Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Z is 13

I do these special posts when my nephieces turn 13. It's a big year, and it's a way to make it extra special and introduce you to my now-teenaged nephew, Z. Many of these photos were taken by my sister.

Z came to live with my sister when he was about 15 months old, so I didn't get to see him as a tiny baby, though I'm sure he was extremely adorable. He's always been adorable (and handsome!)...

...though he can be a handful!

But he has so much charm and silliness, mixed with a lot of affection and love for animals (real or stuffed). And he gives awesome hugs.

He is a natural when it comes to riding bikes and skateboards, and many other athletic activities. If he holds his tongue just right, that is...

He asks good questions. He can be a very good helper. He loves fruit. He's at his best when he has one-on-one time with the people he loves.

And he's been entertaining us since we met him.

Here are a few Z quotes:

"Mama, there's a little bit of moth guts on your wheel ... that's what happens sometimes ... you know Daddy ran over a caterpillar at our school the other day and it was only trying to cross .. (shrug)." --Z, age 4

He thought long and hard about his wish and then just before blowing out the candle he said out loud, "I wish I could be SELFISH!" After he blew it out, he said, "I mean ... NOT selfish." Darn ... does it still count?? --My sister sharing what he said on his 7th birthday.

"Mom, but I'm so full! I'm F ...A ...L ...M, full!!" --Z, age 6

"You know how I think about my stuffed animals like they are real with feelings? Well I guess I think about our house that way too sometimes and it makes me sad to think about how our house and our yard feels that we are leaving it and how all the kids and parents who love our house are just never coming back. And maybe the house is crying quietly about it all because it knows that it is going to be very quiet and empty now without our family." --Z, age 6 :(

"I'm not WILLY (really) your husband, J. Don't keep calling me 'Honey.'" --Z, age 6, to his sister J when she wanted to pretend they were married.

"Check email and keep her kids safe." --Z, age 7, answering the question of what his mom does for a job.

This was Z presenting me with a soda because I always refer to that shirt as his vacation bartender shirt. :D

Happy birthday, Z! We love you!

[I'm pretty sure these posts get longer with each nephiece--it's not favoritism, I just get more into it, I guess!]

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pre-spring and catchup (warning: lots of pink)

Wouldn't it be nice if I could keep up with my blog more regularly? Every time I post here, I feel like there are too many pictures! I have to narrow everything down so much.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day!

I wanted to say more about Valentine's Day because I have a lot of happy feelings for it! But I've been busy as I prepare for a little road trip I'm taking. I'm posting this on Friday night so you might see it before V-day is almost over. I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, possibly thinking about the presidents ;) and/or having fun times with your loved ones.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Christmas Party

The day after Christmas, my parents hosted a party for friends and relatives. It was a combination gathering for Christmas, my dad's retirement, an introduction for my sister's new husband, and an open house to visit with people we don't get to see very often. (Especially since my sisters and I have moved to other states.) It was a nice time, and I'm happy so many people stopped by during a busy time of year! I got to see some relatives and friends I haven't seen in forevs. Thanks to my mom and dad for being great hosts, as always. We grew up having lots of gatherings and dinners with friends and family. Lots of happy times that contributed to my own hostessing habits.

These photos will mostly be of interest to those in attendance, but hopefully they are somewhat enjoyable even if these are strangers to you. I didn't manage to get permission from everyone pictured, so if you see your photo and you don't want it here in public, please let me know and I can take it down.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January and some catching up

I've had a hard time feeling motivated to do much of anything lately, much less blog! But I want to catch up before spring when I tend to take lots of pictures.

I still have more Christmas pictures. Lots more, actually! We'll see how many I end up posting. But I wanted to post a few more recent ones just to feel on top of something for once. January was a weird blend of productivity without many feelings of accomplishment. I've been trying to organize some things and dig into other projects, and right now I'm still at that point where everyone assures you that it gets worse before it gets better. Better, please! I need to wrap up some stuff, mostly for a boost of encouragement that there's an end in sight.

It seems like I'm being vague and symbolic, but I'm not. If you want specifics: I'm trying to reorganize the contents of my bathroom cabinets as well as my clothes, I had some freelance design work that is still printing, I am working on opening an Etsy shop for my photos and am trudging through the hard parts, I have Valentine projects and a road trip I'm preparing for, and my apartment just never seems to be clean. The minute I finish one room, the next needs attention. Oh and I took my car in to get some services done, and found out I also need two new tires soon. Add a HUGE helping of tiredness and winter blah feelings making everything take much longer than it should. So I started off January feeling really pumped and inspired, but by the end I was just more behind on everything. I don't feel awful, just kind of in the thick of things and low on energy.

Anyway! That's a little about life, and here are a few photos.

The weather has been strange. We had some frosty days (this is the only photo I kept from that, since I just didn't care for the others), but mostly it's been unseasonably warm. I've slept with my window open a crack a couple of times, and I only need a sweater outside.

It's also been sunny! But I think February is putting a stop to that.

The other day, my uncle from Hawaii texted me that he was in the area! His son was checking out a nearby college, so some of the family had flown out and we were able to meet up. (This is my uncle and aunt.)

We met at Champoeg State Park, which I had never visited even though it's pretty close by. It was really nice! Here's my beautiful cousin posing by the tree to show the size. It was chilly out, and her Hawaiian hands were freezing. She kept saying she was going to get frostbite and lose her fingers. Being 12 is dramatic. :)

I'd like to visit Champoeg again in the spring. I don't know why I hadn't thought to go before. Also, it has a really nice visitor's center with friendly people, exhibits and films on the history of the park.

We had a chilly picnic lunch in the covered eating area. It was good to get to know my cousins a little better, since I haven't spent much time with these younger ones. I know their older sisters a bit better.

Unrelated: I've been meaning to post a few of the color palettes I made with my photos. I kind of got into this a few months ago after seeing some on Pinterest. It's a nice way to revive some old photos and look at them a little differently. I think there are sites where the color-picking is all automated, but I enjoyed laying these out and choosing the colors myself.

If you'd like to see more, you can go to my Pinterest board here: Palettes

Sorry for the repeats for those of you who follow me on Instagram. I used to swear I wouldn't repeat everything on various social media sites, but I've fallen into that trap!

As for my Etsy shop, I will definitely be talking about it more when it opens. I'm only mentioning it here because it helps give me a bit of accountability. It's hard finding photos and prepping them, but I'm trying some new things and a new approach to selling my pictures that I hope others will like! Stay tuned.

Happy February! Do you have any fun plans for Valentine's Day or President's weekend?


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