14 October 2014

SANTA FE AUTUMN SURPRISE



Looking southwest over Santa Fe and toward Albuquerque
About every month I will have a "Day in Santa Fe," in which I run lots of errands.  A few weeks ago I had one of these days scheduled.  Bringing Naomi along on these days of errands has definitely changed the dynamics a bit.  For example, a schedule is trickier to stick to.  My list also can't be as long, because she will only tolerate being buckled in-and-out of her car seat so many times in a day.  It's also just generally hard to be efficient with a baby (or child, or children), so my productivity is out the window. 

I approach these days with high hopes, but also recognizing that if I don't do the "musts" first, they may not happen.  The musts on this day's list included: Hobby Lobby (weird, I know), Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Ross, and TJMaxx.  Somewhere in there we also had to get lunch. 

The drive to Santa Fe from the casa blanca (get it?  because my house is white?) takes anywhere from 45-60 minutes.  Naturally, I try to arrange things so that Naomi can sleep while we drive.  This happens successfully about half of the time.  This day was not successful.  Well, I mean it kind of was.  If you count her falling asleep as soon as I began descending the hill into the city. 

Dang it.

Suddenly I realized that autumn was just settling in! I'd heard that the drive to the ski area above Santa Fe was pretty - why not go for a drive?  So I did, and boy did I get lucky.  It was lovely, and the babe stayed asleep until I was nearly back down the mountain.  Mama nature, you rule.  Glad I remembered to come check out your Santa Fe Fall 2014 runway colors.


xo, Ky

MR. AND MRS. ELLIS: THE WEDDING OPEN HOUSE


A few weeks ago we went on a short trip to Utah.  My brother and his wife, newly married in July, were being celebrated with an open house. 

The 'young-marrieds'.
Our good family friends had offered to host the event in their backyard, and put a lot of work into preparing the space.  Unfortunately, it rained the whole weekend.  Luckily, my mom had reserved space at her church, so we were able to put on the event there.  Very different from what we'd all imagined, but it turned out lovely.  It was small, friendly, and pleasant.  The nicest thing about this smaller event (compared to the two receptions earlier in the summer), was that there was time to actually visit with people.  Extended family, old family friends, etc.  It was very nice to see so many people that I care about, and actually have time to carry on a conversation.

Since we didn't end up having the extra beauty of being outside in a well manicured garden, we spent the night before painting vases to bring some color and beauty into the functional and athletic space at the church.  There were very pretty details, and I think that it all turned out quite nicely.  Way to go, Mom!






24 September 2014

ALBUQUERQUE BIOPARK: THE ZOO and THE STATE FAIR


Let's start this off with a tangent. Do you ever take a series of pictures, and then accidentally delete the one you meant to keep?  That's what happened above.  I had a super cute one where Naomi was looking at the camera and smiling.  Somehow I deleted it, though. :-( 



We went to the Zoo and State Fair last weekend.  It was a long, sun-filled day, but we had a great time.  The highlights included a 1-year-old Orangutan climbing monkey bars, a giant one-eyed sea lion swimming to the same window (where we held Naomi) over and over again, a few eagles, a baby Asian Elephant, Vultures watching Naomi, swimming Hippos, fighting Flamingos, Giraffes, a Polar Bear whose paw we decided was about twice the size of my hand, and a lesson about Crocodiles from a Zoo Man.  

Crocodiles have a brain the size of my thumb, they've been around since the dinosaurs, and they will eat you.  It's nothing personal, they're just only afraid of bigger crocodiles.  Anything else is food.  They are cold blooded, and therefore don't need to eat very much despite their size (this fellow we saw at the Zoo was 15+ feet long!), and is only fed one chicken a week.  Also, also, did you know that they can go as long as a year without eating?

You're welcome. 

[flinching as the sea lion got so close]

Even though we all got a kick out of the cool animals, Naomi's favorite part quickly became pushing/walking with her own stroller (video below).  Between the zoo and the State Fair, she must have walked a whole hour long.  The State Fair was really fun, too.  We went to a petting zoo, which Naomi loved, filled with goats, sheep, a couple small cows, chickens, llamas, pigs, and one kangaroo.  The llamas were so soft! I had no idea!  

[poor quality, sorry]



After that, we went exploring for more animals.  We watched one horse carting a buggy that was driven through an obstacle course (really, just a set of cones).  That was fun, but not nearly exciting enough for the kid, so we wandered away to find some food.  In true State Fair tradition, we had super unhealthy food.  Ribbon fries, hot dogs, a deep-fried green chile cheeseburger, and a lemonade.  Afterward we walked through all of the Best-of-Show prize winning displays and made our way back to Grandma and Dad-Dad's to rest for the night.


xo, Ky

17 September 2014

MENU: 14 SEPT. - 20 SEPT.


This summer at a family reunion, we took a scenic train ride.  We were on an open car, all ~20 of us, with about 20 other folks.  One of the pit-stops before we reached our destination was near a farm.  This farm, with pens about 20 feet from the tracks, had reindeer.  Naomi, who was being held by my eldest niece (who is actually a year older than me), suddenly began to kick, flail, and reach! She was very excited about those animals and was going to jump out if she needed to to get to them.  Of course, we didn't actually let her do that, but we were all very amused.  For a while she did the same thing with dogs, and this week, did the same thing when I stepped outside to check out the deer.  She wailed when I went back inside - she wanted to see them! 'Mom! Let me go get them!'  At least, that's what I interpreted.

Seeing deer in our yard is a sure sign that autumn is on its way.  In fact, you can see that the cottonwood (in the middle) has already begun dropping some of its yellow leaves.  Last week when I hosted a playgroup I made pumpkin bread.  Then this morning I made a batch of small pumpkin pancakes.  But, the other day we had an awesome summer meal of grilled cheeseburgers, green salad, and watermelon.  Man, those melons really are one of the best things about summer.  So, I guess we're still a little conflicted here.  We love summer, and have had a lovely one, but fall is so appealing with it's cozy cardigans, socks, and cider.  Transitioning between seasons is always a little tricky.  Do you ever struggle with the transition?

In other news, we officially found something that both Ryan and I are allergic to.  So, if you are ever in a bad way and want to send both of us into fits that can only be cured with some Benadryl and many hours in bed, sneakily feed us this.  Though, we'll each know from the first bite.


In case you're wondering.  I'm allergic to chickpeas/garbanzo beans, and the husband is allergic to pine nuts. Yay food allergies! At least they're not super common. Heh. 

This is a busy week for us! I had a lunch date on Tuesday (ooh!), we have a friend's birthday dinner on Wednesday, and we'll be in Albuquerque for various fun activities til Saturday. We've got a lot planned, and I'm not sure if we'll be able to do it all.  I'll report back on Monday.  

Albeit a bit late, the menu!
Those two high-quality photos above were taken by me with my iPhone.  Serious skills, man. 

14 September 2014

MY FAVORITE PARK


On Friday after running some errands with Naomi, we started on the route back home.  We didn't have any groceries in the back, so we went on a spontaneous trip to one of my favorite parks! It's usually very quiet, right at the end of a small mesa, and has a trail head that goes down into the bigger surrounding canyons.  Seriously, I feel like we're really in the mountains whenever we go here - the wind always seems to be blowing so the leaves and branches of the trees are rustling, there are beautiful wildflowers everywhere (as seen on my Instagram, I often take a couple home with me), and Naomi's shouting echoes from the canyons. :)



We've only been in Los Alamos for a few years now, but I feel like I'm starting to carve out bits of it that are mine.  Mine to make memories in, mine to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of, mine to love.  I can say with certainty that this park is my favorite.  Other of my favorites in town are: a favorite spot to take a panoramic photo, a favorite breakfast burrito, and a favorite mailman.  Also, these smiling eyes.  When this girl is happy, she is ALL happy.  Another favorite.




I hope this silly, sweet, happy, crazy, and busy girl of mine will love her hometown as much I'm learning to.  Also, thank goodness for baby swings.  This chick LOVES them.  Seriously, she was sad almost every time I took her out.  Luckily there was a slide nearby... 

Also, also, Naomi started taking her first steps last week! Ahh!! Where's the heart emoticon when you need it?!  I would totally use that wide-eyed one, too.

All photos above taken by me with my iPhone.

08 September 2014

MENU: 7 SEPT. - 13 SEPT.

 This weekend we explored a paved trail that led us to a dead end.  After continuing on through bushes and hills (with a stroller, since we thought it'd all be paved), we eventually made our way into a neighborhood that connected to another lovely, paved, trail.  

We were up early in the morning, and got to enjoy the sunrise and cool breezes of early autumn.  Though much more adventurous than what we'd had in mind, it was a lot of fun.  After all of our exploring, we went to a few yard sales and bought a few things to be fixed up.  I need to buy a staple gun, now! I can't wait!  I'll blog more about those as I actually gather supplies.



Brooke has been making dinner once a week.  Typically they've been on Sundays, and she's done a great job.  Last night she made a crispy honey pepper beef with rice and a peach crisp for dessert.  She has a special notebook to write all of her successful recipes in that we're going to customize by collaging  the outside cover.  I love doing things like that.  I'll probably have to do the same to one of my notebooks, too.  You know, so she's not lonely while she's working on hers. ;-)

Here's the menu for the week!:
Photos above taken by me this weekend, on my iPhone.

02 September 2014

MENU: 30 AUG-6 SEP


In honor of the holiday yesterday, we ignored projects and cleaning at our house and took the day off and went to Santa Fe.  In our errands we included a trip to Camino Real Imports where I bought some Mexican blankets, and lunch at one of our favorite burger places in town, The Shake Foundation.  Green Chile Cheeseburgers all around! To top off the day, I met up with a good friend for dinner and we talked for hours!

In other news, I've recently put together a monthly dinner menu.  It covers four weeks.  We put this together at the suggestion of a sister-in-law who has used this method successfully for years.  This way, I can change things up a little, but I know much more in advance what I'll be cooking this week.  We planned weekly menus for years, but sometimes the task would be forgotten and I'd be stuck deciding, in my indecisive manner, what to have for dinner that evening.  Stressful!  In this four-week plan I haven't scheduled anything for Sundays, because Ryan is home in the afternoon and enjoys cooking, so that's our 'wildcard' day.  We also have been having Brooke cook once a week, so she either makes her own version of what is planned, or makes her own thing.  We also observe Meatless Mondays (observe makes it sound so hoity-toity), and have Wednesday dedicated to Leftovers.  We've been going for about two weeks and it's been great so far.

With that said, here is our dinner menu for this week:

For other great menu ideas, go check out my friend Jenny's Food Blog.  Also, the photo above was taken by Ryan this weekend.

See you soon! 
xo, Ky
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