Daddy was trying to cut his toenails on the back deck one night and decided to use his iPhone flashlight to check his work. I heard a loud cry for help and came running. I see him on all fours, staring at the bright light coming from his iPhone under the deck. He tried for an hour or two, but finally he had to give up, it was useless. After a sleepless night of rain, Daddy made a huge plea for help to his 5 year old, “Naomi would you help me?” And sure enough, covered head to toe in crawling-under-the-house garb, Naomi braved the deep, dark, insect-filled crevices to rescue Daddy’s $600 device. Naomi! You saved the day!
Kindergarten got interesting this month. The Classical Academy (TCA) was our only option outside of the public school down the street, so almost by default TCA became our number one choice, mainly because it felt like our only choice. We went with it. Here’s where things got interesting. While at TCA’s parent orientation, Joe got a call from an unknown caller. It was Poway Unified School District following up on our transfer application. They had a seat in their highly coveted–test scores higher than the heavens–school district… and they were offering it to Naomi. Joe and I looked at each other in shock. Here we were at TCA’s orientation and we were given an opening to be enrolled at Westwood Elementary. TCA wasn’t our only choice anymore. Just like that, we had options. This was huge. Joe glanced big eyes at me, “She wants an answer now. What do you want to do?” This was the moment where things changed big-time for me. What do I want? Now that I have a choice, what do I want? I looked at Joe, and said “TCA. I want TCA.” And just like that, Joe turned down our seat in one of California’s top-performing school districts. To me, that call was a divine gift. It gave me eyes to see that our backup plan wasn’t actually a backup plan at all— it was what I wanted all along. The Classical Academy, our school of choice, here we come.
Your daddy’s boss’ boss’ boss. That’s what we call her around here. Manager to roughly 800 folks, she sought out your daddy. That’s right. After only one quick encounter, your daddy made an impression on her, and when it came time to fill a manager position at NGC, she told her subordinates to find Joe Maertz. Your daddy is a stand out, the guy that makes a great first impression, likable, brilliant, a solution finder, the guy that makes the boss’ boss’ boss turn her head. That’s the kind of daddy you have.
It only took me two years, but let the record show, I finally finished our kitchen table.
Mommy heard a toy thud to the ground. Like any good mom, I hollered “Who threw that toy?” When I turned around I saw this. (See Naomi and Aria above.) Who threw it? Aria Ellen (4 years old): My heart just about exploded in the soccer stands this month! At our very last game of the season, you came out and scored THREE goals (granted there wasn’t a goalie, but still!) THREE goals!! I love how you pursue the ball! I love seeing these sides of you, the fierce Aria that charges after a ball. Then there’s this softer side of you. I saw it with your little sister. You have incredible patience with her. Even when she smacks you in the face, your eyes will well up with tears, but you won’t hit back. You respond with patience beyond your years. But then there’s this other no-nonsense side of you… Naomi was sobbing in bed because she was scared, and with zero compassion, and on the verge of scolding, you said “Naomi, you’re not scared, you’re five years old.” I just love you, my complex beauty. Juliet Mae (23 months!!): If I haven’t said it already, you are our big girl. Yea, your size is one thing. You are already sitting on your sisters and squashing them. But I am talking about your personality. You have a big personality. Big happy which is always a lot of fun, and big wow, which is alarming. Do you see you on the pony? That’s what I went through to get you to try it. And then moments later, that’s you loving it. Hot and cold, that’s you my love. Here’s another fabulous story. Daddy went to battle with you over one bite of hot dog. After an hour of you refusing to take a bite, Daddy put you in your crib, and you still stood your ground. You would not eat it. Then Aria suggested “Let me try Daddy.” And Aria went up to you in your crib, offered you the hot dog, and you ate it. Ohhhhh boy. Naomi Mariam (5.5 years old!): *We had a trip to the doctor. My heart melted as you interacted with Dr Martinez all on your own. She greeted you, and you shot right back without skipping a beat— “Good. How’s your day?” So confident and so darling. *We had game night at our house, you snuck out of bed and joined the big kids for a night of Settlers! Shining that fun, smart, charming personality until 11:30pm! Even when you’re tired, you shine so sweetly! *Your palate is expanding. You smelled mommy’s spicy chicken tortilla soup, “Mommy that smells yummy.” I offered you a sip and you finished the whole thing! Same thing at Pho, you were trying samples left and right. After each bite, “Delicious!” *At soccer, you gave us a good show! Charged the ball, kicked it hard, it landed in front of Samuel, who kicked it into the goal— YOU MADE AN ASSIST!! Love cheering you on, Naomi! Maertz family memories: *Dinner with Sam and Anj at delicious Thai food and off to a Sufjan Stevens concert at Copley with many friends! *Dinner with Keri in Del Mar. *Loads of ballet, gymnastics and soccer! *Buck birthday with ponies! *Hillary day! Pool, Nordies, shopping, dinner in Del Mar! *Playdate at Katie Paschall’s. *Dad’s 71st birthday— dinner at Paschalls’ and a Barcelona jersey! *Joe watches the NBA finals at Sam’s, Growth Group comes here! *Amie and Tins at their home. *Dinner at Veranda with Anj, Ash, Hillary, Keri, Erin, and Krissa! *Malina visits(!!)— dinner at Vietnamese food. *Game night at our home— Settlers with the sisters, mom, Naomi and Joe! *Sawyer dinner here— cumin/lemon tzadziki pita yum-ness. *Lots of swimming at the Sawyers’ (Lasts’). *Playdate at Lizzy’s home. *4SRanch water park and picnic. * Whites join us for a final dinner here! *Whites farewell at Stone Brewery. *GrampBill and Kelyne visit! *Vacation Bible School at Westminster Pres. *We finally finally finally bought tickets for me and the girls to travel to Abu Dhabi!!! *Said goodbye to a decade long San Diego friendship with the Whites. *Sam gets voted in as Senior Pastor at Mission Hills!! *Paschalls reveal their big surprise to us. *Spend a morning at Views West Park with Leonie— she’s off to Cuba and Mexico!