Just Hanging Out

30 06 2011

When we got back to San Antonio, Scott had to head straight to Berkeley for school, so CJ and I stayed back to get some more warm weather and good company. We got to actually hand deliver PopPop’s Father’s Day card this year. How rare is that?

happy father's day to poppop and cott (his first!)

My sweet friend Jessica took a day off work to have some quality time hanging out. I honestly can’t remember the last time we got to visit like that. Maybe when we lived together in Dallas (2000/01)? We drove over to Comfort, TX to pick up lunch and visit Bending Branch Winery.

high's cafe in comfort

We stopped at High’s Cafe for an amazing lunch. I had the half crab cake sandwich and shared an oatmeal raisin cookie with my mom. Perfection.

carter hasn't learned the art of looking when asked

Let me say, Comfort has come a looooong way. It is SUCH a charming little downtown.

high's patio

If we had been in town for the 4th of July, I would have requested going there for the parade. Adorable and just so American (in the best way possible). Small businesses, slow moving streets, friendly people, comforting (pun intended – harhar).

downtown comfort

When we got to Bending Branch, Pam made friends immediately with Oreo. If Pam would ever stop petting Oreo, Oreo’s paw was on Pam’s knee immediately. This happened within seconds of us arriving. Pam is lovable.

mom, pam, oreo

CJ enjoyed hanging out in the heat. Once again, it really does not bother him and he seemed to enjoy being warm for once. He got very good at sipping out of his cups while we were there!

tasting the water - that edwards aquifer is ahhhhmazing

Jessica and I partook in the tasting menu. Their wines were fantastic. I look forward to their all Texas harvested wines soon!

thirty one years and counting, such a special friend

Meanwhile, Carter got loved on by Mimi & Nama. The boy might as well have a few grandmas, I had several moms. Makes sense!

loving on nama

He thought it was hilarious to look at the world upside down from Mimi’s lap. It’s his new game (that he is still playing). The trip out to Comfort just what the doctor ordered, so much fun! Thank you Jessica for taking the day off to spend it with us.

being silly with mimi

Back at home, CJ spent a lot of time learning how 2 year olds share (insert sarcasm). He adores his cousin piper (he actually adores all of his cousins). He stares at her all the time. I wish we could understand what was going on in his head.

watching praise baby with cousin p

It’s too bad this below picture is blurry. This was after Piper really warmed up to Carter. She realized he wasn’t out to steal all of her toys and that he is a pretty fun guy (she had blue eyes first). They enjoyed this little afternoon playtime together.

fixing piper's hair

Of course, playing in the front yard was in order. Somehow, during every trip to SA, we spend an afternoon or evening sitting in the front yard until we’re so hot we can’t take it. And of course, we ALWAYS take pictures.

hanging out with mimi and poppop

And entertain Piper in hopes of some smiles. We won.

whashe doin?

Carter got his first taste of a southern watermelon. Sweet and perfectly juicy.

southern grown wawamelon

I think he liked it!

its so goooood

He had to think about it though.

let's never go home, mom

We got some much needed relaxation during those few days at the house. Laying around watching tv, swimming, and playing. Feels like home.





Party at the Pool

30 06 2011

It’s always hard when I go home to get a visit in with everyone I want to see. So much family and so many friends. And all their kiddos. I’m so blessed to still have so many people to see and love in Texas. This go round, I decided to crash Mimi & PopPop’s backyard and throw a pool party for my SA friends and their little ones. It was complete insanity. But so much fun.

ryan and abby, both 4

It’s kind of hard to believe how big some of the little kids are getting. And that there are so many new ones here and on the way!

carlyle, 2

We sat on the deck and ate BBQ, watermelon and visited with everyone while watching the resident lifeguards take control of the pool.

jack walker, 5

Because we had some crazy kids on floating sharks and alligators.

henry 3, ryan 4

Apparently beer drinking is allowed during lifeguard duties. Times have changed since I was a QF lifeguard!

poppop old

Jessica was amazing. She was like the Schlitterbahn lifeguard one kid after the next jumping into her arms. Over. And over again.

ryan and his mama

Casey was the amazing kitchen friend who enjoyed watching the wacky kids and crazed parents chasing wacky kids.

casey marie, chef extraordinaire

Piper decided to hang in the baby pool. The big kids pool was a little too wild for her refined tastes.

piper, 2

Ha.

excited piper

Pam & Mom enjoyed seeing all the grandkids run wild. And not having on their suits so they didn’t have to play Schlitterbahn lifeguard.

nama and mimi

Piper wasn’t so sure about Sam joining her in her private pool. I think she gave in and let the boy in eventually. He’s pretty charming.

can i come visit the little pool, piper?

We have three jumping stations going on here. And only two adults in the pool. Jessica was good enough to play the role of two.

jumping insanity!

Carter just needed to pretend to drink his water and soak up that texas heat and love from his momma’s friends.

taking it all in

We attempted a group photo with all the kids. Only one was missing as she was taking a nap. Looks like mine might have needed a nap, he was unimpressed.

he's outta there

Or just really sad he was the only one without a cookie. Cousin Abby kindly shared.

ah, that first bite of sugar

Yep! He had his first taste of chocolate chip cookie. I took this picture as I was running to swat it out of Abby’s hand. I’m amazed it turned out so well. Poor Abby was just being a sweet girl and sharing her cookie with the only boy who didn’t get one. Carter’s one lucky guy to have such a caring cousin.

The day was a blast. We all said we should make it an annual party. Who’s hosting next time? We’ll be there with bells on!!!





Life’s A Beach

29 06 2011

After the wedding, the lpod packed up and headed down to Corpus Christi to see Scott’s family. CJ got his first taste of a warm beach (Seattle beaches in February do not count, sorry). He loved every second of it! First things, first though. Gotta get some hugs and kisses from Grammy.

hanging out with grammy at the beach

And what in the world is cousin Maddie doing? That looks like fun. He can’t wait to be a big kid and do that!!

watching brave cousin maddie take the waves

He just enjoyed sitting on the beach watching her catch the waves.

loving the sun

And kicked his feet nonstop in the sand. I’m sure he got some nice exfoliation on his heels.

the waves are funny

Cousin Maddie helped him figure out how to dig in the sand and build sand castles.

learning the essential skill of sand digging

Most of all, I think he really loved the feel of hot, humid, salty air. I know I did. The weather was perfect down there.

exfoliating

We went to a big Father’s Day dinner at Virginia’s on the Bay. It’s just over at the ferry. Which Scott and I rode at Christmas. As a kid, I thought that was SO amazing. And huge. And the longest ride ever. And then I moved to Washington State.

christian, grammy, gramps, brian, maddie, cott

We spent the rest of our time hanging out at Grammy & Gramps’ place.

who keeps kissing my neck?

Where CJ got a new piano, a dump truck, and the coolest shape sorter! He loves all of his new toys.

i love my piano, grammy!

Playing some pre-dinner tunes for everyone.

afternoon chilling with grammy and gramps

An almost full family shot. We were missing Amy & her family – they had to head out for Stewart’s birthday celebration a little early. Next time we’ll be sure to get the whole fam!

almost the whole clan

Super fun trip to Corpus! Now back to San Antonio for some fun with my childhood friends!





They Do

28 06 2011

I’m finally back! I’ve gotten my act together and sorted through a couple thousand pictures and tried to recreate two weeks in Texas (or what I remember of it…feels like an eon ago). The main reason we went down was to celebrate my cousin Nathan’s marriage to Jenna. They are precious highschool sweethearts who survived a long distance relationship through undergrad and are now embarking on life’s next big journey. We went to the rehearsal dinner, where we heard some funny and sweet stories of Nathan & Jenna’s love. And ate great Mexican food.

the lpods - date night?

The reception was held at the Stables in the old Pearl Brewery in San Antonio. They’ve done a beautiful job using an old space from a brewery long since gone from San Antonio. We got some great time to visit with family before entering the beautiful party.

sue, poppop (joe), louie, mimi (martha), sue (louie's wife)

The decorations were stunning. I wanted to spend an hour studying the various flowers used in all the arrangements.

the head table

But then I would have been “that girl” at the wedding everyone was talking about the next day. Regardless, the flowers were exquisite and abundant.

the lovely floral arrangements everywhere

Bill and Wilma made the long drive in from North Carolina to celebrate the happy couple. It was wonderful to visit with them over the couple of days…it’s a rare occasion that we get to see them!

bill and wilma

Cousin Shelli was also there. We got to sit with her at the reception and enjoy hearing stories about her days (er…nights) in the ER and travel adventures with her friends.

mel and shelli

Her dad Robert & his wife Brenda sat at the table next to us, so we could make fun of him without him hearing us. Uncle Robert is currently recovering from Leukemia and recently had a stem cell transplant from his brother, the father of the groom. He could use your prayers right now as his blood counts did not come back great on his last scan.

brenda & robert

Aunt Sue and Uncle Louie even made it up from Uvalde. Note: this picture is so civilized!

sue and (calm, quiet) louie

Uncle Louie cut a rug with another Sue (my mom’s sister) a few times during the reception. They are better dancers than I.

(wild, crazy) louie & (wild, crazy) shue

Aren’t they cute? All the brothers and sisters.

so charming, aren't they?

They aren’t really that rude. They were being silly and recreating the below picture. Old people know how to have fun too (heh)!

ok. they are actually cute there.

The parents of the groom rocked out on the dance floor all night. They were busy bees and really enjoyed celebrating the wedding. How could you not enjoy it? They raised a great kid who married a lovely woman.

joyce & dick - the parents of the groom

Whoa! A picture was even captured of the bride and groom. And an unidentified pregnant lady *smirk*.

the bride and groom. and mel. 🙂

Best wishes to them for a happy and healthy marriage. It is a fun journey that certainly got off to a fun start! Cheers!





Christmas 2010

29 12 2010

What do you call two people who make plans to take a 2 1/2 month old baby on a tour of Texas for two weeks? Wait a minute. Did I just hear you call me dumb? I was gonna say “new parents…” but whatever.

We did our annual trek to Texas for Christmas and decided we needed it to last two weeks this year. It was rough in the sleep department, that’s for sure. We went from a blissful 10-11 hour night to a h.e.double.hockeysticks-ish waking every 2-3 hours for three weeks! It was brutal. But worth it. It was fun to visit with so many family members. It is truly amazing how hard it is to pack it in when we are in town. We still never manage to see everyone we want to see.

We got to go see Grandma in Fredericksburg (fredburger). It’s special that Carter had an opportunity to meet his only living Great Grandparent, so many kids don’t get that chance.

four generations

Grandma couldn’t keep her eyes off the kid. She kept asking his name and when I would tell her Carter Joseph she would tell me all about her son named Joseph while her eyes welled up with tears. 🙂 I’m so glad we went for her Christmas celebration.

surprise! there's finally a boy on joe's side!

mother and son

After Christmas dinner was over, we hung out in Grandma’s room for a little while and looked at all of the pictures of family.

aunt nancy, grandma, joe, carter joe

We also took CJ down to the riverwalk. Mom, Dad, Scott and I walked from the Pearl Brewery (went to the fun farmers market down there) all the way to the riverwalk and back. In knee high boots. Awesome. My toes still hurt.

mimi, popop, and their boy

One of the days we decided to go to the Bass Pro Shop to see Santa (he was an awesome Santa). Carter put on his “Christmas Dress,” (a smocked bubble suit, Scott’s favorite choice I’ve made for the kid) and green tennies for the picture. He didn’t seem to mind. He usually will not object to someone warm and wearing something fuzzy holding him. Especially if they have some lumpy, soft parts (like his mom).

carter and his first santa pic

Piper, on the other hand? You would think Santa was chasing after her with a hatchett based on that reaction. It was infectious because Katie got in on the terror within seconds. Abby was just a little uncomfortable with her younger relatives’ behavior and awkwardly smiled while noting to herself that she was the only well behaved grandkid. Maybe she could use this to her advantage? Really she was probably just wondering if she could hold CJ any time soon.

dramedy

Abby got ahead of us after the Santa shoot, we walked around the corner to find her in a fake shooting range with her little pink beebee gun. She couldn’t quite figure it out (probably a good thing), but had fun with the concept of the targets and lights.

you'll shoot your eye out

Abby got a little one on one time with her newest cousin. She really is great at holding him!

carter tellin' abby stories

One of Piper’s Christmas gifts was a little trike. An old school schwinn with a pedestal on the back for a 2nd kid to ride. Well. Katie decided she was the head driver that night. She got on the trike and screamed like a banshee for a minute straight. It was hilarious. And of course, Abby was in the mix of it all.

katie: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! mine!

Piper decided that maybe she should step back and let her cousins go crazy.

piper: actually, guys? i think it's mine.

But took control of the situation and got her little seat to herself finally. The fun is only beginning with those three. They’re hilarious. I’ll have to pull some of the video footage of the “show” they put on for us that evening.

now what do i do?

With all the mayhem going on, CJ needed a few quiet moments. His sweet great aunt Sue helped him with that. She’s a baby whisperer. She can love on those kids well!

aunt shue calming the kiddo down

Katie finally started saying Carter’s name on the last day we were there. She loves her cousin too. She even put her little arm around “Codah” when Mimi was hanging on to them both.

mimi, katie bug, and cj

The second half of our trip was in Corpus visiting Scott’s family. CJ got a lot more time with his grammy & gramps. Like I said, he will never complain if someone wants to hold him. He LOVES to snuggle.

cj and grammy

tanner and devon

And hang out in the recliner watching football (well, he’s not supposed to watch football, but that kid can crane his neck into some seriously painful looking positions to try to catch a glimpse of the tv).

hanging out with gramps

He’ll even play light as a feather, stiff as a board while sleeping.

all swaddled up and ready for bed

On one brief afternoon, we took him down to the beach in Port Aransas. It was cold. He hates hats. HATES hats. Lots of screaming ensued. He was not impressed with our trip to the beach. Cool pic though.

dad. pleeeeeeeeeeeease take me back inside.





Frequent Flyer Miles

22 11 2010

Most of you know Scott and I traveled on business for many years. Between the two of us we had close to 1,000,000 miles before we were married. We really want CJ to start earning his own as well. I mean, a kid’s gotta earn his travels, right? Ok, fine. Not quite yet.

Carter and I flew to Texas when he was 6 weeks old. I wanted to take advantage of my leave and see family and attend a dear friend’s wedding. It was slightly terrifying to travel alone with a 6 week old, but we survived. He did really well, actually! He slept most of the way there and only cried when he got bonked on the head with an armrest (my first entry in the ‘mom of the year’ contest). Twice (does that make two entries?).

The first night we were there, sweet Jessica pulled together a group of amazing women to come meet Carter. It was a blast to see everyone in one place!

carter joe, pam, sam

one of my oldest friends, sweet jessica

Reid made a brief appearance. Is he not a dead ringer for his mom? They even have the exact same hair texture. He’s a doll and has the same bubbly personality as Al.

reidsta and sweet al, my college roomie

We took a quick picture of the boys on the couch. Ryan was super thrilled to be a part of it.

ryan, cj, and reid

We were all laughing so hard at mr. toe picker. Reid played along. Carter just hoped he didn’t fall over.

amusing

I’ve known almost all of these women since I was 3 years old. I think it’s incredible that they came to meet CJ and visit with us. We’re blessed to have such special moms!

my mom #2

sandy and cynde

Sharla had to work, so she came over to Jessica’s to meet Carter for the first time. The 4 of us got some quality time together on the floor. It is one of my favorite memories of 2010. Thank you Jessica for pulling together such a fun gathering!!

three generations

The next day, Abby & Katie got to meet Carter. Abby’s first question used to be “Where’s Cott?”. Her new first (and repeated) question is now “Can I hold CJ?”.

carter meets his cousins

His cousins just wanted to love on him the whole weekend.

so sweet

Abby got her wish. She’s so gentle with him. It must be all the practice with her dolls.

can i hold cj?

We tried to get a picture of the grandkids for my mom’s Christmas card. Yeah. Impossible. Carter looks exasperated at his female cousins.

katie's expression is priceless. so is piper's.

We also got to have lunch with Scott’s family. Carter got a chance to meet his Grammy, cousins, aunt and uncle!

hugging grammy

I’d say Grammy was pretty happy.

grammy and her grandkids

There’s someone missing from this picture! We had a great time at lunch, how great that it is so easy to get together when we’re in Texas.

missing scott

We’ll be blazing that road (jet stream?) between Seattle and Texas quite often in the near future, what a great little flyer we have on our hands.





October Wrap Up!

9 11 2009

October was one of those months that just didn’t stop. November is turning out to be just like that. But, I’ll pause. I’ll update. I’ll read. And you’ll get to see a little peek of what we did in October. Sit in, grab some popcorn, a diet coke, and hang on…it’s a long post!

The month started with a girls trip to Vancouver, BC for my friend Jessica. A big group of girls drove across the border for a fun day of shopping, eating and a little night life. The only trouble we managed to get in was bringing some plums with us. Of course, honest Abe that I am, I declared them at the border which turned into a hilarious drama that made even the border agent laugh. If you’ve ever crossed the US|Canada border by car, you know…they do not laugh. They do not smile. They do not even acknowledge that you answer their questions (that they repeat to see if you get rattled). It’s their job, I get it. But I always want to see them smile. We accomplished that task.

It’s hard not to smile at 5 goofy girls piled into a SUV going for a “bachelorette party” in Canada who declare plums, a bottle of champagne and cheese at the border. He made arrangements for us to drop the plums off with another agent just up the road. One of our car mates got sad at the thought of tossing said contraband, so she chowed down on the plum right there in front of the agent. Where he just busted out laughing. The bride, full of the giggles, subsequently told him the only “weapons” we had were here fists (that is on par with joking about bad things in an airport…a big no no). He laughed again. Everyone realized we were one move short of being fully searched, derailing our plans to shop our afternoon away on Robson Street, so we got quiet and moved along. CRACKING UP as soon as we handed off our fruit and officially crossed the border. Good times.

The only picture I managed to snap was from our hotel room before heading out to dinner that evening.

001_Nov09

vancouver sunset from the hotel room window

The next weekend, we headed with Cara and Clint to the farm where they work during the summer. Seattle has a lot of Community Supported Agriculture, where regular old people get to learn about farming, help out, and get a share of beautiful local produce. Cara & Clint were lucky enough to get in on one at one of the best farms in the area. Jubilee!

002_Nov09

jubilee - a biodynamic farm

Their cash crop is pumpkins and they host a fall festival every weekend in October. Tons of people come out to the farm to check out the festivities. And the pigs.

003_Nov09

piglet not so small

Inside one of the shelters, they had to move in the squash due to a “killing freeze.” This whole shelter was chock full of tons of squash.

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butternut squash beauty

Of course. The boys had to find the biggest one in the shelter.

005_Nov09

clint's smile makes me laugh

C&C took us on a tour of the farm. We walked out into the crops. Most have been harvested, but some still remained. It was a beautiful chilly fall morning.

006_Nov09

foothills, fog, changed trees, and a crop that i can't identify (bad gardener)

Some of the cabbage heads weren’t big enough to be harvested the week before, so they stayed for a later harvest. This head of cabbage was like 12″ in diameter to give you context of how large they were!

007_Nov09

reminds me of little shop of horrors

Some of the surrounding farms come out to participate in the festival. They bring ponies for the kids to ride, tractors for hay rides and even Clydesdale horses for a different hay ride!

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that's a small pony, not a giant kid

The highlight of the festival is the punkin chunkin. Scott & Clint were all too excited to make it happen. They went to find some less attractive pumpkins to launch on the trebuchet!

009_Nov09

kids at heart

They gather up some people to help pull back the weight for the chunkin.

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crowd pulling the 2 ton weight back to set up for the chunkin

Clint and the owner of the farm are fixing everything up (notice my lack of technical terms).

011_Nov09

clint trying to keep all digits and his head while rigging the trebuchet

Once the weight gets let go, the giant box (with a 2,000 lb block of concrete in it) comes down and the top swings up (you can barely see in the top left a basket that has a pumpkin in it).

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action shot!

It launches that pumpkin really, really far.

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flying pumpkin

You can see the orange blob to the right of the trailer as it makes it’s descent…

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descent - please put your seat backs and tray tables up

…and then it splats. Usually the kids take off on a dead run to get the chunks of pumpkin and run it to the pig pen to feed those piggies.

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kerplunk (run kid with the red hood, run!)

The farm was so much fun, we also came home with a giant bundle of produce and some pumpkin butter. We had such a great time, thanks C&C!

The next weekend we traveled to San Antonio with our friends Myron & Liz, Mike & Becky (Liz’s Parents) & Todd (whose bride, Jessica was back at home preparing for the wedding the next weekend). We were invited to SA for the Washington State v. Notre Dame football game. Myron went to ND, Liz went to WSU. They are married. It was fun. 🙂

Before the game, we headed to the WSU Alumni party just outside the Alamodome. It was HOT (78°)!

016_Nov09

todd, myron, liz, scott, kim @ alamodome

The game was really fun. The ND band is awesome. We were on the WSU side, so you can’t read that, but it says “Irish.”

017_Nov09

hsiri

We even procured (well, Liz’s parents procured) sideline passes. We took turns going down to the sidelines taking in the views. You see the two guys super excited to be down there? Liz’s dad and Todd. I think they had fun (they are both WSU alum).

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mike & todd sideline rookies

At half time, ND played “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and made the shape of Texas. So cool!

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the stars at night,are big and bright (clap clap clap clap)

Liz and I went down to the sideline in the middle of the 4th quarter after the Irish had pretty much secured their win. We got to see both teams score a touchdown while down there though!

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action shot - wsu was on the way to scoring here

Those guys aren’t small.

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one final touchdown for those far travelin coogs

Mike & Becky, THANK YOU for the tickets and the fun memories of hanging out on the Riverwalk with everyone, what a great way to show off my home town! 🙂

Next up: Ballerinas, Ducks, and Ladybugs.