Monday, November 19, 2007


"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." -Sir Edmund Hillary
My name is Hillary. I was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who was known for climbing Mt. Everest. Ever since I was a little girl, my Uncle Joe has referred to me as "Hyouree." My husband knows me as "Hirry." My dad's version of my name is "Hillaweenie," while Clara's is "Mommynah." I like it when people call me plain old "Hill" though, it makes me feel like we've been friends for life...
I figure that since I was named after a man that conquered one of the most terrifying mountain challenges in the world, I should mention a few of my own that I have, or are now working on conquering...

  • One of my biggest challenges was getting married. It took me four tries at getting engaged before I could actually commit to the idea of it! I was sooooo scared... Knowing what I know now, however, I would have sprinted to the temple. Marriage is actually so much more fun that being single! I say this knowing that I am married to one of the easiest people to be married to in the whole wide world.... It's true.
  • Another challenge I am trying to conquer is raising these four great kids that I am entrusted with. It is a huge challenge in the midst of this world we face on a daily basis! I don't exactly live in the Garden of Eden, either...
  • I am also finishing my degree in Elementary Education. Because I have all the answers, I feel the need to teach everyone else's kids just what those answers are... (NOTE: EXTREME SARCASM!) I will graduate and be ready to go in July of '09.
Do my challenges actually compare to climbing Mt. Everest? Probably not. However, they are what I am currently investing my time. Would Sir Edmund Hillary think I am living up to my name? Maybe. Only time will tell, I guess. Would I rather be doing anything else with my life? Not a thing!


"Mom, when I grow up, I am going to either be a pilot, or a chef-"
The other day, Ethan went over to Uncle Will's house. Will made a comment that he was feeling a little hungry. Ethan then went into the kitchen, made them both a batch of scrambled eggs, toast, and hot chocolate complete with Ready-Whip from the can. Will was surprised with delight and wonder, as it never even occurred to him to make himself something to eat!

He went on to explain to Will that he not only salts the scrambled eggs before he cooks them, but also after he cooks them. By doing it this way, the salt brings out the flavor in the eggs.
"You see, the secret to cooking, is to bring out the flavor of the food with spices."
...He also makes a mean pot of macaroni and cheese!


Although it took her five days and a pink cowgirl hat to quit crying, there was never a kid that loved kindergarten more than this kid right here. She would come home and say, "Mrs. Kliewer said this..." and "Mrs. Kliewer said that..." She really came a long way as she was so attached to her momma, it was painful for her to branch out.

This year, she is in Mr. Lenahan's 1st grade class and has really bloomed! She loves to read, jumping rope is her favorite sport, and she has an impressive collection of mini food erasers!

When she was born, she would cry and cry and cry. I would pack her up in the car, turn the radio up, and drive to downtown Chicago. We would make patterns throughout the city streets, weaving in and out of the skyscrapers. Next, we would drive by the frigid Lake Michigan, which looked like a black abyss that late into the winter night. I remember thinking that this was going to be a long row to hoe taking care of this little one. You'd never know how much she truly is a ray of sunshine in our home today.

Healthy Hair

Once upon a time, there was this guy with really great eyes. It just so happened that while in school one day, he was using those really great eyes to check out all of the girls' hair in English 101. He decided that that one girl with the short, light brown hair had the most healthy hair in all the class.

After working up a little nerve, the boy.... you know... with the eyes... decided it was time for the girl to know the outcome of the healthy hair situation. While walking her to the math class they both attended, he said those immortal words...

"Did you know that out of all the girls in our English class, you have the most healthy looking hair?"
The girl, a little unsure of her company, thanked him and reminded herself to wear a hat next class.

Well, after a little time passed the eye boy and the hair girl were married. They had four beautiful children, and incidentally, they all have great eyes and really healthy hair...


I had no idea that when I had my last kid she would be so... um... unique. She can look up at you with this sweet little face and ask you repeatedly "I watch Dora now?... I watch Dora now?... I watch Dora now?... until you wish you could reach into that tv screen and rip Dora's head right off her body! (Sometimes Chinese water torture seems like a vacation.)

She only likes her "sippy tup with milt," answers "no-way-jose!" to everything, and twists her nipple as she sucks her two middle fingers for comfort. I get her ready for the day, comb and style her hair, only for her to turn around and look homeless five minutes later.

She LOVES to help with the cat food, a chore taken very seriously for her. She is kicked out of nursery every week on account of the unrelenting cry that never subsides during the initial 10 minute probation period. "Maybe next week," the nursery leader promises me... empty promise.

However, nobody gives a better and more heartfelt hug than this one. She always blesses me when I sneeze. She curls up and fits just perfectly next to me during the night, even though her wispy hair tickles my nose. Her little arms wrap tightly around my neck, making my heart feel so full. Challenging? -YES! Worth it? -Emphatic YES!

No Pockets

In Primary the teacher asked "all the kids to dig deep in their pockets and pull out their listening ears and put them on."

Joel looked down and got all weepy, "I don't have any pockets!"

One day Joel paused the GI Joe scene he was acting out to tell me, "Mom, this life is just a dream."

"What do you mean?" I half heartedly asked as I was in the middle of a project...

"Well, in the other life, people are happier," he responded and then went about his business with saving the wounded soldier from Cobra Commander.
"That is interesting, Son."

As I thought about what he told me, I could agree that it was truth spoken from the mouth of a baby. What does he know? What has he not forgotten? Does he still visit with God and just not know any different? Who is there... in the other life? Why are they so much happier?

That is interesting, Son.