The Best Thing

Picture 11 I just wrote about the best thing to ever happen to Craig for his birthday over at

Hint: It has something to do with a certain 9yo in our house.


This past Saturday my husband turned 40. For his birthday we drove through the latest St. Louis snowstorm to a pre-screening of Gnomeo and Juliet. Sounds like a great way to spend your 40th birthday, right? In Craig’s case it totally makes sense because it wasn’t just his birthday, it was our third daughter’s 9th birthday as well, and she was thrilled to see a movie in a theater on her birthday.

Having Katie born on Craig’s birthday was the best thing to happen to him; he hates attention on his birthday and always has. When he turned 30, I threw a major surprise party for him that packed 60-plus people dressed in 1980’s garb into our small house. It was super fun and he really did enjoy it, but when it was over he gently asked me not to ever do it again. I promised I wouldn’t. Katie was born on his birthday the following year and ever since, the birthday focus has been on her, which is just the way he likes it.

Anyway, my younger two girls and I attend Classical Conversations one day a week, and each week every child gets to practice public speaking by giving a presentation to his or her class. As the director checking in on the morning’s classes, I happened to walk into Katie’s class right when she was giving her presentation and just in time to hear her explain to her class how her birthday was on Saturday.

Katie showed them one of the gifts she received and explained how she shares her special day with her dad. I then heard her pronounce confidently to the whole group, “My dad says I’m the best thing that ever happened to him on his birthday!” She was beaming as she said it, and she said it because she believes it. She believes it because she has full confidence in her father that he means what he says and she will always know in the core of her being that she really is the best thing that ever happened to him on his birthday.

Having daughters who know and feel secure in their position in the life of their dad is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. As much as I try and as much as I want to be an important influence in their lives, I simply can’t do it alone. I’m not at all saying Craig is a perfect dad. He makes mistakes just like the rest of us, but he is very intentional about investing relationally in the lives of our girls and they know that. I love that he is such a great influence in their lives, and I love that they rest in that.

Two Words: Pegged Jeans

Picture 2
The dress up theme for Spirit Week today was something along the lines of "old school." Craig donned his letter jacket from the late 80's and peg rolled his jeans.

This is the man I met in 1993. Yep. He was still peg rolling his jeans all the way through until about 1995. He's a keeper, y'all. He's mine.

Diary of an Idiotic Nikon Owner, 1st entry

Picture 43
So. After weighing the Canon/Nikon odds for a very long time and soliciting some very good thoughts on both sides of the scale, I came down on the Nikon side, just barely.

Through a series of random events, I was able to order the Nikon D3100. It arrived today.

I was so excited to open the box where I immediately learned I needed to charge the battery and it would take 1.5 hours.


That’s okay because I had to run the after-school shuttle anyway so I plugged that baby in and left the house. Several hours later we were back and I was ready to roll.

I pulled out the Quick Start Guide again and noticed I needed to put the strap on. 30 minutes later I finally accomplished that infuriating task.

Then I realized I didn’t have a memory card for it. I borrowed Chloe’s. I popped her card in and the screen flashed on informing me I couldn’t use her card. So I borrowed Maddie’s. I figured it would tell me the same thing on this one only nothing happened this time. I kept pushing the on button but it wouldn’t come on.

I scanned the manual for “how to turn the camera on” but you know what? Nikon makes the sad assumption that the new Nikon owner isn’t an idiot and doesn’t bother to tell you how to turn it on.

I continued to push the button to try to get it on and sent an email to a friend AND posted on a Nikon forum about my first set-back.

I then took a better look at the button I was pushing. Turns out I wasn’t pushing the on/off button. I was pushing the “take a photo” button while the camera was off.

Good one.

“On/off” is written right there, so that explains why I was confused, but I didn’t realize you slide that tab over to turn it on.

Now I know how to turn it on.

Next step, the memory card. I practiced taking about 6 photos right off the top and then pulled the card out to see what would happen when I uploaded them into iPhoto. Turns out Maddie’s memory card had some 800 photos on it, most of them of random blurry zoo animals and the occasional “let’s see what the inside of my nose looks like” shots. I didn’t realize this until I hit “import all” on iPhoto.


Eventually iPhoto even got bored with that set of photographic awesomeness and gave up. I then popped the card back in my Nikon and reformatted it.

I think we’re in business now. I have some more instruction manual to memorize and a few Nikon YouTube videos to watch, but I’m on the way.

It really helps to know how to turn it on.

The Played Snow

Remember the Unplayed Snow story from last week? That's what haunted me for a full week until we got another round of winter's white beach this week. Last week I promised to take them sledding. Today it happened.

Picture 5

Yes, my nose really WAS that red. Yes, those gloves really WERE twice the size of my hands. Yes, I'm wearing jeans because I have no snow pants. Yes, my toes almost froze off and it took two hours for my lower half to warm up after coming inside.

But it was worth it. It was fun. And I'm glad we had friends agree to meet us at the park because I would never have lasted out there as long as we did without them.

I didn't get many photos, though. I wasn't about to take those gloves off in order to do so. Maybe next time…