Time for a change

Because it's fall, and this is what I do in the fall.


Re-discovering an old friend

On the day Nathan and I got married we left the reception and headed straight for Santa Monica. Once there, we walked over to Third Street to have dinner and relax after a beautiful but somewhat stressful day. We decided on Trastavere, and as we were walking down the street to the restaurant we spotted a kiosk selling some interesting and really original jewelry. We stopped to look, and Nathan told me to pick something out for myself. I chose a moonstone bracelet that night, and every year since then we've visited the Antiqua kiosk, where Nathan buys me a piece of jewelry for our anniversary. It's a tradition that I love and look forward to every year. This year, alas, we couldn't find the kiosk. And the mall at the end of the Promenade is pretty much gutted at the moment, so Antiqua's permanent mall location wasn't available either. So a couple of weeks later we took a trip to their main store on Pico in LA. After looking at some necklaces that were surprisingly expensive (compared to the reasonable prices at the kiosk) I settled on an old looking locket on a long chain.

I decided to put a picture of Nathan in one side of the locket and a picture of Judah and Micah in the other side, but found I didn't have any pictures I'd be happy using. So to take the pictures I wanted I resurrected my old camera, the one my dad loaned (gave?) me years ago. It's a 1976 Minolta, and I haven't used it really since I got a digital camera. It's completely manual, which means that action shots are kind of out of the question, but the advantage is that when you press the button, the shutter opens immediately, not a second later, like on a digital.

I got the pictures developed yesterday and remembered instantly why I love that camera so much. The digital I have is a really good camera, though it's not professional quality, and it takes good pictures, but my old camera...... There's just something about it. I don't know if the pictures will look that special on a computer screen, but the prints are amazing. Here are some of the shots from our "photo shoot" a couple days ago.

And here's one I took of Judah at Little Corona del Mar two years ago with the same camera. It's our favorite picture of Judah ever.


Another season, another playlist

More than any other season, fall inspires me to create playlists of songs that seem to fit the new feel in the air. And since we're almost to fall, here's my most recent.....

Never Meant - American Football (from an album that inspired Dave to say to me, "Do you actually like this stuff?" Yes, I do. Very much.)
Porrohman - Big Country
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids (SO much fun!)
Two More Years - Bloc Party
Sunday - Bloc Party
Jesus Christ - Brand New (get past the title and check this song out, it's really interesting)
Slave to Love - Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music (I can't help it, I'm a sucker for this song)
Blue Eyes - Cary Brothers
Viva la Vida - Coldplay (after hearing a bit of this album, I'm beginning to think they MIGHT actually be the next U2)
The Last Day of Summer - The Cure (find this on iTunes and buy it immediately, you won't regret it)
Pictures of You - The Cure (many times the best part of a Cure song is the instrumental part, but in this case the lyrics are perfect as well)
#41 - Dave Matthews (from the Live at Luther College album, incredible acoustic guitar)
Lover Lay Down - Dave Matthews
Come Away to Sea - David Wilcox
Brothers on a Hotel Bed - Death Cab for Cutie
The Winds that Blow - Duncan Sheik
Some Distant Memory - Electronic (a little Smiths, a little New Order, a lot perfect)
Let Go - Frou Frou (the best part of the nearly flawless Garden State soundtrack)
Thinking About You - Ivy
Keep Moving - Ivy
Lullaby - James
Cloudbusting - Kate Bush (keep an open mind if you listen to this....)
Ride With Me - The Lemonheads
Bengali in Platforms - Morrissey
Turn - New Order
A Question of Travel - The Ocean Blue
Poor Souls - Owen (I don't think anyone expresses longing quite as well as Owen)
This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave - Pet Shop Boys (left over from my college days)
High and Dry - Radiohead
Little Wonders - Rob Thomas (this song chokes me up almost every time)


Micah's Beach Bash

We threw Micah his first birthday party on Sunday night. Since summer's almost over, I wanted to make it like the last beach party of the season, but I didn't actually want to throw a party at the beach, so instead I turned our backyard into a beach. It turned out to be a really fun day. Our family all came, so there were about thirty of us, which was the perfect sized crowd. I couldn't find a good way to create an ocean in our backyard, but other than that we did pretty good! Micah enjoyed the pool filled with beach balls especially....

Christi came over a couple nights before the party and helped me frost sugar cookies to look like beach balls. It was a little challenging, and some of them kind of look like the Romanian flag (and the one at the top looks A LOT like a "VOTE" button), but we did our best, and a couple hours and a powdered sugar fight later we had our beach balls! They tasted delicious, thanks to the almond flavored icing.
Ever tried to bake a half-sphere cake? I have now.... I solicited advice from a bunch of sources (thanks go out to Shayleen in particular), and in the end my friend Aimee gave me the easiest and roundest solution: you bake it in a pyrex bowl. She made a monkey head cake for her son that way last year. My mom did the frosting. Good team effort!
Micah got his own little cake to destroy, and when the time came he wanted nothing to do with it! Looks like I finally found something Micah WON'T eat. I knew he'd reject something eventually, but I never guessed it would be PURE SUGAR. Wow, that's a win, I guess....
Judah was completely overjoyed at the prospect of all these beach balls to play with.
Naomi and all the girls spent a while at the craft table filling baby food jars with colored salt, an old craft I revived from my Girl Scout days. They looked cool, plus it was a way to re-use all those baby food jars we go through on a daily basis. Yeah, we're so green around here. :)
Part of the fam hanging out on the patio.....
And Christi and Dean, who aren't technically related, but might as well be. People used to ask Christi and me if we were sisters so often that we began to wonder if we were. The sad part about that was that they'd ask us if we were sisters AFTER we told them our names.
Brian and Eszter, and.....
Sophia and Josiah munching on some dogs.
Heather and Jeff, or, as the kids call them, Uncle Teffy and Auntie Ha'er.
I bought a bunch of sand to create a beach/bonfire area. Did you know that 150 pounds of sand doesn't really go that far? Next time I'll get 300 pounds. It went just far enough, though, and the kids had a blast digging and scooping. After Nathan lit the fire we made s'mores and the smell was heavenly.
Micah rejecting the cake. Not only did he not like it, I think he was actually a little scared by the way the other kids gathered around to "encourage" him and to sneak bites of their own!
Present time! Micah totally scored! He got lots of new cool clothes that he needed for the fall and for our upcoming camping trip, plus a swing, some toy cars, a Little People garage, and a Little Einsteins "rocket." Judah was more excited than Micah, but in the days since Micah has become interested, too, and we've been having to remind Judah that not ALL the toys in the house are his, these ones are Micah's. He either doesn't get it or he's in denial.
Micah loved the musical card from Grandma Marie! He was dancing every time we opened it.
The morning after the party, hanging out on his new rocket car. Thanks, everyone, for making Micah's first birthday so fun and special!


One short year

Micah is one year old today. I can hardly believe it! This year has gone by so quickly! Micah is such a joy to us, such a happy little guy almost all the time. I'm not a morning person, so I'm usually grumpy when I walk into his room each morning to get him out of bed, but I am always smiling within seconds, because I love the way he jumps up in his crib when he sees me, screeches, and starts laughing and babbling with a huge smile on his face. We love this boy so much! And we are so thankful for him.

At one year, Micah.....
weighs 20 pounds
is 28 inches tall
has 8 teeth (I think....I'm not brave enough to stick my finger in there to check)
says a couple words (Mama and uh-oh)
loves his big brother and watches him whenever he can
is sitting in a forward facing carseat and isn't sure if he likes it yet
loves the metal stars that hang from his ceiling and points to them all the time
loves bathtime
tries to eat anything he can pick up
can stand by himself for a few seconds at a time
crawls like the wind
has permanently dirty knees from crawling
loves his toy tambourine
does not like peas AT ALL
can "bonk" his head to someone else's when requested
raises both arms above his head when asked "How big is Micah?"
claps for himself
drinks milk from a bottle (FINALLY!)
has never worn shoes
has hardly ever even worn socks
loves to follow the cat around
has white-blond hair that curls above his ears
has blue eyes that make strangers stop and look
wakes up happy almost every time

What a wonderful little guy he is. Happy Birthday, Micah!