Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Family Pictures

I had been debating getting family pictures taken, now that we are a family of four.  My favorite photographer friend was going to be in town for a couple weeks, and looking at my calendar there was only one day that would work for us to get together.  I emailed her thinking it probably won't happen and I might be okay with that.  Amazingly the one day worked for her, then onto the second obstacle...what should we all wear!  Of course I wracked my brain, looked through our existing clothes, made a very quick mall run (it's hard to shop nowadays), and put together some outfits I thought looked good.  Location was also a dilemma, finding a good central location to meet at, with good lighting, easy to get to, etc.  Then came the question of, will the kids actually cooperate?  I had family pictures on the brain for the week that led up to pictures, I can definitely stress myself out with worrying if we would get any good pictures.  But then the day finally came...arrive early, dress the kids (definitely don't dress them ahead of time), feed the baby, snacks for the toddler, bribery to get toddler to smile, changes of clothes in case of spills, spit up, etc.  Whew.  But I have to say, it was totally worth it!!!  My friend Kali Leenstra is an amazing family photographer, she was so patient and good with the kids.  She spent so much time with us, changing up the poses if something wasn't working, focusing on one of the kids if the other wasn't cooperating.  She posted some pictures on her website here, and recently I received the CD in the mail with all the pictures.  So here are some of my favorites that didn't make it to her blog...
Love, love, love them, I will seriously treasure these pictures forever.  I can't wait to make prints and hang them in our house.  I don't think we will be doing family pictures again any time soon though, maybe when we become a family of five?  If you haven't gotten family pictures taken in a while, do it!  You will be glad you did :)

Friday, August 26, 2011


We are still pretty new at this, but are getting better every year! It is so fun to have fresh produce straight from your garden, especially when your kids think it's fun to eat things straight from the ground. We learn new things every time we plant, and when Jordan finishes building his last 3 planter boxes, it will be quite the operation. Here are some pics from our garden right now.Clara was helping me plant some pumpkins. Since a lot of our plants have already run their course, Jordan pulled them and is letting me plant my fall things. He thinks it is silly to plant pumpkins and gourds, but I think it is fun! I know it is a little late to be planting them anyways, but I don't care, even if I get some small things I will be happy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

4 Months

I know, I know, I am behind. Such is life. Coleton turned 4 months old on the 20th, and our little man isn't so little anymore. He is off the charts for height at 27 1/2 inches, and in the 95% for weight at 17 1/2 pounds. I think he is taking after my side of the family. Although I am short, most of my family is very tall. My "little" brother is 6'5", along with my uncle, and many other great-greats from my mom's side of the family. It's crazy the difference, because Clara was 18 pounds at one years old. He could very well be 30 pounds by a year, yikes! It makes me a little sad that my "baby" already wears 9 month clothes. The second time around feels like it is going by a lot faster than the first, and it probably has something to do with his size. But man, this little boy is cuddly! I could just kiss his chubby cheeks a million times a day, and he always gives the BEST smiles, and will giggle constantly at nothing much in particular. He is such a good baby and so much fun to be around. Unfortunately it is really hard to capture pictures of those smiles, because as soon as I break out my big black camera, he just stares in awe. I'll have to work on that a little more :)Coleton loves to play with his toes, roll over both ways, nap on mommy and daddy's bed and not in his crib (I will be breaking this habit immediately!), watch his big sis do just about anything, and smile, smile, smile. Speaking of big sis, she was ready to be potty trained, like yesterday, and I don't know where I am going to find the time for that. We bought all the necessary items for the job, now it's just about focusing and being determined and consistent. We will see!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vacation #2: Idaho

We got back Wednesday night after spending 8 days in Washington and Idaho. It is seriously beautiful up there, and we had a great time getting to know Holly's family better and seeing where she grew up. Holly is my new sister-in-law (in case you didn't know) and she grew up in Spokane but spent her summers on Hayden Lake in Idaho. Her parents now live on Hayden Lake permanently, and that is where we spent most of our time. After an eventful day of traveling...delayed flight by two hours...try to catch a different flight...miss that flight...get on a plane from San Diego to Seattle...then Seattle to Spokane...arriving at midnight...hour long drive to our rental house...only to find it wasn't cleaned from the previous renters...eeck. Our rental house was in the city of Coeur D'Alene, near Hayden Lake, and we settled into a routine of traveling to Holly's parents house and hanging out on their dock, boating, slalom skiing (my first time learning), sailing and just hanging out.
Jordan and Clara getting off the tram (the way to get from the house to the dock).
On the back deck, overlooking Hayden Lake.
The primary reason for the trip was that Holly and Jesse were having a second reception up in Idaho for family and friends that didn't get to travel to the wedding in San Diego. It was at the Coeur D'Alene resort which was very beautiful and right on Coeur D'Alene Lake.On one of the days Holly's dad took us to Lake Pend Oreille, we sailed for the day on his racing boat. I only took one picture...Taylor was taking pictures this day mostly.We had a girls night and went to see The Sound of Music in Coeur D'Alene. I loved it, the music and singing was amazing. It is one of my favorite shows by far. Jordan and the boys stayed behind to put the kids to bed and watched a movie. Then we met up for drinks downtown afterwards.Holly's sister Heather, her friends Jessica & Matt...and the rest of the Abeel Clan.
On one of the days they took us to Colfax, Washington, which is a cute farming town, to visit the grandparents. They lived on a cute farmstead and we spent the day visiting with them and exploring their 12 acres.Hanging out on Dock wasn't the easiest for Clara to run around freely and swim, so we took her to a beach on Coeur D'Alene and let her splash in the water and run around in the sand. The trip home was much less eventful...thankfully! The kids did pretty well on the plane, every flight was completely full, and two lap children make things kinda crazy. Coleton doesn't like being held for long, he especially isn't good about napping while being held. It would take him about 10-15 minutes of crying before he would settle down and fall asleep. It's kinda funny watching everyone around you squirm and glance back, wondering if your baby is going to be crying the entire time. I knew he wouldn't be though, so I just tried to ignore them ;) We spent some great quality time together in Idaho and Washington, and got to know Holly's family much better, they were excellent hosts. It is nice to be home though, and we have a pretty busy couple of weeks before we are off again!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Big Bear in Summer

We always go to Big Bear every winter around New Years. I am used to seeing it covered in Snow, and the Lake frosted over. This was Jordan's first time going in the summer, and I hadn't been in the summer in a long time...and we didn't stay on the lake. Wow, let me just say that I was thoroughly impressed! It is beautiful in the summer time, the lake is gorgeous, and it certainly helped that we stayed in an adorable cabin with our own private dock. And it helped even more that we stayed with some wonderful families. Clara was in her element, she loved all the people and little kids running around that she could play with. We had excellent food, thanks to Zandra! Our daily activities included relaxing, kayaking, tubing, wake boarding, playing games, going in the hot tub, playing bocce ball, and more relaxing. We had such a great time, that I definitely think Big Bear in the summer should be an added tradition. We were sad to say good-bye to everyone and leave, but it helps to know that our string of vacations isn't over yet!
Clara's obsessed with blowing bubbles...
Lounging while the kids are napping.
So excited that these two have a bun in the oven...Sailor Cole................... Jeannine & her brother LanceMaking smores on the BBQ!Serious game of Settlers of Catan!The Browns...Sweet little friends...The Sturgeons...It was such great family time and couldn't have gone any better!