Things that make me happy:

1. Dog breath
2. Kids fresh from the bath
3. Strawberries
4. A plastic goat under my pillow at bedtime
5. A small head resting on my shoulder


Other people's ideas

Does anyone else go on quicktime.com and watch movie trailers when they're bored? I was doing that recently and I came across a documentary about the composer Phillip Glass. I've always loved some of his music and hated some as well, which, I think, is why I like him. I learned in college never to attach much significance to my reactions to art about which I knew nothing. Often, I found, it was the work I hated the most at first sight (or hearing) that, when I challenged myself to learn about it and try to appreciate it, spoke to me most profoundly. That's why I'll never regret choosing a major that provided me few job skills and very little earning power. My art history professors gave me the most profound gift: the realization that my gut reaction to anything I experience through my senses could possibly (but not necessarily) be the result of ignorance, and not a failing of the object or experience itself. Anyway, I was floored by this quote in the trailer for the Phillip Glass movie and I just can't get it out of my head:

"I never was a captive of other people's ideas about me. I've been that way my whole life and it's saved me a lot of problems."

The only sense in which I can relate is that I aspire to feel that way one day, probably very far in the future. I about had a melt down on the way home from the park the other day after a bunch of friends thought it was disgusting that I'd tasted dog food. What can I say? My kids were curious, and they got me curious, and we all tasted it. What got me about the whole exchange was not their reactions (I know they meant no harm at all), but that their reactions bothered me. I often wish I could be more like Eric, who, I'm pretty sure, is known around campus as that weird guy who never wears shoes. He could care less, because he loves not wearing shoes. In fact, I think a small part of him gets a kick out of all the stares he gets, and I have to say, I have a little of that "want-to-make-something-of-it?" spirit myself- after all, I did admit to tasting the dog food:). So maybe I'm on my way....in the meantime, thanks for shining the beacon, Phillip, even if you do write music to poetry that includes lines like "the dog is now licking the ant off the sidewalk". Who am I to judge? Maybe if I took the time, I'd realize just what a profound statement that is.

Oh, and it tastes like a salty cookie. You know you were wondering!



I will clean the boys' bathroom today if it KILLS ME!!!! There are many words that come to mind when I think of my sweet boys. But right now, "stinky" is the one that fits best. How do they manage to be so cute and funny and yet smell so bad? Actually, THEY don't even smell bad (usually), they just manage to make other things smell bad- like their bathroom, which is, even though it's only been a week since I last cleaned it (okay, maybe more like 10 days), offensive. So I'm going to roll up my sleeves and employ one of my favorite tricks: listening to a pod-cast of This American Life while I clean. That, and not breathe through my nose for the next 30 minutes. Wish me luck.


Better late than never...

So Eric turned 30 in March, and, because I cannot have him jealous of his friend Brian, whose birthday occasioned a posting of fifty wonderful things about him by his wife, AND because I love him:), I'm writing the following....

10 Things you probably never knew about Eric:

1. When he was little, he had a sparkly glove like Micheal Jackson.
2. At one point in his life, his favorite color was hot pink.
3. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
4. He will actually gag if forced to eat an olive.
5. He's never seen the Grand Canyon.
6. The stamps on his current passport: Amsterdam, London, Geneva, Paris and Fortaleza. And he's been to China but they didn't give him a stamp...slackers.
7. When he was a teenager, an extra tooth grew out of the roof of his mouth and he had to have it pulled.
8. He has a white spot in his hair that he once grew out until it was long enough to tuck behind his ear (and no, he doesn't have the sixth sense).
9. He can write the Hebrew alphabet.
10. He's been to space camp.

10 Things Eric can do really well:

1. Remain incredibly calm and logical in the heat of an argument.
2. Bake whole-wheat bread that isn't all dense and crumbly.
3. Fix absolutely anything on a bicycle.
4. Sing our kids to sleep.
5. Balance the checkbook.
6. Draw and paint with water colors.
7. Rollerblade.
8. Explain complex mathematical concepts to someone who doesn't understand math well.
9. Propose marriage.
10. Make frighteningly realistic animal noises.

10 Things Eric would rather be doing right now:

1. Mountain biking.
2. Running barefoot.
3. Reading National Geographic.
4. Hiking on the Olympic peninsula.
5. Traveling Australia.
6. Visiting the people he knew on his mission in Brazil.
7. Wrestling with the dog.
8. Taking the kids for a bike ride.
9. Getting a milkshake at Cookout.
10. Picking blackberries.

10 Things Eric says all the time:

1. To the boys, when he wants something done: "In five, four, three, two...."
2. When you've hurt yourself: "I'm sorry...do you want me to lick it?"
3. When trying to talk you out of something: "Okay, your utility function looks like this..."
4. When I apologize for being grumpy: "It's okay, I'm used to it."
5. When he wants to embarrass me in front of friends: "Alright, let's make like shepherds and get the flock out of here."
6. When he comes home from a long day at school, with hopeful note in his voice: "Is there dinner tonight?"
7. To Mustang: "Dog, if you lived in the wild, you'd be dead."
8. When he wants to spend a lot of money on a bike part: "So, you know how my [fill in body part of choice] bleeds/hurts/loses all feeling every time I go out for a bike ride?"
9. To the boys when they've done something amusing: "Why are you such an Eric/ Brigham?"
10. When we're both about to fall asleep, borrowed from the boys during the days when they were learning to talk: "I dove you."

10 Things I've learned from Eric in the eight years I've known him:

1. Northwest beaches are incredible, even if it's never warm enough to wear your bathing suit.
2. When you get a new bike IMMEDIATELY remove the reflectors and valve caps from the wheels, lest you look like a dorky novice.
3. Dogs are good.
4. Real mountains have snow on them all year round.
5. How to clean a bathroom.
6. How to fry an egg over easy without breaking the yoke.
7. That shoes are unnecessary and, in fact, evil.
8. That kids can help out around the house.
9. Never to try to beat him at anything that involves the use of my legs, whether it be running, biking, skiing or swimming.
10. That the experience of falling in love and growing together through raising a family with him is more challenging, rewarding and fun than I could have ever imagined.

In all seriousness, we were talking the other day about what a huge leap of faith marriage was- how we barely even knew each other. After two kids, a dog, three homes and three-and-a-half degrees, I can say that the vast majority of the surprises have been good ones. I never would have guessed what it would feel like to hear him sing a baby to sleep, or to watch him run repeatedly up and down the street next to a four-year-old learning to ride a bike. I never could have known that he was such a faithful journal writer, or so good at making grilled cheese sandwiches, or that he could get the top grade in the class on a major test and never say anything until I asked him about it three weeks later. Eric's done a lot in thirty years, and won't even try to predict what he'll do in the next thirty, but I can't wait to be beside him the whole way. Happy belated birthday sweetheart. I dove you:).