Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Memory Lane

The other day one of my friend's Facebook status's asked, "What is your happiest childhood memory?".  At the time I felt stumped, I couldn't think of a memory that I would label as my favorite, or the happiest of my childhood.  But since then I've been thinking about my childhood, and about moments from my childhood that I cherish.  I thought I'd make a short list for my own benefit and so that hopefully one day I'll remember to fondly tell my kids and grandkids about it.

  • Sitting on my Grandpa's lap in the driver's seat, on a dusty farm road, while he let me "drive".  My feet were no where near the pedals, and Grandpa had us going only a couple of miles an hour, but I got to steer, and felt SO proud of myself.
  • Running to the pool almost everyday in the summertime, often barefoot, jumping off the smoldering sidewalk and into people's cool grass at every opportunity, and THE BEST would be if we miraculously had 50cents to stop and get a snow cone from Hawaiian Snow on the way.
  • Arguing with my Papa about who was gonna pay for dinner.  He always called me pickle-puss, and I called him Buster.
  • Driving down the cemetery hill in Grandpa's big blue truck.  Riding in the trunk of the car.
  • Every summer picking out which 2 items we were going to plant in the garden and be responsible for (I almost always chose beets and carrots), then spending early mornings or evenings at sunset digging my fingers into the cool ground pulling weeds as my siblings complained a few rows down.
  • Eating anything my GG made.
  • Spending time at the cabin on Mt Graham, eating as many Twinkies as Grandpa could smuggle me.
  • Getting to paint a wall of the storage room any design I wanted (I chose a "Disco Forever" neon colored theme and drew pictures of my favorite sports.  It is still on the wall of my mom's storage room to this day, a perfect portrait of my 13 year old self)
  • Jumping on the trampoline at Great-Grandpa Allen's house, drinking homemade rootbeer in glass bottles, playing the marble game, and riding his stationary bike.
  • Sleepovers at Grandma & Grandpa's.  One night GG was away and Grandpa let me eat my desert before dinner, as long as I promised not to tell and I felt like it was a terrific secret between us that I cherished.  Sleeping on the trundle bed in Mickey Mouse sheets, listening to Grandpa type as I fell asleep.  Grandma making a full breakfast in the mornings, complete with postum to drink.
  • Grandma making Easter dresses every year (not to mention Halloween costumes, and play costumes)
  • No one else in my immediate family was very athletic, (though Charlie did play tennis and is also great at volleyball), but my GG played softball and volleyball and my grandpa played basketball and football, and they loved sports, and I loved to sleep over at their house and talk to them about sports.
  • Having my mom rock-a-bye me in the rocking chair.
  • Mom handing out cheesy family awards every year, I think I repeatedly won the "peacemaker" and "best snuggler" awards.
  • Water balloon volleyball, water balloon fights against the Battraws.
  • Hosting our own summer Olympics, complete with homemade medals.  The gymnastics competition was always fierce and usually provided at least one major injury each summer.
  • Playing Star Trek with my siblings.  I was always Diana Troy, and to this day, I still think I am a little psychic.  True Story.
  • Mom singing "Let us All Speak Kind Words to Each Other" and us just yelling louder.
  • Singing "Singing a Song is Fun To-Do" for our Family Home Evening song every single time.
  • Summer nights at the city softball fields, getting my white baseball pants dirty, eating a rope of licorice, and yelling "Hey Batter-Batter"
  • Christmas Traditions, the Jesus Stocking, making goodies for the neighbors, anonymously doing the 12 days of Christmas for someone every year, giving to those in need, dressing up every Christmas Eve for the Nativity.
  • The lava game, pretending the couch was a stage, and choreographing moves to all of Debbie Gibson & Paula Abdul's songs
  • "Mopping" the floor with my sister, Emily.  We would soak the whole linoleum and then use it as a slip and slide.
  • Using our chore of cleaning out the fridge as a good excuse to have a food fight.
  • Waiting for a cast list to go up.

  • Putting the Mickey Mouse tent up in the living room.
  • Being impatient for the grapes to ripen every year and fighting to see who would taste them first (when we knew good and well they'd still be sour).
  • Cul-de-sac baseball, and Ghost in the Graveyard, Redlight/Greenlight, Mother-May-I, Kick the Can, Sardines, Red Rover, and Hide & Go Seek.
Well, I said it would be a short list, and it is already too long, I am sure that to most people (other than my siblings), it probably wasn't a very interesting list.  But to me, it's happiness on paper, and I'm happy to have written it down somewhere.  Someday, when I'm visiting my mom and I have access to her photo albums, I'll scan photos that go with each of these memories, and go back and update this so that each memory has pictures to go with.  but for now, I have to make due with what I have copies of here in MN.
What about you?  What are your favorite childhood memories?

Friday, April 19, 2013

April Showers

Snow showers that is.  Yep, it is snowing outside while I type this.  Ugh.  Luckily we've also had rain intermittently the last couple weeks, which quickly washes the snow build up away, but once a week or every few days, we get more snow. 

Have I mentioned I'm ready for Spring?
Wow.  I know.  If I had a Super Hero name it would be The Complaining Wonder, or something like that, or maybe I'd be a villain, Dr Whines-A-Lot.  For the most part, it's been great to have seasons and the snow has been magical...during the winter.  I would just like to experience this lovely "Springtime" I've heard so much about.  In Phoenix we had 2 seasons, jeans and a sweater, and shorts and a T-shirt.  That was it.  So I'm anxious to get to experience the season I haven't here yet (we moved in summer, got to experience an awesome fall, a white winter....and the season that people here refer to as 'still winter').
The first week of April here was Spring Break.  Matt had no school or clinicals for a whole week (which will never happen again).  The rain came at the beginning of the week and washed away most of the snow.  It was still pretty cold, but we could actually see the ground!!  It's been months.  Unfortunately, the ground was a brown mushy sight, and all the trees are still bare, but we were hopeful that Spring might be on it's way!
Halfway through spring break, Matt's sister, Heather, flew out for 4 days.  It was so fun to have her here (even though I wasn't feeling very great for 2 of the days she was here...sorry for abandoning you to your brother H!! :)
Matt and the 2 big girls and I took a quick trip to Minneapolis to pick her up at the airport there.  While we were there we of course had to stop and pick up a few things at Ikea.   As usual, we bribed the girls with frozen yogurt.  They ate their sack lunches without complaint, and behaved while dad and I walked through Ikea, so they earned the coveted FroYo.
 Then we headed over to the Mall of America, the girls had never been and we had a little time to kill before Heather's flight came in.

 We told the girls that they could pick ONE ride to go on.  We're poor, remember?  Izzie really, really wanted the wonder pets ride, and eventually Lily agreed.
 Here they are, so excited to start!
 That enthusiasm quickly vanished once the ride started.  Lily loved it, but Iz screamed the whole time.  Feel free to laugh in the next few photos, we did.  A lot.  She really didn't appreciate us laughing, but seriously, how could we not?!

 Lily loved this Hello Kitty hat as we browsed through the stores.
Finally we picked up Heather and took her home!  We came home and quickly threw together dinner, and stayed up chatting!
The next day we took Heather and my mom downtown to check out the Mayo Campus and Matt's school buildings.
The Clinic has a series of "subways", which are underground walkways that connect all of the downtown buildings.  When Matt first told me about it, I pictured long, dark, dirty hallways.  Maybe that seems dramatic, but when people are walking through them in the horrible weather, I don't think they'd care much what it looks like.  It's warm and they can get to any of the downtown buildings after taking a parking garage elevator, without having to go outside to brave the snow.  So imagine my surprise the first time I had an appointment downtown and saw the spectacular artwork, and the clean and bright hallways!

The Gonda Building has a museum on the history of The Mayo Clinic, and in the front window they have a Pioneering Women display.  As a huge feminist, I really love this display.  I love that during a time when women's skills outside of house work were completely unacknowledged, the Mayo wives were essentially assisting physicians, and the first nurse anesthetists, and their husband's and sons recognized their skills.  I just really admire the legacy they created.

 Outside the Plummer Building, several of the bricks covering the outside have artwork etched into them.  This brick is St George and the Dragon, so of course my mom and I had to pose with it!
 We stopped by and took a tour of Matt's school department

Matt showed us his spot in the classroom.  Apparently your seat that you pick is a big deal.
 He showed us the lab

 And even demonstrated his intubation skills.


 Then we went next door to the Plummer Building, which is beautiful.  The floors, walls, and ceilings are all like artwork.  They remind me of the type of architecture you see in Europe. 

Even the drinking fountains were fancy, which really impressed Lily, she requested her portrait be captured with one.

 We took the girls in to see what we lovingly call "The Hogwart's Library"

 Here is everybody but me waiting outside the elevators.
 Then we went down to a free zoo that's about 15 minutes outside of town.  I love how much stuff is free here in Minnesota.  That is definetly a midwest thing, and I sure appreciate it!

  Several of the animals were still hibernating, but there were enough out and about to make the trip worth it.
 Matt's obsessed with the screaming goat videos that have been trending lately, and the girls kept screaming at the goats, convinced that they would scream back.

The girls got to touch a couple of snakes in the reptile exhibit, which they thought was great.

 And it even snowed a little while Heather was here.  These AZ girls were so excited to see it falling that I had to laugh at them!
 It was general conference weekend while Heather was here so we didn't get out to do much (plus over the weekend, I was feeling pretty crummy), but Heather did treat me to Five Guys on my way to drop her at the airport.  If you know me, you know that this is an occasion worth documenting.  I am a burger and fries girl to my core!
 After Spring Break ended and Heather went home, we tried to get back in the swing of things.  Matt started back in school, doing 5 days a week in the OR.  Lily and Izzie went back to school, and Kate wen back to being spoiled by Grandma!  Kate's fully invested in a dress up phase.  She wants to be a princess 100% of the time.
 Grandma also helped the girls make some finger puppet gloves that Nana sent for Easter, they had to be assembled and hot glued, so I was grateful that Grandma BlaBla stepped in to help the girls get them done.  They are a huge hit and we've watched LOTS of puppet shows!

 I had a birthday and Matt made me a birthday cake!!  It was his first ever attempted at cake making and I am pretty proud of him!  Awesome drops for him!
 My sister in law, Janeal, sent me the BIGGEST bday present filled with treats and beauty products (not pictured are things like, lotion, body scrub, etc).  Seriously, I cannot believe how packed full the package was and it arrived the afternoon of my birthday.  It was perfect!

 Me saying, "She knows me SO WELL!!"
 The kids were excited about the ring pops, and they went great with the tiara she sent.
 Perfect for me!

 My mom brought me a gift and the girls decorated the wrapping (after Katie destroyed the original wrapping about a week before my birthday).  This is the side Lily drew:
 And this is the side Iz drew:
 Inside was a Tshirt from my mom.  Super soft and comfy.
Way early my awesome brother, Charlie, sent me this T-shirt that has my true super hero name.  It says, "Anxiety Girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound".  Then the small print says, "Oh Gosh, these tights are too tight! I think I'm gonna die!!" (which is PERFECT for me.  I love it.  Thanks again, bro!)
 Then it was time for cake!
 Thanks daddy!

It was a great birthday!  Not pictured is the chair Matt got for me.  A week or 2 before my birthday he asked what I wanted and I said I wanted him to find a rocking chair for me on craigslist.  We had been borrowing one for years before we moved, and since coming to MN, I have really missed having one.  Well, a couple of days before my b-day he had me look at 2 different pictures, and went to see one in person.  It was an old LazyBoy rocker recliner, in good shape, FOR $20!!  He scooped it up and I could not be happier!!  Seriously, such a score and WAY better than I could've hoped for in our price range!  He also picked up a couple picture frames from Goodwill, because I have been talking about wanting to frame some of my artwork.

There were also a few people from the ward who brought by treats.  They were all yummy, and so sweet, and immediately devoured!

All in all it was a GREAT birthday! Here's to not yet being 30!!  :)