Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cupcake Party

This past weekend we helped celebrate a special friend's third birthday. Oma is still in town so she and Brinker relaxed at home and spent a few hours recouping from our blueberry adventures while the four of us headed back out. We had a party to attend!

There's really only one requirement for a birthday party according to Charlotte. Cake. This one though, had something even better: cupcake decorating. Charlotte pretty much owned it. Add in princess dress up, Dada chasing, a hot grill, and good friends and you've got yourself a great party!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Post Blueberry Post

Following our blueberry picking adventure we loaded our 44 pounds of blueberries into the car and headed to the hotel. A quick change of clothes, and a few minutes spent unloading and we headed out again.

We stayed in a cute town near the lake. It's the same town we stop in every year and we had been looking forward to letting Charlotte play in the water park for a bit before dinner. Unfortunately sometimes things don't go as planned. Case in point: The water park was out of water. No joke.
So instead we walked around browsing through toy boutiques and antique stores.

We had dinner, followed by ice cream and then ultimately collapsed into our hotel beds.

Troy and Charlotte took advantage of the hotel first think in the morning and then it was time to hunt down some pancakes.

This weekend is always one of my favorites during the year. Very thankful we had Oma along for the adventure this time.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Business of Blueberries

For the 3rd year in a row we collected our buckets, packed up our car and set off on a mini road trip north to Michigan. The goal? 40 pounds of blueberries.

Normally we walk away with 20ish pounds and a sense of satisfaction that we've picked enough. But then halfway through the year we wind up reaching into the freezer on an un suspecting Sunday morning to make blueberry pancakes to find that we've depleted our stash. So this year we're making it through. Hopefully.

We ended up picking 44 pounds....not including the 5 pounds Charlotte ate along the way. I joked that they should have weighed her before and after.

A few firsts this trip:

Grace's first trip to Michigan
Oma and Grace's first time picking blueberries
Charlotte's first time answering nature's nature.

Another successful blueberry trip in the books. Another page of memories filed away.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Peter Pan

Charlotte has been really into dramatic play this past year. It really took off when Frozen came out and has only gotten more dramatic since. Dressing up, acting out, making up story lines....she loves it all. So when we found out that a small youth theatre was putting on a performance of Peter Pan I thought it would be a great opportunity to expose Charlotte to live theatre.

Oma, Charlotte and I put on our best dresses and wore our "click" shoes. Charlotte took it one step further and wore a tiara. Oma and I left ours at home.

The play was great and the kids did a wonderful job in it. Peter Pan was played by a girl and Michael was played by a boy. It was refreshing to see those boundaries cast aside...especially in the eyes of a 3 year old.

Charlotte loved it. Absolutely loved it. Her favorite part was the crocodile played by a boy on a skateboard who would roll on his belly across the stage.

Great night. Already looking forward to the next play.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Birthday Brunch

Mom made the trip to town this week so the two of us spent the day in the city on Saturday. We cashed in massages we'd been saving up, and laughed at our boy band directions to and from the city.

Sunday we had birthday brunch on the patio. Homemade granola, blueberry muffins, and yogurt parfaits. Good eats, my favorite people and fantastic weather.

Tell me what more I could ask for.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grace Milestones

So many milestones these first 10 months. Smiling (always? Really. I can't remember a time this didn't happen), rolling over (8 weeks), crawling (7 months), pincer grasp (9 months), first foods (6 mos. Now we're eating all but eggs, pb, and honey!), first teeth (10 months) , standing up (10 months), and most recently first signs ("more": 10 1/2 months). First steps won't be long now. Such a bittersweet moment.

Troy and I are still battling for first word. Gently reminding Grace how to say "Mama" or "Dada" whenever we get the chance.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Makings of a Picture

I get asked occasionally how I capture good pictures of the girls. I'm sure when asked I ramble off an answer that has something to do half with luck and half with skill.
Sometimes the worst (photographically speaking - is that a word?) pictures are my favorites because I don't care so much about the lighting or the composition...some are all about the content and the memory they spark when I see them. I can recall smells, emotions and what the weather was like by looking at a picture.

Here's an honest look at one approach to capturing a moment. This particular one comes from Mr. Haigh who's philosophy is: "If I take enough shots at least one will turn out". He's right. He always gets one. And I'm grateful that he takes the camera away from me at times so I can be a part of the memory on paper. I'm working on helping him understand another philosophy "when I take 100 pictures of the same I should delete all photos that are bad or out of focus"...but these things take time.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dancing Room

We have a front room that we call "the akward room". It's where the front door enters the house and to date it has been used primarily for box storage. It houses one table with a record player, a retired ottoman turned dog bed, and a handful of records because the bulk of them are still packed away in our other box storage area (aka: the basement).

Naturally the akward room has become the dancing room. I'm happy to report it's getting it's fair share of face (foot?) time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Flower Power

Hydrangeas. But huge. 
Every time I see them I feel like I'm playing level 4 of Super Mario Bros. 3. You knnow, giant land. where everything is 100 times bigger than it should be? That's basically our front porch. It has been taken over by 80's video games....and a cute 3 year old. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th

For the last 7 years we've packed up chairs, blankets and food and made the half mile walk over to the lake where we would watch the Navy Pier fireworks from the Fullerton beach. This year though we would need a different plan seeing that it would take us approximately 5 hours to walk to the same spot.

As it turns out, our new little town doesn't do a fireworks show so a bit of Internet searching yielded a handful of options near us. We just picked one, loaded the blanket, girls and glow sticks into the car and went with it. Wow. We picked right. This was the best fireworks show we had ever seen. Even a live concert playing before and during the show. These were the kind of fireworks you could feel in your chest as they went off. Big. The whole show lasted about 25 minutes so it was quite a show. We had no idea what we'd been missing all these years.