Monday, February 28, 2011

Fun-due Party

Who knew that fondue could be so fun? And so tasty? And so filling? And so much work? Apparently Rebecca and Kelly did as they were the masterminds and hostesses behind the whole idea.

Here we have Margit and Kelly giving a demo shot on how it's done:
There were also amazing appetizers and salads and drinks and, and, and.... Vern and Bill sample the goods.
Bowls of chicken and steak and veggies adorned the table. Ready to be cooked in hot chicken broth. The dipping sauces were my favorite. I love to dip. I am a dip.
It was Howard and Karalyn's 25th wedding anniversary. Lucky us..they chose to celebrate it at the fun-due party. But then again, Howard and Karalyn are not ones to ever miss out on a party. Which is good for us, because they are kinda the life of the party.

For dessert, Kelly made molten chocolate cakes. The smell alone was enough to send you to chocolate heaven. And right as I was about to partake....Gabe called and said, "Where are you?! You said you would be here to pick me up an hour ago!" Which was true. But I was waiting for chocolate cake. Repentant, I promised to be right there. And so I left...with a very unfulfilled chocolate craving.

L to R: Jana, Rebecca, Kelly, Margit. As I edited pictures I began to notice a theme. In almost every photo, Kelly is talking and everyone else is paying rapt attention to whatever she is saying. No surprise here. I do the same thing. She is the whole package: intelligent, witty, entertaining, confident. And I love that she makes our visiting teaching appointments every single month.
This picture is my favorite. I snapped it on my way out the door. All the guys, sitting and talking. They were all aware I was taking a photo but it was only Sean who stopped chatting, looked straight at the camera and smiled.
You may have noticed that it was a couples party. And I went alone. Tiffanie sang, "All the Single Ladies" to me as I walked in. Story of my life. But Jordan did achieve diamond medallion status on Delta this year. Couldn't be prouder.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My (birthday) boy

Have I ever mentioned what a holy terror this child was as an infant? How the term "incessant crying" was invented just for him? How on the 100th visit to the pediatrician (there just has to be something wrong with him) the nurse slipped me a paper with the child abuse hotline number on it (in case I ever got to the breaking point). I never felt the need to use the number (as bad as I felt for myself I felt even worse for him) but man oh man did I ever come close to that breaking point. I had a 4 year old and a 2 year old and a husband that was traveling for weeks at a time and a baby that never stopped crying. I tried so hard to fake feeling "put together" but I could barely brush my teeth or wipe the snot from my two year old's nose or deal with yet another one of my four year old's pre-pre-school meltdowns ( I want pony tails. NO! I didn't want ponytails!) And you know what the worse part was? All the others moms around me were the real deal. THEY were put together. And they weren't even faking it. I'm sure of it. I wanted to be a good mom. And as terrible and prideful as it sounds, I wanted other people to think I was a good mom. But the terrible truth was I didn't have a clue what I was doing and I knew that other people knew it. There were some very, very dark days. So what did I do you might ask? Did I seek help, or advice or communicate my insecurities and my need for relief? No. That would require humility. And admitting my very worst fear-that I was weak. That I needed help. So I muddled through. On my own. Sometimes clinging to the edge of sanity with my bare, bloody fingertips. It was hard. I wouldn't recommend it. (Going it on your own-not motherhood). But eventually there was light once again. At around 18 months, that little boy of mine finally decided that if being on earth was his lot, he was going to make the most of it. And he has. Almost overnight, Christian went from crying non-stop to talking non-stop. He viewed the world in such a unique way that he had me laughing constantly. (I was sure I would never forget all the funny things he said. How I wish-oh how I wish- I had written them down!) He wanted to know everything about everything. Sometimes his curiosity was down right exhausting. But he was a joy. A non-stop on-the-go chattering joy. Little by little I gained some of my confidence back.
And then he became a teenager.

17 to be exact. As of yesterday. Some things have remained the same. He still has a unique way of looking at the world. He is still curious (but now it's about cars and girls). He still makes me laugh. But the non-stop chattering? I wish.
There have been other changes as well. In me. As in..
Here is my confession for all the world to see:
I don't have a clue what I'm doing.
I don't know how to raise a teenager.
I need all the help I can get.
Does anyone have any advice?
Like how to get your teenage son to do a normal smile for the camera?

17 years has given him more than enough time to steal my heart.
He is on the threshold of becoming an amazing man.
I have no intention of attempting to parent him alone.

I hate that this is blurry because, strangely, I love this shot.
I call it "Portrait of 2 Teenage Boys."
After dinner at Cheescake Factory (Christian's pick) we came back home to the birthday cake I made that everyone was too full to eat except me.

And then-for a special birthday treat-Jordan helped Christian work on his bridge for his Honors Physics class. Interestingly, Christian finally went to bed around 11 and Jordan didn't come up until about 1 a.m.
This morning, as Christian left for early morning seminary, there was a post-it note with $10 attached on the door handle. The note was from his dad. It read:
"Use this money and buy a new bridge kit."
Happy Birthday, Bud.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Girls just wanna food.

Much as I love my handsome boys, I was so very excited when the holiday weekend gave me a chance to be with my girl. And as luck would have it, she upped the odds and brought her roommate, Stephanie, to join the fun.
I loved watching these two interact with each other. Both are very easy going, quick witted and at times-opionated.
But they kept their opinions to themselves when they had to wait for me to peruse the sale section at Anthropologie. (They have no idea how much longer I could have been)
Hailee's first request after getting home..? Country burrito at Molca Salsa. (We had to send this picture to Brittney and Jordan in London who were sending us pictures of their adventures and trying to make us jealous. For Brittney, at least, this place would cause major homesickness pangs). Do you see my bag of marinated carrots on the counter? Eater beware. Have your drink at the ready.
Jordan got home Monday. First place he wanted to go...? Five Guys Burgers and Fries. He made the mistake of ordering regular-not cajun-fries. The masses converged on him and- scared for his life-he had to humble himself and go back to the counter and correct his mistake. I think it gave Stephanie a little insight into how seriously the Radmans take their fast food.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am a Sports Fan

Are you laughing about that title? Especially after I admitted that I didn't even know who was playing in the Superbowl? Well I am. A sports fan, that is. I love watching sports. I cheer. I cheer loud. And I even get a little melancholy when my team doesn't win or my favorite player has an "off" game. Of course, my favorite teams, sports and players consist of people I love. Right now my favorite sport to watch is any that this boy is participating in. Last Saturday he went straight from his basketball game to a soccer workout to a doubles tennis match. Wore me right out.

I think this picture is kinda funny. Look at Gabe's foot. (I'm still working on good sportsmanship)

Then I just thought all of Gabe's different facial expressions were funny.
This is the form Gabe uses every time he shoots. Which is a lot. Sometimes it works for him-sometimes not.

This is the face he uses when he plays guitar. (That's his good friend Nick behind him)
This is the determined face.

Gabe has 3 coaches. The 3 older brothers of his friend and teammate Nick. The brothers are 23,21, and 16. Sometimes I go just to watch them. I LOVE the way they interact with each other and the team. Plus, they are hilarious is a very quiet, understated way.
(By the way..Gabe's friend John, behind him, is really 2 1/2 heads taller than Gabe. I can see his height has some definite advantages)

Stormy weather (it's here)...

...just seems to lend itself to snuggling up with a good book.

Just one of the reasons I happen to actually like winter.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reason #64 why I am sick of Jordan traveling

Pre-Calculus Homework

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So who did win the Superbowl anyway?

Last Sunday we gathered at Pat and Jodi's house for a little Superbowl Shindig. Before we left for Jodi's house I looked on the internet to see who was playing. Hailee looked up the quarterbacks for the two teams to determine which team we would be cheering for. I'm not positive, but I think our quarterback lost. You see...we had a fabulous time at our little get-together but there was a lot more than just football going on.

For example: Pat and Christian made up their own Doritos commercial. Other than the one where the roommate sprinkles crushed Doritos on the dead fish, dead plant and the grandpa's ashes and brings them all back to life, theirs was my favorite. It might have something to do with the fact that I think these two boys are awesome (even though Pat drank all the diet pepsi before I even got there).

Sophie and Grandpa
Kelli and Emma were trying to pose for me but I kept taking pictures of them with food (is chips and dip and pigs in a blanket considered food?) in their mouth. I love these anyway.
Don't be mad, Kelli. O.K?
Sophie and Jill had the "Superbowl of tiny pets."
A tiny, tiny pet. So tiny it got eliminated from the photo.
Someone got pantsed while they were doing dishes. Didn't even phase her. She's very, very focused when she's cleaning. (Now you can be mad, Kel.)

Maddie had her own "Superbowl of Serving Utensils". She was as lovely as ever. She now taps on a carpet square since she had begun to wear a hole in the rug where she would tap in the center of a flower design.
The two college girls came up to "watch" the Superbowl and then holed up in Jodi's room doing...homework?
Somebody watched the game.
Can't resist the wiles of Miles. Love this boy.
Caleb and Miles checking game stats. Just kidding. They're playing a game on someone's iphone. And checking each other's stats.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When cleaning out the pantry isn't enough

There were moments for celebration this past weekend: date night with my husband (who has been out of town for many days), watching my brother's tennis match and Gabe tearing it up on the basketball court, dinner with friends, a nice Sunday lunch with Jordan's mom and visiting with our new home teachers. Great times.

But then there were some not so great moments as well.

I'll just say it: My 16 year old son was NOT very happy with me.

Translation: I was NOT very happy with him.

Translation: We were not very happy with each other.

In fact, I woke up Monday morning with that nagging "at odds with the world" feeling. It didn't help that there was no traditional : "Bye. Have a good day. Love you" said as he headed out the door for school. I tried to shake the yuck with exercise but the whole time I felt like I was trying to swim upstream.

Still looking for some relief I decided to tackle the long over-due task of cleaning out my pantry. After all, I reasoned, I needed some event that would create resolution.

As fate would have it, that same son came home for lunch as I was pulling empty bags of chips and dried out marshmallows out of the pantry.

For once, he was by himself.

I offered to make him some lunch but he mumbled something about wanting a hot pocket instead. I searched the recesses of my brain for some really engaging topic of conversation.

I came up with: "How's your day been so far?" and "Cleaning out the pantry has made me see that there are some things I need to get at Wal-Mart." "Do you want to go to Wal-Mart?"


Clearly, we needed an intervention. (And by that I should probably be referring to my lack of ability to come up with a conversation topic). Seeing him rinse his dish and get ready to head back to school I quickly walked over and stood in front of him blocking his pathway to the door.

"What?" he asked.

"You forgot something," I said. And I reached up and put my arms around his neck. "I still really like you," I whispered (I aimed for his ear but I hit more around the neck area). Hugging me back he said, "Really? Because I still really like you too."

And then as he was closing the door: "Make me a list and I'll run to the store for you when I get home."

Floating, I tell ya. No amount of organization in my pantry could have had that kind of effect.

I really, really love that kid.