Wordless Wednesday: when Mama is gone.

This is what my husband discovered while I was in Colorado (by myself) last weekend...



So I have something God's been whispering to my heart lately. It's a lesson I've learned before, but I'm learning even more deeply now-about thriving in the season of life you're in (as in, thriving in whatever is going on in my life situation, currently); about living in the moment but not forgetting about the future; about having a thankful heart in all things and a little perspective. I was going to blog about it a little... but my good friend Jill just summed it up prettymuch perfectly-so I'm just gonna point you her way, instead.


A little bit of fall

What do you do when you're used to beautiful, chilly falls in Colorado-but are surrounded by cactus?
                                                  Drive up to Prescott on a Saturday whim,
 and find a random fall fair at a farm, complete with pumpkin patch, just waiting for you to discover!
Be sure to go on the hayride, pet the horses at the petting "zoo", and watch your husband drool over turkey legs-but decide that $8 is too much for a turkey leg.
 Let your Small Son ride on a cool barrel-pulled-by-tractor ride (hey, it's like a train!) and watch him practically jump out of his skin with excitement...
 ...and then let him get his face painted for the first time, to cap it off (I drew a heart on B's face with these cool wipe-off-oil-paintesk crayons we have when we got back to the car...wasn't gonna pay the $3 for  her. Sorry Little Bit-but you were pretty excited, anyway!)
And, of course, take the obligatory family picture on the hay bale, in which your children look like you dragged them there by their hair.
It was so much fun-a little cool, which was SO nice. AND after that? We continued on to Prescott, where we met up with an old friend of Adam's that we discovered had moved there in July with his wife...Adam hadn't talked to Paul in close to 2 years, and randomly emailed him to reconnect the day before...surprise!! he and his wife are now living in the little town we were planning on visiting the next day anyway. God's cool like that...He loves to show us how much He loves us through harvest carnivals and long-lost friends. So refreshing to these transplants who are still getting used to the fact that it's 97 degrees in the middle of October.


Happy Birthday, Small Son!!

Adam looked at my blog about 10 minutes ago and said something to the effect of, "Gee, you're really slacking at this whole blogging thing," At which point I decided that it would be better to, well, blog with my free time tonight instead of looking at baby quilt ideas on Pinter*st. I know the pictures are of a not-so-fantastic quality...sometimes the point & shoot is simply easier because of it's size! So, let's see...since I last blogged, we've had 4 quick weekend getaways (one to photograph a friend's wedding, and 3 just for fun-I have a lot to write about!) and one very, very important event....Pax turned 4. Yup, it finally happened...the event much-awaited (by him), much dreamed of (by him), and a birthday cake that has NEVER been so carefully considered (by both of us). At least once a week for the month leading up to his birthday, he & I would discuss what kind of cake he wanted...trains, cars, monster trucks...pretty soon anything & everything turned into a cool birthday cake idea. As in, "How 'bout a CEREAL birthday cake, Mama? or a TV birthday cake?" it was highly entertaining. At least for me. Adam, not so much I don't think! Finally, FINALLY the big weekend arrived. My folks flew in late the Thursday before; so late we didn't even tell the kids they were coming. We wanted to actually sleep that night surprise them. The kids just discovered Grammy & Grandaddy when they woke up...which you could say they were pretty excited about. Friday we headed down to Benson to spend some time at my aunt & uncle's, which I affectionately call the Desert Resort. They live in a beautiful part Arizona with 15 acres to explore and some cool vintage trucks to play with; and Pax loves it there. So down we went-with a quick stop for Mexican food with other assorted aunts, uncles, & a cousin at a much-loved restaurant :) Saturday was spent outside, since it's a good 15 degrees cooler down there than in the Valley, and making The Cake.
This is the cake in the freezer, thru Pax's eyes. We attempted an ice cream cake for the first time-luckily my Aunt Janet has made quite a few before :)
Here's the thing about my cakes...they don't look so pretty. Usually something doesn't go quite like I'd envisioned it-but they taste pretty good! This one was no exception.  Although the kids enjoyed dipping pretzels into the cream cheese frosting, it was-weird. I've made the recipe several times...couldn't get it right. The cake itself...I made a bigger cake, planning to put a "wrestling ring" & monster trucks on top. The ice cream was frozen in a pan to be put in later...and when we put it in between the layers, we realized it was at least an inch smaller all around than the cake. hmmm. So much for that whole measure-twice-cut-once thing. So-enter runny icing to try to fill the gap. And enter M& M's crammed into the crack and cemented in with runny icing because the icing by itself was to, well, runny and wouldn't stay on its own. Enter a cake that will give ANY kid (and most adults) a mondo suger high; and quite possibly could get me the mother-of-the-year award.
Small Son's birthday was Sunday the 2nd, so that night after the kids crashed we decorated the entire house. Lots of balloons & streamers...this is how I like to do birthdays!
Sunday morning, Pax was up at 5. At least I think he made it till 5am...he was just a liiiitle excited. In my family growing up, we had a tradition of Birthday Breakfasts-basically, we got to eat yummy food we didn't normally get for breakfast and open our presents. Which was fantastic...so we've continued the tradition in our family, as well. For Pax, this meant donuts (and some eggs & bacon for the grownups) and an island full of presents, most of which my parents had somehow managed to cram into their luggage-seriously, I'm not sure if they actually brought any clothes with them, 'cause all I could see were presents! They spoiled our little guy thoroughly, as did other aunts & uncles and friends (and Adam and I did a little bit, too). And loved every minute of it!
I have to say this was NOT a tradition in my family growing up...the sibling getting a gift, too. But Blythe loved it, and hey, being a grandparent changes a person!
The crew at breakfast-my folks, the kids & I, and my Aunt Janet and Uncle Jimmy. I know you can't really see everyone because of the sun, but it's there for history's sake. 
Pax could hardly wait until after lunch-which my dad's other sister, Jean, and her husband Jon joined as well-for The Cake. He was so, so excited when we brought it out! All in all, I think I can chalk up his birthday as a success-hodgepodge cake and all. He fell asleep in about .5 seconds on the drive home...a happy, tired, 4-year-old boy.