Saturday, February 27, 2010

Movie Night = Snacks

By the way, the movie on tap was "Jurassic Park" - there was a lot of fast forwarding. Shawn and I both forgot that it was such a violent movie. But our boys did seem to be appeased by us answering that everyone lives. (most everyone) whew.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Darth on Darth

The kids, as I've mentioned, are way into Star Wars right now. Last weekend I had Jackson lie on the floor on some butcher paper and I traced him. Then I taped it to the window and told him to color himself. He chose to color himself as Darth Vader instead. Isn't that helmet awesome?? Not to mention the lightsaber. What a cool kid.

School Picture Day for Homeschoolers!

Learn more about this exclusive school picture day just for homeschoolers. Click to enlarge:

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Nearing the age of six must be the age when all children decide they are ready for their first sleepover. In this week alone three separate friends have suggested organizing a sleepover for our Kindergarteners. Seems the time is upon me to make this a reality. So today Jackson was invited to his friend Lanae's birthday party. Have I mentioned this budding friendship? Oh yes, I did, in this post. These two are peas and carrots. Lanae lives about a minute's drive from our house. She and Jackson pretty much have at least one play date a week. The never seem to argue. They just play for hours at a time, and enjoy each other's company. I love that. I so have to get a picture of her going 'cause her sweet, brown curls just make my heart turn to butter...

Anyway, so Lanae's birthday is coming up next weekend. Her parents are taking a few of her closest friends to Mr. Biggs- a sort of "Dave and Busters" type place from what I can tell. I've never been. And Lanae's mom suggested that maybe Jackson would like to spend the night that night, too. Oh boy. Here we go. His first sleepover! I told her I would talk to him about it to make sure he was ok with it, but I was sure he would be since he's been bugging me about having a sleepover for about 3 months now. And the good thing is that they live so close to us, should he get all freaked out about falling asleep at a different house we can just pick him up.

So today when I picked J up at school I was excited to tell him about these plans. He informed me that he was well aware of Lanae's birthday party and of course he was going to it. Okkkk... So then I asked if he would like to spend the night at her house that night, too. His response? "Well of course I would - we've been planning this sleepover for like 6 or 8 playdates!" Okkkk... I guess he told me. I don't like it when he's a little smarty-britches like that, but I DO like it when he is confident and assured. So I let the smarty-pants tone slide and enjoyed his excitement about his upcoming sleepover...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Holden: Mommy, why do they call it a liquor store? Because they give you suckers to lick?

Me: Yes Holden that is exactly why they call it that.

**And as a side note: Keep in mind my Dad's family owned and operated a Wine and Spirits Store - aka liquor store - for over 40 years until they sold it about 10 years ago. I was practically raised crawling around that store. Well, not literally, but I have good memories going in and getting to pick out a moon pie and a coke all for myself. I can't walk into a liquor store today without being overwhelmed with nostalgia. Did you know liquor stores have a very distinct smell? They do. Like cardboard, overripe fruit and airfreshner. I actually quite like it. I know to some taking a child into a liquor store seems crass but I don't feel that way at all. My family's store supported several extended families within our clan. It was very much a part of what fulfilled my Grandfather's "American Dream" when they immigrated to America in the 1950's. I don't have any taboo type feelings about liquor stores, especially those that take great pride in what they serve, the good wines they carry, and the education that they provide about wines. That was our family store was all about. But I don't recall if they gave out suckers.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fine Art Gallery

Beyond portraits I love capturing unique images from various hikes, travels and adventures. I have now made several of these images available for purchase on my website.

Above is just a very small sample. There are a variety of sizes and styles available including floral and fauna, city and country, and a few goodies in between. Visit my fine art gallery to explore more, and maybe pick up a little something special for yourself! Cheers!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I missed this cutie-pie picture when I was selecting my new header. Just as well, this kind of brotherly love can be few and far between on these cold, couped up winter days!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dr Holden

Dr Holden is a very busy doctor - luckily, he fit us in
Pup-Pup is quite ill, much in need of a shot
Dr H writing us a prescription - he's such a good doctor!
Pup-Pup is all better now!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I wish I had enough forethought to have gotten some cards out on this lovely little holiday o' love, but I did swing some quickie photoshop cards. Much love to all our loves! xox

Friday, February 12, 2010


Jackson's school took an nontraditional approach to celebrating Valentine's Day. There was no party. There was no candy. Or cookies, or red punch, or stickers or trinkets or whatever. There were Valentines. Lots of them. Each child was asked to make - hand made by them - a valentine for each classmate. That's about 26 valentines including teachers. These are 5 year olds. That's a rather steep assignment considering the time and patience that would go into hand-making over 2 dozen valentines.

We started three weeks ago. Jackson sponged hearts and hand prints on red, white, purple and pink paper (because some girls like pink, I was informed). Then each day leading up to Valentine's Jackson wrote out 3-4 cards with a special message to each and every student in his class. Some were simple "Happy Valentine's Day" messages. Some, to his closest of friends, read "I love you." Some were truthful messages about his feelings toward certain classmates: "I think you are pretty." " You are fun." "I hope you are feeling better." Etc. It was taxing, forcing a five year old who has been at school all day long to come home and write out hand written messages. It was frustrating at times for both of us. But once they were all completed Jackson was incredibly proud of his creations. And so was I.

When I picked him up from school yesterday - the day of the exchange - he was beaming with joy, and dare I say it, love? There was no party. No treats or snacks or goodies. There were 24 students carrying homemade boxes full to overflowing with kind notes hand written by their class mates. Jackson savored every message as we drove home. He pointed out special notes and commented on who used heart stickers and who used Star Wars stickers. He was happy. That's something you can't account for in a sugar-filled-party or generic brand pre-made Valentine's Day cards. These cards won't get tossed in tomorrow's garbage. I'll put them away in his art box. They are mini-masterpieces. Filled with love and kindness and friendship.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fearless..with goggles

By the way, please notice the muscle tone of my 5 year old??! He's got a 6 pack going without even trying. Weird.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Darth Vader

Mommy: Give me some kisses baby!

Holden (in his deepest Darth Vader voice): Darth Vader doesn't kiss.

Mommy: Maybe he wouldn't be such a meanie if he got more kisses.

Holden (thinking about it): Nah.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Poor Gump

Yesterday it snowed. A lot. And I took Jackson to school. And then went to the grocery store because I refused to go to the grocery store on Superbowl Sunday. And on the way back from the grocery store I tried to turn the corner into our neighborhood and the car did not want to turn the corner so it kept going straight. I said to myself "Oh boy, yep, this is it, we are NOT going to stop. We are just going to keep going and run into that curb and I really hope we don't hit that electrical box looking thing that is just past the curb and ohhh shhhhh....$*(*$!!!" And then I hit the curb, but not the electrical box. I wasn't hurt. Holden wasn't hurt. In fact, he wanted to know why we were stopping. I tried to drive but the awful grinding sound coming from below the car made me stop. Then I tried to drive again. And again I stopped. The two front wheels were bent. Lovely. Fortuitously a tow truck stopped and asked if I needed a tow. I turned him down, and called Shawn instead. He made me realize I did need a tow. Duh. So I called a tow truck. And then Holden had to pee. In the snow or in a cup, those were his options. He chose the snow. He was thirsty and hungry. We were 1/2 a mile from home. For reals, half a mile at the most! But luckily we'd gone to the damned grocery store so he drank a water-capri-sun and ate goldfish crackers. He seemed very confused as to why we were not driving, and he made this confusion very clear to me.

Then Shawn showed up and sent me, Holden and the groceries home in his car while he waited for the tow truck. How awesome is he??! Very. So the tow truck came and towed my baby to the repair shop. And there my car sits, my beloved Subaru Forrester - Gump (get it Forrester Gump, har har), waiting for repairs. Thank heavens for insurance (Allstate officially ROCKS) and accident forgiveness and rental car being included. I'm back in business. Not sure how long Gump is going to be at the beauty parlor, but I'm grateful no one was hurt - usually that is a very busy intersection and fortunately no one was behind me or in front of me when it happened. I'm grateful for car insurance (I heart Allstate - did I mention that?). And my sweet husband who has worked from home for two days now until I got the rental car thing sorted out. It could have been a lot worse. So while I'm greatly annoyed at the slippery white stuff, it was a non-incident type of incident. Thankfully. And I miss my Gump.

Gump, in happier days

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Do You Shadow Box?

Shawn bought me this sweet little shadow box a few years ago. I filled it with mementos from our wedding that were previously tossed in a memory box. Our wedding invitation - designed, printed and assembled by us. Wildflower seed packets given out as gifts to our guests - also put together by us. My something old - a pearl pin that was my sweet Granny's (also borrowed by my little sister when she got married a few years later). My something blue and new- a handkerchief with our wedding date embroidered on it (and slightly tear stained). The borrowed, pearls from Ruth, were returned after the wedding of course. Oh, and a few of the roses from my bouquet. A beautiful day that we get to relive daily now that it is shadowboxed, hanging in our hallway. I'd much rather display these treasures; see them every day and let the smile spread across my face. My boys even ask about it and I explain the significance of the day to them. They want to know why they weren't there. You were boys, in a way, because our wedding signified our commitment to each other and our future together, and to the two sweet little boys who would one day fill it. Do you have some sweet memories that could be shadowboxed?

And while we're at it, how come in this day and age marriage equality is still an issue?? Shouldn't all people be able to marry whomever they love? Blows my mind that this is an issue at all, and that so many people are against this ideal. Whatever happened to equality for all people?? This country was built on freedom, and yet we refuse this human right to millions of individuals... sorry for my tangent, but this is one thing I just do not understand, and talking of my own wedding just reminds me that there were beautiful friends who attended my wedding, who cannot marry at all....

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Take On Nutrition...well, not mine, my friend's....

Have you checked out my friend's new blog - My Take on Nutrition? It rocks! Brandy is one of my oldest friends. OK, she's not old, she's actually younger than I, but I've known her since we were 5 years old. How awesome is that? And she is a nutritionist and an amazing cook. I recall very clearly my 18th birthday - she threw me a surprise party, and she made the most beautiful birthday cake. It was basket weave, made by hand. So impressed. I still remember that cake - it has been over 18 years since that birthday (ahem). It stands as probably my favorite birthday celebration ever.

Bran's new blog is chock full of simple, easy tips on keeping your family healthy with nutritious and delicious meals. No muss, no fuss, just honest to goodness...well, goodness!

And in honor of her pursuit to make the world a healthier place, I'm, gulp, attempting to give up my beloved Diet Coke. Why? Because I know it is full of chemicals. I know it is making me sluggish. I know that it doesn't help my water consumption (or lack thereof). I know that it is part of why, at the age of 36, I still have acne. I know it is not good for me. So I'm going to give it a go. If I'm a total bear in 3 days time, call the authorities. Today is day one. It is close to 9pm and I did not have one the entire day. I don't seem to notice any differences, yet. I craved one close to noon. And again around 4pm. Those are my usual times to indulge. But I declined. I had water or watery-juice instead. And you know what, I survived!

I'm putting this out there so I will hold myself to it. Is a couple of diet cokes a day really all that bad? Well I don't know. I'm sure, as mentioned above, that they aren't great for me. But honestly I can't keep complaining about how I feel - sluggish, acne, dental work, unless I'm willing to do something about it. So I hope Bran's blog will keep me motivated. I hope I don't cave to the brand new 12 pack I just bought last weekend before I decided to make this step. It sits, unopened, in the cabinet. I hope a cup of coffee or two will help me over the hump. Oh, yeah, I'm not giving up coffee. One demon at a time.

And tell her hi!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Identity Crisis

I'm going through a bit of an identity crisis right now. I wake up each day knowing exactly what is going to happen - and I'm not so sure that is a good thing. I am feeling a big time itch these days. To head back into the work world. I miss it. Shhhh...did I just say that, out loud? Yes. All I ever wanted was to be home with my boys, and here I am, living the dream, and I am yearning for something more. Is it boredom? Maybe. A little. Oh I have plenty to do. Plenty. But some days I am not up for another load of laundry. Another game of Candy Land. One more time unloading the never ending dishwasher load. My brain calculating the last time my toddler went pee on the potty. The last time perhaps I went pee on the potty. Meal planning. Sewing up knees of busted out jeans. Grocery shopping. Craft time. Star Wars. Putting on new rolls of toilet paper. Paper towels. Art paper. Planning activities. Paying for activities. Budgeting for activities. Putting shoes in their proper places. Wiping out the sink. Wiping bums. Wiping out at the end of the day from exhaustion. Is this boredom? Or is it something else? I look at this list and know how fortunate I am. I know how lucky I am to see my boys, be with my boys, every day, all day long. I take them everywhere, and I treasure the small moments just as much as the big moments. 'Cause in a blink it is going to be over. They'll be bigger, on their own, and I'll long for the days of laundry, dishes, glue sticks, play dates, car pools, soccer practice, swimming lessons, healthy meals, happy meals, school activities, messy sinks and tubs, ear wax, finger nails, bottoms, and yes, boredom...or so I call it. Maybe it isn't boredom at all. Maybe this is life. Maybe it is the pressure of doing what I'm supposed to be doing versus what I want to be doing. And honestly, this, the right here and now, is what I want to be doing. I think.