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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Than turned 30 yesterday, so I had fun giving him 900 presents to celebrate. OK, so it isn’t quite as amazing as it sounds. I gave him 30 each of 30 different things–30 M&Ms, 30 pennies, 30 handmade notecards, 30 photos of our family, etc.
The kids and I spent the morning organizing his office (and spreading around his toys!) while he was in meetings. His staff celebrated his birthday as well, and Nathan was eager to share the birthday balloons with daddy!
In the evening, we got a sitter for a few hours and I took him to Indulge, a new tapas restaurant in Highlands Ranch. Tapas means little plates, and is basically an excuse to eat appetizers for dinner! The food was unusual, attractive, and delicious. It was on the pricy side and the restaurant was kind of noisy, but the atmosphere was neat and it was great to be together. I am so glad to have him as my husband.

The Leaf Pile

The Leaf Pile

This morning we woke up the the first snow of the season, but last Saturday was clear and a little warm so we got lots of yard work done. Than took Nathan up on the roof with him to clean out the gutters. (No, Nathan didn’t help, he just sat VERY still and watched!!)

While Katya napped, I started raking all our leaves into a huge pile. When she woke up, Than (and Nathan) finished for me. The pile was enormous!
We all took turns jumping into it, getting covered in that dried-leaves smell. The pile was so deep even Than could jump in it and not hit the ground. We contemplated napping out there in the crinkly softness, but didn’t think that would work too well.
Got to love fall! (And got to love living in Colorado, since this morning’s snow is already melted and we’ll probably be able to play in the leaf pile again tomorrow before using it to mulch the garden and flower beds.)

Katya Update

Katya Update

Fall is here, time flies by, and Katya is nearly 8 months old!! I was photographing her outside yesterday, seeing lots of different moods and expressions on her sweet little face. She has just one tooth still, right on the bottom, but that doesn’t seem to stop her interest in trying all sorts of little food nibbles. She hasn’t been eating as much as usual lately, due to her first nasty cold, but hopefully as she feels better she will continue to explore the world of food. She can scooch fairly well now, pulling herself around mostly with her arms with a little pushing from her legs every now and then. She rolls with ease and will sit pretty well if you help her get started, although she doesn’t know how to get down! She likes to babble, especially in the morning. Favorite syllables are “dada” and “mama” so Than and I are still even in the race for first word honors!! Nathan can nearly always quiet her down with singing or toys, and he’s especially helpful in the car. She’s not a big fan of baby food, but is still interested in her sippie cup so we’ll keep working on it. She is learning how to do better with my music lesson babysitters and hasn’t yet developed strong stranger anxiety, just some crabbiness and stubbornness!! She nearly always prefers being held to anything else, and I spend much of my day one handed. She is still having a hard time sleeping through the night, but nurses quickly and goes back to bed. We’ll keep trying. She is so fun to dress, and her clothes have outgrown her closet and are beginning to take over Nathan’s too! She is her own sweet self, with big eyes that melt my heart and a smile that sparkles. How did we ever live without her?
Quote

Quote

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”
–Mary Jean Iron

I read this quote on a scrapbooking blog today, and was quite struck by the sentiment. How often do I long for some “rare and perfect tomorrow” or at the very least wish that life were more exciting and less normal. What a challenge, to treasure the normal becase it passes all too quickly. Ordinary, everyday, commonplace, typical–could I see those as gifts, rather than negatives? The beauty in the here and now…

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging

It has been a treat for me over the past month or so to update a blog about my brother’s travels in Europe. He is halfway through his trip and tries to send an update about each city he stays in, although he can’t get pictures to send so I have to find those myself. He is studying architecture over there on a program through his college, but his musings reflect much more than just his academic pursuits. If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out his blog:
Architecture of Europe
Use the subscribe link on the right hand side of his blog if you’d like to get an e-mail each time his blog is updated. Enjoy!

P.S. Since our latest vacation spot was Topeka, KS, it has been nice to vacation vicariously through Nate!

Botanic Gardens Album

Botanic Gardens Album

We had a great time visiting the Missouri Botanical Gardens yesterday. Here is an album of our photos…(click on the picture to view the whole album)

BotanicGardens

By the way, sorry for some excess images in this album. I’m guest-speaking at a computer class tomorrow, and included some “before and after” shots as well as some experimental collages. Check out Picasa’s new upgrade!

The Photographer's Handiwork

The Photographer's Handiwork

Well, here they are, the long awaited results from Sunday’s portrait session in the basement studio. Hope you enjoy our sweet children! Click on the slideshow to browse the picture gallery in a larger size at your own pace.

A New Blog!

A New Blog!

I started a new blog today! I spent way too much time editing the template, but that’s just me. I’ll use it to post information about my book club, and any other book-related items that I may dream up. Check it out if you want, and let me know if you’re interested in coming to book club sometime! (You can check this blog whenever by clicking on the logo on the sidebar of this blog.)

A Different Book

Thanks, Dr. Copp

Thanks, Dr. Copp

Katya survived her 6 month visit to Dr. Copp. She weighs 14 lbs. 7 oz and is 27 inches tall. She doesn’t seem too adversly affected by her shots and was her usual smiley self at Bible study this morning. She is still sampling baby food veggies, but definitely prefers tiny morsels of “big people” food. She can roll with ease and push herself around in circles, but hasn’t made any forward motion yet. Her latest vocal adventures are shouting and “thbbb”-ing with her tongue. Her brother still wins the prize for making her laugh most easily. She loves to face forward and would stay in the Baby Bjorn for hours as long as someone is walking with it! She is very fond of toys, rattles, and magzine paper. She sleeps through the night, if you count waking up between 5 and 6 am through the night! Random but true notes about my sweet little girl.