A Different Kind of Turkey Day


My friend's husband decided to throw a surprise party for her birthday and somehow a turkey pinata seemed to him the perfect way to top the evening off. And what's better than a giant ugly turkey pinata? A giant ugly turkey pinata filled with a bizarre mix of candies including, a first for all the kids in attendance, candy cigarettes. Classy.

The kids didn't even think they candy cigarettes were funny or naughty or anything. My girls just looked at me like I was super weird when I laughingly told them what they were. Point taken.

Here's my favorite pic from the evening where we see an adoring husband offering his pregnant wife a cig. It doesn't take much to amuse us, does it?

Happy Birthday Abby!

Green Coming

The girls and I headed out on a walk yesterday afternoon.  It was approaching hot (85ish degrees) for the first time and while not completely unpleasant, it reminded me what is coming.  Ugh.  My cute girls love this part of our greenbelt which they call "the exercise trail".  Lots of bars and climbing apparatuses to keep them moving along.  I see hints of new green coming and I'm salivating over the prospect of spring.  There is just nothing like that fresh new green of spring to feed the soul.  We three girls also spent the weekend cutting back the dead from our front yard in the hopes that the green will soon replace the yuck.  It is a daunting task in its scope and there are a several more weekends in my future spent cleaning up my flower beds.  It's happy work though and I'm glad that the weather is nice enough to be outside again.



What to do?


I found this on the kitchen counter after the girls were off to school. Do all kids go through list making phases or have I warped mine? Tessa used to do it all the time and I guess now it's Sylvie's turn. I find it particularly adorable. My favorite is the last entry, "do it all over again". Amen sister.

our best Self


"The idea that yoga changes you into someone better than the person you were before is something of a misconception.  It is more accurate to say that yoga helps you remove the obstacles that obscure who you really are, that it helps you come into a fuller expression of your true nature.  We're not transforming into something we aspire to, we're transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self."

~ Rod Stryker

Happy Thursday To You...

Party Time


Party time!  Tessa went back and forth a lot this year when deciding what kind of celebration to have, but she settled on a good old fashioned party at home.  We had pizza and ice cream sandwiches and played lots of games from her favorite game show, Minute to Win It.  I am not a big fan of birthday parties, mostly because I hate planning them, but I will say that it was a total blast.  I was laughing the whole time and the girls were all super enjoyable to be around.

The silly girls decided to see if they could all fit inside a hula hoop.

We played tons of games from Minute to Win It but Hanky Panky was one of the favorites.  I'm not sure if they liked the game better or the crazy tissue fest that followed.

Here you can see some of the girls playing Junk in the Trunk and Face the Cookie.  We also played Bite Me (my favorite), Movin on Up, and Nose Dive (another great one for laughs).  We had others ready but ran out of time.  Who would have thought I'd want a party to last longer than 3 hours?

Great party all around.

Dieci! Diez! Dix!

Ten years ago today I became a mama.  Ten!  Of course I remember some things like it was just yesterday, and some things feel like a dream that I'm not sure ever really happened.  How in the world could this lanky girl living in my house ever have been small enough to fold into my arms?  A slowly unfolding miracle she is.

Her first birthday and her first taste of cake.

Turning two with cupcakes

Third birthday and the first time I attempted baking a cake. Might have been the last time too. Tessa requested a pink and purple flower as this was the beginning of the long reign of uber girlishness.  She had her first real party this year.  A joint venture with her best friend Alec, Blue's Clues theme.

Fourth birthday with chocolate cake.  She had an art themed party with friends.

Turning five.  Ice cream cake this year to match her beach themed party.

Sixth birthday and Tessa had chocolate cake at her veterinary themed party.  (Try finding party favors for that one!)

Tessa turns seven and decides she hates cake so I made a giant cookie for her party.  She couldn't decide if she wanted a My Little Pony Party or a movie party - so we combined them and did both.

Eighth birthday and she's still down on cake and instead wants ice cream sundaes.  With every topping known to man.  Tessa had a Build A Bear party this year and I, as the official birthday party planning curmudgeon, am thrilled to do it out of the house.

My big girl turns nine with ice cream cake.  This was the year of the sleepover and I somehow survived.

And here my beauty is at ten.  Cheesecake was her choice this year.  Who's going to argue with that?  Tessa had a "Minute To Win It" party yesterday and it was, dare I say it, FUN!  I'll post more about that later.  
Happy Birthday to my fun, smart, kind, crazy girl!


Who knew?


I'll admit I haven't had brussel sprouts since I was a kid, so when this showed up in my CSA box it took me a few minutes to even figure out what it was.  Who knew this is how they grow?

I am not a veggie lover, but I eat them happily when they show up on my plate.  (I'd be happier still if I wasn't the one doing the cooking.)  And the CSA has really forced me to cook a lot more quantity and variety which makes me happy.

They were yummy by the way.

On my list


I keep trying to work a deal with my body - if my ribs have to ache because of this cold now turned cough, maybe you could throw in some ab tone or something for free.  But no.  My body is officially on my list today.  Time is ticking away before I hike the grand canyon and training is not going as I had hoped.  Traveling + sick = setback.  Stress.

Everything I Have is Yours


Ah, Billie.  Is there anything quite like that voice to make you feel the full weight of it?  I had a long trip to Phoenix this past week.  I was all kinds of sick and it was a rather miserable trip, but Billie kept me company.



Because I need it.  And how.

It's been a really long week.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last StandMajor Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book immensely more than I had anticipated. It is a highly amusing comedy of manners and listening it to it rather than reading it I think added to the charm of the Britishness. It was well written and enjoyable all the way through.

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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet


The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de ZoetThe Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm still not quite sure how I feel about this book. The language and setting and richness of the whole landscape certainly did not disappoint. But I got a little mired in all of the dozens of characters and keeping them straight. This lessened somewhat as I got further into it. But also, I was a little sad to see one of the main characters somewhat dropped half way through. I read the rest of the book wondering when she would reappear and as the pages passed I was sad to see the window shrinking. Still, the book as a whole is indeed wonderfully written. I have a natural distaste for nautical adventures, but he kept me interested.

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Snow Day


Snow Day!  And how nice of AISD to call at 5 something this morning to inform us of the fact.  If there would be one benefit to a snow day it would be sleeping in but not so much.  I am informed that this is real bona fide snow as opposed to the other white stuff we got last year.  There's probably less than an inch, but underneath is a lovely sheet of ice which has caused the city to shut down.  Tessa is out on the street playing with friends today.  You can see her in the pictures below trying to "sled" down a neighbor's driveway on a pizza pan.  Sylvie came out with me to take pictures but then straight back inside because she said it was too cold.

It seems strange that I was out Monday hiking in mid 70s.  It has been ridiculously cold this week, ending up in the teens and twenties for most of the week.  And wind chill.  And lack of proper winter clothing.  And thin blood from too long in the sun belt.  No way am I ever going back to those cold places people live.  I've been wearing a scarf and a hat in my own home all week.  Spending afternoons in my bed with the covers pulled up.  Well, maybe I did that just because it was fun.