Tag Archives: Nephews

A Letter to Lincoln

Hey Bud,

Yesterday on our way to the hospital to meet you, your 3 older brothers had an interesting conversation.  First, Vander informed Hudson that after Vander dies, Huddy will die two years later.  And then two years after that, Logan will die.  And two years later?  You, Lincoln.  You will be next, according to Vander’s logic.  So yes, on your day of birth, we were already talking about your death.  Morbid, I know.  If it makes you feel any better they decided I would be in heaven long before that.  And for the record, it’s my job to reserve a giant field in heaven so we have space for a huge game of tag.

The boys also talked about what they plan on teaching you.  They’ve already sorted out who will teach you to snap, swim under water, play freeze tag, and do bottom droppers on the trampoline.  All the essentials. Continue reading

Wow Wednesdays “Butt Wiping and Gratitude”

“Wow Wednesdays” are officially back for the summer.  I wasn’t planning on bringing them back, but then I found myself saying “wow” every day this summer and realized this series basically writes itself.  Just yesterday I called my sister and she answered the phone by saying, “Perfect timing.  Vander just asked me what ‘sexy’ means.  Can you please explain it to him.  You’re on speaker phone.”


If you’re wondering, I told him it means “good-looking but only adults use that word.”  She ended the conversation with, “Ahhh!  Gotta go.  Vander has diarrhea and didn’t make it to the porta-potty on time.”  She later told me that her boys always have to poop when they leave the house, so while she was cleaning the diarrhea off of Vander’s butt, Hudson ran into the porta-potty to do work and Logan, her youngest, explored the outside of the porta-potty.  Strangers who saw this scene surely were thinking, “Wow.” Continue reading

Friday Faves- babies n bacon

Favorite blog of a friend whom I totally copied though it was completely unintentional

You know how I started this new “Friday Favorites” series and I thought I was being all creative and original?  Turns out I’m completely unoriginal and have accidentally stolen my friend Erica’s weekly posts.  Erica’s been doing a “Friday Favorites” for MONTHS.  I’ve read lots of these and they’re wonderful.  No wonder the title sounded so great- I had already heard it tons of times.  And yet somehow, in this scatterbrained mind of mine, I actually thought I was being clever with my new “Friday Favorites” idea.   Whoops.

So basically, I’m confessing to you all that not only am I totally unoriginal, I’m senile too and steal people’s ideas without even realizing it.  Read: don’t tell Katie any ideas for baby names or she will steal them.  Kidding.  I would never do that.  But I might use it for a cat name. Continue reading

Friday Favorites- Redwood Running

Favorite moment of ignorance

I’m pretty sure that just about every non-Catholic in America has experienced this awkward conversation:

“Ummm….you’ve got a weird smudge on your forehead.”

“I know.”

“You do?”

“Yeah.  It’s Ash Wednesday.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot,” you say as you really think, “Ash what???”

I had this conversation in high school, and I’m pretty sure I even tried to wipe off the ash for my classmate.  And yet somehow, I made it to age 29 having never heard of “Fat Tuesday.”  For those of you still in the dark about this day, apparently the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is the day in which one pigs out on all the crap they’re giving up for the next 40 days for Lent. Continue reading

My Pirate Nephews

My nephews are pretty incredible. I love to brag about them and tell Vander and Huddy stories. They just turned 4 and 2 and have such sweet spirits and such sweet faces.

Yes, I’m that girl who is constantly telling kid stories. And they’re not even mine. But they are priceless. Their logic and their actions are so comical. I never knew kids could be so entertaining. And I learn so much from them and laugh so much with them.

They are the main men in my life right now and though I’m usually exhausted after playing with them, it’s worth all the laughter and joy they bring me. Here’s why they’ve been making laugh lately:
1) Hudson will occasionally open his eyes SUPER wide.

2) When Vander doesn’t have a weapon, he’ll yell, “I’m one-armed! I’m one-armed” He means “unarmed.” Heidi and Dan purposely don’t correct him. He also recently said we were going to “inside-outside” for dinner (aka In-N-Out) and asked me to play “coconuts and ladders” with him. (chutes and ladders)
3) Hudson loves to wear my shoes and go through my purse. His parents are not concerned. Yet. But the other day I had to explain to Dan why his son had foundation smeared all over his cheeks and lip gloss in his hair. He also loves to find my girl products and then run when I try to steal them back. Wonderfully awkward.
4) At their pirate party, Huddy stuffed his face with at least 6 cupcakes. At least he was willing to share his frosting with me. His usual response when one asks for some of his food is, ‘No way, Jose.”

5) Vander is a bit obsessed with weapons right now and loves “attacking.” In a recent battle, he paused mid-battle to ask, “Katie, do you come at me in the name of the Lord?”
“Huh?” I looked to Heidi. She explained that he loves the David and Goliath story and often comes at people in the name of the Lord.
6) Huddy was eating something when we were all playing tag out front. But we didn’t have any food outside. So I opened his mouth and fished around and pulled out some gum. Then I noticed the wad of chewed gum on the sidewalk that had clearly just had 2 year old nails scraping through it. He turned “ABC gum ” into “ABCBASALOTG gum” (already been chewed by a stranger and left on the ground). Nasty.
7) I taught Vander the expression, “Hey good-lookin, whatcha got cookin?” He was super excited to try it out and ran to his dad and said, “Hey good-lookin, what’s in the oven?” He thought he had nailed it because Heidi and I were laughing so hard.
8) Heidi sent me this video while I was teaching. I’ve since watched it about 47 times. At the very end you can’t really understand Hud but he is trying to pray so he folds his hands and says, “Let’s pray…”

9) Vander has some interesting problem-solving skills. Luckily, only Heidi overheard this conversation:
Vander: “Katie, do you have boobies?”
Me: “Yep. All girls do.”
Vander: “Then why don’t you feed Logan his dinner?”
Me: “Ummmmm….Heidi????”
Speaking of Logan, I love that lil’ babe as well. He just doesn’t say ridiculous things yet. He is 9 weeks and, like both of his brothers before him, giant for his age. He has no idea just how good he has it yet. His brothers both LOVE to kiss him and snuggle him. It’s quite adorable.

10) Vander was talking to Heidi about who he will marry one day. He said he would like to marry Teri but Heidi explained that she is marrying Trent. His response:
“I could wrestle Trent.”
Well played Vander.
11) Vander’s thoughts on God and heaven are full of wonder and innocence. The other day we watched a balloon floating away and he said in a very matter-of-fact tone, “Welp, there must be a birthday party in heaven.”
Then when we were watering the plants, he grew concerned that we couldn’t reach some of the plants with the hose so I explained that they drink from the rain that God brings. I saw the wheels turning in his head and he replied, “Oh. So God waters the plants on Sundays and Jose waters them on Wednesdays.” Something like that, Vander.
When I’ve had a long day spent dealing with ornery, jaded teenagers, I go hang out with these boys. They remind me of the wonder in the world. They remind me of the innocence, of the hope, of the joy in the world. And they remind me to laugh.

What I Love About Being an Aunt

Logan John slid into the world today weighing in at 8 pounds even. Heidi’s smallest babe yet. He is healthy and perfect. He has lots of blonde hair which Heidi already was styling, incredibly long lashes, and what appears to be the Hardeman toes gene- sorry bud.
Emma and I brought his big brothers to the hospital and maybe one of my favorite moments ever is seeing them react to their new bro bro. Vander, in typical adorable and affectionate fashion, gently hugged Logan. Huddy, who has always been pumped about babies, was ecstatic about his very own baby and immediately welcomed to the family by giving him a noogie. Logan will soon learn that in our family, that is a sign of affection.
Heidi and Dan got a glimpse of what life will be like with three crazy boys. As the attention was all focused on Logan, Huddy grabbed two suckers and he and Vander slipped into the bathroom to play and closed the door behind them. We heard giggling and then a toilet flushing and when Dan opened the door, Vander had the “caught in the act” expression and Huddy just laughed as he continued to dip his suckers in the flushing toilet. Heidi really is super mom though because when she heard the toilet flush she said, “I bet Huddy is dunking his suckers right now.” The now middle child really is hilarious.

Heidi is superwoman. Literally. She makes labor seem like a piece of cake. I got this text this morning from her: “How was your run? Have epidural and haven’t felt any contractions but am having them:)” I can’t think of many women who include smiley faces in their texts and ask about other people’s days WHILE THEY ARE IN LABOR! I also can’t think of many women who deliver a child and look like they just stepped out of a magazine in a hospital gown. Hair curled and styled, make-up perfect,… I felt a bit self-conscious walking in looking like a mess after my run. Afterwards I was in the room when the nurse was giving her pain medication. She asked her on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain ever, what Heidi was feeling. Heidi paused, considered, and said, “Oh about a 3.” A three. This of course made me think of this bit by Brian Regan.
So in honor of Logan’s arrival, here is a list of things I love about being an aunt.

* I can tell my nephews ANYTHING and they will believe it. The other night Vander was sharing my milk because I told him it was magic milk. But I said he could only share if he didn’t backwash. He then asked me what it means to backwash. I realized that if I told him the truth, he, without question, would spit his food in my milk. Thus the lie. I didn’t realize its effect until I heard my mom:

“Vander, stop it! What are you doing? Katie, why is Vander putting his hand in your milk and rubbing his back?”
* I get to play in ways that are socially unacceptable if you are not accompanied by a kid. I can climb trees, swing on the swings, and slide down slides without looks of disapproval. I get to do cannon balls and swan dives and wear goggles and have tea parties without fear of judgement. I get to hang out under the kitchen table eating marshmallows and toss water balloons at imaginary dragons and no one bats an eye. I get to dress up in costumes and have sword fights and no one doubts my sanity. I get to hide in neighbor’s side yards without worrying about them calling the cops and run around fountains playing chase without fear of raised eyebrows.

* I get to watch cartoons without feeling judged. I do still watch them on my own but I notice the lifted eyebrows and mocking condescension. Phineas and Ferb is certainly a favorite of the newer brand of cartoons but I also found a Care Bear DVD which I bought for the boys…or really for myself but I watch it with them. What better excuse to watch the Care Bear stare and Loony Tunes again than doing it “for my nephews.”
* I don’t have to do any disciplining. Maybe I’m supposed to but I don’t. Sometimes I even tattle on them and they get spanked. It’s awesome. (Okay stop judging me- I only tattled once and Vander was disobeying my mom so I told Dan about it. My mom was not happy with me. Apparently it’s true- nobody likes a snitch.) When Vander doesn’t do what I tell him to, I just threaten to stop playing with him. Works like a charm.
* I get to feel like the coolest person alive. Whenever I need a self-esteem boost, I go see my nephews. No one else cheers when I enter a room. It’s always a little awkward when Vander tries to get others to share in his enthusiasm upon my arrival- “Hey guys, Katie is here!” The downside of this attention is that everyone always knows when I’m in the bathroom. If I manage to escape his attention for a moment to sneak to the commode, I instantly hear, “Where’d Katie go?” knock, knock, knock. “Katie you in there? Can I come in? Hey guys, I found her- she’s in the bathroom.” Thanks Van.
* I rarely change diapers. I know what you’re thinking- your sister must secretly resent you for this. I really don’t think she does. She doesn’t seem to. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve changed them. Once I put Huddy’s diaper on backwards and another time he rolled around in his poop. Maybe that’s why Heidi never asks me. When Vander was being potty trained we were playing in the “jungle” on the hill in my parents’ backyard. We were squatting as we hid from the bad guys and he kept ripping ’em so I said,
“Vander do you have to go potty?”
“No. Let’s just keep playing.”
“Okay, but if you poop your pants, I’m not cleaning you up.”
He laughed.
Then he pooped his pants.
I did not clean him up.
He loves telling that story. He also LOVES telling people the story of when he fell and I picked him up but then took one step and slipped in a puddle and fell on top of him. My ankle is literally scarred from that fall so I can never forget about that very embarrassing evening when my mom thought I broke Vander’s foot.
I love these little boys more than I thought possible. I love playing with them even though they suck the energy right out of me. (Heidi has taken numerous pictures of me passed out on the couch after just an hour with them) I love snuggling them, swimming with them, and reading to them. I love teaching them new things like how to make a water balloon and do the “worm.” I love watching them grow and change and pray and play. Heidi and Dan are incredible parents and they certainly have been blessed with three absolutely amazing boys.