A Fine Specimen

This is my husband. He is carrying our daughter in one arm and our nephew in another. And he's smiling. At me. I think he's a stunning representation of all that is right with the male species and I'm happy -- elated, ecstatic, enthralled -- that he's mine.
I love you, DRL.


A Walk in the Park

We took Elena to Fawn Doe Rosa (aka "Animal Zoo") last weekend. We met the Pounds family there, and walked around the park for a couple hours, letting the kids terrorize and feed various animals.  This is the closest Elena came to riding on a horse.

She sat on a saddle.  For 6.9 seconds. And then she cried and wanted to get down.

She crowed to the roosters.

Logan was brave, and rode a pony. Twice.

We saw a grizzly bear.

And a doe, a deer, a female deer.

A duck.

Elena attempted to gain access to the fawns.  Her plan was foiled by a pesky, good-for-nuthin' fence.  Fences always cause trouble for toddlers.

She fed a goat.  Or two, or three.  It took her awhile to learn how to give them the food instead of throwing kernels of corn at them.  She's an expert in subtlety already.

While her cousin had the courage to ride the pony, Elena was only brave enough to pet one.  And only while being held by mommy.
It was a good day.  A hot, sunny, fun day in the animal park known as Fawn Doe Rosa.  I used to go there as a girl myself, and it was fun to take my daughter to see the animals.  I was a little ashamed as she chased the roosters around taunting "cluck cluck chicken," but it was also funny to watch.  I guess it would have been worse had it been me doing the taunting.

But that is another story for another time.

Be good,


The Shower: Images

I mentioned that Saturday was my girlfriend Nadia's bridal shower, and I shared the photos of the women in her life.  Here are some more photos of the fun that was had, if not by all, by most.

There was food.  Most notably: Caprese.  Is there anything better than fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and bread?  

There was Nadia. In all her exquisite beauty.  And sauciness.

Words of wisdom were written on cards and then hung on branches. 
 (I now own a wedding stamp if anyone is ever in need of one).

There was Baklava.

There was intense conversation.
Over making a "bow"quet for the wedding rehearsal. 

There was even a wild game of "Pass the Banana." I think the photos demonstrate how it was played.

And of course, the wedding party was in attendance.  Well, a couple of them anyway!  The Maid of Honor, Kristin coordinated the event.

Along with Laura, the hostess and a bridesmaid.

The Ring
I played photographer and tried getting some fancy shots of Nadia's very fancy diamond.  I'd say Jeff ("the fiance") did a great job picking out the ring.  I think I did a pretty okay job photographing it, too.
I just love this picture. We perched the ring on Nadia's shirt and it turned out better than I imagined.  This is practically SOOC (straight out of camera).  I just sharpened and added a bit of contrast.

This one is SOOC.  Just look at the bokeh in this photo!! Glorious!

And in this one, too.  I just love how the ring seems to be playing a game of peek-a-boo.

That's news for now.  Be good to one another!


Strong Women

Today was my friend Nadia's bridal shower.  Nadia was my first friend when I first moved to what is now fondly referred to as "my hometown."  Her and I have souls that I think were kindred even in the womb.  I love her to death, as much as I would love a sister (if I had one), and am so proud of the woman she has become.

She really is every bit as beautiful as this picture. Her laughter is infectious, and all who have met her, though they may have thought she was loud, have come to love her boisterous personality and joy that is effervescent in all that she does.

This is Nadia's "Auntie Purple."  I learned just a few short years ago that she has a real name,  Aisha.  She is funny, and charming, and warm.  

This gorgeous woman is Aziza, another of Nadia's aunts.  Nadia lived with her while she was growing up, and we have many fond memories together.  French, Cous Cous, short jokes. One of my favorites involves me calling out a nickname that is a Moroccan slang word for a certain male anatomy.  Aziza laughed. Hysterically. I was 11, maybe 12, and I was mortified. 

And this...this is Khadija, Nadia's mother.  She is serene,  friendly, exquisite.  The love she has for her daughter is unmistakable, and the two of them together is a vision.  This photo only slightly does them justice.  I am so happy to have been a part of this family for as long as I have.  To have been so welcomed by their love is the most amazing gift.  

I can't believe it's been almost twenty years since Nadia and I first met, and I can't believe she is getting married.  I can't wait to take photos of her wedding-to capture the joy that her face expresses as only it can, and to capture the look in Khadija's eyes as she sees her daughter walk down the aisle.

I have goosebumps just thinking about it.

Congratulations dear friend.  I wish you all the best. I love you to pieces.



A New One

I've started on another quilt. One that is adult sized and large enough to cover (most of) me and (some of) DRL. It matches nothing in my house, and that's what I love about it. I picked the fabric becuase it looks nothing like what I would choose.

I really love this photo. The shadow on the bottom, obscuring the edge of the quilt. The bottle of nailpolish on the table. I love how the top part of the photo looks like it's slightly out of focus, and the very middle is sharp, and crisp. I'm not as good of a photographer as this picture lets on. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

I love the backing fabric. It's not even from the same line. The color doesn't match the front, nor does the style. And that's what I love about it. Just wait until you see the fabric for the binding. Chocolate brown with cream polk-a-dots. Who doesn't love polk-a-dots?
Crazy people, that's who.
Now, if only I can manage to find the time to actually quilt this thing already...


National Hot Dog Day

I'm not currently having a hot dog, and I have no plans that include hot dogs today, but, in honor of this very important day, I thought I should share this photo (courtesy of the internets). Talk about a hot dog down a hallway...
(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Happy Hot Dog Day,


Kid in the Fridge

Elena likes to stand inside the fridge and get whatever it is she wants to eat at the moment.  She has to stand there and browse around in an effort to find just the right snack. 

Hrm...Fruit? No. Cheese?  Not right now.  Applesauce? Maybe another time.  I think what I'm craving most is...

Cottage cheese? Yes.  Daddy, peeeease?  



Staples: Part Two

Saturday was DRL's 33rd birthday, and as such we had planned to spend the day rejoicing in his birth.  This usually entails me tending to the child, allowing DRL to chat with friends, drink beer, and be unburdened by a whiny needy adorable toddler.  It also involves a cake picked out by that very same toddler.  I was sickly most of the day, which I blame on the big mac I had for dinner on Friday night (see: Huge Mistake. McDonald's = bad), or the fact that I got around 3 hours of sleep.  Needless to say, this left my birthday husband running after the child for the better part of the day. He was a champ, though, and when asked how his birthday was, all he said was that he wished I would have felt better.  

Sweet, huh?
Even though I laid down most of the day, DRL got to play some mean rounds of beanbags. I think the mustache definitely added to his performance.  Saturday night was less eventful than Friday. I didn't bother with the tent, Elena went down at  9:00, like normal, and slept until 7:30 (like normal).  I was in bed by 11, though I wasn't asleep until after midnight since one of the most annoying Pounds boys decided fireworks -- really large, really loud fireworks -- were appropriate at 11:45 at night.  Don't worry, I went outside and filled them in on the ways of the (sleeping) world.

Before bed, Gramma Carol gave the kids popsicles, or "pikesicle" as Elena says.  They sat on the front stoop looking like an old time photograph.  For a brief moment, I thought it was 1972.  Except that I wasn't born yet, so I have no idea what 1972 looks like.  

We left Sunday at nap time so that Elena could take advantage of the boring car ride.  Less the sleep deprivation and sickness, it was a great weekend up north.  I'm excited for the next one.

I'm pretty sure DRL still had a great birthday, too.  Just look at him and his girl getting ready to blow out candles.  Minus the 'stache, is there anything better? 

I'm afraid not.



Staples. Part One.

I'm not referring to the office supply store, but rather the small town in Minnesota found here. DRL, Elena and I spent the weekend at a friend's cabin, I mean farm I mean property, and it's the first time we've been up there since before I got pregnant with Little One. I was a little petrified (read: terribly, horribly afraid) of how Elena would do sleeping somewhere other than home, as we have never vacationed overnight as a family.

Did I mention we were going to sleep in a tent? I didn't? Oh, silly me. We planned to sleep in a a tent.

Yes,  planned.

Elena and I ventured into our brand-spankin' new Coleman tent at about 10:30, already one solid hour past her bedtime. She rolled around for about 15 minutes trying to escape to the outside where three rambunctious boys were still playing in the dark. I managed to lull her to sleep by singing the ABC's over and over and over again until my voice was hoarse. Then I laid awake for three hours terrifed that the loose sleeping bag would fall over her face and suffocate her (yes, she is old enough to move a blanket off her own face). Then I started to get worried that she would get too cold (she is also old enough to wake up if she's too hot, too cold, too wet, or sick of laying next to her paranoid mother in a cold tent). And I kept hearing Terry Pound's voice cackle with laughter in the night, as he, DRL, and my brother-in-law Tony sat by the fire - a mere 50 feet from the door of my sleeping quarters.

At 1:30 am I thrust on my pants, grabbed my pillow and scurried into the house. I climbed up the most treachorous flight of stairs you've ever imagined and fell onto a lumpy futon. Elena barely stirred. I lay awake for another hour. Finally at 2:30 sleep was upon me.

At 3:something I was up listening to Terry snore.

At 4:something I was up again. I guess C-Pap machines are not on the list of things to pack when going away for a weekend (and sleeping in a room with others).

At 6:30 Elena was up for the day.


More later.....


Fighting For Susan

Take a look at Fat Cyclist's blog here and read the story of his wife's battle with breast cancer. I clicked the link and donated a few dollars to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in their name, as it is the least I can do.

I cannot fathom Susan's courage. Her tenacity, as Elden says, or her strength. I, like the fat cyclist himself, would find new ways to complain. I, too, would make it my hobby. And for that I am more than willing to donate some of my money to help Susan win her fight, and to help others fight their own battles, too.

If you can help, great. If not, then you'll have at the very least, read an amazing story of an amazing woman and her very loving, very helpful, incredibly amazing husband. And that is a victory in itself.

Happy Friday all. As Miz Booshay says,

Encourage one another.


The New Pixie

As evidenced by the photos below, I got a haircut yesterday. A pretty drastic haircut. I decided to channel my inner teenager and sport a throwback coif much akin to the one I had upon my high school graduation, now more than a decade ago (*gasp*).

I am happy to report that I pull the look off much better now in my late twenties, than I ever did in my teens.

I'm not quite sure that DRL is the biggest fan of the cut itself, but he is my biggest fan, and that's what counts.



Behind Drawer #1

Look at this photo and (besides the mess, the ridiculous amount of stuff on my counters, and horrible tile above the kitchen sink) tell me what you notice about it?  Does anything look strange?

Your eyes do not deceive you my friends, there is only one drawer in my entire kitchen.  A fact I failed to recognize prior to purchasing my very first home.  Upon further research, I've discovered that most people don't notice my utter lack of drawer space either.  This makes me feel mildly better about buying a home with a slightly defunct kitchen.  As far as practicality is concerned. 

I would like you, if you could, to fathom what life would be like if you had only one drawer in your own kitchen.  Where would you put your plastic bags and tinfoil? Your kitchen towels? Your rolling pin?  Your iPod headphones, memory cards, camera charger, spare keys, scotch tape, post-it notes? Where would you hide your (nearly) 2 year old daughter's "gockie" in a futile effort to de-pacifier her once and for all?

How would your counter breathe under all the stuff that can't go in a drawer?

Welcome to my nightmare.  If and when the market turns around, DRL and I will be doing one of two things: selling this "starter home" and getting into one with at least two kitchen drawers, or remodeling this kitchen and making it larger.  Much, much larger.  Full of drawers. And countertops. And cabinet space.  

The moral of my story?  Enjoy your junk drawer.  I wish I had one. It would be messy and wonderful. It would be mine, and I would love it.  And I would probably hide chocolate there, which I would find and eat in moments of frustration and sadness.  Moments such as this....

Now I'm hungry.