30.9.11

someone has a case of the birthdays

.birthday.goodness.
getting all the frosting... even from his fingers
sugar trance
the remainder
this girl is a doll.
she is so happy right now.

sam: age 3 weeks, location: russell orchards, mood: angry
sam: age 3 weeks, location: russell orchards, mood: pissed
sam: age 1 year, location: russell orchards, mood: happy
 life changes in a year.
wonder what he'll be doing next year at russells.
thankful for this precious child.
he makes me laugh.
he makes me cry.
most of all, he helps me understand God.
God had a son, an only son.
He was happy when his son was happy.
He was sad when his son was sad.

.getting philosophical today.

28.9.11

Birthday Weekend

We celebrated Sam's 1st birthday on Saturday!
The forecast was 70% chance of rain and we were planning an outdoor picnic/pizza party.
We had a back-up in place...
And then the sun was out and it was about 75 degrees.
We had a great time.
Sam had a bunch of little friends come play.
We all hung out at the playground.
We ate veggies, fruits, pizza, cupcakes, and other snacks.
Sam thought his first cake experience was yummy.
He didn't understand blowing out the candles.
I'm ok with that.

After the party we headed to Russell's Orchard for apple picking and checking out the animals.
My cousin Jackie joined us. She's a California girl, but she's going to school in Boston.
Woo hoo! Can't wait to spend more time with her!
Pictures to follow.
Hopefully I can post some wedding pictures or wedding videos later this week.
In other news, I'm trying a new project. Pics to come after it actually works. And is not a design fail.

27.9.11

Bathtime fun

Sam loves bathtime...
He enjoys floating in the water.
He likes playing with his toys.
He is thrilled when he learns new things.

Below is a video of him blowing bubbles! I finally caught him on camera. :)

{around 6 seconds and maybe 28 seconds for those who want to fast forward}

YouTube Video


20.9.11

Just Another Day In Paradise...

Before Caleb came home from India, we had a beach photo session with Sam.
Here are a few unedited photos for your viewing pleasure. :)
Hopefully I'll update the blog about Caleb's trip to India, our trip to Sweden, our trip to France, Summer's wedding and Sammy's first birthday (which was on Friday, but the party is this Saturday).
Until then.
Here are a few beachy photos... from my fave beach. Chappy.
And Sammy is oh so proud in the life guard chair.


{well hello there}

{climbing up the stand}

{sand is delish}


{oh so proud of himself}
{checking out the views}

{saving lives}
{headed for the ocean}

{nekked baby at sunset}

25.8.11

Home Sweet Home...

Caleb is back from India.
We are back home. Together.
It was wonderful spending the summer on Cape Cod with my family.
But it's great having my best friend, husband, Sam's dad, back with us.

My brother Peter put together an AMAZING video of Sam.
Check it out.
You won't be disappointed.
I promise.


He did a fabulous job and I'm sure Sam will LOVE having it as he gets older. Peter combined videos, time-lapse photography, and music to put together a fun video that we'll have for years to come. Now Caleb was able to see some of what Sam did while he was away in India.


Link to: Sammy's Big Day


29.7.11

letter to the President

It's Friday night and I'm sitting at my dining room table penning a letter to the President. I know. I'm 28 years old and I'm writing the President on a Friday night. It's an exciting life I lead.
Before you think I'm too lame, I will preface with a few thoughts.
1) My best friend is in India
2) Sam is sleeping
3) I have big plans for the rest of the weekend that include: boating to Martha's Vineyard and touring Boston with friends
Now that I've explained myself away. I will explain about the letter itself.
Lately there has been much press about the government, the spending, the possible default on debt. Lately I have been commenting that I will write the President, the House of Representatives, and the Sentors to express my concern. I haven't done that yet until tonight. Tonight I sat down and penned less than 2500 characters (that's all I was allowed) to Mr. President Barack Obama. I am not sure if he will read what I wrote. I am not sure if he will even see what I wrote. But, it's a start. If I do not receive a response, I will find another way to address the president (hello snail mail). The next target on my list are my senators, Scott Brown and John Kerry. Do you know who your senators are? You should. Check here to find them. After I contact the Massachusetts senators, I'll contact the House of Representatives, find yours here. Massachusetts has ten. I'm not sure yet if I'll contact all ten or just one. If you can't check out those links, check the iPhone app you can look them all up for a total of $0.99.
As I began, I wrote a message to the President. I am not happy with the US Government's level of spending. Our national debt is $14.32 trillion. Can you imagine that? I can't. What did the USA buy with that? Anything good? I believe the insane spending has to stop. And if I have a voice, I will try to be heard. We live in a free country, right? Below is the brief message I sent to the President. I will follow up if he responds, and if he doesn't respond.


Dear Mr. President,
Thank you for serving our country.
My name is Sara ____ and I write to you from Massachusetts. I am __ years old, a college graduate, an employee, a wife and a mother. I am the financial controller for an insurance agency on Cape Cod. (A side note: Enjoy your vacation on Martha's Vineyard. I was there recently, my family and I rode our bikes across the island, went swimming at South Beach, and ate dinner in Edgartown. It's a great place to vacation.)
My email address is: ____________ and I welcome your response to my email.
The purpose of this email is to be a voice for my generation. I don't want to side with a party. I do not want you, Mr President, believing I am siding with a particular party. There are many republicans pointing fingers at democrats and democrats pointing fingers at republicans. They are playing the blame game. At this point, who cares?
1) The US Government has a history of reckless spending. The House of Representatives and Senate are permitting it. The US debt stands at an embarrassingly high rate of $14.34 TRILLION. What did we (United States of America) buy? What do we have to show for $14.34 trillion?
2) The people of America want a balanced budget. Americans have to balance their budget. If they don't, they bankrupt themselves. If the USA doesn't balance their budget, are we headed for bankruptcy as a nation? The US Government needs to set an example for its people and begin balancing a budget. This was done before and it needs to be done again.
3) IF the USA has to raise the debt ceiling:
A) Get a GAME plan in place
B) Begin PAYING DOWN debt
C) STOP indebting the future of Americans
Mr. President, if I, Sara _____, don't pay my bills on time, the companies I am indebted to will hold me accountable. If I spend money beyond my means, eventually I won't be able to continue spending and I will have to pay down my debt or risk bankruptcy. If I, Sara ______ Financial Controller, do not pay the bills, the companies my employer is indebted to will hold my employer accountable. Is that where we are as a nation? Are we at the brink of bankruptcy?
You, the "CEO" of the USA, and Congress are responsible for spending and saving of our great nation. It says in Proverbs 22:7 "The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave." We are borrowing from other nations, we are holding ourselves as "slaves" to other nations, we will be held accountable to them. Thank you for your time. Sara _________

What do you think? Do you like the part about Martha's Vineyard? A little personal note? We will see what happens. The worst, I don't get a response. The best, the President himself responds. Either way, I can't say I didn't try to use my voice or keyboard.

15.7.11

music with sam

Sam loves music.
Here are a few examples.

YouTube Video

My dad loves playing the piano with Sam.
Sam loves playing the piano with his grandpa.

YouTube Video

I just love it! It's so fun to watch them play together. :)
Ps- Caleb hope you were able to watch them :) xo

14.7.11

.missing.

yesterday was the first day i really missed caleb.
what?! i've gone 2+ weeks and haven't missed him?
what kind of wife am i?
let me explain.
caleb is amazing. he's such a great friend, husband, dad, and he's a hard worker.
but.
he went to india. i was left in the USA. somewhat by choice. with a full time job & a certain 9 month old baby.

i can tell you... it is hard to miss someone or something when you're so busy. our days were filled with working, playing, going to the beach, and repeating. maybe with a few other fun activities added into the mix.
sam is a character. he's been so much fun lately and he's getting SO big!
my mom is a saint. she is watching sam EVERY day from 8am until 5pm, which is morphing into 6pm because i have a lot of work to do. while caleb is in india, i'm working in the office instead of from home. it's amazing. seriously. amazing. i miss working in the office.
let me preface it with this: i love my husband. i love sam. i love my job. in that order. well other things could be added in between. but those are the three pieces to this little write-up.
my boss was flexible and let me work from home after sam was born. it was hard, but it was amazing. i was so thankful to be able to work from home, be with sam and still earn a paycheck, you know to pay tuition and other bills.


as sam got older, it was harder to work from home. my sister-in-law, another saint, got me a little playpen, i put it in my office and sam hung out in his playpen and i worked... most of the time... i just had to take one day at a time. there were a few other saints who helped out... my friend katharine babysat sam a few times, for free. (i told you there were saints involved) caleb also watched sam. of course he's the dad and should, but he had work, finals, classes, papers, exams, etc so he didn't have much free time to spare.
anyway, it was hard to get my work done, take care of sam and still remain sane. so i actually was looking forward to working in the office and getting a break from the daily routine of work, sam, cooking, cleaning and other such stuff that comes with your own place.
 the past 2.5 weeks have been fabulous. i've rested. i feel focused with my job. my evenings are spent with sam, my family, walks, the beach. i'm not trying to figure out what to cook for dinner at 6pm. i'm not washing dishing at 9pm. i'm not cleaning the house on the weekends. my parents have been amazing letting me stay with them. of course, i've been trying to help out with dishes, cooking, a little cleaning and such, but they have been so helpful and to them caleb and i are so grateful.
rewind to last night.
i missed caleb.
 it was the first night i really had time to think. and to realize how much i missed caleb.
and it was a sad night.
but it was a good night.
because caleb is in india.
where he needs to be at the moment.
caleb is teaching & preaching & living in another country. for 6 weeks.
i miss him.
but we have a big God who is behind it all.
He loves us. He cares for us. He doesn't forget us.
and because i know caleb is supposed to be in india.
i don't begrudge him.
i'm happy for him.
i'm a little jealous. i'm a little envious. i'm a little sad.
i wish i could be there with him. experiencing india with him. as husband & wife. and maybe with sam.
but right now is not the time.
this fall: we have family to visit in sweden and a wedding in france.
and i have only so much vacation time.
and only so much money.
or should i say so little money.
and we must be wise with what we're given.
use our common sense.
and realize, there will be other times.

right now i need to take care of sara. i need to rest, relax, rejuvenate. spend time with sam. focus on my work and pray for caleb. caleb needs to be in india. he needs to be teaching and preaching and maybe relaxing a little. maybe taking a break from the intensity that is school, working, husband and father. not in a negative way. as a part of life. as a part of learning. and india.
i know it's not a break in the vacation sense b/c i know he's learning a lot. and they are doing a lot.
but it's different than what we've been doing the past 9 months.
which is working, school, housework, bills & sam.
with that.
caleb. you are amazing. i can't imagine what it's like for you in india. i kept thinking, "you're leaving me. you're leaving us." in reality, we weren't going with you. how hard must it have been for you to step onto the bus and say good-bye? how hard was it to board the plane knowing in 6 weeks sam could be walking or talking. maybe i'll cut my hair or change the color. or pierce my nose. or get a tattoo.
ok. kidding. i won't change as much.
but how hard was it to board the plane knowing in 6 weeks his life would be radically different. he was going to spend 6 weeks in another country. new languages. new cultures. new traditions. poverty. lots of people. sickness? new climate. different food. different clothes.
what would happen when he stepped off the plane in 6 weeks?
would his wife look different? would she dress different? would she expect different things?
would his son be walking, talking, running, shouting?
would he be shocked at the immense blessing he has of simply living in America? living in a nation where we can choose who and what we believe in. a nation of freedom. a nation of riches.
would he struggle with his own riches in contrast to the poverty he was exposed to in india?
would he struggle with enjoyment of the mountains and fresh clean air after his travel through smoggy, dusty, dirty, over-populated india?
would he miss the foothills of the himalayas in india?
would he miss the people, culture, food?
6 weeks can change a person.
they say it takes 30 days to form a habit.
maybe we'll form habits being apart for 6 weeks and feel like strangers.
but i don't think so.
i think the saying is accurate. "absence makes the heart stronger"
i think caleb and i will talk for hours about our experiences and what we've learned.
i will share the explorations sam and i went on.
caleb will tell me about the people.
i will tell caleb about my job and what i've learned being in the office.
caleb will tell me how the people in india do college.
i will tell caleb how rested i feel.
caleb will tell me how rejuvenated he feels.
i will tell caleb i missed him.
caleb will tell me he missed me.
and all will be right.
but last night i was missing him.
and that's ok.
because i should miss him.
but i don't want him to come home yet.
he's not ready.
india's not done with him.
so for that caleb, i understand.
stay.
be safe.
i love you.
and come back on the plane you booked.
safe but terrified.
changed but unharmed.
happy to be home.
but never the same.
and i pray i'll be able to understand you a little better when you return.

.besos.

5.7.11

Happy Birthday!!

Sam celebrated his first Independence Day yesterday.
He is almost 10 months old and the USA is 235 year old, or at least since the Declaration of Independence was signed.

A few July 4th Trivia...
1) Where is the original Declaration of Independence located?
2) Who wrote the Star Spangled Banner?
3) Who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence? How many people signed it?
4) When is the Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Indepence?
5) And...What is the dollar amount of all US fireworks imported?

Take a guess...

See what you get...

I enjoy little quizzes to test my knowledge...

Sometimes I'm tempted to cheat and either google OR scroll past all this...

I'll insert a few Baby Sam 4th of July pics.

We celebrated by going to a parade, Sam LOVED! Pictures on those later.
And then we went to the fireworks at the beach.
Sam thought it was just awesome.
Once the fireworks started, he sat there with his eyes wide open and mouth gaping.
Oh to be a kid again...


Sam & Uncle Pete
 

mmm... tasty chair
the barge where the fireworks launched from
our little "campsite"

appetizers with Uncle Pete
 


Sam's true personality showing thru

1) National Archives, Washington DC
2) Francis Scott Key
3) John Hancock and 56
4) July 4th 1776
5) $211 million


How did you do?

4.7.11

Boating with Sam

yesterday, Sam went boating.
yes, you read that correctly.
a few weeks back Caleb and I bought Sam a life-jacket so he could go fishing w/grandpa.
yesterday, we decided to go tubing.
with sam.
yes.
you read that right.
you may think i'm a crazy mom.
or you may think i'm a fun mom.
but i wanted Sam to experience tubing and get a few pictures or movies of the event.
my brother is currently working on a movie...
so i will post a few pics.
i will preface this with:
1) Sam HATED his lifejacket
2) Sam LOVES the water
3) Sam ENJOYED tubing and we were only out there for maybe 2 minutes (on the tube)
so, since Caleb is in India, I need to share our tubing experience with him via this blog.
once my brother is done with the video, I'll be sharing that...

Uncle Pete & Sam on the boat

Getting Sam ready for tubing

Mommy & Sam about to get onto the tube

Who's more psyched for tubing?

Laying down on the tube
Woo hoo! First tubing experience for Sam!
Folks, I assure you, he loved it!
Happy 4th of July everyone! Today we went to a parade and Sam enjoyed most of it... except the end ;)
Pictures to come later. Hope you get to see some fireworks tonight!

3.7.11

a day in the life of sam

this is our first weekend alone without caleb.
now i say alone, but i'm staying with my parents so we have not been alone.
we have very much been with people: mom, dad, brothers, exchange student and friend of one of my brothers - not alone. but caleb's not around. this is what typically happens on a weekend morning.
caleb lets me relax and he feeds sam breakfast

and sam enjoys "saturday morning cartoons"

also know as veggietales, as you can see in the picture
this weekend is not a typical weekend morning.
those will resume in august.
so this morning, although we miss caleb, i will cherish the down time while sam spends time w/his grandparents and uncles.

1.7.11

Stair discoveries




Sam recently learned to climb the stairs. Actually, Monday June 27 right after Caleb left for India...
He's so proud to have learned how...
Below is a little video.

YouTube Video