Friday, November 06, 2009

So I don't forget...

Between chasing the kids and making half-hearted attempts to clean up around them, I've been reading a new book today. The book is a collection of short stories (I'm drawn to short story collections lately, in case you hadn't noticed) and is extremely well-written. The stories, though, are all about failed relationships-- divorce, death, loveless marriages, dysfunctional children... all very real, but kind of depressing. This afternoon, as I started yet another short story of a woman who wanted-- needed-- to get out of a bad situation, I started feeling really depressed. Do any of us have any hope at all? I wondered, and feared for myself and for my children, who haven't experienced any real loss in their lives yet. This hopeless feeling engulfed me when I went to meet Chris for a little date.

While I sat with my husband in a quiet place, another couple came in and started talking to us. They were celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary. Fifty-nine years. Isn't that amazing?

Even more amazing, touching, and ultimately quieting to my soul, was the sweet way the husband escorted his wife, the way their eyes glimmered when they told us how they had woken up this morning, looked at each other and said, "well, it's been a nice 59 years."

There are a lot of terrible things in this world, and my children will probably have their precious hearts broken once or twice. But there is also enough love to keep a couple together long enough that the hard times seem like a far-distant memory, and there is plenty of hope.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

All the Hallows...

Oh, the Halloween festivities! We had such a great time this year-- no wonder it is Chris's, and now Gordon's, holiday. We had a very fun and candy-filled week last week, starting with "Boo at the Zoo". We met my sister, Ann-Michelle, there with her kids-- cousins always make every event that much more fun.

Boo at the Zoo can be summed up this way: a visit to the zoo in the freezing cold to show off your costume and get a bunch of tootsie rolls. Okay, so the candy was sub-par, but I would definitely consider our zoo trip a success. Unlike our trips in the summer, when most of the animals are just laying around in the heat, nearly every exhibit we visited was full of very active animals. Gordon was especially impressed and frequently remarked how "awesome" all of the animals were. I loved his enthusiasm, especially considering that it was for something other than candy!

Our little troupe of zoo-goers (and yes, Thomas does that pose in every picture-- apparently that is what the "real" Luigi also does...)

In addition to candy stations, the zoo also had a little play area set up in the petting zoo. Gotta love hay!

On Friday, my first task was preparing for, then supervising Tom's class Halloween party. At the beginning of the year, I performed a stay-at-home-mom duty and showed up for a PTO volunteer tea... and somehow, I became the room mother. Super. I was pretty stressed about the whole thing until Chris reminded me that I was planning a party for a bunch of third graders and that they'd be happy if I just brought treats. He was right-- they had a blast decorating cookies, playing Halloween Bingo, and just enjoying an hour without schoolwork. I had fun, too, and now I even have some ideas for our Christmas party in December.

Gordon came along-- there is something about being in school that makes brothers sudden best friends.

On Saturday, we all headed to Salt Lake City to meet Chris's parents at a fabulous little restaurant downtown. Marilyn posted a review of the Basil Leaf Cafe on her blog-- and it really is that good! I had a delicious steak sandwich, but I think the winner was Marilyn's adobo chicken. Yum. Go there. Tell them we sent you.

After a tasty lunch, we went back to the brown house to relax, watch college football, and prep for trick-or-treating.

I think this was a pretty awesome year for costumes. First of all, I only bought some black make-up for Tom's face and a long-sleeved green shirt. I don't particularly mind spending money on Halloween costumes, but it just worked out this year that I didn't have to, and that came at a very nice time.

Love this little joker!

Gordon's costume was the best-- he wore this incredible dinosaur costume that Marilyn made for Andy 25-some-odd years ago. It fit Gordon perfectly and he made the most adorable dino! I did carry his long tail everywhere, but it was kind of nice to have a little leash!

Thomas, as mentioned, decided to revisit last year's theme as Luigi. His idea, really. We still had the hat and overalls, which now fit instead of being too big, and he was as happy as can be. I wonder if he'll be a Mario Brothers character next year? Bowser?

My little Neilbit is now the third Hansen child to wear the fabulous Tigger costume, and he looks just as cute and snuggly as his brothers did. The thing I love about this costume is that it's like wearing a full-length fur coat-- it's so warm and cozy. Unfortunately, most of the pictures I tried to take of this little squirmer look like this...

We went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood Chris grew up in, which made him really nostalgic. It made me want to live in a similar neighborhood and stay there so our kids can grow up with other kids and create those same kind of memories.

Later that night, we returned with an impressive candy stash and three happy little boys. Apparently a piece of Swedish Fish is all it takes to get a smile out of Neil!

Monday, November 02, 2009


Happy Halloween!! We had a wonderful one-- I'll post all about it tomorrow! For now, let me just say that I'm thankful for these cute little pumpkins and the cute boys who carved them! :)