Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ed & I

Monday was for hanging out and making the most of the time remaining with cousin Edward. Here, Gus is at his happiest, driving the neighbors fancy little red sports cabriolet.

OK, I admit it, totally contrived, but we had to work so hard to get the two cousins to sit still!

They enjoy each other's company, but they are both VERY busy and happy to play alongside each other, just far enough apart to make any fancy camera work feel futile...so plopping them down and snapping away haphazardly is the way to go for now - all in the name of posterity, when they'll be not only related, but great friends and successful, famous, beloved men - and we have the adorable baby pictures to prove how far back they go.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

More wedding pictures

What can I say? I know it borders closely on vanity, but I have to make the most of the few times when we're all cleaned up and shiny looking. It's a duck-in-a-row kind of moment for us and it warrants lots of pictures. Aren't my two guys handsome in their respective tie outfits?

The Harris-Hammond-Dinkins clan lines up for the official portrait.

Two boys, two blue-striped outfits, one antique apple press and Granna's camera goes into spitfire mode.

They got the cake and they got to eat it, too!
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sara & Will's Wedding Day

Here we are eagerly awaiting the bride - Jacob's cousin Sara - on an Alabama-beautiful day in the pasture next to Jacob's folks' house. Gus & Edward are promising to be on their best behavior during the ceremony. Behind us you can see the "hoopa" where the bride will enter in a couple of minutes and farther back the barn where the reception will be held later on.

The famed Dinkins barn gussied up for the third wedding (ours included) since the Dinkins family has owned it. It is one amazing wedding reception location. I fall in love with it every time it's been shined up.

The freshly-minted couple just minutes after being pronounced husband & wife. Aren't they both just so beautiful in their excitement?
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Spaghetti wow...

Just recently, Gus has begun wowing (and I mean wow-ing) us with his fork eating abilities...here, he is in full action with spaghetti made with Momma's homegrown and canned tomatoes...just like his Dad, Gus triumphs when it comes to eating spaghetti (there is a hillarious home video of Jacob at age 2 slurping up spaghetti...we keep talking about entering it on America's Funniest Homevideos...it's that good)

Keep eating, Gus.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lime isn't just for margaritas...

Our friend George, who is an amazing woodworker & owns an equally amazing strawbale home, came over Wednesday to help Jacob to finish the walls in our guest cottage. I love the mix that goes on, it's hydrated lime, sand and water. That's it, but it has this beautiful earthbrown color and a texture that makes you want to take your shoes off and relax your eyes...

I can't wait for it to be done and ready. I'll post more pictures once our ex-garage is fully habitable.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Wedding Day memories

Just a few more of my favorite pictures of our wedding three years ago:

My mom likes this picture. I love Jacob's expression and his arm around my back.

This one is the best of all the posed shots, it sounded so goofy when our photographer explained it, but it came out great. I love how everyone's personality shines through just a bit. It best illustrates the feeling of that day.

Gus helped me scan these photos, hence this one is askew a bit. I love the beauty of the background and the way Jacob smiles...oh and how shapely my arms look...I worked hard for those tri- and bisceps...

I got a talking-to from our photographer (she was wonderful) for "not warning her" when I changed out of my wedding shoes into my boots for dancing...she made me laugh when she said I was under strict orders to let her know before I was "doing any more cute stuff." I love everything about this shot and I'm so glad she got it.
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Wedding Days

This morning over breakfast with cousin Sara - this being our third anniversary and also four days away from Sara's own wedding day - I drug out the ol' heavy photo album and we looked and I reminisced...

I don't just love my husband and the many memories we have already collected in our three years of marriage, I'm also very much in love with our wedding day...that becomes clear to me whenever I perurse our thome that holds the images of that balmy April day in Alabama.

It brings back memories of excitement at making this commitment to the man of my dreams, the sun on my back, the smell of hairspray, the chatter of the arriving guests, the happy fussing of my bridesmaids (the hardest-working-and-still-looking-great trio of bridesmaids, these ladies where so much more than just photo props). The expression on my mother's face and the pride in my dad's smile and the relief that the day had come and that there would be a "yes" & "yes" and then a honeymoon and no more to-do lists...at least for a week.

To love and weddings and celebrations of them every year thereafter. Marriages are like a precious metal to me. They can be shined up yet the patina is what makes them beautiful. Thank you, Jacob, for chosing me.

And I wish and pray for beauty and happiness for the special day for Sara & Will this Saturday in the same barn in Alabama.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A birthday weekend to remember...

Finally, I got to cross the 30-something birthdays off the to-do list (they are so old school, 40 is the new 30, I hear)...and yes, I had a great birthday weekend and I want to thank everyone who helped make it so wonderful. I'm not much for tiaras anymore, there was a time when I was, but I'm still a sucker for calls, singing, presents and cards...nothing like it to make me feel special and loved, you all did just that.

Jacob read my heart right and let me have my actual birthday all to myself sans Mommie duties and then took me out to dinner and a movie...I felt almost 35 again!

And on Saturday, he revved up our Beloved Jeepster (and even came to re-start it once) so that I could pick up my friends, Berne and Heather, and whisk them away for a long trail run in the forest in convertible style... I love these pictures Heather took when we got to her house...so athmospheric!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Perfest Easter Bunny

Adeline graceously hosted the little toddler easter egg hunt, Gus was invited to, and sweet as she is, she even let Gus mooch out of her basket...she is one sweet girl!

Eggs & Ham-ming it up!

Happy Easter to all of you from a sugared-up toddler, who LOVES chocolate eggs, jellybeans and anything pastel-colored...

Gus finds his basket behind the Forsythia shrub...the Easter Bunny made it easy for him...

Fueled by a few dozen Reese's Peanut chocolate eggs, Gus gives the climbing wall a mighty try...

While the other kids gathered diligently, Gus mostly ate his way through the egg hunt...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Testing, testing...one-two-temper-tantrum

...here is how a temper tantrum a la Gus unfolds...

Me: "No, Gus, you can't climb up on Mommie's desk. Mommie's desk is her space, your space is over there next to the toy basket."
Gus:"Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!" (shrill with exlamation marks, followed by abrupt stepping from one foot onto the other and arms flailing at the side, finally topped off by deftly slapping either at Mommie or the next best object in sight, sometimes he even flings himself to the ground in sobs)
Me: Ignoring him, trying to remain calm and and seeking cover
Gus: Having made his point, stomps away to climb up on something else...leaving unhappy grunts in his wake...

Temper tantrums are new and have turned my previously so-chill and easy-going son into a multiple-personality mess that keeps me forever puzzled. No one tell me about the terrible twos...I have a shrieking, sullen, demanding, happy, energetic, clingy 18-month-old toddler on my hands...I'm not curious at this point what birthday No. 2 brings...someone blow out the candles before he sets the house on fire...

It was funny at first...his half-hearted attempts at personality separate from my own. Running in tears to hide his face in the fridge door, or flinging himself to the ground forgetting instantly why he was on the ground...but the stumbles have turned into tremors and I'm bracing for the all-out quake as I type this...it can only be weeks before I gather up my shrill bundle of previous-joy in the grocery store or at the playground...I'm praying our audience will be kind...or hard of hearing...

Yes, there is a part of me that feels payback time is upon me. If I was Catholic, I'd be hanging my head to await my due punishement: After all, my temper tantrums are the stuff of family legends and I remained a sore looser and unwilling sharer of things until way past my second set of teeth...I try to hide it, but I still have a hard time keeping a straight face when I lose at a boardgame...silly isn't it?

So he got it from me and he is a bit ahead for his age and he is hampered by not having words (maybe that's good) to express his feelings...yep, I got all the insight I need. And yes, we've been beefing up the signs so he can tell me that it is that frustrates him...so far he is signing away for me to sing "Itsy bitsy spider" about six dozen times in a row...and if I stop a tantrum flares its ugly tentacles...he needs more attention than Madonna and Jesse Jackson combined.

I know it will pass and I know with the grace of God my patience will be enough and I'll learn something from him through this, but please...can someone tell me how to inflict a time-out on a squirming toddler who has just hit you square in the gut during a diaper change, while laughing you straight in the face?

Don't get me wrong, he is still cute and makes me laugh dozens of times a day. He is sweet as can be to others and full of energy I adore, but I cherish naps, when I can tend to my new bruises and do something in peace and quiet without dreading another impasse of opinions.

Someone please tell me that 3 is when they become thoughtful and polite.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A tennis temper

This is funny if you know that Gus has just recently started in on the temper tantrums and LOVES tennis (because Daddy-Daddy plays tennis, and because - at least I like to think so - Mommy is from the same country as tennis-great Roger Federer)

Watch for the John McEnroe (spelling?)-esque ending...the raquet actually hit Daddy-Daddy who devised the hanging tennis ball for our Sunday afternoon entertainment...

The tantrums are still mostly funny because of their unpracticed nature...but they cause me to harken back to my childhood days...more about that later