Saturday, April 30, 2011

one woman claimed no maternal instinct whatsoever

Right after Rob started, RightNow had a social in town for their current batch of trainees. Since most of the trainees were from far-flung places, they were there solo, but Rob was quietly authorized to bring me. It was a little intimidating until I started chatting with people and understood why "culture" had been so heavily emphasized in his brief interview process. These were geeks, yes, but they were PERSONABLE geeks. We joked with his trainer, who appreciated that I understood and laughed at a He-Man reference.

"By the power of Gray Skull, you've got to be kidding me!"

I found out that the pool table had been reserved for this shin-dig and lamented that I'd left my cue at home, but promptly began wheedling games out of others. As I fumbled my way back into remembering what I was doing (did I ever tell you I worked at a pool hall in college? I used to be pretty good!), I had a few conversations with the handful of females there.

Being able to say that I am the managing editor for a locally based online magazine was unexpectedly gratifying for me. I'm not sure if these women were expecting someone slightly less technical/geeky (dare I say smart?) than them, or if they expected me to say, "Oh, I'm just a mother," as if that were a less important use of my time than working for someone else. Their countenances visibly changed as I was able to discuss some facets that overlap on our jobs with knowledge and insight. On one hand, I was quite proud of what I do and proud of the fact that I have a grasp of current business and technology trends, and on the other, I was very aware of that pride and how differently I may have felt if my current occupation HAD been stay-at-home-mom.

I'd still know about cloud computing and how to manage a customer support interface, but would they know that or would they have written me off as someone with whom they had little in common? And more importantly, would I have cared? I've been thinking about these things a lot since then: about my self-important pride, about what's important to me in life vs. in social situations, about how complex and nuanced my desires are about working in or outside of the home, and about parenting losing status as a meaningful "job" in our society in general.

While that evening was a giddy rush of feeling relevant, ultimately, the most important thing about me is not what I do, but Whose I am.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

remembering God's faithfulness

So much to say! I will start with something NONE OF YOU expect:

It was our second anniversary on April 11th. We were simultaneously amazed that it has only been two years (FOR-EH-VER) and shocked it's already been two years (didn't I just meet you?). As we were in the throes of getting ready to leave for Hawaii (we're back, it was great, I might discuss it more later), the day itself was pretty anticlimactic. We made pizza and drank very nice wine.

However, in the lead-up to the tasty pizza, I had to get ingredients from the store first. While there, shopping cart as empty as I could keep it while still getting the bare necessities, the woman in front of me in line turned and said simply, "I know you."

"Yep. You're Pam, you worked at Camp on the Boulder, and I usually see your husband Greg around town, but I never say hi because I don't think he'd remember me. I'm Addie. I might have been going by 'Adele' when you knew me. How are you?"

I felt like kind of an ass saying all that, but I truly didn't expect her to remember me like I CLEARLY remembered her. She agreed that Greg might not remember me, or might be too shy to ever say hello, I asked about their kids - they have four, the eldest of whom is named after a childhood friend of mine who died quite young from complications of Down's Syndrome and his heart. She hesitantly started, "And you have one child, is that right? I know your husband died before he was born." Her eyes were full of sincere love, and she was just the right amount of direct.

"Yes, his name is Blake, he's already SIX, I remarried, and we're all celebrating our second anniversary this very day."

I honestly think I saw answered prayer written all over her face before she wrapped her arms around me in a really good hug. We didn't linger, but it was absolutely a glimpse of heaven and a precious thing, to delight in this great big family God's given me on a day that has answered prayer written all over it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

guess it's fair - i sometimes call him "blake"

R: (overheard while booking something on the phone) My wife's name is Addie. A-delta-delta-I-E, same last name. Yep... Yep... Well, I think her full name is Adele.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

balls & sunshine

Check it out! I've been working really closely with a father/daughter team that plans to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada this summer. They are funny, inspiring, and really engaging. Please do me a solid and read the story I helped them craft to post to BackpackingLight's site!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

that's what we said

R: (laughing aloud and picking me up into a hug) I love your righteous anger!

A: Grammie Gee said she made you a little nest so you could wake up like a baby robin and look out at the Rockies.
B: You mean like a six-year-old robin.
A: Yes.
B: Who gets to have lots of birthdays.
A: You really love birthdays, don't you?
B: Yeah. I especially love the ones that have a high number. Because I'm old.

B: (to a Sunday school teacher) My mom and dad are going to Hawaii to make me a little brother or a sister.

A: (in response to Rob talking smack about punching me like I punch him - hard) I'd be crying, but you'd be running.
R: (thoughtful) If I ever hit you, it would be hard enough to lay you down. And then I'd have time to figure out how to never ever tell your dad about it.
(thoughtful pause, as I was laughing)
I'd have to tell him at the beginning of deer season, when I know he can't hit the broad side of a barn with a .22.

(I'll just let Dad explain that, if he cares to, in the comments.)

Dr: You should wait until your cycle is regular again before trying to conceive, so that we can pinpoint a due date.
A: (thinking: you're saying I should time my pregnancy so that it's convenient for you!?) Yeah. We'll see about that. We leave for Hawaii in about a week.
Dr: Oh! Well... have fun!
A: You betcha!

(My uterus proceeded to respond in the next few days with the biological equivalent of "PUT A BABY IN HERE!" It was really annoying. Note to uterus: be less annoying. I'll do my best.)

Rob sent Bethany a photo of the treats we're bringing to Hawaii, which includes a ziploc of my beloved white chocolate powder for lattes. Her response:
Love it!! Watch Ad's bag get searched and y'all have to explain the mysterious white powder... and yes, my iPhone just tried to correct "white powder" to "whoremongers." Beautiful.

Reminds me of this place.

Monday, April 11, 2011

curse you, steve jobs!

Rob signed up with AT&T now that they are in Montana. While we'd talked about it and explored the least expensive options (read: AT&T HAS no inexpensive options for those poor suckers who simply MUST HAVE whatever Apple puts out), I didn't realize he'd pull the trigger so early (read: in the same month we're going to Hawaii, which equals $$$ despite the fact we've saved for it for the two years we've been married).

Happy anniversary, LOVER!

Though I wasn't expecting it, I knew it was coming. And, predictably, he's gushing about the damn thing so much that I'm feeling resentful against Apple and their price gouging. I limited him to ten gushy statements. Giggles/gasps/sighs don't count. I anticipate he will use all ten up in the next hour.

"It's like there's no pause! Just, BOOM!" (whispered under his breath)

"I don't have to be afraid of ads anymore!"

(to me) "I love you. You're so good for me and good to me."
A: "What makes you say that?"
"Well, first of all, you're so real and honest. But even as you're good with that and are probably frustrated by me, you let me get away with things occasionally (holds up iPhone 4) that make me really happy. And you still encourage responsibility and do so with good humor. I never had that before, the responsibility thing. It's really good for me. I love you."

Ok, Rob's forgiven. Steve Jobs is TOTALLY SLEEPING ON THE COUCH.

Unfortunately, Rob might join him, but only because of his deep and abiding affection for that wolf in a black mockneck.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

that's what he said

B: (on a fill-in-the-blank worksheet from school) I am like a lion because I like rough stuff.

B: Mom, please don't put too much Chapstick on me. I'm tired and fragile even though I'm a strong weed.

A: Did someone cut your hair? Why do you have a little bald spot?
B: Uh... I think so.
A: What do you mean? Yes or no? This is an easy question.
B: Uh... yes?
A: Who?
B: I don't know.
A: What do you mean "you don't know?!" Where did someone cut your hair?
B: Uh... at school.
A: WHO CUT YOUR HAIR AT SCHOOL?! Was it a classmate or a teacher?
B: No, it was a visitor.
A: (conspiracy theories are beginning to percolate in my head, and I'm baffled) What kind of visitor?
B: Eli's sister came with his mom, and she was playing with some safety scissors, and she cut my hair.
A: Oh. Blake, please don't let anyone else cut your hair. Just me or Dad, okay?
B: Okay.

Not included are very, very, very many clarifying questions that I had to ask to get to this conclusion. Boys are impossible communicators about things that don't interest them in the least.

B: Mom, can you please help me draw a star? I've drawn one before, but it looked horrible to me.
A: Sure. We can practice this too.
B: Well, I'm just going to draw a circle around it. That's what I usually do sometimes, draw circles around things.

B: Mom, I think I have a big lump of earwax in my ear that is making me cough.

B: Bow chicka WOW WOW chicka WOW WOW!
(N shoots me an astonished look.)
A: It's from Alvin and the Chipmunks. We gave it to him for Christmas, LIKE FOOLS.

B: Mom, I've decided to name my stuffed parrot "Perry."
A: Oh, like Perry the Parrot?
B: No, like Perry the Platypus.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I told my friend I would craft something funny and meaningful from a two-month series of emails. Instead, I crafted this:

L: I'm busy with work and lots and lots of driving. Consequently, I've amped up my workouts to avoid having chair-butt. I see these women with large pear-shaped bums waddle down the hall and think, "No way, no way am I going to let my butt mold to my office chair or driver's seat. I want one that defies gravity."

A: I totally understand about chair-butt and pear shapes! I've sort of given up on my thass (where my thigh blends into my ass), but all the exercise I'm doing has me quite muscular despite the jiggle in my arms and tummy. They just WON'T go away and I just WON'T give up beer or cocoa (my new indulgence) or lattes, so I will either work harder or learn to live with it. Also, V.V. Brown and Debi Nova are weird.

L: I was trying to be helpful in providing you with workout music like V.V. Brown and Debi Nova. How sad that my expert taste cannot be appreciated by your arms and tummy. They’re really missing out. You’re missing out. The only thing that makes me feel better is the fact that you like Adele and Waka Waka. Maybe you could ask to join Adele’s band because I never heard from Beth Moore (we offered to be in her worship band). You guys could do something catchy with your names. I can’t think of anything really clever right now but the way your mind works, I’m sure you’ve already got several ideas.

I rarely drink beer. I don’t know what happened…too much in college? It makes my stomach feel like a bowling ball now. I stick with wine but also indulge in hot chocolate. Hot chocolate with Kahlua, Bailey’s and Butterscotch Schnapps that is. And then…Dan introduced me to “duck farts”. *sigh*

A: My definition of "duck farts" is when you walk and let out a little pop-pop-pop with every step. What is YOUR definition?

L: Dark farts by my husband's definition: Crown Royal, Bailey's & Kahlua all layered prettily in a shot glass.

A: I seriously want to put bits of this email thread into my blog, but without context, it won't be as funny. Just gross. And/or extremely confusing (at this point, we had covered pre-mixed chocolate milk as a cover for cow blood and intestinal bugs that leave you suspicious of your own toots).

L: Good luck finding an articulate and meaningful (not sure that's really the right word there!) way to put this on your blog. I think we'd just end up sounding like a bunch of sickos! I tried to explain it to D (her husband) and he didn't even want to hear me finish. He told me I was gross.

A: I can find articulate meaning in anything, or at least take it so far out of context that people will laugh or scratch their heads.

In related news, my mother will no longer read my "that's what she said" bunko quotes. She says we just sound like a bunch of young women being crass and gross. Whatever. I fart in her general direction. D's too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the perks of his presence

Rob had a hankering for baked goods the other night. I did not have any in the house, so he whipped up a pan of brownies studded with toffee bits and a tiny bit of caramel sauce that had lingered in the fridge.

They were delicious.

That same night, we used the aroma of brownies to motivate us to sweep and vacuum the house together, as a team.

Because we worked for them, they tasted THAT MUCH BETTER when dotted with mint chip ice cream.

The very next day, just after I had cleaned all the bathrooms in order to avoid having to do so on the weekend, I got a call for a showing in the afternoon. And because I had clean floors and bathrooms, with a pan of brownies on the counter, I enthusiastically said yes.

Here's hoping the young woman looking on behalf of her parents liked it enough to convince them from afar!

Monday, April 4, 2011

or if we could remember to lock the damn door

We had the sex talk with Blake.

Rob started with "Well, a boy and a girl-" when I jumped in firmly with "A HUSBAND AND A WIFE." We gave him enough detail for a six-year-old, he replied "Ew," to which we said, "Yep, keep thinking that way." I'm convinced we could have squeaked out another six to twelve months of not bringing it up (he was totally clueless, other than thinking the word "sexy" meant "beautiful," which explains why he told me I looked "sexy" one morning) if he would quit WALKING IN ON US.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

about an inch on the ground this morning

Every time it snows, I get excited. "Yes! YES! Keep snowing!"

I'm terribly selfish. I don't want to leave Bozeman when it's soft and spring-like and beautiful (well, brown and grey with the hope of beauty in warm, sunny days). I want to leave it with snow on the ground. If we're going to a tropical paradise, I want to leave the chilly, thawing poop behind me.

Then I remember that winter won't run out for a while yet. Crocuses fear for their lives until mid-May, and you can't reliably count on no more snow until June has passed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

i could afford a house, but would no longer need one

Rob and I recently got around to getting him life insurance. During the process, we learned that he has rather high cholesterol - more than simply elevated. He's using this as a great reason to sign up for a gym and get active again. I'm using it as a reason to loudly proclaim that I know nothing about high cholesterol and how can it possibly be high?! His diet is (in my opinion) far improved since marriage and (in his opinion) simply more healthy, which does not equal better.

I deprive him of whole milk and deep fried foods. Someone should create a fundraiser for him and his sad puppydog eyes.

Anyway, we signed Rob up for life insurance and discovered that his new job offers some significant coverage already. When talking to the agent about cutting our additional life insurance in half, I told her it was because I didn't need the temptation of a $750,000 payout.

She didn't think it was as funny as Rob and I did.