Monday, August 31, 2009

the first's first

My firstborn went to his first day of kindegarten today. I honestly and truly was NOT expecting to be sad....but the minute I let go of his hand so he could get on the bus, up came a HUUUUGE lump in my throat. And then the tears. It was the most bizarre experience. I honestly didn't expect it. It came on so strong. A mother's love is so very very overpowering sometimes.

My happy boy excited to get on the bus with his "bus tag".

Anna Clara went into hysterics after Soren left. That didn't help my emotional breakdown much.....

This is when I quickly put the camera in front of my face to hide the approaching tears. Even our pup was sad to see him go -- and she was, as always, in the photo.

Bye bye my little baby boy. I hope the big world out there is good to you.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

happy happy.....

I just LOOOOOVE birthdays. I do. I love my birthday, I love friends' birthdays, I love everyone's birthday. However, for me, it really should be called "birthmonth". I shamelessly celebrate my birthday all month long...but the days surrounding my birthday are like Christmas Eve and Christmas day -- there is no choosing which is better.

This year, I had a very, very happy birthweekend. On Saturday morning, Mr. Incredible said he would help me can the gazillion tomatoes he had picked on Friday. I jumped on that one. While canning is fun, it is a chore, and ANY chore is WAY more fun with company. It was rainy, rainy day (yep...again), so he couldn't work outside, lucky for me! Since I had never done it before, I had been kinda sorta dreading canning tomatoes thinking it would be an all day thing. But I was oh so wrong. We were done in two hours. Start to finish. Clean up and everything. It was awesome. Here's proof that it was done:

Aren't they beautiful jars of goodness? I can not wait to try them.... It was the easiest canning I have ever done -- and I am kinda hoping it rains every Saturday this fall since there are oh so many more veggies to can.....

Ok, so that's Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon I finally did it. I chopped all my hair off. I've been wanting to do it for a while. I've been trying all sorts of new local hairstylists and haven't felt comfortable with any of them to chop my incredibly thick hair. I've had enough bad hair cuts in my life, I don't need to add yet another one.... Well, I finally walked into yet another local salon, looked the receptionist in the eye and asked her if anyone in the salon knew how to cut short, thick hair. She said that the owner specialized in that kind of cut (who knew that was a specialty??). I booked the appointment for the day before my birthday...all a part of the Birthday Eve plan....

I love my new 'do. Pictures to come....

THEN, Saturday night we went on a double date with an awesome couple....everything about it was awesome, actually. Great restaurant, exceptionally funny movie...what's better than that?

Then came The Day. Mr. Incredible was his incredible self and went out and bought me my fave breakfast treat and gave me my ab-fab birthday gift:

(a color printer/scanner!!!!! WOO HOO!! How psyched am I?!).

We then went to church with all of my fabulous friends who make every Sunday something to look forward to, I made a salad with all things fresh picked from our garden and my most favorite lasagna with our luscious tomatoes and brought it to share with friends for dinner. A birthday rule in my world is to do something you love doing on your birthday and there are very few things I love doing more than sharing delicious food with much-loved friends.

Here is a pic of the INCREDIBLE birthday cake (peach crisp...who needs cake when peaches are in season?) -- and my hot new 'do:

So there you have it. I am well on my way with my "new year" resolutions:
> change my blog design. { check }
> chop my hair off for a fun new 'do. { check }
> work on more creative projects -- as many as possible. { canning tomatoes is "creative", right? check }
> get in better shape { joined YMCA and going for my first workout tomorrow...check }
> be a better mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter { my constant resolution }
> make sure my 40s are truly FABULOUS { so far.... check }

Happy birthday to me!!
(I said I was shameless about it, didn't I?)

a new year....

This time of year always feels more like a "new year" than New Year's Day because, for one, it's my birthday time (birthdays are never just one day for me...), and for two, it's the beginning of school. This year that means my boy is going to kindegarten. Yup, das right...I am the mom of a little boy going to kindegarten. One of the things (as there are several....) that is weird about that is I can remember going to my very first year of school when we lived in Italy -- and a rather large part of me still feels like that lil girl in her white uniform trotting off to school.

And I looked around at the moms of their kindegarteners, as usual, they are all quite a bit younger than I am. So here's the thing....I finally get it. I get what it means to "feel old". NOT that I am "old" per se, but let me explain.....

I am older than most moms with a 5 year old as my eldest child, and yet, in so many, many ways I still feel much, much, MUCH younger. Now, having said that, there are many things about aging, physically, that nobody can escape. As much as people try -- there is no plastic surgery that fully captures a youthful face, hands and body. That is just a fact...and I'll never understand why so many older women with their pulled back faces think they are anything close to being "younger and more beautiful".

Like everyone else, I have not escaped what "aging" looks like. It's hard to finally come to the realization that you have grown up -- more physically than mentally, just to reiterate. I can see by people's reaction to me that they realize I am an "older mom". It is so freeeaking weird to realize that I look my age...and that my age is "old"...well, not old as in "old lady", old as in "older". Get it? Well, if you don't now, you will some day, I assure you.

I haven't talked to anyone about this, but I'm pretty sure what I'm feeling isn't unusual. I'm also sure it doesn't happen at the same age for everyone. For me, "it" happened this year. The year I turned 41. I am now, officially (in my head anyway), "older" -- and when people see me they don't think I am in my 30s. They are pretty sure I'm in my 40s. Turning 40 was fun and a big birthday and all that good stuff. 41 is when reality sets in. I am an "older woman" (again, not "old" since I know you are all thinking 41 is not "old").

So -- in light of this "new year", I am making some resolutions:
> change my blog design (I love resolutions that are already completed....)
> chop my hair off for a fun new 'do (not to look younger...only to mark a change in my 'tude that my 40s are going to be FABULOUS! Hair does that for should see all the 'dos I've had on this head o' mine....)
> work on more creative projects -- as many as possible (including being more creative with this blog -- I'm still figuring out all that I can do! So much to learn!!)
> get in better shape (I had to throw that one in...both because I actually need to and because what's a resolution list without it?)
> be a better mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter (I know this is overly general, but I know all relationships take work -- and I need to work harder at all of them!)
> make sure my 40s are truly FABULOUS (this will take the most work... but I know I can do it)

Just to make it perfectly clear.....I know I'm not "old". 41 years old is NOT old. But.................

Monday, August 24, 2009

a farmer's wife

Yes, I am, without a doubt, a farmer's wife. A typical weekend in our house is the following:
My big and lil boy planting, weeding, and/or picking.

They bring in bucket and more bucket loads of veggies.

I wash (and wash...and wash...and wash...) them.

These are the sweetest cherry tomatoes I have ever eaten (and eaten...and eaten...and eaten...). They are like lumps of sugar cubes. And their color is absolutely spectacular.

My view of the garden as I work (and work...and work...and work...) at the sink...on yet another rainy summer day. At least the garden is getting a good soaking during these hot, August days!

The washed veggies before I chop, bag and freeze for the winter -- or cook for our week of meals.

Needless to say, our grocery bill is cut by half AND I don't have to even go as often...which is a huge bonus (on top of the already countless bonuses of having a garden in our back yard). Thank you again my hard workin' farm boy....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ice cream truck!!!!

Does a summer evening get ANY better than this????
First there's the happy dance for what's coming....

Then, as the happy sound of the happy truck comes closer, the hopping for joy in anticipation begins....

OH! There's the truck!!

Finally, ice cream!!!!

Ba-bye truck!

Hello ninja turtle yumminess....

We all of COURSE have to try each others' treats....

My favorite...the chocolate bar centered deliciousness....

Pure ecstasy....

Power puff girl sweet perfection....

All done. Bummer.

And then, one of my all time favorite times of day of any season -- the summer evening with soft warmth and the outdoor, somewhat muffled, playful sounds of the kidlings.

Ahhh always seems to end too soon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hilton Head vacay

I FINALLY got around to putting together these pictures from my vacay at my parent's house in Hilton Head, South Carolina. They are not quite representative of the fun we were having, but they give at least some idea.... I was having too much fun to take very many pictures -- and, my mom was taking pictures of every little maybe I will add some of hers later if she sends some to me. However, these at least give you an idea of what we did on our last vacation of the summer with my sisters and their kidlings:

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