23 December 2010

Peaceful, Cozy and Perfect

I have about a billion things to do. So of course I decided I would rather sit down and try to blog than do any of those things.

I feel woefully out of practice. For example, I forgot how to log in to Blogger. Pathetic, when you consider there is like one step involved, but there you have it.

This is going to be a rather quiet Christmas this year in Glenbogle House. Andy and Teresa were supposed to visit us with their children but had to cancel at the last minute due to the snow in Europe. Ironic. We have gotten about half an inch of snow so far this year. The lowest amount ever recorded in Colorado.

Jonathan is just devastated. I am really blue, too, but also wondering what on earth this Christmas will be like. This will be our first Christmas ever -- since we got together, that is -- with just us. So I want it to be very peaceful and cozy and perfect. Which means I am not feeling well. Of course. Sigh. So much for a "perfect" holiday.

I am trying to soldier on and prepare for the holiday and get the house tidy and take care of the "cozy" part of my list. But I am coughing into my shoulder every two minutes which pretty much negates the whole "peaceful" part of my plan. What is that saying about the best laid plans?

Just typing this makes me feel like I need to get up and go do something. So, peace out. And Merry Christmas!

19 September 2010

crescent moon sprint triathlon

Just a quick shout out to my fierce husband who is competing in his second triathlon sprint today! I am so nervous and proud and excited!

My stomache is in knots. He signed up for this one a few months ago but has really been so insanely busy that his training has been ... Compromised? Sporadic? A few bike rides and some jogging?


The man is determined, people. That's for sure. He says he will cross that finish line no matter what.

I am so proud of him. I think he is insane. But I am so proud of him.

10 September 2010

tick tock

Sigh. So I have not blogged in a long time. A very very long time. I have been busy, yes, but mostly I have been battling an epic case of homesickness. And have just been blue and not in a sharing mood. That is all.

But I am staying busy. This semester I am taking two evening classes, Algebra and Pathophysiology, and I am really enjoying both of them. (Yes, even the Algebra!) But it is rough, being in school four nights a week...

We are still number four on the list to adopt. I hate waiting.

And the kids have grown up practically overnight.  Lion  is in preschool now. And he told me he likes it "a little bit."

Blue turned six a few weeks ago and is in first grade.

She is gorgeous, high-spirited, loving school and she told me the other night that I am lame. I feel like I am grasping onto their childhood with both sweaty hands and it is just slipping away from me...

06 July 2010

aspen grove

I was lying in bed reading a good book yesterday when I suddenly got the itch to paint a mural on the wall behind the bed. I went downstairs and asked Jonathan, very sweetly, to help me move our bed.

"Uh-oh," he said, getting up to come help. "What's going on?"

He is such a good sport! He moved the bed and then he took the kids on a long bikeride and then to the park while I listened to The Beach Boys and slapped some paint on the wall.

I love it! It's not terribly original. Many similar murals and decals of birch trees have been featured on design*sponge and Apartment Therapy, but I like it anyway. There are so many aspens out here. It seems very "Colorado" to me to have a grove of them on my wall...

I had planned to do more detail, paint "notches" and such on the trunks using the wall color to represent the bark, but I liked it as it is, more simple and graphic, so I made myself stop.

Jonathan loves it. (Thank goodness!) Now I just need to find some new bedding and lamps. Jonathan says "What's wrong with the lamps?" but I have never liked them. It's just that lamps cost money. At least this mural was free!

star studded blueberry pie

I made this pie for the fourth of July. I got the recipe from Family Fun magazine. It turned out so delicious! I like that you could really taste the lemon--maybe I went a little overboard with the lemon, but that's because I love lemon! I will definitely make this again. I cheated and bought premade, refrigerated pie crusts. Much easier. Anyway, didn't it turn out cute?

Star Studded Blueberry Pie
  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 unbaked piecrust (recipe below) plus extra dough
  • CRUST:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons cold milk
  • Extra flour, as needed, for rolling the dough
  1. For the crust: Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cut the butter into slices with a dinner knife and scatter the pieces on top of the flour.

  2. Pulse the flour and butter until they are combined and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough sticks to itself when gently squeezed.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to shape it into two balls, one twice as large as the other. Using extra flour as needed to prevent sticking, roll the larger ball to fit a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Wrap the smaller piece of dough tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes a 9- or 10-inch piecrust, plus extra for a decorative top crust.

  4. Creating the filling and assembling the pie: Heat the oven to 375ยบ F. Place the blueberries in a large bowl, and sprinkle with the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and sugar. Toss gently until the berries are evenly coated.

  5. Line a 9- or 10-inch pie pan with the rolled piecrust dough and crimp the edges. Pour the filling into the crust. Let your kids cut the extra dough into shapes with cookie cutters. Lay the shapes, touching one another, on top of the filling. Press any pieces that meet the sides of the crust into the edges.

  6. Place the pie pan on a foil-lined tray (to catch any spills) and bake in the lower third of the oven for 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbly around the edges and the crust is lightly browned. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Serves 8.

02 July 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

too darn hot

It is so hot out -- and in. We have no air-conditioning. It is bearable, but only just bearable. So tonight, rather than heating up our house even more than it already is, I think we'll have a cold dinner. I am going to make up a chopped caprese salad for dinner using some of the basil from our garden. And I bought some gorgeous bread and bruschetta at Target.

I cannot wait until Jonathan gets home from work, so we can all sit out on the patio and eat dinner! I filled the kids' baby pool and it is out on the patio, too, so they can splash around in there after we eat.

01 July 2010

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

30 June 2010

searching for a better way

I have been reading this blog this morning, Plastic Manners, and it is very inspiring. It's about this girl who is trying to live plastic-free. And it is just insane how much plastic we use on a daily basis when you really sit down and think about it.

I already have been trying, a little, to live a greener life. (I picture Jonathan snickering at that statement!) But we recycle everything we can and try to use less electricity. We are growing some of our own vegetables and herbs and I want to can some of our little harvest. But there is just so much more to do. I want our family to eat better, use less energy, reduce our waste, compost... It is a bit overwhelming. Okay, a lot overwhelming!

But, for now, I have put links to some of the blogs I found under the "lives less ordinary" heading and hopefully these will inspire me to try harder.

26 June 2010

father's day camping trip

For Father's Day we went camping in Rocky Mountain National Park.

our campsite

We went for a hike on Cub Lake Trail. It was gorgeous.

But unfortunately it was dusk and even with bug spray on, the mosquitoes were as bad as back in Virginia so we eventually turned back. We saw a bull elk on the way back, though. It was very close to us and it lifted his huge head and just stared at us. It was a bit eerie...

I have to admit, it was not as perfect as our camping trip last year. Lion was a little moody. That made all of us a little moody...

Wait! Is that a smile?!

And he woke up at around 4 am because he had gotten out of his sleeping bag. I think he said he got out of it because he was hot. But whatever the reason, Lion woke us all up screaming and crying because he was cold. He was sitting in the corner of the tent over by our duffel bags (perhaps planning to grab more clothes?) and wouldn't get back into his sleeping bag. Or let me put him in his sleeping bag. Or touch him. Or look at him. He just screamed and cried. I thought Jonathan was going to implode.

I finally got him to be quiet and get back into his sleeping bag. I fell immediately back asleep, but Jonathan was wide awake so he just stayed up until the rest of us got up. Not a very fun time.

Lion was pretty crabby in the car on the way home, too. And Jonathan and I decided to go a long way home. We wanted to drive Trail Ridge Road, since it is closed most of the year and had just opened up again for the summer.

the view from Trail Ridge Road

It was gorgeous, but Lion was such a pill! There was one point where our car was ridiculously high up on this windy road with no guard rail and Lion wouldn't stop yelling and I just looked at his angry little face and I was feeling extremely carsick and therefore clutching a lukewarm can of Coke in my hand and I just seriously wanted to pour my Coke all over him. Sigh. Not a great Mommy moment for me. I didn't, of course, and I am appalled that I even felt that way, but there you have it.

We saw this camera-shy moose on the way home by the side of the road! He is the first moose I have ever seen outside of a zoo.

Anyway. I hope Jonathan had a decent Father's Day. We all survived. And we are all still speaking to each other! We are camping again in August so we'll see how that goes...

14 June 2010

wizard of oz

I bought The Wizard of Oz today. It was a cold, rainy day so Jonathan and I curled up on the couch with the kids and watched the movie and ate some popcorn. I was afraid they might be scared by the tornado or the witch or the flying monkeys, but they were fine. I guess movies and television shows in general are just much scarier than that.

It was very surreal watching the movie with them. How many times in my life have I seen that movie? And now I have seen it with my children...

05 June 2010


Jonathan and the kids are planting our vegetable garden! Last year we grew tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peppers, pumpkins, cilantro, mint and basil. We would have had strawberries, too, but the damn bunnies ate them all. There is an abundance of bunnies in Colorado. At first I thought they were cute. Now I just think they are pests.

This year the strawberries and the mint grew back. And we bought another pumpkin plant and more tomatoes and cilantro and a loooooot more basil. We eat a lot of tomatoes and basil. My grandfather would approve. Last year the kids would just pick the cherry tomatoes and eat them while they were playing in the back yard.

I would have liked to have gotten some lettuce, too, but, like I said, the damn bunnies...

brave new boy

We left Colorado in May and headed to Disney World with a little boy. A little boy who hates being off of the ground. Who does not go on carousels or swings or down slides.

We left Disney World with a Lion who has grown up so much!

Here he is going down a slide:

Riding a carousel:

Going down a water slide:

If you look closely, you can see him riding his very first roller coaster:

It was an amazing week, watching him evolve. On the very first day in the Magic Kingdom, we walked into the park and saw a show at Cinderella's castle called "Dreams Come True." The witch from "Sleeping Beauty" appeared on stage and Lion freaked out. He grabbed my hand and dragged me away, crying and just seriously freaking out. I brought him over to some bushes so the witch couldn't see him. He told me later he thought she was going to turn into a dragon (like she does in the movie) and breathe fire on everyone.

That was the first day. And it was a huge reminder to all of us that Lion is only four and that we should not try to talk him into any ride or attraction that might be too scary for him.

But by the end of the week, Lion chose to try so many new things. And he loved them all.

This last picture sums up Lion's adventure in Disney World perfectly. Climbing, exploring on his own. Headed away from Mommy.

Disney World

04 June 2010

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver

12 May 2010

number nine

Jonathan and I drove with the kids up to the adoption agency today to drop off some paperwork. And the lady at the agency told us that we are now number nine on the list to be matched to a child. Nine! As in single digits. I am ... I don't even know what I am ... speechless, I guess.

Jonathan is handling this whole waiting period much more gracefully than I am. Which is funny, since he is usually the one who loves timelines and plans. I am a little more go-with-the-flow, I think. Maybe not. Because this whole up-in-the-air business of waiting is driving me crazy. It is starting to remind me a little of the days before I got pregnant with Blue. Did I say days? Ha! More like months and months. And I became a crazy woman. I was just like this big, foaming, starving mouth attached to two empty arms over a hollow uterus. That is what I was, and it was not pretty. I am not near that desperate place. But this unknowing reminds me of the journey into that place and it sucks.

Jonathan says it will happen when it happens, it will happen when the time is right, God has a plan and all of the other absolutely right things he said to me then. But I still feel frustrated.

I hate waiting. But I know he will be worth the wait.

Sigh. Which reminds me of that freakin' Michael Buble song. "I Just Haven't Met You Yet." Every time it comes on the radio, I sing along at the top of my lungs and then I get a lump in my throat and I sound like a frog and I tear up. Especially when he sings the second verse, which is:

I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timing and the other half's luck
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life

And I know that we can be so amazing

And, baby, your life is gonna change me
And now I can see every possibility

And somehow I know that it'll all turn out
And you'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, to give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet

Gets me every time.

09 May 2010

Mother's Day

It is Mother's Day and I am having a lovely day. The kids (and Jonathan) made me French toast this morning for breakfast and gave me their cards. Two big events there: this was the first time the Lion cracked eggs and he spelled his name all by himself in the card!

We went on a short hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park with Mabel and tonight we are going to Cinzzetti's for some delicious Italian food.

I am having the perfect Mother's Day. But I also cannot help wondering about Mother's Day next year... Will we have three children? Has our son been born already?

If you have been born already, little man, wherever you are, whoever you are, I am thinking of you today.

03 May 2010

happy mother's day to me

I just ordered this little print for myself from etsy:

26 April 2010

jury duty

Today I reported to the courthouse for my first ever jury summons! And I am on the jury. So I have to report to the courthouse every day this week. Which means I will miss some classes and Jonathan may miss a training day on Friday to stay home with the kids. Sorry this is so brief but my head is pounding and I am heading to bed.

25 April 2010

dinosaur ridge

We took the kids to Dinosaur Ridge today.

I have been wanting to go there ever since we moved to Colorado, but for some reason or other we have never gone before today. It is only about half an hour's drive away so it is pretty pathetic that we hadn't been there before. What a fun day!

Dinosaur Ridge is where the very first Stegosaurus fossils were found in 1877.

It was a bit chilly and cloudy and we were supposed to get rained on. So the kids ate their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we waited to ride a little tour bus up the ridge.

Thank goodness we opted to take the bus! It is a very short walk up the ridge, but the tourguide explained everything to us and I think if we had just trekked up the ridge on our own we would have missed some amazing sights.

These are some Iguanodon footprints. They are from the late Jurassic period.

Here is a gigantic Diplodocus footprint. See how the layers of rock sink down where the ground gave way under the weight of the dinosaur? So incredible.

But I think my favorite part of the tour was learning about the history of the land. We saw ripples in the rock and scratches made by crocodile claws because Colorado used to be underwater.

Lion's favorite part was riding on the bus. And Blue liked this colorful dinosaur: