Thursday, February 21, 2013

34 Things about Michael
for His 34th Birthday

Michael's 34th Birthday
1:: Michael's favorite color is yellow, but only because he was forced to pick a favorite color as a child.

2:: Michael does not like to pick favorites. He is afraid of offending abstract objects. Or he's really boring. I haven't decided yet.

Things we really know are his favorites:
3:: Favorite Band: Sunny Day Real Estate
4:: Favorite Restaurant: Chipotle
5:: Favorite Type of Cake: Chocolate
6:: Favorite Genre of Literature: Sci Fi/Fantasy

7:: Michael has lived in the following states: Utah, California, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina.

8:: Michael is pathetic when he gets sick. At the first sign of a tickle in his throat, he starts downing orange juice and sleeping 12 hours a night.

9:: When Michael and I first met, he was majoring in recording industry, but when we met the second time, he had switched to computer programming. This made him less cool but I fell in love with him anyway.

10:: Michael's pre-mission band was called Towergrape. He still likes to listen to their CD. I don't. Michael's post-mission band was called Skipping Mad. They rocked.

11:: Michael served a mission to Bolivia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

12:: When we got married, Michael said he wanted three kids. I said I wanted six. So far, he has won that argument.

13:: Michael's first job out of college was with a small company called Venzia, owned by a friend of a friend. Michael's second job out of college was with Plus Three, where he still works to this day. He has been there nine years.

14:: Other places Michael has worked: Taco Bell, radio station in Fayetteville, computer lab at MTSU.

15:: Michael has considered going back to school to become a lawyer. He likes to debate, and he always thinks he's right.

16:: When Michael was a kid, he wanted to be a physicist. I have a skeptical attitude toward quantum physics. Michael and I don't have fights about money or housework or sex or which end to squeeze out the toothpaste. We fight about quantum physics.

17:: Michael is always the first person to say sorry.

18:: Michael gets obsessive about his hobbies, and for that reason, he never has more than one hobby at a time.

19:: When we met, Michael's hobby was writing music. The fact that I played the violin was very high on his list of reasons to want to date me...He wanted to try his hand at writing music for the violin.

20:: His current hobby is playing poker. We do not discuss this with my mom.

21:: Michael does not like to dance. He will not dance to fast songs ever in front of anyone but can be coerced into dancing to slow songs if I remind him that he loves me.

22:: Since Michael and I are not big on dancing, we did not dance at our wedding. Instead, we wrote a song together and performed it at our reception. It's the best love song I've ever heard.

23:: Michael does not think about housework, including mowing the lawn. It's not that he purposely puts it off (I don't think) but that he doesn't notice it needs to be done.

24:: Michael walks and reads at the same time. Sometimes people stop me on the street and say, "Is your husband the one who reads while he's walking?" It's weird.

25:: When we met, Michael was a Republican. Our first argument was about politics. We were engaged at the time, and I have a journal entry from then saying, "I don't know if I can marry him. Maybe we're not compatible."

26:: Michael describes his current political opinions as left-leaning moderate. He claims that I had no influence on changing his political views. That is a bit insulting.

27:: Michael attended the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last year.

28:: Michael was a night owl in college. He has been a bad influence on my Early Bird self over the years, and we often lounge in bed until noon on Saturdays while the kids watch Saturday morning cartoons.

29:: Michael remembers all the useless trivia that the rest of us crammed into our brains in school and then promptly forgot as soon as the test was passed.

30:: Besides being overweight, Michael is my ideal in physical appearance. He's tall with broad shoulders, dark hair, and glasses. I find him incredibly attractive.

31-33:: Michael would be really embarrassed if I posted these ones on the internet.

34:: Michael is exactly the type of guy I always dreamed of being with. I lucked out when I met him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter Commute

cartoon yelling
Thanks to winter weather and repeated battles with illness, we haven't been walking to school much the past couple months. We seem to fall into this rut every winter, and the longer we're in it, the harder it is to get out, to get back into the habit, to get our sorry butts out of bed a half hour earlier in the morning.

In years past, it's always been me and me alone pushing to resurrect the bus/walk routine, but this year the kids have been surprising me. I announce in the morning, "We're going to drive today," and I receive back a chorus of hisses and boos. "When are we going to go back to taking the bus?" Cole almost begs.

Sometimes I'm embarrassed to tell people that we walk or take the bus to the boys' school. Rylan tells his speech therapist that we take the bus, and she responds with a polite, "Oh, really?" Implying: Why would you take the bus when you have a car? Why would you walk when you can drive?

But one afternoon last week, motivated by the hisses and boos, I laced up my tennis shoes and dug out the stroller. With the wind biting at my cheeks and a smile on my face, I pushed Rylan the mile and a half to the school. He sang the whole way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Conversations with Cole

scooter ramp

I love talking to Cole. He's crazy intelligent and curious, but since he's nine, he often comes to unique conclusions that are logical to him but may or may not be correct. Sometimes this drives me crazy; he can be stubborn and hates to admit when he's wrong (remind you of anyone?). But often, the things that come out of his mouth make me smile, make me think, and make me really like him.

Some sample conversations with Cole, all recorded on one day:


Cole: Does Ashton have a girlfriend?

Me: No, and anyway he can't date until he's 16, so what would be the point of having a girlfriend?...Do you know who else has that rule about not dating until you're 16?

Cole: No. Who?

Me: Us.

Cole: I don't care. I wouldn't want to go on a date with a girl anyway.


During a conversation that started about hunting and morphed into factory farms...

Cole: Why are there factory farms anyway?

Me: Lots of people want to eat a lot of meat, and that's the solution people have come up with. What's the solution you'd come up with?

Cole: Why don't we just get cows really fat? Then we wouldn't need so many.

Me: One really fat cow still doesn't have as much meat as two cows. Anyway, you'd still need a place for the cows to graze.

Cole: Why don't we knock down a bunch of buildings so we have more land?

Me: Where would people live?

Cole: Why can't we just put cows on roofs?


Cole: Don't you wish that there were robots to do all your work for you?

Me: No, because then I'd get fat and lazy.

Cole: No you wouldn't because you could still go running and do exercise.

[I hate running...]

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jokes by Eli

scooter ramp

Eli is funny. Or tries to be anyway. He hasn't quite gotten his timing down, but he's said a couple things lately that I thought were really clever.


I said to Miriam, "Cole asked me the other day why I wear basically the same thing everyday - a t-shirt, a cardigan, and jeans."

Miriam said, "I wear a sweatshirt and jeans everyday, and I've been wearing the same thing since high school."

Eli said, "Really?" and then leaned in to smell Miriam.


Lecturing the boys in the car, Michael said, "Annoyance is a two-way street."

Eli said, "So does that mean the street we're on is named Annoyance Street?"

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rylan Says

70 degrees in February

Rylan: You are the prettiest girl in the world. If you weren't already married to Daddy, I would marry you.

Me: If I wasn't married to Daddy, you would never have been born.

Rylan: Yes, I would. I would be born to a different mommy.

Me: Then you would think that mommy is the prettiest girl in the world and you would want to marry her.

Rylan: No, I wouldn't. I would only want to marry you.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Hour after a Trip to the Library... the best hour of the week.

after the libraryafter the libraryafter the library

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Music Lessons: Sunny Day Real Estate

Michael doesn't like to play favorites with bands, but we all know that Sunny Day Real Estate is his favorite. It was one of the first bands he played for me when we were dating, and I thought to myself, "Ugh! What is up with the singer's voice?" I actually might have said it outloud, causing Michael to wonder if I was really someone he wanted to be dating.

Eleven years later, I'm 3/4 of the way done with that Novel No One But Me Will Ever Read, in which two of the characters are obsessed with Sunny Day Real Estate. In the course of working on that novel, I listened to Sunny Day's albums umpteen-million times, and this very strange thing happened. I sort of, kind of like them now. Sssshhh...don't tell Michael.

In my opinion (and I held this opinion even before I started to like their music), if you are in any way a serious lover of music, you should at least know who Sunny Day Real Estate is. They are a band's band - the type of band that failed commercially but managed to have a major impact on today's music. As one example - here's Hayley Williams from Paramore giving a tribute to the band. Two members of Sunny Day also went on to become part of the Foo Fighters.
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