Monday, April 27, 2015

Conor's Weekend Surprise for Us

Yesterday morning, Eric and I were slowly waking up and could hear the pitter-patter of little feet upstairs. We knew that Conor would soon be in our room to let us know he was awake... about a minute later, that's exactly what happened. What was about to happen, however, was definitely not on our radar.

Conor came into our room with a surprise for us ... he brought us drinks (a beer for Eric and a hard cider for me)  and breakfast in bed (1/4 of a pancake each  in a bowl). Conor decided to surprise his entire family with breakfast in bed and took it upon himself to do all of the prep.

He found only one pancake in the fridge (leftovers from the day before), so cut it into 4 even parts, microwaved it, and even topped it with some syrup. He knew the milk container was too full for him to successfully pour the milk into cups, so he opted for drinks that wouldn't spill (hence, the 7:30 AM cocktail hour attempt ... and, no, we didn't drink them ... they went back into the bar fridge).

After he served us our food, he and Eric took Annika's breakfast to her, so she could enjoy the treat of breakfast in bed.

Not only did Conor show amazing kindness and thoughtfulness, he also showed great problem solving and reasoning skills. So amazingly proud of our little guy!!

April 2015 Daring Bakers' Challenge: Focaccia

This month's Daring Bakers' challenge was right up my alley: BREAD!! More specifically, we were challenged to make focaccia from scratch.

The timing for this challenge couldn't have been more perfect, considering my new addition to the book "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast", which is ALL about bread making. Every recipe provided in this book yields two loaves of bread, and many recipes are adaptable, meaning you don't have to make the same kind of final product with both halves of the bread. So, I made bread by following the "Overnight White Bread" recipe, and made half of dough into a lovely artisan loaf and the other half into focaccia.

Conor helped me make the focaccia's dimples, and he was in charge of brushing the olive oil on the top of the bread... hence, we had uneven dimples and areas of oil slick on the bread, but it all worked out!

I topped the focaccia with parmesan cheese and salt... all four of us gave the bread our thumbs up. Definitely going to make it again!

For the month of April Rachael of pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise took us on a trip to Italy. They challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Goodbye, Smudge

Today, we sadly said goodbye to our sweet Smudge.

He was the cat who had to be on or in something at all times in order to be truly comfortable. He loved attention and we often joked that he was a dog stuck in a cat's body. He was around from practically the beginning of our relationship and saw us through getting married, moving, and invading our home dogs and babies.

Smudge was a true gem and we'll miss him more than words can say.

I used to be smart

As we were driving home from the store this morning, Conor and I had the following conversation. (My face hurts from laughing each time I think back on it... you're welcome!)

Conor: Mama, I know what pokey mean. It means slow.

Me: That's right, Conor! Good job.

Conor: Why does it mean slow?

Me: I don't know. Someone thought it was a good word to be slow.

Conor: Who?

Me: I don't know, Sweetie.

Conor: I thought you said you were smart.

Me: (insert laughing)

Conor: What's so funny, Mama??

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter 2015 Recap: Baskets, Bikes, and Family

Whoever doesn't believe in miracles doesn't know what happened on Easter morning ... yes, the original Easter morning was pretty darned miraculous, but I was referring to the Easter of 2015. What was this year's miracle? BOTH of our children slept past 8 o'clock in the morning! Yes, folks, you heard it here first. Conor "I refuse to sleep past 6" Olson slept until after 8:00 AM. Will wonders ever cease?? Annika awoke shortly after Conor did and was content to return to bed until she was reminded that it was Easter and there were Easter baskets that required the kids' attention.

After excitedly discovering wonderful treasures in their Easter baskets, it was time for church. Due to the basket fun, we left a bit late, which wasn't ideal, but do-able considering we live so close to church. On the way, I mentioned that it might be harder than normal to find parking because more people tend to go to church on Easter and Christmas. At this point, my internal judgmental voice made a few snippy comments, when Conor piped up, "Maybe they just want to celebrate with us." I then felt in my place and realized who am I to judge how often people go to church. Lesson learned....

Easter basket fodder

Now that he's 5, Conor gets gum... even from the Easter Bunny
Annika decided Conor should practice doing head stands after brunch
 After church, we enjoyed some lovely Eggs Benedict for brunch and then some nice down time. Unfortunately, Eric was overwhelmed by the cold he had been fighting and laid down to take a nap for about an hour before we headed to my brother and sister-in-law's house. Unfortunately, his cough and congestion got the better of him, and when I tried to awaken him, I quickly realized him staying home and sleeping more was the better option. So, the kids and I packed up and headed to Sammamish sans Eric.

Our Easter celebration was quite nice... would have been nicer with a healthy Eric, but we can't control all things, can we? Our family friends, the Wilsons, were at Troy and Staci's house, which made the day even more special. Tony Wilson was the one who married Eric and me, so he definitely holds a dear spot in our hearts... and always will! It was a joy to catch up with Laurie Wilson and be embraced by her sweet words and gentle spirit. She is like a spa treatment for the soul... she is calming and serene.

Annika's favorite part of Easter (aside from the basket fodder) was the olives

Oh, and I made Easter cookies

Fun Easter with my big brother

One bonus bit of excitement for our Easter was Conor learned to ride a two-wheeler bike thanks to Annika and Ian! 

We had a lovely dinner as a big, extended family (really ... isn't that what holidays are really about?) and headed home in time to watch the sun set over the mountains. A lovely ending to a lovely day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2015 Photo Challenge: Week 4

It's hard to believe, but it is already time to post the final photos for the March 2015 Mamas with Cameras photo challenge. After completing a lengthy 365 photo challenge, the one-month challenge seemed as fast as a blink of an eye!

The last part of this month sure had incredible weather, which helped me get quite a few outdoor shots. That said, yesterday was "wild and crazy weather day" with rain, thunder, lightening, and hail, so it was fitting to finish up the photo challenge with a shot of Annika jumping into a puddle in our back yard.

I hope you enjoy this final installment of my most recent photography challenge!

Tulip - Bird's eye view

Have a seat

Sun girl


Red tulips with daffodils in the background


Spinning bubble girl

Birthday bubble boy