"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Monday, March 30, 2009

We Zoomed Down to the Zoo Where We Saw a Zebra and Had Dinner at Zio's.

I think we've had our fill of scientific family field trips for awhile. It being Ryan's birthday and all, we went down to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs this weekend. After consecutive weekends at the Downtown Aquarium and the Butterfly Pavilion, I think we're good for a year or two. Happy birthday, Ryan.

I just loved the way they forgot to wash their hands after these pictures.

Such a sexy couple, I know.

Though I complain about the animal/science aspects, it really was fun and especially nice to be together as a family. Because of the blizzard, Ryan and I both got off work early on Thursday and were home on Friday. The snow melted Friday afternoon, and then we still had Saturday and Sunday together!! So it was kind of like a four-day weekend for us. While in Colorado Springs, we ate at Zio's, the delicious Italian chain that is responsible for half of our early-marriage debt and weight gain. So, so good.

In keeping with the Z theme, we also had our friends Christie and Jonathan over for a James Bond movie marathon on Saturday night, and they brought their dog ZOE and little boy Jordan. We ate BBQ and watched movies into the early morning hours. We really had a fun time with them, as always. :-)

Ryan's schedule changes this week, and work on the magazine resumes for me. The weeks keep passing us by. It surprised us by snowing again this morning, and poor Juliet just doesn't know what to do with it. She has had at least 10 accidents in the house since Thursday, three of which were tonight. Good times.

Here are some friendly pictures of Ryley assaulting her puppy with five-year-old love. No wonder Juliet bites her!!

And now I'm off to watch some Monday night TV with my sweetie and then catch some Z's.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Today is my husband's 31st birthday. I am so happy to be married to such a wonderful guy....so loving and smart and funny and good. He is my best friend and my soulmate. Every day is an adventure with Ryan, and I love the life we have built together.

Happy birthday, my precious.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I've never seen Denver pre-emptively cancel school before. With less than two inches of snow on the ground this morning, we got the news that Ryley's school was canceled, along with the rest of the city. I don't know if maybe Denverites have become pansies due to the mild winter we've had? Regardless, you don't mess around when they say a blizzard is coming. And I think, deep-down, we all knew we were due for one. Denver is America's best-kept secret. It has only snowed twice this winter. It is an absolutely gorgeous place to live.

So off to the grocery store I went. It. Was. Insane. I felt bad for King Soopers' Thursday morning crew. Only three registers were open! But we're stocked up and prepared for Ryan's snowed-in birthday weekend. :-)

As soon as Ryley finishes lunch, we're off to my work so I can do essential things, like payroll and deposits. And hopefully I will have some favor with my boss to leave early today and work from home tomorrow.

For the record, we weren't successful getting pregnant this month. But it's ok. Strangely, we are at peace about it. The drugs did their job; my body reacted properly, which is a huge encouragement for me (for months during the endometriosis treatment, I felt like my body was dead inside). But even when everything works properly, you only have a 25% chance of success. God is still on the throne, and we're grateful for the blessings we have, like this talkative munchkin munching on Cheetohs next to me as I type. :-) We will try again. All in His timing, right?

And so we venture out into the falling spring snow....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Like Me... Only a Little Bit Braver

The apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree.

Ryley loves, loves, loves to swim. My parents used to call me a fish, but Ryley prefers that we call her a mermaid. On Saturday, at the final lesson of the session, she learned that she loves waterslides! I think she learned that last summer, too, but she's at that delightfully forgetful age where she re-learns to love everything. :-) I have to admit that I was a little jealous of her as she ran the waterslide cycle three or four times!

She's like me in other ways, too. Last week, I had to bring Ryley with me to work for a morning, so I set her up in the office conference room with a portable DVD player and her pick of movies. She chose "The Sound of Music" and was perfectly preoccupied for about two hours. At some point, my boss and co-worker were gathered around my desk for an impromptu meeting when, out of the blue, we heard Ryley belt out the final note of "The Lonely Goatherd"! She used vibrato and everything! So funny.

On the way home from school today, Ryley's mouth was going a mile a minute, asking questions and making comments and just being "Ryley." I said, "You are just such a chatterbox today!" She answered, "Just like you. You are always like, 'Ryan, this is my life....blah, blah, blah, gah, blah, gah, blah, gah, blah.'" And I have to admit that it's true! Poor Ryan gets it from both ends.

On Saturday, sensing an end to our "Moore Days" on the horizon, Ryan lobbied for another special family day. I think I probably jinxed our Saturdays by writing about them, because we only have one more weekend before his days off switch to Sunday and Monday. But anyhow, because Ryley has been studying about butterflies at school, we thought it would be fun to go to the Butterfly Pavilion with my aunt and uncle. Ryley and I had been there before, but Ryan hadn't, and Ryley didn't remember her previous experience. It was a lot of fun.

When it came time to visit Rosie the Tarantula, Ryley held back. She wasn't interested in holding a big fuzzy spider, and we're certainly not going to force her to do it! But I wanted her to at least take a look, so I told her that you get a sticker if you hold her. Ryley went right up, sat down on the stool, and let the tarantula crawl into her hand! We were shocked that she did it, and I told her afterwards that I never would have been brave enough to hold a tarantula! She replied, "Well, I really wanted the sticker...."

What kids will do for a sticker!

As we enjoyed Dairy Queen with my aunt and uncle later in the evening, Ryley said, "Hmmmm. Eating ice cream is kind of like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, only it's the opposite. A caterpillar goes into the pupa and comes out a beautiful butterfly, while beautiful ice cream goes into your tummy and comes out poop!"

And that's my daughter.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Strange and Perfect Days

We used to think it was kinda cute when Juliet would seek Ryley out after bed time. After all, it meant that Juliet missed her! We would find her curled up with our sleeping little girl, and we would take pictures to show Ryley in the morning.

Until one night at 10 p.m., a sleepy little girl woke up to a puddle left by an excited little puppy! So disgusting and definitely not something I wanted to deal with at that hour, especially with a whiny Ryley looking on. Since then, Ryley's fear of the dark has suddenly been dissuaded, and she allows us to close her bedroom door after we tuck her in. ;-)

We worked on this puzzle for over a month...definitely the hardest and most unique puzzle we've ever put together. And now the puzzle table is put away until next winter. I'm glad to see it go!!

Following the advice of our veterinarian, we took our anti-social puppy to a dog park on Saturday. It took time, but she finally warmed up to some of the other puppies.

Ryley classifies her days into Ry Days (days that I have to work but that Ryan is off), Girl Days (days when I am off but Ryan has to work), and our favorite: Moore Days. And Saturday was a Moore Day. Yay! After swimming lessons and the dog park, we headed downtown to the Denver Aquarium.

We had so much fun. It reminded us of being on vacation!! Of course, Ryan is a science nerd, and Ryley follows suit. And the ocean fascinates me, too. It was actually a pretty impressive place, much more so than Epcot's ocean exhibit, which certainly disappointed us back in November. Ryley and Ryan were even able to pet a stingray!

After the aquarium, we decided to explore downtown Denver a little bit. Ryan showed Ryley how to skip rocks in the Platte River....

And then we went down to the Capitol building, but there were so many homeless people lurking around that we felt a bit unnerved and decided to cut our visit short.

Trying to ring this liberty bell....

We finished off with dinner at Beau Jo's pizza, which was even more divine than I remembered it being.

All in all, a perfect day....exactly what we needed as a family. I only wish we had money to do special things like this every weekend. :-) However, in all the relaxing, I forgot to do laundry, and there were no clean clothes for church on Sunday morning. Oh, well. Such is life.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ryley Stories of Various Shapes and Sizes

In the shortage of blogging time, I have started keeping a Word document of bullet-pointed things I don't want to forget...specifically "Ryley Stories." I think I've collected enough to constitute a post. :-) I guess I just don't remember being as witty, perceptive, and put-together when I was five and a half years old. She constantly amazes us. I think she takes after her daddy.

1. The other day, Juliet was jumping up on Ryley and attempting to bite her chin (because it is so delicious). Ryley, of course, started screaming and jumping around, which just got Juliet even more excited. I heard the commotion, but I guess I'm starting to tune it out....you have to understand that this happens 5 to 10 times a day, and it's usually Ryley's fault for taunting her. But Ryan, on the other hand, being the attentive father that he is, ran into the room, swept Juliet up into his arms, and took her out into the backyard. Ryley stood there with a renewed feeling of safety, smiled, and said, "I like it when Daddy saves me!"

2. Ok. So Ryley brings home lots and lots of crafts and papers and schoolwork. Some is worth saving, and I cram it into a drawer in our office filing cabinet. But there's a lot of it that....well....our house is just not big enough for all of it. And Ryley is a scavenger and keeper of random things. One look at her room will tell you that. Everything has a use. She learned about recycling at school, so even an empty water bottle can be stuffed into an empty chips bag and, voila, it's a baby inside its blanket! I want to say, "Ryley, we're not Mary and Laura Ingalls. You have real dolls." But back to my point....When Ryley isn't looking, I have been known to just toss the lesser impressive artwork. She never misses it, and I keep the good stuff, so I think it's fine. Except that the other day, as I was taking out a bag of kitchen trash, Ryley spotted her piece of red construction paper.

Ryley: "Oh no! That's the paper from Continent Day at school!"
Me: "Oh, is it? I'm sorry, Ryley. I must have thrown it away by accident."
Ryley: "Didn't you see the stamps?"
Me: "No, I must not have turned it over. I just saw the back of the paper."
Ryley: "Yeah, you wouldn't throw it away on purpose."
Me: "Right."
Ryley: "'Cause you're a nice mommy, and only mean mommies throw away their little girls' papers."
Me: silence....
Ryley: "Some mommies are like, 'I don't like my little girl, so I think I will throw away her paper,' but you are not like that, and you just did it by accident."

3. As we drove home from school, Ryley was telling me jokes, and we were having a fun time. But after awhile, it started to get kind of old, and I told her we needed to calm down a little. She told a couple more jokes, and absentmindedly, I did a little fake laugh in response.

Ryley: "Why do you laugh that way?"
Me: "Laugh like what?"
Ryley: "When you laugh like that it makes me think you don't really think it's that funny."

4. I went into Ryley's room to wake her up a couple of days ago. As we talked, she yawned, and I made a comment that she was still sleepy.

Ryley: "Oh, that wasn't a yawn; I was just stretching my lips."

5. Last week I was given the opportunity to interview some visiting pastors' wives for future feature articles in our ladies' magazine. I bought a new dress for the event, and I dug out some shoes I haven't worn since pre-Ryley. All day long I received compliments and whistles from the most unlikely of places. For being 31 and overweight, I must admit that it felt good to look good. :-) At the end of the day, I went to pick up Ryley at school, and she didn't see me at first. Finally, I got her attention.

Ryley: "Oh, Mommy, you look fancy! I didn't know it was you!"

5. Yesterday morning, Ryan took Ryley to school. They had this conversation:

Ryley: "Daddy, do you know everything about birds?"
Ryan: "Birds? No, not everything."
Ryley: "Do you know some things?"
Ryan: "Yeah."
Ryley: "Why don't you tell me some things about birds..."
Ryan: "Well, what do you want to know?"
Ryley: "Oh, whatever. Just surprise me."

6. This morning, Ryan was sitting at the laptop in the kitchen, when Ryley came bounding down the stairs yelling for him.

Ryan: "Ryley, I'm right here."
Ryley: "Oh, Mommy just wanted to know where you were. But as long as you're down here, I want breakfast."

A few minutes later, Ryley sat at the table eating while Ryan resumed his computer work.
Ryley: "Daddy?" Why don't you tell me more about birds..."

It's been a busy few weeks. I feel really behind on things at work, and yet I know that I am working my butt off. It's just not ever enough. I enjoy my work and feel like I'm owning it more and more. But gosh, my job is hard!!!! So we hired an admin assistant named Leahh to help me full time, and it should help.

This week, Leahh attended the same training here in Denver that my bosses and I attended in Houston back in October. Back when I attended the training, I really connected with our trainer, Mary. She and I hit it off, and I have called her for customer support several times in the last few months. Apparently the friendly feeling is mutual...Leahh says that Mary is continually mentioning me during the sessions, referring to problems I found in the programs, referring to excellent questions I had, etc. (in Leahh's words: "Well, Joy this, and Joy that"). So Leahh texted me throughout the day today wanting to know if I was going to stop by. Honestly, I feel like such a legend has been built up about me that I didn't want to ruin it for all the trainees! After all that was said about my awesomeness, let the mystery that is Joy remain just that...a mystery. ;-) It's not like I'm dissing Mary; she is coming to our office to give us some personalized training for approximately three hours tomorrow.

Also, I wasn't sure if I should mention this, but we are undergoing fertility treatment this month. It's a lot of work -- doctor's appointments, giving myself shots, going in for blood draws, etc. The thing is, my doctor (because she is so wonderful) is helping us out with this one, cutting our costs by 75 percent. What we have had to pay has been astronomical. If it doesn't work this month, we will be referred to a fertility specialist, and we will probably have to wait a few months to save up more money. We would really appreciate all the prayer we can get....for the drug to do what it is designed to do and then for my body to do what it is designed to do. We know that God is the author of all life, and that He is the one ultimately in control. I have adopted Romans 8:11 as my scripture for this: “The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in (me).”

When you put it that way, anything is possible. :-)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Our Trip to Windsor

I feel like we're finally getting into a routine in our lives. Ryan's work schedule is more predictable than it's ever been, and we consistently have Saturdays off together for the first time in our marriage. It's nice taking Ryley to her swimming lessons together, then hitting Sam's Club on our way home. I know it sounds silly, but I think we finally feel more like a real family instead of just "a couple with a kid," winging it through life. ;-)

So this last Saturday, we were invited up to our friends Christie and Jonathan's house, an hour north of us. Our get-togethers with them are typically marathon events, in that we pack the van like we're taking a trip and plan to hang out for nine or ten hours.

So here you go:

After we arrived, we piled in and cruised around Windsor....which took all of two minutes. ;-)

Ryley and Jordan shared a blueberry muffin at an adorable little coffee shop.
Ryley got all set up in her PJs with a movie so we could watch a grown-up movie in the other room. And this is what we found a little bit later. :-)
Fun times with good friends!