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October 30, 2012

BEFORE Hurricane Sandy hit we were able to squeeze in just a few last minute Fall festivities.  It may go without saying that our leaves are all on the ground now and it feels like Winter is right around the corner.

First up was a simple trip to the park.  It reminded me of leaf-collecting at Lincoln Park in Seattle.  It’s a crazy thing to start taking pictures of your kid doing things you once did…and then knowing that someday he or she will look at photos and have fond memories of the past as well.  I can only hope to impart even a fraction of my love of Fall to my offspring.  We seem off to a good start though because the little guy enjoyed crunching leaves with his hands and feet.  Piling them in his walker was also a hit activity.


ImageJust some good ol’ mommy son timeImageLoving the blue sweatshirt – thanks grandma!  Next up…mandatory costume photos!ImageWe needed somewhere to go besides the front yard so we made a dash for Wilson Farm before it got dark.  It’s like being a kid all over again!  Hay rides, cider donuts, pumpkins for carving…we are so glad we have a little one to share all of this stuff with now!  I mean, the sheer joy he is experiencing on this hayride makes up for at least 1 week of sleepless nights.  (He’s going to really have to work off all those other weeks still.)Image

ImageAnd then this happened ——->ImageThere were some great attempts at taking a picture of these 2 together.  But with one crawler and one hardly a sitter, it was a little complicated.  Ours didn’t seem too interested ins supporting his friend as he was pretty much done with his photo shoots for the day. Image


ImageSo there’s that!  The near end of Fall fun.  We will break out the cow one more time for trick-or-treating and then it’s the countdown to Thanksgiving!


October 30, 2012

Let’s not even pretend to update things in any order at all.  We may as well just start with the highlight of every year anyway which is (drumroll please) the LEAVES OF VERMONT!  They were past peak this year when we headed north and that is always a bummer.  It wasn’t really a trip for leaves this time but quite frankly, it was yet another reminder of how our life has changed and how we are adjusting to making new memories with some of the old mixed in.  When you drive all day with a 1 year old who is teething and has a nasty diaper rash, you can only be thankful for whatever goes right.  He MOSTLY cooperated for all of mom’s desired poses minus the incident in the leaves where the family photo only had 2 of 3 participants cooperating.  It also took 20 + takes for the dream covered bridge photo. Other than that, it was a fine combination of all things love about Fall and a joy to share the new memories as a family.ImageDad is so excited to have someone to do these crazy things with now…Image



ImageThis tractor was a hit but also responsible for stealing the smile when we tried for a family shot in the leaves –Image(Do not be fooled, he is squealing and trying to escape!)ImageTHERE are the leaves.  On the ground.  *insert tears*  Where are the red ones!?ImageMaybe we should just talk about how much I love this shirt and couldn’t wait for him to wear it.  Target  = seriously cute boy clothing.Image


ImageVermont:  Keeping it beautiful year after year.

Busy, Busy, Busy

August 27, 2012

Whoever came up with the phrase “time flies” was not even kidding.  In the last few months, I have frequently commented that life is happening TO me and I’m just along for the ride.  With the growing number of things in our lives we cannot control, we have been reminded of the simple lessons in faith and perseverance.  (ok, simple lessons meaning they are not complex to understand but they have NOT been simple to endure)

With an unexpected move, a temporary living space, AND guests 3 out of 4 weeks of the month of July, summer turned into a whirlwind.  We love company and the excuse to do some fun things despite the cramped living quarters.  We kicked off the month with The Tall Ships festival though it now seems ages ag0 –


We like any excuse to be by water and boats!

Next up was more time in Gloucester and lobster at the Lobster Pool.

Thanks to fun friends for visiting and sharing our favorite places with us!

And then…there was a birthday!

And some pool time…

We love Boston in the summer!  And THIS was only July!

Dinner: A Love Story

June 26, 2012

Anyone who knows me, knows I get way too excited about things, overly invested emotionally, and then go on and on and on about them.  Jessica Simpson, ALL THINGS VERMONT, Rachel Ray, Chauncey Creek Lobster Pool, Penzey’s Spices to name a few.  I really do try to rein myself in when I see that look on someone’s face that cues me in to the fact that I’ve probably already raved about this thing I’m talking about to this person and no, it doesn’t appear that they want to hear about it AGAIN.  But this time around – I’m not sure I’ve worn out my raving:  Dinner: A Love Story.  DALS.  Ever heard of it?  I do think I sent a group email one time to a bunch of people to say they should follow the blog but I’m not sure who really does.  If you do, call me so we can talk about it every day!  Because every single day I read it, I want to discuss everything about it start to finish.  Why?  Because it’s the life we have been aiming for in this household for 8 1/2 years!

When we were dating, then engaged, then newly married, we had a blessed mentor couple who became like family to us.  And they liked to cook.  We watched them through the many meals we shared in that season of our lives and went on to analyze their kitchen “dance” every moment we had.  She cooks, he does dishes.  BUT – HE ALSO COOKS!  And then she does the dishes.

Everyone (small kids included) congregates near the kitchen to chat while cooking happens.  There are snacks or appetizers.  A glass of wine.  Real linens on the table.  To us, it was like a restaurant each night.  Granted, their children were not yet attending sporting events or music lessons through the dinner hour but it was clear that dinner was an important part of their life and we soaked up every detail, making lofty goals for our future.  “We HAVE to get our kids to eat Thai food like theirs!” and “We for SURE have to teach our kids to set the table early on.”  Their pickiest eater was on her own to have plain yogurt if she wouldn’t eat what was at the table.  To which we then commented, “We love how they don’t make a separate dinner for her.  We’ll NEVER cook different meals for our kids, they’ll just eat what we do.”   *Disclaimer – We have now learned as parents to never say never.  So we’ll just see what actually ends up happening now.

They set a beautiful example for us in so many ways but it was the cooking that impacted us and we set out from day one of our young married life with the rule that whoever cooks, does not do dishes.  And we started using real linens every night at the table.  We scoured cookbooks for recipes beyond our skill set, ruined a lot of those meals, spent waaaaaay too much on groceries, and threw away a lot because we had no idea what to do with it.  I remember meeting these friends of ours a few months into marriage and the husband asking if we had learned yet to look in our fridge and make a meal out of whatever was sitting in there.  Uh, no.  We could barely make a good meal with a stocked fridge!  (But now – with only a lone onion in the fridge, we are rockin’ and rollin’ – thanks Jenny!!!)

Dinner: A Love Story is a family…a marriage…a kitchen dance.  There is teamwork and there is wine.  The blog is for sure, a great recipe resource but more than that, it is great reading about real married life, as parents, trying to eat good food without needing a million ingredients and a fancy recipe for every night of the week .  So imagine my excitement to actually MEET the blogger herself!  I know, I know, she isn’t Bobby Flay or Paula Deen but to me, she is totally famous.  She really is just a mom of 2 girls who writes about the food they make.  I guess.  But I tend to go overboard with this kind of stuff.  So don’t even get me started on the book I waited months for or the fact that I totally ordered this pan just because she blogged about it…

Yep, I am super nerdy about this stuff.  And it gets better.  While reading DALS the next day, my NAME was on the blog!!!  When you read through those thank-you’s, that is me.  I even got a text from a friend that said, “Uh, did you get a shout out on DALS today!?”  Yes.  Yes I did.  It was an extremely exciting day for me.  And now hopefully lots and lots of people will buy this book and read the blog so I can have people to talk to about it.

We have had 2 recipes from the book so far (a third on its way tonight) and I can say for sure, they have been easy and yummy.  The night of the book signing we had a quick pasta with caramelized onions that I didn’t even really need the recipe for, I just needed the reminder of how to actually caramelize them.  Lo and behold, I had actually managed to master what Jenny calls a “back pocket recipe” and I didn’t even know it!  An onion was really all I had besides pantry staples and I had already planned to use all the ingredients the recipe called for ON MY OWN!  So it only took about 8 1/2 years but yes…we can finally open the fridge and make something out of whatever we have.  And we still use real linens.

What is new?

June 23, 2012

That is what everyone asks people with babies it seems.  What is he doing these days?  What new thing has he mastered?  Not being around a lot of babies, I haven’t really known whether his great new “tricks” are particular to him or not.  I always think he is amazing and then we go somewhere with a similarly aged baby and I see…they all do that.  But do they all do it wearing Husky pajamas?  I think not.

(He was very proud of himself for scooting so far backwards.  Interesting.  Most of us would consider this a fail since he is STUCK

but for him; a success!)

I suppose getting stuck under furniture counts as a New England adventure.  It’s his adventure anyway.

Next was a North Shore adventure – I realize now that we go to all of the same places all the time.  Harvard Square.  Gloucester.  Cape Ann Brewery.  Vermont.  Hey, we like what we like!  Here is father and son on Mother’s Day weekend.  Per usual, more photos of them, mostly the little one, and few of me.  I did pick out the awesome ribbon belt to be sure he looked perfect for the big day.

Every time I visit, I do find something I haven’t captured a photo of!  How is that possible?  And more so, what in the world will I ever do with the 1,000+ nautical photos I have?  No idea.  I love them all.  Almost as much as the 2,000+ Vermont photos…they all just sit on the computer right now.  Any ideas?  (non time-consuming ideas only please)

I guess if I can’t move to Vermont, I could totally live here too. It is closer anyway.

A beautiful day for the beach!

(and perfect for pictures with lobster traps.  duh.)

What came next?  Texas!

This is not even a New England adventure.  It was an all-out, on the plane, trip to somewhere new.  Cowboy hats required.


What’s up in the Lonestar State?  It’s hot.  When we weren’t eating at Chick-fil-a or one of the many DE-licious Mexican restaurants, we were spending some good ol’ time with friends.  They had central air conditioning.  It makes you wonder why everyone doesn’t have that blessing. (I have to look at beautiful North Shore photos or walk along the Charles River to remind myself that there is a give and take to everything!!!!!)

Just hangin’ with my friends…

Nothing beats just living life with those you love.  In central air conditioned houses.  Love ya’ll!!


Next up – BC Graduation.  We got an early start on our college experience –

“Aw, Miss Karoline you look awesome in that hat!”

Then it got hot (no central a.c.) so we went to the beach.  THIS beach –

It’s a city kind of beach.  Enough said.  But you can park for free, the water is there, the sand is there and so technically it counts as “the beach” but it is sure not the North Shore.  NOT even a little bit.

Memorial Day came and went with a ton of rain in the in between.  Nothing keeps me from PIY fruit though!  And here is where I begin the whole “I always go to the same places and tell everyone about it all the time” spiel.  But really, Tougas is the best!  It was the natural choice for our first family photos taken by the wonderful Diane Rose.  *Sidenote – those photos of our little guy are just that.  SO LITTLE!  I can’t even believe he was such a peanut.

We go to Tougas for every possible fruit you could pick off a tree or a bush.  The men got out of doing much this time around since dad  conveniently had to hold on to Atown.  Strawberry picking isn’t really all that fun though anyway since it’s so hard on the back.  BUT the shortcake later that night is always worth it.

We love our Auntie Tabi when she visits.  Come again soon!

And THEN we are back where we started again – The North Shore and Cape and Brewing.  Asher is even wearing the same shirt!  Dad wanted to match for Father’s Day.  So yes, we went to the same place for Mother and Father’s Day.  How could we not?  Beer, boats, barges, boat SHOES – and I’m out of B’s.  It wasn’t as warm as we would have liked so inside it was.  But really, if there is anyone we haven’t yet taken there, please get on us to invite you with us next time.  The view is amazing, the food is quite good, and they let kids run or crawl all over the place.  These days, that seals the deal anyway!  And that’s it from May until now.  In a nutshell – what is new?!  Really, nothing.  We still drive all over, day-trip whenever we can and take lots of photos (now with a baby as the focal point).  We are excited for summer and an upcoming trip to Vermont.  Haha.  Maybe we aren’t so adventurous anymore if we just go to the same places over and over…


June 19, 2012

For all of the Saved By the Bell fans out there, you can read the post title with that episode in mind.  You’ll know it if you watched it as often as I did growing up.  Anyone else can just read it with some form of botched Boston accent and it will pretty much be the same thing.

We love being able to walk to Harvard Square on any nice random day that comes  about.  You can guarantee there is always something going on over there, don’t even bother checking any event calendars.  Every time we’ve set out just for a walk and something to do, we’ve  managed to spend a good part of the day watching street performers, speeches, protests, demonstrations or at least getting ice cream.  When we went to attend the grand re-opening of the Curious George Store, we found ourselves in a Shakespeare parade complete with poetry and insults.  Then on to a Native American celebration.  It’s really like, if we have nothing to do, walk to Harvard Square and people watch.  And also end up in the midst of whatever other fun stuff is happening.  Gotta love Beantown and all of the free entertainment!

But really, this was back in April and now it’s June.  Busy much?  Babies seriously take up all free time available.  *serious face*  I’m not even kidding.

Walking to the Square is sometimes the best – beautiful landscape, beautiful houses, beautiful flowers…

Harvard Square is one of the best blessings of living where we live.

It’s the best for people watching without having to trek all the way downtown.

Come visit us and we’ll take you over to hang out!  (that is my shameless plug to recruit visitors)


April 26, 2012

You mean, we eat food and play at the park?  Why do I feel like we’re going to be standing at the school bus stop, like, TOMORROW!?

This is the way we eat our food, eat our food, eat our food…

April 26, 2012

This is the way we eat our food…by making a big ol’ mess!

Last night, we went independent.  I didn’t even know we were ready for that.  I wasn’t ready but Asher made it VERY clear that he was ready.  The whole red-faced, sobbing, pouting, spoon banging meltdown communicated that I was absoLUTELY not to get any closer to him with a spoon full of food.  Despite the fact that he was also unable to get HIS spoon full of food into his mouth, I wasn’t quite sure how eating was going to even occur.  I managed to feed him AROUND his spoon…while he stared at it intently, twirling it about, hitting himself with it in the forehead and periodically smiling at me as if he had just discovered a cure for cancer.  So confident.  So proud.  Who knew he had such strong opinions?

So if he had a spoon in his hand, he seemed satisfied as if it was in fact, himself, feeding himself, even though I was the one using the OTHER spoon to get the food in his mouth.  I realized how quickly he has gone from being the sweet little birdie who opened his mouth obediently whenever food was on a spoon.  How quickly another milestone has come and gone.  Didn’t we just start solids?   As long as we have 2 spoons at all times, maybe we’ll survive this next phase of development.   And I will try to hold back the tears as I watch my baby move so soon into being a little boy and encourage his independence.

 Today, he picked around at some cheese, a veggie burger patty, bananas, and mashed carrots.  Periodically, when he wasn’t busy mushing it all around, he would open his mouth and I could be reminded that he still needed me.  Just a little bit.  Then he would drink from his straw (!!!) and look smugly at me like we had this secret deal that we’ll do as a team.  I’m thankful he’ll let me be part of it for just a little bit longer.

Springing Into Summer

April 19, 2012

We all know that Winter was Spring around here so the new Spring is quite obviously:  Summer.  80’s and 90’s are a little high for April and sunburns are mostly unheard of.  Somewhere I actually promised not to complain about a hot summer since we’ve been so blessed.  However, you’re not a real New Englander if you don’t complain about the fickle weather so I may or may not end up keeping that promise I made…

Shorts and socks and…Sox…doesn’t get much better than that in April!

Marathon weekend is THE BEST in Boston.  People from all over the world are here so the people watching is at its prime.  We walked to Harvard Square over the weekend to enjoy the view, the blooming trees, and to grab a bite to eat.  When we are out with baby and dog – let me tell you.  It  is about as close to celebrity status as we’ll probably get.  The two of them are just so cute that everyone seems to need to stop/stare/chat/comment/question/drool.  It would be great if we could just let Buddy walk the stroller on his own and we could sit back and relax.

So thankful for another blessed year here in Beantown!

This is the Buddy show.  Give dog ice cream.  Everyone stops to watch.  He downed this in about 2 minutes thanks to Chris the cow!  We were fortunate enough to donate to his marathon fund-raising and we got some ice cream in return.  We watched for Chris for hours on Monday but did not see the cow.  We wished him the best of luck and hope he did ok!

 Have ice cream – will walk with it.

Asher was a GREAT marathon fan!  He is sitting on his own and he received MANY many smiles from runners, er, walkers.  We were happy to give them something to smile about because it was not a very fun day for running.  I remember the year we lost power and the poor runners sailed through the towns with hardly any fans.  I’m not really sure what is worse but they did not look happy this year.   Being that it was 90 degrees -ish, some of us personally enjoyed the opportunity for some suntanning.  We felt so badly though that we just kept staying (ok, we always do that) in order to cheer just a few more!  We camped out along Heartbreak Hill for the first time and heartbreaking it was.  Walker after walker passed by with 6+ miles to go.  We hope Chris made it to the end!  If not, we really liked our ice cream anyways.

There was a lot of extra water this year but rumor has it that it was warm and terrible.

They just kept spilling over the hill, an hour or more later than usual.  It’s always an inspiring day but I have to say, not once this year did I really feel like I wanted to do it.  There’s always next year!

Go Red Sox!

April 6, 2012

Regardless of who you cheer for, this is a good way to start the season!  Red Sox season means Marathon Monday, blossoms on trees, Don and Remy’s voices echoing throughout the city, sunny runs along the Charles and warm sunshine all right around the corner.  We didn’t really have to “survive” this winter but we are still thankful another one is soon behind us and the best is ahead!