate our independence from them, I was determined to have a great Fourth of July this year. We decided to have a breakfast BBQ to start the day off on the right foot.

Then came the difficult question of what can be BBQ'd for breakfast. The answer: breakfast burritos. And just like that, Cuatro de Julio was born. I tried to find an American flag pinata but those are hard to find! We had about 5 families over so the kids could play on all our new backyard stuff and the parents could chat. Oddly enough, I was the grill master so there wasn't the obligatory man circle around the BBQ.

It was a great party and I think it might just be an annual event. Turns out having breakfast parties are a sure way to have a rocking holiday (even if there are no pictures to document the rock!).

Felice Cuatro de Julio, Amigos!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thoughts about death

I've been thinking a lot about death this past week (that's probably not the best way to start a post!). Two people, under very different circumstances, passed away and it's made me think a lot about life and death and my dad.

Mary Webster was a sweet older woman in our ward. She was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer only one month ago. She bore her testimony 2 weeks ago and then passed away last Wednesday. She bore no signs of illness when she spoke in church. Four days after that she had a stroke and then spent the last week of her life in the hospital heavily sedated to alleviate all her suffering. She was surrounded by her family when she slipped away from this life last Wednesday. While short, they had time to prepare and get their minds around what was happening. I should also point out - her son passed away almost exactly one year ago also from Pancreatic cancer and her son-in-law, also a member of our ward, died last November after a long battle with Lung Cancer. Their family has literally been ravished by cancer the past 12 months.

Silly as it may sound, the other person who passing I've thought a lot about is Tim Russert. I can't think of another TV personality's passing that would make me more sad than Tim's shocking death. I loved the way he explained politics. To this day I still don't know if he was a Democrat or a Republican because he presented both sides so fairly. I naturally assume he's a Democrat because he is in the entertainment industry and because he worked for a democratic elected official but his interviews didn't involve leading questions or snide remarks (a la Katie Couric) so I'll never know for sure.

These two passings have made me think about the timing of death. In Mary's case, while the prognosis was grim from the start, she had time to say her good-byes and come to peace with leaving her family behind. Like my dad's massive heart attack, Tim did not have that chance. I'll never forget hearing the words "Dad died" from my brother and thinking "but I didn't get to tell him how much I love him" or "good-bye" or "don't worry about Mom". It was done. Nothing can undo death. It's final. For my family's sake I'd rather go like Mary so there is time to mourn and hear your living obituary. For my sake, I'd rather go like my dad and Tim. No pain, no sadness at the inevitable outcome. Just gone. But it sucks for your loved ones.

I've also thought about the great injustice it is that you can't be at your own funeral. The TV airways have been flooded with memories and stories about Tim. I feel more now than ever that I wish I knew that guy. While I liked his show, I feel like I've learned of a different side to him that makes me wish I knew him personally. The same goes for Mary. Her funeral was yesterday and, while I've always held her in high regard, I left the funeral thinking that I didn't really know her at all. I wish I could have chatted with her more, gotten to hear more stories about her childhood, or learned how to crochet from her. But I've learned all these things posthumously. I just wish there was an appropriate way to have a funeral before you die. I'd love to hear the things people would say about me at my funeral. I'd love for some young mom to come up to me and say "I had no idea you did that." But that's not how it goes.

I've come to the conclusion that you can't take life for granted. I need to live each day. I need to express my gratitude as I feel it and not save it for some time when I have time. That time may never come and then I'm left with the "I should have told them this" thoughts that just bite. Gratefully, with regards to my father, I know he knew I loved him. There was nothing left unsaid which doesn't happen very often for me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This is hard!

I really didn't want my blog to be story after story about my kids. Nor did I want my blog to be a travelogue of our life (mostly because we don't travel anymore per 2008 New Years Resolution #1). My intention is to print this out and have it be a journal of sorts for my posterity. I want them to know me and gain insights into their crazy mom. So I sit and think and think and think about what to write. I have about 20 half-written posts in my mind. There's the one about how I've self-diagnosed myself OCD. There's the one about pushing all my brain cells out with Drew (will I ever be clever again?). There's the one where I lament that time is passing too quickly. And there's the one over my issues with buying a nice camera to capture the perfect moment only to realize that that involves taking 200 pictures and who has time to go through that many pictures to find the captured perfect moment? And can you post without adding the perfect moment picture? It's all very overwhelming to me.

So I decided to post today about how I'm trying to be a blogger but how I much prefer my blog-stocking days. No expectations. No half written thoughts. No clever punchlines. I could just peek in on my friend's lives and live vicariously. Oh well. I'm a blogger now and I kind of like it. I just wish I could figure out what to blog about!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Picture Update

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what are a thousand pictures worth? . . . about 6 months of pictures to catch you up on our family (sans explanations). If you want to know details of Halloween, Disneyland, a trip to Utah Switzerland, Drew's arrival, playing with friends and cousins, a trip to Utah, a visit to Daddy's office, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, or just plaing hanging out post a comment! By the way, this is the only time I'll post like this. I just needed to "update" a few people about our lives.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Anne's Musings

From the inception of our marriage there has been an ongoing "debate" -- do you need to raise your family around family? I wasn't raised near family so I always argued that good friends and leaders could take the place of aunts, uncles and cousins. Rob, who raised neared literally 100s of cousins, argued that the joy of his growing up years was being close to his cousins.

The first 4.5 years of our marriage were spent away from family (excluding an 8-month stint in Orange County where we were 1 hour away from my family). We loved every stop we've made - Boston, NYC, and London. We've made incredible friends that really could fill the aunts and uncles role if we had stayed any one of those places permanently. Their kids have certainly felt like nieces and nephews to me since I just adore all of them so much. Brock loves playing with all our friends kids whenever we get together (although I know one day he's going to hate it when we say, "you have to be nice to Kay. We've been friends with her parents for 25 years!").

The debate kind of ended when we decided to buy my mom's house and moved back to Escondido earlier this year. Rob won - we decided to raise our family near familyby default. And I love it. But I also love the other way.

A few weeks ago we went to the beach late on a Saturday afternoon. There was a fantastic late afternoon breeze. We didn't have to fuss over sunblock because the sun was setting. Parking was easy since most day trippers were clearing out. And we went with Miles' family and Maren, two of my five favorite siblings.

We chatted, chased waves, and had a FANTASTIC time while Drew took a nap in his bassinet. I remembering thinking to myself, "there is no place else on earth I'd rather be right now."

But then last weekend we went to the beach with some church friends and had a great time. We played on the shore, eat lots of great junk food and watched them all go on the wave runners (our timing with nursing babies and naps prevented us from going out . . . next time!). I remember thinking, "I'm so glad there are such great people in our ward."

Moral of my musings - I've have the best of both worlds living here in Escondido and I'm not even a beach-going person. Looks like we both won the "debate".

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I paid a lot of money in Grad School to understand the value of brand loyalty. Pampers is my diaper of choice and all the money they spent on me to become loyal was not spent in vain. I only buy Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers, even when it's a gift for someone else. Brock only had 3 blow-outs in his diaper life and Drew has yet to have one. Having said that, a friend of mine gave me some old Huggies so I used the few she gave me and thought little of it . . . until Drew got up from his nap.

I thought only girls spill out the front. Does anyone need some Huggies??

Lesson Learned the Easy Way

So my Mother's Day was nothing exciting. In fact, it was a little lame. Rob has had insane hours recently and desperately needed to sleep as much as he could on Sunday so he got to take two naps. I thought the moms were supposed to get naps on Mother's Day. Not at our house.

Drew woke up too early from his nap so my quiet time while all three boys were sleeping suddenly turned into nursing time. When Drew finished up I was bouncing him on my knee when suddenly he smiled the biggest and longest and gummy-est smile he has yet to give me. I swear he was hitting on me. He just kept smiling for about 5 minutes. As my eyes were welling up with tears over how much I love our new little addition, it dawned on me. I am a Happy Mother indeed.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hey, that was fun!

Okay, I'm hooked. It was so fun reading long-lost friend's comments that I think I might actually start leaving comments on various blogs that I stalk. Maybe. It's reminded me of what amazing friends I have made through the years. Sometimes I wish we could all live on the same street, put the kids down and play Bohnanza or Bang! until 2am every morning.

This entry is more an explanation of the game plan since I'm hoping my blog will be uniquely mine and not my kids. I'm really doing this as a way of journaling my life. If I ever figure out how to do things on this other than type than I'll post a great quote from President Hinckley that talks about the importance of keeping a memoir for posterity. I do believe in that I'm just not good at it. In fact, my mission journal still has me home-sick and lonely in my greenie area. Maybe I ought to update that and let it know that I've been home for over 10 years!

My plan is to write entries that will translate into chapters for a book to be printed out each year. (Don't you just love technology -- I can even make it look like I scrapbook!). I'm trying to decide if that means the titles will always be one of four different topics (that would make it easy to peep . . . just skip the topic you don't like) or if I'll just put one of those four topics as a label so I can come up with terribly clever titles. Regardless, I don't think this blog is going to be interesting all the time. Maybe just half the time. So stalk on, good friends, and know that I have great hopes and ambition for this baby and won't be offended if you skip the posts on Anne's Musings.

ps - I just got my real Mother's Day present in the mail today so expect GREAT pictures tomorrow (or sometime soon after!).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's finally time!

I have a confession to make. I'm a virtual Peeping Tom. For the past year I've read blog after blog on my lonely nights while Rob is working late. I feel like I've caught up with old friends, only to realize later that they don't even know that I read their blogs because I never comment. I've even clicked on your friend's blog to see if I somehow know them and can tap into the "7 Degree of Separation" only to say at some point "I didn't know you knew him, too" (which is funny because that would involve posting a comment and I already told you, I don't do that). I must admit -- I'm a blog-aholic and I don't even have a blog. Friends have asked why I don't blog and my I-just-crack-myself-up response has always been, "I don't love my kids enough to have my own blog."

While I absolutely love reading about my friends . . . and their friends . . . and their friends lives, so many posts revolve around the cute things their kids do and say. Don't get me wrong - your kids do do and say funny things and I've enjoyed reading about them but I just couldn't justify starting my own blog that, in turn, became an outlet for me to tell you about Brock. And don't get me wrong again, he does do and say funny things, like today when he decided to go commando while I was nursing. But I want my own blog where I get to be sarcastic, be funny, and be sappy and be me.

So here's where my life gets funny. I had a second baby. Suddenly, I'm a mom and I can't escape kids. Only having one kid kind of slows you down but you are still you and you still have free time. Having a second baby make you a MOM. I now eat, drink, (rarely) sleep kids. So why not blog about this new life and be sarcastic and funny and sappy and me. I'm in. Here it is. I finally love them enough to blog.