happy anniversary!

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I can’t believe it’s only been 4 years since I walked down the aisle to meet my beloved at the altar! It seems much longer, but in a good way. :-) I have loved being married to you, Paul!

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(I had planned to write more, but our wireless router is about dead in the water… I have spent a very frustrating morning trying to get websites to load!)



Lurtl

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In honor of my little brother’s 25th birthday yesterday, I am posting this lighthearted story I wrote during my senior year of high school. It was inspired by him, and if you knew him back then, then you’ll understand exactly where I was coming from. :-) I love you, AJ!

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Lurtl
By Ashley P., April 2001

Alex lounged in the chair, listening to the speaker. It was getting late, and he feared that he was already beginning to change. Dang, he thought to himself. They’ll discover my true identity! I’ve got to do something to divert their attention.

Alex stuck two pencils into his ears. Trying to focus on the speaker, he ignored the quizzical looks the others gave him. This isn’t working, he thought. He began making faces at them. Ha. And they think I’m just weird.

Soon Alex was on his way home, juggling the pencils that had been in his ears. The all-you-can-eat buffet at the restaurant had only filled one of his two stomachs so he was hungry. He felt hot, and his black-rimmed glasses kept slipping down his nose. Alex couldn’t help crossing his eyes and giving alien grins. He always did that when his true identity began surfacing.

Safe in his room, Alex booted his computer. He had fooled his Earth parents into buying it for “homework”. They were so impressed with his computer skills. Secretly, he had installed a high-tech system that enabled him to communicate with the Mother Ship. Computer genius, ha. This was average compared to most creatures from his planet.

With a few furtive glances over his shoulder, he put on the headset. A quick keystroke auto-bypassed the main system and dumped him into the communication network. He lived for “mars.exe” while he was on Earth. Without it, he wouldn’t be able to report his findings, or replenish the vitamins that helped him stay human.

Alex connected to the Mars Control Center, which was disguised as a Russian satellite in Earth’s orbit. There, he spoke with the General Commander, who was in charge of all alien spies on Earth.

“Og crok Larug gog-Lurtl,” he said into the microphone, identifying himself as Secret Spy Lurtl. He then began to transfer the data he had gathered during the day. As he spoke, his skin changed to the purplish-green color native to most Martians. His gray eyes narrowed and turned yellow, with fluorescent green rays protruding from the center.

After his conversation, Lurtl browsed around in the Virtual Mars Control Center, where he relished the hour he spent every night in his own culture and tongue. He watched part of a Martian TV show and chatted with some old friends. Lurtl was signing off when his door flew open. There stood his Earth sister, Candie.

“Who were you talking to?” she demanded.

“Me?” he tried to say, but the word came out in Martian. “Guk?”

“Your skin… and your eyes…” Candie stammered. Hey eyes widened like saucers. “It’s true!”

“Shh!” Lurtl cautioned. He pulled a small bottle out of a hidden hole in the wall. The label read “Goluk lump – sekul duk” which meant, in English, “Human vitamins – Once a day”. He popped one into his mouth; his skin and eyes returned to their normal Earth color.

“Whoa, what was that?” Candie said, amazed.

Lurtl – Alex – said softly, “Don’t tell anyone. Yes, you figured it out. I am from Mars. I’m here as a spy. I’ve taken the guise of your brother Alex to complete my work. That’s all I’m going to tell you, because I don’t want to endanger you or your family.”

“Whoa…” said Candie. After a pause, she consented. “Okay, I’ll be quiet.” To an outsider, she appeared to be taking it well, but the truth was, she had known it all along.


dear Savannah: eleven months

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Watching Daddy play soccer

Dear Savannah,

Today you are 11 months old. I can’t believe you are almost a year old! I know I say this every month, but you are getting so grown-up!

I forgot to mention this in last month’s letter, but you have two teeth now! They came in with nary a fuss. It makes sticking my fingers in your mouth a little more painful, though! But your teeth help you enjoy lots of tasty things. You don’t care for the pureed foods, so I have been giving you soft fruits, vegetables, and other snacky foods. You love bananas and also avocados. You also enjoy goldfish and cheerios. I gave you yogurt the other day, and you immediately spit it out. Your favorite, though, is Mommy’s milk.

You continue to reach really far for your toys, but you haven’t started crawling yet. You still absolutely hate your tummy, so you don’t spend much time there. You are content to just sit happily and play with whatever is around you. The doctor wants us to take you to physical therapy, and I’m not sure yet if we will. I want to let you grow and develop in your own time, but I also know a little encouragement might be good for you!

Swollen eyes from crying

This month you had not one, but two emergency room visits. :-( The first one was really scary – I am SO glad you’re okay! You screamed for so long, while they were taking x-rays and doing the procedure. It was heartbreaking to see you all alone on the little bed with wires attached. The second was less scary, but still a long night. I am so glad you’re okay and healing nicely! I want you around for a long time!

One thing I’ve noticed recently is how much you love to dance! You like dancing in church when we sing, and you also dance whenever you hear music – even if it’s just a theme song for a tv show! It’s so cute, and you have me dancing too. You will also pick up your rattling toys and bounce them along with the beat. You continue to be a happy and smiley baby. You have created a fake laugh that cracks me up.

At the petting zoo!

You had your first visit to the zoo this month. We got an annual pass, and so far we’ve been twice. You seem to enjoy looking at the animals. You also had your first 4th of July! We went downtown to watch the fireworks, but it was so crowded that we ended up going up to your Daddy’s office in CNN. We watched the fireworks from there. You really liked them! You got really excited, and weren’t scared at all.

You’ve grown out of the cosleeper so you have been sleeping all the time in your crib! You still wake up during the night, and often come into bed with Mommy, which you like. I miss seeing you asleep next to me! I know this is the necessary part of seeing little babies grow up, though. As much as I miss those days when you were so tiny, I am also enjoying you interacting with us and learning about the world around you. You’re becoming more and more a little girl, and I can’t believe this is my last month with you before you’re a year old!

Love, Mommy

Happy baby!


chick-fil-a stalker

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So recently a few weird things have been happening.

The other day, I saw a plastic bag by the step at our carport door. Thinking it was a bag that I had used to clean out a bit of trash from the car, I ignored it. The next day, we were leaving and the bag was on top of the step. Paul said it wasn’t his, and I knew I hadn’t moved it, so I picked it up. Inside was a cute Chick-Fil-A “Eat Mor Chikin” cow. There wasn’t anything else in the bag. We were both a little baffled.

Then yesterday, Paul went to work and found a VeggieTales DVD in between the storm door and our front door. These DVDs are currently being handed out in the kids meals at Chick-Fil-A. It was still in the plastic wrap.

So it seems we have a little stalker! Or… a Saint Nicholas? Either way it makes me happy. :-)