Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Story Of Us

So, for those of you that don't know how Colin and I came to be, here's our story...
During high school, Colin and I were both involved in a Summer marching band program, Argonauts (I know, I're thinking I'm always calling Colin a geek, and here I am admitting to not only being in a marching band, but a Summer marching band?? Well, I was one of the cool ones. Really. Ask anyone.), and both joined the Summer of 1993. I knew of Colin from seeing him over the years, but didn't actually know him (we went to different high schools, although we were in the same year). The last two years I was in Argonauts, he was the drum major, so I observed him a little more, but just thought of him as the shy, geeky drum major

In '95, which was my last year in Argo, the phone rang at home and my dad announced the name on the caller ID (how cool was that caller ID, huh?). “Oh, that's our drum major” I say and answer from the corded phone (stick with me here people, this was '95, remember). I just figured he was calling with some official band thing, but when he started stammering and asking if I had a boyfriend, I realized this was more of a personal call. I quickly switched to the cordless phone, and moved into my bedroom. He asked me if I would go with him to the junior prom. I thought as quickly as a 17 year old could, and told him I would think about it and to call me back. I decided it just would be too awkward for us to go to the prom together, since we barely knew each other. But, he was so sweet and I realized I really did want to get to know him better. So, when he called back, I nicely turned down his prom request, but suggested we go on a date instead. I could tell he was disappointed, but he agreed it might be uncomfortable going to the prom together not knowing each other. He promised to call me back soon for a date... Well, I waited and waited and waited. Weeks went by, than a month and another! My friends who were pretty surprised when I told them we were going to go out (as I mentioned, he was shy, reserved and pretty geeky. I was loud, outgoing and boisterous) were having a great time pointing out every time he looked my direction in band practice. “He's looking at you, he's looking at you!!” and after about 20 of these, I would relent and finally look in his direction and they would get all giggly making him squirm and look all embarrassed.

Well, finally after two months, he called me and asked me out on a date; we were going to see Apollo 13 at the theater downtown. I arrived for our date, late as usual (I am and have always been one of 'those' people who show up late to everything) and didn't see him anywhere. Finally I see him walking up the sidewalk, and found out he had been there for about a half hour just walking around and around the building, afraid I was going to stand him up. Oops!

We got into the theater and started talking, and I realized he was such a fun person! He was sweet and funny and so smart. He had me laughing immediately, which I loved. And, I realized I never knew how dang cute he was! I was just seeing those big glasses and the preppy clothes, but once I got to know him and really look at him, I realized he was one handsome guy!
Sometime during the movie, he asked to hold my hand (I know...awwww, right??) and I happily obliged. :o) After the movie, his mom picked us up (no drivers licenses for either of us yet) and took me home. At our next practice, he asked me out again, and we had another great time together.
The next day we left on tour for two weeks. I would definitely not say that dating during the tour was easy (for one thing; our 'accommodations' were usually high school gymnasiums which meant well all bunked together, which meant him seeing me all grungy and grumpy at 6AM) , but it really gave us the chance to get to know each other. Hours spent on the bus between cities meant hours of chatting. At the end of the two weeks, he had to fly out to attend drum major camp at UO (at least if I was going to date a geek, I got the King of Geeks, right?) while we came back home by bus. I found myself really missing him, and couldn't wait to see him again.

Well, 15 years later and I still feel that way. I still miss him when we're not together, and can't wait to see him again. We still talk for hours, about everything and nothing. He still makes me laugh unexpectedly. And, I still think he's the cutest geek ever, but now I get to see that reflected in our children.

We've both changed over the years; we've evolved, matured. And, we've been through a lot together; lots of moves, a few jobs, loss of loved ones, and the births of our children.

Through it all, we've loved each other the same...

And, in the end I'm still the girl who gets to hold hands with the boy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Conversations with Zavion...

I love my boy. Love, love LOVE!! He is just one of the most amazing, creative, talented, thoughtful, loving person I have ever known. And, I love the things he comes up with. He is so incredibly smart and inquisitive, and it makes me proud that he loves learning as much as he does.
I truly wish I could write down all the wonderful questions he asks or the awesome conversations we have, but there just isn't enough time in the day! So, here are some of his most recent...

Why is the sky blue?

Mom, you will always be in my heart (Umm...swoooon, right??).

Mom, who made the sky? And, who made the clouds? And, who made space?

Guys, Baryonyx (dinosaur) is the worst meat-eater yet! Good thing he's dead. I wouldn't want him to eat us!

Z: Are dogs meat?
C: Yeah, they have meat on them.
Z: Then, why don't we eat dogs?

Colin and Z were arguing about something Z was trying to get just right...
C: Nobody's perfect, Z.
Z: Uh-huh! Mom is!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's For Dinner...

So, I don't really have anything else to blog about right now. Well...that's not entirely true, but I'm not really in the mood to be clever or witty (yes, I usually am trying to be clever and witty) right now, so thought I'd stick with something easy. I figured I might as well jump on the ol' recipe sharing bandwagon, since everyone else seems to share recipes on their blogs (and, no, I wouldn't jump off a bridge if they were all doing it too...well, unless I had a bungee cord attached to me, 'cause I think than it would be pretty darn fun).
So, I talked before about the eating habits of my kids, and how they eat pretty well. Oh, and update on that post; Miss Avalee has finally decided to start eating and has been sampling a pretty wide variety of fruits and veggies. Yay! So, I've been really trying to incorporate healthy meals, and in the last year have started doing a lot of Crock Pot cooking to help me out.
Since we've got the kids in swim lessons Tuesdays and Thursdays, we don't get home until after 7PM. Dinner has to be something that's quick to throw together, or even better, already cooked. That's where the Crock Pot comes in. I've been able to get our meals put together and slow cook away, until we get home, and then kit's ready to eat!
Today, I opted for 40 garlic clove chicken meal. Our family loves, like lu.huves, garlic! Zavion has actually been known to eat the pickled garlic from the bottom of our canned pickles (he loves pickles too). So, this recipe was perfect for us!
I got this recipe from, A Year of Slow Cooking, which is one of my favorite resources for Crock Pot recipes. This is the recipe from the site, although I didn't follow it exactly...

3-4 pounds chicken
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact


Using a 6 quart oval slow cooker; Place onion slices on the bottom of the stoneware insert. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves. Pour into slow cooker, on top of the onion.

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6.

So, three to four pounds of chicken is a lot. A lot. Even with my cyclist Hungry-Man hubby, three chicken breasts (usually a couple pounds) is enough for us (I buy packages of chicken on a good sale, then divide it up, usually into three breasts per baggie.) So, I just pulled out the frozen breasts I had and added the ingredients to the baggie, shook it up and plopped it in, on top of the onions.
We thought this was pretty tasty, although could use a bit more flavor. I think in addition to the paprika, I might add in some chili powder or maybe even sub the kosher salt for seasoned salt. I also used my smaller Crock Pot (I have the whole family; the 6quart, 4quart and Little Dipper. My ultimate goal is to one day have them all cooking something simultaneously.) to 'bake' some potatoes & they turned out very yummy (even the hubby ate two, and he's not big on baked potatoes). So, here's that 'recipe.'


3-4 potatoes (I just used regular russet potatoes; if you use the baking potatoes, you could do fewer)


Prick your potatoes all over with a fork (you don't want your lid to come flying off and exploding potatoes to shoot out).
Run generously with butter
Sprinkle with a little salt (probably don't let your four year old 'help' with the salt, otherwise you'll have to add another step of scraping off the excess salt).
In a 4quart slow cooker (yes, only because the big guy was in use...if you want to make baked potatoes for the entire neighborhood, by all means...go for the big Daddy) add your potatoes. I ended up with two layers, and tried to criss cross them; I don't know if that's necessary, but it made me feel like I knew what I was doing.
Cook on high for 4-5 hours.

We also added a yummy fresh-from-our-own-garden salad to the meal, which made it all perfect!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Break In...

June is a notoriously crazy-busy month for us. It was already a busy month when it was my parents anniversary, my sister's birthday (the following day) and almost always a graduation or wedding thrown in there. Then, we decided to get married in June; the end of June, but still June. So, last weekend was the start of such craziness with a birthday party (for my little cousin Aly, who turned five) on Saturday and a graduation party (another cousin of mine...I have a LOT of cousins) on Sunday. And, if that weren't enough, the following week was almost completely filled with events and obligations and so on.

I know, I know...the title of this post says, The Break In, and you're wondering what all this other crap has to do with that. Well, jeez, give me a minute, and I'll get to that.

So, Thursday was another busy day for us as we has a wedding reception we were going to that evening. Being as it was on a weekday, it meant I had to got to get the kids (and myself) ready by myself. Of course, I had to have appropriate attire for them, as this was a formal-type event, but as all Moms know, you can't actually put the 'nice' clothes on them until just before said event. So, I gathered up the fancy shoes, tights, dresses, sweaters (you have to have extras of everything in the event they do something to the nice clothes in the two minutes after you put them on them, before they are ready to be 'presented.') and stuffed them in the 'party' bag. I then realized the gift bag I had out to put the gift in was just this much too small, and I immediately did a clock check to see if there was time to stuff the kids in the car, get them lunch from somewhere, get over to Target and wrangle them for the 10 minutes35 minutes I would need to grab a gift bag. I began the process of asking them to get ready to go... You know the process; it goes something like this (keep in mind, kids here is more Z than A, but she does add to a lot of the whining, so it feels like both of them):

Me: Hey guys, can you please get ready to go?

Kids: Whyyyyy?

Me: Because we have to go to Target to pick up some things.

Kids: Target? Oooh, can I get an icee (pretty much just Z here)?? Can I get popcorn??? Can I get a new Superman movie?????

Me: No. Now, c'mon. We really have to go. Get your shoes and coats.

Kids: Pleasssssssse can I have popcorn?

Me: No, we'll get some lunch somewhere before.

Kids: Can we get hotdogs at Target?

Me: Maybe (actually thinking this sounded like a pretty good idea, knocking it all out at once)...

Kids: And, after the hotdog, can I have popcorn and an icee?

Me: No! Come one now, we really have to go!

Kids: Aaaaah, man...not fair!

And, now the pouting and general strike-type behavior against putting on shoes and coats has commenced.

Me: Checking the clock again and realizing 20 minutes have gone by...

Guys, we really have to go so we can get lunch, get the wedding stuff and pick Daddy up in time!

Kids: I wanna iceeeee...I wanna iceeeee...

Pocorn! Pocorn (Avalee now)!!!!!!

Me: If you guys don't get over here, put your shoes and coats on now, I'm leaving you here!!

(Moms, I know I can't be the only one who has sworn pre-parenthood to never use that line, and now pull it out of the bag often)

So, the kids have now, reluctantly, gotten ready and I decide to run out to the car to deposit all the bags of stuff that accompany us. Of course, they ran out after me, so I directed Z to get in the car while I scooped up Avalee to put her in her carseat. I noticed her binkie was sitting right in the middle of the carseat, which I found odd because I was sure I had lost it the day before. And, I knew it was not in the carseat, because I checked that thoroughly the day before. I chalked it up to Colin finding it somewhere, somehow and putting it there. Then, after getting in myself, I noticed the faceplate to the car stereo wasn't there. I found that even more odd, since Colin hardly ever removes it. As I dialed Colin at work, I started noticing things around the car that normally are in different places and a bad feeling started to come over me.

When Colin answered, I blurted out, “Did you remove the faceplate on the car stereo?” “Nooo” he said and I could hear it in his voice too. “Then...then...I think the car was broken into.” Colin asked if the DVD player was gone (we bought one of those portable types for the kids last year) and, of course, it was. We started trying to figure out what else might be missing, but of course, the kids were now getting antsy. For the last 20 minutes, I had been cajoling them into the car and they didn't understand why we were just.sitting.there. So, now I had to ask, beg, plead and threaten some more to get them back out of the car and back into the house, so I could call the police. I finally gave up, and let them play in the driveway in the drizzling rain while I called the police, and tried taking inventory of everything missing. The poor kids were now really hungry (well, so was I!), so I shoveled them back inside for some quick PB&J with grapes. In the meantime I was juggling calls with the police department, Colin and my mom. All the stress from the whole week, and now this was quickly building, so Colin made the decision to come home. Once he got back, we started discovering more things missing; all of his CDs, the pennies from the console (way to go must have scored a whole $3 there), his cycling gloves (really nice gloves), his wallet, and our checkbook. Crap. So, after he called and canceled his credit card, we called the bank and were advised to close out our checking account and reopen another one. By this time, it's just two hours until we have to leave for the reception, and we still didn't have a gift bag. So, we made the executive decision to put off the bank until the next day, and make a quick Target run.

So, we got the gift bag (and a slightly stale pretzel to hold me over until dinner at the reception) and despite the events of the day, had a nice time at the wedding reception.

We haven't heard anything from the police, and honestly don't expect to. Our insurance deductible is $500, so unless the things that were taken (plus a few things on the car that were damaged) can surpass that, we'll just have to replace everything on our own.

I am grateful that it wasn't as bad as it could have been; the kids DVDs were left along with Colin's bike trunk (which is about $80...haha thieves!) and my Moby, there wasn't significant damage to the car and they didn't use the garage door opener to get into the garage, or worse into the house. I'm still ticked WAY off and just generally disappointed in the human race. And, I can't get over the shock that this happened in our neighborhood, which is just an awesome (newer...less than 10 years old) neighborhood, near the elementary school and filled with families like us. I know it can happen anywhere to anyone, but it happened to us, and it's hard to get past that.

So, if the dirty, rotten scummy thieves just happen to be reading this (hey, you never know); you made my four year old cry, made me question my faith in humanity took my stuff!

Oh, but thanks for finding my kids binkie and putting it back in her carseat; maybe you do have a heart.

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