Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Lots to catch up on and I'll get to it eventually but for now...

Friday, August 31, 2012


Well, it doesn't look like I'm going to make anything for the baby before his/her arrival, but I did manage to make some curtains for Maggie's room with the help of my mom. They are the same style curtains we have in the baby's room with a different, more colorful fabric. Complements her room nicely, we think. Thanks for all the help, Mom!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

hair cut

On Friday Mom and I took Mags to get her preschool haircut. As usual she was squirmy. I need to find a style for her that doesn't involve a straight bob with straight bangs. Too bad I like this one so much on her.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August birthday party

Despite the fact that August is statistically the month with the most birthdays (followed by July and September), only one of Maggie's friends had a birthday party this month that we could attend. (Her Papa - my dad - also celebrated his birthday this month, but he didn't have a party. Happy belated birthday!) Maggie's friend recently had a princess party complete with a backyard bounce house and plenty of friends to play with. Maggie loved it.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I'm catching up on Maggie's baby book and here are photos of her most recent shoes. The first group is from this past winter and the second group is her summer shoes. We had such a mild winter that she wore summer shoes in the winter too. Weird.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Sale

A couple weeks ago CBS47, Chad's television station, sponsored a community book drive benefiting the local county library system. The sale is taking place at a local mall (Sierra Vista, for you locals) this week and there are lots of great deals on books. We went with my parents and ended up with fun kids books and some great cookbooks. Go if you have the chance. The sale benefits a great cause!

Friday, August 17, 2012


This summer I took Maggie to her first movie. Movies plural, actually. The theaters here have a special deal on Tuesdays and Wednesdays where they show children's movies at 10am and tickets are only $1 each. Maggie and I (and sometimes friends) got to see the following movies: Happy Feet, Hugo, Rio and Chimpanzee. Maggie loved the popcorn, the other kids in the theater, and the whole movie experience. Let's hope they offer the same summer deal next year. It's a fun and cheap way for us to beat the heat.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Earlier this month Maggie had her third dental appointment. What a difference between this one and her last two (at 2 years and at 2.5 years)! She laid down patiently in the chair and let the hygienist and the dentist do anything they wanted to with her teeth. Yeah! They were able to clean and floss her teeth, perform x-rays and give her a fluoride treatment. At the end, as always, she got a bag with a new toothbrush and toothpaste, floss and lip gloss, a pink helium-filled balloon and a book. She chose a board-book about concrete mixers. Go figure. Oh, and because she has (mostly) stopped sucking her fingers she got a gift certificate for a free Jamba Juice.  I am so proud of her and how well she did at the dentist this visit.

Monday, August 13, 2012

a little celebration

Last Saturday my kind friends Amy and Katrina threw me a little baby shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our little squirt. There were 11 of us at the party and we had a nice time eating desserts and fruit, playing a game, chatting, and opening gifts. I had a great time and am thankful for my friends who put the time and effort into planning the afternoon. I also appreciate everyone who attended. A special thank you to my mom who drove up for the day and to Loren who traveled here for the weekend from the DC metro area. It wouldn't have been the same without either of you.

The top photos L-R are: the pregnant women at the shower and me with my hostesses. I wish I had a photo of the entire group of us, but I don't. Darn!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mount Whitney

On Saturday Chad, our friend Andy, and two of our brothers-in-law, Todd and Jared, set off to climb Mt. Whitney. It was a grueling trek and a trip they'll remember for a lifetime. Three of them made it to the top and none of it was easy for anyone in the group. They were snowed on twice. Altitude sickness and/or delirium caught them all off guard. Basically, after 20 hours of unexpected twists and turns they left their camp, reached the 14505 foot summit and returned back to the trail-head. Many awesome photos were taken, but here are a few of my favorites from Andy's and Chad's cameras. Next time you talk to anyone in this group congratulate him on what an amazing job he did. I know I couldn't do it and I am so proud of them!

Monday, August 6, 2012


In the spring Maggie got to plant some radish seeds in little paper cups with the moms group. As soon as our seeds sprouted we transplanted them to the garden and let them grow wild. Since none of us likes to eat them we figured we'd just let them grow and see how big they could get before we needed the space to plant our summer garden. They got pretty big.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Lowe's offers classes to kids twice a month and occasionally I have signed Maggie up for them. My mom took her to the first one where they made wooden ice cream trucks. We both took her to the second where she (mostly me) made a wooden bomber airplane. Chad was the lucky recipient of the airplane--father's day gift--and Maggie thinks it's pretty cool. She's a little young to follow the directions for the kits, but she enjoys being there with the other kids, wearing her apron, and taking something home at the end. If you haven't been, sign your kids up for the next Saturday/Sunday workshop and see what it's all about.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


In June Chad and Maggie picked the first zucchini from our spring garden. Here is Maggie cooking it in her microwave and holding it. Ultimately the entire thing went into summer soup.

Monday, July 30, 2012

new friend

In June we got to meet, feed and hold our good friends' new baby, Matthias. He's a cutie and we were so happy to meet him at just 3 weeks old. Maggie was giddy with excitement to see, kiss, hold, snuggle, tickle and play with him and somewhere there is a video to prove it. When we finally allowed her to hold him (with assistance, of course) she could not stop giggling and smiling and touching and loving him. Heart melting, really.

Friday, July 27, 2012

big girl room

A couple months ago we had three walls in our guest room painted a light aqua/blue to prepare Maggie for the move into her new bedroom. We ordered and received her new bedspread but didn't want to fully move her into the double bed (from a toddler bed) until the room was painted and the bed was where we wanted it. We hoped to make it a big event for her. And even though it wasn't (and still isn't) complete and this past weekend we rearranged it all again, the switch was still a big event and she loves her new room. The are still things that need to be done (putting up a full-length mirror, adding a clothesline for artwork, hanging window treatments, etc.) but I'm giving myself a month or two (or more) to get them completed. There's no rush--the big move has been made and for the past couple months she's loved what we've done to it. We thought she might miss her old room but so far she hasn't. She talks about the baby's room as just that, and knows that she now has a super awesome big girl room that's all hers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


While I was at the bachelorette party baseball game, Chad and Maggie spent the afternoon at Playland and Storyland. Maggie loves it there. We have unlimited ride passes which means she can go on the train, carousel, carnival rides and more as much as she wants. She was still sobbing when they picked me up from the baseball game because she was mad that they had to leave...after playing there for nearly FIVE hours.

Monday, July 23, 2012

cowboy birthday

Maggie's bud, K-Bob, turned one this month and we got to celebrate with him this past weekend. His family threw him a darling cowboy birthday party in the country complete with stick horses for the kids, hats, bandanas, photo ops, swimming, food and a pinata. A great way to spend a warm weekend evening.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Ever since turning 2 1/2 Maggie has increasingly requested to help me around the house. She wants to help me with laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. so I try to find easy jobs for her so she can feel productive and happy. Jobs that don't make my task any more laborious or time-consuming are a bonus as well. In the kitchen she mainly washes veggies in the sink or puts things in bowls, but in this photo she's actually snapping the asparagus before we wash and steam it. So what if we're losing a bit of the edible part of the stalk in the process...it's a safe and helpful task and she couldn't be prouder.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012



Back in May we started potty training Maggie. She, unlike the previous times I'd tried, took to it immediately and did an amazingly great job. My parents started putting her in undies for a couple afternoons while they watched her (thank you!) and when Chad and I picked her up from a weekend away we decided to fully go for it. And she totally rocked it and she even stays dry at night. Yay Maggie!

Monday, July 16, 2012

escaping the heat

This past weekend Chad, Mags and I went to the cabin to cool off. The weather was great, the mood was relaxed, and we all had a great time. Saturday morning we travel to Huntington Lake to watch the High Sierra Regatta. The three of us had a picnic while watching the boats and enjoying the fresh mountain air. And of course we took Maggie to the swing before the day was done.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Independence Day

We had a great, full-filled Fourth of July this year. We were invited to a BBQ where all three of us got to eat and play/chat with friends before camping out to watch the local fireworks show. It was great!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

third birthday party

We threw Maggie her third birthday party on Saturday and she had a blast. She is super proud to now be three! Eight of her friends came to help her celebrate, and along with their parents, my parents and a few others, the group totaled over 30 people. The kids started out painting birdhouses (the very light party theme focused on birds. If you watch Portlandia you get it and if not, click here to see why). Then they played in the sprinkler toys for a little while before sitting down for lunch. After eating we had cupcakes and then let the kids take a few whacks at a bird pinata we stuffed for them. We filled it with the usual crap: candy, bouncy balls, bubbles, mini skateboards, etc. and the kids enjoyed both trying to break it with the stick and gathering the loot from the ground after it was broken. Finally we opened her gifts before everyone set off for home.  It was a busy but fun party and we're pretty sure most everyone had a good time. We hope anyway!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cousin Keri's Wedding

In late June our beautiful cousin Keri got married in the bay area. Maggie was her flower girl and was pulled in a wagon with Liam, the little ring bearer, by our cousin Bailey. Maggie was precise with role as flower girl, only dropping one petal at at time and rotating evenly between the left and right side. Super cute. After the wedding they had a party and Maggie danced the night away. 

We all know Maggie is a lover and can't wait to give (and receive!) hugs and kisses. This night was no exception, as you'll see from a few of the photos in this post. She just can't help herself...

A fun weekend with family and I know everyone had a good time.

Congratulations, Keri and Matt! We love you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mags!

Today is Maggie's third birthday and yesterday we celebrated with her friends. More photos later this week, but for now...happy birthday sweet girl! We love you!

Friday, July 6, 2012

the bachelorette

Two weeks after her family bridal shower, Keri's friends, sister, and cousins threw her a weekend bachelorette party. We started out at dinner in Fresno (convenient for me!) and then the girls took off for Hume Lake. I opted out of that part because I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling. Instead, Chad, Mags and I drove to Visalia where Mags and I went shopping with my mom and Chad, my dad and a friend of theirs went on their annual hiking/fishing trip. Sunday I met back up with the girls for an afternoon of baseball at Chukchansi Park. We caught the Grizzlies game and, despite wearing black on a sunny warm day, had a really fun time. Keri got to throw the first pitch to SF Giants catcher Eli Whiteside and we got our hats signed and took a photo with Grizzlies players Heath Hembree and Skyler Stromsmoe. Maybe one day they'll be famous.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Keri's shower

At the beginning of June our family gave Keri (my cousin) a bridal shower at a restaurant in Lodi. While I was setting up Maggie watched the cupcakes for us. She picked out her favorites (all of them) as we stopped her from touching them all. Once the guest of honor arrived we played games, ate lunch, snacked up cupcakes and watched her open her gifts. It was a nice afternoon just three weeks before her big day.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Glendale/Los Angeles

For Chad's birthday my parents watched Maggie for the weekend so we could spend a couple nights in LA. We did things Chad wanted to do and we both had a nice time. Super fun seeing our old favorites down there and getting to relax a bit between stops. We hit Chad's favorite restaurants: Damon's, Scarantino's and Fred 62. We also drove to Montrose, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, and by our old apartment in Glendale. We spent time people watching in the Americana and saw a couple movies, including The Avengers (eh) near our hotel and then Moonrise Kingdom (yeah!) at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. Overall it was a great weekend with perfect LA weather and good company.

Friday, June 29, 2012

toddler Olympics

In May our moms group hosted an annual open house and this year we organized it with toddler Olympics. A non-competitive, fun obstacle course was set up at a local park and the kids each got little gold medals for participating. We had snacks for everyone, along with face painting, crafts and a bounce house. Perfect weather to spend the day with friends at the park.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Earlier in the month I submitted three photos to the monthly competition in my camera club. These were my first competition shots and it was an interesting process. Being anonymously critiqued in front of a group of (mostly) strangers by a judge I didn't know is a strange experience, but also a really great way to learn. I did OK. Not outstanding by any means, but not a complete failure either. As Chad said, it was a decent first attempt. My scores are listed on each photo and the number I earned is out of 10, in case you care to know how I did.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was pleasant and relaxing this year. We went out to eat, took a nap and spent a nice day together as a family. Maggie and Chad bought me a new camera lens that I've been dying for (but never thought I'd get!). I know I'm going to have a ball playing around with it. (FYI - I didn't use the lens here, but you'll see it in future noted posts.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

celebrating with friends

Maggie's little bud turned three in April and we got to help him celebrate. As usual his mom decorated like a pro and the kids all seemed to have a great time. Click here to see a photo of these same 2009 kids from two years ago.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer garden

In late spring we finally got around to planting our summer garden. I wasn't sure if it was going to be too late, but it turns out we were fine. Maggie helped Chad and they planted four varieties of tomato, Japanese cucumber, zucchini, basil, radishes (from a mom's group day) and watermelon (seedlings from our friends--thank you!).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

sugar snap peas

This winter we grew sugar snap peas and man, they were prolific. We had more peas than we knew what to do with, but fortunately all three of us loved munching on them straight from the garden. Even Mags would go back there to see what she could reach and snack on. Definitely something we're going to plant again next winter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day

For the next month or so my posts are going to be out of order. Because I was so far behind in getting organized I'm going to have some posts that are somewhat timely and others that aren't.

We had a great father's day this year with Chad. It started out by me making eggs for breakfast. I know. I miracle. After breakfast we changed into our swimsuits and took off for Wild Water Adventures, one of our local water parks. We spent a few warm hours there playing in the water and eating lunch before coming home for a nap. Well, Chad got a nap. He played hard with Maggie in the water and sun so it was totally deserved. That evening we had dinner at one of our favorite steakhouses (way too hot to BBQ at home) and settled in for the night.

I hope Chad had as good of a Father's Day as Maggie and I did. She has a super great dad and we had lots of fun with him celebrating.

And a belated happy Father's Day to my dad, who I didn't get to see on Father's Day. Fortunately we got to spend the previous weekend with him and will be with him next weekend too! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy birthday, Chad (a bit late...)

We spent the morning of Chad's birthday at one of Maggie's friend's third birthday party. While not the first thing that came to mind as a fun way for Chad to spend his big day, he had a great attitude and we all enjoyed the morning. That evening for dinner we went out to celebrate and Mags and I helped him eat his birthday dessert.

Friday, June 15, 2012


In late April Chad got tickets to take Maggie to see Elmo's music/dancing show at the Save Mart Center. She loved it and screamed when she saw each of the characters. Her favorites were Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Abby & Elmo, but really, she loves them all. We didn't buy her one of these $10 balloons, but we did take her picture with them. Ha!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weekend Visitors

Today I finally started to get overwhelmed by how behind I am on blogging. The pressure finally gave in and I'm back.  So we left off in April...

We had our friends from the D.C. area out for my birthday weekend. We ate lots of food, snacked on yummy home-delivered ice cream, took a drive in the foothills, watched some MMA fight at our neighbors' house, visited the Forestiere Underground Gardens (go if you're a local and haven't been) and hung out. It's always nice to see them and we really appreciate the effort they make to come out here to see us.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Resuming soon!

Yikes! Has it really been nearly a month since my last post? Sorry about that. I've heard from a number of you about it and...thanks for your patience! Lots has happened this past month and while I've continued to shoot photos of it all, I haven't made posting here a priority. I have tons of photos to sort through and my posts might be sporadic for awhile, but I hope to get on track again soon.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Last weekend we helped throw a baby shower for our good friends in San Jose. Expecting their first child in May, the couple was showered and by a large group of friends on a beautiful sunny afternoon. We had so much fun that weekend and can't wait for their little boy to arrive.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Last week we had a few rare weekdays of rain. Maggie and I spent much of one day inside at the mall so getting wet wasn't an issue for us. However, I did promise her that after the rain stopped and we were at home, she could stand in our gutter and splash in the puddles. She was out there for 20 minutes, but seriously would have lasted for hours. Jumping in puddles, apparently, is pretty fun stuff.

Monday, April 16, 2012

new car

My parents bought Maggie (and Chad) a new yellow sports car. Radio-controlled, of course. Initially Maggie preferred chasing it but eventually decided driving it would be pretty fun too. I see lots of RC car days in our future. 

Friday, April 13, 2012


We had a windy afternoon and Chad thought it might be fun to teach Maggie about kites. It took a little while to figure out the new kite, but once he finally got it flying it was so pretty in the air.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

birthday party

At the beginning of the month Maggie was invited to her friend's 4th birthday party. It was at Pump It Up in Madera and the kids all had such a fun time celebrating his big day. After jumping for awhile there were snacks and cupcakes before he opened his presents. Maggie would not eat any of her yellow cupcake, but she did hold it, and she did lick the frosting a few times. Mostly, though, she wanted to use it as lipstick and smear it all over her lips.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

We had a nice Easter weekend at my parents' house. It was a short overnight trip, but we got to spend time with my parents, GG and our cousin Bailey and we all enjoyed ourselves. My mom organized a little egg hunt for Maggie, GG gave her a fuzzy Easter bunny, Bailey taught Maggie how to play the slots, my dad played quite a bit with Maggie and read her Corduroy, her newest favorite book, and Chad showed how limber he is by riding Maggie's trike after she pooped out at the park.

Friday, April 6, 2012

egg hunt

On Monday our moms group had an egg hunt for the kids at a local park. There were somewhere near 25 kids and tons of filled eggs for each of them to find. While the kids were in the playground distracted and playing, the moms tossed  the eggs around the large grassy area. When the kids were lined up and ready, it took them less than five minutes to gather the entire lot of eggs. After the hunt the kids sat on the sidewalk to check out their loot, then ate from a potluck of snacks, and finally spent the rest of the time playing with and chasing their friends.

Happy 84th birthday, GG! We love you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Our winter carrots are done and here is the test group Chad pulled a bit ago. Much bigger than they have been in the past, I'm pretty proud of ourselves this time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I heart faces - happiness

Photo Challenge Submission