Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Huckleberry Finn

As disgusting as boys can be, they can be down right adorable. does a "disgusting" little boy become adorable by sitting in a mud puddle, running after turkeys, 'feeding' our car grass and rocks, and hogging all of my hard-picked berries?

No clue.

But my HBF boy seems to knock the ball outta the park.












Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bean-ie Baby

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There's a little sing-song rhyme that Boy chants every time Indy eats black beans. It disgusts me:

Beans, beans, the musical fruit--
The more you eat, the more you toot--
The more you toot, the better you feel--
So let's eat beans at every meal!

He chuckles to himself afterward because he seems to be pleased with his rhyming prowess. Personally, I have zero tolerance to potty humor. I never had to put up with those types of jokes before the year 2007. Suffice it to say, by marriage alone, I've been awakened (more like apalled) to learn that this is normal when living with an XY chromosome person.

The writing was on the wall though; Boy grew up with four older brothers. To my knowledge, there are a couple of his brothers who were the masterminds behind it all. Odorous sock bombs...need I say more?

And it's just one of those facts of life that to prepubescent boys, potty humor is so darn hysterical. This is understandable to me because I still have memories of how vile 7th grade boys were in gym class--girls this age are so sensitive anyway. The thing that mystifies me is that the fascination of potty jokes doesn't stop in junior high. Oh, no. It carries on into male adulthood.

Yet, what mystifies me more is that certain words cannot be used when referring to bodily sounds. In Boy's opinion, the sound must be called "toot" and never the F word (rhymes with dart). Ever a polite gentleman he is--for somebody so proper about vocabulary choices, it's still allowable to laugh and joke about beans.

So the bean song still lives on.

And I will still roll my eyes as I whisk away a bean-covered baby and plop her into the tub.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forget Not

On Saturday night, I listened to some of the best counsel that I've heard in a long time. I consider myself a hard one to take counsel--especially from Boy. The times that I share with him my frustrations and raw emotions, he'll outline a plan to try and remedy the situation. He'll also quote scripture and other well meaning advice, and my defenses cut him off by saying, "I know, I know, I know..."  He does it out of love, and days after I've steamed off, I'm thankful for it.

As independent and self-reliant as I tend to be, I like knowing that he's trying to help me steer into the right direction. He says I'm too hard on myself--and I think that he's right. As one who is more prone to self deprecation than a normal human being, I can be relentless; and although I'm aware of its poisonous effects, I allow it to eat away at me. Shame on me.

I'm better than that.


The counsel I heard came from a man who I met eight years ago in Kirtland, Ohio. I doubt I'll ever forget the genuine greeting he imparted in his thick German accent as he took my hand. His wife was just as charming.

A lesson from the five petals of the Forget-Me-Not:

Forget not to be patient with yourself.
    • Hey, Britt, I'm talking to you...guess what? Everybody has weaknesses. Nobody's perfect! Stop punishing yourself.
Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a not-as-good (foolish) sacrifice. 
    • the golden question I must etch into my brain: "What am I committing my time and energy towards?"
Forget not to be happy now. 
    • Interpretation: when medical school is finished...when intern year Hell is over...when residency is all said and done...when the heinous mountain of student loans are all paid...STOP IT RIGHT NOW!  
Forget not the why of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • in other words, the what and the how mark the way, but the why sanctifies our actions and magnifies our holy acts.
Forget not that God loves you.
    • meaning: you are not forgotten--no matter the circumstance.

For one like me who esteems myself as a weedy dandelion standing beside so many rich-colored and sweet-smelling flowers, the metaphor of the Forget-Me-Not* is one I hope not to forget.

  *A story from German folklore tells of God naming all the flowers, when a little one shouted out, "Forget-me-not, O Lord!"  "That shall be your name," was God's reply.

Friday, September 23, 2011

And So It Begins

I was born in the wrong month. March.
The wrong season. Spring.
The wrong climate. A desert town in Southern Utah.
The idea of my perfect future wedding revolved around three worthy months: September, October, and November. When did the actual wedding take place? August. Curse you, medical school.

I think I've made myself clear that I love Fall. Reread: Fall in a climate where the air begins to bite. My enthusiasm for this season is borderline eccentric--so much that I am already hunting for canned pumpkin in the grocery aisles and making a meticulous inventory of scarves inside my closet the very moment I see the first leaf tinged of a flaming color. With it being the first official day of Fall, how many gallons of apple cider have I already consumed? Three--with some help. We are all chugging down this stuff as if it were breathing air.


In the past, I've expressed my love for autumn time by listing a few of my favorite things. Instead of raindrops on roses, I love a vibrant color palette of leaves. Instead of whiskers on kittens, I love the softness of freshly laundered flannel pillowcases. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens--now that's talkin' my language. I'm impelled to chop and bleach my hair, prance atop my bed with the von Trapp kids, and drape myself with curtains in a true Julie Andrews fashion. About the von Trapp's--did you know that the famous singing family settled in Stowe, Vermont after escaping Austria? An hour and a half away! There is a family-owned resort lodge there in case some of you would like to come zip on by.

Here in New England--the mecca of autumnal glory, I think my life is complete. Call it destiny, good fortune, meant to be, God-willed, or some other force of nature; New England and I were made for each other. While I've had perfectly memorable Fall seasons in Utah, Ohio, and Indiana, I think the best has been saved for last. It's true and it's nothing to be smug about. Try googling "fall colors," and you'll see that one of the top related searches is "fall colors new england." I don't know of any other region that bases their state economy on leaf-peeping tourism. I'm puffing up with pride already. So, shoot me.

Today kicks off my first New England Fall...bring on the crowds and the tour buses. I am ready.

Let it begin.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tis the Season

So long, summer.

Helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Fall!

At long last, my love. Stay for awhile, okay?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Repairing Vermont

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
--William Morrow

Since Irene, the mood around here has shifted to a kinder direction--not that Kindness wasn't ever present, but that some of it was sleeping for a time. I think that is why God doesn't step in to save us every time awful things happen. The strength and the beauty of the human soul always reaches to tragedy's surface.

A couple of weekends ago, we helped a family that we know whose home was flooded in Hartford, Vermont. She told me that she watched the banks of the White River double, then triple in size as her kids were in the tub for their evening baths. The town couldn't have been better to respond to the flood warnings--police knocking on her door to evacuate, readying the local high school for evacuees, sending people to her home the day after the flooding to check on her well being. When Boy was shoveling out mud from their garage and basement, there was a truck delivering paper bag lunches.

Gratefully taking a brown bag, he asked, "Do you live around here?"
"No, we live across the river. We just wanted to help."

There was a note tucked inside that read,
"With loving thoughts and prayers from your neighbors in the Upper Valley."
I love that. Normal people doing great things.

But life has to move on, people have to go back to their jobs, and a mom like me has to continue running the show solo at home. While I can't fully do what I want to do to help, I know that when I go to my grocery store to buy dairy items named Cabot, forking out the extra cash for pure Vermont maple syrup, and buying local produce at Stern's or at the farm down the road can be offering something like the widow's mite.

damage hanging by a thread to a home in Woodstock, VT
I have now photographed the other side of the Quechee Bridge...much worse than a hole, as you can see.
The mud shows how high the water came up the Quechee Gorge

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mom Brain is a Pain

Mom Brain: Fact or Fiction?

I don't care what it is--I think it's brilliant. It's because of Mom Brain that I don't need to be held accountable for anything.
  • Whose fault is it when a paid bag of groceries is left at the checkout counter?  Mom Brain. And who's to blame if this realization of the orphaned grocery bag happens a couple hours later while back at home?  Mom Brain.
  • How do keys end up getting locked in the car? With children inside?  Mom Brain.
  • How does pasta get cooked waaaay past the al dente phase while the urgent need to read ONE e-mail turns into a 30-minute distraction?  Mom Brain.
  • Where does the idiocy come from when the key ingredient in applesauce is left in a bag at home by the garage door after leaving for someone's house to make and bottle it?  Mom Brain.
  • Why does a college-educated adult resort to using infantile words during a conversation with another adult?  Mom Brain. And if she tries to redeem herself by fishing around for an impressive vocabulary word--thinks about it for awhile--and still fails?  Mom Brain.
  • How does a mother fail in her protective duty to prevent her crawling baby from taking a swan dive down a flight of stairs?  Mom Brain. And if it occurs more than once? Yeah, you guessed it--Mom Brain.
For some women, Mom Brain only lasts during pregnancy or within the first few months with a newborn.

Not me.

In my youth, I have been no stranger to being forgetful: homework, asking parental permission, the correct time for dance practice, the correct spelling of the word goalie in the 2nd grade Spelling Bee. This embarrassing handicap has never left my side, so unless I can verify that I've written down that certain something in my day planner, I will not have my facts straight. (And if I have to speak to a person without cue cards, I can guarantee that I'll sound like a bloomin' idiot.) So, guess what? This tragic forgetfulness has morphed into Mom Brain, but I can thank my lucky senses for deliverance!

"What's that I smell?"
When I smell the bitter scent of burnt rubber...BAM! I remember that Mom Brain forgot about a pot that had boiling water and baby pacifiers inside of it 30 minutes ago.

"I feel something wet!"
When I pick up and feel my soaking wet baby from her afternoon nap...BAM! I remember that Mom Brain didn't change a diaper that morning.

"Do I hear something?"
When I hear soft whimpering coming from the upstairs bedroom...BAM! I remember Mom Brain forgot that a certain little boy has been sitting in timeout for well over 20 minutes.

It's incidents like these that prove that Mom Brain has gotten out of control.

Maybe this is all a load of hooey, but you have no idea how awesome it feels to blame my troubles on a bunch of dead brain cells. Meanwhile, I have begun to read the dictionary for pleasure. Seems to me that I have quite a bit of brain cells to repair. Me, a nerd? Why, yes I am.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I watched the news this morning and felt American patriotism. I'm fascinated and moved by the stories of the brave.

image via, Amy Sancetta/ AP
image via, Gary Hershorn/ Reuters
Where was I ten years ago?

I was beginning my third year of college. 
The world I lived in changed after a phone call from my roommate's mother asking me to turn on the TV.
My mind was numb.
I realized I was late to class...why, oh, why did I go to class?
Rushed back to my apartment afterward and didn't leave my couch for several hours:
  • Massive plumes of smoke above the city skyline.
  • Grown men crying.
  • People jumping off buildings.
  • Empty streets caked with white ash looking as though it'd been hit by a nuclear bomb.
  • People of all ages in the Middle East dancing in the streets, making a "V" with their fingers, throwing candy, and honking the horn while driving cars down the street.
I was twenty years old. I had never felt so scared in my life.

My dad called to see if I was okay.
My mom was in Arizona--her flight was supposed to leave the next day.
I returned to campus by the time the ROTC was lowering the flag for the day. "The Star Spangled Banner" sounded over the campus speakers and everyone within earshot was frozen still with hands over hearts.

Ten years later, I still remember.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Show and Tell

When I dreamt of this blog, I wanted to make it my place to write--not a place to shamelessly upload photographs of sweet cherubic faces and the like.

Today, I'll make an exception because I feel like a little Show and Tell.

I have no shame.

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And the best face of all...

We call this one "The Monster"

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Somebody call the CEO at Cheerios, because I think we have a new mascot on the rise.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians,
Seven little, six little, five little Indians,
Four little, three little, two little Indians,
One little Indian Hoosier girl.
--a popular children's rhyme...with a slight adaptation

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--I'm glad that I didn't have to put up with any Labor Day weekend jokes this year.

--Indy isn't your average one-year-old. She needs to pack on the fat and grow some teeth.

--Huckleberry Finnegan's mane of hair is out of control. It makes him look like a cuddly baby lion and it's long enough to pull into a pony. Yet, I still let the hair grow wild.

--Don't remind me of the irony that my daughter can't grow hair. Summer is too hot for bows and headbands, so I make careful wardrobe decisions so that outsiders do not mistaken her femininity.

--I love Pinterest for many reasons. The latest reason is for the best buttercream frosting I have ever made.

--Indy ravaged that cake like a starved Tyrannosaurus Rex.

--I was surprised she allowed her brother to dig into it too.

--Boy was mighty proud of his son for choosing which T-shirt to wear today. I'm getting the impression that the Huckster has telepathic abilities because how else does a two-year-old know it's game day? College football season is back, yo.

--Low-key birthday parties are the best. For that reason, I wish my kids were turning one every year.