Never Saw It Coming

I met Nathan my freshman year in college while playing on the same intramural volleyball team.  I thought he was so good looking and loved the fact that he played soccer like myself.  I thought his slight “twang” was cute and found the fact that he was from Kansas so enduring.  He seemed to dress like every other East Coaster I knew, loved anything North Face and  drove a Jetta – so I thought it was safe to fall in love with him.

3 years later, degree and marriage certificate in hand, I climbed in said Jetta and headed to Kansas with him – it was only going to be for a short while.  He just needed to finish a 2nd degree at Friends and then we would be off to some quaint little town along the  east coast – where we spend our free time at museums and bookstores, when we weren’t coaching or teaching.

I can still remember that first drive to Kansas after our wedding.  I fell asleep somewhere westbound on I-70 between Kansas City and Wichita.  When I woke up, Nathan was singing a song at the top of his lungs.  I thought it was so funny and then I listened closely and realized it was country music.  I was shocked – didn’t we only like Harry Connick Jr, Depeche Mode and Erasure??? (ok, slight exaggeration there, I loved these singers, but he seemed to have indulged me up to this point and never once had we EVER listened to any country music together!)

So, fast forward a few years into  wedded bliss and I began to see more obvious hints of “hillbilly” in my man.  There was the time  he didn’t even flinch when his grandma asked him to come over and shoot her old cat, or the fishing he made me do on a little man-made lake on a friend’s property, the barbecue restaurant, “Bucks Barbecue” that he loved (Which incidently got turned into a Starbucks and makes me smile every time I see it!)  or the gleam I saw in his eye when he brought home a full body fleece camouflage outfit for baby Sam.  We loved to laugh at the changes in my life, and it always made for a good story – but really I was living a happy life in a fun city with great friends and a wonderful little family.

Well, when we hit 15 years of marriage I think Nathan decided there was no point in hiding his true nature any longer – he declared in Eddie Bauer one day that he never really liked any of the clothes they made (Shock to me who bought him lots of items there!) and began making lots more trips to Gander Mountain (sort of like Bass Pro Shop) instead of his usual Backwoods (trendy outdoors equipment and apparel)  Next came the firearms and a clay pigeon “launcher.”

But, I knew that it was all over, when he returned from a trip to Gander last week with this  fleece for me and it was NOT a joke – he really thought I would like it:

Update:  So I indulged him the other day and put the fleece on – only in the house, of course.  Unfortunately, it is a really comfortable one  that I would ordinarily love to wear (if it were in a  SOLID color).  He told me about 3 or 20 times how cute I looked – why couldn’t he say that when I wear the clothes I like???



Filed under Uncategorized


All clothing and accessories were chosen by Miss Millie.  She wants to do EVERYTHING just like her brother and sisters – down to the latest trends, ie; silly socks, silly bands, tie dye (maybe not the latest trend for most people, but we aren’t the hippest of people!) and sometimes even a pair or five of Bo’s (her name for Sam) underwear!

I think this is why she seems so exhausting to me right now.  She’s an 8 year old wrapped in the body of a 20 month old.  She doesn’t understand why she can’t be involved in every activity that she sees:  jumping with the big kids on the trampoline, riding bikes, etc; and she is not at all quiet about her resentment.  Luckily she has siblings that delight in her every action, and try to include her whenever possible.  My biggest job right now is convincing them that catering to her every desire will not make for a sweet child – they will do anything to make her happy – and she knows it!



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Out of the mouths..

Sorry Grammy and Pappa, it’s been way too long since my last post.  I hate to miss out on opportunities to document this crazy life, but I have been O.V.E.R.W.H.E.L.M.E.D!!!


Conversations  I overheard tonight:

Nevi:  sitting at the table eating her spaghetti  (and apparently picking her nose):  “That was the Worst tasting booger I have ever eaten!”  nice…

Sam:  I took the kids to Braums tonight on the way to pick up Janie from AWANA (more on the subject later).  I was feeling uncharacteristically generous  and allowed each child to order a waffle cone with 2 different flavored dips! When it was time to leave, I went to the counter and ordered Janie a single dip waffle cone to go.  Ellie was very concerned that Janie would be upset with the discrepancy and swore Sam and Nevi to total secrecy.  Sam looked at Ellie and said, “But what if she can smell the 2 different flavors on us?”   Not to worry…  Sam spilled the beans 2 minutes after Janie got in the car.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Late at night, when I am cleaning up around the house, I love to find these creative little reminders that there are kids living here.  I know some day I will miss picking up their toys, and seeing their creativity at work!


Filed under Uncategorized


Sam and I were about to start a game of tether ball when he asked me to hold on for a second.  I turned to see him pulling down his pants near the wood pile.  When he was finished with his “business” he looked at me and said, “Wow Mom, my pee made the wood start smoking!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


When “we” were preparing for Elli’s birth, I made most of the purchases/decisions.  I researched the best stroller, picked out all the gear (with much help from my friend Lili) and sewed all her bedding.  Together we chose her name, Eliza Catherine, as a memory of both our maternal grandmothers.  We loved the name Ellie and thought these fit nicely together.

On November 29, 2000, when the doctor shouted, “It’s a girl!”  I was shocked.  I wanted a daughter so badly and couldn’t believe she was mine!  As they asked us what her name and spelling was going to be, Nathan spoke up and gave the spelling “Elli” – I was surprised.  We had never discussed her nickname spelling and as a teacher I was so against an odd version because I knew it would always be written incorrectly. But… for someone with very few opinions, I hated to squelch his enthusiasm, so I kept it the way he chose.

Until….  this summer Elli declared that she was changing her name to Ellie.  She was sick of people pronouncing her name “Eli” or writing it, “Ellie.”  Very few people got it correct.  I began researching what it takes to change a name until my wise friend Joni explained to me that we can change her nickname to anything we want – Eliza Catherine is on the birth certificate.

It still surprises me every time I see one of her papers from school, but she hasn’t forgotten once.  She is thrilled with it and secretly so am I!


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Would you be interested in temporary adoption having a playdate with Millie?

At this stage in development she is:

  • cutting 3 molars
  • must be held at all times (but won’t cuddle – pulling back at all times)
  • will not eat
  • has a healthy scream
  • likes to climb out of her crib


*sweet millie, when you read this in years to come, be aware that you gave mommy lots of trouble as a baby and consider being an angelic teenager.

**  your mommy loves you very much

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized