All I can say is that my blogging is pathetic... really, I kind of just left it behind this Fall & Winter. It is quite a shame actually because Fall is my favorite time of year... this year, though it was rough on our family. We lost a loved one, a friend, a mother.... a grandmother. I don't know if a death in the family is what put me into hiding on my blogging... I know she loved to read my updates, and will probably have a notice in her inbox tonight showing that I finally updated my blog. I hope she can still open her "email" in heaven.... I hope she can see how she was missed this holiday season....I hope she knows how much we miss her. We love you Grandma Chris.
Wow...you would think that I am the new Mom with the lack of postings here! On 070809 my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Brooke Ryann. I was lucky enough to be there for the birth. I missed my older niece, Paige, being born...because I was 36 weeks pregnant and couldn't get to Japan!! So, being in the room for Brooke's birth was more than a gift. I feel a special connection to Brooke. I miss her after a few days, I want to hold her, cuddle her, love her. Maybe it is because this might be the last baby in our family for awhile?!?! Or maybe it is because I witnessed her coming into this world. Whatever it is...I love this little girl, and all the PINKness that she brings into this world.
What a FUN 4th of July! It was a busy one, but well worth the bags under my eyes this morning. The weekend started out at Jazz in the Park on Friday evening. We got home and our friends (The Holme's) from Jackson Hole arrived for the weekend. They brought their beautiful baby boy. My boys loved having a baby in the house. They thought it was so fun to bring him toys and make him laugh... I know what you are all thinking, maybe another baby for us? NOPE.... I love having them around, but I have my hands full with the 2 I already have!
I knew it was going to be a great weekend when I woke up to a bright sky on Saturday. It would be sacreligous (is that a word?) if it was cloudy on the 4th! After a breakfast of Soyrizo Burrito's and fresh squeezed OJ, we headed to my parents pool for some pool time. We swam, ate hot dogs & watermelon, and were sooo tired...but we mustered up the energy to head on over to the Engelman's for the 4th of July bike parade & BBQ. I made a trifle...yum yum....
We played with sparklers, and had a mini fireworks show. My kids stayed up way too late, 2 nights in a row...but they are troopers. It made for a 3 hour nap on Sunday after a morning of slip n sliding & gardening... and then off we went again...to the beach this time, with friends to listen to music & catch the last rays of sun from a glorious weekend.
Thank you Summer for arriving! We are loving you right now!
My kids are the luckiest kids out there. They have an amazing Father who has found a wonderful balance between being a kid and being a Dad. They trust him, they honor him, they admire him, and most of all...they LOVE him! I always knew that my husband would be a great Dad. I knew this before I knew he would make a great Father. Yes, my kids are lucky...and so am I!
Gift to Daddy from the Boys
For Father's Day, we spent the day at my parents house, celebrating with my Dad, Mom, my sister and her family, and my Grandma. The sun finally came out, it was a perfect day of swimming, BBQing, whipping up cocktails, and just RELAXING.
I planted 9 tomato plants awhile back... Today was the 1st of our harvest. I have to admit that I haven't been the best tomato mama. I sometimes forget to water them, I haven't continued to stake them as they grow, and sometimes the kids run into them while they ride their bikes on the path where they grow. But guess what?!?! They are still bearing fruit! Mason actually picked 3 tomatoes today and ate them all...within minutes. Now, if only Miller would taste them!! I am pretty sure that by the end of summer, we will have OD'd on these beautifully sweet & juicy fruits.... or are they vegetables?
I am about to be an "Auntie" again to another baby GIRL! I figured it was (most likely) my last shot at throwing a baby shower. I have been to a few "teas" before and thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate my sister and her baby to be. I never realized how much work goes into a tea. I couldn't have done it without my super talented Mom, who insisted on the fine china, silverware, and pressed table cloths. On the Menu...Tea Sandwiches, Scones from a local bakery, Fennel & Goat Cheese Salad, Fruit Salad, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Lemon Berry Angel Food Cake, TEA (of course), and quite a few bottles of Champagne. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful Mother. I am planning on blogging more about the food on my "New" blog... http://nanasdrawer.blogspot.com For now, here are a few pics of the day. Name the Famous Baby Mama... Stef won, she knew all the Famous Mom's and their kids names (First and Middle Names!)... I think she reads US Weekly. Tea Sandwiches Cake and decor
These past weeks have been a little gloomy around here:( Probably, the ONLY bummer about living at the beach! May and June can be dreary. I am a lizard and I need my sun! I wanted my lizard loving pals from my old neighborhood, and their kids to come over for a day of slip 'n slide and snacks. They all showed up with yummy treats and bathing suits. And what did we have to offer? Gray skies. We popped open some bubbly and squeezed some OJ for Mimosa's...surely, our playdate doesn't need to be gloomy! And what do you know?!? The sun showed up! It only stayed for an hour, but we were sure to enjoy every last minute of it.
This month marks Mason's 4th birthday and Miller's 18 month-day. I feel like the time is just flying by, I know that sounds so cliche, but it is true! I think the 4 year old age is my favorite thus far. Mason is a little man now. He is able to understand consequences, is easily bribed, and thinks his feet grow everytime he takes a bite of food! He loves to learn, ride his bike, and his latest obsession...DIRT BIKES. His Daddy & Poppy bought him a Honda 50 for his birthday. I was not happy about this. I just felt like he is too young and little. My husband assured me that he will be fine on it. I insisted on full gear and training wheels.
I realize that Mason is not your normal 4 year old, when it comes to balance & sports. He is extremely agile and fearless. He has been riding a bike since he just turned 3! He is one tough little kid. I know that I will be at the Emergency room many times with this one. Happy Birthday little man.
I have been putting off admitting that my baby is now 1 1/2 years old. I remember this is when the "terrible two's" started with Mason. Miller hasn't completely broked down into fits yet, but he is close! He is definitely not a baby, adores his older brother, and is soon to be my next "thrill seeker." He loves dirtbikes & skateboards just as much as his brother. He has even mastered the motorcycle noise! He babbles most of the day and I try my hardest to figure out what he says. I think yesterday, he told his Grandma that her shoes were "pretty." He can easily point out the moon, loves to watch movies (unlike his bro), and would eat cereal all day long with his Daddy. He is such a joy and has the best "kissy face" ever! Please stay little awhile longer Miller!!
Our lives changed for the better 4 years ago today (well yesterday). Mason turned FOUR. Really, where did the time go? I remember being nervous, anxious, and so excited for him to be born. Little did I know, that those feelings of parenthood don't go away. They just take on different meanings.
For his birthday, we threw a pirate-themed party. I wanted to just do something simple, so we could enjoy the day and not be too caught up in the details. Afterall, this is a day to celebrate, not stress!
We gathered up some pirate gear and off we went. Here are a few photos of the day.
Grandma & her scalleywags
The mate's proud parents
The cake, made by Mason's super talented Grandma.
Treasure chest filled with swords, telescopes, jewels, coins, and pirate snacks. For pirate snacks, I put mixed Pirate's Booty, Peanuts, Raisins, & Red Hots in a celophane pirate bag. I got all of the favors from www.orientaltrading.com
Pirate Snacks of Pirate's Booty, Peg-Legs (carrot sticks), Planks (celery & peanut butter), Canonballs (meatballs), and fruit.
And finally...the littlest scalleywag of the bunch.
We went to heaven this past weekend...well, heaven it is for a family of waterskiiers, dirt bike riders, and lizards! They call it Man Land... I can even call it "Wo-Man land." It is true that it is a haven for men, but I loved it too.
You see...I used to love to waterski. I was even on the UC Davis waterski team back in my college days. It was my sorority, my social network, my "drinking team with a waterski problem." Going out to Cheyenne Lakes took me back, way back to the days where I could hardly unscrew the lid to my toothpaste because I was so sore, back to the days where my right leg had a mysterious bruise appear from the spray, back to the days where I chickened out on the 3 & 5 ball! But it felt GOOD! It felt great to get back behind the boat and have a good tug-a-war. I can't even tell you how I have missed it.
Mike is quite the skiier too, but what I didn't know about him is that he is a GOOD dirtbike rider! Really, for NEVER doing it...he has some skill. I am not going to lie, it made me super nervous to see him out there on that track, but I guess I have to get used to it. I have 2 boys that are sure to be mini-Mike's and be thrill-seekers like their Dad. Mason is already there. He would not leave the garage where the dirtbikes & quads were. I think it is funny that he loves the idea of riding a dirtbike but hates the loud noises they make! He is going to have to get over that soon.
I hope there are many more trips to Man-Land in our future!
I think all the stars were aligned, all the angels looking down, all of the rays of sun must have been shining down on our home on Easter Sunday this year. Really, I can't remember the last time I have had that much fun at a Holiday gathering. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and we usually throw a pretty good soire, but there was just something different about Easter this year. Maybe it was because it was the 1st Easter we have hosted...EVER! Maybe it was because the weather cooperated with warmth, the birds were chirping, and the flowers were blooming. Or maybe it was because my family made the best spread of food we have had in a long time. Everyone in my family has some sort of culinary expertise. My Mom is great at trying new recipes, tweaking them and saying..."I just threw it together." Much like this Angel Food Cake layered with lemon curd, berries, and topped with a cream cheese coconut frosting. Then she goes to her yard, picks fresh lavender & Meyer lemons and wa la... a picture perfect dessert.
Everything my sister makes is delicious, whether it be a double chocolate cheesecake or a beautiful Minted Fruit Salad, she has the talent too.
My Aunt...well she is the queen of green salads. This year was a mix of greens, goat cheese, & fennel.And ME...well, I didn't cook at all! Somehow I got out of it! I ran down to Panera Bread and got delicious Tomato Basil, 3 Cheese, & Whole Grain loafs to make delicious sandwiches on. I find it hilarious that everyone thinks I made all of the food this Easter... I guess I should keep my mouth shut, right?
My favorite part of Easter was watching the kids hunt for eggs. Even Miller got into it this year. He was VERY slow. He had to open each egg and shove all the candy in as soon as he got one. This gave all of the older kids an advantage! haaaa
I hope that this Easter is the 1st of many more wonderful holiday memories at our home. I know my Nana would be so happy to have us all at her home enjoying it. I miss her.
I love Spring...there is something just so exciting, fresh, & new about Spring. Maybe this is why it is the time of new birth...a time to dust of our feathers and dive head first into whatever may come our way. For us, our new endeavor is gardening. I have always loved to dig my hands in the dirt. Thanks Mom & Dad for showing me the way to pull out a weed, cut back a palm, trim back bushes, & plant a tomato plant. I feel like we just got thrown into gardening haven. Our home is surrounded by fruit trees, rose bushes, ferns, you name it...we probably have it. There are endless areas to throw a plant in the ground and see what happens. That is the part I love about it, the uncertainty, excitement, & accomplishment of growing something from a seed, or tiny plant into something we can eat or view just for it's pure beauty. I was walking around the yard today and it just inspired me. The pomegranate tree has the most bright red flowers on it, ready to become a sweet but tart fruit.
The fig tree's electric green leaves have such a distinct shape
with beautiful fig buds getting bigger every day.
And the yellow plum, with it's bright white flowers ready to make way into sweet yellow goodness.
I am not sure what this beauty is, I am thinking it is an apricot or peach, the bees are loving the sweet nectar coming from these beautiful pink flowers.
And here is the start of my tomato garden. We have so many gophers, so we dug out a space behind the shed, hoping it will give these plants a chance to grow! We already had some sort of critter try to eat one the other night, so we wrapped the cages in celophane to keep them away and provide some extra heat for them to grow.
My next blog will be about all the nasty bugs we have come across since we started our gardening/composting expedition.... and let me tell you, that is the part I am not quite digging about the garden:)