Saturday, December 17, 2016

11th anniversary

It's our eleventh anniversary today and to celebrate we actually left the house and got a sitter. And by 'left the house and got a sitter' I mean I begged my friend—and fellow nursery leader—and her teenage daughters to spend their evening entertaining Zoë (she's a screamer) so that Andrew and I could go to the temple. It was a wonderful treat because we haven't gone on a single outing just the two of us since before Zoë was born because, well, she's a screamer. We haven't left her long enough to go anywhere, let alone the temple (which is about a five-hour excursion—to get there, do a session, and get back).

We took the kids over to the Green's house, which they were all super excited about. Benjamin was trying to get ready all day and the girls were ready to take off the minute they got home from school...but unfortunately for everyone I made them all wait until it was actually time to go.

When we got there, Zoë happily ran off with Benjamin to find Ethan. She didn't even notice that I'd slipped out the door until about half an hour after I'd been gone (according to the girls). Evidently that's the key—she needs a friend who's close enough to her age to be interesting but old enough to dote on her because she's a baby.

A five-year-old friend fills that need for her. A two-year-old friend does not.

She did not do too well in her own nursery class when we tried it out a couple of weeks ago. My theory is that's because the other babies in there are too young to care that she's The Baby so they treat her like a peer. But she doesn't want that. She wants everyone to give her everything she wants whenever she wants it.

Anyway, aside from a few "sad moments" she apparently did just fine this evening.

When we picked the kids up she started giggle-crying, "Momma! Momma! Momma!" and then wouldn't even let me put her down to put her shoes on.

It's nice to be so needed. But it was also nice to get away from her clinginess for a few hours. Now that we know she can handle it, maybe we'll be better about going to the temple...though finding babysitters willing to put up with her shenanigans will probably remain a challenge.

Earlier in the day—and not even aware that today was our anniversary—Benjamin asked me, "Do you know why you were so fat when you married Dad?"

"Why?" I asked.

For context, he was playing with some plush snowmen dressed in wedding outfits that we were given for our wedding (along with enough Christmas cheer to supply a small army (that's what we get for getting married in December)). Half the fun of setting up the tree is reading the snowmen filled with well-meaning advice and silly well-wishes before hanging them on the tree. The kids might not know exactly when our anniversary is, but they definitely know it's in December.

So, he wasn't looking at a picture of our wedding day or anything when he asked me about why I was so fat. He was playing with some jolly, plump snowmen under the Christmas tree because that's just where he hangs out these days (playing with snowmen and a little felt nativity and reading Christmas stories).

"Why?" I asked (in case you'd forgotten by now).

"Because you had to hold a whole family in your tummy!" Benjamin exclaimed. "We didn't come out until after you were married but we were all just waiting inside. You had to be fat!"

"That's not quite how it works," I said.

"Well, I was definitely in your tummy," Benjamin said.


"Where was I?"

"In Heaven."

"Was I dead?"

"No, you weren't even alive yet."

"What was I doing?"

"Just waiting," I said.

"Waiting in your tummy," he said.

"Nope. Not quite yet."

"I was, Mom. And Rachel was there, and Mimi was there, and Zoë was there. And you were so fat because all of us were squished right inside you!"

I suppose that would have made me quite fat, especially since he's convinced that our family has always been this size: Rachel has always been 9, Miriam has always been 7, he has always been 4, and Zoë has always been 1. Can you even imagine having that much person squished inside another person? No thanks!

It was a funny conversation for Benjamin to initiate on our anniversary!

Here's a random sampling of the snowmen I was talking about:

It's so fun to pull them out year after year and laugh over the silly comments made by our friends and siblings, and to remember fondly the growing number of advice-givers who have left us, and to reflect back on a day that was filled with so much joy.

On the top row, lefthand corner, we have an anonymous comment that says, "My beloved Nancy and Andrew, if you were a nose, I'd pick you first." I don't know who wrote that one! My bet is on either my cousin Heather or our friend-turned-cousin-in-law Diana.

Next up is a note from "Grandma Heiss," who we always called Grandma Sharon. She admonished us to "Have yourselves a merry little Christmas! Every year!"

Next is two stick figures having a race. The kids had been asking about this one so I had to think and think about who might have left it. I'm sure it was Steve (Diana's brother). And, no, he was not racing Andrew for my hand in marriage, but for marriage in general. Andrew won, hands down. We got engaged the very night Steve flew home from his mission.

On the right is a message from Sister Gardner: "Don't be too serious. Laugh and enjoy life. Even gloomy days turn sunny!"

On the bottom left is a note from Aunt Susan and Uncle Morris that simply says, "We love you!" but it really means so much to me that she travelled up from Arizona in the dead of winter to be at our wedding! She passed away a few years ago.

Next is one from my mom who says, "Come up with some traditions of your own!"

And then one from Karen: "Today was the best day! Treasure it!"

And then one from Ross/Eugene, who tells Andrew, "I was your second best roommate, but not nearly as cute as your new one."

There are so many of these! I love breaking them out every year!


  1. Sweet! Glad you were able to go out together - just the two of you!

  2. Dad and I watched a fun Christmas movie tonight. The children in it were talking about how their little sister cried and screamed all the time when she was a baby. "I was a diva baby!" she said. And I thought..."Oh, Nancy and Andrew have a diva baby, too!"

  3. Those are really cute and a great idea! Nancy I think baby Ezra was your cutest roommate I'm just saying:). BTW we got the card and it was almost makes me want to change my card company adorable...but I'm so lazy I don't know if I can do it! Happy Anniversary Heiss Family!!!