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Archive for the ‘Being fancy for no reason’ Category

This was actually going to be the last post in my Florida vacay series.  It was the last evening of the trip, as well as the last set of pictures I took on the trip, and also I think that everything is better when it ends with cake.

But it’s Friday (and Fridays go well with cake), and more importantly, it’s K’s birthday.  And since we can’t be in NY tonight to eat cake with her, I thought I would send pictures of babies eating cake and maybe that would be just as good.

The cake we were eating was actually in honor of Mikhail’s ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY.  (I think that means our babies are getting old…sigh…)  His birthday is just one week away, and Gramma and Pappa celebrated on our last night in Florida with a surprise smash cake–his first!

And since Mikhail is a generous boy (and the cake was larger than anticipated), it was a dueling smash cake festivus with each baby facing off in a who-can-smash-better cake contest.

It’s a good time to note that Nellie lost.  Badly.  She gave a small taste to the frosting, but wasn’t too impressed.  She didn’t even get any frosting on her pretty new outfit.  On the other side of the deliciousness spectrum, Mikhail eventually was so covered in frosting that he resembled the Hulk.

It’s fortunate that Nellie has two months left to practice before her real smash cake experience–this was a poor showing by the monkey.

But the entire event, which G caught on video, was hilarious.  Cake not only makes everything better–but it makes kids even cuter.

As you can see, Nellie thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  She just didn’t find it nearly as delicious as her cousin did.

~ Day 5 of posts from our trip to Florida. They might go in order, they might not.  They might be themed, they might not. They will all be adorable. ~

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I imagined it with brick-lined paths and boxwoods, and it became so much more.  G has worked so hard for the past few weekends, and this morning he met me at the nursery so I could pick out the finishing touches– lilacs and broom bushes.  The backyard is an evolution, and it will never be ‘finished’.  But this project–this amazing remodel–is in the books.

So how’d we do?

Brick paths? Check.  Boxwoods? Check.

Pergola, comfortable seating, slate table with fire pit, bird houses, and beautiful, fragrant flowers? Check.

Remember this mess?

It’s a lot more awesome now.

Here are some shots G took of our new outdoor space.

I’ve got some lemon syrup and rosemary waiting in the fridge, and it’s possible we might be having celebratory cocktails tonight around the new fire table down below.  And I’m tagging this post ‘being fancy for no reason’ because I feel pretty fancy tonight.

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It’s hardly even spring, except that suddenly it’s the end of April.  Maybe it was the lost month of March, or maybe it was the nonexistent winter…either way, the warmer weather and its inspiration is suddenly upon us.

Our annual spring project is still well underway, as our progress has been slowed down by my inability to contribute much (though my oversight and recent purchases are, I think, very important elements of this project’s eventual success).  When I think back to our other spring remodels–the nursery last year, the kitchen the year before, or even all the way back to the house exterior in 2008 (our first spring at this house)–they were projects that happened in short periods of time.  And by that I mean that we had only been in the house for six months when we launched into the work on the house; and the kitchen remodel and its concept actually came together quite quickly; and of course, the nursery project only began once we knew we were expecting.

This project, however, is different.  While the actual implementation might take only a couple of months (though, tell that to G who has nightmares about carrying stone in buckets), the conception of this project has been years long.  Since we moved into the house, I’ve looked down at the backyard and imagined its potential.  For five years now, I’ve eagerly anticipated the time when we might finally turn our attention to this yard and make it into an incredible space in which to spend time and live.  And so, with that kind of anticipation and build-up–plus the newfound giddiness over the various pieces that we’ve recently acquired to enhance this project beyond even my original thinking–it’s easy to understand why this project might be my very favorite ever.

And I swear that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m not doing the actual work.  (Like pushing Nellie back and forth on the deck in her bike and cheering Daddy on as he walks back and forth with supplies isn’t work.  Puhlease.)

But even though there is still work to be done, I love looking past this project and thinking about what this summer will be like.  Days at the beach under a big umbrella with a pile of toys.  Evenings in the garden, sitting in large comfy chairs around a fire.  Weekend brunch on the deck while Nellie plays in her pool.  Lazy days in the shade with the pups sleeping below Nellie’s feet as she swings in her pink swing.  Picnic baskets full of milk in sippy cups and lemonade in mason jars.  Strawberry slices in glasses of prosecco (and the rest in sticky fingers).

And maybe, just maybe, battery-operated twinkly lights on the deck.  Just to keep the fireflies company.

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We’ve got spring fever at our house, of the Easter variety.  I bought some fresh brown eggs at the store the other day, and we’re making the most of them.  We had fried eggs on top of burgers that G grilled last night, and eggs in a basket this morning in delicious, squishy challah bread.

Lest you think we’re the only ones enjoying our eggs, I made sure there were plenty to share.  No, Nellie didn’t share any of our boring brown ones — much to her delight, she had a basket full of bright colorful eggs to stick in her mouth.

This picture cracks me up:

She practiced for Easter this morning and had a fabulous time playing with eggs in the front yard.  Then she discovered the colorful grass, and it went quickly downhill from there.

But it was all in preparation for her visit with the big bunny, himself.  We went to the mall today so she could pose with the Easter bunny.  And while most of the kids in line shrieked in terror when it was actually their turn, Nellie thought it was hilarious.  Of course she did.  She laughed her butt off on the Easter bunny’s lap.

It’s a girls’ day today.  In addition to donning fancy dresses for our Easter picnic in the front yard this morning and our trip to the mall, we’re hanging out at home, also.  Nellie changed into jammies with bunnies and got a bike ride in the front yard.  Next up, making Easter cupcakes and cards!  First, a few more shots from our plastic egg picnic:

And my favorite:

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It seems almost silly to post — our St. Patty’s Day party (on the 10th of March) seems like eons ago.  But with the exception of Nellie’s worsening illness, it was actually a really fun night.  We enjoyed corned beef and cabbage (which the dogs subsequently ate while we were in the hospital), a St. Patty’s day cake (which the neighbors subsequently ate while we were in the hospital), and Irish beers (which I wish we could have had while we were in the hospital).  The house was decked out with clovers and shades of green.  I even picked up a little St. Patty’s day bling for the twins.  Nellie was in her St. Patty’s day best, but there are no pictures of her from the night — no fun taking sick baby pictures.

Here’s a refresh of her awesome outfit and the smile that was missing:

Here are some pics from our festivities — in hindsight, having the party on the 10th rather than the 17th worked out well, even if we did miss out on cake leftovers.

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The other day I mentioned to Greg that we needed more parties.  It’s been a couple years now since we hosted our annual wine party, as we’ve gotten caught in the whirlwind of life that doesn’t often leave time for planning such affairs.  And though it’s true that my head has been wrapped around the idea of a fabulous, Gatsby-esque garden party since being inspired by a dress K tried on a couple of weeks ago (that really had no proper occasion for wear other than a fancy outdoor party), it’s not actually a party I’m craving.
I love special things on otherwise unspecial occasions, and it’s those little touches that have been missing from life recently.  Candlelight for a Tuesday dinner; getting dressed to go out on the weekend, even if we’re not going somewhere fancy; a bottle of champagne with pizza.  And while our grabby little monkey has taken some of these ideas – ahem, candles – off the literal and proverbial table, there really isn’t any reason why we can’t turn otherwise plain experiences into fanciful delights.
Suddenly my head is swirling with ideas – as though giving myself permission to indulge in something fancy has unleashed a part of me that was previously repressed.  And though I have some grand visions (like the garden party), or even grander visions than that (like creating an enchanted path through the woods behind our house so that Nellie can one day have tea parties in the woods or go for nature walks – an idea that’s been rooted in my head since before we bought the house, Nellie details being, of course, a new addition to the otherwise fully-fleshed plan), the truth is that I’m totally content starting small.  A St. Patrick’s Day party with the neighbors.  An Easter celebration with Nellie (for which I may or may not have already purchased an Easter basket, decorative grass, Easter eggs, and a sparkly pink N to hang on her basket).  A new ritual of indoor picnics until the weather is officially warm enough to dine outside.
Thinking about these types of things fuels me with energy and inspiration, and suddenly even the big visions don’t seem so daunting.  Why can’t we turn our backyard into the Secret (English) Garden I’ve always thought it could be?  (To note, one obstacle might be G’s growing wariness of my seemingly insatiable need to plant additional rose bushes each spring, and the fact that he hacked down one ‘wall’ of rose bushes at the end of last season for the itty bitty reason that they were growing higher than our house.)  And why can’t we create our path in the woods, little by little, by creating a small section of path each season?
And so, I hereby announce 2012 the year of fanciful things!  (Originally it was the year of ‘the new job’, which is awesome, but not really something to celebrate for the next ten months, yanno?)
We started last night with our first indoor picnic, and champagne for no reason.  The reward was a night to slow down, enjoy our dinner instead of rushing through it, get through an entire movie, and go to bed content.
Trying to get the melon out of G’s hands so she can feed herself

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