Top 10 Things I Am Thankful For Today

This Thanksgiving Day, I have a lot to be thankful for. All the usual things, such as my health, my beautiful family, my super cool new house. I have plenty to be thankful for, indeed. And because I have a pathologic need to make lists to keep myself organized (or at least, to help me feel like I am organized), here is a Top Ten list of things that I am thankful for on this particular Thanksgiving Day, 2009.

10. Thanksgiving Day football – because I won’t be able to watch any football on Sunday.

9. Fly swatters – because flies at the Thanksgiving Dinner table are so uncouth.

8. Rich and Jacquie – who gave us a kick ass bottle of wine (I know that it was hard for you to give that bottle away, Rich – so thanks!).

7. The new fireplace – even though it still smells smokey, it is so nice and toasty. And it warms my heart to see all four of our kitties huddled around it, napping in pure kitty heaven.

6. Acorns – my girls have been collecting them all morning, making it possible for me to clean up the house and to cook.

5. Facebook – because it is great to see what all of my friends are doing today. 

4. Vaseline – because it will remove the “dots” Chloe applied to her cheeks, trying to make freckles.

3. My in-laws – because without them, my husband wouldn’t exist. And because they found us our new house. And they make great babysitters for the girls. And because they are two very nice people.

2. My husband – because without him, my girls wouldn’t exist. And because he is quite possibly the most wonderful man I have ever met.

1. My girls, Chloe and Ella – because without them, I wouldn’t exist. They have taught me how to be a more patient, more kind and more loving person than I ever thought possible.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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If only it were that easy

We were sitting at the dinner table tonight, enjoying a delicious dinner made by Gary. We had the most delightful conversation, and it went something like this:

Gary: Chloe, what did you learn today?

Chloe: Magic.

Me: Where did you learn magic, Chloe?

Chloe: At the Magic House.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a “house” for anything we wanted to learn? I have always wanted to learn how to play the flute… I’ll just go to the Flute Playing House. And tomorrow, I think I will go to the Gourmet Cooking House. Perhaps the day after that, I will fit in a trip to the Airplane Flying House.

If only it were that easy…

Why I am glad I have girls

In one word… worms.

I had a quick visit with my sister, my favorite brother-in-law (next to you, John) and my nephew. Luke is a really great kid, so bright, so cute, so funny. But he has one flaw. He likes worms. A lot. He hunts around the ground and finds nice, fat, slimy worms.

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Bonus! Two worms.

My sister is far more brave than I could ever be. She holds the wiggly creatures in her hand.

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Here mommy

Yup. I’m just not that brave. Or cool. And I really was not all that amused when Luke chased me around with a worm.

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Icky boy

Luke was quite proud of himself, making his auntie squeal like, well, a little girl.

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Icky boy close-up

He may be cute, but he likes worms.

I’ll stick to girls. They find worms as yucky as I do.

Boot to the Head

I am in day 4 of 5 at Kevin Kubota’s Bootcamp and I am suffering from “boot to the head” syndrome. Translation: my brain is on overload. And while I can feel my neurons crying, burning and dying a slow and painful death, I am so glad that I came. Because I have learned a lot of really REALLY cool stuff and because I have met some really REALLY cool people. Like Craig Strong, maker of the Lensbaby. I had been wanting to buy one for a while, but was intimidated because it is totally manual and seemed way too complicated. But I got over myself and I must say that I am IN LOVE with this lens! He brought a whole bunch of lenses and inserts for us to play with and I had a blast. I mean HOLY COW!!! I got to shoot this lens and the inventor was right here to answer questions, give us tips… what an amazing opportunity!

In case you don’t know what a Lensbaby is, it takes photos where only a portion of the images are in focus. Which probably sounds really strange, but I just happen to love the way it looks. Without further adieu, here are some shots that I have taken with this funky lens, my new best friend:

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A branch with some leaves

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A mailbox lock

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Snow falling amongst the trees

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My feet in the super cool hotel tub

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Water falling in to my super cool tub

Anyhow… that was my first foray into the Lensbaby. I love love love it and I can’t wait to use it some more!

I’ll be posting way more about this workshop later, after my brain has simmered down some and has had some time to comprehend all of the amazingness that I was so fortunate to be a part of this week. A big THANK YOU to my husband Gary who not only financed this journey, but stayed home all week with our beautiful girls. Thanks for having some faith in me boyfriend.

I miss them already

I am sitting at the airport, waiting for my plane. I peeked in on my girls just before I left 2 hours ago, both sound asleep in their rooms. I kissed daddy goodbye before he left to work. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave the girls home alone. The fearless Emma is on board to watch the girls today.

I am off to visit with my sister and her family for a day, then I am off to my Photography Bootcamp with Kevin Kubota. I am so super excited to go and immerse myself in learning all things photography. And initially I was really excited to have several days to myself, alone at a resort in beautiful Oregon. No babies to wake me in the middle of the night, no diapers to change, no “No mommy”. And now as I sit here, I am filled with anxiety and sadness and am fighting the urge to cry in public. I haven’t been gone more than 2 hours and already I miss them. I know that they will be fine without me and that they will have a great time together. See:

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My beautiful and silly family

I am sure that Gary will send me plenty of photos throughout the week, as well as lots of silly messages with Ella saying “dah-deeeee” and Chloe saying “upside down, right ass up”. And he’ll probably take them on lots of nature walks around our house:

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In Hidden Valley

I mean, who wouldn’t be happy traipsing around this neck of the woods:

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Strollin'

Yeah, they will be fine without me…

Even so, it doesn’t make me miss them any less. 

I love you guys!

An angel among us

I have had a severe case of “mommy brain” for approximately 3 years. Not that my memory was good to start with, but it has become increasingly poor ever since I was pregnant with Chloe. 

Case in point: yesterday I was running errands while the girls were at the sitter. I wrote everything that I needed to do on a piece of paper. I forgot the piece of paper. I tried to go from memory and get everything on my list. I managed to remember all but the thank you cards that I still haven’t written from Ella’s first birthday (a month ago). I came home, unloaded a few things from the car, then came inside. Gary came home, the kids were running amok and before I knew it, it was 7 o’clock. I went to grab something out of my purse, but  I could not find it anywhere. I checked the car, my room, the trash can… any place I thought that I may have left it in my typical absentminded haze. After about an hour of frantic searching, I came to the conclusion that I must have left it somewhere. I re-traced my steps and realized that the last place I remembered using my purse was at Target. I remembered putting bags into the back of my car, I remembered putting my cart away. As far as I could tell, I left my purse in a shopping cart in the Target parking lot. Oh crap, I thought to myself… it is long gone.

I called Target, was put on hold several times and finally spoke to a live person. I asked if anyone had found a purse, that I thought I may have left mine in a cart. The woman asked my name, I told her, to which she replied “we have it”. I jumped in my car and raced down there to retrieve my purse.

During the drive, all I could think was that my purse and wallet were likely ransacked. Fortunately I had only about $3 cash in my wallet… at least I could cancel all of my credit cards. I had just refilled my checkbook. My stethoscope was in there, as well as the new battery I had just purchased for my camera. Not to mention a pair of broken eyeglasses that I have been too lazy to fix. And my purse… a genuine Louis Vuitton which my dear husband gave me as a Valentine’s gift several years ago. I feared that they would all be gone.

I walked in to Target, approached the very nice woman at the Guest Services counter and told her my name and that I had lost my purse. She took out her keys, unlocked a drawer and pulled out Louis. She said that she had dialed a phone number that she had found on some paperwork in my purse, and that my cell phone started vibrating. She couldn’t figure out how to unlock my phone, so she just hoped that I might call in. She said that it looked like everything was still there… I quickly pilfered my bag and my wallet, and all seemed to be in place. I asked her who brought it in and if they left a name because I wanted to thank them and give them a reward. No, she said, no name. Just a guest of Target.

To the mystery shopper at Target in Roseville, THANK YOU! You could have taken everything… my purse, my wallet, my phone, my identity. But you did the right thing and returned all of it, undisturbed. Which made me realize something: there are still good people out there, which is something that I have forgotten. I am happy to say that my faith in humankind has been restored. The cynical part of me thinks it will be short lived as some a-hole will quickly burst my happy bubble. But I prefer to believe the optimistic part of me, the part that believes there are angels among us.

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Thank you Target Shopper