Thursday, December 02, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Because it's funny, that's why.

before the cross-country move, alexander was worried about what we would do with his cactus. naturally, we took it along as a traveling companion and documented its cross-country journey.

stormy skies at a wyoming crossroads.

re-thinking this whole "balance a cactus on my head" thing.
the rolling hills of pennsylvania. this was one of the prettiest parts of the drive. also the raniest.

maybe somewhere in indiana? sadly, we didn't eat at the country fixin's restaurant.

ah, holiday inn express, how i love thee...that is until i realized i left my pillow here.

leaving iowa. thank goodness. onto nebraska...not much better.

we stopped for gas one million times.

iowa cornfields and sunny skies.
westward ho! driving into the sunset. and driving...and driving...

jakes's totally gonna get lucky tonight.

the pioneers loved their cacti and traditionally carried one in every handcart. this the same picture of jake with the cactus getting gas? nope, it's different.

the cactus, feeling particularly parched, contemplates a refreshing dip in the pool.

cactus is here. (council bluffs historic site.)

i preferred the "holding the cactus on my head" thing.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

First Day

I had mixed feelings about the first day of school this year. We are so happy to be going back to University Heights, but thought we would be somewhere's also kinda weird starting a new year of school in one place and knowing you will finish it somewhere else, but not knowing when that transition will happen.

Add that to the fact that my babies are now in fourth and first grade, and I have all the usual proud mama feelings mashed up with all the "where did the time go?" feelings. So, without further ado, here are the obligatory "FIRST DAY" photos:

Can't ever seem to catch this kid with a real smile anymore, but he put on his best fake one.

Hadley, on the other hand has to be restrained from "posing". Kind of a cutie, though, don't you think?

This one is a little better. LOVE the cool shirt grandma sent...she probably just thought it was a lovely beach scene, but if you look closely, the palm trees and surf boards (obscured by his hands) actually make a skull. Awesome!

Drat! Eyes closed, but a cute shot nonetheless. I dig the skinny black pants and she is in love with the denim top. If you look close, one of the top buttons is a peace sign. That was the clincher for her wanting to buy the shirt. She's leaning a little rock n'roll this year, and the new haircut accentuates that. She just looks so big! Seriously, when did that happen?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Birthday Girl

Opening presents -- she caught onto this quickly!

Followed by dancing on the tabletop...

And more table-top twirls.
Sweet Ruby is the apple of our eye, so what's more fitting than an apple tree cake for her second birthday? She couldn't resist sneaking a bit of icing.

I can't believe my baby girl is two years old!

Love this face...sneaking an "apple".

Yes, have some!

Monday, April 26, 2010

of Birthdays, Beaches, and Babies getting Bigger, or "How We Spent Our Spring"

After overhauling our kitchen, we kicked off our spring by celebrating Hadley's 6th (I can't belive it! SIX!) Birthday. We had a "Fancy Nancy" tea party and it was a big hit with the Kindergarten set. Hadley got a new haircut for the occasion -- short and sassy and oh so much easier for mom to style in the mornings! Here Hadley and Lucy strike a pose.

Here is a shot of the girls dressed in their fanciest ensembles (ensemble is a fancy word for outfit). They are making tissue paper wrist corsages. (another fancy word that means "flowers you wear")

Here is Hadley with her cake. We owe a big thanks to Grandma Connie and Grandma Nancy for sending invitations, favors, and decorations!

Ruby just keeps growing up despite us discouraging it. Here she is getting some paperwork done with daddy. I love that she has the cell phone handy. This photo is one you definitely want to click to enlarge in order to fully appreciate. Also note our pre-renovated kitchen.

We headed to the beach in Delaware for Spring Break and Easter (which also encompassed Xander's birthday). Thanks a million, Gardner Family! Ruby LOVED the beach and was much more of a "play in the water and run all over the beach" girl than her sister ever was at this age. Not as relaxing as I would have preferred, since I am a "sit on the beach under an umbrella with a book and a Diet Dr. Pepper" girl. The weather was fantastic, hitting 90 on two days!

Easter eggs got hidden while kids hit the beach. Note the soaking wet shorts and sandy feet. It was obviously an informal affair.

Ruby's eggs were hidden indoors, and we discovered the fun could go on and on as we re-hid the same eggs 2-3 times.
She had a lot of fun finding her own special eggs! Also -- more proof she is getting big -- piggies!

Hadley shows off an easter egg.
Xander's birthday started off with a walk on the beach. He found a ghost crab. Thanks to Lauren for the stash of birthday hats. We wore them for the beach walk, naturally.

Next, we headed to Ocean City, Maryland, for a round of Viking Golf.

Then out for ice cream. Love this face.

This face is pretty cute too.
Miss Ruby devoured her first-ever ice cream cone like a pro.

By the week's end, we were very, very, sad to leave. But still had another party to look forward to. What do you do for a 9-year-old boy's party? Pizza and video games, of course!

My attempt at a Mario world-ish cake.

Boys watching the action. They played 4-player Super Mario, rotating in and out everytime someone died. It got CRAZY. Luckily, Alan took them outside for impromptu baseball to burn off some of that energy!
The party crew.
And that about wraps it up. Happy now sisters and mom? :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Kitchen Reveal!

I know i'm supposed to do the "befores" first, but i'm having issues with blogger, so i'm rebelling and going with the "afters". it's hard to take photos of the whole kitchen, because it's tiny. i was sitting on the opposite counter to get this shot.

you can see my new metal backsplash, "granitish" countertops, new sink and faucet, cute curtain, and built-in retro-style shelf. designed to look as though it has always been a part of the may be my favorite feature!

another view of the same area. look, raw sheetrock edges and real cabinet doors above my microwave! another view of the cute shelf. alan rocked it completely! and i wouldn't be enjoying my lovely new space if it weren't for my dad, woodworking ninja! seriously people. when it became apparent that a table saw was a necessity for this project, my dad thought about it for 5 minutes and then said, "i think we can make a table saw." and you know what? he did! cool, right? more props to my daddy also for shedding blood over this kitchen with a wicked chisel cut to the finger. we bandaged it up, but for awhile, every time he hit the end of the chisel with the mallet (to trim the edges of the laminate) blood literally spurted out of the bandage. we had a lovely fan-shaped blood spatter pattern in one corner. we cleaned it up before CSI could see it.
view of my other work surface. i may have purchased some new canisters from target to complete the look. :)

and a refresher....the old kitchen....
lovely yellow laminate, oh my! and check out the linoleum! this photo is AFTER we painted the cabinets, which were a yellow-wash oak. it was a bit "death by yellow". i think the new kitchen is an about you?