A Few Things I Never Thought I'd Say

"Coco, don't eat the wall."

"Coco, don't eat the dishwasher."

Snow* Days

Jake has been home this week because of an ice storm that came through on Monday and Tuesday. I'll admit, I suffer from a bit of ice storm anxiety. The ice storm in December 2007 left us without electricity for 3 days.
Our home is all electric.
We did read A Christmas Carol by candle/flash light. There are perks.

This year has been better. Our food isn't rotting in the fridge/freezer, and I'm warm. Lucy and Fit are cozied up in the street because we couldn't get them up our steep/narrow driveway. Cora was able to see snow for the first time. I got to go sledding for the second time in my life. [A steep driveway is very desirable for sledding.] I also got to wear my snow boots for the first time. They're pink, and kind of like wearing ski boots. But I didn't slide one bit on the packed snow.

I've also been quite productive - not in the way of cleaning or laundry, mind you. I finished Cora's butterfly mobile, made her a fish pillow out of fabric scraps left over from making aprons at Christmas, and have managed to bake cookies and make other yummy food.

Today Parker came to visit us [he went sledding with us] while Joel was in rehearsal at Lyric. He got some super sweet shots of us. You can check out his photog blog here. We played chicken foot and ate quesadillas and cookies.

Butterfly Garden

I started a butterfly mobile for Cora when she was not very old. I cut out the butterflies, shaped them, and then put them in a drawer. I didn't like the idea of what they would be. Yesterday I decided to give it another go, but instead of trying to stiffen fabric butterflies to give them the appearance of flight, I decided to stuff them.

Picture this: Jake and I sitting on the couch, Cora is snoozing away. I have 11 fabric butterflies on my lap. I've stuffed 3.

Jake has mac on his lap looking at law school forums.

I casually mention I'd like some help. No real response.

"If I could have seen this day a little over 5 years ago, I would have had you vow to help me stuff."

He looks at me, smiles, and puts his computer down.

Cora's butterflies courtesy of Mama AND Papa.

Letters to President Obama

Current Events

I had a fried egg sandwich for breakfast. One fried egg between two pieces of buttered wheat toast. It was a nice break from my cereal ritual. I am, after all, a serial cerealist. I usually like it with some hash browns and some bacon, but that's luxurious, and it is only Friday morning.

Yesterday when I was making faces at Cora during a diaper change, she snorted while laughing. I was tickled. Angie, Maylee, and Tyler came over for a little bit, and Cora couldn't stop hugging Tyler, age 3 months. I've never seen her interact quite like that before.

And when she was in the bath last night, Jake and I both heard a quick, but intense rumble. I thought something had fallen. I looked down just in time to see a sizable bubble break at the surface. I almost fell off the side of the bathtub.

It's supposed to be wintry all next week. I'm over cold weather. There used to be something nostalgic about it, but even with the mild winter we've had, I hate it when the sun is not shining.

We're anxiously awaiting responses from the schools Jake applied to. We should hear from all of them by March. Jake has been a bit restless with the schools he applied to. Not the schools, but the programs as a whole. Ever since he decided he wasn't going to pursue a career in performance, he's been going through a sort of liberation process. His masters will be in musicology - with which he's done in May. He applied to musicology programs as well as interdisciplinary and American Studies programs for his doctorate. All of which still feel too constraining. He really wants to help people. It's part of who he is. In high school he founded the Peace and Justice Club. That earned him a place on the Wall of Tolerance. His interest in music has always been for the avant-garde - those whom the music world has generally left in obscurity.

He's been talking about law school. He's drawn to public interest/advocacy law. ASU offers a joint PhD/JD program in Justice and Social Inquiry/law through their school of Social Transformation. There are a few other programs he's considering.

But when he brought up ASU, I shot up to cloud nine. I've never seriously considered living in Mesa again because the likelihood of it was so slim. I would want to live in my old diggs, 85203. It's still a long shot. The very talk of it gave me permission to daydream about my kids being able to ride their bikes in wide smooth streets, or walk down the sidewalks to their friends houses, all the glorious citrus I could fill my gut with, that very specific shade of blue in the sky, monsoon storms, mountains, great schools, desert adventures, getting into a car that is so hot I can feel my eyelashes curl, LOVE IT! So if Jake decides not to go to any of the doctoral programs he applied for, then he'll take a year off.

I love how multi-faceted he is. There are so many things he could do, and do well. We're coming into where we'd like to be in a roundabout way, but I've enjoyed it. There remains a level of spontaneity that keeps things exciting.

Solid. Solid as Barack.

I am one of those Americans with hope brightly beaming in my heart. And head.

I watched the festivities unfold on Inauguration Day. Cora and I danced around the living room after the oath of office. We cheered and cheered after the new president's first speech. I cried at a few moments. I loved seeing the new first family and their interactions - when Sasha grabbed her mother's hips and moved her aside so she could see what was going on.

I like Barack Obama. I like him a lot. I like that he was a community organizer. It makes sense with America as a community. There are too many factions. Too many sides. Too many people who complain but don't do anything to make it better. [My biggest pet peeve.] Don't we need someone to help us rally?

The truth is, I wasn't sure about Barack until the Democratic National Convention. Before that time I always said, "He has pretty words, but I'm not sure what they mean." At the DNC he elaborated and had 86.4% of my vote.

To be fair, I waited for the Republican National Convention. I am, after all, a registered Republican. I felt bad for McCain, not only because he was one of my favorites before he decided to run for president, but because I knew this was his last shot. My vote would have been out of pity.

The debates solidified my vote for Obama. I love his composure. I like when people can get their point across without falsehoods, hyped up "facts," or raising their voice.

This election was awesome. The only thing I wish would change would be those who don't get to know the issues, or listen to all of the candidates. There are lots of people who never listened to Obama and voted for McCain, as well as a lot who never listened to McCain and voted for Obama. Second, third, fourth, hundredth-hand information shouldn't be any one's deciding factor when they stretch out their arm to fill out their ballot.

Being informed and ready to do something about the issues is one of the most patriotic things an American can do.

I appreciated Diane Feinstein's opening remarks yesterday.

"The freedom of a people to choose its leaders is the root of liberty. In a world where political strife is too often settled with violence, we come here every four years to bestow the power of the presidency upon our democratically elected leader. Those who doubt the supremacy of the ballot over the bullet can never diminish the power engendered by nonviolent struggles for justice and equality, like the one that made this day possible. No triumph tainted by brutality could ever match the sweet victory of this hour and what it means to those who marched and died to make it a reality."

I'm so excited for the possibilities of what can come of us all pulling together and getting to work.

Back to normal?

Jake returned to school this week.

It's quiet around here.

My little coconut and I play and laugh and eat and cry...when we're tired...and fall off beds.

Oh. Yes, big bruise on left temple. She hit her head, and mine ached all day.

I LOVE when Jake is home all day every day. It's a difficult transition to send him off into the dark, but this last semester of his masters seems to be the best yet, schedule-wise. I just finished up lunch with him before he had to be at work.

A little over a month ago I remember having this thought: "the house will be so much cleaner with Jake home." That thought was proven false. Who wants to pick up and do laundry when one is in fabulous company?

This morning I took care of all the floors. Coco's pointer finger is magnetic - every little crumb can't help but attach - and in the natrual way of babies, make its way directly into the mouth.



I came across a pretty cool site tonight. It's www.wordles.net. I made one using one of my favorite talks called "A Motherheart" by Julie B. Beck.

Wordle: Motherheart

Get to the Roots

I'm obsessed.

When I was 16 I wrote a letter to my biological father asking him for some information on his side of the family. He's the only one I've ever met, and I wanted to know more. After visiting with his grandmommy, my great-grandmommy, he sent me a hand-drawn family tree.

What did I find?

He doesn't know his biological father, so I have his mom's side to trace.
My great-great grandma's name is Minnie Ola Brown. Minnie Ola - man, that's cool.
I have a fair amount of Native American blood in my veins. Enough to qualify for benefits even.
My third-great grandma's, who was full blooded Cherokee, either first or last name was Queen - and I know nothing else about her...but I do have a picture.
My ancestors came across on the Mayflower - a fact I still need to confirm.
I'm related to Buddy Holly.

I've carried these tidbits around for the last 7-8 years. When I was student teaching at Northwest Classen in 2007, I came across some down time so I decided to google some names. One was Kathrine Hernett, my grandmother, whom I've yet to meet. Her name came up in an obituary. She wasn't dead, but her dad passed away. I read the obituary less than 2 months after he died. Oh, here's the really good part: He lived in Oklahoma...about an hour away from me in the small town of Macomb. After a bit of shock and a lot of disappointment that he'd been alive for so much of my life, but was now gone after living so close, I wrote a letter to Lance (my biological father). He sent a copy of the program from his service. It turns out that Roy Elmo Lewis ran one of the largest cock fighting rings in the nation. When they outlawed it in Arizona, he moved to Oklahoma. Neat.

The point.

His obituary was full of new names and relationships.

The real point.

The LDS church released a new ancestry database a few months ago. I got on it for the first time last night. Someone has researched one of my grandmother's lines back for quite a few generations. It made me proud to see the connections. The other line, however, was put in by me today. That's Roy Elmo Lewis's line, whose grandmother was ... Queen or Queen ... /.

I look forward to adding more branches to my tree. I love knowing I belong to something so big. I love people...their stories.

I love that I am part of their story and they are part of mine.

I was wondering...

Does Photo Booth ever get old?

...I think not.

A Secret

Sometimes I love washing dishes by hand.

What should I name my bike?

I got the most beautiful bike for Christmas. She is vanilla with orange rims and white wall tires. I need help with her name.

Now imagine Cora and me cruising down the road on our way home from the market.

Vote Please.


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