Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Back to school

Doug started classes yesterday. He's teaching four classes this quarter, so he'll be busy. It always takes a while to adjust to the new schedule and figure out meals and showers and things. The hardest part this time is that Doug needs the good car for several hours in the middle of the day, which makes it tough to get anything done.

I picked up a chunk of brie for a dollar the other day (why it was only a dollar, I don't know) and yesterday I gave Kate some, spread on Triscuits. A bit later Kate came up and said, "More cheese?" and handed me a soggy cracker with all the cheese sucked off. Kate likes Triscuits. Apparently she likes brie even more.

I made a sudoku tutorial and posted it on Two Peas. I had made the graphics quite a while ago, so when I went to write up the explanation last night, it took me a while to remember what I had done on some of the steps. I wasn't sure if it would all make sense, but a few people said they were able to solve a puzzle for the first time after reading my explanation, so I guess it worked!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Road Trip!

We drove down to Klamath Falls, Oregon, to visit Doug's parents. We left the day after our anniversary, a Thursday, and got back the following Thursday. It's a nine hour drive if you go straight there, but we decided to take two days and go down the coast. There were parts of the coast that Doug had never seen before, and he felt that, as an Oregonian, he was remiss in not visiting that area. So we went out through Montesano, crossed over at Astoria and went down from there.

Kate did pretty well in the car, especially the first day when it was all new. We stopped in Neskowin and she got to experience her first real sandy beach. She was quite intrigued.

At a lookout over Heceta Head, Doug got out to take a picture of the lighthouse. It was so windy we could feel it inside the car.

We hit Florence as it was getting dark. We had dinner at Mo's. (The clam chowder was yummy, but disagreed with me later, unfortunately.) One of the ladies there gave Kate a little stuffed fish from their gift shop. We named it Florence.

We spent the night at a hotel in Eugene. The next morning we discovered the Market of Choice right by a little Korean place where we had eaten a couple of times before. What a cool store. (Kind of expensive, but very cool.) We were particularly impressed by their pizza oven.

We drove on to Klamath Falls, stopping at Salt Creek Falls and Collier Park on the way (where Kate wanted to ride in a swing, but they didn't have the right kind), and got there in the afternoon.

We had a nice few days visiting with family and friends. Kate got to meet a couple of cousins, and had a great time playing with Grandma's toys. The slide in the backyard was just her size.

She was also quite fascinated by the covered fire pit. We managed to keep her from getting too dirty.

We had dinner one night at the Thai Orchid Cafe in town. As soon as we got Kate strapped into the highchair, she started saying, "Rice! Rice!" She knew what she wanted. We got her some rice. (After the rest of us got our food, though, she kept asking for more of my noodles.) The food was very good but disagreed with me, again. I had bad luck with food this trip.

The morning that we left we were having oatmeal, and Kate asked for rice again. When I told her there was no rice she started to cry. Grandma made her some rice. (Basmati! Yum.) She just likes rice.

We drove up to St. Helens (near Portland) and spent the night with Doug's brother Craig and his family, where Kate had a great time bothering their cats, and we didn't get any pictures. From there it was just a couple of hours home, a nice easy drive. (Kate was getting pretty fractious by then, and didn't sleep at all on that last leg.)

We had a good trip and were glad to get home. It was nice to get away together, and renew some ties. We've been relaxing and recuperating, since Doug has just a week before he starts teaching again. It feels like the season changed while we were gone, which is kind of startling. It's quite suddenly autumnal.

I still haven't processed our pictures from Ohio. I need to do that.

Friday, September 15, 2006

All About Me

I did this layout for the ndisb newsletter, originally. It didn't make it into the newsletter, so I'm posting it here. It was fun to put together.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ten Long Years

I've had the Steeleye Span version of "Ten Long Years" going through my head, which is actually about a prison sentence, but hey, it's a cool song.

We were married ten years ago today, September 6, 1996, in the Salt Lake temple. It's been quite an adventure, with nine months in Korea, then three years in Newfoundland--a lot of uncertainty and not being sure where we were going to end up. Since we've been in Washington a lot of things are more settled, but we've definitely found parenting to be the biggest adventure of all. And well, we're still not sure where we're going to end up. I'm thankful to have Doug to share this grandest adventure with.

Yesterday we went to the park with our Bishop's daughter to see if we could get some pictures. It was kind of rough. Kate has been developing camera aversion. And, of course, since we were at the park, she wanted to play, not pose with Mom and Dad. This is probably the best one that we got.

Doug and I both tend to be pretty laid-back people, and not overly sentimental or demonstrative, but I wanted to take this chance to express how much I love him. He's been my companion, my partner, my consultant, the father of my child, my support and encouragement. It means more than anything to have someone with me who cares about the things that I care about, who wants me to be happy, who's willing to work with my weird food problems and occasional crankiness. The fact that he also thinks a trip to the Indian lunch buffet and the bookstore is a great way spend a day is just icing on the proverbial cake. He's such a great dad and I love seeing his joy in just spending time with our daughter.

I asked Doug last night if he would write something for me, for our anniversary, and this is what he did for me (yes, I cried when I read it):

10 years.

Yup, a whole decade!

I think about various other milestones and experiences in my life. High school was 4 years. My mission was 18 short months. The longest I ever lived anywhere was 6 years (until Provo, which was a total of 11 non-contiguous fun-packed years.) I've been in school longer than I've been married--well, I guess that's where my priorities and opportunities were up to this point!

Then I think again, in wonder--I've been married for 10 years. I've got a wife --another person--with whom I've spent 10 years living, laughing, crying, driving, cooking, reading, sleeping, and lots of other -ing things. 10 years! Has it been that long? It must have, but it seems different because of the subtle changes that happen over time, and the fact that we have done some rather extraordinary things together.

Some things about my wife haven't changed--the oatmeal, the long showers, the orange juice in the fridge, and the desire to feed furry things. But other things have--there is a richness, and a depth, that happened in my long-term relationship with her, as I have shared experiences with her beyond what my own limited viewpoint would be.

I have also changed, in some ways. Marriage can do that to a man--take him out of himself and try to put somebody else's needs as greater or equal to his own. I can't think of anything significant, in my core, that I have had to sacrifice (as if that were a bad thing). There are things that I have chosen to change, but there are not many, and they have been minor.

And this is, in some ways, an important measure of our relationship. In the electromagnetic spectra of our lives, we share many wavelengths. (It is a measure of our fit that I can even use terms like this, and know that she will understand, and laugh!) I chose Helena, and to my astonishment, she chose me back. Out of many people, she chose me as the one she felt likely to succeed with. And I have never forgotten that.

It's not just compatibility. That seems to be a term to mean that something X will fit into a space in Y. Certainly, there are some gaps, some aches, from which our permanent loving relationship has erased chronic pain. We are not the same, and sometimes the gears don't quite mesh. But those were only a few, and then we find out that the important things are beyond the gaps. We fit, but we blend. We complement, but we also share important vectors. We experience failures, but do not isolate them as the whole of the being. It is incredible to me that we share, to a large degree, a destination, and the means to get there. Once the initial shock of what is termed love brings a person's life to a standstill, then this shared movement and desire is so far beyond it, that love seems to be a poor term for it.

But love is the word I will use, and hope that she can understand what it signifies. Here's to another 10 arbitrary measurements of distance and time! And then some more! Let us continue on our journey together, where we can help each other become the things we desire to be.