Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Birthday Follow-Up

My birthday was good. Funny how birthday wishes come mostly electronically now!

We rented The Aristocats and ate grilled cheese and tomato soup in front of the TV. We celebrated with a Josh & John's ice cream cake which we've been nibbling on for days. This is what I got as my birthday present. Completely unnecessary for my running capabilities, but oh-so-much-fun for play. I was going to insist on returning it, but now I'm totally enthralled and addicted.

I took a couple quick runs over the weekend to test it out. This morning I did a longer run on one of my favorite trails. No need to mentally calculate distance so instead I kept my mind busy by attempting to avoid grasshoppers, watching a snake snack on a grasshopper, admiring the butterflies, catching a buck watching me warily, wondering if there were any mountain lions stalking me (I'm not so crazy... there was a mountain lion wandering around town just a few days ago!), and wishing I could find a way to run with my SLR camera... It was a good run.

Almost as much fun as the distance and pace feature is the elevation feature. I'm going to try it on the incline in the morning!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

37 years old today.

Doesn't feel quite as old as I thought it would.

Today is going to be a good day. Normal-crazy morning getting the kids off to school, went to my favorite yoga class (which is free on birthdays!), and now having some quiet time before picking up the kids from school. I promised the kids we would have "movie night" tonight. We'll rent a video and eat pizza in front of the TV. We'll have my birthday celebration tomorrow when life is a little less rushed.

All The Things I Meant to Blog This Week

  • The snowstorm we got on the last day of summer
  • Happy Birthday to my brother Joey!
  • The super-yummy pumpkin soup we made to celebrate the first day of autumn
  • How I resisted turning on the heat all week despite the cold weather
  • My inability to figure out how to replace the batteries in the thermostat (which helped me resist turning on the heat all week since you can't turn it on with dead batteries!)
  • My mid-life crisis most likely related to my upcoming birthday (aren't I too young to have a mid-life crisis??)

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I love it when life overwhelms me! It makes me feel, so... alive! And I have felt so very alive the last several days. Certainly too alive to find time to blog, but I know that I will find the space and the inclination when the time is right. Maybe the time will be right this weekend while my mom is here on an quick and unexpected visit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Total Honesty

We were expecting my friend Gretchen and her little boy (who is exactly Jack's age - same birthday!) for a play date a couple weeks ago. Jack was going to sit on the front porch swing and wait for them to arrive while I took a much needed post-workout shower. Just as I was stepping out of the shower, Jack came into the bathroom asking that I join him on the porch to wait for our friends.

"But, Jack," I said, "I need to get some clothes on."

"No, don't get dressed, come NOW, " he begged me.

"Well, then I'll be naked. What will Gretchen say when she sees me on the porch naked?" I asked.

Jack eyeballed me standing there in my towel and responded, "Mommy, she'd say you look really good!"

Hard to argue with that!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Day of Pre-K

Last week was Jack's first week back at preschool. He is quite excited to be one of the big kids on campus (aka Pre-K). I opted to send him 5 days a week this year as he is a bit lost at home without Kate around (Okay, I admit that my motivation was also partially selfish, but I wouldn't have chosen 5 days if I didn't think he would enjoy it and wouldn't be good for him).

So now I have two kids in school - what am I going to do with myself?!? Sometime this week I'll post my New School Year Resolutions. I'd love to see some resolutions of other moms. Let me know if you blog about your resolutions, and I'll post a link with my resolutions.

First day, but no jitters
(actually he wouldn't even acknowledge my good-bye!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Monday Meal Plan

I was busy in the kitchen this morning! Made breadcrumbs, made yogurt, finished the ricotta cheese made from the whey leftover from making mozzarella cheese, made cookies with the kids, made "cupcakes" for snacks this week, froze beans from last week's batch, started soaking some kidney beans for this week (I'll cook them tomorrow). And that was all before noon! I'm rarely that productive.

For brunch the kids and I rode our bikes (despite the chilly day - only in the 50's) to cohousing for a community meal. Always good to see our friends and old neighbors.

Tonight I have my documentary film club. Not sure what the film is, but I can't wait to post about the dish I brought. (Hints: I recreated a dish I recently blogged about and used my homemade ricotta!)

This week in the kitchen I'm planning on canning peaches and pears. Maybe making some jelly. Need to use up zucchini so I'll probably make and freeze more quick loafs. I also need to desperately clean out my pantry and a few other cupboards!

On the menu for this week:

Sunday - Potato and Kale quiche (from The Vegetarian Mother cookbook - total side: for some odd reason Jack thinks that the pregnant woman on the front of the cook book is Jesus! LOL)

Monday - Red bean and quinoa burritos (I can't quickly find this recipe otherwise I would post it!)

Tuesday - Corn pie with homemade tomato salsa (I change up the recipe a bit)

Wednesday - community meal at cohousing

Thursday - concert and picnic night at Kate's school - we ordered the pizza and lemonade through the PTA. I'll probably also pack us a salad.

Friday - grilled steak, tomato-mozzarella couscous salad (I made this with homemade mozzarella for a girls' night out last week - yum!), some veggie TBD

Saturday - leaving it open for going out!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

St. Olaf News

I don't think there was any fresh, local produce in the Sunday night tater tot casserole when I was at St. Olaf...

I can't wait to try that Arugula Aioli recipe! Next summer when I (hopefully!) have a garden again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

REAL Fire Engines

Not only did we get to ride on an antique fire engine on our trip to San Fran, but then we got to visit a real fire station and get on a real fire truck. One of Matt's college buddies lives in Tiburon with his family. We took a ferry one morning across the bay to go visit. His friend is a volunteer firefighter, so we got the full tour and experience.

Jack in the fire truck
Kids dressing up
Me all ready to go
Matt getting the fitted with the whole outfit
Fire pole
Thinking today of all the firefighters who gave so much on this September 11th anniversary.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Red Shiny Mack Fire Engine

Put on your fire jacket and leave your ego behind! We took the San Francisco Fire Engine Tour on our trip, and it was a hoot! They drove us around in the back of their old, open air fire engine. The highlight of the tour is going over the Golden Gate Bridge, although I thought the highlight was singing fire engine songs while wearing a red ski mask (it gets a bit breezy and chilly going over the bridge in the open air - and, if you recall, I did leave my ego behind!). The kids had a great time, and it was well worth it. Highly recommended if you are visiting San Fran with kids, and definitely memorable!

Getting ready for the tour
(do I have the most angelic looking kids ever?? Wish they acted that way!)
On the fire engine
(each child all got a Dalmatian puppet to hold)
Posing with the fire engine
Ringing the bell
Posing with the Golden Gate Bridge
Ski Masks

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

San Francisco

Did I fail to mention that we were in San Fran over the holiday weekend? Matt had been there the previous week for a conference, and the kids and I flew out mid-week to meet him. I love San Francisco! We stayed in a hotel just a few blocks from Fisherman's Wharf (and only 2 blocks from Trader Joe's - I went 3 times in 4 days...). The kids had never been to California before, so we spent most of our time visiting the typical tourist sites.

We had a babysitter come to the hotel so we could go out for our anniversary dinner. We went to Laiola - sorta a Spanish tapas meal using mostly local ingredients. Just my kind of meal. My favorite dish was grilled nectarines with homemade ricotta. Yum, yum, yum.

We took a special city tour on Friday and on Saturday took a ferry to Tiburon to see one of Matt's college friends and his family (I'll blog separately about both of those!).

San Fran is such a "green" city. Seems like all the taxis are either hybrids or powered by natural gas. Seems like all the restaurants serve up local food (admittedly much easier in Northern California). They even do curbside composting... I know because I ran smack into one trying to avoid a CRAZY man on the street.

Sea Lions
Carousel at Pier 39
Fisherman's Wharf
Lombard Street
(can you see us in front of the lions?)
Making a wish in Ghiradelli Square
(he wished for a race car... for mom!)
10am isn't too early for cupcakes, right?
Cable Car
We had to visit Union Square because we love the book Fly High, Fly Low
(we looked and looked for Mr. Hi Lee and Midge, but we only saw Sid...)
Playing by the water

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Big thanks to Kiwi Magazine's blog Kiwilog for mentioning Greenstylemom (and a bunch of other great blogs) in their mom blog round up!


And what did we do with all 35lbs of apples?? Made applesauce! I canned almost 20 liters, and we'll probably make more with the next batch of apples.

Freshly picked, freshly washed
I have one of those fancy apple corer/slicer things,
but I really prefer to sit on the back porch and cut and core apples by hand
Do I get extra credit for having to process an extra 15min because we are over 6000 ft?
Oh... and check out my awesome hot pad.
It was a gift from Gretchen who got it from BeanPickleSprout (she's local for us!)
The future Vanna White
I really wish I had my own apple trees... and cherry trees... maybe someday...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Apple Picking

We had our first no school day a couple weeks ago, so we headed out for some apple picking with some friends. Jen and I are really lucky that are sons met at preschool so we could become friends. Jack and Joshua are like two peas in a pod and love hanging out together. I forsee a lot of mischief together as they get older. Jen also has little Alex and brand new baby Cameron. Pretty brave woman to go apple picking, huh?

The front range lost the 2008 apple crop to a late spring freeze, and we really missed picking last year. The kids didn't last long as it was a pretty hot day. We have already used up all our apples, so I think we'll go again soon when the weather is cooler and there is cider available!

Apple farms are fun for more than just picking apples... tractors, sunflowers, dandilions, running

35lbs of apples!
Baby Cameron and Kate back at home

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Mountain Water Fun

It started out innocently enough with just a little wading...
Then he got more curious and a little braver...
Then big sister joined in...
What did they find?
Nice worm.
Then came the bright idea to catch fish with their hats.
Notice the water mark level by the end of the fun...