Friday, January 31, 2014

Slippery Slopes 2014

earlier in January we attended our second annual "Slippery Slopes Ski Club Weekend" in Eastern Washington. I was actually going to give cross country skiing a shot at this weekend, but the weather was too nice and none of the trails were open. So instead we had a relaxing weekend at the farmhouse with friends, eating and playing games.

On the ride east:

Oddly, one of the most popular games that weekend was Edie's Connect Four:
Christy and Dave snuggling with Amanda and Ryan's baby:

Dan and Edie licking the beaters:

Eating dinner on Saturday night:

Edie helping Dan with the firewood:

Edie and Jeff on a big walk:

Looking back at the farmhouse from the top of the mountain where Edie apparently hiked all the way up and back without begging to be carried. Nothing short of a miracle:


Hmm. I thought there were more photos, but apparently not. We had a really nice, low key weekend catching up with old friends and then it was just 3 short days from the time we came home to our flight to LA!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Christmas 2

I forgot to post the rest of my Christmas photos! Apologies for the belated post, but behold! The last of our holiday photos from the Culver side of the fam:

Getting ready to make cookies with cousin Luna and Great Aunt Wendy looking on:


Setting cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas eve:

Waking up (she slept until after 8am!) and sneaking downstairs in the grainy light to see if Santa came:

Edie got the soundtrack to the new Disney movie Frozen for Christmas from my parents and it's become the soundtrack to Edie's life. We listen to it in the car, she plays it while falling asleep every night and pretty much any time in-between. This is how it all started - with headphones on, reclining at Grandma and Grandpa's house:

Opening gifts on Christmas morning:

Trying out her new Stomp Rocket:
Opening stockings in a festive headband:
Wearing the dress Santa brought and the Rainbow Dash(!) hat that Kathleen MADE(!) Edie:

And now I will tell you a story. Ready?

Early in December I asked Edie what she wanted for Christmas from Santa and these were her 
answers (I wrote them down):
Rock Candy Mountain Toy (this is not a thing)
Pretend Christmas Tree (?)
Robot Cat (cool idea - but wtf?)
Block Builder Crystal Diamond Jewel (this is also not a thing)
A stick that shoots diamonds (SERIOUSLY - she asked for this)
Lastly, a Wood Red Diamond Jewel

For those of you wondering if you just don't know about the "Wood Red Diamond Jewel" thing because you don't have kids, think again. Because this isn't  a "kid thing". In fact, it's not a thing at all. She invented it.

I thought it was funny, but didn't take all these stupid ideas very seriously at the time. A week later, I asked again, thinking she'd have had time to think it over and provide me with some REAL THINGS that I could buy her. But this time, all she asked for was a Wood Red Diamond Jewel. Everything else from her original list was old news, but this Wood Red Diamond Jewel came up again and again. One day when Jeff dropped Edie off at school in the morning one of her teachers took him aside to let him in on what she clearly thought was a hot tip - "Edie keeps talking about how she wants something called a Wood Red Diamond Jewel. I thought you'd want to know for Christmas!" Jeff rolled his eyes and thanked her.

When she met Santa the week before Christmas she got a little shy about telling him what she wanted. He suggested some generic things like 'a doll' or 'games' and Edie nodded yes to them to be polite. In the car on the ride home, she gasped out of nowhere like something terrible had happened. I asked, "What? Is everything okay?" to which she replied, "I FORGOT TO TELL SANTA ABOUT THE WOOD RED DIAMOND JEWEL!!!!"  I assured her I would write him a letter for her and let him know and she seemed reassured. 

The problem here is … WTF is a wood red diamond jewel and how would we procure it? I enlisted the help of Jeff's Dad, who is a talented wood worker in the hopes that he could craft a diamond shaped piece of wood and paint it red. He said he'd think on it. A week or two before Christmas he called to let me know he'd found just the thing, and it didn't even require the wood shop. When Edie opened it, she gasped and exclaimed, "A Wood Red Diamond Jewel! It's what I've always wanted!!"

Here she is with it in it's special box with a smug smile on her face on Christmas morning:

It's not wood, but this seems to matter none to Edie. No bones about it though - f you try to just call it a "Red Diamond Jewel" you WILL be corrected. She showed it to our friend Paul who pretended to steal it, so now she won't take it out with her for fear that it might be hijacked. Maybe for her birthday we can buy her a little safe where she can keep her precious Wood Red Diamond Jewel. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Edie and I are in California. The sun is shining. Edie hates it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Portland 2014

Jeff and I just returned from a weekend in Portland. As many of you know, we often go to Portland for a weekend in early January to celebrate Jeff's birthday. The weather frequently blows, but I still look forward to the tradition of bundling up and wandering the city in the rain, popping into bars for a cocktail and then heading somewhere new for dinner later in the evening. We usually sleep late and eat just two meals a day: a big breakfast around noon, cocktails at 5 or 6 and then a nice dinner at 8 or 9. It's so different from our 7am breakfast, noon lunch and 5:30 family dinner at home that it makes it feel like a real vacation, even though it's only 2 days.

Last night, we ran back to our hotel in the pouring rain, immediately peeled off our soaking wet clothes and watched a movie in bed. We browsed our options before hesitantly selecting Before Midnight. I say hesitantly only because we'd read that it was pretty heavy. This movie "series" holds a special place in my heart because Before Sunrise - the first of the 3 - came out in 1994; the same year Jeff and I met and fell in love. Plus, no one melted my heart in 1994 like Ethan Hawke (except maybe, I guess Jeff). We recently rented Before Sunrise and felt nostalgic for those simple, romantic times. Oh 1994 and your slip dresses, chunky shoes, plaid shirts, and goatees. To watch another young couple in the same year meet and fall for each other brought back so many memories of those early days for Jeff and me. One of which was WATCHING this very movie in 1994 together and feeling that (in a very 15 year old way) it was SO us.

I haven't seen the second movie, Before Sunset since it was released in 2004 - another big year for us because it was the year we were married. I remember being crushed to learn that Ethan Hawke's character had married someone else and I remember that I saw a lot of Julie Delpy's boobs, but otherwise, I don't recall much about the second film.

This third movie was harder to watch. The characters are now in their early 40's, Ethan Hawke is now just 3 years older than Jeff in the movie. I think the transition from late 20's to late 30's (or thereabouts) is a tough one. Frequently, this is when you have children and have to navigate the move from being companions to being co-parents and this is no small feat. The characters are together in this movie (and have twins!), but oh, how hard it is to be together. The rose colored glasses they were sporting in 1994 had certainly been removed and even though the end isn't too traumatic, I still needed to be spooned after it was over in a reminder that Celine and Jesse are NOT us after all. We might be cranky sometimes, but we are never quite SO angry. Plus, we for sure would never waste a child-free night in a nice hotel like that. The horror!

We had a nice weekend, if a bit damp. We often spend part of the drive there or back brainstorming goals for the new year. We talk a lot about things we'd like to accomplish, things we'd like to do better than we did last year, etc. I'm not a big believer in official New Years Resolutions, but I like this relatively new tradition we have of getting on the same page about the year. Being more intentional about how we live our lives.

In 2013, we accomplished many of the things from our 2013 Portland List. We took a trip to New York, Edie and I took a girls' trip to California, we spent a week on Orcas as a family, we made a will, we finished (mostly) the design for our kitchen and bathroom remodel, and saw more live music. I also went back to the gym. Not until November, but it was November of 2013, so it totally counts. This year we are resolving to maintain a more positive attitude in the face of petty household and parenting difficulties. We are also resolving to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary - either with a party or a trip. Or maybe both! Just like the characters in Before Midnight, we will have been together TWENTY YEARS by mid-2014. And when that time comes around, I'm totally passing out rose colored glasses because 20 years is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it's pretty fucking impressive that we still make each other laugh on a daily basis. And maybe I'll wear a slip dress with Doc Martens to go with my rose colored glasses at the party. And Jeff can grow a goatee. Hahahaha!! That was funny because we all know Jeff won't do that. But wouldn't it be funny if he did?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Edie and Mimi

Holiday Photo Dump #1

In an effort to be slightly more "present", I am taking less photos of every cute thing that happens in my life. This is not particularly beneficial to my blog, but I think I'm creating more memories that live in my brain, instead of the kind that live in my phone. Unfortunately, it means that our holiday season was a little under-documented. Ah well.

Here are the random photos from the last half of December. We visited Edie's old daycare and she had a blast playing with her old pal Julien (the son of her teacher) who is only 2 months older than her but about 10 inches and 20 pounds bigger:

This is the best picture ever of Edie wearing a squirrel mask. Do I need to elaborate? I don't think so.
Christmas at my parents' house. Edie and my Dad playing Connect Four (a Christmas present from us):

Dad and Jeff playing a funny golf game with Edie:

Jeff's 96 year old grandmother giving books out to all her great grand children at a family brunch:

My Mom and I sporting the adorable ear warmers that my sister in law knitted us!

We inherited some little Swedish wooden elf-like dolls from Jeff's grandmother last year. Jeff moved the little dolls around each night so Edie had to find them in the morning. Sort of our non-branded "Elf on a Shelf" experience - except Jeff had never heard of Elf on the Shelf… too bad he didn't have this idea like 5 years ago, because then maybe we could be super rich! I thought this move was particularly brilliant:
That elf is riding a tiny cast iron unicorn! What? Doesn't everyone have a fancy cast iron unicorn in their house? 

Lastly I have this picture of Mimi that I think should probably be entered into one of those caption contests. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Jeff turned 38 with the New Year yesterday and Edie and I made him a chocolate cake. I used my favorite buttermilk chocolate cake recipe and then we tried a new frosting with mascarpone and Kahlua in it. Not too shabby:

Jeff got to sleep in until almost 11am, was given the gift of some Peace and Quiet while I took Edie to the gym with me in the afternoon, and then we went to Ray's Boathouse Cafe for fish and chips and crab cakes, followed by birthday cake at home before bed:
We are planning a weekend in Portland just the two of us as his real gift, which is the best kind because I benefit as well. Happy birthday old man - I hope this year brings you everything you wished for.


Edie didn't want to meet Santa this year. She wasn't scared, just disinterested. I was secretly disappointed, but tried to let it go. I have photos from pretty much every year of me on Santa's lap and I love those photos, as terrible as some of them are.

A few days before Christmas, we went to our neighborhood children's bookstore to buy a book for a family gift exchange and Santa happened to be there with a professional photographer. We were the only ones in the store, so there was no line and the photographer offered me a deal. Santa was super nice and read her a book she picked from the shelves and then chatted with her for like 10 minutes.  For this reason I forgave him his less traditional Santa-garb. She gave me all the photos on a CD, because it is apparently still 2006. Which is why it took me a week or two to get the photos on to my computer… So a little late, but here are some cute photos of the Eedster chilling with Santa: