Sunday, December 27, 2009

christmas moments

1. The highlight of Christmas Eve? I'll give you a hint. It was NOT the family worship service. I'd love to say it was, but I'd be lying. It WAS... drum roll please... RM going #2 in the big boy potty at Aunt Antsy's house. The entire family gave him a standing ovation.

2. Junebug received a GLOW-WORM for Christmas from our sweet neighbors. I haven't seen one in 20 years. It is so cute. Tonight i turned the lullaby on in her crib and she just STARED at it with fascination. Thanks "Honey" dog!

3. RM upon seeing J'bug in her Christmas dress from Great Aunt Billie and examining the smocking: "Reindeer! Santa! Tall Tree! Junie pretty."

4. Hosting Christmas brunch at our house for the first time. Quiche, Mimosas, Grits and Field Greens with berries & goat cheese. Pops reading A Cup of Christmas Tea. Oma's handmade stockings. Uncle Mombus' calming presence. Divine.

5. The mountains welcoming us with open arms Christmas night. RM actually trembling with delight upon the sight a big boy tricycle! Lamb with KK & Grandad, and a wood burning fire popping and spitting while winds shook the house.

6. Evelyn & Floyd having time for just the two of us. Dinner with friends on the way home. June laughing out loud for maybe the third time in her life. People enjoying it with us.

What is the saying? Life is good?
It is. It really, really is.

Gibbs Gazette 2009

*** spoiler alert ***

if you have not received, and would like to receive a paper copy of the gazette, puh-leeese let me know. i would hate to disappoint anyone with the electronic version if said person had their heart set on pulling the card from the envelope. that being said, i do have two young children, so my heart is not set on making sure that everyone gets exactly what they want... i.e. - said hard copy via snail mail. i assure you no ill-will is meant by the oversight.

*** on to the scheduled year end review, Floyd-style ***



Dearest Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Gibbs Family!

What a year! The economy worsened; Tebow cried – again – and a lot; we lost Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett & Billy Mays in, like, 36 hrs; and Oprah announced she will leave millions of desperate women in a lurch as early as 2011… This one really kept us on our toes.

It was a pretty eventful year not only for our country but also for our little family. It began in an excited headlong pitch: We stepped into the ring with our gloves on, so to speak.

Winter 2009: I tore the kitchen to pieces on a whim and, assisted by my brother-in-law, rebuilt it in a few days, before flying to LA to record. Danielle was working in the office with her chin set and the pragmatic, slightly annoyed work ethic of a no- nonsense expectant mother. Red Marshall reached forward in time and, with a clean jerk, wrested the “terrible twos” out of its appropriate place in childhood to claim them for his own as a 16-month-old.

Spring 2009: We dug our heels in and awaited the birth of our daughter. We showed no fear, no hesitation. But it wasn’t enough…we felt we hadn’t truly been challenged. My wife shook her fist at 2009. “We will renovate the basement! Right...NOW!”

Summer 2009: At the height of the upstate summer, when 7 am feels like the Seventh Circle of Hell and you can’t bring yourself to imagine 2pm, my wife, now great with child; our son, now showcasing the energy of a radioactive hummingbird; and I, dangerously short on dream fuel after the reality of “touring” had kicked me in the chin, moved into my in-laws’ house while the construction crew tore our basement asunder.

We barely had time to unpack when, from the West, I heard the thundering of hooves, and a herd of the wild and unbroken Colorado Clan descended upon the in-laws’ house. Within a week there were nine humans under the same roof, many of them under five…. There was no peace. None. I sought clemency in Canada as a hastily booked tour took me away.

In late July our daughter, June Evelien Gibbs, was born. She was gorgeous and dangerous. She screamed for three months without ceasing. We parted ways with sanity and decency. We saw neither sun nor moon. There was only screaming. Then one day in October, as a ship breaks from a perilous gale into sunlight, she was silent. We reunited with sleep & humanity.

Fall 2009: We moved back to our home to find it dramatically changed. I still drop trash on the floor in a kitchen corner, where I am sure our garbage was once stationed. We transitioned into a steady and peaceful lull. Red Marshall began cultivating an escalating obsession with lawn equipment and tools, and a now serene and observant Junebug watches us all with her impossibly beautiful eyes…they remind me of someone.

blessings to you.

Floyd, for all of us.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Girl at print shop gave me a funny look and asked me some bizarre question. "Oh, you mean from the gazette? Right, well I can explain. Our humor is well, weird"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear RM, the past 2 nights you have climbed out of your crib. Thought it was a fluke - it is not. You are the first of the 10 cousins to do it. I am not ready.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

gazetting

if you know what The Gazette is, then you might like to know that i commissioned the '09 edition tonight and Floyd worked up a draft that left tears streaming down my cheeks. if i'm the only person who laughs at it, i'm okay with that. because my husband is the funniest man on the planet. and i am a better person because of his perspective on our little slice of the world.

Monday, December 07, 2009

giving thanks... a little late


we spent our Thanksgiving Holiday in the mountains. While two years ago there was the 'sleep-walking incident' and last year there was the 'tree farm mud incident', this year seemed relatively mishap free!


Aunt Amy & Uncle Ole were home from Washington state!


Grandad gave scooter rides multiple times each day.


Our pretty girl got to wear her beautiful day gown from KK.


And we even managed to get a Gibbs' family photo taken! Yahoo.


There was a party for the glowing parents-to-be.


Let me tell you, making sure the two year old kept his grubby paws off of his cousin-to-be's gifts was no easy task.


Fortunately there were distractions for him such as roasting marshmellows!


See all the fun? Note the Evelyn & Floyd family unit sequestered in the corner.



And lastly, proof that the boy is still giving "Thumb Kisses" to his sister. And other babies actually. But mostly to J-bug. I actually don't think he knows how to 'kiss' her without his thumb in his mouth.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Floyd brought the Christmas tree in the house; wielding the large, bailed evergreen precariously through the front door and past the stairwell.

RM: "Oh shit."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who knew it was possible for siblings to be so different. June's four month stats: 12lbs 2oz. 18th percentile. (For reference, RM was almost 18lbs - 97th %!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

current musings + amusing reflections = this post

I ran this morning. For the first time in a coon's age. Or at least, the first time i was running for pleasure in a coon's age. I have run, but only out of necessity. I have to admit, I felt a little bit silly and a little bit fun in my running tights. My hip is reminding me that childbirth was not that long ago. But my hot shower felt so gratifying... Ahh.

The baby has a slightly elevated temp, excessive drool, and moderate fussiness. Call nurse like paranoid mother. "Why yes. She is 4 months. No, I hadn't considered that. Yes, I suppose she is within the normal range for beginning teething." Second child is growing too fast.

I was thinking about my office today. The financial advisors moved out a couple of months ago. So no more akward bluetooth moments in the hall. And I always get the 'good stall' in the bathroom - the one with good lighting, and a flush mechanism that works. Oh yeah, and they put in a refurbished snack machine. It's still directly adjacent to the mens' restroom.

Despite our massive renovations, there is still a duct-tape X above my bed. It's nice.

Junie hasn't rolled over yet. I love it. I want her to stay still as loooong as possible. I always thought Red's lack of mobility was due to his enormous size, but now I'm stumped. Because Junie is a peanut.

Friday, November 13, 2009

bright eyes

coy: (koi) adj. Affectedly and usually flirtatiously shy or modest.


Another one from Rebekah... I am serious, if you need a photographer, and you live on the eastern seaboard, she's AMAZING. Lives in Virginia, has camera, will travel. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

with a knick-knack, paddy-whack, give the dog a bone...



special alert: Jim Hargate, III seems to have not-so-good luck on Friday the Thirteenth. One such Friday the 13th last year, he was attacked by a raccoon. In broad daylight. This year, he got picked up by animal control and taken to the humane society. Are you kidding me? I mean, look at this guy. Animal Control? Whatever. $50 later... and we can resume the previously posted item.

Just thought I should provide proof that the old man is alive and well. Our fabulous photographer friend can capture his good nature like no other. And special thanks to Pecan Pie Puppies for bestowing this handsome guy upon us three years ago. He is so good.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Evelyn: "RM, what did you do at school today?"

RM: "obey."

Hmmm. I hope so.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

a really nice reason to celebrate...



This weekend, ten years ago, Evelyn & Floyd had their first official 'date' together. He was charming. She was smitten. The stars alligned. Sha-zam. We had lots of fun exploring Greenville together as a 17 and 18 year old, and it is wonderful to be able to enjoy this same city together ten years later.

comparisons?

In 1999 there wasn't much happening downtown. So we had a skeeball tournament at Frankies, played HORSE on the indoor basketball court at Oshmans, and ate dinner with some friends' family. The highlight? Said friends' grandmother asking if we were engaged.

In 2009 there is a LOT happening downtown. We strolled around enjoying original artwork, the brisk fall evening air, and a divine dinner at the American Grocery restaurant. The highlight? A babysitter: feeding and bathing and playing with the kids.

My date? He's still very charming.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Go.
VOTE.

You've got til 7pm.
Fulfill your civic duty!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Highlands Halloween


While visiting with KK, Grandad, and Martha this weekend, we headed over to Highlands to take part in the fall festivities!


Eating a Sweet-Tart! Yummy Momma. "It's Good."


Huck Finn, or Tom Sawyer, or a Farmer... whichever you prefer. And a red hot chili pepper. Cutie-Patootie.


Pete and Repeat.


We tricked, we treated. It was A LOT to take in for RM. He stood and stared a lot.


This straw hat has also been seen before during the Cinco De Rojo. We're still getting some milage Hawk & Lisa!

Monday, October 26, 2009

this might not interest anyone else.

For posterity, i'm recording a few things in this virtual diary as it were. (sidebar: our kids are going to have such different methods of retrieving information about their childhood with all these blogging young parents, eh? what say you?) so anyway, here is a rambling of sort... because i have a feeling my memory will fade much more quickly than i would prefer.

J is three months old. last night she made all these goofy, gurgly grins for her daddy for a good ten minutes or so, while constantly trying to keep his gaze fixed on her and batting her bright eyes at him. suddenly, tears welled up in my eyes, and the last 2.5 months of screaming faded away. I felt a little more at ease, a little less stressed, a lot more in love with her, and suddenly very aware that we have A DAUGHTER. who is also a sister, and a cousin. And she maybe someday may be a wife, possibly a mother, or an aunt.

For the last few months I've thought about this girl in terms of our role as parents, or RM's role as a big, doting brother. and her as a colicy, lactose-intolerant, constipated little babe. and once the crying stopped, and her digestive system started to embrace my dairy-free lifestyle changes, i'm realizing what an amazing and rich ride we are in for the next few years.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

these are a few of my favorite things




yesterday afternoon, RM awoke from his nap and yelled, "mommy!"

i knew exactly what to expect when i entered.

"mommy! Wisten!!!" he exclaimed.

"Reddy, i hear that! daddy is using his blower outside."

We went outside, RM squinting in the sunlight, trying to keep his bleary eyes open to see one of his favorite pieces of landscaping equipment hard at work.

when he saw his own toy blower (thank you Black & Decker, you people are geniuses) the excitement just overtook him.

"Daddy, Daddy, CHEERS!!!"

They clinked the blowers together, and happily worked side by side.

bedtime stories





Now that J'bug has decided not to scream every evening without ceasing, she can join us for story time. Please don't get some crazy idea that this serene moment is a nightly occurance in our household. Hah. But it made me think about how delightful it will be to read to them both more frequently as they grow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

so i can't tickle and take video at the same time

video

cousins

so, yesterday was my birthday. Floyd had to be out of town in NYC for a big show, and he has another radio interview up there today (wa-hoo!) But anyway, i had a lovely day with reminders from friends and family that i am dearly loved and loved well.

aunt nancy and cousins O,G, & C all came to spend the night! On a school night! I was so excited, i think i called her 4 times in one hour to find out if she was close. (and naturally, she had left her cell phone at home. hah.)

anyway, last night O announced to me, "Aunt Dan Dan, thank you for having us over. I'm SO excited! More excited than G."

Things that I loved about my day:

1. Lunch with co-workers whom I value highly.
2. A friend's mom who kept June for me and loved her all day while i worked.
3. Teachers at RM's school who took the time to call me and tell me there were milk and egg products in the lunch i packed for him. They are better than I am.
4. Having a tickle fight with RM, hearing his EXHAUSTED laugh.
5. Putting three kids in the tub together (O, G, & RM).
6. Listening to said three little musketeers giggle ridiculously while contained in the tub.
7. Absolutely TERRIBLE serenades over the phone of Happy Birthday from parents, husband, etc. Just because Floyd is a musician doesn't mean he can sing at 7am over the phone when he hasn't slept much. And just because Floyd is a musician doesn't mean his parents can sing. That's right - i'm calling all of you out! But loved EVERY second of it.
8. My mom stopping by and seeing me, N, and the 5 kiddos! Soooo great.
9. RM at the breakfast table, unexpectedly saying, "Happy, To You!" even though obviously he had no idea it was my birthday.
10. Having my sister to laugh with in my house on a cozy fall evening.
Going to sleep with my heart full and 5 babies asleep in the house. Delightful.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Signs we're aging:

Floyd: "I like those shoes."

Evelyn: "You should, you gave them to me for Christmas."

Signs we're aging:

Floyd: "I like those shoes."

Evelyn: "You should, you gave them to me for Christmas."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

i think the heavens opened, God reached down, and patted me on the back

okay, so that title might be a bit overkill and blasphemous, but seriously...

this chicken noodle soup right here?

it'll make you wanna slap your momma.

have no fear mom, that is just an expression meaning, do something really stupid because you are so overwhelmed. i would never want to do such a thing. even after tasting my insanely delicious soup.

first. for those of you who aren't aware: i hate cooking.

there.
i said it. and it doesn't hurt one bit.

but.

i hate even more not being able to feed my family.
which creates a bit of a conundrum.

i could go on and on about this conundrum... the vicious cycle of empty pantry and bare fridge fiascos... the time during my first year of marriage when i fed Floyd some 'dinner' and a friend at the table said, "Dude, do you want me to take you to Taco Bell?" (This kind of embarassing moment doesn't dim well for such an unconfident cook.) Anyway... like i said... i could go on and on but i won't. lest i loose some of you valuable readers forever. So...

INSERT: lightbulb-going-off-in-my-head at age almost-28, and realizing that i have SISTERS... with insanely good gifts... that i did not get. And this spotlight is gonna go to Shinny bin. The Toot. The sister 26 months older with the insanely competitive drive and goofy knees. (Sorry toot, i had to jab at you somewhere.)

So, I visit her house, and there is always a fridge, freezer and pantry just slammed full of food. But not with questionable expiration dates or random-purposeless-items. I mean, she can pull out something for every meal and fill the kids up, make the adults' bellies full, and keep her kitchen annoyingly clean while doing it. Yesterday I called her and said, "Toot, I want to make chicken noodle soup. I have chicken, broth, carrots, onions, egg noodles, but not the foggiest idea where to go from there." So she talked me through it in the most basic terms for the non-cook at heart, and i felt like, I can do this.

I did. See this pot below?



There's even a BAY leaf or two simmering in there.

HOLD ON.... I just had to refill my bowl.

So, I have decided I need to call Toot more often. Floyd will thank me. RM will thank me. And since this item is dairy free, even J-bug will be thankful when she "gets it" a few hours from now.

Friday, October 16, 2009

in my house, at 3:30pm this afternoon...

all was quiet.



and even when the furnace repairman came and had to go into this sleeping cherub's room to access the equipment, the two year old slept on.



and even 25 minutes later when i got around to uploading these shots and sharing them here. all is still quiet.

wait for it... wait for it... nope, no jinx yet.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Being TWO today: Hammering on "Jimmy" (JH, III). Feeding Junie banana in her bouncy seat. Pushing a pint-sized cement truck & singing "Happy, To You!" (B'day?)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

End of season dinner: Summer Pie. Crumbled feta, sliced tomato, baby spinach, caramelized onion. Mmm... (And only a smidge of dairy really!)

2026 voter



That cute boy on the far right will be voting in 2026. The other munchkins somewhere around that time table as well. But at least they will all have proof that they were 'a part' of someone's 2010 election in a pint sized fashion.

From Left: Kinsee (related to a staffer in Columbia), Sawyer (also of Columbia), Sam & Drew (of Spartanburg), Ella Grace (of Greenville), Elloree & Jack Greer are cousins of RM.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ever learn new random preferences of your spouse? Floyd likes driveways with the strip of grass down the center. Me too.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

smile




some of you know just how valuable these grins are to the whole family right now. at about 3 weeks old, j'bug started screaming and didn't stop for about 6 weeks. she's 10 and a half weeks old now, and she's just started to be a little more happy... i'm hoping that this is the tail end of things, and within a month or so, maybe it will be but a distant memory. right now she still cries -nay- screams like the devil himself is chasing her for a couple hours in the evening. I have been humming the tune to this familiar Michael Jackson tune lately, although i'm not sure who i'm trying to console more, me or her.

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

'farm' themed birthday cake

These are in reverse order. Here are the 'adults' sitting at the table after the munchkins had fled the sceen. Although it looks calm and serene, i assure you someone is shrieking and giggling and running around in the background somewhere. There were 7 cousins aged 4, 3, 2, 2, 1, 2mo, 2mo. there.

a very happy little boy digging into his cake. the icing was a hit.

and here he was blowing out the 'candles' - he did real well.

and the half eaten masterpiece. food presentation has never been one of my strongest areas to say the least.

just to give you an idea of how much i DON'T have it all together, the boy had his special dairy-free cake at preschool in the morning, and the same one again at dinner time with the family. i just plunked the farm animals back into the 'grass' (coconut) icing and stuck a couple TEA LIGHTS on it because, naturally, i forgot about the necessary birthday candles. Good thing kids don't really develop a long term memory until they are a few years old... gives ameatur parents a chance to hone our skills. As if I'm going to have it together in two more years... Ah, hahaha!

the great mowie ride




Wednesday, September 30, 2009

birthday in the mountains







Since Floyd had to go to Cincinatti to play at the Midpoint Music Fest, RM, J'bug and Evelyn ventured up to the mountains to celebrate a little early with Grandad and KK. Here are a few shots together documenting the action!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

oh, to be two.



our dearest, most favorite son in the whole wide world turned two yesterday. and we partied so hard i just haven't harnessed the energy to blog about it yet. Hah! but seriously, i put my mind to going 'RM speed' along with him all day and it'll wear any normal adult out, i can assure you.

The run down of the day:

So, Floyd and i walked in his room together to wake him up, singing "Happy Birthday To You" as sillily as possible to his delight. the night before i stayed up putting the birthday banners and balloons in the kitchen and dining room. (one of my most favorite memories growing up was waking up in the morning, and walking downstairs to see the birthday banner and streamers hung in the kitchen. it was a yearly reminder that i was a special person in the family, and cherished by them. that is one tradition i can't let pass us by, and i'm determined to step up the decor for future years too.) suffice it to say, the banners were enough to catch his attention. he had fruity pebbles (a very birthday-ish cereal, no?) and went to school. i hesitated bringing him on his birthday, thinking i needed to relish every moment of the day with him, but they make a big deal of birthdays at school. i made a dairy-free cake for him to share with his friends, decorated in the farm theme that they are 'studying' now. it was a hit, and he had a fun day. during his afternoon nap i was able to do some housework, and then we had another birthday surprise with Oma & Pops. RM is currently obsessed with lawnmowers, weedeaters, blowers, and all things motorized that relate to yard work. it's amazing. His Grandad and KK gave him a toy weedeater and blower for his birthday this weekend, and the excitement still cannot be contained. Anyway, Pops has a riding lawnmower at his office, so RM got to 'drive' the John Deere with his Pops on his birthday. It was such a precious thing for me to watch, as I can remember riding the John Deere with my dad myself (and watching my baby brother ride it) when we were growing up. After THE RIDE, we had dinner at Oma & Pops' house with cousins G-lou, O-man, & Clemie; as well as half the Colorado crew (JG & E!) Uncle Todd & Aunt Shin flew in for a visit this week, which was an extra special treat. The kids ran circles all over the house and yard and we filled our bellies with spaghetti pie and cake. J'bug rounded out the day with 2 hours of screaming at the top of her lungs, but slept soundly for 9 hours after that. It really was a wonderful day.

I'm sure i'll have more deep thoughts on 'two year oldness' soon.

mirror, mirror, in my daughter


so, yeah. she looks like me sometimes. am i the only one who thinks that is a little bit weird?