Matt bought some fancy-pants chocolate bars on his trip to buy exciting food at Wild Oats Market recently... one for each of us. Of course, we weren't going to really let Gracie eat hers... it was only hers in theory. It was the last one left. Matt handed me some while I was cleaning up the kitchen.
Me: Mmmmmm. Gracie's chocolate is good...
Matt: mmfphrher (agreement, with chocolate in his mouth)
Me: Is that all there is??
Matt: I gave you a third, and I ate a third...
Me: [thinking] HEY. I'm not THAT bad at math...
Years of poor math skills made me a target for chocolate sneaking. Just one more reason to encourage Maddie and Gracie to pay attention to numbers. : )
I thought "Update" sounded a little boring for a title.
It's been quite a week around these parts... winning Hall of Fame has created quite a lot of spectacle for someone who usually avoids spectacle at all costs. I broke down and listened to the audio tape on CK's website—the one where they tricked me and told me at the end of the conversation that they'd taped it—and cannot believe that I said Matt got ribbons for showing up. He was very gracious about the whole thing, probably because he's known me for some time now, and that when I get nervous all sorts of wacko things come out of my mouth. Here is my statement on the record: Matt works very hard in the Air Force, and has earned every honor he's received : ) I've listened to the other phone calls now, too, and here's a big surprise: they made me teary. (OK, so maybe this isn't such a big surprise, seeing as how I often get teary over COMMERCIALS.) I'm so looking forward to getting to know this wonderful, talented bunch of women.
Perhaps the best part of the whole week, though, is the surprise I received on Friday morning when my friends threw a surprise party for me all around the world. You can imagine what this gesture of kindness and friendship did to me... sniff sniff sniff. I am a very lucky girl. Thank you to all of you who came to the party... I won't soon forget it. Especially since I am planning on framing your party hat photos for my craft room : )
We went to the zoo today, as it was a gorgeous day and we haven't been for a while—about six weeks! The last time we were there the mama gorilla hadn't yet had her baby, and now he's five weeks old. The mama rejected him, so Plan B was launched. This little baby gorilla is held 24 hours a day by zoo staff, who plan on beginning to introduce him to the gorilla family sometime between three and five months of age. Our neighbor is a sales representative for Enfamil, and is supplying the zoo with the special protein-allergy formula the baby needs right now (very rare for a gorilla to have this type of allergy!) and he is much stronger than he was in the first few weeks of life. Maddie was totally enthralled while watching him sit on the zookeeper's lap and gnaw on a carrot (he already has two teeth!)
And here is a photo to illustrate how different Gracie-feeding-giraffes-at-15-months is from how Maddie-feeding-giraffes-at-15-months was:
Gracie actually went through with it. A few times. Maddie used to hold out the cracker, and then proceed to throw it in a panic at the giraffe's face just at the moment he would lean in to accept it. I can only describe it as a game of "PSYCH!"
Hordes of Shrieking 3 1/2 Year Olds
Tomorrow I am taking Maddie to the Disney Princess Ice Skating Show at World Arena. Wish me luck.
Trash-Talking Little Sisters
Katherine called me tonight, to TRASH-TALK. This is even stranger to me than this conversation from last year. Anyway, UCLA beat Memphis tonight. Which means I am out, O U T, of both my NCAA pools, much to Katherine's obnoxious joy : )
To alleviate my injured pride, I will tell you that the reason why this picture is entitled "Sister Gracie of the Order of the Holy Panties" is because some 24 years ago, Katherine founded the Order of the Holy Panties by wearing underwear on her head, on purpose, and that's what we called her: Sister Katherine of the Order of the Holy Panties. Now that I type that out, I'm not sure that's doing anything for my pride but rather just making us Willis folks seem that much more kooky. Ah well. Such is life.
Sister Gracie of the Order of the Holy Panties, and yes, she put those there herself.
And that concludes my update for now. Have a lovely weekend.
OK, not really food. But they still fit the definition.
I've been thinking a lot about music lately for a project I'm working on with some friends: I'm working on creating a soundtrack of my life. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a project of monstrous proportions, because The Dillows Own A Lot Of Music. So much so, that sometimes we go for months—even a year—without thinking about some of our favorites. It's not personal, it's just that we get so wrapped up in our current favorites (right now: Sufjan Stevens, Sarah Harmer, Ray LaMontagne, Belle & Sebastian, etc.) that we get separated from our old standbys. Like R.E.M., for example.
R.E.M. is one of my favorite bands of all time. It nearly did me in that they came to Denver in Feburary 2005 and I wasn't able to go see them... it wasn't the miles, it was the math: Gracie wasn't yet two months old at the time, and logistically, it just wouldn't work. They're on my short list of bands I have yet to see that I really, really want to see before I die. They are on my list of big guns, the bands that I can turn to anytime and pick up where I left off, with no hard feelings. They have been on the list of favorites since I was in middle school. Even if I have favorites that are more intense (i.e. Ben Folds, Blues Traveler) no one comes close on the longevity list. I forgave them for "Up," which I ended up liking in the long run, and they forgave me for not replacing "Eponymous" when I lost my cassette. At least I hope they did.
I don't know how I'm going to whittle down this list of 10,000 songs to pin down my life's soundtrack. It is daunting to me, and exciting at the same time—it is amazing that I can jump into an era of my life and remember so vividly what I was doing, just because of the music. So many of my memories are contained within songs, and are only found when I listen to those specific songs. I've said for years that the reason I lose my keys so much is because I have three decades of song lyrics stored in my brain. You laugh, but turn on a song by Aha! from 1985 and I'll show you why there's no room left for me to remember that I left my keys in the laundry closet by accident.
There will be R.E.M. on my soundtrack, however. Plenty of R.E.M.
...and I couldn't be more excited! Oh, except for the part where people will be able to listen to me talk on the phone in nervous, flustered mode. That part I'm not so excited about. But the rest of it, pretty excited : ) Congratulations to the other 24—I can't believe I'm in the company of such amazing talent!
So you may have already read Marie's post about our family secret:
We sold Girl Scout cookies to dead people.
That sounds like a bad M. Night Shyamalan spoof, doesn't it?
I have to add that I also sold cookies to live people, the ones that lived all around The Block (The Block was a very important part of my childhood--i.e. "I'm going around The Block"). I sold 90% to live people and 10% to dead people. Daisy Kale was always a super customer, one of my Grandma's very old neighbors who had passed away years before. I think by the time Marie and Katherine were of selling age, the split between live/dead had shifted some.
We must be THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD to have done this. Because it sounds awful. And the fact that we're all giggling about it only makes it worse.
But there you have it.
You may also have seen the hideous end-of-8th-grade picture Marie posted of me this morning. That was most definitely the height of my most awkward five years... *sigh* some people have an awkward 18 months, mine stretched from the moment I got the awful haircut from Mrs. Gretsinger in 6th grade until my horrible perm experiment finally grew out my sophomore year. Thanks, Marie.
Here I present one of my favorite pictures of my sisters. It had to be the fall of 1988 or 1989, because we were in our new house. I love this picture for two reasons: Marie's glasses that she can see God with are not part of the costume, and Katherine's pose ABSOLUTELY CRACKS ME UP. It has from the time I took the picture, and it continues to today. If this were a swearing blog, I would say she looked like a total bad something. But it's not, so I won't, but you can imagine.