29 September 2008

a new earth

Jonathan is amused. I am currently reading A New Earth. And talking at length about each chapter as I finish reading it. He listens and he nods and he even discusses the ideas in the book with me ... but I know he is amused. Because I have always been so judgmental about self-help books.

I have always been so judgmental period. And I want to stop that crap now. Right now. So let me just roll my eyes at myself one last time because I am reading this book that Oprah has been ranting about for so long now, this book that has become such a phenomenon. Because I am such a follower. Oprah says "Jump!" and I say, "How high?"

And that's it. No more Judgy MacJudgerson. Not gonna go there. Anymore.


Because this book, this Oprah recommendation, is really interesting.

I have become very intrigued by the idea of inner peace.

(Are you laughing at me?) Zen. Salvation. Call it whatever you want. I want it. I want to be a serene, happy, peaceful, peace-filled, nonjudgmental, accepting, loving person. I want to love everyone. Not just my friends and family. Not just my fellow Democrats. Not just Weezer. Not just Jane Austen fans.

I want to love everyone.

26 September 2008

Obama junkie

I think the debate was so awesome tonight. But is a presidential debate even necessary when both parties come away feeling their side fared better?

I am green with envy that my dear friends and family back in Fredericksburg are all going to UMW to see Obama tomorrow. I can't wait to read all their blogs tomorrow night. Sigh.

And what does it say about my character that I am cackling with glee over the upcoming Palin-Biden debacle ... er, debate next Thursday?

24 September 2008

alone again

Our guests are gone, baby, gone.

Jonathan's parents drove out for a week to see Colorado and the kids and Jonny and me, not necessarily in that order. We all had an awesome time. They really love Colorado and understand now why we had to get out of Dodge.

We took them all over, and they were such good sports about all of the driving around! Our favorite place would have to be Rocky Mountain State Park where we saw tons of elk. I have never seen elk before outside of a zoo, so that was so cool. They make the goofiest sounds! They're like gigantic, hairy whistling teakettles with antlers.

Susan completely spoiled the kids, giving them little gifts each day and buying them adorable sweaters and winter clothes and snowsuits and coats and boots! I had this weird epiphany while we were in Target picking our snowboots for the kids. I saw snowboots in my size one shelf over and I realized I will need a pair of snowboots this year. I have not worn boots of any kind since I was probably about 12 years old so this is very exciting to me.

They also spoiled Jonathan and me. They gave us 2 nights off and sent us to the movies one night (we saw "The Dark Knight" finally) and a gift card to P.F. Chang's another night. I had never been to P.F. Chang's but Jonathan loves it and has wanted to bring me there forever. We had a great time, but I am embarrassed to say I got pretty tipsy. I only had 2 glasses of wine (with a full dinner) but I guess the altitude really affects me or something because I felt like a complete lightweight!

But I think the best part of the week was really just hanging out with family again. Although this visit made me so homesick for my parents... It was great to see the kids with their grandparents. And to just sit and sip our coffee and talk... It was horrible watching them leave Sunday night. I was very worried about the kids. Because every evening when Susan and Shel left for their hotel there was this moment of "don't go ... I don't want you to go" pleading from Lion and/or Blue. But they are doing okay. So far no hysterics. They are playing with all of the toys Grammy and Papa Shel brought and they sleep with their new "Grammy pillows" at night:
I think they are just so little that they fall into routines pretty easily. I think this separation is hardest on all of the adults.

I am fighting to keep depression at arm's length. I miss my family a lot. It surprises me how strongly I miss my dad. Not to imply that I didn't think I'd miss him. I just thought it wouldn't be too different from before the move, since we really only saw each other every couple of months or so -- and neither my dad nor I are very fond of the telephone! But I miss him so completely. It is overwhelming. I think of him more now, I think, than I did at home. Probably partly because I know he is so far away but also because I think my dad would love it here. I can see him here in my mind, enjoying the view of the mountains and this endless sky, golfing in the afternoons, enjoying barbeque for dinner with an ice-cold beer and taking long hand-in-hand walks with Judi at sunset. Even the food here reminds me of him! Last week we stopped at Echo Lake Lodge again and had buffalo chili and cornbread and the most amazing blueberry pie. Dad would have loved it.

17 September 2008

family photos

Jonathan is doing much, much better. His parents are in town for the week. So not much time to blog. But everyone is well and happy.

Here are some more old photos of the kids that his parents shared with us:

16 September 2008

Blue's recital

These pictures were taken in June at Blue's recital. Jonathan's parents are visiting this week (so no time to really sit down and blog) and gave us a bunch of pictures.

Isn't she cute? I tried to do her hair, but as you can see it started to fall so by the time the performance got going, I pulled it out so that she just had long pigtails.

05 September 2008

he is okay!

I can breathe again.

Jonathan had surgery today on his spine. He has had horrible back and leg pain for months now and so this surgery was very necessary. The doctor said it went really well. So hopefully he will not be in so much pain anymore.

But the idea of someone messing around with my husband's spine is terrifying. I was very nervous about this procedure. I didn't blog about it and I definitely wasn't talking about it.

It sucks that we are so alone. I mean, we're fine, he's fine, I am fine, the kids are fine, but I really could have used my Kathy Davenport today. As it was, we dropped Jonathan off at the medical center and I took Blue and Lion to Blue's dance class.  Lion was very good and sat with me and ate a bunch of crackers while Blue danced and I talked to some of the other moms. One mom in particular may be my new Kathy Davenport (as if there could ever be an other) because she has a girl Blue's age and a little boy Lion's age. We exchanged numbers and she said I could drop the kids off next week if I need to. And my new friend, Shannon, also has said to call her if I need anything. So I am not utterly alone!

But Shannon is almost an hour away and she works and has a baby, so I would hate to bother her. And I am very touched by the sweet mom from dance class, but I just met her so I know I'm not really going to drop the kids off there this week! So I am not alone. But I am.

After dance class, I took the kids out to buy Jonathan some cards and balloons and candy and flowers. (I didn't want his hospital room to be empty.) I checked my cell phone every five minutes because I was supposed to receive a call when Jonathan came out of recovery. And I hated not being there. Jonathan said, What would you do? You'd just be waiting. But that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be there. Waiting. But I have the kids. So we had lunch at Target and came back here and they were very good and played in their rooms.

And then finally, finally, Jonathan called! He had just woken up so I threw the kids in the car and raced over to see him. And he was okay! He was lying in his bed in his own room and he had oxygen tubes coming out of his nose like someone in the hospital on a soap opera. The kids were happy to see him, though they were very concerned that he didn't have his own clothes on and they kept looking all over the room for Daddy's clothes. I told them that Daddy was going to spend the night there and Blue looked upset. "How will Daddy go potty?" she asked me. So we showed her his private bathroom and she seemed relieved.

We didn't stay very long and it hurt my heart to leave, but I thought Jonathan would rest better without the kids running around.

As we were getting in the car, Blue began to cry. She told me she didn't want Daddy to stay at the hospital, that she wanted Daddy to get in the car with is and I kept telling her everything would be fine. I asked her not to cry because then I would cry. "I miss Daddy, too," I told her. "Daddy is my best friend."

"Daddy is my best friend, too," she said.

"And Daddy is my best friend, too," Little Lion Man chimed in.

And somehow I made it home without crying.

But he is resting and we have spoken on the phone and he has eaten dinner and even walked around his room a bit, so everything sounds okay. And I am so relieved I feel like I am dissolving, like that beautiful scene in Amelie where she turns into water and splashes down onto the floor of the cafe. I feel just like that.

01 September 2008

looking ahead

It seems Jonny and I are always, always looking ahead. It's not that we aren't proud of where we are right now and that we don't enjoy our lives. Because we are and we do. Period.

But we like to have something in the works. A plan. It is what we talk about in the wee small hours lying in bed together. It's our common goal.

So here is where we are right now: living in an apartment in Aurora while we own three houses in Virginia.

Here is where we want to be next year: living in a house somewhere in Colorado while we own three houses in Virginia.

We are looking around at different areas of Colorado and are currently drawn to Broomfield. Which is across Denver from us, to the Northwest. Jonathan loves that Broomfield is closer to the mountains than we are now. I love the mid century ranch homes there.

Our main goal is to live somewhere where he will not have to commute so we are going to take our time deciding where to live. Our second goal is to live somewhere with great schools.

But the housing market here is very good. So we hope to put a down payment on something next summer when our lease is up here. I want it to be a small house. I am really enjoying being in this apartment! But we really need to be in a house so the kids can run around and play and I don't have to worry so much about disturbing our neighbors. And so they can have a small yard to play in. But this cozy size is so appealing to me. Our electricity bills are so much lower. I can clean the whole place in just a few hours. And I vacuum all the time now! At home I hated lugging the vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs. And forget about hunching over and vacuuming the staircase. I practically never did that! (Sorry, Mom.)

But Jonathan wants a little more room than this! We both need a bit more distance from the wild screamy children sometimes. And it would be nice to have a spot for guests to spend the night, which we are lacking right now.

But we should be ideal customers for some lucky real estate agent! We want a very small house, preferably one floor, with a little yard. We want kind of a crappy-looking thing that we can put some work into. Basically I want a house that will provide some incredibly ugly "before" pictures!

Hopefully once the market back in Virginia picks up enough we'll sell our house and pay off our house here. We want to hang onto the two houses in Richmond for as long as we can--when we sell them one day they can pay for the kids' college educations.

So that's the plan. Meanwhile we are trying to save every penny, so if you only receive a card from me for your birthday and no present, now you know why.

I am spending a lot of time online looking at houses, and I've started an Inspiration Book which I am filling with decorating ideas for our next home...