The other morning I went into Wes’s room. All the coins from his front loader money bank with out on the floor. “I’m trying to make a volcanu,” he said, “but the coins aren’t stacking. How can we make a volcanu?”

I paused and thought. How can we make a volcano? Hey wait! There’s an abandoned newspaper next door! As luck would have it our next door neighbors went on vacation just the day before. We talked to Mr. Steve in the driveway as he canceled his newspaper. He told us he was too late to cancel his Sunday edition, so we could have it!

“We’ll papier-mâché a volcano today, Buddy!” I said. And he giggled. I love when he does that. He doesn’t really know what I mean about something but he can tell enough that I’m making something happen for him so he giggles in delight. It’s so great.

Sean did a decent amount of this himself, but he was happy to do it. We used a recipe that called for boiling the flour and water, so it was really hot at first. Plus, he wanted to get a good base going before Wes started to add things.

But Wes did help!

And it was a success! What a fun little experiment! I’m so happy our neighbors forgot to cancel their paper in time so that there was an abandoned newspaper on the morning Wes asked to make a volcanu! What are the chances!

Happy birthday to me!

I turned 35 on Saturday the 2nd, and we started the day off right with cake.  Yes, same cake, new year.

Remember last year I did it with Wes and he dropped an egg on the floor and it was kind of frustrating?  This year I did it myself in phases at night.  It just worked better because of more days in preschool and Madeline’s schedule.  I kind of missed him!  Dropped egg and all!  Oh, life!  We ate that cake for breakfast all the way through Tuesday!

Sean and I got a date night in Saturday night.  We hadn’t been on a date since New Orleans and so we were ready!  We had one set of plans that really needed good weather to work.  It seems as though the rain will not stop here!  So we switched plans at the very last minute and it worked out so well!

Sean ended up with a beef carpaccio  appetizer the size of his head!

And I got sushi which made me so happy.  Sean doesn’t like sushi so we never go for sushi.  I might have a craving now and I’m not sure how I’ll solve that problem.

That’s it for pictures.  In some ways I’m still getting back into the habit of telling the story.  I personally think the story is a little better with pictures, but sometimes it’s hard to take the pictures when you’re busy living the moment.

It was a good birthday, but I’m feeling a little sad about birthdays this year.  This is the first year where I’m feeling…different, weird, older, I’m not quite sure about my age.  This year Wes will be 4 and that’s very much a wow age for me.  I’ve never been unhappy to see him get a little older and now I’m like whoa!  4!  What’s next, college?  And Madeline completes our family and so our last child who will have a 1st birthday, which is more bittersweet than I imagined.  I can’t wait for children to turn 1 normally.  So I guess what I’m saying is 35 is the first official year when life started to move to quickly.  And it feels weird.


I didn’t do the best job of recording Thanksgiving in pictures.  But that’s not a reflection on our time.  We had a great time.  Especially since Sean’s parents babysat on the Tuesday before so we could go on a date and they let us sleep in every morning we were in Missouri.  It was amazing!


At least I thought to capture an important exchange between Wes, his great-grandpa, and vehicles.


This face is not a true reflection on the meal.  It was delicious.  Rich and Beth do such a great job of dinner.  They also do a great job of letting the newer family members add the Thanksgiving favorites to the meal.  Sean and I did the stuffing this year.  Rich and Beth also did a good job of letting Wes help with meal prep while Sean and I were sleeping.  Wes made the green bean casserole.


He, of course, loved the pumpkin pie.


Which some members of Sean’s family really think of as more equal parts pie and whipped cream.


Do you think Wes will ever smile in pictures?  I sure hope so.


The next morning Wes helped with the very important task of making the party mix for the Christmas season (it’s a take on chex mix, since it’s hard to tell what exactly we’re doing in these photos).  This stuff is delicious.  We didn’t take enough home with us so Sean made us a batch.  It’s on it’s last legs now and I will miss it.  Or, more optimistically, I will be so ready for the next batch next November.


Then we went to a tree farm to pick a tree for Rich & Beth.  I had never been to a tree farm before.  Growing up we always had a fake tree.  And we just bought a new fake tree that better fits the ceilings in our house so we will always have a fake tree.  What a fascinating place, tree farms.  Trying to determine which tree is the best for your family, walking around with saws, people shaking extra needles off of trees.


I don’t think we went intending to leave with a tree, but we did!  And you have to give it a bath before it goes into your house.  This is also fascinating to me about tree farms.

There were also wine tastings and puzzles and lots more fun not pictured here.  And I can’t emphasize enough how nice it was to get a little break from the morning shift.  Thanks, Rich & Beth!