"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Monday, April 30, 2012

Hugs from Neema

Neema, who sometimes goes by 'Grandma,' fashioned this gorgeous pillow and quilt for the ankle-biter's birthday:

It's made from the same fabric my wedding dress was made from, and it features a gentle red polka-dot pattern on the other side. Check out the double ruffle along the edges, too. What a wonderful present, don't you think? Wrapping the tot in the quilt Neema made is like my mom giving the little nugget hugs, even if my mom can't hug her in person.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Water Tank Trail

There's a trail that starts by the water tank on the hill, and it makes its merry way around other hills providing spectacular views of the valley all along its course. Without a baby in tow, we both felt like newlyweds again, chatting and seeing life freshly.

This is a happy me because I'm out in the wilderness with the best man ever invented.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spicy Thai and April Fools

I recently spent an enchanted evening with a few of my favorite chicas: my bumpkin, youngest sis, and mother. What was so enchanting other than our extremely good looks? Well, we first started off with a delectable meal at one of my favorite Thai restaurants (yes, the bumpkin likes curry), which is a magical way to start any date, in my opinion.

Then we proceeded to Cold Stone, where I introduced the wonders of mix-ins to my sheltered family members. We shared some ice cream with our favorite sister-in-law, and visited for a bit, then drove to a gorgeous park. On the way to the park, I asked my sister to open my ice cream for me since I was driving. It was pretty much strawberry soup by then, and it somewhat exploded all over the truck. So, naturally I laughed and said "April Fools'!" even though it wasn't April 1st. So I had to keep laughing as she cleaned up the mess because that's how sweet I am. My sis was a good sport, and my chilled strawberry soup was delicious, see?

Then, we wandered around a stately park (that is big enough to share with lots of other people without feeling squished) and waited while the sun eked out its last rays for the day. It was so peaceful. Here's to peaceful days:

(Kudos to my sis for these pretty pictures.)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

If you need a good book to put your hard times in perspective, I recommend One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This little biographical memoir is one day, from start to finish, of a Russian political prisoner. This book's not just about any day, though, it's about good day for this man.

I had already forgotten but was swiftly reminded of how heavy it must have been to be a Russian post-WWII. Most Russian soldiers who were taken prisoner by the Germans returned home, if they survived, only to be thrown into "Special Camps" for being spies, which they usually weren't. What a heroes' welcome, sheesh.

Themes to consider while reviewing this piece:
  • Owning your own time, or at least small portions of it, regardless of circumstances
  • The virtues of humility; if you show your pride, you're lost
  • Enemies not in distant countries, but within your own neighbors and groups
  • Faith vs. Intelligence vs. Luck
If you take nothing else away from this book, remember this: chin up, things for you truly are better than they could be!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hike in Rock Canyon

Bitty baby bumpkins got to ride in the big girl backpack for the first time, and she was apparently highly dissatisfied with the service because she nearly started a rock slide with her protests. Despite the anti-hiking campaign she started, the three of us enjoyed beautiful scenery and the first few breaths of spring coming to life:

I don't think I would protest very much if someone else hauled me up rocky hills and down snowy banks. Perhaps bitty baby bumpkins wasn't truly protesting either...in reality she may have been trying out her magnificent Alpine yodeling voice.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fiesta Photos

Birthdays are what we do this time of year:

We do a little jumping:

We do a little thinking:

We do a little cheesing:

We do a lot of laughing:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hike to the Y

Last month, we started out the hiking season on the right foot by tackling the Y, a moderate hike:

We watched the sun go down, and laid upside-down (with the other two holding your ankles, just in case) to see the world from a disorienting angle. Have you ever done that? If you haven't, I think you should. It's absolutely thrilling! Then, with flashlights in hand, we traipsed down to our car to enjoy a hot cocoa bar and soak in the city lights. It was perfect weather, perfect company, and perfect lighting for silhouettes (in case you couldn't tell already.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Family Photos

It was time to take some family photos of the three of us together:

Super fun, don't you think? And the photo CD was delivered like this:

Awesome, right? Even the portion of book corpse is acceptable because the envelope looks so good! These pictures were done by a team of two talented ladies, which means twice as many pictures and angles and entertainment than a standard photo shoot. Check out more of our family photos and more of the photographers' work on their blog, here. Happy snapping!