Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

December 14, 2007

I DO!

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 7:47 am

Today, 10 years ago, Nathan asked me to marry him.

Today & everyday, I thank God that he did.

Some people don’t believe in soul-mates. I think that those people just haven’t found them. I was one of the lucky ones. The minute I spent more than 30 minutes with this man, I knew that he was ‘the one’. Not in a ‘lady, you are psycho‘ way… just in the way that a woman knows that she has met her better half. I knew it at my core. I told my best friends… I dumped my boyfriend… and I waited. Sure enough, he was doing the same thing!

Ten years later, life has changed.

Friends have come and gone. Our families have had a lot of ups & downs.  There have been some hard times.   There have been some fabulous times.  Babies have arrived. Joy has filled our house, more than I had ever imagined that it could. My constant happiness stems from my partner, my best friend, my husband.

Thank you for asking me to marry you. I would do it again & again & again.

November 30, 2007

Pet lovers

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 3:43 pm

I always thought I was a pet lover until I met Nathan & his family. They are crazy about their pets. And when I say crazy – I mean wildly insane crazy.  I won’t ‘out’ them on their behavior, because I know they read this and I love them dearly.   But even they sometimes admit that they have gone over the top.   (you know you do)  Once I had a friend like this too. I always thought she was a bit crazy about her cat. But figured it was just her personality. Then more & more people started coming out of the wood-works admitting their pet-behaviour to me. I started to realize that maybe I am no pet lover. Maybe I am just a pet tolerator.

My version of owning a pet is taking good care of them by feeding them, bathing them, walking them, and occasionally playing with them throughout the day. I would not plan my day around them. They would not sleep in my bed. They would not be a factor in my vacation plans. I would have no trouble boarding them if I needed to (assuming the place was safe, nice & kind). I would not be buying them a seat on the airplane. I wouldn’t dress them up in clothes. I wouldn’t include them in portraits of the kids and act like they were equal to something that I had birthed myself.  And I certainly wouldn’t talk about them and compare them to my children as if they were the same.

They would be a part of the family that I loved very much. But they would still be pets. Not people. Pets.

When I write it, it sounds cold.

But honestly I loved my pets growing up… I just didn’t obsess over them like they were children. Which is why when Andrew recently took a healthy obsession in Grandma’s cat over Thanksgiving… I started to worry. I could see the longing in my husband’s eyes. That look that says, “oooooh wouldn’t it be nice to put that under the Christmas tree.”

And honestly, yes it would be. For about 2 weeks.

That is how long I give it until the excitement dies down, and I am changing kitty litter. I already have two kids whose poop doesn’t always end up in the toilet. Do I really need a 3rd with four legs running around, with no ability to ever learn that skill on their own?

And what about the furniture? My kids already beat on it enough.  Do I really need it scratched up too?

Or the cat hair? If I can’t keep the peas from our floor…. how will I manage to keep the cat hair from the whole house?

I don’t know… I want pets, but I really want them when the kids are old enough to help. Though on the other hand, the time that they are the most interested is now. Such a tough decision.  And who doesn’t want a cute furry little kitten around?

If someone asked me right now… would you have another baby or a pet. I would say baby. 100 times over… baby.   At least the work you put into a child comes back in spades.

Maybe I am not a pet lover. I am a “pet lover” lover.  I guess that will have to be good enough for now.     Please Santa – don’t send me a kitten for Christmas.  If you do, I will be sure to pay you back in full.

September 22, 2007

Differences

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 9:16 pm

There are some obvious differences between my husband & I. He is a man. I am a woman. Obviously.

Many of those who know us, think we are two peas in a pod. Both Type A to a fault, and so highly organized that it would make your head spin.

However, in parenting … we are different. The contrasts are neither bad nor good. Just different.

In the last 15 minutes I have marvelled at our dissimilarity and had to laugh.

We were sitting at dinner and there was mention of a ‘surprise’. The word, ‘surprise’ in our house means dessert. So it was explained, that if they ate their beans, we were going to have dessert. The kids decided that tonight, dessert would be homemade chocolate chip cookies…. but we didn’t have any flour to make it. So I volunteered to go to the store quickly, if Nathan would keep the boys distracted by mowing the grass (which they love to do & crossed off one of the to-do on my list).

I came back in 5-10 minutes… and literally the kids were locked in the pantry. They were in there with the door closed and cans/bottles banging. I just looked at my husband and laughed. This is what happens when I am gone. The grass gets mowed, as asked, but the kids run crazy.

In accordance with the definition of ‘mayhem’, they destroyed the pantry. Everything was everywhere. When I am home with them, they aren’t even allowed in there. But when Dad’s home… all bets are off.

At this point, I mentioned to my husband that it is sort of ironic (or as Joel would put it… it sucks) that when Nathan is expected home, I clean up as much as possible so that he can walk into a clean home and relax. But when I am expected home, who cares about the mess… let’s make the biggest mess possible if it’s fun & safe.

I can’t be mad. It is actually great. The kids love the freedom & they love being with dad. He is super fun, and they are in great hands. It’s just so different from my mode of operation.

Another obvious difference in the past 15 minutes is our levels of patience. I have to spread my patience over 12 hours. I dole it out as necessary. Nathan only has to be patient for 2 hours – between 6:00 – 8:00. This makes his perspective a whole lot better than mine. I just watched him bake cookies with my kids for the past 30 minutes; he calmly and easily dealt with the kids and the tornado of flour that was in our kitchen.

Somehow the mounds of salt being poured all over didn’t bother him. He didn’t care that no one was listening & everyone was grabbing for all the dangerous objects all at once. Somehow he was able to cook the cookies quickly & assign ‘busy’ tasks to each kid so that they were involved but not in the way. It was fun.

I was impressed at his skills, especially since I had tried making pancakes with the kids two days prior (a task he usually does with them). I was frazzled and frustrated trying to keep hands away from blenders, and too much food off the floor. By the end, the kids had fun… but I am not sure I did. And it definitely didn’t go like it does with dad… smoothly and without the word ‘no’ used about 100 times.

So differences are good.

However, how do I find a way to maximize our differences and minimize the mess? I did appreciate the homemade cookies (obviously since I ate about 5) … but I didn’t like being called in as the clean-up girl for the pound of flour on the floor.

I guess you win some, you lose some. Now I will go back to my cookies and spending time with my fantastic husband/father.

September 14, 2007

Anyone need a plumber?

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 2:06 pm

Every night after dinner we ask the kids to clear their plates. Andrew is old enough and tall enough to do this properly: carrying it parallel to the floor so food doesn’t fall off. Justin on the other hand is not yet two. Not that this fact means anything… but let’s just say we haven’t reached the age & height requirements to pull this task off flawlessly.

Thus, we take the remaining food off his plate before he carries it to the sink. And when he gets there he can either chuck the plastic plate into the sink if he has enough umph… or he can give it to Andrew, Mommy or Daddy to put up. This avoids mounds of food trailing behind him, and the plate falling back on his head while he is trying to reach the top of the counter.

Last night, his plate was too messy, so we gave him his empty cup and told him to put it in the sink. He accomplished this task by chucking it over the side of the sink, and then high-tailing it to the playroom with his brother.

When I went back to clean the dishes about an hour or so later (after the kids were in bed), I pulled things out of the sink, turned on the water and started to scrub. The only problem was that the water started backing up on me. I tried running the disposal but it wasn’t working. It didn’t sound like something was caught in the disposal, but it didn’t sound normal either.

So I turned off the water, and started feeling around. Nopem nothing in the sink. Then I turned off the disposal and started feeling around. Hummm… why can’t I stick my hand down the pipes into the disposal?

Well, Justin’s cup had apparently been expertly launched straight down the sink and into the disposal. It was not bouncing around in the disposal. It was actually suspended at the rim of the pipe opening from the sink to disposal. Thus providing a complete seal from either direction.

I don’t know how it possibly landed in that spot, but it did. And frankly I had no idea how to get it out. I couldn’t actually pull it out, because the rim of the cup was butted up against the opening into the sink. I couldn’t push it down further into the garbage disposal, to turn it around, and pull it up backwards.. because it was seriously the size of a plastic tumbler. There was no room for that thing to move anywhere in there. So it was stuck. I tried prying it out to no avail.

When my husband walked in, I gave him a look of exasperation and told him promptly that we were screwed.

He simply turned around, walked to the garage, and came back sauntering towards me with a pair of lock-pliers and a long flat head screw driver.

Now here is where I tell you… my husband is no handyman. My grandfather typically is the one fixing things in our house & showing Nathan how to do it for the ‘next time’. I am not saying he’s incompetent. He definitely could figure out how to do all these things.. he just doesn’t have the time and there are easier ways for us to get them done.

Thus seeing him coming towards the sink with some tools, looking like he knew what he was doing … definitely caused me to give him the big eye-roll. I just moved over and looked on sceptically… waiting for him to give up and turn to me so that we could get on with calling the plumber.

Sure enough, 10 seconds later, he had strong-armed that cup and wedged it out of there. I couldn’t believe it. I still cannot believe that he pulled it out of there without having to dismantle the disposal and the pipes below.

He just looked at me with a big smirk on his face and said, “Betcha didn’t think I could do that, did you?”

Yup honey. Everyday I underestimate you. Now can you get started on that screen door?

September 5, 2007

Stupid John Tesh

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 1:25 pm

For the third time tonight, I stood waiting outside of Nathan’s car … waiting for him to unlock the passenger door, while he is already inside with his door shut.

The first time I figured he had just forgotten to hit the unlock button twice – to get all the doors unlocked. The second time I figured he was just slow. The third time was ridiculous. I don’t complain that he doesn’t walk me to the door, hold it open, and close it for me (though I love that). So I was just plain irritated at this point, especially since this had happened all within a 2 hour period.

When I got in the car, I was ready to say something. However, I heard this on the radio:

Hi, this is John Tesh. Have you ever rolled your eyes while your husband was talking to you?

Of course. Duh. Nathan looks at me and grins… while I proceed to roll my eyes. In my head I am saying “why yes John Tesh, I roll my eyes all the time at this door-locking-fool-of-a-husband”.

blah blah blah … eye rolling is a sign of contempt for your spouse… blah blah blah

Nathan is practically leaping out of the seat yelling, “Yeah John Tesh, I need some respect around here.”

I roll my eyes.

Husbands and wives need to learn to talk in a caring and respectful way that shows their love and support of one another.

Nathan jeering at me, “Yeah that’s right – caring and supportive. That’s what I’m saying.”

Me grinning and rolling my eyes so that they could practically pop out of my head.

Good communication is the foundation for a strong marriage.

I think my communication was pretty clear. With one roll of my eyes I communicated the following:

You are a 33 year old man with a car that you have been driving for 4 years now… you know how to work it. Open the damn’d door so that I can get in and not wait in the cold while you listen to your new best friend John Tesh.

Stupid John Tesh, you & my husband might be sleeping on the couch together soon. How about an ‘eye roll’ to that one?

July 18, 2007

Selective Hearing?

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 2:30 pm

My grandparents are one of those couples who could be on a comedy show. They are not funny on purpose, it’s just their interactions that are hilarious. They don’t know it, but they are.

One of the main gripes of both of my grandparents is that the ‘other one’ can’t hear. They are constantly complaining that the ‘other one’ forgot to do something after they were explicitly told to do it. Likewise, the defending party insists that they were not told to do it at all, and that is why it was not done… watering the garden, picking up something at the grocery store, putting an important date on the calendar, etc. Thus the argument ensues over which one is hard of hearing and which one is not.

It’s been going on forever, and behind the scenes everyone else in my family has decided that Grandmom can not hear, and Grandpop refuses to hear. Thus, selective hearing. When my Grandmom talks, he tunes out. It’s actually comical when you test it out. Grandmom can be yapping at him from about 5 feet away for 15 minutes about something he is completely ignoring. And then I can whisper something about fishing, and he would hear it from across the room.

Recently I have decide my husband has those same genes. He seems to have no ability to hear the children between the hours of 11:30 pm – 5:00 am. When it’s time for him to sleep, you would think he locked himself in an invisible sound proof chamber to which nothing short of a sonic boom would wake him up. It is INFURIATING!

Since Andrew has been potty training, he has started waking in the middle of the night to go pee. I can hear him get up the minute his feet hit the floor and he heads down the hall towards our room. I don’t expect Nathan to hear him at this point – I figure this is a mothering gene that he doesn’t have. However, I do expect him to wake up when Andrew rustles into our room by banging the door open and comes to the side of the bed, and practically yells: I NEED TO GO PEE! Unfortunately, Nathan is still snoring away at that point.

So every night for a month I have been waking up in the middle of the night at least once for Andrew’s pee break. And don’t even get me started if Andrew’s having bad dreams… that could tack on an extra 2 visits to the kids rooms. And if Justin is even remotely sick… just tack on 2 more visits. It has not been unusual for me to wake up 2-3 a night in the past month…. sans husband.

But last week pushed me over the edge. Andrew woke up and had an accident. Not only was he bawling in our room – full force – but he was covered in pee. Somehow I was trying to wrangle him into the bathroom to calm down and get cleaned up. Likewise, I was trying change his sheets in the room where Justin was sleeping – without waking him up too. When I say changing sheets, imagine moving the mattress completely off the bed and stripping it down. Clearly not a quiet task. Does the ruckus wake Snoring Beauty? NO!

During this I am sweating. Sweating because I can’t help Andrew who is still crying. And I can’t change the sheets because they are getting stuck in the dark. And I can’t yell for help because I will wake Justin. It is at this point I march into our bedroom and start hitting Nathan to wake up. It takes me literally yelling at him & shaking him to get his butt out of bed. I tell him to take care of Andrew & help him pee while I change the sheets.

The whole time I am changing the sheets, I can hear Andrew still crying for Mommy. When I come out and the bed is changed, I see that Andrew is in the same position I left him, and Nathan is simply sitting on the bathroom floor quietly. He might as well been sleeping there. When I come in, he moves silently back to bed, while I finish up with Andrew & get him back into bed.

By the time I make it back to bed, Nathan is already asleep and I am so wide awake that I can’t sleep for another hour.

What is with that? I could strangle him, but I know that he honestly doesn’t hear it. How is that possible? It was like World War III was waging in our house, and yet his snores were still permeating every corner of the upstairs.

I think I now know how my Grandmother feels when she’s talking to my Grandfather. I bet she wants to hit him with a 2×4. I promise I will never laugh at my Grandfathers antics again… and I also promise that I will strap the baby monitor to Nathan’s head so he is sure to hear the kids in the future.

June 19, 2007

Spider Man

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 7:29 am

When I married my husband, I knew that he was not going to be the one to kill the bugs in our house. I knew this because of the story he repeatedly told me about being a little boy living in Texas. He only lived there for a year, but apparently that was all it took to traumatize him forever.

He describes bugs as ‘big as his head’ living there. And seriously, he will not back-down from that description. He SWEARS they were that big. So thus, he runs like a little girl every time a bug comes near him. (Okay that might be an exaggeration, but seriously you should see his arms flailing all over trying to shoo a random bug away). Maybe he thinks that since he grew up, so did the bugs. Thus, they were keeping the size ratio even over the years. Yeah, you know, because the bugs have been eating their Wheaties, just so as no to be out-done.

Tonight there was a MONSTER of a spider in our bedroom. I don’t even notice these things. I walked right past it to the bathroom. Of course, he noticed. It’s the first thing he saw when walking into our room. He wasn’t even aware of the fact that our bed was made for the first time in a month. Nothing deterred him from noticing the spider on the wall.

When I told him, “you’d better get that.” He just looked at me and said “YOU’D better get that.” Yup. That’s right. My hunk of a husband, super-duper triathlete, all-around awesome man… crippled by the little ‘ol spider.

I told him that I would, but I can’t reach it. It’s on the ceiling and it was too high. So he simply informed me that the Lysol can was in the bathroom and I could use that. Sure enough, I had to take that tactic. Perched on the side of the bed, leaning over the dresser, angled at the ceiling… I shot at the poor spider.

The thing went tumbling down behind our dresser… about 2 feet away from our bed… and who the heck knows where it is right now. I tried finding it with a flashlight, but no luck.

So now I can’t sleep for fear of retribution. I am sure that the spider’s gonna get me. And I blame my husband. If he would have just man’d up and got that spider, we could all be sleeping right now. If he sleeps in the guest room, you can bet he will blame my snoring… but we will all know the truth.

May 6, 2007

How does he do it?

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 12:05 pm

Sometimes I have to wonder…

Nathan is the kind of guy you can rely on. And I mean, in every scenario. He just seems to be able to assess any situation and handle it appropriately. Rarely does he misstep. No he’s not a robot. And he’s not trying to fool me. That’s just the way he is… steady as the tide, solid as a rock. He is the anchor that ties me to this earth so that I am not spinning in orbit half the time.

When I met him, his family would tease him and call him “saint Nathan” telling me that he didn’t walk on water. But I am not so sure. My family pretty much thinks he does. My grandmother is always telling me to take good care of him because ‘he works so hard.’ She buys him extra special birthday gifts, because ‘he deserves it’. My parents often call to talk to him (not me) about important decisions or ask for advice. And if my family was on a boat, and the boat was sinking, and they could only save one person … Nathan or me… I think they might actually debate it for a little bit!

I don’t mind it at all. I am happy that my family loves him like I do. But sometimes I wonder how he does it. How can he pull off being a great husband, wonderful father, excellent employee, and overall good guy… everyday?

How he can work all day long, and still come home with a smile on his face, ready to play with the kids? How come he doesn’t mind washing the dishes and helping with the bath and bedtime routine? Why doesn’t he seem to need a minute for himself to wind down? How can he spend a little evening time with me, even though he knows that when I go to bed, he has to go finish up his work? Seriously, does he have some Energizer Bunny pill that he’s taking? I don’t know how he accomplishes all that he does within a 24 hour period, and still gets up the next day and does the same thing – without a decrease in productivity or even a complaint. I couldn’t possibly keep up with him, even if I was trying!

And then he still finds the time to exercise every day, so that he can train to do a half-iron man! I mean, don’t get me wrong. I think he’s crazy. I don’t know why anyone would work so hard to do a race that will take about 6 hours to complete. But at the same time, I am secretly proud of him. Proud that he is putting forth the effort. Proud that he has some goals for himself that make him happy & satisfied. And proud because I know he will achieve it. Whatever he sets his mind to, he always accomplishes… so this will be no different. I am sure of it.

I know men and women are different. And so our strengths will not always be the same. But some men are different from others… and Nathan is one of them. I know few other men like him. My friends often wonder why I don’t ‘bitch’ about my husband… and it’s not that I wouldn’t. Believe me I would. However, often I don’t have much to say. And if I do, it’s so stupid, it’s not worth mentioning.

After 11 years I still have not figured out what makes him tick. I don’t know how he balances everything so that everyone around him feels loved and secure, just knowing that he is there. Maybe in another 20, 40, or 60 years I will figure it out. Or, maybe I will give up trying and just thank God everyday for sending him my way.

However, Nathan, if you are reading this, I have one small request… if we are going to spend the next 60 years together… can you slip up a bit more? You are making me look bad!

April 25, 2007

Who’s in charge here?

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 3:22 am

When the Captain of the Household gets taken out by strep throat, the main question is who is the next in command?

Can the First Lieutenant handle the pressure of jumping rank, and stepping in? Will the troops follow orders properly? Do we need to call in for reinforcements?

Well, it’s safe to say that in our household, this Captain is completely replaceable. In fact, I might even be unknowingly out-ranked by my husband. He can step in and bark commands like the best of them. And things get done. Kids fed. Kids bathed. Kids played with. All in all – no need for the Captain of the house at all. I can go back to being sick in bed.

However, there are a few occasions in which I am required to rise out of bed and make the arduous trip out of my room to get more Kleenex, find more cough drops, refill a water glass, or scrounge up some saltine crackers. It is in these moments, I find a few things amiss in the household. Things I cannot be bothered with – because I am too sick to care – but definitely noticed.

Like the fact that when Andrew got up from a nap, I heard Nathan ask him… ‘what would you like for a snack’. This was adventurous of him. No limiting options. Just putting it out there. And wouldn’t you know it, Andrew asked for chicken nuggets. Sure enough, chicken nuggets were served! I pretended not to notice. Just because I was curling up and dying in a corner… didn’t mean that the kids couldn’t whoop it up with the Best Dad Ever.

Or what about dinner. Last night’s menu included: hot-dogs, pizza, pretzels, green beans, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream. Way to sneak in the green beans buddy. I bet they didn’t notice that when you were applying the whipped cream to their hands and letting them shove it directly into their mouths.

And let’s not even talk about clothes… other than to say… why was my almost 3 year old, wearing my 1.5 yr olds pants? To be fair, it’s a 2T vs. a 3T… but the guy looked like he was wearing capri pants for goodness sake!

Definitely a few days with Super Dad has riled the troops up. I am pretty sure that they aren’t going to like it when the Captain of Doom comes back full-time. I may have to bust out the whipped cream as a bargaining tool.

March 4, 2007

Not 21 anymore

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 10:03 am

Nathan’s birthday was yesterday. So we went out to celebrate.

A few years ago, a birthday celebration might have included a group of friends at a fun restaurant, drinking and eating until we all needed taxi’s to get home. However, those days are long gone.

This year, the celebration was to include the Stanford Shopping Mall, tapas for dinner, and mini-golf.

Why the shopping mall for a birthday celebration? Well, I wanted to get him clothes for his birthday, and shopping with Andrew & Justin is impossible. I had tried three times in the past month to go:

Attempt #1 was to the GAP for jeans… after one quick pass through (and I do mean quick, 5 minutes tops), Andrew was swinging on the belts and Justin was eating the tags off the jeans.

Attempt #2 was again to the GAP for jeans… this time I honed in on the exact section I wanted with no walking around. However, still, Andrew bolted for the steps to go upstairs. Since I had the stroller, I couldn’t catch him without leaving Justin behind on the bottom floor. When I left Justin, he started wailing. Andrew thought we were playing chase, so took off. In the end, I just got them both and left. That was 5 minutes again.

Attempt #3 no more GAP, straight to getting a sweatshirt at Quicksilver. This time I bribed them with cinnabons and strapped them both into a stroller… and we were in & out with a sweatshirt in 10 minutes.

Still that wasn’t what I wanted to give him. So off to the mall we went – minus sticky hands, quick little feet, and wailing. Nathan leisurely tried on a billion things, and we successfully came away with what we had been looking for.

While we were at the mall (with Nathan, without children, and with time), we tackled what can only be known as ‘cruelty to women’… bathing suit shopping. I haven’t had a new bathing suit (maternity excluded) in over 5 years. I am well past my due. However, I don’t like shopping. And I despise swim suit shopping. And with this new ‘mommy body’ of mine, I am even less thrilled. You know, the mommy belly pouch, the saggy breast feeding boobs, the wider hips…. not bikini material anymore. Not to mention that I have naturally always been the color of Casper the Friendly Ghost. So that wasn’t doing me any favors.

By some stroke of good fortune, Nathan helped me find a cute two piece suit in literally 15 minutes. No tears. No self-deprecating. Just a nice suit that covered what I needed it to cover. Perfect! However, we still couldn’t escape the torture of the 20 year old girl next to me who was trying on a string bikini. As I passed by, she asked her friend, “it’s a little tiny, what do you think?” I took one look at her with her flat belly and perkiness, and kept walking while I told her she ‘looked adorable.’ Nathan thought I sounded a bit dejected… I probably was. Off to dinner & drinks we go.

We headed to a tapas bar in Menlo Park… where we first ordered cocktails. The drink was made very well, and was delicious. However after one sip I knew that this was a moment when I had a decision: I could forget about my kids and enjoy the evening as we used to with a few drinks – OR – I could remember my kids and plan ahead for the next morning at 6:30 when they would be up & ready to tackle the world…and me included. I chose the latter. Nathan chose the former. It was his birthday, so live it up buddy!

I stopped drinking my cocktail, and ordered one glass of wine instead. Nathan drank my cocktail, his cocktail, a glass of wine, and an after dinner drink. Needless to say, he had a great birthday. So did the meat from one of the kebobs that went flying from our table. And the crostini from the cheese platter that seemed to leap to the floor to avoid being eaten.

By 9:00 it was time to go mini-golfing. Neither of us wanted to say it first, but we both finally admitted we were tired and wanted to head home to watch Survivor on the couch in our pajamas.

So we did, and were in bed by 10:00. Asleep by 10:15

There was no guilt surrounding the fact that we didn’t really canvass the town as we might have in previous years. There was no regret about skipping mini-golf, or not going to a movie, or even just staying up past 10:00. In the end, Nathan declared that it was just the way he wanted to spend his birthday. Which is really saying something these days.

What I hear it saying is…. “we are definitely in our thirties, and you are going to have one screaming hangover tomorrow birthday boy”

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