a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do you have tickets?

Last weekend we took a trip up to Tulsa with friends to go to the Tulsa Arms Show. The photo above, sadly, was not from the show. Cameras were not allowed at the show, which was a real pity, as the place was PACKED with priceless photo opportunities. I can only recount for you tales of the Cape Buffalo hoof ashtray (I'm not kidding; it was going for $50), the Tactical Girls selling calendars (of themselves--scantily clad, but with firearms of course), and innumerable old-timey mustaches that would make Yosemite Sam green with envy.

I have to say that when we first arrived on the scene, I felt maybe more than a bit uncomfortable by the line of people waiting to enter with their rifles slung over their shoulders. Once on the inside the fairgounds, however, I think the sheer number of weapons saturated and short circuited my senses, and I have to say that I had a really enjoyable time at the show. There were, as mentioned, many funny and amusing sites to see, but also lots of very interesting historical displays and collector items that I found really fascinating. I also was tickled by the handful of jewelry displays strategically placed near the exits, as if to remind a gun-laden fellow that he might want to bring something special home for the little lady as well. Either a diamond ring or perhaps a semi-automatic pistol with pink mother of pearl grips.

Have I mentioned lately how much I'm enjoying Oklahoma? God bless America.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sixteen months, three days ago.

Dear Evelyn,

I'm going to be better. I did not write you a fourteen or fifteen month letter, and when I realized that Sunday was your 16 month marker I made up my mind to write you a letter this month. I figured I'd better catch up on where I left off, so I went back to read the last letter (13 months) and Evie, do you know what happened? I'm crying. I'm crying now, because you're growing up so fast. Right before my eyes, honey, and I'm amazed and proud and terrified. When last I wrote, you were not yet walking.

And now?
You are running.
You are dancing to theme songs.
You love to try on hats.
You help me to dress you.
You have a limited amount a patience (as opposed to none at all).
You "read" books by yourself.
You "talk" all the time.
You mimic things that we do.
You do movements along to the songs we sing.
You want to help me with everything I'm doing. Sometimes this is helpful and sometimes just "helpful."
You can open and operate a variety of cell phones. And flip car keys.
You give Chokydar kisses.
You have a favorite stuffed animal (the pound puppy that was mine as a child).
You LOVE drinking from "normal people" glasses.
You kiss yourself in mirrors.
You love carrying around pillows so as to have a convenient place to fall over laughing.
You have a love bordering on obsession with my grandmother's Huphrey Hug-a-bear that I know would bring her no end of joy.
You understand most instructions and we've started to discipline you in earnest.
You give koala bear hugs where you stick on our necks tighter than velcro.
You are a major problem solver.
You love opening and closing cabinets.
You also love hiding things in cabinets. This has led me to ask you where missing items might be, and you are 1) not only able to recognize the question but also 2) sometimes able to find the item. Evelyn, this is amazing.
You have empathy for Chokydar when she's worried or barking. You say "Uh oooooh!" when you drop something.

You light up our lives and bring us indescribable joy.



Friday, November 6, 2009

When you say medium, do you mean small or large?

We have the amazing fortune to have a drive thru Starbucks here in town. We also have another little cafe style restaurant (similar to, although not quite as good as Panera) called Atlanta Bread Comapny. Well, when we were first settling in and without our cooking supplies, we frequented both of these establishments a bit more than...well, we'll just say 'normal' and leave it at that.

I've heard comedians do routines about Starbucks and their tall, grande, and venti versions of the standard small, medium, and large sizes. Personally I've never had a hard time keeping them straight, but low and behold, at Atlanta Bread their small is called short, their medium is called tall and their large is called grande. Okay, now this actually probably makes more sense than the system at Starbucks, but in reality what it does is get you a larger size than you intended. You go in wanting a small, order a tall out of habit and suddenly you have a medium. Confused yet? Wait for this...

So one day at the Chick-fil-a drive thru window a few weeks back while I was sick, I wanted a chocolate shake. The voice from the box asked what size I wanted. "Small, please," I replied, but then added, "well, what size is your small?" You know how different places have different size cups sometimes, right? This was her response:

"Oh, it's a small size cup."

Brilliant. Very informative and helpful. Being sick and guessing that was as good an answer as I was going to get, I just went with the mystery sized small and moved on.

Now today I was back at Chick-fil-a again (please, no judging...), this time to get the seasonally offered peppermint chocolate chip shake (oh. yes.) When I asked for a medium (I'm judging myself) the girl came back over the box and said that they only come in large or small. Really? Okay. She proceeds to follow that statement up with, "But the large comes in the medium size cup, so do you want that?" I was so confused that I just said "yes" and got a milkshake the size of a small cat.

So to sum up, small is either short or tall, medium is non-existent, tall or grande, and large is one of three: venti, grande, or a small cat.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

mostly pictures...wait nevermind, I ramble too.

Snuggle Time

Snuggle Time

Snuggle Time

Horsing Around


Horsing Around

Horsing Around

Horsing Around


I've got my (magical) desk assembled and was able to get my shiny new iMac put up. It. Is. Amazing. Things are slowly starting to find their way into drawers, shelves, and cabinets, clearing the floor for purposes like, you know, walking. It feels so good to have things begin to settle. There's still a long way to go, and I had the thought the other day about how I'm likely to get the last few things into place the week before the movers come again in the spring. Still, it makes for an exciting life.

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I struggled a bit (sometimes a little more than a bit) with living in Germany. It's something that is difficult for me to admit, because in my mind there is this notion that it should have been an entirely magical experience, one that we would look back on longingly and cherish for all our days, eternally pining for schnitzel and driving our children crazy with stories of black forest cake and the Rhine. It just wasn't the case for me. It was a good experience--I don't regret living there, but it was limiting in many ways and isolating. I made a few treasured friends in Baumholder, ones I hope to keep always, but on the whole it was a very lonely time. I've always considered myself an introverted person, but in my own way I've always made connections with people of shared interests. Growing up I was involved in choir, in junior high there was band, high school had choir and theater, and LTC dominated my college years. Connections like those were practically non-existent in Germany.

When I found myself unhappy, I felt the fault must lie with me. If I couldn't manage to find excitement and happiness in magical Germany, it must me my problem, my failure. As we prepared for our move back to America and I looked forward to coming home after four long years abroad, I began to worry that my restless dissatisfaction with some aspects of my life there would follow me home.

I am so relieved to find that this has not been the case. Being back home has been everything I longed for. Closer to family, closer to friends, able to communicate, sure of what to expect and able to seek out options and opportunities--we've found Lawton (often not considered a glamour spot in the Army) to be fantastic. That deserves extra emphasis: fantastic. The sun shines, the sky is so huge and blue--it seems to stretch eternally. We're in our own (rented) little home instead of a cramped apartment. We've found a church and I've joined the choir there and already met some wonderful new people. I'm excited about opportunities to take classes again.

I really didn't anticipate sitting down to write a post today. I had these pictures we'd taken the other day of Justin and Evie and looking at the ones of them playing outside just filled me with such joy. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: It is good to be home.
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