Friday, April 23, 2010

One Year

Last week a year ago I was in Disney World with my family and my little 2 month old Tatie. It was a wonderful trip. Glenn called at the end of the week and told me that he went to a doctor (while I was away so as not to worry me), and there was a possibility that he could have testicular cancer. When I got home he went to a specialist, was diagnosed, and scheduled surgery the next day. That was April 22nd. A whole year ago. Then we spent a week with me trying to make Glenn take it easy and recover, and waiting to hear what type of cancer it was and what the next steps were. Man what an awful week it was.
We celebrated yesterday. Minimally, because we had a really busy schedule yesterday. But there was lunch out, and flowers, and cards, and good conversations.
A whole year later and it's almost like it never happened. Glenn is hard at work on his thesis, has a job offer, and is in fantastic health. Last year at this time we weren't sure if life would ever be normal again but it is, surprisingly so. There is just a little something that sticks with you when you have an experience like that. Something that changed forever when I had to think about the real possibility of my honey being really sick or worse. Something in the back of my mind that makes me appreciate what I have more and helps me try to focus on the positive more than I used to do. Because, at the end of the day, we're all together and healthy and so happy and what more do we really need? Happy one year honey. I love you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In the Heights

For Valentine's Day Glenn got us tickets to see In the Heights. Our tickets were for this Tuesday and it was awesome. I forget how powerful it is to listen to singers who perform an entire show without missing a single note. Without a single crack or being a tiny bit off key. My jaw was on the floor the whole night. It was phenomenal. I've been listening to the sound track for a long time and was so happy to finally see the show. The actors who played Nina and Benny were way better than the sound track and were my personal favorites. The show is about a Latin American neighborhood in New York. The characters are from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba and they're all trying to figure out how they fit in here. For the younger generation, coming to the US was not their choice and they wish they could go back to where their family came from in hopes of fitting in there. It's about finding where your home is and what it means to be home. The music, the rhythm, the sass...I was wishing I was Latina, or black...or just some other color than my own light peach all night long. It's not a serious life-changing message like Les Mis but it was one of the most fun shows I've seen in a long time and it also made me think about my own situation and what it means to be home wherever you are.

After the show Glenn and I waited at the stage door and got autographs and pictures. Yep, just like a little kid. I'm glad we did. It was fun to see them in person. I felt like a giant next to the tiny actresses. They looked small on stage but wow were they ever tiny in person.
Thanks for a fabulous date night honey! And thanks to the Jenkins who watched Tate-o so we could have a fun date night!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Craft Fair and Chili Cook-Off

Wow it was a very busy weekend. Glenn and I are on the activities committee in our ward so we had a lot of planning and purchasing to do this past week to get ready for our ward Chili cook off on Saturday. I had never heard of a Chili Cook-Off until I moved to Texas but these folks take their Chili very, very seriously. I also did a lot of sewing to get ready for a craft fair that I was doing during the day on Saturday with some fun women in our ward. My sister-in-law Aubry and I have a large inventory but I always try to make some new things right before a fair. Here's our little table.Financially speaking, this fair was a bust. Not much traffic and very few of the shoppers were actually buying. But otherwise it was quite fun. We bought two booths and split the fees among the four of us. Amie makes cute home decor with her vinyl machine. Janelle makes blankets, burp cloths, and bibs and Kristina (who was on the phone when I took the picture, hence the goofy face) makes cute little hair bows. We had fun talking all day and then we traded for each other's stuff when we were ready to clean up. It was awesome. I scored an adorable sign for my house and some cute bows for my sweet nieces. Tate was with us for the last little bit, so Glenn could go set up for the cook off at the church, and was endlessly entertained by this deflated balloon that a lady at another booth gave him. Then we were off to the Chili cook off. There were somewhere around 20 chilies entered in the contest. We had the bishopric and their wives judge. We had chili, corn bread, salad, cobbler and ice cream. It looked good. I didn't get around to eating but it looked so good. Everyone was decked out in western wear. This is as close as we get I guess. As you can see by Tate's face, he was so worn out by the end of the day. Poor boy.Then we had all sorts of western themed activities planned. Stick horse races, bean bag toss, ping pong toss, and butter making (baby food jars with whipping cream that you shake until it gets thick) for the kiddos. And the big show, an arm wrestling competition for the guys. Well, it was supposed to be just for the guys. Some of the guys decided it would be fun to completely blow the competition out of proportion. They signed up their wives, friends, neighbors, etc. Even the Bishop and 2nd counselor armwrestled each other at one point. There was a circle of chairs around the arm wrestling table and a chalk board with the brackets written on it. There was an entire boys bracket, then a women's bracket, then a men's bracket as well. The arm wrestling totally took over the activity.

I was signed up for the women's competition. No, I did not sign myself up. And no, I did not want to do it and I think I made that pretty clear. Glenn tried to give me tips and I just kept telling him that I had no intention of participating. But how do you say no with the entire ward there and, let's be honest, very few of the other women actually wanted to participate themselves. My first match was with a girl much smaller than I and would have been a bit embarrassing to lose. It was a hard match but I won and moved on to the next round. The women's matches took SO long. I guess we're all pretty evenly matched. It was hard and long. This is me arm wrestling my relief society president and sweet friend. How many times can you say that arm wrestled with your relief society president? I kept winning. The final match was against my dear friend Janelle. We were shaking and sweating (did I mention the air conditioning was broken the whole night?) from our last matches and so we decided to wrestle left handed. I think that way neither of us would be embarrassed if we lost. We got the Elder's Quorum president to be the competition announcer and he declared our match, "The contest for the most afraid husband in the ward." Nice. I won. Yes, I am the women's arm wrestling champion of my ward. Not the title I'm most proud of, but there you have it.

Then Glenn got up in the men's bracket and beat every competitor. Easily. His matches were very fast and he wasn't even sore after. I'm still sore, three days later. He was amazing. So then Glenn and I won were forced to arm wrestle each other. Obviously he won. So funny that we both won the main event of the party we helped plan. Oh dear.
Oh yes, then I had to give a talk the next day at church. I'm was on the stand getting ready for my talk and the bishop got up at the beginning of the meeting to talk about the activity the night before. It really was a great activity. There was a great turn out and everyone seemed to have a good time. He said one thing he learned at the activity was that, "If you meet the Makechnies in a dark alley, run." Thanks for that Bishop.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Joete's Playground

Let me tell you about this amazing cousin I have. Her name is Lindsay. She spent some time in Nepal and was so touched by the children in one particular school there and everything that they live without, that she returned home and started a non-profit organization called Joete's Playground. Their goal is to provide playgrounds and other necessities to underprivileged children and they are doing an amazing job. So far three playgrounds in three different countries are in the works or completed. Her organization is having an auction for Mother's Day and there are some truly fabulous things up for grabs. If you're pondering what to get for the Moms in your life check this out! All proceeds from the auction will go directly to new playgrounds that Joete's has in the works, so be generous! Give the mothers in your life a fantastic gift and help impoverished children at the same time. They can ship the gifts directly to mom, or wherever you'd like them to go. Click here to check out the organization, and here to see the auction!
Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Break Take Two!

Mom, Dad, and Kenz were in town for almost a week over Kenzie's spring break and we partied hard. It was great. They came to my play the first night here. Then we took them out to Rudy's. It's the most fun classic Texas dining experience we've found here and we couldn't wait to take my Dad and Kenzie. It's not exactly a restaurant that eaters like my mom and I favor, but it is a fun experience even for us. You buy different kinds of meat by the pound, they give you a bunch of bread to make sandwiches with it if you choose. Then there's cole slaw, potato salad, and cream corn. They throw all of your food in a big crate along with pieces of waxed paper to use as plates (Shiny side up folks) and you head to your wooden picnic table to eat your mounds of meat. It was fun. Kenzie was in heaven. A huge bottle of bbq sauce, large amounts of meat. Happy girl.The next day we went to the Alamo and to dinner in San Antonio. We enjoyed the beautiful sunshine ordered especially for their trip.
Easter Sunday was a blast with them here. Tate's first Easter basket had a wind-up chick that hopped, books, bubbles, and some eggs that he discovered had stuff inside. Then he carried around a laffy taffy he got out of an egg for about a half hour until Grandpa finally opened it for him. This is the result:
He never bit it off just waited for Dad to put it in his mouth and then sucked on it and got more and more excited with each taste. Big sticky, slimy mess. Tate was so happy.
Silly Tate was in heaven with so many people eating around him all week long. He was quite the little beggar puppy. Wandering around after people with food with his mouth open waiting for them to put food in it.
We went on a walk to the duck pond in between sessions of conference. It was such a beautiful day. Kenzie spent most of the time chasing after the ducks with Rosie. It was probably fun for her to be the one doing the teasing for once.
The next day we went to Sea World. Glenn didn't have classes that day so he skipped out on the other work he had to do and came to spend the day with us. He did this a lot, much to my mother's dismay. Mom loves Glenn, but it drives her crazy when he skips out on work to play with us. What can I say, my honey can't stand to know he's missing out on a party!
Tate wasn't quite sure what to think of Shamu. He just sort of stared at the water with a glazed expression through the whole show. He did, however, love being swung in the air by Nana and Auntie Kenzie.
There were also some amazing roller coasters there. This one is our favorite. Kenzie and I rode it 5 times. It was a perfect day. Tons of sunshine and absolutely no lines for anything, oh and we stopped at Olive Garden on the way home. You see? Truly a perfect day.
We thought these cozy reptiles were funny. There are three turtles piled up on this alligator's back just snuggling together.
The next day we went swimming at Barton Springs pool. Kenzie wanted to swim so badly and the weather had been cooperating so we decided to try it. The water was FREEZING! It was a nice enough day but not all of us were warm enough to get into that cold water. Wow. It will feel nice to go swimming there this summer when it's 100 degrees, but it was too cold for me last week! We got in anyway though. I kept telling Kenzie she should take this as a sign of how much I love her.Tate had fun chilling in the clover with Nana and Grampa. He was sweet and just wandered around in his bare feet. He was a happy boy.
Until he stepped in the home of some unfriendly fire ants who decided he was not welcome and proceeded to nibble on his bare foot. He had 18 little red bumps all over his foot and inbetween his tiny toes that turned into little pustules. So sad. He didn't like it when they were biting him and then he REALLY didn't like it when we rushed his foot into the cold water, but after we took him out of the water his foot didn't seem to bother him again. It sure looked bad though and that made me sad.
The next day we visited Glenn at school and took him to lunch at Whole Foods. Always delicious. Then we did some shopping at the outlet malls. We stayed really busy and played hard. I think we were a little too busy for mom, and probably not busy enough for Kenzie who gets bored easily.
It was wonderful to have them here and to share my little Tate with them. He got in a lot of snuggling last week.
He really missed them after they left. The day they left he wandered around from room to room whining like he was looking for everyone. It was pretty pathetic.
It was SO much fun having them here in our little corner of the world. It was nice to have them here before we move and become completely lost where we live again.
We miss you guys! Thanks for a wonderful week!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Savior of the World

It's been a while since I've posted and I have good excuses. The Thursday and Friday before Easter Sunday I was in our Stake production of The Savior the World. I played Mary Magdalene and got to sing a really beautiful song. I had so much fun. It was neat to be in a play with such a powerful spiritual message, especially right before Easter. There were some very sweet moments and I was able to work with some great people. It was so much fun to be in a play again!
Here's the cast getting into makeup.
Our makeup lady was a little over zealous. We had to stipple our feet with brown to make them look dirty. Really, we just looked hairy. I called them my "Frodo feet". Gross.Here I am with some of my favorite ladies. (Mckenna, Mandy, Sommer, Me, and Samara)And here's me again with James, Peter, and John. (Ken, Me, Houston, and Scott)
It was such a great experience to be in a play again, and to be able to sing too. I loved it and miss it already. My parents and Kenzie flew into town to see the play and to spend the week with us because it was Kenzie's spring break. It was SO nice to see them and we had tons of fun! More on our adventures in the next post!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hello

Tate has a phone. Glenn gave it to him for Christmas and he loves to play with it. It's a great toy for the car. It has buttons that make noises, a light, and a mirror. He loves it.Sometimes I pretend to call Nanna, Auntie Mallory, Cousin Mya, Gramma Heather, or other friends on Tate's phone and I pretend to talk to them. Then I tell Tate that they want to talk to him. I hand him the phone and he gets this big smile and then holds the phone to his head. He doesn't do it every time but I think it's so funny that he knows to hold it to his head or face somehow because he sees us do it. He's pretty cute.