Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall...

Another busy week.  School for both boys.  Sunny skies and lots of outside playtime.  Playdates.  Daddy traded in his Prius for a new Pilot.  Mommy gets the Pilot and Daddy takes the Subaru.  Mommy LOVES her new-to-her big car.  A birthday party to celebrate our friend Kyra who turns 7 AND has had 2 clean MRI's -- her cancer is gone!  Mommy got to work 2 half days taking "school pictures" at a local private school.  Joyous!  Lots of time spent in the office editing portraits and keeping up with clients.  Jackson has his first loose tooth.  Holden doesn't love going to school but is smiling when I pick him up.  Nana was here for 2 days, helping Mommy with the boys while Mommy and Daddy both worked.  That was an odd thing, to have 2 parents working  at the same time.  Thankful for a loving Nana and boys who love being with her.  Dinner with old friends and lots of good wine.  Oktoberfest with bouncy houses.  A difficult but meaningful photo session for a new friend.  Daddy time for the boys.  More playdates and outside playtime and popsicles and the sun setting earlier and earlier every night.  Pumpkins.  Bulbs that Mommy needs to put into the ground.  Fall...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

While these two packed up for an overnight school camping trip to camp Elim with the first grade class...
We played ninja, went to Costco with our pals the Longs, went to story time with our story time pals and read the "Giving Tree", and had a playdate / photo session with Allie and Lisa and Mimi.  

Fun was had by all...

The End.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Green Chili Potatoes

Yeah, I'm giving out a recipe today.  Me.  I consider myself a decent cook.  Not a chef.  But a decent cook.  I've only really ruined one major meal in the almost 11 years Shawn and I have been together (that would have been the Christmas 2001 meal - sorry honey!).  But our meals are fairly typical - pastas, chicken dishes, a few Mexican faves, etc.  Well this past weekend were dining out after Elitches and I dunked one of Jackson's fries into my green chili sauce from my meal and I about died.  It was HEAVEN!  Seriously, so good.  So I made up my own recipe that I served as a main course tonight.  It was gooooood.  By the way, potatoes get a bad rap.  But they are good for you.  I read that somewhere and I'm sticking to it.  I didn't fry them, I oven roasted them.  So they were yummy and healthy...now onto the make-shift recipe:

1. Cut up 4-5 medium sized russet potatoes into smallish chunks (don't bother peeling them, the skin is good)
2. Toss these cubes with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons (give or take) of olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Lay cubes in a single layer on a lightly greased roasting pan (I used spray canola oil)
4. Bake in a 400 degree oven for an hour, tossing occasionally to brown
5. Open a jar of good green chili sauce - I got a yummy chunky kind from Sprouts - and heat in the microwave (yeah, my recipe involves a microwave, what of it?!?)
6.  Put a serving of potatoes in a bowl (larger-ish bowl if this is a main dish like it was for me)
7. Top potatoes with green chili sauce and other toppings that you see fit  - I used a small bit of grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream (light)

Eat.  And then serve yourself another bowl full and eat again.  It was soooooo good.  And bonus, no meat, so a cheaper option as well!  I mean, come on, potatoes are cheap!  Jackson ate the potatoes just with cheese and a side of tomatoes.  I'm good with that.  Holden ate a carrot.  But he doesn't ever eat, so I'm also coming to grips with that, too.

Your welcome.

Monday, September 13, 2010

lair o' the bear

We didn't see any bears or lairs.  But we did see lots of people, dogs, bikes and wildflowers.  The leaves haven't changed yet, so no images of golden, red, and orange leaves to make you j.e.a.l.o.u.s. of where we live.  Just know that where we live is about as purty as it comes.  Can't wait for the leaves to start changing... 

My little sister (who, by the way, is pregnant with her first baby - a boy - right this very minute!) keeps telling me she's shocked when she hears or see pictures of me in outdoorsy situations.  She's right to be shocked.  I'm a pretty girly-girl.  I don't like to sweat.  I don't like dirt. I always carry hand sanitizer.  But I'm also the girl who backpacked across Europe and stayed in less than savory hostels and made do with dirty jeans and unwashed hair for days on end.  I'm also the girl who moved to the Pacific Northwest at the oh so tender age of 23 where it is practically mandatory that you own fleece, gortex, and either a snowboard or a bike or both.  I'm also the girl who gave birth to two rough and tumble little boys who love being outside and catching bugs and slugs and snakes and toads.  I'm also the girl who discovered, quite shockingly, that photography was my passion and more so, outdoor, natural light photography that takes me to parks and lakes and walking paths and just about any place that will provide a gorgeous scene for a lovely family. And I'm the girl who has a big boy (and eventually another boy) who attends an awesome (public!) school that places a huge emphasis on adventure education and working as a crew - which means hikes and camping trips and gear and more gortex and fleece and eventually, yes, snowshoes.   So, thus, this is me, behind the lens, capturing what has become an even more familiar sight in my world - being outside, the gorgeous out doors, hanging with my awesome, rugged men.








three

Sometimes, just being 3-almost-4 is the hardest thing in the world.  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

today

Today was a perfect day spent with our boys.  Perfect.  We took them to Elitch Gardens 6 Flags here in Denver. The boys had earned free tickets from the library for the summer reading program.  We've been waiting all summer to use them, and today was a great day to do so.  The park wasn't busy. It was a perfect 82 degrees with a slight wind.  We arrived as soon as the park opened, walked right in and rode rides all day long.  7 hours.  The boys were awesome.  No whining.  No complaining.  Lots of laughing and smiling and hand holding and shrieks of laughter.  From all of us.  We rode every ride the boys wanted to ride.  They were both just tall enough for rides that appealed to them.  They were kind to each other and on their very best behavior.  It truly was a perfect, perfect day.

And yet, there, in the back of mine and Shawn's heads, was the memory from 9 years ago.  The 4 planes that went down. The lives lost. The innocence lost.  The day our country changed forever.  A time before we had kids - we'd only been married 6 weeks.  The day fear became so much more prevalent, and lives were torn apart.  We will never forget.  And soon, in the next few years, the boys will understand the significance of this day.  But I'm sure like perhaps Pearl Harbor or the Vietnam war to us, it will be more of an anecdote than a memory that is full of meaning and sorrow.  It will be up to us to help them to understand, and to never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

That's Hawt

This is the weekend my hubs was supposed to ride his first century ride in Boulder.  He's been training for several months now, riding for hours and hours around the state of Colorado.  And all that riding has made my man look gooooood!  He's hawt!  Our plan was to head to Boulder Saturday and spend the night there with the kids, playing around and having an adventure.  Then Shawn would wake up early Sunday to ride and sweat and possibly even puke (century...100 miles people!), and the boys and I would roam around Boulder playing and having fun and eating yummy food.  Then we would cheer him as he crossed the finish line and raise him onto our shoulders and chant "Dad is awesome! We love Dad!" Or something like that.  That' show I envisioned it.  But you see, there are these wee little fires going on in Boulder right now.  Awful, really.  People's homes are going up in flames.  There have been deaths.  It is not a good thing.  And the air is rather smokey and rancid.  And roads have been blocked and re-routed.  So the Boulder century ride was cancelled for this year.  Hours and hours of my hubs training for not.  Well, not really for not.  He looks goooood! And he has, I hope, enjoyed the long weekend and early morning rides in the beautiful Colorado sunshine.  And I hope he'll try again next year. No matter what I'm crazy proud of him.

And of course I send all my good thoughts to the families and homes and communities displaced by the fires. And a huge thank you to the firefighters from around Colorado who are fighting the blazes.  Be safe.

Oh yeah, and my husband is still way hawt.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

All by myself...

After 5 years as a stay at home mama (you'll remember I worked full time the first year of Jackson's life) today was THE first time (IN FIVE YEARS) that I went shopping, for myself, by myself, on a random weekday morning.  It was only Kohl's.  I need pants like a fish needs water.  But I was by myself! Did I mention that?? FIVE years!!!  It was quiet and lovely and I got to try on clothes in a real dressing room without a small child poking my jiggly belly between changes.  Then I bought a coffee.  By myself.  And then I got my eye brows waxed.  By myself.  And my lip waxed (have I ever mentioned I'm 1/4 middle eastern?  I need a lip wax to combat that so don't be judging.)  And even though my eyes teared up (from the waxing, not from sending my children off to school), it was totally worth it.  Then I pulled into the preschool parking lot and watched my son, undetected, playing on the playground with his schoolmates.  I have the best gig in the world.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Preschool - Day 1

You didn't want to go.  You refused to get out of bed.  You slept later than you have in months.  You refused to get dressed, eat breakfast or even use the potty.  You insisted you were scared. I had to dress you in a rush.  I had to thrust a granola bar upon you so you wouldn't be hungry all morning long.  You whined  and were sluggish.  But you didn't cry.  And neither did I.  And you let me take a picture in which you looked excited, even if you weren't.  You told me you were scared.  I reassured you as best I could.  So you bravely walked into your classroom and found your cubby.  You also found a spot on the animal carpet to sit - on the turtle.  You sat criss-cross-apple-sauce and waved, sheepishly, good-bye to me. I "meditated" on you for a short bit before I drove away.  Sending you all of my love, all of my good thoughts, and a lot of strength.  Then I went home and worked for 2 hours straight.  For me, that felt good.  But I also hoped that you were well and smiling and having fun.

And when I picked you up, almost 3 hours later, you were smiling a wondrous grin.  It was part pride in yourself for making it through your first day of preschool, and part relief that I picked you up at the end of your day.  We hugged.  A long, long time.  And that felt pretty darn good.  Then I bought you your own package of gum as a reward for having such a great day.  And we hugged again, and that felt just awesome.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes!

I remember so many details about my little man Holden's arrival - the beginning of labor, the excitement leading up to us heading to the hospital, the nervous anticipation of what was to come...and alas, the total fear that something might happen to him as they rushed me off for an emergency c-section when he went into distress.  That's all I remember, because they knocked me out cold and didn't even allow Shawn in the room for his delivery.  It was a scary, scary few minutes for us, but when I finally came to there was my gorgeous, beautiful baby boy, perfect in every way (except perhaps that tiny cut on his head where they whisked him out so quickly).  He came into our lives and it was as if he was always there.  I can't imagine a world without him in it.  And now that same baby boy is heading off to his first day of school tomorrow. Preschool.  But school nonetheless.

He doesn't seem to have the same excitement about going  to school that Jackson did.  He seems more nervous, timid and unsure.  But he hasn't said as much out loud.  I'm just reading his body language.  The same body language that as a wee little babe told me that he was hungry or tired or completely overstimulated.  Because this little man has been with me almost every moment of every day since he arrived on this earth.  So it will be a big change for both of us as he heads off to school for a few hours twice a week.  I'm excited for him and the independence that is to come. I'm thrilled that some of our spotlight is going to shine on him now.  Giddy to see him learning new things and meeting new friends and settling into a lifetime of education and learning.  But of course I'm also a wee bit sad to see him go out on his own.  Knowing someone else will be there guiding him and teaching him and holding his hand.  Just a wee bit.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I'm baaaaaaack!

OK, I guess I lied.  With enough kind comments and encouragement I've decided to just blog whenever the heck I want to and if I go a month without writing, so be it.  If I write twice a day, that is fine, too.  So there you have it.  I have things to say now and again and I suppose I should not feel guilty if I do write or if I do not write.  I also totally love the aspect of using this forum as a digital scrapbook of images of my kids.

Soooo, on that note, Holden (my BABY, SOB!) starts preschool next week.  Preschool!!  Seriously, he was just born. I can no longer say "Oh I just had a baby, too!" when I meet new moms.  ;-)  So on the way to take Jackson to school today I asked the boys "So what do you boys think I should do when both of you are in school next week?!"  Jackson's answer?  "Clean the bathrooms!"  Uh, yeah, OK, that's one thing I could do.  I said "How about something fun that I could do?"  His response?  "Change the light bulbs?"  Yeah, that kid's a riot.  I'm thinking a facial might be in order, just to prove him wrong.