Friday, December 31, 2010

i want to remember 2010 just like...

this...getting our goof on.

and this...becoming who we are meant to be.

and this... earning our laugh lines.

i can only hope for more of the same from 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

what's that you say, slothmas is over already?

slothmas, our very own merry lazy & selfish holiday.

we have had this tradition for years, but this year is the first year it has had a name.
sloth- named so for the very little movement that happens throughout the holiday.
mas- of the latin root meaning more.

and there you have it, slothmas...

it is a lazy holiday spanning two days where bathing is only for relaxation
...and the door only opens for pizza delivery and letting margo out
...and we read to excess and follow that with watching movies
...and pj's are the dress code
...and eat leftover christmas dinner, thai takeout and desserts
...and we play cards  and games and build kinnex and cuddle with cocoa
...and we hold the laze-fest close to our hearts and hope it lasts forever

when my kids are grown with families of their own, i hope that we can keep slothmas for our own. inlaws can have christmas eve, my lovies can have christmas morning around their own tree.  tony and i will gladly travel to them. but give us two days of slothmas between christmas and new years for our own celebrating.  how perfect will it be to have my lovies all to ourselves for two days of ultimate family time?

three cheers for slothmas!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

now in peace

the last time we saw pop, just a week or so ago, he had a look that i couldn't quite place.
the nurses said when we were there that he was the most responsive he had been in four days. gramma kept reaching across the space between their beds, even though it pained her hip so much to move like that.  she stroked his hand with every weak cough he offered.  she joked with the kids and smiled at us and ask about how our life is, showing strength that i wish i knew i possessed.  and then he'd cough and she'd strain again to stroke his hand and talk to him. i keep picturing him with that expression.  i think i know now that it was the look of waiting. 
maybe he was waiting to give us all a chance to say goodbye.
maybe he was waiting to get us all through christmas.
maybe he was waiting to hear one more lou lou song.

i have only known papa russ during these sixteen twilight years, and during that time i have learned that he was a lot of wonderful things. he was a great story teller, a bit of a hoodlum, a numbers man, a man of principles, an idle to children including his great grandchildren (oh how lucky aidan is to be old enough to remember him at his best)...

but i know him best for his love of gramma. i have often said that it is from pop that tony learned how to love his wife. gramma was pop's world for 61 years and while i am sure it wasn't always perfect, it was always complete.

i think he was waiting to make sure she could go it alone, at least until they are together again.

and the cyber seventh...

did you know that it is possible to squeeze christmas into a teensy little package, bounce it along from server to server and stretch it so it can be enjoyed across 2000 miles?  we spent christmas via skype with my sister, lane, kaid, david & pete. it was the first christmas that we didn't spend washing dishes together, but i am very thankful i got to see them.  the kids went crazy-wild making faces and talking over one another and squealing and blocking each other.  i loved seeing all six cousins playing, even if it was on a screen. 

we love them and can not wait until we see each other again.

and yes,
i completely stole this picture from their christmas card.

and the sixth christmas

brings the maxwells!

and tons of food and tons of giggles and tons of conversation.  while we got rare pictures of mom & james, debi, tony, dad and linda didn't get snapped this time. 

and for the fifth

it was our own christmas.
celebrated in front of a warm toasty fire. 
it was slow and deliberate and simple and silly and perfect. 

and fulfilling.  let us not forget fulfilling. 
merry christmas lovies.

for the fourth christmas...

we had it all.
a baked potato feast with sweet hot mustard and cheese appetizers and cheesecake to round out dessert.
great friends who know each other so well.
a twinkly tree and a beautiful table that i didn't have to set (thank you nani).  
an incredibly ackward moment that we will never speak of again. 
injesting large quantities of wrapping paper by the squeakiest hooten-est nicoliciousness. 
smiles and laughs...
and shoes. happy, sassy shoes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a change in plans

after the three christmas whirlwind we were going to spend a little family time in downtown seattle living the big city life, but after seeing that pop was fairing so poorly we decided to double back and spend a little more time with gramma sue. 

but first a families got to eat right?  a quick walk down virginia to pikes place led us to our favorite french bakery.  croissants, cocoa and lattes always make us feel uber sophisticated.  that is until my 2% man made an appearance. i can't help myself. when i see an oregon ducks emblem, i have to say 'oregon ducks suck', even if it is to a cutie of all of about 9 in le panier, who thankfully was too focused on her chocolate croissant to hear.  i need therapy to cage my 2% man, serious, serious therapy.
maybe it is the food? maybe feeding that 2% man has made him grow out of control? maybe i shouldn't have traveled on to eat the single best thing i have ever eaten in my entire life...a beef and onion piroshky.  oh my mouth waters just typing it's name. the flaky bread encasing the sweet gravy dripping beef and caramelized onions.  i must stop.  the drool is out.of.control. 

on to gratuitous pictures of my lovies.  .  .  .  .  .  .
aidan forgot his beloved bunny so i got to act the part. he slept tangled around me with my face as a pillow.
enough feeding. enough sight seeing. enough picture taking. back up the hill to grandmothers house we go!
again, the look on her face, this time with surprise, was totally worth the change in plans. 

on an aside, tony insisted i take this picture. we didn't dine here, just walked on by.  i have had their pizza and it is a fine pizza, but not enough to log its sign on our little journal here.  but ehh, tony liked the sign...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

christmas christmas and christmas

that would be christmas one, christmas two and christmas three---bada bing, bada boom---all in one day.

at the bright and shiny hour of 5 am we headed off to arlington to christmas with pop and gram.
we were met by a little blizzard from prosser to the pass but that was all but forgotten when we laid eyes on gramma sue.  i love that woman, but again, that is a story for another time. pop, well, he is there in body but unresponsive all the same. we recounted the happiest memories while trying to prepare for the inevitable. after a good visit we were off to christmas two...

the bacharts of the west. (i get a wee bit self conscious of my picture-takin' so there are a skittish few pictures here.  who wants to be the freak stuffing a camera in every one's faces? well except for my kids & tony's because they have to love me through that). there is something so relaxing about the bachart house. we drank toasty coffee and ate a metric bum-ton of snacks while nana becky got all of the fixins for nadia to draw some birds and grandpa john set aidan us with the wii. i would like to think it is because john knows of my love of pictures that he gifted us a few of the bachart kinsmen but maybe it was to scare the bajeezeus out of us. 

actually, i love this photo and i love their striking features. (i swear i have seen those eyebrows before).  this photo will have it's own place on the bachart bookshelf of family photos for surzees.

 off to the friend family christmas we go for christmas number three. that is not to read friends & family christmas. the family name is friend. this is where we are greeted by giant hugs from uncle steve, aunt peg, jake, lynn, amy, mike, andrew, mason, brody, max, lilly, don and letha.  and it is where we stuff ourselves silly with the sweetest prime rib and mashed potatoes. i am sure there was other food, i know there was because my kids left with frosting on their faces, but it was all about the prime rib and mashed potatoes for me.  i am sure it is sacrilege to some to use your prime rib as a shovel for your potatoes but i simply couldn't help myself. after gorging, the kids prepared for santa.  the big guy always pays a visit to the friends.  who wouldn't with that kind of hospitality? this year when he said ho ho ho, my nani's face fell.  she said i know who that is. shoot!  the kids were spoiled rotten again, aidan is in book-heaven, and the traditional dice-game was a hoot.  it was a late night, but worth it to spend time with out loved ones. 

all that in one day! i can't wait to share about day two!

Friday, December 17, 2010

double golden

golden birthdays are a special thing in our world, so a double golden should be double special.

how do i make it special for the man who loves me the way no one else ever could?
do i list all of the loves of his life so as to describe how truly spectacular he is?
                 like chocolate, our kids, sailing, laughing & me

do i say how truly lucky i am to have someone with so many talents?
                 like woodworking, asking what do you need me to do at always the right time & balancing

do i pay tribute to him with a song? he loves parodies so maybe something like a meet virginia
                           he's great at compromises
                           loathes ice and surprises
                           wears a do-rag 
                              when he exercises 
                           meet the tony 

                 ok, so that does not really do him justice and is completely lame.

so I will just quote the lovely man himself...

"i am happy to have had this past year with you. anything else i want to say to you i will say face to face (or nose to nose if you prefer)   
written in my 1995 yearbook

Happy Birthday Tony.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010


just five working days...
just fourteen little boxes on the advent calendar...
just a few more presents to buy and lots and lots to wrap...
just a few treats to make...
just a few projects to complete...

and then home sweet home for 16 whole days with my lovies!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

feeling just a tich

like this...

just not as elfish...
... although my ears are pointier.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

an old fashioned christmas...

 they worked for weeks on their songs...
 their bellies were full of goodness from the prefunk the mattson family and bachart family enjoyed at the johnson's house...

their look was just so...

twenty one girls and boys let their voices soar, their smiles shine, and their moves...well their moves were goofy as all get out but adorable none the less.
my nadia whispered she had the stage fright on the ride over. i told her to just look for me and pretend she was singing just like she has every day of her life. as they started their first song you could see her searching. when she found us you could see her relax. she locked eyes on me (and my lens) and her gappy tooth smile melted my heart. i kept clicking off pictures of the three besties to keep the tears at bay.  when we asked her what the best part was, the girl who always knows what she values said simply, "the refreshments". 

and her daddy says she's darling.  she doesn't fall far from the gorgous daddy tree now does she?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

dapper dude

and he is my dude too.

my little man.

my sweet boy who wants to understand poverty so he can help all of the kids who don't have enough.
...and buy them each a mansion with money tucked inside for taxes and stuff.

my thoughtful son who is going to dedicate a room for each of his friends, even the ones from way back in kindergarten, in his 'bridge across the ocean, five star wonder hotel zoo'.  (if you don't know what i am talking about, just ask him sometime.  he will tell you all about the intricacies of this amazing place he plans to build someday and he will probably even offer you a job.)

and how is he going to raise his bazzillions for all of this philanthropy? extorting his mom at 10 cents per graded paper. 

ehhh! it's all for the greater good.

Friday, November 26, 2010

don't cry for me argentina

i woke up to tony singing this song to margo this morning. 

actually i woke up to margo and her 5 o'clock whimper except that she saved it for 6:30...she's a peach that one.
then i got 'don't cry for my turkey dinner' stuck in my head...

snow snow snow snow

and then i thought why would anyone cry for my turkey dinner? it wasn't what i have come to know but it was warm and homey and wonderful none the less.

sure there is snow and ice everywhere but it sure makes for pretty pictures. 

sure my little nadia has had the worst illness of her life, a cough that can shake the silly out of a girl who is the queen of silly, intermittent puking when the coughing just gets to be too much and a running low-grade fever that has kept her couch ridden for nearly a week, but she is on the mend and is quite possibly the sweetest sicky you will ever meet.  after you hold her hair and kiss her cheek and are ready to rinse the puke-bowl, she looks up at you, smiles, shakes her head and says thank you. every. single. time.

my husband is hot...
and he bakes...
don't be jealous.
sure we are under quarantine and couldn't spend the holiday with our family ...but they exchanged turkey and stuffing and sweet gingered potatoes and jalapeno cranberries and blue jello and whip cream and sweet-hot mustard and roasted pork for our bacon and blue cheese corn muffin pies, veggie and bacon-chedder dip, pumpkin dinner rolls, salad and apple crisp.  no tears necessary there...we are eating like kings.

nadia & aidan keeping busy while we cook
sure my living room is torn apart, our dining room table is now our entertainment center, so we had to improvise and eat on the island ...but that just means that i am getting the built in book cases and fireplace with floor to ceiling mantle and two little square window that should show the sparkle of the windmill lights at night that i wanted.

sit up straight please..
oh please...

sure dinner was quick (ok dinner was, but maybe i spent a little too much time taking pictures) but the clean up was quick too, which made time to go see harry potter.(sorry movie-goers, we tried to keep our distance and not infect any of you). what a sweet feeling to have my children's heads resting on each shoulder while their eyes are transfixed on the big screen.

seriously, just one more...i mean it, ok?