Thursday, January 16, 2014


There has always been a special place in Alden's heart for birds. When he was 4 months old, he preferred a red stuffed animal bird over any other. He can imitate the secretary bird in the San Diego zoo with it's big, long blinks and slow, curious head tilts. It wasn't a surprise that he wanted to be a peacock for Halloween this year.
 It was a surprise, however, that I was able to pull a costume together that met his great description of what he was envisioning and my limited skills with a sewing machine, a glue gun, and a few hours on a slow October afternoon.
 It may seem flashy for Alden to be a peacock but he is accurate. In nature, male peacocks are the more flashy of the species. He has a great impression of the mating dance to prove the color and fanning is worth it. Ask him. It is an awesome display complete with tail feather shaking.
This house got not one, not two, but three visits from us. No because of the candy but the excellent decoration. Alden was both spooked and enthralled by it. He officially likes Halloween more than Christmas.
After getting a respectable haul, Alden came home for costume change number two. Batman still remains a favorite around here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yogi Master

 Getting to zen

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pumpkin Carving Time

As each year passes, Alden is more capable at helping during the carving time. This year we practiced on an old shoe box first so he could get a feel for the drag and pull of the dull knife. That was almost as much fun as the act of carving a pumpkin itself.
We did carve two pumpkins on a Monday night and by Thursday we had to throw them out. The San Diego weather creates an all too healthy environment for mold to grow at a rapid pace. We bought another giant pumpkin and decorated it with nailed on stars and sequins and a drawn on face.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hair Style Time Line

This post is ridiculous. It about my hair. But, after surviving at near mullet earlier in May 2013, I feel like I should honor my willingness to try new things. With my hair.

Senior year 1997
Senior year 1997

Senior year 1997
Senior year 1997
Senior year 1997
18 years old 1997
18 years old 1997
19 years old 1998
19 years old 1998
19 years old 1998
19 years old 1998
20 years old 1999
21 years old 2000
22 years old 2001
23 years old 2003
24 years old 2004
24 years old 2004
There is a huge gap in hair style coverage from about 2005-2011. This is because I rocked a faux hawk for several of those years and then drudged through the horrible grow out that that ensues. And I didn't have a camera. And smart phones didn't exist then. Just imagine me looking like a dude for far too long and you've got an accurate idea of what was happening during those 7 years.
32 years old 2011
32 years old 2011
34 years old 2013

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1st Day of Preschool

It's funny when you take your only kid to preschool for the first day. You're excited. You're sad. You're proud. You're nervous. And that's just for you! Even after spending nearly every hour of every day together for the past four years and two months, it all feels like it went so fast. The three block walk to his new school was waaaaay to short, too.
But, as my mom-in-law reminded me a couple of years ago, we aren't raising a child, we are raising an adult. It's time for him to go to preschool.  He's ready (even though Alden did admit he will miss me). As I am posting this four months later, he is getting along quite well in school. He likes his classmates and his teachers. He loves the activities they set out each morning when we drop him off and he hardly ever wants to leave when I pick him up four hours later.
Plus, I mean, c'mon. Look at this school photo.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

12th Wedding Anniversary

We managed to squeeze in this little celebration hangout time for our 12th anniversary between Dustin's crazy Labor Day wedding schedule. He shot a wedding on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Alden has taken his ring bearing honors to a whole new level. He proposed to both Dustin and myself.
We said yes. Of course.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Summer in a Nutshell

 We're currently looking for a 4 year old sized tool belt because diapers aren't doing it.
Wet suit in the day, wet suit in the night. Wear the wet suit at the beach, all right!
 Happy, quiet play time sometimes happens, too.
I love the light in this room... and I don't mean the light from the sun. I mean the light from our son.
Waking up at 5:00 a.m. for work has it's advantages!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Austin, Texas (or the Alternate Name of Hottest Place on Earth in August)

Alden and I were lucky to get a little summer vacation and visit my middle sister, Merritt, her boyfriend Joe and all of the great people that love them there in Texas. Because of timing, we ended up visiting during a notoriously warm period of the year. By warm I mean sweaty hot, flushed faced, feeling-like-we-ran-all-day, type of warm. My first thought stepping out of the airport terminal was, "Yippee! There's my sister!". My second thought was, "How the $&#% does she survive here in this heat?"
The heat is precisely why there are so many places to cool off in Austin. We went to three different places to cool off during our 6 day visit. We started at Barton Springs and loved every moment of it. Aunt Merritt bought Alden a floater toy to check out and we played a bit in the, dare I say, cold water, got out, burned alive, got back in. It was an excellent way to spend our first day.
Legos are a big thing for Alden and had been for Merritt, too. I am not surprised that she still had hers available to play with at any given moment of down time at her place. We started every morning with them.
Great restaurant. Even better d├ęcor. I ate my lunch from a swinging porch swing but INSIDE. Genius.
These were intriguing to Alden and inspiring to me. How can I do this to the inside of our car?
These may have been the inspiration for Alden's Halloween costume this year. He has always had a thing for birds. No one can mimic preening quite like him.
The lady peacocks are "beautiful in their own way. Not like the men peacocks. Different. Browner."
This place offered up a great, expansive view of the Austin skyline.
We had just left a nice dinner with music (and a show from Alden and new bestie Oscar who danced for the crowd) at Freddie's Place. It was one of those laid back but highly accommodating places that has a place structure in the restaurant yard so kids can play while their parents actually get to eat with both hands and adult conversation). I'd move there just for that.
Outside of a tattoo shop. We couldn't pass it up.
Two curly headed boys watching at the Alamo Draft House. At 9:30 a.m. For free. Excellent idea. So fun. Plus, you can order full-on meals, coffee, huge bowls of popcorn. This is the Oscar that I'd mentioned earlier: son of Merritt's long time friends. He is adorable. They all are.
Later, we wanted to go out again and run out some energy out. Alden wanted to wear his full batman suit but, fearing that he would actually melt like a wax figurine, I insisted that we create a hybrid outfit of batman and civilian clothing. Uncle Joe came to the rescue and created a hand drawn batman t-shirt. Whew. Batman isn't the only dude saving lives in Austin.
More purdiness. This is on the drive back from Lake Travis area.
Saying goodbye. This was my third trip to visit Merritt in the near 12 years she's been there. I vow to visit more often. She is a great host. We did everything and nothing when ever we were inspired.
Upon our return home, Alden created  a "Cathedral of Junk" like the one we toured while in Austin. This place was organized chaos. We could have stayed for much longer peering into the oddities collected by the artist. So cool. So weird. So Austin.