Sunday, August 30, 2009


We arrived at 5:50pm on a Friday waited just over an hour for dinner at Delancey on Friday. I kept wondering if we should split & go somewhere else, but my wonderful cousin insisted we wait because she knew I had been very excited to eat there.

We got a chair at the bar where I struggled to watch each and every pizza being made so I could memorize exactly what they were doing. Nevermind that I don't have a giant wood burning oven...

We had the cimini pizza and it was so delicious that my eyes almost filled with tears - then again, I was starving & sort of tired - but it really was that good. I kept thinking about how something so simple could be one of the best tastes in the world. Better than aged steak, fresh crab, perfect tomatoes, oozy chocolate cake - in my mind a perfect pizza tops them all.

Perfectly charred salty chewy crust, cheese oozing with olive oil, bursts of fresh thyme & the light texture of thin sliced mushrooms. I think that's all that was on there, and it was mind blowing. The Padron chili pizza was also spectacular, but for some reason the mushroom one was my favorite. I am glad they had a pepperoni one for my picky-ish cousin's daughter, but it still seemed almost criminal to order it, the others were so much better.

Then the wine soaked peaches for dessert...mmmm......I already found my own bottle of wine so I can try making it myself.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This is very nice. In fact, I love it & all the other photos from this house. I often wish my house looked like this, neutral, bright and with pops of color everywhere. And yet....

For some reason, this excites me even more. Its like two halves of me fighting it out everytime I decorate. : )

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our good friends, Kevin & Kelley (Kevin is also Kyle's business partner) recently adopted a girl from Ethiopia. Tonite we babysat her and I finally got a chance to take some pictures of the kids together. She is completely adorable! She LOVES watching the kids and laughs everytime either of them gives her attention.

Annika's favorite part of the evening was putting the bottle in Ayda's mouth...then taking it out...putting it back in. I am not sure Ayda had quite as much fun as Annika did.

I have decided that I love babysitting babies. It is so fun to care for them for a couple hours and then give them back to their parents. Lots of cuddles without the screaming or night waking. Perfect.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Annika turns 2

I can not believe our little baby is two years old already! I will write more about her later, but for now, here is a quick rundown of the fun day we spent celebrating our sweet Annika.

I decided to give Annika her very first pedicure in the morning to celebrate being such a big girl. It was so fun and she loved it and all the special attention.

For Annika's cake we decided to do fresh raspberry pie - our bushes produced ridiculous quantities of berries this year so it seemed like a great way to use them up. Plus Annika loves raspberries, so it was fitting. To decorate, I bought a little doll & gave it a hair cut to make it look more like Annika. (This "toddler" doll had hair to her feet. Seriously?)

Annika's party this year was just family members and we had a BBQ at our house. I felt bad not inviting any little friends for her (actually I invited one who couldn't make it) but its such a full house with our entire family, so I decided to wait till next year for her first real "friends" party.

I made grilled pizzas and for some reason thought that sounded simple enough. I sort of misjudged on that bit, making pizzas for 12 people on the grill was a lot of work. But it was fun too and I had lots of help from everybody (especially papa ken). Annika actually doesn't like pizza all that much, but these days there isn't a lot that she loves that constitutes a true "meal". So we went with pizza.

After dinner, we opened gifts. Saben had picked out a special small jewelery box with some rings in it and then wrapped it carefully in a piece of paper which he colored himself. He was very excited and insisted on her opening it first. So sweet.

Annika loves animals, so I put a cat & dog on the pie to go with the "annika" doll. While I was cutting her a slice of pie, Annika managed to eat 1/2 of a candle. I thought she was licking off the whip cream....
I was in the kitchen cleaning up with Kyle and when we walked back out into the living room, we found the kids eating the remaining whip cream while the rest of the family watched and my mom & grandma took pictures. So much for letting grandparents supervise the kids!

Our first family trip*

One Saturday (July 12) we were chatting and I mentioned how I'd really like to do another family vacation this summer other than just the camping trip we had planned. As we talked, we realized that we were busy nearly every weekend until mid september. This was our last free weekend of the summer and so Kyle suggested we leave the next day for winthrop.

This is so unlike me. I always plan trips at least weeks in advance, but we came home from the farmers market, I found a cabin online that was reasonably priced, reserved it and then headed off for a bachelorette party that evening. Kyle managed to get everything packed while I was gone and we headed out the next morning. He said this is his favorite way to do trips - absolutely no planning at all. I guess opposites do attract.

We had lunch in Newhalem and the kids had "Lunchables" for the first time ever. I laughed really hard because Annika would not touch the cheese in them. This girl loves feta, begs for chunks of parmeggiano, adores fresh mozzarella and has eaten every sample they give us at the specialty cheese shop. But proccessed cheese product? No thanks. (she also hates lots of melted cheeses, so it may have been the soft texture)

We stopped a lot on the way over and I realized we could easily spend a long weekend in the Newhalem/Ross Lake area alone. We sort of researched what we could do there, drove over Diablo dam, got brochures on Ross Lake Resort and enjoyed the view. After that Annika fell asleep until nearly Winthrop and the drive wasn't bad at all. (maybe 20-30 minutes of fussing at the end and Saben was wonderful as always)

We arrived in the late afternoon, settled into our adorable Mazama cabin and pulled out some water guns & balloons. Saben loved it. Spraying us with water is one of his most favorite things to do, but he cries every time we retailiate. Stinker. That evening there was an amazing lightening & thunder storm which both kids loved watching from the deck of the Duck Restuarant.

Annika was perplexed by the "disappearing" of the balloons when she threw them

Day 2 - It was a lot colder than I expected & the storm wasn't moving out as quickly as I'd hoped. We decided to go hiking up by Sun Mountain Lodge after having lunch in their cafe with beautiful views of the valley. Lucky for us we eat lunch early so it was nearly empty and Annika's handful of screams didn't bother anyone.

New game "hay on the dog"

2nd new game "chew on grass like Daddy"

Annika spent 3/4 of the hike in the backpack, but Saben walked the entire thing

I loved these cinnamon colored trees with the white birches (er...aspens? I don't remember)

Our 2 mile hike was a blast and afterwards we went on a drive to Twisp while both kids took a little nap. We decided to grill steaks at the cabin for dinner and just relax.

Day 3 - Headed out to Perrygin Lake for some swimming before driving home in the afternoon. It was gorgeous sunny, but the wind was really blowing so it wasn't as hot as we'd of liked. Saben just went in to his waste, Annika got fully wet and played in the lake with Dad for over an hour while mom & saben laid in the sun.

Drove home while Annika napped & were back in time for supper on Tuesday night. Annika did scream quite a bit in the car during the trip, especially driving back & forth from Winthrop to our cabin in Mazama. But I have found those memories (the unpleasant ones) fade away quickly while the fun ones remain and I am so glad we did it despite our fears of a screaming stubborn toddler ruining the trip. : )

*Technically we all went to Hawaii last spring, but I am counting this as our first "weekend away" staying local sort of trip.