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09 Jun

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Thank Heaven for Little Girls: Congrats to George and Jeffrey

June 9, 2005 | By | 2 Comments

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Thank heaven for little girls

for little girls get bigger every day!

Thank heaven for little girls

they grow up in the most delightful way!

Those little eyes so helpless and appealing

one day will flash and send you crashin’ thru the ceilin’. . .

* * *

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George Stephanopoulos

and Ali Wentworth

Credit: Andrea Renault/Globe

Shortly after she became engaged to George Stephanopoulos, Alexandra, “Ali” Wentworth and I were riding the elevator up to tape Politically Incorrect. George was, at the time, one of Washington’s most eligible bachelors, so the engagement was a Big Deal here in the Nation’s Capital. Just to make conversation, I asked Ali if it was weird for her personal happiness to be such a big media event.

She looked at me quizzically, shrugged, and replied: “Well, it would have been the same if I’d married a rock star.”

Oh. Right.

Well huzzah for high expectations. She was actually quite pleasant, so I’m glad to see that my cynically low expectations for their union appear ill-founded. The Big News now is the arrival of a new Stephanopoulos: their second daugher, Harper.

You can read all about it at the Celebrity Baby Blog, which is a hoot. But they missed the news of another important recent baby girl arrival, blog baby: Caitlyn King!

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Caitlyn King

But she’s a celebrity here: look at that cute face. Caitlyn is the daughter of Jeffrey King at [defunct blog]Three Fingers. Daddy and daughter and mom are doing fine.

The years go by too fast . . . we’re thanking heaven for our first baby girl, who turned twelve this week. Before you know it, you turn around, and they look like this. . .Happy Birthday, baby, I love you.

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My sweet Dreamer

Photo credit: Helena Yoest

So Congratulations George and Jeffrey! And welcome Harper and Caitlyn.

While I am all teary over my baby girl’s birthday, my husband, Jack is gearing up for battle with the boys. He insists I send along to you new fathers his battle-plan — W. Bruce Cameron’s 8 Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter, a must-read for every dad with a daughter. He thinks you might want to keep it handy. . .

W. Bruce Cameron’s Rules

Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure as heck not picking anything up.

Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

Thank you to Mudville Gazette for Open Post

(** And if this trackback belongs to you:» http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/2576807, please contact me: I owe you a link! **)

Update: Thanks to Wizbang with Carnival of the Trackbacks XV for helping to celebrate.

Update: Big Congratulations for another girl-baby blogger! June 6th, 2005 “BORN” Lillianne Grace Ransom. Newport Beach, CA. 8 pounds, three ounces. Posted by Greg Ransom at PrestoPundit, alerted byMusing Minds at Congratulations to the Ransoms

The world is a better place.

28 June 2005, Up Date on another baby girl alerted by Marla Swoffer.

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03 Jun

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Arlington National Cemetery, John Wesley Yoest, USN, BMCS

June 3, 2005 | By | 7 Comments

Every time we’ve made the left turn onto Eisenhower Drive, and passed through the imposing brick gates of Arlington National Cemetery, I’ve been overwhelmed with emotion. Family members of those buried at Arlington National Cemetery are given a special pass and may drive onto the Hallowed Grounds to visit the grave of their loved one. It’s an enormous honor which makes me feel humbled.

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The Penta-Posse

at Arlington National Cemetery

My husband’s father served thirty years in the United States Navy, and died the year I married into the family, so I didn’t know him well. And the fact is, after a lifetime of nine-month Mediterranean tours, wars, and rumors of war, there is a lot my husband doesn’t know as well.

However, over the 15 years that we’ve been married, I have gotten to know my mother-in-law well. She doesn’t talk either about the sacrifices she made, but there is one story that she has told me several times.

Once, when my father-in-law was out on tour, and she was home with three small children, the car broke down and, of course, she had to take care of it. My husband marched up and said, “Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll fix it.” He was about five years old at the time.

My mother-in-law laughs. . . the little man, takin’ care of things. But it makes me cry.

We owe a lot to our military families.

When we visited Arlington this past week, we passed at least three funeral ceremonies on the way to Section 64. I lost track of the fresh graves and the still-standing tents, either just vacated by other grieving families, or awaiting the afternoon’s fresh, raw sorrow.

As we pulled up on Bradley Avenue, an Air Force honor guard was marching precisely back to their bus after a ceremony for an airman who had been a POW in Korea. While we searched for my father-in-law’s headstone, an empty horse-drawn caisson lumbered past, and settled briefly in the shade nearby, awaiting their next assignment. . .

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We found my father-in-law’s headstone: The front has the Christian Cross with the old Chief’s Curriculum Vita. Chief Yoest cut high school to catch World War II. He retired with rows of ribbons and a “v” device, and pinned butterbars on his boy. He now has a grandson, The Dude, who bears his name and wants to be a Navy pilot.

The reverse of the stone is blank, awaiting the inscripton for Chief Yoest’s high school sweetheart, his wife, Jack’s mom, “Babcia” (Polish for Grandmother), who is still with us. In the end, they will be buried together, an honor she earned.

As we turned to go, the Diva took her jingle-bell necklace from around her neck, and left it on the headstone. A fitting tribute for a warrior.

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Sailors, rest your oars.

We drove back down Bradley Avenue — past a fresh grave covered by a tarp. In front of us, sparkling in the bright sunlight of a gorgeous day, stretched row after row of white marble markers, orderly, peaceful, some weathered, others new and crisply chiseled . . .

I turned to the Penta-Posse. “I want you to look,” I said. “I want you to understand, that each one of these headstones represents someone who gave their life so that you could be free.”

They were quiet and solemn. The weight of it is beyond measure.

The Dreamer said, “Don’t cry, Mom.”

We made the right turn onto Eisenhower. We drove slowly toward the exit, passing the drive to the Tomb of the Unknowns to our left, until we came to a crosswalk thronged with tourists. The guard on duty motioned to the crowd to stop, and we drove through, passing through the gates, back to a busy day, leaving behind — the curious crowds, the chattering school children. . . and the silent stones.

Other Memorial Day Links:

Blackfive with “Opening the Gates of Heaven.”

Intel Dump

Marine Corps Moms

LaShawn Barber’s Corner

See Traffic Jam

Chastity in Iraq; Chastity for Top Gun — Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise and Enduring Values

May 12, 2005 | By | One Comment

Sex and virtue . . . Men across cultures: Are good-girls back still in style? Maybe there are some customs so enduring they sell in both Hollywood . . . and Iraq.

Army Colonel John R. Martin writes from Iraq:

One of the servicemen here married an Iraqi woman working for us. Even in the twenty-first century, American soldiers are supposed to ask permission before doing such things. He didn’t, but we’re still trying to help him get his war bride home.

I took the issue to the consular officer at the embassy today, so I got to look at the application. The marriage certificate included certification that a dowry had been requested ($25,000) and excused by the bride’s family.

Also had a statement of the bride’s chastity. Wonder if those things would sell in the U.S.

Well, yes, Col. Martin, they just might.

The tabloids are all agog with word that Katie Holmes has stated to the world that she will remain a virgin until she marries.

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Katie Holmes

with her parents

And now she’s dating Tom Cruise (not really a Top Gun, but played one in the movies).

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Tom and Katie together in Rome

The tabloids have reported breathlessly that Cruise filled Katie’s room with dozens of red roses.

I wish I could tell Lynndie England she could have done so much better than having sex with a dud.

Of course, we’ve seen this scenario before with other starlets. But my vote is with Katie. Why? Look at that picture of her with her parents. Both of them. While other reporters are fixated on the wolf with red roses, I’m interested in what she has to say about the other man in her life — her father: She consults him on every major decision, and “He always tried to intimidate boys who wanted to date me,” she says (according to Sky Showbiz, link above.)

It’s a dad thing. In every culture.

On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

Would he offer me his mouth?

Yes

Would he offer me his teeth?

Yes

Would he offer me his jaws?

Yes

Would he offer me his hunger?

Yes

Again, would he offer me his hunger?

Yes

And would he starve without me?

Yes

And does he love me?

Yes

Yes

On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

Yes

You took the words right out of my mouth. . .

© by MeatLoaf

Thanks to alert readers, Stan H., and the Brilliant Brother.

Link to Mudville’s Open Post

Attaboy to Attaboy

See Jackson’s Junction

Outside the Beltway has news and pic

Update: Blogger 11D also thinks the couple is odd.

Update: Common Sense Runs Wild is making sense

Update: See what the Professor thinks at Daniel W. Drezner about Katie Holmes/Cruise

Update: Steal The Bandwagon presents another question at Katie Holmes…

Update: Michelle Malkin has pic of the Death Grip

update 22 June 2005: The Owner’s Manual has more wisdom/wit at Tom Cruise: The Movie

The Anchoress has an excellent opinion as always

Update July 14: The Movie Star Blog says Cruise Gets Results.

The Mummy Manual. . . and Gay Marriage

May 9, 2005 | By | One Comment

Two very different stories this morning — the loss of a young mother in Wales. . . and a mocking, snide piece on gay marriage on Arianna Huffington’s new blog — both via Michelle Malkin, and I want to tie them together this morning. The first story is real life; the second politics — where they meet, here, is Politics in Real Life. . .

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Helen and Ffion

Tributes to mothers were everywhere this weekend, of course. But the story about Helen Harcombe’s death was among the saddest. Helen died at age 28 after a battle with breast cancer, leaving her husband Antony to raise their daughter Ffion, age seven, by himself.

Helen, however, left a “Mummy Manual” for Antony, and mothers everywhere, in every country, will recognize some of the issues she worried her husband might need a little female input on:

Xmas time, don’t forget smaller things like stocking fillers to make it look more + fill the stockings – chocs, bobbles, clips, make-up, joke stuff, fun stuff, girly fun etc.

Make sure serve food with veg/peas – get fruit down her – don’t let her live out of cans, noodles + toast etc.

Regular trims on hair – may need extra conditioner or leave in conditioner for knots. Ensure hair is tied back for school – neat parting, no bump. Smooth with tail comb if necessary, ensure fixed with spray & hairspray to keep neat + no straggly bits.

It’s the “girly fun” and the “no straggly bits” that get me. It’s a mom thing.

Which is precisely the point. When confronted with the loss of a mother, or a father, we all instantly understand — in our gut, where it really matters — the empty space left in the child’s life. And it’s not just the person, per se: It’s also their role as Mom, as Dad.

Ffion still has a Dad. But there is still a place in her heart, and her everyday life, where Mom should be . . . Helen understood that. So she left the Mummy Manual, that covers uniquely mum things.

So skip with me over to Arianna’s blog, where you will find your daily quotient of pseudo-sophistication — the very top post is from Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (she of Seinfeld fame) and her husband, Brad Hall, with a snarky little entry on gay marriage. . . Here’s some blue-state sarcasm from Brad on the Defense of Marriage Act. Ironically, he stumbles into an important truth in the middle:

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Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Brad Hall

I have been married to a beautiful, smart, funny woman since 1987. Together we have had two happy children and shared nearly 18 years of marital bliss. Now the whole thing is ruined.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that the Defense of Marriage Act would do just that: defend my marriage. Apparently not. Look around and you’ll see the gays getting gay-married all over the place, and, to quote, well, everyone: gay marriage destroys real marriage. Now, when I come home to my wife, I feel nothing. How could I? SHE COULD BE A MAN. Thanks a lot, gays. Thanks for rendering our vows obsolete. Thanks for illegitimizing our sons. Thanks for tearing asunder a great institution that has heretofore withstood Las Vegas, Elizabeth Taylor, Larry King and Britney Spears combined.

She could be a man!! Right. My point exactly. . . She couldn’t be a man.

We can make a lot of arguments about the importance of marriage between a man and a woman — from natural law, from philosophy, from sociology, from epidemiology, from tradition, from theology, from utilitarianism — all of those are worth visiting. Today, in the wake of Mother’s Day, I want to point us back, for a moment, to a gut check.

Helen left a Mummy Manual for her husband and daughter because she wasn’t a man. And she knew in her heart that being a woman, a mom, was important. And irreplaceable.

I think I’ll go get my girls’ hair trimmed today. . .thank you Helen. And God bless sweet Ffion.