332/365: Silver Christmas


I decorate for Christmas in *mostly* silver and white. I love it.
We have all the decorations up except for the tree. Grayden is just too speedy and precocious with his climbing to risk it without a gate to fence it off. One is on order, but it isn't supposed to be here for a week. I don't know if I'll be able to wait that long to put up the tree!

331/365: Napa Valley


The Beringer Estate was gorgeous!!!


V Sattui (our favorite from past trips) definitely isn't shabby.

We drove down to the Napa Valley today. All during the drive, and when we first arrived, the rain was pouring down. Eventually the clouds parted and the day ended up brilliantly sunny with a lovely sunset. There is just something about that Valley!!

330/365: Christmas Lights Are Up (mostly)


B and his Dad got most of the Christmas lights up today. We live in an area with the second highest electricity rates in the country(behind Hawaii) and so this year we switched to LEDs. Isaac was so excited to see all of the lights and decorations go up.
I'm starting to feel the holiday scramble. Lots of gifts to finalize and get mailed off this year. As my mother-in-law said tonight, "a month from now, Christmas will be all over." Ahh!!!

329/365: Thanksgiving Thanks-giving


Mmm... Grayden loves Thanksgiving food just about as much as I do! We had a wonderful dinner with B's parents, who are down visiting from Oregon. No huge mishaps with the food this year (last year a rug was ruined by turkey juice and there was no way I could get the space between the stove and the counter clean...)
There is so much to be thankful for. Most of all, I am thankful for my wonderful friends and family. I'm a blessed chica :)

328/265: Preparation Thanks-giving


This evening I made the cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, prepped the stuffing, sweet potatoes and the bacon for the brussels (why doesn't anyone say brussel 's' ? I've only ever heard it pronounced brussel. Spell checker doesn't like that) sprouts. Mmm... Thanksgiving! I'm thankful to be well prepared for tomorrow.

327/365: I Was Wearing Pants Thanks-giving


Grayden has a new trick. When he's pulling up on something he'll get a good start by reaching and grabbing with his hands and then, to get that final little bit of traction, he'll open up his mouth and bite down on whatever is available. Today, that was my leg. Unfortunately, he introduced me to this fun skill while I was drinking a glass of water. When those sharp little teeth sunk into my leg I may have accidentally spit my water out on his head.
Today, I was thankful I was wearing pants.

326/365: Tiny Shoes Thanks-giving


When Isaac was this age he hadn't even made it to crawling yet. So, shoes seemed silly. Grayden however, has been slipping and sliding all over the tile on his socks and so I went searching in his closet for some shoes. Even the Robeez I had for Isaac's earliest shoe experience were too big, but I found a pair of Nikes that a lovely family member :) gifted us and Grayden has been slip free ever since. So thankful for stickiness!

325/365: Playground Thanks-giving


I'm thankful for a park within walking distance.
Today we took a walk down to the neighborhood elementary school to play on the playground. Unfortunately, they are in need of some new mulch (or a better drainage system) so the slides all had huge puddles under them from the recent rain. Isaac still had a fabulous time playing and we just stationed Dada at the bottom of the slide to grab him before he landed in the mud.

Click it Up a Notch: "I Learned"





This week, or tonight :-P, I learned how to use Content Aware Fill in CS5. So simple and amazing for taking out extraneous things, such as signposts :)
Check out the other entries at Click It Up a Notch!

324/365: Rainy Day Thanks-giving


I'm not quite sure why we have been getting all of our rain on the weekends lately. I am definitely thankful for the rain though. The less we have to run those sprinklers the better. Oh, that reminds me of another thing I'm thankful for.... automatic sprinklers! Coming from a house with no ac, no sprinkler system and no attached garage to a house with 2 ac zones, automatic sprinklers and a garage that can fit a car and still leave space for mats to do pilates on has been so awesome.
Do you follow how that all was spurred by my thankfulness for rain? Only an Oregonian could appreciate rain that much.... kidding, kidding :)

323/365: Fall Colors Thanks-giving


Today I am thankful for the fall leaves. I am so grateful to live in a part of the world that experiences true seasons. Well... winter is a little lacking, as snow is a "once in a very great while" occurrence, but fall, spring and summer are fabulous!
Macro lenses don't like wind. Or very slight breezes that you can barely feel...

322/365: Chick-fil-a Thanks-giving


Mmm... I'm just thankful. I don't think I have to say much more (right, Courtney? :)) Chick-fil-a is quickly becoming my favorite fast food restaurant. We only visit a fast food drive thru once a month or so and the past few times chicken was the choice. For some reason, the manager at the local franchise always works the drive-thru and is very pleasant to speak with, the chicken is yummy, the lemonade is real, the fries aren't bad (though, I'm still a pretty devoted Wendy's fry fan) and they even put a bendy straw in kids' cups.
Why doesn't Oregon have a Chick-fil-a???

321/365: Playdate Thanks-giving


The boys and I had a playdate with new friends today. I'm thankful to feel like we are settling in. I'm also so thankful that Isaac was such a good friend today! We've been working on being kind and using "sweet words" and he did fabulous! Also, whether I'm ready for it or not... Grayden is wanting to play on the playground too. It was one of those parks with the bouncy rubber ground, so when Grady wouldn't stop squirming I put him down and he crawled all over, pulled himself up on the play structure and played in the grass. He sure is in a hurry to grow up!
While we were at the park another little boy showed up with sidewalk chalk and Isaac had the best time drawing on the ground. Later on, he found our sidewalk chalk in the garage and asked to take it out back. Grayden wanted to play too, and apparently chalk is quite tasty. Eww.

320/365: Cars Thanks-giving


Today I am thankful for Disney/ Pixar's Cars. Somedays I am more thankful for it than others... but Isaac really does enjoy it. Currently, Cars allows me to workout and then have a shower about 4 days out of the week. I'm amazed that Isaac doesn't get tired of it, I guess that "comfort in routine" thing applies to movie choices too.

319/365: Fun Conversion Thanks-giving


I'm "helping" (really learning just as much as any other student!) in a workshop on ClickinMoms and recently our instructor gave a cc in which she suggested a conversion that played with luminance in a way I hadn't thought of before. So- I gave it a go here. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to keep learning about photography and post-processing!

318/365: Sapphire Thanks-giving


This pendant was a special birthday gift from my Aunt and Uncle. I love it and need to find a chain to pair it with.

I Heart Faces: Silhouette


I took this awhile ago for RYC 201 on ClickinMoms. Silhouettes are lots of fun... I hope to have a chance to try some on a beach in the not too distant future!

317/365: 8 Months Thanks-giving


Got around to doing Grayden's 8 month pictures today. Just last month I think I posted how easy "this age" was to photograph. Well, that has changed! This boy is on the move and I ended up having to contain him in a woven Pottery Barn tote basket in order to get him to hold still and look at me. Challenges are good, right?
I'm so thankful for this little guy. He loves to laugh, eat and bounce. He knows no fear and loves to explore. He is extremely lavish with his kisses (though he has gone vampire lately as he tries out his new teeth!) and adores his big brother.
I guess I just love him :)

316/365: Surprise Party Thanks-giving



Today I am thankful for my very thoughtful and (unsually) sneaky husband throwing me a surprise birthday party. We went out to dinner and came back to "put the boys to bed" before we headed out to see a movie. As we walked in the door a whole bunch of people yelled "surprise!" and then Isaac started sobbing :) I had no clue that B and my Mom (who is down visiting for a few days) were planning a party for me. I'm thankful for all the great friends we have here who came out to celebrate my joining of the 30's "club" :)

315/365: Veteran's Day Thanks-giving


Today I am thankful for those who make the sacrifice to serve. I am also thankful for all the little children (and the big ones too!) who watch those Daddies and Mommies pack up their bags and leave on yet another deployment or trip. Thank you veterans... and their families!

314/365: Sunny Day at the Park Thanks-giving


Today I am thankful for sunny late fall days and easy access to an uncrowded park with cushiony rubber solid-surface ground material. Isaac is starting to come into his own physically. Today he went down all 3 of the slides on the playstructure with no prompting from me, climbed up ladders, hung on the monkey bars and once, I turned around and he was climbing a crazy curving ladder that I really never thought he would attempt. This kiddo waits and waits, contemplates and thinks and than bam! once he tries something he's got it down.
Am I ever going to be done being taught the art of patience? Not if Isaac has anything to say about it :)

313/365: Dining Room Thanks-giving


I'm going to jump on the November gratitude project a couple days late.
Today I am grateful for our new dining room set. We've been in this house since June and the dining room has functioned as storage area/ play area/ dog crate area... but not dining area. This weekend we finally purchased our dining room set. I love it. Just in time for the holidays :)

I Heart Faces: Orange

The theme this week at I Heart Faces is "Orange." Somehow Isaac ends up with orange clothing quite often. Couldn't be because of his Beaver fan grandparents... nope. (In all honesty, I purchased this shirt for him... but I think he has received an orange polo in every size from 6 months through 4T!)

312/365: Painfully Taciturn


Oh my.

Today was the first day of gymnastics. Isaac was stoked and even cheerfully exclaimed "I'm going to listen to the teacher today!" when asked what he was going to do at gymnastics (he had been coached to listen, of course, but we had provided other ideas of what he might do: jump, stretch, spin, etc) We got there and he immediately retreated within his little shell. At first he did listen. Actually, that was the extent of his activities. Instead of participating in the stretches during warmup he preferred to watch the other children (I totally understand... I like to watch a demonstration before I try something new :-P) Eventually he did decide to engage in the activites... and then he took off. He was never rude, never threw a fit, but wandering off and trying out equipment became a much more enticing activity than sitting on his little purple rubber square and listening to safety rules.

"Isaac, come sit down" "Isaac, wait your turn" "Isaac, no- go through the tunnel, if you go over you'll break it" "Isaac..."

It took everything I had to sit silently in my seat and not jump up to run interference. I just had to keep reminding myself that this was his first try at an organized activity without my active participation.

I'm sure next week will go better.... I think?

311/365: Nature Loves Those Golden Triangles

One of the techniques that I learned about in my most recent photography workshop was composing with the Golden Triangle guide. It is interesting to see how often I naturally fall into composing this way. I think it may have to do with the fact that I like diagonal lines in an image.

310/365: Pumpkins Aren't Just for Halloween


Or... his Mama wasn't on the ball enough to get the carving done before October 31st :)
That's ok. We had fun discussing what shape to make the eyes, nose and mouth. I supremely enjoyed scooping out "the guts" because Isaac wouldn't touch them. Next year kiddo, I'm sure you'll love squishing the goop in your fingers.

Templates in LightRoom are super easy! Love it.

309/365: Skyping


Is skyping an actual verb in the dictionary yet? I think it's about time to add it in there. "Video conferencing" just doesn't have the same quick, breezy way of rolling off the tongue.
Isaac loves to Skype. Sometimes I can even leave him in front of the computer, fully entertained, while I leave the room to do something. Free babysitting. Score!

308/365: Another Early Morning


I just remembered that Daylight Savings Time is coming to an end soon. That isn't going to help with this getting up early trend!

307/365: Puppy Bum


I love a cute little baby bum :) Does anyone else refer to bottoms/behinds/etc as a "bum"? I'm trying to figure out if it is a term I use because a very original friend used it often... or if maybe she wasn't so original :)

306/365: Oh How I Love You Trader Joe's


I love, love, love living near a Trader Joe's again. Easy access to goat's milk and cheese (Isaac seems to be a little sensitive to cow's milk), cheap eggs and wasabi trail mix (really- you MUST try it) makes me so happy. These little packages of applesauce with carrot puree are a favorite snack around here. I keep telling myself that the packaging is recyclable (I haven't actually checked... and our recycling is sorted out of our garbage at the transfer station- so I've never been forced to figure it out on garbage day) I like living in a state of naivety sometimes :)


A bonus shot. We were out trying to get a shot with some bubbles. I had a little trouble wrangling a baby, the bubbles, the slight breeze that kept blowing the bubbles away, the light and my camera... by myself. So- a nice hazy backlit shot it was :)

305/365: Puzzle Patience


Up until this point in his life, patience has not been one of Isaac's strong points. But today, he asked for this puzzle and completed it on his own without a hint of frustration. I walked in when he had it about 3/4 finished and was amazed. Normally he gets frustrated before any pieces have been put together, but after he finished this puzzle he went on to do 2 more with very minimal help. I was a proud Mama :)