Monday, June 30, 2008


GO see it! Go see it. Go see it.

It's amazing. It's brilliant. (It's a tiny bit heavy handed with the environmental/health stuff, but I probably only felt that way because it was so true. . . ) They somehow make a little robot so incredibly sympathetic. I don't know if it's the twitchy little eyes or what, but you just want to hug him!
Either way, it is SO good, and everyone should see it. Repeatedly.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I am so into this show. . . I never thought I would love a dance show.

This routine knocked my socks off:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Random San Diego

So, enough of the pictures of me looking awful on vacation (I still have to post the ones Jenny took at Sea World, but I need to get them from her first)

Here are a few other random pictures from the trip. These first two I took along the sidewalk leading back from the beach.

We always seem to go to San Diego later in the summer, so I always miss the awesome bloom of the Lilies of the Nile. They are SO pretty.

Also, I LOVE hydrangeas. We had blue ones at our wedding. I had never seen such bright pink ones before, especially growing along the side of the road. GORGEOUS!!

And our last night there I took this one:

We were driving back from Erin & Carson's house in Hillcrest when we passed a church. This was posted outside. . . We spent several minutes (after we went back around the block to take the picture) discussing what the "scary version" of Noah's Ark would consist of. . .

Anyone have any ideas?


OK, so we were in Southern California, and we had some time to kill. . .

AND, as you know, I am a bit of a cupcake fanatic.

SO, we decided to go a little bit out of our way on the way to LA, and head to Newport Beach to a Sprinkles. They're famous cupcakes. Everyone who worships cupcakes as I do knows who they are, and recognizes that perfect set of circles on top of their cupcakes. . .

The good news, I have now tried Sprinkles cupcakes. Lemon and Red Velvet. (also, they had really cool sporks, as Ben is demonstrating above)

The bad news. . . I didn't like them. Totally overrated.

Granted it was morning and I got a bit of a sugar rush from the crazy sweet/shorteningy frosting. That didn't set the best tone. But also, they were just so. . . basic. And for 3.25, they should be more than basic, in my opinion.

The cupcakes you SHOULD try, if you ever get a chance. Dots. Their lemon blew Sprinkles lemon RIGHT out of the water. If you love Sprinkles, more power to you. I am happy for you. They just weren't my personal cup of tea.

That is all I have to say about that.

Pool Time

We went to the pool on Saturday morning for a couple of hours. Nolan loves the bath tub, so I assumed he would love the pool. . . I was wrong.

First, we tried out the floaty thing.

Then walking around with me. . . It wasn't that he cried. He didn't. He just snuggled up to my shoulder and held on for dear life.

Ben discovered if he walked through the little shower thing in the kids area that Nolan would snuggle up to him, too. And since the man child seldom snuggles any more, Ben took advantage. Eventually he fell asleep on Ben's shoulder under the shade of the cabana and had a nice nap.

I thought I was going to be smart and get a little sun on my legs that morning. . . I was wearing a knee length dress to the wedding later and I didn't want to be pasty white. My arms survived Sea World with a nice tan. . . it seemed logical. It was not. My legs, and only the fronts of them, mind you, were toasted to a crisp. I looked AWESOME at the wedding. And only now, 4 days later, can I kneel down without pain.

Spare me the cancer lectures. I know. It was dumb.

Back From Vacation

We're back! We had a fabulous vacation, but we're also grateful to be home in our own beds. Nolan wouldn't sleep in the pack and play our first 3 nights there, so we took turns sleeping with him in a twin. And let's just say his new talent for crawling made that entertaining.

Our first evening in San Diego we decided to take Nolan to the beach. Tiffany & Kurt and their girls joined us, and we had some yummy tacos at Robertos on our way out to Del Mar.

Nolan with Lily & Madison at dinner

The tide was very very high when we got there, and it was the one and only time our whole trip that we were cold. It was cool and breezy down by the water. But the sunset was gorgeous!

Nolan didn't mind the water much at first. He did OK when Ben placed his feet down into an existing wave, and he didn't mind the sand.

But he was not pleased when the wave came up to him. . .

He preferred to spend the rest of his time at the beach cuddling. We later discovered that this is his natural reaction when he's scared.

Also, I forgot how freaking awesome my hair gets in humidity. . . and how much worse this is made when my hair is short.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Friends

We were lucky enough to meet some new friends tonight for the first time. . . at least officially. Emily & I have been emailing for months, but since they live half way across the country, in St. Louis, the odds that we'd get to meet were not great.

BUT, lucky us, they came on a road trip to Utah! Nolan & their baby Noah are just 17 days apart in age. And since they have the same first initial, I thought the onesies were a fun idea. (it was a little bit of last minute improvisation, but I think it worked.)

Checking each other out while their dads held them

Oh, are we having our picture taken?

I like to think Noah is saying "Dude, did you see that?"

Posing with mommies

Thanks for playing, Emily, Joe & Noah!
It was fabulous to meet you guys.
I wish we lived closer to one another!

Healthy Product Placement

I'd like to send a shout out to a few new cool things we've recently discovered.

Tiffany introduced us to a new way to get our greens:

Yes, I should just eat my stupid vegetables. I even like veggies. I'm just plain too lazy to prepare them at home. And since we're trying so hard to eat at home more... I need some help getting my vitamins. This takes a little getting used to. You mix it into a bottle of water, and it tastes a little bit like a green laffy taffy. But it's a nasty color and you'll be grossed out by it the first time. It's inevitable. I discovered that it actually tastes better in less water, so I drink half of the water first. . . But Tiff likes it in more, so it's a personal preference thing. Either way, it's good for you. Each packet has the anti-oxidant power of 6 servings of fruits and veggies.

And on another health conscious note. . . we managed to get our hands on a Wii Fit, thanks to Todd. I can't tell you how annoyed i was that we couldn't find one anywhere. My major justification for getting a Wii in the first place was that it would be exercise AND video games in one. Wii fit made that justification more real! And they were sold out. EVERYWHERE! Luckily, one of Todd's neighbors had one that she sold us.

I can't believe what good exercise it is. I can't believe how much time I've spent hula hooping. It's ridiculous. And also, my abs hurt. A lot. But I can wholeheartedly suggest that each of you go out and get one. It makes me feel just a touch less guilty for not going to the gym. And it's fun to boot!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Shameless Mommy Post

For some reason this past week has been a productive one for Nolan. He's learning new tricks left and right, and since he is our own personal trained monkey, we encourage him to keep on learnin'

First, last week, he learned to go from his almost crawling position to sitting up. I LOVE this. It saves me the 53 times a day I had to get down on the floor and sit him back up when he tipped over. :)

Next, he decided that pulling himself up to reach the things on the coffee table was GREAT fun! I actually captured this one:

He has been clapping for a while now, if you say "YAY, Nolan!" and clap your hands, he'll imitate you. Now, you don't have to do it first. All it takes is saying "YAY!" and he starts with the clapping. And better than that, if he sees something he likes, he'll clap for it, no prompt necessary.

On Saturday afternoon, he was playing on the floor at a friend's house, and their baby was on the floor with him. . . and he finally crawled! More of an army crawl, pulling his body along with his arms, kind of thing, but still. . . he can now make forward progress if he wants something. .. and our lives will never be the same.

And finally, he's waving. I have been trying to get him to wave bye bye to people for a while now, but he never did much. Until yesterday. My grandparents were leaving my parent's house, and he waved goodbye! And while waving started babbling "ba ba ba" as if he was trying to say goodbye.

I am trying to capture all of the new tricks on video, since it is obviously SO adorable. . .

But I may be a little biased.

Friday Cupcakes

Melanee hosted a BBQ on her newly finished patio Friday night. I couldn't resist the opportunity to try a new cupcake for the occasion. Mini Boston Creme Pie cupcakes. They came from a mix, but I switched it up a little, cutting a cone of cupcake out, filling them, and sticking the cupcake piece back in.

Of course, that process made them not flat on top, so the chocolate glaze was out. . . I used canned chocolate frosting instead.

They were pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Boston Creme is one of my favorite pastry options. I'll do a couple of things differently next time, but these were great for a BBQ. Just pop the whole thing in your mouth at once.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

To all the awesome Dads out there, (mine, Nolan's, and Ben's especially) this is our wish to you:

I totally stole the idea for this picture from Martina, hopefully she doesn't mind. I like how it turned out.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday, Ben!

Ben hates it when anyone makes a big deal of his birthday, and we promised each other that our new TV is our present for our birthdays and mothers and fathers day this year , so I had to be creative. . . he IS 30 this year after all.

Nolan didn't get what I was trying to do so much. . . but he did his best.

Happy Birthday anyway, Ben.
We love you!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Entertainment Update

It's movie time again. Because of the plague that hit our house the last week or so, we've spent a lot of time making use of our beautiful new toy.First off, we FINALLY finished West Wing. And I have some general thoughts. . . I know Aaron Sorkin was doing cocaine while he wrote the first few seasons of this show, and I don't condone drug use AT ALL. BUUUUT. . . He's a flippin' genius writer, and the show was SO much less good without him writing. I find that I am a snob when it comes to writing. (I've probably said this before here. . .) Good dialogue can pretty much make a movie or TV show for me. Good dialogue has a rhythm to it that makes it clever AND believable. But just as important as well written dialogue, is having actors that understand the rhythm inherent in that writing and know how to act it. The two things go hand in hand. And while having one or the other is nice, and can probably fool most people into enjoying something, when the two coexist, it’s genius. THAT is what makes the first 4 seasons of West Wing great. GREAT writing and GREAT acting. The acting remains in seasons 5-7, but the writing. . . not so much. It was all we could do to make it to the end.

Also watched since the last report:

PS I Love You
Bless Hilary Swank’s heart. . . You are no Meg Ryan. You are no Julia Roberts. You are no Sandra Bullock. You are 2 time Oscar winner, and I’m thrilled for you, but please don’t ever ruin a perfectly well conceived sappy chick movie for me again. Especially one starring Gerard Butler and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Thank you.

Seriously, though, it wasn’t that well written, but Hilary really ruined it for me. She tried, but she’s just not right for a role like that.

Gone Baby Gone
Beautifully directed, well written, and Casey Affleck, for once in his life, didn’t annoy the crap out of me. That said, like Mystic River, I never need to see this movie again. It was very well made, and I’m thrilled that Ben Affleck is such a talented director, but it’s depressing and intense in the extreme.

Persuasion has always been my least favorite in my collection of Jane Austen films. It’s just never hit me in the same way that the rest of them do. That MAY be because I have a thing for pretty movies, and the one I own is really not pretty. Ciarn Hines is way too old to be playing Wentworth. . . and the rest of the cast is too old as a result. THIS version is so much better. I was thrown by the fact that Wentworth was a blond at first (I know, silly) but in the end, it really touched me the way it was supposed to. I definitely prefer this version. It’s nice and short without leaving too much out.

Sense & Sensibility
I am a huge sucker for the Ang Lee version of this film. I’ll admit it. Besides Emma Thompson being way too old for the role she played, I thought it was a brilliant movie. So I didn’t expect to like a different version. But, I was wrong. The cast resembles, both in appearance and in manner, the Lee cast, sometimes so much that it was distracting. That said, it’s a different movie. The acting is great, the writing is beautiful, and the cuts they made were great. The BBC did a great job with these new versions of the classics.

Miss Austen Regrets
This was a second disc in with Sense & Sensibility from the BBC. I love Olivia Williams, so I watched it too. I’m not sure how close to reality it is, as far as Austen’s real life (since apparently no one really knows. . .) but it was entertaining, and Olivia Williams was fabulous.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Tanner Returns

Jenny & Tanner flew back into town last night so Tanner could get his teeth fixed at his old dentist. When Nolan saw Tanner, he was, to say the least, excited:

Hanging in Grandma's Back Yard

Nolan chewing on his sunglasses during grandma's birthday open house.

Hess Weekend

We caught the plague this weekend, just as we were supposed to spend a great weekend with Ben's family. It was his grandma's 90th birthday, so we celebrated with everyone else while trying to avoid eating. . .

I don't have as many pictures of our weekend as I might have otherwise. But I have a few:

With William and KP at the hotel

With Madison & KP at the hotel

Madison, Helaina, Lily & Isabella

7 Months

Our little munchkin turned 7 months old last week. He's still trying with all of his might to crawl. He's chatting up a storm, and has a fabulous fake laugh that cracks us all up.

It goes by so fast!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Parade

We had plenty we could have done this weekend. We certainly could have spent some really good quality time cleaning the house. But did we? Oh no.

Instead, we left the mess for a day out on the town. First, to get my hair cut, and look for a Wii Fit (which we could not find). And THEN, to indulge one of my long time guilty pleasures (and now one of Ben's as well). . . we went to the Parade Of Homes

Nolan was a real champ through a bunch of houses, charming the ladies all along the way. All you need is a cute baby in your arms and people are automatically friendly to you. Have you noticed this? (assuming the cute baby isn't screaming, which he wasn't, thank goodness)

I think we'll go back on Tuesday for more. But so far, this is my favorite:

Anyone surprised by that?

Mommy Hair

OK, I will readily admit it. . . I made fun of women who cut their hair short immediately after having a baby. I called it the mommy hair cut, and I know a LOT of women who do it. So many of them said "it's just so much easier to maintain!" Well, I know from experience that MY hair isn't easier to maintain when it's short. It's harder. It's a daily thing, much more complicated than throwing it up into a ponytail after brushing (and sometimes without brushing) it. What they don't tell you (except in that great Suave commercial that I am SO identifying with these days) is that you honestly won't make time to do your hair. It's not that I CAN'T make time. I can. I just don't. Other things feel like bigger priorities. So, up in a ponytail goes the hair until I can manage the 20 minutes I need to really blow dry it.

All of that means never feeling put together. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've felt like I really got ready for the day since Nolan was born. (and yes, that was 7 months go) Frumpy and thrown together is much more common for me. I knew I needed shorter hair, if just for the smaller number of minutes required to blow dry it. But the plan was to keep it long enough for a ponytail just in case. . .

As you can see, that didn't happen. 1st, I wanted to donate it, and once 8 inches was cut off, it was JUST long enough for the ponytail. But THEN I didn't quite communicate to the stylist (who is also family. . . sort of) what I wanted it to look like in the end. . . So I came out looking like there was a giant mushroom on my head. Yesterday she fixed it, thanks to a picture I showed her, and now it's short. . . Not quite as short as last time I chopped it, but very very close.

So here you go. . . My mommy hair:

Feel free to mock me. I would, if I were you. And forgive the crappy photo. I couldn't stop giggling while I was trying to use photo booth at my desk.