Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Window

This is the view from my office window, although the picture doesn't do it justice because you can't see the breadth of it, and the detail. But I have really enjoyed looking out my window recently and seeing all the layer of color, so I thought I'd take a picture. And here you have it ...

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Pumpkin Heads


Carving pumpkins is a favorite fall tradition. And this year we roasted pumpkin seeds just for the fun of it. Although, honestly, none of us like roasted pumpkin seeds very much. But I guess it's just the thing to do ...

Mine is the one on the right, next to Kev. Please note the beauty mark and the chandelier earrings. :-)

Oh, and yes, Meredith took this picture!

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Sixth File, Sixth Picture

I saw this on Jen's blog and wondered what picture I'd end up with. Ha! I love this picture of Aunt Kathy, Emily, and Aunt Beth. It was taken two years ago at Thanksgiving and baby Avery, just two months old, was posing with her daddy. I thought it would be fun to get a picture of the paparazzi. It makes me anticipate Thanksgiving this year all the more! We always have good times with Kevin's side of the family on Thanksgiving. Good memories!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

People-watching at the carousel ...

One of my favorite places to be is on the carousel at the Children’s Museum here in town. It is such a happy place. It is a place where you can witness parents enjoying their children. It is a place where both young and old are carefree.

Yesterday I was amused by a man video-taping his young boy riding up and down, up and down on a big white horse. The camera in his hand was also going up and down, up and down. That’s going to be a fun one to watch at future home-video nights!

Then there was a man who pretty much looked homeless. I might have been afraid of him if he approached me on the street because of how he was dressed and his crazy hair. But, here he was, sitting next to his child on the carousel. He and his daughter were both wearing wide smiles. She obviously didn’t care how he looked. At this age all she cared about was that he loved her and was spending time with her.

Then there was the young mother with a small baby who sat on the carousel bench. She stood her baby up on her lap and rocked him back and forth with the music. She smiled and cooed at him. And he smiled and cooed back.

Scenes like these not only amuse, they also warm the soul. I’m heartened to see so many parents enjoying their children and making memories together.

Our Newest Family Member

Meet our first pet, a bright red Betta fish that Meredith immediately named Snowflake. Actually, for the record, his full name is Snowflake Snow.

This pet was given to us. It was part of the flower arrangement at a wedding we attended nearly two weeks ago. Yes, two weeks!! I’m happy to report that our fish is still alive. I had to rush to the pet store, on the advice of a friend, and buy water conditioner for his water, after he was appearing to be very lethargic. Now he once again swims around with vitality. If this fish dies of natural causes, I'm completely okay with that. If I personally cause his death by putting him in the wrong water, I'm so NOT okay with that!

I’m the type of person who thinks that pets are rarely, if ever, worth all the work and expense involved. But you should see the joy and happiness Snowflake Snow has brought to Meredith, and even Clara at times.

For about a week after we got this fish, Meredith asked every day if she could hold him. When we said no, she would then ask if she could at least PET him. When the answer was still no she sighed and asked, “Can I at least get a spoon and stir his water?”

We told her no but fish really love for you to stroke their bowls, sing them songs, and tell them stories. This answer seemed to please her.

So, maybe we should just break down and get a “real” pet. An outside pet that could occasionally sleep in our garage on really, really cold nights. Maybe. But, in the end, I’m thinking probably not.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My other blog ...

First of all I'd like to say that after five solid years of blogging (okay, things have trickled down quite a bit post-kids), I never thought I'd start another blog. But a dear friend of mine decided to start a new MOPS group and asked me to be the publicity/communications person on the leadership team. After helping with the publicity side of it, my main "job" now is to maintain the blog. It hasn't panned out to be that great for internal communication yet but the group is new and I think more and more people are finally starting to read it!

So, anyway, since I spent time posting some kids' cook book reviews on that blog today and ran out of any time to post on this one, I thought I'd at least mention that I'm not completely slacking off!

Seriously, I'm really happy to be helping out with this new MOPS group. I really have a passion for MOPS because it met a serious need that I had when I first started two years ago--a need to connect with other women and be encouraged and enriched in my new and scary role as a mother of a preschooler!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Packed Week

The busyness has definitely taken its toll. Isn’t fall supposed to be a time to slow down, reflect, enjoy the colors and crisp air, cozy up with a hot drink, and so on? On Monday morning I was pretty stressed out about the condition of my house after being gone for the majority of the past month. I told Kevin I just needed three days to stay home, wear my sweats, and get stuff in order and I would feel better about life. I’m happy to report that, while there are still piles here and there, and the house is not perfectly clean, I no longer feel buried and depressed about everything!

Today was Kevin’s swearing-in ceremony. He will continue to do the same things he’s already doing at his job except now he can sign his own stuff and make court appearances, which he enjoys. I missed most of the ceremony (and got no pictures) because Clara was tired and being impossible. I rotated between standing in the back and having to leave the room entirely. But we enjoyed a nice lunch afterwards and then went to Kevin’s firm for a little dessert reception, where Clara decided to entertain everyone by being cute and laying down in the conference room at the foot of the person speaking.

Here are some pictures from this past week. In addition to these things, we also attended a lovely fall wedding and a fun wiener roast at Aunt Beth’s!

My mom came home with me for a few days. One day we picked apples and then canned 42 jars of applesauce with Kevin’s mom. There is no comparison between the flavor and texture of homemade applesauce and store bought.

The next day we took a picnic lunch to Eagle Creek park and then went hiking and let the girls play on the playground.

Indianapolis has a new airport! Over the weekend there was a “community day” where we could tour it. It’s very impressive with lots of glass. It reminds us somewhat of the Dulles airport.

The girls enjoyed climbing in and out of various airport vehicles parked outside the terminal.

And here is a recent picture of our house. Although, they’ve already poured the driveway so this picture is outdated already. It’s incredible how quickly a house can go up. We love going to the home site and seeing all the changes, both small ones and big ones! Our closing date is set for December 12 and we’re getting so excited!

Monday, October 13, 2008

California I

I had a great time visiting family in California. Here are some snapshots ...

Here is Betsy standing in front of the four-plex that she recently purchased. I can't believe my little sister is a landlord!! She has spent the last few months renovating (gutting the bathroom and kitchen, etc.) the front unit and has now moved in. It was fun to finally get to see her place!

It's always fun to see the different varieties of flowers in California.

Here are more flowers, growing on the side of the road near my parents' house in Long Beach.

Betsy and Steve outside her new four-plex.
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California II

On Friday I spent the day with Christy. We got our hair cut at her stylist in Beverly Hills, went to lunch, and then did some window shopping on Rodeo drive. Then we got ready to go to her movie premiere that night.

Here we are on Rodeo drive--me with my new haircut and cute purse Betsy talked me into buying.

Here we are with the star, Kevin Farley, and producer/director of An American Carol, David Zucker.

And here we are with Kelsey Grammer. It was such an exciting evening--everything from the pre-movie party, to the movie itself (at the Chinese Theater), to the after-party. It was an honor to attend Christy's first premiere with her. I know there will be many more for her.
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California III

We all went to the Italian restaurant where Christy works (Terroni's). We let Christy order for us and it was so much fun! She works with some really nice people and the food was out of this world. Everything is authentic from southern Italy. All of the cheese and chocolate, and many of the meats are imported. The pasta is made fresh daily. It was such a fantastic dining experience!

Dad, Steve, and mom are enjoying some appetizers. The tall orange appetizer is a "rice pod"--rice, cheese, herbs, and sausage in a crusty cheese shell. The other one is ricotta wrapped in zucchini flowers. Yum!

Terroni's was recently voted as having the best pizza in L.A. We agree! I ordered pasta with lemon, spinach, and a bunch of other stuff. My dad ordered the truffle pasta. It was the first time I'd ever tasted truffles. Although the sauce was really good, the truffle itself tasted akin to dirt. I'm still trying to figure out what all the fuss is about--and why they're so expensive!

Clara LOVED the tiramisu!!! Understatement!!

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California IV

Meredith took this picture--we enjoyed a mommy/daughter date at Seal Beach one morning. We split an Orange 50/50 Milkshake at a restaurant at the end of the pier.

Meredith chasing the gulls.

Clara with her great grandma.

I went out with the Martin girls one night and they introduced me to Pinkberry, which they tell me is "all the rage" in L.A./Orange County right now. It's like frozen yogurt but can't technically be called frozen yogurt because it's missing one ingredient. Apparently it's only 80 calories. I thought it tasted really tart and fruity with my crushed Oreos. But apparently lots of people love it.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you an important message ...

Kevin passed the Indiana Bar Exam!!!

I'm in California right now with the girls. He got his results on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. So, it was 5:30 a.m. Pacific time. He asked, "Are you SURE you want me to wake you up that early with a phone call?" YES! I didn't want to be, like, the 10th person to find out the results. I had my phone on vibrate and was sleeping on top of it. It still took five phone calls before I realized my phone was vibrating. Yes, I sleep very soundly. I have been known to sleep through earthquakes.

Anyway, we are so happy! Thanks to everyone who has loved and supported us during this journey!