On Saturday, we took our crazy goldendoodle, Molly, over to Sarah’s parent’s house. They have 5 acres, so Molly has a chance to run around and burn off some energy. She was so crazy, tearing out into the yard and then burning back to the house, hovering over the fish in the pond, stealing fetched sticks from resident border collie Sage and lapping up water from the patio fountain. The best part? She’s been super tired the past two days. In fact, as I type this, she’s asleep at my feed (unheard of!).
We took a ton of pictures on Saturday, and some of them really made us laugh. Here’s a slide show from our dog’s day out:
Everywhere we go, people comment on how blue Oliver’s eyes are. It’s hard for me to argue. What do you think?
As I mentioned in a couple earlier posts, Sarah’s brother got married on Saturday. Aaron and Shima had a small wedding/reception at their house. It was nice and relaxing compared to some of the wedding theatrics that I’ve seen in my lifetime.
The day began with a Hindu wedding that honored Shima’s family traditions. It was a really beautiful, interesting ritual. Below are a couple pictures. The first was taken after the Chhedaabandan, or Tying of the Knot, and the second is of their feet as they completed the Mangal Fera, in which the couple circles a fire to symbolize a series of distinct purposes in life.
Overall, this was really, really interesting. I enjoyed it a lot. Sarah, who you can see on the left edge of the first photo, was obviously not in the crowd with me. That meant that I had Oliver for the entire hour. He was surprisingly good, as he sat quietly, then drank a bottle and had some snacks.
After this ceremony, the adults had some snacks of our own and then we headed back outside for a Lutheran ceremony. It started out nice, but Oliver would have none of it. He was being really loud, so I had to take him around to the other side of the house. Unfortunately, I missed 75 percent so can’t give a full report.
Next, our side of the family and a few of Shima’s relatives had ham sandwiches and salad for dinner. Then, Shima’s family cleared the table and her side ate a traditional vegetarian Indian dinner. I must have lingered around the kitchen too long because Shima’s dad invited me to join them. I really enjoyed eating this, and they were great in explaining how to eat Indian food correctly, describing what we were eating and just being the most friendly, accommodating people you’d ever meet.
An hour or two later and Oliver was ready to go. That said, we headed home for the night. Anyway, it was just a great day. We had a lot of fun and are excited to fully welcome Shima and her family into our lives.
I promised to post a few details about Oliver’s quirks, so here’s one: He only eats little finger foods that are unblemished. Yep, you throw a handful of Cheerios on his tray and he only eats the ones that make a complete circle. He either leaves the little fragments on his tray or throws them on the floor.
Below are some casualties from some Vanilla Smileys we gave Oliver after he ate a meal. The Smiley on the left is in perfect shape, to give you a reference point. The four on the right were tossed on the floor.
At Sarah’s brother’s wedding (more to come on that later) yesterday, Oliver was tossing away broken Gold Fish. What a picky little boy, eh?
Oliver is starting to develop a lot of quirks. I’ll share some of them in the coming weeks. One that really makes me laugh involves him noticing that our dog’s crate is open, then squealing and running over to it and climbing inside. Once in there, he likes to shut the door and just stare at us. He has a look of total seriousness on his face throughout the process. Sometimes Molly joins him. Other times he just sits there by himself. But every time we laugh.
This is my buddy and his family at their home:
No, they don’t live in the St. Louis ghetto. They live in the nicest house in a remote village in Papua, Indonesia. T (can’t use his name here due to the nature of what they’re doing), who I’ve known since we were college freshmen in 1994, is a Christian missionary. I believe his family has been overseas for most of the past six years. Anyway, he’s back in the United States for the next six months.
I organized a picnic this past Saturday in which a bunch of us Fontbonne and Deaconess grads, and our families, got together. T’s stories are nothing short of amazing. He told us about their decision to eat the family cat (and others in the community enjoying the head), women breastfeeding their children and their pigs, men trying to take T’s son, T’s wife’s recent medical care adventures, and a man who swears he was shot in the ribs by Satan’s arrow when he really just pulled a muscle carving out a canoe and needed some Tylenol. Really fascinating stuff.
T and I both participated in a brief missionary trip to the jungles of Brazil the week after we graduated, 11 years ago this month. I was never cut out for religious stuff in general, and I didn’t have the medical background that T possesses (he’s a trained nurse, among other academic accomplishments), so most of my time in Brazil was spent playing soccer with all the kids. Overall, it was fun. But I never would choose to make a life out of it. But T and his family have done just that. And I admire him for it.
To learn more about what they’re doing and to see some other pretty cool pictures, visit the family blog at http://tandtfamily.blogspot.com/.
Sarah’s second Mother’s Day was, at least in my opinion, a success. I let her sleep in today, then we made a big breakfast. Oliver and I gave her a card and her gift, then enjoyed a nice relaxing morning around the house. In the afternoon, we headed over to Sarah’s parents’ house for a barbecue. It was a nice, and the food was awesome (of course).
Sarah really relishes her role as a mother, and Oliver just loves her so much. The boy has really been in one of those “mommy only” stages lately, where he goes to me (or somebody else) for a while and then just wants his momma. It can be tough on Sarah, and her back, to always have the boy clinging to her, but she handles it well. What a great mother.
Here are a few pictures of the proud mother and her bundle of joy taken today at the in-laws’ house. Enjoy:
My loyal reader(s) … I’m still here. I’ve just been really busy lately. I’ve had some really challenging, but exciting projects at my day job, and I’ve been wrapping up the three courses that I’m teaching for UMSL. Between all of that, my time tends to be divided between taking care of our son, cleaning things up, maintaining the house, cooking/eating, grocery shopping, planting our garden (see photo below; for those who’ve seen it in the past, you’ll notice that I changed the shape/location this year) or sleeping. Haven’t had a lot of fun, but will soon enough. My classes end this weekend, so I should have the grading wrapped up very soon.
Hopefully I’ll be able to post some good stuff, too. Oliver is getting so big, walking EVERYWHERE, and getting teeth. More to come for sure. Thanks for staying with me.