Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

We are busy preparing for the Martin family to come into town by wrapping gifts and assembling food.  We've got holiday radio humming and a peppermint ice cream recipe to try.  Our Paperwhites are peeking from their bulbs and we spent last Family Evening at a showing of Arthur Christmas.  There are plans to tour the city hunting for light displays.  Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tour de NorCal

Home, back home
Where the memories all have gathered up and
Slowly turned to gold
And I carry them along with me wherever
I may go
("Home," Tim McGraw)

My happy place is at a particular bend in the road near the top of Sonora Pass, pictured above.  Luckily, after many years away and probably many more until my return, I was able to go to my happy place for the first time with my girls.

We spent a day in Tuolumne County, joined by my sister and two of my brother's blondies.  First stop: Cover's Apple Ranch, the place famous for Mile High Apple Pies.  

Next:  Columbia State Park, a Gold Rush boomtown turned ghost town turned popular tourist attraction turned sorta ghost town again.  Luckily, though the stagecoach rides and horses are no longer running on weekdays, Nelson's Candy Shoppe was open and stocked with dark chocolate honeycomb.

Oh, yeah!  It was in the parking lot we got the call from Tommy -- he's headed to Mexico City for his mission!  In his honor, we had some fantastic California-style Mexican food on the main drag in downtown Sonora.

The next day, we took a drive I know so well, a maze of country roads and valley freeways connecting my hometown to "the city."  We stopped at the farmer's stand on Jack Tone Road; the girls loved gathering a load of funky gourds and running through varied species of pumpkins.

On to San Francisco, which is so familiar to me because my grandpa grew up there nearly a century ago.  We were thrilled to find out the awesome last minute online deal was right at Fisherman's Wharf.  Like, we woke up to these guys barking every morning... 

The Sea Lions on Pier 39 were, without a doubt, Kiddo's highlight.  We were also just steps from sourdough chowder bowls at Boudin.

Call us brave or crazy, but besides a few trolley jaunts, we used the local metro to get around town. Boy did we stick out, toting our two little singing girls and a sparkly clean orange stroller, particularly since our regular route ran straight through Chinatown and the ride to the stadium covered some varied SF territory.  We got pretty good at it.  And, it was fun.

Speaking of transportation, we rented bikes one day to ride from the Wharf across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.  A fun way to take it all in.  Michael pulled Millie in a trailer, and I had Soph on a tandem.


I gave up on getting a cute, posed shot of the girls and the bridge so I just told them to "jump!"

Then, there was the Utah v. Cal football game at AT&T Park (I insist on calling it Candlestick) right near the bay.  It was a bummer game, but we made the most of it.  That's all.


Our Tour de NorCal covered it all!  We were even in an earthquake (4.2!) at dinner on the seventh story of a Union Square skyrise.  I remembered the drills we did in elementary school in which we climbed under our desks for protection.  We did miss visiting a few old friends, but that just means you'll have to come visit us!  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Press Credential

Press credentials are like a reporter's backstage pass, ID cards on a lanyard with a generic photo and network information that prove we belong behind the figurative (and occasionally, literal) curtain.  I've got a whole stack of them in my office, swinging casually from the doorknob, ready to grab when I go out on assignment.  I recently happened upon one I hadn't noticed before.  Apparently, Kiddo wanted credentials of her own.  Must've been hoping it would get her special access at Disney on Ice.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

All She Wants

For those on Reader, there is a video attached.

Our Kiddo had two teeth pulled this morning -- her first babies to kick the bucket.  She had an adult tooth growing in behind, so her Uncle/Doctor Scott advised us that it was time to say goodbye.  We prepped by checking out The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss at the library.  She was outwardly brave, but quietly admitted some fear, about the whole ordeal.  She brought her blankie, and laid it close to her heart for emotional support.  Afterwards, all she said was "Owie."  She showed her new gap all over the Kindergarten playground this afternoon, and quickly became the class celebrity.

Thinking the circus looked like fun, Millie wanted "her turn" and independently hopped right into the chair while Sister was digging through the treasure box.  An unplanned first trip to the dentist, she willingly opened up and had her teeth counted.

So once I'm done with all this silly typing, I'm going to play Tooth Fairy (shhh).  When my little one wakes up, she'll find a trail of glitter "fairy dust" from her windowsill across her bed to her pillow, where she'll unearth a couple of bucks and two itty bitty sprinkled cake bites from Sweet Tooth Fairy.  Oh, the magic!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I talk about Halloween all year, dreaming up costume ensembles for four and how I might pull it all together.  This year was a little different; Sophie decided early on she wanted to be Supergirl and Millie kept saying "Princess Pony."  I could have fought the mutiny, but I decided to let go and let my girls be what they wanted to be.  We even bought their costumes at Target, but I added a few embellishments (pride).

The school costume parade

Visiting the great grandmas

We also went to Tom and Jenni's for their scone party, and trick or treated in their neighborhood with Allie but no pics.  Too caught up in the fun, I think.  So, on to dreaming about next year...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Catch and Release

Because finally, I had a good fishing season on the Green.*

* Of course, I didn't do any of the rowing.  

Annual Photos

I am about to be that girl -- if I wasn't already -- that shamelessly shares an entire load of photographs of her ridiculously gorgeous (she thinks) children from their annual birthday photo sitting.  Emphasis on:  shameless.  I simply cannot apologize for showing off that which I am most proud, my kids.  I am happy to be their mom, and grateful to my BFF and talented photographer Jenni who so beautifully captures the best part of my life.  So, *eh*.

We picked an afternoon this summer to meet in a neighbor's peach orchard and brought a few symbolic props.  The chair is from our kitchen set, handed down from Michael's grandmother, and I wanted some photographs of them before they are refinished.  Also, I wanted to capture Sophie's entrance into academia (Kindergarten), so I bought the vintage blue desk on KSL and brought the Penguin cloth-bound books, pencils, etc from home.






Monday, September 26, 2011

Sophie Names Her Children

Sophie wants to be a mom when she grows up.  This has been a consistent and unprompted response to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" since she was itty bitty.  Yesterday, as we walked home from church after her primary program, she made her plans more specific.

"I want to be a mom with four girls and four boys," she said, as she showed me with two hands.  I wanted to tell her how crazy and exhausting that sounded, but I bit my tongue, so as not to crush her dreams.  "And I know what I want to name them, too."

Here's how it breaks down...

GIRLS:  Shylit, Noggins, Allison and Millie
BOYS:  Thomas, Roberto, Michael and FoulGroan

Monday, September 12, 2011

Movies I Want My Girls to See

"My father used to say that if we ever had the money you have, 
we would eat steak and ice cream three times everyday!" 

We invited a couple little buddies over this afternoon to watch the Hayley Mills classic, "Pollyanna."  This is part of my new effort to expose my daughters to films (mostly old musicals) I checked out regularly from our local library and inhaled as a kid.  I don't want to leave any out, so here's a start for my "to check out (or maybe even own)" collection.  Suggestions?  
  • Pollyanna (Mills)
  • Newsies
  • Annie
  • Parent Trap (Mills)
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • Music Man
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (I had forgotten the main character is Milly!)
  • Little Women (Hepburn and Danes/Ryder versions)
  • Oklahoma!
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Mary Poppins
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Sound of Music
  • Funny Girl
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • The King and I
  • Singing in the Rain
  • My Fair Lady
  • South Pacific
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • Summer Magic
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • Absent-Minded Professor

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.  There are games to be won.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!