Thursday, May 19, 2011


Yesterday marked twelve years of marriage for us. I say "marked" because it wasn't much of a celebration. Around 4PM I phoned Doug to tell him I was taking a zero in good wifery for the day. I hadn't been able to come up with a gift. I'd looked for tickets to a concert, cruised REI's website, panned the net for a nearby classical guitar performance. Nada. I even made a card on the computer but after printing it, realized it was so lame I chucked it in the trash.
"Let's postpone the whole Anniversary thing until June" I said.
Doug complied. He hadn't found anything for me either. Which really meant we hadn't given ourselves time to come up with something thoughtful, nor did we need anything. And with school ending, recitals, and birthdays, May is just too crazy.
We had several after-dinner commitments this week so we opted against being gone one more night. We just expected a normal day, and it was. Except that it rained the entire day. Steady and dismal - making the patches of grass and weeds in our flower beds look conspicuous and large.
Sami slept an extra two hours in the morning. I couldn't wake her. When she finally lumbered out of her bedroom she was sporting a fever of 101. Check out that awesome hair.

Most everyone has the sniffles, including me. Doug won't touch me with a ten foot pole. Maybe twenty. And I don't blame him. He's running his first half marathon Saturday and who wants to run 13.2 miles with a high-flow nasal drip?
So much for romance.
But here's the highlight for you. I had my first mammogram yesterday. Have you had one yet? Geesh. Here's how mine went.
"Hi, my name is Celeste. I'll be doing your mammo today. Just hoist your double A, I mean triple A cup of nothing onto this platform." Um hmm... how is this going to work? I think. "Alright, pull your shoulder blades together, now stick your chin up in the air like that. Wait. Let's get that wrinkle out over there. Okay. Don't move... don't move. Now stop breathing." Wha? "That's right, don't breathe while I squeeze your breast between these two slabs of automated machinery until it's flat as a pancake. Or you yell. Then I'll take your picture!"
Repeat four times.
With my family history I know this is important. Really it is.
But not fun.
After "the mammo" I wait twenty minutes for the hospital lab to reopen from their lunch break only to tell me I can't have my blood drawn because I didn't come fasting. I had no idea I was having a full cholesterol work-up. I thought it was just peri-menopausal hormone stuff.
"Come back tomorrow morning at 9" she says. "Do you have kids?"
"Yes" I tell her. "Bring them with you! We have things for them to play with. We love kids."
I laugh. "That's so nice. But I don't think you want me to bring my kids. I have two sets of twins four and under. I'll need to find a sitter and come back another day."
She pauses. "Oh. That's probably a good idea. Thanks for coming in!"
Later, Eliza is boo-hooing because she is soooo hungry and truthfully, her plight is justified. I haven't been grocery shopping in over a week and for some reason Costco feels like it's across the state line. We have no snacks in the house, or anything that even resembles a snack. So she settles on a can of green beans.
"Green beans?" I ask, surprised. I try to talk her out of it, but she's convinced if she puts salt and pepper on them they will taste great.
They don't.
Dinnertime rolls around and I try to get the girls to help me clean up downstairs. They've been building forts.
Why is that one big fort always spawns little ones? Like tadpoles. What you think will be a benign play shelter ends up sucking every blinking toy-thing into its recesses. Everything that can be covered by a blanket, is. Every available container is turned over and dumped out. The entire downstairs looks like we've had an earthquake, or a very unsupervised play date.
Stay with me. Here comes the celebration part.
Doug brings dinner home (hurray - I don't have to cook).
And these.
And a cake from Backers. (Mrs. Backers celebrates most occasions with us.)
We sing "Happy Anniversary" to ourselves, cut the cake, dance with the kids for a bit, then get them ready for bed.
While passing each other in the boys' bedroom Doug says, "I was watching all of them in the living room and I thought, they are better than any present we could give each other."
And he is so right.
Happy Anniversary hon.


  1. Hold on, I've got to add "mammogram" to my list of things to look forward to. Also on there? Colonoscopy, skin checks and dozens more root canals. I have awesome genes.

    Happy Anniversary!

  2. 12 down with forever to go...lucky you. xox

  3. So sweet. Happy Anniversary!

    Never had a mammogram but my mother has described. Not fun at all but glad you are getting them.

  4. "Just bring your kids!" That makes me laugh...maybe you should have just kept the little secret to yourself and showed up with them all in tow. Imagine her reaction then!
    That cake looks delicious! Happy Anniversary.

  5. I love the picture of your little ones all cuddled on the coach. They are indeed a wonderful anniversary "present!" That cake looked pretty yummy too though! Glad your day was special despite the rain and fevers and all. Congrats on another year, Catherine!

  6. Happy anniversary. I love the pic of the kids all huddled together on the couch - a true gift!

    Good call not to take the kids with you to the dr - I took my five to the bank with me yesterday while I did some PTA stuff and the manager ended up having one of the tellers babysit them for me so I could get my business done!

  7. Happy Anniversary! We had Backers tonight for B's birthday! Yum! So, Kellie and I go get mammos together. If you want to join the fun let us know and we'll put you on the yearly rotation. To make it worth it, we go out to lunch after! ;)

  8. i've been getting mammograms since i was 30. i have a strong family history and since my mom was so young when she got breast cancer it was recommended. i always laugh when they say, "we need to get another view because your breast tissue is so dense." first of all...there's nothing there. second of all...there's nothing dense about it!

    i love all your descriptions of the craziness of life. i'm in the thick of it and feeling like a complete failure. i know it will be better. thanks for reminding me that just taking the time to look at my cute kids is enough to life my spirits any day!

  9. Happy 12th. Seems like yesterday when you moved to Fairfax -- just young marrieds. And now look at the result. Beautiful children with a very sassy mom and dad to shepherd them. Good work! Loved reading about your escapades.

  10. Bonnie - LOL. We've got the same "awesome genes!" Colonoscopy is on my list too. And let's see, acutane in my forties is looking probable as well.

    Cristie - now that's an eternal perspective. But really, lucky me is right.

    Kathleen - how are you guys? Yes, mammograms are the necessary evil. But I'm glad for them too.

    Sarah - Her invitation was so warm I did actually entertain the thought - for a few milliseconds. Would have been pretty funny.

    Steph - thanks. Those five really are the greatest gift. And the cake? Not a bad second.

    Courtney - All five to the bank. You brave mamma. How nice that the staff there saw a need and stepped in to help you. Errands with five. Isn't it madness?

    Jill - okay. I'm with you guys next round. I needed someone to laugh with me, and lunch afterwards would be great!

    Kara - Wow. Since 30?? I didn't realize your mom is a breast cancer survivor. I'm glad you're on top of things. As for the "complete failure" - you are anything but. I think it's totally okay to look at your kids, alive and breathing, and feel you did your duty for the day. You are amazing! Waiting to hear about the girls' weekend.

    Andrea - crazy. I remember sitting next to Gabe her first Sunday. We were so young and had all the time in the world to just hang out as young couples. My how things have changed! xoxo

  11. what a nutritious and satisfying post! Thanks Keddington............what if your a double negative A cup? Do they have a mamo machine for that?

  12. Happy Anniversary, you two! We are heading into year 13 ourselves. Or year 14. Not sure.

    I got my first mammo two weeks ago. It was pretty hilarious. I can't believe we can fly in the sky, and yet we have to have our breasts squashed in a vise.

  13. Samsel - double negative A? Maybe that's my problem. Maybe I'm not even a positive double A. You crack me up.

    Brodi - I'm laughing at your logic. Truly! "squashed into a vise" - maybe some day they'll find a more comfortable way to survey round there. While writing this post, I was so wishing I had YOU to sum it up for me with some great imagery and one-liners. And you did! Glad you've been squashed and all is clear.

  14. "realized it was so lame, i chucked it into the trash" - oh my i died laughing!!! and the can of green beans, hysterical. i luv to read your blog and get a little insight into your always makes me feel good to know that i am not alone in the craziness of it all (an earthquake, or a very unsupervised play date.)!!!

    i had a horribly crazy started with senior quilts for the YW and then right to my cousins bridal shower, lucy's gymnastic preformance and then the endowment of my cousin at the temple. but i thought "i can do this" (did i mention, cam is out of town for two weeks :( SO, i woke up really early on saturday, before 6, cleaned my house, showered, got the girls up and bathed and ready because they were coming to the bridal shower with me (cute dresses, hair bows, the whole ordeal), and my babysitter was at my door by 7:30a.m and i took off to the church. i left three simple rules for her, i even wrote them down:
    1. Please keep the house clean (and don't feed the kids).
    2. Don't go outside.
    3. At 10:30 put the kids shoes on and their jackets, I will be home at 11 and I will have to take of like a bat out of you know where, to make the shower (that I am half way in charge of) at 11:30.
    Needless to say, I got home at 11...the girls were in the backyard, covered in dirt, my house looked like the earthquake, and there was food (chicken nuggets, etc), all over my counters. basically, have you ever cried right in front of your babysitter? i have.

    living the dream :) these are the days we will remember!
    Happy Anni!!!!!

  15. Oh, boy. That's really, really funny. It's better to make the day humorously memorable than it is to remember a "low"-light reel for the years to come.

  16. Oh Cami! I would have cried too! Or screamed. You are real as real can be. And I'm super-impressed you got up so early to make the day flow. That's energy! Is Cam still gone? Hang in there my dear!! xo

    Lizzy - for sure. I'll be remembering that mammogram anniversary for years. Note to self: do not schedule personal feminine appts on annivesary.


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