Thank You for Coming

February 13, 2011

After 97 years of a life well lived, my wonderful Grandma has gone to Heaven. We celebrated her life yesterday in Caldwell, Kansas and laid her to rest next to Grandpa in the Czech Cemetery. It was a tough day, of course, but also a joyful one as we remembered Grandma’s terrific sense of humor, eager interest in the world around her, and love for her family and friends.

Grandma was a great lady. There’s no other way to put it. She was always sharp. Always classy. And she had a gift for engaging people in conversation, even when she couldn’t hear very well anymore. Part of her “gift of gab” was her ability to ask good questions, which is an art I think we’re losing in modern society. Most people are so caught up in their own lives and want nothing more than to talk about themselves. Grandma, in contrast, was always asking questions of others. “How are you?” “What’s new with your job?” “What activities are the children doing?” “Did you hear about such and such in the news?” “What do you think of this athlete or that coach?”

She had an uncommon interest in learning new things, right up until her very last days. She read every scrap of her daily newspaper, always had a crossword puzzle near completion, and was ready to chat with anyone on a wide variety of topics: politics, sports, business, the economy, farming, you name it. I was always so impressed by her active mind, and every year I would remark, “She’s 93 and sharp as a tack!” “She’s 94…95…96…97 and still sharp as a tack!”

I was and am very proud to be her granddaughter. She represented so many qualities that I hope to possess myself. Grandma was strong willed and incredibly determined. She was intelligent and witty. She wasted NOTHING—not time, not money, not any little thing that could be re-used. And she knew the meaning of diligence and sacrifice in the face of significant hardship and loss.

Grandma was indeed a great lady, and I emphasize the word “lady.” Like many of her generation, she always wore her pantyhose and earrings, always wanted her hair just so, and always had impeccable manners. Every time I visited her, even if our conversation lasted only a few minutes, she would smile and say “Thank you for coming.” It was a great gift to my mom, sister and me that on Grandma’s last night with us, she awoke from a sound sleep as we were leaving, looked us right in the eyes, smiled, and said “Thank you for coming.”

I would say many things to Grandma now if I could. Things I wish I would have expressed to her while she was with us. But in the absence of her physical presence, I’ll send her this simple message: “Thank you, Grandma, for coming into my life. Thank you for the gift of my wonderful mother. Thank you for being so sweet to me and to my children. And thank you for setting such a lovely example of a life well lived.”

Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Year in the Life: Grammy Turns Two

January 29, 2011

I must admit that I’m nearly a month late in paying tribute to my wonderful Graham Henry, who turned the big T-W-O on New Year’s Eve. January 2011 has been a very busy month, and I’ve been neglectful in my blogging duties. But as I always say: Better late than never! I simply cannot let Graham’s wonderful 1’s go by without calling attention to a few of his most memorable moments.

In 2010, Graham transformed before our very eyes from a babbling baby into an intelligent child who thinks and speaks for himself. At two years old, we still don’t understand much of what he says, but it’s clear that HE knows, and he speaks with purpose and passion. Most of his chattering is funny and cute, intelligible or not. But there are a few words that he’s taken hold of that we rather wish he would forget.

For example, “frog” and “truck” are two words that Graham has come to love, but as a one year old, he struggled greatly with pronunciation, and these two words came out all wrong. I’m sure you can guess what I mean. Start with “frog,” end with “truck” and leave the “r” out of it. Yeah, you got it. And unfortunately, Graham came up with about a hundred reasons to say “frog” or “truck” extremely loudly every day for several months. The situation became so dire, in fact, that we began avoiding church, dodging neighbors and generally hiding out at home with shades drawn. Just in time for his second birthday, though, Graham graduated to “fog” for “frog” and “shruck” for “truck.” Not perfect, but presentable, and we feel nearly confident enough to emerge back into society.

Graham’s expanding vocabulary constantly reminds us that he’s growing up and will soon be ready for preschool. But he hasn’t let go of all his baby ways, and I for one am thankful. I’m not ready for him to stop sucking his thumb—the telltale sign that he is sleepy and “over it” for the day. I’m not ready for him to abandon “Pig Pig,” his favorite stuffed animal, which he holds so tightly that all the stuffing has been squeezed out of the poor pig’s neck. I’m also not ready to move Graham into a big-boy bed. Not yet. He’s happy as a clam in his little white crib, and I still love reaching over the rails to lift him into my arms every morning.

I’d be fooling myself if I didn’t admit a little sadness on the day that Grammy turned two. I delight in his growth and development, of course, but he was so sweet as a one year old, and it’s hard to say goodbye to such a joyful year. His chubby baby cheeks, playful giggles and wobbly first steps will live on in my memory forever. Yes, this little boy will always be my baby, no matter how tall and fast and clever he grows. He’ll always be my beautiful Golden Graham.

Published in: on January 30, 2011 at 3:07 am  Comments (1)  

A Merry Christmas with Our Mischievous Elves

December 26, 2010

Another Christmas season has come and gone with the usual flurry of activity and snow. The Nord boys are stuffed to the gills with cookies and candies, and our living room is awash in new toys—so much so that there’s hardly room for living! But while Christian and I may be tripping over something or other and stubbing our toes at every step, Wyatt and Graham are delighted with their stash, and really…what more can you ask?

The weeks leading up to Christmas 2010 were excessively stressful for me this year, but the holiday itself was just about perfect. We ate, we drank, we relaxed, we loved, we played, and we spent some quality time rejoicing in the birth of Our Savior.  

Yes, it was a merry little Christmas. But I would be negligent in my duties as the Nord Family historian if I didn’t mention a few little hiccups. Let’s start with our Rascal in Chief, Wyatt Oscar:

Less-Than-Silent Nights: Wyatt has taken up coming into “the big bed” in the early morning hours, right at the moment when Christian and I are most catatonic and least capable of giving him the boot back to his room. On Christmas Eve, we explained in no uncertain terms that Santa would skip right over our house if he didn’t find Wyatt in his own bed. And what do you know? Wyatt never budged from beneath his blankets, and we all enjoyed a long winter’s nap. But last night, with the “Santa is watching” threat off the table, Wyatt was right back in our bed at 3 a.m., elbowing me in the kidneys as usual. I’m now considering the installation of a low-voltage electric fence.

Feliz Navidad a la Mick Jagger: Both boys participated in the Calvary Christmas program this year, and I have to use the term “participated” loosely on Wyatt. For the most part, he sulked in the back of the children’s choir like a sullen teenager, trying to pretend he didn’t know all the words to Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas (even though I’ve heard him softly singing these tunes on the way home from school every day for weeks). He had a major turnaround, however, when the group broke out into Feliz Navidad. Wyatt quickly transformed from a wallflower into the next great American Idol contestant, singing at the absolute top of his lungs and drowning out all the other children. His bilingual teacher, Miss Ceci, was extremely proud of his rock-star performance. 🙂

As for Graham, he really started to “get” Christmas this year, and it was a lot of fun to watch him shove his chubby cheeks with cookies and tear his presents open with relish. It wasn’t all visions of sugar plums, though. Our sweet little Grammy was no slouch in the rascal department. Consider these two examples:

Neglecting His Flock by Night: Like Wyatt, Graham had a less-than-stellar performance in the Calvary Christmas program. His teacher dressed him in the most adorable shepherd’s costume, but he was entirely uninterested in playing the part. For the first half of his class’s performance, he just looked stunned—a true deer in headlights. Then after 30 seconds or so, he simply gave up, lying down on the ground and refusing to be roused to his feet until the song was over and it was time for juice and cookies.

All I Want for Christmas Is Your Mitts Off My Presents: Graham is quickly shedding the meekness of his infancy, taking on a personality that can best be described as “Don’t Mess with Texas.” He is also fiercely protective of his “personal property,” watching over his new Christmas gifts like a testy mother hen. On several occasions over the last two days, Wyatt has unceremoniously snatched a toy out of Grammy’s hands mid-play, only to be greeted with a tyrannical “MINE!” or, better yet, a punch in the face. Grammy doesn’t believe in subtlety. And while we don’t encourage violence in the Nord household, it’s nice to see our little guy take a stand.

Behavioral blemishes aside, I loved this holiday season with our boys, and the memories of their playful giggles will stick with me for many years. I also loved the relaxed pace of our family festivities. No rushing about. No cramming 27 activities into a single day. Just leisurely enjoyment of good company, yummy food and generous presents. I count my blessings at this time of year—more than any other—for the gift of a wonderful family. One in which love abounds, laughter is plentiful, and a warm hug is always within reach.

Published in: on December 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm  Comments (1)  

Escape to Merry London

October 24, 2010

My lack of an English accent is my lifelong sorrow. Given the time I’ve invested in reading Jane Austen’s complete works (and re-reading them more times than I care to admit), I feel that I deserve an accent fitting my love of all things English. But alas, I’m an American, and I’ll always speak with the rather bland, non-descript inflection of my fellow Midwesterners.

Why not challenge fate, though? Why not see what can be accomplished with a little accent immersion? These were my irrational thoughts a few weeks ago as I jumped on a plane with my good friend Annie and jetted off across the pond.  Perhaps a week in merry London would turn me into a regular Kate Winslet!

My experiment failed, of course, though I did pick up some really excellent expressions. (For example, “I’m feeling a bit peckish!”) The trip was not a loss, however. Annie and I had a fabulous time tromping around the city, seeing everything we could possibly squeeze into our meager free time. (We were there, unfortunately, for business and spent most of the week cooped up in a conference center.)

Though our London adventure was brief, we made the most of it, as illustrated in this photo journal:

Annie and I in Newark, ready to board the bird!

After approximately an hour and a half of sleep in a two-day period, here we are waiting outside Buckingham Palace for our tea time with the Queen. She totally stood us up! Inconceivable.

Is this the way to the Ministry of Magic?

Pubbing it up with a pint or twelve.

I love the taxis in London. I would absolutely drive one of these! You wouldn’t believe the storage space.

Annie and I went to church at Westminster Abbey—a beautiful and memorable experience (if you don’t count the brief time I nodded off during the sermon. Ooops!)

These signs on the street literally saved us from certain demise as we traipsed about the city. In my opinion, the British drive on the wrong side of the road. This is not a complaint. Just an observation.

 

Our fancy-schmancy lunch at Harrods. Yum!

The smile on my face indicates that I had not yet realized that we were five minutes late to get into the Tower of London. Rats!

The Traitor’s Gate, where Anne Boleyn was brought into the Tower of London for a little off-with-her-head action.

A late-night stop at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Followed by a dinner of Bangers and Mash at one of the oldest pubs in London. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese dates back to 1667 and was built for people who were approximately four feet tall.

After a long week of work and fun in merry London, Annie and I were happy to head home to our boys, our cell phones, and our cars with correctly positioned steering wheels.

Published in: on October 24, 2010 at 9:48 pm  Comments (1)  

A Lot Like Me

September 18, 2010

If you’ve read any number of my blog posts, you may have noticed several references to music by Sara Groves, a wonderful singer whose lyrics seem meant just for me. I’ve been thinking lately about a song of Sara’s called “A Lot Like Me,” which explores a topic of parenting that most people don’t talk about—those personality traits you pass down to your kids that you really wish you didn’t.

Here’s how her song begins:

Baby I’m afraid you’re a lot like me
You can’t help feeling everything
I can see you’re trying to hold it in
I see your eyes and your trembling chin

So for you and myself I will pray
That our weakness become our strength!

I’ve been noticing lately that Wyatt has a pretty quick temper, and this is an aspect of my own personality that I’ve struggled with for years. I don’t get violent or scream or throw pots and pans, but I do huff and puff at pretty inconsequential things, and I definitely say things in the heat of the moment that I later regret. (As my friend Annie would say, “So many swear words!”)  🙂

In recent months, I’ve noticed some of these same tendencies in Wyatt (not the swearing, thankfully, since he’s only four).  As an example, he’ll be playing with his train set, perfectly happy, and then seconds later, he’s screaming and crying because his train track has fallen apart. It seems like such a little thing—so easily fixed—but he absolutely comes unglued, and it pains me to see him struggle with unnecessary frustration and anger just the way I do.

I guess this flaw must be genetic, because I know my dad also grapples with it, and he spends time in prayer every day on this very subject. I suppose I could look at my dad’s difficulties in overcoming his quick temper, and I could despair of Wyatt and I ever conquering our own. But a conversation I had with my dad this morning made me think in a very different way.

I have a person in my life who is giving me a lot of grief, and I’ve been feeling a mixture of anger, frustration and hopelessness over it all. I was talking to my dad about it this morning, and he listened to everything, agreeing for the most part with my assessment of the situation. But when I’d finished rattling off my story, he put a challenge out to me that I wasn’t entirely prepared for. He urged me to forgive. Even if the circumstances are never set right, I need to forgive.

Dad also cautioned that, if I’m anything like him (and I’m a lot like him), I may find it difficult to forgive. But a good place to start, he said, is in remembering that I, too, am a flawed and sinful person. And when you approach the hard work of forgiving someone by understanding that you are also very imperfect, it makes the goal of forgiveness much more attainable.

This conversation has been rolling around in my mind for the last several hours, and I’ve realized something remarkable about my dad: his long-time struggle to overcome his quick temper has been both a curse and a blessing. A curse in that he battles this issue every day, just as I do, and just as Wyatt may, too. But also a blessing in that his awareness of his own flawed nature perhaps makes him more capable of forgiving others because he approaches forgiveness with prayerful humility. 

Dad and I may never totally master our tempers, and Wyatt may very well inherit “the bug,” too. But as Sara Groves says, perhaps this weakness in some way becomes our strength. We’ll always have to work at staying cool in stressful situations, taming our sharp tongues and keeping frustration at bay. But out of this struggle, God will manage to bring about something good, and that’s pretty amazing.

As Sara Groves sings to her own son in “A Lot Like Me”:

Baby there are some holes you just can’t fill
You try and try but you never will
Baby I believe a God who can
He loves the boy and He’ll love the man

So for you and myself I will pray
That our weakness become our strength!

Published in: on September 18, 2010 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Devil May Care

August 28, 2010

My father in law has said many a wise, witty and memorable thing in his day, but one of my favorite Carl Nord statements of all time is this: “Sarah, what you need to understand about Christian is that he has a ‘devil may care’ attitude with his physical wellbeing.” This particular comment was in reference to Christian and his college buddies sneaking out onto the roof of a Denver hotel and hanging over the edge. But Carl could have been talking about any number of my husband’s antics: the swimming with sharks, flying over mountain bike handlebars, running in unsavory parts of town, adventure racing, etc., etc.

When we had our first son, I braced myself for a life of motherly psychosis, figuring he’d be just like his dad with the daredevil stuff. To my great relief, though, Wyatt seems to be pretty cautious with his body. He has no need for speed and sticks fairly close to his people. Granted, he’s only four, and this could all change at a moment’s notice. But for now, my blood pressure remains at a healthy level when it comes to Wyatt and his physical welfare.

But not so fast Momma Bear. Enter stage left: Graham Henry, the most reckless child who ever stepped foot on the planet. My party baby, born on New Year’s Eve. At only 20 months now, Graham has me in an absolute state of panic with his incessant climbing, furniture jumping, flipping off the couch, disappearing acts, sticking sharp objects into power outlets, etc., etc. This kid is a regular Phineas and Ferb. (Great show, by the way.)

It must also be said, though, that Graham is as sweet as he could possibly be. As I said in his birthday tribute back in January, he smiles with his whole body and has the best belly laugh in creation. So why would this otherwise wonderful child plague his mother’s heart out with his unruliness? The answer is simple: he’s just like his dad.

Wyatt is Christian’s clone—a “mini-me” like you’ve never seen before. But Graham has Christian’s spirit of adventure. That “devil may care attitude with his physical wellbeing.” As a result, I expect that Graham will live his life to the absolute fullest, with plenty of travelling, sky diving, running with the bulls, and yes…even swimming with the sharks. Wyatt will perhaps take a more cautious route through life, though I hope he’ll enjoy the journey every bit as much—just in his own way.

As for me? I’ll find a good blood pressure medication, a yoga master and a glass of red wine. And I’ll learn the fine art of pretending that THIS IS NOT HAPPENING―a survival skill that so many mothers before me have mastered.

___________________________________________________________
I guess it’s human nature to want to hold you very still
I guess it’s in a mother to inject a little guilt
Go on son and see the world; I hope you see it all
But please please please don’t forget to call

…Go on son and spread your wings; I hope that you take flight
But please please please don’t forget to write

Sara Groves, “Small Piece of You” from the album Station Wagon Songs for Parents

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm  Comments (1)  

Bossy McPhee

August 15, 2010

“Grandma, when I tell you to stop when we’re in Target, you need to stop immediately!”

That would be a direct order barked at my sweet mother by my too-big-for-his-britches four year old. He seems to be going through a rather lengthy assertive phase, and he has lots of ideas on how big people should behave in his presence.

“Mommy, listen. This is what we’re going to do. You’re going to stay here and take care of Graham, and Daddy’s going to take me to [insert desired location of the moment…the pool…Smoothie King…the park…McDonalds…what have you].”

Christian and I are trying to figure out where Wyatt’s big-boss personality is coming from since neither of us is particularly pushy. Well, OK. Maybe I’m a little pushy, but nowhere near the level of our little Tony Soprano. He seems to thrive on doling out orders and bringing down the hammer when we don’t follow his instructions to the letter.

Just today, we were driving home from church, and Christian and I took advantage of a few minutes while the kids were strapped in their car seats to actually have a conversation with one another. Grammy Bear was busy babbling away to his stuffed pig (AKA, the beloved “Pig-Pig”), and we thought Wyatt was also perfectly content, lost in his own thoughts. As it turns out…not so much.

Interrupting me mid-sentence, Wyatt says, “Mommy, can I tell you something?”

“Sure, Wyatt. What’s up?” 

“Well…[long pause]…Well, I don’t like it when mommies and daddies talk to each other and kids can’t say anything.”

“Oh yeah, Wyatt?”

“Yeah. When I talk, I need you to listen to me.”

Christian and I look at each other, stifle a laugh, and heave a sigh. “Wow, Wyatt. I would never have guessed that about you,” I say.

What’s to be done about all this bossy-boss? For starters, we have to stop finding it cute and funny when Wyatt tells us like it is. But darn it, it’s cute and funny! He sounds so enthusiastic when he shouts to me in the car, “Mom, when you see a goat, shout GOAT!” And I love his little news anchor hand gestures when he’s putting me in my place. So serious. So professional. Just plain cute.

I know, I know. It’s wrong to indulge him in this current phase of ruthless dictatorship. (Can you really call it a phase when it’s been going on for a year or more?) In our defense, though, Christian and I don’t bow to his every command. Technically, we are still in charge of our household. But we’re not in a rush to squash his “leader” personality, partly because it’s just who he is, and partly because he amuses us.

Until his classmates start greeting Wyatt with a “HEIL!” when we drop him off at school, I guess we won’t worry too much about his quest for world dominance. It will surely be much less cute when he’s 13 and pimply. I just hope it won’t be too late then to reform our Bossy McPhee.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 3:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer Fun, Stinky Feet

July 12, 2010

Summer is in full swing at the Nord Casa. The boys are running amuck in the great outdoors, chasing the dog, kicking balls into the neighbor’s yard, catching fireflies and trampling my flowers. In short, having the time of their lives!

Yes, this is high time for a kid. Having once been a little person myself, I remember summer days that seemed to stretch on into infinity—that wonderful time in life when the heat, no matter how oppressive, didn’t even phase me.  It seems that way with our boys, too. On the hottest and muggiest of days, they have boundless energy, tireless legs and an insatiable appetite for adventure in our little backyard.

Christian and I are having a pretty good time watching the boys run willy-nilly. But while our eyes are delighted, our noses are experiencing quite another sensation. You see, it’s been a soggy summer here in Kansas City, and where there’s wet…and heat…there’s stinky feet.   

I’m telling you, this is no average stench emitting from the boys’ toes. It’s otherworldly. Enough to peel paint off the walls. Enough to kill our grass. Enough to send visitors packing.

What’s the cause of this hideous odor, you may ask? I blame two matching pairs of hybrid sneaker-sandals from Stride Rite. I was bent on giving the boys what I call “freedom feet” this summer—that is, no socks and as much airflow to the tootsies as possible. I thought this would help keep the boys cool. So we bought each of them a rather pricey pair of shoes—part sandal, part sneaker—and that’s where the trouble started.

We didn’t get much past the first summer rainstorm before I realized the folly of my plan.  A few minutes in the wet grass, a couple of splashes in the puddles, and a little sunshine to warm things up. BAM! The perfect ingredients for major foot stinkage. I couldn’t believe it the first time this odor smacked me in the face. My beautiful, darling children! So young…so innocent…so smelly!

I’ve tried everything to kill the stench. I scrub the boys’ feet nearly raw in the bathtub at night. And the shoes themselves—I’ve put them through countless showers of Febreze and baby powder. But any improvement is temporary. A little rain, a little sun, and my house of cards comes crashing down.

I know what you’re thinking. “Get rid of the shoes, bozo.” And yes, that is the easy answer. But if you know me at all, you know I’m painfully cheap, and those “strap sandals” (as Wyatt calls them) cost a pretty penny. So we’re keeping them, God help me! And I will continue to douse them in every variety of odor-blocking technology I can lay my hands on.

At the end of the summer, I suppose we’ll torch the shoes in a little bonfire action. It will be our sacrifice to the Stinky Feet gods—our plea that they go bother some other unsuspecting family next summer. We’ve had our fill, thank you very much.

Photo taken by Shawna McHenry  | http://www.shawnamchenry.com/

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 3:27 am  Comments (1)  

Jiminy Cricket! We’ve Lost Our Minds.

June 5, 2010

Christian and I are pleased to announce a new addition to our family! No, not another baby. Something ultimately more time consuming, messy, needy and destructive—a puppy. She’s a Pembroke Welsh Corgi to be exact (or as I like to call her, “the queen’s dog”). She’s truly cute as a button with her stumpy little legs, Yoda-style ears and ever-smiling doggy mouth. However, she’s also a complete pain in the rump—Little Miss “The World Is My Chew Toy!”

If we could do it over again, we’d probably name her “Trouble.” But instead, we call her Cricket—a nod to my obsession with all things English and Christian’s love of sports. We adopted her in mid-April, and over the course of the last several weeks, she’s basically overtaken our home—requiring nearly as much attention as our two children combined.

“Don’t eat that rug, Cricket!” we say.

“Stop herding our children!”

“Did you seriously just pee on the floor? You’ve been outside for the last two hours.”

“Is it really necessary to eat your crate?”

She’s a piece of work, that Cricket Nord. But despite all her badness, she’s also a wonderful pet and a joy to have around. It’s refreshing to have an animal who actually wants to spend time with us—quite the opposite of our two spoiled, insolent cats. Cricket is all smiles, all the time, and her happiness is contagious.

I can’t say that I would recommend getting a puppy to any parents of small children, but if you’re hell-bent on doing it as we were, you really can’t go wrong with a Corgi. It’s a great little breed, and our Cricket is a particularly fine example of Corgi cuteness. I warn you, though—you will be herded like cattle. You will be unable to catch her when she zips around your house like a speeding bullet. And you will be completely taken in by her intelligence, sweetness and charm.

Enjoy! 🙂

Published in: on June 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm  Comments (2)  

We Are Homeowners. Hear Us Roar!

April 18, 2010

Christian and I are coming up on five years in our little 1940 rancher in Waldo. In the time that we have lived here, we’ve made a number of home improvements, all the way from minor paint jobs to pretty significant landscaping to a full kitchen remodel. And though we’re lacking in formal training or experience as handymen (or shall I say “handypeople”?), we’ve done 90% of the work ourselves—and a darned good job, too, if I do say so myself.

Our most recent do-it-yourself exploit was a deck that we built in the backyard. It’s a low structure—just about 10 inches off the ground—and its 14×16 size makes it perfect for relaxing with friends over a little BBQ and brewskis. We slaved over our deck for about a month, working fast and furiously at naptime and bedtime so we didn’t completely neglect our children in the process.

As this was our third major home-improvement project (first a bathroom, next the kitchen, then the deck), Christian and I settled into our roles fairly quickly, bypassing our normal course of bickering over who is really in charge. We have both accepted the fact that I am better with planning and he is stronger with execution, so he takes my orders with regards to the “how,” and I follow his lead with the “what.”

Yes, we’re a pretty good team, my husband and I. But we’re not alone in our DIY adventures. In fact, we have three other key contributors who help turn our vision into reality: Wyatt, Graham, and Bimbo the Cat. Together, the five of us make one lean, mean home-improvement crew, each with our own roles and responsibilities. Here’s how it breaks down:

Name: Christian “The Brawn” Nord
Title: Team Lead
Responsibilities: Demolition, purchasing supplies, heavy lifting, sawing, hammering, operating his beloved impact driver, drinking mass quantities of beer
Famous Words: “Really???”

Name: Sarah “The Brain” Nord
Title: Wannabe Team Lead
Responsibilities: Planning, worrying, measuring, leveling, worrying, shining the flashlight, moderate lifting, worrying, marveling at our creation
Famous Words: “Works for me!”

Name: Wyatt “The Helper” Nord
Title: Man-Child
Responsibilities: Light lifting, asking “why?”, wielding his plastic tools, hurting mommy and daddy with the measuring tape, asking for snacks
Famous Words: “Can I watch you work in my pajamas?”

Name: Graham “The Observer” Nord
Title: Innocent Bystander
Responsibilities: Waddling around the project site, picking up gravel and transferring it to his mouth, waiting patiently while mommy and daddy work “just five more minutes, Graham!”
Famous Words: “Gah!”

Name: Bimbo “The Inspector” Nord
Title: Project Supervisor
Responsibilities: Watching, judging
Famous Words: “Meow”

With the help of our entire crew, our recent deck project was a smashing success. For our friends living in KC, come over anytime to lounge with us and enjoy a nice margarita. And for those who live far away, I invite you to experience our new deck through this brief photo journal:

Our old patio, undergoing demolition

The new deck starting to come together

Christian at work under Bimbo’s critical gaze

Finished…at 11 p.m.!

Loving our new space!

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm  Comments (1)