Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mine At Last (fo' Real)


I swear that June is pleased about this situation.
She was gloriously happy until we started getting finicky about our "eternal family" photos. 
She looks mad (note the frequent appearance of the bink, or perhaps the lovely gesture she seems to be making on the last photo) because she is either trying desperately to prop her head up with her chin(s) 
or just telling us that she is over the hubbub of the day 
(David had run a marathon just a few hours earlier, 
and visiting with out-of-town family and preparing for general sealing festivities requires lots of energy! ).
I will speak for June, however, and declare that being surrounded by her grandparents, great-grandparents, and loads of other friends and family in the temple was, like Mia's sealing, perfectly surreal 
(in fact, I made a few inhuman-like sounds while trying to hold back my overflowing joy--
I should have been embarrassed, but I didn't care).

video


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Centenial Titanic

In honor of the Titanic's 100th anniversary (of both birth & death), our friend Carol (who is quite the theme party virtuoso), held a commemorative and shockingly authentic dinner on April 14th.  Each of the guests was to come in the persona of an actual first class passenger from 1912.  Carol was kind in her assignments-- I think most of us felt flattered that we had been chosen to represent who we did.  
David was Thomas Andrews, the ship's architect/engineer who played a noble role in the movie and is known to have gone down with "his" ship, having been concerned only for the safety of others. 
I got to be the Countess of Rothes, who was apparently a woman who had "a lot to say" and was perhaps a little bossy, but with marked leadership abilities.  She organized and took control of one of the lifeboats, comforting and steering its occupants to safety.

Our meal (which was almost the EXACT menu that the first-class passengers would have eaten on the night the ship sank) had eleven courses (including truffle-inflused foie gras and caviar on blinis) with a different "wine" to go with each.  Even the shape of the butter and the soap in the powder room (not to mention the other countless array of details) were replicated for ultimate authenticity.

Here I am boarding the ship via the First Class Entrance just before signing the register and receiving my room key:


Mr. Andrews sampling the pre-voyage champagne:
 

The servants were well-practiced and performed their tasks appropriately (in my expert estimation)...

After dinner the men retired to the drawing room for some cards and "brandy,"

 while the ladies "smoked" (and subsequently ate their cigarettes) in the parlor.

'Twas a night to remember!

June's Top 10

1

2
This happens a lot...  
June is smiley & content, but when Mom starts chatting with her, Mia needs to get in on the baby talk & squishing action.  Smiley contentedness gets squelched by well-meaning big sis:
                                      

3
June has begun to mimic our expressions, but she exaggerated this one and kept it going for about 5 minutes!  Funny!

4
Embracing our appreciation for Eric Carle:

5
June's beautiful eyes disappear behind her enormous cheeks when she is especially happy
(i.e. flight lessons from Dad).

6
June & Mia, side-by-side, at 3 month mark (none of us look like we match, but we like the variety):

            

7

8

9
Here is June on her 100th day of life.  In Korea, this is a big deal because (based on my limited understanding) once babies had reached this mark (in many years past), their chance of survival seemed more sound and it was safe to celebrate their life!  Su explained that these 100 Day Parties are comparable to the baby showers that we have in our culture.   
At the parties, babies are often given the choice of different objects which may represent a particular personality trait in baby's future.  I realized after offering her some [rather rigged] choices, however, that June is not actually capable of making such decisions...
Perhaps Korean babies on native soil are more advanced. 

video

10

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mia's Top 10

1

2
Chores:

3
This photo is Dad's pride & joy:

4

5
Mia is keeps it classy while grooving on the chopping block her underwear and moon boots.


6
Since before Mia was born, I have wondered when she would begin to notice the difference in our coloring. We've talked about it a few times, but she had never seemed interested until this week.  While at the store, she noticed a girl who looked like she was from India and held out her arm, declaring, "I like pretty brown skin too!"  I was totally blown away that she had made that connection.  The next day she randomly pointed out that "Mom has white skin, Dad has white skin, AND Baby June has brown skin like Mia! We match!"  I have never called my skin "white," because I'd like to think that it is golden brown, so I was a little disappointed that she used that descriptor...  but I guess we haven't established colors beyond the tertiary level as of yet.  I was, again blown away by her observation about June-- and so, so pleased.
Here she is reading to the "brown" doll that I had chosen as an obviously prophetic 9-year-old.  

   7
Measuring our garden boxes:

8
Cruising around with the valuables--  we have said "good bye" to the bink a number of times already, 
but it continues to reappear at the margins of bedtime.

9
Taking a casual scramble up a rock face while mom chats with some fellow hikers:

10
Having some laughs with some random swimmers (self-declared "Mia's Friends") on the Columbia River, dressed in no more than pull-ups and mud 
(after having waltzed, fully clothed, 
into the swiftly moving water to make their acquaintance while mom was looking the other way, yikes!).


10.5
Hard-working woman:




Monday, May 14, 2012

Rants and Revelings


Although I like Mothers' Day a lot more than I used to, I still feel some anxiety every year as it rolls around.  Here are my qualms:

-Lots of us are not moms and want to be, whether it is due to infertility, lack of a marriage in the first place, crummy situations that have required the placement of a child with a different family, or the death of a child, etc.
-Most of us (think we) are not THE moms we want to be, whether it is due to the tendency women have to feel inadequate (I doubt fathers' day creates similar feelings for as many of its celebrated population...I may be wrong), or our IDEAS of how our life as a mom is supposed to be has not been realized (naughty children, surprise circumstances, etc.), etc.
-I get kind of bored listening to the endless qualities and influences of that Sunday's speakers' moms (because whether we have an angel of a mom or not, no one would say anything otherwise)
-I worry about whether our moms feel how much we REALLY do love and appreciate them.  This sort of day always makes for lots of flowery words that still seem under-stated.
-I fret over what our girls' birth-moms are thinking & feeling    

Now that I'm finished revealing my Scroogy attitude (with the exception of Fathers' Day, I really do like all other holidays), here is the part that I like about Mothers' Day:

David traditionally picks me flowers from "an obliging field,"

and makes me his fabulous Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes:

combine...
3 cups whole wheat flour
6 t baking powder
6 t sugar (or other sweetener...we've been using stevia in a smaller quantity)
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t baking soda

& in a separate bowl, whisk together...
3 eggs
3 c buttermilk
2/3 cups oil

Fold wet & dry ingredients together & you've got the batter!
*This will feed 4 hungry people, 
but easy to adjust the measurements since they are multiples of three*

And obviously, this:

Holidays are excuses for more major calorie splurges (in addition to the pancakes), like Jamie Oliver's Shortbread.  As I was making it, I realized that it's actually buttercream frosting with some white-flour and cornstarch.  I substituted the white with some more fibrous flour to take the edge off.  I'm sure it made a difference.

...And the spring-time weather that comes with Mothers' Day 
which allows a girl to test her new trekking poles:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Anniversary, 6th Edition

Our six years of marriage has seemed so rich, 
and yet so petite compared to the all the endless (literally) goods ahead. 
Happy anniversary to the love of my life!


We celebrated the same way we do most Sundays...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yakima Skyline 50k

We got to travel to Washington's sunny desert for this super challenging 50k which followed the rim above the Colombia River. The warmth was glorious, and so was the scenery!

David is always sure to be waaaay ahead of the pack at the start.
All the more seasoned racers just shake their heads...
until he finishes ahead of the pack (which he often does!).
This time, however, he had a nasty spill down a rocky precipice, and although he lived to tell at our meeting spot half-way, he was made to sit out the rest of the race from his injuries.


Mom R                                                        John (the official "sweeper")                         Joe (the untrained)

Take a look at the race course elevation...Yikes!

 Mia decided to chart a race on her own terms, and "fall down the hill" just like Dad.
This was the theme of nearly all Mia's conversations for the subsequent week.

 A more sober Mia waiting patiently to fulfill her water-bottle duty to Dad:

Even though it was a long day of sitting around for us on-lookers, that sunshine sure did us some good!