Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

Today has been the first truly hot day of summer in Oregon. It makes me laugh, because if it were "only" 92 degrees in Idaho, people would be breathing a sigh of relief.

Time to bust out the overalls!

Dad loves his grandson. How precious.

How could you resist such a gorgeous little farm boy?

Or a beautiful maiden in a red-checkered sundress?

Especially having a tea party?

We match. And yes, I planned it that way. :-)

Klaus is Jack's protector. It's quite cute.
And so with those picture-perfect moments, I leave to go fetch my screaming, never-takes-a-nap child.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Does anybody know what time it is? Pool time!

Last night, I left my in-laws and headed on over to Shane and Jill's. Jack is seriously tired of a new bed, new house, and new faces every few days, but today we went to the pool! He totally dug it.

How could you resist these beautiful faces? It was so much fun watching Jack "swim" around, and Joshua got into the water groove after about half an hour, too.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but Jack's feet were so pruny when we got out! I couldn't resist. :-)

And how cute is his back fat? I leave you with that unaswerable question. :-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Father at 8,000 miles away

Yesterday was Nick's first Father's Day. He spent it on a tiny island in the Pacific 8,000 miles away from his son. We spoke on the phone, and Nick expressed frustration at being away from us on this special day. "I just want to hold him!" he said. When I reminded him that I'm posting as many pictures and videos as I can, he said, "I know and I'm glad. But I want to touch his soft little tummy and hear his laugh and kiss his face and just be WITH him!"

Jack loves his daddy. When he hears his voice on the phone, his face lights up, and he has a special coo for Nick, too.

Yesterday, I was thinking about my and Nick's journey to parenthood. I fell in love with Nick HARD when we were 17, convinced he was not perfect, but perfect for me. We got married and had 3 wonderful (not all the time, but mostly) years getting to know each other. Then, I told him I was pregnant and promptly burst into tears.

Nick was so excited, couldn't wait to find out if Pumpkin was a boy or a girl. He came to all my appointments, picked out everything with me on the baby registry, painted the nursery, assembled the rocker (sans instructions, true to his nature), read "What to Expect" with me out loud on Sunday nights, took pictures of my growing tummy, talked to Pumpkin, and told me I was gorgeous. When Jack came, Nick stared at him in wonder, holding him like he had no idea what to do with this tiny creature. Because he didn't.

And as Jack grew and became more social, Nick fell in love with someone besides me.

As soon as Nick walks in the door from work, Klaus our dog rushes to him, and me and Jack are not far behind. Jack and Nick play peek-a-boo, sing songs, play "let's see how far you can chuck me toward the ceiling today!", and babble back and forth. We both have a long ways to go in the parenting arena (especially when it comes to patience at crying fits, Nickolas), but Nick is a wonderful father and truly adores Jack. The night before Nick deployed, Nick stood over Jack's crib, staring at his sleeping form. I stood behind him and tried to memorize the precious scene.

So Nick, though you're far away, we love you and think you're a great father. Happy Father's Day, dearheart.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Running fun

I seriously cannot comprehend how parents with small children live without jogging stollers! I absolutely love mine and like nothing better than to take my little man out on a run. It even has an extra seat for Joshua!

Plus, how cute does Jack look in his little sunhat????

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jack as a Farm Boy

Even though I would much rather be in Idaho with Nick, I know my parents have really been enjoying having their grandson around. Dad fetched the HipHammock on his own today to take Jack on a lawn mower ride around the baseball field.

I hope Jack can develop a special relationship with all his grandparents someday!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This past Saturday was my Grandma Betty's funeral. It was a beautiful, long-winded, fitting tribute to the incredible woman that she was. And as I sat there in the front row of the church, as people were once again amazed by the amount of work she managed to do in her 83 years, I found myself thinking about my Grandpa.

When I was little, I used to marvel over how quiet my Grandpa Dale was. Grandma Betty was pure energy, firing instructions and I love yous at will, constantly moving and chatting and growling simultaneously at anyone in her path. Such a contrast to her husband, who usually was working quietly, smiling at his grandkids, yet saying nothing. As a small child, I saw Grandma as the fun grandparent and Grandpa as the one who was just along for the ride.

Then, when I was a senior in high school, I spent dozens of hours interviewing both of them for their biography. Grandma usually answered for Grandpa, yet I was still surprised to find out that Grandpa was a wicked ping-pong (he actually still is) player and softball pitcher, very competitive and intense. The image didn't fit with the man who sat before me, taking 10 seconds before answering any of my questions.

I wondered about him. How did he and Grandma even get together? How did they, both on their 3rd marriages, make it last for 53 years? Did he even love her, or did he need a mother for his 3 children in the 1950s? Didn't he hate being ordered around by this bossy-yet-loveable woman?

Sitting in the pew, those questions were answered for me. I thought about the morning my grandma died. My grandpa, who I'd only seen show annoyance when one of the grandkids misplaced one of his tools or a small chuckle when a baby grinned up at him, merely sat on the couch weeping, loooking like he'd lost his best friend. Because he had.

Now, he stared ahead in his best suit, tears running down his handsome, wrinkled face. He laughed softly when funny parts of their biography came up or when somebody mentioned Grandma's stubborn nature. He stoically said goodbye, overcome with grief in his eyes at the private burial in the church cemetery. He whispered to my mother, "Wasn't that just the most beautiful service you've ever been to?" as we walked away, and for a moment, I saw the young man he used to be.

I swear, in the all the years my grandfather has walked this earth, all he has done is work. His ethic has always astounded me, but on Saturday I saw who it was for. He worked for his children's future. He worked for the betterment of his community. He worked for God and served his country.

Yet as he walked away from his wife's casket, I saw a depth of his love that I'd never realized. Yes, he worked for others, but he worked most all those years for his woman, for the partner who matched him imperfectly, for the passionate human being who shaped the majority of his life into what it was. For his Betty.

And my respect, my love for the man who said more with actions than with words, who showed his love through soft smiles and whispers, grew immensely.

God and Ballet

So this weekend has been very exhausting, both physically and emotionally. We continued that trend today as we spent it in Portland, first for Josh's dedication, then for Elsa's recital. Here's Jack on the way up:

Joshua Dean was dedicated to the Lord today.

And matching the theme of the dance recital, "Dancin' Across the USA", Jack was his usual patriotic self on his 30th Sunday (note the sweater). :-)

Elsa and Daphne were the cutest Texas cowgirls ever:

Back at the house, Josh and Jack were feeling very magnanimous and loving toward each other, as evidenced by the sharing of their meals.

I do love all my babies!