one heart and one mind

anyone who knows much of me, knows that i love the new york times. i've probably sent most of you an article or two (or hundreds, ie dave). another thing you probably know is that i love hillary clinton. i find her a beautiful, amazingly well-spoken woman. i don't think she is the best orator of the group, but i do think her commitment is genuine. she has showed a commitment to children--especially with poverty and universal health care. she has shown an extremely knowledgeable grasp of policy that i think is missing in all the other candidates. she has a clear plan for iraq, and has spent her last 7 years in the senate cultivating military and international diplomatic relationships. i could go on, but i think those are the main things i love about her. i also really like obama and edwards. obama is inspiring, and i will happily vote for him if he gets the democratic nomination. my personal experience with edwards when i was in dc has forever endeared him to me. i don't love any of the republican nominees, but i do respect mccain. he stands up for things--his positions on immigration, environment, campaign finance and torture are all very principled and not always popular, as is his stance on the war. i don't agree with his stance on the war, but i appreciate his frankness and dedication. i once liked huckabee but i think he's gotten out of control. romney i'm skeptical of, and have been thoroughly disappointed by his performance in the debates. many people think that, if elected, he will center. but in the meantime he is doing his best to make all kinds of extreme promises to prove he is the most conservative. i think he could be good for the economy, however, and is probably the only republican up for tackling the tough issues of entitlement reform (whether or not he would, would have to be seen...) i won't touch giuliani, as i can't stand him. and i think ron paul is a nut, but to each their own.

while the two democratic front runners are running to the center--to be moderate and speaking of bridging the partisan gap--the republicans are in a rush to the right. the republican debates have been painful for me to see, them each trying to prove that they are the ones who hate immigrants the most, who have the most guns, who are the most religious, etc. i don't think this is good for our country.
i bring this up because today the nytimes announced that they are endorsing clinton and mccain for the primaries. these are of course my top choices for each party. we're of one heart and one mind, me and the times...
now i must say, lest i be accused of blind partisanship, that i am supporting democrats because my core beliefs align with them, and not just because they bear the name. social justice, progressive taxation, equitability, active government, social safety net. i don't believe in the death penalty. i do strongly support stricter gun control laws. i think we need to do more to help the environment, and reduce our energy dependence even at the risk of offending the big energy companies. i think we should spend more money on international aid than on defense spending. i think health care should be universal, that everyone should be able to go to the doctor, receive necessary treatment. it appalls me that people think otherwise. i believe immigrants--even illegal ones--still have "certain inalienable rights," simply because they're people. i believe they should be treated as such. i don't think deportation and building a magic wall will stop the things that bring them to our wonderful country--they come for opportunity, to feed their families, the same reason our ancestors came. and if we want them to stay in mexico, we do this by bolstering the mexican economy, take those billions spent on deportation, on wall-building, on boarder patrol--and invest it in their economy thereby providing them jobs and opportunities in their own countries. i believe in helping people, at cost to myself and others equally privileged. i believe in helping people without judging their deservedness. i believe that i am very blessed, and don't think that myself and others in similar positions are harder working, more honest, better people than those who have less and could use a hand.
i could go on. i constantly engage in political banter, and love it. however, i rarely say what i really feel or think and why, because it is personal to me. these aren't things i take lightly. i feel very strongly about them. i am not trying to defend or prove the correctness of any of my opinions. i know these are extremely complex issues. based on my limited understanding, i have tried to come to grips with these issues the best way i can, in a way that feels right to my conscience. i don't apologize for that, but i do hope not to offend...


i'll claim him

i know i sound like an ogling mom. but, well...i am! i can't help it. i am hopelessly in love with this little guy, jacob andrew. he's almost 2. on march 7th. i'm not quite sure where i found the joy in my life before i had his little smile to look at every day. generally i'm not a real sap, just ask my husband, but i must admit i can get a little over-the-top about my two boys. jacob's little smile just kills me. he really IS the greatest thing since sliced bread. sorry apple, it's not the iphone.
now, i don't mean to suggest that i don't equally adore my (almost!) 5-year old joshua. he is the sweetest, tenderest, funnest little man. he has such a senstive soul. i often stop and think just how special he is. but, well, he's FIVE. he whines, and always wants treats and snacks, he wants to play with his friends, he has an agenda--all normal little boy things which i don't begrduge him. however, the only thing on jacob's agenda is to be with me. his favorite thing to say is "hold you!" which sounds like "eatchyou" and means hold me.
jacob has the most wonderful, happy personality. he excudes sweetness and love and warmth. now, granted, the boy knows what he wants. he's a picky eater ("no! nooooo! juith, juith" or "reat, reat" ie, juice, treat. like any self-respecting parent, i don't give in. food all over the floor. i showed him!) he has clothes he wants to wear (he cries every time i take off his dinosaur pajamas, and laughes with joy when he sees me folding them once they're clean: "dinos!"). he does the whole arch his back and yell and flail around on the ground when he doesn't get what he wants--yes, he'll throw a tantrum. these are all problems we never had with joshua, who is very laid back about that type of thing.

jacob is also a little mischievious. there's this certain 2 and 1/2 year old boy in nursery who is very territorial and whiny. jacob knows this and antagonizes this boy to no end. i'm pretty sure jacob knows what he's doing. one day, any time any of the kids would come near this other boy, he would push them away. he did this to jacob several times and jacob just walked away--no problem. however, as soon as this other boy wasn't looking, jacob would come up behind him and whack him in the head. i do reprimand him at times like these, after all, we don't hit. but, i also find it endlessly amusing, i'm sorry to say.
a smile like that, and i can forgive anything. really. and it's not just the smile--he is so silly and so sweet. he loves dancing--he wiggles his back and little shoulders. he says "mommy, are you?" when he wants to know why i'm not with him. when i'm studying at night i'll talk to him on the phone and he says "i uv oo, mommy!" unfortunately he isn't cuddly and whenever i try to rock him he says "bed, bed" and then if i even try to sing to him he says "mommy, mommy, mommy..." until i stop and ask "what jacob?" to which he sweetly replies "bye-bye." and if i keep singing he says "bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye." it's a little sad, what mom doesn't want to rock her baby? but it definitely endears him to me. he just has his own personality. he knows what he wants and what he likes. you can't hold that against the guy. however, whenever i can hold him down for a moment and kiss his squishy cheeks and warm neck and squeeze his little chubs, i do take full advantage. josh and i often say we wish we could just keep him like this forever (maybe minus the flailing around on the ground thing). i told josh the other day that i think jacob is one of the funniest people i've ever met. he really is. he cracks us up. he is pure joy. sometimes kids are CRAZY, i'll be the first to admit. but the happiness you get from these little guys has just got to be what heaven feels like.


the holiday vacay

lest i get in trouble for posting about myself and not my boys...here are a few photos of my two cute boys. seriously. they're cute.
fluckiger fam at temple^2, with the moore's. josh and i love the moores, joshua loves carter, and jacob loves talking about their daughter "bess, bess!" and we always say "why don't we do more stuff with them?" well over the break we went to temple square with them one cold night, and had them over to our house on another night--and loved it. they're fun, and funny, and laid back about things. and by the way, aren't we a cute family? nice pic!
for new years eve we went out to my sister alissa's for games and yummy food and family time. it was a great time, and our kids love their cousins. love, love, love. cousin arianna got a new baby stroller for christmas, and she and jacob both thought it was the best thing in the world to push jacob around in it.
and here's the whole crew. arianna's got jacob and joshua's got enzo. this was the only way they'd do the picture--they wouldn't let their siblings hold them. aren't they cute though? and all in their jammies--we put our kids to bed at their place, so that we could stay until the ball dropped.
before bed we gave the two little ones a bath--jacob and enzo. you don't want to start out the new year dirty, after all. and they had the time of their lives. two little fishes, they were so silly...
new years day we went to gargoza park in park city. it is a huge tubing hill. we learned some lessons, like don't go up to park city when the high for the day is 11 degrees, for example, but still had a fun day of it. hmmm...do you think jacob looks cold at all? a little chilly! afterwards we went to park city mountain resort. i had hoped to go ice skating there, but let's face it, when it's that cold who wants to do ANYTHING? so we got dinner at the baja cantina and got warmed inside and out.
these last two photos are my friend brooklyn's kids--cambria and maya. maya is the exact same age as jacob, but she just had to hold him like a baby. i can understand it, his baby chubs do make him extra cuddly. you can see below that big sis cambria agreed also. kids are so cute. you can't blame us for going on about it...

our vacay was wonderful, and we were happy to spend it in our own cozy little home, with lots of friends and family around. now it's back to the grind. i'm back in school, joshua's back in school, we've all been sick...the joys of january.

now, i confess we had been without camera for a good few months, rellying solely on the photos emailed by those of you generous enough to do so. however, josh investigated and told santa to get us this new, wonderful little power shot camera, which santa was so kind as to do. so now we're up and running. unfortunately, we're a little rusty on the point-and-click habit familiar to so many parents. and i have a slight camera aversion that i'm trying to overcome. something about wanting to live life, instead of just taking pictures of it. and, in all honesty, i'm still trying to figure out how to get my money's worth from this high-tech machine that fits in the palm of my hand. we'll get there mom, and soon you'll have more photos than you can stand!

ladies i love

for some reason i've been missing my girlfriends lately. i was chatting with susan in dc yesterday and told her as much. you know what she said? "okay, i will set up a fare tracker for SLC." seriously?! sweet! that would be fabulous. and you know what else is fabulous? my friend mandie c. is coming out in june with her super fun, generous husband mike. this photo below is from october when josh and i stayed with her in chicago (thanks mom and frank for watching the boys!) it was a wonderful time. she is the one person from high school that i keep in touch with (although i must give a shout out to sam s), and every time we're together it is exactly like old times even though we don't chat on the phone all the time or anything like that. i still think she probably knows me better, understands me better, than most people. and she's beautiful... see what i mean? now this other lovely lady is brooklyn herself, who i know i've blogged about before. she and her hubby and two cute girls were in utah and came for a visit. we were so happy to have them! i love b, and her husband dave, who i had only briefly met a few times before, is equally wonderful. brooklyn and i don't have a ton of shared experiences, aside from our semester being roomies in wash dc. but there's just this mutual love and understanding and respect and (on my part) wonder at this wonderful woman. josh and i would love to move to san fran just to hang out with them. plus, she too is beautiful...

again, see what i mean? i have other ladies i love, but they definitely don't come out of the wood work. girlfriends like these are hard to find, and worth holding on to. don't ask me how i con ladies as lovely as these, not to mention the likes of katie and susy q., et al, into being my friends. it's a mystery to me. other women are friends with me because we have kids the same age. others are friends with me because i was friends with their husbands. my three sisters, equally lovely, are just plain stuck with me. but then there's the rest and, well, it's a mystery to me...but regardless, i will challenge anyone who thinks they know a better group of women! (don't worry, i won't challenge you to a duel or anything, i'll just assume you haven't met the likes of these fair dames.)