Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Minnesota Tradition

Last night for dinner I had a crab cake, a handful of mini donuts, a rootbeer float, five or six cheese curds and a bite of a corndog. Can you guess where I was?

Yep, you guessed it. The Nash family headed out to the Minnesota State Fair. Some of us were a bit more begrudging about it than others. Ahem, Brian, ahem. But he soon found out that the State Fair serves beer and then his mood perked up quite a bit.

"We have a coupon for a $1.50 off two crab cakes," I said, "Should we get some?"

"Of course!" Brian replied, "Let's try everything. That's what we're here for."

It's amazing what just a bit of beer can do. That's our little crab cake stealer off to the right.

Anyway our first stop was the Miracle of Birth barn which, once the evening was said and done, was my favorite part. There was a cow in the center pen that had given birth to a calf just two hour earlier. In the barn we also spotted lamb, sheep, chicks and more calves that were just a few days old; some just a few hours old.

All week I've been hearing horror stories from other fair-goers that yes, the Miracle or Birth barn is way cool but it's also the most crowded and most suffocatingly hot. But we picked a perfect night to go it seems. It was a Wednesday night and having just rained for the majority of the day most people stayed away. We found the crowds very manageable and the air temperature perfect. In fact, we even wore long pants and sleeves!

Here's a few pictures of the Miracle of Birth barn.

After that we wandered about and picked up a few bites here and there. Brian and I were both excited to catch a glimpse of Mike Pomperanz. Ok, maybe me a little more than Brian, but Brian was still pretty excited.

When the evening was coming to an end and we felt our guts could take no more grease I begged Brian to go down the giant slide. The beer was waning, you see, so it got a little tough as the night went one. So finally I told him to take the camera and I would take William down the slide myself. If nothing else the jaunt up the stairs carrying a 28-pound child would help me burn off one or two of those calories I just ingested. (Note: Our camera doesn't work so good when taking action shots a night. Sorry for the blurs.)

When it was over I announced to Brian that the ride was way more fun than I had expected it to be. That statement coupled with William's cries for "Gen! Gen!" persuaded Brian that he needed a try too.

Is is just me or does William look way too old in that last picture?

So in the end, William's favorite part of the fair ended up costing just $2. Well actually, that's kind of a lie. William's favorite part of the fair experience was free. That part was the ride to and from the fair on the big bus. That was probably the most talked about. So if Metro Transit wouldn't mind, I might just ride that bus around and around all week.

But the fair was fun too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Beating the System

This past weekend we went to the teeny tiny festival our city holds every year. We thought William would get a kick out of the petting zoo so we walked up there on Saturday morning and sure enough, he was in love. Here you see how he's beating the feeding system. We didn't put any money in the food machine but William was still able to find a few scraps to entice the poor, unsuspecting goats.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Going to the Store? Pick up Milk.

Last year 19 people gathered at Brian's parent's house around New Year's Eve time to celebrate Christmas. We couldn't all get together on the actual day of Christmas so we settled for the next holiday after.

With that many people eating, sleeping and showering under one roof you can imagine the amount necessities we flew through at world-record pace. Eggs, cereal, milk, hot water, clean bath towels, a mattress or even just a pillow to sleep on and, of course, let's not forget the Nash family favorite: beer.

We were all stuck trapped nestled into one house for four loooooong days. A trip to Target or the grocery store was seen as a grand vacation from this chaotic house.

Brian's mom would yell out, "We're out of eggs!"

You could simultaneously hear four voices shout, "I'll go out and get some!" I'm not sure but I think I may have been one of those voices each and every time we ran out of something.

We were begging for some freedom. Even if just for a half hour. But that freedom came with a cost. Brian's older brother instituted the rule that if you were the lucky one that got chosen for a bit of freedom you had to do something for everyone else. You had to buy beer. A pack of twelve or more. None of this six-pack business. We were all slowly going certifiably insane and we needed beer to feed our souls dang it!

And so it went, that's how the Nash family never ran out of beer at Christmas/New Year's.

Though the story isn't nearly as entertaining, our tiny family of three has slowly become that way with milk. I tried to make milk a luxury around here zoning it off to dinner only for the adults and only at mealtimes for the kiddo. But someone hasn't been following the rule. And that someone has been me. William too. But mostly me.

So I hereby enforce the Nash Family Christmas Beer Rule into my own tiny and unchaotic household. If you're going to Target or the grocery store, please, pick up a gallon of milk. Or two.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Puppy All Gone

On Saturday night I went out for dinner and drinks with a friend. I returned a little after 10:30 to a very somber Brian. He had just received a phone call from his brother that Maggie, the yellow Labrador retriever the Nash family had grown up with, had just died.

We knew Maggie had been sick (or maybe just old) for the past few months. Brian's parents had previous arrangements to go to Chicago this weekend so instead of leaving Maggie with strangers or at the vet for the weekend they asked Brian's brother Kevin and his family if they would watch her while they were away.

On Saturday night, just before Kevin and his wife were heading off to bed, Kevin let Maggie out the front door to go to the bathroom. When she was finished she walked up the front steps and her back legs collapsed. Maggie had had enough. Her old body was tired and weary and she decided to let go of life right then and there.

Kevin, stricken with grief himself, had to put on a brave hat and make phone calls to his siblings and, most difficult, to his parents on vacation in Chicago.

I never had a pet growing up so this whole pet death thing is a little new to me. And having lost plenty of real people in my life it's difficult for me to find the right emotions or even the right thing to say to someone who has lost an animal. But nonetheless I know that Maggie was loved and having loved and lost is emotional no matter if it's a bird, a pig, a person or a sad-eyed yellow lab with plenty of grey to show her age.

It will be very weird walking into Brian's parent's house for the first time without Maggie's bark to greet us. But I think what I'll miss most about Maggie will be William's interaction with her. As you've heard me say before William is in love with dogs and he associates Nana and Papa's house with being able to see and play with a puppy.

Last night Brian and I were out for dinner when he received a phone call from his dad. His parents were at Kevin's house to take Maggie's body back home. Brian's dad asked him if he wanted to see Maggie one last time. Of course, we'll be right over.

Brian said, "William, you want to go see Nana and Papa?"

"Puppy?" William asked.

"No, buddy," Brian replied, "puppy all gone."

Friday, August 22, 2008

As the End Approaches

As you may have noticed I've been rather quiet lately when it comes to blogging. We here at the Nash house we are trying to scrape up the last bits of summer. That, and all of our evening time has been consumed watching the last few days of the Olympics.

Today is my mom's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!) so we'll be hanging out at home and celebrating with pork chops on the grill, some fresh veggies from the farmer's market and a tasty frozen treat for dessert.

That's about all that's goin' on here. I hope all of you are enjoying the last of the hot summer days and nights. If your kids are starting school, you've got exactly one week and three days. Time's a-wasting so get goin' and get outside!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not All Like His Dad

This past weekend at my sister's wedding I was telling my sixth-grade teacher that William is "talking a mile a minute!"

He replied, "I wonder where he gets that from!" Notice there's no question mark after that statement.

Then, last night I realized he's even more like me than I thought. I was taking the little guy up to bed and we made our nightly stop in mommy's room to snuggle on the rocking chair and read some books. He's getting to the age where he asks for specific books now and I love it!

I know it's on a lot of people's favorites but I really do love to read. It's something that came to me naturally since I was very little. I remember sitting on my mom's bed while she was getting ready and I would read aloud to her The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. Those were the first books I could read cover to cover without help.

So you can imagine how much joy it brings me when my own son has found a love of reading.

As we wandered upstairs last night he was chanting, "Duckie? Duckie? Duckie?"

Which means he wants to read Dwadle Duckling.

When the book was finished and he was satisified with counting all the little "duckies" there were to count, I announce it was time for bed.

He protested, "No, mama mama!"

He wasn't crying out my name. He was requesting another book called Llama Llama Red Pajama.

And because I know my son so well and how much he loves his bed (no sarcasm here, I'm being serious) I knew he wasn't trying to delay sleepy time. He truly wanted to read one more book.

So I obliged. Probably because that's exactly how I am. My eyes could be just slits away from being closed but still I urge myself, "Just one more chapter."

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Lazy Day After

What a cheese.

Look what Daddy and I made!

Snugglin' with Uncle Joey.

Here, Gamma, I'll feed you.


August 16, 2008

Almost ready for take-off.

Wedding bus picture part II.

Whew...we made it.

The escort.
Brother sister!

Chillin' with the ladies.

Twins? Not today!

With my brother.

With my hubby.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hittin' the Dance Floor

This morning, on instant messenger, I asked hubby if he was sad today.

Puzzled, he said, "No, I'm not. I'm a happy man."

I said, "Oh I thought you might be." Then I sent him this link.

Me? I don't get it. I mean she's got a huge gap in her teeth. I'm not really of the catty nature but I'm just sayin', you have all the celebrities in the world to have a crush on and this is who you choose?

It's probably because she plays the guitar which is so not me.

Anyway, he's had a crush on her FOR-EV-ER and so his reply was, "NNNOOOOO!"

It was our good chuckle of the day.

But it brings me to my point. I'm sort of in a "let-me-give-you-some-marital-advice" mood. This afternoon we are heading out of town to celebrate my sister's wedding so you can understand why.

This morning I also read a much more wholesome article here. Go ahead and read #3. It's short. I'll wait until you're done.

Ready? OK.

I love the phrase the author writes, "Never leave one good party for another." You all know what I'm talking about right? It's a Friday or Saturday night and you're out on the town. It's 11:00 and while you're having fun, there's a part of you that wonders if there's a better scene next door. You wonder what fun you might be missing out on "over there." And you only have a few more hours until bar close. What do you do?

It's a great analogy to marriage and life in general. It always seems there's so much more possibility of a greener field on the other side. But in letting our minds wonder off like that, we're wasting time having a blast at the party we're currently at.

Marriage isn't always a party but it can be if you leave the window open a little to let the breeze blow it in.

Like the author in the article, our family loves to dance. The wedding is sure to be one party no one will want to leave. But even if it's not, here's to hoping Brian and I won't care and will strive to be the last couple off the dance floor. I have a hunch we'll have some stiff competition.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Which Is It?

Is it the rain that makes you realize you need to wash your windows? Or is it the washing of the windows that makes "it" realize "it" should rain?

Today I'm feeling the effects of the latter.

Monday, August 11, 2008

View From My Lawnchair

Sure to Pump You Up

Have you caught the Olympic spirit? No, not yet? Then you've got to watch this video from last night. Brian and I were whooping and hollering and shouting, "Go! Go! Go!" We could barely keep ourselves seated on the couch.

Of course it's only fun to watch because a) the Americans were the underdogs to the much-favored French, b) earlier in the day the French were trash-talking the Americans and c) the come-from-behind finish makes for excellent edge-of-your-seat, fingernail-biting, can-they-do-it?, did-they-do-it?, I-think-they-did-it! kind of drama that you can only get when watching championship sports.

Consider this your adrenaline shot for today.

In other news, we've got a spanking new television to watch the Olympics on. It can otherwise be called Brian's baby. I got the computer and a new ring. Our old television got a greenish, purplish splotch in the upper left corner. It was inevitable. Plus Brian helped me wash the windows on Saturday. Our relationship doesn't usually work in a "tit for tat" format but in this circumstance I felt compelled to let him run with it. College football starts up here in less than a month. Brian doesn't ask for much but he has always dreamed of watching his favorite teams on a crystal clear screen in the comfort of his own home. This year he'll have his wish.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Wasn't Kidding

About the whole Arnold thing, that is. In fact I dug around and found this picture of Brian from Halloween 2004. As you know Halloween is just a few days before Election Day so this costume was rather timely that year.

I bought the mask at a costume store and then surprised Brian with it when he picked me up from work. He then proceeded to drive around town with the mask on. (This probably wasn't very safe but we didn't have any kids yet and weren't exactly vigilant about what was safe and what was not.) Anyway, so he's driving around town with an Arnold mask on and he starts preying on anyone with a John Kerry bumper sticker. When he finds one he creeps up on them at a red light, turns his head toward them, holds up four fingers and starts chanting, "FOUR! MORE! YEARS!"

You don't have to tell me. I know you're totally jealous.

Four More Years!

Today I hear my husband say in his best Arnold voice, "FOUR! MORE! YEARS!"

Do you remember that? It's from the 2004 Republican National Convention when Arnold Schwarzenegger was campaigning for G Dubs. That night Brian called everyone in his family and, in his spot-on Arnold impression, started screaming into the phone, "FOUR! MORE! YEARS!"

That joke came back to haunt me today as we celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. I wrote an ode for Brian that is more funny than sentimental (which in itself describes our relationship to a T) and I was going to post it for you here but when I reread it I realized that every single line is an inside joke and wouldn't get any punch from you, my readers.

So you'll have to settle for a picture of our wedding party. And what a party it was! Happy being married to us! If you squint real hard you can see Brian and me on the left in the way back of the trolley.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What the Practical Wife and Mother Gets for Her Anniversary

When an anniversary rolls around many times a common gift between couples is to upgrade the lady's wedding ring. Maybe now you have enough funds to purchase a bigger and shinier diamond than you did when you were young. You're older and wiser to know what a good diamond is worth and when an eager salesperson is trying to pull a fast one on you. Well, I just did the exact opposite. I downgraded.

Ever since I quit my job to stay at home with William I've been complaining that I just don't like wearing my wedding ring around the house or even out and about town while I'm running errands. The quality of my diamond is just too nice to have it get all dirtied up while I'm playing mom. I took to wearing just my wedding band, which I love, but which, again, isn't very practical for my every day wear. It has smaller diamonds all across the top which I hate getting dirty and the band is also of a lot lower quality which has caused it to bend into an oval shape over time.

All this negative thought might get you thinking that I hate my wedding rings. This isn't true at all. They are beautiful and I wouldn't have chosen anything different had I picked it out myself. Those rings are perfect for going out or even wearing at work in the office when the dirtiest thing your hand touches is your keyboard. But stay at home for a week with a baby/toddler and you'll know what I mean about wearing jewelry. It just doesn't go together.

So this week I walked into a local jewelry store and purchased myself a very practical and plain, but also very lovely, wedding band. I've been wearing it for a day now and I don't even know it's there. Which, in my book, means it's exactly what I wanted.

Now all that's left is to get it blessed. We're hoping to do that in a couple of weeks at my sister's wedding.

Monday, August 4, 2008

See What I Mean?

When William woke up from his nap yesterday afternoon I rushed in there to catch his escape in play-by-play action with my digital camera. Here goes:

A Whole New Set of Problems

This morning I fluttered my eyes open a bit when I heard William talking in his room.

"Just one more minute," I thought to myself as I pulled the covers up tighter.

But William had other plans.


I sat up fast, eyes wide open. I heard a short-lived complaining cry come from his room followed by the sound of small feet running across the floor.

I scrambled for my glasses and went to see who (or what) was invading my son's room.

But there was no invader. Just a 20-month-old little boy who had just learned how to successfully get out of his crib all on his own.

I sighed.

I knew this day was coming but I wasn't prepared for it so soon. At least he doesn't know how to open his bedroom door yet. But I suspect that isn't far off.
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