The Sum of Summer

Summer 2010 at a Glance. . .
summermA little someone turned 5, complete with a Kai Lan party theme. What fun!

summerkWe kicked off the summer with a friend’s birthday party and a most amazing tree house!

summerj

Swimming was fun. . . .

summerkate

. . . but sprinklers were pretty cool too.

summernWe found peace + love in the streets of San Francisco as we took a quick road trip with friends up to NorCal.

summer2010bA sailing we went!  Alison also spent a week at an Aquatics camp with some friends;  she went kayaking, sailing and swimming every day.

summer2010We dreamt of living in a waterfront home in the canals of  swanky Naples. . . .

summer2010_d. . .even a home on the ecclectic canals of Venice would do too.

summersWe spent time in Portland and Seattle with old college friends.  And the best part?

summertOur kids started the next generation of new friendship. . .

summerq. . .while they also made up for lost time with old friends.  A ferry trip off Bainbridge Island, and we were in the fabulous company of our old neighbors who left L.A. for the beauty of. . .

summerr. . .their own slice of heaven steps from their new home.

summer2010fOne more quick road trip with amigos, and we were home again to enjoy the simpler things, like cold treats from the ice cream truck, outside dining, and our new tree swing.

summer2010hAs summer turns to fall (happy fall equinox!), I realize that time certainly is fleeting.   And then I realize how very blessed I am to watch my kids grow right before my eyes.

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Littlest Bird

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Here we are on the eve of new beginnings, and my little Kate, asleep in her bed, dreams of tomorrow: the first day of kinder.  My littlest bird, full of hope and anticipation for the future, is ready to take flight. And so it begins. The opening chapter of her book, full of tales waiting to unfold.

And the mama? I’ve spent the last few weeks mentally scrolling through a whirlwind of memories spent with my littlest bird. Many moments, jam packed with thingstodopeopletosee, and yet there she was always by my side, a part of me.  Walking briskly through a store, eager to dash from here to there, my heart always softened and my step always slowed to feel a small hand reach into mine.

Kate and I have spent the last five years with our days punctuated by drop offs and pick ups, carpools and sports.  Our moments together were neatly packaged into the small windows of time, the small spare minutes left over from her sister and brother.

But now.  This time is hers, and she’s ready to fly.

in my life, kate, kids -->

Snug as a Bug. . .

Today I woke up at the crack of dawn to meet my high school friend Ken for a photo walk of the canals of Venice, CA.  I love it when the kids are peacfully tucked in bed and the morning is still and quiet.  I love peeking in their rooms to see them, and sometimes, like today, I snap photos.  I’m a sucker for sleeping photos (I have tons!), and since my camera was charged and ready to go, I snapped a few.  They’re all blurry, but I love them nonetheless.

alison_asleepDespite wanting to wake up early (for a 7 am playdate), Alison ended up being the last to wake up.  The kids were at a friend’s house until late at night, and the early morning wake up call was not too friendly for her.

henry_asleepI love Henry’s room.  It’s dark in the morning, but light and bright in the afternoon.  Plus he has some pretty rad vintage NYC maps on his walls too.  Whenever I feel like napping, his room is the choice hangout for me.

kate_asleepHere is my little muffin in her bed.  Very princess like, no?  Her room is the brightest of all and perhaps the reason why she’s always the first to awaken in the morning. Usually her room is scattered with dolls and toys, and like a game of frogger, I have to hop back and forth to get from point A to point B.

Photo of the Day, in my life, kids, lazy days -->

Free to Fly

POD_july12dJuly 2010

So.  The other day Kate woke up and proclaimed, “I’m going to ride my bike without training wheels today.”

All three of our kids have proven to be quite different (varying personalities and varying learning styles), so Hank and I weren’t quite sure what to expect.  Kate is incredibly determined much like her sister (who took off her training wheels at age 4), but not quite as patient as her brother (who took his training wheels off at age 7).

But in typical Kate fashion, Kate does what Kate sets out to do.

Thirty minutes after the training wheels were taken off, she was riding up and down the street with Alison and Henry cheering her on.  The whole scene reminded me of last year when Henry was free to fly.

POD_july12bThe First Push

POD_july12cFree to Fly

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Photo of the Day, in my life, kate -->

First and Last.

POD_june21_firstFirst, September 2009

First day of school, September 2009.
Nervousness and uncertainty about the upcoming year.
Excitement about the newness of everything: new shoes, uniforms, backpacks, kicks.
Hints of a fading summer tan.
Grogginess from staying up too late.
Bidding adieu to summer.

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Last day of school, June 2010.

Confidence and relief after a long, rewarding year.
Boredom of the routine.
Hints of a forthcoming summer tan.
Grogginess from waking up too early.
Welcoming summer with open arms.

Photo of the Day, in my life, siblings -->

In Summer, the Song Sings Itself

Only a few more weeks until we can kick off our shoes and welcome the long summer days filled with bike rides, ice cream, picnics in the park, the beach. . . can’t wait!

For now, though, I’ll enjoy the little hints of summer. And you? You can enjoy them too. . .
POD_june_1_lblKate and Henry, May 2010

POD_june_1b_lblWater Lily, May 2010 – Mission San Juan Capistrano

POD_june1c_lblSecond Season, May 2010

Photo of the Day, henry, in my life, kate, siblings -->

Yes You May Have a Pony

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Meet Kirby.

Alison raised this little froglet from a batch of tadpoles we bought from North Carolina last June. As soon as school let out for the long stretch of free time, we searched and found a vendor that specialized in Carolina Bullfrogs. It took three excruciating weeks and by the time Fed Ex dropped off the styrofoam cooler marked “Live Species,” Alison was smitten with all things frog. By the time summer was over, we had two viable frogs and we also had a self-educated little girl who would spout off random bits of frog-related information. After all, she had checked out every single frog book from the library. Yes, all 17 of them.

Fall rolled around, followed by winter. Each morning I would check on the little critters, and each time I was always a bit nervous to peer into the tank. I knew our little pets wouldn’t last forever, but for my daughter’s sake, I prayed that they would. One evening, my husband forgot to close the tank, and out hopped a frog. You can read about the fate of the first frog over on Hank’s blog.

But Kirby lasted. And lasted. Until one day, he was no longer. Hank found him one morning.

Kirby died late last night,” he whispered to me. “Alison doesn’t know yet.

We waited until after school to deliver the devastating news. As a parent, my first wish was to undo all the pain and heartbreak. Heck! If she would have asked for a pony, I’m pretty sure I would have granted it. Instead we gently guided her through the hurt and sadness. We held a small memorial for little Kirby, and he’s planted beneath our flower beds. Now that it’s spring, we know that he’s in a pretty place where our golden poppies grow.

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Hank shares some parting thoughts.

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Henry and Kate felt so very sad for their sister.

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Photo of the Day, alison, in my life, kids -->

Catch My Breath

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POD_4_27Testing. 1, 2, 3 *Tap, tap, tap.*  Is this thing on?

Oh, hi! Still there?  Sorry for disappearing for so long.  Our lives have been a flurry of busy-ness. . .a school play, spring break, basketball, volleyball, swimming. . .add a busted camera to the excuse list, and I’ve been pretty much M.I.A.  The good news is that life is trotting along at a {slightly} more leisurely pace which means I’ll be posting with a bit more frequency.  And even better news?  I bought a NEW camera!  I’m still waiting for my lens to come back from the shop (more on that later), but in the meantime, I’ve been using my handy dandy Canon G10.

As the school year winds to an end, we’re anticipating summer vacation and all that it entails.  In the meantime, we’ll continue to juggle our daily schedules and while trying to savor the quiet, still moments.  At this very moment, though, I have dinner on the stove, three kidlets running around the house, three baskets of laundry waiting to be folded…in other words?  I’ll see you again soon!

POD_4_27_legs*Photos inspired by Sweet Fine Day

Photo of the Day, in my life, kate, kids -->

Stuffing Ourselves. . .

. . . silly. Yes, that’s right.

My mom hosted her annual Easter celebration at her house yesterday, and friends and family gathered to feast and to have fun. The day included tons o’ food (can you say baked potato bar?), candy (oh yes!), gifts, egg dying, BINGO! (Henry won the jackpot!). . .it was a fun, fun day.

Behold the gluttony:
POD_apr_4Kate in her glory

POD_apr_4bBrent’s masterpiece.  I think he liked the potato bar, don’t you?

POD_apr_4cBrenda’s sweet cole slaw. Delish.  And by the way, she found this dish on clearance for $4. That one is all about finding the bargains.

POD_apr_4dAlicia’s fruit salad.  Yummy, yummy.

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Regular blog posting to resume shortly.  Life kind of took me for a spin for a bit, and now I’m back and ready to rock and roll.

Photo of the Day, food, in my life, kitchen -->

Before + After

POD_66POD_mar7Before – March 7, 2010

POD_mar7bAfter – March 7, 2010

Photo of the Day, food, kitchen -->

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