Thursday, October 20, 2011

Anyone have any good wrinkle cream recommendations?

I might have gotten a little bit mad at KC the other night, when he reminded me that I was going to turn 27 the next day. I think I didn’t let myself remember on purpose. I mean, I wasn’t trying to block it out, but I get so tired of getting older, that maybe I subconsciously let myself forget. But if becoming one year older means having the great year that I’ve had, I guess it’s worth it.

My birthday was yesterday, and it was a great one. It was just what I needed. The babies slept in, I got to do some Pilates (the dark, windy, rainy morning not so inviting as I was preparing to go running), and we all enjoyed some birthday cereal together, which Alex now calls “Ceeoeeoeeoeeo.”I love it.

Elise and I made the day festive by taking the kids on a jaunt to Columbia, where we perused a fun book store, and went to the Mall. The play place there was a great one for the kids. The girls were angels, playing so nicely, Bennett, liked to play a game where he’d almost run out until I told him to come back, and then he would come happily running back. But Alex was a funny one. He’s been clingy in public lately, and right when we got there, he wouldn’t let go of my legs. Eventually he played around, only to come back to me a little while later, and buried his head in my chest for the remainder of our play time. When I’d lift him up, he’d keep his eyes closed, smile, and shove his head right back down. I gotta say, I loved those snuggles from my baby boy. After we left, we broke out some snacks (popcorn and apples were our shopping snacks of choice, and they worked like a charm), that allowed us to have a good time leisurely shopping around. 007009012

After what felt like a quick, and mostly cheerful afternoon (which was mostly surprising because the previous day had a MUCH different story. . .) KC, came home, I opened some gifts, and once the babies were down, he and I went out to a place in D.C. that has been on our list for a while, 2 Amys. It was a thoroughly delightful evening, complete with across the street, free parking, hardly any wait to be seated, and very delicious food. Not to mention I got some much needed quality time with my husband, who I love so much. And we were home before nine, which to me is a treat. You know me and my love of an early turn-in. I didn’t get a nap that day, so my warm bed was calling to me. It was a perfect, low-key, happy day to have a birthday. And it was incredibly sweet to hear my babies tell me happy birthday for the first time. It sounded a little bit like “Hap-ber Mommy!” I’ll take it. 025027028

I was able to chat with Melody a bit, as we do like to celebrate together as best as we can, being so far apart. We talked about how our respective families celebrated with us, and wished each other a happy day. I also got the babies to say “Hap-Ber Didi!” We did a little bit of celebrating when were together a couple months ago, so at least we had that. Hopefully next year we can actually be together on the real day for a change. One of there years we’ll get it right.

It’s weird, I just don’t feel like I’m past 23 yet. Where did the years go? I am now the age that KC was when I met him, and I felt like he was sooooo old. Mind you, I was only 19, but still. . . I do love being this age for a lot of reasons. I feel like, though I still have a lot of learning ahead of me, I have grown immensely from my early 20s (I’m so sorry for anyone who had to put up with my younger na├»ve self. I hope I’m not the only one who wonders “What was I thinking"?!”). And I am now old enough that people don’t look shocked and surprised when I tell them I have three kids. Well surprised still (we are in the East Coast, remember), but not so shocked, which is nice. I know I’m being dramatic when I say I feel old, but doesn’t everyone go through this when they hit a certain age? I’ll get over it. I am still in my 20s, and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I CAN!

(Pronounced with the same surprise, shock, and amazement as Bob Wiley when he said “I SAIL!” on What About Bob.)

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Canning is something I’ve always been intimidated by. I knew it was a little investment, and always thought there was a lot of preparation and learning involved. I’ve done my fair share of freezer jam, but never felt like that was truly canning. It seemed a bit too crafty for someone (me) who claims to be the least crafty of them all, so I leaned away from it. But I became curious this year, and got the itch to give it a try. I shopped around for the gear, made some calls to my canning-expert sister Amber, and gave it a go. And guess what? I’m hooked! Maybe it’s because I’m looking for more productive things I can do from home, or maybe it’s because I needed a small challenge, I’m not sure. But I do know that my list of things to can keeps getting longer. The babies have been so kind to play so nicely while I hang out in the kitchen during the day, but a lot of times, I wait until the evening, so I can fully immerse myself (no pun intended) in the process, and even listen to a good book while chopping and pealing dozens of apples at a time. I can’t wait until I have a garden so I can really put all my new equipment and newly acquired know-how to use. Although, gardening is another one of those things I’m scared of, so it will have to wait until I’m in the mood for another challenge. Who knows when that will be.IMG_2614IMG_2629IMG_2605

I find myself filling with pride as I look at the small stock of food I’ve added to our storage. The process is an art to me. It’s so fun to play with new toys. . .um, I mean tools, and dusting off old ones. I love that it gets me in the kitchen, elbow deep in colorful, delicious food. Much better on the waistline than baking breads and pastries everyday like I would otherwise want to do to fill this need for creating, and just enjoying myself in my true element. The past few days, the smell of my kitchen has been in a constant state of spiced apple, and those fresh apples from the farm have quite the fragrance, let me tell you!

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I hope to keep it up throughout the year as things come in season. Here is what I’ve accomplished so far:

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I even enjoyed this on top of my pumpkin ice cream last night. IMG_2645

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The Lemon Curd is frozen rather than processed. I wanted to use fresh lemon juice, and freezing is the safest way to preserve it. It just sounded like a fun addition.IMG_2544

Made with the apple peelings and cores!IMG_2676

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I know my stock isn’t very well rounded, but time will bring more colors and flavors to my food storage, I’m sure. It’s been so fun ringing in the fall with this festive new hobby of mine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And again, they leave us.

My parents have come and gone, and we were sad to see them go. Their time here was jam-packed with fun though. We always try to use our higher adult-to-child ratio wisely. And the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful during their stay. I’ll show you some of the great times we had together:

We enjoyed some adult-only time by going out to eat at Good Stuff in DC. If you live here, try it. You will not regret it.009008

We took a Sunday stroll through Watkins Park, of course. The pumpkin patch was ready, and the kids were ecstatic, and loved pointing out all the “punkinth” over and over. They were also extremely happy to run around, while still on their harnesses most of the time, thank goodness. It so nice that they don’t eat everything they see on the ground anymore so we can do this, instead of always keeping them in the stroller. 022023028030035

Mom and I went apple picking. It was such a lovely, quiet morning. We couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous countryside. And those apples. . .mmm. More on those later.038045046047051

We also went out to eat with the kids, which turned out to be a most pleasant time! Of course, we went to the Alamo. Delicious as usual, and quite a different experience from the last time we went there with the babies.061067069073074076079

We stopped at the park on the way home. I love to see the babies so incredibly happy as they run free. We chased each other all over that field, and Alex wanted to explore further into the trees. He sees no bounds. 092083087

They all enjoyed the new puppets Nana brought for them. Ruby hogs them a little bit. (Look closely, Matt.) IMG_2539007

We ate so much good food. I just couldn’t stop trying new recipes, like Grilled Breakfast Pizza,IMG_2568 Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad, IMG_2579

Fresh Apple Pie (It's not like me to use store bought crust. At least I tried to make it look homemade, right? Those things just really come in handy sometimes.),IMG_2594and not pictured are Slow Cooked Overnight Oatmeal, White Bean Hash, and Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, among other things. All recipes are highly recommended.

And we just enjoyed being together. 001003IMG_2581IMG_2584IMG_2564

I also loved running with Mom and Dad one morning. Made me feel like a true member of the running clan. We also made it to the Amish Market one morning, which was as wonderful as always. Those Amish know how to eat. I bought a chuck roast I am dying make into a juicy Sunday dinner.

We hope to see them again sooner than later. Until then, the webcam will have to do. See you soon, Nana and Papa! We miss you!