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30 08 2010

No, I’m not twittering. I’ve just officially gotten the bug. I’m nesting. Oh my goodness, I want to clean, declutter, and scrub every last inch of this house. Poor Scott. This last weekend was an all out assault on the garage. I mean, how am I supposed to cart the little baby into a cluttered garage to go run errands with me? Yeah. I’ve lost it.

The garage is one of those spaces in the house that has been a dumping ground for our lack of storage in the house and has never been organized since we moved in. It just keeps collecting there so we don’t have to look at it.

just enough room to squeeze in a car

As you can see, we got rid of a lot of clutter that we intended to toss or give to goodwill a long time ago. We consolidated a bunch of the stuff that was on floors into the shelves and drawers we already had available. Scott enjoyed using my label maker (thanks, Sharla!!) to label each of his tool chest’s drawers. A few more of the items that are laying on the ground will be hung from the ceiling to keep stuff up off the floor, but for now we feel so organized. We’re TOTALLY ready for baby now, right? Right. ūüôā¬†

ahhhh, room to breathe

I’ll be honest. Most of this was spurred by the fact that I want a second fridge. I feel cluttered in my one fridge. I get these little obsessions and I can’t let go until¬†they happen. I now have mountains of laundry sitting on the floor of the nursery waiting to be cleaned. On to the next little nesting project, I suppose (I have a hankering for the drawers and cabinets in my bathroom and kitchen too).

Nectarine Cake

24 08 2010

This is gonna blow a few of you away. I am from south central texas, I should LOVE peaches. But guess what? I don’t love peaches. The fuzz just does me in and makes my tongue feel icky. Enough so that I can’t see past it to truly enjoy the sweetness of that perfect musky¬†fruit. I’m fortunate that God invented nectarines. Yes, they are a little more tart than a peach, but that smooth skin makes them the perfect summer fruit to me. I did a little digging for what I could do with some nectarines and decided to give this recipe a try, it was suuuuuuuper tasty! I will make it a couple more times before summer’s end.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1¬†Tablespoon¬†Turbinado¬†sugar, for sprinkling on top of cake (i¬†actually¬†used baker’s sugar crystals¬†because I didn’t have turbinado)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 nectarines, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat¬†oven to 350¬įF with rack in middle. Lightly oil 9″¬†springform pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in extract. At a low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. Spread batter evenly in pan, then scatter nectarines over top. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top.

ready for the oven

Bake until cake is golden-brown and top is firm but tender when lightly touched (cake will rise over fruit), 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool.

no peach fuzz in my cake

I loved it on it’s own, it’s a little savory with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Scott said it would have been perfect warm with some vanilla bean ice cream. Regardless, it’s a hit in this house! Yum.

Showering Little Lpod

22 08 2010

Mom, Mel & Piper had come up for a shower for baby Lpod which we attended on Sunday. We got all prettied up and headed out to the shower.

four ladies all dolled up

Where we found a beautiful fauxmosa bar with fresh fruit to garnish the mocktails.

mocktail bar

Stunning hydrangeas (my favorite flower), and an amazing array of food.

these came out of jana's garden

Piper served as a form of entertainment for the afternoon. I believe in this picture below she was pretending to pick stuff off the chair (there was absolutely nothing on the chair) and eat it. She would put it in her mouth and say “mmmmm.”

mmmm. this fake snack is wonderful.

Look at those little bloomers. Too cute.

cutest little bootie

She was also very helpful in opening baby Lpod’s gifts. She actually was pretty disinterested most of the time, but I opened this laptop (how perfect is the laptop for him given his parents?) she hauled over and grabbed it from me.

poor baby lpod, he doesn't stand a chance with his cousins

Thank you to Jessica & Jana for the lovely shower. It was such a relaxing afternoon and we felt honored by our friends and family. Thank you for such a beautiful set up, you always do too much!

lovely hostesses! jessica - due sep12; me - due sep23; jana - due nov7

Ehplains, Boats, and Balls, Oh My!

20 08 2010

A big heat wave hit Seattle while our visitors were here. Funny how that happens. We set records when all you Texans came up for our wedding and we had 4 days of 90¬į and higher temps when you all came back. Interesting. ūüôā We decided to take advantage of the heat and hit the lake. This was Piper’s first trip on a boat. I’m not sure she was too keen on it at first. She fussed for a second when we put on the life jacket, but got over it. She sat very stiff for a long time like the below picture. Just in my lap stiff as a board, only moving her eyes.

what are you people doing to me?

Then I handed her off to her momma and Mimi. She loosened up a little. Kind of.

seriously. this thing is uncomfortable. and why is there no car seat?

And then we started moving (7 knots) and she started saying “wheeeeeeeeeeeee” in this really soft voice. It made us all laugh, so she laughed with us.

ok. this is ... wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ... fun.

We took the long way to Lake Washington and cruised the houseboats of Lake Union (as per usual with all of our precious, delicate cargo these days). All of the adults were wowed at the parking job of the big ole yacht between the two houses. Mimi or Melissa said “Holy Moly!!” and Piper repeated “Holy Moly!!!” over and over again. We tried to get it on video, but she was on to us.

holy moly parking job

Of course, Lake Union has the Kenmore Air landing strip, so there were tons and tons of ehplains ehplains ehplains to be seen. Piper has some excellent hearing and vision. Before any of us even knew what was going on she had spotted the airplanes and would tell us about them. I think she liked seeing the float planes so close up.

ehplain ehplain ehplain

She was very snuggly with her mom on this trip. I like to think that she was having so much fun that she was thanking her momma for bringing her to Seattle with lots of hugs and kisses. ūüôā

lucky daughter, lucky momma

We even got her to wear her sunglasses for a little bit. She juts out her chin to try to hold them on.

cool kid

She looks like a Seattle girl to me, she knows how to appreciate that sunshine.

o my goodness, i love seattle!

We floated past Bill Gates’ house. Most of it is underground, but it’s a very large compound with several houses on the property. I like how low profile it is, quite beautiful!

maybe we can make this the family compound?

I’d say this girl was over her discomfort within a few minutes of boating. By this point, she was holding on to the Bimini top and checking out the world around her. She was singing quietly or calling out the¬†ehplains¬†the whole way around the lake.

let's rename this lake to piper's lake

More hugs for momma.

sweet moments

On the way back to the slip, we pulled off at the public docks at Ivar’s for some fish and chips. Once again pushing this little girl’s limits and she just went with it. I hope baby Lpod was taking lessons.

fish and chips at ivar's

We finished dinner and made way for the slip, I’d say Piper was pretty comfortable on the boat and with the life jacket by then, huh?

im the king of the world!

We caught a glimpse of the sun dropping behind the Olympic Mountains on our way back in. It was a perfect day!

august sunset over the olympics

I hope we’ll get to take the other cousins on a boat ride some time in the near future. They were sorely missed. Next time, ok? PopPop, you need to come check out your old friend Hot Water to make sure we’re taking good care of it.

Summer Streets

19 08 2010

Melissa, Piper, and Mimi came up to Seattle last weekend for a quick visit. We had so much fun. It’s not easy to get to Seattle in the summer. It’s a lot more expensive if you are paying and the flights are significantly fuller if you are flying on a pass, making every single flight one of those “I guess I could be sleeping in El Paso for two nights” kind of flights. I grew up flying that way. It’s not fun. The only time that was fun was when we were stuck in San Francisco trying to get out to Honolulu. But really? We were all a little stressed about when we would get to Honolulu to truly enjoy SFO (not to mention I got a wickedly huge splinter in my foot from walking on a log on a freezing cold beach in SFO). I was 12, I remember it well. I even remember what I was wearing the day I got the splinter. Flying that way was actually was a lot of fun. I’m a master at plotting routes around the country and I understand the airline business well. My husband loathes it – I still feel like I need to be at the airport more than 2 hours before the flight is scheduled to depart. This drives him absolutely bananas.

As I began weaving you through my travels as a child, I forgot I was telling you about a visit from part of my family.
*focus, focus, focus*
What I was trying to say by telling you how hard it is to get to Seattle was to articulate how much it meant to me that they made it up here. Summer is fun in Seattle and we get a few rare visitors that time of year. So thanks ladies for making it happen, baby Lpod, Cott and I loved it!

On Friday during the day, we ladies did a little shopping. Poor Piper was still pretty off kilter from the all day travel the day before and the 2 hour time difference, so we got her home for a good, long nap. That evening, our neighborhood had “Summer Streets” where the city of Seattle shuts down a major street to all motor traffic and the businesses stay open late, sponsor artists, have food tastings, art showings, etc. It’s always a neat community feel and fun to get out in the neighborhood. We loaded Piper up in the BOB (check it out Carolyn, Cindy, Janet & Pam!!!) and walked over to the neighborhoods major “retail core” to check out the festivities.

testing out the bob

There were many performing artists participating while we were out there.

some strings for our walk

We got there early with the stroller brigade. As we were walking back toward home, the streets were really filling up. This year’s went all the way into one of our sister neighborhoods and was a little over a mile long.

listening to a live singer and hanging out on the curb

At one point, I was wondering if “torturing cats” was one of the arts on display out here, but then turned to find this little boy marching with a clarinet making an awful racket. It made us laugh really hard. I like that he chose the Better Hearing Center for his choice of business to torture. I hope no one discovered their hearing aid was turned too loud during his performance.

boy disrupting pleasant live music

We made it home, happy baby in tact and ready for bed.

just missing mimi

But not before we got some giggles for Uncle Cott. He’s so silly.