Monday, August 24, 2009

Kindergarten and a Schultute

Today was Sarah's 1st day of Kindergarten. Whenever she reaches a milestone, my mind immediately clicks back to the day that I found out I was pregnant with her. How my life is so drastically different now and how I would not change a thing. I can't believe we are in real school now and it is amazes me everyday how much more grown up she is getting. I now it is just Kindergarten, but she is just so much a big kid these days. She loves reading and is getting quite good at it. She can add and subtract any group of numbers to 10. She says her favorite number is infinity. (That is also how much she tells daddy and I how much she loves us: infinity times infinity! Melts my heart! She loves to play checkers and she is quite good. She is very much into dressing herself, taking her own sweet time getting ready in the morning and before bed, and she loves to sing and dance to all those teeny bopper tunes from Disney channel. She is definitely 5 going on 15! So this is my sweet baby girl ready for the big day:

This is her little sister very excited as if it was her first day, as well! Also...Lauren is a little jealous of Sarah's schultute! (More on that below)

This is Sarah walking with her daddy to school!

This is Sarah in front of her new school!

This is Sarah in her new class!

This is Sarah with her friend in her new class!

Now...about the is a German tradition that on the 1st day of school kids get a cone filled with school supplies and little goodies to celebrate the big day! This was obviously my first attempt at making one. It came out pretty good. She got some new crayons, markers, books, notepads, etc...

I hope she has a great first day! I will be thinking about her all day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thinking of Mom

Today I am thinking of my mother.....well, I think about her every day....but today would have been her 66th birthday. I miss having her around. It definitely feels like my life is missing something and that there is a hole that she used to fill. I miss talking to her, I miss having her unconditional support, and I miss her love of life and all things beautiful. I love this picture because it reminds me of how much she loved Sarah (you can see Sarah looking straight at her). It also reminds me of that unconditional support.

This was a hard time for her to be in California because she was not feeling well. She would have not missed it for the world, though. She had planned to stay through Christmas because the 25th was Sarah's due date, but Sarah did not come until January 9th. My mom not only stayed until she was born (and even after), but she stayed up at the hospital with me from 1:30pm on January 8th until about 4pm on January 9th. She had little or no sleep because I was in labor that long. It wasn't until that evening when I was resting in my room, that she finally went back to the house to get some rest herself. It was comforting to have her there and it was comforting always to have her in my life. I am sad she didn't get to see Sarah grow up. They have many things in common. Mainly...Sarah loves to where her hair in a bun (as did my mom) and Sarah loves salads, reading books, and she loves looking at all my mom's old jewelery. I think they would have had a special bond and I am sad for Sarah that she didn't get that chance. I am also sad that my mom never met Lauren. She would have loved her, too! I can't think about all that isn't, too much. I need to focus on the positive. I have lots of stories to tell my girls, I have lots of pictures, and I have lots of written words that my mom wrote. So...I am just thinking of her today and what a special person she was to me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Little Gym

Today was Lauren's last day of the summer session of Little Gym. She has loved it so much this summer that we will start next week with the fall session. She has a blast running everywhere and her favorite apparatus is the bars. She also loves playing with the balls and of course, the bubbles. Sarah got to get in on the action today. She was drawn into the gym by the High School Musical tunes being blasted in the room. She was finally allowed in when they saw her dancing in the lobby. Lauren was so cute getting her medal. She was the only one not sure about what she was getting. She even gave it back to the teacher once she had it. After a few minutes, though, she became instantly proud of it and has worn it most of the day. I am so glad she loves this activity.

Lauren is not too sure about the bouncy thing!

Loves the bars

Proud of her medal

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rob's 35 Birthday

This is Charlie's brother, Rob. His birthday was August 3rd. We had a great time celebrating his birthday with the family. We first went to Nonna in Dallas. Great, fresh Italian food. Nina (his fiancee) surprised him with a birthday cake for dessert. It was made by the same bakery that will do their wedding cake in October. It was chocolate cake with Kaluha icing in the center. It was divine! Little does I think he know that Nina had even called ahead to make sure they could have his favorite dish on the menu that night. It is the type of place that has a menu that changes almost daily.

The Heavenly Cake

Rob and Nina

Charlie, Me, Rob, and Nina

After dinner, Nina had arranged for all of his friends to meet at a bar in Dallas. Charlie's dad suggested that we all go out for a drink after dinner since it was still early and Rob fell hook, line, and sinker. Nina did a great job arranging it all because he was surprised and ecstatic to see all of his friends there. He made the comment several times during the night that all of his favorite people were there and how great that was. Fun times!

Charlie's mom Jetta, his aunt Karen, and Me

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mountain Hydrangeas

My obsession with hydrangeas far exceeds any other that I might have (maps, pretty papers, parties, and dare I say Italy). Yesterday I popped into Central Market to grab some veggie corn dogs for my girls, which by the way, I can't seem to find anywhere!! Morningstar..what have you done with the only corn dog I feel somewhat good about letting my girls eat on an almost daily basis!! I I was in the frozen food section turned the corner and BAM! Right in front of me was this.....

I was left speechless. They are GORGEOUS! HUGE! And calling my name. If only I had a good excuse to buy buckets of them. I thought I was growing big beautiful hydrangeas at my house, but I am obviously not. They called them Mountain Hydrangeas. I would like to know what mountain they are getting them from...I just might plan a visit!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Soymilk...No more...

So today I poured the last little bit of the remaining soymilk in the house into Lauren's little sippy cup. We have successfully transitioned her to regular milk without any mishaps. She had been on soy formula until she was one and when I tried regular milk around her 1st did not go well. I was a bit nervous to try switching again, but once I saw how much she LOVES mac and cheese, pizza, and other products with milk in it...I thought we would be good. I slowly transitioned by mixing regular milk in with her soymilk more and more everytime so she could get used to the taste difference. I am so glad we are good with this now. No more special trips to get her milk (it was sooo much cheaper at Central Market) and no more taking a special stash with us every where we went. It was a routine that was getting old! I feel like my baby is growing up!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Speaking of Camping....

This is what Charlie and Sarah set out to do tonight!

Sarah has been dying to go camping all summer and we felt like this would be a good intro to the world of outdoor living. I know Charlie is loving the experience with his daughter, but I know he is out there melting right now. It is 9:00pm and it is still probably 90 degrees. We had a fun evening of swimming and having a hot dog party. Lauren and I will rest comfortable tonight in the cool house without the sounds of creepy crawlies and such. I bet they will be back inside before the night is through!

However, Sarah is on cloud 9. She made a list of everything she needed for the camp out. She is fully equipped with water, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, a book, stuffed animal, and her daddy! I hope she enjoys it!

Isn't it a perfect moon for such a night! is 10:15 and she just came inside crying, saying she wanted to go to sleep in her own bed. Poor baby! She gave it a good try!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Kind of Camping

One of the blogs I stalk on a daily basis, Southern Weddings, had a post that included this amazing place to vacation (or have a wedding). It is called the Paws Up resort in beautiful Montana.
I have never been to Montana but I have seen nothing but gorgeousness (if that is a word) come from this state. (And I am not just referring to all those beautiful Robert Redford movies).
This resort looks amazing. While it is a luxury resort, with luxury resort prices, it still is calling my name. I certainly am not adventurous enough to brave the Montana wilderness with the bears and such with out some protection. I love that this place gives you that outdoorsy feeling without having to really sacrifice much. I am especially in love with their Christmas package. It is a pricey one, but for 5 nights for 2 kids and 2 adults, meals, and all the fun activities (ice skating), it isn't really THAT bad. I am for sure putting this place on my "must go" list. I am so glad to have found out about it. Guess I better go start saving my pennies! Enjoy!

Doesn't this picture remind you of this:

I forgot how young Brad was in this movie. A River Runs Through It, 1992

Monday, August 3, 2009

My New Kitchen Toy

This is my new toy that I got for my birthday.

I don't make guacamole that often, but when I do, I like to serve it up in style.

Thanks to Martha, I have a great recipe for guacamole. I think it even rivals the guacamole I get at some of my favorite Mexican restaurants!

Guacamole (Serves 2-3) I usually double up on this one because it is so darn good!

1 ripe avocado
1 TBSP Cilantro (plus 2 tsp, finely chopped)
1 1/4 tsp jalapeno chili seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 TBSP white onion, finely chopped
3 TBSP tomato, finely chopped
1/2 tsp coarse salt (plus more for seasoning)

1. With a large mortar and pestle, mash onion, 1 TBSP cilantro, jalapeno, and salt, until smooth and juicy.
2. Add avocado, and mash slightly (avocado should remain somewhat chunky)
3. Stir in tomato and remaining 2 tsps of cilantro. Season with more salt, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 1.5 cups

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Holding down the Fort

I am in the middle of my work week. Yes, I know it is Saturday, but I have been left in charge of my in-laws shop, Le Petit Hameau, for a week while they are on vacation. I have 3 more shop days alone here with all these pretty things! I am so happy that they felt comfortable enough to leave me in charge of their "baby" while they left. It has been sort of a wet week, so I haven't seen a ton of people, but I am hoping things will get better as the weather improves. In case you are reading this and are nearby...may I entice you with this beauties......

They are hand painted nesting dolls from Russia. We just got them in about a week or so ago. I LOVE them. We have some that are very detailed and ornate with Russian folk tales painted on them, and others that are sweet little treasures that fit in any budget. You may remember from THIS POST that I have a fascination with little nesting dolls. I don't own any myself, except for my measuring cup kitchen set, but I am thinking my girls might just love for Santa to bring them a set this year for Christmas. What a sweet little family heirloom!

If you love these dolls as much as I do..check out this CUTE PARTY!
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