Father's Day Weekend

posted on: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Did you all have a good father's day? We got so lucky and had PERFECT weather here over the weekend. Saturday morning we attended the annual parade up at University Circle. The floats and music were amazing but the lines for food were crazy long. Next year we're going to plan ahead and pack a picnic lunch to take with us. We did manage to snag a soft pretzel and an elephant ear to hold us over, but it was so much fun and the lunch at Melt afterward was even more delicious.  

I have almost this exact same photo of Ori on Josh's shoulders at least year's parade here!

Then on Sunday the boys and I got up early and let Josh sleep in a little while we set up his presents (not that they were a surprise). He really wanted to take both boys fishing on father's day this year so he asked for some new fishing gear as his gift. New poles for the boys, a current fishing license, some tackle and tall rubber boots for the three of them so they could go hunting for salamanders in the creek. Also, we got him a pack of his favorite root beer and the boys hand made cards. Aaaaand we made him a big homemade breakfast before we all headed out to the pond for the afternoon. He is loved :)

Wes loves fishing with Josh and had been a few times before, but this was the first time out for both Oren and I. We didn't catch anything that day, but I think it may have had more to do with the boys being so loud and also not leaving their line in one place for any longer than 10 seconds than it had to do with a lack of fish. (Lack of patience was probably more accurate). But it was a good time anyway and with Oren on hand I think we all went in with pretty low expectations ;) I was just happy no one fell in.

After fishing Josh took the boys over to a near by creek to do a little exploring and get their hands dirty. Needless to say they were way into this.

^^^Josh found the hugest crayfish hiding under a rock down there ^^^

^^^the boots were a nice thought but that certainly didn't stop Oren from plunging straight into water waist high and then having to stop every few minutes to dump them out!^^^

After our fishing excursion and some very thorough showering we got ready for our annual father's day cookout. My dad and stepmom came over of course, and Abby came and helped with the cooking. 

And what better way to end father's day than with this ridiculously rich chocolate peanut butter cheesecake? (Recipe here.) As Abby was quick to point out, there's like two pounds of chocolate in this thing.

Deb don't mess.

Hope you all had a fantastic day!

20 Weeks

posted on: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I hit the half way point in my pregnancy yesterday so I thought now would be a good time for a little update post. So far, these first twenty weeks have been pretty uneventful. Not that that's bad - I'm fairly certain "uneventful" is exactly what you should hope for during pregnancy. But the hardest part of for me is the waiting (for those who know me well, I realize how shocking this is ;) But besides a few unpleasant side effects in the beginning, it never feels to me like much is happening the whole first half.  

But now that we're on the other side, we're at a place where things are little more exciting. Like the sweetest little baby kicks I get all day long now. Josh was even able to feel one on the outside the other day for the first time.

We also got to see our little girl or guy in ultrasound form a couple of weeks ago and I am totally head over heels in love with that perfect profile already. I can't wait to kiss that itty bitty nose and stare at that tiny face for hours upon hours once he or she is finally here. And it may have been the excellent ultrasound technician or we just really lucked out, but I feel like this kid is already extremely photogenic. I mean is it just me or do our kids just get cuter and cuter each time? (They do.) I'm sure I'm not at all biased or anything (I am) but this kid already deserves the Most Beautiful Baby Ever award in my opinion, and I plan to have a sash and wreath of flowers on standby in the delivery room awaiting their gorgeous arrival.

But besides gushing about my fetus's drop dead good looks, there's not a whole lot else to talk about, really. Check ups are still four weeks apart and it's still a little too early to go hog wild getting things ready for the baby. As much as I WANT to drag out all the newborn onesies, wash them in loads of Dreft and then roll around in the resulting pile of heaven scented laundry before folding each one and meticulously stacking them in color coordinated dresser drawers, I will resist - for a few more months anyway.

We are painting the nursery this weekend! And by "we" I mean my dad and sister since Josh will be out of town for work and I can't be around the fumes. So that's something. But mostly I'm just counting down the days until fall and speculating about this new little soul and who they are and all the ways they will inevitably change life as I know it completely and forever.

and I can not wait.

Summer Hair

posted on: Thursday, June 12, 2014

 Wes requested a mohawk now that school is out for the summer, so to the soundtrack of rancid, daddy obliged.

What I'm Reading

posted on: Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's been a minute, huh? Every year, something happens around mid-May when the weather suddenly decides to cooperate and the sun comes out for the first time in months and all of a sudden our calendar becomes instantly and completely crammed full. It's like all of life's events manage to squeeze themselves into the three or four nice months of the year and there's not time for anything else... like blogging, for instance. Not that I'm complaining, after the winter we had I will happily take all the concerts, pool parties and cook outs life wants to throw at me.  But mostly all that it really means is that this old blog, (not to mention all the rooms of my house) might just be a little extra dusty for the next few months. 

But let's get to the books, shall we? In my last post on what I was reading I mentioned I had just started in on A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It was completely fantastic as I knew it would be. Just like the Kite Runner, it was beautiful and devastating and had me straight up weeping. Hosseini is one of our greatest modern day authors in my humble opinion and his books are just, so SO good. Definitely read this if you haven't already.

Next up, I read the Poisonwood Bible, which now I feel like I should have done a review right after I finished reading it and not two months later because I had a lot of feelings about this book while I was in the thick of it and now with some distance between us, they've sort of dissipated. This is the first book I've read from Kingsolver and upon reading it and subsequently researching her background I realized this book was, although a work of fiction, very autobiographical for her in the sense that she used her own familial and life experiences to shape the novel. The book follows a white, southern baptist family from Bethlehem, Georgia as they uproot their lives and head to the Belgian Congo as missionaries in the 1960s. This book is epic, for sure. What begins as a simple, single year long mission commitment for the family turns into a calamitous series of events that forever changes the course of their lives. It's much more than a personal, family story though. It's very politically charged, and often feels like a bit of a platform for the author to speak on. Not that I disparage her that, but it can get a bit distracting at times. You feel a lot of white guilt and disgust by American nationalism coming across the pages. Moreover, it feels like it's coming more from Kingsolver than any one of the characters on her pages. Like the author was using this novel to work out some inner conflicts of her own, like a theraputic exercise and we all just get to come along for the ride. I don't know, have any of you read it? I'd love to hear your take.

And then there was this one. Oh, The Fault in Our Stars, how I have resisted you. Resisted because a book about kids dying of cancer is SO not my cup of tea. But, with the movie coming out and everyone talking about it, I just felt really late to the party and didn't want to be left out any longer. So, I read it. I tried to stay very emotionally unattached as I read it, reminding myself it was just all made up - do not project these stories and characters onto your own children, Emily! I could do this. I would not let this book get to me! It was easy at first. The teenage drama and cheesy conversations were easy to roll my eyes at and I was doing ok. But then somewhere halfway through I became invested. Maybe it's because Augustus Waters is the most amazing fictional boyfriend since Peeta Mellark or it was that their unlikely trip to Amsterdam had the romantic in me swooning. But in the end, I was totally rooting for them. And crying. A lot. Got me again, YA. Got me again.

And now we come to The Dinner by Herman Koch. Coming off the emotional roller coaster that was TFIOS, I thought I'd read this next book as a treat to myself. It had come very highly recommended but I only had a vague idea of the plot. For some reason I thought I was getting a sort of a thriller/mystery that might be fun and exciting to read and what I got was anything but. I don't want to give too much away here, but this book really disturbed me. So much so, I didn't even want to finish it. All the characters disgusted me and it's one of those books that just really makes you question humanity. I can take a hard, depressing book (see, a thousand splendid suns) any day if you give me some glimmer of hope and at least ONE person with an admirable character. But this? Not happening. Not that this makes it a bad book, per se, but definitely a book not for me. 

And finally, The Lowland. It was good. It was similar to a Thousand Splendid Suns in that it follows it's characters from childhood through adulthood and it's all about family, political unrest, tragedy and what you make out of the life you're given. It's probably too bad I read it so soon after reading A Thousand Splendid Suns because they are so similar I kept comparing the two. And the Lowland just wasn't as good. Still worth a read though, and still very enjoyable.

So what else is good? I think I'm going to look for something fluffy and easy after this lineup. It's summer now which means it's time for some light reading, I think. Any good recommendations? As always, I'd love to hear!

Last Day

posted on: Thursday, June 5, 2014

Today is Weston's last day of Pre-K. He's been attending St. Vincent elementary for two years now, and today will be his very last day there. In the fall he will finally transfer to the Wadsworth school district and start kindergarten in a brand new school. And because I apparently enjoy crying big, fat crocodile tears whilst staring at my computer, I've done a little collage. Wes on the first day of school this year on  the left, and a photo taken this morning on the right...

and because I really, REALLY like crying, Wes on his very first day of Pre-K two years ago, and then again this morning...

and just for dramatic effect now, all three...

oh, my baby boy! My heart can hardly stand this, I love you so.

and just keep the tissues coming today, I'm going to need them.

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