Monthly Archives: January 2013

lucky thirteen: a love story and a house

Thirteen years ago today we put an offer on this beauty.  I know.  She’s gorgeous isn’t she?

What can I say?  We were young, in love, ready for an adventure, and more than a little crazy.

But despite those early years of near-camp like existence, the hours and hours of back breaking work, and the general mess that we endured, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Somewhere along the way we fell in love.  Not that early kind of infatuation that made a complete dump look like our dream house, but the kind of love that comes with building and planning, saving and scraping, and working and working and working.  The kind of love that fills these walls with laughter and play and quiet and escape.  The kind of love that I feel when I sit in the girls’ rooms and look around as they play, or when I climb into bed, warm from the ice hitting the windows on either side of me.  The kind of love that I feel when I’m washing the paintbrush and then standing back to look at a night’s work, or curled up next to my love, watching a movie, or when I climb those stairs and look at sleeping girls in their attic retreat. 
I’ve been digging through the archives (even pre-digital) of the early days in the house, and that’s always a lot of fun.  We do up birthdays pretty big in our house, and maybe it’s time for a little birthday for the house.  Lucky thirteen.  She was always gorgeous to us.


(story)time: award winners

Big congrats to one of our very favorite book authors / illustrators – Jon Klassen.  He won the 2013 Caldecott for This Is Not My Hat – a house favorite that we’ve read twice just this week, and it’s only Wednesday.  Outside of Extra Yarn (my Klassen favorite for illustrations, authored by Max Barnett), This Is Not My Hat is my favorite all-Klassen.  I didn’t include it in our Klassen book review because we didn’t own it – we picked it up when it came out late last year and it quickly soared to the top of the pile.

This book is hilarious, and also, a life of crime never pays.  Next time you talk to my girls ask them about their favorite page.  It changes weekly.  But we can all agree that the crab-snitch is a clear contender. 

And since I kind of buried the link to a video of another favorite in our house – I’ll embed the video of Oliver Jeffers discussing his process a bit (thanks again, Krista, for the sending it our way), and since I’m thinking about these sorts of things, I also think I’ll do a roundup of our favorite past Caldecott winners (including Sylvester and the Magic Pebble from this past Monday).

Oliver Jeffers Author Film 2013 from Oliver Jeffers on Vimeo.


So, what’s new in your world?

Me?  Thanks for asking.

We got our new couch, and we opted to pick it up rather than have it delivered.  This seemed like a good dumb idea because we have a pickup truck, but then the couch fell over on me on the front steps which are steel and I bruised my ankle, shin, hip and jaw – yes – the couch hit my face – and the plastic rubbed the skin off my knuckles, and I couldn’t help anymore because I had an open house reception to set up and so the couch was rescued off our front steps by M and a friend.  It’s now hanging out in our living room on one end and still wrapped up.  It looks like we bought a refrigerator.

We’re in the middle of this really bizzarro weather pattern.  We’ve gone from bitterly coooold last week to freakishly warm.  Last night I went running and it was sixty-seven degrees at six o’clock.  It was awesome (except for the fact that I missed the weather memo and brought the wrong running clothes to work) and even though I was sweating up a storm by the end of it, I still had a great run.  Like three miles in record time – I felt like I could have run up the side of a mountain.  It felt like running in April.  Maybe it was April, maybe I had just run right through February and March.  There are mosquitoes flying through the open windows in our office.

I then drove my sweaty climate confused body home for dinner, and found everyone in the process of eating because M wanted to leave early for his weekly Monday night basketball session and swing by a specialty hardware store to pick up something for our bookshelves (grommets for the countertop).  We said a quick hello/goodbye and he headed out the door.  The girls played a bit of their new favorite game – “school” – while I took a quick shower and washed the run off.  After Frances went to bed, E and I got out the Colorku and set to work on the #22 card (hard.)  We worked at it for about twenty minutes and then the phone rang.  It was M, and he was at the gym, about to walk in to play.  He told E goodnight, and we resumed our game.  Twenty minutes after that the phone rang again, and it was M.  Oddly short game.  He sounded weird, said he hurt his finger, thought he’d get an x-ray.  I asked him if he was okay and then told him to call me when he got to the hospital, and he did.  He said he’d keep me posted, but it would certainly be a late night.

It was.  He broke his hand.  He got x-rays, but then waited hours before he met with doctors and got plastered up.  He’ll go to a hand specialist on Monday for more x-rays and they’ll decide then what to do – probably another cast, hopefully not surgery.  It’s his right hand, his dominant hand, the bone in his hand below the pinkie.  He said he heard a ‘pop’ and then he could feel the bone moving.  And the movement made him feel like he might pass out.  Later he realized that perhaps he shouldn’t have driven himself to the ER.  I thought he had just jammed his pinkie, but now he’s bandaged to the elbow with his thumb and pointer finger (sort of) free.  He said it’s hard to tie his shoes.

We didn’t sleep much last night – not much at all.  And then the morning gods all conspired to give me a dose of my own worst school morning nightmare – forgetting a kid’s field trip – not once, but TWICE.  I am not lying to you.  E points out her field trip (and subsequent list of field trip related items) ten minutes before we raced out the door.  I walked into F’s school and saw the car seats lined up and figured out that her art museum field trip sometime this week was really an art museum field trip today, and so I had to wrestle the car seat out of its forty-seven point harness-latch-y system and into the classroom.  Since it was seventy degrees at nine o’clock I threw off my raincoat and sweated through my shirt wrestling that car seat into submission.  Triumphantly removed said car seat and shut the door with a self-congratulatory umph.  And then realized that my car keys were in the pocket of my discarded raincoat.  On the backseat.  In my locked car.
 F, appearing to enjoy her field trip today, despite me having forgotten about it
I called my one armed husband – the one I had just helped get undressed and into pajamas – and asked him to one arm drive himself over to the daycare to unlock my car with the other keyfob.  He came, in his pajamas, with a smile on his face.

When he came in last night this morning (after seven hours of ER) he held out his arms, and I said to him oh my, and how sorry I was, and was he okay? and he promised he would paint with his left hand and we laughed.  He will joke with me that I’m a list maker and a cracker of whips, but he knows that for the most part I’m not, and for the most part we respect our own and each others limits when it comes to what we can and can’t get done on any given day.  But I know he’s frustrated because recently, every time he sets out to get something done, he gets the plague the flu or breaks a bone.  He was just getting some momentum going on our projects and we were so excited.  Bookshelves!  Paint!  A couch in a box!  New curtain material!  Finished roof!  Man, we were kicking some January/Resolution/To-do List butt and then, boom, we were sitting on ours again.  Well, at least he is.  I’ll gladly accept the passing of the paintbrush torch, and help him tie his shoes because he’s my bum arm-bookshelf building-Brussels sprout cooking hero.