Sunday, December 28, 2008

Paris, Je t'aime....

I know. I'm a horrible blogger. One month long absences are tres faux pas. And I do promise that in the next few days I will catch you all up on Thanksgiving, winter fun, snow-storms, long drives, Yosemite Valley's amazing splendor, and all such wonderful winter things. But first, I must share. My Christmas present. Paris. In June. To celebrate 10 incredible years. I was lucky 10 years ago, and am still lucky today. So I will catch up, I promise, but for the moment let me be. I'm practicing my French.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Have you seen the shining?

Yes, I mean the movie. I've been meaning to blog about this little adventure we had last week, but it's been a teensy bit crazy around here. So, the boys had almost all of last week off school, due to Veteran's Day and a teacher conference. Being the fabulous, adventurous, FUN mom that I am, I tried to put together a little overnighter for us. I'll set the scene. I thought we'd take the kids up to Mt. Hood, let them get in some early snowboarding, stay in a fun little woodsy lodge, Chloe and I would drink a lot of hot tea and coffee while Shawn, wonderful fabulous FUN dad that he is, tromped around in the snow. (Notice how my fun involves the lodge, coffee and sitting. His involves snow and hiking. I'm no dummy, people.) A few weeks ago, mind you, it was all over the news how much snow was falling on the mountains, SO much snow they'd probably open early this year, and can you believe all this snow?!

Cut to us, driving up the mountain. It's raining. And raining. There is NO SNOW. Then we get to Timberline. There's about 1.7 inches of snow, and it's no longer raining, it's sleeting. Apparently there was a warm front. I make Shawn drop me one foot from the front door of the lodge, and Chloe and I make a run for it. We don't come out until after everyone has played, dried, and we've eaten lunch. All in all, turned out pretty good. The boys had a great time, and other than Chloe's GINORMOUS blowout at the lunch table, everything was pleasant and fun.

Then, we left for our "lodge." Which said it was about 10 min. from the ski resort. Did I mention that it didn't say which ski resort? To make a very long story short, after driving another 45 minutes, up a long and VERY SECLUDED windy mountain road with, remember, NO SNOW, we find our place. We are, seriously, the only. people. there. It's us, and the lady checking us in. The Mr. and I kind of looked at each other like..."um, do you have the heebie jeebies?" Then they kindly informed us that their restaurant was only open on the weekends, the hot tubs were turned off, and would that be all? It took us all of about 10 minutes (and a few references to "REDRUM!") to decide we were getting the you know what out of there. We reassured our crying children that we'd find something fun to do, while racking our brains to come up with something fun to do. Remember, it was sleeting. We ended up going home. We stopped at Safari Sam's in Sherwood on the way - not my favorite place, but apparently just as good as a lovely overnight in a woodsy lodge. Who knew. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure we get points for trying!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

anyone see the resemblance?

see below....

Monday, November 10, 2008


Direct quote from Aidan:
"Mom, what do you call that thing again? Where you wake up, and you leave your pajamas on, and you eat? Oh yeah. Breakfast."

Thankful for him, and the fact that he's funny at 3. I can't wait to see him at 20.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Today I am thankful that my husband returned safely from his travels. One would think that each time it would get a little less scary to say goodbye, but the was I figure it, every time he goes he ups his odds of being the one. Not to be super morbid, but every time he calls to tell me his plane landed safely in ________, (you fill in the blank) I breathe a teensy weensy sigh of relief. So, today, I'm thankful again to have him home.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And the winner is...

Me. Today, I am thankful that women stood up and demanded to be counted. Today, I am thankful that long ago, a woman who would never know me went to prison, staged a hunger strike, and was force-fed by prison guards so that I could speak my piece. I'm thankful that my husband does not have to speak for me, nor my father, my brother, nor my sons. I speak for myself. And today, no matter who you cast your ballot for, you stand on the shoulders of hundreds of fearless women to do so. They were ridiculed, attacked, mocked, disregarded, and disenfranchised so that you don't have to be. So, I'm thankful for my vote. And the vote that someday my daughter and perhaps my granddaughters will have.

And if you didn't vote, you just made my list. And that's not good.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall, how do I love you? Let me count the ways...

Um, I know I might be a teensy bit annoying with the whole fall thing, but really, people, look around. You might not be lucky enough to live here, where the beauty of fall is literally staggering, but it's a great time of year. Reflective, cosy, turning inward, waiting for winter, gathering family....all the things that happen during fall.

So, as I sit here this afternoon, drinking my coffee, eating my homemade Raspberry Breakfast Bar (her photos are SOOOO much better than mine!) and listening to the boys playing upstairs and rain drumming on my windows, I realize that I have a lot to be thankful for. Fall reminds me of what I know in my heart all year long. As such, I'm going to commit to a quick post every day in the month of November, to let all of you know what I'm thankful for. Some things big, some things little. I'll start now. (today, I have a few things. Call me an "over-thanker". Go for it. I don't care.)

I'm thankful for the heated seats in my car. Who doesn't love a warm tushie?

For a healthy, almost whole baby girl, and the big brothers who adore her.

I'm thankful for a husband who loves me more than I probably deserve, and who works at home, therefore being able to say "Honey, go to the grocery store by yourself. I'll keep all three kids here with me. And why don't you stop by the fabric store on your way? I'm sure there are a few things you could pick up to add to your stash. Take your time!"

Um, wait. Okay, you got me. The part about the fabric store I might have made up. But it was nice, and if I hauled you know what through the grocery store to steal a little time at the fabric store, no harm no foul, no? And I'm sure if he'd thought of it....

I'm also thankful to live's a few reasons why!


Thought I'd post a few of our Halloween photos - just in case you weren't sure, the character list is as follows:

Jackson: Darth Vadar. (Normally I hate store-bought costumes, but we had a costume crisis, and Target provided a Thursday night, 13-dollar fix. So.)
Aidan: Luke Skywalker. (In a costume I made for Jackson 3 years ago, when he wanted to be Obi Wan Kenobi. Luckily, Luke's outfit is strikingly similar. No changes necessary.)
Chloe: well, you'll see. What's a movie without a heroine/princess, after all?
Above, our happy pumpkin family.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

From tree to table...

One of the things I absolutely love about living in a semi-rural area is that my kids get to see where food comes from. We've visited friends with chickens, and then eaten THOSE eggs, from THOSE chickens. We've picked blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and then eaten them on our toast or in pies all winter long. We watched the grapes come in and be sorted and crushed for wine. We've seen working farms, and even visited some cows, who were appropriately named T-bone and Rib-eye. Guess what kids? Those cows are now steak. I think it's important for them to understand that food doesn't come from grocery stores - it comes from somewhere else before that.

So, owing to some more glorious fall weather this week, we headed over to my mom's house to raid her apple trees again, this time for applesauce. We've made some cakes, some muffins, and a few pies here and there, but with Chloe not too far off from being ready for food, I thought it'd be fun to store up some applesauce for the upcoming year. Here are a few photos of the journey, from tree to table!

(Of course, it was late by the time I actually got the sauce into the jars and out of the canner. So, no finished photos. Oh well. You all know what applesauce looks like!:)

Chloe, four weeks post-op

Here she is, four weeks out. You'd never know, would you? (This is before the big "bonk", and all the swelling. See previous post!)


So, you know how some people believe in that kharma thing? Well, you never know. I've sort of been a smartass my whole life. I know, try to contain your shock, but it's true. It's like something deep inside me can't resist....

So, when we were discharged from the hospital with Chloe, I found it rather amusing that one of the main instructions was to "avoid head injury." As though we normally went around SEEKING OUT head injuries for our children. (well, tempting sometimes but...) Needless to say, there were more than a few comments made about avoiding head injury. Well, guess what turns around to bite you in your smart-you-know-what? Kharma.

On Saturday, after Chloe woke up from her nap I was carrying her down the stairs. Someone (who shall remain nameless aidan) left a block on the stairs. Of course, I hit the block, my knees buckled, and all I remember is trying to hold on to Chloe for dear life. Shawn was right there - he grabbed her while I mopped blood off my leg from hitting the corner of one of the banisters. Chloe was screaming, but we couldn't find anywhere where she looked like she hit - we thought she was just scared. VERY scary moment.

So cut to scary moment number two. We wake up Sunday morning and her left eye (the one with all the reconstruction, of course) is totally swollen almost shut and when I touched her forehead she SCREAMED. Of course reacted calmly and rationally. Or not. I called Shawn freaking out, called the doctor's office freaking out, and got a call back from our (sleepy) neurosurgeon a few minutes later. That's right, folks, I woke the neurosurgeon out of bed, on a sunday. Like the lady isn't busy enough. Anyhow, she told us NOT to freak out (which totally did not stop me from freaking out) and to come in on monday. Thankfully, Dr. Wehby did not seem to see any cause for alarm - definitely swollen, but it looks so far like all the reconstruction is intact and there was just a lot of swelling because the area is still vulnerable and stretchy. To use the technical terms.

So. The moral of the story is this. Don't be a smartass. And try to avoid head injury.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Crush...

Living in wine country provides opportunities that you might not get in, say, Timbuktu. For instance, some of your friends might happen to be winemakers. And they might invite you to come out to their pretty little vineyard for a harvest lunch, which is intended to "bribe" you to help them with the crushing of 3 or 4 tons of grapes. As though you might need to be "bribed" to come and make wine. One might even think that you should be making lunch for them. Luckily, our awesome friends over at Sejourne and Zenas Wines didn't see it that way. They thought we were doing THEM a favor.

I'll just set the scene for you momentarily. Imagine a beautiful October day, unseasonably warm. It's the kind of day that's made for being outside. You know cold days are coming, but NOT. YET. A table, set with linens and glassware, sits on a lawn in front of rows and rows of lavender plants. A picnic blanket sits nearby, waiting for the happy children who have been playing nearby with their lovely babysitter. (yes, there was even babysitting. Does the good news ever STOP coming?) Good friends, great food, amazing wine, sunshine, babies, lavender, turning leaves - it was a truly beautiful, memorable day. I even put Chloe in the Babyhawk on my back and climbed up on the scaffolding to sort pinot noir grapes. So. Much. Fun. Seriously. Robyn, Kevin - Salud!


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