Before I Turn 40 Goal #1: Marathon
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April in Review: In Like a Lion, out Like a...


Snowy tree 2011 

(the last day of April we woke up to this.) (However, no branches were broken in this snow storm.) And so continues the bout of strange and disappointing springs. All of my hyacinths are finished and I hardly got to enjoy them it's been so cold this month! In further news, here are our monthly details:


Is in the habit of saying "Mom, you forgot something," every once in awhile. The thing I forgot is always a hug.

Got to go on a field trip to the animal shelter. (I refrained from telling him that is where Emily’s last moments were.) He got to hold a kitten, which was definitely the highlight of the experience. He is a kitty lover!

Had his first-ever sleep over, when Kendell was in the hospital. Three + weeks later, he is still talking about it.

Is doing a little better at the sleeping thing. There’ve been a few nights he’s actually slept the entire night. (Including the night of the sleep over.)

Loves, loves, loves going to the park with his brothers. He’s become an expert monkey-bar doer and has the blister scars to prove it. When he came home with his first enormous blister he was terrified that cutting the skin off would hurt. Some gentle machinations with the clipper/scissor thing later, he was much happier.


When he was at his aunt Cindy’s house one day while Kendell was at the hospital, he took a pretty good fall from his bike. His elbow and shoulder got the worst of it, leaving him with three enormous, bloody scrapes. Lots of bandaids were required because Nathan is a scab picker. He’s finally scabless but likely will have scars.

Suffered a bout of the stomach flu that’s been hard to get over. He went back to school the next day but has had a few vague stomach aches here and there.

Has fallen in love with mahatma (saffron rice). We make burritos out of it at our house, with black beans and cheddar cheese. So far he’s the only kid I’ve been able to convert to this deliciousness.

Is reading Summerland by Michael Chabon. Everytime I see him reading, I tell him how cool it is to read Chabon!


April is officially track season, and Jake was very dedicated. He didn’t miss a single practice. He liked doing his extra workouts at the park, so he’d take Kaleb and Nathan with him. They all got in the habit of singing "I will follow you into the park" (a la the Plain White T’s song) when they left

Is not excited about lawnmowing season, although he has graduated, this year, to being able to mow with his MP3 player. (Apparently there is some lawn mowing curriculum that only husbands know the detail of, and not until you’re 13 can you mow and have music.)

Still takes great delight in the fact that he’s taller than me. In fact, he seems to get taller than me daily. He’s gotten so tall that he needs a new church suit, he’s all gangly arms & long legs & broadening shoulders. I’m still the boss of him, though, no matter how tall he gets!

Is making me crazy because all of a sudden he doesn’t want to read. WTH? Not reading is foreign I cannot even conjure up an appropriate simile. Nothing is grabbing his readerly soul. (This is completely freaking me out.) I picked up Orson Scott Card’s Pathfinder last week and am dearly & desperately hoping this will cure his literary anomie.


At the beginning of the month Haley tried out for student council. She didn’t win, but the sting of that went away when she was asked to prom. Then the Prom Angst began: over the shoes, the earrings, the dress (she ordered a green one but they sent a purple one instead), the date itself. Prom was last weekend and not only did she survive, she had fun!

For spring break, she went to Seattle with her BFF Nikki. They did all the touristy stuff and she fell in love with traveling. I hope life brings her lots of opportunities for travel.

She turned 16. While she still isn’t very interested in getting her driver’s license, she’s excited to be of dating age and went on two dates the weekend after her birthday. I am loving that she’s social & outgoing & capable but not boy crazy in the least. I hope that lasts.

For English she’s reading Great Expectations. As I am not a Charles D. fan, I’ve not been as much help to her with this assignment. I DID buy my own copy to read along with her, but alas: I have yet to crack the dang thing open.

She’s discovered (or perhaps rediscovered) Coldplay. Since I like the group too, we’ve had some cool talks about music.


my "diet" has nearly been undone by Pepsi throwbacks. I cannot explain how delicious they are to me. The exactly right level of sweetness, bubble, and flavor. I was surprised when I tasted regular Pepsi at how different the flavors are. Luckily they don’t have Pepsi Throwback as a fountain drink or I’d be in trouble.

I made a quilt for my niece Lyndsay’s new baby, who is due anytime now. I had a moment of epiphany at her shower that I want to blog about, but I’ll add: the quilt was cute!

My back pain is slowly getting better. If I sit for a long time at work, it inevitably aches, but this just means I’ve been trying to move around more. I was sort of afraid to really start running a lot, but as I’ve got Ragnar coming up, I need to anyway—and so far, running does NOT make my back hurt. Happy day!

I can’t stop listening to Adele’s new CD, 21. I love her because her voice is so powerful and distinctive, her lyrics are interesting, and she’s not a stupid blonde waif. I admire a bit of intelligence in a musician! Nearly completely on the other music spectrum, I’ve also been listening to a lot of Prince. Oddly enough, Becky has been too. We both discovered just how naughty "Little Red Corvette" is. I never picked up on what the lyrics really mean until this month. DUH! But it’s a great song to run to!

I've been working on a quilt of my own. Yes, not one to give away to anyone. Just one for my front room. More details when I finish it.

Since April included Earth Day, here’s a little shout-out of gratitude to my neighbor, who lets me share his recycling can. It makes me untenably happy to recycle—anxious and annoyed that it’s not easier to do here, but still.


After his surprise surgery, he took two weeks off of work, but is now pretty much recuperated and back to normal. Except, he gets tired really easily and can’t lift as much as he normally does. The surgeon told him it might take him up to three months before he feels back to normal again. (Apparently that really high bilirubin level is hard to work out of the system.) Have I mentioned that we are both so, so grateful for good medical insurance? I count this as one of my biggest (financial and peace-bringing) blessings. He might not make a ton of money, but we do have that.

His current musicians of choice: Katy Perry and Bon Jovi. Sort of a strange combo, but whatever!

This probably should go in May’s review, but as we worried about it all April I’m putting it here. Back in...I don’t know, last September? June? sometime last year, the company he works for, Novell, was purchased by Attachmate. It took a long time for the sale to be finalized, but it finally was in April. Today was the day everyone was dreading and worrying about: layoffs. And not just a few here and there...brutal layoffs. 700+ people. Kendell is safe (so far) but gah, my stomach just aches for all those families whose lives were turned upside down today. I have been there before, and constantly fear being there again, and have nothing but empathy to send their way. I nearly feel guilty for feeling grateful that Kendell’s job was spared. Deep breath.

How was your April???



I didn't know that Pepsi Throwback had a different taste. I thought it was just retro packaging.

The things you learn....

Becky K

Ohmygosh, Britt and I were reading your blog at the same time! And I saw Britt today in a book exchange-exchange. The universe is telling me something... :)

Soda has been my downfall this month too. I went from none, to one a week, to one-ish a week, to EVERY DAY last week. Two if I could manage it. I was good today and had none.

Love your month in review format. Keep doing them!!

Chris S.

Whew - so glad to hear Kendell's job is safe! I've been worried about you guys.

I want to see Haley's prom pics as I'm sure you took some :) (That way I can live vicariously through her)

Ok - Prince must be in the air as I've been listening to him a lot lately too! I love the song "Rasberry Beret"


Yeah, you need to post pictures of Prom. I'm sure it won't creep Haley out that these ladies who've never met her feel such a vested interested in her Prom Shoes...


I also love the month in review posts - it feels so intimate and yet I always come away with things I want to comment on.

Like: Have never tried Michael Chabon. Now feel I must.

Great Expectations was my favorite book in hs. Then again, I think I've always loved Dickens (just haven't read him much in the last 15 years - other, newer things seem so much more interesting). Do read GE with Haley!

As for Jake, I'm thinking there must be some unwritten code that teen boys express declaring reading to be uncool. They are NUTS! Bryce, however, has surprised me recently. He admitted he is enjoying Romeo and Juliet because they chose him to read the part of Romeo and because there are lots of times where only he and the teacher seem to get the jokes, while all the other kids are scratching their heads (see appeal to his pride and his intellect!). A classmate (when reading about Bryce's confession on FB) declared that Bryce is a riot.

We, too, wish it weren't so darn difficult to recycle where we live. For starters, there's only one monopolizing company and they charge a wad for the service. Then, after paying them to pick up our recycling, they continually failed to pick it up. GRRR. Eventually, we told them their business sucked (not in those exact words) and have strayed into the non-recycling habits. Mother-in-law always tries to shame us for this. We try to make her happy by saving up a few bags for her to take home whenever she visits (yeah, we send the m-i-l home with TRASH!). And now that f-i-l is gone, we will be having far more of these visits and they get longer. She came twice in April and will be back again on May 20th, which also marks the one year anniversary of her youngest son's suicide - so I'm sure that will be a difficult visit for us all (they are all difficult for me).

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