Monday, November 30, 2009

celebrate good times


it was a celebration.


a celebration of this,
our all-time favorite father,
grandfather, friend, and example.

and not just any celebration,
it was a celebration of 70 years.
a surprise celebration
that came off just excellently.


we reminisced about 70 years
of a fulfilling life.
of achievements (not a few);
he was mr. byu 1963, after all!



of a lifetime (or at least half!)
of great memories together,
of qualities we all love
and try to emulate.


a celebration of a father
we all adore
and a toast to many more years
of the good life!




Thursday, November 26, 2009


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

call for help


okay.
i have a very, very dear friend.
(greta, you're the best)
who last christmastime
felt some holiday cheer
(and some sympathy)
and thought thoughtfully
to send me
some trader joe's
peppermint-flavored oreos.
i fell in love instantly.

my plight?
i am nowhere near a trader joe's.

surely there is some kind soul out there
who is blessed enough
to be able to shop
at trader joe's regularly.
surely that kind soul
would let me pay them
to send me some more holiday cheer?

surely?

Monday, November 23, 2009

tiny baby




he is as sweet as it gets
and i am loving every minute of his little babyhood
that is way too short.
he is so tiny, i love to heft him
(because there's hardly anything to heft),
i love to wrap my one hand across his hips,
marveling that his whole body
fits in the palm of my hand,
i love to cuddle him tight
until he's almost rolled into a little ball,
like he was so long inside of me,
i love to stroke his head and feel my hands
gliding over those strands
of the finest and smoothest silk,
i love to watch his big eyes
blinking and calmly letting seep in
the world around him
with such intent and quiet curiosity,
i love to nuzzle my nose into his hair,
his neck or into the line of his baby's breath,
and breathe deep the scent sweeter than honey,
i love to watch his undeveloped nerves
controlling the quick and awkward
punches and kicks of those tiny arms and legs,
i love to watch his facial expressions
change in rapid succession
and in tandem with his erratic breathing
as he sleeps and wonder
how he can feel rested after such fitful sleep,
i love to see him all swaddled up
in a little log,
unable to move yet perfectly content--
my little bundle of pure happiness
just waiting for me to kiss his soft cheeks
and etch these fleeting moments
into my memory for safe keeping,
as heaven well knows
he won't be my tiny baby
for much longer. . .

Friday, November 20, 2009

friday favorite




i love these keys
i bought from
they will soon be wrapped
and among a sweet little one's
first christmas gifts.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

crafting




now it's pretty cool
when you have a grandmother
who has the mother of all craft rooms.
she says,
"before you go shopping,
come to me."
and it's even cooler
when she invites her great-granddaughters over
for an afternoon
of non-stop crafts.
visors, bags, mugs, cards. . .
the girls were in heaven.


she topped off the evening
with her sweet-and-sour chicken,
ice cream,
and talked of the next party
being of the popcorn and pajama type,
and i have two little ones
both anxious to go back,
and thinking they have
the coolest great grandmother.
and they do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

joy riding



it's become a sort of neurosis.

after becoming so accustomed
to constant bumper-to-bumper driving
in a virtually speed limit-free city,
these open roads are killing me.
my instincts to drive wild and free
because i can
are overpowering.
speed limits are painful.
and the fact that i see a police car
every time i go out
has me carefully calculating
the risks of getting a ticket,
and trying to decide if getting a ticket
(or two)
is worth a few months
of joy riding. . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

one like you




"mom, how much longer
are we going to be at the store?"

"i just have to pick out
a couple of christmas presents, mims.
why don't you go over there
and look at the girl stuff?"

(disappears and returns
with merchandise)
"mom, i want one of these.
how old do i have to be
to wear one of these?"

"one of those?
why do you want one of those?"

"i want one cause
i want one like you!"

"can i take your picture, babe?"

"with it on?"

"i think just like that will do."



Friday, November 13, 2009

the cable-nelson



tonight
my father told me
that they willed the old family
cable-nelson piano to me.

how many hours have i spent
sitting on this bench. . .
from the six-year-old days
of twinkle twinkle little star
in so many variations,
to go tell aunt rhody with my eyes closed
to minuets and sonatinas.
it was sitting on this bench
that mozart became my idol.
it was on this bench
i had dreams of becoming a famous musician,
during those hours and hours
of practice.
it was here christine and i
played our duets.
here that we gathered around
for family home evenings,
or to practice musical numbers.
and from here that mother
would play on sunday nights,
as the whole house would resound
with her melodies,
instilling in each of us
a love of music.

with that piano comes
a whole host of memories--
memories that come flooding back
every time i sit at it.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

big day


it was a big day
for a little man.

after a morning of shopping,
getting hauled from car to cart,
cart to car. . .
it was back home
for our very first bath.
now after his first sponge baths,
during which he closed his eyes peacefully
and enjoyed them like a spa treatment,
i was more hopeful for
a relaxing experience.
but his face in this photo says it all.
it was not a spa treatment.

and after that
it was hauling off to the drugstore
to be spread on a white poster board
for a photo session,
otherwise known as
passport doc preparation.
this he handled like a champ,
even stayed awake,
didn't cry
and almost turned his head
toward the camera.

and if that weren't enough already,
it was on to the hospital
for the state-mandated genetic screen,
in other words,
getting poked
and squozen
and squozen
and squozen. . .
but as if he still had something to prove to me
after all of this,
he took it like a champ.
i.e. he didn't even let her
wake him from his slumber.

i know it's too soon to say
"oh, he's such a great baby."
but,
he's such a great baby.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

introductions



what's in a name, really?
such an arbitrary thing.
i remember my brother naming his firstborn
long before he was born,
and my thinking how great that was,
how i wanted to do the same.
to be able to place a name
with not a face, but a kick;
to enhance the reality
of my becoming a parent;
to know exactly who it was i was greeting,
as they came into this world
slippery and screaming.

well, it didn't happen that way.
not with my first, not with my second.
and with the third,
well, there was so much talk
around the house for 5 months
about the impending arrival
of our beloved братик (little brother),
that he was called by no other name.

and when he arrived
and still didn't have a name,
and didn't have a name,
and didn't have a name. . .
well, he's still братик.
and i realized how pathetic it was,
when a stranger was asking milla
what her 10-day-old brother's name was,
and she had to answer,
"i don't know."

well, we did choose a name.
and we did finally tell the girls
that he does have a real name,
not just братик,
as he was so affectionately called
for so long.
but the arbitrariness is so hard to hurdle--
we have yet to call it to his face,
like it as we do.
so in the meantime,
while i still have a hard time
saying it to him,
i can at least say it to you.

world,
meet andreas alexander.

Monday, November 9, 2009

from 2 to 3, and 4 to 5


so, yes.
there is something marvelous
to be said for
only having to show up
to your own child's birthday party.
hats off to sticky fingers
for making
2 to 3 and 4 to 5
a wonderfully memorable experience.

the birthday girls
and their little guests
first decorated their own chef hats.




then moved into the kitchen
for some hands-on culinary instruction.
on the menu:
upside down pasta
with fresh tomatoes,
brie cheese,
and chopped fresh basil.






a recipe
i, myself,
will be adding to my repertoire.

and then, of course,
the moment we had all waited for,
the candles and the cupcakes.



two happy birthday girls,
and one non-stressed, well-rested,
and very content mama.

birthdays 2009, check!

Friday, November 6, 2009

flagstaff


20 years ago
i had no idea
what lie in store for me
in the years to come.
never in my wildest
would i have guessed
i would be living in moscow.

what i would have guessed,
is that i would be living here,
not far from flagstaff mountain.
where i spent hundreds of days
in my high school years--
soaking up the hippie/yuppie culture
of boulder;
climbing its rocks,eating its bagels, 
hiking its trails, smelling its incense,
shopping its silver earrings
and used cd's. . .
i imagined raising my children there--
so near to nature
we could breathe it every day.
i wanted to have my kids
climbing rocks
with chalk bags
by the time they could walk.

well, today i took my kids
to flagstaff mountain
for the first time.
how i reminisced about all the time
i spent there in years past.
about the old dreams i had
which have since been replaced
by others.
how i loved smelling that air again.
having to watch my step
walking over those trails,
instead of crossing busy streets.
and how sweet to see my girls
becoming acquainted
ever-so-slightly
with what i always thought
they would know from infancy.
and how gratifying to see avi
unstoppable and fearless on those rocks,

"find me another one to climb!"
"did you see that, dad?"
"i'm climbing hard, mama!"











and i may never live in boulder
like i'd always dreamed.
my kids don't know prana
or what 5.10 means.
but today it was enough
just to take them
to my past.