the september issues

August 27, 2012 § 2 Comments

This is a nice time of year when the weather starts to cool, kids head back to school and the happy holiday season is right around the corner. Some of my favorite reminders, the September fashion magazines, are currently weighing down my mailbox and grocery basket. I love everything about the September issues – especially their heft – and feel with their size as if I’m getting a bargain (never mind that 90% of the issue is ads, because I actually love the artsy high-fashion advertisements in these magazines). They remind me of why I have loved fall fashion ever since I was a little girl back-to-school shopping with my mom and the joyful anticipation I feel every year during this season.

Although I am not much of a trend follower and prefer to stick to things that fit my style and personality, it’s fun to feel “in the know.” I’m happy to report that fall fashionistas and Versace wearers will be sporting studded leather this season; I will probably pass but may take a stab at the new full skirt or winter white trend. And while big hair and a mermaid dress might be a good choice for Lady Gaga on the cover of this month’s Vogue, I myself will choose to just be inspired by her boldness and perhaps try something a little out of my own personal comfort zone – I’m thinking red. Happy fall!!

a new chapter

August 22, 2012 § 2 Comments

I want to hold onto my girls’ childhoods as long as possible, but I know it’s important to embrace each milestone as it comes. We are hitting a big one this week as Bella starts Middle School. I can’t believe that my baby – who it seems just yesterday eagerly started preschool – is now eagerly anticipating this next phase. It’s a time of change for her as Bella also got her first pair of glasses this summer. I hate to see the baby go, but it’s so cool to see the big girl emerge. Time flies (something people always told me when the girls were little, but now I finally realize is absolutely true), and I want to savor each moment.

Bella is excited by the big new world she is experiencing, and she is handling both the glasses and the start of middle school with her own signature grace and style. I feel lucky just to be here, to take it all in, as my precious girls grow and find their path in this life. Today, I paused to document the moment with the girlies (now 5th and 3rd graders) styled up in some of our fall favorites from Crewcuts. Looking at these pictures, I can’t believe how big the girls look and how much of their sweet baby faces are still there smiling back at me. This amazing new chapter in our lives is definitely worth capturing.

guacamole

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have no idea how I made it through the first 35+ years of my life without guacamole but now, honestly, I can’t imagine my world without it. I’m not sure if I’d never really tried it, or perhaps just hadn’t tried it enough – but when it’s done right (and several of our close friends can get it really right!), homemade guac is a perfect creation. Our weekly taco nights with friends over the last couple of years have truly clinched the deal for me, and now chips with guacamole is one of my favorite foods.

On our recent trip to Sunriver, I watched my friend Jenn closely as she made a batch and took careful notes to be sure I could remember her essential ingredients – it’s important to get all the flavors in there for the full effect. Hers is a variation on a recipe she found in the Williams Sonoma cookbook, and the directions are simple: combine all ingredients (Jenn just mashes hers together with a fork) and enjoy. Just estimate the proportions to get the quantity and flavor that you like. Now that I’ve realized my love of guacamole, I can’t get through summer (or really any time of year) without it!

Perfect Guacamole

avocado
lime
garlic
salt
cilantro (finely chopped)
white or red onion
cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

Roughly combine all ingredients to taste.

happy feet

August 6, 2012 § 3 Comments

We’ve just returned from a quick getaway with a couple of families to Sunriver, Oregon. It’s a wonderful vacation spot, and I loved seeing my children happy and carefree, having fun with their friends. They’ve spent the past few days swimming, biking and generally just running around together. I kept looking for a break in the action – a good time to tear them away from their play and sit them down together for a group photo. But it can be tricky to get seven crazy children to sit still for a perfect shot. So instead I decided to steal a quick moment, scoot them together on the front porch of the rental house where we’d gathered, point the camera down to their feet and click.

My college friend Jean has been taking these kind of feet pictures ever since I’ve known her. She says it was something she and her friends just started doing in high school, and she never stopped. I’ve been out and about many times with Jean over the years and had fun posing with our group, toes together, for one of her shots. I’d never thought much about it, but now it makes perfect sense to me.

I’m sure that Jean’s collection of feet pictures over the last more than 20 years does the same for her as anyone else’s favorite photos does for them: reminds her of the important moments in her life – events both big and small shared with the people she loves. I realize that it’s not the actual images in the picture that always matters as much as the time taken to get the shot, the brief pause in the action to take note of the occasion; that photo, like a bookmark in your life, captures the moment and helps to preserve it. Having pictures is nice, but the memories are so much more valuable.

From Jean and her fun feet pics, I’m reminded to take notice of all of life’s precious moments (even if I don’t get the perfect shot) and to enjoy and remember life as it comes. I could take a hundred photos of my girls and their friends with their sweet smiling faces – and believe me, I have – but this picture of their happy feet is really all I need to remind me of our summer trip to Sunriver, of these beautiful children and of the memories we’ve made together.

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