Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
He has, of course, changed a lot in the last month. But I still get a kick out of watching his little tricks (it could be that I haven't seen him in a few days--be still my beating heart). My favorite is the way he chases his toy, Daisy, and us in his walker. He's much better at it now than a month ago--but still running into walls a lot.
Thanksgiving Weekend from Joel Schreurs on Vimeo.
Friday, December 26, 2008
- I've gotten into the habit of ordering Diet Coke whenever Jill and I go out to eat (which isn't often).
- I can no longer eat Starbucks Cappuccino Chip ice cream after, say, 7pm* and expect a decent night of sleep. (Although I've had to cut back on ice cream in general lately--for the same reason I've taken to ordering Diet Coke--I'm old, but not quite old enough for comfort fit pants.)
- This morning, when I had the chance to sleep in, I had the coffee pot going at 6:03--a half hour after I woke up.
- While writing a sermon a while back, I wanted to make a pop culture reference to a movie that came out just a few years ago (Enemy of the State)--you know, back when I was in high school (or was it the beginning of college?). When I looked up the release date for the movie, I was rather shocked to discover that it was over ten years old. Needless to say, the reference was completely lost on my high school students (They are equally clueless about any reference to Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Bueller? Bueller?) and Seinfeld. I tell you--kids these days).
- Speaking of high school kids--I've also caught myself saying the following to them: When I was your age (insert story of hardship and suffering here)...These anecdotes are, without fail, met with blank looks and eye rolls.
- Last week when I got my haircut, I noticed that the woman who was to do the deed is no longer shy about asking if I need my eyebrows trimmed. (The answer, of course, is yes.)
- Did I mention I have a child of my own?
I think my case is already quiet solid. I am getting old. But in case there's any doubt, I submit one more piece of evidence--Christmas.
The youngsters these days are asking for all sorts of fun toys. Wiis. Wizbangers. Watchyamakallits. And who knows what else. Of course, when I was a boy I only got sticks and dirt for Christmas. But never mind that. This year, I got a nose hair trimmer.
That's not what it's called on the package, of course. On the package, it's called a "personal groomer" and there's a picture of a man trimming his sideburns. Nothing old about that. But we all know the truth. It's not just for sideburns. It's for nose hair. Okay, and ear hair. And neck hair. And maybe upper back hair. But mainly nose hair.
I suppose there might be some who would be offended to receive such a gift from their spouse. After all, it could be argued that it's not a lot different than a man who gives his wife a Thigh Master. Here you go, honey--I just want to make sure you're not letting yourself go. And while I'm at it, here's some Fen Phen and a six pack of Slim Fast. Yes, some might try to read in a not-so-subtle critique into such a gift. But not me.
I ripped open the package, went straight to the bathroom, and declared war on those nose hairs. And it was even better than I had hoped. There were no cries of agony or tears of anguish (as I experienced when I would try to pull out my those pesky nose hairs with a tweezers--something I'm pretty sure they don't even allow in Gitmo). Instead, there were only shrieks of delight, tears of joy. I was thrilled. Absolutely elated. Because I had gotten exactly what I asked for.
You see, I know that I'm getting older. I realize that my hair is migrating to strange (and useless!) places. But hey--I'm not that old. I have not yet let go of all my vanity. I have not quite accepted fuzzy ears and sprouting nostrils as inevitable. I'm still young enough that I want to keep my nose clean.** And now--thanks to Jill--I can!
*This is further proof that I'm old--but not that old. Certain parents of mine can't eat it after noon.
**I've found this to be especially important for taller folks like myself. You never know who is looking up there!
***PS: That is not a picture of my nose. It was bad, but not that bad.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Adrian Uncut from Joel Schreurs on Vimeo.
Monday, November 17, 2008
On the way home that night, Dad stopped at a truckstop just off I-29 and bought me some Rolos. He handed them to me with a promise that we would see Grandpa and Grandma soon enough.
Less than a half hour ago, I removed my contented son from his Grandfather’s (my father's)arms. His little hands made one last exploratory grasp for Grandpa’s earlobes and cheeks and then, with a quick hug, we said our good-byes and headed for airport security. Deep in my gut, it feels a lot like that day some twenty-two years ago. Only this time, we’re the ones leaving. Grandpa and Grandma are the ones staying. And this time, there are no Rolos.
We’re grateful for a good week in Iowa. A good week with Adrian’s Grandpa and Grandma and the rest of the family. But sometimes, it’s hard to be reminded of what we (and Adrian) are missing.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Back in Jr. High, when older brother Micah was qualifying for state track meets in high school and brother John was shattering the records in grade school, I decided I wanted to be a runner too. So every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a showed up in the grade school gym with a few dozen of my classmates for track practice. We'd slog out a couple of miles together and then return to the gym, wheezing, to do sit-ups and push ups under the watchful gaze of (my then hero)Coach Landstra . And then, every other week or so (or maybe more often, I've tried hard to blot this time of my life out of my memory) we'd climb on the bus and drive to Orange City or Hull or Rock Valley for a meet.
The meets did not go well for me. Mr. Landstra always put me in the mile (which is not to say I was an actual "miler"). Back then I liked to think it was because my coach/hero saw some potential seeded deep within me--a gift that would blossom at any moment and result in a beautiful bouquet of ribbons and trophies. In retrospect, I've realized that it was most likely because the mile race always had a fountain start. This meant that Mr. Landstra could enter as many runners in the event as he desired--which is really a way of saying that he could have me "participate" in the meet without having to worry about my liability to the team.
I'm not bitter.
At any rate, I donned my blue "SCCS" t-shirt and lined up with the other slow guys (and a few fast guys) for every mile race for two years. As you might have guessed, I did not win any of them. There were, however, personal victories. One of the greatest came that cool spring day in eighth grade when I not only managed to finish without getting lapped (a first)but also came home with a fourth place ribbon. Never mind that there were only three other participants that day. It was still a victory for me.
Some day, I may write about my brief foray into high school track. (Being the brawny fella that I am, I naturally signed up to throw the discus, which really means that I signed up to ride around in the van and hang around in the weight room with my pal, Dave). This lasted for three weeks, until the coaches threatened to make me run. Then I heard other duties calling my name and quit.) But suffice it to say, running and I don't get along well. We never have. Probably never will.
All of which might make you wonder why I'm considering running a marathon.
That's right. I'm considering running a marathon. There are probably a lot of reasons for this (Dealing with my demons? Being white?). I'll leave those for the professionals and say that the the main one is that I told Jill that I would. To be more precise: I told her I would if she would.
This, of course, was a foolish thing to do. Jill has a much better history with running than I do. Not only does she voluntarily run on a regular basis, she's actually finished a marathon, and a half marathon (trail!), and several 25k races. She's reallly quite something.
But back last March, when I heard this sentence coming out of my big mouth, all that seemed like a distant memory. Jill was eight months pregnant and, um, not exactly in peak running form (though she was actually very fit--for a pregnant lady.)In fact, she was wondering if she would ever get back to running again. So, being the loving/encouraging husband that I am (and going through my annual three week flirtation with running, where I pick it up, try to convince myself that I like it, and then drop it again), and being a man with little or no ability to think before I talk, I told her that, if she wanted to get back in shape and needed a training partner, I'd be that guy. I would run a marathon with her. (I don't know why I didn't offer to do something more pleasant with her--like make a practice of climbing mountains on our knees with our hands tied behind our backs, but I digress).
So, long story short, Jill is looking at doing the Ft. Collins Marathon in six and a half months. The question is, should I be true to my word? What if I ran with her for four hours--but only covered a mile or two? Would that honor the sprit of the thing? Is it even physically possible for me to cover marathon distance in less than, say, nine hours?? Or should I say to my beloved wife, in the indelible words of the great Meatloaf, "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that?"
Please tell me what you think. And then go and conduct my pants experiment and report back (you bums).
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The six month stats are:
- Height: 28.5". 95th percentile
- Weight: 19 lbs. 75th Percentile
In other words, my sixth month old can beat up your six month old. Probably.
A few other notes on the video:
- For some reason, I'm in most of the shots and Jill is not. This is not because I'm a more active parent (Jill is probably caring for Adrian over 90% of the time). Its so that when he's nineteen, full of resentment, and in therapy, we'll have at least some proof that his father was around.
- We do talk to our son. Quite a bit, actually. However, I hate the sound of my voice, so I've managed to cut nearly all of the adult chatter out.
Adrian, Oct 08 from Joel Schreurs on Vimeo.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Author's note: Yes, this post is long. As I've noted before,
brevity is not my strong suit. But even if you choose not to read it all
(thats your choice), please catch the last full paragraph and participate in my
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
You heard it here first.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I'm not sure what I wrote about for all those fourteen pages (Any chance you still have this Mom? I'm sure it's gold.) Maybe I pontificated a bit about what it would be like to share a name with a president. Or what I would have done with the money Mr. Carver could have made. But I expect it was mostly about peanuts.
I recall thinking that my teacher, Mrs. Andringa, would be delighted to read those fourteen pages--all written out in my careful but cramped cursive. In retrospect, I was probably wrong about that. And wrong abut the teachers who followed in her footsteps--those poor souls who were forced to endure the pages and pages (and pages) of my rambling. Somehow, I doubt my 1.5 spacing, 10.5 font, and .8" margins succeeded in convincing them that my papers were within their assigned page limits.
All that is to say: brevity is not my strong suit. Of course, if you regularly read this blog, or if you took Comm 110 with me in college, or if you've ever heard me preach, you probably know that already. So I was rather impressed with myself for condensing our latest collection of Adrian videos down to a mere five and a half minutes (one minute of which is him sleeping--and I'll understand if you skip that part). I know it's still a little long--unless you are one of his grandparents or a parents--and some of you might want to skip to one of the high point at 4.15 (I won't blame you). But it's the best I could do.*
Adrian, Late Sept 08 from Joel Schreurs on Vimeo.
*I really don't feel that bad because (a) It's my blog and I'll post what I want to (b) my last Adrian video had twice as many hits as the moose video--which was short, and not about Adrian.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Untitled from Joel Schreurs on Vimeo.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I'm going to spend my evenings creating/editing videos of my son--like the one below--and refuse to release them until his grandparents pay up. If Brad and Angelina can get a few million just for a couple snapshots, there's no telling what I could get for these videos.
First one is free. Next time, I'm sending a bill.
Untitled from Joel Schreurs on Vimeo.
PS: Yes, I posted two days in a row (in case you failed to realize that the post below is also new).
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I really haven't done much in the last month. The big highlight was hiking "Grays and Torreys" (two 14ers* in the Front Range) with pal Pico last Monday. I also got to try out the new camcorder and my video editing skills--which are elementary, at best. One moment I wish I'd managed to capture came from a woman who must have been around 45-50 at the top of Torreys. We were talking about how nice the day had turned out (despite rain in Denver in the morning) and she said, "Well, I heard the weather report during my workout this morning..." It was one of those: "You-know-you're-in-Colorado-when" moments.
At any rate, here's my travelogue for the day. I had hoped to get a kickin' 80s soundtrack (featuring Boston's "Walkin' at Night", of course) but Movie-Making skills aren't quite there yet. Just imagine the power riffs as you watch...
Untitled from Joel Schreurs on Vimeo.
*A "14er" is a mountain peak that reaches over fourteen thousand feet.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
1. How did Adrian do on the plane?
Just fine. He slept more or less the whole way. He was actually kind of fun--people's faces would light up when they saw him, and then their smiles would get even bigger when they saw our seats were not by them. And of course, we got plenty of helpful childcare tips from complete strangers (including a flight attendant who had strong opinions about where babies should and should not be changed.)
2. Did you stay at Liam's house?
We love each other--but not that much. While Liam's two bedroom home serves its function for him and his family, it would have been a bit snug for all of us. Instead, we rented a three bedroom, three bath home just outside of San Jaun del Sur--a small village on the Pacific. Among the homes many perks were plumbing that allowed us to flush our toilet paper and showers that provided hot water without the threat of severe electrical shock.
3. What did you do?
As the pictures suggest, we sat around and read, splashed in the pool, played board games (I even let my in-laws win a game or two of Ticket to Ride), sweat, and stared at babies most of the day. San Jaun del Sur is known for its surfing--and I had brief visions of taking a few lessons--but that never materialized. I'm sure I would have dazzled them all with my sweet farmer/biker tan and cat-like agility.
4. Did you stay healthy?
Yes. Thankfully. Last time we were in Nicaragua that was not the case. All that needs to be said about that is that there are better ways to spend your vacation. Oh, while we stayed healthy, we had a close encounter with a scorpion (found one on a car seat, inches away from baby Judah's elbow) and I may have feared for my life when I was forced to drive on Nicaraguan roads while trying to keep up with my Nascar inspired brother-in-law.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Also a shot of the local wildlife...regrettably, I missed the other notable bit of wildlife--a man riding bike with a parrot on his shoulder.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I had this in mind last week as we ventured to one of Denver's classic tourist destination (a favorite for 36 years!)--Casa Bonita. I had heard that the food wasn't great (after I mentioned it in a sermon once, a pimple-faced seventh grader came up and said You'd be better off staying home and eating re fried beans from a can). But I figured, "How bad can it be? It's Mexican!"
It turns out I was wrong. It wasn't just bad. It was really, really, bad.
I thought for a moment that I was being taped on a Fear Factor episode. Or that I had fallen asleep and woken up in, say, Guantanamo Bay (although I think forcing someone to eat this food may violate the Geneva Conventions, so they clearly wouldn't do that there). The tortillas? Slimy. The "cheese"? Fake (generic Velveeta?). Everything else? Unidentifiable. It was an all you can eat affair, but none of us had seconds. Given the heritage and usual "thrifty" behavior of those adults gathered (me and Jill plus both sets of parents) that alone should speak volumes. Oh, the depths of human depravity that could produce such an abomination!
At the end of the meal, Jill said, "Well, on the bright side now we can say we've done it and never have to do it again." (She said something remarkably similar after finishing her Marathon a few years ago.) I heartily agreed.
But today, I realized we probably will do it again. Today, we got a wonderful postcard from my niece and nephew (the guests of honor and our excuse for going) thanking us. "We had a lot of fun", they said. And I suppose that made it all worthwhile. If another niece or nephew comes to visit--or if my own child(ren) just have to go--I suppose I'd do it again.
It's an amazing thing, I'm realizing, the lengths we will go to for those little people that we love!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
PS: We now have computer/internet at home (as of this week). I'm hoping to have more regular updates in the future. And with some text, if anybody cares about text...
Sunday, May 4, 2008
- I got peed on for the first time yesterday. Golden arches.
- Adrian got his first "bath". More or less.
- He also got licked by the dog for the first time. Don't tell his mother (or his grandmother.)
- He also went to church for the first time this morning. There was much ooohing and aaahing. (Over him, not the sermon.)
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Those are all fine, but I'm thinking the best way to bring it about is to tell Jill that it's not going to happen anytime soon, scoot off on some adventure that takes me deep into the mountains (or perhaps to Moab--there is a group from church going this weekend) and find myself well out of cell-phone range and hours (days?) from home. I predict that if I did that, Baby wold be here within moments of my falling off the grid.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
All that's to say that I'm not Denver's biggest Rockies fan. True, I had a mild case of "Rockies Fever"--just like all the other fair weather fans in Denver last fall (sorry for the mixed metaphor). But that passed fairly quickly (about half way through game three of the World Series). It's also true that we've gone to a few games--but that was primarily about (a.) the food and (b.) the culture up in the cheap ($4) seats. In addition to being mooned several times one pleasant evening last spring, we also got to listen in on some "interesting" conversations. My personal favorite was the twenty-something sitting ahead of us--a guywe'd seen spend at least fifty bucks on Coors Light--attemptinig to pick up a girl by giving her several innings worth of free financial advice. I think that's called irony.
Well, pal Pico (actually pal Pico's wife) had an extra ticket Tuesday night--so I went along. By most counts, they were great seats. Okay, they were phenomenal seats. Not only was the food as good as ever, we were also seated three rows behind the home dug out, meaning that we could hear Clint Hurdle yell at the umps and see Matt Holiday's glistening dome, and yes, the streaker in the 7th inning (Hey, I'm just reporting the facts.)
*Okay, reason (c.) I wasn't good at baseball. Everyone knows the worst players get stuck in right field, except when lefties are up to bat...
**Yes, this post means no baby news. We'll let you know.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
She's smiling for the picture, but really, she'd just been yelling Come out of there already!
I like it when Jill laughs and the whole belly shakes.
I think this is around or before Christmas. We were so proud--thinking that Jill looked so very pregnant. Silly us.
In other news: signs of spring include the bird nest on our back porch. I thought it was cool at first, but Momma bird has taken to dive bombing my head whenever I walk out the back door. Now I'm considering the purchase of a bb gun. (Not really.)