Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For Reba

When you turned five you could...

Read like 3rd grader
Tie your shoes
Play softball
Work the iPhone
Memorize your parent's phone numbers
Recite your address
Count to 20 in Spanish
Count to 100+ in English
Ride a bike with training wheels
Dress yourself
Take care of your dolls
Draw fabulous pictures
Get your own water from the refrigerator
Buckle your own seat belt
Make anybody laugh
Melt my heart with a smile

*note the Cabbage Patch Doll Reba is carrying - a gift from the Queen. Apparently this is the 25th anniversary of the Cabbage Patch - which only means that I was exactly her age when I got my first Cabbage Patch Doll - one of the originals. I smelled this one - they still smell the same. I forgot to check the butt for the signature... I always thought that was weird.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On being 30

That massively significant birthday arrived for me last week. 30 years on this earth. And, honestly, I don't feel a day older than I did before. Probably more significantly I feel like my chronological age finally matches my internal age. I was probably born 30.

As this birthday approached, I looked forward to it. Not too long ago I came across a goal list I had written more than a few years ago. On it I had written things like: own a home, have two happy and healthy children, be making enough money to live comfortably, be happy working in my profession, complete requirements to foster or adopt, all by my 30th birthday! I had no idea then how this list would come to pass - nor had I even seen it in at least 3 years. A little over a year and a half ago we became home owners in one of this countries best places to live. I am currently working as a nurse (this is what my degree is in) and not making a fortune but living comfortably (most of the time) and happy to be going to work (most of the time). Now, just days before my 30th birthday we sat down with a social worker to do a home-study - the final component for our license to be foster parents. I could only dream about these things several years ago and here they are - just in time for my birthday!

I am most grateful for this birthday. Not only have I been able to have great personal satisfaction I was able to share it. Since I was about 3 years old I have known and loved my best friend, Kate. Kate is a constant in my life. We have played in our mothers' classrooms, shared many awkward years, learned to ski together, vacationed together, worked together, worshiped together, seen each other through heartache and finally soul mates, she stood behind me at my wedding and I will at hers, when each of my kids were born she was there at the hospital to welcome them, we have grieved loss together, my best friends know and love her and I hers (I hope), and most importantly we celebrated birthdays together. My 30th birthday was no exception. Kate was right by my side as I entered my real adult decade.

What did we do? Oh, I know you all are dying to hear that I did something incredibly exciting. Nope, not really. We enjoyed a leisurely weekend, beer and barbecue at the best BBQ restaurant in central Texas, wine and cheese at home, shopping, and massages. Really we could have done anything or nothing and it still would have been a wonderful birthday because I was able to share it.

Here's to 30 - a year of adding to our family: a Butcher/Adams wedding, a Van Benschoten baby (I really can't wait to be an auntie!!), and a foster baby for us. Who knows what all is in store, but it looks promising! And one more thing, here's to Brian, who's birthday is today and who is experiencing much more trepidation than I about this transition to real adulthood. Love you, babe!

This is us this year. The photographer was having a hard time - but I liked the effect.

This is us from a few years ago at Kate's birthday. I don't think we ahve changed much...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Just because she's cute!

Just in case you were worried that Reba was having more bad hair days than good - here's what she looks like just after bath time when I dry her hair. And, well, being serious only lasts so long with her so here's what we usually see, below.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


It snows in New Jersey.


I made a quick getaway last weekend to New Jersey. I know what you are thinking, "You got away to NJ." Yes. I was honored to be asked to assist in hosting my college roommate's baby shower. Momma Puz (that's what we call her in reference - though she probably wouldn't mind it to her face) generously paid for, organized, and truly hosted this wonderful baby shower, but asked me to help in the actual execution of it. I was delighted to.

Kristin, my roommate (as we still refer to her - and they me) lived (put up) with me for all four years of college. We came to be roommates after both our original living circumstances came crashing down around us. Her original roommate was the alcohol and drug supplier for the Freshman junkies and mine was a nudist who ended up threatening me physical harm - good times... Anyhow, we were then placed together and never looked back. After four years we were more than roommates she was another sister.

I have to admit. I am seriously excited for this baby. I am FINALLY going to be an auntie! Well, close enough, at least. As soon as I had solidified plans to attend the baby shower I started in making baby VB (the last name is ridiculously long and hard to say and spell so we shorten it with the initials VB) burp cloths, diaper bag, bibs, onsies, a sling, and one goofy updated version of a sock monkey. Alas, I took no pictures of any of it, but rest assured there will be more things made and I will remember to take pictures before I ship them off.

The shower was beautiful, the mom to be was glowing, and dad to be (Eric) was appropriately excited. Kristin was literally overwhelmed with gifts. The amount of gifts just reflected how truly loved this baby will be (not that my little foster babies that come with nothing will be any less loved - just SO many people were SO generous to Kris). I got to see the other 'Nova girls. And I was so blessed to spend time with my East Coast Family. So, see, I really did get away to NJ.

The only down side to the entire trip was the startling realization of my current size. Now, I was well aware that I had, in the last year or so, put on some pounds. What I didn't realize was just how many inches that equaled. Well, folks, when measuring Kristin's girth for the "how big is the belly" game, I joked that she was probably the same size as me in my normal state. Guess, what? It's no joke. The two people who won that game measured my waist (I originally wrote waste as my husband so tastefully pointed out) as reference. Yeah, guess who signed back up for Weight Watchers. I will let you know how that goes - minus all the gory details