Thursday 10 November 2011

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Eleven Eleven Eleven

So today is eleven - eleven - eleven (and depending on what time you're reading this, you may need to throw a few more eleven's in there). I'm not usually one who spends a lot of time focusing on dates consisting of strange numbers. I prefer to spend my limited memory capabilities on other dates such as my wife's birthday or our anniversary, both of which come with better rewards than noticing a string of ones on the calendar.

This year though, I've given it a little more attention as the number eleven seems to have some meaning in our family's life. My wife pointed out a couple of special moments in our life that centered on the number eleven (both of which I totally knew already, no matter what she tells you) and then the connections just seemed to come pouring out to me.

Even though I know I'll never forget these things, I'm going to commit them to paper (or whatever the electronic equivalent is) now, just in case. So here are eleven ways that the number eleven is intertwined with the More Kids Than Suitcases life:

#1) Eleven Weeks
That's how long I knew my wife before I proposed to her. Not very long was it? That's why, when I tell this story to my kids, it's worded a little differently. It comes out more along the lines of "We spent the entire year we met getting to know each other". They don't need to know that we met in late October. Don't tell them.

#2) Eleven Kids
When Lori and I first started talking about having a family, she told me that she was in for "up to eleven kids". As scary as that was, I can't help wondering what made her draw the line short of the even dozen. Is there some stigma attached to the twelfth kid? It didn't matter anyways, as after three deliveries I was marched to the surgeon's office at gunpoint to ensure that we wouldn't come anywhere close to eleven.

#3) Eleven Cars
We're currently driving (and paying for) the eleventh car that I've owned in my life, and I'm proud to say that I've finally got that mini-van I used to dream of when I was younger. It could have been worse I guess. If we'd had those eleven kids, my twelfth car would have had to be a school bus....or a limo.

Yeah, I'm glad we didn't go for eleven kids
#4) Eleven Speeding Tickets
That doesn't sound too good does it? In my defense, I got nine of those in the first year I had my license. Wait, that's not a very good defense at all is it? Just be glad that you never had to drive with me (or near me) when I was sixteen and learning how to drive. This is another one of those stories that's going to get a different spin when I tell it to my kids, but I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to word it yet.

#5) Eleven Concerts
OK, I've been to somewhere north of 400 shows in my life, but I remember the eleventh one because it was ZZ Top and it was the first time I bought tickets on the floor. It was also the first time I realized that lyrics are open to interpretation. Did you know that some people think "I've got a girl who lives on the hill. She won't do it but her sister will" isn't about dancing? Who knew?

#6) Eleven Years Old
That's how old my elder daughter is right now. The significant part of this is that her age is my basis for knowing how old everybody else is. She was born early in the wonderful 2000 year, which means that whatever year it is, that's how old she is (minus the two thousand part of course). Her brother is older, her sister is younger, and all I have to do is remember what year it is. Except in January. Never ask me how old my kids are in January.

#7) Eleven Trips to Vegas
Obviously we've been to Vegas many more times than that, but on our eleventh trip I hit my first major jackpot, and then I found out why it's truly impossible to leave Vegas a winner. Oh I got out of the casino with the cash, but apparently the bigger you win, the bigger you have to shop. In the end, I got to leave with a story of beating the casino, and Lori got to leave with a ton of shopping.

#8) Eleven Mini KitKat's
That's how many I've eaten so far while writing this post. I know that this is cheating a little, as it can't really qualify as a major meaningful point in my life (no matter how hungry I am), but more important is the fact that there's still seven or eight left in the bag, and the odds of my final total being eleven are almost nil.

#9) Eleven Houses
I'm writing this from the living room of the eleventh house that I've lived in. That actually makes us sound far more nomadic than we really are, as we've been fairly stable since our kids were born. Still, I've lived in eleven houses, and I've never yet got to park my car in the garage. Something's wrong with that picture.

#10) Eleven Stays at Hyatt Orange County
This is our go-to hotel for when we're visiting Disneyland. Last summer we spent a crazy amount of time here. You know it's bad when the manager is leaving you notes welcoming you back, and the bellhops are stopping you in the halls and asking "Are you back, or are you still here?"

#11) Eleven Grades
There are so many memories from Grade Eleven, but what I really remember most about it is that Grade Eleven is when I lost my........chance to represent BC in the Canadian Math finals after coming in second for the province. Wait, what did you think I was going to say there? Seriously? I already have to explain the eleven week courtship and the eleven speeding tickets to my kids, and you thought I was going to take it in that direction? Come on now!

On a more serious note, the real importance of today's date is that today is Remembrance Day. I'm not particularly good at writing serious notes, so I leave that to the far more eloquent writers who do such a good job at expressing our gratitude. Let me simply say thank you to all those who have served for their country, and know that our entire family truly appreciate your sacrifices.
For some stories of amazing men and women of the military, written by those eloquent writers I was just talking about, go ahead and click on the Friday Daydreamin' button below.