Thursday, June 30, 2011

Off to Baltimore!

In case you've wondered why the blog was so silent this week...we've been living out of our suitcases!

We took off last week Tuesday, very early in the morning, for the airport.  We have a 3 hour drive before we even really get started traveling and sadly it was too early for Noah, who threw up a little of his breakfast on a windy part of the road.  I really hope this isn't a pattern for the future!

Burning off some energy in the really cool playroom in the Seattle airport before boarding for our 9 1/2 hour flight...

It was like a mini soft plasticized airport scene...

Our flight took us from Seattle to Reno to Vegas to Baltimore, but we did have some really nice scenery along the way and the boys loved looking out the window.

Mt. St. Helens

I don't do pictures, Mom.

Highlight of the trip for Cory... while we were in Vegas waiting for the passengers to board the cockpit door was open and I took Cory to say hi.  The pilot invited him in and let him check out how the steering column worked.

Noah loved looking out the windows and watching the other planes.  He did fine with everything (other than being fussy for being confined for so long!), but Cory was a little scared by the takeoffs, especially the first time.  After 3 on each leg of the trip though, he was mostly a pro.

Flying over the Grand Canyon!
And really, I looked about 20 minutes later and we were still flying over it. So huge!

We arrived in Baltimore at 1am and after getting the rental car and driving into the city it was 3am by the time we went to bed.  A very long day, but not too bad otherwise!

Next, fun times with family!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Thinkers

This was from our first day in Baltimore at the art museum just up the street.  Grandpa and Cory imitating the statue. Aunt Allison took this on her phone and emailed it to me as I was helping Noah nap.  More stories and pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: King Kong

My little climber decided the car garage was a good thing to be on top of... he totally reminded me of King Kong.  And yes, he climbs EVERYTHING now... yikes!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nana's Little Helper

Did I mention we had a garage sale at my parent's house?  Oh yeah, I did.  So we spent the better part of 3 days up there going through old things, but after it was all done the best part was the grandkids.  Right mom? =)

So here's Noah helping my mom move the washed clothes to the dryer.

He's very serious about this job!

Getting his whole body into it!

I'm doing a good job Mama!
(he was going back and forth, back and forth, he did the whole load!)

And when you clap for me I clap too!

I'm a big helper!

Did we get them all?

Good job Noah!  All done!

He will now clap for anything when he thinks he's done a good job.  I brought home some groceries and Brian put most of them away and then there was a new box of wipes packages open on the floor.  So he was carefully taking one out and taking them over by the fridge, dropping them on the floor, clapping for himself and going to get another one.  We were cracking up because he was "helping".

Oh, and earlier while we weren't watching Noah carefully enough my dad went out in the dining room and found him DANCING on TOP of the table!  There is this bear that sings and dances while you push it's paw and he climbed up to get to it and dance along.


Friday, June 17, 2011


Home is people and memories and feeling comfortable in your own skin.  It's familiarity and history and (usually) knowing what to expect.

Me - 4 months (1980)

Home is in Oregon and Washington, but also in Wyoming and Costa Rica.  Home is places I've never been because I have friends who live there that are home.

2 years - 1982

Home is relaxing and comforting.  Staying up too late and never getting through all the things you want to in one day.

1984 - where I think Noah looks like my brother
(maybe it's just the hair!)

Home is the scents and sounds and textures from times gone by that all come rushing back in a moment when you didn't even realize they were missing or you'd forgotten them.

Home is where the people are.

1988 - Where I think Cory looks like my brother
We are definitely in the 80's style here... yikes!

This week I've been going through things at my parent's house for a garage sale and general clean up and came across an old photo album. It was a collection of portraits that had been sent to my grandparents over the years and we got back after they passed away.

This is a post prompt from The Gypsy Mama. Join in?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas in June?

It's June.  This is my Christmas cactus.

When Noah started pulling them all off the 4 foot shelf of the plant stand they got moved out to the laundry room.  I guess they really weren't getting enough light in the living room and the sudden change made them think it was time to bloom.  I have another one covered with hot pink blooms out there too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blogger Meet-Up - SMCSeattle

In the world of blogging this is very old news... but last week I had the opportunity to pick up two lovely bloggers and drive over to Seattle for a blogger/brand gathering.

Of course my car had an issue before we left (kinda needs oil to run!) so we were late getting there.  Which meant that while we didn't miss the panel we did miss most of the social hour.  What's a blogger gathering without a social hour?  Darn.

The panel itself was about how to market TO moms not AT them.  For me, as a mom/blogger, a lot of the information was not new, nor did I disagree with it!  But I did learn a few things for myself and perhaps most important, that I just have to keep being who I am and not compare myself with anyone else.

Gee, a life lesson found in blogging!

Highlights of the night were of course meeting some cool bloggers that I've known of for awhile and then some new ones as well.

What the panelists had to say:
  • "Loyalty will be so much bigger than numbers" ~Mrs. Flinger
  • Put your community first and just be yourself! ~ JenniHogan 
  • "Be in the space (social media) and build relationships first" ~ JylmomIF 
    • "Use social media for more than marketing (customer service, focus groups)" ~ CarolSchiller
    • "Talking is a two way street, talk with not to us. Neither of us has all the answers. Be creative, have fun, and expect the unexpected!" ~  Stephanie
    Our lovely hostess was ThinkMaya who should have been on the panel herself!
      We did get a little more schmoozing time at the end, but it was almost 9pm and we had a 3 hour drive home.

      What do you think of the relationship between brands and bloggers?  Do you have one?  Do you care?

      For other reviews of the evening you can check the recap and pictures.  I'm in one picture, can you find me?

      Monday, June 13, 2011

      Water Baby

      Last week I went over to Seattle Tuesday night for a blogger meetup (more on that tomorrow) and left the boys with my parents for the evening.  Then I spent the next 2 days with them just hanging out (and being the resident computer instructor!).

      The boys really wanted to go swimming. Well, Cory did, Noah didn't really know what it was!  Finally on the last day it was almost warm enough to go.

      Noah was a little freaked out to begin with and clung to me like he did at the YMCA pool a few weeks ago.  But I sat down in the shallow water with him in my lap where his feet could touch the bottom.  In just a few minutes he stood up and started walking around and then "diving" into the water like he does in the bath.

      From there on he was fearless.  He does this army crawl thing in the water and was heading out into the deeper water.  You can see the red line on the bottom of the pool and beyond that it was too deep for him to crawl, but he didn't seem to care and just kept going.

      We had to keep a close eye on him so he didn't crawl off into too deep water and drown himself!

      Even though his little lips were quivering and purple by the time we got out he did NOT want to leave!  To add insult to injury then we had to take cold showers!  We'll be back when it's warmer, this is a great pool for the littles!

      And yes, Cory was there too, he was in the deeper water making friends* with all the other kids! *or, you know, splashing them all...

      Wednesday, June 08, 2011

      Wordless Wednesday: Snuggling

      Noah found my two large stuffed animals (hold overs from college) and has been carrying them around the house and then randomly laying down and snuggling with them... even in the middle of the kitchen floor!

      Tuesday, June 07, 2011

      Book: The Lady of Bolton Hill

      Summary:  Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew.

      In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

      My review: I really love the way this kind of story is told.  There was a very brief introduction and then you just jump into the story.  It's more action and less narration and the story is pieced together through flashbacks and details revealed between characters.

      Clara is believeable enough although she was probably more the exception to the rule of women in that time.

      This book is very definitely set in the late 1800's and the author has skillfully woven in bits and pieces of the time period to give a very good picture of the setting.  Her use of era-appropriate language was fun, too (rag for newspaper, etc.).  I love thinking about what it would have been like to live back then, but of course, I wouldn't have wanted to be poor then.  It also made me realize how very little control women had in their own lives.  I'm pretty glad I live in the era I do now!

      There is also this underlying 3rd story that I wasn't sure how it all fit together.  But it really made the story quite a bit more suspenseful when it was introduced part way in.  

      I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably keep it in my library.

      Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian and associate professor.  She has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida. 

      A word from Elizabeth: I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.

      As for who I am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.

      If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lady of Bolton Hill, go HERE.

      I received this book to read and review for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.

      Monday, June 06, 2011


      I'm not sure if taking a break from blogging leaves me with more to talk about or less.  Tonight it seems like less.

      My arm is still bothering me so I'm mostly left-mousing it and doing other things.

      It's the end of school year craziness and even though my boys aren't in school yet it still feels crazy.  Summer plans to be made and finalized.  Things to wrap up in other activities.  Yards and gardens to be worked on (if it would ever quit raining on days when we want to work!).

      We did manage to figure out how to turn up the water pressure in our lines so we can at least water the yard now!  And by "we" I mean Brian and the neighbor.

      We have some friends going through really hard times and it's weighing on us.  Maybe that's why I don't feel much like writing because it's not something I am free to write about.

      Noah's talking more and more every day and simply being adorable... when he isn't grabbing things off the kitchen counters (like knives!!!) he's mauling his brother.  Poor Cory doesn't quite know how to respond and usually it's too rough and then there are tears all around.  This might be one of the tougher stages of learning how to have a little brother when they're 3 years apart and he's twice as big.

      Girls night out on Friday, last minute, for my friend Kelly's birthday*.  Mexican for dinner and late because they all hit a deer on the way down.  Talking about everything and nothing and realizing that I feel different and can't talk with them as well since I have a husband and kids and they are all still single.

      I never thought it would be so hard to stay friends with people in different stages of life.  I also feel like while I'm presenting reality to them I'm afraid I'm scaring them off from ever wanting to get married.  I can't be as candid with them as I can with my other friends who are married with kids.  Things to ponder...

      *We are friends from high school and that link will take you to a trip we went on for our collective 30th birthday 2 years ago.

      And finally this morning thinking and really thinking again about the cross.  It's not Easter, but we're doing a chronological study of Mark and this week we finally got to the crucifixion.  The fact that Christ took all of the wrath of God for our sins.  Not only to show us that he loved us, but because it was required.  And because of this we are forgiven.  Our sin debt is paid.  We do not have to do anything other than accept it and be free.  So why then is it still so hard to forgive myself?

      Deep thoughts for a Monday.  And I thought I had nothing to say...

      Thursday, June 02, 2011

      Repetitive Use Injury?

      So, I've been a little MIA this week.  Because about a week ago my right arm started hurting.  I can't figure out anything specific that I did to it other than just normal use of the computer.  It's slightly numb, a little bit tingly, and achy from the elbow all the way down.  So I've basically tried to severely limit my computer use, but I still have to feed my family and take care of the house and 2 small boys.  Not a whole lot of total rest going on!

      It feels like it's getting slowly slowly slightly better and I need to ice it, but super frustrating!  If you have any thoughts, suggestions, and prayers that would be lovely!

      And now for the "rest of the story" about the cedar chest from yesterday...

      These are some pictures of the chest I took last fall... not exactly new!

      The chest was a wedding present to my grandmother from my grandfather.  It's over 70 years old.  My parents took it and had it refinished and completely surprised me with it!

      Wednesday, June 01, 2011

      Wordless Wednesday: New or Old?

      This is a cedar chest my parents brought me last week as a birthday/Christmas present.  Where do you think it came from and is it brand new or very old?