Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes!

Last week, Sam was a bit under the weather. (And you know Sam is sick when he sits in one spot for more than five minutes.) Poor kid just laid with his blanket and Monkey all day long and barely ate anything.

This week, he is helping Mom around the house and eating everything in sight. It's awful to see your child sick and I'm so glad Mr. Energetic is back running around and getting into everything as usual. Never thought I'd say that. :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

And Baby Makes Four

We are expecting our second little bundle of joy on August 4th. We are so excited to grow our family and are very blessed. Sam's world is going to turn upside down. Thankfully we have 6 more months to "prepare" him, if that's possible. :-)

Thank You, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today I am reminded how far we have come since 1968, yet how far we still have to go, in the fight for civil rights. Although I was not alive during the same time as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his legacy lives on as I feel empowered and inspired when I hear him speak. And his dream -- along with those of countless others -- helped to change the landscape of our country. I feel he would be extremely proud that, 40 years later, we have an African-American man and a woman both legitimately running for president of the United States. He had a dream that someday it would happen, and today that dream is coming true. I hope my children will grow up in a country where they are not "judged by the color of their skin [or gender, or sexual orientation, or handicap, etc.] but by the content of their character". And I owe it to my children to lead by example and follow in the footsteps of great leaders -- such as MLK Jr. -- so they know that they can do anything they dare to dream.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Family & Basketball

Last night, my aunt's basketball team (Nebraska) played at Iowa State. For the past few years, we have had friends and family over prior to the game for food and good company. And yesterday was no exception. This year we had quite a few more kids and it was so fun to see Sam having such a great time with everyone. They were playing in the stairwell and just laughing like crazy. Those are some of my best moments so far as a parent; seeing my child so happy with others. And to top off a great day, the Huskers won their game in Ames. About 99% of the time we say "Go Cyclones" but last night was a "Go Huskers" occasion!

Oh yeah, and Sam received a brand-new "Dirt Devil" -- complete with dust buster -- from his Grandma and Grandpa Knoll. (He is a bit obsessed with our own vacuum and dust buster.) We cannot get him away from this new toy, which is awesome. This morning, after our get together, he ran straight to his vacuum to help us clean the house. I hope he keeps these good cleaning habits!! :-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Two Little Monkeys Sitting In A Chair ...

Lately, Sam has been carrying his monkey all around the house with him. And occasionally he has resisted sitting in his high chair, so I asked if he would like to have his snack today along with Monkey in his chair. Of course, that sounded like fun! As I was putting a bib on Monkey, Sam giggled. (It's so funny to see his sense of humor developing.) As I was peeling Sam's banana I mentioned that monkeys, too, like bananas. The next thing I knew, Sam was offering some of his banana to Monkey. Too sweet.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Proud to be an Iowan

Last night, Brian and I both did something for the very first time -- we participated in the Iowa caucuses. It was a special birthday treat to myself. I wanted to see what all the hype and attention was about; and frankly, I was disappointed in myself for never taking part before. Nearly 3,000 media members from all over the world were here in Iowa -- little old Iowa -- to cover this first-in-the-nation event. And many other states were (and still are) questioning Iowa's role in this election process. I wanted to prove the pundits wrong and show that we Iowans are an educated people who truly care about the state of our nation, and are extremely dedicated to making an informed decision about the future leader of our country.

And, boy, am I glad I did. It felt so invigorating to meet my neighbors and hear how passionate people feel about the candidates, but more importantly, how strongly they feel about our great country. It was inspiring to hear each person talk about his or her candidate and how much passion they have for helping to change our country's path.

As I was leaving the precinct last night on a bitterly cold evening with my new friends, I couldn't help but smile and get a little choked up. I am so proud to live in this great country and meet people who care as much about change as I do. I know they are willing to do great things to help our future generations, and that makes me excited about tomorrow.

(Oh yeah, and we Iowans proved everyone wrong by showing up in RECORD NUMBERS. No one can tell us we're not dedicated. Just another reason I'm proud to be an Iowan.)