Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter at Judy's

Dear Mom and Aunt Renee,

This one's for you.  And although these photos remind me of the funny stuff Taylor goes around taking pictures of, they were, in fact taken by me before the camera battery died and I didn't really get any shots of the kids or your cousins or....anything but eggs, really...

But let's face it, we all know...

...a Youmans gathering... ALL about the Deviled Eggs!

 Korah's getting Noble all set for the Easter Egg Hunt!
(He totally didn't get it, and just wanted to peel and eat every hard-boiled egg he found and wanted nothing to do with silly, useless plastic eggs.  He got about 2 down before the whole thing was over, and I'm not sure he ever clued in to the jellybeans inside the plastic ones!)

 It's kind of trivial, but being welcomed by this little pop of spring color is one of the things about coming to Judy's at this time of year that I always look forward to.

Micah was unstoppable.  Like, literally.  I couldn't get him to stop so I could show him the one under the truck tire!

So that's about it.  I hugged everyone, talked with Jenny about New York, with Laura about planks and sit-ups and tatoos and Jesus, with Adrienne about...lots of things!  I got to hold Cierra's new baby and rock him to sleep...he is so precious and tiny!  Don't worry,  I watched my kids and no one fell into the river. :)

Love you both.  Wish you were there, as I know you do too.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Narcissism to the Max

It's all about me.

I've been contemplating (as we bloggers are prone to do once in a while, or more often) the narcissism of this personalized internet experience, and whether or not it's something I should be carving out precious time for.  After quitting Facebook, it turns out I have a ton of things to keep my mind off what's on everyone else's mind, but it's my birthday and I've been on my mind all week!  How should I celebrate?  What gifts should I ask for?  Where should we go out to eat, and speaking of eat: ice cream or chocolate??  And the weather is getting good, which makes everything so much more cheerful, and it's clear that the Maker of Weather is even blessing me today!  Right!?  (Oh, of that I am sure!)

So I start off my day bright and early at a Weight Watcher meeting, where I learn that I've lost weight!  Isn't that fantastic?  Who doesn't want to hear THAT on their birthday?  Then I did something crazy and signed up for Bikram Yoga with my Yoga-fanatic friend Emily.  I actually enjoyed the 90 minutes of sweating, thawing out my California-deprived bones, and I managed to stay conscious (if not standing), and vomit-free, the whole class!  And then they all sang Happy Birthday to me!

Happy, sweaty and revived, I pulled up to the house, heart exploding to find all my little chicklets waiting on the corner for me!  They jumped up and shouted "MOMMIEEEEE!" and chased me to the driveway, laughing...what a great feeling!  They had been busy all morning preparing the breakfast of my dreams.  Fruit!  Coffee!  Gluten-free French Toast!  They even had time to make me a fabulous birthday sign!  I'm feelin' the love, yessiam!
 It has Noble-isms on the right:
"Ah kiss a momma!"
"Hapa Balda!"
"KeeCoo" (cookie)
"Ah luff momma!"
"Ah luff ceek!" (I love cake)

 Check out this fruit salad!  That right there would be the work of my fancy-pants, pineapple-loving husband.

 Open your presents now, Mamma!!!

 A beautiful painting by my Korah, with recipes for pampering scrubs and facials on the back...

 Articulate Taylor does it again.  This guy kicks Hallmark's butt.
"Today it's our job to be extra awesome to you."

 And then the boys made this whole comic strip for me, "Super Wendy"
It's HILARIOUS!  I want to scan it and show you because it's so freakin' stellar.

 I was in tears; it's so detailed and funny.  The kids piled in my lap and climbed on my chair and we all enjoyed it together.  I'm so incredibly proud!  It's an amazing piece of work.

Not to leave anyone out, but those are just some highlights.  I know five kids means I'm surrounded by chaos and chores a lot of the time, but let me just make one thing clear: I. Am. Blessed.  I have really amazing, interesting, funny, talented and loving kids.  And I have a really amazing, strong husband who loves me.  He really, really loves me.

 Not long after that....
(even though I could've stayed home and played with my sweet kids all night...)

 David took me out for my birthday to Pok Pok Noi, where I like to enjoy me some Som!

 Colorful beverages (the green one's just my waterbottle)

Yum-Yum-Yum!  My one rule when eating out: I can't leave thinking, "Pshh. I can make that at home" and this place hits the mark.  I'm a total fan.  When the sister-restaurant Ping opened a couple of years ago, we took another rare date there and it was so delicious I felt compelled to write a review.  That is, until I got busy chopping veggies and stirring Sriracha into everything for my own family that I just didn't have the time.

Okay, so my mind just went blank and all I want to do is go to sleep and dream of cilantro, thai chilis and drinking vinegars....  Happy Birthday to me, I guess!  And yes, it was.  INDEED. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Sunshine Is For

A surprise kindness for a weary Mama

Naked Baby Breakfast

Big Sisters...

...and Big Laughs!

Giving Thanks!

A New Little Life

5x7, to accompany a friend's baby shower gift