Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Reading List

It's been a slow year in the reading realm...Next year, I will find time to follow words across the page!

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
She Matters: A Life in Friendships by Susanna Sonnenberg
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Want to Read:
A Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Maksik

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gather Around the Hearth


We don't' have a hearth...I wish we did. I miss that from our old place. So these days we gather around the tv. It kills me. Needless to say, it seemed suiting for a family photo from my new camera...the one I can't use well (you'll see -more images to come).

Here is what I managed from my maiden voyage:






She only stayed for one...

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Sweet Life


This was the third year for Gingerbread fun. I feel short in getting my house to stand (and taking photos of all of it) but strangely enough I embraced the sheer flop of it all and just committed to having fun with friends (in a candy induced chaotic sort of way). I've said it before and I'll say it again: hosting a gingerbread party is kind of like throwing a kegger for kids. People get unruly, things fall over and break, the floor is a sheer state of disgust at the end of it but really for as flagrant as the whole thing seems, I wouldn't want it any other way.

I always love a shot of this girl holding my girls

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Retirement


The Landrums hosted a retirement party for Cullen's mom. I wish I would have got a photo of her, she looked great that night - she was rockin' her retirement! Instead we stole a few photos before we left. Most everyone was gone. Still it's fun to take a few shots around the tree!
D was (1) not wearing a bow in his hair that night, and (2) playing the role of
"Christmas Angel" in our Hallmark made for tv movie.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays

This is my most favorite time of the year because nothing makes me happier than a note from an old friend. Every day I get cards with photos of lovely faces. I read witty heartfelt stories about how you are and what you have been busy doing in 2013.

It also is my favorite time of year to create something and mail it out. Years of late have put a serious curb on my creativity in this department; I'm sad to admit I have completely fallen short this year and will have to settle for a quick post. 


We have weathered the transition that comes with having a second child (I write that from the comfort of a glass of wine). Miss A has come in to her own passing the six month mark. As D's mom said so perfectly this summer, "She is delicious." She smiles and chatters at us and is truly enthralled with miss M. She delights in whatever M is up to and M is great about including her in her mischief. Miss M is headed to preschool next month, which means - sweet baby Jesus - the girl might finally be potty trained (It really hasn't taken that long; it just felt like walking in to glass doors over and over again, month after month). She asserts her independence quite often and comes up with the funniest, sweetest thoughts. Such is the outlook of a three year old. Her heart is so big and she's ready to share it with the world. I want to bottle these moments and lock them up in a safe. 

Andy's work continues to go well and I continue my search for a full time job while picking up less freelance in an effort to focus. We anticipate the new year will be fraught with new challenges as we shuffle our schedules and try to reconnect with our social life. The house is a beast of it's own making. We are taking on projects in pieces and hoping soon friends can come stay inside the house in a guest room rather than in the Swinger on our driveway. 

Still, I can't imagine life without two kids, without almost 5 years of marriage to Andy, without Ginger next to me at every step...

Wishing you all the joy the season brings and hopes for a grand new year. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Girl Meets...

Did I mention I started dating again? Not in the traditional "girl meets boy" sense but more in the "girl gets job" sense. It's been a beast but it surely feels like dating on some level: I'll find something I think has a good possibility of turning into something substantial. I'll throw myself out there only to wait by the phone for a call. I'll put on my best clothes, present my best character, and try to convince someone that I am truly a hot ticket. Sounds like dating to me.

In fact I just made it through quite an inspiring process for a position I felt was a close to perfect for me. So much so, I thought the universe and I were getting back on track. Things were lining up, I was making plans for the future, and then, I got the call earlier this week that they went with the other candidate. It was heartbreaking to hear but not in the devastating sort of way first love is; I've been through enough "summer of loves" at this point. In hindsight, I can see the holes in the fabric and I realize this all sounds too emotional for a job hunt. Still it would have been nice to get picked; to have the confirmation/validation in my abilities and to carry the belief that life's magic is working it's way back into my realm. The hardest part about the news earlier this week was trying to figure out what that meant for me and the universe.

What's that they say, "fall down seven times, get up eight"? That is me these days. I thought the universe was setting me up for grandeur but it's pretty clear the universe still figures I have something to learn about resolve. I guess I do. Or maybe it doesn't have to do with the universe at all. However, this is the type of non-sensical thinking I adopt when trying to make sense of something I don't fully understand. So I'll get back up and go out there and find something else. Maybe my heart won't sing but I can hold it high with the firm belief that for one brief moment I gave it my best. Even if it wasn't good enough, that's good enough for me.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Big Cheese


We took the girls to see Santa last weekend. A was phased by none of it. M, on the other hand, was cautiously optimistic and negotiated sitting on my lap as I sat next to the big cheese. She wanted to ask him for a necklace but when it came down to "go time" all she could do was say hi.

Ignore the grainy nature of the image, I love this photo: because rarely do I have D taking a picture of me with the kids. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Annie

We took Miss M to see a local production of Annie because our extremely talented neighbor was...well...Annie. It was at the Town Hall Arts Center in downtown Littleton, which is really delightful at night during the holidays. It felt like a date with our 3 year old. We all got dressed up and went out on the town. M loved it all, mostly the ice cream during the intermission, but still it was fun.



Friday, November 29, 2013

Swing Time

This is a first: getting both youths on the swings together. A thought the whole thing was off the hook. I love her gaped open grin. M feigned boredom and even crossed eyes in one of these photos (which drives D insane as he thinks they'll stay that way). These photos crack me up. It's like a possible time warp to 10 years from now.



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Deep Thoughts, v 2.0

Can you dig the Popsicle Lipstick?
She kept saying,"Mom, Mom. My lips are ice."
At the Park:
"Did you take off your shoes?"
"Yeah I did."
"Why?"
"Because I did take off my shoes."

"Someone left a piece of Play-doh (seriously just noticed the spelling: Homer Simpson meets Toddler?!) on the floor"
"Who do you think it was?"
"Um...mommy."
"Did you just throw me under the bus to me?"

"Craddle cap is not my favorite."
"Yeah. Me either."
In an ironic turn of events, we found that the speaker has a little batch on her own head to accompany her sister's ailment.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Good Lighting

Good lighting always inspires an impromptu photo shoot.


Miss M was busy practicing her "bride-to-be" photo ops. 

Unfortunately a blueberry smoothie beat the dress into submission. Not to worry since this is just a dress rehearsal and not the real "wedding day" deal.

ice cream and other cold treats are so much better with friends

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Collaborative Art



There are times when miss M asks me to come paint with her. I sit at an undersized chair and we create things on her easel. It's currently one of my most favorite activities to share with her. It's relaxing and some of our creations really inspire me.

The other night I came in to find D and her painting together for the first time. It was so cool to watch. These moments make parenting really great.


I didn't get a shot of their creation but here are some of the other pieces our gallery has been displaying this year.





Friday, November 1, 2013

Fall in Love

The world of leaf blowers never made sense to me until we moved in to this neighborhood. Everywhere, Fall accosted us with beautiful colors and a crisp blanket for our feet to crunch. The leaves took center stage and truth be told, I couldn't have been happier because I love Autumn, it feels like my "season home"


November entered and we packed in our scarecrow and tractor; the leaves were lassoed by rakes and blowers and taken away in a huge truck. The lawn revealed itself again, ready for hibernation, ready for the winter snows.


This is one of the last trees to shed it's leaves in the neighborhood. I realized the other night when I was looking at it in the twilight with it's orangey-pink glow, that I hadn't taken any photos of the leaves because I was too busy just enjoying the colors (and because my camera phone does not do the colors justice). So this is what I have to show for the season.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hallo (ween)

I didn't get a shot of my princess in her full costume but really, if you visit this blog regularly, you get the gist. Needless to say, Miss M loved the entire day and was enthusiastically "in" the whole time from the daycare parade all the way to watching a movie outside at the neighborhood party and freezing her tushey off. 

Our next door neighbors put out a holiday spread in their front yard too. D threw his hat in to the ring by rigging up his tractor pulling a trailer of hay and kids for a pre-trick-or-treating neighborhood loop. All the kids had a great time (who doesn't on Halloween?!) Actually you want to know who? The person who left trick-or-treating early to come home and hand out an UBER-bowl of candy only to get ~5 knocks at the door. It was crickets around our front porch. The silence did give me time to carve out our "large" pumpkin. Miss A just watched from the sideline not too impressed with my effort. Admittedly it was a rush job, but still one of my most favorite parts of Halloween.  I had to get a photo of the two of them, since the pumpkin almost dwarfed her.

A didn't dress up. I figured I could put her in one of those cuddly little numbers only babies wear (the kind where you wonder to yourself how obscenely cute and tadfully disgusting the whole thing is). You know what I mean;  you end up with scenes like this:
I know, right?!
M had sugar-eyes the rest of the night, once she warmed up from hours of being outside and taking diggers in people's front yards - D said she dumped her basket many times (the absolute must for her this year was the orange jack-o-lantern trick-or-treat basket. I don't even know how she found out about them; when she came out with a request for one prior to the big day, I was a little surprised. I'm pretty sure she squealed when I gave it to her). I think at one point, she said it all was "glorious." I love this wide-eyed photo of her. As of now, she has barely even touched her Halloween candy (I can't say the same for other closest Snickers fans in the house).

I leave you with this shot below. I don't even know what this is, perhaps it's inspired by the doughy pink bear getup or just the insanity of it all...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

3

It was this burning thing within me to have a birthday party for M. We went back and forth for weeks about it. We didn't want to frantically throw a party that would probably be kind of a flop and truth be told, we've been feeling beat down by the universe lately. When I finally tamed my mind about the whole thing and got down to the nuts and bolts of it, I asked miss m what she wanted for her birthday; to which she replied, "pink cupcakes." Done and done. We made these savory treats below for her to bring to school and two days later on her actual birthday, she was surprised anything was happening because we already had made (and ate) the cupcakes. 


Still I worked to make her day special. D was in town and she woke up to balloons greeting her at her bedroom door. Silly mom, that would have been enough. But I had to go and make breakfast fun, including pink marshmallow clouds like we talk about at night so that she dreams of something good not scary. 


Then shaping rose petals (from our garden) because I love giving people flowers. We went swimming after breakfast. Miss A even got in the pool and loved it. M was great and napped promptly once we arrived back home so she could wake up to the promise of a family party. Since she and little m are a year and two days apart as far as birthdays go (not as far as pink dress up dresses and crowns go), we celebrated both of them!




Another year has passed and I find myself shaking my head thinking, "it really does go so fast." I look at the girl in the photo below and I already see so much of her developed. We have conversations now, or forms of them, and I find myself thinking there is so much I need to remember to tell her so that some day she won't feel so alone as a person in this world. The other day she said something to me and I just looked at her thinking, I hope she doesn't make life hard on herself. That's how old she is getting. We have our tough moments but I wouldn't want it any other way. It lets me know she's thinking, she playing, and she's after life rather than fearful of it. We have our good moments too. I love how she makes me laugh, I love how she includes me in her life (like asking me to paint with her in her room), I love how she shows off (like by singing the ABCs while she swings really high). I love how we walk outside and and she yells, "Hi guys" to anyone she sees. Her heart is open and fearless and she shares it with me every day; for that I am beyond grateful. Every day of the past three years I have felt wholeheartedly happy that Miss M is in my life. There's not much else in this life I have embraced as unabashedly. Cheers to our time together little one, you are a jewel in my crown!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Change of Pace


We went up to the mountains for the night. It was the first time since August when miss A was UBER lethargic and breathing heavily and I made D drive us back home. This time around, we all had fun. Funny how a quick walk proves to be just the thing to remedy a toddlers bad mood (as well as a dog and two over whined parents).


That and a game of hide and seek 
(it's these moments that make toddler hood so endearing 
- she giggled like crazy the whole time while I tried to find her).


Not forgotten, just "back at the ranch" napping while we horsed around.