Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grant... aka Nascar Man

Little G... my first-born nephew... these days he is all about Nascar. His favorite driver is Kevin Harvick, number 29. Grant even built a Nascar track in his basement, complete with an infield. In church this morning to stave off the boringness that plagues his life, Grant created list after list of Nascar drivers (and, I must say, he has very very neat handwriting!).
Grant is also into sports. We went to his baseball game yesterday, where he had some great action. He has tickets to see the Rockies and D-backs this week. He also plays soccer and two-hand touch with his dad in the backyard. His favorite teams are Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons (guess who used to live in Georgia and now lives in Colorado?!?), the Denver Nuggets, and of course the BYU Cougars. He has also built some great tracks in the mud in the backyard--and he loves to flood them.Grant also loves legos. He's really into Bionicles (whatever those are but I know they must be important). He's shown me all his creations as well as all the lego sets he loves and really wants from the legos catalog (hint, hint, right?!?). He also likes to write songs--he and his friend Alex wrote a song about privacy the other day but they couldn't sing it for us because, well, it was private. Homework is his enemy (and that's a direct quote). So is boringness.

Here are some of Grant's beliefs:
  • Bermuda Triangle
  • Aliens
  • UFOs
  • Rods (they are little rods that fly through the air, apparently)
  • the Loch Ness monster
  • Sasquatch
  • Ghosts
  • Teasing his sisters at all times
  • Kyle Busch will not win the Chase (I have no idea what that really means--Grant just told me to type it. I refuse to be WT).

Princess Sierra, or the Joys of Being a Middle Child

Once one kid climbs on, the rest are sure they can, too!

After I posted about Savannah, Sierra wanted her own post, so here she is!

Here are some things I love about Sierra:
  • She loves to help. She is a huge helper. She loves to take care of her little sister Savannah and she is super excited to have a new baby brother. She loves sharing a room with Savannah and they often giggle into the dark hours of the night. Notice how clean Savannah is--that's what happens when you leave me in charge and I feed her macaroni and cheese, watermelon, chocolate milk, and an oreo milkshake. Gotta win best aunt points somehow!
  • She loves beautiful things. On our walk yesterday (in a desperate attempt to put her mother into labor!), we found all sorts of beautiful wild flowers that we picked and brought home for a gorgeous bouquet.
  • Her favorite thing to do with me is the "Bowl Game." We wrote down a whole bunch of really cool things to do on slips of paper and put them in a bowl. We draw them out and do all sorts of things, from washing windows and scrubbing toilets (and boy is she good!) to making cupcakes, (I'm so sorry the frosting did NOT turn out very good. I promise I tried! I even added cream cheese!) and even posting a blog about Sierra!
  • Sierra is beautiful inside and out. She is very sensitive--she cares how other people feel and wants them to be happy. She loves making cards and notes for people and wants them to know she loves them. Here she is at Grant's baseball game.
  • Sierra is active. She loves to go on walks (today she even picked up a worm off the sidewalk and put him in the grass so he wouldn't dry out!), go to dance, and twirl with her sister and brother.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Advantages of Being Two Years Old

As we anxiously await the arrival of a new nephew (another post on patience coming up!), I have busied myself with the busy life of a certain two-year-old. Savannah and I play all day while Grant and Sierra are at school, and boy, have I learned how to see the world with new eyes. For example, being two gives you the advantage of:
  • Trying on every pair of shoes you see, including your sister's pink cowboy boots, your old sandals that do NOT fit, as much as you want them to, your father's work shoes (stinky!), your mom's sweaty workout socks (they go up to her knees), some random rain boots, etc. She is convinced that the right foot goes on the left and vice versa. Talk about having your own fashion sense.
  • Calling yourself Toot Toot. And your big sister Sissie. And pretty much just having your own language. Knowing what sound nearly every animal makes, including giraffes. Talk about having your own worldview. And knowing your place in it.
  • Learning how to open the pantry door, then learning how to open your own fruit snacks, granola bars, and goldfish crackers. Talk about being self-sufficient.
  • Recognizing an inherent need for other people. I love hearing her say "hold you," with the accompanying tug on my leg or arm. Asking for help constantly. Snuggling into someone on the couch or from her carseat. Holding someone's hand. Giggling with her sister at night now that they share a room. Talk about dependence in the purest sense.
  • Taking plenty of bumps and bruises. Crying for a minute, kissing things better (and she doesn't hesitate to kiss them better herself!), and then getting up for the next new thing. Talk about risks and self-healing.
  • Playing at the playground. Trying out every single piece of equipment and making up all sorts of new ways to play with a hunk of metal and a piece of plastic. Learning how to climb backwards down a climbing wall. Talk about not being afraid of new things.
  • Examining every ant and rock and crack in the sidewalk between home and the playground. Walking on the red curb along the sidewalk. Touching flowers and leaves and holding on to any human in contact. Having a keen ear for airplanes and buses and dogs. Dancing in the rain. Talk about using all of your senses. And being inquisitive.
  • Dancing and dancing and dancing. Dancing to any music. Dancing to no music. Making up her own music. Lifting up her skirt to dance even better. Pointing her fingers and skipping. And I wish you could see her run. She wags her little bootie and shifts her elbows and runs just like Phoebe on Friends. It's the greatest thing you've ever seen and you just feel this laughter rolling out of your deepest parts. Talk about living it up with every fiber of your being.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hurricane Hanna

It's true. She's alive and thriving, even all the way up here in Washington. I have loved the advance hurricane warning we have received the past few days, with encouragement to stock up on flashlights, batteries, food. A reminder to be prepared. And to meet trouble with a capital H for Hanna head on.

I experienced her firsthand this morning. I ran 17 miles in her preview--I don't think she's even hit northern Virginia yet. But her fury is keeping us informed: she is telling us that she is alive and thriving.

I was alive and thriving this morning, too. There's nothing like running in the rain. At first I dodged the puddles, but then I just ran right through them. My shoes became puddles, and every time my heel hit the ground, the water cushioned the impact. I was soaked through, and yet I felt waterproof. I could even smell fresh hot cinnamon rolls wafting through the torrents as we ran through Old Town Herndon (did you ever believe there really is an Old Town Herndon? How often have you seen that sign on the 267 and wondered how there could be an Old Town in the middle of suburban America with its high rises and business parks? It exists! It's cute and seems to have some great cinnamon rolls).

Thanks go to Ben Bennett for agreeing to run with me outside, saving me from either a very long morning on the treadmill or a give-up altogether. And boy was our conversation rousing--nothing like run-talk. After a quick ice bath (thanks to the great advice of Kyle Sampson on how to avoid cramping) and a delightful hot shower, I'm now esconced in my fuzzy pink socks, dry and ready to hit the books. I feel alive and invigorated (and waiting for the advil to kick in).
My flowers in the rain, drinking in the moisture...
now let's just pray that the basement doesn't flood again!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I heart OBX

We actually had to turn the car around because we couldn't get through this hurricane downpour in Elizabeth City.

I just spent five glorious, heavenly, delightful days at the Outer Banks. We drove through torrential downpour, leaving behind lost ways and the broken summer to refresh, rebirth, and fall ahead, in Mauri's terms. In my terms, to heal, to soak in some sun and sea, and to recharge.

There's something about the ocean. I am mesmerized. The steady rhythm, the constant movement, the sound of the surf. I loved making my daily run along the shore, hitting the hard sand by the water, and barely escaping the icy lava as it lapped the sand (not icy because it was cold--but because of the frothy white color). I loved learning how to boogie board--I learned those waves. I learned how to stand against them, how to rush into them, and how to ride them to shore. I learned how to recognize the good ones and how to avoid the wimpy ones. I took a few beatings--I'll be honest--my mouth and nose and ears filled with salty brine and my knees scraped the gravelly shells on the sea floor a few times. The exhilaration of being pulled to shore rushed through me and I embraced the warm water, the sweeping beach breeze, the soft sand.
As I bid my beach farewell on my morning run just twelve short hours ago, I realized that the ocean had already forgotten me. Even my footprints from one way had erased as I wended my way back to the house. Even as I write, safely at home on my living room floor watching the RNC, I can feel the gentle push and pull of waves. They entered my bloodstream. I'll continue to find sand in surprising places. And I can close my eyes and hear the waves pounding and feel the sun and the breeze, and smell the salt air.

I heart the Outer Banks.

And a special shout out to the incredible friends who joined us at our beach house, to the fantastic food, the great weather, the hopping music, that amazing ice maker, reverse charades (white! snow! white! snow! or plastic! head! munchkin! or ghost! death! funeral!) and the sun. Oh, the sun.