Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's amazing to me what can capture the attention and imagination of a 2 year old! This summer, while visiting my parents in Wisconsin, Lily discovered my mom's collection of beads. Let's just say that those beads were well played with, spread across the floor over and over again, and yes, a few of them were eaten by the dog. Mom sent us home with a baggie full of beautiful, colorful beads- and every now and then (when I don't mind the thought of picking up beads for days on end) I let Lily play with them. Give her a baggie full of beads, a few bowls, plates, or containers and she will be entertained for quite a while-amazingly simple.
P.S. I have my camera back!! My lens has been fixed and so far so good! I can't tell you how happy I am using my camera again!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baby Gear=Great Toys

I have been working hard lately (okay, it doesn't take much lately for it to "feel" like I am working hard) getting the house and baby's room ready for our newest arrival. And along the way Lily has discovered how much fun baby gear can be. In fact it makes for pretty great toys! She has been having a blast playing in the nursery using the crib, swing, bouncy seat and other assorted baby items to take care of her babies and animals- it's really adorable to watch. Hopefully though she doesn't try to take the real baby out of his swing so that her animals can use it!:)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Time!

This little white one was Lily's favorite goat

Last week my mom, dad, Lily and I spent the morning at a local pumpkin patch. The pickings out in the patch were a little slim but Lily still had a great time wandering through (and among) the rows looking for just the right pumpkins. Funny enough she wasn't really interested in the big pumpkins, she only wanted the little ones that she could pick up all on her own. My independent little girl! Of course she also had fun riding in the wagon, feeding the goats, picking out a lovely,large,green pumpkin for Joe (who had to work that morning), eating ice cream (even though it was a little chilly), and chasing chickens. Oh my goodness was it funny watching her chase the chickens (and they didn't even seem to mind all that much)!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mashed Potatoes & Veggies?

Last Christmas my mom got this wonderful book all about cupcakes and how to make incredible cupcakes that are really works of art! Some of you might remember the incredible owl cupcakes my mom and I made for Lily's birthday this spring. Well, for my mom's birthday we made mashed potato and veggie cupcakes. I know, they are a little strange, but isn't it amazing how real the potato ones look? Even Lily got into the action decorating the veggie ones!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Bog With Grammy & G-Pa

Every year for the last 3 years my mom and dad (otherwise known as Grammy & G-Pa) have come out to Maine to visit during this week of October (which happens to be during my mom's birthday)! It's usually a shorter visit (5 or 6 days), but it's lots of fun! I didn't think that they were going to be able to come out this year, but they made it happen. Even better was that my mom managed to wrangle Sunday off from work so that they could fly out just in time for my baby shower (their flight arrived 40 minutes before the shower started)! This was really special since my mom wasn't able to be at any of my baby showers for Lily.
The day after the shower we celebrated my mom's birthday with a trip to the Bog Boardwalk (a favorite place of ours). It was a bit chilly (notice the hats and mittens), but it was beautiful and it was great for all of us to get outside.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Baby Shower!

Jeremiah & Noel- born on the same day!

My friends decorating onesies

My mom and Lily in her "party dress"

Jennifer and her son, Alex, decorating a onesie

Dr. Seuss Decorations

This being our 2nd baby I was never expecting a baby shower (after all we had 3 of them with Lily)! But this summer my friend Jennifer insisted that she wanted to give me one (especially since we are having a boy this time). I was a little reluctant at first, but she seemed so excited and after thinking about it I agreed that it could be a lot of fun as long as it was just a small group of my close family and friends. And that is exactly what I got yesterday- a WONDERFUL, cozy, adorable, fun baby shower with ladies that I love! My friend Jennifer gave the shower at her house and with the help of my friends Laura and Laurie came up with the cutest Dr. Seuss theme. There were Dr. Seuss inspired decorations, flowers, books, etc.... but the food was absolutly the best. Above you can see the amazing fish bowl cupcakes, the green deviled eggs, and the incredible fruit bowl made from a watermelon (my friends are incredibly creative). There were also "sky" jello and cream parfaits that were as delicious as they were beautiful! Really the whole thing was perfect. The only disappointment of the afternoon was that my very good friend Laura (who helped plan the shower) and my sister-in-law were unable to come at the last minute because of sick kiddos (darn the cold/flu season).
Not only was the shower creative, beautiful and delicious, but it was also a lot of fun. Jennifer had everyone decorate a onesie for our little guy! This was such a fun party activity and a great way for my friends and family to express their creativity (not to mention I will have a wonderful memory of each person every time our little guy wears one)! Maybe later this week I will post some pictures of the onesies people made.
And of course I was spoiled with gifts for our little man. Let's just say he will be one well dressed little guy! Thanks to all my family and friends who made me feel so loved yesterday- especially my mom who flew in from Wisconsin just in time to be at the shower, Joe's family who drove lots of hours yesterday to make it, and the wonderful friends I have who put the whole shower together. I am a lucky girl.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Leaf Art

Don't you just love fall? Fall in Maine is amazing- just so colorful, crisp, and beautiful.
The other day Lily and I went out for a walk in the brisk fall air to collect a variety of colorful leaves. Along the way we got to talk about how God created the trees and all the beautiful leaves. Lily had a great time picking out all different colors and putting them in her bucket to bring home for our little leaf art project. After drying off the leaves I let Lily lay them out in patterns on waxed paper and then I ironed another piece of waxed paper on top. Lily started to loose intrest during the ironing part, but she was back onboard as soon as we started hanging them in our windows. I think she was pretty proud of her little project and now our living room is well decorated for the season!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Carmel Apples!!

Drizzling chocolate

Going to town with the sprinkles

A few years ago we started making these carmel apples with my mom. I was craving them a bit so Lily and I made them a few days ago! They are really more than just carmel apples- they are also drizzled with chocolate/white chocolate and topped off with crushed candy (we used M&M's and sprinkles). They look like a complete mess (they were), but they are absolutly delicious! Oh, looking at them right now makes me wish we hadn't eaten them all already. Maybe we'll make more when mom comes this week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Best Laid Plans....

You know what they say about best laid plans...
Last weekend we had 4 days off in a row (it was fall break at the University)! Two days off a week this time of year is pretty much unheard of so 4 days is an unbelievable treat! We spent most of the time getting things done around the house (like finally moving the office into the basement)! But...we planned to spend Monday in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Our plans involved lunch at some great little resteraunt in Bar Harbor, a canoe ride in the park, and early Christmas ornament shopping in town (one of our traditions), and likely some incredible ice cream. Sounds nice doesn't it? Well, nothing really went as planned that day. As we attempted to drive into Bar Harbor we hit some unbelievable traffic- as in we sat in our car for 30 minutes pretty much without moving. Yeah, nobody was going anywhere (at least moving towards Bar Harbor). So after half an hour we gave up, turned around, and headed back into Ellsworth. And that would be where we spent our afternoon. So instead of all my plans for a fun, beautiful, quaint, relaxing afternoon we made due. We ate lunch at Friendly's (because we were starving and at least their ice cream is really good). We shopped at Marden's (which is where Joe let Lily pick out the Clifford stuffed dog you see in these pictures). We tried to shop for ornaments- no luck. We tried to find a pick-your-own pumpkin place- no luck. But we did find an apple orchard open (and since we have used up most of the 4 bags of apples we picked on our previous two trips we decided to go again). The apples at this place were huge (or maybe just normal sized- but they seemed huge compared to the ones we picked earlier)! And they had these ingenious poles (pictured above) to use to get the best apples near the top- brillant!! So, we got more apples. And then as we were heading home Lily had a little fit because she really wanted to go to Bar Harbor. So we stopped at a nearbye lake and spent half an hour throwing stones into the water (apparently this was close enough to Bar Harbor for Lily). Not exactly the day we had planned, but hey, now we have a stuffed Clifford dog to add to our collection!:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Play Nice!

Last week Lily and I had two really fun playdates! On Wedn. we went to the playground with my friend Caryn and her little girl Leah. Even though it was a cold, blustery morning we had such a good time and the girls were absolutly adorable together. At one point we were trying to encourage Leah to follow/chase Lily and when she wouldn't come (feeling a little shy) Lily came and took Leah by the hand and the two of them held hands as they walked through the playground together. Adorable!
Two days later on Friday we had my good friend Laura's daughter (also named Lily) over for a playdate at our house while her older brother had a doctor's appointment. While Lily and Lily have played together often (sometimes weekly) since they were born (just a few months apart) this was one of the few times that it was just the two of them (no other kids or siblings). As you can see from the pictures they had a great time playing in Lily's room (mostly playing with the kitchen). They have a very sister-like relationship playing really good together 75% of the time and fighting the other 25% of the time (learning to share)!:)
One thing I realized last week as a result of these two playdates is how much better Lily seems to do when she is playing with just one or two other children as oppossed to a group of kids. I've been noticing lately that in larger groups of kids Lily tends to get overwhelmed and really cling to me (which is not at all her personality at home). When it's just one or a few kids Lily seems to do really well playing and interacting both on her own and increasingly with the other children. While I'm not going to stop having her participate in "larger" group situations (like larger group playdates and Toddler Time at the library) this realization is really helpful for me and I think I'll make a greater effort to also arrange smaller playdates for Lily.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For the Love of Pictures!

Most of you know by now that I LOVE taking pictures!
Well, currently I am at a bit of a stand-still. A few weeks ago my camera/lens starting having some major problems with its autofocus function. When I try to focus to take a picture my camera makes a horrible grinding/quiet screeching sound, refuses to focus, and thus I am unable to take any pictures. Over the course of a week it did this about 6 times where it would stop working all together (until I let it sit for somewhere between a few minutes and a few hours and then it would start working again). Let's just say I'm not happy. After looking into it a bit and talking with some people I feel fairy confident that the problem is actually with my lens (not my camera body). Thankfully both are still under warrenty (for another 2 months)! And really it would be much better for the problem to be with the lens than my camera. I sent my lens in to be fixed last week and I'm really just hoping that Nikon will send me a new lens all together.
In the meantime I don't have use of my camera (since I only have the one lens- which I sent back). So, I am back to using my old digital point and shoot camera (which I am not enjoying- but at least I still get to take a few pictures). Those will be coming up soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hilary & Joel's Wedding

The photo table

Exchanging rings

The Kiss

Hilary and her mom (our Aunt Cindy)

Father of the Bride (Uncle Tom)

This picture of Lily at the reception was just too funny to resist posting!

My mother-in-law, Uncle Tom, and a little guest

These last two pictures are my favorites!

Joe's cousin Hilary got married last weekend! The ceremony and reception were held at a beautiful apple orchard, the flowers and decorations were absolutly perfect, the ceremony was quite meaningful, Hilary and Joel were just beaming the entire afternoon and the food was delicious (I could have eaten a whole bowl of the incredible apple salad)! It was a beautiful coming together of two people who know and love the Lord.
Of course the day (like most) wasn't without its glitches. The ceremony was planned to be outside, but it was raining most of the day. The backup church nearbye was so muddy that they decided not to use it at the last minute, so the ceremony was held at the reception location (inside the barn of the apple orchard). Despite all of the changes and challenges it was a beautiful wedding.
It was also the first wedding I've photographed! Of course I wasn't "the photographer" as they hired a professional, but I still had the wonderful opportunity of being involved. And to be honest it was a challenging experience for me. I think I was a little too concerned about staying out of the way of the actual photographer and just staying out of the way in general. I've also been having some significant focus problems with my camera lens (which I sent to be fixed after the wedding), and given the rainy, cloudy day the lighting was a little challenging for me. I wasn't thrilled with how many of my pictures turned out, but more than anything it was a learning experience for me and for that I am grateful. And I definitely learned a lot even just by watching the professional photographer and how she moved around. I learned that I have a lot to learn! I really need to learn more about lighting, composition, and photography in general. I am excited to learn. So here are a few of my favorite photos from the day. Lily was having a hard time after dinner so we ended up having to leave pretty early (which is why I don't have many pictures from the reception). A beautiful couple and a good learning experience for me. Thanks Hilary and Joel for letting me be a part of your day!