Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Garden Photo Shoot

I love mums in the fall. Especially now that I'm so excited about making a mumkin. I know, I know. I can't stop talking about the blasted mumkin. It's Suzanne's fault. I'll try not to talk about mumkins anymore. But I'm not making any promises. Aren't they cheerful? The colors are so gorgeous. A fall palette in a pot.
I planted this lantana because it was orange
and I've got pumpkins on the brain.
Does anyone else adore succulents like I do?
Sturdy, juicy little munchkins.
This one is stretching up to say hello.
And this one is just staring at you,
waiting for you to notice its perfect symmetry.
Evening primrose is a delight in the garden.
But you better like it because it pops up everywhere.
I won't say the W word about this flower because
I respect it too much. But you know what I speak of.
Twins, near and dear to my heart.
I can't stop. It's beauty is like a siren song,
luring my camera lens back,
and then back again.
Ah, yes. Our faithful garden friend.
Always standing guard.
He needs a name.
What should his name be?
More of nature's perfect symmetry seen
in the leaves of a Mexican bird of paradise.
Miniature yellow roses. Don't they look
romantic and cottage-y?
Even the spent ones are delightfully shabby.
What an exquisite specimen, each petal perfectly curled.
My hydrangeas are on their way out, but isn't the faded
color just singing 'autumn'?
A touch of pink on antique white--a treasure to
this corner of the garden.
These purple bell peppers look tasty.
I am fighting the urge to wipe my finger across
my computer screen to erase those water spots
off the skin of the pepper.
How dare they mar her eggplant-y shine?
A Bacopa bloom. So simple and sweet.
GASP! My favorite in the garden right now:
This pale orange one is like a dreamsicle.
I love it!
A dreamy yellow one with a splash of daring red.
That is the end of the garden tour my dears.
And now, just to prove that cooking is still
alive and well in this kitchen,
here's Bug, demonstrating that
colorful, pint-sized rolling pins
are way more fun than big boring
adult-sized wooden ones.
"Oh what's that I see?
A sewing machine in the background?
You wouldn't happen to be working on
matching aprons for the family,
now would you Elle?"
Why yes! Yes I am!
I'm making such good progress!
I'm on track to finish them
around the year 2015! Yay!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Girl Twin Giveaway

Okay, that came out wrong.
I really do want to keep her. But I thought it'd be fun to do a giveaway
in honor of Dee's almost-walking status.
Here's the idea:
Simply leave your comment with the date
(month and day)
you think Dee will walk. Whoever guesses right
(or closest without going over) wins.
Everyone can enter two times
(leave 2 different dates--no need to enter 2 different
comments--you can leave them all in the same comment).
Here's more of the nitty-gritty if you're interested:
If multiple people leave a guess of the correct day,
their names will all be put into a pool for a random drawing.
To clarify, I'm not talking about taking a wobbly step
or two and then falling down.
I'm talking a purposeful walk to get somewhere.
Here's a video of Bug's maiden voyage to give you
an idea of what I consider walking.
(Wanna know how old she was?
A few days shy of 8 months. I know. Insanity.)
Here's what's at stake:

Bath & Body Works' romantic Moonlight Path lotion, bubble bath, body spray and candle along with Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember. You might see the general plan here: draw a hot bubble bath, light a candle and read a book. Sounds nice, right?

If I make it to 75 followers by the time Dee walks, I'll add in this adorable cookbook:

so tell a friend or two.

Christmas Pantry by Gooseberry Patch is the cutest cookbook/craft idea/holiday book ever! You will love it!

To get you on the right track, here's some hints:

Dee is a stone's throw away from the one year old mark. She has been standing herself up without the aid of furniture for a few weeks. She can take one or two steps, but then falls down. It's quite hard to estimate--she could walk in two days or two months, but I'd wager on the scale of days, not months.

This is my first giveaway. I have no idea if this will work. I'm thinking there's some obstacle I haven't thought of, but I hope you'll fill me in if that's the case!

But we'll have fun with it and I'll keep you all posted on Dee's bipedal status. The moment she becomes a pedestrian, I'll announce the winner!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Strange Things Are Afoot (And a Little Bit of Catching Up)

My universe is all kooky over here. Get this:
I keep entering blog giveaways....
...and I keep winning them.
The streak can't last much longer,
but while it does,
I'm having so much fun!
I sit at my front window, waiting for the mailman.
I peek through the blinds,
my breath leaving a circle of fog on the glass,
He arrives.
I giggle madly, and rub my hands together wickedly.
Once he leaves, I grab the mail keys
and run wildly to the box.
It's sick. Really sick.
I won a mini-prize from My Country Blog of This and That.
I wasn't sure what it was going to be and I was
so pleasantly surprised to receive 4 wee jar candles.
We don't even know each other but somehow
she knew I adore the scents of autumn!
Aren't they charming? Bug chose the one we lit for dinner. Spiced Apple! Delicious!
Look at this incredible gem:
I won it from Tammy at Country Girl at Home.
It's so fantastic!
The craftsmanship is perfection
and the design and finish is so utterly country.
I stole this photo from Tammy's website because
my photo of it on the carpet just doesn't do it justice. I can't wait to have it hung
(I finally decided--
it's going in our foyer--
it's the perfect spot for it!)
Thank you Tammy!
Then I won a book from Multiples and More,
one of my favorite websites.
I desperately needed this book and am so
glad to have it in my possession.
Because obviously, my twins aren't going to learn
a stitch of emotionally healthy behavior from their mother.
Thank you Lani & Amanda! My twins will be sending you
thank you notes when they grow up and realize
what peril their lives were in before I got this book!
Now for the catching up.
A while back, Judi at Bentley Boutique
tagged me in a fun game.
Here's the game:
Go to the place on your computer where you store photos.
Go into the oldest folder and post the first picture.
This is it:
Judy, Jay, my dad, me, and my mom.
We are at Rio del Mar beach. Jay had just been
baptized in the ocean. It was an amazing
moment for Jay and for all of us.
Thanks Judi for including me in a fun game!
Yelena at June Daisies passed on an award to me:
Thank you Yelena!
I am to list 10 things about myself that you may not know.
1) When I was little, I shoved a carrot up my nose so I wouldn't have to eat it. I had to go to the hospital. I got a stuffed bunny out of it, and I didn't have to eat the carrot. Mission accomplished.
2) I failed my first driver's license test. But I'm a very good driver!
3) I gained 65 pounds when I was pregnant with the twins. I had to eat every 2 hours or I felt like I hadn't eaten in 4 score and 7 years. The hunger woke me up in the middle of the night even. I'd scurry (like only a pregnant girl can scurry) down to the kitchen and guzzle Carnation Instant Breakfast.
4) My mother grew up in Carmel, CA. Lucky lady.
5) I don't like soda of any kind.
6) When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be a model, a farmer, a veterinarian and a giraffe.
7) I drive a Toyota Sienna and I love it more than any other car I've ever owned. Yes. I embrace the minivan!
8) I am very worried about the environment.
9) I ran track and cross country from 7th grade to junior college.
10) If I don't sleep enough, I'm debilitated by vertigo and headaches the next day....
Good night!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Visit From Judy

A few weeks ago we had a lovely
visit from Jay's mom, Judy.
She took time off work,
time away from other family, and a long time driving in the car to get to us.
She's so good with the kids... and they adore her . She was so gracious to treat Jay & I to dinner by ourselves, at a restaurant of our choice. Judy probably doesn't know this, but the most special part of the visit for me was when she was about to get in her car to go home and she called out "You've got great kids. You're doing a great job." You're doing a great job. Hearing that meant so much to me. Sometimes as a mother, you just need an 'atta girl' once in a while, just so you know you're not completely messing up your kids as you fumble around motherhood. Judy is very respectful and supportive of my parenting, for which I'm so grateful. And although she's never said a word against me, I can't imagine she always agrees with my choices. That's why that comment was so special to me. It was generous and it was validating and it lifted me up. Thank you, Judy! X's and O's to you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This:became this:
thanks to this:
In particular, this:
and a little bit of human intervention.
The first season we were bewildered and confused
by our lack of pumpkins.
This season, we were ready.
Here's what we did:
1. Stripped all the petals off a male flower.
Poor guy. Pretty undignified. 2. Found a beautiful little lady in waiting.
See that baby pumpkin at her base?
3. Gently brushed pollen onto the stigma of the female flower.
4. Then waited and watched as beautiful pumpkins grew.
Here is our first harvest, and more are on the way.
(Lots of mums in my garden so I can make a Mumkin!
Thanks for the inspiration, Suzanne.)