Saturday, March 30, 2013


He waited all winter for snow... and it never came.  Two days into spring through we awoke to this...
Confusion in the seasons is beautiful!

Ace wanted to build a snowman all winter and the snow this spring was perfect for it!

Dad stayed home from work for a while to play in the snow too!

After lots of fun it's time for warm oatmeal and hot apple cider!
Happy Spring, everyone!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Still Smiling

How do you say goodbye to someone that you've known for nearly a decade?   Who in the last two years impacted your life more in that short time than ever before...   Who in two years lived more life than some do in a lifetime...   Who never let cancer take her smile...  Today Katie is resting.  Katie is near the end of this ugly road she's been forced to walk.  Today when I went to see Katie, she still smiled. 
Cancer is ugly, it's mean, and it's ruthless and yet it still doesn't have control.   Katie decides and with that Katie wins.  We may never have a clear understanding of our purpose here.  However, we fortunate enough to know Katie and love her have been given the gift to see the impact and perhaps her very purpose on this earth - to show hope, love, grace, determination and most of all - the beautiful mother she's been to Kennedy.  Kennedy is Katie's heart, her love, her life and the part of her that will go on in this world.  Katie accomplished so much in her lifetime, but Kennedy was her most cherished accomplishment and a beautiful legacy.
Katie, as I said today - I love you.   I love that you 'stole' my wedding date and in turn 'gave me' an extra week of a honeymoon as a result... (After Loving Husband and I got engaged we picked August 7th, but then found out that Ryan and Katie were getting married that day and as a result we got married the weekend before and since LH was in their wedding - we had to delay our destination-honeymoon by a week, thus giving me an 'extra week' of a honeymoon stateside.)  I love that our girls play so well together.   I love that in these last two years we've become closer friends. 

Thank you for sharing your love, your story, your time with not only me - but everyone.   Thank you for being you.  Sometimes that meant being down right embarrassed and annoyed by your husband who is rocking out to karaoke at Dana's house.  To watching football sometimes more intently than the men in the room.   To always being generous whether at baby showers, birthdays, hosting parties, etc..   Thank you for the privilege to capture your memories this last year with Kennedy. 

May your final time on this earth be peaceful - may your goodbyes be all that you hoped and planned for them to be.   May your continue to never let cancer take your smile in this final stage, even if it's only on the inside.  It was beautiful today, my friend.  Go with God.

2008 at Ace's baby shower.  Not my finest, but I think Katie looks stunning.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rapidly Approaching 5...

It doesn't seem possible that my first born is registered for kindergarten - but it's true!   He will begin his journey in primary education.   He's already changed so much since his 4th birthday.   He's learning to read, he's writing more and able to copy just about anything.    He is learning to count to 100 and is pretty close to getting it down.   He has written out his numbers up to 66 without any assistance - he probably could continue on and get to 100 but he's been distracted by other parts of life!

Ace loves his Pre-K class and most days loves to go to school and see his friends.  Although every now and then he claims illness and doesn't want to go - but the fight is typically minimal.     He is for the most part a good kid in school, he has gotten into 'trouble' a couple of times for being too loud/wild but otherwise the report is that he is very thoughtful and kind.   Whenever I drop him off he is often very sweet saying "See you in a little while, Mom.  Have a good day!"  and followed by a big hug - that often if I am still in range he seeks to repeat and give me more. 

Ace is a bookworm in the making.  He loves storytime, books read to him, and he's venturing into reading on his own...ever so slowly.  Yes, Ace has completed two BOB books with minimal help from me and continues to love to be read to.  He is very much into listening to chapter books and loves the continued story aspect - although he doesn't always remember what happened previously but he appreciates the idea.   We have read: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (the first half so far),  Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web (just started this one) and I think his favorite thus far was: Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children.   

Mae and Ace get along pretty well and he is quick to forgive when Sister has wronged him.  "I forgive you, Sister."   Sometimes it's not the most enthusiastic forgiveness but he doesn't withhold it and they often quickly make up.    He has his moments of frustration that often result in tears when his sister is frustrating him to the brink - but generally he's a good sharer, kind and patient.   

Once Ace turned 4 he gained responsibilities and chores and he's been doing pretty good and often asks for more chores.  The chores that are consistently his are:  making his bed, clearing his place after a meal, brushing his teeth in the morning, and in recent weeks we've added in feeding Pixel.    He doesn't always do them without asking, but sometimes he does and it makes my heart smile at his willingness to help.   I love that he often asks for more chores.   It's sweet.

Ace loves to play outside, play video games, and most recently he loves to do Reading Eggs that helps with his learning to read.    It's great to watch him play and use his imagination.  My favorite is that he is always looking for flowers to give me - whenever he is outside.   He is just a sweet sweet boy.

Ace and his father have recently embarked on the discovery of Star Wars and introducing him into that world and he is always eager to do that with his dad.   At the moment he doesn't seem to have a favorite anything - he likes a handful of shows that stream on Netflix,  he loves to do school at home and learn new things, and loves for us to read to him.  

Summer is rapidly approaching and my boy will be five before I know it.   What will the next few years bring for us - I'm excited to find out!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dr. Seuss Food & Fun

Dr. Seuss is so much fun to read, bizarrely tongue-twisting, a whole world of adventure and weirdness!  I love it!    So on Dr. Seuss' Birthday this year (which happened to fall on a Saturday) I went all out on oddly themed Dr. Seuss food and drink!    To see my other post about Seuss-y School go here where there is another ideal for food there as well.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish:  
Pink Ink Drink!

I have a hard time choosing between three books of Dr. Seuss that are my favorite:  Ten Apples Up on Top,   One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and Green Eggs and Ham.   All have special memories for me - but I think if I must choose OFTFRFBF (now that's an acronym for sure!)  truly encompasses Dr. Seuss in a broad peek into the worlds he created.    Within it there is a Mink who drinks pink ink and so with a little food dye and some pink straws the kid's milk was transformed!   They loved it!  Mmmm ink!

Green Eggs and Ham:

Crack 6 eggs into a bowl and dump a whole lotta green food dye in.  Then scramble them up!   Ace was a bit bummed I didn't dye the ham, but he recovered quickly when the aforementioned drink emerged to accompany it.    After the kids were mostly through with their food - I brought out this book and we read through it.   (As a good tip, it's a motivator if the oddly colored eggs aren't a hit.)  In our house - I've never seen our kids gulp scrambled eggs down again.  I might dye food more often! 

The Cat in The Hat:
Jam Hat Pancakes!

When dinner rolled around it was time for some festive food again that was Seussical!  So I stirred up some more ink for them to drink and went to flipping some flap jacks in a smaller size.   Then to get a more precise size I broke out the biscuit cutters and cut them into one shape and then laid with strawberry jam.    They were a huge hit with Ace.  Mae.. just made herself sticky and needed an alternative.   "No like it!"

The Lorax:
Bath Time in the Truffula Forest

As Mae went onto consume something less Seussical for her dinner - I drew them a bath and was inspired by the foam circles that I had used for a previous polkadot themed bath they had a while back.   So I went to the craft room to find other foam and found some tree trunk material, clouds, and some orange and yellow and in 5 minutes cut up supplements for the forest.     Went and set that all up while the kids remained at the table and then when they were done let them see their new bath world.    They spent some of their time deforesting the walls and it was fun to talk about that.  During their bath I played the soundtrack from The Lorax.    They had a great time!

Bedtime was followed up by reading The Cat in the Hat, and we finished by reading OFTFRFBF. ;)   Ending our evening with the following:

"And now good night. It is time to sleep. 
So we will sleep with our pet Zeep. 
Today is gone. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one. 
Every day, from here to there,
funny things are everywhere."  
- Dr. Seuss
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

February in Photos

For being a short month, Feburary was packed full of photography and fun.    Yes from birthday parties (half and whole), a new(ish)born photoshoot, to more pictures of my friend Katie and her sweet daughter - February gave my camera a workout!   It was a good month!