Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stopping to Smell the Roses

The roses are perfect. Big, fat, plump, and fragrant. Every time I walk past them, I stop and inhale their heady reminds me of when he and I first started dating. He would bring me flowers all the time. Funny thing is, I kept most of them for years and years, even through my first marriage! I have kept every letter, every card, every note that he has ever written to me. When he is gone and I am lonely, I pull them out sometimes and read them. They always make me feel better about his job and our long separations, especially one I call the "About Her" letter.

Not that I am any Abigail Adams, but she must have experienced the same kinds of emotions during her long years apart from John as he worked so tirelessly to build this country. I can picture her pulling out her stack of letters from him, pouring over them time and time again, carrying one of her favorites around in her apron pocket, re-reading it until it was smudged around the edges and she had read it so many times the words were as familiar to her as her own thoughts.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, September 26, 2005

How did 4 days sneak by me?

I need to go get Matthew up for school, but I realized I haven't posted for a while! Where did the time go this weekend? Matthew and I had a reasonably pleasant weekend together, though the house is in serious need of being rescued. That's my big project for this morning. I have already worked out this morning, so I can check that off my list of "parade of daily activities."

I made cookies for Lucas and Laura yesterday and took them over. Seems like Lucas is a little under the weather, but as usual, he is in good spirits. I am very grateful that we got to know them and that they are such cool people. I told them they need to start working on their neighbors to get one of them to move so that when I am done with school we can live next door to them. I love the area that they are in and the location right there by the park. It would still be in the same stake as well, which would be really nice--I wouldn't have to start over completely, just in a new ward.

Time to go be a mom. I love you.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Missing home

Today as Matthew was catching up on his homework for the past week, I noticed that he had fallen silent, something that is completely unlike him--he is always humming or singing or chattering to himself. I looked over at him, his head was buried in his arms as he quietly sobbed. I went over to him, put my arms around him and pulled him onto my lap. I knew what was wrong--he misses Patrick. He doesn't understand why we had to move away from him. "There isn't anyone to play Lego's with now or read cartoons or play with now. It's just me again, Mom. Why can't we live by them again?"

I didn't know what to say to him. All I could do was hold him close, rock him, and tell him it was going to be okay. I told him that we had prayed about it and we felt this is where we felt the Lord had told us we need to be...cold comfort to an eight year old missing his cousin terribly.

I was as kind as I could be to him tonight--I even took him to Taco Bell for dinner because he wanted five soft tacos (he made it through 4 1/2 of them before he was done). Still, there were moments when he would get a far away look in his eyes, they would mist over and he would grow unusually quiet. He is longing for home, and I don't blame him. Tonight as we were getting ready for bed, I told him that I cried too when I first moved here because I missed my family so badly. He said, "Really? Did it ever get better?" I told him it did, it just takes time, and the best thing we can do is to stay busy and find lots of things to be involved with to fill up the time that we would normally spend with our family. As he was drifting off to sleep as I snuggled him, he asked me if I could take him to Todd and Wendy's so that we could be with them because "they are our family and I want to be with them."

I miss home too. I miss being able to get in my car and drive somewhere and not need a map. I miss straight roads. I miss mountains. I miss my mom. I miss your mom.

**sigh** I guess I will go soak in my big tub for a while I read my latest book, The Elegant Universe. You might like it or maybe you won't. It's about superstring theory and how it unifies the juxtaposing theories of relativity and quantum physics. It is simply...elegant, especially with the further light and knowledge that we have.

Much love to you.

Look at me, I can stand!

Luke is growing so fast, I am not sure what to do with him! He is in 24 month size clothing and has finally decided that he would be better off walking instead of crawling. While he hasn't mastered it quite yet, if you help him stand up and then let go, he will stand there by himself for 5-10 seconds. Today he even started taking steps forward from that position! Matthew was about to split his sides open laughing because he thought it was so wonderful to see.

I have to admit, it really was.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

He's so cute, can I keep him?

We had a great time at the zoo with Amanda and Patrick. Laura and Ian came along as well which made for a fun day. The weather was perfect and the animals were very entertaining. The best part about it though was that we weren't fighting off huge lines of people.

The panda was the funniest--he climbed out of the pool he was lounging in and then climbed out onto some old logs to sun himself. The logs appear to have been rotten through and some of them broken and started tumbling down the hillside with him on top of them. He stop his slide about 1/4 of the way down and then kind of let himself down the rest of the way, almost as if he was terribly embarrassed and trying to "recover" from such a social faux pax, kind of like what you must have felt like when you spilled the water at work your first week there. He landed at the bottom, munched on some bamboo shoots that were there, as if he had planned to lunch there all along, then rambled away back to the entrance into the Panda House. The picture of him is when he is almost to the bottom of the hill--on his head.

So I married a Superhero

I just got off the phone with Laura, Lucas's wife--she told me that he is gone this week (at some training course) and will be leaving again next week for a trip overseas, how long he will be gone, she doesn't know. We had a good laugh--I am certainly grateful that I have made friends with her because at least I have someone to commiserate with about our "lifestyle." How on earth did we end up married to men like this?!!! It is kind of crazy sometimes, but well worth it in the end. Wives like us have some serious bragging rights, not that we can brag about it to anyone.

I am not sure any wife can be fully prepared to live like this, regardless of how well prepared she might think she is, how independent and organized she is, how self-sufficient. I think it always comes as a shock, even to those of us who others consider to be "strong." No woman goes into marriage expecting her husband to take a job like this, even if she is fully aware of what skills he possesses. No little girl dreams of marrying her knight in shining armor to have him racing off all the time--I guess that's one of the things I need to make sure I add to my growing "What Your Girlfriends Forgot to Tell You About Marriage" collection. When you marry a superhero, he is gone. A lot.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Back to the books

Joanne suggested I retake the GRE--she put it in very clear terms. "If you get in the 90th percentile or above, you will receive the Presidential Fellowship, which is worth $17,000, so you have to decide if it is worth it or not to retake the test. "

Uh...that's a no brainer. So it looks like I need to be spending 1/2 a day or so studying for that crazy test again which really doesn't matter much to any one except the admissions committee and doensn't show anything other than you know how to take the GRE. Totally pathetic, but a game I have to play if I want the fellowship. Just keep reminding me why I chose to do this, okay?

I pledge allegience

I know you have seen these before but I just thought I would post them here again--they totally make me bust up laughing every time I see them! Where did we get such a funny baby?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

These are all pics from out tour of downtown. The boys were so tired by the end of the day!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Book of Life

We had an amazing time today at the office. The displays were beyond cool, the museum was absolutely fascinating, the food was great, and we got to see the boss's office which was really cool. We were able to see all kinds of nifty toys and doo-dads, and got to take home lots of loot too!

Perhaps the most moving part though was the wall. As I stood there, it was hard to take in what it truly meant, for our country, for our families, more importantly for the families of those represented. I had such a sense of overwhelming gratitude-- actually those paltry words don't even begin to cover the emotion I felt. Even now, it is difficult to assign words to the emotions. After trying to envision it for so long, it more than exceeded my imagination. When Lucas pointed out some of the more recent entries, chills ran up my arms and my heart fairly skipped a beat. I felt as if I had been priveledged enough to gaze for a moment at a few pages of the Book of Life.

"Oh beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife/Who more than self their country love, And mercy more than life!" --Katherine Lee Bates

Signed simply, "A Freeman"

" Your exertions in the cause of freedom, guided by wisdom and animated by zeal and courage, have gained you the love and confidence of your grateful countrymen; as they look to you, who are experienced veterans, and trust that you will still be the guardians of America. As I have the honor to be an American, and one among the free millions, who are defended by your valor, I would pay the tribute of thanks, and express my gratitude...

"Although your private concerns may call for your assitance at home, yet the voice of your country is still louder...Never was a cause more important or glorious than that which you are engaged in; not only your wives, your children, and distant posterity, but humanity at large, the world of mankind are interested in it; for if tyranny should prevail in this great country, we may expect liberty will expire throughout the world. Therefore, more human glory and happiness may depend on your exertions than ever yet depended upon any of the sons of men. He that is a soldier in defense of such a cause, needs no title; his post is a post of honor, and although not an emperor, yet he shall wear a crown--of glory--and blessed will be his memory!"

--A Freeman (as appeared in the New England Chronicle, Nov 1775).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Quicker than you can say, "Bob's your uncle!"

Lickety-split and there he goes. He gets such a kick out of climbing up the stairs and as you know, we have plenty of them to keep him happy. Small-Pants definitely keeps me on my toes!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Luke cracks me up

When I checked on Luke yesterday morning, he was sleeping on his stomach with his little head jammed in the corner of the crib, his body diagonal, and either arm stuck out at a ninety degree angle with his hands tucked between the matress and crib bumper. I thought it was kind of cute, in an unusual way, and didn't think anything of it until I went and checked on him for his afternoon nap and he was sleeping the same way. Last night, I checked on him just to see if he was jammed into the corner, and sure enough, he was. Just now when I laid him down for his morning nap, I intentionally put his little fuzzy head in the corner of the crib where he likes it and he stuck his little arms out and grabbed onto the matress and went right to sleep. How funny is that?

This morning on the way to the bus stop with Matthew, Matthew kept saying "human" for "humid" and "humanity" for "humidity." These boys are always giving me something to laugh about! We even practiced the word the right way a couple of times, but he kept reverting back to "human."

For some reason, the color of the sky and the feeling of the air remind me of our honeymoon in Cozumel. For the past few days, it has been crisp in the mornings, perfectly clear, and gorgeous here. This morning, a little bit of Ophelia has made her way this far inland and this far north and she brought with her that heady scent of tropic warmth. The feel of the air on my skin reminded me of early mornings there with you.

Did I ever thank you for taking us there on our honeymoon? It was perfect.

Sticker Shock: The C.O.L. Index

O.K., it's not just me. A new report put out by the government validates what I already know: it is really really really expensive to live here. According to the report that came out today, a family of 4 living in our county with an infant and school age child (which means us) needs to earn $68,000 a year just for the basics. The basics are housing, food, utilities, and healthcare. Notice that clothes, transportation, insurance of any variety, gas, car repairs, entertainments, soccer shoes, book orders, museum entrance fees, etc. aren't included in that number.

(Let me calm down for a minute here... I don't know if I will ever get used to the cost of living around. I am still feeling a little weak-kneed.)

Like I said, the reports tells me what I already know: I need to get serious about my personal training business and treat it like a business and not a hobby.

Smally-Pants at Play

Can you believe how charming our boy is? We were at the park playing in a little house when I took this photo. You are simply not going to believe how many teeth this little guy has when you get back!

Plumb tuckered out

This was taken after a hard day of playing, hiking, and a lengthy Settlers of Cattan game over at Todd and Wendy's. In fact, it was taken the same day that I took the one of Luke in the little house but you will note he has different clothes on in this pictures. That's because of his exploding diaper trick that he pulls, sometimes while we are away from home! I always carry back-up clothes and a garbage bag for his dirty ones I have to take off of him.

Can't wait for you to get home and experience the exploding diaper trick.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Slow dancing with Ophelia

I guess this is my first time really, having to deal with the anxiety of having a loved one in the direct path of a hurricane--my mom's sister lives dead center of where Ophelia is predicted to make landfall. And Ophelia, well she is another thing altogether. Just like a woman, she can't make up her mind, she is a simmering cauldron, plotting and planning and just taking her sweet time. I don't mean to be dispariging towards Ophelia or women, but her name is entirelyapproriate. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.

Today is my mom's birthday--57 years! When we talked this morning, she told me about her goals for her 60th birthday and I went "WAAAAAIIIIIIIITTTT just one minute! You aren't going to be sixty for another...oh my gosh you are going to be 60 in three more years!!!!!!" Hearing that makes me confront my own mortality in a way I guess. Knowing my mom is going to be 60 makes me...old. Seriously, the last time I was really aware of my mom's age was when she turned 40--where did the intervening years go?

I got a phone call from Sandy in the office today. She was just calling to check up on me and the family and to make sure we were all doing well. We actually had a great talk and she mentioned that she had a friend who was going to the main office near where you are and might be able to get something into you for me. I told her I could whip up some toffee lickety-split for you. She will call me tomorrow and let me know if it is possible or not. I told her about my plans for school and she thought it was a great idea seeing as how your first few assignments aren't going to be very "plum" and that you were most likely going places that I neither could go or would want to go. She asked me what my degree will be in and I told her and she said, "Oh wow! Are you going to apply here when you are done? You would get snapped up in a heartbeat, especially since your husband works here to!"

I need to go kid wrangle and get Matthew to Cub Scouts. I will post some pictures later.

Much love to you.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Very Good Day

Today marks Luke's first birthday, and may I say that I am so glad to not be pregnant? That was such an awful pregnancy for me, but I am thrilled with the end result. Luke is such joy to me. He is so much like you in so many ways and is so giggly and well adjusted. The best words I can think to use to describe him are robustly healthy. And charming.

While he isn't walking yet, he is right on the verge of taking off--he cruises around from table to chairs to endtable to buffet and back again with the greatest of ease. He sleeps through the night, some of the time. He eats like a champ, or that should be chimp since he seems to really favor bananas. He has eight teeth and loves to show them off with his charming crinkle-nose grin. He loves his brother and squeals with delight whenever Matthew gets home from school. He is a very busy little boy and isn't very snuggly (except when sedated I found out last week after his surgery), but frequently crawls back to me for a quick hug and kiss before heading of to explore again, trailing cracker crumbs and slobber behind him. He has learned to climb stairs, big, long flights of stairs and can do it lickety-split so we have to be even more vigilant about keeping the gates shut because he will be up the stairs before you can say "Bob's your uncle!"

Most of all, this day reminds me of how wonderful it was to be surrounded by my family who I love so much when Luke joined us. I am so glad that he is part of our lives and that I am part of this wonderful Fitt family. I feel so blessed to have such loving sister in laws and such an amazing mother in law. For many years, I felt as if I had no root and no branches, but when I married you, I was "grafted" into your family tree and it has been wonderful.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Let them eat cake!

Luke devouring his requisite chocolate birthday cake. He made such a mess, but the best part was when he got some up his nose and then stuck his little finger up there trying to get it out and jammed it even further! As you can see, he had a great time and made a giant mess. I thought the missionaries were going to die laughing watching Luke go to town on the cake.

This is Luke, not on his birthday, but at his birthday party. Note the clothes his is still wearing as he eats his lunch. Can you believe how big our boy is?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

For Stephanie

"The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than talking about behavior. "—President Boyd K. Packer
Ensign, May 1997, 9

Nuff said. Pull out the book and get to work!


Smally-Pants waiting to go into pre-op this morning. He had the entire staff at the surgery center totally charmed and wrapped around his little finger by the time he finally went in for surgery. We made friends with Amelia who was "getting a new belly button, want to see my old one?" (a delightful 3 year old having having a hernia fixed) and Farhid from Ghana, a miracle boy of 5 who was born at 24 weeks gestation. He was having some reconstructive surgery done on his nose because of some damage from the tubing they used to feed him through during the 3 months he was in NICU.

He seemed to weather the event fairly well--he slept for hours and hours today once we were home. During the brief times he has been up has not wanted to be more than arm's length from me. When I was downloading the pictures I took this morning, he was laughing and giggling at the first few of him, the ones of him pre-op, but when I showed him the ones of him in his hospital "jammies" or with the nurses, he started shaking his head back and forth and saying, "nnnh, nnnh, nnnh, nnnh." At first I didn't understand what he was trying to tell me, then it dawned on me--the pictures reminded him of what had just happened and he was not pleased about it!!

What a smart little man. I think he is going to be a lot like his dad though--a man of few words but what he says, he truly means.

In the beginning...

...there is just me, trying to get along as a "sort of" single parent, having all the same kinds of struggles (for the most part) but I have a paycheck deposited every two weeks that I don't have to work for. You keep telling me that I do work for it. I guess I do, I just don't have to get dressed up and find child care to "earn" it.

It is hard though, being alone, day in and day out. When scary things happen, like taking our newest small and wonderous (actually, he isn't so new or small but still just as wonderous) Smally-Pants in for surgery today and having to hold him while the anesthesiologist put him to sleep, when things like that happen, then I feel really alone. Most of the time though I can deal with it. Sometimes I can't though. Tonight as I sat on the deck in the beautiful evening while Matthew read his book, both of us enjoying the waning summer--candles lit, the heady smell of the rosemary and basil plants drifting towards us on a cool breeze with Luke snuggled up on my lap, head resting against me shoulder in a very atypical moment of quiet for him--tonight I almost couldn't. It is quiet evenings like this that it is so apparent there is something so vital missing in our home...and that would be you.

I don't know why it took me so long to figure out that we could communicate this way, through blogs. One would think that with my background this would have been the first thing that popped into my mind. Well, maybe we can't really communicate in the truest sense of the word, but at least while you are away from us you can check up on us and see how we are. I figure you can't leave us messages but at least you can see how fabulous your boys are and hear of the amazing things that they are doing.

We love you. I love you. Life is so much better with you in it.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Captain Knuckle

Matthew doing what he does best-goofing around. He has cornered the market on it. We were at a park when I took this and I was the only mom there without a nanny. In fact, they probably thought I was the nanny.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Captian Knuckle's alter ego Gets Schooled

Matthew's first day of school, waiting at the bus stop. I don't know who was more nervous, he or I. After he got on the bus and rode away, I actually got all teary eyed because I was so....I don't know what I was, I just know that I can't believe my small and snuggly baby boy is so big.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

My two smally-pants Posted by Picasa

Off kilter and akimbo

I have finally learned the true meaning of sweltering heat. We recently moved to the east coast and I am truly shocked at the humidity. This wet heat is blinding and oppressive--I open my front door, peeking around the edge and inhaling the heavy air. It is almost a surreal experience for me--visceral and startling at the same time. I am not complaining mind you, just stating the obvious about mid-August in Virginia. After living for so long in the west, in particular during the last six or seven years when we were experiencing one of the worst droughts on record, this sudden change of scenery has left me slight off kilter, akimbo, and unsure of what to make of it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My Future's so bright

Can you believe how cute Smally-Pants is!!? He absolutely loves swimming--loves everything about it. Here he is in Mesa on vacation with me soaking up the rays and drying off after a nice swim in the pool. Naturally, he is slathered in SPF 45 sunscreen because his tender little piglets and pudgey body have your skin, not mine.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Freedom Now

I just finished watching the inaugural ceremony and I was so moved by it (as I have been every time I have had the opportunity to watch it every four years). I was very mindful and aware of the many gifts and opportunities I have living in this country, particularly as a woman. Things are not perfect, but they are sure better than the alternative!

Here are some of my favorite parts of President Bush's address:

"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom."

"America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time."

"Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it."

"By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world."

"We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner 'Freedom Now' - they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty."

"America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof."

All I can think is lucky lucky me to live in the United States of America, with all her flaws and problems, it is still a fabulous place to raise a family and pursue my goals.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Hey...don't I have one of those?

So here I am, a little over a year after starting my own blogging experience, just remembering that I even have a blog. Life got in the way--in the intervening time I have moved, had a baby, and am now planning a cross country move. My husband was offered his dream job; with great trepidation, I have encouraged him to accept it even though it means moving from our family and loved ones and taking a cut in pay is the perfect job for him and he will make a difference in the world doing it, so how could I not support him?

The thing that brought me back to was a post on the forums at Another member, Kestrel, is using this same blog to record her TTapp journey ( ),. I though, "Hey, don't I have one of those too?" And sure enough, here it was, patiently waiting for me. Which brings me back to one of the fundamentals of Adult Education--it is always there for the learner when the learner is ready, just like that old adage, "When the learner is ready, the teacher appears." That is the hallmark (or should be) of Adult Ed.

So here I am.

Inspired by Kestrel, I want to catalogue my journey, TTapp and otherwise. Somehow doing this makes me feel like I still have a voice, like I still matter. And perhaps, maybe just perhaps, be a balancing voice to my brother's, who seems to have become quite the cynic about our family and growing up years.

So sit back, enjoy the ride, because I guarantee it will be interesting.