Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Tiring and busy but altogether very merry.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Annual Christmas Eve Journal Write 2016

Well, here we are yet again, and yet again it feels like Christmas has just come out of nowhere.  I have felt pretty prepared so far this year, but I have also felt pretty busy and pulled in a lot of different directions and kind of scrambled about things and happenings and goings-on in the world and with family and friends and overall I'm ready for a really merry Christmas so that's what we're going to have.

At present the children are nestled all snug in their beds (I think?), but only the ladies of the house are actually asleep (The Wife snoozing on the couch, I think she's waiting for Santa), while I write this and The Boy is making tunnels and train tracks out of his bedspread for his new tiny trains.  Both of these little ones are so excited for Christmas, and we didn't reenact the Nativity or anything, but we did watch it on YouTube and it seemed to leave an impression.  Baby at least noticed the sheep and the random barking of a dog in the background (a thing which I myself have never noticed in the many dozens of times I have seen that movie).

Anyway, I am rambling now so I will just end this and say I'm glad for this little tradition, and I'm glad to have a blog even if it's only for me because otherwise I don't really document things in a journalish format anymore (Facebook and Instagram are well and fine but not the same) and it has been a handy and amusing resource over the years.

And now I will leave you with a look at the tree, which, now that it is REdecorated after being loved for a couple weeks and we have enough ornament hooks for our new silver and the presents are placed below, is looking happier. Tonight it was named Fleur. All in all, 100% Waffles-approved.
(I'll spare you the picture I took right before this when he decided at just the right moment to clean himself and give the camera a nice flattering view of his never-you-mind.)
It's almost here!!!  Now I have to go to bed so I can get up at horrid o'clock so we can sneak the kids past Christmas and go to church at are you kidding o'clock so then we can come home and do presents and such after instead.  Also so that Santa can come already.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Last One Before Two (Or, 21 Months)

Baby is just a few months away from her second birthday!  Sometimes it seems strange that she's still so little but then sometimes she definitely still seems like our little Baby (which I'm trying to wean myself from calling her, she does have a name after all).

She's such a big girl these days, putting together sentences and making her mind known (often loudly and sometimes with difficulty, but usually eventually).  She's more and more independent and communicative, is starting to get a little pickier with her foods and vocal about what she wants -- and doesn't want -- and is miles ahead of where Big Brother was at her age in the potty training department (we haven't even started with her and she's already Gone a handful of times).  She's sweet and funny and emotional and often squeals with glee at simple pleasures and is a really good sport with her enthusiastic sibling.  She will gasp and "oh!" with surprise and plaintively say "okay" when we finally figure out what she's trying to say.  She's definitely been getting more into the holidays and had a great time trick-or-treating on Halloween and trying new foods at Thanksgiving and looking forward to Santa and enjoying all the Christmas decorations.

Lounging as the summer dies down.
Bundled up for a post-nap pre-bedtime lie-down.
Remember the drawing from her last update?  Unspeakably adorable!

Hanging out with the horses on Columbus Day.  Photobomb by Charlie!

The corn box is the greatest thing invented.
Modeling some swag from work.
Did you know a reindeer's favorite food is eggy breadies?
That's our Smooch just a few months shy of a big birthday.  We can't wait to see how she grows and changes next.

Giving Thanks 2016

Quick, before it's Christmas!

Thanksgiving was a great time, so here's a quick rundown for posterity.
Halloween leftover.  I guess it didn't make it through the fall OR the varmints.
We started the day out with our 2nd annual T-Gives Day Murdock Canal Trail Turkey Trot/Fun-Run/Walk/Stroll/Bike/Meander (name is a WIP)and it was a hit! It was freezing at the start but cleared and warmed up just in time for the pumpkin streusel muffins.  My time was something or other and I came in second again to Katy (who ran even farther than necessary, hard to believe anyone could misinterpret my on-the-spot hand-drawn mile markers!), with Penneh and Smoochface along for the final stretch.  Thanks to everyone for coming and joining in!  I may expand in future to friends and such if people are interested.
Runners and walkers!
Teamwork for two years running!
Then we had time to get ready for dinner which was of course amazing.
Om nom.
Then we heard there wasn't a pumpkin pie on the menu so The Wife whipped one up with stuff we just happened to have around the house, NBD.  Also a BUTTERBEER PIE.  It was as delicious as it sounds, as were the leftover filling and topping on egg nog and/or peppermint ice cream.
There were so many desserts it was amazing I tried every one some more than once.

Then it was Black Friday and it was all happeniiiing.
Apparently it's the tallest Christmas tree in Utah, thus saith the governor.
Keeping Kitty nice and safe.
Then this wasn't really Thanksgivingish but it was during the break, so there you go.  We saw Moana!  I loved it.  It was just what I was hoping for and expecting and I'm probably the only person around who's waiting for Christmas to get/listen to the soundtrack.  I look forward to seeing it again and I think the kids will love it.
And that's that for now!  I'm so thankful for so many things and I'm glad for a day set aside to remember to focus on gratitude.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Halloween 2016 -- Small and Very Funny

Quick, before it's Thanksgiving!

We had Halloween.  It was lots of fun as expected, and even more exciting than last year.  I had a total of three costumes this year (what, don't all adults have several costumes to wear over the course of one day?), and we took the kids to Auntie Cami's orchestra's family-friendly Halloween concert, including a costume parade and trick-or-treating.  They loved it so much, it might have brought a li'l tear to my eye to see how into the music they were (it helped that the selections included Phantom, Ghostbusters and Thriller).  Trick-or-treating was a big hit, and we went much farther than last year, which also meant that we weren't home to give out much candy... But we would both rather be out with the kids being cute and having fun just now, so maybe next year we'll finally just put the bowl out on the porch while we're gone and if someone takes it all, SO BE IT.  The Charlie and Lola themed costumes, complete with yarn hairbows/Foxy accessory and new Charlie shirt, were a hit with those who recognized them (I was Lola's imaginary friend Soren Lorenson and The Wife was the title page/screen, just to help people who were on the edge of realizing), and it actually felt like an old-school Halloween with loooots of kids running around our neighborhood and a fun buzz in the fall air.

Also, I'll point out here that The Wife made quite a little killing on Etsy selling her Care Bear tummy iron-ons.  It was pretty exciting seeing the orders (and special orders!) coming in on the regular, and I'm sure plenty of nursing teams spent the day doing some great Care Bear stares.  Let's see how well her really cute earrings do for Christmas!

Here are Instahighlights:
Fall!  This boy had been wanting to do this for weeks.
They loved the symphony so much!  There were even plenty of John Bytheway ramblings to take a potty break.
Getting work ready for our Ghost Town theme... No time like the very last minute, right?
Work costume 1 (individual) and work costume 2 (team)
We didn't do as well as last year in the costume contest, but it was still fun and came together and at least we did SOMEthing.
Tada!  Again with the relatively obscure costumes, but I'm all for it.
Variations On Two Jacks.  We did these on the day of this year, but don't worry, we left them out for a good few weeks before finally throwing out the one remaining (who knows what happened to Classic Jack).
We had a good time and are still occasionally enjoying "our" candy and The Boy is preeeeetty excited that Christmastime is coming next, though, as we remind him, not until after Thanksgiving (not that we aren't listening to Christmas music now and then, which he always enjoys in the car).

It's all happening!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blogkeeping -- Fall/Winter 2015

Well, this is certainly long past due.  Without further fanfare, here's blogkeeping.

100 MOVIES from July 2015 (bottom) to February 2016 (top) -- featuring an HP marathon, Star Wars, Christmas 2015, Agatha Christie and the elusive first three seasons of Survivor:

Thor: The Dark World [r] *** • The X-Files (Season 10) **** • Annie (1999) [r] *** • Annie: A Royal Adventure! * 1/2 • Annie (1982) [r] **** • Self/less *** • The Town ** • Lady and the Tramp [r] **** • Love & Mercy **** • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl *** • Annie (2014) *** • Daniel Deronda *** 1/2 • Tak3n * 1/2 • Grease Live! *** 1/2 • And Then There Were None (2015) **** • Galavant (Season 2) *** • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ** 1/2 • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ** • Tangled [r] **** 1/2 • Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer ** • Fantastic 4 [r] ** 1/2 • The Borrowers ** 1/2 • Emma (1996) *** • The Walk **** 1/2 • Fant4stic * 1/2 • About Time **** 1/2 • Star Wars: The Force Awakens [r] *** 1/2 • Sense and Sensibility [r] ***** • The Secret World of Arrietty ** • San Andreas ** • Bottle Shock *** 1/2 • Aladdin [r] ***** • The Last Five Years [r] **** 1/2 • Captain America: The Winter Soldier [r] *** 1/2 • Far From the Madding Crowd **** 1/2 • Ant-Man *** • Pan *** • Sherlock: The Abominable Bride *** 1/2 • Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation *** • The Wiz Live *** 1/2 • Inside Out [r] **** 1/2 • Josh Groban: Stages *** • Luther 2015 *** 1/2 • Mickey's Christmas Carol [r] **** 1/2 • Creature Comforts: Merry Christmas Everybody! [r] ***** • The Nightmare Before Christmas [r] ***** • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi [r] *** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back [r] **** • Star Wars: The Force Awakens *** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope [r] **** • Survivor: Cambodia -- Second Chance (Season 31) **** • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith [r] *** • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones [r] ** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace [r] ** 1/2 • The Amazing Race (Season 31) *** 1/2 • Mr. Holmes *** • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. *** • Still Alice *** • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 **** • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (1 & 2) ***** • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [r] **** • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [r] ***** • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire [r] ***** • The Peanuts Movie ***** • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [r] **** • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [r] **** 1/2 • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [r] **** 1/2 • Woman In Gold *** 1/2 • Project Runway (Season 14) *** • Jurassic World [r] ***** • The Conjuring *** • Jeeves & Wooster (Season 3) **** 1/2 • The Prestige [r] **** 1/2 • Pitch Perfect 2 ** 1/2 • My Girl 2 [r] *** 1/2 • Goosebumps **** • Furious 7 *** • My Girl [r] **** 1/2 • Poirot: Murder On the Orient Express *** 1/2 • The DUFF * 1/2 • Bridge To Terabithia [r] *** 1/2 • American Experience: Walt Disney *** • The Avengers: Age of Ultron ** 1/2 • Miss Marple: The Body In the Library *** • Cinderella (2015) ** 1/2 • The Last Exorcism *** • Suvivor: Africa (Season 2) *** 1/2 • The Age of Adaline **** • Murder On the Orient Express *** 1/2 • Survivor: The Outback (Season 2) **** 1/2 • A Good Day To Die Hard ** • The Sapphires *** 1/2 • Flight ** 1/2 • Survivor: Borneo (Season 1) *** • Exodus: Gods and Kings ** • The Imitation Game *** • And Then There Were None (1945) *** • Poldark (Season 1) *** 1/2 • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell **** • Phenomenon ***

Usually I just do the last 50 books, but since I've been reading a loooot of children's books I'll do twice the amount compared to movies instead of half...

200 BOOKS from August 2015 (bottom) to July 2016 (top):

Lines That Wiggle (Candace Whitman) **** • Carrie (Stephen King) **** • Home (Carson Ellis) **** • Hondo & Fabian (Peter McCarty) *** • The Firefighters (Sue Whiting) **** • Wave (Suzy Lee) **** • Click, Clack, Peep! (Doreen Cronin) *** 1/2 • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Doreen Cronin) **** • The Rain Train (Elena de Roo) **** • Little Tug (Stephen Savage) **** • Book (David W. Miles) *** • The Midnight Library (Kazuno Kohara) **** • Boats: Speeding! Sailing! Cruising! (Patricia Hubbell) *** • Airplanes: Soaring! Diving! Turning! (Patricia Hubbell) **** • C&L: I'm Really Ever So Not Well (Lauren Child) ***** • C&L: I Would Like To Actually Keep It (David Ingham) **** • Catch Me If You Can (Frank W. Abagnale) **** • The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Mordicai Gerstein) **** • How Green Was My Valley (Richard Llewellyn) **** • Red Truck (Kersten Hamilton) *** • Off We Go! (Jane Yolen) **** • Snuggle Puppy! (Sandra Boynton) ***** • Ten Little Dinosaurs (Pattie Schnetzler) **** • Can You Cuddle Like a Koala (John Butler) ***** • Bear About Town (Stella Blackstone) *** • My Friend Rabbit (Eric Rohmann) *** • Wemberly's Ice-Cream Star (Kevin Henkes) *** 1/2 • Whose Truck? (Toni Buzzeo) **** • Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! (Patricia Hubbell) **** • I'll Be There (Ann Stott) *** 1/2 • Always (Ann Stott) *** • Shh! Bears Sleeping (David Martin) **** • Mummy Cat (Marcus Ewert) **** • Fuddles (Frans Vischer) *** • C&L: Charlie Is Broken! (Lauren Child) ***** • C&L: I Am Really, Really Concentrating (Lauren Child) **** • Steam Train, Dream Train (Sherri Duskey Rinker) **** • Corduroy (Don Freeman) **** • Have You Seen My Dragon? (Steve Light) **** • Blown Away (Rob Biddulph) **** • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) **** • Frozen: A Sister More Like Me (Barbara Jean Hicks) *** • Ralph S. Mouse (Beverly Cleary) *** 1/2 • Runaway Ralph (Beverly Cleary) **** • The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Beverly Cleary) ***** • How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? (Jane Yolen) **** • Cars: Rushing! Honking! Zooming! (Patricia Hubbell) *** 1/2 • Look! (Jeff Mack) **** 1/2 • Two Little Trains (Margaret Wise Brown) **** • Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss) ***** • Tuesday (David Wiesner) *** • Edgar Gets Ready For Bed (Jennifer Adams) **** • The Wonderful Things You'll Be (Emily Winfield Martin) *** • Wait (Antoinette Portis) ***** • Cars Galore (Peter Stein) **** • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Laura Joffe Numeroff) ***** • The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** • Sea of Dreams (Dennis Nolan) ***** • I Love My Daddy (Sebastien Braun) ***** • Bears On Chairs (Shirley Parenteau) ***** • In This Book (Fani Marceau) *** 1/2 • The Chronicles of Prydain: The High King (Lloyd Alexander) [r] ***** • LMNO Peas (Keith Baker) ***** • Shhh! This Book Is Sleeping (C├ędric Ramadier) **** • Whose Hat Is This? (Sharon Katz Cooper) *** • No, No, Gnome! (Ashlyn Anstee) **** • I Am Extremely Absolutely Boiling (Lauren Child) **** • The Chronicles of Prydain: Taran Wanderer (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** • I Can't Stop Hiccuping! (Lauren Child) ***** • Jamberry (Bruce Degen) **** • Froodle (Antoinette Portis) **** • The Chronicles of Prydain: The Castle of Llyr (Lloyd Alexander) [r] ***** • The Chronicles of Prydain: The Black Cauldron (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** 1/2 • Peggy (Anna Walker) **** • First the Egg (Laura Vaccaro Seeger) ***** • The OK Book (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • The Chronicles of Prydain: The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** • Hail To Spring! (Charles Ghigna) **** • Red Car, Red Bus (Susan Steggall) *** 1/2 • Little Bear (Else Holmelund Minarik) ***** • Fire Truck (Peter Sis) *** • Open This Little Book (Jesse Klausmeier) ***** • Strider (Beverly Cleary) **** • Dear Mr. Henshaw (Beverly Cleary) **** • Bears In a Band (Shirley Parenteau) **** • Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear (Lindsay Mattick) **** • The Martian (Andy Weir) **** • Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! (Dr. Seuss) **** • The Queen's Hat (Steve Anthony) ***** • Bently & Egg (William Joyce) **** • Bread and Jam for Francis (Russell Hoban) ***** • Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories (R.J. Palacio) ***** • Potty (Leslie Patricelli) ***** • Fire Engine No. 9 (Mike Austin) ***** • Dinosaur Colors (Paul Stickland) *** • Rokko (Paola Opal) *** • Danny and the Dinosaur (Syd Hoff) **** • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School (Jeff Kinney) ** • The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince (Serena Valentino) *** • The Curse of Maleficent: The Tale of a Sleeping Beauty (Elizabeth Rudnick) ** • Little Oink (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Little Hoot (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Locomotive (Brian Floca) *** • Harry the Dirty Dog (Gene Zion) **** • A Kitten Tale (Eric Rohmann) ***** • Shh! We Have a Plan (Chris Haughton) **** • Exclamation Mark (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Chopsticks (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) **** 1/2 • The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories (Susanna Clarke) **** • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke) ***** • We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog (Lauren Child) **** • Benjy's Boat Trip (Margaret Bloy Graham) **** • Help! I Really Mean It! (Lauren Child) **** • Little Bear's Visit (Else Holmelund Minarik) **** • Corgiville Fair (Tasha Tudor) *** • Planes Go (Steve Light) ***** • I Love My New Toy (Mo Willems) **** • Train (Elisha Cooper) *** • I Am Too Absolutely Small For School (Lauren Child) **** • Boo! Made You Jump! (Lauren Child) **** • Looking For a Moose (Phyllis Root) **** • Do You Know Colors? (Katherine Howard) ***** • Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken (Kate DiCamillo) **** • Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs (Sandra Boynton) ***** • Pajama Time! (Sandra Boynton) ***** • Snoozers: 7 Short Bedtime Stories for Lively Little Kids (Sandra Boynton) ***** • The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) **** • Go! Go! Go! Stop! (Charise Mericle Harper) *** 1/2 • Peek-a-Who? (Nina Laden) **** • Animal Babies (Little Bee Books) **** • London: A Book of Opposites (Ashley Evanson) ***** • A Whole New World - A Twisted Tale (Liz Braswell) *** • The Way Back Home (Oliver Jeffers) ***** • The Incredible Book Eating Boy (Oliver Jeffers) **** • Octopus Alone (Divya Srinivasan) **** • Little Owl's Night (Divya Srinivasan) **** 1/2 • Snowmen At Christmas (Caralyn Buehner) ***** • An Otis Christmas (Loren Long) **** • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Dr. Seuss) ***** • The Polar Express (Chris Van Allsburg) ***** • Merry Christmas, Curious George (Margaret Rey) **** • A Christmas Carol and Other Stories (Charles Dickens) ***** • God Bless Us, Every One!: The Story Behind A Christmas Carol (John Rhys-Davies) *** • Milly and the Macy's Parade (Shana Corey) *** • The Marvels (Brian Selznick) ** • Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (Karen Foxlee) **** • The League of Unexceptional Children (Gitty Daneshvari) **** • The Kissing Hand (Audrey Penn) **** • The Scarecrow's Dance (Jane Yolen) **** • Helping Daddy (Atsuko Morozumi) **** • Hollow City (Ransom Riggs) *** • Monkey and Me (Emily Gravett) *** 1/2 • Again! (Emily Gravett) *** • Blue Chameleon (Emily Gravett) **** • Jasper & Joop (Olivier Dunrea) ** • Winter Concert (Yuko Takao) **** • Hooray For Amanda & Her Alligator! (Mo Willems) *** 1/2 • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (Mo Willems) *** 1/2 • Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct (Mo Willems) ** 1/2 • A You're Adorable (Martha Alexander) **** • Good Night Missouri *** 1/2 • Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story (Mary Downing Hahn) **** • Oh No, George! (Chris Haughton) ***** • Illusionarium (Heather Dixon) ***** • The Pigeon Needs a Bath! (Mo Willems) **** • The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! (Mo Willems) ***** • The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! (Mo Willems) **** • The Pigeon Loves Things That Go! (Mo Willems) **** • Little Quack (Lauren Thompson) **** • Little Pea (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (Lemony Snicket) **** • Matilda's Cat (Emily Gravett) **** • Spells (Emily Gravett) *** • Wolves (Emily Gravett) ** • The Crucible (Arthur Miller) **** • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne) *** 1/2 • Time for Bed (Mem Fox) **** • Train! (Judi Abbot) ***** • I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Lauren Child) ***** • Bridge To Terabithia (Katherine Paterson) *** 1/2 • The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread (Don Robertson) **** • Dusk (Uri Shulevitz) *** • The Little Engine That Could (Watty Piper) **** • N or M? (Agatha Christie) **** 1/2 • The Body In the Library (Agatha Christie) *** • Hey, Al (Arthur Yorinks) *** • On Your Potty! (Virginia Miller) *** • Deep In the Forest (Brinton Turkle) ***** • Big Fish (Daniel Wallace) *** 1/2 • Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! (Mo Willems) ***** • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Mo Willems) ***** • Curious George (H.A. Rey) ***** • Murder On the Orient Express (Agatha Christie) **** • Owl Babies (Martin Waddell) ***** • Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears (Emily Gravett) ** • The Odd Egg (Emily Gravett) **** • Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? (Martin Waddell) ***** • Ten Apples Up On Top! (Theo LeSieg) **** • June 29, 1999 (David Wiesner) **** • And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) ****

Now to clean out the sidebar and blog about something more important.

Oh, I guess this is also a good moment to take The Jungle Book, Zootopia, Brooklyn, Creed, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alien off my to-watch list (even though none of them are in this group) and Catch Me If You Can, Carrie, The Maze Runner, How Green Was My Valley off my to-read list (most of which ARE in this group).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Year and a Half for Miss A

I've been putting writing this off for far too long, and we finally had our 18-month checkup today (all good, not even a tear when she had her shot, though she was winding up and calmed just in time).

This Smooch!  We still call her Baby even though she's definitely a toddler.  She is so active and so chatty and funny and sweet.  She's great at stairs (she never did bother actually crawling up and down, thank you, baby gate), she has a great appetite (about which her brother could take a leaf out of her book these days), she's sleeping well (naps are hit and miss) and she loves her mommy especially but she's always happy to see her daddy come up the stairs at the end of the workday.  She has so many teeth and her once-dark curls have all but given way to goldilocks and she is a great sport when it comes to playing with her super-enthusiastic big brother.  She had no trouble joining him in Nursery, though she may glance back fondly as we quietly back out, which is just fine.  We can hardly believe how cute she is.  Those cheeks!  They are so soft.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the last six months:
Stormy day at the lake
Nesting at the Idaho Falls zoo
Finding the beauty of an Idaho rest stop
Checking out the postcards on her first big road trip
Hanging out with Mommy on the Oregon coast
She wasn't feeling well but didn't seem to mind snuggling sweaty post-run Daddy.
Trying out the new hiking backpack!
Bonus photo shoot because WHAT

Some arts!
She clearly had to be the first subject of my #heydrewdrawthis project
This day I came home and could hardly stand the adorableness.
So there she is, just a quick rundown of our Baby-No-More's life these days.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Lucky 7

Quick, before it's more than a full calendar month late!

We had our anniversary and even actually celebrated it!

On the Saturday before we dropped off the kids at Mom and Dad's house and went to do sealings:
Kissy kissy
 And then we went to lunch at the beloved Asian Buffet:
walnut shrimp *DIES*
 And then on the day of I surprised The Wife with this little number:
Like I do
Detail because sexy shoe in sexy toe point
And then we went to a work party celebrating our anniversary the new office:
He hasn't stopped talking about working at Daddy's desk ever since
And all in all we had a nice evening of free and delicious barbecue and then put the poopsies to bed and probably fell asleep on the couch because they do wear us out. XD

I do so love that wife of mine.
Lucky me.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Oregon Coast: We Went There

We went on a trip!  An honest-to-goodness two-days-to-get-there road trip.  And we all survived.  In fact we had a great time and everyone did pretty well in the car, especially considering the longest they've ever sat for a drive was 3.5-4 hours (and really, they don't have much mobility, so they're pretty good sports overall).  The plan was to meet The Wife's family on the Oregon coast where a beach house had been rented, but we wanted to make the most of the drive (everyone else was flying or lives a little closer than we do) so we went a couple days early and took our time visiting the beach and doing some sightseeing.  I hadn't been to Oregon in over ten years and the kids of course had never been so we thought we would make the most of it.  It was marvelous.

Day 1: Driving.  We stopped once or twice in Idaho to stretch our legs and have lunch etc. and then made it in pretty good time to Baker City, OR, where we enjoyed the indoor pool and nice breakfast and Elena of Avalor at the local Super 8.
Some rest stops can be pretty interesting if you look around.
 Day 2: More driving, where the freeway was blocked due to fires and we ignored the gas station guy who suggested a five-hour detour and took Shelley-at-the-visitor-info-booth's advice which only cost an extra half our or so, we almost ran out of gas (I swear I had enough to make it to Portland!), did a quick drive-by of the insanely crowded Multnomah Falls, we found a funny tiny country store to get some emergency fuel (we were amazed we made it), and tried to navigate through Portland before finally arriving in Lincoln City, which was tiny and charming and our motel was a five-minute walk to the beach.
We almost left Kitty at this place.  Can you imagine the nightmare that would have been?
 Day 3: Up to the Tillamook factory for samples and a deserted tour, further up to Cannon Beach for the most glorious time and a wonderful Goonies moment and lots of great jumping pictures (none of which I have among these), then back to Tillamook for lunch, where it was NOT deserted and we waited a long time but it was pretty good grilled cheese.
 Day 4: Exploring Lincoln City and the surrounding area of Depoe Bay etc., where we discovered an aquarium but it was way too expensive so we just had a picnic on the benches outside it instead and went exploring and met a friendly squirrel.  We did a little window shopping, and then the rest of the fam arrived and we settled in to our fun dwelling place.
O hai.
 Day 5: Beach house!  There was room to sleep all 20+ of us and we went straight to the beach, which was so close we could hear the waves through our windows.  We just relaxed and ate and played games and flew kites and dug in the sand all day.  I put on my swimsuit and intended not to remove it for three days.
Just a few minutes away from our beach house!  And the sun is out!
 Day 6: Depoe Bay!  We went to the tide pools and there was plenty of exploring to be done.  Crabs and mussels and seals (so I'm told) and lots of cool places to explore.  More food, more relaxing, more hot tub.  I took a quick morning run on the beach, which was rocky but soooo foggy and magical.
This was a really cool place.
 Day 7: Starting to wind down and preparing for our long drive home.  We went back into town for some last-minute shopping, dining and whale watching in Depoe Bay and then said our sad goodbyes as we drove back toward and through Portland (ooohhhhh, Portland... your traffic was the worst.  Thanks for adding like three hours to our drive) and made it back to Baker City where a lack of motel vacancy almost spelled disaster but a room mixup with the Super 8 management led to an upgrade and a discount.  I'll take it.
My cute girl in Depoe Bay.
 Day 8: They say getting there is half the fun but getting back blows.  We were just glad to finally roll into this valley and know we were less than an hour from getting out of the car.  But really, hardly any complaints from the back seat, they were really good for 95% of the time.
Hello, SLC.
 We were sorry to say goodbye to this cool little house, but probably even sorrier to say goodbye to this glorious (free upgrade!) rental car.  Lesson learned:  Get and use your own insurance.
We'll miss this charming seaside cottage, but we'll probably miss this luxurious RAV-4 even more...
 The Monday after, this was on my mind...
What a nice time to be had.  There were a few hiccups and a really unfortunate accident with a cousin involving an emergency ambulance ride for hip surgery in Portland, and The Boy is going through a weird bedtime reluctance ritual, but overall it was just nice.  It was so great to go to the beach.  The water was freezing and it was often quite windy but it was enough to see and smell and feel it.  I have come to hold the opinion that every human should see the ocean at least every other year.  It does wonders for one's perspective.  It was great to go on a real family vacation and the kids had a great time with The Wife's almost entire family, and I'm glad they've seen the big water.

Next: Disneyland?...