31 May 2008

30 May 2008

may: day thirty.

watch out: this little guy has got an arm on him!

the craziness that i live with...

i have been blessed with a fantastic husband. he is Godly, loving, caring, an involved father, everything a woman could ask for really. but every once in a while...he does something crazy. something that defies all logic. one of these incidents occurred last weekend. but really, it started long before last saturday. it began back in 2001, when john was in college and he decided to buy a skateboard. i'm not sure what prompted this purchase...all i know is: he bought one and used it a few times before putting it aside. fast forward to fall of 2004. i was planning a wedding. john was, well, deciding he needed to start skateboarding again. so he dusted the board off, dinked around the neighborhood a few times, fell off the board more than a few times and after a bit, put the board back in the garage until two life changing events took place. first: his son was born. second: we moved to ripon and next door to his 12 year old (at the time) nephew.
i'm not exactly sure what went through his brain after these two events occurred but i do know that very soon after, he dusted off that skateboard once again and once again started riding it. quite a bit. he also bought a dirt bike but that's a different story. i think he was interested in hanging out with his nephew while doing an activity that they both enjoyed. but mainly, i think the birth of elijah inspired a renewed interest in skating. he wants to be seen as a "cool dad" and skating was one way to accomplish that goal.
so...last saturday, john headed out the door with his nephew and son and return with a brand new skateboard...for elijah. please remember, elijah is not even eighteen months old. and though he is very advanced physically, he is NOT ready for a skateboard. however, john was undeterred. any and all logic presented by me was completely and utterly ignored. and elijah was ecstatic. he loves having a skateboard of his own that he can climb all over. apparently, according to john, elijah is going to be the next tony hawk and needs to get an early start.

trying it out before the trucks and wheels were put on...


putting it all together...

*sigh* i have a crazy husband and an eighteen month old with a skateboard of his own.

29 May 2008

may: day twenty nine.

telling mama all about his new favorite toy...
i told you little people rock in our house.

28 May 2008

may: day twenty eight.

quack, quack, quack.
my little duck.

27 May 2008

may: day twenty seven.

little people rock.

right now. five things.

1. my house is a disaster. not just in a "i should probably scrub the toilets" way...but in a "everything is disorganized and just messy" way. i'm trying to not let it bug me...but it does. unfortunately...there's not a quick fix for it. it's a long project that needs an energy level and motivation that i simply cannot summon. working on that...

2. the dude is sick. sicker than he has been in a long time. i'm hoping that the rest of us stay healthy because this cold is a yucky one. i can hear him coughing in his sleep as i'm sitting here. poor baby. we had a jump house at our memorial day bar-be-que yesterday and i couldn't figure out why he wasn't interested in jumping since usually i can't get him out of those things. should have known he wasn't feeling good.

3. i am loving the weather lately. it actually kinda reminds me of alaskan summers...especially today. a little cloudy, a little cooler...just calm...peaceful almost. maybe it feels that way because we had such a crazy busy day yesterday. we had almost the entire neighborhood out in our front yard. lots and lots of food was enjoyed, someone showed up with a jumphouse for the kids...everyone had a great time. at least eight different houses were represented...it truly was a block party!

4. i've been making lots of fun smoothies lately. inspired by this. trying to make the most of the summertime bounty of fruits and vegetables. i made a banana/strawberry/spinach (with flaxseed meal) one yesterday that was sososo good. e and i both clugged it down. john wouldn't touch it after he saw me put handfuls of spinach in there but i promise, you couldn't taste the spinach at all! honestly, it tasted just like something from jamba juice. yum! it's also a great way to get e to eat his dark, leafy greens. think i'll try peaches today...

5. i'm really trying to find inspiration in my photography. so much of what i've been taking lately just feels blah to me. so i'm looking for ways to take it up a notch. a lot of the stuff i shoot is just whatever elijah's into that day...it's easy to get stuck in a rut that way. i feel like i'm taking the same picture over and over again. been exploring different photo websites/blogs for inspiration (love this one and this one!) but i'm also looking into conferences and classes in the area. would love to attend this conference but the cost deters me from even hoping about the possibility. there's also some classes at the local community college that would be a good creative outlet...but i'm not sure how childcare would work. i'm still just in the "thinking about it" stage here though...so we'll see.

e is finally awake...should probably go rescue the sick little man. will post "picture of the day" pictures (they will post BELOW this one according to their date) and some memorial day pictures soon. until then...

26 May 2008

may: day twenty six.

what's going on in the mind of a sixteen year old?

25 May 2008

may: day twenty five.

love this.
it's almost the equivalent of a first kiss.
ok...not quite.

24 May 2008

may: day twenty four.

e's new shoes.
apparently he needed them (according to his father).
i guess i wasn't aware of the travesty that was occurring by my son not owning a pair of vans.

23 May 2008

may: day twenty three.

reading with cousin miggy.

poor baby.

you know you've got a sick boy on your hands when he falls asleep in your arms watching the wiggles. as much as i hate that he's not feeling well...i love the quiet, sleepy cuddles i get when his head feels like a thousand degrees.

22 May 2008

i like lucy.

we went and saw prince caspian last night. it was completely different from the book (or from what i remember from the book...it's been a while)...but still, a good movie. i can't help but be affected by movies like that. especially when i've read the books and know the spiritual undercurrents that flow throughout the film. i'm sure the scriptwriters/directors/producers didn't purposefully try to put any spiritual themes in the movie...but they're there. they are the story. the meat of the story is wrapped up in sacrifice, trust, fear and doubt. human conditions really. for a children's story, cs lewis really packed a lot in there. i was in tears several times throughout the movie...once almost sobbing. it really touched a sensitive place within me. spoke to me in very convicting terms of my ability to be so incredibly ambivalent in my relationship with Christ. it is so easy to sit back, live every day life and just not even think about it. that's what had me in tears, covering my mouth with my hand, trying to hold back the sound. i didn't want to scare the gaggle of fifth graders that were sitting directly behind me. *sigh* and now...here i sit. not really sure what to do. i look back over the past couple years, through the ups and down and i wonder. i ask lucy's question..."aslan, if i hadn't been so scared would all of those people been killed?". he answers with truth: we can never know what would have happened. obviously...i've never killed anyone...or caused anyone's death. but i certainly have made decisions that were hurtful and just really wrong. i must take aslan's words to heart and move on without fear. just like lucy did. walking out alone with aslan hiding in the background to face a seemingly unsurmountable foe. wielding the one weapon she had...a tiny little dagger. she stood her ground...and through a series of aslan-orchestrated events...the foe was vanquished. simply...without pomp or circumstance...without grovling or begging for aslan to just swoop in and take over...she did as she was asked. she stepped forward. she faced her fear. how can i let that pass me by without affecting my heart? the picture of her...standing on that bridge, all by herself...it stuck with me...floating in the perimeter of my mind's eye. just there. a quiet reminder.

21 May 2008

may: day twenty one.

i heart you.
fun with playdough and cookie cutters.

20 May 2008

may: day twenty.

snail races.
rousing stuff.


it is quiet.
the windows are open to the blissful breeze.
elijah is sleeping.
i'm listening to new music.
and i'm thankful.

it has been hot.
unbearably so.
i wish there was another adjective for it...
but really...the only word that does it justice is hot.

we did the best we could.
sprinklers, pools and popsicles were the essentials...
along with the ever-present air conditioning.
so thankful that the heat wave has passed and that there are clouds in the sky today.
elijah did so well with the heat...he really didn't seem to mind it...
though he was more sleepy than normal and couldn't get enough of the sprinklers.

my garden didn't fare as well as elijah did though.
most of the vegetables that are planted out there just weren't meant to live through triple digits.
we'll see if they are revived by the cooler temperatures ahead.
also...the bugs found the garden before i found the bugs...
so most of the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower had to go.
they were just too infested to save.
however, i did get some "organic" bug spray.
the rest of the garden should be better off with the help of that.
my tomatoes are coming along nicely...
i'm going to have more tomatoes than i know what to do with.
john's mom and i have plans to can some...but really...you can only have so many jars of canned tomatoes. especially when my husband will only eat prego spaghetti sauce.

total tangent here but about john's obsession with prego spaghetti sauce...that's not the only "food thing" he's picky about. he only likes the following: french's mustard, kraft mac 'n' cheese, oscar meyer bologna and a particular kind of pickled jalapenos. seriously. what is wrong with this boy?

anyways. just something i've come across in the past couple weeks that i found interesting.
moving on to other topics...
elijah has become a little chatterbox!
so many new words all the time.
just one example:
yesterday, after lunch, i was cleaning up the floor surrounding e's high chair. he walked up to me and said in his sweet little voice, "anmals?". i was a bit confused because though i recognized that he was trying to say animals, he'd never said that word before nor had we ever really talked about them. i repeated it back to him in question form while he nodded and said it again. so i asked him, "do you want to play with your animals?". this produced vigorous head nods and happy shouts of "anmals, anmals anmals!" i really wasn't sure what animals he was referring to but since he has a small collection of wooden animals, i walked with him over to the bin and got them out. he was estatic...which tells me that those particular animals were the ones he was looking for. what smart little dude. i'd never collectively called them animals, i'd only ever called them by their individual names or noises. but somehow, he figured out that as a whole, they were called animals. pretty exciting developmental stuff in the life of elijah. it's so incredible to witness.
another funny story...this morning we were outside enjoying the cooler weather. i found several snails hiding in the front yard so i got them out and put them on the sidewalk. elijah and i proceeded to line them up (there were about eight) for snail races. he quickly lost interest and found something else to occupy his hands in the garage but when john came out to see what we were up to, elijah ran over to john and pointed back to the snails, shouting, "'nails, dada, 'nails!" seriously...so cute.

i've been keeping busy lately with lots of fun little knitty projects. i've got two on the needles right now (well, one's on needles, the other is being crochetted...therefore, no needles. a hook, rather.) that i've almost finished. a bunch of other fun projects are lined up pending completion of my current projects. i'll post pictures of the completed goodies when i get a chance.

today, we're off to go meet the newest member of our group of friends. little hefti earl brunold the FOURTH was born on saturday. sososo excited to meet the little dude. he has been greatly anticipated! i will definitely have pictures soon. i just can't get enough of babies these days. they're popping up in every nook and cranny, filling the world with so much possibility and promise. oh my, babies are a grand thing. can't wait to have another one of my own...hopefully soon. ;-D

19 May 2008

17 May 2008

may: day seventeen.

summertime smiles.
there's not many things that produce a smile like this one like a swimming pool on a hot day...

16 May 2008

may: day sixteen.

long live homemade popsicles and their sloppy, sugary bliss.

15 May 2008

may: day fifteen.

elijah's first foray into the world of playdough.
he was a bit concerned at first...didn't quite like the texture...but he quickly warmed up to it.
especially when mama got the rolling pin and cookie cutters out.

14 May 2008

may: day fourteen.

this is what the kids did while their mama's were busy taking pictures of the new baby.
bella and elijah watching thomas the train and eating a snack.

13 May 2008

one day...so many moments.

today was a good day.
today was a full day.
today was a day that i set aside my to-do list
and just enjoyed the little whirlwind that is my son.

we stayed in our jammies til lunchtime...

we painted the sliding glass door (and e painted himself a bit too)...

we colored...

we sat in the grass and watched roly-polys crawl by...

we danced to one of papa's (that'd be my dad) favorite songs: "a horse with no name"...

we got dirty...(and mama didn't mind)

we hung out with daddy (who took a half day off...kinda)...

we celebrated cousin miggy's 14th birthday...

we knocked balloons around with kendall...

we ate cake! with a fork!

we fell into bed...exhausted.

and it was good.
so good.

may: day thirteen.

best idea i've had in a long time: painting the sliding glass door with washable paints.
not only did elijah have a grand time...
not only did it keep him occupied for an hour while i worked in the garden...
not only did he get to engage in creative play...
not only all that but my sliding glass door sparkles now.

12 May 2008

mother's day musings.

happy mother's day.

yes, i know i'm a day late. but yesterday, i was busy. i was celebrating my motherhood.

and celebrating the little dude that made me a mother.

so glad it was him.

i really love what amanda soule had to say about being a mother and celebrating mother's day. she's the author of a book i'm dying to devour called "the creative family". i highly encourage you to pick up a copy if you're wanting ideas of way to be creative with your kids. its bound to become a homespun classic in my house...anyways. this is what she wrote in her blog: (it can be found in its entirety here.)

"My days - much like yours, I would guess - are full of tiny, simple, ordinary, even mundane moments like this one. Sometimes they have more tears, anger, attention, care, frustration, distraction, noise, or joy - the emotions and the circumstances run the full and entire spectrum. Sometimes I'm more present than other times. The moments of mothering, in my experience, aren't full of dynamic, extravagant and earth-shattering events. They're full of little moments like these. The world quietly turning, a heart steadily beating."

i love that. so much of what i do on a day-to-day basis is not earth-shattering or even remotely consequential. it's just the mundane, the ordinary, the messy, the frustrating, the over-and-over again reminding that we don't throw the blocks. it's not extravagant, it's not pretty, it's not full of celebrity. on the contrary! it's ordinary. it's just life. but it's in those ordinary, just life moments that memories are made, that little lives are shaped and molded into something so special, so extraordinary. a person. an extraordinary life. i am blessed to have such an opportunity and will continue to remind myself of that whenever i'm feeling the weight of those ordinary days. when the frustration comes, as it inevitably will, i will try to remember that.

key word being try i suppose.

the mothers that were celebrated.

my mother's day was spent just hanging out, enjoying the somewhat blustery weather. the boys fixed us kebabs with rice...i made a strawberry/rhubarb crisp. john's dad gave me a beautiful azalea...i hope i don't kill it. i'm not good with "pretty" plants. i'll enjoy it for as long as i can keep it alive i suppose. john gave me permission to go shopping...a pretty heady thing since we haven't been able to afford such frivolity for a while. i got lost in the gap...and came back with some wonderful finds from the sale rack. thankful for that.

had a wonderful saturday morning at the farmer's market. i just love walking around, taking in all the colors, sights + sounds.

bought some local honey. it's supposed to help with allergies. and since i'm so seriously over dealing with the constantly runny nose, the itchy sore throat and the "they itch so bad i just want to tear them out of my head" eyes, that i'll try just about anything. this stuff is really strong though...so instead of taking the daily tablespoon all in one go, i think i'll do a little bit spread throughout the day. maybe it'll go down a bit easier that way.

also super excited about this. i've been wanting a clothes line for a while now...and i finally put it up this weekend. i'll only use it for sheets, towels and the like since i don't want our clothes to get faded in the intense summer sun but still...i'm excited to have line-dried linens in my house. i suppose it won't help my allergies much...but i'm willing to deal with the consequences of having fresh, outside-scented laundry in my midst.

i'm off to get some much-needed house-cleaning done before the dude wakes up.
happy monday.

may: day twelve.

the dude. in carharts. love it.
he couldn't get enough of the little "tunnel" mama made him.
turned it into a bridge for his little people car too...

11 May 2008

may: day eleven.

my kid is go-cart crazy.
i find it so fun that the go-cart my son is riding today is the same go-cart his dad rode all those yesterdays ago.

10 May 2008

may: day ten.

farmer's market is one of my favorite things about the summer months.

09 May 2008


today, i discovered a load of laundry in the dryer and am completely baffled at how it arrived there.

today, i had the most magnificent breakfast imaginable: fruit salad (strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, blueberries apples), scrambled eggs with cheese and fresh dill, homemade bread with honey and my can't-live-without-it staple: coffee.

today, elijah was tired at 10am and actually fell asleep when i put him in his crib.

today, i need to go to the post office.

today, i want to complete my "ode to a beach" layout.

today, i'm feeling productive.

today, my house is a disaster, especially my kitchen.

today, i am missing the mountains of my homeland.

today, i am looking forward to going to the farmer's market tomorrow.

today, i wish john could stay home and just hang out with us.

today, i'm wondering if kymber (parents: rich and steph, our neighbors) and rane (parents: casey and shayle, long time friends) are going to be born this weekend.

today, i'm going to fix linguine with artichokes for dinner.

today, i'm wishing that the leftover garage sale stuff would organize itself.

today, i'm thankful...for today.

may: day nine.

well, part of it anyway.

08 May 2008

07 May 2008

06 May 2008

may: day six.

quite the budding little artist living in our midst.

05 May 2008

may: day five.

playing cars with cousin...a favorite afternoon activity!

baby bump (no...not mine silly!)

yesterday i had the privilege of shooting natasha's maternity session. little kate will be here in june! can't wait to meet her.

unfortunately, natasha got sick halfway through our session so we didn't get to do everything we had planned...but we still got some good shots (in my humble opinion!). here's several of my favorites from our time together.

(it's hugh grant and julia roberts from "notting hill"!)