Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

I should call this "Things I Love Lately" because it's been SO LONG... However, it happens to be Thursday... So there you have it!
  • Celebrating NINE years (married) with this guy:
  • Fall soccer. Geneva started soccer this year. We were reluctant to give up "our" Saturdays for games. As it turns out, watching her play on the weekends is one of our weekend highlights. It also helps that she loves it and she's pretty good. We call her "Hat Trick Jones" because she's earned it. 
  • Knowing my nephew, Tyler, is going to have a full recovery (in terms of mobility) from the serious injury he sustained one week ago today. He has had three surgeries so far and will hopefully return home this weekend. The road to recovery is still long with further surgeries and challenging physical therapy; however, he is expected to achieve 100% functionality in the end.
  • Having my dad and mom so much closer to us. They've managed to sell their home in South Dakota and are now living in southern Oregon. They are still about 5 hours away--but is so much closer than SD! They stopped by to visit us for a few days on the trip out. Papa taught Piper how to balance coins on their sides--she's surprising good at it!
  • The Fall television premiers--especially The Good Wife. Seriously. This is a fantastic show! I look forward to it like no other. If you're not watching this show, you're missing out!
  • When Daddy gets his hair done:
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
  • Watching Geneva smile just before she climbs the (gigantic) steps onto the school bus in the morning.
  • Having some "Piper and Mommy Time" for a couple hours each weekday afternoon.
  • Living Basil. Find your own in your grocer's produce section. I've had this plant at least 4 weeks. I've tried growing basil in my herb garden for the past 3 years. It's never grown this well before--and this is nearly effortless! Because it's on the counter, I remember to add it to lots of different things to. D'lish! (Thanks for the tip, GK!)
  • The fact that 9 times out of 10, my kids are in bed by 7:30pm. Not only are they getting enough sleep and are pleasantly rested, it's so nice to have some husband and wife time at the end of each day. 
  • Having our girls share a room.
  • Having two guest rooms for our friends with kids to come visit us--one for mom and dad and one for the kiddos. 
  • The girls new nightgowns. They made these out of their dad's old t-shirts and some puffy paints. It was a really fun rainy day project and they look adorable in them.
  • Pinterest. It's my new favorite time-suck. Check out my profile: CLICK HERE.
  • This picture of Greg and I at the Children's Cancer Association dinner. The company is called, "Paparazzi Tonight" and they can be hired to work your event (if you're local). They provided all the props. It was tons of fun!
  • The art of Hadley Hutton. I saw a small grouping of her prints in a model home when we visited the Street of Dreams this year. It was so sweet! I'd love to recreate something along those lines in the girl's bedroom.
  • The Maple Bacon Bar from Voodoo Donuts. This establishment has been in Portland for over 8 years now. I've never been. However, when my dad mentioned that his buddy from Montana suggested they check it out when they got here to Oregon, I was all about making that happen. And I'm so glad I did! We had to wait quite a long time in line (especially for a Tuesday morning at 10am!) but it was definitely worth it.
  • My closet. I FINALLY carved out the time to get it completely organized and I've managed to keep it that way for several months now {insert some kind of audible noise that expresses your complete shock right now}. It's so nice to be able to see what's in there--let alone walk over to it!
  • When we catch a sunny day at the coast.

The Sound of Piper

Here it is: Solid evidence that we've over-indulged the family musicals.
 (Our favorites include and are not limited to: The Sound of Music, Annie, and Mary Poppins.)

She does this, a lot. 

Warning: This is super long. Even our family will likely turn it off before it's over.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Geneva's Kindergarten class did oral reports on Latin American countries this month. Geneva chose Argentina. Here is her presentation. We are extremely proud of her hard work and even more impressed (once again) by her school and her teachers. 

If you have young children, I would encourage you to consider a language immersion education. We believe that choosing to expose our children to the Spanish language and culture in this way is one of the greatest gifts we have been able to give them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Love Her Sense of Self

Geneva: Do you know what's so special about me, Mom?
Me: What's that, Honey?
Geneva: When I blow air out of my mouth--it's always warm.

What can I say? The kid is super special!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gifts From My Mothers

From my mother, Shannon, I am grateful for my creativity and appreciation of all things crafted with love from bits of this and pieces of that. Also, for my instincts in the kitchen.

From my great-grandmother, Ellen, who had a sharp eye and a sharper tongue, I am thankful for the lesson of knowing my own opinion.

From Inez, the grandmother who's home was my home, I have a passion for books and learning. I also learned the value and the joy of a good bargain.

From Trudy, the grandmother of special holidays, summer camping trips, and birthday cards never-forgotten, I was shown the beauty of gentleness, which I aspire to.

From Diana, who lovingly mothered me every-other-weekend during those formative years between three and thirteen, I know the time and effort invested is far surpassed by the lasting impact of a holiday morning made wonderfully special for the pure enjoyment and delight of children.

From Debbie, who demonstrates intelligence and capability in moments and projects big and small, I am learning how to take life head-on. I thank her for the lessons of consistency and strength.

From Kathy, my "other mother" from 3rd grade to 12th grade, I am grateful for a gift I really needed during that time: a view of what a "traditional" family looks like from the inside. It's a beautiful thing, sometimes messy, often loud, occasionally bad-tempered, always honest, unconditionally safe, and absolutely not perfect in all the most meaningful and real ways.

Motherhood is a journey and I am truly enjoying the trip thanks to all the mother figures who have come and gone from my life over the years.

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Palm Springs 2011

In an effort to endure the grey Portland "Spring" with cheerful attitudes, we planned another excursion to sunny Palm Springs this March. We had such a great time last year and an even better trip this year!
Much more pleasant than the Portland forecast!
We flew out bright and EARLY on Wednesday and arrived with a full day in front of us (that's my cheerful way of 'complaining' about having to wake up at 4am).
After installing car seats in our fancy-fun minivan (not even being facetious), we picked up Grandma Lulu, changed into our shorts and sandals {woot woot!}, and then headed over to Armando's for lunch. Apparently, they have "famous" margaritas. Having had one now, I'm thinking all that fame is due to the fact that they are more like tequila on the rocks than an actual margarita (not that I'm complaining).
So excited to spend time with Grandma.
After our leisurely lunch, we checked into our fabulous resort, got settled in, and then had time for a quick dip in the pool before dinner. 
Guess who woke up ready to hit the pool again?
"I've got the sunhat and I'm ready to go!"
We were all eager for some swimming in the sun; however, before heading back to the pool, we convinced the girls that a quick expedition around the grounds to check things out and some breakfast would be a good idea.
Shorts and tank tops -- Yay! for sun.
 A short sunny walk (there may have even been some skipping) along the golf course was quite enjoyable (and the only exercise I got all week!).
A beautiful day for a stroll.
Another crystal blue pool.
 There was a lot to look at and everywhere I turned, I saw a "photo-op."
Not everyone was as entertained with all the posing and clicking.
Geneva "having feelings" because we were not in the pool yet.
 First things, first: Breakfast.
Finally, pool time! 

Snoogling in the sunshine.
 On our first full day in the sun {am I getting annoying with the whole SUNSHINE thing yet?}, we swam, lounged, splashed around, ate lunch, sipped drinks, read, visited, and then sipped some more...
Afterward, we were off to Street Fair in Palm Springs for a little family adventure and dinner.
Waiting for our table.
 Dinner was delicious: Mexican food again--So yummy in SoCal!
(The things you take for granted when you live in California...)
Lulu and her girls.
 We always get such a kick out of listening to Geneva speak to the restaurant staff in Spanish. She usually orders her own dinner, "Me gustaria tener 'in-shee-ladthas,' por favor." Once they hear her accent they smile and ask her something I usually only catch a portion of and then delight in her reply.  Typically, our server will get a few other employees to come over and chat with her too. Sorry about the bragging {there I go being annoying again} but it's super cool.
Another warm evening on the patio with margaritas.
 There was a rockin' band (by Palm Springs restaurant standards) at the restaurant that night too.
So obviously, we needed to do some dancing!

 The next day we woke up ready to hit the pool again.
Morning cartoon delay to give mom and dad time for coffee.
Please note: They are wearing their bathing suits, which they put on at 7:05am.
 Geneva broke up the afternoon with a little pottery-painting class with her new friend, Bridgette (thank goodness that ceramic sandal made it home in one piece!). 

 Guess what he was looking up at?
 Another afternoon in the sun (anyone sensing a theme here?) brought BIG naps later.
Friday evening, Greg and I were headed to the BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament and the girls were having a "date" with Grandma Lulu.

 By the time Saturday rolled around, we needed a bit of shade (well, I probably could have enjoyed another full day in the sun, but the girls were getting a little pink-cheeked despite the GALLON of sunscreen I used).
 Reading and coffee on the patio.
By the way, I do not recommend this book! 
While we relaxed on the patio, the girls entertained themselves inside with dress-up, coloring and play-doh. 
"Don't I look fabulous?"
Bunny sculpture.
Here's the difference a year makes:
Palm Springs 2010
Palm Springs 2011
 We spent the morning at the Children's Museum.
Our little veterinarians.

 We followed the Museum with a fun late-lunch/early-dinner (otherwise known as "Happy Hour") at Jackalope Ranch.

The girls were very amused by this fountain.

Such a sad photo...
This is the KID-SIZED sundae!
We helped her finish it.
After lunch it was time to say goodbye to Lulu.
So sad...
"Bye-bye, Lulu. See you soon!"
 We hit the sack early in preparation for our 7am flight PLUS the time change...
We still cannot figure out how the mistake happened (margaritas and Chardonnay?) but between setting the clock forward and setting the alarm, we ended up losing TWO hours, rather than one. 
Do you know when we noticed our mistake? Once we were up, dressed, had loaded the car, woken up the girls, and were heading to the airport.
It's so much easier to travel with them when they start helping!
It was a fantastic trip: 
Family time
Greg & Tammy time
Reading novels (not all of them good)
Great food and beverages
Laughing & playing

Cheers to our next adventure!