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Friday, September 30


"a bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't." -vance havner

really not what they meant cossette... grrr.

Thursday, September 22

the sweater

have i told you about the sweater? i mean the sweater. i'm not big on sentimental items. i love sentimental stories or pictures or places but sentimental things just seem so cluttery & unnecessary. don't get me wrong i have plenty of clutter & sentiment over at my house but every time i think i'm normal about it, the topic comes up & i'm convinced the majority of people are more into sentimental knick knacks than i.

if my house was on fire (i know, morbid) i'd grab my chillins, the external hard drive, & 4 hangers. 3 of those hangers hold the 3 blessing dresses for the girls in our family. they are very special to me. the 4th is the sweater. in 1983 my MIL renée bought a gorgeous, feminine yellow baby sweater while she was pregnant with austin. she didn't know what gender he was but knew she'd have a sweet little girl to put it on eventually. while it took her longer than anticipated, her sweet little girl came in 2009. austin is the oldest of 4 boys & our ellery renée was the first to wear the sweater.

here's ellery at 6 months with her grandma néenée & the sweater. & just so you know, i am fully aware that both of my kid's grandmothers look like young moms. it's a little ridiculous.

in this rancid virginia summer heat cossette hasn't gotten a chance to wear the sweater until now at almost 14 months but it looks great.

i adore this little sweater. it means so much to me. & it's even yellow to boot!!

Tuesday, September 20

and the thunder rolls

a wonderful thing about the east coast has been the rolling storms. not the weather, but the mild-ish/non evacuating storms. we had another flash flood after returning from irene & we literally couldn't leave our house. just for a night but still it was intense. but i'm talking about an average night of rainfall. everyone i've talked to says this year has been louder & crazier than any they remember.

you'll be outside playing & the sky turns grey in a matter of seconds. mid-day can look like dusk.

then thunder hits.
the first crack is so booming you literally jump & it continues to grumble for nearly a full minute. ellery runs around calling "biiig thunder!". the 'big' is in this baritone, cartoony voice & it is hilarious. cossette freezes & her eyes get even wider. yes, it is possible. :) you can hear it barreling toward you in this deep beautiful echo as it reverberates across the sky. it's my favorite part.

then you wait until the first lightning bolt bursts through the clouds. it splinters into multiple paths, jumping from cloud to cloud in this incredible wave.

after stopping everything you were doing to huddle at the window or on the front step & watch this amazing back & forth, the sky seems to open up & like a massive tub of water it pours like you have never seen it pour. & you happen to be from portland, oregon. it is literally like standing under a waterfall in every direction.

then 10 minutes later it all stops & you look above & wonder if it ever even happened.

suddenly fireflies start popping up across the yard.

it's extraordinary.

Friday, September 9

visitor #7

while we were out of town, the chief's cousin daven & his wife kathleen stayed at our house. they just barely moved into the area (about an hour away in chantilly) & were waiting for their place to be ready. we did get to spend a long weekend & get to know them a bit better before they moved. pleasant company & just great with the beans! hopefully we'll get to see them every once and awhile now that they're east coasters with us!

Thursday, September 8

williamsburg & irene

we like to keep things interesting.

on saturday michael drove with us to meet my parents in williamsburg, about 2 and a half hours away. driving straight into the east coast hurricane. it got kind of harried but we got in alright. all that night the lights flickered & rain pounded while we ran around town trying to find food. afterward we hunkered down for a couple days while everything closed, power was out, internet down, & very spotty cell reception. plus cossette had a full 36 hours of ear cringing whines for no reason whatsoever & i was about ready to throw that sweet face out into the hurricane.

but it was all fine because i've never slept so much in my life & i demolished my competition at monopoly despite michael's best efforts to get everyone to gang up on me. my dad swore he'd never seen a domination that brutal. jana would have loooved it. haha-

oh & can i tell you how i married macgyver?? okay cause i did.
the chief has this radio/flashlight thing for when the world ends but of course no batteries to speak of. after hitting store after store looking for C batteries, we finally found them! YAY! oooo too bad we needed D's. it amazes me what this boy notices & what he doesn't. well he jerry-rigged the thing using a wedding ring & the monopoly thimble to get power conducting so we could finally get some updates on everything. amazing.

it really was pretty crazy & you can see here some of the damage we witnessed.
the kidlets were thrilled to see gpa & gramvi & play with them for a week! they were as always great with the beans & shocked at how much they've changed since nyc. we had a blast playing catch phrase, eating out, & hanging with them.

after those first 2 days off we stayed pretty busy outlet mall shopping, swimming in the hotels super impressive pool area, playing tennis, & visiting yorktown, jamestown, & williamsburg. williamsburg had a ton of unique shops (wig makers, millineries, brick layers, silversmiths, etc) & the original capitol building to tour while jamestown had an unbelievably impressive museum, large indian town, 3 intricate re-creation ships on the water, & an extensive colonist settlement to explore. 

ellery cuddling up with the thomas jefferson statue, the CF lightbulb in the old street lamp, chief in the 3 point hat, & cossette falling in between the cushions laughing her head off all made me smile. my dad takes spectacular pictures & has hundreds, i only took a few. i'll have to link to their blog once they get around to it.

we also went to opus steakhouse for michael's birthday dinner & i had a beyond fabulous dinner of lobster tails, garlic potatoes, & more butter than a person should ever see in one sitting. drool.

then no questions asked the best dessert of my life. no exclamations or dramatization needed. i would simply kill for it. it was bananas foster cheesecake & i would be a very very happy half ton woman if i could eat it for every meal.

half way through the week michael went back home. he leaves for his mission the beginning of october & since we won't be able to go to his farewell, we said our goodbyes. :(

we are so proud of both of our brothers for being worthy & willing to serve. i think we tend to get used to the idea & not give it the attention it deserves. it is an amazing sacrifice & opportunity for these boys. michael is a great kid & will make a marvelous missionary.
 thanks for a lively, enjoyable trip mom & daddy!

Monday, September 5

visitor #6

2 days after coming home from our time in ID, my baby brother came out to DC to visit us!
we went into the city a few times which after the first attempt i was proud of him for giving it another chance. haha we visited the national archives, the american history museum, the air & space museum, the natural history museum, the sculpture gardens, walked past the white house, & were able to tour the martin luther king, jr. exhibit on its very first day open. they haven't even had the grand opening yet. it was quite cool. i made michael take several clever & embarrassing poses all day so he retaliated by claiming to be the girl's "papi" & lying about his age. too funny.
we also went into old towne alexandria & sat in george washington's old pew at christ's church, walked the harbor, & ate the number one best ice cream/frozen custard i've ever had in my life. michael is to ice cream & nike as i am to yellow & lincoln. & he gushed about this ice cream. mission accomplished.
we went on a bike ride around town; hit a nursery & a little market & binged on flavored honey sticks, visited the water fountain ellers has been dying to see up close, & ran around the park.

at night we watched movies & i bet i made over 100 cookies while michael was here. nutella cookies & oreo crumb cookies and michael ate roughly 80. in 2 days. & then complained on day 3 that i hadn't made a batch of a new fun cookie for him to snarf. haha.

i also let him watch beauty & the beast with ellery. this was a big deal as i have a phobia about the princess market eating my daughters but i'm trying not to mess my kid's up going too far the other direction. i seriously push every other disney movie but the princess ones. which michael pointed out is kind of sad because a few of my own favorites are disney princess movies. sometimes i feel like i'm going to screw my kids up just trying too hard not to screw them up. ya know?

we have so much fun with michael, being loud & quoting movies & making fun of each other. it was nice having michael to ourselves for a bit.