Sunday, July 31, 2011

love and logic

when i was pregnant with coen people used to ask me if i was scared about raising a child. now, i totally didn't know what i was in for, even with all the experience i had, but i wasn't scared. perhaps maybe i should have been, but my honest answer was always, "no. not at all." the truth was that having an infant, toddler, preschooler, adolescent, or teenager didn't scare me at all...not one bit. having an adult child...um terrifying! i mean, don't get me wrong i am sure family gatherings with all the grand-kids are very fulfilling. but once that child grows into an adult they are a reflection of you. we have such a short time to teach them, grow them, and raise them into respectable and responsible adults. this whole parenting job is kind of a big deal. eep!

like i said earlier, i was well rehearsed for this gig. i have years of experience in early childhood education, babysat my way through college, a degree in elementary education, i have never ever had a paying job that did not involve kids...i get children, i was born for this. the catch is that when they are your kids you have an emotional connection to them unlike all the the other children i have taught, loved, and learned from. this emotional connection is a gift from God. when they hurt, you hurt. they are of you, and you can not imagine loving anything more than you love them. this relationship is the definition of unconditional love. praise Him for that! it is also this very connection that complicates things. our children are not born perfect, and as much as we would like to think that they are, we have to grow them into responsible adults that are able to make good life choices. i would love to say that i have this figured out, and if i did i would write a book about it. the truth is, there is not one set way to raise children. families are different, cultures are different, kids are different. however, there are many great resources out there to help parents stay focused, and not get caught up in that tangled emotional web that comes with disciplining and raising these most precious souls. as many of you know, coen is smack dab in the middle of being 2. two is fun, it is full, it is busy, and it is challenging. i want to look back on these years and remember that we thrived through them. there will be days of surviving, but i want them to be minimal. so i have decided that the many who have traveled this road before me, just may have some good insight that will make this journey ever more joyful. in short, i am reading a few good parenting books and i will blog my way through them in hopes that some of you will either join me in reading, or that my notes may offer some insight into your journey as a parent. reading a couple books won't turn me perfect, nothing will. but i am committed to learning, growing, and adapting as a parent on this chaotic bliss filled journey.

won't you join me in exploring the very popular book,


i have already begun, and it's a goody!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

stinson love

another week. more great beach memories. here some highlights from our time at stinson...

miss libby riding some big pacific waves. wes was a super great coach.

beach babes soaking up the sun sand.


the boys plotted to get grandma down to the beach. priceless.

coen and wes hiked in muir woods while mama was shopping.
((also priceless))


celebrating aunt mary's beautiful life and her love of stinson beach.
it was a wonderful way to say goodbye to such a joyful person.

french riviera

our last theme night was hosted by the lohmeier's (wes' aunt and family) and was a delicious french riviera theme. it was very classy...cause well, they are classy people. aunt laura had the kids paint french impressionist pictures, which coen loved. the food was a labor of love and it was perfect...eh, i mean parfait.

the menu: beef bourguignon, spinach & strawberry salad,
bacon green beans, and fresh berry crepes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ristorante mazzini

the mazzini girls (grampa's nieces) hosted a wonderful italian themed dinner at their lagoon house on monday night. wes and i were pretty busy chasing coen around and didn't get many pictures...bummer. but, the theme was just perfectly done. antipasti platters were served in pizza boxes, an inflatable pool filled with purple water balloons for "grape stomping", a wine bar, and lots of gooooood food. perhaps the highlight for me was when dessert filled pizza boxes where delivered to the table...love. very well thought out and planned, you girls rock!

the menu: pasta bar with alfredo, pesto, & marinara sauces, grilled chicken,
caesar salad, garlic bread, lemon cheesecake and assorted chocolate filled pizza boxes.

happy 24th of july

night 2 was hosted by the hoeffner's (grandma's sister & family) and it was an independence day theme on the 24th of july. they did a really good job and everything looked and tasted great. we even got to watch fireworks on the big screen tv. nice job guys, we had a blaaaaast!

the menu: bbq chicken tenders, sourdough bread salad (amazing!),
corn on the cobb, watermelon & pound cake with berries

Monday, July 25, 2011

ole!

our annual beach trip has grown to nearly 50 people. you know what that means? lots and lots of fun, food, family, and um....more fun. everyone is spread out into a total of 5 beach houses, and each night a house hosts a themed dinner party. we always kick it off big with a reoccurring fiesta theme. as always pop pop whipped up some very delightful mexican food, and wes ran the margarita station. no one went hungry. no one ever had an empty glass. the kids were never bored. um...success!

the menu: green chicken chili enchiladas, carnitas tacos,
black beans, cabbage slaw & sopapillas

getting creative with the stick on mustaches...

enjoying our backyard of sand, and decorating sombreros.

ole! our good friend sanjoy joined us for the night...lucky us!

no fiesta would be complete without a pinata!
there are some serious pinata whackers in this family.
and maybe some equally as serious candy eaters.




hello, stinson beach

hello, chilly water.

hello, bits of sunshine.

hello, cutie pie kids.

hello, themed dinner nights.

hello, stinson beach, hello!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

slumba party

wes had to fly to berkley for a meeting, so our last 2 nights in seattle we slumber partied it up with bella and gianna. we also invited some gooooood friends over to hang out. our week in seattle was so fun, but went by way too fast. can't wait to see you all again!

we love you bella, gianna, allie, abby, and baby b!

coen informed me that, "gianna is my best friend."
hard to handle this much cuteness.

we love dizzy bus

lots of dizzy fun with cousins...yea!







fun with friends

many of our friends in washington have had adorable babies since we left. it is so fun to get know all of their cute cute personalities. coen is one of the oldest, and um...biggest, and he just loves to play with all his friends.

sweet quinn

whitney came over to cut wes and coen's hair.
the best part? the boys got to play.
coen is such a giant next to quinn.

the best shot of the munchkins i could get.
coen is spent on having his picture taken.

picnic fun with some cuuuuuute kids...
beckett quinn harper & coen

lady bugs are pretty cool too.


thanks for playing friends...can't wait till we can do it again!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

cutie-pie cousins

lots and LOTS of cute cousin fun going on this week. i love that these 3 play so well together. they also really truly love being together. it is SO fun to watch. here is a look at what the trio has been up to.

waterslide fun at the dizzy bus.

bella was too cool for school, but quickly changed her mind
when she saw what fun thing 1 & thing 2 were having.

"you are really gonna let me drive this bus?"
yes, coen...in 14 years you can come work for aunt dizzy.

some light reading material on the bus.
i love how they are all reading the same brochure, yet also reading each others.

a little snack break. sharing is caring...easier said than done.

yesterday afternoon bella and gia came over to play.
well, bella came and took a nap on the couch
while the two little bits ran circles around her.
didn't even phase miss bella b, she slept through the whole play date.

oh thing 1 & thing 2, you sure make us laugh...
we love your quirky personalities!

excited we have a couple more days of cousin fun, and even a cousin sleepover!
i wonder how much sleeping will be going on?!

love those bakers

last night we had dinner with our dear friends, brian and misty. as an added bonus the pennebaker's and auntie saige were there too! so much fun to be had. misty had so many wonderful toys for coen to play with. ever since coen was a baby he has loved him some misty baker. she is always smiling and one of the most joyful people i know. i didn't get any pictures of brian (sorry), but it was so great to spend some extra time with both of you...can't wait to do it again!

mr coen loved playing with misty.
of course he had to show off his big strong muscles.

extra time with the penn's = priceless!

coen was sooo wound up when we left. as we were pulling out of the drive way,
he took a deep breath and says, "mama that was REALLY fun!"
i agree coen, that was REALLY fun.

Monday, July 18, 2011

love those schuberts

tonight we were honored to be invited over to the shubert home for dinner. our friendship with stanley and colleen began pre-kids and is a pretty cool story. if you really want to hear it, ask me. fast forward several years, and 3 kids and we still loooooove spending time with these special people. the shubert's just bought a beautiful home in the adorable town of duvall. we are so happy for them. colleen cooked a delicious meal, the kids played, and we walked into town for ice cream. one evening is not nearly enough time to catch up, but we are thankful for the time together. thank you shubert's for opening your home to us, we look forward to having you in our home in hopefully not too long.



rub a dub dub

cousins in the tub!

good food, great friends

on sunday afternoon we hosted a bbq get-together for all our seattle friends. it was a little bit crazy to pull off just a day after we arrived but we are sure glad that we did it. it was fun to have so many special people in the same place! certainly a very busy afternoon, and my picture taking was very inconsistent, but i think you will get the idea.

coen is way into the anthis girls. if i could rent them for a couple weeks,
they would finish out the rest of our vacation with us.
allie and abby are so sweet and patient with him, and he just adores them!


coen calls sweet allie, "sally" and runs around shouting for her.
sally must be within his view at all times no matter what. bless her.


this cutie pie is harper. she has some very cool parents and we just love her!


coen and i met virginie and faustin through swim class when the boys were 4 & 6 months old. we also did music class with the boys up until our move to vancouver when coen was 11 months. it was so great to see them, and i can't believe how grown up our boys are.
geesh, when did that happen?!


oh sweet beckett. i can not get enough of this little guy. he is so cute, so sweet, and so um...perfect. i need a week to just love on him. i'll get working on that.


can you believe coen once wore these clothes?! insanity! but gosh he is cuuuuuuute!


how many popsicles can a 2 and 3 year old eat? honestly, i lost count and have no idea.
but they had fuuuuun doing it!


this is just a glimpse of the fun people that came over to hang out with us. we felt so blessed to have such a good turn out. thanks to everyone who came, ate, laughed and blessed us!
you can see more pictures from our bbq on cortney's blog, thatsjustcrazypersontalk.