Sunday, May 03, 2015


Our friend Ryan was with us for a few days last week and we took him to....the arboretum. One-trick ponies around here :)

I love snapdragons; they will always remind me of my Grandma. I would have fields of them if I could, meaning I would have fields of them if my black thumb wouldn't kill them on the spot.
And if this was our backyard, I would get nothing accomplished inside the house ever:

This was not taken at the arboretum, but just outside our neighborhood and we will explore it soon. To get there, we'll have to sneak under a bridge that crosses swampy, stagnant water, which means we'll have to dodge a million mosquitoes. Worth the risk, I say! 

This wasn't take at the arboretum, either. It was shot on location at Lowe's, but it's too pretty to leave out :) And it makes me miss the hydrangeas at our WA house. 

We had quite the thunder & lightning storm while Ryan was here, and he & Jan stayed up until the wee hours taking pictures and video. I should have joined them out on the porch because sleeping was impossible with all of the booming and crashing :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Another helping of spring

I think in WA I didn't pay enough attention to spring, mostly because it was just a means to get to summer. Here I appreciate it quite a lot because I know what's coming :)

This was right after Jan Michael left for work one morning, and I remember the sunrise, the temperature and the breeze all combined to take my breath away for a minute.

We're making a habit of Saturday dates; they always have something to do with exploring outside and I like them very much. Two weekends ago we ate apple fritters at a tiny park we visited the very first night we arrived in Texas, and on the way home we ran into a lovely field of blue bonnets. 

And I like evening walks under clouds that look like mountains :)

P.S. This is on the late side, but I tried something new with Easter eggs this year: gel food coloring. It worked spectacularly, so much so that I think I'll dye every egg I hard boil from now on :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015


This may be out of whack for these parts, but winter seemed fairly long and cold this year (which was a delight, believe me); 3 weeks ago our yard looked this this:

Then the ice and snow slipped away, the sun began to make an appearance, and last week our yard looked like this:
(There is no escaping yard work, no matter where we go. This has been a difficult lesson to digest.) 

And then yesterday we spent some of the morning at the arboretum, where spring has exploded magnificently. I loved it, I loved it; it was like being given an early, perfect birthday present.  

I am now officially in training for summer, which means I'm systematically building my tolerance to the sun, in the hopes that I will spend more time outside between the months of May and mid-October than just sprinting between the air-conditioned car and the air-conditioned house. I've sat in the backyard two days in a row now for about half an hour without succumbing to heat stroke, so things are looking promising :) 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Love post #3

Nephews aren't the only ones who grow at the speed of light; nieces do it, too! We were able to spend 2 whole nights with Miss E and her mama & daddy in December, which included bedtime stories, a trip to Taco Bell, lofty attempts at training Lucy the dog to jump like a horse, and a somewhat sleepy viewing of Mulan. On this particular night, she wanted to be twins, so we each wore red dresses with white leggings, identical pairs of Christmas socks and lovely bracelets & necklaces from E's very own collection. She also wanted her hair in a bun, be still my heart. It's good to have little people to love, isn't it? :) 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The 3 Musketeers

I love each of them on their own, I love the three of them together, and I selfishly love that they all love me back :) Years ago, the four of us went on the world's most disastrous camping trip, which involved hiking for hours in the dark with an inadequate number of flashlights and crossing mountain fjords whilst simultaneously being deluged by a torrential downpour with only flimsy Walmart rain ponchos for protection. These are the kinds of adventures that bond families in the best, funniest ways, I think :)

Monday, February 02, 2015


It's February, can you believe it? Because it's the month of l-o-v-e, and because around here we need a hefty dose of consolation following our tough loss yesterday (GO HAWKS forever!), I'm going to begin sharing pictures of people I adore.

The last time wonder nephew #3 made an appearance on here, he was a teeny, tiny thing, and now look! I can't begin to tell you how precious he is to us; I'm not exaggerating even a little. One thing I can tell you is that I laughed until I cried while spending time with him during our WA trip over the holidays. Also, he has a very handsome uncle :)

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Merry & bright

We flew back to WA on December 15th, but before that, we crammed our days with twinkly garland & tissue paper flying every which way & great piles of sugar. Besides a terrible tantrum I threw regarding the difficulty of lighting our little tree, it was very merry & bright, a nice beginning to our first holiday season in the south.

Beginning on the 3rd, Jan Michael transformed the kitchen into his annual caramel corn factory. When all was said and done, he either hand-delivered or mailed about 25 batches. I say this every year, but it makes smile & smile to see him carrying on a tradition all his own that brings him - and all of his lucky-duck recipients :) - so much gladness. He was particularly gleeful this time around about the 25 lb bag of brown sugar we found at Costco; he made a decent dent in it, but even so, I don't think it will be gone anytime soon :)

This business of the ugly Christmas sweater is so funny to me, especially when people jump in with both of their creative feet. And never before have I considered green pants; I will enthusiastically nudge Jan Michael in that direction next year :)

Presents! We've never waited until Christmas Day to open them; how could I possibly be expected to be so patient? Besides, cramming anything extra into our suitcases for our trip on the 15th was totally out of the question, so we ripped into them the first Saturday of the month. 
He unwrapped a pile of Donald Duck comics along with some other silliness - a Star Wars thumb wrestling kit, of which I was quite proud - and I found a collection of things to aid me on my ever-evolving quest for fitness: heavy barbells, a new yoga mat, and a nice, cushy bike seat for my poor bottom, which did not get along well with the old seat at all. Also, there were these adorable mugs, which made me squeal:
And then, a very fancy Christmas portrait: 
The month felt very full since we celebrated on our own for the first half, and then again with so many dear loved ones for the second half; I vote that we do it just exactly the same way next time :)