Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This is not goodbye.

My dearest friend Wendi has moved away. I have spent every single week with her for over six years. Since our babies were chubby, little Cheerio-eaters that couldn't crawl yet, through the foggy first year of Motherhood, we've moved houses, had more babies, enjoyed family nights together, vacations together, shared Bible studies, deepest thoughts, and monthly scrapbooking. I can confide in Wendi with my most private worries, she cries with me, prays for me, laughs with me, and relates to me. I don't know where I'll be now that she's half a country away, and not a three minute drive. I don't know who I'll be without getting a love-fix from her amazing kids, and without our families enjoying the weekends together. I know and love her kids like they are my family, and while her newborn son is only two weeks old, I held him every hour I could before he moved to place where I won't hear his first words, see his first steps, and I won't know his little idiosyncracies.
We will visit, we will write. Atleast there's Skype. But I can't help but feel that it just won't be the same. I am so happy for her family and their new adventure. But for now, I am oh so sad to see her go. Love you, Wen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My little pretty.

Carsen is growing up right before my eyes. Our big 6 year old, nearly a first grader, library card holder, and sweet as can be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"I can't believe I'm doing this!"

Stated by Carsen while filling out her first Library Card application.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dog days of summer.

For Seattle, it's been off-the-charts hot outside. While we wait for the sun for about eight months a year, we still get to the point where venues with air conditioning start to sound pretty appealing. We've had a good mix of scheduled outings, like soccer, swimming, and our new love: Hapkido. But we also have a good assortment of impromtu outings to nice, cool places, like Ikea playroom, Seattle Children's Museum, and REI for a smoothie and climbing in the treehouse.
And ofcourse there are many opportunities for downtime, like playgrounds, the beach, and a few more movie nights than during the school year. This has to be my favorite summer yet, since having two kids.
Also, the middle picture is our family enjoying the newly opened lightrail. We rode it from Columbia City on it's opening weekend, and it was a big hit for all of us.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thanks for the date, little dude.

While big sister was at camp, T and I snuck in some special time. Well, let's be honest. Mommy snuck in a lot of internet time, a lot of scrapbooking time, and True got way too much TV time. But one day I made the effort and we enjoyed a date spot that never gets old. REI in Seattle lends a beautiful structure, a fabulous climbing tree for kids, and tasty smoothies at World Wrapps, all which makes for a super happy kid. And Mommy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It takes a lot to pull one over on Dad, so after weeks of planning, the day is finally here! To really throw him off, we secretly planned for him to take the day off, the day BEFORE his birthday. The kids put so much love and thought into surprising him, and here's what they came up with:

  • Allow Dad to sleep in (per Mommy's insistance, oooh, so hard!)
  • Treat Dad to his fave, a fried egg sandwhich at the neighborhood diner. We are big egg sammich fans, but because of True's allergies we can't have eggs in the house. So this is an unusual treat. Right up there with PB&Js.
  • Treat Dad to a round of Mini Golf, at the nearby "Happy Family Fun Center" (dubbed by True), which is one of those places you will probably never see me. Unless my kids planned it for my husband's birthday.
  • Lunch: Dad's choice. I'm sure it will either be A. Another sandwhich, B. A slice of pizza, or C. Dick's burgers. Ewwww. Again, only on E's birthday.
  • Home for a nap/uninterupted time with the Xbox while I fend off the kids.
  • This is the kicker: For E's birthday, the kids got the idea that they MUST set up an obstacle course. In our back yard. Hmmm.
  • Lastly, we will wrap it up in a manner that is as much selfish for me as it is a treat for Ethan. A babysitter. This will get us out of the witching hour, while we dine at La Medusa, and then turn in fat and happy.

No gift, you say? No, no gift. We are big on birthdays around here, and will probably never be the couple that only buys for the kids. But this year, my husband decided to purchase two big-ticket items for himself. On the month of his birthday. In this economy. Thanks, honey. I mean I know it's out of character for you and all, but geesh. So we now have a ping pong table (?!) and a home gym. And so, happy birthday, E. This year, it's mini golf, obstacle course, and dinner. I guess it's original!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I love this man.

I am so blessed to have him. He is just what I need, and God knew it. We're going on nine years married this fall, and while E feels his stomach grumble at the thought of turning 37 this week, I think he is going to ROCK this year! Here's why you're the best, Honey:
*You make a killer pizza.
*You get up with the kids nearly every morning before work so I can run, pray, and start my day.
*You have seen me through the good, the bad, and the ugly, and with such love and adoration.
*You're kids feel so lucky to have the silliest dad they know.
*This Spring, you decided to get your act together and take care of yourself. Look at you now, honey! (He's going to kill me for putting that swimsuit shot here!) You kick booty on the Kung Fu mat, in the home gym, and at the three-mile loop near our house- with kids in tow on the bike trailer.
*You keep your morals and your beliefs right in front of you at work, in the often greedy field of finance. Your clients trust you, and you don't take that for granted.
*You are the meanest penalty kicker, ping ponger, and all-elbows hoop shooter I've ever watched, and I mean that in a good way.
*You provide, you love, you lead.
We love you, Sweetie. Here's to another fabulous 37 years of your very lived life.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Old standby.

This never gets old.

A little shaving cream, a little food coloring, and a sprinkler. And lots and lots of smiles.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I don't even want to know...

I don't even want to know what bacteria is living in our hose. I don't often subscribe to the theory, "Well, we all did it and we turned out fine, right?" But in this case, ignorance is bliss. Plus, they're just so darned happy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Wanna know what pure joy looks like? This is all it takes to make my little man happy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chinese camp.

Carsen just completed her Chinese summer camp. During the school year, we're lucky enough to have the PTA foot the bill for Mandarin lessons three days a week in all classrooms K-5. Carsen has always shown great interest in other cultures and languages, which ofcourse is a big hit with us parents, so when this camp was offered for two weeks this summer, we had to jump on board. At first, she was pretty apprehensive. Summer had just begun, it was as long as the school day, and somehow she was placed in an entirely different class than any of her school friends. In the end, she has a handful of new friends from around the community, her grasp on Mandarin was really strengthened, and she was oh so proud on the last day of camp, when Ethan, True, and I showed up for a little celebration. The kids sang and danced, and gave us atour of all their hard work over the course of the camp. We came home with maps, lanterns, art, worksheets, you name it. And all of which Carsen can explain to us in Mandarin.
I have a theory though. I think she gets a kick out of this mostly because she can do something the rest of her family can't. This is so very Carsen!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Little harvest.

We began our first garden ever this Spring, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Granted it was the tiniest little plot of land, but I pulled everything out that we'd inherited with the house a couple of years ago, minus this huge rosemary bush that smells oh-so-good, and then tended to the new soil for a couple of weeks before planting our new stash of seeds.
We got a few things from a friend; radishes, carrots, coriander. Then True picked out the seeds that delighted him most at the garden store, including tomatoes, mint, and the beloved green beans. Well over the summer we've added many tiny radishes to our salads, as they grow the fastest, much to our delight. Fresh cilantro graced our Sunday pizzas a few times, and almost daily we were tickled to see another sprout or leaf.
Finally our tiny, little carrots were ready (under three-year-old terms, mind you) and the green beans-True's very favorite food by far- were ready for the picking. I pulled them (whoever heard of a boy who doesn't like dirt?!), True rinsed and scrubbed them, and then we both very carefully and thoughtfully took our first bites.
The verdict? Well, apparently this falls under the "it's the journey, not the destination" category, as they were far too earthy for True's tastes. But I could taste the pride and experience in every crunchy bite.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Carsen at 6.

While her birthday was a good two months ago, these photos of Carsen are just to pretty to pass up because I wasn't on the blogging ball. Wendi again so graciously took my daughter's portraits, and again I was floored at her skill. Thank you Wen!

And Carsen, just take your sweet time, Lovie. Take it nice and slow. Six and then some, I can hardly believe my eyes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I am.

You've heard of "I am" statements? I'm doing a program that's got me very excited, it's all about personal development. I'll fill you in on that later (tease!). But one of the things I'm doing is my "I am" statements that I've written about myself. You know, you write your goals as if they are already true. I read these out loud to myself at day's beginning and day's end. I figured instead of jotting them down in my dayplanner and searching for them each day, I'd pretty them up a bit, make them more inviting, and all the more true. So I made this little framed message to myself, and I see it first thing each morning on my nightstand. Wish me luck... or manifestation, or realization, or whatever magic helps these dreams for myself come true.
Here are my I am statements:
I am fit. I eat well, exercise 4 times a week, and my clothes feel good on me.
I am at peace. I practice personal development daily.
I have a healthy self image. I speak positively about myself and my family is lucky to have me.
I am a sexy and playful wife.
I am a present and good-listening mom.
I have a nurtured relationship with God.
I show up for my friends.

One disclaimer: This course is for me. The me that I am after being a mommy. I devote nearly every waking moment to my kids and this program is to help me see the me beyond all of that, who I am as an individual, as a creative soul, as a wife, and as a healing, evolving person. Therefore, my kids are barely mentioned above. But I know that a happy, healthy mom directly affects children, so ultimately this is for them as much as it is for me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Art idea.

Love this idea. This is actually at Arts Aloft, an in-home art studio for kids in Seattle. But what if it was our wall, in the utility room? Or inside an extra closet? Or along one wall in the garage? Pictured here is Carsen's friend Benjamin, when he came to her 6th birthday party, with mom Robin and brother Ian.

Monday, July 6, 2009


You've gotta love Sundays in Seward park. They close off Lake Washington Boulevard so bikers can enjoy the beautiful view all day long, sans cars.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Sister Rocks.

My sister, Amber (right)... I love her to pieces. She's one of the hardest working, supportive, loyal people I know. She deserves all the happiness that life can provide her. And for the most part things look to be turning out that way. I'm so proud of her for being a great teacher and coach, getting her Masters degree this year, and taking on many of the responsibilities of a family life: she went from single girl to living with her partner Trinidad (left) and Trinidad's FOUR kids!
Love you, Sisser.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Welcome to our sweet new niece, Lauren Alyssa, who is celebrating being a whopping 4 weeks old! We love you already, Peanut! (She's seen here being held by Carsen and admired by her big brother, Adam.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Welcome Evan!

Welcome to this world, little Evan Patrick! Another cousin for the kids this week, Auntie Kate had her third child, brave woman, and he looks like such a cherub! Isn't it written somewhere that if your parents are kind enough to have a third child that you must be an angel? Let's hope so, as my dearest friend Wendi is about to have her third as well.
Babies, babies, everywhere! It's good medicine for mamas like me who are all done having our own. Kisses, Evan, and we hope to meet you soon!


My honey was such a super dad, giving me a whole weekend to be with the girls, scrapbook, chat, and play! But even on an ordinary weekend, he'll tote the kids to the in-laws for the day so I can have the house to myself for reading, supercleaning, movies, or scrapbooking. He walks them down the beach or takes them on a hike, totes them on the bike or-and for this I double commend him- takes them somewhere that I refuse to go, like the Family Fun Center or Wild Waves. My poor kids would never visit these amusement parks because dear Mommy can't stand the crowds, noise, and chaos. But dear ol' dad will give them a handful of quarters for games, let them crash into him on the bumper cars track, pull them on the bike, and stop for ice cream along the way.
Love you, honey.

Ah, Summer!

Who doesn't love the simplicity of summer? Eating outside means no mess, the beach down the street means no running to and fro to entertain the kids, and the bright, cheery sun means no blues!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

While You Were Out:

And in case this doesn't say it all...

We had a first ballet recital...

A first smore....

A proud boy that's finished with diapers, and nearly finished with tantrums (Mommy hopes)...

A girl that turned 6...

And graduated from Kindergarten.
Geesh! And it's only July!

Dates to Remember

This is a darling book I made at a free class at Mad Scrapper in Issaquah last night. I hired a teenaged babysitter to give Ethan and I date night each Wednesday this summer, and I celebrated the first one without him! He didn't seem to mind, he didn't have to rush home and he got an extra gym visit in. So this cute book got my creative juices flowing, and now I have to stock it with some hand-made cards. Hmmm, haven't made any in a while....