Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sisters


Today is my "baby" sister's birthday. Happy Birthday Kimi!! 33. Surely she won't mind me divulging that since she's 3 years younger than me, and 6 years younger than our older sister. Kimi is the one in the middle in this picture. Debbie is to her right. This was taken this past summer during our visit to Texas for Holden's Baptism and Mom's knee surgery. I don't see either of my sisters often enough. Usually just once a year, sometimes twice. We have families and jobs and commitments that keep us from seeing each other as often as we'd like. But that doesn't keep them away from my thoughts and my heart. We are all three as different as can be. But we also have similarities - Debbie and Kimi are both teachers and love to shop. Debbie and I both have small children who keep us busy and crazy, respectively. Kimi and I both have a fondness for vino (ok, we have more in common than that, but that stands out). We all love to eat, and we strive for bargains - I attribute that to our Grandma Broome. Oh, and did I mention both of my sister's are totally smarty-pants and are both pursuing their Master's degrees right now (yeah, guess who the black sheep of the family is...)?? I am beyond proud of them for pursuing this enrichment to themselves and to their careers. So I thought I'd give a little shout out to my awesome sisters on our little sister's 33rd birthday. I love you gals. And feel so lucky to have grown up with you both, and to call you not just my sisters but also my friends. xoxo

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cookie Time

You know when you make a batch of cookies and the recipe (or tube of frozen dough) says: makes 4 dozen? I'd like to know in what Universe any batch of dough ever made 4 dozen?? For reals. I mean you have to first take into account the raw cookie dough you consume whilst baking said cookies. Including your little helper elves (please don't give me guff about raw eggs, k, 'cause we all survived it in our childhood of cookie-dough eating, and I also gave my kids peanut butter before they were three - sue me). So including your elves and yourself that's easily half a dozen potential cookies gone before they even make it to the pan. Then there's the less than accurate measuring for the formation of each cookie. Usually a recipe says: drop by heaping tablespoon. Again, in what Universe? Our heaping tablespoon is usually the biggest serving spoon I can find to scoop up dough, and less than delicately dumped onto the cookie sheet. So it equals more like three tablespoons per cookie instead of one. That takes away at least a dozen more potential cookies (please don't ask if this math is correct, or worse yet figure out the math on that yourself -- it hurts my head to think that much, and my cell/calculator is in the other room and I'm too lazy to stop typing and pull up the computer calculator. And to that point, recently my eldest saw a real calculator -- you know, Texas Instruments -- and asked me what it was. Sigh....) Anywho, we're down 1-1/2 dozen potential cookies by this point. Then of course each fresh batch out of the oven needs a taste tester. Or three. You know, to make sure the cookie dough is fully cooked - you have to watch out for the raw egg in raw cookie dough. So three taste testers at two cookies each per pan, give or take, that's another dozen or so. Again, stay away from the math on that. And finally, the cookies are all finished baking. Their smell has permeated the house (which is usually why I make cookies in the first place - to get rid of the "boy" smell in my house). They are lined up on a cooling rack, ready to consume. They are perfectly golden. Perfectly gooey with deliciousness. And, of course, by this point myself and my elves have upset tummies and want nothing to do with the one dozen cookies we have just prepared.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What We've Been Doing


Oh, and I hit a sale at Michael's, too. Peace out.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

the best ever


Christmas Eve with best pals -
Holden (3), Jackson G (6.5), Allie (2.5), Jackson J (5.5)
Christmas Eve -cookies, milk and letters for Santa (and carrots for the reindeer!)
New super-duper Spy Watch
Christmas Socks Rock!
(I bought these Stockings the year we were engaged -- I bought 4, with hopes that two awesome kiddos would find their way into our lives one day)
Mr. Roboto
Santa's gift - a cool game table for the basement!
Christmas Dinner by candlelight - wish I'd photographed those crab legs!!!
Christmas Sundaes, of course

Christmas 2009. Maybe the best Christmas I can remember -- at the very least the best Christmas since 1984 when I got both a doll house and a cabbage patch doll.

We were on our own this year, just us and the boys. We spent Christmas Eve with the Weik's, as has become our tradition -- Mexican food and cocktails! Perfection. Christmas morning started pretty much the same way every morning starts for us, with Jackson coming into our room at the crack of dawn. But I will add that it was a very respectable 7am, and he waited 14 minutes before begging us to wake up Holden and go see if Santa came . He did.

We spent the morning opening gifts at a fairly leisurely pace. We enjoyed a breakfast of bagels and lox for us and cinnamon rolls for the boys. Christmas carols played on the speakers, a fire was going in the fire place, and a beautiful white snow was on the ground outside. But who am I kidding - the presents took center stage. We played all morning and all afternoon, and never got out of our jammies the entire day. Shawn and I made an amazing dinner for ourselves - steak, shrimp, crab legs, roasted potatoes and a yummy un-oaked Chardonnay. Who needs turkey?! It was one of the best meals I've ever had, holiday or not. The boys enjoyed their favorites as well - chicken nuggets and melon. And we finished off the meal with ice-cream sundaes. Not traditional, certainly, but a perfect finish to a perfect day.

After the boys were in bed Shawn and I watched "Love Actually" which is also a tradition of ours. It is a perfect little holiday film, and has made it to our DVD every Christmas since Jackson was a baby. Love it. We all slept well, thankful for our blessings and each other, and the new robots that are certainly the boys' favorite gifts of all.

But back to why this was the best Christmas ever... it wasn't because of the gifts -- though let's face it, presents rock -- and Shawn and I even opted to not exchange this year so we could save some dough, so the presents with which I speak were all truly, 100% for the boys. It wasn't the delicious food -- but again, let's face facts, I love food and love eating food with people I love, and the food we all ate together was divine. But that's not it. It wasn't the snow on the ground -- again, snow is awesome, but Mr CT has to shovel it and it makes him grouchy about living in Colorado, and it makes the roads slushy and slippery and messy, even though I about die every time I look at it because it is gorgeous and we have amazing views of the mountains from our new home. And it wasn't even the new home -- though the house was warm and toasty and decorated just how I want it to be, and all our merry-making was lovely and spread out and we all felt a sense of space which is nice, oh so nice. But that wasn't it. What was it? Well of course it was them. That pretty much goes without saying. My family. The people I adore more than anything or anyone or any place on the planet. The boys were joyous and full of wonder and excitement and dare I say it, graciousness! They hardly even bickered yesterday. And my husband, whom I am blessed to be in love with. Who makes me smile and laugh and flat out guffaw more often than not. And it was having a long chat with him over dinner while the boys played. It was being with someone that allows for honestly and truth. It was feeling that love come back to me a thousand times over. That is what made it the best. Christmas. Ever. (Except the year I got a doll house and a cabbage patch doll...)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What it is all about...


These two are the reason I do just about every single thing I do in my life. I love them beyond measure. Even when they are cranky on Christmas eve. Oh yeah, and their Daddy is pretty spectacular, too.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. We'll be snuggling up at home this year, as is our tradition, but thinking much of our family and friends afar. I'll be thinking of the beautiful Christmas service at St. Christopher's in Lubbock. It always has a special place in my heart - the beautiful candles and music and of course the Christmas story. I'll be thinking of BJ's divinity (DIVINE!) and spicy sausage balls. Opening presents at Dad and Di's on Christmas eve - always an awesome display of mayhem and tissue paper. I'll think of waking up Christmas morning at my Mama's house. The beautiful handmade stockings hanging from the hearth -- one for each of us including Kimi's dog Bubba. I think the total is around 15 stockings, all made with love by my Mama's hands. I'll think of Debbie and Ed's turkey and my Granny's stuffing recipe. I'll think of watching my nieces open their myriad of gifts. I'll think of home and what a great place it was to grow up. And of course I'll relish our time now, here, with our boys. Snow on the ground. The boys so young and full of wonder. Opening their gifts. Eating yummy noshies. Christmas eve spent with good friends. And the boys awaiting impatiently Santa's visit -- a little elf told me he's bringing them a game table this year! I love all that it encompasses.

So with that I'm signing off. Going to chow on some delish Mexican food and enjoy my time with my family. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Comes Early

We started Christmas a tad early this year. Alison (my mother in law) is spending Christmas in Buffalo with Shawn's sister's family, so she celebrated this past weekend with our family before hopping her flight earlier this morning. She of course spoiled the boys with armloads of presents -- toys and books and electronic gadgets, a science kit, a microscope (I admit I'm having fun with this one!), musical instruments, and more that I'm probably forgetting. Shawn made Paella. I bought a Black Forrest cake. We watched movies and ate too much and watched the boys play. All was right with the world. (well that is until we discovered an early demise by Jackson's pet fish, King Ned Blue Red, but that is a tale for another day...).

Thank you for a wonderful Christmas Nana! And we send much love to our Buffalo family and our Texas family this holidays season. We'll be waking up at our house Christmas morn, as has become our own family tradition, but we will miss our loved ones and be thinking of you all so much and wishing you a very safe and happy Christmas. xoxo

Nana, Jackson and Holden

Utter excitement over toys that are about to be opened...
In need of Daddy's assistance

Leapster's - the big hit of the day (and I also busted Jackson playing with this after lights out last night...but I forgave considering the passing of his fish earlier in the evening)
My loves

Dr Jackson at your service

A little dress up earlier today
Don't ask 'cause I don't have a clue
And a visit to Santa and the most unfriendly helper elves I've ever come across (seriously, they would allow me to take one picture -because I wasn't buying their package - and demanded that I erase any extras...I didn't)
Ah yes, and Shawn's Paella...mmmmm....



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Little Things

Jackson is my big, strong, smart boy. He's also a bit on the timid side. He wants to be 100% sure of himself before he lunges into anything new. Once he's comfortable in a situation he'll give all of himself to it. But things have to be done on his time. It can be maddening to see him close to accomplishing something, but pulling back out of fear. I see it in the way he plays. The way he learns. They way he takes on the world. Sometimes it is big things -- venturing to his Kindergarten classroom on his own for the first time. Reading a new book aloud that might be a bit out of his reading comfort zone. Meeting a new friend, and more importantly, expressing to them how much he wants to be their friend. Those are the big things.

Then there are small things. Trying a new toothpaste might take months of small tries before he can commit to the new flavor. Ordering his own food at a restaurant. Etc. Today's "small thing" came in by way of swimming lessons. It was a small moment for a big feat. Jackson does well in swimming lessons, listens to his teacher, tries to do everything she asks-- except putting his head under water. He's petrified. He is in his 3rd round of lessons and this is the last hurdle to moving forward to the next level. 6 weeks of lessons and he has yet to do it. All week we've been practicing with him and encouraging him, leading up to today's final class that would determine the next level he would go to (or not). We don't want to push too much, but at the same time we know he is ready for it. He loves swimming. He's comfortable on the play area at the pool. He loves baths and playing in the water. But the dunking the head thing -- a small thing -- turned into a big thing. His foot was down and the line was drawn.

But today as he marched confidently into his last lesson he walked directly up to Miss Anna, his teacher, and boldly told her that today he would dunk his head under water. She smiled at him and nodded, pleased but uncertain I could tell. But then he did it. He took a deep breath, caught my eye, and dunked his head full force. And came up smiling and gasping and beyond proud of himself. His eyes shone like silver, reflecting on the water, and his smile was a mile wide. And then he did it again. And again. And again! And at least a dozen times over the course of the lesson. And each time he came up his grin was wider. And he didn't gasp as much. He seemed confident, and proud, and in control of his situation. And tears came to me unexpectedly. I never would have seen them coming. But to see his pride was too much for his Dad and me. We both cheered on this little big step for him. And he proudly accepted his certificate to move onto the next level. And grinned beyond measure. Maybe it wasn't such a little thing after all...


Friday, December 18, 2009

These Girls


These are my girls. Gidget, Carissa, Danielle and me. They get me through my week. They are my dear friends. They are my girls! (and how appropriate that this picture was taken at Chuckee Cheese at a birthday party!)

When we moved to Colorado 4.5 years ago from Washington I only knew a small handful of people who lived here, and no one who lived in my new home town. I was a new stay at home mama, having given up my career to stay home with my then one year old son. We lived in an apartment. Shawn was trying to find his way with his new job. I was lonely. I took Jackson to various parks around town just to get out of the house and explore my new (small!) town. One beautiful afternoon when Jackson was about 15 months old I struck up a conversation with a sweet southern mama who had a son, Jack, who was my Jackson's age. Danielle. She quickly invited me to join her playgroup that she and her neighbor Gidget were starting up. Would I like to join? YES! I was craving friendship and adult conversation in a bad way - I'm an extrovert by nature and being home alone with a barely talking toddler, while enjoyable, was also lonely and isolating.

I quickly fell in love with my playgroup mamas and their adorable tots. Eventually Danielle stalked Carissa, another new neighbor in their hood. And thus our playgroup was complete. Well, not really complete, because over the years we've added another two generation of kiddos to our group - 4 adults and 9 kids total. And even though we moved from the apartment to a home a bit further away, and our older kids have started school at varying times and schedules, we have made the commitment to our play group, and more importantly, to our friendships. I don't know how I'd get through my week without them. They are my dearest of friends, and I treasure them and their families. We have gone through so many highs and lows and in betweens in our 4.5 years together. And I see years and years more of friendship amongst ourselves and our kiddos.

But I write this because today Danielle and her family are heading off to a new adventure. Her husband got a great promotion at work that is taking them from chilly Colorado to balmy California. It has always been in the back of our heads that they would be moving eventually -- it is the nature of her husband's career. But seeing her off today was a heart break. I will miss her friendship. Her warm smile. Her beautiful southern drawl that makes me think of home. Her two awesome sons, Jack and Kent, and the friendship we have found with she and her husband Kevin. We will miss them greatly, and I wish them all the best of luck in their new home state. xox


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Levels

I walked into Holden's room this morning. He was awake, smiling, snuggling his shaky lamb in bed. He melts my heart a dozen times over.

me: "Wake up honey bear! Today is your last day of swimming and we get to find out what level you go to next!"

Staring wide eyed at me, an enormous, expectant grin spreading across his sweet little face...

him, in an excited whisper: "What's a level!?"

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

post script - he passed swimming level 1 and is off to level 2! (whatever that means)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A little holiday prep

Making Gingerbread houses has sort of become a tradition in our house over the past few years. We made one on 2007, and less successfully in 2008. Today at the craft store I reached for the traditional kit to make this years' house and got side tracked by the "sale sign" showing a similar (this is Jackson's word of the moment - he loves using this word) gingerbread house but made with Rice Krispie Treats instead of gingerbread. hmmm...You had me at sale. And marshmallow. And easy. The boys were excited to try something new. I was excited I didn't have to actually construct a house (again, '08's house was a tad run down). And we were all excited that the results could be eaten immediately after decorating. And they were. Awesomeness. Tradition redefined.
The kit - cute;
I'll save the pan so next year I can just make the treats reusing the same pan.
The designers hard at work
Embellishing
and eating - the best part!
more eating -- this kid's eyes slay me every time... (and yes, please note he is still wearing his Power Rangers Halloween costume and it is, yes, the middle of December. I have sewn it twice now)
Later in the evening we all piled into the Subaru to look at Christmas lights around the 'hood. Cocoa and candy canes (and a lid!) - a must!


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Play Fight

Our boys love to play fight with Daddy. He barely makes it through the door at the end of a looooong day before "Daddy play fight!" echoes through the house. He sighs. He's tired. I don't blame him. He's hungry. I really don't blame him. And yet, that good man musters the energy, let's out a roar and plunges into playing fight. Sometimes he is a good guy, sometimes he is a bad guy. Jackson dictates. He's like that. There's lots of squealing and running and weapon noises and all things "boy" going on. I usually sit back and enjoy (and by that I mean I do the dishes, clean the kitchen, pack Jackson's lunch, and drink a glass of vino). And there are weapons. The boys turn everything they own into weapons - train tracks, tinker toys, tent spikes, you name it - it is a weapon. Never mind that we own one toy gun - a water gun at that. They'll make a weapon out of twin and glitter if they have to.

Last night's play fight conversation:

Daddy: Holden, what are your weapons of choice?!

Holden: (deeply thinking) A waterproof gun (of course) and...Popsicles!

Daddy: What are the Popsicles for?

Holden: (having a "Duh!" moment) To EAT!

Monday, December 07, 2009

blessings

Today I will try to value each moment. Treasure each kiss (even the one brought on because someone bonked me in the head). I will listen to the words I read to my children. I will feel blessed by the snow outside my window and the warmth inside my home. I will try to remember each moment is precious and unique and quickly over. Today I will be grateful for old friends, new friends, and friends who have yet to grace my heart. Today I will savor each taste, each smell, each sound...even the yelling. I will laugh. I may cry. That is ok, too. Today I am reminded that life is short, fleeting, and a blessing beyond measure. I will be thankful for prayers answered. And as Garth sings, unanswered as well. I will relish fresh laundry, even if it is in a massive pile on my bed ready, waiting to be folded. Today I will be in awe that those two little soul's have been given to me to keep, care for, watch over, guide, and of course, one day, set free. I will reach out to hug the man who gave me those souls. I will feel each breath. I will be thankful for my messes because they signify that I have more than I could ever need or want, and I should give thanks for that. Today my deep self evaluation is brought on by this amazing soul. You can't read her story and not feel how blessed your life is. Or hers.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

ho! ho! ho!

The boys pre-Nutcracker. We made it 3/4 of the way through the ballet...
it is all about the exposure, right?!
Holden is potty training. Today he got a candy cane as a treat for a job well done.

A small taste of Christmas at our house: chandy made sparkly, nativity scene Mama gave me years ago, our tree decorated with ornaments we've made or bought in our 10 years together, angel Di gave me that I love, Lynn Haney Santa given to us by the artist's family when we were married (it has our wedding invite printed on the back of Santa's sack), our elf on the shelf, Fortnum (thank you Lisa!!), cute snowmen on my favorite chair
me and my baby
(I'm trying to ignore my wrinkles and relish having a photo taken with my son...)
Holden working on a craft project on a snowy Wednesday morning...

Happy Holidays - I love this time of year!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A fall to winter catch up...


We had a truly lovely Thanksgiving with Shawn's family - Nana, Uncle Al and Coleen. We had traditional turkey, made by my mother in law, that was absolutely delicious, and Uncle Al provided a special dish - Sole Normandy (melt in your mouth yummy!). We are sure to remember for years to come that Nana accidentally used up the single lemon he needed to complete his dish. But we all left happy and full so it was obviously all a huge success.

Jackson, Daddy, Al and Nana went to a late evening Broncos game - Jackson's first. He was sacked out when he returned home late Thursday evening, but full of excitement giving me all the details on Friday morning.

We are now 100% gearing up for Christmas. Our house is fully decorated, and tomorrow we are heading out for a family day to see The Nutcracker ballet. We are all very excited. I love this time of year, and the wonder it brings to my boys' faces.

I am thankful and blessed and full of grace.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jackson - 5.5

Sunday, November 22, 2009

surprises

Sometimes this kid really surprises me. Honestly, Shawn and I had nothing to do with his picture below, or the words he attributed to it. I am pretty sure I teared up when he showed it to me. So simple. So true. I hope this means we are raising a socially conscious young man. I dunno. But he nailed it.


And also, here is Jackson and his Daddy at Thanksgiving meal at school. We all went and had a great family meal together. Until it was time for recess and he abandoned us for the playground. Ah well, can't win 'em all.


I hope this kind of memory stays in his heart for a long, long time. I can remember how special it was when my Mom came to have a holiday meal with me at school. I now know of course she must have juggled her own schedule as an elementary school teacher to make that happen. Thank you for that Mom. This also reminded me of when my Dad sent corsages to me on Valentine's. I think I might have been a tad embarrassed at the time - I have no idea why I would have been, but I was a bashful child. I remember my teachers would ohhh and awww over it -- and now I get it. How thoughtful and sweet. Yes, those are the memories I keep so close in my heart, and I hope my boys will, too, as they grow up. And yeah, I took this picture, and yeah, it is blurry.

***
I had to add this on a little after I wrote the above post. This kid, I swear, I love him so so so much. Even the days he pushes my buttons (which is often) and makes me shake my head in confusion, I love him to pieces. This evening the boys were watching a kiddie show before bed time. Shawn and I were in the same room but not fully paying attention. Jacksonn turns to me and asks:
"Mommy, are wishing wells real?"
me: No buddy, they aren't real. They're just on the show.
Him: But whales are real, right?
me: (totally confused) Yeah hon, whales are real.
Him: But not wishing whales, right?
me: Oh, yes, right, there are no such thing as wishing whales.

How can you not love this kid???

Thursday, November 19, 2009

swim lessons

OK, my apologies for going off. I guess I was burning some steam after taking the boys swimming yesterday. On that note, here's a pic of Holden at his swimming lessons from this morning. He's loving them! (click pic to enlarge)

*rant enclosed*

*With apologies, this will be a bit of a rant*

Dear Mom at the indoor pool,
I know, I know, Jodi Picoult is a great writer, and her books are hard to put down. I know having two rambunctious boys can be exhausting (truly, I know this). I know that curling up with a good book and blocking out the world sounds truly wonderful. I know that it is easy to get distracted from real life sometime. I know you are probably tired. But you know what? I'm not your babysitter. I'm at the pool for my own kids, not yours. I'm not there to discipline your two boys. I have two of my own that I'm trying to raise, and they keep me busy enough. It is not my job to keep your boys from ramming into my 3 year old on the baby water slide. It is not my job to tell your kids not to steal toys from kids smaller than they are. It is also not my job to show them my son's initials on said toys to prove they belong to my son and not to them. It is also not the lifeguard's job to tell your boys 4 times (yeah, I counted, sue me) to stay out of the water during safety break. Hey mom with the book - you have two boys, they are your responsibility. You are 6 feet away from them, seriously, you don't see all this going on?? Water can be dangerous. This is not the park where the worst that could happen is a kid gets clocked by an out of control swing. This is the swimming pool. Water? Drowning? Hello? Put down your book. Open your eyes. Watch your boys. Better yet, maybe put on a swimsuit and swim with them - just a thought. It is your job. Not mine. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,
Other-exhausted-mom-who-loves-to-read-Jodi Picoult-books-and-block-out-the-world-but-I-do-it-on-my-own-time-thank-you-very-much

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It is ON!

We have had a day of potty training success! I subscribe to the "wait until they are ready" school of thought for potty training -- or potty readiness, as our pedi calls it. I've been asking Holden for months now if he wanted to wear big boy underwear, and every day he says no. I say fine and move on. His underwear is ready. Treats are ready. I have even promised to buy him a zoo if he gives up diapers (a toy zoo, mind you...) Today, for some reason, he said yes to the underwear. So it was on. He has successfully used the potty 6 times, including twice with...well, I don't need to get too graphic, but hooray, the boy pooped on the potty, too! Thus far, knock wood, only one accident today. I'm ready to leap into this wholeheartedly 'cause I am SICK OF BUYING DIAPERS!!! Seriously. And come on, he's 3 now, let's get this party moving. I admit to having a pretty easy time potty-training Jackson. When he was ready, he went full force and never looked back. I'm so crossing my fingers that Holden will follow suit...stay tuned...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I give it a 10

This picture doesn't even touch it. This is actually 2002, but it is as far back as I can find a picture of us together - mainly because there were no digital cameras before this point, and I'm too lazy to go into the basement to find a photo album and a picture and scan it into the computer. My point is... 10 years ago today I went on my last first date. Shawn picked me up in his snazzy Chevy Lumina and took me to see a play. We had some drinks, some dinner, lots of laughter, lots of easy talking, and a whole lotta flirting. And that my friends, was that. We were both smitten. It was all over from there. No more first dates for either of us. Just more dates adding onto more dates adding onto a shared apartment, an engagement ring, a wedding, a first house, a baby, a cross country move, another house, another baby, another house, no more babies, and still lots of laughter, lots of talking, lots of flirting. 10 years in a blink. I remember it like it was yesterday (I even remember what we were both wearing that night!). Love you schmoop - here's to ten times ten more years together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mom and Me


Mom recently came up for her annual Halloween visit - she comes up several times a year (thank you Mom!) but Halloween has become a tradition. She spends Thanksgiving in Dallas (where Kimi and fam live), Christmas in hometown of Lubbock (where Debbie and fam live) and Halloween here. I love it. She gets to see the boys all dressed up and excited for the day. She gets to be here for Holden's birthday (which I also love -thank you Mom!). She gladly stays at home to pass out treats so Shawn and I can take the boys out trick-or-treating. It is a week of festivities and planning between birthday and trick or treating, and a perfect chance for a Colorado visit. This year I treated Mom to tea at The Brown Palace as a thank you for all her help while she was here. She helps me a ton with the boys, and Shawn and I usually get a date night or two (or three!) in when she's here, too. We had a lovely time at tea - something she and I adore doing. I love the sweet formality of it. I love dressing up. I love pouring and tasting and stirring and chatting. I love remember my own time serving tea at Fortnum and Mason in London. I love my Mom. This is us heading out for our afternoon. My husband is many, many wonderful things, but honey, these were some crazy blurry shots (love you love you love you though!!). But it still captured mom and me in all our finery, smiling and ready for some clotted cream and Darjeeling. Thanks again Mom for all you are, all you do, putting up with me, and loving my family so. We love you, and we hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

BFF

Jackson's best friend at school is Linea. She's a beautiful little girl with the biggest brown eyes and precious dark curls you've ever seen. I can see why he loves her. He talks about her all the time, and shares little snippets of their friendship with me. Today on the way to school I asked him what made her his very best friend. He responded so simply: "Well, we have the same shoes." Ah, if only our grown up friendships could be so simple...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween '09 and a Birthday...

Birthday boy checking out his cupcakes
crazy monster cupcakes!
peanut butter spiders
mummy pigs in a blanket!
Bat wing chips and bloody salsa
more cupcake gazing...
Gidget the good witch!
Carissa -Bat Girl!
Birthday boy







This is from the day before - we took the boys to Trick or Treat Street in downtown Castle Rock. They were both Transformers. Holden switched to a Power Ranger for last night's trick or treating!

Despite the mountains of snow and 3 days of canceled school, by Saturday the skies were clear and sunny in preparation for a beautiful Halloween day - and a small birthday party for Holden! Jackson and I did some sledding in the morning, then we went into birthday/candy mode. We had a few of our closest friends over to celebrate Holden turning 3. The party was as much fun for us adults as it was for all the kiddos. The kiddos played a game of pin the nose on the pumpkin, ate monster cupcakes, and played hard! Trick-or-treating was done Mayberry-style with all the kids in the 'hood coming out for a beautiful evening of treats and no tricks. The weather was perfect, the moon was full, and so were all our bellies by the time we hit the pillow. An awesome day. Halloween is such a fun, low-stress holiday - and I especially like it when coupled with Holden's birthday.