Monday, September 30, 2013

Love Is A Verb

Herb is the kind of guy who says "I love you," no less than three times a day.  When he wakes up, when he goes to work, when he gets home, when we go to bed, and sometimes whenever we leave the room.  Okay, so that's closer to five.


Which makes it funny to think back a few years to when Herb and I were dating and how I was literally scandalized by the fact that he wouldn't say "I love you."  In fact, we dated for 9 months, broke up for 2 months, and were back together for 2 months before I heard those words out of his mouth.  

We were discussing this the other day and he said, "I really waited that long?"

I should also mention that when we got back together after the break-up, it was under the pretension that not only was our relationship leading to marriage, but yes, indeed, we were planning to get married to each other.

And yet, still no "I love you," at that point.

As much as I was borderline traumatized/annoyed with my boyfriend/soon-to-be-fiance/future-husband at the time, he was wise beyond his years.

I read an article today that was floating around facebook, "I Didn't Love My Wife When We Got Married."

"And now, as I'm a bit older and a bit more experienced with this relationship, I've finally come to realize something. Something I haven't wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable.  
I didn't love my wife on that second date. 
I didn't love her when we got engaged.
I didn't even love her when we got married.
Because love isn't an emotion.  That fire I felt, it was simply that: emotional fire.  From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry.  But it wasn't love.
No, love isn't an emotion or even a noun.  It's a verb.  Better defined as giving.  As putting someone else's needs above your own."

And really, how much sweeter was that first "I love you," from Herb when it finally came one cold February night as he dropped me off at my apartment following a Wind Ensemble rehearsal?

P.S. I'd also like to add that love is being an "old married couple" who wears matching sneakers on date nights.  #we'resoneardy #we'resohappy #jazzpros

Christmas Gift Idea : Little Girl

My sister in law, Sarah, is a gift giving genius.  She is the kind of person that's shopping all year long and knows just the right things to give.  So when she gave me a suggestions for her daughters, you better believe I jumped on it.

Sarah said when she was a little girl her mom wrote a story about her and put pictures of her in it.  She thought my neices (her daughters), Ellie and Cora might really enjoy something like this.

First I composed a 24 stanza poem about Cora's three wishes (be a princess, be a kitty, go home), and then I uploaded recent beach vacation pictures into Shutterfly.  20 pages later, this book was born.  And of course I had a coupon, so this book ended up being just the cost of shipping, $9.

I finished the first one this morning, and I'm pretty excited to give it to Cora at Christmas!  (Sarah, don't let her see it here!  Hehehe - not that I know any 5 year old blog readers...)

Visit to create your own personalized photobook.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Unlike every other mom on the face of the Earth, I completely forgot to post pictures of Levi's first day of pre-school.  He was much more excited than I expected him to be.

On the first day, I took him to his classroom and stayed to play for about 30 minutes before being escorted to another room to fill out paperwork and hear from the headmistress (is that her title?).  Levi was not happy about my leaving and cried pretty hard.  The teacher offered to "just take him" and I let her.

I heard crying during the entire parent's meeting, but I was pretty sure it was not Levi.  At the end of the meeting my fears were calmed when I saw the three year old class marching in a line down the hall, packs on their back, with Levi happily leading the line.  His teacher told me he stopped crying after about one minute.

Later in the car I asked him what made him feel better and how he stopped crying.

"It was snack time, Mom!"

That's my boy.

I got a little choked up the first day when I saw his name on the door and when I saw him leading the line, but otherwise held it together well.

The second and third days of school were a different story.  This time, the teacher met us at the car, pulled him out of his carset and in they walked.

"See you later, Mom!" he happily shouted.  Ah, no tears!!

I can't say the same for myself.  I cried the whole way home both days.  I should mention the "whole way home" is only a mile, so that's not too bad, right?  And I'm good now.  So proud of my boy!

Today (the 4th day of school), his teacher chatted a little bit during pick up because I was the last one in line.
"Levi is very happy and obedient in class!" She shared.  Yay for Levi!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Levi, Year 3

Well, it took me an extra month to get finished, but I finally hit "publish" and "upload" on Levi's birthday video last night.  In years past I had the video reviewing the last year done in time for his actual birthday, and we played the movie at his parties.  This year it didn't make sense to do it at his baseball party, so I'm just posting it here for my own enjoyment.

Levi Year 3 from Michelle Suereth on Vimeo.

The biggest hold up was figuring out what music to use.  That's always my favorite part of making these birthday videos - but it the hardest too...

This video's music sums up the last year perfectly -

"Sweet Baby Boy" - Slugs and Bugs
"Ho Hey" - The Lumineers.  Picked for lyrics such as "I belong to you, you belong to me, you're my sweetheart," and "I've been sleeping in my bed," because the biggest parenting challenge for me thus far has been the whole big boy bed situation.
"Under Where" - Slugs and Bugs.  The second biggest deal of this year was potty training.  And Levi thinks this song is hilarious.  It just works.
"Rodeo" - Aaron Copland.  One time a few months ago, Levi FLIPPED out when this song came on (in a good way!).  I had to throw it in, and it's exciting, just like the life of a little boy.

Happy birthday, Levi!

Videos from other years - here.

Dappy & Coco

I know it's a fairly common thing, but since I've never had one, you can imagine my curiosity when Levi started talking about his friend, Dappy.

Dappy is a little girl with pink hair who likes baseball.  Her favorite food is hot dogs, and she must be a good race car driver, because often I hear Levi exclaim,

"Yay for Dappy!!"

Oh, did I mention Dappy is an imaginary friend?  I realized her existence was more than just a role playing match box car activity when I noticed Levi pushing the baby swing the other day.

"What are you doing, Levi?"  I asked.

"Pushing Dappy in the swing, Mommy."


So the next night at dinner, as Herb and I discussed Dappy with Levi, I suddenly remembered hearing him say something about "the Bot" while he was playing cars, too.

"Who's the bot?" I asked.

"Spot the Bot!  He's so bad!!!"  Levi replied.  "And Coco is good.  He's Dappy's friend."

So, if you're following correctly, Dappy and Coco (a girl and boy respectively) are in a fierce battle (which is often taking place on our ceiling, according to Levi) against Spot the Bot - a bad robot.  THey must all get along sometimes, because, again according to Levi, all three of them sleep in his bed.

Herb's theory is that Levi is picturing characters from Yo Gabba Gabba; I'd rather just think it's completely made up in my little boys creative mind.

Either way, it's hilarious, and if you have the pleasure of hearing this story in person, I guarantee I cannot say "Spot the Bot" without cracking up.

Have you or your kids every had an imaginary friend?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm Being Jesus

Today I was upstairs when I heard Levi yell in a triumphant voice,

"I'm Jesus!!"

Flashing back to a day on the park a few weeks ago, I was hoping I would not come downstairs to find him standing, arms spread wide, like he did on the rock wall at the play ground when he said he was "Being Jesus."  (You know, all Jesus-on-the-cross style).

I entered the living room, and he was holding a wooden yard stick.  Swishing it around, hitting walls, tv cabinets, and even the ceiling fan.

"Mommy, I'm Jesus and I have a big sword."

Maybe we should lay off the Jesus stories circa Revelation 19...but on the other hand, kind of awesome that my three-year-old's go-to superhero is Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Man of My Dreams

I love stories, which is I think why I like blogging.  It's definitely why I love tv (yes, I stuck with ER, Heroes, Friends, and Lost till the very end), movies, and my own personal dreams.  Like the ones I have at night.  Stories that my brain makes up - they're often very entertaining, interesting (to me), and more clever than anything I could think up in my waking hours.

For the last few months, maybe longer, I've been having a recurring dream.  It's the best kind of recurring dream...a happy one.

In the dream, which I had last night, I'm usually going about my business when I become aware that I'm falling in love with this guy who usually remains faceless.  Sometimes we're in college, sometimes I'm a mother, sometimes I a mother as my college self.  As the dream progresses, I profess my love to this man and then suddenly I realize it's none other than Herb.  And then I half wake up because I remember, wait, I AM in love with this man in real life and we've spent the last decade together.

And then I wake up and this literal man-of-my-dreams is lying beside me.

Those are the best mornings ever.