Wednesday, June 26, 2013


mr. sassy pants
So my friend, Stacey, posted this on her blog the other day. I've seen it around on blogs before, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Currently, I'm...

reading What Alice Forgot

playing catch-up on reading and commenting on blogs.

watching Grey's Anatomy. Again. I'm up to Season Four.

trying to let things go and not react to things so quickly.

cooking not much lately. Haven't been in much of a cooking mood. And with Max in Seattle and Eric in California the past two days, I haven't needed to cook.

eating not a lot lately...dumb cold has left my taste buds lacking. But I did have a hankerin' for shredded hash browns yesterday and made them twice. Weird.

drinking tea with honey for my dry cough and scratchy throat. Though I did enjoy my free birthday drink from Starbucks earlier today. And I really enjoyed my Jamba Juice yesterday!

calling my parents to see how Max is doing. He didn't want to talk to me. Silly boy. Yeah, I kind of miss him when he's gone. It's just too quiet.

texting all of my lovely friends who've sent birthday wishes. I probably text far too much.

crafting, well, not really crafting, but I'm getting photos framed for my gallery wall in the house.

doing a lot of relaxing while Max is gone.

loving the cool, rainy June weather. True PNWesterns can genuinely appreciate it. ;)

going to Seattle tomorrow to celebrate my birthday with my Seattle girlfriends.

disliking that I can't sleep-in late like I used to be able to do. It's too light too early in the morning.

discovering my photography style. I like contrasty black and white edits, and tend to shoot "in your face" type shots. Like the one above, of Mr. Sassy Pants.

enjoying napping every day this week.

thinking, am I really turning forty? How'd that happen so fast?

hoping it's not crazy, ridiculously hot when we are in Colorado.

feeling yucky with a cold, physically. And old, mentally.

listening to a mixed CD I made. Which I was able to record to the new Pilot. Hello, new car technology! Nice to meet you!

celebrating me this week. You only turn forty once. ;)

thanking my friends for all the birthday love this week, and my family for the kid-free past few days.

considering switching to a new blog.

finishing - well, I don't really seem to be getting anything finished lately. Finishing projects isn't really my thing. Just ask my husband.

starting - I've got all sorts of great things started - a few blogs post still in draft mode, picture framing projects, photos to edit, an office to clean... If only I could commit and finish a few of them. ;)

What are you currently up to?...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

the cutest baby age.

baby a
A couple of weeks ago our good friends, Doug and Kristi came over with their little man. He's seven months old. And this is the age I go a bit ga-ga over. They smile and are curious about everything! His momma set him on the quilt and I came over with my big black Nikon in my face and "click!" - he just looked up at me with those big sweet eyes. He was so interested in me taking pictures of him. He made my job so, so easy.
baby a
baby a
baby a
baby a
baby a
Those blonde curls...
That hair...
baby a
baby a
So glad to spend time with these friends. Some of you may remember Kristi from our weekly Linked Project in 2012.
Thank you, sweet friends. We'll have to do that again soon!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

inch by inch: last day of kindergarten.

last day of kindergarten

Yesterday was the last day of Kindergarten (You can see the first day of school post HERE to compare photos.) I'm not sure it really phased Max. He had a classmate's birthday party to go to immediately after school, so he got to spend more time with a few of his favorite buddies.
But when he came home he was more than a little quiet and sad. You see, two of his best friends from class are moving this summer. Poor dude. He will make new friends in first grade, and he has plenty of other friends from school that aren't going anywhere. But it made me sad to see him so sad about it. I don't know what that's like really - none of my best friends moved when I was a kid. (And in the end, I was the one who did the moving away from all of my best friends...ironic...)
Anyway, it was a great year! He had an amazing teacher, amazing staff and principal. And I really enjoyed helping out in his class. It was a good year! I'm happy to say that the rumors of how great Camas schools are is more than true.
On Monday the Kindergarteners had their end of school year program. They sang two songs. The second song they sang was The Garden Song aka Inch by Inch. You've probably heard it before.
I am happy to say that I didn't shed a tear, though I came quiet close. I had a lump in my throat the entire time they were singing. Here's a bit of the lyrics:

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
Gonna mulch it deep and low
Gonna make it fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Please bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below
'Till the rain comes tumbling down

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones
We are made of dreams and bones
Need a place to call my own
'Cause the time is close at hand

Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
Till my body and my brain
Tell the music of the land

A little John Denver for you... 
Happy summer, friends!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

tgif: black bean & corn salsa.

black bean & corn salsa

Why yes indeed this blogger is posting a recipe. I don't think I've ever done that before. I'm not a cook who makes big, fancy meals. Well, not very often these days.
I found this yummy black bean & corn salsa-like salad at the salad bar at New Seasons. It's yummy. And after treating myself to a lovely salad with this black bean and corn mixture and their to-die-for homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, I realized I could probably just make it myself and not pay an arm and a leg for it.

What you'll need:
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can sweet corn, rinsed
3-4 green onions
1 tomato
1/2 a sweet onion or red onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
black bean & corn salsa

Finely chop the green onions, tomato, sweet onion, red pepper, green pepper and cilantro.
Rinse and toss the black beans and sweet corn in a big bowl.
Toss in all those yummy veggies.
Chop more of any of those veggies you can't get enough of... like tomato. ;)

black bean & corn salsa

You can eat as is in a big bowl with a big spoon.
Or you can shred some cheese and make throw a little of that goodness into a quesadilla.
That's what we did.

black bean & corn salsa

And I garnished with a little more salsa and a squeeze of lime juice.
Are you drooling yet?...

black bean & corn salsa

I know I'm ready for seconds!
And this concludes my first, and perhaps only, recipe blog post.
You're welcome!

Happy Friday, friends!

(And if I ever figure out how to make a delicious, homemade buttermilk ranch dressing I will most certainly share with you!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

almost forty.

catching up

I've thought about this space often in the past month as I've posted not so often.
Good thoughts and bad thoughts. Thoughts of indifference.
I've been thinking about what to say here and my mind draws a blank.
Nothing feels all that important to share. And at the same time the things on my mind lately are far too important and personal to share here.
And I don't have any fabulous photos I'm just giddy about.

In fifteen days I turn 40, and I'm feeling rather blah about it all.
Another decade has almost passed, and it's left me with a lot of thinking about what has transpired since I turned 30:
got engaged
moved back in with my parents
planned a wedding
got married
quit a job
moved to a new city, leaving a city I had always called home behind
found a job
got laid-off
found another job - hated the commute
found a job two miles from home - loved the commute!
got pregnant
had a baby
went back to work
quit work
heartbreak over the death of a best friend
stayed home
had two seizures and broke a shoulder blade all in one night
started taking medication I will be on for the rest of my life
stayed home with my sweet little Max
tried like crazy to have another child
then threw a crap-load of money at the attempts to try to have a second child
gave-up trying to have a second child
more heartbreak over the death of my beloved Maggie dog
took a few college credit classes here and there
drove Max here there and everywhere - school, speech appointments, swim lessons, tball, soccer, parties, etc.
watched my only boy get on a school bus last September
lots of trips to the city that will always be home
lots of visits with my sister friends in that city that will always be home
angry words
more tears
more laughter
enthusiasm and dreams traded in for reality of mid-life adulthood

Who knew you could shove so much into a decade?
No wonder I'm exhausted and feel more like I'm turning 50.
No wonder people say the 30s are the hardest years.

I always thought the older I got the more sure of my self and my life I would feel.
But I think I felt surer of myself when I was in my 20s and in college.
The path was clear. My mission was clear. I wasn't doing too many things at once.
I wasn't wearing too many hats and trying to fill others' cups and spreading myself too thin.
I was simply and unapologetically, ME.

Funny thing about the passage of time - looking back at gives you more points with which to reference what was really good, what was really bad, when you felt sure of things, when you had no clue. Sure, if you had asked me when I was 23 and just starting my MA if I knew what I was doing, I'd have looked you straight in the eye and told you "No, but I'm just going to do it anyway. And I'll do it with flying colors and bells on." Looking back - that 23 year old sure as hell knew what she was doing. That girl knew what she was doing far more than the almost-40 year old person I've become. Ask me that today and I'd likely not look you in the eyes, shrug, burst into tears and tell you I have no clue what I'm doing or who I am anymore.
Mid-life crisis? (Yeah, just a bit...)

So I'm left wondering, "what's the point of this post?... why am I writing it all here?...who's going to read it?...." I'm writing this to leave this as one of those reference points that I will look back on five, ten, twenty years from now and be able to say, "Yes. That was hard, but you got through it. See, it all turned out okay."

I'm in that place of "what's the point? does any of this really even matter anymore?" (I know it does, but humor me for a bit..)
Maybe it's the monotony of motherhood.
Maybe it's a lack of sole focus on just me that comes with marriage and motherhood.
Maybe I took off in such a sprint once I got out of college 15 years ago, that I didn't take the proper time to take care of myself along the way.
And now I'm paying the price for all that sprinting.
Sitting on the sidelines of my life, head in my hands, dripping in sweat, salty tears on my face, trying desperately to catch my breath while I wait for that 25 year old me to slowly catch-up. And man, I think that 25 year old me is a little pissed I left her behind like that...oh boy, have I got some explaining to do...

I'm not sure anymore.
I've over-thought it to death and it's rolling over in its grave now.

Forty will come and go. It's just another day.
Another trip around the sun.
And I'll keep on keeping on...
Maybe I'll slow it down a bit this next decade.
Maybe I've learned from some of the mistakes of the past.
I suppose time will tell.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

fortunately and unfortunately: tuesday randomness.

freshly sharpened

Fortunately unfortunately, today was my last day of volunteering at Max's school (I think...)

freshly sharpened
freshly sharpened

My favorite part of volunteering this year was sharpening a big pile of pencils at home. (Wow. That makes me sound really awful, doesn't it? Well, that was my favorite part of at-home volunteer work.)

My favorite part of in-class volunteer work was getting see all the kids in the class and my little Maxwell. Getting a glimpse into what a portion of his day is like.

My fear about volunteering this year was breaking messing-up the laminating machine. (First world fears and problems...I know. Ridiculous.)

Unfortunately, today I did something wrong while using the laminator. I wouldn't say I broke it exactly... But it was unusable by the time I was finished using it.

Fortunately, I finished my laminating project before it broke stopped working.

Unfortunately, I had to stay a bit longer to complete my task.

Fortunately, I got the chance to talk to the principal about first grade next year.

freshly sharpened

I really enjoyed sharpening these pencils.
I really, really enjoyed taking macro photos of these pencils.
I really like simple tasks that leave you with a strong sense of getting something simple done quickly, and checked off the "to-do" list.
Like vacuuming...but I won't get into that now.

freshly sharpened

You know what else I really enjoy?...
The smell of crayons and looking at all of those colors.
But that's a different post.
With a different set of macro photos.

freshly sharpened

Oh and then I went to the store and took an item off the shelf of a perfect display (if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw it.)
Again, that's a different post...maybe for tomorrow.

It's a Tuesday.
Mine was pretty good.
How was yours?...

(does anybody else have vivid memories of writing "fortunately and unfortunately" stories in elementary school?...)

Monday, June 3, 2013

slice of life: haagen dazs (aka how come he gets the last one?)

ice creamice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream

The little stinker took the last one. I thought he was going for a popsicle and I turn around to see he's got the last Haagen Dazs. With nuts!!
When I showed Eric the photos on the back of my camera he said, "How come he gets the last one?"
I told him it was only because he didn't get to it first. HA!

ice cream

Max had a few bites.
And then you know what he did?
He tossed it in the garbage. I kid you not!
That kid of mine tossed half a Haagen Dazs with chocolate and nuts in the garbage.

(I won't tell you if I grabbed it out of the garbage and rinsed it off or not...)