Monday, December 12, 2011

My Sister Rocks the Block

She's like the Oprah of moms. Or the Martha Stewart of moms. I dunno, something like that. She makes pop tarts from scratch and does amazing craft projects for her kids. She's also really nice, smart and funny, and real purty to look at. It's kind of disgusting. But I love her anyway.

She got an Elf on the Shelf (America's newest instant tradition that you only ever vaguely heard about before this holiday season, if at all, but now can't stop seeing everywhere) and she hacked it. These are her words not mine. Apparently the deal is that you're supposed to pose the Elf in different places in the house each night. She's a skilled seamstress and crafter and the first thing she did with the stuffed elf was to bust him open and insert wire into all of his limbs to make him posable. I give you Libby's Elf on the Shelf, in all his awesome poseyness. Don't you wish Libby was your mom?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Halloween rocked. Stone was the Link character from the video game Zelda. Daphne was a cowgirl. Todd and I were....? I suppose we could be described as a Frankensteinish monster and a an elf, also known as whatever we threw on in the five minutes we had between finishing the kids' costumes and rushing out the door. My elf ears were prototypes for Stone's costume that we ended up not using. I figured that all that work should not be in vain so I wore them.
   We went to a Harvest Festival at a church nearby. It was crazy elaborate and crazy crowded.
 "Listen up, pardner, I'll shoot yer elf ears right off if'n you don't hand over that there scarred up green.... well what'n the hell is that thing anyway?"

                     Pointy-eared Freak Attacked by Greenish Monster!!!       
The purse kinda ruins the tone. What? No I didn't color code the dvds. Elves came and did it, in the middle of the night. Elves are anal like that. Also the cobwebs on the mirror? Decorations, people- not real!!

Stone's shield. Todd but an ungodly amount of work into it. It started life as a plastic tray from the dollar store. Todd cut, peeled, sanded, painted distressed, repainted and sealed it into the most accurate Link  shield ever. He even made the back look like wood. Gah.

                                                    Chickens!!!!!! There was a petting zoo.

I am The kids are still enjoying the Halloween candy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Time For Something New???

I am trying out one of the fancy new Blogger designs. I can't decide if it's cool or annoying. Give me feedback, friends, what do you think?

UPDATED: Yeah, not so much, huh? Now I can't figure out how to get my old template back. Oh well, this will do for now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Arrrrr, I Be One Day Too Late for National Talk Like a Pirate Day

Hey, remember that one time I wrote about the Pirate Treasure Hunt and said that if I could find my camera charger I'd take pictures of it and show them to you? Guess what?! I founded it! Eight or so months ago at the beginning of the year. It was, um, in a random location on the grounds of our apartment complex. Apparently it had fallen out of the camera bag when we took a scenic family photo by the little bridge... in October. But it still works! And anyway we have two now because of course as predicted we found it three days after giving up and ordering a replacement. So... yeah.

But back to my point, which was... Pirates!!! Here's the tutorial on how to out together a really awesome treasure hunt that your kids will figure out in 1/100 of the time that you spent on making it, and enjoy almost half as much as you and you ostensibly adult spouse/partner do.

1st: Git yourself some pirate treasure. Good places to find it: thrift stores, flea markets, your old jewelry box, grandma's coin collection, gumball machines (only the kinds with cheesy rings, not bubblegum- gum is NOT authentic pirate treasure) etc.

2nd: Draw an approximate map of your house or the area in which the hunt will take place. Be pirately sneaky but specific (example: "The gally, whar ye cooks yer food" = the kitchen). Be sure to write in painstakingly pirate-like script. Remember if you do not stay up until 3 am and  give yourself a headache squinting at the fountain pen by candlelight, UR DOIN' IT WRONG. Or you may just be more sane than we are. Probably the latter. If you can work in awesome details like the fact that the antique steamer trunk you use for a coffee table is actually a genuine, "old sea chest," even better.

3rd: Write the first clue leading to the second clue. Rhyming is optional.
 [A picture of Daphne as a baby wearing a snowflake costume. Next clue was behind the frame.]

4th: Write a bunch of other clues blah blah blah.

This was a Christmas card- from my lovely friend Bry, who the kids adore (featuring Santa) that had been residing magnetically on the front of the fridge. Inside was the next clue.]

 Um, Captain Obvious: inside of the hallway closet.

It's a mirror! Get it?! "look unto thine selves," "further reflection?!?" WE ARE SUCH DORKS!
Behind the (now sadly departed) sea monkeys' tank.

Big red book: Dictionary

Aaaand then a hint to look up "pirate" which led to the map.

Make sure you not only find parchment-like paper, but crumple it, soak it in water and painstakingly singe the edges with a lighter in order to make it look authentically ancient. This is best done in the wee hours of the morning, in desperate haste, frantically preparing so everything will be ready by the time the kids wake up. You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Semester in the Life of a Garbage BagA Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this multiple times when I was a teenager and every time it made me laugh out loud so hard that my mother got annoyed (some of us have housework to do and can't sit around reading funny books all day!). I have since realized, as a mother and head-kitchen-cleaner type of person myself, that housework is a lot more bearable if you make time to read in between(or occasionally instead of) vacuuming and wiping down the counters.

I only vaguely remember that this book involves some sort of madcap adventure between various high school social outcasts and yet I can still heartily recommend it. The fact that it's out of print is a reflection of everything that's wrong with our society. Go find a library that still stocks it or find a used copy online. You won't be sorry.

If you're able to read this entire book while drinking milk without snorting it out of your nose at least once (the milk, not the book),I will give you a medal.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Hampshire: Part 2

I beautified my sister's house for her, free of charge. AND I let her be graced by Todd n' me's* presence for days! I am nice like that. 

*Proper usage- SMJ (Style Manual of Jess)

I'm skipping ahead though because this part actually happened after we came back from New Hampshire. And then Libby took us to the beach. With our awesome friends Shannon and Anne and their super cute boys. This makes it sound vaguely like Shannon and Anne are a couple, with collective children, which is not the case. Todd found two crabs, which enabled him both to be the envy of every child within a 50 foot radius and say (over and over again) that he, "went to the beach in Rhode Island and caught crabs." It was a win/win for him. It was more of a win/? for the rest of us. 

But I digress! Back to New Hampshire. the awesome old summer housetm had an awesome wrap around porch that was fully furnished with rocking chairs and picnic benches and furnished views of Silver Lake in one direction and Mount Monadnock in another. It were purty. Real purty.

Katie is ever on the lookout for the opportunity to frame herself in flowers and wait for someone to take a picture.

The awesome old housetm had an awesome locked barn that Todd and Katie and I felt the irrepressible urge to explore. Sorry, old house owners, we couldn't help ourselves. The window in the front prove to be open and we snuck in and carefully looked around (without disturbing anything) but were caught by some young malcontents who desperately wanted to be part of the action.

You guys! We wanna go in da barn too!!!
Responsible Growndups: "What, who? Nobody's in the barn! Nobody's here, nooobodyy's heeeere...." Unfortunately the fact that the protests came from inside the barn did not fail to escape our young sleuths. The party line we adopted later that night- that Aunties Katie & Jess and Uncle Todd had been in the house the whole time and the figures the suspicious youths had seen looking out the hayloft window were undoubtably ghosts (who happened to be wearing the same clothing as we were, when we were telling them this story) -was regrettably met with open skepticism and what some might describe even as scorn. Kids these days, so jaded. Where has the innocence gone?

Ah got mah eye on yew, yew old whippersnappers. Ah know you were in that barn, and dadgummit, if I can prove it, I'll see y'all clapped in irons!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don'tchya know the Doschers?

I have a big family. My mom's one of five kids and my dad's one of six. Between their families there are something like 30 grandkids, so although my siblings and I make up a large number of those, there are still quite a few cousins, aunts and uncles to go around.

My dad's family has always lived nearby so we see them pretty regularly. In fact when Todd and I met in Rhode Island last year he was ambushed by not only my immediate family (numerous and overwhelming as they are- rather like a large friendly dog who wants to lick your face when you're more of a cat person) but by my dad's entire side of the family as well. We had all come together that weekend to attend our beloved Mimi's funeral and celebrate the legacy she'd left behind and naturally, I couldn't miss the chance to introduce them all to this man I barely knew was going to marry. Poor, poor Todd. In justification though, I did, upon meeting him, spend several days with his two kids, his brother, and their two cats. Whereupon I spent three weeks in a van with them, minus the brother and the cats. So it all evens out.

My mom's family lives down south, so we don't see them as often. For years we've been talking about having a family reunion up in New Hampshire, where my mom's family lived when she was growing up. This year it finally happened. Todd and I managed to go at the last minute..

We stayed in a huge old rambly summer house on a lake.

Todd and I lucked out and got the porch room off of the biggest bedroom. Well, for the first night anyway. The second day it rained and we hurriedly dragged our makeshift bed back into the main room.

After that we shared the big bedroom with my sister Libby, and assorted small nieces and nephews. Todd thought it was funny to bounce & make the bedsprings creak to gross Libby out after the kids were asleep which resulted in much furtive giggling on Libby's and my part.* Also once Libby stepped on a Transformer (or some kind of electronic toy) and it turned on and all three of us had to bury our faces in pillows to avoid waking the wee ones up. I may have snorted.

*On further reflection and rereading it seems prudent to clarify that Libby was in a separate bed on the other side of the room. We're a close family, but not that close.

The cousins had fun exploring the house. "Little Dan" on the right there had much more fun than he looks like he's having. He's just upset that I interrupted his video game. He looked way happier when he was catching fish with hot dogs but I didn't get a picture of that.

Some manly grilling and beer drinking was done by Dad and the uncles.
My Poppi was the star of the reunion. He's a famous writer, you know. Here's his book. You should read it
My mom's family lived in the house that's the town general store now. This is three generations of women. My mom & her sisters, my sisters and I, and my niece Georgia who is at the age of incredibly cute, remember?

It was all very much lots of fun and I haven't even told you about the amazing fish or the lightning bugs yet. Maybe I will tomorrow. If you're lucky.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Todd looks particularly good with a baby, don't you think? My niece Georgia is at the age of incredibly cute. I like that age. I'm thinking since Todd doesn't have many pictures of the kids as babies (things were... difficult... then, survival superseded picture-taking) we should probably get one of our own so's I can take lots of pictures of him holding a wee baby. 'Cuz it's cute. And I am self-sacrificial like that.

This is what being trapped in an airport for six hours looks like.

This is what it looks like several hours in.

Today I feel crappy and everything seems pointless but when I feel better I will tell you stories about our trip to New England. It was way cool. And not only because I got to see a ton of family members from both sides of my extended family. 

We have not seen the kids since Father's Day. Their mother will not even let us talk to them on the phone unless she wants something/happens to be in a particularly good mood. Usually the former. Just over a week until we get them back!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three years ago this month my friend's little boy drowned in a swimming pool. He was four years old. Three years and two weeks ago I went to his funeral and watched as a tiny white casket was lowered into the ground. That image will stay with me until my dying day. It shouldn't happen. Ever.

Yesterday my friend's little boy drowned in a swimming pool. He was five years old. He was resuscitated but his brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long. They lost him this morning.

I am so furious and heartbroken and frustrated right now. I want to hurt someone. Two of the most amazing mothers I know have had a child taken from them. I believe God is in control but I also believe He's big enough to handle my anger and my questions. I can't even begin to imagine how much pain my friends Susannah and Jim are in right now.  I would storm heaven or hell and beat someone up to make this right for them if I could.

Monday, May 30, 2011

No More Pencils, No More Books...

So the kids are out of school for the summer. Friday was their last day. How did that happen?! It seems like yesterday we were signing them up for school here. I can't believe it's summer again already and we've been a family for a whole year. I wish the kids would stop growing up so quickly, I can see such a difference from when I met them!

I'm glad they're growing up but I missed so much of their littleness that it makes me sad to think about them being teenagers and hating their dad & I. I do try to be mentally prepared for regular old angsty teenagerism PLUS blended family issues, so when I get to play the wicked stepmother- "I don't have to listen to you, YOU'RE not my MOTHER!"- it will be less of a shock. But Oh, how I wish I could rewind their lives and hold them as babies and chase after them as chubby toddlers just for a little while before they get taller than me. :)

Todd and I worried about the local elementary school's low ratings when we first moved here. The CA system requires them to really push in parents' faces the fact that the school performed poorly the year before (as if most parents have a choice anyway... I can see the point of being open about it, but it seems a bit counter-productive), and though the kids have an easy time with academics, and Todd spends lots of time teaching them at home, we really want them to enjoy school. I hated school all the way through and it made my life miserable and kinda prejudiced me against conventional education.

Our fears were groundless. I think both kids had the best school year ever. This is the first year these former Army brats have been able to complete an entire school year in the same state, let alone the same school! And we all love, love, LOVE their school. The principal was on a mission to turn the school around this year, after she replaced a principal who made some poor decisions in the last few. She definitely succeeded. I spent some time volunteering there in the second half of the year and I found everyone who works there to be amazing. In spite of the fact that the parent volunteer ratio is really small at this school, the teachers, and parents who are able to help out, are enthusiastic and determined to make the school the best one they can for the kids.

So ends our first year in Modesto. I wonder what this year will bring?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Tuesday After The World Didn't End!!

Things have been... interesting around here. In a way that I can't really talk about. Just trust me when I say that it's been a fairly stressful few weeks. However, right now we are not thinking about the bad things (we are not!! we are not!!) and as a result we had a lovely, relaxing weekend.

Our resident duck is still sitting on her second nest of eggs. We don't have much hope for these ones. We took the first batch to the Wildlife Center nearby and, well... I suspect euthanasia. I can't really blame them for not incubating eggs that they'd then have to care for as ducklings and release to the wild with no duck mama. I'm sure they're overwhelmed and strapped for cash as it is and they have hordes of baby animals being brought in this time of year. However, I am slightly bitter about the fact that they didn't just tell me up front that they wouldn't incubate the eggs. Thankfully the kids have forgotten about them by now. We had tadpoles briefly but they met a similar fate. Todd says I had them in too small a container, but they looked so pretty in there! I still spot the Cooper's Hawk from time to time, but now that the trees have leafed out we can't really observe the nest. I've lost count of how many toads the kids have rescued from the pool filter.

As spring draws toward summer the school year is winding down. The kids have one last week of school and then they're out for the summer. I can't believe we've been here for almost a year. I thought we'd be in this town, this school district, this apartment, for a few months at most. I'm always trying to put God's plans on fast-forward and I imagine He's always fondly rolling his eyes and saying, "Relax. I've got it under control." I find it hard not to feel the need to make things happen and take care of people. When you grow up being defined as "the oldest of all those kids," it's hard to leave the perceived responsibility behind.

I'm so glad we chose Modesto though. We've been exceptionally happy here as we learned how to be a family. It was a struggle at times, no surprise under the circumstances. I definitely wouldn't recommend starting a relationship the way Todd and I did to most people, but I won't ever regret the decisions I made. It's been a year of exceptional growth, for all of us, perhaps, but definitely for me. Which is not to say that more isn't needed. ;)

Tomorrow is the first grade play, Goin' Buggy, which Stone has excitedly been counting down the days to. Excited is an understatement. He practically vibrates when he wakes up each morning and realizes that he is One. Day. Closer. To. THE PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I helped out with the set design (sounds so fancy! Reality: I made some paper flowers) so I'm excited too. Hopefully the paper flowers will not wilt.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reposted from 1998. You're welcome.

[Because I can't talk publicly about what's really been going on in my life lately.]

Hi Chris,

Smokey (Smoky?) is doing well and seems to be enjoying
the attention he's getting (don't believe anything he
tells you otherwise). Here are some pics i took on


Deer Krees.

Pleez halp. Thes grl you hiard to feed me is- how yu say?- makeng me to loose the marblz. She put toys on mah hed like a beray and tak picturs, comprmizing mah manli catliness and makng me too speek in zis stupeed French acent. Also she nevr fede me and I am wastng awa. Plz com hom as sun as posibl and breng tuna.


p.s. Dont bothr to com withot teh tuna

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


When we went to the bay area for Zach and Christy's wedding we stayed, along with the rest of my family, in a hotel with suites and, um, a higher standard of service than the hotels we usually stay in (i.e. on the Great Cheap Road Trip of '10). The kids were amazed that not only did we have two rooms!!! but that every day when we came back the rooms had been restored to their original splendor of cleanliness by magical house elves. We explained about housekeeping and all agreed that it was very nice of those people to come in and clean our rooms and make the beds for us.

When we left, the kids wanted to leave notes thanking the housekeeping staff and I thought that was a nice idea. I wasn't paying attention when Daphne asked me for our address and phone number but apparently she wanted to make sure the housekeeping staff of the Embassy Suites could get in touch with us later, if need be. It's a good thing she doesn't know what a social security number is because I'm pretty sure she would have insisted on including that too. I took a picture of the notes because they were so dang cute. 

I'm still not sure what it is we're "hopeful" about, but I'm assuming it's that magical house elves would show up at our apartment the next time we're out and clean up our mess. So far, no such luck.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Very Engaging Beach Vacation

The kids are away for spring break with their mom. We miss them. We're little sad without them, especially since it's Stone's birthday this week. We decided to go somewhere fun. Todd's family loves this beach on the central coast. There are pretty stones on the beach and it's a family tradition to collect them. I'd never been there.

On Monday we thought about leaving. Instead we spent the day being unbelievably stressed out by unfortunate circumstances. It was Stone's birthday. His mother was having a hard time adjusting to sharing the kids with a new person. There were hours of arguments before we got to talk to Stone. She demanded that I not accompany Todd and the children to the handoffs anymore. Seeing me hug the children in front of her makes her angry. We decided to go Tuesday.

Morning came. I felt like crap. I wanted to curl up and go to sleep. Todd packed the van and did the grocery run. I took a nap on the couch. I whined. He threatened. I agreed to go. We spent the morning driving through an incredibly gorgeous landscape. Over green hills and through valleys. Past countless picturesque weathered barns and windmills. We stumbled across a national monument and took a detour to eat ice cream and hike through a cave. Back on the road the scenery just got better. As the ocean came into view from the top of the hills, thick fog rolled in. It was breathtaking.

We arrived in the seaside town of Cambia at dinnertime. Pizza at a tourist spot tasted heavenly after hours of traveling. We slept snuggled up in the van, cozy as a tent and less work to set up.

The next morning Todd wanted to explore the beach in spite of the ominous skies. As we walked along watching the waves foam over jagged rocks it started to rain. The beach is covered in driftwood and random forts and lean-to's built out of it do the landscape. Todd pulled me into the biggest one to hide from the rain. As we watched, the sun came out and shone on the hillside opposite, making everything glow. He said, "It's so beautiful." I agreed. He said, "It makes me want to ask you to marry me." I looked at him, he was holding a ring.

I laughed and might have squeaked. I hugged him. He was still holding the ring. We kissed and hugged some more. I held out my hand. He put the ring on. I told him he was mine-all-mine now and there was no escaping. He seemed okay with that. Or maybe he's just a really good actor.

We spent the next few days being blissfully happy beach bums. We plan to spend the rest of our lives driving each other crazy and being in love. Since we got engaged I've only had to make angry eyebrows at him once for squirting me with a water gun when I was in a bad mood. It's hard to stick with a bad mood when someone is laughing at your angry eyebrows and squirting you with a water gun and then giving you food because you forgot to eat lunch and that's why you're in a bad mood. I think things are going pretty well. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Very Engaging Beach Vacation

He asked. I said yes. Further details forthcoming.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Love is Not

If it makes the recipient feel like garbage- it's not love.

If it's unkind or hurtful- it's not love.

Saying you're doing something, "out of love" or concern, doesn't make it true.

Saying unkind or hurtful things in a jokey wokey manner in order to conceal your uneasy feelings does not make them any less hurtful or unkind or inject them with love. It's like being stabbed in the back by a loved one who's hugging you and telling you how much they care while they push the knife deeper.

If it involves you judging whether another person's choices for their own life are right or wrong, it's not love.

Saying you're a Christian doesn't make you one. Jesus never made anybody feel like garbage. Turns out that whole, "They will know you by your love." thing is actually pretty crucial to the whole plot.

When you tell someone that you love and respect them you just can't support their relationship because it doesn't live up to your standards of how a relationship should proceed, you're not loving or respecting them. You're judging them.

I've been guilty of all these things myself.

I'm awake and writing this at 4 am because of one specific and painful betrayal, but this is not about one instance or situation. In the last year people in my life have divided themselves into two sharply differentiated groups. Those who know what love is and those who labor under a delusion that love is something it's not. Supportive friends span the spectrum from atheist to faithful follower of Christ but the cruel hurtful words have come from only one group. Can you guess what that is? [Hint: it's not the atheists.]

I wish I could develop a thicker skin when it comes to being betrayed by people I thought cared for me.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I had a doctor's appointment on Friday, uh, long time no do that. I needed a referral to a GI so I can get this Celiac-do-or-don't-I thing cleared up (currently I am eating wheat and, meh, I don't really see much difference from when I wasn't). If I do have it, it's important to adjust my diet because of the long-term health effects but life is just so much easier when I don't have to worry about cutting out gluten.

What I wasn't expecting, however, was for the doctor to find a lump in my breast and refer me for a mammogram. She assured me that it was probably a cyst and nothing to worry about and I believed her. I wasn't worried. That was Friday morning. Before I left the doctor's office I had an appointment for today to get the mammogram/ultrasound. I was impressed, this place is so organized! It was at some point over the weekend that it occurred to me that maybe not everyone gets scheduled for testing the next business day.

Then I thought about the questions the doctor had asked me (Is there any history of Fibrocystic Breast Disease- a benign condition exacerbated by caffeine- in your family? Do you drink coffee? Cola?) and her careful lack of reaction when I answered in the negative to both of them. I hate coffee and I'm not much of a soda drinker. My only caffeine comes from tea and I don't even have that every day. When I informed the doctor of that I felt all warm and fuzzily self-righteous inside. I am a good dooby! I limit my caffeine intake and I floss!!! Except that of course there's nothing remotely self-sacrificing about me not drinking coffee, I just can't stand the taste. Upon further reflection though, I realized that the right answer would have been, "Yes Ma'am, I drink a gallon of coffee and I have three relatives with FBD!" Because that would make this much more likely to be a simple, benign cyst.

I did some Googling (I know! Best thing to do if you want to freak yourself out!) and found that cysts almost always occur in both breasts. As far as I can tell it's one of their defining characteristics. I only have one lump. Or, technically, I should say that I have two small lumps and one of them has an even smaller lump in it. Haha, tinyboob humor! So in less that three hours I'll be getting left lump squished and then possibly ultrasounded (I think they only do this if the other test is inconclusive, I hope they do 'cuz I'm totally going to ask the technician if it's a boy or a girl because I bet their jobs do not include enough humor). It's probably nothing. It's probably fine. But I can't help feeling a little greedy and resentful. All those years I was alone and no one depended on me; I would've been okay with going home then. You wouldn't do this to me now, God? Now that I have people who need me? Would you?

Update: It's a cyst (breathe). I'm fine. Thank you for your thoughts & prayers. :)

Lucky Doesn't Even Begin to Describe It

love having my own little family. I still have to pinch myself when I think of how much God's given me in the past year. After many years of searching and doubting that it would ever happen, I found the love of my life; the fact that he came complete with two beautiful kids who instantly accepted me as part of their lives with incredible grace and love is such a gift that I am humbled daily at the thought of it.

I want to be honest though, it's both better and harder than I ever could have imagined. I talk about all the good things often on this blog and I don't want it to turn into one of those "My life is perfect!" blogs. You know the ones I'm talking about- cute-as-a-button blogger has perfect marriage, lovely home, adorable children, nothing ever goes wrong. Not my thing, at all.

In the midst of all this joy is the daily grind of working out a relationship between two sometimes difficult people. Don't get me wrong- I will love Todd until the day I die (even if it's me who kills him. And for the record? Today while I was relaxing in the sun on our itty bitty balcony he snuck up and squirted me through the screen door with a water gun. So if I throttle him someday you'll know he deserved it) but skipping the dating/newlyweds/kid-free stage to jump right into an instant partnership was no picnic. We're both hot-tempered and used to being in charge. We're both know-it-alls who like to be right. Our first few months together where a whirlwind of highs and lows. I frequently threatened to leave and on occasion after a heated argument still run away from home (I've never gotten farther than the Borders near the mall, however. I like to threaten to visit my brother but we both know I just need to cool off for a few hours). Todd's the steadier one in our relationship, possibly because as crazy as I might be at times our relationship is the picture of health compared to his first marriage. We're happy, we're in love; but please don't think we don't have struggles.

I have no regrets about the way we did things. God was clearly leading us and He's been with us through all of the good and difficult times since then. I struggled a lot for a long time with the fact that we weren't married and life wasn't moving along on the schedule I'd envisioned. I experienced a lot of silence if not outright disapproval from a large part of the Christian communities I've been part of. It was hard and it really hurt. I spent a lot of time trying to make Todd do what I wanted him to do and be where I wanted him to be. Luckily for me, he's as stubborn as I am. I'm glad he stood up to me. I'm glad, in a lot of ways, that I lived through this last year as an outcast in the minds of people I used to be close with. I think it's exactly where God wanted me. Jesus lived on the fringes of society. I identify more with Him now than I ever could when I was keeping up appearances like a good church girl. That's not a bad place to be.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Did I Forget to Tell You We're FAMOUS??!?!?!?

Cuz we totally are. My awesome little brother Zach and his totally hot wife/filming assistant Christie came and made a movie for Zach's film class starring Todd, Stone, and in lesser roles, Daph & I.

It was pretty sweet, lemme tell you. We're petitioning for our own individual trailers for the next film. Todd demanded that his Reece's Pieces be separated by color into three separate bowls. There were no Reece's Pieces, as it turned out, but I'm pretty sure that's just because they bought us Girl Scout cookies afterwards. Come to think of it though, Zach did not separate the coconut from the chocolate in the Caramel DeLites* like I asked him to. I think I need an agent.

*I think this counts as false advertising- there is nothing "lite" about those cookies.

Anyways, here is the Masterpiece:

We all agreed that very little acting was required on the part of the two main actors.

p.s. Acting is hard, yo. After a week of delightfully springlike weather it was freezing that day. Also, Zach's site is over there (is it over there? I think I put it over there. I should check that.) on the right in my links. Check it out, he has some fun stuff. He's brilliant and I'm not at all biased just because I used to change his diapers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Road Trip Tales: Run-ins with Johnny Law

So you know about the Great Cross-Continental Road Trip of 2010, right? Wherein I flew home to RI for my grandmother's funeral and Todd drove up to my parents' house and said, "Hi, I'm the guy you've been flirting with online for five months. Wanna spend the rest of our lives together? Starting now? With a three-week road trip across the US with two kids and a total of five showers in all that time?" And I said, "Ayup, here's my suitcase."*

* Note: I am not in the habit of jumping into relationships in this admittedly crazy fashion. I swear. I can't speak for Todd but I just... knew. This was it. It'll make for a great story for the grandkids anyway. And by "great" I mean in a, "You probably shouldn't ever do this." sort of way.

The four of us traveled in Todd's minivan and to save money we only stayed at hotels once every few days. The rest of the time we  camped out in the van, which was nice & roomy since Todd had shipped the middle row of seats with the rest of his belongings. One of these times we were driving somewhere in the south (Georgia, Alabama...Arkansas?) and decided late at night to pull over and sleep for a few hours before getting back on the road. We'd been driving for hours and were both pretty beat when pulled into the empty parking lot of a closed Wendy's in a big shopping center. The only activity was a few people unloading supplies into the rear door of the restaurant out of a big truck. After rousing the kids and getting them settled, we snuggled up in the space between seats with pillows and blankets and dropped off to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by someone rapping on our window.

We pried our eyelids open and groggily sat up. The man knocking on our window was a police officer. He wanted to "ask us some questions." It turns out that the back door of the restaurant had been wide open when the first employee arrived. She'd seen the open door, observed a carful of crazy crackers sleeping in the parking lot and, fearful that the place had been robbed, called the police. The officer knocking on our window in the early dawn seemed fairly sure that the owners of the van with military stickers hadn't brought their children along to rob a fast food joint and then decided to nap in the parking lot until the sun came up, but had to ask if we'd seen anything suspicious.

We told them about the delivery men unloading a Wendy's supply truck late the night before. Subsequently it was determined that said delivery men had simply neglected to close the door on their way out. Luckily, no Frosties (Frostys? Frosty's?) had been harmed, and after enduring many suspicious looks from the nervous Wendy's worker we clutched the shreds of our dignity around our pajamas and proudly limped (figuratively, of course, we actually drove) out of the parking lot and back onto the road.

A week or so later we were driving through Arizona when Todd became convinced that he had spotted what was surely an extremely valuable pair of binoculars at the fence line to the desert on the side of a highway exit. We pulled over to inspect what turned out to be an extremely valuable** plastic water bottle.  **not really  Just as we were coming to this conclusion a state trooper pulled off behind us with his lights flashing.  The very young, very concerned policeman was very concerned that we'd pulled over and might be having car problems [I like to think he suspected us of picking up illegal Mexicans who'd just made a mad dash across the border, but we were somewhere near Flagstaff so I doubt it]. We assured him that we were fine and tried to explain about the water bottle/binoculars. He looked at us strangely. We grinned nervously. He sent us on our way.  

We had lots of crazy adventures on that trip but since I didn't have internet access except for occasional hotel wifi I didn't do any blogging at the time. I really wish I had written things down; now I'm starting to forget a lot. For instance Todd and I both remember the Wendy's incident being even more singular than it would otherwise have been because it was the second unlikely interaction we'd had with law enforcement officers since leaving on the road trip. However, dagnab it if neither of us can remember what the first one was.

Unless it was that one time we both had a little too much tequila and Todd was seeing how fast the van could go while I hung Stone out the window by his ankles so he could, "feel the wind in his hair."...

Kidding, I'm kidding!!!

It was Daphne, not Stone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Ducky

ZOMG, internetz!!! You will never believe what happened today! So I believe I pointed out somewhere in this massive overload of information (Psst, second paragraph, don't tell nobody I tol' ya) that the deciding factor for us picking this apartment was the duck family then residing in one of the ponds. The kids were visiting their mom when we moved in but we couldn't resist the chance to surprise them with ducklings when we brought them to their new home.

Summer ended, fall came, and the ducklings grew up and moved on. A few weeks ago we were thrilled to see a new pair of mallards setting up housekeeping in the larger pond. During our frequent familial perambulations around the grounds of our "manor," there has been much speculation on where one would choose to build a nest in this area, were one a duck, that is. It has remained just that, however, speculation... until today. The old man & I were out for a lunchtime stroll and we noticed the duck pair sitting on a rock. We decided to run back home and grab some old bread to feed to them. Mr. Duck was certainly amenable to the idea and swam happily around gobbling up pieces of soggy bread. Mrs. Duck, however, declined to leave her rock, crouching (do ducks crouch?) tensely and quacking at us in a strangely agitated manner. I mentioned to Todd that the nest might be somewhere nearby and that's what was making her nervous. He turned around to jokingly look in the bushes behind us and lo and behold... a tidy nest with nine duck eggs was tucked into the bushes not three feet behind where we were standing. So Cool!!

Oh, also there was a prowling cat, which Todd chased away. It was one of the cats belonging to the sweet older man who walks his cats around the complex every day. Did I not mention him? Yes, I said walks his cats. No leashes, they just follow him. He turns when they lag behind and coaxes them along, calling out their names and talking to them as if they were recalcitrant children. It's ridiculously cute.  Possibly not so good for ducklings though. Oi.                  

Yes, I'm the Crazy Neighbor Putting Leaves in a Plastic Grocery Bag.

Eucalyptus trees were new to me when I moved to California. We didn't have them in New England, but they're everywhere here. They're really pretty and they smell great. There's a tree right outside our apartment that occasionally loses branches in windstorms, and a few times over the winter Todd and I collected the leaves and boiled them to make the house smell nice. When I had my holiday sinus infection I breathed in a lot of eucalyptus steam. It helped greatly even though I ultimately had to enlist the help of antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

Yesterday we were greeted on leaving for the school bus stop by a huge branch from "our" tree lying on the ground and yesterday must have been the gardener's day off because it was still there this morning. Todd and I went for a walk (more EXCITING news on that in next post) and on our return decided to collect some leaves. Thus it is that when our very nice, stylish European neighbor walked by I was squatting down with a plastic bag and hair that has not been washed in several days picking up leaves like a weird hobo with a eucalyptus fetish. She smiled politely anyway. Oh. I was also wearing a heavy wool coat buttoned up to the throat even though it's going to be 60 degrees today. Most Californians do not own anything warmer than a sweatshirt. They complain about being cold a lot.

Just wanted to confirm for anyone wondering that I am still a complete dork. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

It's springtime here in California. Don't hate me because I live here, oh New England friends. It's not my fault you're still surrounded by snow when I can hear birds chirping outside my window. You can't blame me for getting out the summer clothes and planning on wearing a short- sleeved shirt later today when it warms up... can you? If it makes any difference, Todd considers himself seriously deprived because of the lack of snow here and is determined on finding a way to attend Dartmouth so that we can move to New Hampshire next year. I keep trying to tell him that someone who declares "I shouldn't have to wear a sweater in my own house!" when I scolded him for turning the heat up while he was wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt will likely not acclimate easily to New Hampshire winters but he's a stubborn one and may have to find out for himself.

Nevertheless here in the central valley entire orchards (chances are some of the the fruit and nuts in your grocery store come from right around here*) are gloriously awash in tiny pink or white blossoms. Todd and I went for a walk around our condo complex the other day after  dropping the kids off at the bus stop and we saw two frogs in the pond. They were... making more frogs. Also we saw our resident Giant KoiTM and a pair of ducks who are hopefully (though not at that very moment) making more ducks so we'll have ducklings again in a few months. While the kids were gone over the weekend we saw five turtles, countless tiny koi plus the trademarked giant one, rescued two frogs from the swimming pool and saw several more frogs in the pond. Some of them were...making more frogs. Speaking of which I consider it my duty to educate you about the fact that apparently frogs can swim while they're...making more frogs. Stuck together, as it were. Todd and I accidentally startled one pair and then snickered like teenaged boys when they swam frantically away in tandem. Oh- we also saw lots of snails, though they're not as exciting since we see them all winter long. And a chicken!! but I'm getting ahead of myself.

* Yes, ha ha, we are all fruits and nuts here in CA. Now be quiet and stop bothering my grownup readers, DAD.

A few weeks ago we saw some sort of large bird of prey sitting in a tree visible from our balcony. It was, frustratingly, just close enough for us to figure that it was some kind of raptor without being able to see any more detail than that. I like identifying birds, so I was cursing the fact that we do not own a pair of binoculars. Earlier this week though, I saw the same bird fly out of a tree right over our heads while I was walking the kids to the bus stop. The tree was just a few yards away from the bus stop and it seemed like there was some sort of large nest being built. The bird flew back and forth a few times and gave a distinctive laughter-like cry. Clearly he was not happy about the humans under his tree.

I went home and did some googling and figured out that we have a Cooper's Hawk living on our street. This is the time of year they build a nest in order to start a family. T and I walked the kids to the bus yesterday and we saw one bird (sure enough there are two of them, though I haven't managed to see them closely enough to tell the male and female apart) fetching twigs for the nest. We went walking on the nearby bike path and we saw quite a bit of our new neighbors. They apparently hunt in the empty fields by the bike path where lots of plump and juicy ground squirrels live. I found a pellet on the ground under the nest this morning (hawks eat cute wittle fuzzy things whole and then hork up pellets containing fur, bones & other indigestibles, just like owls!) and was sharply reprimanded from above when I stopped to look at it. I plan to be on the lookout for a pellet that hasn't been trampled by schoolchildren so that we can take it home and dissect it with the kids because I am weird like that. I mean, scientific. I am scientifically inclined that way.

The chicken was a bit more confusing. We startled it poking (pecking?) around in a front yard a few houses down from the corner the bus stops at. It's an extremely suburban neighborhood, not the type of place you'd expect to see a chicken, but then we seem to attract them. Before I "met" them (in person) Todd and the kids had an abandoned chicken nesting in the basement well under their kitchen window in North Carolina. We chicken-napped compassionately relocated it to my uncle's house in South Carolina on the Great Cross-Continental Road Trip of '10, also known as "Our second date." Therefore clearly random ownerless chickens are drawn to our family in some strange way. However we fear for this one's continued existence. You see Cooper's Hawks used to go by another name... Chicken hawks.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And Then I Punched Him

Todd has this adorable



EVIL love for lying-in-wait in order to jump out and scare the ever-loving cream puffs out of me. When I get up first, he either puts the covers over his head, or artfully arranges the pillows so that it looks like he's put the covers over his head and hides in the closet. I know he's most likely in one of these places (though sometimes he finds a third place to hide just to keep me off-balance) but if I jump on top of the lumpy bed he he will invariably leap out of the closet and cause me to make noises that would lead one to believe that I am wetting myself in fear. [I am not, of course. I have excellent bladder control. My mother has been bragging for years about how I potty trained myself, instantaneously, at the age of two. Why it didn't occur to her that this might indicate some sort of control-freak issue I'll never know, but she sees it as a point of pride.] If I turn my head from the bed to investigate the closet he may well jump up from beneath the bedclothes and make me scream like the girl that I am. It's inevitable, even when I know perfectly well he's around the corner I can't help but yelp in momentary, inadvertent terror when he says, "Boo!" [I think that should be the chorus to a catchy 80's song: "I Can't Help but Yelp," except I can't think of many things that rhyme or how to work "whelp" into a pop song.]

The kids have now taken to "trying to scare Jess" as a favorite pastime. Their father is such a good example. One of these days though, I'm going to get them all back. I'll make them pee their pants in terror. Or I would... if I were not likely to be the cleaner-upper of the resultant pee-pants. Maybe I'll get revenge in some other way.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wherein I Lose The Use of the Internet And Coincidentally Increase Tenfold in Productivity

Last weekend the routermodemthingIprefernottothinkaboutbecauseIdon'tcarehowitworksIjustwantittowork went all wonky and Todd unplugged it and hooked it directly to his computer. My laptop was out of luck. Oddly enough, Todd did not seem to notice a problem with this. I tried using his computer but since it's set up with the tv as a monitor and there's nowhere to use the wireless keyboard except the floor, it was hardly worth the ergonomic effort. I'm not sure how he manages except that this is probably why he's had back problems for the last few months. Silly boy. the whole tv-as-monitor thing is very handy for watching The Office on Hulu, though.

All this to say that I was basically internetless for a week. Peoplez, you would not believe how clean my house is. I am 100% totally caught up on laundry and last night I made lasagna for dinner and then banana chocolate chip muffins after the kids went to bed. Some people might say that this combined evidence points to some sort of wildly far-fetched conclusion about the internet and wasting time. Poppycock.

Also, my story there didn't really have a point. I was just letting you know why I didn't post last week, but since whole months frequently go by in which I do not post you probably weren't really wondering.

Also, also, I have been reading Sex God* by Rob Bell. I know: snigger snigger. [Todd thought it was about him.]

If you go to the Amazon page you can read several reviews disapproving of the title. It's hard to tell if they're disappointed or relieved that it's not really about THAT. I liked it. It's about God and humanity and other heavy stuff but has a light and reader-friendly manner. Bell has this quirky writing/formatting style that I can't decide whether I like or not. Sometimes it really works and I admire his willingness to break out of the traditional mold, after all he's doing the same thing with the ideas he's writing about. Other times I find it really cutesy and annoying.

Hi! I'm Rob Bell.

And I write one sentence paragraphs!

All the time.

Look at me, look at me!

But then, Hi I'm Jess and I write a silly blog, look at me, look at me!!!! So there's that... Glass houses and everything.

But back to Sex God (snicker snicker). It wasn't earth shaking but it had some really good insights. I should perhaps write about it on the neglected WWJessD blog. [Which I would like to point out I am not neglecting because of my official status as a fallen woman, who is living in sin but because I am immensely lazy.]

While I am writing a post with no content whatsoever, I'd like to share that I've been reading books by Jim Wallis, who's this kinda wacky, out there, Christian-type person who insists that Christians should have a social conscience, of all things. In fact he goes so far as to suggest that it should be the defining mark of a follower of Christ. Crazy fellow. Also clearly a liberal sympathizer with heretical views. Probably a communist, like MLK. I like his stuff but it's kinda boring because I already agree with him on just about everything. I could think of some people I wish I could get to read him though, Dad.

Did I mention that I don't really have a point?

The end.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Droppy McDropperson

Droppy McDropperson spilled the apple juice this morning and now the floor's all sticky. Droppy makes frequent appearances around here. Every time I sweep the floor I find another tiny shard of glass under the bookcase from one of the multiple items Droppy has shattered in the kitchen/dining area.

Droppy McDropperson is me, in case you haven't guessed. Todd started calling me that when I broke the third vase in two days after having several incidents that involved pumpkin pie filling and then applesauce landing in a wide radius on the floor/counters/me. I've always been a bit klutzy, but this is out of control. It's like the part of my brain that reacts without thinking to catch that falling item is broken. Thus I can see it happening in the same slow motion that kicks in in these situation, but instead of reacting I'm paralyzed into simply watching while thinking, "I should have been able to catch that, any normal person would be able to catch that." It's a bit disturbing.

Also yesterday I discovered (more than 24 hours after the fact) that I'd simply walked out of a restaurant (one three hours from home to boot-  we were visiting family) without my purse. That would be the second time in six months that I've done that. Plus at least two or three times in the last few years before that. The people at the DMV just point and laugh now. I despair of me.

Thank God when I figured out it was missing and called the pizza place they said, "Yup, Droppy, we gots yer purse. Come'n get it." And furtherly blessedly, Todd's mom went out of her way to pick it up on her way home from work. I love that woman. Of course the last paragraph is just the official story. Truth is that I left it on purpose in order to bribe her to come visit us this weekend, but don't tell her. We're tricky like that.

In other news I heard a rumor that it's National Delurking Day. I'm not sure if this is true or not but I'm going to go with it because when a comment appears in my mailbox I jump up and down and do the happy hippy hoppy butterfly dance and then spin around doing jazz hands while shouting, "Hey Todd, Todd, I got a comment! I got a comment, Babe, aren't you happy?!?!? Somebody's reading my words! And they commented!! And it's not even my mom!! Do you think I'm the best blogger in the whole wide world or what?! Huh? Huh? HUH!!??!!??!?!" and then I do a little dance I made up while singing a song of my own composing about how much fun it is getting comments in which I compare new comments to "a summer's day," just like Shakespeare. And then I cry with happiness. And eat a cookie. Doesn't that sound like fun? So you should leave a comment. Especially if you don't usually. Especially if you moved further away from your beloved family and are thus responsible for me leaving my purse at Boston House of Pizza even though I didn't even have any beer. And then you should come visit. You know who you are.

Todd says "No comments please."

Ignore him.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stuff & Nonsense and Bubby

Update: I am trying to be a bigger person, even though it's really hard when you're barely 5 feet tall, and not say snarky things about Todd's ex-wife (at all, but especially here in public). I started off that way, see, I'd even argue her side with Todd, since I reasoned that he had way too much emotional baggage and history with her to be comepletely objective, but then there was nastiness (on both sides; "she started it" doesn't really work as an excuse if I want to be a grown-up and play nicely) and since the people at stake are two small helpless ones I'm very invested in protecting, lines can get easily blurred. But  I really do want things to be as much like this as I'm able to make them, though obviously I can only work on my half of the relationship. So, apologies for the complaining. Now continue below to read my complaints about something completely different. :)

But that's all the complaining I have to do today. Except for a little bit more. About my sinus infection.

My faaace huuuurrrrts.

That is all.

Now back your regular scheduled program of hearing about my little Bubby's wedding.

Christy had just moved into the house she & Zach had found to rent when my whole (except for Dan, his two boys and his fiancee Brandie) fan-damily showed up in various increments around the bay area. Mom and Dad flew into San Jose. Dad was grumpy. I mean he is Grumpy, but he was actually grumpy. He often is, which is how he acquired the name Grumpy instead of grandpa. Libby, Neil and their kids flew into SF with Julie, Huw and my new niece that they made just for me and were bringing to California expressly for me to hold and love and squeeze and call her George!!! Georgia, I mean, cuz that's her name. A'hem. And also Katie! And also Sean! Because wow I have a lot of siblings!

Todd & the kids & I drove over from Modesto and joined in on descending en masse on the helpless Christy. She passed with flying colors, with only a brief motion to suspend her on the grounds that she is way too crafty and organized and good at remembering birthdays and makes the rest of us former and current Davenport ladies look bad. We are generous though, and decided to let her join the family on the condition that she bribe us each year with birthday presents. Even though we can't be bothered to buy them for each other. In my case, a birthday phone call on the right day is more than you're likely to get. No seriously though, Christy not only braved the horde of Davenports, she fit right in. She delights in small children and teases with the best of 'em.*

*We're a tease-y sort of family. If a Davenport doesn't tease you, it probably means he or she doesn't love you.

Now I have eaten my Cadbury egg (in January, people? Really?! And yet, witness me helpless to resist) in two bites and find myself a bit on the weary side so I'll save some more, um, wedding stuff to tell you later. Cuz there's plenty more stuff, I just can't think of it right now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where's the Love?

Okay, peeplz, I write a drunken blog post and Lisa is the only one who manages to comment. You are. All. Fired.

Except Lisa, whom I love devotedly because she makes me feel good about myself my acknowledging my existence. And Jocelyn gets a pass too, because she's a in Turkey.

Furthermore, I still have this horrendous @#$%^er of a sinus infection because I am too cheap to go to a doctor and that means every time I clutch my cheek and moan, "My face hurts!" I have to listen to Todd say, "It's killing me!"

No, no, really he only did that once. And has the black eye to show for it.

If I am still alive on Monday I plan to call my insurance company and figure out an actual dollar amount it will cost me for someone to tell me what I already know and give me antibiotics. And then I will call 12 local doctors all of whom will tell me that since I am not their patient they don't care are really busy can't fit me in for two weeks and I'll end up paying $100 to go to the crappy urgent care place we took Daphne to when she broke her finger where they had a nurse practitioner look at the finger and then sent us to the hospital for x-rays then told us that they'd be closed for the next 24 hours and probably no one at the hospital would read the x-rays for us "so maybe sometimes tomorrow night we'll tell you whether it's broken or not, ttfn!" I want to move to Canada and pay really high taxes and have free healthcare.

Todd is standing over the sink right now setting fire to small scraps of paper and then frantically extinguishing them. He has some weird habits but he's cute so I guess I'll keep him.

No- haha- not really. I mean he is doing the thing with the burning and the paper. And he is cute. And I do plan to keep him. But he doesn't do this on a regular basis. We got pirate treasure for the kids for Christmas. Along with this book. Our master plan of making clues and a map to lead them to the designated hiding spot (containing a tiny wooden chest that someone gave me with tea in it years ago and I never got rid of because wouldn't it be perfect for a pirate's treasure chest!?! plus awesome flea market finds of a bejeweled gold serpent bracelet and a ruby-eyed snake ring and other pirate-treasure-y things) combined with wacky crazy holiday madness and biting off more than we could chew to produce the slightly post Christmas gifttm, which then progressed to the when they get back from visiting their mother for the holidays gifttm to the OMG we have to stay up all night composing wittily rhymed clues and writing painstakingly-pirate-styled missives to hid all over the house so we can give it to them tomorrow!tm gift. All of that should make perfectly clear why my beloved has now progressed to chewing tiny pieces of paper off the edges of scraps of parchment-like paper and has the gleam of madness in his eye. Authenticity, people, it's all about authenticity.

If I could find my camera battery charger I could take pictures and make a really awesome blog post about our treasure hunt. Just sayin'.

Oh yes! I was going to talk some ore about Zach & Christy's wedding when I got distracted by the smell of burning paper. But now I'm too tired and icky feeling to do anything to go to bed. Plus also I'm virtual pouting* in order to get more attention comments. Hmph.

*That's where I make you read long nonsensical posts that end with an intriguing question which you cannot resist answering in the comments section.

p.p.s. If you were a pirate, what would your pirate name be?

Bonus question: What if Todd chose me solely for my skill in composing rhyming clues and speaking in pirate talk? How can I ever be sure he loves me for me?

Talk amongst yourselves.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Zach and Christy

So my baby brother went off to war around the time I moved to California, 'member? I was proud of him and scared for him and very, very glad when he came back home. He heeded my big sisterly advice (completely altruistically given, I assure you) and moved to the bay area where I promptly began telling everyone that my wittle bruvver Zach, who's diapers I had changed as a young girl, was coming to meet them. In this way I paved the road for Zach's California social life and to that I credit the fact that Clay Woosely* yelled out, "Go BuBBY" at Zach's wedding reception last month.

* At least I think it was Clay. And I applaud him for it. Thank you, sir.

It was not long before the exclamations of, "Oh, you're Jess's brother!" became replaced by, "Aren't you Zach Davenport's sister?"

Who's a popular guy & has two thumbs???

If you don't know the answer to that, you've never met Zach. I gladly handed my roster of friends over to Zach but something was missing in the young lad's life.

Around this time I met a really cool girltm named Christy at post-church lunch and we bonded over the fact that we both have blogs and like to make things with glue and popsicle sticks and glitter (not always in the same project though). I wish I could say I had my eye on her from the start but lucky for her (and the rest of my siblings) I'm no Emma Woodhouse and Zach spotted her all on his own just a short time later. As soon as they officially started dating I horrified delighted them both by demanding that they immediately get married and start make west coast nieces and nephews for me. No, really, this is the actual text of the email

Dear Christy,

No pressure or anything, but would you think about marrying my brother? I know you've only been dating for 2 days but you would make an extremely awesome sister-in-law.

I'm, like, the best big sister ever, no? Well it took them a while. First they were all dating... and then they were all engaged... and then finally they made it official. Since my plan of attack is to meet a stranger on the internetz, chat him up for a few months and then meet and immediately move in and set up housekeeping with said stranger and his two children, I have little patience with that old fashioned notion of getting to know each other. Sheesh, if Todd and I would never have ended up together if we'd gotten to know each other first!! [Kidding- I'm kidding! He loves it when I nag/order him around/smack him in the face when he's sleeping and he finds my snoring adorably endearing!]

I digress though, I was talking about Zach and Christy, who after all deserve props for doing it right i.e. maintaining the proper order of things such as 1. Meeting in person 2. Dating 3. Getting engaged 4. Getting married 5. Cohabitrailing- or wait, maybe that's hamsters- anyway they got hitched is what I'm trying to say here. I don't have any pictures of the lovely event because Todd hid my camera battery or maybe I lost it so I am effectively camera-less until it turns up. But I will tell you about it.

Zach looked resplendent and Christy looked so beautiful that a fight broke out among the ushers because they wanted to marry her themselves. Just kidding, that didn't happen but I'm pretty sure it's only because some of them were her brothers and the rest were already married. Totally could've happened under different circumstances* she looked that pretty.

*Probably best that it didn't anyway.

Tomorrow I'll tell you more about the wedding and how California was swamped by Davenports and will never be the same. And by tomorrow I mean not in three minutes which will literally be tomorrow but sometime in the far off fuzzy future when I am inspired by Todd's being addicted to Ebay and thus really boring sometimes, and my being slightly inebriated* to write more on this here blog.

*I don't suppose I can really call this drunk blogging since I may have had a tiny amount of alcohol left in my system when I started this post but that was hours ago because I have to check Facebook every five minutes to see if people still like me and plus I burned most of it off cleaning the bathrooms. Man, those bathrooms are clean.