Friday, November 30, 2012

Elves on Our Shelves

This year, our elves arrived earlier than normal. Typically, they appear on December 1 but Garrett really wanted my parents to get to see them so I made a call. I left a message at the North Pole and some elf named Martha, with an incredibly thick accent, returned my call. It took some time to locate the elves assigned to my boys and I had to sit on the phone for quite awhile. Both boys stared at me in eager anticipation. Unfortunately, Martha couldn't guarantee that they'd be here by the time my parents had to leave. She did promise to send them right away but elves have a mind of their own.

Lo and behold, they rang our doorbell the day before my parents left. They came with a note that explained how quickly they had made the trip. They'd only stopped in Manitoba to spend a night with Finn's grandmother, a retired elf who now lives with a family of field mice.

Matthew belongs to the brown eyed elf. When he first arrived, Matthew was just a tiny toddler so we named him. After long deliberation, we landed on Booker T. Elfington. Garrett was older. "Tangled" had just come out. That, on top of the fact that he was obsessed with his moose stocking holder that year, led him to want to name him Flynn Mooserider. I convinced him to change it a little bit and Finn Mooserider became his scout elf's given name.
Arrival Day--November 26

The first day they were here, they were very excited. They bounced back and forth between Christmas mugs in the kitchen and even giggled when Garrett sang Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I forgot to take a picture of their coffee mug antics.

Monday was their first official day here and the boys awoke and instantly began looking for them. Booker was hanging with the penguins--probably because he normally has to travel to the opposite end of the earth to see them. Finn was, apparently, sailing.

November 27

The next day, Booker was hanging out on the top of my curio and Finn was watching from the top of the cabinet that holds all of our DVDs.
November 28

Apparently it got cold because on Wednesday we found them both all snuggly. Booker was cuddling with a stuffed snowman by the telephone. Finn was being lazy in a basket in the bathroom.

November 29

On Thursday morning Finn was like a terrifying giant, spying on the good people of Christmas Village. And Booker was making it very hard for me to cook. 

November 30

Garrett was hilarious that morning. He couldn't find Matthew's elf anywhere. He wanted oatmeal for breakfast and asked if he could push the buttons on the microwave. I said, "Sure." He started to jump up onto the counter, saw the elf, and lurched backward.

"Whoa! There he is! You have to push the buttons!"

"Why can't you do it?" I asked.

"Mom! What if my pant leg accidentally touches him?"

Last night Troy set up his "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Christmas set across the top of our entertainment unit. This morning, both elves were hanging with the gang.


Who knows where they'll be tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


She said he is doing incredibly well.

In all subjects, he is at or above grade level. He is kind and friendly to everyone. He is respectful and focused. My boy earned all E's in citizenship, despite the fact that there is the little problem of him finishing his work quickly and distracting the rest of his table by being an incessant chatterbox. We all agreed that he would try to work on it.

I apologized on account of all the heredity in that little problem. I got the same criticism growing up. So did my mother and her mother before her. His teacher said that while he talks a lot, it hasn't reached a level of being a serious problem yet. She said she wished she had a dozen more just like him to which I replied that I didn't really need a dozen more at home. I promise you, one Garrett is plenty.

Then she gently began, "I need to talk to you about a sensitive issue."

My mind raced to a million terrible places in the following two seconds of silence. He stole something. He said a bad word. He called someone a horrible name. He forced a girl to kiss him on the playground. He said someone was too fat or too skinny or too ugly. 

"He says God a lot," she started and, of course, being a pastor's wife, my first thought was that he had a problem with taking the Lord's name in vain. Except we are very serious about that in our home and I really didn't think that was it. She continued, "I do I put--"

And it dawned on me so I replied, "Oh, like, he talks about God?"

She nodded, red creeping up into her cheeks, "And it is offending some of the kids. So he can talk to me about God because I love it about him and he can write about it whenever he wants, but he needs to talk less about it with the other kids. It makes some of them uncomfortable."

I nodded, unsure of how to handle this with Garrett. I noticed that he had drawn up his legs and was suddenly extremely and uncharacteristically quiet. I put my arm around him and pulled him to me. His teacher started to ask him an unrelated question but he turned, fixed his green eyes on me and whispered, almost inaudibly, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)

"Okay, Garrett," I said as I ran my fingers through his hair. I turned to look at his teacher. "See," I started, "my husband is a pastor. We spend a lot of time at church. I understand what you are saying and my husband and I certainly understand social norms and what is acceptable to talk about and when, but he is very passionate about God and he's six. So I'm not entirely sure what to do--"

"I'm not either," she interjected.

"--but we'll talk to him about it."

My husband and I do not have the spiritual gift of evangelism. I'd trade my administration gift any day for it, but it's simply not in me. That doesn't mean I'm not called to do it, but simply handing a VBS flier to another mom makes me sweat like I just finished a marathon. In Death Valley. In August. We've never told Garrett to continuously bring up God to his friends. In fact, we encourage him to live and lead by example. I knew when he was four that we were in for it. That's when he, rather forcefully, commanded his preschool class to be baptized (even though he hasn't been). He herded them over to the carpet and began pretending to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I apologized profusely that day, even though every adult in the building thought it was equal parts hilarious and adorable. Garrett would tell a tree that Jesus died on the cross for its sins if he thought the tree had ears. He wants people to know his Jesus. He is strangely spiritually sensitive for a boy of six. And, truly, very little of that has anything to do with us. We take him to church. We pray with him. We read him the Bible. And he takes that knowledge and discipline and he trusts in the Lord. He finds new strength. He soars high on wings like eagles.

And I do not want him to lose that passion.

I do not want him to conform but to be transformed.

He knows that if we keep quiet, the very stones will cry out.

So we rode home quietly and silent tears slid down my cheeks because this parenting thing is hard. Where is the balance between offense and passion? How do you teach it to a six-year-old without crushing his heart.

Then I shared with my husband. We prayed and I processed. Troy asked Garrett how his conference was and he replied, "I'm doing really well but I can't talk about God."

And I really wished he hadn't been sitting right there when she brought it up. We explained to him that he can talk about God with his teacher. He can write about Him. He can talk about Him all he wants to on the playground because the last we heard we had freedom of speech in this country. And, on the playground, the kids can run away if they want to. We told him he can't talk about God when his teacher is talking or when they are supposed to be discussing something else entirely because he needs to be respectful of her time. We told him how proud we are of him. And then we bought him a Happy Meal. Oh yes, we did.

As I sat in Bible study last night, sharing the details of the day and asking for prayer, it dawned on me. My kindergartner is my hero. He's ahead academically. He's nice to everyone. He's respectful. He's on fire for God and he's not afraid to show it. If only we could all be so successful.

I prayed for him almost the whole way to school and asked God to give him boldness and discernment to share his faith when appropriate. I am proud of that kid. I have no idea why God chose me to be his mother. None whatsoever. But I am so thankful--and so honored--that He did.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I know what Black Friday is. I'd never even heard of Cyber Monday until last night. And as far as I knew, last Thursday was actually called Thanksgiving but, apparently, it's official term is now Gray Thursday.

I think our society has hit an all time low.

On Tuesday, when I drove past Best Buy, there were two tents erected on the sidewalk. On Tuesday people. More than 48 hours before the store would open. I am assuming that these individuals gave up a Thanksgiving meal with family or friends so that they could be first in line for a new television with a good price tag.

I understand shopping on Black Friday because there are some incredible deals. I went out with my mom so this is definitely a "pot calling the kettle black" kind of post. Why hello there, Kettle. Nice to meet you. I'm Pot." (Except that sort of makes me sound like a green, leafy recreational drug.) But what I noticed is that our society needs an intervention. Me included.

We stuffed ourselves with turkey and a variety of dishes where the first ingredient listed is CARBS! and then the second ingredient is MORE CARBS! We washed down the carbs with green salad and then sugar with the active ingredients of PUMPKIN PIE and WHIPPED CREAM. At some point, we realized that Walmart opened at 8:00 pm. I also noticed that a certain something I was hoping to procure for my husband was on mega (!!!) sale so it was "necessary" to wander over.

We left the house at 7:57 because, well, we were going to the Walmart by my house which is never very crowded. It took me a minute to realize that the cars were parked all the way down the street because the enormous parking lot was full. There were police officers directing traffic. We parked down a side street and hiked walked a short distance up to the store. There wasn't a cart in sight. People were bumping into each other like a summer Saturday at Disneyland meets the restroom during halftime of a major sporting event. We were vacillating between laughing in a sort of awed amazement and gawking in a silent stupor. As we slowly made our way around the store, we stopped at those bins of cheap movies near the electronics section. There were people standing, shoulder to shoulder, like the links in chainmail, digging furiously through the DVDs as though someone had informed them that there was a check for a million dollars at the bottom.

Lines of people stood, waiting for an iPad to go on sale later in the night. Police officers and hoards of employees patrolled taped off sections. Men guarded carts. Women weaved briskly about. "Do you want the Tupperware?" someone yelled down an aisle. "Did you see the prices on these games?" another shouted.

We looked at each other. It was so easy to get sucked into the frenzy of SALE and HALF PRICE. We started talking about other places. So many other places a stick and a rock makes a great game, or an Operation Christmas Child shoe box shows up and children are absolutely thankful, or a decent meal would be a huge blessing. As we made our way over to the grocery section where they were having several items go on sale at 10:00, we commented about just how ridiculous our society is, just how material, just how greedy. "It really makes me sick," I said with an uncomfortable lump in my stomach and, before I'd put the finishing letter on the last word I continued, "Oohhh! Look at that!" I have a compassion deficit, apparently. It only lasts until the next shiny thing catches my attention. Thankfully, I realized the pathetic nature of my juxtaposition and called myself on it.

I can't explain it but I felt dirty. I needed to wash the consumerism off my body. I needed to remind myself that while I receive huge happiness in giving gifts and a fair amount in receiving them, this just isn't about getting the best deal. Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from the chaos and the crowd and be thankful for what we already have, not what we think we can't live without.

I had just eaten more food in a half hour span of time than some people see in a week. I have a roof over my head. I have running water. I have outrageous medical insurance that I complain about all the time but I don't really have to worry that my kids will die of the common cold. I have cable and a cell phone. I AM WEALTHY by the world's standards.

I saw on the news that a woman drove a U-Haul on Black Friday because her car wasn't big enough for all the things she intended to get. Last night they featured the same woman operating two computers simultaneously to get the best Cyber Monday deals. I complained about how ridiculous it was that she needed that much stuff.

But compared to the rest of the world, I might as well be U-Haul lady. Why was I so privileged to be born into such a rich country? And how do I consistently remember to be rich in faith and godly inheritance instead of consumed by the lure of shiny stuff?

Friday, November 23, 2012


You wanna know what I have left to buy for Christmas?

I need to finish stuffing my husband's stocking. I need one more thing to go in Matthew's stocking.

The end.

So now I can focus on decorating and baking and wrapping and listening to music and worshiping the risen Lord come tiny baby.

Merry Christmas to those of you who are done shopping and those of you who haven't started. (Although I certainly pity that latter.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spanish Lesson

He walks toward the bathroom. "I'll be in there. Please excuse me. Which is, of course, Spanish for I have to poop."

"Oh, it is?" I begin to laugh.

"Is it really? I just made that up!" he responds.

"Um. No. It is not."

"Well, then, how do I say, 'I have to poop' in Spanish?" he asks.

"I have no idea."

"But you took a lot of Spanish," he reminds me.

"Yes but I never learned how to say that." Then it strikes me that I probably did. It is probably tengo caca or something of the sort. But I am not teaching that to my six-year-old.

It also strikes me that this is probably not something I should be writing about. But I really don't know how we aren't a reality show.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This story is very much like The Great Jrink Revelation of last summer. So, yesterday, Garrett and I were working on his homework. He was supposed to cut out the letter "T" and then find five pictures that start with T, cut them out, and glue them to the larger T. We flipped through magazines looking for words that begin with T.

I eventually found a picture of chocolate covered candy cane sticks. "Hey, we could use this! What would we have to call this to make it work for T?" I asked.

He looked long and hard. "Candy doesn't start with T. Neither does chocolate. I don't know, Mom."

"Well," I said, "how about treat?"

He began saying each letter of the word. "Ch, er, E, t. Ch, er, E, t. Chreat doesn't start with T either."

I tried not to laugh. "T, er, E, t," I said. "Yes it does."

His eyes widened into saucers. "It's treat?"

I nodded.

"Has it always been treat?" he asked. "I mean, are you sure it isn't chreat?"

"I'm sure. It's treat."

"That is so weird. All my life I thought it was chreat."

It started out as a simple little homework assignment but it totally rocked his world.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Snow Clothes

My boys want to play outside all the time. 

Now that it's gotten colder, I am constantly reminding them that it is not acceptable to wear flip flops and tank tops when they go out.

Garrett is getting better at remembering things like, say, a jacket. Matthew, not so much. When we had snow on the ground last week, Matthew asked if he could go outside.

"You need to put on boots and gloves," I instructed. So this is how he came down the stairs.
I laughed somewhat hysterically and told him to go put on pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a jacket. He really wanted to go out right then so, when Troy snapped this picture, he was met with this signature glare.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that I accomplished something today that none of you have. In the event that you have, well, I'm sorry.

To set the scene, last summer and well into October, we had a serious fly problem in these parts. Something about how it just wasn't cold enough last winter to kill them off or other such crap. It was plenty cold. But, whatever, fly problem is really all you need to know.

It didn't matter how often we yelled at the boys to, "Close the darn door now!" they left it open. Or, even when they didn't, hoards of flies flocked in when we let the dog out. It was gross. Eating was a somewhat disgusting experience involving one hand waving continuously over our meals while we used the other to quickly shovel dinner into our mouths.

Eventually, Troy had had enough and he went to the store to purchase fly paper. I promise you, it repelled the flies. They flew everywhere except onto the paper.

In the quarter of a year that we've owned that fly trap, we caught exactly two flies on it. At one point, when it was located behind our kitchen sink, it started to fall over. Instinctively, I reached out to stop it and spent the next twenty minutes trying to get fly glue off my hand. 

About a month ago, I moved the trap on top of the refrigerator. On more than one occasion I thought that I should throw it away since the flies are long gone. Today, as I was emptying the contents of the vacuum cleaner into the trash can, the universe aligned with the powers of the underworld and a massive catastrophe ensued.

I still have no idea how it happened. As I shook the giant golden retriever hairball from the canister, I suddenly felt something hit my head. Reaching back to see what had landed on me, my hand stuck instantly to the thick, sticky goo of the fly trap.

Only me, folks. Remembering just how long it took to clean my hand off that day, I was quickly aware of what an epic dilemma I found myself in. So I did what any rational 31-year-old with a decent set of coping skills would do. I burst into tears. Before my eyes flashed scenes of me walking up to the hair stylist with a fly trap stuck to my head, asking her to do whatever she could. Inevitably, I would leave with a buzz cut. "Troy," I sobbed, "look. Oh! Oh no! The fly trap (unintelligible crying) head--oh!"

But that man is my knight in shining armor. He sat me down in the bathroom while both boys brought things they thought might help. The tub of margarine. A pair of scissors. I suddenly had a moment of clarity. If a buzz was certain, I was going to have photo documentation of why. I stopped crying and insisted that Troy get the camera. "That's why I love you," he said as he ran to get the camera.

And then he went to the Internet. Turns out, if you Google Fly paper glue hair you'll get 61,900,000 results. Who knew? My incredible husband then sat and combed vegetable oil through my hair until there was no more resistance.

I washed my hair twice and it still feels oily. I'm not complaining though. Trust me, there's nothing like a head full of fly paper glue to make you appreciate greasy hair.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Comfort Food


When I was in college, this was pretty much its own food group.
Rather quickly, I realized that I only needed the bare minimum for a meal plan. I scheduled early classes every semester and I wasn't going to get up and eat in the cafeteria before they started. Typically, my first class was at 7:45 so I got up at 7:10, threw on some clothes, brushed my teeth, and darted off with a granola bar in my hand. Or a yogurt. I consumed vast amounts of yogurt in those days.

I almost always ate lunch in the "caf." Nearly every day I had a salad and french fries. When I'm on an early death bed because of the fries, I will apologize to my children and tell them that I really thought the salad would offset the cancer causing agents in fries.

Dinner, if we were in the middle of rehearsing a show, was a quick trip to the caf during our break to slap a sandwich together. I'm hesitant to add that I usually walked out of the dining hall carrying the sandwich in one hand and a cup full of fries in the other. It's truly remarkable that I'm still here. Also noteworthy is the fact that I graduated two pounds heavier than I started college and never experienced the freshman (or any other year for that matter) fifteen.

Occasionally, I would vary this diet with a hamburger or fresh fish and veggies or stir fry or any number of other options. But, for the most part, I lived on a steady diet of salads, sandwiches and french fries.

When I wasn't in the middle of rehearsing a show, when I wasn't needed as the production manager on a certain night or when I wasn't hanging around watching a rehearsal even though I wasn't called or otherwise expected that evening, I survived on Top Ramen while I dug myself out from under my homework.

And I always (ALWAYS!) ate it out of this giant mug that my parents bought me the weekend they left me on campus for the very first time to grow and learn and spread my wings and, eventually, fly. Or, well, hover. I don't know that I've ever actually soared but I've done a decent job at hovering.

To this day, some thirteen years later, Ramen is still one of my guilty pleasures. I refuse to eat it out of anything except my Point Loma Nazarene University bowlmug. I still cook it in the same hot pot that I took with me to the dorm when I wasn't even eighteen years old.

Every, single time that I eat Top Ramen, I think back to those nights on campus--nights I wouldn't trade for anything and an experience I wouldn't change.

Ramen is horribly unhealthy and I rarely eat it these days. But when I do, I can't help but smile over my bowl of comfort food.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I grew up in southern California. We did not have to pack gloves and hats in our backpacks before we left for school. We didn't have to wear a thick winter jacket so that we didn't freeze to death during recess. We didn't need boots.

Wait, what?

Apparently I'm supposed to send boots with my kid.

"Mommy, my feet were cold at recess," he tells me.

"I'm sorry," I say, thinking that there is no solution to this problem.

"Can I take my boots tomorrow?" he asks, "Grayson had his boots in his backpack and he put them on before recess."

Thankfully, it was much warmer and he didn't need to take his boots to school today. But I need help here. What am I supposed to do when there is a thick layer of snow on the ground?

1. Send him in sneakers because recess is ten minutes long and he certainly won't die in that amount of time.

2. Send him in the boots because a kindergartner being responsible for a hat, two gloves, a jacket, two boots and two regular shoes is just a recipe for an epic catastrophe.

3. Send him in shoes with his boots in his backpack and not worry that he's only going to come home with three out of four pieces of footwear.

4. Move him out of the tundra and stop losing precious minutes of my life worrying about boots.

Votes, please.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


This kid just read the word "rescuers" he followed it up by sounding out "supersecret" which I'm pretty sure is actually two words.
I mean, he doesn't look like that anymore, except in my eyes, but the point is, he's basically reading. Slowly. Stubbornly, at times. But he's reading.

Have I told you lately how very glad I am that we didn't start him? Oh I have? Well, I'm telling you again. There are about 25 kids in his class and he's at the very top of all of them in reading. I only know that because I volunteer in his classroom, not because I go around stalking the other children and drilling them on whether or not they can read. I'm not that mom. At least not yet, anyway. There are two kids who are pretty close to him but the three of them are well ahead of the rest.

When I was volunteering on Monday, his teacher said, "I want all of my six-year-old boys to go answer the question of the day." At least seven boys got up to answer the question. A few of the boys were absent and I know that some of them are already six. So, obviously, a lot of parents made the same decision we did and started their boys late.

While we're on the subject, this kid knows almost all of his letters and the sounds they make. He also doesn't look like this anymore which is actually kind of good because, as cute as he was, he never stopped screaming.
He knows more letters and sounds than several of the kindergartners I tested on Monday. This is a very good thing because it means that hopefully he'll be reading in a couple of years. 

It is very important to me that these children become proficient readers at a young age. How else will they become world famous writers? How else will they pay me back by blogging about how insane their mother is?

Monday, November 12, 2012


The other day, I was feeding the boys lunch. I can't remember what I gave them but it was messy enough that I had them take off their shirts. Disclaimer: I would not do this if we were having people over. Nor would I do this if they were older and hairier because, even though I doubt their hair would go falling into the food, there is just something about arm pit hair that needs covering up at the table. For that matter, there is just something about arm pit hair in general. I'm glad I'm a girl in a western country. That's all I have to say about the matter.

So I had them take off their shirts. Only their shirts.

A few minutes later, Matthew looked down and said, "Good grief! I'm naked!"

Now, apparently this comes from an Adam & Eve movie that we have in our church's nursery and he was simply quoting the cartoon. This is very common. Matthew has a great memory. He quotes all sorts of things. But I, not having seen this cartoon, had no idea that he was parroting a movie.

So, naturally, I burst into hysterical laughter. Aside from having a great memory, Matthew also loves a laugh. He began repeating this phrase over and over. His cadence was so funny that I could simply not stop laughing.

Now, whenever his clothes are off for any reason, he says, "I think I'm naked. Oh good grief! I'm naked!"

He's hilarious, that one.

Friday, November 9, 2012


We spent last week visiting Troy's parents in Yakima, WA. Troy led a personality conference called Living on Purpose and then he preached at his dad's church on Sunday. On Tuesday, we spent the day in Seattle. When we flew into Seattle last week, the colors were so spectacular out the airplane window that it looked fake. We get an authentic autumn here in Utah and the colors are beautiful, but Seattle looked like something out of a fantasy film.

This was actually taken in Yakima, where the colors were equally as stunning.

Troy has two sisters in Oregon and they both drove up with their families to visit us. The boys had a blast playing with their cousins.

When we got to Seattle, we stopped at the Space Needle first.

I don't remember it costing an arm and a leg to go up either of the two previous times I've been in Seattle but, apparently, it does. We decided that since Troy had been up in the needle countless times, I would take the boys up and save us almost twenty bucks. I'm glad we decided to take the boys up though because they really enjoyed it.

We rode the monorail and went to Pike's Place Market. Matthew, who was actually the size of this fish, refused to get anywhere near it. So, apparently, we can add "dead fish" to his list of things to be terrified of.

We watched them throw fish. If you look closely, in the center of this shot, you'll see one flying.

We had clam chowder at Ivar's down on the water and it was delicious. Troy also bought a tray of shrimp and fries for all of us to split. We should have known better because Garrett, the seafood lover, probably ate three quarters of the shrimp by himself. And that was after he'd consumed a large portion of chowder. Even Matthew will eat his body weight in chowder and shrimp. Maybe we should move to some fishing village in Alaska. We'd all be very happy with the cuisine.

After we had lunch, we caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island.

And I decided that I want to live somewhere that involves taking a ferry to get home.

Except it would probably get old really fast.

And also, I would prefer this place to be somewhere tropical so that I don't have to borrow my mother-in-law's thick winter jacket during the first week of November. Does a place like that exist?

The boys loved taking the ferry. The guy in the shot with my mother-in-law and Matthew was wearing a Chargers sweatshirt. We didn't talk about it but I assume he is feeling my misery this season. You can tell by the look on his face, no? He's thinking, "Fire Norv. Fire Norv. Fire Norv."

Bainbridge Island is beautiful. We didn't have a car so we pretty much rode the ferry and then turned around and rode it again but the homes as we approached the island were stunning.

Troy does this thing. He aims the camera at me and snaps my picture for no good reason. There's no cute kid in the shot. There's not even a particularly great background. But he takes the shot anyway. Typically I look at him like, "Why the heck are you taking my picture for no good reason, Pal?" And this is what he gets.  Nineteen times out of twenty I delete them immediately. I'm putting this one here because I wonder if there is rehab for people who take ridiculous pictures of their wives. If so, can someone recommend a good program for him? I mean, look at it. It's terrible. He needs help. Also, those forehead wrinkles are going to be a serious problem in approximately ten years.

Bainbridge looks like a New England beach city. It looks sleepy and beautiful and wonderful. It could be horrible, I don't really know but I kind of want to move there. Minus the freezing.

My boys are cute. Enough said.

When we got back to Seattle, we took the monorail back up to our hotel by the Space Needle and we drove up to Seattle Pacific University to look around.

That night, Troy took me out to dinner and my in-laws kept the boys. We proved that we are total party animals by eating and then dashing back to the hotel to watch the election results. We fell asleep ridiculously early.

The next day we headed to the airport where we discovered that we would be sharing a flight with the Seattle Sounders. Garrett said, "Should I tell them I like Real Salt Lake?" We informed him that that might not be the best thing he could say. The boys and I approached two of them and Garrett asked if he could get a picture with them. Being that we're not actually Sounders fans, we had no idea if we were asking good players, less good players, or water boys. Although, I was pretty sure they didn't look like water boys. Turns out, both of these guys are pretty good. 

We let Garrett stay up last night and watch the game and he was really conflicted. He kept saying that he wanted Real Salt Lake to win but when the Sounders scored he cheered. Then he was happy when they won. So, I think he's completely confused. He's pretty proud of the fact that he has a picture with professional soccer players, in any case.

Finally, Troy took this picture of Mt. Rainier when we were headed home.

We had a great trip and enjoyed our time in Washington.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Dad

This is it. Today is my dad's last day at his job. He retires. At 54.

My dad has worked in law enforcement since before I was born. He's been at the same location since I was six or seven. I grew up visiting him at his very cool branch of the sheriff's department. My kids have enjoyed the same kind of fun.

It's weird for me.

Granted, he's very young, but how do I have a father old enough to be retired? Especially when said father was only 22 when I was born.

He worked.


For almost 33 years.

Overtime, whenever he could, to give us what we needed. Or what we wanted. Yet he somehow still managed to be present in our lives. He never missed the big stuff. He rarely missed the small stuff.

My father is an incredible man, the best I could have asked for in a dad.

Congratulations, Dad! Enjoy your retirement.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Where We Are

We are in the middle of Washington visiting my in-laws which means that if you want to break into my house, now is the time to do it. Although, the cat is still there and he's a bit of a wild card so good luck. Troy led a conference at his dad's church called Living on Purpose and I got to attend with my sister-in-law while my mother-in-law watched our collective four children. Tomorrow he's preaching at the same church and on Tuesday we get to spend the day in Seattle.

So that's where we are.

I'll be back soon to write drivel about Snooki. I know you can't wait.