Like many moms, I don’t get nearly enough time to read, and when I do it’s always something pretty mundane and I just hurry to get through it. (Does reading about developmental disabilities count as reading for fun? No? I didn’t think so!)
When I read the back cover of A Good American by Alex George, I was all in. I knew I was going to love this book simply because I was in desperate need of an escape and since the author resides in the town I lived in for 8 years and the destination of the main characters was a place I spent many a sweltering day drinking wine and skipping class (Rocheport) while in college, this seemed the perfect book to get lost in.
I read it in two sittings.
Which is really saying a lot considering most nights I am passed out by 10 and during the day I am in a constant state of being swarmed by toddlers.
I started reading it while sitting in a waiting room and I immediately started tweeting to my COMO friends how much I was loving it- of course, they had already read it and loved it! That was more than enough encouragement to press on, even though I knew every page I read got me closer to the end which I never wanted to come.
I hate that about books.
But, back to A Good American. It’s really something and I think anyone who’s had family come over on a boat with nothing will fall head over heels. The love story, the destination, the music, the food- it’s a quintessential story of the kinds of people that made this country. It’s a story of a family like mine, although a little further south.
It was the perfect book which gave me the perfect escape, and I highly recommend checking it out.
You can read more about A Good American over at the BlogHer Book Club where we will be discussing it all week!
Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but all opinions are mine and I absolutely adore this book and think everyone should read it! I also really really really want to take a trip to Missouri. Like yesterday. (sigh)
Yesterday I was talking to my Mom and she was telling me about how she was driving home and saw a huge bunch of cars parked along side the road and thought someone must be having some sort of family gathering or something. As she got closer she realized it wasn’t that at all. Sheriff’s vehicles and a mobile crime lab were lining the street. The entire property was blocked off with yellow tape.
As she was explaining this to me I kept thinking in the back of my mind that this was the house my friend grew up in. I had only been there a handful of times, mostly to drop off or pick up after a Mock Trial meet. As she is telling me how she went home and was trying to see what had happened, doing Google searches and finally coming up with this, I still wasn’t putting two and to together.
That was my friend’s house.
That was my friend.
Last night when I was perusing Facebook while waiting for the dryer to finish I saw a status update of another friend from high school talking about how one of the people we graduated with had been assaulted and was in the hospital.
I still hadn’t put two and two together and when I saw his name it was like the air just got sucked out of the room.
A million questions flew through my mind but Who? and Why? are the most prominent.
The outpouring on his Facebook page after it was announced that he had died from his injuries brought tears to my eyes with each refresh.
He was Brilliant seemed to be the overall consensus. And he was.
I won’t pretend that I was his closest friend these days or even that I kept in regular touch with him through anything other than Facebook. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a part of my life. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t my friend.
All of the drives to Plymouth for Mentor Connection our senior year. German class, Mock Trial, my first concert ever (Soul Asylum), the Radiohead concert we went to when we were home on break our freshman year in college, the time he flew to Missouri to stay with my roommate and I my junior year in college, seeing him again at our 10 year reunion and never quite getting our schedules to work out to meet up for a show.
He was brilliant. That is a fact.
He was a lovely human being who made an impact on everyone he met and he will be missed.
Back when I lived in Columbia Missouri, I worked with a woman named Mary.
Mary was feisty. Some days I loved her for it. Some days I wanted to ring her neck. Most days we got along just fine.
I’ve seen her twice since we moved back to Minnesota.
The last time I talked to her was about a month ago. We stopped by the old store to see a few people, she of course was at the top of my list. We chatted for a few minutes and showed off the boys. I gave her a big hug before we left.
I never thought that would be the last time I’d see her.
Mary passed away last week.
Working for years like we did Mary got to see me grow up. From an 18 year old student who (probably) gave her a lot of grief to the ally in the conference room years later. From butting heads to rolling our eyes in agreement we had good days and bad. I’m so glad I knew her (even though now I feel like I didn’t really know her at all) I’m so glad I can call her my friend. I’m so glad I got to see her one last time.
Thursday we headed East to Columbia, home of the Tigers.
We met up with Mom’s friend Beth and her three (THREE!!!) little boys for lunch at Flat Branch Brewery before we took a whirlwind tour of the town.
We tried to get pics by the columns but the quad was all roped off to get the grass ready for graduation. Mom tried to get Dad to thumb his nose at authority and bring the boys up to the columns anyway but he wouldn’t. Seriously, who’s afraid of the landscape police?
Then we met Bob at Booches for a couple burgers. Mom and Dad could have eaten a couple more, they were THAT good. Oh Booches, how we miss you and our Tuesday nights.
One more stop to Mom’s favorite bar, the Berg where she came to the conclusion that it’s just not the same with a double stroller.
The Tiger track exit…almost there!
We love visiting Columbia and wish we could have stayed longer. Maybe one day we’ll have a reason to visit more often…hint hint. We’ve got two, hopefully ONE of them decides to attend our Alma mater!
I mean, we haven’t been that far since we had Quin Snyder and before that I think it was 1994? It was a great run, surprised the hell out of me.
Oh, and Lincoln thinks yoga is HILARIOUS! That and the breast pump. You laugh now, until you realize I can’t pick you up for another 15 minutes and you need to keep yourself occupied in your swing…then it’s not so funny.
Obviously I have an all Big 12 Final 4(and seriously, what would be more fun than an all Big 12 Final 4?) and in the first round I was only down 2 games- The U went out (come on it’s the hometown team here) and Clemson…really?
So today we have a big day of gold shorts wearing, basketball watching fun planned. MU v. Cornell and KU v. NDSU. I’m thinking these should not be upsets. Of course I want KU to win in these early rounds. Mr. Wonderful on the other hand would like North Dakota to humiliate them. I say save that for the Tigers. More fun that way.
In baby news- we had a good night sleeping. Big improvement on Wednesday night which was a total fail.
Side note- I would really love for the stars to align so I could talk to my BFF. Seriously, this endless game of phone tag is killing me.
Also, our camera has crapped out, or at least the giant memory card has been corrupted, so no pics lately. Boo.
We knew going into this game that there wasn’t much chance of winning (I mean it was KU…at KU!), but you always hope. Seriously we were ranked higher going in, right? So we got all dressed up like dad used to do when he went to the games- khaki pants and all. We looked like we were ready to rush or something! Except for the fact that we had gold satin blankets hanging from our mouths. After the game we threw on some comfy shorts and had a stiff drink- the good stuff (breast milk, obviously) to help swallow the humiliation.
Mom says it all the time- KU, you can have your basketball, just leave our football ALONE! We agree.
Lincoln says: “It doesn’t look good mom!”
Wyatt says: “Um, I think I’m gonna sit this one out.”
Message to Ben- we’ll see how this pans out in 18 years!
Here is a nice open letter to the powers that be. Mom is more of a football fan, but apparently there is something to this whole “rivalry” thing that gets her excited. Of course it does, we’re talking about our mom here- the one who talks a little trash while wearing her Wing’s jersey at a Blues game.
We also know that we’re pretty much set up for heartache rooting for the Tiger’s. That’s OK- we hear it builds character.
It’s been forever since I last posted, thankfully Mr. Wonderful is stepping in to post some pics and video in my absence. We’ve been tied to the couch once again. These boys are growing. At least I hope they are growing- they are spending almost the entire day eating. At least that’s what it feels like to me.
The day after Christmas we had 17 feeding sessions. Seventeen! Only six of them were both boys at once. That doesn’t include the time I spent pumping. Can we say dysfunctional? Slowly we are getting back into a routine. Yesterday we were down to 12 sessions, seven times they ate together. I guess it’s progress.
They are also *sort of* back to sleeping 3-4 hour stretches at night. Sort of because some nights they don’t get up together and it seems like we’re up every hour. Strangely enough we both seem to wake up every other time one of them cries which forces us to take turns. This works pretty well and we are both getting more sleep. Also on the sleep front, Wyatt is sleeping in his crib now which means I am sleeping in my bed again!
The boys have a new game they like to play at night. It’s called “Let’s fake out Mom and Dad and make them think they are crazy!” or for short, “What the hell guys?” It entails one of them crying furiously and then becoming silent and motionless the moment we step into the room. We have no way of knowing who it was so we go back to bed. They repeat the process a few times until we catch them in the act. It makes the night really interesting getting up every 5 minutes until you figure out who the hungry one is. They are both very good at this game.
In other news, they are growing out of their Newborn outfits! I can’t believe just a month ago they were swimming in these outfits and now I have to put them away. I guess I don’t have tiny babies anymore.
Compare: Wyatt on the left, Lincoln on the right. They are two days old here.
Lincoln on the left, Wyatt on the right. They are six weeks old here.
Maybe I’ll post a year in review if I get the chance. It’s funny how it started out all about Missouri football and this year I missed their bowl game altogether. I think I was sleeping.
First I wrote about living in Northeast with my husband, at Stanley in the City. Then I wrote about my first pregnancy (Surprise, it's twins! Surprise, being pregnant sucks!), at Player to be Named Later. After our third son was born I migrated everything over here, to The Slacker Mom. Two cross city moves, and one more son later, and here we are.