Monday, July 25, 2011

Nieces and Nephews in New Jersey

My sister's twins were born June first, making me an aunt again, two times over.  Recently I headed to suburban New Jersey to meet them and see the rest of the family.

One word comes to mind when I think of the twins.... 

ADORABLE.  Each has their own unique personality.

Harry got all the hair, along with rich chocolately brown eyes that seem to stare right through you.  The poor guy suffers from tummy issues, spitting up and writhing in discomfort much of the time.  Currently Maya is working on cutting dairy from her diet which may be the culprit.  When you are able to comfort Harry, he's happiest when snuggled on your shoulder.  He rests his small head there and sleeps for hours.  Just don't even think about putting him down.  I rarely wanted to.

Then there's Lucy.  The girl is tiny.  Everything about her is petite, with the exception of her large blue eyes.  When she's sleepy she only opens one, earning herself the nickname, "One-Eyed Pirate."  She's the cutest pirate I've ever seen.  My sister mentioned on her own blog that if Lucy was your first child you'd readily have three more, asking yourself, what's the big deal?  That's because Lucy is calm, quiet and easygoing (much of the time).  Her thin legs often cross at the ankle and her teeny hands rest gingerly at her ears when she sleeps.  Too cute.  I miss her already.

My older niece Ellie turned four during the visit.  She was presented with multiple Tinkerbell birthday cards, Disney Princess wrapped puzzles,  and a pale pink scooter.  She promptly named herself "Scooter Girl," insisting we address her as such while she rode around the house and backyard singing self-written songs.  Ellie and I spent a few mornings at the park, attending imaginary weddings as princesses and swinging on the playground in the summer heat.  Once I taught her and my nephew Leo how to play charades (a simplified version) she wouldn't let more than two hours go by without requesting I give her something to act out.  She will be on the stage someday.

My nephew Leo, just shy of his seventh birthday was as sweet as ever.  On more than one occasion he crept downstairs early to where I was sleeping so he could cover me with Good Morning Kisses.  After an obligatory two minutes of silence he then demanded, "Get up, get up!"  We had lots of fun playing basketball, doing puzzles and eating grapes (his favorite food) together.  Putting him to bed was a nice way to unwind at the end of the day.  He sweetly covered me with a blanket before reading along with our bedtime story and resting up for another fun-filled day.

My sister and her partner definitely have their hands full, but the love and life in their home is apparent.   They are doing a great job balancing it all and creating a wonderful life for their family.  It will likely be a while until I see them again, but I am already looking forward to it.  Until then there will be lots of pictures, email updates and skyping. :)  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Farm Fresh Berries

I love summer.  I love the sun, the parties, the waterfront festivals, and the time spent outdoors with friends and family.  One of my favorite things about summer is the trips my mom and I make annually to Sauvie Island.  The thirty minute drive leads us to a string of farms where we quickly get to work filling baskets with the berry of the moment.  Over the years we've brought home fresh and juicy strawberries, raspberries and peaches.  

Mom I recently headed to Sauvie to pick my favorite food: fresh blueberries.  But to no avail.  Due to the stretch of rain we've had in the area, the farm was not yet open for picking.  Our plan B was to pick strawberries or raspberries.  That is until we found they were completely picked over.  We settled for the farm's pints of picked berries and took in the beautiful Sauvie Island scenery.

We'll be back again soon, ready to pick some blueberries!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


After our Las Vegas trip, it was time to throw the bachelorette a bridal shower.  Or two.  

The Saturday before last was spent honoring the lovely bride-to-be at both brunch and evening showers.  Dana's closest family and friends gathered to celebrate her upcoming nuptials.
Working on the main dishes
How much for the dog toy? Playing The price is right
Time to get baking :)
Mother of the Bride


Girls with the winner of Hanging out to dry

I think Dana felt the love.  

The BIG DAY is just nine days away.  I'm so excited to watch one of my best friends take this amazing step in her life.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The 4th

For the 4th of July, Ryan and I headed to Crescent Lake with friends for a camping trip.  We sat around the fire, sipped on beer and Bloody Marys, soaked up the sun and did our best to avoid the literal hoards of mosquitos.  They won.  

Aside from the pests, we couldn't have asked for a nicer weekend at the lake.

We stopped in Eugene to visit Ryan's dad, stepmom and sister on our way home.  Their adorable dog Jasmine provided the entertainment.  

Ryan made up for lost time by torturing Alayna the way big brothers do.  But don't worry, she retaliated.

On the Monday holiday we slept late and enjoyed a lovely breakfast on our riverside deck, later sipping margaritas and soaking up the sun.  Friends picked us up for an afternoon boat ride.  After chatting at a neighbor's barbecue, we watched the fireworks that boomed from the barge parked a mere four hundred feet from us.
All cuddled up for the show

What a wonderful weekend.