Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good women

This week I walked into my new OB's waiting room to find about a dozen women watching The Bold and the Beautiful. I soon overheard casual conversations about previous abortions and broken marriages. The room smelled of smoke. I am not exaggerating when I say that over half of the women were heavily tattooed, a third of them were pregnant teens, and all of them looked miserable. I felt like a child who, expecting a Disney fairy tale, had accidentally walked into an R-rated drama.

I was interested, later in the week, to read about some experiences that friends have had recently: one friend is tending her eight children and trying to sell her home while her husband begins his residency in another state; another friend, surprised by a quick labor, had to deliver her baby son on her bathroom floor; and another friend's mother tragically lost a finger in an accident. Yet each of these amazing women have expressed courage and optimism during their (unexpected and externally-caused) challenges. I feel great love for their examples. As I reflected further on these women, I realized another trait that each of them shares: each has amazing children. Kind, optimistic, obedient children! What a blessing these mothers give their families--because of their goodness, their children have also learned to 1) be moral in order to avoid unnecessary challenges and 2) be optimistic even during pressing trials. I doubt that the gloomy women in the OB office could have been raised by such women.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rained out

Yesterday we thought that we would take the kids down to D.C. Noticing the rain clouds, we wisely brought three umbrellas along, which would have been especially wise if we had remembered to take them out of the van, which we didn't. We were only mildly wet at the JFK memorial,
but by the time we came to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we were completely soaked! The rain was seriously pouring harder than a shower head.
After we ran the mile route back to the van, the chilled kids were left with, ahem, slightly decreased patience for our field trip. So after drying off in the car (and watching the storm pass by momentarily), they were only up for a fifteen-minute stop at Washington Monument
(with some bonus views!).So we'll have to make it to D.C. another time, which brings up a great point: if any of you dear friends are thinking about coming to the area for some sightseeing, we'd love to host! Seriously.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer fun

Lately I've felt like a schoolchild on summer vacation: there have been no practices, no meetings, no projects! So we've been savoring these last few days until Eric begins his residency, taking advantage of all kinds of Maryland fun.
This week the boys helped pick strawberries at a farm,
sampled them,
and helped make them into jam. (Zachary stuck around for the whole process and was actually a great help cutting off the stems.)
Later we hiked in Catoctin Mountain Park (where I swear the 2.8 mile trail was 5!),
supported the Orioles (with our gate-prize bucket hats),
and just hung out (aren't these inflatable pools the best?).
Next month I'll do some yard work, start a sewing project, and sign up to help in the schools. For now, I'm loving just being a mom!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Three weeks in ten pictures

May 18: We stop in Madison, Wisconsin, where the kids enjoy the (free!) zoo. We venture around the city and check out possible neighborhoods for our move next year.
May 19: How could we pass up this charming locally-owned Ohio hotel? We arrive in Maryland the next day.May 23: Eric receives his M.D. His dad, also a U of U Medical School graduate, hoods him.
May 25: Eric and I leave for a Northern European Capitals cruise. For the first four days, I cry every time I see young children because I miss my little ones.
May 26–29: We enjoy port stops in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki. In Copenhagen, we see the Christus statue that became the inspiration for Temple Square replica. After touring the Swedish Royal Palace, we sit and watch the sailboats (above). Helsinki's 1952 Olympic tower and underground Dome Church amaze us.
May 30–31: We tour St. Petersburg, where Eric acts as a handy Russian interpreter. Here, we pause to view the Baltic from Peterhof, Peter the Great's massive summer estate. We also explore the Hermitage and the Peter-Paul Fortress.
June 1–2: We take in Tallinn, Estonia and Gdansk, Poland. In Tallinn we rent a seven-seater bicycle and become instant celebrities as we clamor down the cobblestone streets (above). A gypsy child in Poland chases me down the street trying to spit on me.
June 3–4: We enjoy Oslo, where we see one of four originals of Munch's The Scream and actual Viking vessels. On our way out, we observe the Norwegian fjords from our balcony. June 5: We tour Copenhagen again. This time we venture out on the corkscrew spire of the Church of Our Savior, which offers views of the entire city. We fly back to Maryland, where I cling to the precious boys.
June 7: We finalize lease papers for a cute townhome. We'll move there next month.