Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dancing in the (Not-So-Royal) Minefields

As a girl, I just have to get a few things off my chest. I watched the Royal Wedding with someone literally attached to my chest and another one crawling over me, so suffice it to say there was not a lot of adult conversation going on. Though, I daresay Jack enjoyed the wedding just as much as me!

Here's a sampling of some Jack questions:
  • Who is that prince? Is he going to save the princess from a mean dragon?
  • Are you a princess, Mommy?
  • Am I married yet?
I confess: I loved every minute of the pageantry. And to those who say we Americans are obsessed with the monarchy, yes and maybe so, but not as much as some Brits.

I give you Exhibit A:

At first glance, this  guy looks pretty normal, right? Look a little closer....

Yes, this Brit actually TATTOOED WILLIAM & KATE'S FACES ON HIS TEETH. The man wins the "Most Devoted, Deranged Monarchy Nut" (emphasis on nut) by a landslide. Or molar-slide, whatever.

Anyways, since I wasn't alive for Charles' and Diana's wedding, I had to enjoy this one. And while I absolutely loved Kate's gown and totally would have worn it myself...

(Does anybody else hear "Ma-wedge is what bwings us togeva here today" upon viewing this photo, or is it just me?)

The real winner was her sister Pippa's maid of honor gown. (P.S. Nick has officially fallen under the influence of a seriously attractive Australian actress named Pippa Black. Case-in-point: He now likes the name Pippa for a little girl. Pippa!)

Will someone PLEASE get this for me for Christmas?!?!

Watching all the pomp and circumstance made me miss my British Grandma Audrey. I so wish I could have gotten to know her as an adult. I would have quizzed her like crazy about previous royal weddings had I the chance.

Sitting there in my robe, I thought of the difference between my wedding and the now-Princess Kate's. I'm okay with it, really I am, but my mind couldn't help but go there. I would change so many things about that day (namely the photographer!), but there's one thing I wouldn't alter...

The Groom.
Driving to the grocery store that afternoon, the song "Dancing in the Minefields" came on. And amidst a crying baby and a toddler yelling about his imaginary friend named George the Ice Cream Man, I smiled and turned it up.

So maybe Nick and I weren't 19 and 21 the year we got engaged, like it says in the song...we were a whopping 18 when Nick proposed. (Though he was a mere 25 hours from turning 19, I'll have you know!). Yet the rest of the song is soooo right:
I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway

We bought our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We made our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin
'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

So at the end of the day, you can keep Prince William, Kate. Though to this day, one of my favorite movie scenes ever is from "Princess Diaries" where Mia is looking through a slideshow of potential husbands. When a picture of Prince William comes on (BEFORE he started losing his hair and looking more like his father, mind you!), she jumps up, "I accept! I absolutely accept!". Charlotte, her assistant, says, "You can't actually marry Prince William because he's an heir to his own throne." Mia asks, "Then why is his picture in the slideshow?" Charlotte replies, "Because I just love to look at him!" Julie Andrews, playing the Queen, sighs, "Me too!" Can I get an amen?

But I digress. I was saying I'd rather have my own prince. And his name is Nick. We didn't have a multi-gazillion dollar wedding, some people were hoping/advising us to wait or break up, Nick's paychecks were piddly, I was not nearly as thin as I had planned on being and we didn't jet off to a private honeymoon accompanied by a whole navy. If you must know, our entire honeymoon budget was $300, including gas to get from the coast to MHAFB, Idaho.

No, we didn't have a fairy-tale wedding. We don't have a fairy-tale existence. Yet we dance through the minfields every day, and do it with flair, if I may say so. Nick's the best (and only!) dance partner I want in this crazy hoedown called life. Not to mention, he was hand-picked for me by the true King.

Pretty royally awesome and amazing, I think.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Communion Most Meaningful

When you think of communion, a lot of things may come to mind. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, however, probably aren't one of them.

They are now for me, and I'll tell you why.

Last Friday, my boy was enjoying said sandwich for a snack while I pulled weeds out in the yard. In a few hours, we would be heading to our church's Good Friday service, and so I was busy trying to win the battle of the yards.

Jack ran up to me, peanut butter and jelly smeared all over his chubby cheeks.

"Hey buddy, what's up?" I think I said.

He tore off some of the crust of his sandwich and handed it to me. Then, with eyes that looked just like this:

He said, "This is my body, which has been broken for you."

I let out a little chuckle. "Have you been learning about Communion in Jungle Juniors?" I asked, then marveled over his memory. It was Friday, he hadn't been to church since Sunday, and he hadn't mentioned this once.

Jack shoved the bread toward me. "Eat it, Mommy! This is is Jesus' body!" he insisted.

So I took it and ate it.

Jack was happy. "Oh good, Mommy, now you can be in heaven forever with Jesus!"

It was one of those moments. I stood, covered in dirt and pollen, humbled by the words of my 3-year-old. I thanked God for Jack's toddler wisdom, for reminding me of the meaning of Good Friday unprompted. I mini-worshipped, right then and there.

Then the moment was gone when Jack said, "I'm gonna go find a worm to feed to the birds."

When we went to service that night, we did indeed take communion. And my heart was so full.

This is my body which has been broken for YOU. Do this in remembrance of me.

I do, Jesus. Thank you for the gift of Easter...and Jack.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I am a Real Running Mom Now!

Over the years, Jack has spent a LOT of time in various strollers:
The bike trailer/running stroller combo

                                                The gigantic works-with-carseat stroller:

The stroller Grandma Candi pulls out in foreign countries:

Here's another shot of the jogging stroller -- we have so many!

The umbrella stroller:

Grandma Candi's jogging stroller:

So suffice it to say Jack's chubby lil' rear is quite familiar with nearly every kind of stroller there is. Jude's chubby lil' rear (because after all, would my body ever create another kind of rear?) will soon join in.

But now....there is a new stroller in town. And I am pretty excited about its arrival.

You all know I'm a runner. And because I'm the primary caretaker of 2 children who also is required to stay thin (by me, not Nick!), I run with said children. Oh, and Klaus, because I'm also responsible for keeping him in shape. These facts necessesitate a running stroller.

Behold...THE BOB.

And not just any Bob. Not Saget, Hope, Barker, Newhart or the Builder. It's an Ironman DOUBLE BOB!!!
My brother and sister-in-law forked over some significant dough a few years ago for their double Bob and have never regretted it. I've ran with it many times, both Joshy and Elsa in tow, and always been amazed at its incredible maneuverability. It flies along as if it (and the children) weigh nothing.

I knew I had to have another child just so I, too, could have a double Bob.

One problem: Bobs cost about as much as a new laptop. Enter my amazing ability to find a good deal. And Craigslist.

This past week, those 2 institutions collided, and I found my Bob. I stuffed the boys inside for my inaugural run on a beautiful sunshiny afternoon, and Klaus provided security.

I am a real running mom now.

I am in love, and his name is Bob. Bob Ironman Kupper, II (because he's a 2-seater!). Or should I call him Billy, because after all, isn't Bob his cousin's name already?