Wednesday, September 26, 2012


#latergram Walking home yesterday afternoon. Barefoot buddies. Wagon ride #latergram

We've been spending lots of time outdoors lately, trying to soak in this amazing weather while it lasts.  It's been cold in the morning & evening, but pleasant and sunny most of the day. The trees continue to change colors, so every day there's a bit more orange and red and yellow that's replaced the lush green. The days are getting shorter-- I noticed today that it was dark by 7pm which brought on a small knot in my stomach as my fear and dread for the less pleasant aspects of this upcoming winter began to rear their heads.  Then I squelched them back down, figuring there's no use wasting this stunningly lovely time of year worrying or dreading.

With all our outdoor time, we've also had some great playdates and to use a cheesy cliche line I am starting to feel the beginnings of what could be beautiful friendships, both for the boys and for me. It's pretty nice to interact with people who seem so genuine and interesting, and to feel like they think the same of you.

Zach's been super busy with school and "networking" the past few weeks. I have a hard time complaining about it as handling solo dinner and bedtimes feels infinitely simpler now than it did just a few months ago.  It's not always great-- a few nights ago I made grilled cheese sandwiches in the toaster oven (fastest meal I could think of) while Quinn was screaming strapped to my back because it was the only way I could keep him from messing and fighting with Donovan.  BUT most nights go ok with only limited tears or upsettedness.

So, that's life for us right now.  I'm tired but happy. Life is good.

(side note: enjoy the cheerful posts while they last, I have a feeling there will be less of them in a few more months when daylight lasts 3 hours and the daily highs are below freezing)

(side note #2: a friend left the following comment on one of the above pictures on flickr: "D and Q are totally going to think that b school was just some awesome place you took them for extended summer camp." It made me smile. Zach says it's true, and not just for D and Q)

(EDIT- side note #3: No, we don't really only get 3 hours of daylight in winter, but I hear it gets dark by 4pm which is just about as depressing)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You guys, it is like stupidly beautiful here

Seriously.  Every day I get to drive these country tree-lined country roads just outside of town, occasionally passing a rustic little farmhouse with cute shutters on the windows, and now with the leaves all turning colors and starting to fall I just keep swooning at how gorgeous this place is. I think I'm noticing it more this week because of the changes that come with fall settling in, giving everything a new look so it's like everything is the same but also looks like a totally different place.  It's amazing.

Today we went back to one of the local u-pick farms and the boys picked pumpkins and apples for us to bring home.  And they got to see tractors, like, for real, carrying massive boxes of apples. And I took lots of pictures with my phone, feeling so happy to be here. I know I may be eating my words in two months when I'm freezing my butt off (it was 39 degrees outside this morning and it's only September) but for now I'm basking in all this beauty and absolute gorgeousness.

Pumpkin patch! Someone looks...suspicious. Gotta find one that's juuuuust right. In case you can't tell, they're each carrying a pumpkin *and* a monster truck, because god forbid you let go of either. Oh you know, just a typical ridiculously adorable farm in New England. NDB. Quinn checking out the big pumpkins. Picking apples "for Dad to have in his lunch!" Walking back to pay for his apples. Apples on the tree. Hello, little farm house. Hello, little tractor. (that's the last one, I promise)

See what I mean? Seriously.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

birthday cake for breakfast


My birthday was this past Thursday.  If you can manage to read Zach's cryptic candle numbering above, you will see that yes I turned 32 years old this year.  He went out and bought me a cake the night before, and because once he left for school Thursday morning he wouldn't be back home till after the kids were in bed we opted to sing and have cake for breakfast so we could do it all together.  Zach pointed out (I had forgotten) that Tuck took him away from me for my birthday last year, too-- I think he left on the 13th to fly here for his on-campus interview last year.  I told him he can make it up to me by buying me a fancy camera upgrade when he graduates and we have a (non-loan) family income again (a girl can dream, right?).

So my birthday day itself was pretty low-key. We'd planned to go to a Dartmouth graduate school semi-formal with a couple friends on Saturday night, but then Friday landed us in the hospital with Donovan thanks a cold that spiraled into him having trouble breathing (pretty much the same thing that happened just over 2 years ago). We didn't have to stay overnight this time (thank god) but between that stress, a kid who was still on nebulizer treatments every 4 hours, plus Quinn catching D's cold and Zach and I showing the beginning signs of following that same path, we decided to cancel our plans. So instead our friends came over for a drink and some cake on their way out to the party, and that was a pretty lovely time in itself.

We spent the rest of the weekend just recovering and trying to rest up. Now Zach has another busy week ahead, as recruiting for summer internships has begun and there are about a gazillion info sessions being put on by all sorts of fancy big-name companies visiting campus the next week or two. Which is neat and exciting for him, though means we're seeing very little of him.  Ah, the life of an MBA family...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The little things

I feel like I've gotten away from this, but I really love capturing those little details about my kids.  Like how they have just incredible hair...
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And adorable fingers.
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And these are D's favorite new shoes, which he calls his "Champion shoes." I swear he came up with that nickname before I told him the brand name.  Oh, and there's the babylegs he paired with shorts on a coolish morning.
Oh, these two...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

List Blogging: 9.11.12

Because I want to write a post that's more than just a photo dump, but don't have the time or mental energy to actually, uh, write much...

Listening:  to the clickety-clack of Zach typing on his laptop as he works on homework.

Eating:  Greek yogurt + cherry-vanilla granola. It's my latest snack obsession.  Completing the crunchy hippie image.

Drinking:  Contemplating a cup of tea before bed. Evenings are getting chilly enough for tea...

Wearing:  Jeans and a long sleeve shirt. A first this season!

Feeling:  Excited about noticing these first signs of fall (leaves starting to turn, air feeling cooler), but also  apprehensive about what comes after fall...

Weather:  Up until 2 days ago we've had solid summer weather, getting into the 80s every day. Then yesterday the high was 66*F.  This morning it was 39* when I dropped D off at school.  It's supposed to heat up again the rest of the week, but yeah I'd say fall is starting.

Wanting:  To get better at planning ahead. It's becoming clear that I need to be good about updating my calendar, keeping ahead of what's happening what week, etc- both school events but also finding out about fun things to do locally, to really take advantage of our time here.  I also want to start some loose meal planning, for the sake of making evenings easier especially on the days when Zach/s busy on campus through the evening.

Needing:  To become much more self-sufficient. I got pretty spoiled last year- yes, Zach was gone 4 days a week, but I had a lot of support and help with things like making dinner and washing dishes. Now I have to pick up the slack.  Speaking of, I meant to start a diaper wash tonight and totally forgot....

Thinking:  Of what to do this weekend with the kids this weekend, to get us out of the house for a bit and give Zach some time to take his first midterms (yes, midterms already. That's what happens when your first semester is only 4 weeks long!).

Enjoying:  Our little neighborhood and community.  It's been so easy to meet other families and kids who are close in ages to mine, who enjoy playing together.  It's even nicer when you click with the parents of the kids your own kids seem to click with.

Wondering:  How D will continue to do in school. He just started last week, and so far he seems happy enough about it. I wonder if this year we'll face the same battles we did last year, where he'd complain about not wanting to go (but then be happy and fine when I dropped him off) or if we get to skip them.  I guess we'll just see.

Ok, ok, I can't close the post without at least one photo. So here's one of me and my sweet, snuggly D holding hands.


Sunday, September 09, 2012

A Walk in the Woods: first glimpse of fall

I'm having fun photographing our walks in the woods with different cameras and lenses. The differences in what you can capture and how, using an iphone vs DSLR and with different lenses, is pretty fascinating and fun to experiment with. For our jaunt yesterday I dusted off my beloved 50mm lens and shot wide-open for that oh so delicious bokeh I can never get enough of.  I also switched the white balance setting from Auto to Cloudy and am really liking the warm tone it gave this set of photos.

What else was exciting about this particular outing? We got our first glimpses of the leaves starting to change colors!  I'm pretty excited to see this green landscape transform into fall.

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Click here to see the full set of photos.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Last Saturday was the kick-off party to welcome the new Tuck students and kick off the school year. The theme? TOGA! Apparently that's a bit of a cultural tradition around here.  According to wikipedia:
Toga parties were depicted in the 1978 film Animal House, which propelled the ritual into a widespread and enduring practice. Chris Miller, who was one of the writers of Animal House, attended Dartmouth College where the toga party was a popular costume event at major fraternity parties (such as Winter Carnival and Green Key Weekend) during the late 1950s and early 1960s. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt held a toga party to spoof the followers of the "Caesar," her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[2]
As it turns out, somehow both Zach and I managed to get through high school and college without ever attending a toga party, so this was our very first.  We donned our strategically-pinned pieces of fabric and went out and partied... or, well, at least till about 11pm when we headed home to relieve the sitter and turn into pumpkins anyway.  But hey, it was an experience, and a fun one at that.

Zach and I in our togas:
Toga. ; )

Even the bear got into the spirit:
Red, our Tahoe bear, is all set for the @TuckSchool toga party tonight.

What to do with your togas the day after:
What to do with the fabric from your togas after the party's done? Build a fort for your kids!  =P


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