Little tree

A spider lives inside my head . Who weaves a strange and wondrous web . Of silken threads and silver strings . To catch all sorts of flying things . Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles . And specks of dried-up tears . And dust of dreams that catch and cling . For years and years and years. 
                                                                                                                                                  Shel Silverstein
Loving this.


Jumping the shark

After years of threatening to throw Spencer the World's Most Awkward Surprise Party with only people he sorta-kinda knows on the invite list, he went behind my back and actually threw me a real one.
What a jerk.

Photo Jan 24, 12 18 11 PM

The only 2 items on the night's agenda were to (1) eat crusty food then (2) sit around and ridicule me,
with everyone I love in attendance, plus a special surprise guest flown in all the way from Midwest, USA.
I may have cried, but I can't be certain. 

It was one of the best, most overwhelming feelings ever. Which feels like a gross understatement, but there's really no other words for suddenly being faced with the reality that all of the people you love most, not only kinda-sorta like you back, but really know and understand who you are - right down to your quirky eating habits and favorite trashy television shows.
It was perfect,
perfect in every possible way that matters.

Photo Jan 20, 11 52 22 PM2012-01-20-20-19-32-937

Now a week later, reading the party planning emails and I'm feeling just as touched by them as I did at the Roast itself. - I've summarized the highlights of the correspondence below for posterity's sake (no, that's funny. I just did it for me).
S: ok girls. i need some help planning a 30th birthday for kayleen.
this much i know: she enjoys a crowd, likes loud and inappropriate conversation, and i'm pretty sure she'd want to be wearing a tiara on her special night. actually i'm positive. who can get us a tiara???  
S: a roast of some sort would be fun... what awkward stories personality quirks/flaws/etc. can we all ridicule her for? ... don't be shy. 
Aft: I know Kay's would love a good roasting... I've heard her make the comment that she would love a reason for people to get together and talk about her. 
Ty: This looks promising. 
Sar: i think you need to celebrate what kays loves...
a theme party where everyone dresses up like one of the real housewives and she has to guess who's who, she likes uncomfortable things, any game that encourages lying, cocktails (monster+lemonade), and friends. 
M: crusty food she likes... beef jerky, gummy bears, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, soft pretzels, monster/Mtn dew cocktail, taco bell tacos.  
C: a giant game of mafia - and we all agree to get super into it,
we just set up a table with a giant puzzle and let her have at it,
or a really uncomfortable game of "would you rather ... ?"
D: housewives playing in the background, abernethy on skype, a birthday song solo from me complete with an interpretive dance to go along with it... a mean game of mafia (or any other game that makes people squirm in their seats) 
S: ...who can we get a tiara from?! 
J: i'll spare you my witty rhetoric and just offer a resounding "here, here" to all the afore mentioned replies. 
S: ...she's been joking about a surprise party for years. But, no worries. She doesn't suspect a thing. She's so duuuuummmbbb!!!

That's love, friends. Real love.


Keep your head in the game, Son

Spencer coached O and E's soccer team this fall.
It was exactly how you'd imagine a bunch of 4-7yr boys chasing a ball back and forth on an open field would be.
Owen had a lot of fun, Spencer loved it (he really did) and wants to be Coach Spencer again,
and Elliot was strictly there for the postgame treats.

The last picture was taken right before the opposing team made the game winning goal.
Rolled right between the post and his butt without him even noticing it. - This scenario sums up his personality perfectly. He lives in his own little world where I'm guessing ninjas, pirates, and superheros reside as well.
I love this about him.

(All pics were taken by the Guinns [Thank you so much!])
lelly kicks
Beep Bow Boop 
way to hustle #11
Way to hustle #11 
Coach Spencer & Coach Kyle & a Sonic Drink giving the boys a riveting pep talk 
Game Treat Huddle. Lookin' alive, boys!  
parent post game tunnel
Postgame Parent Tunnel - 2nd time through I gave a spank. Owen loved going through twice. 
yeah, this seems about right
Yeah, this seems about right


Hello new year

I am a poor boy too
I've decided there should be some sort of medal for having all of the house laundry done, put away, without a single linen in the dirty clothes basket. 'Cause on the rare occasion I'm able to make this happen, I feel like a winner - and I'll shamelessly relish in even the smallest achievement.

So in accordance with this - appeasing my winning spirit and inflating my sense of accomplishment - I'd like to consider every year survived from here on out, with self and children mentally/emotionally/physically intact, as my grandest endeavor yet; my very own Mt Everest each new year.

Feel free to express your congratulations the next time you see me for making it to the summit, once again, with spirits and limbs attached (believe it).
Onward and upward.

2012, I resolve to...
Be more tolerant
Be less worldly-minded


Now we're here and now is fine

Sometime around the end of last month Spencer and I celebrated a whole nine years of he and I, me and him, togethery usness over a plate of chicken and waffles.
It was as grand as we'd prefer it.

I'm forever intrigued by the unique dynamic a relationship develops over time; how a couple fights, what their daily ebb and flow is like. It's a balancing act proven difficult to fine tune. That interests me.
There's also this sort of whimsical allure I feel at the idea of two very distinct personalities finding a way to mold pieces of themselves together into a seemingly third singular identity. A pair.

So in regards to us, he and I, the ideal would to always be much more of a pair now than the year past, but not ever as much of a pair we hope to be by the year next.

I like the thought of that.
You are one in a million (I love you so), 
let's watch the flowers grow.


Christmas story

that's where the party is
Several times this month I've found our nativity's characters all bunched together under the roof of the manger. I then take the time to spread them all back out again in their appropriate spots according to story, and mere physics.
I finally asked Jo why she keeps piling them on top of each other and she responded,
"That's where the party is."
"There.", under the roof of the manger.
I think she gets it.


Elliot knows karate

A full minute of ninja tricks. Put your helmets on.


one of these things is not like the other

Spencer was working out of town during Owen's 6th birthday last month.
I was simultaneously consumed with nursing clininicals and ended up being both physically and mentally absent most days.

I performed a solo of happy birthday for him, double time, en route to our regular morning drop-off. And that was it. (I'm not proud of it)
I tried making up for it days later by barely pulling off a surprise party at the first chance I had to breathe (who needs sleep). He was surprised, and grateful for several days following. - That's really all I ask.

Happy late birthday, brother. Thanks for hanging in there with me.


halloween 2011

this is fun.

this is even more fun.
this is fun