Friday, February 14, 2014

A Team

I started this blog entry a few days before Shawn's first follow-up appointment at Mayo. Before the bottom dropped out. ( I was intending to tell the story of what's been going on in our lives lately, but I never got that far. Ironically, I think what little I have, is even better. 


Children can be consuming. They absorb time, money, attention, space and especially love, en mass. And while they're earth-shatteringly amazing, it's equally important, I think, to remember how these tiny little creatures come to exist in the first place. In Team DeBoer's world, it reads a little something like this:

Boy meets girl…
girl ignores boy and pretends he doesn't exist…
girl then spends the next year chasing after boy until he finally agrees to go out with girl…
boy and girl date, then marry, then move to Minnesota…
boy and girl buy a house and a hound, and shortly thereafter, decide to pull the goalie…
after seven years of dating, six years of marriage and five-and-a-half years with just a dog…
a child is born. 
It goes so well that just a short time later, another child is born and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. 

Shockingly simple. While my family's story can be cutely, albeit crudely, summed up in seven lines, it's important to emphasize how it all began: with a boy and a girl. Literally. Shawn and I were just kids when we started "going out." (That label always slayed me … going out. Out where? We couldn't even drive. Well, I could, but still. Where the hell were we going to go? Casey's General Store?) We've grown up together, we've endured a lot together, we love each other now more then ever and I can confidently say, we still genuinely like being around each other. It sounds like I'm surprised because sometimes I am and I even say so to Shawn. I think we're a bit of an anomaly and that makes me smile.

From being kids to having kids, one thing has been constant, we've been a team. A team of two…


While I don't particularly care for Valentine's Day and all the hub-bub that follows in it's wake, I will honor it's existence in that I will take the time to say a few extra "I love yous" to Mr. DeBoer today. Today, tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that and so on and so on…

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Random thoughts and a bath.

This child … I must come up with a nickname for her Hasidic-Jew-meets-Danny-Zuko-hairdo. I've never seen anything like it and it is the best.

Big sisters are so helpful. I don't remember what Maemo was saying here but I'm sure it was nothing short of reassuring. My heart literally swells every single time they interact. No matter the occasion, Maci plays the quintessential older sister and Ivy the adoring, smiley younger sister. It is pure entertainment just to observe.

Especially when things like this happen…

"X" marks the Ivy.

Sometimes I swear they're almost the same size, which bodes well for their relationship. It will be interesting to see where they end up. Maci has sprouted like a weed recently but she's still pretty petite. Ivy is anything but petite.

Attack of the sasquatch!

The end. :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014


That foofy Valentine's Day is a comin' which means it's time to recap Christmas.

This year, for the first time, we went to Lights in the Park: "St. Paul’s Phalen Park is transformed into a fantasy of lights and color. More than 50 larger-than-life holiday sculptures and animated displays bring the season to life." Basically for 10 bucks, we got to experience the likes of the Hollidazzle parade from the warmth of our SUV. We even let Maci bounce from her car seat up to sit on my lap, front and center. We took our time, listened to the CD of local artists we bought at the gate and took turns naming our favorite displays. Maci was delighted and it was priceless just to watch her reactions. We were able to capture some on video, however, the best photo we got was with our iPhone, behind the windshield. It's not much but it's something to remember the experience by … although it's definitely something we'll do again, especially because I'm pretty sure Ivy schnoozed through the entire thing.

Next up was the girls' school Christmas concert. I managed to record almost the entire show on my DSLR, until the battery died, literally moments before Santa handed Maci her present. #parentfail In any case, as one might guess, the concert was the cutest thing! I'm pretty sure neither of them sang, but what does it matter when you have reindeer antlers and/or furry white boots? Again with the iPhone photo…

Then, of course, there was the visit with the big guy. It needs no explanation. In this case, the picture is worth every one of it's 1,000 words. Yin and yang.

I'm pretty sure this doesn't follow chronologically but somewhere along the lines, as is the tradition in our house, we ventured out for the DeBoer family Christmas tree! (I mentally picture Chevy Chase each and every single time I say that.) It was the coldest day we had had up to that point and our moments outside were bundled up and brief. This year Maci Mae picked out the tree and the hubby cut it down. While the awesome volunteers of Hampton Hills Tree Farm shook, wrapped, hoisted and tied down the small but mighty pine, Shawn took Maci to check out Santa, his sleigh and his, um … mules. (The reindeer must've had the day off.) Her feelings against Santa held strong but as per usual, she was enamored with the "horses." It's pretty much what she talked about the whole way home.

That night we got the bad boy up in the house but I believe it wasn't until the following weekend that we actually had time to decorate it. This being Maci's first year helping we weren't sure what she'd think but we knew she was big and bad into an "I do!" phase so we figured, at the least, she'd adapt. And adapt she did – she was a pro and was very proud of herself every time she hung an ornament, right beside each other. It very vividly reminded me of one of the first times Ty helped decorate the family tree when I was growing up and after he hung red ball by red ball by red ball, Dad took a picture and told the rest of us we were not to move them or rearrange them in any way because that's where Ty wanted them so that's where they were going to stay. It took some strength to shut off the OCD in me (then and now) but I left every single one where she put it because that's where she wanted them so that's where they were going to stay. And it did nothing but make me smile. In the end, we had the cutest darn tree you ever did see with the cutest ornament clusters this side of Ruggles. I can only imagine what another year and another little helper will bring…

Christmas Eve rolled around and while we had hoped to take the girls sledding, like we did with Maci last year, it was just too darn cold. We did get in some Grinch-watching and present-opening though so it wasn't completely without it's tradition. After the girls discovered their Christmas jammies, we fancied up and headed to church. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, we did not get a photo of the girls in their outfits so I'll just have to record it here: they both wore grey sweater dresses with pink stockings. No, they were not identical … but they did coordinate. My favorite part about this service was and always is when we sing Silent Night. There is something simply magical about a mass of people, faces lit only by candlelight, singing in unison and at the end, a cappella. Without fail, it always leaves me in tears. Good tears …

I know the photo above is blurry but Maci's expression is spot-on. And while the eldest Obi-Wan went the conventional route of opening, our youngest Jedi was apparently just banking on the force … of her gaze. And you can't see it but she dawned her Star Wars onesie just for the occasion.

Christmas morning! The girls were up, like clockwork, around 6am and we groggily made our way to the living room and the chaos that was Kris Kringle's visit. There were half-eaten cookies, empty glasses of milk, stockings full of stuffers, an art easel, a sled, a tunnel, a tent … it was awesome madness. We slowly but surely made our way through Santa's gifts and to the beautifully wrapped boxes under the tree. Even though this was the first year we feared fairness, the only little comment Maci made was declaring (not necessarily negatively) that Ivy was opening a big box and she was opening a little box. She claimed everything as hers anyway and Ivy enjoyed the wrapping paper more then anything else so it all worked out in the end.

It was a very relaxed day as we had plans to go absolutely no where. We watched some Toy Story (for Mr. Potato Head context of course), napped, ate, played games with Gma and Papa and really soaked in the complete and utter lack of a schedule. Nothing like a fireplace, family and fuzzy jammies to help you celebrate your first Christmas as a family of four!


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