Thursday, September 17, 2009

First Day of School

Eli is back at Union this year, and brought along his favorite alter-ego. Here's Buzz on his first day of school.

Joel and I have been joking that if the obsession doesn't let up, we are sure to have Star Trek conventions in our future.


A wonderful evening with friends and s'mores. One of those nights that is simple and good and easy, and I am just so aware that I do not deserve this life, this family, these friends, but oh, am I grateful.

Monday, August 31, 2009

"S" is for...

"S" is for Starfall. As in

A friend just told me about it, and it's so cool! The website has lots of alphabet and learning games, engaging but simple graphics and pleasant sound effects. No obnoxious, on-my-last-nerve songs or voices...hooray!

"S" is for Sick.

So this is just the thing to help pass the time since Eli's been under the weather for two days now. Nothing serious- a fever, headache, and cough. To tell you the truth, it's not so bad because he's funny, sweet and really cooperative when he's sick. We don't know why- maybe he actually thinks he needs us a little.

Yesterday morning:

"Mama, something's wrong. Something's the matter with my head right here," he whined, pointing above his nose.

"Yeah, honey, you have a headache. I'm sorry that it hurts. We have medicine to help that feel better."

"What is it called again?"

"A head ache. It's when your body is sick and it makes your head hurt. But it will get better soon."


"Hey Daddy, guess what? I had a heddick and Mama gave me some medicine that tasted like Kool-Aid and now it's better!"

Then, last night, his way of saying the Tylenol had worn off:

In a sing-song voice, "I kno-ow...maaaybeee...I could put on my bike helmet, and it will help those pieces in my head stay together that are falling apart."

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Last night, Eli was quietly busy in the kitchen for several minutes while I visited with a friend in the family room. I let it go, without even checking on him.

"Hey Mama, come look what I did!" he proudly called from the kitchen.

I walked in, gazing around the room for evidence of his quiet creativity.

"Look, I put stickers here on the cabinet, and the drawer, and on the oven, and two on the refrigerator, and some on the freezer. I put the stars EVERYWHERE so I could make it pretty for you. That's pretty cool, huh?" He was smiling, and proud.

He'd used the left over foil stickers from his birthday party. Metallic red, shimmery silver, yellow gold were eagerly placed where ever his four-year-old arms could reach. Smiling, I told him it yes, it IS beautiful.

I meant it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday!

If three was The Year of the Bobcat, then four was The Year of Buzz Lightyear.

Eli is Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger, for several hours every day. He recites endless lines of movie dialogue, drains Joel's i-phone while watching Toy Story clips on YouTube (so he'll eagerly tell you about "Spanish Buzz Lightyear"), has worn head-to-toe polyester Buzz gear in 100+ degree heat, and often asks God to give him Buzz Lightyear dreams.

So when it came time to plan his 4th birthday party, there was no doubt about the theme:

"Calling all Space Rangers. Intergallactic emergency in sector 63119. Emporer Zurg has been sighted near Eli's house. Join the Universe Protection Unit to keep his sector safe. Space Rangers/Rangerettes will gather for training, fuel, and glucose boosters. Join us- the universe depends on it!"

He said, "For my birthday, I want a Buzz Lightyear cake. And real Buzz Lightyear wings, not pretend, so I can really fly."

With the help of some mmf (thanks for the tip, sis!) and some long unused play-dough molding skills, I was able to deliver on the Buzz cake.

The wings, well...not so much.

But that's okay, because when we talked about who would be at his party, he wanted to invite "my friend J.R.". J.R. is a St. Louis based national recording artist who sings one of Eli's favorite songs. The good news is that he and his wife Coco go to our church, so not only were we able to invite them, they came. (Days before, Eli happily prepared one of the goodie bags for him, selecting the Woody crayons, "because I bet J.R. likes Woody.")

And yes, we most definitely set him up for disappointment later in life when he learns that singers won't always come to your birthday party.

We are so grateful for the chance to celebrate with friends. The kids painted their wings and practiced their "falling with style".

This was the year Eli really "got" the whole present thing.

It was so cute to see all the kids excited to give gifts. You could really tell they picked them out with Eli in mind.

He asked me several times, "Do I really get to keep these and not give them back?"

We could not get over the beautiful breezy "San Diego" weather we enjoyed in the middle of summer. After the party, Team Lindsey relaxed in the backyard and the boyz played with some of the new toys. We feel blessed to have shared the day with so many wonderful friends, and are so grateful for our bright, funny, friendly four year old boy!

Happy 4th Birthday Eli! You are loved!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Movies

I don't get to the movies often. Partly, it's because I don't like spending the money on it when it's so much cheaper to wait two months and rent it. (Which is why it's a mystery that it takes me a 1/2 hour to choose a movie at Blockbuster- isn't it filled with new releases I haven't seen?) Mostly, it's that if I have three free hours with my husband, or some girlfriends, it just seems like staring at a screen together in silence is not the best way for us to spend it.

But there are exceptions. Here are mine:

1) You gotta see it on the BIG screen. Those scenic, beautiful movies that take your breath away- those are for the theater. I can't imagine being so awestruck by "Slumdog Millionaire" on our flatscreen at home.
2) They are the dinner conversation. The characters are unique, the story is fresh, and there are decisions to ponder. One of Joel and my favorite dates was going to see "Once", then discussing it over dinner. (Ok, so borrowing our friend's little convertible on that gorgeous night didn't hurt it either.)
3) The anticipation is killing me, and I don't want to wait another few months until it comes out on dvd. If it's as good as I'm hoping, I want to see it now. If it's not, I'd rather know and not build it up even more.

So, I've been waiting for months to see Julie & Julia. I was looking forward to seeing it with two close friends, who both happen to be amazing cooks with a gift for hospitality. One is moving out of the state soon, so we've been on this sad sort of countdown and this seemed like the perfect "up" thing to do together. I hoped it would be a feel good, laugh together, be inspired, soul-search-in-a-not-too-serious way kind of movie.

It was.

And so was the wine and left-over chicken salad and zuchinni bread we shared at her house after, gathered around the kitchen island, laughing amidst the boxes of her half-packed house. I'm glad to have this movie as a sort of bookmark- a time with these two precious friends with a gift for weaving together food and laughter and friendship.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Boy

Eli will be four in two weeks. Lately, it's like his brain and body are having a little contest each day to see who can get there faster. Daily, Joel and I are updating and asking, "Have you seen him do that before? Guess what he asked me today? Did you know he could do that?"

He is a boy.

He climbs trees. In our backyard. He's a monkey you know, like Curious George. Which means sometimes, he will go an entire 30 minute without saying an actual word, while I decipher from his pointing, waving arms, smiling face, gestures, and "ooh-ooh-ah-ha"s as he communicates that he would like a drink, a banana, and a graham cracker. And then back to climbing. I may be taking him to the ER someday soon for a broken limb, but I'm okay with it. I think.

He is scared of things. He especially does not like going upstairs to go to the bathroom if no one else is up there. Today, he paused on the first stair, turned, and asked, "Are any sharks up there?" "Nope, they only live in the ocean." "Gorillas?" "Nope, gorillas are not allowed in the house." "Burglers?" "Nope, our house is safe." "Our house is safe?" "Yes, our house is safe."

He colors. Finally. For years, every marker or coloring crayon was nothing more than a drumstick. His preschool drawings were just scribbles, and he wasn't interested in writing letters other than his name. And then, one morning, after watching Blues Clues, something clicked, and he drew The Man with the Yellow Hat and Curious George and Huntleigh and they all had heads, eyes, noses, mouthes and arms. The man had legs. It was amazing.

His pull-up is dry more mornings than not.

He prays. On his bed last night, it went like this: "God, could I have a dream with two things in it? Little Einsteins and Curious George. And I want to be in it, not watching it, and ride in the rocket. And Curious George could ride in the rocket too. Amen." (He reported with some disappointment this morning that he did have a dream last night and got to ride in the rocket, but Curious George was not in it too.)

He jumps. Alot. When it's from the third step onto the sidewalk, it makes my heart do a little jump too. So far, he's been sticking the landing, but we just stocked up on Diego Band-Aids for those scrapes that come with being a boy.

He counts. Everything. And he prefers five. Like five more minutes please. And five chocolate chips please. And soon I will be four years old, and then I will be five.

But not yet mister. Right now, your just turning four, and that's big enough.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Our porch steps are half painted. Our dining room is beige, with test patches of silver sage and celery green on four walls. The kitchen mostly green. I'm getting kind of used to the boxes marked "office-fragile" sitting at my feet under desk. The weeds are half pulled in the flower bed in the front yard. None of this should surprise me.

As I took in my half done projects throughout the house today, I thought of Mr. Wrobel. My high school art teach. He was quirky, as any art teacher should be, but normal enough to be univerally loved. And he taught some life lessons in a setting where most kids didn't have their guard up.

Some days, he just sat at his desk, reading, sipping coffee, and helping each student that came up with questions. Other days, he made his way around the room, glasses perched on the end of nose, pausing a few minutes with each person to talk over their work together.

We were in the sketching stage of a week long project. It was a walk around day. It wasn't the kind of thing we dreaded, because he was always kind and always matter of fact, so it didn't feel too personal. But there was still a part of me that hoped for a thumbs up. He stood over my shoulder, looking for several seconds.

"Hmmm. I like it. But what are you doin' there?"pointing to the beginnings of a cowboy's leather glove.

"Drawing the glove," I said. I didn't know what else to say.

"Yeah, but what's this stuff you got in there? It looks like frosting."

"What?" I asked, confused.


"What do you mean?"

"You're frosting the cake before you bake it. You gotta finish sketching out the outline before you go in there shading and filling it in."

"But adding the details is more fun, " I explained, "It helps me know what it's gonna look like."

"You don't even know yet if that's where the hand should be and you're adding in all the details. That'll make it harder to move if you need to. Don't put the frosting on till you bake the cake."


"Keep up the good work."


Twenty years later, and I'm still fighting the urge to frost first.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I didn't much appreciate all the hair I lost a couple months after delivering each of the boys. There's a medical term for it, and I started my shedding exactly 12 weeks after each of their birthdays. Hair everywhere. Yuck. A receding hair line. Double yuck.

This is much better kind of shedding. Therapeutic in fact.

We're getting ready to move. But we have found the house we're moving to yet. This had me a little anxious, staring at the computer screen many evenings, searching and searching different real estate sites, as if I could actually bring our future house onto the market with sheer effort, determination, or magic combination of search requirements.

And then, God gave me a few nudges. You know, that I am not in control. A friend encouraged me, "Well, you could use this time to pack, so you're ready to go when you do find the house."

What, not wait until the days before we move to pack? Somehow, I just figured sleepless nights and a looming deadline were a part of moving. With two little ones, it's pretty unrealistic to think I am going to have 12 uninterrupted hours in a day to pack up our house. It's the packing rush that leads to the I-don't-have-time-to-sort-it mess, the mystery boxes, the dust collectors that were never opened from the previous move packed into a truck to move yet again.

So, I have time. And miraculously, I am using it. Sorting, organizing, shedding, labeling. With each trip to the dumpster, black trash bag in hand, I feel lighter. A little giddy in fact. I'm encouraged by the vision of our new home, even though I have no idea yet what it looks like. I have a sense of how it will feel, and I'm excited.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Bobcats (as in the skid-loaders) lost their all-consuming grip on Eli this winter. Lighting McQueen became his primary obsession, temporarily took second place to Wall-E, then regained his "most-beloved" standing.

A few weeks ago, he watched Toy Story. It took several days to make it through the entire movie. Those mutant toys are pretty scary! Eli especially didn't like Sid, the dog, or "the clippy thing with one eye closed". And his eyed filled with huge tears and his bottom lip quivered as he watched the scene when Buzz realized he could not really fly.

"Momma, Buzz is so sad. He can't really fly Momma. Momma, Buzz is really sad," and with that the tears came pouring down.

His empathy was sweet. I didn't know what to say or how to reassure him. We turned the movie off, as I reassured him that Buzz would feel better later in the story, that it would be okay.

A half hour later, in the kitchen, he said, "Momma, can we turn the movie back on and check to see if Buzz is feeling better yet? Is he still sad, or is he feeling happy now?"

Finally, we made it through the movie. And he's hooked. If you are quiet, you can probably hear him now.

"You Infinity....and Beyonnnnn!" as he jumps from the couch.

Friday, March 27, 2009

music for the season

This is one of those dreaded projects. Unless you're one of those that have mastered "delayed gratification." Unfortunately, that's not me.

We have a mountain of cd's in our home. In my single years, I loved to spend hours at Borders, or more offbeat music shops, listening to albums, looking for that new favorite artist to become part of the soundtrack of that life stage. Isn't it funny, how you just have to hear a song, and you remember the crush, the adventure, the joy, the drive, the weather...? Bon Jovi, Sarah McLachlan, Keb' Mo, Train, Dave Matthews- they each take me back to different summers, different seasons.

All those seasons are getting rather dusty. And they're a mess. The CD cover may or may not indicate what cd is actually enclosed. Oh, the fun when it says VeggieTales, but then Beastie Boys comes blasting through the car speakers. Sorry kids.

We've tried. I've spend entire evenings sorting, alphabetizing, arranging. I made Joel join me in the dreaded project, imploring him to please not just stack them all on top of the CD rack when you're done, but put them back in their rightful place, and then we wouldn't have to do this again. He suggested we go digital and ditch the cd's all together.

I refused. Too sterile. I like album art and liner notes. I like to hold my music, see my music.

And then, the mess again. My 3 year old, pulling cd's out of the player, "Mama, do you know where the Glenn and Marketta song is?" My 15 month old, scrambling to pull album after album off the shelf, just for the glorious sound they make crashing to the wood floor. An me, with the quiet (there's no need to tell my husband) realization that it's me setting a pile from the car on top of the CD rack because, "I will sort through them later, you know, when I have time."

Well now it's time. Not for another sorting session, but the last sorting session. We're going digital. Because really, when is the last time I read liner notes? When in the last year have I stepped foot into a music store to browse? I know, I'm kind of a late adopter on this one. What took me so long? A stubborn streak. And the absolute mundane torture of downloading every single cd on our laptop. We started this morning, and we're about halfway through. But I finally think it's worth it.

Because really, I miss the music. I do want the music back in my daily life, my kitchen, my backyard, my room. These are some great days, and they deserve their own soundtracks too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rules for the Road

We got the plastic firetruck out of the basement a month or so ago. The kind that is meant for someone Beckett's age. To push around as he learns to walk, or scoot along as he learns to ride.

The truck was hijacked. By Eli. He prefers to ride with shoes on (all the better to push with) to get some serious speed as flies though the thoroughfare of a hallway the runs the depth of our house. He has bumped his head on the front door a time or two when he misjudged his speed, but I'm picking my battles- it's a great way to burn off three year old energy on cold winter days.

The other night, as he was whizzing through the house, he told Joel he was thirsty. Joel got him some milk. A few minutes later, I heard this conversation in the hallway.

"Daddy, the milk is not coming out of my sippy cup."

"Well bud, you need to get off your truck if you want it to work. You can't drink while you're driving.

Glad we started that conversation early.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Twelve beautiful hours.

As in, the number of consecutive hours that Beckett slept last night.

Days shy of 15 months old, and he is finally sleeping though the night. Which means that I am sleeping through the night...almost. I did wake up at 2:00 a.m. in a brief panic. If you're a mom you too may have experienced the "I have been asleep for more than four hours and he's still sleeping- oh, no what's wrong with my child!" phenomenon. But it took no time at all for the panic to subside, and sleepy gratitude settle in.

I could get used to this. Please.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I want...

The other day, on the way home, Eli spotted Lion's Choice, home of the .14 ice cream cone.

"I wanna ice cream cone!" came the demand from the backseat.

Uh, uh. Not that I was planning on getting him an ice cream cone, but that kind of ask certainly wasn't going to move the decision in his favor.

"Eli, we're not getting an ice cream cone today," I said calmly.
"But I WANT an ice cream!"
"I know you do. But we're not getting one today."

The light is red, so we're stuck here, his window facing Lion's Choice. I wondered if I should explain to him that part of the reason I was saying no is because of the way he asked. But he seemed grumpy, and I was pretty sure it would land on deaf ears.

"But I WANT to have an ice cream!" he demanded in a louder voice.

Oh boy, here we go. There is a melt-down in his near future. How can I explain to him that we don't always get the things we want? When we he understand the concept that "wanting" does not equal "having"?

Then, an idea. In a slightly whiney, demanding voice, I said, "I want a GIANT stuffed teddy bear!"

He looked surprised, paused, and explained in a matter of fact tone, "But they don't have teddy bears there."

"But I WANT a giant teddy bear!"
"But mama, they don't HAVE giant teddy bears at Lion's Choice. You could get an ice cream there, or a hot dog, or a chocolate milk."
"But I WANT a GIANT stuffed teddy bear!"
"They don't have them there mama," he said with slight frustration.
"But I WANT a giant teddy bear!"

He was quiet, and I could tell he was thinking it over. Then in reassuring voice, he said, ""Okay Mama, we could just talk about it later."

The light turned green, and I enjoyed a silent 5 minute ride home.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009



Another word that has entirely new meaning for me these days. A word that brings a whole lot of hope to many parents, like us, whose little ones are plagued with ear infections. The hope of quiet, restful nights, of fewer trips to the pediatrician, of less midnight doses of Tylenol or Motrin to ease earaches and cool fevers. The frivolous luxury of sleeping through the night.

B got tubes this morning.

It made us feel better to call it a "procedure" instead of surgery, but the idea of our 14 month old "going under" general anesthetic wasn't fun. We just kept reminding ourselves that this is simple as far as surgeries go...not the heart surgery that some parents have to face.

We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 am. The original plan was for Joel and I to take B together and have friend come over to watch snoozing big brother. When E came down with a stomach virus yesterday, we thought it was best not to leave a feverish and vomiting 3 year old without mom or dad, so Joel stayed home with him while I took B for his "procedure."

The nurses and doctors were great. There was no dramatic moment of them wheeling a screaming baby away as I tearfully let go of his hand. Instead, I handed him, drowsy and sedated, to the nurse, who carried him to the operating room as the anesthesiologist wheeled the gurney behind them. I appreciate that. Within a few minutes, the Dr. came in to tell me that everything went well, and he gave me the post op instructions. Later, I heard Beckett coming down the hall, crying in confusion as he came to. And they placed him in my arms, where he gradually calmed down-it was the car keys that really did the trick. By 10:20, we were in the car, on our way home.

So, with one boy recovering from a procedure and the other a tummy bug, there is still Tylenol and Motrin to administer. It's been a long day. But I'm feeling hopeful that there is rest ahead.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Shrimp

I didn't thing this would turn into a tale. It started innocently enough.

7:10 p.m.
I had just finished putting Beckett to bed and headed downstairs to clean up the kitchen while Joel said prayers with Eli and tucked him in. In the bottom of the dish sat two pink shrimp and lonely slice of chicken & spinach sausage. The remains of a pasta dish. Not enough to save, but silly to throw away. So I ate them. And Joel appeared in the kitchen.

7:19 p.m.
"Hey, Eli wants you to come up and say goodnight."

After a quick rinse, I tucked the bowl into the top of the dishwasher, happily heading upstairs to leave the rest of clean-up to Joel.

Eli and I have a little routine. I lay down next to him, he scoots over, then tells me, "Mama, I made room. Get under the blanket so you will be warm." Then he wiggles his little feet under my leg and we chat for a few minutes. Then I tell him, "I love you very much, and you are my favorite Eli in the whole world, and I will see you in the morni-" which he quickly interrupts to say, "One more minute," and I say, "Okay," and we lay there quietly for a minute. I kiss him on the forehead one last time and say, "Sweet dreams buddy" as I walk to the door.

This particular night seemed now different than any other. As I lay down next to him, I could hear him sniff, and then pause. "Mama, you stink. What is that smell?"

For a moment, I was shocked. Huh? I know that 3 year olds can be painfully honest, but I couldn't place the source of offense that was causing such a strong and instant reaction. Then I remembered. The shrimp. I explained that I'd just eaten some shrimp and a piece of sausage before I came upstairs.

"But it is smelling Mama. Oh, it is AWFUL!" He was covering his nose.

I tried holding back the laughter, knowing that if he got a reaction, sleep was nowhere near.

"You ate a sausage? And a shrimp? But why did you do that?"

"Don't worry honey, it will go away," I reassured him, and then waited, letting the quiet settle back in.

"Mama, you can go downstairs now. It is smelling in here."

7:23 p.m.
Again, trying to keep the laughter contained, I told him good night and shut the door.

7:27 p.m.
Eli appeared in the family room. He knows he's not supposed to get out of bed, so he had one of those cautious little grins on his face. Joel took him back to bed.

7:32 p.m.
We heard the faint sound of a doorknob turning on the baby monitor. Then silence. Maybe he went back to bed. Minutes later, he appeared again in the living room. This time, with his bike helmet on.

"Mama, it's stuck. I can't get my helmet off."

We're holding our breath to keep the laughter in. Eli was not fooled. Joel took the helmet off, then carried him back to bed.

7:43 p.m.
Eli, downstairs again, declaring that he is not tired. Joel took him back to bed, where Eli then told him, "Mama ate shrimp, and it made her mouth sick."

7:50 p.m.
He was up again. Bike helmet on, and stuck, again. It's still funny, but we decide on a more firm approach.

7:58 p.m.
Joel returns. Apparently, Eli told him that I made his room smell. We debated and discussed which approach to take with this.

8:04 p.m.
Eli's back. Suddenly, I had an idea. I told Joel that I would get this one, and we sent Eli upstairs to his bed. I brushed my teeth and swished a quick dose of Listerine. I walked into Eli's room.

"No Mama, please don't come in here."

"It's okay honey, the shrimp is all gone."

I lay next to him and could tell by his rigid body that he did not trust me one bit at first. Then he realized, the smell really was gone. His breathing slowed. He grew drowsy.

"Sweet dreams buddy."

"Good night, Mama."

8:13 p.m.
I left Eli's room, and we didn't hear from him the rest of the night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The other day, Eli was coloring. I asked him if he was done.

"Yes, I'm all done. And now, I can turn it over like this (gesturing by turning his open palm from face up to face down) to reduce waste."

I was pretty sure I was hearing things.

"To what?"

"You could turn it over like this, to reduce waste,." he repeated.

"Oh. Did you learn that at school?"

"No, from Miss Rosa on PBS Kids. She says, 'When you are done, turn it over like this to reduce waste. You can learn more fun ways to reduce waste and help the environment at PBS Kids dot org. ' "

Well okay then. I guess he was listening.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


105 degrees. A very hot summer day. Fine for cooking. Not good to see on the thermometer after taking your child's temperature. Especially when he just finished 10 days of antibiotics and is 2 days into his second round. When he is already on Tylenol and ibuprofen and ear drops. He feverishly wimpered, then smiled, then cried, then laughed. He wants to be happy and content, to feel better. It's frustrating to not be able to fix things on our own.

Today, we headed back to the doctor. The ear infections are still going strong. They gave him a shot of antibiotics in each thigh, and referred us to the ENT. His fever is down. We're thankful for medical care, insurance, doctors, technology, prayer, experienced parents who've been down this road, and God who heals using any and all of these things or none of them. We're thankful that it's only ear infections and nothing more serious.

We're eager for Little B to feel better. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't craving a full night of sleep.

Monday, January 5, 2009

big sky

All four of us were in the car yesterday...

E: "Did God make the sky?"
M: "Yep, he made the sky."
E: "Wow! God is really tall, huh?"
J: "He sure is."


J: "Well, that's one for the blog."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

now showing

I remember my mom telling me that everytime they finished landscaping their yard, they moved. And lots of similar stories from friends over the years. "We've finally got our house the way we wanted it, and now we're moving." Or, "We got our house ready to sell, and now we wonder why we didn't do this stuff earlier when we'd be here to enjoy it."

We get it. We've been primping our house for months now. It's not perfect, but we did get rid of all those "little" things that loom and linger. Baseboards are no longer scuffed, but gleaming white. That chip in wall at the base of the stairs from when Eli launched his Bobcat from the top stair, spackled and painted. The sidewalk, patched. Doors, painted. Windows, replaced. Staged, photographed and now, For Sale By Owner.

We put up the sign in November. Then we decided to replace the tragically-fake fiberglass false stone siding with white siding to match the rest of the house. So now it looks like this:

We bought an MLS listing November 17th, to allow agents to show it. Eight showings later, we got our first offer on December 23rd. This Saturday, 3 more showings, and today another "not the one" offer. But we're encouraged. And wondering if '09 will become "the year we moved."