Saturday, June 30, 2012

More From Our Trip

Day Seven
Troy and I had been looking forward to the one excursion we'd planned that cost money. We were taking a big motorized raft over to the island of Lanai. There, we would be taken to a bay filled--usually--with spinner dolphins. Later we would snorkel in what is known as Hawaii's best coral reef. The excursion included three hours exploring the island of Lanai. We were super excited about. Unfortunately, due to high winds, the trip was canceled. We were able to reschedule it for Wednesday.

The day started off rainy and windy so we hung around the condo for awhile. In the midmorning, I went with my parents and oldest boy to get a much desired--on his part--shark tooth necklace which my parents were getting for him. We walked around some shops before heading back to the condo. Later that day, my mom and I headed to Lahaina to do some shopping, Jon and Heather went snorkeling, and my dad and Troy played at the beach with the boys.

Day Eight
On Tuesday, Troy and I took the boys and headed south. We went all the way down to La Perousse and explored the black lava rock. Then we turned and started slowly heading north. We stopped at some tidepools and explored. We watched surfers at Dumps. We unloaded all of our stuff at Big Beach just to have the lifeguard tell us that it really wasn't safe for kids that day. We drove further north and unloaded at Makena.

We had a great time boogie boarding in the shallow surf with Garrett and Matthew. Troy and the boys chased crabs. We had lunch. When we'd had a couple of hours of fun, we packed up and headed into Kihei. There, we walked around a market with vendors and had shave ice. When we were ready to head back to the condo, we started making our way back to the car. I saw a bin outside of a store with a bunch of flip flops and, because I'm pretty much a "slipper" addict, I bent down to look at them. Troy walked into the shop with the kids. And there we encountered the most friendly salesperson. We ended up buying some keychains and I picked up a brochure for kids surfing lessons simply because it said that they gave lessons to all ages and I was interested in learning more, not because I planned to do anything with it.

Day Nine
Troy and I were supposed to head to Lanai so, since we hadn't received a cancelation phone call like we did on Monday, my dad drove us to Lahaina. We got checked in, picked up our packed lunch, and waited for the raft to show up. It pulled into the slip and the captain jumped out and welcomed us all. Then she explained that the trip was canceled. She'd been over to Lanai and the surf was huge. It was too big for us to snorkel in and the winds were too high. I was disappointed because Troy was leaving on Thursday and the next opportunity for us to go would have been Friday.

We decided that, since we were getting a refund for our cancelled trip to Lanai, we would ask Garrett if he wanted to take a surf lesson. My aunt and uncle had given him birthday money and he'd already spent a portion of it on a wood carving of a sea turtle but we told him that he could put the rest of the money toward a surf lesson. We asked him if he would rather have a nice birthday present from us or a surf lesson. He chose the lesson without evening thinking twice. Because he is only five, he had to have a private lesson which we scheduled for Friday morning.

My parents had to take my brother and Heather to the airport in Kahului so we decided to head there as well and go up into the Ioa Valley. It was pouring down rain when we got there so we all traipsed through the rain on the short hike to view the needle. It was mostly covered in clouds but the scenery was beautiful. Then we had lunch in the dry car before heading back to our condo.

Day Ten
We had great weather on Thursday which was fantastic because Troy was leaving that night on a red eye. It was nice that he got to have one last day of hot sun and beautiful Maui beaches. We headed to Napili Beach and went snorkeling and swimming. We worked on our tans. We checked out the tide pools. We burned ourselves to crisps. Well, the boys didn't burn, but the rest of us did, despite the fact that I reapplied sunscreen on more than one occasion. My neck and shoulders were fried.

But it was a super fun day. When we were finished at the beach, Troy and I took the boys out for Happy Meals at the McDonald's near our condo. Then we went back and the boys swam in the pool and Troy packed up his stuff to head home.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Four, Five, Six

Day Four

We drove north and went to the Nakalele Blow Hole. It was quite eventful. First, my dad was trying to get video of the water shooting out and the water shot a great distance farther than it had in all the time we'd been there. His brand new video camera got drenched and, so far, has not turned back on. Then, on the way out, we encountered a woman on her honeymoon who had fallen and injured her ankle. My dad and brother helped carry her out while I carried her purse and my brother's backpack.

We stopped at a beach on the way back. We decided to let Garrett try his hand at snorkeling. He took off with my dad and it was incredible. He took to it like your average ten or twelve-year-old. The rest of us snorkeled. Matthew and my mom laid on a boogie board with a window. It was a relaxing and fantastic day.

Day Five

On Saturday Troy and I ditched the rest of the family and headed out early on the road to Hana. I'd gotten incredibly carsick the day before so I took Dramamine before we headed out. We hiked to several waterfalls, were on the receiving end of many a torrential downpour, went to the black sand beach, got bit by tons of mosquitoes, made it to Hana, continued on, missed the O'heo Gulch, drove six miles on a winding, one lane (for both directions of traffic), dirt road, wanted to see the O'heo Gulch so we turned around, saw the Gulch, and then continued (again) on our way. Eventually, we made it back to our condo. We were gone for somewhere around eleven hours but the road was gorgeous! So many people had told us that it was worth doing but only once. We loved it and would do it again. Although, not on the same trip. That would just be ridiculous.

While we were on the road to Hana, my parents, brother and sister-in-law and our kids were soaking up more sun and snorkeling at my dad's favorite beach which is only about two miles from our condo.

Day Six

On Sunday we started our day by driving into Lahaina and going to the early service at Lahaina Baptist Church. It was incredible with the panels of the walls lifted so the breeze blew in. We kept the kids with us and they did pretty well. Garrett belted out the words to "Beautiful One" and excitedly declared, "We sing this at our church!"

When church was over we walked around the streets of Lahaina and did some shopping/browsing. We ended up at Bubba Gump's for a Father's Day Lunch. It was delicious. Our table overlooked the water and it was absolutely gorgeous. After stuffing ourselves with seafood, we stopped and got shave ice.

That afternoon my mom, Heather and I watched the guys play in the pool. At some point, my pesky brother grabbed me and jumped in. I hadn't even changed out of my church clothes. My husband and oldest son found this to be gut busting hysterical. Good thing that in Hawaii my church clothes were basically just summer capris.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Days Two & Three

Day Two

We got up and spent a couple hours with my grandparents before heading to Shakey's where we met Troy's parents, sister and her kids. Our niece, Alexis, just graduated from high school (Congrats Lexi!) and is headed to my alma mater in August (Yay PLNU!) and Troy's parents were down from their new home in Washington to celebrate. It just so happened that our trip overlapped with theirs and we were able to see his family for lunch. The boys had a great time playing with their cousins and eating pizza.

We headed back to my grandparents house in the afternoon and my aunts, uncles and cousins stopped by to see us. We had a great dinner with everyone and went to bed early. Our alarms were set for 4:20 am.

Day Three

We got up and headed for airport. As we pulled up, Garrett recognized that we were at an airport and said quietly, "Do we have to fly to Barstow?" Kiddo loves to fly and he'd have been happy if were going straight back to Salt Lake, as long as it involved an airplane. We told him we were flying and he was thrilled. As we stood around waiting to board, we must have heard the employees announcing the flight to Maui at least a half dozen times but Garrett stayed pretty oblivious. At one point I thought he was catching on when he asked what she was saying. "Oh, there are all kinds of flights being announced to all kinds of places." I explained and then showed him the different terminals and said where some of the people were headed.

We boarded the plane.

We walked back to our seats in the very back row.

We sat. And we buckled our seat belts. And we waited.

Finally, someone said something on the speaker about our direct flight to Maui. Garrett looked deep into my eyes and whispered, "This flight is going to Maui."

"What?" I said.

"They just said this flight is going to Maui."

"Well, we're going to Barstow," I told him.

"Do we have to drop people off in Maui first?" He asked, completely confused and being filled with increased excitement.

"Um...I don't know. We're going to Barstow," I said again.

Ever so quietly, not quite daring to believe it, he whispered, "Are you taking to me Hawaii?"

I smiled at Troy over Garrett's head and nodded. Affirmative.

And then a little boy bounced off the walls for the next five hours.

We landed. We met my brother and his wife who had already been here for several days. We got a rental car. We went to WalMart and Costco. We drove up to where we're staying in Kahana. We unpacked. We walked on a sea wall. We saw giant sea turtles from no more than three feet away, feeding on the algae on the sea wall. We had dinner and talked and laughed. We went to bed with the sound of waves crashing on the shore.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hawaiian Vacation Day One

Day one of our trip actually began on Tuesday the 12th, even though we weren't leaving for Hawaii until the 14th. When we booked our airfare it was much cheaper to drive the twelve hours to San Diego and fly from there then it was to fly from Salt Lake. Troy worked a half day and I picked him up at the church at 1:00 pm. We were planning to drive all the way to my grandparents house in San Diego which, with the hour time change, would have put us in around midnight.

Not two minutes after we left the house Garrett told me that he has was having a problem in his *ahem* boy area. I thought it was nothing and he explained that it had been hurting all day. This was, of course, the first time he made mention of it. Neat. Not in the morning when I could have taken him to the doctor. No. Two minutes after we left to go on vacation.

I honestly thought it was nothing and that he'd forget about it so I told him to tell Troy when we picked him up. A few minutes after Troy climbed in the car, Garrett told him that it was bothering him. He started to kind of whimper. We asked him if we needed to go to the doctor and he said yes.

This instantly threw me into a ridiculously irritable mood. Not because I was mad at my child for hurting but because when I have a schedule I want to stick to it. We were on the road. On the road means we don't detour for anything. "Do you want to go to the doctor or do you want to go on vacation?" I asked my child. He looked at me with sad eyes and said, "I want to go to the doctor."


I pulled off the freeway and went to his pediatrician. They couldn't see him until 2:40. We were supposed to be on the road at 1:00. We piled everyone back to the car and drove to an InstaCare. Thankfully, they were able to see Garrett right away. Turns out the poor child had a case of urethraitis. Also turns out he's going to murder me in my sleep some night when he finds out I blogged about it. The doctor was very nice and asked where we were headed.

"Well, we're headed to San Diego," I said.

"Oh, wow. How fun. Are you planning on going to the beach?" the doctor asked.

"Maybe," Garrett said, "But we're mostly going to Barstow with my Grandpa and Grandma!"

"Well, be careful if you're going to go to the beach at all because the antibiotic can make you burn."

I pulled the doctor aside and told him where we were really going. "Is it okay if he's in the sun? Like all day. All the time?" I asked. The doctor told me it was fine but to make sure we lathered him with sunscreen.

Then we went to fill the prescription. We walked around waiting for it and then, when Troy went up to get it, found out that they'd given us the liquid because they were out of chewable tablets. The doctor had specifically asked for the tablets because he knew we couldn't adequately refrigerate a liquid on a road trip. We had to go to a different pharmacy--which happened to be right by our house--to fill it in pill form. So we'd made a giant loop around northern Utah but never actually gone anywhere.

It took two hours to accomplish the appointment and the double pharmacy visit and I was beginning to think that Salt Lake was a vortex and we were unable to escape the strength of its gravitational pull. But, eventually, at 3:15 pm MST, we were able to get out of town.

We discussed stopping and getting a hotel in Barstow. This was, somehow, uproariously funny to Troy and me.

Between the two of us, we were able to power through the drive and made it to my grandparents house at 1:45 am PST. It was exhausting but we did it. With one day left, our oldest boy still believed that we were taking him to Barstow. The rest of the family was asleep when I drove through the real Barstow so I had a chuckle all by myself.

This looks exactly like Maui. Yeah?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Snorkel Boy

Meet Garrett.

His DNA is closely related to a fish. 

He snorkels in waters that are at least twenty feet deep. He dives down to explore things unknown. He kicks his teeny child fins up and down. He searches for fish and urchins and treasure. He has his Grandpa near him--just in case--but he's content to do it all on his own.

He wants to learn how to surf.

And he snorkels.

And swims in the sea.

All day long.

That's my boy.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Aloha from Maui!

We're having a blast swimming and hiking and snorkeling. This beach is a one minute walk from our condo. Thanks mom and dad!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Nearly three years ago, we dropped you off at preschool for the very first time.

You were three and dealing with an overwhelming amount of anxiety about being left anywhere. We were nothing if not honest with you about the fact that your brother might not be a permanent addition to our family. You did what any tiny boy who was afraid his family might fall apart would do. You screamed and cried and, when the director tried to restrain you from running out the door, you kicked her. Hard.

She assured us it wasn't the worst thing that had ever happened to her.

Yesterday, you graduated from that preschool. Three years you were there. You could have started kindergarten last year and we debated. We prayed. We questioned. We talked. And we made the decision to keep you there any extra year.

And I wouldn't change that decision for the world. Well, maybe for the world, I mean, we are just talking about kindergarten here. But I am so confident that we made the right choice.

Last night, you graduated.

Tomorrow you will graduate from high school. I'm sure of it. What with the way time is flying and all.

So we're doing what any red blooded American would do to celebrate preschool graduation. We're taking you to Hawaii.

Um. Just kidding. The trip just happened to coincide with the closure of your preschool years.

Before the first day of preschool- September 2009

Before the last day of preschool- June 2012

We're proud of you, buddy. We love you. And we know you're going to do great things.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 22: A Treasure

I wanted to do this week's photo from my son's perspective.

We all realized just what a treasure this pocket watch really is when we thought it was lost forever.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Confession: I've never actually watched an episode of The Twilight Zone. I'll give you a minute to get this out of your system. Throw things at your computer if you need to. Delete me as a friend on Facebook. Whatever you need to do. It's alright though because I feel like I've gotten the gist of it from riding Hollywood Tower of Terror more times than I can count. Are you throwing more things at your computer now?

That's so not even the point of this. The point is, you don't have to watch the show to live a Twilight Zone kind of day. Today I was traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. I saw the signpost up ahead--my next stop, the Twilight Zone.

But let me back up.

I'd gone to the same stylist for, oh, nineteen years or so back in California. When we moved to Utah I simply scheduled hair appointments with her when I was visiting my family. But, enough time went by and I figured I'd be a big girl about it and get myself a new stylist. There was a salon just around the corner from my house so I made an appointment. When I got my hair cut, I immediately fell in love with the design and the people who were working there. A lot of them had tattoos and piercings and, like, streaks in their hair. While I have no tattoos, only one hole in each ear, and have never had anything but blonde highlights, in this state, sometimes a spike in someone's tongue is a welcome addition.

I went in a couple of times and then they moved halfway across town. I found this out when I showed up for an appointment and the place was dark. When I called, they answered the phone, "Tangled" which was a new name and informed me that they'd moved. I had to hightail it across town to make it. The new shop was much less impressive but I liked the results of the cut so I decided to keep going there.

About ten weeks ago I called to make a hair appointment. The girl who'd last cut my hair was no longer at that salon so I made an appointment with a different girl. She was chatty--which I like in a stylist because it's weird to sit there completely quiet, staring at yourself in a mirror. I liked what she did with my hair. We talked a great deal about how I had an upcoming trip to Hawaii. When she'd finished I asked if I could schedule another appointment with her. She said, "Sure." I said, "Great." She said, "When?" I said, "Right before I leave for Hawaii, how about Saturday the 9th?"

And I scheduled an appointment for this morning at nine.

But then I needed to be at the church this morning at nine so I called last week to reschedule.

"Hi. I have an appointment next Saturday at nine with Ashley. I need to reschedule that," I said.

"Okay. When would you like to come in?" The girl on the other end of the phone at Tangled Salon and Day Spa asked. Which, at the time, I thought was kind of weird because, what, did Ashley just have her whole day open? But I powered ahead.

"Uh...2:00?" I threw out.

"Okay. See you then." I thought it was strange that she didn't ask for my name but just assumed that, since I'd told her I was with Ashley at nine, she would just take the name from that slot and put it in the two o'clock spot.

Whew. That was a long introduction. We're getting to Twilight Zoney part. I promise.

So today I got in my car. I drove myself the 20 or so minutes to the newer, less awesome salon. I hopped out of my car, waltzed up to the door, and tried to throw it open. But it was locked. The salon was dark and the OPEN sign was not lit. I was a few minutes early so I thought that, while it was weird that there was no one there on a Saturday, maybe they all took a lunch from 1:00-2:00 or something.

Thankfully, I had Ashley's card so I texted her just after 2:00.

"Hey Ashley this is Lori. I am supposed to have a hair appointment with you at 2:00 but the salon is closed. Are you on your way?"

A few minutes later I received the following text. "I'm sorry I were not informed..The salon shut down."

So. Um. What? At this point I was completely perplexed because I called them a week ago to change the appointment. And, also, if a salon shuts down does it not call the people who have scheduled appointments and let them know?

"really? I called last week to reschedule from a 9 am to a 2pm and no one said anything. Are you at a new salon?"

No response.

I was getting really mad as I sat there and thought about how inconsiderate this place had been. I'm almost certain they had my number but, if by some chance they didn't, I'm easy enough to find. I'm listed just about everywhere. Seriously. We're like a stalker's dream come true. I decided that, since I really wanted the dead ends cut off so that I would have happy, healthy hair to ruin with copious amounts of sand and salt, I would drive down the road and stop at the first place I found that took walk ins.

I stopped at a place called Trimz. The name worried me. A lot. But they took walk ins so in I walked. It seemed like a happening place. There were plenty of nail technicians working on clients and at least five stylists doing hair. I explained my dilemma. The girl who'd greeted me asked every single stylist if she (and one he) could fit me in. There was nothing available today. So I got back in my car and did what any sane thirty-year-old would do. I called my mom to whine.

During the conversation I told her I was going to go to Great Clips, where my husband and male children get their hair cut. "A glorified barber," I told my mom. And then the next text came in.

"Ya I quit a couple weeks ago but thats crazy they didnt tell u...No im not at a salon yet but what did u neeed done?"

I was still on the phone with my mom so together we made the decision that, sure, why not, give this girl another chance. She probably should have called her client to let her know that she wasn't going to be at the appointment but I'm a big girl. I can forgive and forget. Or, I can, at the very least, forgive and try to remember a little less. So I texted back.

"just a cut. You cut it about 10 weeks ago and I scheduled another appt for just before a trip to Hawaii to get it cut again." Ring a bell? Do you remember this? Yes? No?

Nothing. No response.

So I headed for Great Clips. And I called Tangled Salon and Day Spa. It went to voice mail. The mailbox was full. Probably of the messages of thirty angry women who thought they had appointments and found a dark salon instead.

I remembered along the way that there's a place near my house that specializes in tanning. I know they do nails too because I've often looked longingly in their direction wishing for a pedicure for my wretched and horrible toes but I don't budget for pedicures so longing looks are as far as our relationship can go. I decided to swing by and see if they do hair.

And they do. But the stylist had just left for the day. The lady working was super nice and she called another shop to try to get me in and she asked where I'd had the appointment scheduled. When I told her she said, "Oh, yeah, I don't know all the details but some crazy stuff went down. One of their manicurists is working here now. There's lawyers involved..." She was very professional and kind and referred to me as "a client" when she called the other shop. But nothing panned out there. "Does it have to be today? I can get you in with my stylist on Tuesday and she is very good."

We leave Tuesday and it would be a challenge for me to make that work. However, I think I might be going back there based on her kindness alone.

I went to Great Clips. They were very friendly. I only had to wait about ten minutes. She sprayed my hair with a water bottle instead of washing it which was very weird. I tipped her three dollars which is less than I usually tip but, well, the haircut was substantially less too, and she audibly gasped, "Thank you!" If an actual washing had been involved I might have just kept going back to Great Clips.

As I was leaving I received the following text, "I can come to u if youd like..Until I find another salon" Um. That's okay. Maybe if she'd texted me an hour ago, when I told her what I needed done. Maybe if I hadn't just had my hair spritzed and cut. Maybe if she'd showed a little more concern for the fact that I drove twenty minutes to find a deserted shop.

Someone should have called me. At the very least, someone should have told me when I called them a week ago to change the appointment that, "Oh by the way, Ashley doesn't work here anymore and we're about to close down forever." But then, I was, apparently, traveling through another dimension.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Pocket Watch

This morning, I told The Rock Star that we were going to drive for a little while and meet some friends at a park. I made him guess who we were going to see. When he finally, quite exuberantly, howled, "Timmo!" and I confirmed that this guess was correct, he declared, "Yes! This is the best day ever in my life!"

Better than Disneyland, those friends of ours.

We went up to the park. Garrett played and ate lunch and then asked if he could explore the ravine behind the park with his pal. Since his pal is like six and a half years older than Garrett, I was fine with that. And then they didn't come back. And they didn't come back. And they still didn't come back.

So we took ourselves into the gully and walked around calling their names. Once we were down in it, we realized that it was a lot bigger than we'd thought. We went to one end of it and found no trace of our boys. Then we returned to the park to make sure they hadn't gone back. They hadn't. There were a lot of kids playing down in the ravine so I really wasn't overly worried but after awhile my mind started going to that place where all manner of horrible thoughts cross it. What if somehow they got hopelessly lost down there? What if Garrett got separated from Tim and Tim is trying to find him? What if they got turned haround and went up the other side, away from the park? My friend went back into the ditch and walked in the other direction while I waited at the park in case they returned.

Just when I started to get really worried, the kind of worry where I imagine my child returning to me and blubber and clutch him to my chest and scream, in a Bronx accent, "I thought you were dead!" And then he'd say, "You watch too many movies, Ma." (And, seriously, 100 points to the first person who can name that film.) So...I was hovering near the point where, if my friend returned without our kids, I was going to call the police and make them send a helicopter to call out my kid's name and tell him to, "GO TO YOUR MOTHER RIGHT NOW!"

But then I saw them coming toward me.

And Garrett was sobbing. Hysterically. His legs seemed fine so I automatically thought he'd broken a wrist or a collar bone or something. Something that would make our upcoming trip miserable. I didn't even have a chance to gather him in my arms and tell him not to scare mommy like that ever again because he came right out with it.

"I LOST MY POCKET WATCH!" He bellowed.

His pocket watch that was a gift from someone in our church. After he admired it Sunday after Sunday, a man in our church gave it to Garrett and told him to take good care of it. His pocket watch that is, quite seriously, my son's most prized possession. A pocket watch he takes everywhere and shows everyone. Gone.

The reason the boys had been gone for so long was because, in the middle of their trek, Garrett suddenly clutched his pocket and shouted, "My pocket watch!" And they'd taken to searching the ravine high and low for it.

I asked him why, on earth, he'd put his pocket watch in a pocket without Velcro or a zipper and then climbed around in the foliage. Garrett cried hiccuping sobs, "I don't know!" he yelled. It was, quite seriously, a time of deep mourning. I was starting to think that our next step was to break out the sackcloth and ash. I'm not entirely sure he'd cry any harder if someone told him that I had passed away. He'd probably be all, "Sad. But she's with Jesus. This makes me think of the time I lost my pocket watch." And then he'd start mourning that watch all over again.

We searched the car. Allison and Tim searched the ditch again. Garrett, Kim, Matthew and I searched the park area. "Are you absolutely sure you had it?" I asked. He was. We searched more. And, when it was time to leave, he continued to cry and demanded that I leave him there, at the park, to continue his search.

I finally had to pry him away from the scene of the tragedy. I'd already called Troy and both of us were very sad. I wished he would have lost a much less important belonging so that we could use it as a teachable moment but the grieving period would be shorter. Troy considered going up to the park to look for himself. But, I explained that it would be like looking for a needle in thirteen haystacks.

Garrett cried, off and on, for most of the way home.

It was terrible. Worse, even, than when he dropped his weenie whistle in the Truckee River and, let me tell you, that was a bad day.

It was a devastating lesson for my five-year-old to learn. We don't put our most prized possessions in our pockets and then take them out to play.

So it's a good thing he didn't.

Troy found the pocket watch between two chairs in our family room.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Happy Birthday to my husband! 

Today Garrett asked Troy how old he is.

Troy: How old do you think I am?
Garrett: I don't know.
Troy: How old was I on my last birthday?
Garrett: 80?
Troy: Not quite 80.
Garrett: 16?
Troy: Older than 16.
Garrett: I don't know.
Me: 39. Now you're going to start going backward.
Troy: I could handle that.

Monday, June 4, 2012

We Made A Vow

My husband went to Redbox last night and we watched The Vow because he's always been really good at balancing the action movies and the war films and the comedies with a good chick flick. He loves me that way. He's not a selfish movie watcher. He also voluntarily changed a high volume of diapers when our boys were babies. Every teenage girl should be taught that she must find herself a man who will watch chick flicks and change diapers.

So we watched and it's really nothing if not thought provoking. I mean, seriously. What would I do if I woke up tomorrow in a hospital bed with massive brain trauma? What would I do if I had no recollection of my husband and every single memory that we share together was gone? What would I do if I thought I was still engaged to He Who Shall Not Be Named?

"But I'm in love with *insert real name of He Who Shall Not Be Named*!"

Troy would shake his head, "No. No, you're not. Trust me on this one."

What if I couldn't remember the butterflies that took up residence in my stomach every time I thought about him for the first year we were together? What if I forgot the way he looked sitting across from me at Bennigan's on our first date? What if I didn't know that fireworks really do explode and that they just so happened to shoot into the sky the first time he kissed me?

I can't bear the thought of forgetting his arms around me or having no recollection of all the times I've almost keeled over and died because he's hysterically funny in his own unique way. I can't imagine looking through our wedding album and having no idea that it was one of the happiest days of my entire life and also like a really weird dream. What if I forgot that I kind of floated through that day and it felt like I was walking on a cloud and I smiled so much that my cheeks almost broke in two. What if I forgot the way the door sounded when it closed and we were alone in the limo. Just him. And me. And our brand new life together.

What if I couldn't remember that he carried me through infertility, shielding me, protecting me, holding me. What if each moment of our adoption journey was wiped out of my mind and I forgot how much my husband's patience, faith, and forgiveness astounded me during that time? What if I didn't know, with every fiber of my being, that he is good and honest and respectful and wonderful? What if, suddenly, I forgot that the only place I want to be is with him.

On a beach.

In the sun.

But on the beach, in the sun, with him.

What if I couldn't remember any of it?

Would he win me again? Would I fall in love with him again? If the slate was wiped clean, would I once again know what it's like to know that I know he's the one?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week 21: This Is Where I Live

So in the picture that I actually posted to the photo project page, my address appeared in this shot. But I removed it for blog purposes. It's not like some creepy stalker person couldn't find me if he wanted to. And, really, who am I kidding? I don't think most people out there stalk mommy bloggers with less than 150 followers. There's nothing particularly stalk-worthy about me.

And I'm okay with that.

But, still, I don't think it would be particularly difficult to find me without the numbers of my address if someone wanted to. So, I figured, it's probably best not to just hand out my precise location.

Anyway...this is where I live.

When I'm not at church. Or the pool. Or in my car. This is where the boys grow. This is where the unstalkworthy blogging happens. This is where Troy writes most of his sermons and where we're growing tomatoes and zucchini in an old plastic pool in the backyard. This is where we, more often than not, play music after dinner and sing and dance like a quartet of undignified street performers. This is where we laugh and cry and discipline and love. It's a rental but, since we've been in it for 3 and a half years, it feels like it's ours.

Except we get to call the landlord when the water heater goes out. That's sure a nice feature. I also started composing an email last week when Garrett screamed that our dishwasher was on fire. Smoke was billowing out and Troy and I thought for sure it was going to be deemed unusable ever again. So, armed with the fire extinguisher, we opened the appliance. I flipped open the laptop and began writing, "Today, while using the dishwasher, it began to smoke..." but before I could finish, Troy brought my attention to a plastic sippy cup which had fallen out off of the rack, landed on the heating mechanism and burned to a melted plastic crisp. So I stopped writing.

Yeah. This is where I live.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Pool

Garrett remembers painstakingly waiting for Matthew to finish his bottle so we could go to the pool. It was the summer that the oldest turned three. The younger one was only about three months old when we got our membership to the enormous facility near our house. I'd feed the baby a bottle while Garrett ate lunch and then we'd jump in the car with all manner of pool accoutrements. When we got there, I would lug the baby, the toddler, the stroller, the towels, the wrap, the snacks, the water wings, the noodle, the swim diapers, and anything else we might need into the swimming area. Inevitably, Matthew would fall asleep and I'd spend my time dragging Garrett out of the kiddie area and running up the small, grassy hill to check on him and then running back down because, obviously, Garrett wanted to be in the water. We'd usually be there less than an hour when Garrett got cold or tired or cranky and we'd head home.

I miss my babies. I mean, I really, deeply, miss them. I long to snuggle those teeny bodies. I wish I could smell their baby heads just once more. I am astounded by the fact that time actually is capable of flying. I'd give a lot just to be able to hold them once more--as small little bundles.

But I am loving the pool with my men. Today, after Garrett's swimming lesson, we stayed to play. I took in both children and one bag. That's it. No stroller needed. No swim diapers needed. (Can I get an Amen?)

We ate lunch and then played in the water. They jumped. They kicked. They splashed. Garrett slid down the slides. We even soaked up some sun. They're big enough to take pleasure in just lying under the sun! (For a few minutes anyway.) We wrapped up the day by watching Garrett, who can swim completely on his own now, jump off the diving board repeatedly, until he perfected his cannon ball.

When I checked my clock, just before we left, I realized we'd already been there for almost two hours. So again, time really does fly. Especially when you're not contending with rubber pants.