Friday, March 30, 2012

Solstice Dinner in Stowe...

Stowe Mountain Resort (Vermont) has a fabulous fine dining restaurant called Solstice.  We put all the kids to bed and my mom stayed at the dream house with an ear open for any kid rumblings.  I love nothing more than a good martini and a ridiculously good meal.  Solstice did not disappoint.  So may I present to you Solstice via Instagram!

Katie & Tricia
Eric & Bengt

Katie & Eric
The dramatic shot of Bengt & Tricia

Thursday, March 29, 2012

T-shirt Memories.....

In my on-going attempt to NOT be a hoarder, I recently went through the stacks and stacks of my t-shirt "collection."  That's what I like to call it.  A collection.  Because when something is a collection you can't help but to add to the collection.  Nurture the collection.  Watch it grow.  Browse with me through  my collection and indulge me as I take a trip down memory lane.  (my favorite kind of trips!)  Many of these t-shirts were stained or too big and boxy looking and I won't wear them anymore.  So I took pictures of them instead of keeping them just for the memory!.  I have incredible memories attached to each trip t-shirt, and as my mentor and idol, Peter Walsh always says, if you have the memory you don't need the thing to remember it!
Sea Oats Motel, Destin Florida~ 2004
(The only reason you see a date here is because I asked G)
I remember with glee and delight going on this trip.  I did not have any children.  I went with three other girlfriends and we rented a convertible mustang.  Oh wait, that was the first trip to Destin with my girls.  This was the second trip.  We rented a condo and our friend G's adoption from China was finally happening.  We had a surprise (but it wasn't) baby shower for her.  It was glorious.  We literally did nothing but lay on the beach, drink all day and get dressed up for dinner out.  It was a transition point in our lives for all of us.  The next time I came to Destin I was pregnant with Lauren.  I can't wait to take my kids back to the white sand beaches of Destin and comb the beach for shells and dig in the sand and get water to make wet sand.  To dig holes in the sand to stick my hot feet into.  To run and dive into the cold water just to get the hot sun off my skin.  To celebrate life in a way I cannot do quite like at the beach.

From this point forward you will not see dates for any of these trips!  I am just not good with dates.  I write them down in journals or on the back of Christmas tree ornaments and sometimes photographs.  I remember my Great Aunt Ruthie telling me how important it is to write the date on the back of something because you think you will never forget, but when you get to be 78 years old you realize you did forget!
My sister Tracy lives an hour or so away from  Cape May, NJ and it reminds me so much of Door County, WI.  We usually make a trip to this lovely shore each time I visit.  We eat lunch or brunch and walk around all the shops and stores.  We buy salt water taffy and stop in at The Ugly Mug Pub for a pint. The first time I visited Cape May, Lauren was 6 or 7 months old and my sister's son Liam was teeny tiny freshly born. (baptism time)  I bought matching outfits for the kids to wear just like everyone in my family did for Tracy and I. (being 17 months apart in age will automatically put you on the "twins but not really" path when it comes to clothing!)   I was wearing white pants and got my period.  Um, hello!  Are you kidding me?  When you don't have a period the whole time you are pregnant and nursing you kinda forget about that pain in the ass that comes every month.  I had to use the public bathrooms near the beach and pray that those machines that sell tampons and those (ridiculously HUGE) pads still existed.  They did!  I survived and we had a fun day.  (no blood on the pants occurred in case you are wondering but it was a close call!)
Las Vegas trip with my girl B!  Lauren was two years old and my mom came to stay for a long weekend while I rejoiced in some serious fun.  Drinking being the "fun" keyword in this trip!  We also ate, sunbathed, pooled, stalked Bobby Flay, pretended to gamble and laid in the bed at the MGM and relished in the "you can do nothing or anything" kind of days.  Every mom needs a get away like this after your world is shaken up   (in both emotionally good and life-changing ways) by a child.  I had a grand plan of getting pregnant again after Lauren turned two.  Life presented me with a pregnancy not two, but three years later and it worked out for the best!  Vegas is the perfect get in and have some serious fun and get out type of trip.  No more than 4 days is needed! 
First trip to New Orleans.  Another girls trip.  No kids.  (See how these things just go together?  no kids=girls get-away trips!)  It was discovering 'Nawlins and reconnecting with an old high school friend.  Again, more drinking.  Throw in some butterfly tattoos and a couple of belly piercings and I'd call this trip a success!  (Guess which one I got?!)  This was the kind of trip where your girlfriend is designated "MVP" on the first night because she was over served one too many hurricanes and went in the bathroom to puke and returned to say "I feel better."  "I think I can have a drink."  Lordy, remember those days?  I'm not sure I am I glad they are over or desire a few more now and then!  Maybe it's the carefree-ness of them more so than the drinking!  Kids really do a number on spontaneity!
Destin, FL again.  Nothing beats a breakfast at the Donut Hole.  I ate crab cakes benedict!  I mean really!  Can you get any more delicious than that?  I do believe my best girl B really really wanted a purple t-shirt and they didn't have it in her size.
Destin, FL (I went there three times so I kept the "collection" fresh!)  Rx:  Take a glass a day to keep the brain clear and the body relaxed.  And that is exactly how the beach makes me feel.
This was the hubs.  It had a big stain on it and I finally let it go.  He doesn't even know its gone and never will.  I purchased this t-shirt for him on my first trip to Boston with my other best girl B to visit an old high school pal.  This trip was a life-changing one for my sister, who happened to be in Bean town as well.  She met her husband!  This trip involved pub-crawls, hang-overs on the subway, (imagine a hang over and all that starting and stopping and potential puking....yuck and it wasn't me this time!) peeing on rooftop decks, doing vodka shots out of china teacups, clam chowder, countless photos of doors, getting sunburned at the Red Sox game, certain people who are now married (and shall remain nameless!) making out in the stairwell of said rooftop.  Just a classic trip that will go down in the record books.
I heart Door County 4-ever.
And for the record a Ben & Jerry's and Vermont t-shirt were purchased on the trip!  I will never stop "adding to the collection" and weeding and feeding it!  The key is to keep donating things.  I went through all the kids books today with the help of Lauren.  (Evan just wanted to keep everything!) We donated over 100 books.  Some I was not ready to part with yet.  Some of those books represent the very first days of Lauren's life and sitting in the nursery and rocking her and reading them to her and being so postpartum that I couldn't get through more than a sentence or two without busting out in a cry.  But it makes me feel good to know that all that love we gave those books, all those hours of reading and cuddling and laughing and questioning....all that good book karma will be passed onto the next children who read them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

B & W Monday...

I love a good toddler ear.  I have a friend who has a thing for baby heads....the shape.  I get it.  I could eat that ear for breakfast.
And those eyes.  They get me every time.  Even though he's a dickens.  Even though I've been more frustrated in the last two years than ever before.  But I love the little guy.  He's got these amazing blue eyes with flecks of greenish/brown around the center.  Just like his Daddy.  My Dad had the best blue eyes.
 Complete and utter sass wrapped up in a tiny little package of goodness.
If that makes any sense....
 Ah, this is when I love them most!
Pretty soon those toes will touch the ground and we will be on a new journey.  Someday those toes will touch and she will ask me if she can use the car.  Sigh. But let's not go there tonight.
Sissy & Buddy....
Love Dog 1 and Love Dog 2.
xo xo 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quilt Love from Lovelies in my Life....

Do you know about a blog called Lovelies in my Life?  Please check it out!  Kristy is from South Africa but ended up in Green Bay, WI (which is quite close to where I grew up) and she's a fashion superstar and also spotlights her photography business, home and family life and the occasional recipe.  It's all done in a very lovely, special, almost quiet way.  If you can describe something as quiet!  It's exactly as the title of her blog explains.  A few weeks ago she had a give-a-way of this wonderful handmade quilt.  I fell in love at first glance of her son and the quilt which you can see here.  

I ended up being the very lucky winner of the quilt! 
Those big flowers are my favorite part!
For now, the quilt has found a home over one of the leather chairs in the room where we watch T.V. and hang out the most.  
You might think a handmade quilt wouldn't work with your theme or decor, but it's universal in it's charm and character.
Knowing that somebody used their hands and skill to transform fabric squares into a piece of art makes me appreciate it even more.  I dream of special things like this being around fifty years from now.
Little pops of color and fabric changes on every angle!
Somebody loves it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kids posing with animals and what not.....

Cabot cheese!
First "posing with a cut-out animal" of the trip!
The beloved COW.
Old school General Store...

I heart Vermont....
or shall I say
I lovermont

Old gondola...
Grandma with her cool hat on...
(It was Kerstin's!  So really we have both grams representing!)
Yet another bear...
See those white bags?  
Candy was selected from big glass jars and metal scoops.
How can you resist that?
Oh, wow!  Another bear....
The kids would see any cut-out or animal and strike a pose!
"Mom, take my picture!"
Look, ma!  Another Bear!
With Nathan at Stowe Mountain Resort...

This time a ski dude...
I struck a pose!  : )

I MIGHT, just MIGHT be getting to the end of my trip photos!  Oh, wait!  The gondola ride up the mountain and our dinner at the lodge without kids and, and, and....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I made Pioneer Woman's Perfect Eggs.....

Look at this beauty!
PW refers to them at ihop eggs because they almost look fake!

I'm not usually a fan of a sunny-side up egg.  Mostly due to that little piece of egg on the top of the yolk that you just can't cook.  (I call it slime) I like an egg-in-a-hole because you have to flip the egg and hence, no slime!  But, I watched Pioneer Woman make these eggs on her show and you can find the whole thing here on her blog.

You basically cook the egg in a pan with a shallow amount of vegetable oil.  (I used Olive oil the second time because I forgot and I didn't achieve the same egg!)  You keep spooning spoonfuls of oil up over the white part of the egg and when that is done you do the same over the yolk.  It's pretty cool.  My kids like "dippy" eggs and I'm classic for over cooking the eggs.  If the pan is too hot from cooking the pancakes (which I do first) the whites get all crispy around the edges and the kids attempt a "dip" into the egg with toast and say, "Mom, I wanted a dippy egg!"  Well, I'd like someone to make me breakfast!!!!!
And this is how my egg was finished off:  salt and pepper and some hot sauce.