Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alex is on her way home!

Alex (my traveling Playmobil) is on her way home. She has been with E in Japan for the last week, and quite loved it. Yesterday they went to a temple called Senso Ji. There were quite a few things to look at, and many beautiful scenes to enjoy.

As you can imagine I am much more excited to see E, but Alex had such a great trip, she insisted that I post about it.

Here are a few photos of her (and E's) day:

And here is Alex:

35 MORE things!

Just a few days ago I posted this where I wrote down 35 things you might not know about me. Well the original goal was 100 things, so I'm going to try to get to that 100 mark.

Oh, and I find these quite fun to read, so I urge my blogging friends to start their own list. Can we all make it to 100?

So, here are 35 MORE things you may not know about me (stay tuned for the final 30):

36. When I was a girl I loved dolls (no surprise there) but I named them awesome names. I had big baby, little baby, red baby and soft baby.
37. Right now my toenails and purse are purple.
38. I collect lots of things, but one of my collections is travel books to the places I hope to one day see.
39. I love apricots.
40. As a younger kid people wouldn't know where I was from. They always thought I was a New Yorker. I guess I picked up some of my dad's NY accent. I have since lost it.
41. I don't eat a lot of pork.
42. When I was in third grade there were two Jessicas in my class. The other Jessica had red hair and I had black, so the teacher called her Jessica Red and me Jessica Black.
43. My commute is 9 minutes. When we move it will be closer to 7 minutes.
44. My favorite tea flavors are Ginger Peach and Violet
45. I figure skated for many years growing up. I loved doing shows but hated competitions.
46. I've never had meatloaf in my life. My mom hates it, so she never fixed it.
47. I am still close with a couple of childhood friends.
48. I didn't see E and I being together forever when we first dated. I am so glad that he stuck around!
49. I lived in the dorms my first year of college. I both loved it and hated it.
50. I was never ever tardy in both high school and junior high.
51. I would have major anxiety about the possibility of being tardy.
52. I told the first guy that kissed me that "next time he kisses a girl he shouldn't use tongue."
53. I did my world report in sixth grade on China. I am still fascinated with China.
54. I look at baby clothes online.
55. I've considered buying baby clothes online for a baby I hope to one day have.
56. I have always dreamed about living in NYC.
57. I love shrimp.
58. I hate to admit it, but I love celebrity gossip.
59. I would love to adopt and I might decide to do this one day.
60. I have never learned to spell.
61. I am SCUBA certified.
62. When I was little I would ask my mom almost every day what her favorite color was. She always said pink, but my favorite changed from day to day. I remember one day my favorite was "gray mixed with pink".
63. When I graduated kindergarten I got a wonderful present - a kitten I named Henry.
64. Vermeer and Hopper are my favorite artists.
65. The smell of almonds is one of my favorite scents.
66. I had a swimming pool in my backyard growing up. Swimming each day in the summer are some of my favorite childhood memories.
67. In seventh grade I had hot pink stretch pants that were my favorite. I wore them multiple times a week.
68. I used to love to make dioramas as a kid.
69. In third grade the only thing I asked for for Christmas was a pair of crutches. And I got them. I pretended my leg was broken for an entire week.
70. I never missed a single day of junior high.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Harry Potter Mania

What oh what am I going to do when all the movies are out? I was so sad the day the seventh book came out, of course I was excited, but also sad that it was the end of something I love so much.

Anyway, without further ado:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Excitement over our new house

E and I have been feeling extreme excitement over our new house, we are so so so excited to move in and make it our own.

We close on August 21st, which means we are hustling to finish things around the condo and begin to pack. Yesterday I packed and cleaned for about an hour. What does this mean? I have packed my first box, I have about a gazillion to go.

One of the things E and I are most excited about is our backyard. We have a large backyard that gets plenty of sun, so we are excited to plant produce, trees, raspberries, and flowers come spring time next year. We also might try to start an Asian Garden.

Also, we have more inside space now than we have ever head before. I want a place to sew and display my dolls, and E wants a place to work on his antique radios. We also want a office/study and a place to snuggle (we will no longer have the reading nook...).

I am also thinking of painting colors, I'd like to paint our bedroom, the office and the guest bedroom. Any ideas? I looked through the Pottery Barn catalog to try to get some ideas, but I'm open to other design inspirations.

Monday, July 28, 2008

35 things you may not know about me

My friend Erin posted this on her blog, so I thought I'd take the challenge. I'm not sure I can think of 35 things, but here it goes:

1. I don't like my fingernails too long, once they start growing past the end of my fingertips I trim them!
2. I don't really like to talk on the phone. Short conversations are fine, but for keeping in touch I like blogs and email and face to face better.
3. I collect tin toys.
4. Now that I mentioned my fingernails, they feel a little long now. I must trim!
5. I have scary dreams about elevators every couple of nights. Last night I had a dream I was on an elevator with no walls. Yikes!
6. I hate being too hot.
7. I fall asleep most nights earlier than E. I can even fall asleep with the TV on.
8. I like to garden. One day I hope to have a Japanese garden in my backyard.
9. I hate snails. And spiders. They are the things I don't like about gardening.
10. I don't mind driving in the snow.
11. Teramisu is one of my favorite desserts.
12. I like most foods, but I can't stand cooked carrots.
13. I was a vegetarian from the time I was 12 until I was 22.
14. I really like gnomes.
15. My car is red, and has a stick shift. I like driving my stick shift, because it s zippy.
16. I have tried a lot of sports, I've taken classes in tennis, soccer, softball, ice skating, gymnastics, swimming, diving, dancing, and more.
17. I don't get scared too easily, but making an offer on the house last week scared me.
18. I rarely cry (maybe once every other month).
19. I like to pluck my eyebrows every night before bed.
20. I don't like to cook with a recipe, I rather just wing it, and it usually turns out!
21. I don't mind doing the dishes, but I hate cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming.
22. I don't like shopping for clothes for myself. I still wear a tee shirt I got in eight grade because it still fits and isn't worn-out.
23. I like shopping for shoes. Go figure.
24. I get very easily bored at action movies.
25. I listen to oldies on the radio.
26. I clean my closet out every six months or so, and donate all the clothes we don't wear to MS or Arc of Utah.
27. I hate when things look dusty.
28. I went to a different school for fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grade (that is four schools in four years, which is really hard on a kid.)
29. I always wanted a treehouse when I was a kid. I hope my kids will have a treehouse.
30. Becken Becken was my favorite outdoor game as a kid. It is kind of like kick the can.
31. I always donate to Best Friends and No More Homeless Pets. I also donate to The Afgan Woman's Fund.
32. I hate being alone for extended periods of time.
33. Mashed potatoes have been one of my favorite foods my entire life.
34. I hated learning to ride a two wheeled bike when I was a kid. I remember skinning my knee and crying.
35. I've never had a hard time making friends.

Friday, July 25, 2008

We made and offer and it was accepted

We made and offer and it was accepted. The story is a little longer than that, but overall the house buying process went in super speed for E and I. We've been driving around looking at houses for awhile, calling the Realtor when we saw something we liked.

Well on Monday I saw a house listed online that I liked. I called my Realtor and asked if we could see it. On Tuesday we saw it, Wednesday we made an offer, Thursday we got a counter offer and accepted it, and today we are dazed, scared and excited for our new home.

Here are some stats: house is 2400 square feet, so plenty big. It has five bedrooms, three on the main floor and two in the basement. It has three bathrooms, a new kitchen, large sunny backyard, and the house faces south. The view of twin peaks is awesome.

Here are some more photos, and over the next few days and weeks we are going to be madly cleaning, packing, and selling our condo.

Outside of our cute house. Red brick, white trim and a porch!
Another photo of the living room. There is a gas fireplace!
This is a view of the backyard out one of the bedroom windows. Nice and big!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I think we found it!!!!!!

I feel like such a dork using more than one exclamation point, but in this case it is needed.

I think we found it!!!!! A fantastic house in our budget. However, this is really really scary too. Here are the reasons:

1. Making an offer, this is scary because not only do I need to know how much we can afford, but we also need to have an idea of loan we are going to choose. Plus, this house is awesome, and we don't want to loose it, so we decided to go ahead and make an offer today....

2. Down Payment - most of our money is tied up in our current condo, and we don't know what my uncle wants to do with it yet. Should we sell or does he want to rent? We need to decide quickly, because that will effect the loan tremendously.

3. E heads to Japan (for work) soon, which means that there are going to be some big decisions that I will need to make while he is away. Scary...

But, the house is awesome.

Here are a few photos (none of the outside yet, because I don't want to loose this baby!)-

Front room-
Awesome kitchen (with a gas stove)-
Office (one of the five, yes five bedrooms)-
Bathroom, one of three-

Monday, July 21, 2008

Farmhouse overview

This is the last post of the day, I swear.

Last weekend E, his family and I went to the farmhouse. We had such a great time doing what we do at the farmhouse - nothing. We relaxed on the front porch, I played dolls, we explored Skyline Drive, E dutch ovened enchiladas for dinner and cowboy potatoes for breakfast, and we got to know Chelsea's new boyfriend Joe.

Connie (E's mom) didn't really feel comfortable inviting Joe to the farmhouse this early in Chelsea's relationship, but I guess Chelsea won out, because Joe joined us. He is a great guy, really nice, funny, sincere, and wonderful to Chelsea (which is all that matters). I think he enjoyed getting to know E's family a little better, and hanging out down in Central Utah.

Here are a few photos from the weekend:

We have two adopted pets down at the farmhouse, one is Zoey, the sweet dog I blogged about here, and the other is a cat, we call him Vampire Cat, because we usually only see him at night. Well for some reason we saw Vampire a lot this time, and during the day! He is a very funny cat, here he is trying to ask for pets when I was down on my hands and knees taking doll photos.
While E was mowing the lawn he found this butterfly. She was dead, but her wings had yet to fall apart. It was neat being able to look at the pretty insect without hurting her.
E is going to be mad that I am posting this photo, but in addition to cooking all the food for the entire group in his dutch ovens, he also taught Violet to cook in her very own oven that he got me for my birthday.
The sunsets down there are always so pretty.
Of course Vampire was very happy to help E with the bacon on Sunday morning.
After Vampire had his fill of bacon and milk he relaxed with Connie and the dolls (only one doll is mine, Violet is in orange).
After breakfast was cleaned up, we decided to take a walk. The sweet peas were in bloom.
Before we left we did some geocaching up Skyline Drive. This is s a photo I snapped of Chelsea and Joe when they didn't realize I was stalking them.

Re-ment, it arrived!

Remember the post about Re-ment that I only posted a few days ago? Well the goodies that I ordered on eBay arrived. They are so stink'n cute!

Here is a photo of Betsy pretending she is in Paris:

Cat photos

I'm full of blog post ideas today, so I hope you don't mind reading a handful of short posts. I also plan to update Violet's blog, so make sure to check that later today too.

Anyway, I wanted to show you some really sweet kitty photos of me with my Mom's kitty Micky and my Dad's kitty Zorro. They look so much alike, and are both awesome pets.

This is Zorro. We got Zorro when I was a junior in high school, so he's getting old.
This is Ivan. Remember Tasha that died earlier this year? Well Ivan is her twin (he is sleeping behind Tasha in the photo from Tasha's post) and he is a love. I love this photo because Ivan looks really pissed off that I'm holding him.

One more small post about our anniversary

E and I celebrated our second anniversary on July 9th. We have been lucky enough to have done some very special things to celebrate, including seeing The Lion King on Broadway with our two best friends. We also went to Alta Brunch, our tradition, and something my parents did every year to celebrate their own anniversary. Alta Lodge has been serving this fantastic hot and cold brunch for more than 30 years, and once my parents invited E and I to join them.

E fell in love, so now we have the same tradition. Every year for our anniversary we spend a day in the mountains eating, talking, enjoying and eating some more.

Above is a photo of some of the salads and the view from the lodge.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Re-ment = love. If you have no idea what I am talking about that is okay. Re-ment is a wonderful Japanese toy company that makes miniatures. I have know about Re-ment for awhile, but I recently found out E is going to Japan for work later this month (I know, he is lucky!).
Anyway, I really wanted him to pick up some Japanese toys for me while he is there, and while doing me research I fell in love with Re-ment all over again.

They make the most darling little things from sushi to cakes, from tea sets to lamps, all tiny.

(In this set each plate is no larger than a quarter. Each piece is not molded together, though, they are all separate, and each set comes with a little story.)
I love small toys. I just love them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

NYC - Part 4

The final segment of our NYC experience with Ben and Jo was just as special as the days before (well, maybe not as special as the proposal). On Tuesday morning we woke up early and headed towards midtown, I needed to return something at American Girl Place and we wanted to see Rockefeller Center.

After a very expensive breakfast we grabbed a taxi and went to The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art). Anyone that has not been to NYC, or not been to The Met, this is a MUST do. Of course it is busy and a major tourist destination, but if you know where to go, you can leave the crowds behind.

Ben and Jo kissing on the steps of The Met.
First we wanted to check out the Egyptian section, and the beautiful Temple of Dendur. The Temple is a busy area of the museum, but rightly so. The entire temple was purchased and brought from Egypt to be placed inside the museum because it was going to be lost under the rising Nile. Originally this temple sat on an island in the Nile, so the museum recreated an island inside the three story gallery for the entire temple to sit on.

Leaving the Egyptian exhibit, we headed upstairs to a much more quiet and peaceful area of the museum, the Asian arts exhibit. The Chinese gallery has an entire inside courtyard build in the traditional style, with a stream bubbling in the corner. We also checked out the Japanese art area, and of course the Korean art gallery.

Soon we were getting hungry and walked towards the back of the museum (through the medieval art section, another favorite of mine) towards the cafeteria. The cafeteria at The Met is not a normal cafeteria, instead it is a huge area where you can choose from dozens of choices of gourmet food. I chose four mushroom ravioli in a arugula and sun dried tomato sauce.

After lunch we checked out the arms and armor section, more of the medieval galleries, and finally we moved onto the very famous European art galleries. We saw some of the most famous paintings in the entire world, including Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and more.

As the day wore on we were getting more and more tired, but before we left I insisted we visit the modern gallery to see my favorite artist of all - Hopper. After a quick visit to the museam gift shop (first time in my dozen or so times visiting there, I didn't purchase anything), we headed back to the hotel to rest and freshen up.

We all were very excited for this night because we had purchased tickets to The Lion King! As we walked down Broadway into the center of Times Square, the world seemed to be just as excited as we were. We entered the theater right off of 43rd, and were awed by the awesome-ness of this location. There were floor to ceiling windows in the lobby that looked over Times Square from three stories up. Wow!

E and I were especially excited for this night because we had purchased the tickets for each other's second anniversary gift.
Once the show started we all sat there in amazement. The costumes were AMAZING! Showing someone photos or video does not do this show justice, it was breathtaking. Here is a video I found on YouTube, to give you an idea of the show, but really, this does not do this justice at all!

Plus, the entire cast was African American, which I found really really neat for a story that is set in Africa. The entire time, each of us were mesmerized, we all loved it.

After the show we hung out in the lobby for quite awhile, the view of Times Square was stunning and we really didn't want this night to end. We talked, joked, and looked at the bright lights below. We even got an usher to take a group photo of us.Finally we left the theater and walked back to Korea Way. Jo said there is an amazing restaurant there, that has the best Korean food in the world (even better than in Korea, she says!). We arrived quite late to a very authentic Korean restaurant and were seated near the front in beautiful hardwood seats.
Jo ordered everything in Korean, and out came beautiful dishes of kimchi, peppers, soup, and finally our main dish - bibimbop. Bibimbop is an authentic Korean dish of rice topped with wonderfully marinated veggies, egg, pork, seaweed and more. You top the entire dish with spicy red sauce, and then mix. Wow! Bibimbop is now my new favorite food.
Finally our night was coming to a close. It was close to 1:00 am, and we were all tired and ready for bed. Everyone was also a little sad, because the next day would be our last day in NYC together, and we had had such a wonderful time.

On Wednesday morning (mine and E's second wedding anniversary!) we woke up early and packed our things. Downstairs in the hotel lobby we checked out and left our luggage under lock and key. We walked around the block and got a fantastic breakfast of bagels and coffee, and then hopped on the Subway and headed to Chinatown. Chinatown is a favorite stop of mine, but really is very different than other Chinatowns I've visited (it is a world away from the rest of NYC). We wandered around, looked at fish stalls, did a little shopping and finally ended up at our favorite restaurant, Joe's Shanghai. We had already visited the midtown location with Colette and Jen earlier in the week, but you can never have too many soup dumplings.

Soon lunch was over, and we decided to wander through Little Italy, get an Italian Ice and hit up Ferrara's for a cannoli. Jo snapped a photo of E and I enjoying our favorite dessert all of NYC has to offer.
By 3:00 our trip had come to an end, we hugged Ben and Jo and said goodbye at Penn Station. They caught their bus, and we caught our train, and we headed home. It was a great trip.

Friday, July 11, 2008

NYC - part 3 (the best part!)

Monday morning Ben, Jo, E and I woke up with big plans. Jo had a lunch set with a friend of her sister's, so we hoped on the Subway and headed towards 32st street, or Korea Way. We looked around and poked our heads into bookstores. I was truly impressed with how much Korean Ben knows, he was even able to read some children's books in Korean!

Soon it was time for Jo to meet her friend, so Ben, E and I headed towards Grand Central Station. I love Grand Central, something about train travel is so romantic to me. Grand Central is awesome, it is huge, romantic, and one of my all time favorite buildings in NYC (the Met is also up there near the top).

Ben, E and I went to the lower level of Grand Central, got some lunch and reviewed some very important planning for that evening. Ben wanted to see "the goods" which E and I had carefully brought with us from Utah. (Are you confused? I'm being vague for a reason!) E and I had some very important jobs. We needed to do the hand-off, pretend there was a family emergency, and notify the restaurant that we had arrived, all without Jo suspecting anything.

After lunch we took a short stop in the Chrysler Building's lobby and then walked back towards Korea Way to meet Jo. Once we met up with her (she still had no idea about the night's plans) we hopped on the Subway again and went towards Battery Park.

Once there we realized our mistake, never ever try to take a ferry out to Ellis and Liberty Island in the middle of the day right after a holiday weekend. Although I've been to NYC many many times, I've never been to Liberty or Ellis Islands. I have always really wanted to go to Ellis Island because that is where my dad's side of the family came through. My Great Grandma even has her name listed on the plaques. Anyway, after waiting in a really long and really hot line, we finally got on the boat. We spent a very short time on Liberty Island but we did get our National Park Passports stamped.

Ben and Jo (for those of you who don't know them).
Liberty herself.
Then we were onto Ellis Island. It was really interesting to be there. Jo and I both had a strong reaction, me because this is a place that changed my family's history forever when they escaped the Nazis before the world wars. Jo had a strong reaction because, she herself, is an immigrant. One day she might be a US citizen, but right now she is working and living in the US with a visa. We looked around quickly and found my Grandma's name (Gusta Stein Sturm) on the plaque before catching the next boat back to Manhattan.
We decided to go to the hotel for to rest and relax before dinner. I suggested we try a restaurant in Central Park for dinner, The Boat House, but of course this was all part of the plan. Ben had made reservations weeks in advance. Jo said The Boat House sounded fun, so step one was complete! Back in the hotel we took a mini rest and changed into nice clothes.

On the way into Central Park we all agreed what a beautiful night it was. When we arrived the secret plans really got into motion. While E talked with the hostess, I needed to keep Ben and Jo occupied. We walked out to the Bethesda Fountain and took a few photos. Now was the time for Ben to propose!

On the walk back to the restaurant a few things happened very quickly:
1. I handed Ben the "goods" secretly
2. E told the Gondolier that we were here
3. E and I pretended that Melissa called with something urgent
4. The Gondolier pretended there had been a cancellation, and asked Ben and Jo if they would like to take a ride (really Ben had made a reservation for sunset weeks in advance)
5. Because I was on the phone with a "family emergency" E and I couldn't go with them
6. Ben and Jo were whisked off to a sunset Gondola ride in Central Park on a real Venetian-made Gondola

Pretty awesome, huh?

Anyway, while Ben and Jo were gone E and I ordered a drink from the bar and got shivers thinking about Ben popping the question. All too soon they were back, both grinning from ear to ear. E and I ran down to the dock to take a lot of photos of the newly engaged couple. Here are a some:

Jo was beaming. She said she had no idea, and the proposal was perfect. She was so excited she said she didn't even remember what she had said! Ben assured us she said yes. We laughed and hugged and congratulated them. We found out that Ben had asked Jo to marry him in Korean, how awesome is that? Then we sat down for dinner right on the lakeside and ordered champagne, appetizers, awesome food, and dessert. Jo wanted to know all the details of the secret planning, and E and I told her how hard it was not to tell anyone beforehand, because we were so excited!

The newly engaged couple:
And the ring!
We ended up hanging out much to late at the restaurant toasting Ben and Jo again and again. Finally we left, and outside where two rickshaws attached to bicycles. We decided to hop on, and the riders took us zooming through Central Park. What a great night.

Here is to Ben and Jo and a lifetime of happiness!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NYC - part 2

On Sunday morning E and I left for NYC to meet two sets of friends. First we were going to meet Colette and Jen at American Girl Place for lunch, and then later in the day meet up with Ben and Jo who were coming in to spend time with us from Washington DC. We were so thrilled to have set something up with Ben and Jo. We miss them like crazy, and haven't seen them for a year (remember how sad I was when Ben left to go to DC with Jo?).

Anyway, I digress. On Sunday we left Long Island and headed into the city. After a painless train ride and a quick taxi ride we were on the way to American Girl to meet Colette and Jen! Colette is a friend I met online through one of my doll boards (she's a crazy doll person like me!) and Jen is her partner. They moved from Wisconsin to NYC last year, so when I found out we were headed to the city, I was thrilled to have time to finally meet my internet friends.

Cute set up at American Girl Place.
E and I didn't know what to expect. I knew Colette and Jen are both very smart and well read, and also well traveled, which all seemed like good signs. Once we finally met we really hit it off. Colette and Jen are great. We ended up looking all over American Girl place chatting about life, love, babies and everything else. Soon it was time for lunch in the American Girl Cafe. We brought our dolls in and they even had their own seats and dishes.

Colette and I share lunch with Inky and Lei Mei.
After lunch we headed up to FAO Schwarz to look at more toys. We admired Playmobil, dolls, Legos and Harry Potter goodies. Then we walked along the park, stopped at Whole Foods and ended up sitting down and chatting near the park for another hour. Finally it was getting late and E and I were having such a great time I suggested dinner. We headed to Joe's Shanghai in Midtown and ordered soup dumplings. All too soon our day with Jen and Colette was over, and we said our goodbyes to our friends.

Literally five minutes after saying goodbye Ben called to tell us he was in the city! Within moments he and Jo were outside our door and we all started screaming and hugging. It was so wonderful to see old friends again. Because it was our first night, and the night was still young (only 11:00) we decided to go to the Empire State Building. Ben had never been to New York, so walking through Times Square on the way was fun. He said it reminded him a lot of Tokyo. Ben and Jo had not eaten, so we stopped at Ray's Pizza on the way.

Once at the Empire State Building we were warned about low visibility because of clouds. We decided to go ahead anyway, and never had to wait in line! We were even alone on the elevator as we ascended 86 stories. Once at the top we loved the views of the city in all directions. The sky was a little foggy, but it gave the night almost a dream like feel.

Finally around 1:00 we returned to the hotel to fall into bed, before starting another day of NYC sightseeing.

NYC - part 1

E and I just got back from New York, and we had such a wonderful time, what an AWESOME way to spend our second anniversary. Over the next day or two I will write 3-4 blog posts about our time in NY, because it is just too much to post all at once.

But for a preview: E and I celebrated our two year mark with tickets to Broadway! More to come on that later.

So we arrived on Long Island on Thursday after a hell of a day of travel. The flights were fine, but once we landed we had to take three trains (because we took the wrong one at one point) to get to our destination and fight with holiday Penn Station traffic - horrible. Once we finally arrived at our destination we grabbed a quick bite and headed to my second cousin's house. My dad's cousin Debbie and Steve have done really really well. Steve started a financial business, and because of this, he is very wealthy. The home and grounds they own are amazing, and it was really fun walking around the first night. I miss NY air so much sometimes, hot and heavy and humid. Everything is so so green, it almost hurts your eyes. Plus, the deep blue hydrangeas were in bloom, which are my favorite.

The next day we woke up, and an awesome NY bagel breakfast (they have no idea how to make bagels anywhere by NY) and headed to my Aunt's house where all the family was meeting. The primary reason we traveled to NY was because my Grandma was turning 90, and we were going to have a huge party for her. At my Aunt's my Grandma, cousins, uncles and aunts were starting to gather. It is so fun to see family after such a long time. My Grandma was beaming from ear to ear to see us, and all of my cousins were there.

That day we helped set up for the party, then just E, Melissa, Chandler and I we went to Joan's Beach for the day. We had such a great time. The water was FREEZING but the air was nice and warm. The entire beach was full and crowded with 4th of July beach goers. Chandler is doing so well, and it was such a huge relief to have him back to himself.

That night we all gathered again and decided to go out to dinner. We chose a little Thai restaurant in Merrick, and luckily they had a spot for all of us. My cousin Aaron ordered the food because he's been to Thailand twice, and everything was fantastic, but Thai food is impossible not to like.

That night we got Italian Ice and headed back to Debbie and Steve's house. There we enjoyed spending more time with extended family, and looking around their awesome house.

The next day was party day! Hillary (my cousin) and Jeremy arrived around noon with their two adorable kids. Sophia is almost 4 and totally adorable. Adam is one, and as sweet as any baby you have ever met. E and I realized how much we want to be parents, because these babies stole our hearts. Sophia even sang a song that she made up about princesses and kittens.

That night the rain clouds cleared and Carolyn's backyard was perfect for the party. All of my cousins, my dad's cousins, my grandma's sisters and my grandpa's sister's attended the party. It was so fun to see everyone again and try to remember how this person and that person are related. It was a wonderful family gathering, and my Grandma was so happy.

Here is the whole group:
And her is my Grandma (middle) with her two lovely sisters Elanor and Selma.
Soon the party came to a close and we kissed and hugged our family goodbye. Outside my cousins and I continued to hang out. We had a few bottles of wine and snacks, and we sat and chatted for quite awhile. It was wonderful to spend time with them.

Here is everyone- Jordan, Gordon, Megan, Me, Aaron, Melissa, Lauren, and Chandler. I'm not sure where E was when this photo was taken, because he was outside with us. Hillary and her family had left, because the babies needed to get to bed.
The next morning we woke up and enjoyed more fantastic NY bagels with family before heading towards the city.
More to come!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Birthday my love

From the Soviet Era cartoon, Crocodile Gena would like to wish you a happy day.

E's Birthday weekend at the cabin

E's birthday is today. Happy Birthday my love.Last weekend we celebrated by going up to the cabin with my family. Here is how the weekend went (in photos):

On Saturday morning E and I woke up fairly early and started to pack for the weekend ahead. This meant packing our cooler, sleeping bags, dutch ovens, books, etc. As we packed, Moose decided that my sleeping bag looked really really cozy and snuggled up. When it was time to pack it, he was not happy to have to move.
Finally around 11:30 we headed out. Once at the cabin we unpacked a little, walked down to the meadow (which was really flooded with all the snow melt), looked for frogs and relaxed. The meadow is, and always has been, my favorite place in the entire world. I could sit there all day enjoying the outdoors.While in the meadow I caught a few frogs. I didn't take any photos of me with the little guys, but I snapped a few with Violet. Here is one of my favorites (to see the others go to Violet's blog):Soon my Grandma and Mom showed up. We wanted to take a walk in the meadow. We walked over to the edge of the meadow and collected flowers in the shade. The aspen forests were lovely, so green and magical. The sun sliced the air and a steep angle and the flowers sparkled in the deep green underbrush.
As we walked back towards the cabin we saw my Aunt Laura, Uncle Mike and cousin Kendra walking towards us, they had just arrived. We played with the dogs a little bit in the stream before heading back to the cabin to start cocktail hour. Whenever I blog about my family, I write about our awesome cocktail hour, and this one was no exception. My Mom had gone to the farmer's market and picked up fresh cherries, peas, and other goodies. My Grandma brought cheese and crackers, apples, nuts and even made a quesadilla. Laura and Mike brought a huge bag of limes and squeezed them fresh, and we had fresh lime juice margaritas. Wow. Here are Kendra and I enjoying cocktail hour.As we ate snacks and sipped drinks E started on the main course, chicken pot pie in the dutch oven! We had made this recipe once before, back when we went to Canyonlands. Anyway, the pot pie was just as good this time around. We were worried we'd have too much food, but the eight of us were able to eat the entire pot pie without a problem. For dessert Laura and Mike made and upside down pineapple cake. It was so delish, and is absolutely one of my favorite dutch oven desserts.

That night I slept under the stars in the bug tent (gotta keep the flies away!) and the next morning woke up to another beautiful day. As I started cleaning up my cot and sleeping bag my Grandma was working on breakfast. She was making corned beef hash with poached eggs in the dutch oven. She had had this dish in San Fransisco a year before, and remembered it as a prime cabin breakfast. Laura made biscuits for the dutch oven, and we had fruit and jam. Damn we know how to make the outdoors rock.After breakfast was cleaned up I taught Kendra how to braid Violet's hair and embroider. She wanted to have me make a pillow for the cabin, but once I taught her my embroidery secrets, Kendra couldn't stop. The pillow is looking awesome.

Soon we packed up our day packs and headed to the lake. The lake is a hike we take almost every time we are at the cabin. It is a short steep walk with lots of beautiful areas. The aspen forests never cease to amaze me.After the hike everyone left and E and I decided to take a nap. Also, I wanted to spend a little more time in the meadow before we headed back towards the city for another Monday.

We had an awesome time at the cabin, and can't wait to go back.
Related Posts with Thumbnails