Friday, June 29, 2012

Peace Corps Email #1

I got some interested feedback on posting various and assorted angst-filled emails from my Peace Corps days, so I think I'm going to go ahead and do that.  I might start a random offshoot of this blog, but for now I'll just post them here.

I need to go in and clean up some things (and clear some content with Midnight Pony) before posting the angsty ones, but I thought I would start out with some of the mass emails I set home to set the stage.

Enjoy my first email home, creatively titled "Getting Started."

September 8, 2004

Hello Friends, Family, and Well-wishers,

Welcome to the first mass e-mail of my Peace Corps service.  I'm in DC now, learning about what's going
to happen tomorrow when I finally fly to Moldova...get excited!  There are 35 other people in my group
and they all seem pretty cool.  Not too many of the boys are cute, though. Tear, tear. 
Story:  Yesterday my uncle was on my flight and he took me to the hotel I'm staying at.  On the way,
though, he stopped at the state house to watch an ambassador be sworn in.  Long story short: I got to
see Colin Powell in person!  Of course, I was wearing my big ugly boots, but I don't think he really
noticed!  Woo!  Colin Powell!
Alright, I don't know how often I'll be able to check my e-mail after tomorrow, so I want to remind you ALL
to write me often, as I will be a good pen pal... come on, you know you want to be my pen pal.

Talk to you later-- hopefully if my village has electricity!


Darcie "My luggage is heavy!" Brownback
Everyone in my group.

Sick baby

Mac has had a slight fever since Wednesday afternoon. Considering he had some monster drool and teeth buds popping out, David and I attributed it to teething. This morning his temp was 102.1 so we decided it probably isn't teething.

The doctor confirmed that it is probably a virus. Poor kid- can you imagine having a fever in 113 degree heat?

The only upside of the illness is that the kiddo wants to cuddle... Can't say I mind it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm hot.

For real.

Kansas City

 Last weekend, David and I went to Kansas City to visit his grandparents and watch the Royals play the Cardinals.

Much like both of the Royals-Cardinals games we saw in St. Louis, the away team won.  I bought a new shirt/hat combo for the day, but it did not bring the Royals luck.

We did manage to get a picture with a fake Sluggerrrrrrrrrrrr.  It totally looks Photoshopped, but I am not talented enough to do that.

Cher ruined our cute couple picture so I made her take one with me.
Much better... I love the fountains at the K!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Deep Thoughts

The other night I couldn't sleep at all. I woke up around 2am and then didn't fall back asleep until nearly 5am.  I spent the time going through an old email address, back before gmail up until I scored a coveted gmail invite.  So, probably pre-dating 2007.

I had saved a ton of emails that a sent during my time in the Peace Corps, including an especially intense strand between a close friend, who wishes to be called Midnight Pony.

This is Midnight Pony.

I'm thinking about starting a new blog (or at least doing a segment on this one) where I share the overly deep thoughts I had during this time.  It's amazing how "into" your head you can get when you have unlimited time to think and without the mind-numbing distraction of television in English, malls, a car, etc.  It's also amazing how intense and angst-filled your thoughts can be when you're 23 and sure you can save the world.

Me, Circa 2005
What's not amazing is how much fun a pair of old glasses can be when you're marooned in medical TDY.

So what do you all think?  Would you read these? I would obviously change names to protect others and make myself look good :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

11 Months

Mac turned 11 months old on the 20th.  I'm a little sad that my little stink bug is getting so close to 1 year old.  That means he's nearly not a baby anymore!

Here's our 11 month picture--these are getting REALLY tough to capture because he has completely no interest in staying still long enough to get a good shot.
 Luckily he still managed to look happy for the picture!

His favorite things right now are wearing hats...but not his hats, he only enjoy hats that belong to his father or me.  He'll crawl around with David's visor on.

He also LOVES water.  He has a sippy cup available at all times and often carries it around in his mouth like a dog.  Actually, he likes to carry pretty much everything around in his mouth.  It's cute.

He also loves swimming.  He hangs out in the water in his floater watching all the big kids play.  He also has learned how to jump off the ledge into my arms.  And by jump I mean fall with purpose :)

Other notable things this month--we officially are binky-free.  He's been through with it for about 3 weeks now and I'm thrilled.  It wasn't a traumatic process at all...I just stopped offering it.  He was slightly fussy for 2 days and then it was pretty much over.  It's wonderful to not worry about where one is or make sure it's clean.  

Mac's also cruising around furniture like crazy and standing independently for about 15 seconds at a time.  I feel like walking is coming fairly soon.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to have a walker on my hands!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


A couple of weekends ago, I ran my first ever mud run with some girls from work.  It was AMAZING.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into--as evidenced by this pre-race picture where I look clean and perky.

The race was so cool-- it was five miles with 40 (I think) obstacles.  The embarrassing part is that I thought the race was a 5K until I saw a billboard on the way there.  Then I realized it was 5 miles.  Ooops.

So the race involved leaping over walls, crawling under things, splashing through muddy creek beds, a 100 foot slide, blind jumps off ledges into muddy water, swimming under obstacles in muddy water, rope ladders, rope bridges, and other things I can't even think.  And it was awesome!  David and Mac came along for support and took some great pictures, all of which I have uploaded to Facebook.

I can't figure out how to get them here because David took them on his should friend me on Facebook and look at them there.

At any rate, here we are after the race. 

We're so tough.  It's a blessing this picture is blurry.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day weekend

I think David had a great Father's Day weekend.  The highlight of the weekend was most definitely going to the Cardinals/Royals game on Friday night...and sitting in the always glorious green seats (courtesy of David's generous parents).  

Obviously, being from Kansas, I was excited to see the Royals.  I was really lucky that David considers himself a true Royals fan and could tell me who the various player are.  Let's get real-- I have no idea who anyone is, I just enjoy the ballgame environment.
 See?  Already enjoying myself during the Royals batting practice.

 David says Billy Butler is good.  I would assume so--he is a giant of a man.

 The seats are awesome--see how close we were to the World Series MVP?  That doesn't happen every day!

We even managed to get a picture with FredBird after the game--he was less than thrilled about our Royal's attire, as evidenced by his attempt to eat my husband's hat.

On Saturday, David got to go golfing.  He loves to golf and I love that I don't have to go :)

Sunday, I made David the breakfast of his life.
Lucky man.

 In the afternoon we went to the Cardinal's game as a family.  It was a LONG game, and Big Mac put his foot down about leaving at the end of the 11th inning.    He was a trooper, except when I tried to take a father/son picture.

 Luckily, he managed to tolerate a shot on our way out.

Amazingly, the Royals won both games we attended.  I might call that a miracle.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Mac has been taking some monster naps and I am getting a little stir crazy. Seriously, five hours of napping during the day is a little difficult to fill with productivity.

Today, I managed to do a little crafting... Meet our new front door decor.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Go Girl Half Marathon

On the Saturday of Memorial Day, I ran a half marathon in Columbia with some awesome girls.  It was my pal Lesli's first half marathon--it was so great to run with someone who was experiencing a race like this for the first time.

The high in Columbia that day was 96... which made it the hottest race I've ever run.  However, it was also one of the best run--every mile or so there were people with ice and water helping us cool off.  I was super impressed by this run!

After the race, we received fancy wine glasses and an awesome medal...but the kicker was that we got to go to a winery!

 Yay winery!  The trip to the A-Frame was made possible by Dan and Debra coming to town and watching Mac for us. 
 The next morning we got a little swim in at the hotel and then an extended checkout so Maclin could take a needed nap...David and I also got a little nap in too, which was glorious.

After our naps, we went to watch Mizzou play in the softball super regionals.  It was SUPER hot, but Mac handled it like a trooper, even when I had to put sunblock on his baby head so that his scalp wouldn't burn.

Luckily, the sunblock made a baby mohawk possible. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Mac and I went to Kansas last Saturday through Thursday.  We had a blast, going to my grandparent's church open house an djust spending time with my parents.

Mac learned how to 'wrastle' with Grandpa, dominating him.
He also discovered just how handsome he was in a mirror.
We spent quite a bit of time doing some naked dancing, but YouTube has tagged that video as inappropriate, pending review.  Oh well :)

Mac also learned how to climb some stairs, which is both exciting and terrifying.
All in all, we had a great trip.  It was nice to go visit my parents and not feel rushed in and out in a weekend.


I figured out how to blog from my phone!! This is a game changer...not that I can promise to be more diligent, but this will totally make it easier.

Monday, June 11, 2012


He discovered this during our exploration on Cabella's... I think he might be ready for the real thing!

Twin Springs

On June 3, my grandparents hosted an open house for the church he rehabbed.

This church was an old, abandoned building on his land for as long as I can remember--it was used for storage of odds and ends.  For the past few years, Grandpa (and various family members) has been working hard to restore the church to it's former beauty.

Below, you can see a before and after...copied from the program.
The amount of work put into this building is just outstanding--walls, windows, floors, jacking up a corner of the building that was lower.  Pretty much everything in this building needed work...which is to be expected, considering that it had been empty since it closed in 1957.

Grandma and Grandpa think that over 200 people came by for the open house-- even some people that came were former childhood members of the church before it closed.
 Mac and I flew into Kansas on Saturday and headed straight to Grandma's house to spend time with the family.

Mac had a blast at the party--going all afternoon without a nap and loving attention from anyone who would make eye contact with him.

 During this family picture, Mac wouldn't leave Uncle Larry's hair alone...I imagine it was hard to smile with some grubby hands yanking on you.
 Awww, my grandparents are cute.