Friday, July 19, 2013


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My parents and Kayla left on an airplane for Sea World yesterday morning.

They will spend 5 days there celebrating her 10th birthday.

Dave got 2 free passes to Great America from a co-worker.

So Ashlyn gets to go there today.

We figure she doesn't need to know the difference.

Swimming with dolphins in paradise.

A fermented smelling log ride.



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Summer has been good to us so far.

Lots of puppy micro-management.

She's real bossy.

And he's already too big to be held like that.

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Birthday celebrations.


For the sourdough bread, primarily.

My girl.

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Vet visits.

He gained 7 pounds in three weeks.

Mostly from ingesting flip flops.

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Cooking camp with Chef Noni.

They made us lunch on the last day and I'm still not quite sure what it was.

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A low key Fourth of July.

The Sterno was MIA so we used a Bath and Body Works votive.

Ocean Breeze S'mores, if you will.

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And a REAL bunny came to visit.

Lincoln who?

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Lots of checking in on dad.

And drinking unsweetened iced green tea like mom.

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Summer school.

Safari adventure.

As if she hand-picked the theme.

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IHOP breakfasts.

Day made for $4.99.

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Hope launched an additional service on Wednesday nights.

We meet at the Peninsula Chinese Alliance Church in San Mateo at 7 pm.

Ashlyn is super relieved we finally get to go to a "real church" with "lots of toys."

Church planter kid problems.

Dave is preaching a series on forgiveness and it's GOOD.

And challenging.

You can listen here.

And be mad at him for challenging you.

But you will also learn how to forgive him.


Reading with Grandmums.

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Fossil hunting and rock collecting at the Dinosaur Exhibit.

Grandma CeeCee's birthday dreams come true.

She is a good grandma.

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Puppy overload, I know.

I just love this picture so much.

And when we think back on the Summer of 2013, we'll mostly think of him.

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Pool play dates with old and new friends.

Nothing better.

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And an awesome Star Wars birthday party yesterday afternoon.

Lots of Yoda Soda was consumed.

More diversion from her sister's SoCal adventure.

May the force be with her.

And may summer last forever.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Pinwheel Shower. And Her Name.

There is something so very special about friends coming together and welcoming a new little life.

Before the new little life is even here to welcome them back.

It makes this new little person so real.

And the mama feel so excited, supported and loved.

Saturday night was all that and more.

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So many fun details.

Beautiful flowers.

Delicious food.

Perfect decorations.

The pinwheels give a little hint about her name.

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The friends that took so much time to plan and prepare.

Hostesses and Aunties Julie, Katy and Kim.

All the thank you words in the world seem inadequate.

I am still overwhelmed by all they did.

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And so many others there to celebrate.

Lifelong friends.

Aunties Shellie, Laurie and Mary.

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We've walked through so much life together.

Aunties Wendy, Cari, Krissie and Kim.

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Friends that let your children nickname you.

Auntie TT.

I love that it stuck.

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Friends in the same boat.

Aunties Natasha and Deborah.

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Friends from our Disciple Clothing days.

Aunties Alana and Katie.

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Blog friends.

Kindred spirits.

Aunties Mel, Keri and Katy.

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Work friends.

Who remain friends when work goes away.

Aunties Cara and Dianna.


Her very first things.

The blankets we will swaddle her in.

The cute clothes that make us dream about what she'll look like.

The toys she'll play with.

The towels we'll wrap her in.

The books we'll read.

The Bumbo and highchair she'll sit in far too long as third child.

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Even a handmade Giants blanket.

Dave is hoping it will trigger a comeback rally.


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And the yummiest, most beautifully decorated dessert table.

Grand Marnier cupcakes, fruit puffs, eclairs, strawberry cookies and lemon puppy chow.

It was a very popular spot.

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A perfect night.

An exciting reminder that our baby girl will be here soon.

And she will be so very loved.

We can't wait to meet you, Holland Joy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pintertest Kitchen 22: Lemon Bar Puppy Chow

Happy 4th!

Last year, I experimented with a plethora of patriotic desserts.

Last year, I was smaller.

And less tired.

And less sweltering.

We're in the middle of a heat wave.

So I present to you a pin that has zero to do with America.

And zero to do with using an oven.

And I ask for grace.


Thank you.

God Bless America.

And air conditioning.


I tried this puppy chow recipe last week.

And I was happy I did.

It's really good, you guys.

I used Ghiradelli white chocolate chips.

And Trader Joe's Lemon Curd.

I strongly feel like these two ingredients greatly added to the success.

And I've been eating the left-over lemon curd by the spoonful.

So there's that.

Original recipe HERE.

Hop on over and try it out.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Puppy Party.

We had a fun little gathering here on Saturday.

For our favorite puppy-loving ten year old.


Our new Goldendoodle is 11 weeks old.

And she wanted all her friends to meet him.

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The birthday girl and the co-guest of honor.

He spent much of the day hiding or blurry in pictures.

Running from children.

He's a bit of an introvert.

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Kayla wanted her friends to be able to bring home puppies, too.

We figured real ones wouldn't work so well.

Or make us have less friends.

So we found these cute little guys at Talbot's.

She and I prepared adoption certificates the afternoon before.

Ashlyn OCD-mumbled in the background, ensuring that every puppy had a home.

And was not at all happy about the extra, unassigned one I bought just in case we had an unexpected guest.

"But who will take Slush home, mama??!"

"Grandma Cee Cee will, Ashlyn.  Take a pill."

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Her party day was another warm one.

The girls began to arrive and Lincoln ran away from them.

So they quickly moved outside and on to "Lizaro."

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Our semi-pet lizard that is not smart enough to escape each night we let him loose.

He was more still (frozen in fear or maybe dead) than the puppy.

More fun, maybe?  I don't really know.

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Back inside for Kayla's favorite part of the day.

The adoption ceremony.

Each party guest became the proud owner of a tiny little puppy.

With a tiny little milkbone.

And an official adoption certificate.

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Kayla presented each one separately and specially.

With her trusty OCD assistant.

And the Giants game on in the background.


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Fun was had by all.

And Lincoln miraculously became more extroverted when they gave him all the milkbones.

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Instead of bringing gifts for her, she decided it would be fun for people to give toys and treats to the puppy.

But frantically doubted this decision the night before the party.

"Wait.  I will get zero toys tomorrow?"

"Yes, Kayla.  This is what you decided.  Remember when I asked you ten times?"


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And just in case anyone was wondering.

Milano cookies look cute for puppy ears but aren't very practical due to their weight.

Apricot fruit rolls to the rescue.

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A fun day celebrating our sweet girl and a fun new edition to our family.

And a lesson in giving to others.

Happiest birthday yet.

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Lincoln approved.

Kind of.