Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas with Nemo

We were planning to drive to CO Springs on Christmas day, but Ellie came down with the stomach flu on Christmas Eve. It continued through last night, and we're waiting today to see if she's really better. We had a great Christmas in spite of the change of plans, and I'm so thankful Luke's home so we can take care of Ellie together. She's pretty happy most of the time, even though she's sick, and she's been able to enjoy lots of presents. When she's a little less happy, we throw in "Finding Nemo," her favorite movie (the turtle scenes). I now have most of the movie memorized. Maybe we should have given her some more movies for variety this Christmas...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome Home!

Luke arrived home yesterday afternoon. Ellie and I met him at the airport, along with many friends from church. We are so thankful that he's home with us. We thank God for protecting him and bringing him home safely. We thank you for all your prayers and love during his deployment.

Ellie was excited to see Daddy (she brought her "Daddy picture" to the airport) and by the time she went to bed last night, she sat on his lap for stories and let him hold her. He is so proud of his little girl and all she's learned in the last 6 months. We are so proud of Luke, and SO thankful that he's home with us.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So close...

Luke's in Baltimore! He called tonight from a hotel there. We look forward to seeing him at the airport tomorrow afternoon. Only one more sleep!

Baking: Round Two

Well, I ate all of the cookies we baked a few weeks ago, and I figured my husband would be disappointed to read all about the cookie extravaganza on the blog and then come home to find the handful of buckeyes still in the freezer. So Ellie and I spent Saturday baking more chocolate mint cookies and also some peanut butter kiss cookies. Here are the recipes:

Chocolate Mint Cookies
12 oz semisweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tbs water
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (2 3/4 cups for higher elevation)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 (4.67 oz) pkgs chocolate covered mint wafer candies (Andes mints), broken in half

Melt chocolate morsels and butter in saucepan, stirring occasionally
Combine chocolate mixture, brown sugar, and water in a large bowl; beat at low speed until blended.
Add eggs, beating well.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture, beating well at low speed.
Cover and chill 1 hour
Shape dough into 10inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Place half a mint on top of each warm cookie, remove cookies to wire racks, and let cool 1 minute (until chocolate mint melts) Gently spread melted mint over top of each cookie. Cool completely.
Yield: ~ 8 dozen

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Candies
1 cup butter
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour (~3 cups for Albuquerque)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
16 oz chocolate kisses (I use some chocolate kisses, some peanut-butter-filled chocolate kisses, and some hugs)

Combine butter, peanut butter, and sugars; blend until creamy
Add eggs and vanilla; blend
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda, add to cream mixture; stir well
Roll dough into quarter size balls
Roll ball in bowl of sugar
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, place kiss (or hug) in center of each cookie. Bake an additional 2 minutes.

Makes ~ 5 dozen

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Busy Bee

So here's what I've been working on since I picked up crochet again this fall:

 is where you can find the cable sock pattern. The pattern for the orange/yellow/purple socks (the lady who sold the yarn to me on eBay called the color "Meow Mix") is at

The pattern for the cream colored bag is at
The pattern for the green is at
I "designed" the red bag. The picture's aren't great, but I've already wrapped everything, so this is all there is to see. The good news is, all my must-have Christmas crochet projects are done, so if you send me some foot length and width measurements, and perhaps a color preference, there may be a Valentine's Day or Easter sock headed your way!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Yesterday was the cookie baking extravaganza of 2007. I didn't take any pictures, but I'll post one as soon as one of the other blogger-bakers puts one up and I can steal it. I did sample several of the cookies today, and I have to confess that there's no way I'll be able to make them last until Luke gets home. Maybe we'll do a second, smaller round of baking closer to Christmas.

Some of the cookies made and shared were: chocolate mint cookies, snickerdoodles, buckeyes, chocolate-white-chocolate-chip, jammy-white-chocolatey-cookie strips, and nutella-filled-chocolate-dipped sandwiches. (I made up some of those names). I can tell you that I've tried them all, and they are all delishy-mo MO MO!

In other news, I committed to swim 15 km this month. It isn't really that much, if I actually get into the pool 2 or 3 times per week. If I keep devouring these cookies like I have been, I may need to swim way more than 15km to make up for it! Oh, cookies. So tasty, but so calorie-laden... oh, well. No sense getting fat and feeling guilty. Might as well drop the guilt!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


We made it to CO Springs. It was a pretty great drive, with good tunes and a good baby (who has excellent taste in music, if I do say so myself). We woke up our first morning here to SNOW! So of course, I had to go out and buy boots for Ellie so we could play. She was very concerned about the snow on her mittens and boots, which makes me think we need to get her North more during winter.


I thank God for my wonderful husband, and that God brought us together at an early age.
I thank God for my daughter and the way she continues to grow and amaze me.
I thank God for my parents, who invested so much in their children.
I God for His faithfulness, to claim my heart and the hearts of my siblings.
I thank God for the generosity of my extended family, and for their prayers and concern while Luke is away.
I thank God for my church family, who constantly and consistently live out their faith and commit themselves to the physical and spiritual well-being of the Body of Christ.
I thank God for protecting my husband during these last five months.
I thank God for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for God becoming man that we might be reconciled to Him.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thy Mercy

Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue.
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affection and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here, for
Sin would reduce me to utter despair.
But through Thy free goodness my spirit's revived,
And He who first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart,
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground
And weep for the praise of the mercy I've found.

Great Father of mercy, Thy goodness I own
Through the covenant love of Thy crucified Son
All praise to the Spirit, whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

-Caedmon's Call

Friday, November 16, 2007

Vocabulary Explosion!

Ellie showed me FIVE new words yesterday!

First, she started nodding her head as she answered my "do you want a cookie?" with her usual "uh-huh." She continued to nod her head all day yesterday and today, both to answer "yes" and to let me know that she thought her chicken at lunch was delicious.
She repeated "milk", "dude", and "Susie" several times, and, without any prompting, started saying "mine-mine-mine." I credit her two-year-old friends with that last one.

Daddy is going to be so impressed when he comes home in... one month!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I've been doing some thinking about my new status as stay-at-home mom, and mother-of-toddler, and temporary mommy-without-daddy, and I think my biggest problem is pride. I think that if I'm honest, my struggles at home come from two places: feeling inadequate when it comes to raising my daughter and feeling that others think I'm inadequate when it comes to raising my daughter.

If I were humble, I wouldn't be so concerned that others think I'm a supermom, so it wouldn't bother me when my normally happy baby has a meltdown in the parking lot, or when she shakes her head "no" at me and laughs instead of coming back to my side.

If I were humble, I would recognize that I'm not capable of making my child love God or desire obedience. If I were humble, I would recognize my inadequacy and fall on my knees, daily, hourly, for patience, gentleness, wisdom, mercy, energy, and encouragement to see every moment as an opportunity to teach and train my daughter. I would pray that the Holy Spirit would soften her heart, make her alive in Christ, turn her to saving faith and a desire to live a life of thankful obedience. If I were humble, I would recognize the pattern of my own sin in her pattern of toddler misbehavior, and thank God every day that He is a loving Father who shows mercy to his children.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Little Ducky

Susie's bargain was worth far more than $.50 in entertainment-- for the kids and for me!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thing One or Thing Two?

Things got a little wacky at our friend Joshua's birthday party this weekend. Here's Ellie, in full party mode, sporting one of Joshua's new toys on her head. I think she looks like a Dr. Seuss character.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Investing in Heritage

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

Ellie made it through the whole service today- I didn't have to take her out once!

Now, I know this doesn't mean we'll never have to leave the sanctuary again, but it's the first time since she was tiny and slept through the whole thing that I didn't have to carry her out. It helped so much that she went right up to Mr. Dan at the beginning and sat on his lap for a good long while. And it has been so encouraging to talk with other parents in our church about training toddlers. We are so thankful for the love shown to Ellie by our church family here. What an investment they make in the life of this little one, and all of the young children we are blessed to have worshipping with us! What a powerful witness to these children about the sacrament of baptism! What a loving God to not only bless us with children, but also with so many compassionate, faithful adults to assist us in raising our little one in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Very Hungry Butterfly

Yesterday, Ellie ate 6 chicken nuggets at lunchtime! And some apple slices, and some peas. I think she was gearing up to transform into...

a beautiful butterfly!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Little Pumpkin

The good news is, things have been busy since we've been back and that makes the days go by faster! The bad news is, I haven't blogged in a little while and these pictures are a couple of weeks old.
We went to the pumpkin patch with some friends and Ellie picked her pumpkin. Now when we go out to get the mail, she points at her pumpkin and tells me all about it.

Here are some more pumpkins (and their pumpkins!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Mad Skills

So, now that I'm home and Ellie's still a few years away from learning calculus, I'm trying to come up with ways to keep some of the stuff I've learned from slipping away. One way is by trying to answer questions on This is a big step for me, because even though I'm fairly anonymous there, I've always been nervous about putting an answer out unless I'm really, really sure. Other people's physics and math confidence tends to intimidate me. (Although, as was pointed out in a recent interview with math major and actress Danica McKellar, just because someone answers quickly doesn't mean they answer best).

Anway, the point of all of this is to say that if anyone knows anyone locally who could use some homework help in math or physics, I'll be available, especially after December. Wow. Now I really feel like I'm putting myself out there. I'd better post this before I change my mind!

Friday, October 12, 2007


We're home! We arrived before dark last night and found our house in great shape (thank you Kristin!) and our neighbors as eager to play with us as we were with them. It was a great trip, and Ellie was an excellent traveler this last week. She did whimper every time I put her in the car, but as long as she had access to toys, books, food, and drink, she was pretty happy in the backseat, all the way through Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

We knew we were really home when we saw something like this from our driveway this morning:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

And We're Off!

Whew. The trunk is loaded, the car has just enough space for Ellie and I to squeeze in, and the emergency load of laundry added this morning is dry, folded, and tucked into the suitcase. It's been great, but it's time to go. Bye-bye, Massachusetts!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Great Adventures: West

Now that we're coming to the end of our time in Boston, it all seems to have gone by so fast! We crammed lots of activities in the early part of our extended vacation, and enjoyed all of the trips and people. Lately, we've settled into a quieter routine of playing with Grammy and Penny the Dog during the day and spending quality time with Grandpa and Grammy in the evenings. We will miss them so much!

We're starting our trip back on Thursday. We'll stay with my aunt the first night, then visit Becky at Grove City on Friday night and Saturday. We're planning to spend Saturday and Sunday night in Dayton. After that, we'll take two days to drive to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Oklahoma. After two nights there, we'll make the drive back home! That gets us home sometime October 11th.

Here's our google map:

I'm packing up the clothes and toys (we seem to have more now than when we came), and hoping it all fits in the car! We're sad to leave, but also looking forward to going home. See you soon, Albuquerque!

Friday, September 21, 2007

What We're Reading

All of the sudden, Ellie loves to sit and listen to stories, all the way through, over and over again. She lets me know she wants to listen to stories by handing me a book and crawling into my lap. Here's what we're reading these days:

Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Good Dog, Carl! by Alexandra Day
The Reagan Diaries by Ronald Reagan... okay, that last part is what I'm reading in the few minutes between opening the book and falling asleep. So far it's very worth reading. Maybe I'll blog a book report when I'm done.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Feeling Domestic

I haven't actually been a stay-at-home-mom in my own home yet, but here at my parents' house, I've found some extra time. It helps that my mom is always willing to read a story, change a diaper, or play "walk to me" with Ellie. Scrapbooking hasn't interested me lately, maybe because there's so much cleanup involved and I don't really have a place here to leave things out overnight. So instead, I've been rediscovering crochet and experimenting with baking.
My sister is a freshman at Grove City College this year, and hints heavily in every correspondance that she loves zucchini bread-- with cinnamon, she's always quick to add. So I made apple cinnamon zucchini bread in mini loaves this week, and sent some to her and to Luke. The recipe I used turned out pretty well, except that I wasn't sure how to long to bake the mini loaves, and I ended up letting a few of them cool before I realized they were still gooey. I put them back in the oven, and they seemed all right, but they may sit a little heavy in the tummy. At least I used the flat rate boxes to send them, so I didn't pay any extra in postage!
Crochet is a great hobby because, unlike scrapbooking, I can take it with me when I'm the passenger in the car, or while we're watching a movie after Ellie goes to sleep. And I've found lots of great patterns online and a few excellent ebay deals in the past few weeks. My deal with myself is that I have to finish what I start and not buy yarn until I have a purpose for it. I'm also experimenting with recycled yarn, unraveled from two sweaters I got at the Salvation Army. So far, I successfully unravelled one and washed it. It's taking a long time to dry, which is one of the perils of the Northeast that I had forgotten. Oh, the humidity!
Anyway, all of this makes me look forward to being a mommy and homemaker in my own home. It will be even better when my husband is there with me! We don't count the days, but we're roughly halfway through now, so at least the end is closer than the beginning.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Tri'd-- And Finished!

I completed a sprint triathlon this weekend! It was a 1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run in Hopkington, MA. I was really nervous, but the people there were all very friendly and I started out with a group of women who were all either older or also brand-new to triathlons. I felt really strong on the swim, got passed by many people during the bike (as expected), and ran at about a ten minute mile pace, which was pretty good for me. Most importantly, I crossed the finish line! My mom came with Ellie to cheer me on. The race sponsors gave out cowbells, which Ellie (and all of the other kids there) enjoyed ringing for us. It was a great experience, and really satisfying to achieve a goal I set for myself while Luke was away. I think I might do another one... after the soreness goes away.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Words, words, words

Words are important to Ellie. She's consistently saying "dog" and "thank you." All of her words start with the "d" sound, ("mommy" usually sounds suspiciously like "daddy", unless she's really concentrating), but she's worked hard on the "g" and "k" type sounds, and makes a big production of saying "thank you! thank you! thank you!" when I present her with meals. It's very sweet.

She's been sitting still for books lately, too. For awhile, she was more interested in turning the pages as fast as she could, but now she points to the pictures and waits for me to finish reading the page before she turns it. Her Grandpa L gave her a board book called "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," about a family who travels through all of these different obstacles to try to catch a big bear, and the family has a dog. While I read each page, she points to the dog in the picture and yells out "dog!" It's great to see her developing preferences for different books and animals. It can be frustrating when she has a preference but I can't figure out what she wants. More and more, though, she's making herself known.

Friday, August 31, 2007

My Baby's A Toddler!

Ellie took her first official steps on Monday. Since then, she's been building up bravery and taking one or two steps when she's really motivated to get somewhere. She's taken steps toward me, toward my parents, and toward a wooden spoon. She's been doing a lot of baking, stirring with the spoon in a measuring bowl. I guess she really, really wanted to bake this afternoon, because she let go of my legs and took two steps toward the spoon before she fell down and crawled the rest of the way.

So, Ellie is officially a toddler now. I haven't caught her on camera yet, but I'll be sure to post pictures when I catch her in action.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Finally! Some Pictures!

Okay, here are some pictures from our Great Adventures:

At the aquarium in VA:

Softening limes for the salsa made by my cousin Jennifer:
Crossing the Mississippi River:

Make Way for Ducklings!
Breakfast with Grammy and Gramps on the balcony in Key West:How big is the ocean? SO BIG!
Swimming with Grandpa and Uncle Frankie:

Grammy and Ellie camping at SoulFest:

Ellie rocks out at SoulFest!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Key West

Key West was beautiful. We spent our time swimming, playing volleyball on the beach, and (of course) reading Harry Potter. After the first two days, my mom, my sister, and I had to read other things to fill the Harry-shaped hole, but I think we're recovering well now.
Ellie had a blast in the pool with Grammy and Grandpa. She's getting so brave in the water! My dad supports her belly with his hand, and she kicks her legs and splashes with her hands while he moves her closer to her goal (usually, a yellow ball we brought to the pool with us).
We went for lots of walks and saw all kinds of birds and the iguana who lived nearby. On my birthday, I went snorkeling with my brother Frankie and his girlfriend Kori. It was so much fun!
We flew back to Boston Saturday night. Our flight was supposed to leave at 7:30, but was delayed until 10:50. Thankfully, they changed it back to 8:00, so we were back in "our own beds" in our home away from home by midnight. It was a great trip!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Great Adventure: East

We made it to Massachusetts! I loaded the car and drove to Colorado Springs on July 13th. We're calling this Day Zero, since the Great Adventure didn't really start until we had the third member of our party. The next day, Luke's mother and Ellie and I did our long day and drove to Omaha, Nebraska. Day Two wasn't supposed to be as long, but thanks to the longest 9 miles ever, it was another 10 hour day to Ottawa, IL. After that, we stopped just short of Cleveland, OH, and then on to Rochester, NY. This was our shortest day, and put us in town with enough of the afternoon left to visit the University of Rochester campus and eat at Jay's Diner, a favorite of mine and Luke's. We spent hours there talking during what we now consider our first date, and visited there after most big and small events during college. Now Ellie has been there too! She ate tomatoes and feta cheese. She is her father's daughter!

You can see our route here.

Ellie is a great traveler. She was very excited to get out of the car whenever we stopped, but unless she was hungry or sleepy, she didn't complain. Here are some highlights from our drive, and proof that we really did visit the following states: Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts.

(Pictures soon, I promise!)

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Ellie received some money for her birthday, so we went out today and bought a MagnaDoodle. She's been very interested in trying to write and draw lately, so this seems the safest route. Also, it should be good for the car trip.

So now, the question is, will she be left-handed or right-handed?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Society of Baby Engineers?

I was doing household errands yesterday afternoon, and Ellie was playing happily in the office/guest room. We normally keep the door closed, but it was open because I kept going in and out. And since she seemed so content, I figured, why not? After leaving her alone for a few minutes, this is what I found:

Since she wasn't hurting anything or anyone, and the laptop was off and unplugged, I let her go. I guess it should remind me that she is always watching and imitating...

Gramps will be proud!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Lesson from Judges

As I learn to worship corporately with my one year old, I find it's best to fix my mind on just a few points of the sermon, and try to reflect on them later in the day. So here's what stood out to me today, in a sermon on Judges 6:

First: our fears show us our idols. Gideon was afraid of the Midianites, and convinced that God had abandoned His people, and worshipped the gods of the Amorites. What am I afraid of? What am I treasuring more than God and His glory?

Second: God, in His mercy, forgives His people over and over again, in spite of their unfaithfulness. And it isn't because of who they are, but who He is. We, too, are called to forgiveness because of who God is and what Christ has done. When I reflect on what Jesus Christ has forgiven me, how can I withhold my forgiveness?

Of course, it's easier said than done. But at least now, I know what to pray for.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

Only one more full week and then a few short days until I'm home full time with my baby. I can't believe how fast this year went by, and when I spend time with her and see all of the new things she's learning and doing each day, I know I'm ready to be home with her. I'm so thankful for my mom and the way she dedicated herself to raising us full time. I'm thankful for the example she was and still is as a godly wife and mother. I'm also thankful for so many mommies I've known who are training their children in the way they should go, each and every day, for the glory of God. I know it won't be easy, but I am really looking forward to focusing on being Luke's wife and Ellie's mommy. I'm amazed and thankful at the way God is changing my heart to prepare me to be home.

And I'm thankful for such a cute baby! Who wouldn't love to be home with this sweet girl!?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Refining Times

I miss Luke. I think it was sitting out on the circle with neighbors, watching the kids play, that made me miss him so much tonight. Or maybe it was saying goodbye to another friend heading out for deployment. Or maybe it was just spending the whole day with Ellie, sprawling out on the floor with her so she could crawl up to me and drum on my back and then crawl over to get to my other side and laugh, that made me miss him. Days like this make it seem like such a long time before he'll return home.
So I remind myself that it's easier now than it would be if Ellie were older, and that he's doing important work, and that someday when we've been married 30 years we'll look back on this and think of what a short time in our history it really was. I tell myself that there are other wives who have already done this several times, wives who give birth while their husbands are away, wives who don't have the kind of support I do here. And I remind myself that he's in God's hands, the safest place he can be, and doing the good works God prepared in advance for him to do. I am so thankful to rest in the loving arms of the Father, and to know Luke is also in His care.

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed
For I am your God and will still give you aid.
I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie
My grace, all sufficient, shall be your supply.
The flames will not hurt you, I only design
Your dross to consume and your gold to refine.
-John Rippon (How Firm a Foundation)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Several Thousand Words

We made it back late Monday night. Ellie adjusted to the time change with no problems. What a trooper! Since I failed to keep up with the whole blog thing while we were gone, I thought I'd share some pictures of our trip.

Ellie congratulating the new HS graduate:

Ellie learning to like potato salad, and Uncle Frankie:

Baby in a basket!

The handsome groom:

Wedding Reception After-Party: Happy Birthday Ellie!

My aunt put these pictures of Ellie and our little family from the day she was born onto this pillow. Ellie was very excited to see Daddy's picture! She understands so much of what I say now, when I ask her where Daddy's picture is, she crawls right over to the pillow and points. I can't believe my baby is a year old!

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I went out on the motorcycle with my dad for the first time today. The back roads here are perfect for bike rides, winding through towns and over streams. We passed Hudsonfest, which featured a cow milking contest with a cardboard cow. We passed an enormous mowed lawn-- no house, just a lawn up a big hill-- and at the top of the hill were two lawn chairs. We paused at a dam that stops the Nashua River, and finally at this biker store/coffee bar for coffee and serious biker talk.
It was a beautiful ride. I was a lot more comfortable than I thought I would be, decked out in my dad's leather jacket and his extra helmet. I really enjoyed the ride. If you're in the area and want to trace our path, here's our route:

Friday, June 1, 2007


We made it! It took three flights, a two hour delay in Chicago, and a long wait for our luggage, but Ellie and I (and our stuff) are all at my parents house in MA now. Ellie did reasonably well on the planes. She didn't sleep much at all, so there was some crankiness, but thanks to the kindness of the other passengers, she made lots of new friends.
She's been reluctant to go to my brother or my dad so far. (Okay, not reluctant. She cried and cried until I held her again). But I think she'll get used to them before too long. She'll just have to remember how much she loves them!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Great Adventures

When Luke was young and his dad had to report to an assignment before they had a home to live in, his mom would drive the boys all over the country, camping in parks and seeing the states. They called these trips their "great adventures." Great adventures are how Luke has managed to visit every state except two (Alaska and Oklahoma), and how he learned to enjoy special time with his family, even when his dad couldn't be there.
We had great adventures at our house, too. Whenever my mom decided to take a scenic route, or we locked the keys in the car and had to walk (in the days before cell phones) to the nearest gas station or friend's house, or we grumbled about going somewhere we didn't really want to go, my mom would say, "it will be an adventure!" And usually, we had a good time, no matter what it was.
So now it's time for Ellie and me to make our first great adventure. Tomorrow we head east for my sister's graduation and my brother's wedding, and while we're gone, Luke will leave for the desert. I want to grumble, I want to cry, but instead I'll say in my most excited voice, "this will be an adventure!"