...and your name is....?

I've had a lot of exposure to mothers lately. Babysitting my nephews has brought me into the realm of young motherhood, where women live to cart their children around to various activities. This morning, T-ball. I sat on my blanket, keeping one eye on my two-year-old nephew as he ran around a tree, and one eye on my six-year-old nephew as he ran around playing ball, which left both of my ears open to hear the conversations around me.

"I swear, he's grown three inches since last week! He's outgrown his pajamas, and now he's always cold downstairs because the bottoms only come down to his calves!"

"Well, I had to take ____ to dance class, and then run ____ here to play ball..."

"My boy wakes up early no matter what time he goes to bed. He went to sleep at 10:30 last night, and was awake at 5 a.m. because he had a bad dream!"

I'm on the edge. I don't really belong to the club. I'm only a part-timer--watching my nephews during the day twice a week. The other moms ignore me on my blanket as they sit in their lawn chairs and gab about dentist appointments and parent-teacher conferences. They don't recognize me (although I know I'll see them at swimming lessons in an hour). They call my nephews by name but don't ask for mine. The only time they acknowledge me is when their nine-month-old daughter crawls towards my lap or their 3-year-old son swings a bat a little too close to my head. Even then, it's a quick smile as they gather up their offspring and return them to the safety of their strollers and tot chairs.

I'm not a mother...but my name is Andrea.



For the third weekend in four weeks, I am going away. This is the most exotic place yet. California and Montana, step aside. Lake Pahoja's taking over. I don't think it knows what is about to hit it.


montana in pictures

road trip crew at rushmore: andrea, sarah, phil, dave
couldn't go through mitchell, sd, w/out getting a shot of the world's ONLY corn palace!
me and the bride being all sexy and stuff
me & al--sisters and cohorts in craziness!
al not following yellowstone national park directions
sarah, al, & phil on the yellowstone trails
sarah and i take a break on I-90 east
we went to wall drug and all we got was soaked!
kendra and nate: sunlight blessing
unexpectedly wet in yellowstone


a vacation in pictures

day 1: bumped up to first class from salt lake city to sacramento--yeah, baby!
day 2: babysitting with the bride--we're going west on the wagon train!
day 3: more friends! yay! phil, laura, me, becca, sarah
day 4: the wedding! former d6ers--becca, laura, me, sarah, nikki
still day 4: mr. & mrs. elgersma
and it's still day 4: i caught the bouquet; sarah didn't appreciate my shoving her out of the way (notice this is the ONLY picture EVER of sarah not smiling)
day 5: becca grazes at casa de fruta--naughty!
mark faces danger at casa de fruta
mark, me, and philip boogie-boarding in the pacific
...and sarah's stuck in the wetsuit

day 6: the van dyken boys at yosemite
heather, we have not forgotten you!
sarah, me, becca at bridalveil falls in yosemite
day 7: winery #2
day 9: we skipped day 8 because day 8 sucked, which is why philip is sleeping on the airport floor here in denver


wave goodbye

Today was our last day in CA. Tomorrow afternoon we fly back to Iowa. I feel as though I've been in California for a very long time, and I like it. Phil and I hit up three wineries today and tasted about 15 wines. Interestingly, the worker at one of the wineries was born in LeMars. Hmm.

Then we bought fudge in Columbia, a little historical gold mining town.

Then we went to a Van Dyken cousins shin-dig and ate and watched a video and hot-tubbed and jumped in the debris-filled albeit nice pool.

I'm not ready to go back yet.


one wedding and no funerals...yet

I am in California. The best part was when Phil and I got upgraded to first class for FREE on our flight from Salt Lake City to Sacramento. Sa-weet.

The bride and I baby-sat 4 rambunctious children for several hours yesterday while the boys lolly-gagged on a boat. Ahh, gender roles. But Sarah and I had fun, especially when the day ended and we were still alive.

Decorating the church/reception yard today, and a wedding tomorrow (d.v.) We'll see if everyone survives...